15 May, 1897.

    A Special Meeting of the Council was held on Saturday, 15 May, 1897, at half-past ten o’clock in the forenoon, to take action upon the death of the late First Vice-President of the Society, the Hon. John Lowell, LL.D., who died on Friday morning.

    Present, Messrs. Henry Winchester Cunningham, Andrew McFarland Davis, Henry Herbert Edes, Philip Howes Sears, and Henry Ernest Woods.

    Mr. Philip H. Sears occupied the chair.

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

    Our Records show that it is now about five and one half months since the Hon. John Lowell, our First Vice-President, occupied the Chair, at a Special Meeting of the Council called to take action upon the death of the late President of the Society, Benjamin Apthorp Gould. We are now assembled to pay our tribute to the memory of him who presided over that meeting. The knowledge of his death comes to us with preliminary warning, and this, taken in connection with the peaceful manner in which he passed away, moderates the acuteness of the pangs of separation and renders more prominent our feelings of gratitude that he was spared to us long enough to testify in so many ways his sympathy with our work.

    His name succeeds that of Dr. Gould in the List of Members of this Society, inscribed in the order of their enrolment. He was elected First Vice-President at the first election of the Society and continuously held that office to the time of his death. It seemed to afford him pleasure to respond when circumstances compelled us to call upon him to fill the Chair.

    His career was completely rounded out when he inscribed his name as one of the Founders of this Society. His distinction as a Judge had almost eclipsed his fame as a practitioner at the Bar. His days of activity were over, and although he remained in practice in order that he might have the mental occupation essential for one of his habits, yet he sought a class of work which did not make too great demands upon his strength. He did not escape, however, from claims for his service occasioned by the probity of his character and his eminence as a lawyer. At the time of his death he was President of the Trustees of the Peabody Fund and was Chairman of the Special Commission upon the Revision of the Taxation Laws of Massachusetts. He bore an honored name, and the record of his life has added to the responsibilities of those who shall bear it hereafter.

    Simple in manners and easy of access, he was frank, straight-forward, and downright in statement, and conspicuously upright and just in character. He had a strong mixture of humor in his composition, of which he could avail himself upon occasion, and consequently was sought as an after-dinner speaker. Combined with this was an innate modesty of temperament which prevented him from making full use of the powers which he possessed in this direction.

    The last time that he presided over the Society was at our February Meeting, when he inducted our President into office. We can but be grateful for the interest that he then took in our affairs, which taught us then that when we should lose him we should lose not only a man whose name added distinction to the Society, but a well-wisher and a friend.

    Voted: That the foregoing be adopted and spread upon the Minutes of the Council; and that an attested copy be sent to the family of Judge Lowell.

    Voted.: That the Council will attend, as a body, the funeral of this eminent jurist and faithful officer.