A Stated Meeting of the Society was held at Gore Hall, Cambridge, on Friday, 26 April, 1912, at eight o’clock in the evening, the President, Henry Lefavour, LL.D., in the chair.
The Records of the last Stated Meeting were read and approved.
The Corresponding Secretary reported that a letter had been received from the Hon. Robert Grant, accepting Resident Membership.
Mr. Barrett Wendell of Boston was elected a Resident Member.
The President appointed the following Committees in anticipation of the Annual Meeting:
To nominate candidates for the several offices, — Mr. Henry Ernest Woods, Dr. Charles Pickering Putnam, and Dr. Charles Montraville Green.
To examine the Treasurer’s accounts, — Messrs. John Whittemore Farwell and William Lowell Putnam.
Mr. William C. Lane called attention to some of the interesting objects on view, among them the Louisburg Cross, recently mounted in its present position at the charge of the Society of Colonial Wars; the sword worn by Lieutenant-Governor Spencer Phips; three mahogany chairs which formerly belonged to Governor Christopher Gore; a water-color view from the north window of Hollis Hall about 1798, bearing the legend “W. J. del.;” and the portraits by Sir Peter Lely of Sir Matthew and Lady Holworthy.
Twenty-six years ago Professor Skeat devoted his presidential address to the Philological Society chiefly to an entertaining “Report upon ‘Ghost-words,’ or Words which have no real Existence;” and, in reference to a criticism made upon Sir (then Dr.) James Murray for omitting a certain such word from the Oxford Dictionary, uttered this vigorous protest:
It was rightly and wisely rejected by our Editor on the ground that there is no such word, the alleged form being due to a complete mistake. There can be no doubt that words of tins character ought to be excluded; and not only so, but we should jealously guard against all chances of giving any undeserved record of words which had never any real existence, being mere coinages due to the blunders of printers or scribes, or to the perfervid imaginations of ignorant or blundering editors.706
As there are ghost-words, so too are there, if I may be allowed the term, “ghost-books” — books that exist only through the errors of authors, editors, bibliographers, publishers, and printers. Let me invite your attention to such a ghost-book — the alleged London edition in 1609 of Nathaniel Morton’s New England’s Memorial.
There are few early American books about which we have so much information as this one, of which no less than eight editions have been published.707 Exactly when it occurred to Morton to compile his Memorial we do not know, but in his address “To the Christian Reader” he says:
I Have for some length of time looked upon it as a duty incumbent, especially on the immediate Successors of those that have had so large Experience of those many memorable and signall Demonstrations of Gods goodness, viz. The first Beginners of this Plantation in New-England, to commit to writing his gracious dispensations on that behalf.
There are scattered references to the work for at least two years before its publication. Perhaps the earliest of these is the following, which occurs in the Court Orders of the Plymouth Colony under date of July 2, 1667:
It was concluded by the Court that a proposition shalbe made from the Court to the seuerall Townshipes of this Jurisdiction in reference to a Collection or Contribution to be made towards the defraying of the charge of the printing of the history of Gods dispensations towards N E: in Generall in speciall towards this Collonie.708
On March 5, 1667–68, —
It is ordered by the Court, that wheras a certaine Indian appertaining to our jurisdiction is now in hold att Boston for matter of fact, and that there is probabillitie of a tender of some land for his ransome from being sent to the Barbadoes, that incase the said land be tendered to acceptance, that it shalbe improued and expended for the defraying of the charge of printing of the booke intitled New Englands Memoriall.709
On June 3, 1668, we learn that —
Att this Court, the sum̄e of twenty pound in countrey pay was ordered to be improued by the Treasurer for and towards the printing of the booke intitled New Englands Memoriall; and it was likewise recom̄ended to the seuerall townes of this jurisdiction by theire deputies to make a free and voulentary contribution in mony for and towards the procuring of paper for the printing of the said booke.710
Shortly after this — on July 7, 1668 — Constant Southworth was authorized to make an arrangement with the printers:
In reference vnto the printing of the booke intitled New Englands Memoriall, the Court haue ordered, that the Treasurer shall indent with the printer for the printing therof; and to improue that which is or shalbe contributed thervnto with the sum̄e of twenty pounds, ordered by the Court to that end, and the sum̄e of fiue pound more if hee shall see cause, the said twenty fiue pound to be out of the countreyes stocke; and to indent with Mr Green to print it, if hee will doe it as cheap as the other;711 and for the number of coppyes, to doe as hee shall see cause.712
On July 5, 1669, —
This Court ordered, that the Treasurer, in the behalfe of the countrey, is to make good a barrell of marchantable beefe to Mr Green, the printer att Cambridge, which is to satisfy what is behind vnpayed for, and towards the printing of the booke called New Englands Memoriall, which barrell of beife is som̄thing more then is due by bargaine, but the Court is willing to allow it on consideration of his complaint of a hard bargaine about the printing of the booke aforsaid.713
Joseph Browne, who had graduated from Harvard College in 1666, compiled an almanac which was published in 1669, the title being in part as follows:
1669. / An / Almanack / of / Cœlestiall Motions / For the Year of the Christian Æra, / 1669. / . . . / By J. B. Philomathemat. / . . . / Cambridge: / Printed by S. G. and M. J. 1669.
At the bottom of the last page of this almanac occurs this advertisement:
REader, In a few weeks will come forth to publick view, the History of New-England, Entituled, New-Englands Memoriall, or, A brief Relation of the most Remarkable Passages of the Providence of God manifested to the Planters of N.E. in America, &c. By Nathaniel Morton.714
The verso of the second leaf of Morton’s book contains an address “To the Reader,” signed by the Rev. John Higginson and the Rev. Thomas Thacher, which is dated “March 26. 1669.”
New-Englands / Memoriall: / or, / A brief Relation of the most Memorable and Remarkable / Passages of the Providence of God, manifested to the / Planters / of / New-England in America; / With special Reference to the first Colony thereof, Called / New-Plimouth. / . . . / Published for the Use and Benefit of the present and future Generations, / By Nathaniel Morton, / Secretary to the Court for the Jurisdiction of New-Plimouth. / . . . Cambridge: / Printed by S. G. and M. J. for John Usher of Boston. 1669.
Samuel Gorton was aggrieved by Morton’s “scurrilous pamphlet,” and addressed to the author a letter dated “Warwick June 30th 1669” which thus begins:
I Vnderstand that you haue lately put forth a Booke of records, whether of Church or State I know not, perticuler or vniuersall, but this I know that I am uniustly inrouled because I was neuer free nor member incorporate in your body or any of your territories, Therfore I may not refraine to make a short returne only as it concernes my selfe.715
And in a letter to John Winthrop, Jr., dated “Providence, Aug. 19, 1669 (so calld),” Roger Williams said:
Sr, since I see you I read Mortons Memorialls, & reejojc at ye encomiums vpon yor father & other precious worthies, though I be a reprobate, contemptâ vitior algâ.716
We thus have a detailed history of the book from July 2, 1667, to August 19, 1669. The first allusion to it in a modern bibliographical work known to me occurs in 1824, when it was entered in Dr. Robert Watt’s Bibliotheca Britannica as follows:
MORTON, Nathaniel. — New England’s Memorial; or a brief Relation of the most Memorable and Remarkable Passages of the Providence of God, manifested to the Planters in New England, in America. Camb. 1669, 4to.717
It will be observed that Watt gives the place of publication merely as “Camb.,” leaving it uncertain whether the English or the New English Cambridge is meant.
Morton, Nathaniel. New England’s Memoriall. London, 1669. 4to.
Nassau, pt. ii. 187, 11s.718
The reference to the Nassau Catalogue might naturally lead to the conclusion that London was there given as the place of publication; but such is not the case, for in that Catalogue the entry reads:
187 Morton’s New-England’s Memoriall, — 1669719
In 1832 Obadiah Rich described a copy of the first edition of Morton’s book, correctly stating that it was printed in 1669 at “Cambridge, N.E.;” but in a note he said:
Reprinted in London in the same year, and in Boston in 1721, in 12mo: other editions have been printed in America; the last and best in 1826, under the editorship of the Honorable, the worthy, and the learned, Judge Davis, of Boston.720
Morton, Nathaniel. New England’s Memoriall; being the History of Plymouth Colony to 1668. Lond. 1669, 4to.
Nassau, pt. ii. 187, 11s. —Second edition, with Supplement by Cotton. Boston, 1721, 12mo. Heber, pt. ii. 5s. 6d. — Third edition. Newport, 1722,721 12mo. — Fourth edition, Plymouth, Mass. 1826.—Fifth edition, re-written by Judge Davis. Boston, U. S. 1826, 8vo. with a map.722
Though long, the above entry is given in full because it records one unknown edition — the ghost-book — and four subsequent editions, each of the four carefully numbered, showing that the alleged London edition of 1669 was regarded as the first edition. The surprising result is that the edition published in 1669 by Green and Johnson at Cambridge, New England, is absolutely ignored.
In his “Congregationalism of the last Three Centuries, as seen in its Literature,” published in 1880, the Rev. Dr. Henry M. Dexter wrote: “1669. N. Morton. — New Englands Memoriall: or, A brief Relation . . . Cambridge, 4°, pp. xii, 198, x. [Lowndes says there was an edition at London, in 1669; . . .]” (Appendix, p. 94).
In his Introduction to the facsimile reprint of Morton’s book by the Club of Odd Volumes in 1903, our associate Mr. Arthur Lord says:
The first edition was published, as before stated, in 1669, at Cambridge. In the ‘Bibliographer’s Manual of English Literature,’ by William Thomas Lowndes, there is a reference to an edition of the ‘New-Englands Memoriall,’ by Nathaniel Morton, printed at London, 1669, and which was sold at the sale of the library of George Richard Savage Nassau, in 1824, for eleven shillings. No copy of that edition is now known to exist, and it is not probable that an edition was ever printed in London (p. 14).
In the “Catalogue of Books by English Authors who lived before the Year 1700, forming a part of the Library of Robert Hoe,” New York, 1903, we read:
MORTON, Nathaniel. — New-Englands Memoriall: . . . Cambridge: Printed by S. G. and M. J. for John Usher of Boston. 1669. . . .
First American edition, published in the same year as the first English edition.723
Here, it will be observed, we find not only the statement that there was an English edition, but the further statement that that alleged edition was “the first English edition” — implying that there may have been subsequent English editions. The above Catalogue was compiled by Mr. James Osborne Wright, assisted by Miss Carolyn Shipman. A letter addressed to Mr. Wright brought so interesting a reply that I give it in part. Under date of March 11, 1912, he says:
In 1902, at my request, the late Robert Hoe went into certain details relative to the Morton, during his annual European trip; and reported that he had convinced himself that there was an English edition, the same year as the American. I had previously — at intervals — discussed this matter with Geo. H. Moore and long ago with John Hammond Trumbull, but without coming to any positive conclusion. I attribute the original error (if so proved) to the first English description, assuming that there was only one Cambridge. . . . I could not help the Club of Odd Volumes when the reprint was made, and I regret to say that I cannot help you now. Mr. Hoe elected to believe in an English edition, and demurred at my using his catalogue for argument.724
I find myself unable to agree with Mr. Wright in attributing “the original error (if so proved) to the first English description, assuming that there was only one Cambridge.” By “the first English description,” I understand Mr. Wright to mean that of Watt in 1824, who gave “Camb.” as the place of publication, without specifying which of the two Cambridges was meant. Watt’s description is perfectly correct, so far as it goes; and nowhere have I met with the statement, unless Watt’s description is to be regarded as such, that there was an edition published in 1609 at Cambridge, England. Nor have I ever seen Watt’s description referred to in any printed discussion of Morton’s book. The “original error (if so proved),” as it seems to me, was the statement that there was a London edition in 1669. As the matter now stands, it is clear that the authority for that alleged edition rests solely on Rich and Lowndes. But Rich evidently had never seen a copy of the alleged London edition, and it has been shown that Lowndes completely ignored the edition that we know with certainty was published in 1669 at Cambridge, New England; and it has further been shown that the Nassau Catalogue, referred to by Lowndes, gives no place of publication, though it does give the date. A reasonable conclusion is that Lowndes had never seen a copy of the 1669 edition, that he took the date from the Nassau Catalogue, that he did not know where it was published, and that by mistake he gave London instead of our Cambridge as the place.
A copy of the 1669 edition of Morton’s book, sold at the Allis sale on March 26, 1912, was thus described:
“The extremely rare First American Edition published the same as the first English Edition, and of which not over three or four perfect copies are known.”725
The words “published the same as” are obviously intended to be “published in the same year as.” The words “of which not over three or four perfect copies are known” refer to the alleged English edition, and on my challenging this statement, the Anderson Auction Company courteously replied that “there never was any first English edition,” and that “perhaps our cataloguer, in the hurry of his work (for the Allis Catalogue was prepared under great pressure), should not have said ‘of which not over three or four copies are known,’ but should have said ‘but few perfect copies are known.’”726
A fine clean copy of the extremely rare first edition printed at Cambridge, and which must not be confounded with the London Edition of the same year. This was the Brinley Copy . . . It was Reprinted London 1669, Boston 1771, Newpoort 1772, Plymouth 1826, Boston 1826, Boston 1855.727
But it is time to return to Morton’s own day and to adduce four pieces of evidence of which three have hitherto, so far as I am aware, escaped the attention of bibliographers. In “A Catalogue of Books Printed and Published at London in Easter Term, 1670” — that is, in May, 1670 — occurs the following:
New England’s Memorial, Or A brief Relation of the most memorable and remarkable Passages of the Providence of God manifested to the Planters of New England in America; with special reference to the first Colony thereof, called New Plymouth. By Nath. Morton. In Quarto. Price, bound, 4s. Printed for Richard Chiswell at the Two Angells and Crown in Little Britain.728
At first glance this advertisement might seem to give support to the notion of an English edition, but such a conclusion would be hasty in the extreme. The words “Printed for Richard Chiswell” do not necessarily mean that the book was actually printed in London, all they indicate being that Chiswell was the London agent for Usher’s publications.729
Upon your mentioning of New England I have this to say. . . . there is a 4to book, printed in New England, entitled, New-England’s Memorial, by William Morton,730 being a history or journal of the settlement and transactions in that colony.731
This of course merely proves that Collins knew of the edition published at our Cambridge.
The third piece of evidence requires a brief explanation. In 1672 was published “The General Laws and Liberties of the Massachusets Colony,” which bore the following imprint: “Cambridge / Printed by Samuel Green, for John Usher of Boston. / 1672.” A volume of Massachusetts Laws was issued in 1675 with a title exactly corresponding to the title of the 1672 edition except that the imprint of the 1675 volume reads: “Cambridge in New-England, / Printed by Samuel Green, for John Usher of Boston, and to be sold by / Richard Chiswel, at the Rose and Crown in St. Paul’s Churchyard, / London, 1675.” This 1675 volume was advertised in “A Catalogue of Books Continued, Printed and Published at London in Easter Term, 1675. Licensed May 10. 1675. Roger L’Estrange,” as follows:
The General Laws and Liberties of the Massachusets Colony in New England. Revised, and Reprinted, by Order of the General Court holden at Boston. In Folio. Price, bound, 6s. Sold by R. Chiswell at the Rose and Crown in St. Paul’s Churchyard.732
A full discussion of the differences and similarities between the 1672 edition and the 1675 volume of the Massachusetts Laws need not be entered into here, it being sufficient to point out in this place that the 1675 volume contains at the end a leaf giving the titles of twenty-eight works which Chiswell had for sale. This advertisement, which is our fourth and final piece of evidence, begins as follows:
Sold also by Richard Chiswel,
NEw-England’s Memorial; or a Relation of the most memorable and Remarkable Passages of the Providence of God manifested to the Planters of New-England in America, with special Reference to the Colony of New-Plimouth. By Nathanael Morton, Secretary to the Court for the Jurisdiction of New-Plimouth; in quarto.
God’s Call to his People to turn unto Him, together with his Promise to turn unto them; opened and applied in two Sermons at two publick Fasting-days appointed by Authority. By John Davenport, Pastor of a Church of Christ at Boston in New-England; in quarto.733
Both printed at Cambridge in New-England.
It is of course conceivable that editions of Morton’s book were printed in 1669 at our Cambridge, at the English Cambridge, and at London; but in the absence of one iota of proof in support of such a notion, it may be dismissed as preposterous. Could the fact be proved, then indeed Sydney Smith’s famous question, “Who reads an American book?” would have had no point in 1669. It is also conceivable that Chiswell printed at London in 1669734 an edition of Morton’s book, which had gone off so well that all copies were exhausted within six years; but such a notion is fantastic, and the above advertisement is proof positive that the copies of Morton’s book which Chiswell was selling in 1675 were printed at our Cambridge.
I am well aware of the absurdity — an absurdity so often indulged in by the so-called Baconians — of assuming that because no copy of a certain book is now extant, therefore the book could not have been printed. But the evidence here presented conclusively proves (1) that Morton’s New England’s Memorial was in preparation for at least two years; (2) that it was printed at our Cambridge in the spring or early summer of 1669; (3) that in May, 1670, it was advertised in London as “Printed for Richard Chiswell;” (4) that in August, 1672, an Englishman spoke of it as “printed in New England;” and (5) that in 1675 Chiswell himself specifically stated that the copies of the book he then had for sale were “printed at Cambridge in New-England.” In the face of this evidence it is surely idle to talk of an edition published at the English Cambridge735 in 1669 and of another edition published at London in 1669; and it is to be hoped that until a copy of the alleged London edition of 1669 actually turns up, our ghost-book will cease to put in an appearance even in sale catalogues.
Mr. George L. Kittredge read the following paper:
In a recent paper on Cotton Mather’s Election into the Royal Society, I ventured to suggest that the suspicion cast upon the validity of Mather’s F.R.S. in his own day was in some manner connected with the famous inoculation controversy of 1721 and 1722.736 Reasons for that view are mentioned in my paper. It is now possible to bring forward others which suffice to raise the suggestion to the rank of an established fact.
So far as we know, the first person to impugn the genuineness of Mather’s claim to be a Fellow of the Royal Society was John Checkley, in 1720. The smallpox arrived in Boston in the following spring, and it was not until June 6, 1721, that Mather drew up his Address to the Physicians, which brought the subject of inoculation to public notice. Only one of the doctors, Zabdiel Boylston, was favorably impressed. The others were either indifferent or hostile. The leader of the opposition was William Douglass, the proud possessor of the sole medical degree among the Boston practitioners. The story of the struggle that followed has been well told by Dr. Fitz in a learned essay published last September,737 and need not be repeated here. Further details with regard to the incidental war of pamphlets and newspaper articles may be found in my essay on Some Lost Works of Cotton Mather.738 Douglass took up the cry that Checkley had raised about Mather’s F.R.S. In a tract dated February 15, 1721–2, and published on the 6th of March, he suggested that the Society had repudiated Mather. “Perhaps,” he writes, “he may oblige his Alma Mater to disown him for a Son, as it seems the Royal Society have already done, by omitting his Name in their yearly Lists.”739 James Franklin’s New-England Courant, though professing impartiality, was the recognized organ of the anti-inoculators. It was regarded by the Mathers and their ministerial friends as a scandalous and irreligious sheet, bent on destroying the influence of the clergy. “Above all,” says an anonymous pamphlet of the time, “we wonder at a Weekly Paper, which has been, and is now, Published, either designedly, to affront our Ministers, and render them Odious; or else, it has hitherto, wretchedly deviated from it’s ultimate Intent, and been notoriously prostituted to that Hellish Servitude.”740 This pamphlet, intended as a vindication of the ministers, is dated January 30, 1721–2, and was issued before February 5th.741 It was inspired by Cotton Mather, and much of it is unquestionably from his pen.742 Now it appears that there was a rumor afloat to the effect that the Courant’s campaign was managed by a club or society of anti-inoculators, who were thought to control that newspaper and to dictate its policy. A communication in the News-Letter of August 28, 1721, equates this supposed organization with the notorious Hell Fire Club of London. The News-Letter, the writer declares, had “entertained its readers” some weeks before “with a sad Account of a scandalous Club set up in London; to Insult the most sacred Principles of the Christian Religion.” He adds:
It goes Currant among the People, that the Practitioners of Physick in Boston, who exert themselves in discovering the evil of Inoculation and its Tendancies (several of whom we know to be Gentlemen by Birth, Learning, Education, Probity and Good Manners, that abhors any ill Action) are said esteem’d and reputed to be the Authors of that Flagicious and Wicked Paper; who we hope and trust will clear themselves off and from the Imputation, else People will take it for granted, they are a New Club set up in New-England, like to that in our Mother England, whom we sincerely and heartily admonish warn and advise, not only to remember Lots Wife; But also what befell several of that Club in England; (which we forbear to name) lest their Bands be made strong, and a worse thing befall them.743
To this attack there was a reply in the next Boston Gazette, signed “W. Anti-inoculator” and obviously composed by Dr. William Douglass. The writer speaks of the “heinous Charge” that has been brought “against a Club of Physicians in Town,” and it is clear from his language that there actually was such a club, or society, and that it was styled “the Society of Physicians Anti-inoculators.” He says:
The Members of the Society of Physicians Anti-inoculators do not conceal themselves, and if in the least they are guilty as that Blaspheming Hell-fire horrid Club in England, the Authority, for the Good of the Community, ought to oblige the Authors or Publishers of that vile Libel in the Boston News-Letter to make good their Charge that such execrable wickedness may be crushed in Embrio, and the said Men suffer exemplary punishment; or on the other side vindicate New-England from such horrid aspersions, and brand the Authors of the said Libel as infamous Libellers.744
On the first day of January, 1722, the following item of English news came out in the New-England Courant:
From the London Mercury Sept. 16.
Great Numbers of Persons, in the City, and in the Suburbs, are under the Inoculation of the Small Pox. Among the rest, the eldest Son of a Noble Duke in Hannover-Square, had the Small Pox Inoculated on him.745
The item had been given to James Franklin by Increase Mather’s grandson (Mather Byles, apparently), with a request from the old Doctor that it be published in the Courant.746 Its authenticity was assailed forthwith. In the very next number of that journal an indignant correspondent (probably Douglass) declared that, suspecting the item of being “the Trick of some busy Inoculator,” he had searched the London Mercury for it in vain:
I have perused that London News Paper, and do find that the former part, viz. Great Numbers of Persons in the City and in the Suburbs are under the Inoculation of the Small Pox, is an addition of his own, and that the very material word Incognito is designedly omitted.747
The critic, however, had been too hasty in his search. For, on February 5th, Franklin found himself obliged to admit that the missing sentence did in fact occur in the London Mercury on another page, so that the item was genuine.748 All that was left to complain of was the suppression of the single word incognito at the end. The closing sentence should have read, “had the Small Pox inoculated upon him incognito.” The item (with this word in its proper place) had been printed in the Gazette of January 8th,749 and on the 15th the Gazette published an unsigned letter, dated “Cambridge, January 11. 1721” (i. e. 1721–2), and ascribed by contemporaries to Samuel Mather.750 The writer strongly asserted the genuineness of the item751 and belabored the Courant without mercy. “Every one sees,” he declares, “that the main intention of this Vile Courant, is to Vilify and Abuse the best Men we have, and especially the Principal Ministers of Religion in the Country.” He goes on to speak of the club which he regards as responsible for such attacks:
If you call this Crew, the Hell-Fire Club of Boston, your Friend Campbell will stand God-father for it; having in one of his News Papers formerly assign’d this proper Name for them. And all the sober People in the Country will say, They deserve it.
Every one knows that the Head of the Club is one who printed some Choice Dialogues, to prove, That the GOD whom the Churches of New-England Pray to, is the Devil.752
This was as much as to say that the head of the “Society of Physicians Anti-inoculators” was John Checkley, who was well known to be the author of the Choice Dialogues, — an assault upon Calvinism. The particular passage to which the Gazette’s correspondent adverts must have been in everybody’s mouth. Cotton Mather refers to it as follows in a letter to Dr. James Jurin (May 21, 1723): — “This wretched Man, ambitious to do the part of a Divine, printed here some Rapsodies, to prove, That the God whom K. William, and the Christians of New England, have Worshipped, is the D—l.”753 It was in this same letter that Mather spoke of Checkley’s writing “a Letter full of Scandalous Invectives against me, which was publickly read in the Royal Society.” No one doubts that Mather is here referring to Checkley’s letter (April 26, 1721) to Edmund Halley, the Secretary of the Society, in which he requested “a Certificate under your own Hand, relating to Mr Mather’s being a Fellow or not a Fellow of the royal Society.”754 Checkley was a High Churchman and a Non-juror. He was also an apothecary and styled himself “Doctor.” Clearly he was on the anti-inoculation side and a member (perhaps the chairman) of the “Society of Physicians Anti-inoculators.” Thus we have Checkley associated with Douglass, and the connection between the inoculation controversy and the attacks upon Mather’s F.R.S. becomes manifest.
It is with ye utmost Indignation that some have sometimes beheld ye practice made a meer Party-business; and a Jacobite, or High-flying Party counting themselves bound in duty to their Party, to decry it; or perhaps, ye Party disaffected unto such & such persons of public Station & Merit, under ye Obligations of a Party, to decline it.755
The letter from Cambridge, January 11, 1722, was answered by James Franklin in the Courant of January 22d:
That the Courants are carry’d on by a Hell-Fire Club with a Nonjuror at the Head of them, has been asserted by a certain Clergyman in his common Conversation, with as much Zeal as ever he discover’d in the Application of a Sermon on the most awakening Subject. . . . As to Mr. C—y’s being concernd in it, I affirm, I know not of one Piece in the Courants of his writing.756
Nor was this all. The same number of the Courant that contains Franklin’s disclaimer, prints an extremely interesting letter dated “Hall’s Coffee-House, Jan. 20, 1721.” Says the writer, — Douglass, no doubt:
The first Passage concerning Inoculation is no more to be found in the London Mercury here on the Table, than Cotton Mather D.D. is to be found in the List of the Royal Society affixed at the other end of the Room.
Richard Hall’s Coffee-house was in King Street near the Town House (now the Old State House).757 Manifestly it was the headquarters of the “Society of Physicians Anti-inoculators,” to which we may feel sure that both Douglass and Checkley belonged. “Doctor” Checkley’s shop, “The Crown and Blue-Gate,” in which he sold notions and dispensed drugs, was close by. It was in his house, which stood opposite the Town House, on a part of the present site of the Sears Building.758 We are at liberty to imagine him, after business hours or when trade was slack, strolling down to Hall’s, foregathering with Douglass and other kindred spirits, and pointing out to some chance visitor the printed list of Fellows of the Royal Society which he or Douglass had posted up on the wall of the common room. The visitor scans the list. He cannot discover Cotton Mather’s name in it. “What did I tell you?” Cries Checkley exultantly, with a glance at Douglass. And one more Bostonian is converted to the doctrine that Dr. Mather has been sporting a fictitious title for almost ten years!
One further bit of evidence may be adduced to show that Hall’s Coffee House was the rendezvous of the anti-inoculators. In the Courant for March 12, 1722, we read:
Last Monday in the Gazette . . . was published Dr. Woodward’s Abstract of Timonius on Inoculation, subscribed Zabdiel Boylston, concluding with a Preface, or having an Introduction appended. So soon as the same my very worthy and learned Physician has finished his Translation of Pylarinus (which I am told is in Latin) the World is to be obliged therewith, together with some of his own Casus Medici.759
And the same Courant contains a letter (unsigned, but manifestly from the pen of Douglass) advising Boylston to go to Hall’s Coffee House and consult a “paper” (probably a broadside) that he will find there — affixed to the wall, perhaps, by the side of the List of Fellows of the Royal Society:
By the last Gazette I understand the Town is to be Favoured with some Medical Cases, by the Author’s proper Observations. That he may have a Precedent to go by, and may be sufficiently furnished with hard words, which altho’ he himself does not understand, may be of use to amuse his Patients and Readers: Please to advise him to Hall’s Coffe House, to a London Paper call’d Pharmacopola Circumforaneus; Or, The Horse Doctor’s Harangue760 to the credulous Mob.761
Then follows an extract, conceived in the style of unctious and farcical vulgarity which exhilarated our ancestors in their profaner moments.
It is painful to note that Hall’s Coffee House soon after fell into disrepute. On July 8, 1723, the Selectmen of Boston “Excepted to Richard Hall and Alice Oliver as unfitt to hold and Exercise the Imployment of a Tavernor and Retailer by Reason of their not keeping good Rule & order in their Houses.”762 Nevertheless, later in the same year,763 Hall received a license on probation. On July 13, 1724, however, he was again objected to by the Selectmen,764 and apparently their objection prevailed, for I hear no more of his Coffee House.765
The Courant of May 21, 1722, contains a long, unsigned letter, evidently from Douglass, complaining of “sundry false Communications concerning the Small Pox, and the Inoculation thereof,” which (so the writer alleges) have been sent to England by “the Inoculators of this Place, to ensnare our Mother Country.” Among these communications is mentioned “An Account of the Method and Success of Inoculating the Small Pox upon great Numbers of People (who all recovered) in New England” — a tract which I have elsewhere tried to show was the work of Cotton Mather. At the end of the letter occurs the following paragraph:
I take this Oportunity to inform our Friend, who sometime ago complained, That the Publishers of the Philosophical Transactions are become very neglectful and very partial in their Communications, that he must wait sometime longer before his Communications can have Admittance. The universally learned and penetrating Genius Dr. Edmund Halley, (who these last eight Years in Quality of Secretary of the Royal Society, has fully restored the almost lost Credit of the Philosophical Transactions,) having resigned his Secretaryship, is succeeded therein by Dr. James Jurnu,766 Fellow of the Colledge of Physicians, a Man of solid Judgment, a good Mathematician, a curious experimental Philosopher and one who seems to value himself upon the detecting of whimscial groundless Conceits, credulous Relations, and false or trivial Reasonings.767
Apparently Douglass is quoting from something that Mather had said (in conversation) about the neglect and partiality of the editors. But, in any case, Mather had merely repeated what Dr. John Woodward had written to him on April 3, 1721.768
Dr. Jurin became Secretary of the Royal Society on November 30, 1721.769 Douglass could not foresee that the new Secretary was to prove one of the staunchest supporters of inoculation that England could show,770 and that he was to quote Mather with respect in discussing this subject before the Royal Society.771
In my previous paper I was obliged to confess my ignorance as to the attitude of Dr. Alexander Stuart with regard to inoculation. I suggested, however, one reason for supposing that he was unfriendly to the practice.772 The matter is of interest to us, since Stuart was the person to whom Douglass addressed some of his most drastic observations in reproof of Mather and his allies. It may be worth while, therefore, to add a bit of evidence which has recently come to my notice.
In 1722 Dr. William Wagstaffe, Swift’s friend, published an attack on inoculation in the form of a letter to Dr. John Freind.773 In an appendix he remarks:
SINCE I finish’d this,774 I have had the perusal of some Letters, which Dr. Alexander Stuart has received from Dr. William Douglass, a Physician of the best Credit and Practice at Boston in New England. It seems some of the Reverend Divines there, upon reading the Account of Inoculation in the Philosophical Transactions, took it into their Heads to put it in Practice; and did so, not only against the Opinion of the Practising Physicians of the Place, but directly against the Consent of the Magistracy: With what Success, the following Extracts will show.
Then Wagstaffe proceeds to make extracts from three of Douglass’s letters — amounting in the aggregate to about thirteen printed pages. The letters are dated December 20, 1721, and February 15775 and April 27, 1722. The first two of these letters were published by Douglass in 1722;776 the third, so far as I know, had not been printed. Wagstaffe’s use of the documents, along with his introductory comments, makes it clear that Stuart (who showed him the letters) was an anti-inoculator.
The reasons why Cotton Mather’s name did not appear in the annual lists of Fellows of the Royal Society have already been explained.777 In confirmation of what has already been said, let me add the facts with regard to the Rev. William Brattle and Paul Dudley.778
Mr. Brattle, as we know, was elected a Fellow on March 11, 1714. He died on February 15, 1717. My friend Professor Carleton F. Brown has examined for me a file of the annual lists of the Royal Society in the British Museum, and informs me that Mr. Brattle’s name does not occur in any of them during the years in question. Paul Dudley was elected on November 2, 1721. His name does not appear in any list before 1729. Its occurrence in that year is explained by the statute of 1727.779 True, the Secretary was two years late in inserting Dudley’s name, but en revanche it remained in the annual catalogues for two years after Dudley’s death, its last appearance being in 1753. These details, which I also owe to Professor Brown, illustrate, in the most satisfactory manner, the practice of the Society with regard to its annual lists. If Mather had lived a little longer, he would have enjoyed (like Dudley) the benefit of the statute of 1727.
Mr. Henry H. Edes made the following communication:
The letter of Lieutenant-Governor Dummer,780 which I communicate this evening, was written to his sister-in-law Mary, wife of Joseph Atkins of Newbury. It announces the death of his wife, the exact date of which event does not appear in any of the notices of the Dummers or the Dudleys that I have seen. The text of the letter follows:
I am at length Come to the Sad Task of mentioning to you the departure of my dear Wife, the Sole partner of all my ffelicity in this Life, which has left so many tender Impressions on my poor heart that wherever I turne my Selfe mind or Body my heart ever Sickens with some Soft Ideas of Her footsteps, but I desire to be dumb & Silent as it was the Will of God, who has taken Her to Himselfe, & was pleased to give Her Such measures of of His Grace under all the Tryals He Called Her to as was greatly Edifying to all about Her. Her dolorous pains for nights & Dayes without intermission, without sleep, put me in Constant terrour that it must distract Her, but God Supported Her Wonderfully with a Clear understanding to the last moment, with a humble submission to His Will. Her Soul Sustained it all, but the Body Dyed — God grant us equal Supports in the Day of Tryal.
Yr Affee Bror
Boston 3d ffeby 1752.
My Love to Brother Atkins with my thanks for his good Letters.
This letter has enabled me to fix the date of Madam Dummer’s decease with precision; and the kindness of our associate Mr. Julius H. Tuttle has put me in possession of the following obituary notice which appeared in the Boston Weekly News-Letter of Thursday, 16 January, 1752:
On Monday last died here, after a painful Sickness of some Weeks, Mrs. Catharine Dummer, the Lady of His Honour William Dummer, Esq; late Lieut. Governor and Commander in Chief, over this Province; and Daughter of His Excellency Governor Dudley. She was a Gentlewoman of shining Accomplishments, and steady Piety: a lovely Example of Domestick Conduct, and the Social Virtues. She died in the perfect Calms of unwavering Faith, happy Reflections and glorious Prospects. As she had lived universally honoured and beloved, so her Death is equally regretted and lamented. Her Funeral will be attended To-Morrow Evening (p. 2 / 2).781
Lieutenant-Governor Dummer lived in Orange (now Washington) Street, Boston, near Hollis Street, and during the latter part of his life he and his wife were worshipers in the Church in Hollis Street, during the ministry of the Rev. Mather Byles. After Madam Dummer’s death Mr. Byles preached a Funeral Sermon, in the title-page782 of which a curious typographical blunder occurs, it being there stated that the sermon was “Preach’d at Boston, January 9, 1752. The Lord’s-Day after her death and Burial.” The ninth of January, 1752, fell on Thursday, four days before Madam Dummer’s demise, while “the Lord’s-Day after her death” fell on the nineteenth of January, which, undoubtedly, is the date that should have appeared on the title-page of the sermon. Mr. Byles also preached a Funeral Sermon after the death of the Lieutenant-Governor.
Governor Joseph Dudley had many children. The four daughters who reached maturity were Rebecca, born 5 May, 1681, who married Samuel Sewall, Jr., 15 September, 1702; Ann, born 27 August, 1684, who married (1) John Winthrop, F.R.S., 16 December, 1707, and (2) Jeremiah Miller783 of New London, Connecticut; Catharine, born 5 January, 1690, who married William Dummer, 20 April, 1714; and Mary, born 2 November, 1692, who married (1) Francis Wainwright (who died 4 September, 1722784), 1 January, 1712–3, and (2) Joseph Atkins, 7 April, 1730, and died 19 November, 1774. An interesting tradition relates that in 1707, when his youngest daughter, Mary, was but fifteen years old, Governor Dudley had her portrait painted at his house, together with those of her then unmarried sisters, Ann and Catharine. The portrait of Mrs. Atkins was in the possession of the late Miss Mary Russell Curzon of Curzon’s Mill, Newburyport. The portrait of Mrs. Dummer, its companion, adorns the walls of Dummer Academy at Byfield, together with one of her husband, the Lieutenant-Governor. Mrs. Winthrop’s portrait is in the collection of Mrs. Robert Winthrop of New York.
Mr. Edes also communicated the following letter written by Admiral Sir Isaac Coflin to William Coffin:
Nantucket 11th Sepr 1826
Being desirous of establishing a School here on the Lancastrian System785 for the Benefit of the Descendants of the late Tristram Coffin who emigrated from England & settled at Salisbury near Newbury Port, Male & Female, I request you will at your Leisure give me an Estimate of the Cost of such an Arrangement, that I may endeavor to put in Execution a plan I have long had in contemplation for the Benefit of my Relations who may be Inhabitants of this Town
I am Dear Sir
Very truly yours
William Coffin Esqr
&c &c &c
Sir I Coffin to Wm
Coffin Nant: 11 Sept 1826
respecting his plan
& wish to establish a
William Coffin Esqr
&c &c &c
Mr. Lane showed photographs from silhouettes of Longfellow, Thaddeus Mason Harris, and President and Mrs. Josiah Quincy, in a collection of 3500 similar portraits cut by August Edouart while in America, which is now offered for sale by Mrs. E. Nevill Jackson for £3,000.786