A Stated Meeting of the Society was held at the invitation of Mr. Frederic Winthrop, at No. 299 Berkeley Street, Boston, on Thursday, February 28, 1929, at three o’clock in the afternoon, the President, Samuel Eliot Morison, in the chair.

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

    The Corresponding Secretary reported the death on January third, of Francis Randall Appleton; on January eleventh, of Frederick Cheever Shattuck; on January twenty-seventh, of Walter Austin; and on February nineteenth, of Charles Lemuel Nichols; all Resident Members.

    Mr. Philip Putnam Chase of Milton, Dr. George Richards Minot and Mr. Stewart Mitchell of Boston, Mr. Arthur Orlo Norton of Wellesley, and Mr. Robert Walcott of Cambridge, were elected Resident Members. Mr. George Macaulay Trevelyan of Cambridge, England, was elected an Associate Member.

    The Reverend Henry Wilder Foote spoke on “Robert Feke, Colonial Portrait Painter,” summarizing his study of Feke, which is to be published elsewhere.

    Mr. Percival Merritt exhibited an oil painting giving “A View of the Town of Concord, with the Ministerial Troops destroying the Stores,” on April 19, 1775. In commenting upon it, Mr. Merritt spoke, in part, as follows:

    The subject of the painting is practically identical with that of the second of Amos Doolittle’s set of four plates of the battles of Concord and Lexington. The painting is shown through the kindness of the owner, Mrs. Stedman Buttrick of Concord, it having been in the possession of her family since 1775. Mrs. Buttrick (formerly Miss Mary Brooks) is the daughter of Judge George Merrick Brooks (H. C. 1844). Judge Brooks, who was born in 1824, and died in 1893, for many years Judge of Probate for Middlesex County, was the son of Nathan Brooks (H. C. 1809, died 1863) and Mary Merrick his wife, and the grandson of Tilly Merrick (H. C. 1773). Tilly Merrick, who died in 1836, was a participant in the fight at the North Bridge, and the original owner of the picture.228 From him through his daughter, Mary Merrick Brooks, and his grandson, George Merrick Brooks, it has passed to his great-granddaughter, the present owner.

    The family story as to its origin, which Mrs. Buttrick has heard her father tell many times, is that it was painted on the spot, four days after the fight, by a distant relative of her great-grandfather, Tilly Merrick. Judge Brooks, who was proud of his possession, was in the habit of bringing visitors from Boston to his home in Concord, exhibiting the picture, and telling them its history. A few years ago, as it had become darkened by age and slightly damaged by a hole in the lower right-hand corner, it was taken for cleaning and repairing by a well-known artist who lived in Concord for a number of years.229 After the work of repairs was completed the picture was returned to Mrs. Buttrick with the remark that, although not much could be said in its favor as a work of art, it was undoubtedly a genuine antique.

    Doolittle’s experiences at Concord and Lexington are related by John W. Barber in his History and Antiquities of New Haven230 substantially as it is given below. The story is also told by the Rev. W. A. Beardsley in his paper, “An Old New Haven Engraver and his Work: Amos Doolittle.”231

    The news of the Nineteenth of April reached New Haven about noon on Friday, April 21, and the Governor’s Guard232 of New Haven, under command of Benedict Arnold, started for the scene with about forty volunteers. Among them went Amos Doolittle (1754–1832), a member of the company, accompanied by his friend Ralph Earl233 (1751–1801), a portrait painter, who is supposed to have gone with the company as a volunteer. On arriving at Cambridge the Cadets were said to have been quartered in the former home of Lieut. Governor Thomas Oliver,234 where they remained for several weeks before returning to New Haven

    Soon after their arrival Doolittle and Earl visited Lexington and Concord, where Earl made drawings on the spot. Doolittle is said to have acted as a model for Earl in some of his drawings. Apparently not long after their return to New Haven, Doolittle started on his engravings from Earl’s drawings or sketches. On December 13, 1775, the following advertisement appeared in the Connecticut Journal:


    And to be SOLD at the STORE of Mr. JAMES LOCKWOOD, near the College, in NEW-HAVEN,

    FOUR different Views of the BATTLES of LEXINGTON, CONCORD, &c. on the 19th of April, 1775.

    Plate I. The Battle at Lexington.

    Plate II. A View of the Town of Concord, with the Miniſterial Troops deſtroying the Stores.

    Plate III. The Battle at the North Bridge in Concord.

    Plate IV. The South Part of Lexington where the firſt Detachment were join’d by Lord Piercy.

    The above Four Plates are neatly engraven on Copper, from original Paintings taken on the Spot.

    Price Six Shillings per Set for the plain ones, or Eight Shillings coloured.

    This advertisement was repeated in the issues of December 20 and 27, but no references to the engravings appear in the news columns.235

    It will be observed that the painting is on a scale considerably larger than that of the engraving, but that the former is rather a less crude representation than the latter, although both represent absolutely the same subject and present an easily recognizable view of the centre of the town of Concord.

    Whether the engraving was made from the painting or the painting from the engraving, at a later time, cannot be determined with exactness. So far as is known there are no paintings in existence of the three other Doolittle plates.