THE Annual Meeting of the Society was held at the University Club, No. 270 Beacon Street, Boston, on Tuesday, 21 November, 1911, at six o’clock in the afternoon, the President, Henry Lefavour, LL.D., in the chair.

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

    The President announced the death, since the last meeting, of Charles Francis Choate, Charles Augustus Chase, Samuel Lothrop Thorndike, Charles Goddard Weld, Francis Henry Lincoln, and William Taggard Piper, Resident Members.

    Mr. Melville Madison Bigelow of Cambridge was elected a Resident Member.

    The Annual Report of the Council was presented and read by the Rev. Charles E. Park.


    The Society has held during the past year its six stated meetings. The attendance has been good. The communications which have been presented at these meetings have been of a very high order of interest and value. The April meeting was held in the Treasure Room of the Harvard Library, following a custom inaugurated the year before. This was one of the best attended meetings of the year and proved to be one of especial interest. Four other stated meetings have been held at No. 25 Beacon Street, and the thanks of the Society are due to the President and Directors of the American Unitarian Association for their continued hospitality to us.

    Appreciating the value of the work, the Society has renewed its five-year subscription towards the cost of publishing the Annual Bibliography of American Historical Writings, which is edited by our associate Professor J. Franklin Jameson.

    The Society has suffered very heavily from death during the past year, and it is with profound sorrow that the Council reports the passing from our number of the following Resident Members:

    Adams Sherman Hill, founder of the Associated Press, for thirty years an instructor in Harvard College, a wise teacher, a kindly critic, who is remembered with affection and gratitude by all who came in contact with his distinct and lovable personality.

    Francis Cabot Lowell, judge of the United States Circuit Court, Fellow of the Corporation of Harvard College, a member of one of our first families, to whose lofty traditions of character and public service he held himself sedulously true, an upright judge, a courteous and pure-minded gentleman, in whose untimely death the Commonwealth has lost a citizen of unusual distinction.

    Charles Francis Choate, who will be remembered chiefly as President for twenty years of the Old Colony Railroad, an able financier and yet a man of true literary tastes, whose well-recognized integrity and high professional standards rendered him an especially valuable director in many public and business affairs.

    Charles Augustus Chase, a veteran journalist, a man of wide learning, ready wit, and warm friendships.

    Samuel Lothrop Thorndike, one of that fine group of men, who while they lived in busy times always kept sacred in the day’s routine the obligations of gentleness, courtesy, and culture; whose strong musical taste has left its ennobling mark upon the development of that art in Boston, and whose courtly figure comes inevitably to mind whenever one hears the phrase “an old-fashioned gentleman.”

    Charles Goddard Weld, of gentle and humane spirit, who combined with the possession of great wealth an unostentatious simplicity which kept his left hand in ignorance of what his right hand did.

    Francis Henry Lincoln, a man of great prudence in practical affairs, and yet of refined enthusiasms, who in the midst of prosaic business matters maintained a spirit of constant kindliness and an unfailing sweetness of disposition.

    William Taggard Piper, a rarely conscientious and serviceable man who brought to the discharge of his various philanthropic duties a deep sense of responsibility, a valuable experience, and a lofty devotion.

    From among our Corresponding Members:

    Francis Philip Nash, professor emeritus of Hobart College, a man who may well claim distinction in the brotherhood of scholars, but who will be more widely remembered and more universally mourned for his humane spirit and sympathetic helpfulness, and whose sudden death came as a personal loss to the poor and unfortunate of his home town, as well as to the favored and the well-to-do.

    There have been added to our roll of membership the following.

    Resident Members —

    • John Adams Aiken,
    • Mark Anthony De Wolfe Howe,
    • Edward Percival Merritt,
    • George Foot Moore,
    • Charles Pickering Putnam,
    • Arthur Prentice Rugg,
    • John Trowbridge,
    • John Woodbury;

    Corresponding Member —

    • Edward Robinson;

    Honorary Member —

    • John Pierpont Morgan.

    The name of Frederick Jackson Turner has been transferred from the roll of Corresponding to the roll of Resident Members.

    During the year nine members have availed themselves of the privilege of commuting their annual dues. This number is larger than that of any previous year. Inasmuch as this privilege redounds to the welfare of the Society as well as to that of the individual, it is commended to the attention of the members.

    The money gifts to the Society for immediate use during the year have amounted to about eighteen hundred dollars.

    The Council reports that the Publications of the Society are being gradually extended. Volume XII, containing the Transactions of 1908–1909, has been distributed during the year. Volume XIII, containing the Transactions of 1910–1911, may be expected this coming January. Volume XIV, also of Transactions, has reached page 68. Good progress has been made on Volume II, which, as the Society will remember, is a volume of Collections, containing the Royal Commissions; while another volume of Collections, which is to contain the early records of Harvard College, is already in type and has been cast. Work has also been begun on still a third volume of Collections which will contain a continuation of the records of the Corporation of Harvard College.

    The Publications of the Society are enjoying a steady and gradually increasing sale, which is a gratifying testimonial to their permanent value. The Society is sorely handicapped in this most essential department of its work by a lack of funds. It is exceedingly tantalizing to the Council to be obliged to resign itself to our present financial limitations when we know that an addition of $50,000 to the Publication Fund would enable us to do very nearly, if not quite, all that ought to be done.

    The Council feels that one of the most urgent needs of the Society, next to its Publication Fund, is an Editor’s Salary Fund of at least $75,000, by which it will be enabled to assure to its Editor of Publications a salary more in keeping with the value and dignity of his work.

    It will be observed from the foregoing that the Society is in an exceedingly healthful condition, facing as it does an opportunity of service far greater than it can cultivate. Its only drawbacks are of a material or financial nature and these it confidently looks to have removed in the course of time by the generosity and trust of its members. So long as there is work for us to do, we may congratulate ourselves upon our existence and may rest assured that the means for the completion of this work will be forthcoming. And so it is with real satisfaction that the Council calls the attention of the Society to the fact that its fields of usefulness have grown steadily broader and richer during the past months.

    The Treasurer submitted his Annual Report as follows:


    In compliance with the requirements of the By-Laws, the Treasurer submits his Annual Report for the year ending 17 November, 1911.

    By the provisions of the will of our late associate James Lyman Whitney this Society will eventually receive a bequest of money which is subject to certain life estates.



    Balance, 15 November, 1910


    Admission Fees


    Annual Assessments


    Commutation of the Annual Dues


    Sales of the Society’s Publications


    Sales of the Society’s paper


    Contributions from five members




    Editor’s Salary Fund, subscriptions


    Mortgages discharged or assigned


    Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank, withdrawn for investment


    Henry H. Edes, temporary loan





    The University Press, printing


    A. W. Elson & Co., photogravure plates, negatives, and plate printing


    Clerk hire


    Postage, stationery, and supplies


    Boston Storage Warehouse Co


    William H. Hart, auditing


    Folsom & Sunergren Co., relief plates


    C. W. Phillips, distributing Publications


    Albert Matthews, salary as Editor of Publications


    Mary H. Rollins, indexing


    Lucy Drucker, services in London at the Public Record Office


    Corinne Babcock, copying Harvard College Library Catalogue of 1723


    Carnegie Institution, subscription for 1910 towards Bibliography of American Historical Writings


    S. D. Warren & Co., paper with the Society’s water-mark, and dandy roll


    Miscellaneous incidentals


    Mortgages on improved real estate in Boston


    Interest in adjustment


    Deposited in Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank


    Deposited in Provident Institution for Savings


    Henry H. Edes, temporary loan without interest, paid



    Balance on deposit in State Street Trust Company, 17 November, 1911



    The Funds of the Society are invested as follows:


    in First Mortgages, payable in gold coin, on improved property in Boston, Cambridge, and Brookline


    deposited in the Provident Institution for Savings in the Town of Boston








    Provident Institution for Savings







    Editor’s Salary Fund


    Publication Fund


    General Fund


    Benjamin Apthorp Gould Memorial Fund


    Edward Wheelwright Fund


    Robert Charles Billings Fund


    Robert Noxon Toppan Fund


    Robert Charles Winthrop, Jr., Fund


    Andrew McFarland Davis Fund




    Henry H. Edes,


    Boston, 17 November, 1911


    The undersigned, a Committee appointed to examine the accounts of the Treasurer for the year ending 17 November, 1911, have attended to that duty and report that they find them correctly kept and properly vouched, and that proper evidence of the investments and of the balance of cash on hand has been shown to us. This examination is based on the Report of Andrew Stewart, Certified Public Accountant.

    E. P. Merritt,

    M. A. De Wolfe Howe,


    Boston, 20 November, 1911.

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

    On behalf of the Committee appointed to nominate officers for the ensuing year, the Rev. Henry A. Parker presented the following list; and, a ballot having been taken, these gentlemen were unanimously elected:















    On behalf of Mr. Samuel Swett Green, Mr. Henry H. Edes communicated a Memoir of Charles Henry Davis, which Mr. Green had been requested to prepare for publication in the Transactions.

    After the meeting was dissolved, dinner was served. The guests of the Society were the Rev. James De Normandie, the Rev. Henry Wilder Foote, and Messrs. Melville Madison Bigelow, Charles Saunders Brigham, Francis Henshaw Dewey, Chester Noyes Greenough, Roger Bigelow Merriman, Samuel Eliot Morison, Grenville Howland Norcross, Fred Norris Robinson, Edgar Huidekoper Wells, Samuel Williston, Frederic Winthrop, and Roger Wolcott. The President presided.



    Charles Henry Davis was born in Worcester, Massachusetts, March 24, 1832. He was the son of the Hon. Isaac and Mary Holman (Estabrook) Davis. After attending preparatory schools, he entered Waterville College, now called Colby University, from which institution he graduated in 1853.

    In April, 1861, he became sergeant major of the 25th Massachusetts Regiment, U. S. V. He was soon advanced to the position of a commissioned officer and assigned to the commissary department. His ability and faithfulness were such that he was promoted to the rank of captain, afterwards breveted major, and retired at the close of the Civil War, October, 1865, with the title of Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel. While naturally proud of having rendered valued service to the country, Mr. Davis was reluctant to speak of the service and disliked to be addressed by his military title.

    Soon after the end of the war, he married Miss Adelaide Goodwin of Philadelphia, and after living for a time in New York and Philadelphia returned to Worcester, where he spent the rest of his life. Mrs. Davis died April 2, 1899. There were no children.

    Mr. Davis led a life of leisure after his army experience and to persons who did not know him appeared inactive, but he was a quietly busy man. He had marked mechanical skill and spent much time in working as an amateur in the well equipped shop which he fitted up in one of the upper stories of his house. He had, too, a natural, although uncultivated, power of sketching and painting and was often occupied in the use of pen, pencil or brush.

    He was a man of fine taste and as a member of the Worcester Art Society worked assiduously in preparing for the exhibitions of that organization. He was a corporator of the Worcester Art Museum, contributing liberally towards the cost of erecting its building, and left it in his will a picture which he justly highly prized.

    Mr. Davis enjoyed out-of-door life and nearness to nature. His mind was very receptive as he sat seemingly idle, engaging in no sports, on the piazza of the Country Club, watching the movements of birds going in and out of bird-houses which he had caused to be built. He and Mrs. Davis and the writer went to Havana together. We were in a hotel that faced a park temporarily used as a market and Mr. Davis’s way of seeing the city was to sit in front of the building and take in with passive demeanor but active mind the passing procession of varied humanity carrying in and out of the market the products of Cuba.

    Mr. Davis was not deeply tinctured with historical interests, although he eagerly followed up relationships and genealogies of friends and acquaintances, especially towards the close of his life. He also gave a generous sum of money to aid in increasing the funds of the American Antiquarian Society.

    Mr. Davis took a great interest in the work of the Worcester County Musical Association. Although not a musician or singer himself, he was fond of music and appreciated good music. He was especially moved by the chorus. During his life he gave the Association $5,000 and bequeathed to it in his will $25,000 in recognition of the excellence of its work and with the purpose of assuring to the chorus frequent rehearsals and training by the best instructors.

    Mr. Davis also left by will $25,000 to the Country Club in recognition of the enjoyment which he had found in frequent drives to it to breathe the pure air to be had there, and, as stated before, to gratify his love for nature.

    Mr. Davis was a man of unusual refinement and had a true sense of the fitness of things. Although little observant of the forms of religion, he was always reverent.

    He had a remarkable sense of humor and his droll sayings irresistibly awakened ripples of enjoyment. He was delightfully companionable.

    He went frequently to Rye Beach where the older habitués of the Farragut all remembered him and some of them kept up correspondence with him until the end of his life.

    He was a member of the Worcester Club and of the Massachusetts Commandery, Military Order of the Loyal Legion. He was elected a Resident Member of this Society February 21, 1894.

    Mr. Davis died in Worcester July 24, 1910.