THE Annual Meeting was held at the University Club, 270 Beacon Street, Boston, on Wednesday, 21 November, 1906, at six o’clock in the afternoon, the President, George Lyman Kittredge, LL.D., in the chair.

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

    The Rev. Dr. Edward Everett Hale of Boston and Mr. Arthur Lord of Plymouth were elected Resident Members.

    The name of Mr. Denison Rogers Slade was transferred from the Roll of Resident Members to that of Corresponding Members, since his present residence is in Sandwich, New Hampshire.

    The Annual Report of the Council was presented and read by the Rev. Dr. Edward H. Hall.


    Since our last Annual Meeting, five Stated Meetings of the Society have been held. The most noteworthy of these meetings was that of January, which fell within eight days of the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of Benjamin Franklin, and was appropriately devoted to his memory. It elicited, as our records will show, many interesting documents bearing upon Franklin and his ancestry.

    As our Society is still without a local habitation, we have thrown ourselves again upon the hospitality of others, and have held all our meetings in the Unitarian Building on Beacon Street. It can not be said that the accommodations obtained in those crowded headquarters are altogether such as befit an established Society, or by any means conducive to a large attendance; but so long as we have to continue our vagrant life, we could not fare better than at the kind hands of the American Unitarian Association, to whom we acknowledge our great obligations.

    The pamphlet just placed in the hands of our members constitutes Serial 2 of Volume X., and it will be noticed that with this issue the printed Transactions of the Society are brought up to date. The wise action of the Society two years ago in creating the office of Editor of Publications enables the Council to report great progress in the preparation of the voluminous material which has accumulated on our hands. In accordance with the scheme presented in the first Report of the Council, in November, 1893,716 Volumes II., IV., and IX. have been reserved for special Collections of this material, as distinct from the volumes of Transactions, though numbered with them. Volume II. is to contain the Royal Commissions and Instructions to the Governors of the Province; Volume IV., papers relating to the Land Bank prepared by Mr. Andrew McF. Davis, and two Bibliographies compiled by Mr. Worthington C. Ford; Volume IX., a Check-List of all Boston Newspapers from 1704 to 1780. The fulfilment of these elaborate plans is now fairly in sight. Since our April meeting Volume VIII. and the two Serials of Volume X. have been distributed, and Volumes IX. and X., in complete form, are promised with reasonable certainty in the course of the coming year. The materials for a fourth volume of Collections, not yet numbered, are also in hand.

    The need of larger funds to carry on this work of editing and publishing, as well as to secure better accommodations for the Society and its accumulating documents, need hardly be urged upon our members.

    The Society has lost from its ranks during the year one Resident Member, Professor James Mills Peirce; bearer of an honored name, to which his career has added fresh prestige; one of the most noted teachers of our generation, beloved of many pupils, and held in affectionate remembrance by hosts of friends.

    We have lost also one Corresponding Member, General Joseph Wheeler; a graduate of West Point in 1859, who received from the Confederate Government the rank of Lieutenant-General, and later from the United States that of Brigadier-General; a member of Congress from Alabama from 1881 to 1899; author of several military works. He was of New England extraction, being a grandson of General William Hull, the story of whose temporary loss of military prestige and final vindication is told in the latest volume of our Records.717

    From the Roll of our Honorary Members we have lost Professor Samuel Pierpont Langley, one of our most eminent scientific scholars, recipient of the highest honors at home and abroad, and for the last nineteen years Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution.

    During the year the following Resident Members have been elected, —

    • James Bourne Ayer,
    • Thomas Jefferson Coolidge, Jr.,
    • James Willson Brooks,
    • William Vail Kellen,
    • Robert Dickson Weston,
    • Henry Lefavour,
    • Francis Randall Appleton,
    • Herbert Parker;

    and the following Corresponding Members, —

    • William Logan Rodman Gifford,
    • Robert Hallowell Gardiner,
    • Franklin Carter,

    the last by transfer from the Resident Roll.

    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 19 November, 1906.



    Balance, 16 November, 1905


    Admission Fees


    Annual Assessments


    Commutation of the Annual Assessment


    Sales of the Society’s Publications


    University Press: overcharge refunded




    Mortgages paid


    Editor’s Salary Fund





    University Press, printing


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


    Henry Mitchell, engraving


    Julius F. Sachse, photography


    Albert F. Hall, engrossing


    Albert Matthews, salary as Editor of Publications


    Clerk hire


    Mary H. Rollins, indexing Volume VIII


    William H. Hart, auditing


    Library Bureau, index cards


    Hill, Smith and Co., stationery


    Boston Surburban Express and Parcel Company


    Sawin’s Express


    Boston Storage Warehouse Company


    Miscellaneous incidentals


    Deposited in Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank


    Mortgages on improved real estate in Boston


    Interest in adjustment



    Balance on deposit in State Street Trust Company, 19 November, 1906



    The Funds of the Society are invested as follows:


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


    deposited in Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank.








    Charlestown Five Cents Savings Bank







    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




    Henry H. Edes,


    Boston, 19 November, 1906.

    The Committee, consisting of Messrs. T. Jefferson Coolidge, Jr., and Walter Cabot Baylies, appointed to examine the accounts of the Treasurer for the year ending 19 November, 1906, reported that the accounts had been accurately kept and were properly vouched, that the Cash Balance had been verified, and that the evidences of the Investments had been examined.

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

    Mr. William Endicott, on behalf of the Committee appointed to nominate officers for the ensuing year, presented the following list of candidates; and, a ballot being taken, these gentlemen were unanimously elected:





    recording secretary.


    corresponding secretary.






    member of the council for three years.


    Mr. Henry H. Edes exhibited a photograph of the page of the Christ Church Registers, Philadelphia, on which Franklin’s burial is recorded.

    Mr. Edes also made the following communication:

    At our Stated Meeting in January, which was almost wholly devoted to a commemoration of the bicentennial of Franklin’s birth, a communication was received from Mr. Lane on Harvard College and Franklin. In it he gave the text of Franklin’s diploma from the College and of the vote of the Corporation conferring the degree. It is worth mentioning that the only other Honorary degree conferred by Harvard in 1753 was that of A.M., which was given to William Johnson, a Yale graduate of the Class of 1748. Johnson was admitted to this degree (ad eundem) at a meeting of the Board of Overseers held on Commencement Day, 18 July, 1753. The Franklin degree was voted by the Corporation five days after Commencement, — at a meeting held on the twenty-third of July at which no other action was taken, and was confirmed by a unanimous vote of the Overseers on the following day at a meeting at which no other business was transacted.718

    Mr. William H. Tillinghast, the Assistant Librarian of the College, to whom I am indebted for these facts, has also called my attention to an interesting note in the Corporation Records, which appears just before an entry dated 18 September, 1753, which states that “all dates from henceforward are New Style.”719

    Record of the Burial of Benjamin Franklin

    Engraved for The Colonial Society of Massachusetts from the Register of Christ Church, Philadelphia

    While in Philadelphia, in Easter Week, in attendance upon the Franklin celebration, Dr. I. Minis Hays, the Secretary of the American Philosophical Society, showed me two letters in its cabinet relating to Franklin’s election to fellowship in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.720 Dr. Hays subsequently sent me copies of these interesting documents, and I now have the pleasure of communicating them to the Society.

    The text of the letters follows.


    james bowdoin to benjamin franklin.721

    Boston Janry. 11. 1781

    My dear Friend

    I had the honour of writing to you by Mr Guild722 some months ago.723 He probably acquainted you, there was a Bill then depending in our Assembly for incorporating a philosophical Society. It has been compleated, and the Society formed, under the name of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences. They have had several Meetings: and at the last, several Gentlemen of distinguished characters were put in nomination. Among them is my much esteemed Friend, the Ambassador of the American United States to the Court of France: on whose election, I hope to have the pleasure, at that time, of felicitating the Academy. In the mean time, give me leave to present to you a specimen of its first fruit: which, though it be unripe & imperfect, and shews but an inferior power of vegetation in the particular stock, from whence it fell, it is hoped, will be the harbinger of maturer and better flavoured fruits from other stocks in the same plantation. I am with real affection and regard, in which Mrs. Bowdoin & Mrs Temple most cordially join, my dear Friend, Yr most ob hble serv.

    James Bowdoin

    The hoñble Benj Franklin Esq


    joseph willard to benjamin franklin.


    The last May the General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts incorporated a Society under the title of The American Academy of Arts and Sciences, which formed its statutes & elected its officers the latter part of last August. The Act of incorporation,724 a catalogue725 of the present officers and the President’s oration at his inauguration attend this letter.

    By the direction of the Academy, I have now the honor of informing your Excellency, that Janrỵ 31st, 1781 you were elected a Member of that literary Body. The Society esteems itself dignified in having your name added to the catalogue; — a name, so much and so deservedly celebrated, not only through your native country, but also through Europe, and it flatters itself, that it will ever have your favor and encouragement. I hope, the Philadelphia Society,726 for which you are particularly interested, and this in Massachusetts, will be not only an honor to the United States of America, but also of extensive utility to the public, as they cannot fail of being, if the ends of their institution are properly pursued.

    I have been directed by the American Academy to transmit the Act of incorporation to similar Institutions in Europe. I have sent a copy to the French Academy and to the Royal Academy of Sciences in Paris; but when I transmitted those copies, I forgot the Royal Academy of Inscriptions and Belles Letters. I have now written to Mr. d’Anville,727 Chief Geographer of the King, and a member of that Academy, and have enclosed the letter with this. I should be much obliged to your Excellency to take the care of it. I have also sent copies to the Royal and Antiquarian Society and to the Society of Arts and Commerce in London. These three copies are enclosed to Dr. Price.728 The letter to him I have committed to the care of Col. Laurens.729 I should esteem it a favor, if your Excellency would put the Col. in the way of conveying it with safety to London. I should have written to the Societies of Göttingen and Berlin, had I known of the failing of the Alliance earlier. As we have a communication with Göttenburg, in the way of Commerce, I shall endeavor to improve some opportunity in the Spring to send to the Societies of Stockholm and Petersburgh by that route.

    If your Excellency’s important public business will allow you leisure, I should be greatly obliged to you, if you would inform me what publications of merit have appeared in France, within these five or six years, particularly in natural Philosophy, Mathematics and Astronomy.

    With ardent wishes for, the continuance of your Excellency’s health and most important life, I beg leave to subscribe,

    with the highest respect,

    your Excellency’s most humble

    and most obedient serv

    Joseph Willard

    His Excellency Benjamin Franklin


    Beverly Febry 9th 1781


    A Catalogue of the Officers of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences elected August 31st 1780

    The Honble James Bowdoin Esq’ of Boston President

    The Kevd Samuel Cooper D D of Boston Vice President

    The Honble Thomas Cushing Esq Boston


    The Houble Henry Gardner Esq Boston

    The Honble John Hancock Esq Boston

    The Revd Samuel Langdon D D Cambridge

    John Lowell Esqr Boston

    The Honble Robert Treat Payne Esqr Boston

    The Revd Phillips Payson Chelsea

    The Honble James Warren Esqr Plymouth

    The Revd Ed: Wigglesworth Prof. Divinity Cambridge

    The Revd Sam: Williams Prof. Math: Cambridge

    Mr. Caleb Gannett Recording Secretary Cambridge

    The Revd Joseph Willard Corresponding Secretary Beverly

    Ebenezer Storer Esqr Treasurer Boston

    Prof Sewall730 Vice Treasurer Cambridge

    Mr. James Wiuthrop Cabinet Keeper Cambridge

    Mr. William C. Lane made the following remarks:

    I bring to the Society for exhibition two letters, which are of no great historical importance, but possess a pleasant interest in connection with two distinguished public characters of the eighteenth century — one near the close of his career, the other standing at the beginning of his. The letters were written in 1762, by Edward Holyoke, President of Harvard College, to Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., of Lebanon, Connecticut. Trumbull’s record of pubbc service was as distinguished and as continuous as that of almost any man of his time. Early a member of the Connecticut Legislature and Speaker of the House of Representatives, he served in the American army during the Revolution as paymaster till 1780, and then as aide-de-camp and secretary to General Washington up to the time of the peace. He was a member of the first national Congress from 1789 to 1795, and Speaker of the House for four years. Elected United States Senator in 1795, he resigned the next year to become Lieutenant-Governor of Connecticut, 1796 to 1798, was elected Governor of Connecticut in 1798, and continued in that office until the day of his death, 7 August, 1809.

    Jonathan Trumbull, Jr., his father Jonathan, one of his elder brothers, Joseph, and his younger brother, John, the painter, were all graduates of Harvard College. A member of the class of 1759, Jonathan, Jr., was about to return to Cambridge for his Master’s degree when President Holyoke invited him to deliver the valedictory oration at Commencement.

    Cambridge May 6. 1762


    This I write to desire you to give us (if you design to be down for yr Degree) a Valedictory Oration, this I very much desire in answering therefore my Request, you will very much gratify

    Yr humble servt.

    Edwd. Holyoke

    A postscript conveys the writer’s compliments to the elder Trumbull; but a break in the paper has destroyed some of the words. Trumbull notes his answer at the foot of the page, as follows:

    Revd Sir

    You ll receive this in Answer to your [favor by] my Brother — have only to signify my thankfull compliance with your Desire — & am, with Dutifull Respects

    Your obliged humble servt

    J: Trdmble Jr

    The second letter shows that, in the meantime, Trumbull had learned that a previous invitation had been given to another member of his class to deliver the oration, whereupon he had communicated to President Holyoke his desire to withdraw.

    Cambridge June 28 1762


    I very much Wonder at the Contents of yrs. of the 22d as if I shou’d be glad I cou’d have found any Body besides you, to give us an Oration; far from this, for [I] chose you shou’d do it before any Other, & the sole Reason of my asking Davies was because he was upon the Spot, & knew not how to come at you, but when I heard yr Bro was at Boston was exceedingly pleas’d, I had Oppoty to write you upon it, & was still much more pleas’d, when I recd yr Answer that you wou’d comply with my Desires, I hope therefore you will by no Means fail in the Affair which will be greatly to the Satisfaction of

    Yr humble Servt

    E. Holyoke

    Pray give my hearty

    Service to the Collo — &


    The “Questiones Discutiendae” of 1762 shows Trumbull’s name at the head of the list of candidates for the Master’s degree ready to defend their theses; he is prepared to maintain the negative of the question, whether elasticity is an essential and immutable property of air. The typography indicates that his thesis did not form part of the spoken exercises, but the valedictory oration at the close was doubtless spoken by him. In the same class are to be seen the names of Samuel A. Otis and Paine Wingate, who were afterwards delegates to the Continental Congress, and of Joseph Warren, who fell at Bunker Hill.


    After the Meeting was dissolved, dinner was served. The guests of the Society were the Rev. Dr. James De Normandie, the Rev. William Wallace Fenn, the Rev. Charles Edwards Park, and Messrs. Charles John McIntire, Arthur Lord, and Winslow Warren. President Kittredge presided.