THE Annual Meeting of the Society was held at the Algonquin Club, No. 217 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, on Thursday, 21 November, 1912, 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 Corresponding Secretary reported that letters had been received from the Hon. Robert Grant and Mr. Barrett Wendell accepting Resident Membership.

    The President announced the death during the past year of the Rev. Edward Henry Hall, Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, Jr., William Watson Goodwin, Edmund March Wheelwright, and James Willson Brooks, Resident Members; and of John Taggard Blodgett, William Babcock Weeden, and Horace Howard Furness, Corresponding Members.

    On behalf of Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis, the following appreciation of Professor Goodwin was communicated:

    At the first stated meeting of this Society William Watson Goodwin was elected a resident member. The selection of his name was governed by various considerations, conspicuous among which was his claim upon us arising from his Pilgrim ancestry. To-day, Plymouth is a manufacturing town with a mixed population, of which the portion that is of American birth forms a decided minority. In the boyhood of Goodwin nearly every one to be met on the streets of Plymouth was an American of English descent, and the chances were that any person thus casually encountered could trace back his ancestry to one or more of the passengers on the Mayflower.

    It is true that Professor Goodwin was not a native of Plymouth. He was born at Concord where his father was then settled as minister to the Unitarian Congregation, but both his father and mother were from the Old Colony, and the numerous representatives, direct and collateral, of his mother’s family, the Watsons, still to be found in Plymouth, assured him a welcome and guaranteed him a home there should he claim it. As a matter of fact, he spent nearly all his boyhood life thus domesticated with his grandmother, during which time opportunity was afforded for his uncle Benjamin Marston Watson to aid him in his classical studies and to lay the foundation for that knowledge of Greek grammar which was in after life to dictate his special line of study, and which served to hasten the time when he could appreciate the beauties of that language.

    In the interval since the historical landing at Plymouth, there have been marriages and intermarriages between the members of such of the different Pilgrim families as have continued to reside in the Old Colony, until the representatives of those families frequently unite in their individual persons claims to ancestry from many of the Pilgrim Fathers. Whatever demand our Registrar might have made upon Goodwin in that line could have been met with ease, since it has been claimed in his behalf that he could trace his descent from fourteen of the passengers on the Mayflower. Moreover, although his legal residence was at Cambridge, he had a summer house on Clark’s Island, thus entitling him to claim that he not only stood for Pilgrim ancestry, but also that he represented Plymouth itself. He had a peculiar fondness for his Clark’s Island house, built as it was upon land which came first into possession of one of his ancestors by grant from the town in 1690, and notwithstanding the difficulties attendant upon housekeeping on a spot where connection with the market could be maintained only through the navigation by a sail boat of a tortuous and narrow channel several miles in length, thus placing all communication with the shore at the mercy of the winds, which at all times during the summer months were capricious and baffling. Ultimately the more reliable means of transit afforded by a motor boat was adopted, but Goodwin derived pleasure from the act of sailing his boat and clung to the sail long after he might have profited by the facilities furnished by an explosive engine. President Eliot very justly regards the choice of this summer residence and the mode of life there as a manifestation of Goodwin’s strong conservatism and local attachment.

    The experience of all these years of sailing between the island and the town made Goodwin a proficient pilot of Plymouth Harbor, and a skilful manager of a sail boat, one who knew the tidal currents of the bay and who could predict with confidence the effect of wind and tide upon objects drifting in those waters. With this expert knowledge at his command he set to work to analyze the account given by Bradford of the approach to Plymouth of the shallop which contained the exploring party sent out by the Mayflower from Provincetown in November, 1620. The incident which he was thus seeking to elucidate was unimportant, but his interest in it and his attempt to study out the details of the course of the dismasted, rudderless boat in its perilous entry to the harbor where safe anchorage was finally found under the lee of Clark’s Island demonstrate his fondness for the subjects with which we are especially concerned.

    This episode of island life belongs to the latter part of Goodwin’s career. In considering it as one of the elements which entered into his relations with this Society by making him a representative of Plymouth as well as a Pilgrim descendant, we have passed over certain incidents in his life which it is essential that we should consider if we would form any just estimate of the consistent manner in which he pursued his career and mastered the subject in which he was specially interested.

    When he entered Harvard College, a fundamental knowledge of Greek was a requisite for admission and study of the language was required during the freshman and sophomore years. The opportunity afforded students in Goodwin’s day for gaining familiarity with Greek literature was exceptionally good, both Felton and Sophocles being then in the teaching force. Goodwin not only took advantage of this during his career as undergraduate, but after taking his A.B. in 1851, he remained two years at Cambridge as a resident-graduate.

    In 1853 he transferred the field of his work to Germany, where at the Universities of Gottingen, Berlin, and Bonn he familiarized himself with the German tongue and pursued still further his study of the Greek language. In 1855 he took his Doctor’s degree at Gottingen and shortly thereafter returned to the United States. His European studies had been of the utmost value to him and the friendships then acquired were to last for a lifetime. If any one would comprehend how much he prized this experience let him turn to the Memoir of George Martin Lane written by Goodwin and printed in the sixth volume of our Publications, where on pages 98, 99 and 100 the author dilates upon the historical character of the friendly relations between Gottingen and Harvard. The theme was to his taste and the list there given by him of distinguished men connected with Harvard who had sought the Gottingen degree was certainly impressive.

    In 1856 he received an appointment as tutor at Harvard College. His duties, which were at first to teach both Latin and Greek, were, much to his satisfaction, very shortly thereafter changed by limiting his work to Greek alone. Four years after this appointment he, being then twenty-nine years of age, was appointed to succeed Cornelius Conway Felton as Eliot Professor of Greek Literature. It was in this year, 1860, that he published his Syntax of the Greek Moods and Tenses, a work that gave him international fame and on which his reputation as a scholar has continued solidly to rest. The vitality of the work has been preserved by incorporating in successive editions the revelations of modern scholastic study, thus keeping the research in the book fully up to date.

    One other work, published in 1870, his Greek Grammar, contributed also to his fame. The principal merit of both of these books is attributed by competent critics, firstly, to accuracy of statement by the author; secondly, to his clear and precise use of language; and finally, to the thoroughness with which he treated any subject under discussion.

    The author of the Memoir in the Harvard Graduates’ Magazine for September, 1912, in speaking of the Syntax of the Greek Moods and Tenses, says:

    The distinction of the book rests upon its lucid and exact statements, upon a sobriety which holds fast to facts to the exclusion of theoretical discussion, and upon a refusal to abandon the safe ground of ascertained law for the shifting sands of comparative syntax as it was then known. . . .

    It is the expression of a cautious scholar who had schooled himself to adapt his work to the purpose it was designed to serve, who possessed a varied Knowledge of English speech, which he wielded with precision in setting forth the fine distinctions of the delicate Greek idiom.

    Professor Goodwin was first a student and second a teacher, and he made no effort to secure literary fame from publications, or popular approval as a public speaker. In the latter function his method was conversational rather than oratorical, and what he had to say was so simply stated that there could be no doubt as to the precise meaning of his language. As a writer he seldom ventured out of the routine of his special subjects and a list of his minor publications would, whatever its interest to a specialist, have but little attraction for the public.

    As a member of the Harvard faculty he is said to have fulfilled faithfully the obligations of that service. He himself once said: “The faculty may be divided into three parts: one third who attend the meetings habitually, one third who attend occasionally, and one third who do not attend at all.” He belonged to the first of these divisions, and President Eliot bears testimony to the support received from Goodwin by the advocates of the elective system at the time when it was first sought to stimulate study at Harvard by this means. That by so doing Goodwin hastened the day when Greek was to be stricken from the list of required studies for entrance to Harvard is probably true. When that unwelcome proposition was submitted in the faculty, he battled royally against the measure, but however earnest he was in speech, his colleagues bear testimony that he preserved his temper throughout the discussion. It is quite possible that had he foreseen the influence of the new system upon the position of Greek as a required study for admission to college, he would still have supported its introduction. President Eliot, speaking of the support received from him at that time, says, “Goodwin always looked back with great satisfaction to his successful advocacy of these changes in the policy of the College, and he had good reason so to do.”

    Notwithstanding the limited quantity of his contributions to literature, he was honored with recognition by universities on both sides of the Atlantic and showered with honorary memberships in philological and archaeological societies.

    In 1893 he was elected a Vice-President of this Society and he continuously held that office down to his death. Though it was not expected of him that he should while teaching in Harvard University assume active responsibility for a society which was then contending for its right to exist, an examination of the indexes to our earlier volumes will disclose the fact that his interest was genuine and that his service was not merely perfunctory. He was ever loyal to the Society, and was a frequent attendant at our meetings, at some of which he acted as presiding officer. Remarks that he made at several of these meetings secured for him through mention in our records the evidence that he was present and enable us to point to our Publications for proof of the service that he rendered us at a time when his support and encouragement were gratefully received.

    Goodwin was twice married, “twice happily married” is the felicitous expression of President Eliot. By his first wife he had two children, one of whom died young, while the other grew up to be a promising young man, having a good record for scholarship in College. Just as he had reached a time of life when his society would have filled a needed want in Goodwin’s life, he also died. A scholarship in Harvard was founded by the father in honor of the son’s memory. In 1901 Goodwin resigned active work in the College and was appointed Professor Emeritus. His last days were spent in the house on Follen Street which he had continuously occupied for nearly fifty years. The companionship of his charming wife, the society of his numerous friends and the respectful manner in which he was treated by all who had access to this delightful household, made these years of freedom from the pressure of engagements full of pleasure and satisfaction to him up to the time that we were warned of our impending loss through the physical discomfort and actual suffering that preceded his death.

    His Greek Moods and Tenses was first published in 1860; his Greek Grammar ten years thereafter. The rewards that he met with in the way of recognition of the scholarship displayed in these works through the conference of honorary degrees began with Amherst in 1881 and ceased with the fifty-year degree of Gottingen in 1905. This continuous recognition on the part of institutions of learning of the value of Goodwin’s books is rare testimony to the accuracy and thoroughness of his work.

    His life was free from striking incident. Having from the time that he entered College but one purpose, he was able to bring to bear in carrying out that purpose a concentrated and continuous effort. The success that followed was gratifying and complete. His mastery of his specialty compelled international recognition.

    His commanding figure, surmounted by his white hair and beard, made him conspicuous whether alone or in a crowd. Simple, unostentatious and thoroughly unaffected, his genial manner proved attractive to all, even to those whose approach to his person might otherwise have been checked by the natural dignity of his bearing. We who have known him shall miss his presence at our meetings. The Society will feel the loss of a loyal member.

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


    The past year shows a record of the usual number of six Stated Meetings of the Society. An exceptionally interesting and valuable collection of papers has been presented. The April meeting was again held in Gore Hall, at the invitation of Mr. Lane, the Society being gratefully anxious to continue this very delightful annual custom. The other meetings have been held, as in recent years, under the hospitable roof of the American Unitarian Association, at 25 Beacon Street, and their kindness to us has been duly acknowledged.

    During the year, five names have been taken from our roll of resident membership:

    Edward Henry Hall, scholar, and servant of God, a man of life-long loyalties, in whose knightly spirit were to be found those rare combinations of strength and gentleness, ability and simplicity, rigid self-discipline and an unfailing human charity.

    Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, Jr., financier, and man of affairs, who, born for responsibility, equipped with well-poised judgment and faultless tact, and stimulated by an unsuspected civic pride, assumed the burden of great business enterprises, and carried them through with profit to others and credit to himself.

    William Watson Goodwin, a profound and temperate scholar, whose achievements find their lasting memorial in the gratitude of two continents, but whose intellectual ability was dwarfed by his ability to command the respect and love of all who knew him.

    Edmund March Wheelwright, for five years architect of the City of Boston, a man of great native talent and of unstinted generosity, one to whom much was given, and from whom much has been received.

    James Willson Brooks, a child of the sunshine, whose noble life and wholesome outdoor interests inevitably bring to mind the words of the prophet: “that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord.”

    Also from our list of Corresponding Members:

    John Taggard Blodgett, Justice of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island, who attacked his duties with an enormous industry and a rugged independence of opinion, and in whose career the noble traditions of a famous family of judges have suffered no detriment.

    William Babcock Weeden, soldier, author, and man of business, one of the foremost citizens of Rhode Island, whose services to his times were varied and thorough, and who found his recreation in literary and historical pursuits of permanent value to posterity.

    Horace Howard Furness, Shakespearean critic, whose worldwide fame is the true reward of his thorough workmanship, and who brought to his self-appointed task the enthusiasm of an explorer, the sympathy of a lover, the sanity of a scholar, and the consecration of a priest.

    Eleven gentlemen have been elected into membership in the Society, ten of them as Resident Members:

    • Melville Madison Bigelow,
    • Arthur Fairbanks,
    • Clarence Saunders Brigham,
    • Fred Norris Robinson,
    • Roger Bigelow Merriman,
    • Chester Noyes Greenough,
    • Lincoln Newton Kinnicutt,
    • Samuel Eliot Morison,
    • Robert Grant,
    • Barrett Wendell;

    and one as Corresponding Member:

    • Edward Vanderhoof Bird.

    The work of the publication of the Society’s transactions has been prosecuted as thoroughly as possible. Volume XIII, containing Transactions from January, 1910, to March, 1911, inclusive, has been completed and distributed. This means that members should have in their possession Volumes I–XIII, with the exception of Volume II. The text of this Volume II, which is of Collections and contains the Royal Commissions, is wholly cast, and will probably make its appearance in the spring. Volume XIV, of Transactions, is more than half in type, having reached page 297. Volumes XV and XVI, Collections devoted to the Harvard College Records, are wholly in type, and 640 of the 864 pages are cast. The Society acknowledges with deep gratitude the generosity of one of our associates who not only makes the publication of Volume II possible, but has offered to meet the expense of publishing the Royal Instructions, and work thereon has therefore been resumed.

    The Society was invited to attend the centennial celebration of the American Antiquarian Society at Worcester, October 16, and delegated our associate, Mr. Chief-Justice Knowlton, to be our representative, and to present our address of salutation.

    The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, having recently moved into their new building, have very kindly invited the Society to accept again of their hospitality, and to hold our meetings hereafter in their home. This invitation, which represents the continuation of a custom which we enjoyed for seven years while they were housed in the Boston Athenaeum, the Council has most eagerly and gratefully accepted.

    The sale of the Society’s Publications continues good. One or two hints have been dropped indicating that these Collections and Transactions are in real demand in public libraries and reading rooms.

    One of the conspicuous things about our Society is the loyalty of the members to it; a loyalty which in many instances has assumed the form of generous financial assistance. So far as is known, no other Society can boast that twenty per cent of its publications are made possible by the outright generosity of members in its body. This is one of the hopeful aspects of our case. Even so, however, our rate of publication is limited by lack of resources. If to any member it seems that the Society is doing things that are worth while, and that should be furthered, let him not hesitate to offer his help through the notion that such help is not needed. Not alone for publications, but for an adequate Editor’s Salary Fund, and, if it be not too distant and fantastic a dream, for a building and a home of our own, the Society needs money. It is because the Council believes so thoroughly in the Society, in its value and in its opportunities, that it ventures to appear persistent in laying these needs constantly before your attention.

    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 16 November, 1912.



    Balance, 17 November, 1911


    Admission Fees


    Annual Assessments


    Commutation of the Annual Dues


    Sales of the Society’s Publications


    Sales of the Society’s paper


    Contribution from a member




    Editor’s Salary Fund, subscriptions


    Mortgages discharged or assigned


    Henry H. Edes, temporary loans





    The University Press


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


    Clerk hire


    Postage, stationery, and supplies


    Boston Storage Warehouse Co


    Andrew Stewart, auditing


    C. W. Phillips, distributing Publications


    Albert Matthews, salary as Editor of Publications


    Mary H. Rollins, work on Harvard Records


    Lucy Drucker, services in London at the Public Record Office


    Carnegie Institution, subscription for 1911 towards Bibliography of American Historical Writings


    Miscellaneous incidentals


    Mortgages on improved real estate in Boston


    Interest in adjustment


    Deposited in Provident Institution for Savings


    Henry H. Edes, temporary loans without interest, paid



    Balance on deposit in State Street Trust Company, 16 November, 1912



    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, 16 November, 1912.


    The undersigned, a Committee appointed to examine the accounts of the Treasurer for the year ending 16 November, 1912, 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 Report is based on the examination of Andrew Stewart, certified public accountant.

    John W. Farwell,

    William L. Putnam,


    Boston, 20 November, 1912.

    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, Dr. Charles M. Green presented the following list of candidates; and, a ballot having been taken, these gentlemen were unanimously elected:

















    After the meeting was dissolved, dinner was served. The guests of the Society were Dr. Francis Henry Brown, Dr. Charles Lemuel Nichols, and Messrs. Frank Brewer Bemis, Augustus George Bullock, Samuel Chester Clough, Joseph Randolph Coolidge, Jr., Henry Howland Crapo, Francis Henshaw Dewey, Dawes Eliot Furness, Edwin Herbert Hall, Charles John McIntire, Grenville Howland Norcross, Henry Newton Sheldon, William Roscoe Thayer, Harry Walter Tyler, Winslow Warren, and Edgar Huidekoper Wells. The President presided.