A Stated Meeting of the Society was held in the Hall of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, on Wednesday, 17 March, 1897, at three o’clock in the afternoon, President Wheelwright in the chair.
After the Records of the previous Meeting had been read and approved, the President announced the death of Mr. George Otis Shattuck, a Resident Member, and spoke of his high rank in his chosen profession, as evidenced by his election to the Presidency of the Bar Association, a position which he held at the time of his decease.
The Hon. George S. Hale, having been called upon, paid the following tribute to the memory of Mr. Shattuck:
I cordially respond to your request to add a few words to the expression by this Society of the loss we all recognize in the death of George Otis Shattuck. His life was not eventful, but useful and honorable, and in the words of the familiar hymn “yet blossoms in the dust.”
He was born at Andover, 2 May, 1829; educated at the Phillips Academy in that place; graduated, with Professors Charles F. Dunbar, William Watson Goodwin, Henry W. Haynes, and C. C. Langdell, and Dr. Samuel A. Green, at Harvard College in 1851; took his degree of LL.B. in the Harvard Law School in 1854: entered the Suffolk Bar in February, 1855, and became the associate of Peleg W. Chandler in 1856 (continuing until 1870) and then of William A. Munroe. He was a member of the Common Council of Boston in 1862, an Overseer of Harvard College from 1871 till 1880 and from 1885 till his decease, a member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and President of the Suffolk Bar Association.
He was elected a member of this Society 20 December, 1893.
Mr. Shattuck was not a seeker for official position, but a most valuable member of the community he served and honored. He adds another to the long list of the members of his profession who held very high rank among their associates, and won the confidence, regard, and respect of clients, friends, and courts, but reserved no time from laborious days for permanent evidences and memorials of their knowledge, of their labors and services for the cause of justice and its wise administration, or the result of intellectual cultivation and love of letters. The Lawyer’s labors are often the concealed foundation of the Judge’s reputation. He was responsive and sympathetic, and received the tribute of affectionate confidence from the younger men who shared his instruction and sympathy.
In his college course Mr. Shattuck won the regard and confidence of that wise man and acute judge of men, Dr. James Walker, while his early association with Peleg W. Chandler, so well known among the last generation of eminent lawyers, was another evidence of his exhibition of the ability and acquirement which secured his prompt and continuous success in a profession which suffers no rival and yields its honors only to unremitting devotion.
Mr. Shattuck married Emily Morris Copeland 15 October, 1857, and leaves one daughter, Susan, the wife of Dr. Arthur T. Cabot.
Mr. Robert N. Toppan then read the following paper on —
An interesting fact connected with the founding of the English Colonies in America was the failure to establish an Hereditary Political Aristocracy in any part of the country. England being monarchical and aristocratic, with many traces of feudalism still existing in the seventeenth century, it would naturally be supposed that the frames of government of the various plantations would be moulded, in substance at least, upon that of the parent state, even if circumstances required slight modifications. The grantors of the different Charters, from Queen Elizabeth to George the Second, were monarchs holding exalted notions of the royal prerogative, while the grantees in many cases were noblemen of high rank. Although the Charter of 1584 to Raleigh was to one who bore no higher title than that of Esquire, Knighthood having been bestowed upon him later, and the first grant of Virginia, of 1606, contained the names of two Knights only, the second Charter, of 1609, enumerated, among a large number of grantees, eight Earls, one Viscount, eleven Lords, one Bishop, and ninety-six Knights, while the Council first appointed consisted of noblemen and knights almost exclusively, three only of lower rank being admitted. To the list of grantees were added, in 1611–12, the Archbishop of Canterbury and three Earls.276 The Council being composed almost entirely of titled people, whose sons might become members of the governing body (although it was to be elected in the future by the incorporators), a way seemed to be prepared for the establishment of an hereditary government. The political development, however, which might reasonably have been expected ceased upon the annulling of the Charter in 1624, consequent upon the trouble between the King and the Company, when the Colony became a Royal Province, the Proprietors losing the governing power.
By the Charter of New England, of 1620, the Council was to consist of forty members, including one Duke, two Marquises, six Earls, one Viscount, three Lords, one Baronet, eighteen Knights, and eight Esquires with power of choosing their successors. From this grant an hereditary governing body would probably have grown in time, if the Council for New England had not in turn made a grant of a part of their territory to the Massachusetts Company, in which appear the names of three Knights only, the other grantees bearing no titles. The first Governor chosen under the Royal Charter of 1628–29, which confirmed and enlarged the grant of the Council for New England of the previous year, was a Commoner. From that time on, with the exception of Sir Richard Saltonstall, the Governors and the Assistants were all untitled,277 until the Charter was annulled, in 1684, when Massachusetts was merged in The Territory and Dominion of New England, and eight years later became a Royal Province as Virginia had become more than sixty years before, and was made dependent upon the Crown.
During the Colonial period, lasting more than fifty years, two events took place, showing the determination of the colonists to thwart any attempt to introduce legally privileged classes into the body politic. In 1634 an offer was made to the Massachusetts authorities by Lord Saye, Lord Brooke, and others of rank to transport themselves with their families and property to the Colony, provided there should be created two distinct ranks in the community, — one consisting of Gentlemen, who should sit during life in the Colonial Parliament as a separate house, the privilege descending to their heirs, and the other consisting of Freeholders. The Gentlemen were to vote in person, while the Freeholders, whose qualification for suffrage was to be property and not membership in a Congregational Church, were to elect Deputies. This proposition was not favorably received.278 In his answer to Lord Saye, in 1636, Rev. John Cotton acknowledges that the Scriptures approve of a monarchic-aristocratic government, but not of an hereditary governing aristocracy. Many heirs of noble families are degenerate and unfit for public office; it is therefore evident that the Almighty never designed that the governing power in a state should be committed to such hands. The true aristocracy, according to his opinion, were the ministers of the churches and the qualified magistrates elected by the Freemen. To such can be safely intrusted the guidance of a Commonwealth, the civil rulers acting in civil matters, and the clergy as teachers influencing public opinion. Mr. Cotton defends also the law of 1631 restricting freemanship to church-members as being conducive to the best interests of the state.279
One temporary result followed Lord Saye’s proposal. In 1636 the General Court voted to establish a standing Council for Life, and on the twenty-fifth of May of the same year John Winthrop and Thomas Dudley were made members of it, who, however, became Governor and Deputy Governor by annual elections. In May, 1637, John Endicott was also made a member, taking his seat the next year in virtue of his life membership; but in 1639, the Freemen reverting to their former custom of annual elections for all magistrates, Endicott became an Assistant again by his election that year.280
The second event was the effort made in 1640 by some of the ministers to obtain certain legal privileges for the clergy as a separate class, the ecclesiastical authorities in other countries enjoying at that time important rights and immunities. By the arrival of Winthrop in 1630, as head of the Colony, the two ministers of Salem and the one of Charlestown had lost their positions as Assistants which they had held under Endicott, and the custom was established of not electing the clergy to any public office.281 The present attempt was so completely defeated that the subordination of the clergy to the civil power has not since been seriously questioned. Winthrop gives the following account of the movement under date of October, 1640: —
“The elders had moved at a General Court, before, that the distinction between the two jurisdictions might be set down, that the churches might know their power, and the civil magistrate his. They declared that the civil magistrate should not proceed against a church-member before the church had dealt with him, with some other restraints which the court would not allow of.”282
Four years later the Elders of the churches, being asked officially “whether our government be a pure aristocracy or mixt with a democracy,” replied, “our answer is not a pure aristocracy but mixt of an aristocracy and democracy in respect of the General Court.”283 This feeling that a portion of the governing body was an aristocracy, which might lead ultimately to an hereditary nobility, did not become entirely extinct until the breaking out of the Revolutionary War. Governor Hutchinson writing before there was any prospect of a separation of the colonies from the mother country says, “the colonies are not ripe for hereditary honours, otherwise, there seems no more room for exception there than in Ireland.”284 Down to 1773 the students of Harvard College were placed in the Catalogue according to their social rank, while for many years the title of Sir was applied to those who having taken their first degree were preparing for the degree of Master of Arts.285
By the Confirmatory Charter of 1639 granting the Province of Maine to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, Knight, the governing power was conferred upon him, his heirs and assigns, with authority to erect territorial manors, and to introduce the Church of England with its extensive privileges and hierarchy, which was to be permanently established as a State Church. Sir Ferdinando, as Lord and Proprietor, was to possess all the feudal rights attached to the Bishopric of Durham.286 The civil war in England, the death of Sir Ferdinando, and finally the purchase by Massachusetts of the territory of Maine prevented the establishment of a feudal form of government in New England.
The Royal Scotch Charter of 1621 to Sir William Alexander, Knight, granting the Lordship and Barony of Nova Scotia, gave the power of conferring favors and honors, which was confirmed by the Charter of 1625. By this latter grant authority was given not only to confer honors and dignities but also to “erect prelates, archbishops, bishops, etc.” Baronets of Nova Scotia were created enjoying a certain precedence in Scotland, the total number of whom was not to exceed one hunched and fifty. The names of one hundred and thirteen, with territorial grants, are recorded from May, 1625, to the seventeenth of December, 1638. The scheme of permanent settlement, however, was destroyed by the results of the war between England and France, and the cession of territory to the latter power in accordance with the treaty of 1632.287
The grant of New Hampshire by the Council for New England to Captain John Mason conferred only a title to the soil, the governing power remaining in the Crown.
The grantees in the Patent for the Providence Plantations from the Earl of Warwick and the Parliamentary Commissioners, in the subsequent Charter from the King to Rhode Island and Providence Plantations, and in the Royal Charter to Connecticut, whose constitutions were in form similar to that of Massachusetts but more democratic in spirit, were all Commoners.
The Dutch, who had been considered by the English intruders in America, having been conquered, a Royal Duke became Proprietor of the Province of New York by the grant of 1664 from the King. To the Duke of York, his heirs, assigns, and successors, was committed the government. Before the conquest the territorial privileges, resembling the manorial rights in England which had been bestowed upon a few Proprietors for the purpose of encouraging immigration, had been bought back by the West India Company, with the exception of the rights acquired by the Van Rensselaer family, whose privileges as Patroons were acknowledged by the English authorities.288 Under the Ducal and under the Royal Governors, —when, by the accession of James the Second to the throne, New York became a Royal Province, — a manor called Grimstead was erected in 1664,289 the Livingston manor in 1686,290 the manor of Morrisania 6 May, 1697,291 and the Van Cortlandt manor in the same year.292 There is also a trace of a manor called St. George’s.293 The owners of the manors, to which was attached in time the right of representation, were too few to form a political body.
New Jersey, a part of the territory belonging to the Duke of York, was ceded to Lord Berkeley and Sir George Carteret, and was soon divided into New East Jersey and New West Jersey. The twenty-four Proprietors of New East Jersey, including in their number the Earl of Perth and the Earl of Melfort, retained a portion of the governing power; but New West Jersey, of which William Penn was one of the Proprietors, was governed in a more democratic way by Representatives chosen by the inhabitants. Both Provinces were surrendered to the Crown in 1702.294
To William Penn, the son of a Knight, his heirs and assigns, was committed, in 1681, the government of Pennsylvania, as “true and absolute Proprietaries,” although the laws of the Province were to be enacted with the consent of the Freemen.295 The privilege of erecting manors was also given. The laws established under the liberal leadership of Penn favored the political power of the people, while the troubles between the Crown and Penn, owing mainly to disputes concerning admiralty jurisdiction, and the non-execution, as was alleged, of the Acts of Trade and Navigation, made the rights of the Proprietary unstable. The few estates, called manors, belonging to the Penn family did not possess any distinct manorial privileges.296
By the Charter of 1632 granting the Province of Maryland to Lord Baltimore, his heirs and assigns, a feudal state was created. All the rights pertaining to the Bishopric of Durham were conferred. Manors could be erected by the Lord Proprietary, and titles bestowed, provided their designations were not the same as those used in England. The design of founding a territorial aristocracy, favorably commenced,297 was obstructed and finally defeated by the disputes between the King and Lord Baltimore, partly political and partly commercial, and by internal troubles between the Protestants and Roman Catholics, and by the feeling of independence among the Freemen represented in the Assembly.
The Lords Proprietors in the first grant of Carolina, of 1663, consisted of one Duke, one Earl, three Lords, two Baronets, and one Knight, who were to possess all the feudal rights belonging to the Bishopric of Durham; the laws, however, were to be enacted, when possible, with the assent of the Freeholders. Authority was given to confer titles of honor, which were to be different from those in England, and manors could be erected. The Charter of 1665, enlarging the first grant, gave power to create Baronies. This was followed by the Fundamental Constitutions of 1669, attributed to John Locke, in which the reason for planting a feudal frame of government is given that “it may be made most agreeable to the monarchy under which we live and that we may avoid erecting a numerous democracy.” All the details of the plan were carefully drawn, in which there was to be a complete gradation of ranks based on the ownership of land and on family descent. There were to be Signories, Baronies, and Manors, with an hereditary governing nobility whose titles of Palatine, Landgrave, and Cazique were unfamiliar to English ears. A court was to be established to decide upon questions of precedence, of heraldry and pedigree. This structure of government, having no foundation, fell by its own weight. “The year 1693 is the date usually assigned to that event,” although as late as 1702 the Lords Proprietors still sought feebly to enforce the Constitutions.298 Having surrendered their rights, their rule practically ended in 1728, although a Royal Governor did not enter upon his duties until three years later.
All the Trustees appointed by the Charter of Georgia, in 1732, were Commoners except Viscount Perceval, who became the first President of the Corporation. Shortly before the expiration of the time when, by a clause in the grant, a change of government could be effected by the Crown, the Trustees surrendered their rights and the colony became a Royal Province in 1752.299
From the brief survey here given of their political conditions it is seen that from various circumstances there was not established in any of the colonies or provinces a political organized body which could act as a barrier between the people and the Crown when feelings of hostility began to arise leading ultimately to a separation from the mother country.
Mr. Henry H. Edes, having been called upon, spoke as follows: —
Mr. President, — I have recently discovered an unpublished letter of President Dunster, which I now have the pleasure of communicating to the Society for publication in our Transactions. This paper has been preserved in a family long and honorably connected with Harvard College, and with the family of its first President. It belongs to Miss Theodora Willard,300 of Cambridge, who inherited it from her father, the late Robert Willard, M. D., of the Harvard Class of 1860; and by her kind permission I am privileged to bring its contents again to the public eye after a lapse of nearly two hundred and fifty years.
The letter is wholly in Dunster’s handwriting, and fills two pages of a small folio sheet 12⅛ × 7⅞ inches in size. It is addressed to a Committee of the General Court, and bears the date of December, 1653. Among the interesting matters stated or referred to in the letter are, the date of Dunster’s arrival in New England; the erection of the First College Building at Cambridge, and the names of the persons having charge of the undertaking; Dunster’s own part in this work of construction; a partial description of the Building itself; the date when the students first came into Commons; and a summary of Dunster’s varied and valuable services to the College, other than of instruction. The letter also affords a glimpse of life at Harvard College during the first decade of its existence.
Dunster’s arrival in New England, his residence in Boston at the corner of Washington and Court Streets, where the Ames Building now stands; his membership in the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company; his call to the Presidency of Harvard College; his devotion to the interests of that Seminary; his resignation; his retirement to Charlestown and, later, to Scituate, where he died, and his burial in Cambridge,301 are facts too familiar to be dwelt upon here. There are, however, some incidents in Dunster’s career which may properly be referred to in this connection.
It is an interesting circumstance that Dunster should have been selected to be the first President of the College which Harvard founded. Both were comparatively young men for such service as they rendered to the cause of higher education; both were graduates of the University of Cambridge, at about the same time, — Dunster taking his B. A. at Magdalen College in 1630, and Harvard his first degree at Emmanuel in 1631; and both were dissenting ministers. Whether they were friends at the University, and whether that friendship, if it existed, influenced the choice of the governors of the College in the selection of Dunster to start the new Institution on its glorious career, we probably shall never know; but it is interesting to recall these incidents in the lives of pioneers in the propagation of Academic learning in New England. Of Dunster’s fitness for the office he adorned there is abundant evidence. An honored son of Harvard has said that he was “a man so eminently qualified, by his learning, his ability, and his virtues, for the office of president, that he seems to have been placed in it at once, and by a sort of acclamation and general consent.”302
Besides the multifarious duties and activities of Dmaster, which are enumerated in the letter I hold in my hand, and which may well challenge the admiration of his indefatigable and latest successor, he had the management of the Press during nearly the whole term of his Presidency;303 and in 1650 he brought out “an improved edition of the Bay Psalm Book, . . . with the assistance of Mr. Richard Lyon, who came from England to reside at Cambridge, as private tutor to the son of Sir Henry Mildmay,”304 and who was a member of Dunster’s household.
Dunster was also deeply interested in the conversion of the Indians, and actively supported Thomas Mayhew and the Apostle Eliot in their labors among the natives, early declaring “that the way to instruct the Indians must be in their owne language, not English; and that their language may be perfected.”305
In 1653 Dunster created intense excitement in the Colony by publicly declaring his opinions on the subject of infant baptism. The bigotry and intolerance of the Colonists of the Bay, and their dread of the increasing influence of the Baptists, found quick expression through the General Court in the form of an Order, passed on the tenth of September, to inquire into “the present condition of the colledge at Cambridge.” The Committee appointed to that service was clothed with full powers “to examine the state of the colledge in all respects,” — the special matters to be inquired into being set forth in the Order at length, and with much particularity. There can be no doubt that Dunster had before him a copy of this Order when he wrote the letter which I am about to communicate, and that he strove, in a meek and gentle spirit, to comply with the wishes of the Court and at the same time to remind them of the hardships he had endured in the performance of his arduous duties. Neither his faithful services nor his saintly character, however, availed to stem the tide of persecution,306 which rose against him so rapidly that he was forced to resign his office, — first on the tenth of June, and finally on the twenty-fourth of October of the following year.
The Order of the General Court was in these words: —
This Court, being informed that the present condic̃on of the colledge at Cambridge calls for supply, doe order, that Cambridge rate for this yeare, now to be collected, be pajd into the steward of the colledge, for the discharge of any debt due from the countrje to the sajd colledge; and if there be any ouerplus, to be and remajne as the colledge stocke; and for further clearing and setling all matters in the colledge in reference to the yearely maintenance of the president, ffellowes, and necessary officers thereof, and repayring the bowses, that so yearely complaints may be prevented, and a certajne way setled for the due encouragement of all persons concerned in that worke, doe hereby appointe Mr Increase Nowell, Capt̃ Daniell Gookin, Capt Jno Leueret, Capt̃ Edward Jnoson, and Mr Edward Jackson,307 or any three of them, to be a com̄ittee to examine the state of the colledge in all respects, as hereafter is expressed, Mr Nowell to giue notice of the time and place of meeting. 1. First, to take accoinpt of all the incomes of the colledge proflitts arising clue to the officers thereof, either by guifts, revenewes, studdjes, rents, tuitions, coihencements, or any other proffits arising due from tjme to tjme, as neere as may be, since the president vndertooke the worke.
2. To examine what hath binn pajd and disbursed, either for buildings, repaȳings, or otherwise, pajd and receaved annually for the maintenance of the president, ffellowes, and other officers thereof.
3. To consider what hath binn yearely receaved by the præsident out of any incomes and proflitts, for his oune vse and majntenance, (as neere as convenjently may be,) euer since he came to the place of præsident: also what allowances yearely haue binn made to the ffellowes and other officers.
4. To weigh and consider what maybe fitt for an honnorable and comfortable allowance annually, for the præsident, heretofore and for the future, and how it may be pajd heereafter.
Engraved for The Colonial Society of Massachusetts from the original in the possession of Miss Theodora Willard.
6. To direct some way how the necessary officers, as steward, butler, and cooke, maybe provided for, that so the schollers com̄ons may not be so short as they now are occasioned thereby.
7. To take cognizance of all and euery matter or thing concerning the sajd colledge, in reference to the welfare thereof in outward things, and to present a way how to regulate and rectify any thing that is out of order.
8. To examine what som̄es haue binn, and of late are, ꝑmised by seuerall tounes and persons for the vse of the colledge, and to giue order for the collectjon thereof, and propose a way how such monjes may be improoved for the best bennefitt of that society for the future; and this com̄ittee are heereby authorized wth full power to act in all the premises, and to make retourne of what they doe to the next Court of Election, to be confirmed, if they shall judge meete.308
Dunster’s letter, or “memorandum,” which, it will be observed, is dated three months after the passage of the Court’s Order, is as follows: —
 Honrd & reſpected gentlemen
The 27 of 6m. 1640 About 10 magiſtrates & 16 Elders cald mee (arrived309 fom 3 weeks before & a meer ſtranger in ye Coūtry) to undertake ye inſtructing of ye youth of riper years & literature after they came from gram̄er ſchools, & Mr Eliot fully wittneſs[es?] yt yey then ꝑmiffed wch I demand [ed?], yea wth ſuitable advance of ye ſtipend in cafe I ſhould marry:310
wch to my ſatiſfaction was payd mee ye firſt year. No further care or diſtraction was impoſed on mee or expected frō mee but to inſtruct For ye building was com̄itted to Mr Hugh Peeter, Mr Sam. Shepheard, & Mr Joſeph Cook,311 who prudently declined ye troble & left it to ye two firſt. They alſo when they had finiſhed ye Hall (yet wthout ſkreen table form or bench) went for England312 leaving ye work in ye Carpenters & maſons hands wthout Guide or further director. no floar beſides in & aboue ye hall layd, no inſide ſeꝑating wall made nor any one ſtudy erected throughout ye houſe. Thus fell ye work upon mee. 3d: 8ber. 1641: wch by ye Lords aſſiſtance was fo far furthered yt ye ſtudents diſperſed in ye town & miſerably diſtracted in their times of concourfe came into com̄ons into one houſe 7ber 1642. & wth ym a 3d burthen upon my ſhoulders, to bee their ſteward, & to Direct their brewer, baker, buttler, Cook, how to ꝑportiou their com̄ons. A work yn acceptable to all ſides eating aſwell their parents a third ꝑt of their charges as the ſtudents of endleſs diſtractions. Under theſe 3 works, viz The educ͞o͞n of youth; ye building, reparing, & purchaſing of ſuitable houſing for us; And ye regulating ye ſervants in their work wages & accoūts: The Lord hath ſupported us from ye begining; to ye end of ye year 1652. And yt wthout burthening ye Colony any penny1 given2 aſkt or 3 beſtowd at my motion to ye carrying on of ye Coƚƚ: work but yt wch was before my time already ye Coƚƚ. own eſtate, or ſince hath frō benefactors frō abroad been beſtowed, of wch wee give accoūt how it is beſtowed & not ſpent; fo yt wee are at an hours warning ready to ſhew what & where every gift is not ingulfed but viſibly by Gods bleſſing extant.
Petitiond313 I confeſs many times haue I; 1 for repa͞r͞on & inlargemt of building as our good God hath increaſt ye Number of ſtudents, when wee haue not had where to beſtow ym: And wn ye Colony could not relieve us, God hath ſent ſupplies even from poor Cyguotea314 to inlarge our room.
2 And of late when Mr Shepheards motion of beneficence315 fell to grownd wch was ye grownd wheron fellowſhips weer erected: That therfore as ye Country had couſtituted ſuch fellowſhips they would direct how they ſhould bee mentaind I petitioned. For whileſt yt they in an arbitrary way only read to ſom ſtudents; and at their parents & own pleaſure come & go tyed to no reſidence . being fo unſetled, & ſo often changed, yt ever & anon all ye work com̄itted unto ym falleth agen on my ſhoulders: where ye ſtudents friends leaue it under God com̄itting their children to mee only, faithfully to bee looked unto, I ſay whileſt ye caſe ſtands thus ye Honrd & reverend overſeers of ye Coƚƚ: never yet thought it juſt or expedient to ſtate ye tuitions on ſuch as yet never would undertake to bee tutors through their pupils time, nor ever did or weer deſired to admitt any ſtudēts under ymſelves. Beſides fellowſhips haue been ꝑmified us otherwife to bee mentaind viz. 20ƚb a year for Mr Oks316 fr͞o or Chriſtian Br͞n of Charlſtown, as much from Harford317 Colony for another fellow too much I confeſs for ſingle towns to v͞e͞r͞t͞e  undertake, if all Maſſachuſets Colony find yt ye 3d 20ƚb (beſides ye ferry) is too heavy to cõtribute to myſelf, to make good ye word & ꝑmifs of ye Honrd magiſtrates & reverend Elders for their faithful & fatherly care to ye country in referrence to ye educ͞o͞n of youth for their prſent & future weal in ye Churches & Com̄onwealth: But ye fault is ours whoſe ſeldom & modeſt demand, hath made it fall out of mind yt any ſuch thing is due . neither haue I been buiſy to ſeek wittneſs only yw may inquire of Mr Eliot if yw ſee good; to ye Elders of Lin or any yt way I haue not ſpoken, nor can I tel yt I ſhal: for verily this is a burthen, wch henceforth I ſhal diſcharge my ſ͞p͞r͞t off wn I haue cleared my in̄ocency yt I haue not faigned a falſe claime. And wn ye coutry truely underſtands ye cafe . wc in ſum̄ is This.
Of all yt ye country from firſt, to ye laſt 10ber 1652 hath betruſted to my fidelity & care to manage for ym in refference to ye Coƚƚ: I haue given yw an account318 prfented to ye Hourd Overfeers March ye laft 1652/3 nothing loſt waſted or diminiſhed by mee but wch I do undertake to make good all being extant by Gods mercy while under my ſole ſtewardſhip all was.
2 Of ſome hundreds of pounds gifts frō other places theron̄ alſo yw haue ye like accoūt.
3ly Of ye work ye contry cald mee unto & wt further Gods inevitable ꝑvidences hath put mee upon yw theer & Heer haue - - - - -319
4 By virtue of yr com̄iſſion yw haue taken fom accoūt of ye ꝑſonall Talents ye Lord himſelf hath betruſted to mee: I mean wt hath been caſt in upon mee from ſundry ꝑfons coming out of other Colonies, Ilands, & coūtries, whether England itfelf or others. To ye inhabitants of wch places wee are alſo juſtly liable to make accoūt for wt hath been frō theirs received, & why. Wch yr wiſdoms will weigh. And how it wil ſtand wth Gods & the countries hour, to make good their promis by others bounty.
5 All menial ſervants & other workmen for ye Coƚƚ: are fo ſatiſfyed & payd yt none of ym ſhal aſk any thing ſaue of ourſelves wthin ye houſe ſo yt wee haue not run ye country in debt. nor ye Coƚƚedge; but dues therunto being payd ſhal leaue it before hand aboue 100ƚb. beſides all man̄er of gifts wtever mentiond in accounts.
The prmiſſes conſidered, Honrd Gentlemen & faithful Com̄iſſioners, I haue thefe few requeft[s?] wch I humbly pray yw further
1 To inform mee faithfully if yw fee or ſuſpect any injury don by mee to any ꝑfon or ſociety in reference to ye caſe in hand, or of my demand.
2 To Reprſent ye Caſe to ye court according to yr wiſdom & faithfulneſs yt neither ye Colony may ſuffer diſhonr nor myſelf bee overburthened, & yt wee may never bee put to ſpeake more in ye face of ye court for a pecuniary intereſt
3ly That if yw can ꝑpound matter of ſettling a Convenient revenue upon ye Coƚƚ. yw wilbee pleaſed to take in ye adviſe of Accademical ꝑfons as Mr Norton320 &c for ye form͞i͞g therof, unleſs for ye prſent Now. Or els at leaſt hear ſuch as haue been fellows in ye Coƚƚ:.
4 That yr wiſdoms will adviſe about a ſetled way to fet & keep ye buildings in repair. & how for ye prſent or whence wee may haue ſuply to ꝑcure pay for ye neceſſary repayrs wee haue ingaged for, in reference to bord, ſhingle, glaſs nayles &c
5 That beſydes myſelf ſome other at lead one may bee joynd to look to theſe country accounts & yt from year to year giving ym up to ye honrd Magiſtrates at our coūtry courts there may bee an iſſue of ym henceforth. So ſhal I reſt
Yrs chearfully to ſerve in ye Lord while hee ſees good
The main of ye prmiſſes prſented in 10ber 1653.
To ye honrd Com̄iſſioners for
ye Coƚƚedg, ye honrd Mr Increaſe
Nowel, Mr Daniel Gookin Mr͞t͞s
Mr Edward Johnſon captain
& Mr Edward Jacſon321
The text of the “Com̄issioners” “retourne” has not been found,322 but the General Court’s approval of it is recorded, under date of 3 May, 1654, in the following words: —
The Court, on ꝑvsall of the retourne of the com̄ittee appointed to consider of colledge buisenes, doe judge that the tenn pounds brought in vppon accompt by the president of the colledge, for his care and pajnes for these twelve yeeres last past, in looking after the affaires of the colledge, in respect of building, repayring, or otherwise, be respitted till this Court take further order therein; and that the contributions and subscriptions lately given in, or which shall heereafter be given in by seuerall tounes and persons, together wth all other stocke appertayning to the colledge, shallbe com̄itted to the care and trust of the ouerseeres of the sajd colledge, who haue heereby power to give order to the treasurer of the colledge to collect the seuerall subscriptions & contributions which are or shallbe heereafter due from tjme to tjme; and in case of non-presedent thereof, that it be secured by the seuerall tounes and ꝑsons, so long as it shall remajne unpajd, and the produce of it to be pajd to the sajd Treasurer, and to be for the maintenance of the president and ffellowes, and other necessary charges of the colledge, and the seuerall yeerely allowance of the sajd president & fellowes to be proportioned as the sajd ouerseers shall determine concerning the same.323
Courts aꝑba tjon of ye com̄ittees retourne conc̃ ye colledge.
Upon leaving Cambridge Dunster went first to Charlestown, where he was hospitably entertained at the house of Thomas Gould, — subsequently minister of the First Baptist Church in Boston, — who was an intimate acquaintance of Benanuel Bowers, also of Charlestown and a fellow-Baptist, whom he named in his will as one of his “Overseers.” Bowers had married, 9 (10) 1653, a niece of President Dunster. Other members of the Dunster family were inhabitants or landowners of Charlestown as late as 1746.324
Dunster remained but a short time in Charlestown, preferring the more tolerant Colony of Plymouth as a place of abode. He removed to Scituate, where he preached occasionally till his death on the twenty-seventh of February, 1658–59.325 Persecution only increased the gentleness of his spirit, as is shown by his will, in which he designates as his “reverend and trusty ffriends” Dr. Channcy, his successor in the Presidency of the College, and “matchless Mitchel,” the pastor of the Church in Cambridge, whose criticism of Dunster’s heretical opinions had referred their origin to “the Evil One.”326
“Both of them were able, faithful, and earnest. Both pious, even to the excess of the standard of that quality which characterized the times. Both were learned beyond the measure of their contemporaries; and probably, in this respect, were surpassed by no one who has since succeeded to their chair. After years of duty unexceptionably fulfilled, both experienced the common fate of the literary men of this country at that day, — thankless labor, unrequited service, arrearages unpaid, posthumous applause, a doggrel dirge, and a Latin epitaph.”327
I shall not attempt, Mr. President, to speak at length of the new light which this letter throws upon the early history of Harvard College and its first Building. Our learned Corresponding Secretary has made a close study of these topics, and I shall ask him to estimate for us the value of the manuscript treasure now before us.
Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis then said: —
Whenever a new contribution towards history is submitted to the public, every student will be tempted to measure its value by the extent of the information which it adds to the subject with which he is especially familiar. Such is the manner in which I approach this question as I respond to the request of Mr. Edes and add my testimony to the extent of the obligation which we owe him for unearthing and submitting to our inspection the important document which he has just described and shown to this Society. My personal means of estimating its worth are based upon the following circumstances. In April, 1890, I read a paper before the American Antiquarian Society entitled The Early College Buildings at Cambridge.328 The cause for the preparation of that paper is to be found in certain entries in the first book of Records of Harvard College which evidently related to the completion of the first college building. At that time the only sources of information upon that subject were to to be found in Peirce’s and Quincy’s Histories of the College. Quincy, the later writer of the two, had made use of what had already been published, and in the text of the first volume of his History was to be found the mere assertion that such a building had been erected. In the Appendix to the same volume (pp. 452–454) two Statements of Account are to be found, one of them an itemized statement of the expenditures made by Nathaniel Eaton in connection with the erection of this structure. Eaton was removed from the supervision of this work in 1639, and the second of these Accounts is a copy of a Statement made by Samuel Shepard, who apparently succeeded Eaton as Superintendent of the building. Shepard’s Account is incomplete, but it contains receipts as well as disbursements. The latest date in this Statement is 1641. Certain Statements of Account made by Dunster are also submitted by Quincy in this connection, but there is nothing in them which would indicate that Dunster had anything to do with the construction of the building.
If we search contemporary literature, we find that Johnson briefly commented upon the appearance of the building in his Wonder Working Providence.329 The author of New England’s First Fruits330 also mentioned it, and furnished some interesting details as to the uses to which the various rooms in the building were put. Beyond this we find nothing of importance except that Winthrop mentions in his Journal that the Magistrates and Elders dined at the College at Commencement in 1642,331 and that the Synod “sat in commons and had their diet there” in 1643.332
The memoranda which I found in the first College Book, and which led me to prepare the paper to which I have already referred, related to the finish of the several chambers and studies in some structure, — presumably the first college building, — and as I then interpreted them they consisted in charges against the occupants of the rooms for the sums of money expended upon the finish of the chambers and studies, in order that they should be completed and made ready for occupation. Some of these rooms were ceiled with cedar, some were plastered and whitened, and some were caulked and daubed with clay. From this it was inferred that the length of the purse of the proposed occupant of the room determined the character of the finish. One of these Accounts is dated in November, 1643, and a bill for the glass used in the building was rendered in March, 1644.
I was much perplexed at these dates, for it seemed improbable that a structure which probably was begun in the early part of 1639 should not have been completed and ready for use in 1643; nor was this perplexity relieved by Winthrop’s entry that the Government of the College dined there at the Commencement in 1642. Nevertheless, I then concluded that there could be but one interpretation put upon the entries in the College Book, viz.: that the College did not have money enough to finish the building, and that whoever had charge of the work resorted to the device of getting the young men who were to occupy the several chambers and studies in it to advance the means for their completion, giving them at the same time a voice in the character of the finish and a control of the extent of the expenditures. In my paper I then said with reference to the dinner in 1642, “it would seem as if the building must have been used before it was completed, which probably was substantially accomplished in the fall of 1643.” With this review of the study which I then made upon this subject, let us look for a moment at this paper, and see what additional information we acquire.
In the first place, we find there the first mention that I have seen of the connection of Hugh Peter with this work, or that the name of Joseph Cooke was even temporarily associated with it. The statement that the supervision of the work devolved upon Dunster on the third of October, 1641, is also new, and we have in addition at this date a description of the then condition of the structure. The floor of the Hall was laid, but no partition walls were constructed, and not a single study erected throughout the building. For the first time the students assembled in Commons in September, 1642. The inference that the building was incomplete when the Government of the College dined there in the summer of the same year seems not unreasonable; and inasmuch as Dunster does not speak of the general occupation of the building at the time of its first use for Commons, it is fair to suppose that the work of completing the upper part was still in progress. On the whole, what Dunster says seems to corroborate the views which I expressed in my paper in 1890. It will be seen at a glance how much there is that is new, and how interesting it must be to one who had exhausted every means at his disposal to obtain information upon the subject.
Others will search this letter for knowledge upon other topics. Those who are interested in the details of Dunster’s life will find new material, and as we go through it paragraph by paragraph, we can see that it will prove helpful to great numbers of students.
In conclusion, let me again express my appreciation of the importance of this document, and let me congratulate the Society that our Transactions have been selected as the avenue through which it should be communicated to the public.
The Recording Secretary, on behalf of Mr. Abner C. Goodell, Jr., who was unavoidably detained from the meeting, read the following communication upon the subject of the Dunster letter: —
I think it remarkable that the researches of members of our young Society should have brought to light so many interesting items of historical importance relating to our oldest University. The labors of our associate Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis, in tracing the history of the First Scholarship and of the First College Building, — though his results were not contributed exclusively to the Publications of this Society, — are worthy of distinguished recognition as the fruit of antiquarian research of the first order. So, also, his success in clearing up the mystery of the families of Mowlson and Radcliffe, — thus putting the College of to-day in clear and close relations with one of its earliest benefactors; and his papers upon the legal establishment of the Corporation, in which, with great astuteness, he points out the fact, overlooked by others, of Andros’s assumption of authority over the finances of the College as a conclusive indication that the existence of the Corporation was not interrupted by the so-called “Usurpation,” — are all most striking and valuable additions to the history of the Cradle of American learning.
New comes to light this curious memento of President Dunster, singularly preserved to the present time, as I understand, almost within the shadow of the College Halls. Truly, I do not know which is more wonderful, — the fact that its importance has so long escaped recognition, or that it should have so recently come under the notice of one of our associates qualified hy his knowledge of history to appreciate it. At all events, we should be duly grateful for this new accession of data for solving doubts that have so long perplexed those who have been interested in the career of one of the most remarkable and most lovable characters in New England history.
It is especially desirable to recover all the information possible regarding the biographies of such men as Dunster, Roger Williams, and other early Baptists, and of the Antinomians and Quakers,— male and female, — since what we know of them is so honorable to their characters as earnest, sincere, tolerant Christians, two centuries in advance of their times, who labored in the service of God for the welfare of all, even their enemies, and who seem to have been absolutely free from malice or vindictiveness.
Some features of Dunster’s style in this letter are suggestive. He had the reputation of being an excellent Hebraist, hence to him was assigned the duty of improving the rugged metres of the original version of the Psalms known as The Bay Psalm Book, which was a very difficult undertaking, inasmuch as the translation was required to be an exact metaphrase of the Hebrew, which evidently hampered the first translators in their attempt. Now, this letter affords some reason for believing that Dunster occasionally thought in Hebrew, or according to forms of Hebrew syntax, as found in such expressions as “while under my sole stewardship all was,” etc.
I deem it superfluous to dwell on the historical importance of this letter, since, doubtless, Mr. Edes will show wherein it furnishes curious information of use in clearing up certain obscurities in the earlier records of Harvard University, and in fixing the dates of events in Dunster’s career.
Mr. George Lyman Kittredge spoke of the Gorham and other Papers recently found by Judge Day at Barnstable, and now preserved in the Library of Harvard College, and read extracts from Col. Joseph Gorham’s letters and notes on a military expedition to Cuba in 1762.
Mr. Albert Matthews read the following paper on the use by American Colleges of the word —
The older American Colleges began each with a single College Building, and the grounds owned by the colleges and in winch those buildings stood were variously called The College Grounds, The College Green, The College Yard, or simply The Yard. But at the present day another term is also employed, one generally adopted at the newer colleges, and which has succeeded in displacing at most of the older colleges the terms originally in vogue. I refer to the word Campus. Though it is found neither in the Oxford Dictionary nor in the Stanford Dictionary; though, so far as I am aware, it has escaped the attention of all writers on the subject of Americanisms except Mr. B. H. Hall, who in his College Words and Customs, 1851, mentions its use at Princeton; and though it was not recognized by lexicographers until the publication of the Century Dictionary, in 1889, yet the word has been employed in this country for about a century and a quarter. It was recently asserted by Mr. G. II. Wallace that “it was at Princeton that the college grounds were first called The Campus, and it is in Princeton only that the full meaning of the word is realized.”333 As the word appears at Princeton as early as 1774, and apparently not elsewhere until about fifty years later, the Princeton claim seems well founded. How such a term arose is perhaps not obvious. If it could be shown that the word was applied only to that portion of the grounds set apart for sports, or where the famous cannon is buried, it might be inferred that the term was suggested by the Campus Martins of the Romans. But the highly organized system of athletics which now prevails throughout the country is quite modern, and was not a feature of student life at American Colleges in the eighteenth century; and the passage cited below which shows that games were occasionally indulged in towards the close of the last century also shows that such a system would not have been tolerated by the Princeton authorities, and that what now would be considered the mild game of “shinny” was prohibited by the Princeton Faculty. In the Account of the College of New-Jersey, published in 1764, it was stated that “the college itself [i.e. Nassau Hall] . . . still remains without a proper inclosure of its court-yard and back grounds;” and in a note it is naively added that “in the plate hereunto annexed, the court-yard is represented as inclosed by a pale-fence, in like manner with that of the President’s house: But this is done only from the fancy of the engraver.”334 In 1768 it was —
“hereby strictly ordained, That no resident student or undergraduate, subject to the rules and orders of the College, shall at any time, after the next Commencement vacation, appear either at Church, in the College Hall at prayer, or at any other collegiate exercises, or at any time abroad, or out of the Hall (excepting the back yard of the College only, and that on necessary occasions), without being clothed in their proper College habit.”335
In a letter dated 23 July, 1770, James Madison, then a student, wrote: —
“Their letter to the merchants in Philadelphia, requesting their concurrence, was lately burnt by the students of this place in the college yard, all of them appearing in their black gowns, and the bell tolling.”336
In 1802 it was resolved by the college authorities “that a building . . . be erected on the northeast side of the front yard of the College edifice,” and “that on the opposite or west side of the College yard there shall be erected another building.”337 And in 1822 President Ashbel Green wrote that —
“The college edifice . . . was not only re-edified, but a professor’s house was added to the establishment, with two large brick buildings three stories high: — one on the East side of the front yard of the college, . . . and the other, on the West side of the yard.”338
Comparing these extracts with the citations given below, it is seen that Yard was the term originally employed, that it remained in use after the introduction of Campus, and that the two terms were used interchangeably without distinction in meaning. As for the cannon, it is sufficient to point out that that is a relic of the battle of Princeton, fought in January, 1777, at which time Campus had been in use for three years. It has been suggested to the writer that “the Scotch element that presided over Princeton may he responsible for the Latin term, the Scotch always having treasured Latinity with a respect above that of their English neighbors.” When it is borne in mind that Nassau Hall was built (1756) in a perfectly flat, treeless field; and when it is remembered that the first Scotchman to become President of Princeton was Dr. Witherspoon; that he came from a country where the Universities were situated in cities; that he reached this country in 1768; that soon after his arrival the term appears; and that Witherspoon gave to the country-seat which he built for himself near Princeton, in 1773, the name of “Tusculum,” — it will perhaps be admitted that this explanation is plausible.
At Harvard the word Yard is found as early as 1639, and still remains in use, Campus never being employed there unless possibly by men from other colleges. At William and Mary the terms Yard and Green were long used, but recently Campus has obtained a foothold. At Yale, too, Yard and Green were in use for a century and a half, but within the last twenty-five years they have been displaced by Campus. This last word was unknown to Mr. L. H. Bagg, the author of Four Years at Yale (1871); and Prof. H. A. Beers, a graduate of ’69, has recently said that “we did not use to call it ‘Campus,’ by the way, but ‘Yard.’”339 Campus has now found its way into every State and Territory in the Union except Arizona, and possibly Oklahoma. From college histories, from college catalogues, and through correspondence, information has been obtained in regard to the usage at three hundred and fifty-nine American collegiate institutions. At thirty-eight institutions the term is unknown. At Boston University the Campus “is so encumbered with buildings that the term is no longer in ordinary use.” At three hundred and twenty institutions the term is employed. At twenty of these (of which twelve are Roman Catholic) Campus is applied to an athletic field alone. It should be observed that only two of these colleges were founded before 1830. The same use obtains at the University of Toronto, Canada, and at some American academies, such as Phillips Exeter Academy, New Hampshire, and Phillips Academy, Andover, Massachusetts. At five institutions Campus is given a peculiar application. Thus at Albion College it is “applied to the vacant grounds about the college buildings;” at Gallaudet College it is used” in reference to a broad lawn in front of our College building;” at the Stevens Institute of Technology it designates “a small part of the ground immediately in front of our main building;” at St. Stephen’s College it means “the Field in front of the College Building;” and at Wellesley College it “is not applied to an athletic field or to those parts of the grounds occupied by buildings,” but “designates the tolerably level and unwooded stretch of lawn directly below and to the northeast of College Hall.” At the remaining two hundred and ninety-five institutions the meaning attached to Campus is that of the grounds in which the buildings stand, or the grounds in general. These grounds are sometimes so extensive as to enable a portion to be set apart for an athletic field, but in such cases the athletic field is not itself the Campus, but only a part of the Campus. And sometimes a college will have two or more “Campuses.” It may be worth noting that out of twenty-three Roman Catholic colleges the term is not employed at all at nine; that at twelve it is applied to an athletic field only; and that at the remaining two it designates both the grounds and the athletic field, but more particularly the latter. Thus the usage at Roman Catholic institutions distinctly differs from the usage recognized at American colleges in general. At three or four colleges Lawn and Park are preferred. It is curious that the term Campus first appeared in print in a book of travels published by an Englishman in 1833, while apparently not until 1851 did it occur in a book printed in America.340
The following citations are offered in illustration of the history of the term: —
“Last week, to show our patriotism, we gathered all the steward’s store of tea, and having made a fire in the Campus, we there burnt near a dozen pounds, tolled the bell and made many spirited speeches.”341
“It appearing that a play at present much practiced by the small boys among the students and by the grammar scholars with balls and sticks, in the back campus of the college, is in itself low and unbecoming gentlemen and students; and inasmuch as it is attended with great danger to the health by sudden and alternate heats and colds; as it tends by accidents almost unavoidable in that play to disfiguring and maiming those who are engaged in it, for whose health and safety as well as improvement in study as far as depends on our exertion, we are accountable to their parents and liable to be severely blamed by them; and inasmuch as there are many amusements both more honorable and more useful in which they are indulged, — Therefore the Faculty think it incumbent on them to prohibit the students and grammar scholars from using the play aforesaid.”342
“Resolved, That no person whatsoever be permitted to erect any booth or fix any wagon, for selling liquor or other refreshment on the day of Commencement on the ground of the College, except on that part of the road to the eastward of the middle gate of the front Campus.”343
“A student was charged with being absent from the Town without permission. He confessed the fact, and the Faculty determined to punish him with severity. It was therefore resolved unanimously, ‘that he be required to construe and commit to memory twenty lines of Virgil’s Æneid, and not to be seen out of the Campus until he had done so.’”344
“You would smile at the difference in the manner of a young man when he struts among his mates on the campus, and when he comes, with all possible humility, to ask leave to go into town, or to be excused from recitations”345
“In front of the College is a fine campus ornamented with trees.”346
“One fine day in December, 1834, the Trustees, busying themselves more actively than usual in household matters in the Campus, rolled into one bundle all the Professors, and the luckless Tutor who allowed himself to be caught in such company, and by the help of a polite request to vacate their places, quietly tumbled the whole out of the Campus.”347
“What was called the College Campus, a rectangular plot of four acres, was graded and fenced in 1826–7. Two or three years later, a row of elms was planted along the stone wall that bounded the Campus on the east.”348
“A charming breathing-place was the campus of Columbia College, surrounded by the college buildings and with them occupying the block bounded by College Place, Barclay, Murray, and Church Streets.”349
“I once asked my old friend and classmate, the late President Felton, as we were walking over the college campus at Cambridge together, for what he would exchange such recollections.”350
“This game was played considerably for a few years, on what was known as the ‘north ground,’ — that portion of the ‘campus,’ lying north of the East College walk.”351
“On the eastern border of the city the fields rise by a gentle slope to a plain of moderate elevation and of easy access. Near the upper edge of this slope the construction of a terrace a few feet high would afford a level campus of ample space, and a site for buildings that would overlook the valley, the river, and the neighboring city.”352
“There is no spell more powerful to recall the memories of college life than the word Campus. It is a name set apart for that delightful land where college laws and customs are supreme, the home of song and jest and old traditions, a country whose inhabitants are always young, and from which ‘black care’ is banished. . . . The College of New Jersey in its first peripatetic stage, when it was drifting about Elizabethtown and Newark, had no territory worthy of the name of Campus.”353
“Although the University has no dormitories, several of the chapterhouses of the Greek-letter fraternities are not far removed from the university grounds, and there is a growing tendency to multiply them in close proximity to the Campus.354
“Mention has been made of the fact that Lehigh, at the present time, has no dormitories. Her students do not, therefore, live within the limits of the college campus, as is the case at so many other institutions.”355
“About half a mile from the University Campus is located ‘Monnett Hall,’ the delightful home of the young women. . . . Monnett Hall is situated on a separate campus, and was constructed with the aim of providing for young women, while in college, a comfortable and an attractive home.”356
“The University grounds consist of two campuses, the Old Campus and the New Campus. The Old Campus, at the south side of the town, covers ten acres and contains one building, the old college chapel, and the athletic field. The New Campus is at the east side of the town, and contains twenty acres.”357
A discussion in regard to “Campus” took place in The Nation of 14 and 28 April, 26 May and 2 June, 1898 (LXVI. 285, 323, 403, 424). At page 424 a writer pointed out that the word Campus had been found in the Nassau Literary Magazine, 1848 (VIII. 139.) The passage was among my notes, and attributed to the proper source, but I did not know the exact volume and page where, nor the date when, it occurred. 15 June, 1898.