THE Stated Meeting of the Society for this month, postponed by vote of the Council, was held, by invitation of Mr. Henry Herbert Edes, at No. 62 Buckingham Street, Cambridge, on Thursday, 4 May, 1922, at eight o’clock in the evening, the President, Fred Norris Robinson, Ph.D., in the chair.
The Records of the last Stated Meeting were read and approved.
The President announced the death, on the seventeenth of April, of Richard Middlecott Saltonstall, a Resident Member.
The President appointed the following Committees in anticipation of the Annual Meeting:
To nominate candidates for the several offices,—Messrs. Samuel Williston, Morris Gray, and William Cushing Wait.
To examine the Treasurer’s accounts,—Messrs. John Eliot Thayer and John Lowell.
Dr. Charles L. Nichols spoke of Samuel Danforth’s Almanack for the Year 1647 as the earliest perfect almanac now in existence printed in British America, and the only book with the imprint of Matthew Day. He called attention to the arrangement with the month of March as the first page of the Calendar and to the mention in the “Chronological Notes” of the discovery of the “Chrystall Hills” in 1642 by Darby Field—that is, the White Mountains in New Hampshire. This unique almanac was originally owned by the Rev. Samuel Haugh of Reading, then by Judge Samuel Sewall, and is now in the Henry E. Huntington Library of San Gabriel, California.
Mr. Samuel E. Morison read extracts from two commonplace-books kept by Ephraim Eliot,73 and exhibited two prints. Of one of these, made by Nathaniel Hurd in 1762 and representing an episode in the career of the notorious Seth Hudson, the following account is copied from one of the commonplace-books:
Compiled by Eph Eliot in conformity to the picture.
In the year 1762, there appeared in Boston, a curious character who called himself Doctor Hudson74—gave out that he was a Dutchman—that he was possessed of a large fortune, & was travelling for his amusement. He dressed very gaily—tried to push himself into genteel company & though rather expensive in his appearance, he shewed but little money & displayed no resources—he was well watched. After some time a bad fellow was detected in putting off a note purporting to be from the treasurer of the province, which proved a counterfeit. His name was Howe.75 He confessed that he was a partner in villainy with Doctor Hudson, & that they had been privately engaged in making up a number of the province notes, which were in high credit in this & the neighbouring provinces & sold readily at an advanced price. The Doctor was also taken into custody—they were tried & convicted; and ordered to the pillory & whipping post. It was a very mortifying thing to the Doctor—but excited the attention of the people greatly. Their exposure in the pillory was accompanied with a collection of an immense crowd & immoderate exultation. Mr Nathaniel Hurd, an eminent engraver, put out a caricature print of the exhibition, which excited much attention. Hudson was represented in the pillory & at a short distance was Howe stripping near the whipping post by the side of Jack Ketch, to whom he addressed himself with “here’s a back for your whip shillaly”—who answers, “& on my shoul here is a whip.” A gentleman who stands by the pillory, asks Hudson “Doctor, How does the physic work?” & is told “Faith it has brought me to a stool.” The devil is represented flying towards him, exclaiming, “This is the man for me.”76 The Doctor is supposed to address the multitude in the following speech, which is printed below the above described representation—viz. (author unknown).77
Engraved for The Colonial Society of Massachusetts from an original owned Miss Mary Lincoln Eliot
H-ds-n’s Speech from the pillory
What mean these crowds, this noise & roar?
Did you never see a rogue before?
Are villains then, a sight so rare?
To make you press & gape & stare?
Come forward all who look so fine,
With gain as illy got as mine.
Step up—You’ll soon reverse the show;
The croud above—and few below.
Well, for my roguery here I stand,
A Spectacle for all the land
High elivated on this stage
The greatest villain of the age
My crimes have been both great & many,
Equal’d by very few—if any,
And for the mischief I have done,
I put this wooden neckcloth on.
There’s Howe his brawny back is stripping
Quite callous grown by frequent whipping
In vain you wear your whip-cord out—
You’ll ne’er reclaim that Rogue so stout
To make him honest, take my word,
You must apply a bigger cord.
All ye who now behold this sight
That ye may get some profit by’t,
Keep always in your mind I pray
The few words that I have to say
“Follow my steps—and you may be
“In time, perhaps, advanc’d like me—
“Or like my fellow Lab’rer—Howe
“You’ll get at least a post, below.
In front of the print is the representation of a medallion, on which is a profile of Hudson, dressed in a bag wig, with a sword under his arm, (as he generally appeared before his detection) partly drawn from the scabbard, with the words “Dutch Tuck,” on the exposed part of the blade.
The print thus described by Mr. Eliot was published on March 12, 1762, and is here reproduced from an original owned by Miss Mary Lincoln Eliot, a granddaughter of Mr. Eliot. An examination of the Boston Evening Post for the early months of 1762 discloses the following references to Seth Hudson and Joshua Howe:
At the Court of Assize, &c. held at Charlestown last Week, one Joshua Howe, of a Place called Westmoreland, in the Province of New-Hampshire, was convicted of procuring and keeping in his Possession sundry Tools for counterfeiting Dollars, with Intent to use them for that End, and for soliciting and tempting divers Persons to be concerned with him therein, and for counterfeiting the Province Treasurer’s Notes, &c. He was sentenced to be set in the Pillory one Hour, to be whipped 20 Stripes, and to pay a Fine of £.20.—And upon another Indictment against him for counterfeiting Dollars (of which Crime he was some Years ago convicted) he was sentenced to be committed to the House of Correction, and there kept to hard Labour for the Term of 20 Years. (February 1, 1762, p. 3/3).
On Tuesday last Joshua How received 20 Stripes, and stood in the Pillory one Hour, at Charlestown, agreeable to that Part of his Sentence mentioned in our last Monday’s Paper. (February 8, 1762, p. 3/1.)
On Thursday Night last the noted Dr. Seth Hudson, who has been for some Months past confined in the Gaol in this Town on Suspicion of counterfeiting the Province Securities, had well nigh made his Escape from thence, but being discovered he was prevented. (February 8, 1762, p. 3/2.)
Last Friday Afternoon at the Superior Court held here, came on the Trial of the noted Dr. Seth Hudson and Joshua How for counterfeiting the Province Treasurer’s Notes, which Fact was proved so plain against them by the Testimony of the Evidences, that the Jury, without going out of Court, bro’t them both in guilty: Several other Indictments were found against the said Hudson for Crimes of the like Nature, for which we hear he is to be tried this Week:—The Court House being too small for the Concourse of People that came to hear the above Trial, the Court was adjourned to one of the largest Meeting-Houses in this Town, where the greatest Number of People attended that was ever known at any Trial in this Place before. (March 1, 1762, p. 3/1.)
At the Superiour Court held here last Week, the noted SETH HUDSON, having been convicted on four several Indictments of counterfeiting the Province Treasurer’s Notes, was sentenced to be set in the Pillory one Hour, to be whip’d 20 Stripes, to suffer one Year’s Imprisonment, and to pay £. 100 as a Fine to the King, upon each Conviction: The corporal Punishment to be inflicted four Times also.
—His Confederate Joshua How, who was convicted of the like Crime on two Indictments, was sentenced to be set in the Pillory one Hour, to suffer one Year’s Imprisonment, to be whip’d 39 Stripes, and to pay £. 100 Fine on each Conviction. (March 15, 1762, p. 3/1.)
Friday last, just after Hudson and How receiv’d their Sentence, appeared in Public, a humourous Copper Plate Print, representing the Punishment of two Criminals. . . . On the right of the Profile is display’d a Whipping-Post, with the Apparatus thereto belonging, near which Hudson’s Fellow-Labourer Mr. How, is described as stripping, and turning his head sideways to his dear Brother the Whipper, and saying, “Here’s Back for your Whip, Shilaly!” [Shilaly is a Nick-Name given to the Whipper] to which the exquisitely droll Shadow of Shilaly replies “By my Shoul here’s Whip!”—Under the Picture are four Paragraphs of satirical witty Verse, applicable to the Subject, (intitled, “H-ds-n’s Speech from the Pillory”) which afford a few humbling Considerations to those concealed Criminals, who are conscious of being comparatively guilty of Crimes similar to those for which Hudson and How justly suffer.
[The above humourous Piece may be had of Nath. Hurd, Engraver, near the Exchange, and of the Printers hereof. (March 15, 1762, p. 3/1.)
Mr. Samuel C. Clough made the following communication:
Some time ago Mr. Tuttle called my attention to a newspaper article regarding a piece of property in Boston the owners of which were unknown. That this particular piece of land had remained unbuilt upon for over two hundred years was no news to me, but the publicity relating to this fact awakened my interest as to its reason and origin.
This land forms a hollow square on the northeasterly side of Creek Square, in the rear of an estate numbering 80 to 88 Blackstone Street, owned by one of our associates, Mr. George Nixon Black. The entire block is bounded by North, Union, Marshall, Hanover, and Blackstone Streets. It is of interest to note that there are several landmarks still in existence within these limits, that the northerly abutter was formerly John Hancock, and in the near neighborhood stood the Old Feather Store, Triangular Warehouse, and Faneuil Hall. The streets surrounding this block have undergone various changes to conform to modern times, but the old square has remained unchanged for nearly two centuries. The location of this particular piece of land is indicated on the accompanying chart, and was originally covered by the water of the harbor; hence its origin and formation are due to the circumstances relating to its development.
This chart shows the conditions existing prior to 1640, and before a time when any attempt was made to improve them. The leading merchants had their houses near the center of the town or in the vicinity of the head of State Street. Referring to the chart, it will readily be seen that very little of the shore line between the present Milk and Hanover Streets was free of marsh land, and that it was very irregular on account of the several creeks and coves. The opportunity of landing or shipping goods was very limited, and naturally restricted to those merchants who had suitable wharf rights.
Within thirteen years after the settlement of Boston, three enterprises were started which led to the development and formation of this section of the present city. On May 29, 1643, Valentine Hill with Governor Winthrop commenced the project of digging Shelter Creek south of the present State Street and making suitable provision for wharfing. On November 29, 1641, Valentine Hill and his associates were granted all the waste ground in Bendalls Cove, now Faneuil Hall Square. On July 31, 1643, Henry Symons, George Burdon, John Button, John Hill, and their partners, were granted “All that Cove on the Norwest side of the Causey leading toward Charleton,” for the purpose of damming the high tide in such a manner as to operate mills for grinding corn. The “Causey” or causeway ran along the easterly shoreline of the cove, on a parallel line northwest to the present Salem Street. This project gave the mill proprietors the privilege of cutting through the marsh between the cove and a creek on the line of the present Blackstone Street, thus bringing their interests into union with those of the Bendalls Cove proprietors. The spur of land and marsh on the northwest side of the present North Street formed a natural dividing line between these two enterprises, and we will turn our attention to their development.
ENGRAVED FOR THE COLONIAL SOCIETY OF MASSACHUSETTS
As early as 1637, John Lowe was granted a piece of marsh which afterwards became his houselot on that site known to the Bostonians in the last century as “Simmons’s Oak Hall.” John Hill and Henry Symons built their homes near the corner of the present North and Union Streets. A large portion of the marsh east and north of Hill and Symons was granted to Richard Bellingham on the “quiet resignation of all claim unto the waste before his house.” This marsh extended from the present Union Street, its northerly boundary line running on a slant line to the rear of the present No. 48 North Street. From this line it embraced all the land to the present North Street excepting those lots before mentioned of Hill, Symons, and Lowe.
It was stipulated in the first grant to the Mill Cove proprietors, that they should have a strip of marsh 60 feet wide throughout, and by a later grant 33 feet of marsh were added. Through these grants, John Milom, who seems to have been the most active proprietor, became invested with a strip of marsh on the southwesterly side of the Mill Stream, between the present Hanover Street and North Street, excepting a broad creek which extended westerly toward Union Street. This fell to the share of another proprietor—William Franklin. The westerly line of the creek was about 80 feet east of the present Union Street, and a portion of his marsh extended further west, including the present Marsh Lane, which was the private entrance to Franklin’s wharf.
Bellingham disposed of his land fronting to North Street in lots and sold the entire marsh in the rear to James Everill. Everill sold the lower portion in form of a triangle to Joshua Scottow in 1650. In 1651 Scottow purchased half of Franklin’s creek and marsh. It was Scottow who developed this creek and made it suitable for mercantile purposes, and for many years it was known as Scottow’s Dock.
One of the first mills built by the Mill Cove proprietors was located on a site corresponding to about No. 79 Blackstone Street, which required a crosswork to retain the tide water. This was ordered to be removed in 1649, but the westerly portion probably established the southerly line of Franklin’s first wharf.
William Franklin lived at the upper corner of the present Exchange Street and Adams Square. By a deed unrecorded, he sold all of his wharf property to Samuel Bennet of Lynn, who conveyed the same to William Brown and George Corwin, both merchants of Salem, in 1665 and 1666. James Russell, of Charlestown, who married Abigail, the daughter of George Corwin, came into possession of one-half of the Franklin property. The other half he purchased of William Brown in 1686.
In 1703 Russell sold the property to David Jenner in two portions which were divided by the broad passage now known as Creek Square. The upper portion included a part of the Crawford Range Co. and the present Marsh Lane. The lower portion comprised all wharfing, warehouses and tenements, northeast of the broad passage, with the Mill Creek on the northeast and Scottow’s Dock on the southeast. Jenner conveyed the property in half portions to Jeremiah Allen and James Barnes in 1703 and 1704. In the description of these deeds no information is given that will determine the outline of the wharf to the east and south, it simply says “swinging around on the Mill Creek and Scottow’s Dock.”
In 1706 Allen and Barnes sold the entire property to Adino Bulfinch in three separate parcels: first, the portion west of the broad passageway; second, a warehouse and wharf butting on Thomas Winsor; and third, a tenement, lean-to, and wharf, bounded northwest on the warehouse, northeast on the Mill Creek, and southeast on Scottow’s Dock. In the same year (1706) Bulfinch mortgaged the third parcel to Thomas Willis of Medford and in this instrument we find the following clause:
And it is hereby Mutually, Covenanted, agreed & Consented unto by and between the sd. Adino Bulfinch and Thomas Willis, parties to these present for themselves, their heirs and assignees in the manner and form following anything herein contained to the Contrary Notwithstanding, That is to say that about Thirty one foot and an half of Land or Wharf of the above granted premises reaching as far as the middle of the sd. well lying on the South Easterly side of the said Bulfinche’s land and before the Message or Tennement of the said Ground hereby granted at Eight foot distance from the said Tennement, and so ranging down the aforesaid breadth of Thirty one foot and an half to the Dock and broad passageway together with the said Well shall forever hereafter lye in Equal and perpetual Common between the sd. parties and their heirs and assignees without Inclose for the use and accommodation of the housing and Lands there both of the sd. Bulfinch and Willis and for the passing and repassing into, out of and from the same, with Cart, Man or otherwise by and through a Gateway of about 10 foot meant to be made at as against the aforesaid broad passage. . . .
And also that the sd. Thomas Willis his heirs or assignees shall not at any time or times hereafter build, Erect or set up any thing against that part of the South East side of the sd. Bulfinche’s Warehouse which comes out about nine foot and three Inches beyond the front of the sd. Tennement hereby sold.
In 1708 Thomas Willis conveyed the southeasterly portion, there being three distinct tenements, to his son Stephen Willis. The last reference to this clause appears in a deed in 1761 when a portion of the estate was conveyed to one of the heirs, Thomas Parker. In this deed the original conveyance of Franklin to Bennet is also mentioned. In 1785 the Parker heirs sold a portion to Thomas Dillon and another portion to Samuel Whitwell. In this last conveyance we find a blacksmith’s shop, which is probably the one standing there to-day, which seems to be in violation of the clause made in 1706. The restricted area is indicated on the last chart. This chart also shows the cut made on the southwesterly side of Blackstone Street when it was widened in 1834.
Mr. Morison also exhibited a satirical print which is thus described by Mr. Eliot:
In the beginning of the year 1768, when the measures of the British government were assuming more & more of a threatening appearance, the house of Representatives of Massachusets voted to send a circular letter to the legislatures of the several provinces, upon the alarming state of affairs with the mother country. This measure gave so much umbrage to his majesty, the King, that he sent out orders to Governor Bernard, peremptorily to demand that the said vote &c. should be rescinded, & obliterated. This demand being judged unreasonable, after debate, a vote was passed not to conform to it. Seventeen members only voting for it, & ninety two against. These numbers therefore were used in a political manner—Seventeen being called the Tory number—and the glorious Ninety two, as it was called, was denominated that of the Whigs.78 The seventeen members were branded with the name of Rescinders, & were held up to view in a contemptuous manner. In order to render them more contemptable, Paul Revere, (afterwards Colonel of a regiment in the service of the Commonwealth of Massachusets, but then a Silversmith & Engraver) issued a caricature print, headed with the words—
A Warm Place—Hell.
The delineation was, a monstrous open jaw, resembling that of a shark, with flames issuing from it, & the devil with a large pitchfork driving the seventeen rescinders into the flames—exclaiming “Now I’ve got you—a fine haul, by Jove.” As a reluctance is shown by the foremost man, at entering, who is supposed to represent the Hon. Timothy Ruggles Esq. of Worcester,79 another devil is drawn with a fork, flying towards him, crying out—“push on Tim.” Over the upper Jaw is seen in the back ground, the Cupola of the province house with the Indian & bow & arrow, (the crest of the province arms). In this house was the Governor’s residence.
A copy of this print fell by accident into the writers hands—some time since. He enquired the particulars of Col. Revere respecting it. The Colonel was then eighty years of age, & observed that he had seen a copy of it for forty years—was pleased to find that one was in preservation & offered to buy it. He said that he was a young man, zealous in the cause of liberty when he sketched it80 & had forgotten the circumstances—but this he did remember, that while he was doing it, the famous Doct Church81 (then considered a leading whig, though he afterwards proved defective) came into his shop & seeing what he was about, took a pen & wrote the following lines as an accompaniment. The Colonel then delivered them with much pathos exactly as they are on the print.
ENGRAVED FOR THE COLONIAL SOCIETY OF MASSACHUSETTS
Engraved for The Colonial Society of Massachusetts from an original owned by Miss Mary Lincoln Eliot
“On brave Rescinders! to yon yawning cell,
“Seventeen such miscreants, sure will startle Hell.
“There puny Villains damn’d for petty sin,
“On such distinguish’d Scoundrels gaze & grin.
“The out done Devil will resign his sway,
“He never curst his millions in a day.”
He was asked to call over their names, but could recall only the above named Timothy Ruggles, & Doctor Robert Calef82 of Ipswich, whom he had particularized in the print with a Calfs head.
Mr. Julius H. Tuttle submitted two papers relating to the New Hampshire Grants, now Vermont:
The following papers by Charles Phelps,83 which are submitted with the kind permission of Dr. James Lincoln Huntington of Boston, a descendant whose family owns the ancient Phelps homestead in Hadley, are of interest in connection with the Massachusetts and New York claims to these Grants. It may perhaps be possible to identify the fifty townships referred to in the Massachusetts claim, which Mr. Phelps was struggling so hard to establish.
For Mr. Charles Phelps, Jr., in Hadley pr Favor of Mr. Warner of Hadley.
June 5, 1774.84
Having arrived at Boston, Monday night after I left your house, and Waiting upon Councillor Bowdoin,85 and Mr. Adams,86 the General Courts Committee, appointed to draw up the State of this Province, Claim and Right to those 50 Townships etc. It was in manner finished, Mr. Adams Red it to me for my Consideration thereof: I desired to have it Prepared and Finished against fryday that week, ready to Present it to the General Court for their Perusal, Previous to my throwing in a Petition to have them immediately Prosecute all those measures and prepare all those matters Necessary for the preparing a Successfull Transmit of our Claim, Petition, and Remonstrance, to the King and Council. For the Reanexing them Lands to this Province, which measures to be so undertook and gon through with, would take up near 8 months Do what we could, before they would be accomplished, and that altho the sentiments of administration at home, are at present so bad, that it would not do at all, now to Send the Petition for the reanexing of them Lands yet, never-the less, that was not aney reasonable objection, against the Performing now Everything Necessary, and keeping all the Performances therefore untill the Circumstances of things were altered in favour of the Petition and then send Immediately for the Recovery thereof with all the Prerequisits therefor ready in the archives of the Court—for many important Reasons therefor I adduced, gained the opinion of all I discoursed with of both Houses to assist me in the Petition I preferred for that Purpose—I thought best to Enter the Petition at the Council Board obtained the favorable reception thereof after its being red at the board they Called upon me for the State of the Claim or title of the Government which was ordered Last Session to be Drew etc I presented it but it was not signed they said then I carried it Back to the Committee for Signing: they had no Commission from the Province attested by the Secretary87 in form as they ought to have of ye appointment wherefore could not attest it regularly before the Commission was made out by the Secretary these caused a delay 2 Days then the Governor88 last Satterday noon adjourned the General Court over to Salem Next tuesday to sit there where and when the Court must meet—Now I must improve my time Every way for advantage against the sittings of the Court there where I must attend. I waited upon Governor Hutchinson at the Castel with an address to his Excellency to do in all the Possible favor he can when he arrives at England and when our Petition and the matter there of shall be sent there for Consideration of the King and Council the Governor tells me if I gow over to England in behalfe of the Inhabitants of them Lands he will Do all he Can for their good Consistant with his Circumstances and advises the People by all means to send over a Petition for their reliefe and Settlement of their title and he thinks they will succeed, he advised me to apply to Governor Gage as soon as possible for his assistance in the Premisses and to heare of Him what Lord Dartmouth told him about those lands before he left England and the favor the People had Shewen them alredy by the Board of Trade there and having Waited upon Governor Gage for that Purpose he assures me to assist me and the People on them Lands and the Government of the Bay (the Circumstances of all which I Disclosed to him) to the utmost of his Powers, and told me many things from Lord Dartmouth very favorable for the People and the Success my Petition met with at England to Stop New York Protest89 and if application is properly made both Governors tell me they think Releife for them will be obtained by King and Council.
Governor Hutchinson has advised me to a method for my Security and the People Particularly if the Province Do nothing further for our Help as yet or never shall Effectually apply for a reunion with this Government and he hear assured me he will yeald me all his kind assistance if I should go there whilst he is there unless his Majestys assignation Does not Necessarily Prevent him Doing it otherwise he tells me I may Depend upon his assistance and favor and he Encourages my going if the People on the Lands Can Raise ondly one Hundred Sterling for me in a method he has kindly Continued for me if this Government Do Nothing to Encourage me which under the Present Situation of things I Cant See any Grate Likely hood of their Doing anything at present of Sending a Petition for the Reanexing of them Lands to it. I have opened the affair of my new Petition which the Council have Lying before them for the Premisses to Major Hawley90 whereupon he assures me he will Do all he Can to assist me and Several of the Leading Gentn of the Honorable House of Representatives have Expressed their Sincere Desire of having my new Petition answered and promise me using their Influence for my obtaining the Prayer thereof. But Colonl Bowen fiercely opposes me and I supose Some others are of His mind So that it remains very Precarious whether I can Get my Affairs Completed to my mind as proposed things are in such a bad State at Home against this Province.
Butt all this Does but Employ my mind with greater assiduity more Vigour and resolution to do Something for a Particular or Generall Benefit I am not in the Least Intimidated or Sunk under Discouragement but are Determined I will if Possible Drive through all opposition thrown in my way for I all ways Knew nothing Short of Doing all I Possibly were Capable of would Effect the business but I apprehend by what one of the Gentn of the Honorable board told me I shall be favored by the board in my affairs and I hope I shall by the House
for if I find out it will Rub hard at the House I shall insist upon having the Board and House forming them Selves in one Grand Committee and I Permitted to have a full Hearing before them upon the floor of the House for it as a matter of such Vast Consequence I have a Good Plea to be heard at Large in that manner and then I have an apprehension I can Convince the whole Court that my new Petition and my plan therein is Converted in such a manner that it Will Necessarily appear to a Demonstration to be the Best Way that can be taken to obtain the End Designed in the opinion of Every one that Can Comprehend it.
I am very sensible of my Weakness and Inability to Perform a task So Difficult & Grate against Such Discouragements and opposition the Case is attended with having no more Influence than I have in that Grand Assembly many of which always Suspicious of an Importunate Solicitor being moved from his own Private Interest to Gain an Emolument to himselfe and Family rather than the Common utility of the whole
Hower things may turn If I do all I can I shall have nothing to Lament for my not doing my best to accomplish the Scheem but on failure I Shall therefore With a Humble resignation to the Disposition of Infinite Wisdom Submit this and all other affairs and the Event Waite for in a Way of Duty alone is the Sentiment and Resolution of your loving Father
My Love to you, your Worthy, tender hearted and most kind and affectionate mother, your Dear Spouse, your Brothers and Sisters etc. At Present Im in Health Hoping you all are So too; not Knowing when I can return, wishing of You and them all Possible Happiness and tranquility; tho’ She your once With Endearment and fillial Affection Esteemed it your Honour, and Delight, to Address, with the Endearing Appelation of Mother, Lamentably Destitute of Both.
My Good friends, Mr. John Adams and Mr. Wm Pynchon91 have got my Case continued from Last March Court to next July Court the week after Commencement before Judgement can be given against me therefore then I must have the money to pay to prevent Execution
Yesterday I went to the Castel again to present my Last address to Governor Hutchinson and Get his Assistance Promised me if I ask it in the Premisses and take my Leave of Him and Wish him a good Passage to England and Safe arrival there and the Happiness of his Majestys favor Whome he has Promissed him to pay him well for his going home to receive further pledges of His Princes favour and a Pension there Equal to His Sallery Here as Governor.
A Number of Gentn went over from Boston to the Castle to take their Leave of Him92 and Wish him a Good and Comfortable Passage & Safe arrival there and His Kind admittance Into the Presence of His Majesty who ordered Lord Dartmouth to send him the Special marks of His favor and his Invitation to set off for England as soon as possible that he may receive him Into his Royal Presence as the Governer Hutchinson told me with his own mouth, and a Grate Deal besides he Disclosed to me Which I Cant Let you know by Letter.
The Ship fell Down to the Castle yesterday in which the Governer takes his Passage for England with one Son and one Daughter having one Son there alredy as he told me himselfe
For my Dear and Well beloved Son Charles Phelps in Hadley
Wishing all Happiness and the Enjoyment of Every Domestick Blessing in that Peacefull family Where He Exhibits that filial affection so Much to His Kind Mothers Satisfaction.
To the Honorable Council of the State of Massachusetts Bay
Having the fore part of June Last Set out upon my Intended Journey to Boston but being taken Ill upon the Road unable to proceed wrote Largely upon the Important Subject of my Intended theem when I should arive and Sent It by a young Gentn Who promised me he woud faithfully Deliver it to the Honorable Artemas Ward Esqr with his own Hand. Since which I have had no Intelligence thereof nor of anything being done in Consequence of it; living so far in the Inland woods from Roads Leading to Boston But Mr John Clark rides post from Boston to Northfield weekly therefore should be Glad to have the Secretary93 or one of His Clerks send me Intelligence of what acceptance those matters had with the Honorable Board if any & whether any thing has been Done upon them Petitions by Either House of the Honorable Legislature and send it by Mr Clark to my son Charles Phelps at Hadley as he passeth through that town Every week.
And if there has no notice been taken thereof by the Legislature I should be Glad to know that also, however I Shall think it very Strange that matters of So much Importance of such vast Consequence to Government in General as well as what Grately affects so many respectable Petitioners many of whom are Gentn of fortune Honor & Influence at Court that the Court Can Suffer the Intrest of their Constituants of So much Worth to the whole Government to Lye so Long unnoticed & wholly neglected after so many pressing motives to Induce the Legislature to take it Into their most Serious Consideration & publish Some resolves that the world may know it is an object they Intend In proper time to obtain the acquisition of however Long it has Lain in the ashes of ministerial opposition formerly & now Lies under the obstruction of hot Bloody & all Distressing Civil Wars since those in such Struggles for part of the object by Vermont & New York State for it will be almost an unpardonable Crime in me to Suffer the Intrest of so many Hundreds of my worthy & most respectable Constituents neglected when they all view it of such a benefit to Government also to have their affairs soon brought upon the Carpet by me therefore I beg I may receive Intelligence hereof by Mr Secretary Avery or his Clerk—by the means above mentioned which is the safest I know of.
To Close shall beg Leave ondly to Sugest that as the Struggles between New York State and Vermont riseth higer and higer very fast Governor Clinton has Sent an Express Lately to Congress of those matters of Disturbances & Information of Vermont upon his Subjects & yr property Living on the 50 townships &c in Consequence whereof Congress Sent a Committee up at Bennington to Inquire Into the truth of facts between the two Contending parties & report to Congress what they find for an adjudication Decisive respecting Vermont at Least as we all Soposed and as those matters would naturally open to a Sceen of Important transaction which might very much affect the rights of Massachusetts to those 50 townships which Covers near 50 miles of County north & Southrd. the one halfe of the bredth of the Bay State; and Consequently must necessarily affect their Intrest & right of Soil beyond New York State west; the very Lands reffrd to in that Important Petition I sent Last June to Boston affore sd it was thought necessary for me to attend that Committee of Congress at Bennington in respect to my Constituants Rights &c as well as the Rights of the Bay thereto Least something Disadvantageous to my Constituants &c might Ensue relative to matters of Such vast Importance & Delicacy which my Constituants Expect I Should be always upon my watch & guard in the premises in their behalfe and accordingly exerted by a watchful policy of a neglect in my selfe if I should omit I gave the Committee of Congress an account of what my Constituants had done both relative to the 50 townships & those Lands west of New York State and the incontrovertable rights of the Bay State to the same as fully as I was able as far as was pertinent on that occation of their coming &c And as matters then opening between the portion of New York & Vermont rendered it necessary that the Committee might Know the Ingratitude & Baseness of Vermont officers &c in favor of New York & how Inconsistant they were to Justice and the rights of 2 States and their Treasonable Information & premeditated Conspiracies against their alleigence to New York authority and Government & Contrary to resolves of Continental Congress &c But Some Disturbances having Since fallen out between the two Contending Governments officers & subjects of New York State & Vermont which made it Necessary for the County Convention under New York authority to meet and they having so met Determined to send an agent for the County of Cumberland to Lay open their Abuses from Vermont before the Legislature of New York State and by their Joynt Assistance with the County; Petition Congress by sd agent, to resolve against Vermonts faction any Longer to exist or their obstruction of the authority of New York State and that Vermont Should no Longer be Suffered to Exist to the perpetual vexation of the People and that the authority of New York be in full Erected without any Controul from Vermont &c And altho in the room of a better I being appointed their agent yet I shant have it in my Province or within the Duty of my agency to Say anything of the right of the Bay &c because the Bay in their Legislative Capacity put in no Claim Either to Jurisdiction or Soil & if they Did it would be a matter very Different in its Nature & opperation to what I are to solicit which is that New York States authority be Exercised free of any molestation from Vermont throughout that District of Country as it was at the Commencement of this War or at the Declaration of Independence & because we all Conclude Congress wont Enter into the Consideration of the Disputes that may arise about the Limmits or Jurisdiction of Different States whilst it is not settled whether the Independence & Sovereignty of the united States of America be admitted by Grate Britan & so long as they maintain the Hottest war against america for our setting up Independance & Sovereignty against Brittan. But nevertheless I are of the opinion & beg Leave again herewith to offer it that it is perfectly Consistant with the Justice prudence & wisdom of the massachusetts Honorable Legislature to resolve their aincient and Continued Claim be Sent to Congress Respecting the 50 townships & their western territory as Soon as possible if it is not Done Conform to those Petitions herein before mentioned sent Last June to Court as I trust they were Delivered to Councillor Ward94 however all must be submitted to the wisdom of the Standing Guardians of the State to whom of Right those Important matters belong therefore to conclude my address beg leave of assuming the honour of Subscribing my Selfe your Honours
Reproduced for The Colonial Society of Massachusetts
much obliged & most Humble Servant at Comd
July 28th 1779
To the Honorable Council of State in Boston.
Mr. Morison also communicated an early Harvard song, taken from one of Mr. Eliot’s commonplace-books. “Before commencement,” wrote Mr. Eliot, “when the senior class bid adieu to Harvard University, it used to be customary for them to dine together in public, after having a valedictory oration;95 and the following song was annually for many years sung in full chorus—viz.”
Tune Maggie Lauder
Now we are free from college laws,
From commonplace book reason
From trifling Syllogistic rules
And systems out of season;
If matter thinks or thinks not—
But all the matter we will mind
Is he who drinks or drinks not.
Copernicus, a learned sage
Who rightly followed reason
Asserts (I now forget the page)
Earth follows Sol each season
Well, be it so, who cares for that
May prove ’tis but a notion,
Yet this is most important still,
To mind the bottles’ motion.
Plenum, vacuum, minus, plus
Are learned words and rare too,
Such terms let Tutors now discuss,
And those who please may hear too.
A plenum in our wine shall flow
With plus and plus behind Sir,
But if our stores grow minus low
A vacuum you’ll soon find, Sir.
Mr. Henry H. Edes exhibited the second volume of the Rev. John Pointer’s Chronological History of England, published at Oxford in 1714, which once belonged to Thomas Prince and bears his autograph as well as the book-plate of the New England Library. It also contains some manuscript notes96 by Prince, and apparently was the book which suggested to him the format of his own book entitled Annals of New England, which is almost an exact copy of Pointer’s volumes.
If the unquestionable dignity of a device borne by Harvard College for two and a quarter centuries could yet be enhanced, it would become our duty to bear such testimony of its age and honorable connections as could be given from late researches. For many years it has been assumed that the motto “Christo et Ecclesiae” was adopted about 1690 to 1694, during the presidency of Increase Mather, as part of the effort to preserve the power of the established Congregational Church. This is mere conjecture, the meagre records affording no proof.97 Whatever may be the truth on this point, there has been stated merely a possible occasion for the adoption of the motto, but not a source from which it was derived. Investigation has apparently not heretofore been carried further back.
It is now possible to state that whatever inspiration the sons of Harvard have drawn from her dedication “to Christ and the Church” they undoubtedly owe in some measure to the influence of an earlier university, which adopted “Christo et Ecclesiae” at its foundation about a hundred years earlier than Harvard adopted it. They undoubtedly owe it in some measure to a great teacher who never heard of Harvard, but who was a strong guide for some of her pioneers, who never saw New England (although his heart was with her), but whose children’s children have formed influential branches of our population from Harvard’s earliest days to the present time.
To the Academy of Franeker, the second Dutch university, founded in 1585, and to the influence of Dr. William Ames, Harvard owes her motto. For truth she must in any case stand, and for the reiteration of “Veritas” with “Christo et Ecclesiae” we must be thankful; for Christ and the Church she chose to stand, and there has never been cause to regret it.98 It is strange that no notice has ever been taken at Harvard of the connection with Franeker and Dr. Ames.99
The University of Franeker was founded in 1585 by the Estates of Friesland, a province of the Netherlands in the extreme north between the Zuider Zee and the North Sea. As soon as the University or Academy was established, the Stadtholder and Deputies brought it to public notice by issuing a proclamation, or “Programma” as it was called, beginning, “Guilielmus Ludovicus Comes Nassavise . . . Salutem,” and dated at the end “Franekerse MDLXXXV. xv. Iulij.” This proclamation stated the purposes and method of the University. In the course of it occurs a statement, memorable for Harvard College, as follows:
. . . ad quem; & hoc Programmate discipulos euocare & elicere voluimus, ut hue se lubentes sistant: & studia Vtrorumque, cœptaque Nostra, quæ vno Academiæ complectemur nomine, cum solenni Nominis Divini Invocatione, piaque ceremonia, non Palladi aut Musis, sed Christo & Ecclesiae publicè dedicabimus.100
Engraved for The Colonial Society of Massachusetts from W.B.S. Boeles, Frieslands Hoogeschool in het Rijhs Athenaeum to Franeker, 1878, i.384
That “Christo et Ecclesiae” was a solemnly adopted motto and not a mere ejaculation of the Frisian Deputies is proved by its insertion in the Statutes of the Academy, the “Statvta Academiæ Franequerensis,” dated at the end, “Franequeræ Frisiorum, tertio Calendas Aprileis, Anno cic ic lxxxvi.” Lex I of the “Statvta” reads:
Literis et pietati Academia publica Christo Ecclesiæique dicata Franequeræ Frisiorum publice adaperta in usum patriae exterorumque esto.101
Nor was the dedication allowed to stand in printed documents only; it was also placed above the chief portal of the building. The city plan of Franeker as it existed in 1664102 shows the Academy to be in the southwest part of the city, near the “Wester” or “Harlinger Poort,” fronting westerly on the Vijverstraat. This street apparently got its name from the pond or artificial body of water surrounding the Castle on the west side of the city and adjacent to the moat encircling the whole city. A view made of the picturesque buildings as they were in 1622,103 when outwardly little changed from their condition in 1584, shows a court or area planted with trees, surrounded by the Academy buildings on the east, south, and west, with a church, formerly the “gasthuiskerk” or “hospital church,”104 at the left or north. The building at the east, behind the area, contained the library, “collegiekamer,” etc.105 Against the church and opening on the area was a north gallery; to the right or south was a south gallery and rooms devoted to administration; and along the Vijverstraat front, extending from these rooms to the church, was the long low west gallery. Through this gallery there had been made a door or portal with a gable raised above the roof of the gallery. The position of this portal and the fact of its embellishment with arms and inscriptions lead to the inference that it was the chief entrance to the Academy. On this gable, or what was probably the most obvious point in the University structure, and therefore as true a proclamation to the public as that of paper and ink, appeared the dedication “Christo et Ecclesiae.”106
It thus appears that the dedicatory motto was considered by the Estates of Friesland to be of enough significance to be published in the initial proclamation of the University, in the very first of its statutes, and over its chief portal. That it was a dedication of consequence to the authorities of the institution is also to be shown.
One of the professors at the Academy was Johannes Maccovius, or Jan Makowsky as he was known in his native country, Poland, where he was born in 1588. He entered the University of Franeker in 1613 and became professor of theology there in 1615, and there he remained until his death in 1644. Of this man we read: “Theologically he was a rigid Calvinist of the extreme supralapsarian school, and theses of a corresponding character, defended in 1616 by one of his pupils, involved him in a controversy with his colleague Sibrandus Lubbertus which was settled only by the Synod of Dort in 1619.”107 Other authorities state that it was his scholastic method that caused the disturbance in the church.108 In 1525–1526 Maccovius was again involved in controversy, and a public indictment was drawn against him by certain of the professors at Franeker. He had embittered the life of Lubbertus, and he was not on good terms with many of his associates.109 But while the particular brand of Calvinistic doctrine upheld by him was not that of the men who held the balance of power at Franeker, this was not the only charge against him; the other was an impeachment of his morality. It is natural that the theologians at that time should combine the issues of piety and morality, and charge defects of character against false doctrine. The fame that brought many students to the Academy to study under Maccovius was probably the reason for his being maintained there. But his influence with the students was considered the very worst. He was branded as a man of altogether barbaric character, whose life was nothing more nor less than continual impiety. He encouraged the students in irresponsibility, and once, when he rode with three students to Haarlingen, he drank so much strong liquor on the way that in his attempt to return to Franeker he did not realize that he had been imposed upon until he was within the gates of Bolsward.110 The indictment or “complaint” was written by Sixtus Amama, signed by him and three other professors, and addressed to Johannes Saeckma, a prominent lawyer, and official, and one of the curators of the Academy. The signatories were all men of eminence in their profession.
The complaint was headed “Klagten over Prof. Joh. Maccovius,” was dated at the end “XXII Junij 1626,” and was signed “T. A. Observantissimi, Joh. Hachtingius, . . . S. Amama, . . . G. Amesius, . . . A. Verhel.” After the signature of Ames appears the following: “Quamvis de omnibus & singulis non sim certus, rem ipsam tamen ex Academiae et Ecclesiae re esse confirmo.” The first part of the text, being as much as is necessary to this article, is as follows:
Amplissime & Magnifice Domine, Nihil equidem illibentius facimus, quam hoc ipsum, quod odioso delationis titulo fortassis indigetabunt alij. At cum, proh dolor! nimis verum sit, quod querimur, & magis verum, quam ut a quoquam negari possit id, quod nunc in T. A. sinum evaporavimus, confidimus tuam A. nequaquam in malam partem accepturam, quod non odium privatum, non affectus ullus reprehensibilis, sed odium impietatis & egregij publici studium nobis extorsit. Christo et Ecclesiae dicata haec Academia est. Christo & Ecclesiae sacramentum dixisti vos, quibus ea cura demandata est, ne quid detrimenti capiat. Eodem sacramento nos obligamur, quibus docendi & regendi provincia delegata est. Et quod ad nos attinet, plane in ea sumus sententia, non satisfacere nos huic sacramento, nisi T. A. significemus rursus, quantum detrimenti res Academicæ patiantur ex eo, quod tot jam annis publico stipendio non in Professione aliqua profana, sed sacra, alatur homo moribus plane barbarus, qui id solum agit ut barbaros & profanos mores in Academiam invehat, discordias accendat, qui in omnium bonorum nomen et famam grassatur, cujus denique universa vita nihil aliud est, quam continua impietas.111
This complaint against Maccovius, in which the dedication of the Academy to Christ and the Church was reiterated and the position of Maccovius declared inimical to the purpose implied in this dedication, is not the only evidence that the dedication was taken to heart by the leading authorities. Just before the sending of the complaint, Amesius (our Dr. Ames), one of the signers, was installed as Rector Magnificus of the Academy. His inaugural address was upon the motto “Christo et Ecclesiae,” and he chose this theme particularly because of the trouble in the Academy.112 After mentioning several illustrious Athenians upon whom his mind appropriately dwelt upon such an important occasion in the Academy, Demosthenes, Aeschines, Lysias, and Pericles, he said: “Ego vero altioris ordinis virum intelligo, non Atheniensium tantum, sed & omnium gentium Doctorem, Apostolum Paulum.” And then he went on to the beginning of his subject, in these important words:
ENGRAVED FOR THE COLONIAL SOCIETY OF MASSACHUSETTS FROM A COPY IN THE BOSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY
Quemadmodum enim ille in Areopago dicturus, explicandam elegit inscriptionem cujusdam aræ, cujus titulus Ἀγνώϛῳ Θεῷ, Deo ignoto: sic etiam & ego vobiscum hoc tempore communicare decrevi, quæ mecum sum meditatus de inscriptione Academiæ nostræ, Christo & EcclesiÆ; Christo, non Deo quidem ignoto; nec tamen satis noto. Fertur hue animus eo magis, quod inscriptionem ipsam neglectam, obscuratam & semideletam observem, quod quidem si casu ab operarius barbaris factum sit, renovationem aliquam postulat: si vero imbrobo consilio factum appareret, piaculo magno expiari deberet, notari utrunque juvat, & quasi malum omen omnibus votis averti.113
And, later in the same oration, with intensity of feeling he brought forth words almost of invective, when he declared that, with affairs as they were, the Academy would stand dedicated, not to Christ and the Church, but to Bacchus and the Bacchantes. Maccovius was suspended for three years from his position in the Academic Senate.114
It thus appears that “Christo et Ecclesiae” was used in a measure as a spiritual and moral trumpet call by the party at Franeker which may be supposed to have held or represented the equilibrium at that time, and in particular by William Ames, when Rector Magnificus of the institution, a man for whom devotion to an ideal meant a conscientious life of action in keeping therewith. And now, to recapitulate, the motto was by five different methods published to the world during the first half century of the existence of the Academy or University of Franeker: in its preliminary announcement; in its first law of government; above its chief portal; in a controversial document drawn up by some of its most important professors; and in the inaugural address of one of its most famous authorities. Should it not therefore have come to the notice of Harvard College, founded soon after the events last detailed by men immersed in the knowledge of the religious action of those times and particularly interested in the Netherlands because so many had been compelled to go there from England?115
Nevertheless, is it safe to assume that the true origin of the motto has been discovered here in this Dutch university, or even that there was any one single origin? Was not the spirit of the Crusaders that of warfare for Christ and the Church? Was not an ideal of the theologians of the seventeenth century and an idea commonly dwelt upon by synods and writers, and above all a very natural sentiment, that of devotion to Christ and the Church? It seems almost unnecessary to declare the truth of this. But, even if such be shown to be the case, it cannot be held to detract from the significance of the crystallization of the ideal into a motto, and of a special source from which that ideal, so crystallized as it is shown to have been, was taken for adoption by Harvard College. It does not seem necessary to discuss at any length the reasons for adopting the motto. The inspiration to be drawn from it, the sentiment attached to it, must have been more compelling than anything having to do with the politics of church or state. Massachusetts people needed no motto to strengthen their resolution in opposition to the royal control of Charles and James; nor could they have expected to use the motto as a compliment to William III. The declaration for Christ and the Church, with the emphasis on the first part of the motto, might have been considered the proper protestation against Church of England presumption. But probably Ecclesia, in the last part of the motto, attained recognition in the seal as an expression of the broad catholic devotion of liberal minds, since Ecclesia was the universal or truly catholic church, the word having signified the church from the days of the primitive Christian congregations in Greece.116 Tradition, whether embodied in the “Ecclesia” of sixteen centuries or in the “Christo et Ecclesiæ” of one century, must have sufficiently influenced those of the sterner school, the Mathers and others, with their pride of intellect as well as their devotion to maintenance of the sacerdotal type of church; the more so since the later tradition was associated with a man trebly revered as a great name in the church, an associate dearly loved by the fathers, and the stock from which had sprung two strong branches flourishing as preachers in New England.
As for a direct motive, it may have existed in some attempt toward the reformation of manners in the college, some movement for more sobriety and piety among the students, in full remembrance that the Franeker dedication was a heart-felt concern of William Ames and his friends, and that it was used by them almost by way of a slogan, in what they considered a moral emergency.
In spite of the fact that search has been made without avail for another important source for the motto,117 such another one may at any time be pointed out, for it would be surprising if Franeker only among institutions should carry it. It is to be regretted therefore that there have not as yet been produced any letters between Franeker and Harvard, or any paragraph of a seventeenth century diarist, or even an assertion by Cotton Mather, to back up the Franeker origin. It is believed, nevertheless, that the facts to be adduced in place of the desirable documentation do in truth afford ground for a reasonable inference that Harvard owes “Christo et Ecclesiae” to the Academy of Franeker, and that the channel through which the motto was transmitted was the peculiarly intimate personal and intellectual repute of Dr. William Ames.
The Academy at Franeker grew out of two movements working together: (1) that toward higher education of youth, through an extension of the teaching provided at the cost of the state,118 and (2) that toward better education of the ministers of the Reformed church. The foundation of some sort of university at Franeker appears to have been contemplated by the Emperor Charles the Fifth, in the early years of the sixteenth century, and the prestige of this plan and its documentary (if unfulfilled) promise had some actual connection with the choice of Franeker as the seat of the Academy or University when freedom from the Spanish power made it practicable to establish it in the manner suitable to Dutch ideals.119
Largely through the influence of Jelle Hotzes van Sneek, better known under the name of Gellius Snecanus, definite steps were taken in a request of the provincial synod at Franeker in May, 1583, and a resolution of the Estates in April, 1584, to provide a seminary or college. Credit for advancing the plan is due to Snecanus and his friend the Deputy Elardus Reinalda, together with Henricus Schotanus, who had been corrector for Plantijn. Schotanus was instrumental in turning the objective of the Deputies from a mere theological seminary to a university. In October, 1584, the Deputies provided definite means, in the appropriating of old convent properties for the contemplated use. The interest of the new Stadtholder, Willem Lodewijk, in the institution gave added assurance of success, and on the 15th of July, 1585, the proclamation (programma or plakkaat) was issued formally announcing this second Dutch university, founded only a little later than that at Leyden. We have seen something of the spirit endeavored in this first announcement. With professorships of Theology, Law, Medicine, Languages, and Philosophy, the institution was formally opened on the 29th of July, 1585.120 While providing fully the means for intellectual education, stress was laid on moral education; and moral education comprehended as much doctrinal as it did ethical standards, the two going hand in hand according to the ideas of that period. Lex VIII of the Statutes stipulates consent to that religion “cujus summa Catechesi Heidelbergensis Belgicæque Ecclesiarum & confessione Belgicæ Ecclesiæ comprehensa est.”121 The Heidelberg Catechism was drawn up principally at the instigation of Frederick III, Elector Palatine of the Rhine. It was welcomed by all but Catholics and extreme Lutherans, was translated into many languages, and became the doctrinal standard of the greater part of the Protestant Church; in the Netherlands conditions were favorable for its reception, and it was adopted at repeated synods. Indorsed at the Synod of Dort, it influenced the Westminster Assembly of Divines. The famous synod convened at Dort or Dordrecht in Holland by the authority of the Estates General November 13, 1618, lasted until May 9, 1619. It consisted of pastors, elders, and theological professors of Holland and deputies from England, Scotland, Switzerland, and parts of Germany. “The Canons of this Synod were received by all the Reformed churches as a true, accurate and eminently authoritative exhibition of the Calvinistic System of Theology.”122 It was thus as a stronghold of Reformed church theology, of religious thought, that Franeker stood before the divines of Holland, and it must have been so to our New England forefathers.
It would be interesting, but it is not necessary or possible here, to go deeper and further into the history of Franeker. The very interesting and valuable work by W. B. S. Boeles,123 without which the present writer must have left this argument lacking some most important details, gives the story of that university until its dissolution in 1811 by Napoleon, and of its successor the Athenaeum at Franeker until its end in 1843. Boeles lists most fully the sources from which the events of that history may be extracted, and among those sources there are some that merit most careful investigation by the scholars of New England, the authorities of Harvard, and the friends of Dr. William Ames.124 The buildings of the institution, previous to its foundation, were occupied by a convent and by a hospital or home for the aged and infirm, and after the Athenaeum’s expiration in 1843 were given up to an asylum for the insane;125 the whole career of the group being devoted to humanity;126 but what their present state is, the writer of this paper is not informed.
Dr. Ames is so well known127 to students of New England history, that it is necessary here only to remind ourselves of the steady development of his influence during his life and to recall a few outstanding facts of his career. He was born in 1576. Among his friends at the University of Cambridge were William Bradshaw, Robert Parker, Daniel Rogers, and John Wilson. His persecution in England and in his Dutch refuge, his debate with Grevinchovius, his association with Hugh Goodyear, the chaplaincy at the Hague, his official advisorship of the Synod at Dort, and his position as successor to Hommius at the school at Leyden, will be remembered. In 1622 he became professor of theology in the University of Franeker, and at the same time was made Doctor of Theology. His fame attracted many students to Franeker. He became Rector Magnificus in 1626. Although poor health drove him and American friends called him, he continued at Franeker until 1633, when he entered that congenial relationship with Hugh Peters and Thomas Hooker at the church in Rotterdam. But at Rotterdam he died, probably November 11th, 1633, in his 57th year.128 He died in the arms of Hugh Peters, and Peters preached his funeral sermon. He is said to have been buried at Rotterdam, November 14th, 1633. But we are not told where his tomb is, and how tended.129
As so often has happened with a great man, when there seemed to be something yet lacking to round out his living career, his influence dead was perpetuated many years through his family, friends, and writings.
There can be no attempt here to mention all the works of Ames, nor to expound any of them. More abiding in their influence than the rest were the Marrow of Sacred Divinity, the Cases of Conscience, the Coronis, and the Fresh Suit against Human Ceremonies. The latter book is said to have made Richard Baxter a Nonconformist. The Cases of Conscience, which has been called Dr. Ames’s best known work, is the fruit of his labors in the field of Ethics, and shows the reason for his being called a “casuist.” He, perhaps first among Protestants, had adopted a method used in the Catholic Church for inculcating the right relationships of motive and action in life. The Cases lived at least a century as a work considered of great value to students. The Coronis ad Collationem Hagiensem, which carries the burden of the theological arguments made by Ames during his earlier years in Holland, was prepared primarily for the Synod of Dort and figured largely in Dutch church history. It has been called his most masterly book. The Marrow of Sacred Divinity, written for Dr. Ames’s students at Leyden, was intended to present the essence or epitome of Reformed church doctrine. As the Medulla S. S. Theologiae it was printed probably first in 1623, then in 1627, and several times later. In 1642 or 1643 the first English translation appeared, printed by order of the House of Commons, probably for the use of the Westminster Assembly of Divines. It was during a decade when several of the works of Ames were put on the market, thus indicating a demand by the controversialists of that period.130 An interesting presumption, involving a proof of the influence of Ames, is that, even though there had been other “Marrows,” this translation entitled The Marrow of Sacred Divinity was responsible for the seven or more similar titles following it within ten years.131
It is well known that the family of Dr. Ames emigrated to America and were in difficult circumstances, receiving aid both in Holland and in Massachusetts through the influence of Hugh Peters.132 A mystery exists regarding the disposition of the learned doctor’s library, at that time a valuable one to theological readers. This library would have cost him a considerable sum,133 perhaps more than he could afford, and it must have been with the purpose of providing funds for his widow and children that it was catalogued, as if to be sold, at Rotterdam in 1634.134 Whether it was sold, or whether it was brought to New England as has so often been stated, is unknown.135
Dr. Ames’s daughter Ruth was sought in marriage by Hugh Peters,136 but was married instead to Edmund Angier, merchant, of Cambridge, Massachusetts. From this couple sprang some notable lines of descendants. A daughter, Ruth, married Samuel Cheever,137 son of Ezekiel Cheever and minister at Marblehead. A son, the Rev. Samuel Angier,138 we shall speak of later. He had several children, among them Sarah, who married the Rev. John Shaw139 of Bridgewater, whose grandson Lemuel Shaw140 was for thirty years Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts. A son of Samuel Angier, John,141 for half a century minister at East Bridgewater, married Mary Bourne, and their daughter Mary married in 1767 the Rev. Ephraim Hyde142 of Rehoboth. This union will be mentioned again. Oakes Angier, son of the Rev. John Angier and brother of Mrs. Hyde, married Susannah Howard, and their daughter Susanna married Oliver Ames of North Easton, from whom have descended Oakes Ames,143 Governor Oliver Ames, Frederick Lothrop Ames,144 and the late F. Lothrop Ames145 the donor to the Harvard Club of the portrait of Dr. William Ames.
The history of Dr. Ames’s family forms a tie between Ames himself and the present generation, and his immediate descendants likewise linked him with the rulers of state, church, and college a half century after his death. With Angiers and Cheevers living among them, they must often think of him. But there were also men who had been in contact with Dr. Ames, some most intimately, who came to New England and exercised a pronounced influence here. Bare mention is enough of two square-pegs who failed to fit their positions: Nathaniel Eaton the first head of Harvard College, who had been a pupil of Ames;146 and Richard Brown of Watertown, who had helped him when he went out of England into Holland.147 There were, however, several strong men acting as apostles of his fame; among them Brewster, Winthrop, Peters, Hooker, Cotton, Wilson, and Parker, as well as, for a time, John Phillip. Brewster printed one, at least, of his books.148 With Governor Winthrop he was in correspondence. Thomas Parker of Ipswich and Newbury was son of Robert, who left England with Dr. William Ames and who with Ames is said to have had a pronounced influence on John Robinson.149 Thomas Parker became acquainted with William Ames at Leyden, where he received the degree of M.A. in 1617. The theses then defended by him are appended to some editions of Ames’s answer to Grevinchovius. He became assistant to Nathaniel Ward at Agawam in 1634, and in 1635 helped to found Newbury. He had a long life, dying in 1677. John Woodbridge was his nephew. John Wilson, who lived until 1667, spoke of Ames on his death-bed; John Cotton, likewise, in 1652, and Cotton was a man of commanding eminence. Thomas Hooker, the founder of Connecticut, whom we have seen with William Ames and Hugh Peters in Rotterdam, joined with Peters and others to assist Mrs. Ames when she was in need after her settlement in New England.
Hugh Peters ought to be spoken about more at length, for he was the one man preeminently devoted to Ames. Tendering him the last measures of kindness at his death, doing all possible to do for his family in Holland and New England, yearning for a further expression of regard denied him, prefacing more than one of Ames’s works, and at his own unhappy end thinking of Ames, he must have been one of the important agents for disseminating his friend’s reputation in America. He was a man of reason as well as of impulse, with abounding devotion to public welfare and abiding loyalty to his friends.
The personal devotion to Dr. Ames of famous New Englanders was frequently recorded, and notably as late as 1695 by the Mathers. The fruits of his wisdom, also, were cherished, and his influence was felt to be living, not embalmed. The spiritual legacy of Ames was not soon dissipated, and he was actually, not in our theory only, present in the thoughts of Harvard leaders during the period in which the adoption of “Christo et Ecclesiae” must have occurred. If this be shown, we must believe that the inaugural address at Franeker was known, both from tradition and from his writings. It is not unreasonable to assume this, for two reasons. First, the men of the last third of the seventeenth century were no farther removed from the first third of that century than we are from the time of the Civil War, were even nearer in fact by reason of the greater simplicity of those times, and their fathers had told them, indeed Ruth Ames could have told some among them, and Thomas Parker could have told them,150 about an event considered of some importance by Dr. Ames himself. And second, the intellectual meat and drink of those days consisted in theological reading and meditation and discussion of the spiritual side of the lives of their fathers and grandfathers, men whose lives and opinions were the foundation stones of Puritanism. Whenever two or three people got together there was a theological discussion. Samuel Sewall in his Diary in 1715 says: “In the Ferry-boat Mr. Parsons mentioned the perishing of all mankind entirely, whereas some of the Angels fell; not all, if God had not provided Salvation. Spake as if it had been his Notion: I said Dr. Ames mentioned it; which he seemed backward to allow: said he had lost his Books by Sea.”151 The libraries of New England, both college and private, were chiefly theological.152 Many of these libraries contained Dr. Ames’s books; but sufficient for present purposes are those of the Mathers, as given by Mr. Tuttle twelve years ago.153 The list of the books in Cotton Mather’s library shows five works by Dr. Ames, including the Disceptatio Scholastica de Circulo Pontificio. The copy of the latter was bound with the Rescriptio Scholastica ad Nic. Grevinchovii Responsum, as has always been the case with examples seen by the present writer.154 The Disceptatio was published in 1610 appended to Ames’s translation into Latin of Bradshaw’s Puritanismus Anglicanus, but was then entitled Scholastica Disceptatio instead of Disceptatio Scholastica, and at that time the controversy with Grevinchovius had not been held. It is in this Disceptatio Scholastica as published with the Rescriptio Scholastica from 1633 and 1634 onwards that Dr. Ames’s inaugural address on the motto was printed.155 In the list (written by himself) of Increase Mather’s books, there are found twelve of Dr. Ames’s works, including the Rescriptio and therefore presumably the Disceptatio with the address on the motto. Moreover, the Rescriptio appears in the list of works that Increase Mather picked out from President Hoar’s library, at the invitation of his widow, when his own (Mather’s) library was injured by fire. There can be no doubt that the Mathers and other leaders knew of Ames’s inaugural address.
It is easy to cite references to Ames in the New England theological literature of a century and a half. The Mathers, indeed, were almost lavish in their praise of Ames, “that profound, that sublime, that subtil, that irrefragable,—yea, that angelical doctor.”156 Information is readily forthcoming as to Dr. Ames’s place in the tests of the New England ministry,157 and likewise in the required studies at Harvard, where the curriculum in 1690 gave Ames the distinguished honor of being placed by name in the same category with grammar, logic, and science.158 The adoption of the works of Ames in the curriculum of the Collegiate School that later became Yale is significant, since all the founders except one were graduates of Harvard; the Connecticut action involves the certainty that Ames’s works were present in the Harvard curriculum from 1659 to 1681.159
There remains to be dealt with an important evidence of the regard of our fathers for Dr. Ames, the order for painting his portrait. Such a proof of early devotion, enduring for three hundred years, is seen to-day in the two shrines of Harvard men near to their Alma Mater; it is the portrait owned by Harvard College,160 and its copy at the Harvard Club of Boston. Regarding the Ames portraits, some facts are gathered together here for the first time.
Hugo Visscher, in his Guilielmus Amesius, devotes nearly two pages to discussion of portraits of Ames. It is worth while to translate most of what he says:
So far as I know, there exist three portraits of Ames. Matth. Nethenus informs us in the “Præfatio Introductoria” before the edition of the man’s Latin works, that The Fresh Suit, etc., saw the light only after Ames’s death, “cum inserta post praefationem satis longam autoris efiigie.”161 This picture I have not seen. In the copy of the above named work examined by me, the portrait was lacking.
Another engraving may be seen in front of the English translation of Ames’s Medulla, which appeared in 1642 at the charge of “the honorable the House of Commons.” It was done by Will. Marshall and printed “for John Rothwell at the Sunn in Paule: Church yard.” From this engraving the portrait was made that is placed in the front of this dissertation [i.e. his Guilielmus Amesius].
Thirdly, there exists a painted portrait of Ames, which is kept in the town-hall at Franeker. The resemblance of this to the engraving just mentioned is striking. Yet there is a difference. The position of the painted portrait is ¾ left; in place of a book Ames holds a glove and a roll of paper in his hand, of which only the thumb and forefinger are visible. It was painted “A° aetatis 57, 1633,” thus shortly before his departure from Franeker. The name of the artist is not on the painting. The size is 50 by 65 centimetres. The subscription runs: “Dr Guilielmus Amesius Theol. Profr.”
Now whether the engraving from which the portrait in this dissertation is taken [see above] is made after the painting kept at Franeker, or whether there exists still a fourth portrait, I am unable to decide. The probability pleads for it.
Visscher leaves us in doubt which alternative he thinks the probability pleads for.
The Franeker portrait is reproduced facing this page from a photograph of the original acquired in 1921 by the Harvard College Library.162
There is, however, a fourth portrait, the one owned by Harvard College. But it so closely resembles the one at Franeker that we may conclude provisionally that one was copied from the other. Mr. William C. Lane writes me that “the Harvard portrait is a trifle longer, and shows the whole of the right hand, holding gloves and papers, which is partly cut off by the frame in the Franeker portrait. That portrait, also, does not show the inscription on the background, which, on the Harvard portrait, reads: ‘Rev. William Ames, D.D. aetat. 57, 1633.’ The Franeker portrait has the name in Latin on the frame.”163
Engraved for The Colonial Society of Massachusetts from a portrait at Franeker
In the first place, it is not the same as the engraving by Marshall described by Visscher as published in Ames’s Marrow in 1642; nor is it the same as that in the Fresh Suit of 1633. The posture of the latter portrait is half-left; with skull-cap, ruff, and gown, and without showing the hands. It is surrounded within a rectangle by an oval border, with reading: “Guilielmus Amesius S. S. Theol. D. et Professor Franequerae Pientissimus Doctissimus. Ætat. 57. A° 1633,” and is signed G S, which initials have not been identified. Beneath is the following inscription:
Sic fuit (ah, fuit!) Amesius. Quid funere tanto,
Cum grege Papali, Pelagianus ovat?
Quid rides Hierarcha? Viri nos arma tenemus,
Astra animam, tellus ossa, sed os tabula.164
The painted portrait in the Harvard Club was made by Giovanni B. Troccoli, probably about 1897, from the painting owned by Harvard College, and was presented to the Harvard Club by the late F.Lothrop Ames.165 It has always been supposed that the Harvard College portrait is the one that formerly hung in Harvard Hall, of which Mr. Sibley spoke in 1862, commenting on an item in the Account-books of the Treasurers of Harvard College from 1669 to 1752. The item reads, under date of June 2, 1680: “Colledge Dr to money pd Major Tho. Smith for drawing Dr. Ames effigies pr Order of Corporation. £4.4.” Sibley remarked, “This is probably the picture, renovated and restored by Howorth, which is now in the Picture Gallery in Harvard Hall.”166 But if it were indeed true that the Harvard Hall portrait was the one which was done by Thomas Smith, it could hardly be the one now owned by the College, for of the latter it is recorded at Harvard that it was the gift of Ephraim Hyde.
Mr. Charles K. Bolton speaks of Major or Captain Thomas Smith and two portraits credited to him. One is that mentioned in the Treasurers’ Accounts. The other is a painting of his daughter, Maria Catherine Smith. Little is known of Thomas Smith, who is said to have been a navigator, and it has not been explained why he was called Major and later Captain. Mr. Bolton must have been a little suspicious regarding the portraits, for he says:
Harvard College, in 1680, paid £4.4 to Major Thomas Smith for “drawing Dr. Ames effigies,” depicting him with a very florid face, dark skull cap, a broad, white ruff, and a paper (?) in his right hand. As Ames died in 1633, this must be a copy, and does not show Smith’s own style; but in skill it equals the 1670–1680 New England group, unless a restorer has taken undue liberties. A less effective portrait, representing Maria Catherine Smith, was done in 1693 “by her father Captain Thomas Smith,” more in the manner of Huysman’s Catherine of Braganza, than of Curwen, Savage, or Freke. Mr. Clarence S. Brigham, who first called attention to Smith, has been unable to add much to the facts here given.167
The truth is, that the Harvard College portrait does not show Smith’s style because it is not by Smith. Let us trace its history. The earliest mention of it is in the will, proved February 9, 1719, of Samuel Angier, who bequeathed “to my son John the Picture of Dr Ames his gt Grandfather.”168 From this son John Angier, then a student at Harvard College, the picture descended to his son, the Rev. Samuel Angier169 of East Bridgewater. On the death of the latter without children in 1805, the picture came into the possession of his nephew Ephraim Hyde, who presented it to Harvard College. This Ephraim Hyde was the son of the Rev. Ephraim Hyde of Rehoboth who in 1767 married Mary Angier, sister of the Rev. Samuel Angier of East Bridgewater. Thus the Harvard College portrait is traced to the possession of the Rev. Samuel Angier, son of Edmund Angier and his first wife Ruth Ames, who was a daughter of Dr. William Ames. Samuel Angier was born in Cambridge in 1655, the year before his mother’s death, graduated at Harvard College in 1673, was ordained at Rehoboth in 1679, was settled at Watertown in 1697, and was a Fellow of the Corporation from 1700 to 1707170.
Urian Oakes was elected President of Harvard College in 1675, but at first would not formally accept the office, and was not inaugurated until August 10, 1680. On June 2, 1680, the College was recorded as indebted to Thomas Smith for making a portrait of Dr. Ames, and just three months later, September 2, 1680, the daughter of President Oakes, Hannah, was married to Samuel Angier, the grandson of Dr. Ames. The painting was not in the inventory of Edmund Angier’s goods at his death in 1692,171 so that we must suppose Samuel Angier to have had it at that time. The College, poor as it was in those days, would not have been likely to present a portrait to the daughter of President Oakes or to her intended husband; but even if that had been done, why should the painting not be in the style of the painter as known from another portrait? We must infer that something like this happened: Samuel Angier, departing for Rehoboth in 1679, found that he could not get along without Hannah Oakes. The intimacy of Oakes and Angier, already close and thus cemented, called especial attention to the Ames portrait, which Angier would take away with him. It thereupon was proposed that a copy should be made of the painting, so that there might be one at Harvard College. What became of the copy? It may have been destroyed in the fire of 1764. Probably the removal of Dr. Ames from Franeker to Rotterdam was the cause of the painting of two portraits, one of which is ours. The significance of the interesting conjunction of events in 1680, which we cannot believe to be independent, is that Dr. Ames, not his books only, but the man, was an outstanding figure in the minds of the Harvard College leaders in 1680.
As he looks down upon us nearly two centuries and a half later, and we try to find in his features whatever we have most read into his character, whether dignity, piety, learning, or that friendship and kindness that gained him the friendship and kindness of others, let us regard him with friendship rather than distant acquaintance; let us admire his ability and courage rather than merely his name and fame. Let us accord him some sort of devotion which, if not on the same ground as that of our fathers, will at least show our appreciation of his “intention for New-England,” of the blood-tie that binds him to some among us, and of the position he held long after his death as mentor to the great ones of our Colony, but particularly as that link which enables us to lengthen the years of our motto, adding to our idea of it whatever nobility is resident in honorable tradition.
For at the end of this research (which ought to be but the beginning of another), what we hope has been accomplished is the gathering and polishing of some facts hitherto scattered and obscured tending to show that the motto “Christo et Ecclesiae” on the Harvard seal came to Harvard from a sister institution at Franeker, whose position in the world of religious letters marked her in the eyes of Harvard men; and came to Harvard, perhaps, because the name of Ames familiar here was associated in the minds of some of the leaders with an event back in the annals of Franeker when Ames used “Christo et Ecclesiae” as a call to the members of the Academy to stand right with their consciences. Of Franeker, this more may be said, that her Academy was founded in the year of Frisian independence, and that her students began the agitation resulting in Dutch aid to us during the American Revolution.172 We should be grateful to Friesland, therefore, for her Academy at Franeker and for the dedication.