A Stated Meeting of the Society was held in the Hall of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences on Wednesday, 21 February, 1894, at three o’clock in the afternoon.
The President having been unavoidably detained from the meeting, Dr. Henry P. Quincy was called to the chair.
After the records of the previous meeting had been read, the following-named gentlemen were elected Resident Members: —
At this stage of the proceedings the President entered the Hall. Whereupon Dr. Quincy retired from the chair, which was then taken by Dr. Gould.
Mr. Robert N. Toppan read the following paper: —
THE RIGHT TO COIN UNDER THE COLONIAL CHARTERS.
The Charter of Virginia of 1606, which established the two colonies, extending from 34 to 45 degrees of north latitude, called the first and the second, the one for the south and the other for the north, contained the following section: —
“And that they shall or lawfully may establish and cause to be made a coin to pass currant there between the people of those several Colonies for the more Ease of Traffick and Bargaining between and amongst them and the Natives there of such Metal and in such Manner and Forme as the said several Councils there shall limit and appoint.”247
The second charter, 1609, to the first Colony — the Virginia Company — which was supposed to enlarge the scope of the first charter did not allude to the right of coinage in express terms, but it contained the confirmation of that right in the following words: —
“And further we do by these Presents ratify and confirm unto the said Treasurer and Company and their Successors all the Privileges, Franchises, Liberties, and Immunities granted in our former Letters patents, and not in these our Letters patents revoked, altered, changed or abridged.”248
The third charter to Virginia, of 12 March, 1611–12 was also silent in regard to the right of issuing coin, but all privileges and franchises granted in former patents not expressly revoked were confirmed, which would seem to have kept that right alive.
A quo warranto having been brought against the Company for alleged misdemeanors, judgment was given in the King’s Bench in 1624 in favor of the Crown, and Virginia was bereft of her chartered rights.249
Notwithstanding the judgment against the Company, we find that in 1645, while the civil war was still raging in England, and it was doubtful whether victory would incline to the royal or parliamentary cause, and almost seven years before the arrival of the parliamentary commissioners to reduce Virginia to a modified obedience to the Commonwealth of England, an Act was passed in the Colony authorizing the coining of copper pieces of the value of two pence, three pence, six pence, and nine pence, and appointing Captain John Upton mint-master.250 The Act begins as follows: “Act XX. The Governor, Council, and Burgesses of this present Grand Assembly having maturely weighed & considered how advantageous a quoine current would be to this collony, etc.” No coins were struck under that Act. Foreign coins were, however, valued by a legal enactment, and made legal tender in payment of debts. The last time that this was done by the Assembly was in 1679, when Lord Culpepper, then governor, declared that the right of regulating the value of foreign coins was a royal prerogative, and as representative of the King, he issued a proclamation to that effect, annulling the act passed by the Assembly.251
In connection with Virginia a few words about the Bermudas or the Somers or Sommer’s islands, as they were then called, after Sir George Somers, one of the earliest visitors to the islands, and who died there, may not be uninteresting. The Somers islands were supposed to be included in the Virginia grant, although actually outside the limits of the patent. The right to the islands was sold by the general company to an under-company in 1612, and a “Commission granted by us the undertakers for the Plantac̄on of Somer Islands,” was issued 27 April of that year. In the Commission they establish the rates of wages to be paid to the laborers, and for their payment they add, “for which purpose by the next supplie there shall be a Coyne sent unto you with all convenient opportunitie together with the rates and value thereof.”252
In 1615 the Bermuda Company — a separate organization from the Virginia Company — received a charter from King Janies I., which confirmed the coinage clause of the Virginia charter of 1606.
“And wee doe further for us our heires and successors give and grant to the said Governor and Company and theire successors that they shall and lawfully may establish and cause to bee made a Coyne to pass currant in the said Somer islands betweene the Inhabitants there for the more ease of commerce and bargaining between them of such metall and in such manner and forme as the said Governor and Company in any of the said Generall Courts shall limitt and appoynt.”253
It is probable that the copper coins which have been found, bearing on the obverse the Roman numerals XII. and VI., with a hog in the centre (on account of the number of those animals on the islands), and the words Sommer Islands, and on the reverse a four-master ship under full sail, were struck in England under the charter of the Bermuda Company, and not under that of Virginia. The supposed date of issue is between 1616 and 1619.254 The charter of the Bermuda Company was forfeited by judgment in the King’s Bench in 1684.
In 1620, four years before the Virginia charter was annulled by process of law, the charter of New England was issued. This charter after reciting former grants adds: —
“Wee also doe by these Presents ratifye and confirme unto the said Councill and their Successors all Priviliges, Franchises, Liberties, Immunities granted in our former Letters patents and not in these our Letters patents revoaked, altered, changed, or abridged.”255
It would seem, therefore, that the right of coinage was still continued to the Council of New England, as there had been no express revocation of that right. In 1627–28 the Council of New England made a grant to the Massachusetts Company, which was confirmed and enlarged by Charles I. the next year. In this royal charter of 1628–29256 there is no mention of coinage whatever; the right to coin is neither expressed nor revoked, but power is given —
“to make, ordeine, and establish all manner of wholesome and reasonable orders, Laws, Statutes and Ordinances, Direccons and Instruccons not contrarie to the Lawes of this our Realme of England.”257
The charter also contained the following clause: —
“The letters patents shalbe construed, reputed, and adjudged in all cases most favorablie on the behalf and for the benefitt and behoofe of the saide Governour and Company and their Successors.”258
Under its charter the Massachusetts Colony rated cattle, declared bullets to be a legal tender up to one shilling in 1634–35 for a short time, made wampum a lawful currency in limited amounts for nearly ten years, valued silver-plate in payment of debts, made foreign money a legal tender at certain valuations, and finally in 1652 issued its own coins. The first shilling, sixpence, and threepence, bore simply the letters N. E. in one corner of the obverse, and the Roman numerals XII., VI., III. on the reverse.259 As these coins were easily clipt and counterfeited, another series was issued in the autumn of the same year. In the centre of the obverse a tree surrounded with the words Masathusets in; in the centre of the reverse “1652,” and the value in Roman numerals, below the year, surrounded by the words New England. An. Dom. The tree in the first issue has been called a willow, in the second an oak, and in the third a pine tree. A two-penny piece was added in 1662. The mint continued to coin for about thirty years. The right to coin does not seem to have been called in question by any of the Colonists, as was the case in Maryland, neither was the right questioned by the Parliamentary government, nor by the Protectorate.
After the restoration, when the royal commissioners came to New England with the avowed purpose of making those Colonies, and especially Massachusetts, more dependent upon the Crown, they, in 1665, among other things, demanded that the mint in Boston should be abolished: —
“That page 61 title Money, the law yt a mint house etc. be repealed, for Coyning is a Royall prerogative, for the vsurping of which ye act of indemnity is only a Salvo.”260
The determined attitude of the Massachusetts authorities defeated all attempts made by the royal commissioners to carry out their plans, who went back to England bearing with them a feeling that Massachusetts would have to be treated with great circumspection, — a feeling that lasted until Edward Randolph, in 1676, was sent out to report upon the condition of the colony. Randolph was a strong partisan of monarchy and the Anglican Church, and a determined upholder of the royal prerogative, who used to compare the Massachusetts authorities to the Rump Parliament. In his report that year to the Committee for Trade and Plantations, Randolph says: —
“And as a marke of Sovereignty they coin money stamped with inscription Mattachusetts, and a tree in the centre, and the value of the piece on the reverse. Their money is of the standard of England for finnesse, the shillings weigh three penny weight Troy, in value of English money ninepence farthing, and the smaller coins proportionable. These are the current monies of the colony, and not to be transported thence on penalty of confiscation of the whole visible estate of the transporters. All the money is stamped with these figures, 1652, that year being the aera of the Commonwealth, wherein they erected themselves into a free state, enlarged their dominions, subjected the adjacent colonies under their obedience, and summoned deputies to sitt in the generall court, which year is still commemorated on their coin.”261
In 1677 Randolph again says in his “Representation of the Affairs of New England”: “They coin money with their owne Impress.”262 The Privy Council taking up the “Representation,” ordered on 12 June of the same year that the —
“Fourth Head concerning coining of money and the Fifth that have put his maties Subjects to death for Religion are to be referred and examination to bee made whether by their Charter, or by the right of making Laws they are enabled soe to doe.”263
The Massachusetts agents, William Stoughton and Peter Bulkeley, being called before the Committee on 19 July, —
“say that upon the Article where they are charged to have coyned money, they confess it, and say they were necessitated to it, about the yeare 1652, for the support of their Trade, and have not hitherto discontinued it, as being never excepted against, or disallowed by his Maty, And doe therefore submit this matter to His Majtie and beg pardon, if they have offended.”264
“That whereas they had transgressed in presuming to Coyne money, which is an Act of Sovereignty, and to which they were by noe Grant sufficiently authorized, that tho’ his Majtie may upon due application grant them a charter containing such a Power, yet they must Sollicit His Majties Pardon for the offence that is past.”265
The agents are again called in on 2 August, and told that they (the agents) must see Mr. Attorney-General —
“touching the model of such a pardon as they stand in need of from his Majtie for their Coyning of money without authority.” “That an Additional charter bee prepared containing a Power from his Majty to Coyne money and to make all forreigne coine current in that Country.”266
10 October, 1678, the General Court of Massachusetts wrote to the agents, who were still in London, suggesting that the King himself should select a design for the Massachusetts coinage: —
“Wee shall take it as his Majties signall ouning vs if he will please to order such an Impresse as shall be to him most acceptable.”267
There is not the slightest intimation in the letter that they intended to stop coining.
Randolph having arrived in Boston as Collector of Customs in December, 1679, reports to the home government on 4 January, 1679–80, “That the Government of Boston continue still to collect customs & coine money.”268
Being almost constantly obstructed in the exercise of his official duties, Randolph, on 6 April, 1681, petitioned the King that a quo warranto should be brought against the government of Massachusetts. Among the reasons assigned for annulling the charter he states: —
“They do also continue to coin money wch their agents in their Petition to yr Majtie acknowledged a great crime & misdemeanor, demanded your Maties Pardon to the Govmt for soe doing.”269
Stoughton and Bulkeley having come home, Joseph Dudley and John Richards were chosen their successors. On 23 March, 1681–82, the General Court gave their instructions to the new agents. The second instruction reads: —
“You shall Informe his majtie that wee tooke up stamping of silver merely upon necessitie, to prevent cheats of false peeces of eight, which were brought hither in the time of the late confusions, and wee have been well informed that his majtie had knowledge thereof, yet did not manifest any dissatisfaction thereat, until of very late, and if that be a tresspasse upon his majties royall prerogative, of which wee are ignorant, wee humbly beg his majties pardon and gratious allowance therein, It being so extremely necessary for our civil commerce, & no way, as wee humbly conceive, detrimentall to his royal matie.”270
On 24 May of the same year, 1682, the General Court passed an Act making Spanish and Mexican pieces current money at a certain valuation, as the New England money was being exported in large amounts.271
4 June, 1683, “Articles agt ye Govmt & Company of ye Mass̃ Bay in New England” were presented by Randolph. The first article reads: “They have erected a Publick Mint in Boston and coine money with their owne Impress.”272
As is well known a quo warranto was brought against Massachusetts without effect in 1683, Attorney-General Sawyer saying:
“The Sheriff’s principal objection why he could not returne a Summons was because the notice was given after the returne was past. He did also make it a question whether he could take notice of New England being out of his balywick. Upon advice with the King’s Councill I conceive the best way to reach them will bee by a Scire facias against the Company to repeale the patent.”273
While still ignorant as to the result of the suit in chancery, the General Court, 30 October, 1684, prepared an answer to the King respecting the charges made against them, in which they say: —
“As for the minting and stamping pieces of silver to pass amongst ourselves for XIId, VId, IIId, wee were necessitated thereunto having no staple com̄odity in our country to pay debts or buy necessaries but Fish & Corne, which was so cumbersome & troublesome as could not be born, And therefore for some years Paper Bills passed for payment of debts, which were very subject to be lost, rent or counterfeited & other inconveniences. Then comes in a considerable quantity of light base Spanish money, whereby many people were cousened, and the Colony in danger of being undon thereby, which put us upon the project of melting it down & stamping such pieces as aforesaid to pass for paymt of debts amongst our selves. Nor did we know it to be against any Law of England or against His Majties will or pleasure, till of late, but rather that there was a tacit allowance & approbation of it, For in 1662 when our first agents were in England, some of our money was shewed to Sir Thomas Temple at the Council Table, and no dislike thereof manifested by any of those honorable Persons, much less a forbidding of it.”274
Immediately after the vacating of the charter in 1684, the question arose as to the advisability of continuing the mint in Boston as a royal one. The mint authorities in England wrote: —
“Wee are humbly of opinian, if his Majty shall think fitt to settle a Mint in N. E. for making of Coyns of silver of 12 pences 6d & 3d, that they be made in weight & fineness answerable to his Majestys silver Coyns of England & not otherwise.”275
The mint was not re-established. A little more than two years afterwards, under the administration of Sir Edmund Andros, another effort was made to have the mint opened, but without success. However, the Governor had power given him by the King to regulate the value of foreign pieces, which he did on 10 March, 1686–87.
“That all peices of Eight of Civill Pillar and Mexico of 17d weight shall payment at six shillings a peice, and that the prsent New England money do pass for value as formerly, the half peices of Eight quarters Royalls and half Royalls do pass pro rato (as meant Coyn and Value) Spanish pistolls at 4 penny 6 grains at 22d N. E. Money.”276
The charter of Nova Scotia, or as it was then called, New Scotland, of 1621, grants full power of coinage to Sir William Alexander: —
“Also, we, for ourselves and our successors, give and grant to the said Sir William and his aforesaids the free power of regulating and coining money for the freer commerce of those inhabiting the said province, of any metal, in what manner and of what form they shall choose and direct for the same.”277
The second charter, of 1625, confirms the right to coin, adding these words: —
“We give grant commit to them, or their heirs and assignes, lieutenants of the said country [Lordship of New Scotland] the privilege of coining money with iron instruments, and with officers necessary for that purpose.”278
No coins were struck.
The grant of New Hampshire in 1629 from the Council of New England to Captain John Mason, assigned “all Prerogatives, Rights, Royalties, Jurisdictions, Privileges, Franchises, Liberties, Pre-eminences, etc.”279 The jurisdiction of Mason was, however, not acquiesced in or allowed.
The charter of Maryland, 1632, granted to Lord Baltimore the rights of a Bishop of Durham, “cum amplis Juribus, Jurisdictionibus, Privilegis, Praerogativis, Libertatibus, etc., juribusque regalibus, etc.,” appertaining to a Bishop of Durham.280 That bishopric had certain feudal rights belonging to a County Palatinate, among those rights that of “coining money at the Mint in Durham.” The last bishop who actually exercised his right to coin was Cuthbert Tunstall, who was deposed in 1558; but it was not until 1836 that an Act of Parliament was passed by which “all temporal jurisdictions and privileges were declared to be forever removed from the Bishopric.”281 Lord Baltimore had silver shillings, sixpence, and fourpence (called groats), of about the weight and fineness of the New England coins, struck in London apparently in 1659, from an order of the Council of State: —
“Wednesday 5 octobr, 1659. The Councell being Informed that a great quantity of Silver is coyned into peeces of diverse rates & values and sent into Maryland by the Lo. Baltamore or his Orders, Ordered, that the said Lo. Baltamore be Sum̄oned to attend the Com̄ittee of the Councell for Plantaco͠ns, who are to inquire into the whole business and to report the State thereof to the Councell.”282
Those coins bearing on the obverse Lord Baltimore’s bust, with the words Cæcilius Dvs. Terræ-Mariæ etc., and on the reverse the family coat of arms surmounted by a crown, with the words Crescite et Multiplicomini, do not seem to have been used in the Colony to any great extent until 1661.
During the discussions, relative to establishing a mint in Maryland, by the Assembly from 1660 to 1662, “a memorandum” was made by the lower house, “that the dissenters to this vote dissented upon this ground, that they were not entirely informed that the County Palatine of Durham had liberty to coin.”283 The Act was, however, passed in 1662, when it was voted “that the Lieutenant Generall be desired to confirme that acte in the Lord Proprietor’s name.”284
The grant of the Province of Maine by Charles I., 1689, confirming the grant of 1622, made by the Council of New England, gives to Sir Ferdinando Gorges, —
“All the rights, privileges, Prerogatives, Royalties, etc., as the Bishop of Durham within the Bishopricke or Countie Palatine of Duresme in our Kingdome of England now hath useth or enjoyeth or of right ought to have, use or enjoye within the said Countie Palatine.”285
The charter of Connecticut, 1662, of Rhode Island, 1663, and the grant of Pennsylvania to William Penn, 1681, are silent in regard to the right of coining.
The first charter, 1663, to the Lords Proprietors of North Carolina gave them full power of the Bishops of Durham. Section 4 says,
“To have, use, exercise and enjoy, and in as ample manner as any Bishop of Durham in our kingdom of England ever heretofore have held, used or enjoyed, or of right might, ought or could have, use or enjoy.”286
This was confirmed by the second charter, 1665. The “fundamental Constitutions of Carolina,” drawn up by Locke, 1669, commence, —
“Our Sovereign Lord the King having out of his royal grace and bounty granted unto us the Province of Carolina with all the royalties, properties, jurisdictions, and privileges of a County Palatine as large and ample as the County Palatine of Durham, etc.”287
No coins seem to have been struck for North Carolina. The copper pieces bearing the figure of an elephant on the obverse, and on the reverse the words, God preserve Carolina and the Lords Proprietors, and the date 1694, were evidently intended not as money, but as tokens or medals.
During the discussion which followed, Mr. Toppan exhibited to the Society a specimen of the first coinage of the Mint in Boston.
Mr. S. Lothrop Thorndike read the following paper: —
I have been asked to say something about the origin of the Psalmodies of Plymouth and Massachusetts Bay, and about certain characteristic differences between them. Much has been written upon English metrical psalmody, but its critical examination from the musical standpoint is of comparatively recent date. The best summary of results is the excellent article upon the Psalter in the last volume of Grove’s Encyclopædia; but no such exhaustive work has yet been done for English psalmody as has been performed for the French by Douen in his “Clément Marot et le Psaultier Huguenot.” Our American works upon psalm-singing, as introduced into this country where it formed so important a part of the religious life of our ancestors, are singularly defective. For instance, I have looked in vain for any adequate account of the tunes adopted by Ainsworth, the psalmodist of the Pilgrims. Hood, in his History of Music in New England, and Moore, in his so-called Encyclopedia of Music, though psalm-singing is their specialty, show no signs of having looked at them with any care.
In the absence of authorities, I thought it worth while a few years ago to examine for myself the tunes which the Pilgrims of Plymouth actually brought with them from Holland in Ainsworth’s book, and to compare them with what the Puritans brought to Salem and Boston in Sternhold and Hopkins, as well as with the musical settings of the French psalms of Marot and Beza. I found the investigation extremely interesting in the antiquarian view, and far more interesting than I had anticipated in the musical.
For the purpose of establishing a chronology, and of showing the circumstances under which metrical psalmody in the English tongue began, may I say a word or two about Puritanism itself? As an “ism” within the body of the Established Church of England it started, loosely speaking, in the reign of Edward VI. I say loosely speaking, for nothing begins definitely. Puritanism sprang from seed sown by Wiclif in 1380, and the Lollards in the centuries which followed, and Tyndale in 1525, and Coverdale in 1540. But for ordinary purposes, we may consider it to have started with Edward’s reign, which began in 1547. In 1550 John Hooper was nominated to the see of Gloucester and refused to wear the episcopal robes. The vestments of the clergy were for him the livery of the scarlet woman. The first Puritan outbreak was a matter of clothes, and John Hooper was the first Puritan.
Queen Mary, a sincere and devoted Papist, came to the throne in July, 1553. One of the first victims of her sincerity and devotion was Hooper. He died at the stake with Rogers and Saunders and Taylor in February, 1555. Meantime all foreign Protestants had been ordered to depart from England, and hundreds of English also fled for their lives to Strasburg, Zurich, and other places where the reformed religion was already established. Whittingham, who will presently be mentioned as one of the early psalmodists, and some others went to Frankfort. There appears the second outburst of Puritanism as distinct from mere Protestantism. This was about a book, as the first had been about robes. The more advanced reformers objected to certain things in King Edward’s prayer-book. The conservatives insisted on retaining them. The breach in the English Reformed Church was complete, and the radicals left Frankfort and betook themselves to Geneva and Calvin. This is the tale of the matter which has passed into history as the “Troubles at Frankfort.”
It is noteworthy that the Lutheran Reformation of Germany, though often spoken of in connection with the English Reformation which followed it, had little effect upon or sympathy with the later upheaval. The Lutherans were monarchical in politics and conservative in creed. They averred that they would rather turn back to Rome than tolerate heretics who denied the corporal presence. They proclaimed those who perished at the stake under Mary to be the devil’s martyrs, — “martyres Anglicos esse martyres diaboli.” This holding asunder of the two churches showed itself curiously in psalmody, as in other things, only one of the Lutheran chorals having been traced into early Puritan psalmody.
All this digression is merely by way of reminder that Puritanism began to take shape in Edward’s reign, which lasted from 1547 to 1558; that it was crushed out with all other forms of Protestantism in Mary’s reign, which lasted five years; and that it revived again under Elizabeth, who reached the throne in 1558.
In 1549, the third year of Edward’s reign, or perhaps in the year before, for the book bears no date, Thomas Sternhold published a metrical version of nineteen of the Psalms. He was Groom of the Robes to Henry and Edward, and was noted at court for his poetical talent and his piety. His piety is beyond doubt; of his poetical talent there may be more question. He has been sometimes compared with his more distinguished contemporary Clément Marot, the French versifier of psalms. Both were courtiers, Marot being valet of the bedchamber to Francis I. Both made their godly ballads with a view of giving the gay people of court something better to sing than their indelicate love-songs. Both died early, leaving their work to be finished by others. Here the parallel ceases. Marot lived in a literary circle and was himself a brilliant writer, a man of literary skill, taste, and experience. Sternhold died before the Elizabethan era of literature had begun, three years before the birth of Spenser, fifteen years before that of Shakespeare. This must be taken into account in passing upon the literary merit of Sternhold’s verse. Puritanism reached its chief prominence in religious and political history so long after the time of Elizabeth that we are apt to forget its early beginnings, and that its psalmody was one of its earliest fruits. We must, moreover, remember that Sternhold, unlike Marot, did not write his verses as literature; they were sacred ballads for the people, and made no more pretence to literature than the secular ballads upon which he founded them, the rhythm of which he mainly adopted. The rhythm of a common metre tune is the rhythm of Chevy Chase. We must, I fear, admit that the secular ballad was enough better than its sacred copy to secure a longer lease of life. The only specimen of Sternhold which has preserved vitality enough to be found in modern hymn-books, or in books of familiar quotations, is the hymn beginning, —
“The Lord descended from above, and bowed the heavens high;”
which, as ordinarily given, consists of two verses of the 18th Psalm and a third, much altered, from the 29th Psalm. Sternhold died in the very year of the publication of his book.
This little book of nineteen Psalms, printed without music, was the beginning of that version which, under the familiar name of Sternhold and Hopkins, was the classic of Puritan psalmody in England and in Massachusetts Bay. I say of Puritan psalmody, though its author was a good churchman; for it is beyond question that the desire to put sacred things into English verse, which could be sung of all the people, was a tendency of the Puritan side of the Church of England long before any definite separation had taken place, and Sternhold’s was not the first attempt. Sir Thomas Wyatt had already translated some Psalms, and the Earl of Surrey others; and in the very year of Sternhold’s publication a complete version was published by Robert Crowley, for which, moreover, he furnished a tune for the singing, much like the modern Anglican chant. Even Cranmer, years before, in the reign of Henry, had recognized the popular demand. In a letter to the king, in 1544, he speaks of a Latin hymn, of which he says: —
“I have travailed to make the verses in English, and have put the Latin note unto the same. Nevertheless, they that be cunning in singing can make a much more solemn note thereto. I made them only for a proof to see how English would do in song. But by cause mine English verses lack the grace and facility that I would wish they had, your Majesty may cause some other to make them again, that can do the same in more pleasant English and phrase.”
In spite of Cranmer’s self-depreciation, I think that we may all wish we had his English verses.
All that was done for metrical psalmody in the Anglican Church, except the version of Sternhold and Hopkins, does not concern us New Englanders, and therefore I will confine myself to that version. In December of the year of Sternhold’s death, 1549, an edition of thirty-seven of his Psalms was published with a supplement of seven by John Hopkins, making forty-four. A second edition followed in 1550, and a third in 1553, with a further supplement of seven Psalms by Whittingham, making fifty-one, and a fourth in the same year. Still there is no music inserted. Meantime some other versions were published, one with music, but, as I have said, these do not concern us. In July, 1553, King Edward died, and metrical psalmody with aught else that savored of Protestantism subsided in England for five years.
We have followed the English Reformers to Geneva sometime about 1555. Here the French Calvinist Psalter, commonly known as that of Marot and Beza, was fast approaching completion. The first Genevan edition of thirty Psalms had been published in 1542, and some portions of this had previously appeared at Strasburg and Antwerp. Other editions, constantly enlarged, appeared in 1548, 1551, and 1554. The completed version appeared in 1562, the very year in which we shall see presently that the completed Sternhold and Hopkins appeared on the other side of the Channel.
These Genevan Psalters were all furnished with tunes, but with the melody only, for Calvin had an aversion to the use of harmony, and as long as he lived any psalmody arranged for part singing had to be printed outside of Geneva. Some of these tunes were of German origin, picked up by Calvin when he was expelled from Geneva in 1538 and went to Strasburg; some were constructed out of earlier melodies; and some, Old Hundred, for instance, were adapted from popular secular songs.
In 1556 the fifty-one psalms already translated into English by Sternhold, Hopkins, and others, and carried to Geneva by the Reformers, received their first musical setting. An edition was published at Geneva in that year with many of those melodies which, under the name of Church Tunes or Proper Tunes, became the musical daily bread of the Puritans in Old England and New England for very many years. What were these earliest tunes? They were not for the most part direct adaptations of the French tunes which were then sounding through Geneva, for the early English verses were mainly in what we know as double common metre, and there were few French tunes of that day which would fit that measure. But the French tunes were evidently favorites, and some attempts were made to use pieces of them. For instance, we find fragments of Old Hundred, the French 134th Psalm, in the melodies of at least two of the English hymns, — the third and the sixty-eighth. But most of the church tunes were not copied directly from the French, either in whole or in part. They were composed, with more or less imitation of French and other Continental models, undoubtedly by English musicians who had fled to the Continent with the rest of the refugees. This appears from internal evidence of the tunes themselves, and is also alluded to in the classified index which Ravenscroft appended to his admirable edition of 1621.
When, on the accession of Elizabeth in 1558, the refugees flocked back to England they brought these tunes with them. They were at once popular, and there was an immediate demand for liberty to sing them in the churches. The stricter Anglicans do not like to say much about this introduction of metrical psalmody into the Established Church. Heylin speaks of it as “permitted rather than allowed,” but admits that it was afterwards printed and bound up with the common prayer-book, and at last added by the stationers to the end of the Bible. “This allowance,” he says, “seems to have been rather a connivance than an approbation.” Herbert Thorndike, in his “Just Weights and Measures” speaks of “these Psalms in Rhime being crowded into the Church by meer sufferance and so used without order of Law,” and denies that they are “the exercise of Christian Devotion.” Blunt, in his “Ritual Introduction to the Prayer Book,” simply records a royal injunction in the second year of Elizabeth, that —
“for the comforting of such as delight in music, it may be permitted that at the beginning or in the end of the Common Prayer, either at morning or evening, there may be sung a hymn or such like song to the praise of Almighty God, in the best sort of melody and music that may be conveniently devised.”
So, whether by connivance or approbation, Sternhold and Hopkins crept into the Church of England, and so, in the year of grace 1559, began the public use of English metrical psalmody, from which many of us have enjoyed and many have suffered so much. It came to be considered, as Puritanism spread in the Church, an important feature, perhaps the most important in the service. Heylin complains of the reading of the lessons and the prose Psalms “being heard in many places with a covered head, but all men sitting bareheaded when the Psalm was sung.” The Genevan parentage and Calvinistic flavor of the innovation were a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence to the high-churchmen, and its gradual introduction, not only before and after service, but into the very body of the liturgy, before and after sermon, was deemed by them not only irreligious but positively unlawful.288
We have brought Sternhold and Hopkins down to the second year of Elizabeth with fifty-one Psalms translated. In 1560 there was an edition of sixty-four Psalms with more tunes adopted from the French psalter; in 1561 a Genevan edition with eighty-seven Psalms and some more importations of French tunes and more English imitations. They were beginning to copy French metres.
In 1562 came the complete version, printed by John Day, which was the classic of hymnody in England until Tate and Brady appeared in 1696, and in Massachusetts Bay until the Bay Psalm-Book was published in 1640.
I pass by Archbishop Parker’s psalter of 1562, the Scotch psalters, and some other English ones, only interesting to New Englanders from the fact that a few of their tunes found their way later into Ravenscroft and so to New England, and will confine myself to Sternhold and Hopkins.
A second edition followed in 1562, a third in 1563, and others in 1564, 1565, and so on. These contain melodies of the old church tunes, sixty-five in all, of which thirty-two appeared in early editions. Among the new ones was the Lutheran Choral already mentioned. The various editions in the British Museum, from the beginning down to the present century, are numbered by hundreds.289
Meantime a harmonized setting of the tunes was printed in 1563 by the same publisher (Day), “which,” says the titlepage, “may be sung to all musical instruments, set forth for the increase of virtue and abolishing of other vain and trifling ballads.” Here we see a little concession to the spirit of the age in the suggestion of musical instruments; for this was the era of Elizabethan music, of madrigals and ballads and fal-las; and almost all the “vain and trifling ballads” which the titlepage inveighs against were set, in the phrase of the day, “for voices or viols.” But it is also noticeable that we do not find among the earliest harmonizers of the Psalms a single one of the great composers of the day.
The next important musical setting of the book was by William Damon, published without the composer’s consent by the connivance of a friend, a certain John Bull, for whose private edification the tunes had been prepared. This edition is chiefly remarkable for its introduction of single common metre for some of the Psalms, in place of the old, almost universal, double common metre. When tunes afterwards came to be named, these were known as Cambridge, Oxford, Canterbury, and Southwell. Other harmonized editions followed, and in 1592 came a very important edition of Thomas Este, who wisely employed for the four-part setting musicians already distinguished as madrigalists. This is the last edition worth considering before the remarkable edition of Ravenscroft. In 1621 Thomas Ravenscroft, Mus. Bac., a chorister of St. Paul’s, and a Cambridge graduate, published the edition, with ninety-seven tunes, which was then and afterwards universally received as the musical exponent of the Sternhold and Hopkins Psalms, — and this not merely in England, but on this side of the water. Endicott’s copy of Ravenscroft is in the library of the Massachusetts Historical Society; and when the version of Sternhold and Hopkins was superseded by the Bay Psalm-Book, first published in 1640, in the “Admonition to the Reader,” at the end of the latter book, the faithful are advised to use “the common tunes as they are collected out of our chief musicians by Thomas Ravenscroft,” and again, “the tunes in our English Psalm-Books.” And at last, when, about 1690, our ancestors managed to print for themselves a baker’s dozen of tunes to be appended to the Bay Psalm-Book, only one was of French origin, and that was Old Hundred. Ravenscroft adopted largely the fashion of naming tunes, and many of his names have come down to the present day. This fashion seems to have been introduced in a few cases by Este, in whose book we find Glassenbury tune, Kentish tune, Suffolk tune, and Chesshire tune, all undoubtedly of purely British origin.
From all this it appears that the psalmody of Massachusetts Bay, like everything else which the Puritans brought with them, had a distinct English flavor. It was the atmosphere of the Established Church, though, of course, the Puritan side of that church.
At Plymouth all was different. The Pilgrims were the followers of Robert Brown, and it is one of the curiosities of history that that pure and steadfast sect should have originated with the most remarkable canter and re-canter of his day, who, after wrecking more congregations than any modern speculator has wrecked railroads, finally found his way back to the Church of England and to an idle and dissolute life, and died in the prison to which he had been sent for resisting the constable who tried to collect his taxes.
When the Brownist church in London, called, after Brown’s apostasy, Separatists or Independents, was broken up by the authorities, and the pastor, Francis Johnson, and a portion of his flock escaped to Holland, with them went Henry Ainsworth, the psalmodist of the Independents. In Amsterdam he passed the remainder of his life, and died there 10 January, 1618, — poisoned, it is said, by a Jew, in consequence of some controversy or failure of controversy (for the story is a little indistinct) with certain Rabbis concerning the prophecies. He was noted as a Hebrew scholar and annotator, and published works upon the Pentateuch, the Psalms, Solomon’s Song, etc. His scholarship in rabbinical and oriental literature was supposed to be favorable to the Reform cause, as giving it a certain flavor of letters. Dexter mentions that it was found more useful in the late revision of the Bible than that of many divines of the Established Church. But Ainsworth proved such a poor poet that the scholars of the Continent thought that there must be two Ainsworths. His poetry is now merely one of the curiosities of literature; but for eighty years it was an important part of the spiritual food of the Pilgrims in Holland and Plymouth.
In 1612 he published at Amsterdam “The Book of Psalmes, Englished both in prose and metre,” and it was often reprinted. Copies exist in England in the British Museum, and in the Bodleian; and in this country in the libraries of Harvard, Yale, and Andover, in the Prince Library, and especially in Dr. Dexter’s, which has many editions. Prince’s copy has a note in the Doctor’s handwriting, —
“I have seen an edition of this version in 1618 in quarto; and this version of Ainsworth was sung in the Plymouth Colony, and I suppose in the rest of New England, till the New England version was printed in 1640.”
This supposition of the Doctor is a little large, but it is true that Ainsworth is mentioned, outside of the Plymouth Colony, in Ipswich and Salem until 1667. It was used in Plymouth until 1692, fifty-two years after the Bay Psalm-Book appeared. On the other hand, I doubt very much whether Sternhold and Hopkins ever got into the Plymouth Colony.290
Now, with regard to the music, it shows a much greater French element than Ravenscroft. In the first place, Ainsworth frequently translated into French metres. Next, the connection of the Continental congregations with Calvinism was much closer than that of the English congregations after the return of the refugees. Still, this discrimination must not be carried too far. A good many Calvinist tunes, as we have seen, found their way from time to time to England; on the other hand, a good many Anglican tunes went over with Johnson and Ainsworth to Holland.
I have collated the two versions. Sparing you the exact figures, let me simply say that the Calvinist musical element is in much greater proportion in Ainsworth than in Ravenscroft and the other English books, and the Anglican element in much greater proportion in Ravenscroft and the other English books than in Ainsworth. Of the one hundred and twenty or more tunes in the English books, scarcely a ninth part is derived from the metrical psalmody of Marot and Beza. In Ravenscroft’s ninety-seven, there are but eleven from Marot and Beza. On the other hand, of Ainsworth’s thirty-nine, more than half are from Calvinist sources; nineteen are directly from Marot and Beza, and two which I have not traced are by metre and melody distinctly French. Again, the difference in proportion of origin is shown by a difference of proportion in metre. More than two thirds of the tunes in the English books are in what we call common metre; but in Ainsworth one sees the influence of the French taste in more varied versifications. Only eleven of his thirty-nine tunes are in common metre. Again, the tunes in Ravenscroft are admirably harmonized by the best musicians of the English Church, but Ainsworth has the simple melody. John Calvin, as we have seen, set his face strongly against part singing or the use of instruments.
Let me, in closing, notice one or two more examples of the difference between the two atmospheres of Boston and Plymouth. One phrase in the “Admonition” of the Bay Psalm-Book is curiously different from anything which could possibly have been said at Plymouth. In stating what tunes may be used from the old books, there is a direction to sing a certain kind of metre as the Pater Noster. This is a mere practical reference, but it is one that a Plymouth man would have gone a long way round to avoid making in that shape.
So, in Sternhold and Hopkins, the translation of the Commandments is headed Audi, Israel, the hymn for peace Da pacem, Bomine. The Canticles have their old Roman names, — Veni Creator, Venite exultemus, The Song of St. Ambrose called Te Deum, The Song of Zacharias called Benedictus, The Song of the Blessed Mary called Magnificat, The Creed of Athanasius called Quicumque Vult, etc.; and over each of the Psalms is also its appropriate Latin title. All such phrases would, in Plymouth, have been merely symbols of the Woman of Babylon.
I have taken so much time and space that the story of music after it reached the Colonies must be left for another occasion. It will not be a cheerful topic. It must be the story of a complete departure from the golden reign of Elizabethan art, the era of Shakespeare, — not only the ignoring of all secular music, but the deterioration of sacred music even in its favorite form of psalmody. It is simply the history of a Decline and Fall. Volumes have been written upon the influence of Puritanism upon art, and one could not wish a better object lesson than its effect in New England. Musical art, like all other art, met in those days not only negative but positive discouragement. All the tendencies of the time were averse to its cultivation. Our forefathers were engaged in rearing the strong pillars which should support a Nation. The vine which was to twine around these pillars and lend them grace was left for later hands to plant and cherish.
Mr. G. Arthur Hilton presented a manuscript, the handwriting of which has been identified by our associate, Mr. Abner C. Goodell, Jr., as that of Washington.291 It was received by Mr. Hilton from the late Hon. Samuel Crocker Cobb, who in turn received it from his grandfather, General David Cobb. The document relates to the Society of the Cincinnati, and its presence among the papers of Mr. Cobb is accounted for by the fact that both he and his grandfather were Vice-Presidents of the Massachusetts Society of the Cincinnati.292 The following is the text293 of the document, which is without heading: —
 It having pleased the Supreme Governor of the Universe, in the disposition of human affairs, to cause the separation of the Colonies of North America from the domination of Great Britain, and to establish them, after a bloody conflict of eight years, ^ Free, Independent, and Sovereign states, connected by alliances, founded upon reciprocal advantage, with some of the great Princes and Powers of the earth. —
Whereas it has
to establish them advantages
[No break in Knox’s MS.]
To perpetuate therefore, as well the remembrance of this vast event, as the mutual friendships which have been formed under the pressure of common danger, and in many instances cemented by the blood of the parties, — the Officers of the American Army do hereby, in the most solemn manner, associate - constitute and combine themselves into one Society of Friends, to endure as long as they shall endure, or any of their eldest male posterity, or in failure thereof, the collateral branches, who may be judged worthy of becoming its suppor[ters] and members.
[This may have been trimmed off from Knox’s MS.]
The Officers of the American Army, having generally been taken from the Citizens of America, possess high veneration for the character of that illustrious Roman, Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus — and being resolved to follow his example, by returning to their citizenship again, they think they may with ^ propriety denominate themselves The Society of the Cincinnati.
Quinctius [As first written by Knox: “without the imputation of presumption;” and “propriety” was interlined after the word “with.”]
The objects of this association shall be
[Knox makes no break here.]
An incessant attention to preserve inviolate those exalted rights and liberties of human nature for which they have fought and bled, and without which the high rank of a rational being is a curse instead of a blessing.
[No break here in Knox’s MS.]
An unalterable determination to promote, by all legal means, that union and harmony between the respective States, so essentially necessary to their happiness and the future dignity of the American Empire.
[No break in Knox’s MS.]
To render permanent the cordial affection subsisting among the Officers — This spirit will dictate brotherly kindness in all things, and particularly ^ extend to the most substantial acts of beneficence, ^ according to the ability of the Society, towards those Officers who unfortunately may be under the necessity of receiving it.
to those officers who unfortunately may be under the necessity of demanding it
These principles shall be294  be immutable — and shall form the basis of the Society of the Cincinnati.
[No break in Knox’s MS.]
The General Society will, for the sake of frequent communications, be divided into State Societies, and these again subdivided into County Societies, or into such districts as shall be directed by the State Society.
The Societies of the Counties to meet once in every three months — those of the State once every year — and the General Society once every three years. At each meeting the principles of the institution will be fully considered, and the best measures to promote them ^ adopted. ^ It will however be necessary that the respective Societies should have particular duties assigned them, that the several parts may form one system.
[No break in Knox’s MS.]
will be considered and | But
The County Societies shall have a Vice President, Deputy Secretary and Deputy Treasurer to be chosen annually by themselves. ^ The Deputy Secretary shall have a book, in which shall be recorded an exact state of his proceedings names of all the members of the General Society — the members who compose the state Society — and the particular members and officers of the County Society. In another book he shall regularly state the proceedings of the County Society, with all the official letters written and received. He shall also transmit to the Secretary of the state Society the names of the officers in the County Society for the current year.
in which | be | stated
The Deputy Treasurer shall have a book, in which shall be recorded an exact state of his proceedings, and of the monies which he may from time have received of the respective members and the appropriations of the same. At each quarterly meeting he shall receive such sums as the members may subscribe, for the relief of the indigent members of the state Society, and he shall transmit the same annually to the Treasurer of the state Society, together with the names of the subscribers.
to time receive
It will be a rule that no money ^ be subscribed but at the quarterly meetings, and that it shall be perfectly optional to subscribe or not, and in such sums as each member may think proper. [Donations to the Society, by members or other persons, in any other manner than abovementioned, shall be considered as intended to form a general fund, for the use of the state Society, and such sums shall be formed into a fund accordingly, the interest of which only shall be expended, and the names of the donors recorded in the books of the County and state Societies.]
[Knox makes no break here.]
will | collected
[This clause within brackets does not occur in Knox’s draught, but seems to have been inserted by Washington.]
The state Societies will consist of all the Officers residing in each state respectively, or such of them295  them as may think proper to attend. The Officers of the County Societies must attend, ex officio.
The state meeting shall write annually a circular letter to the other state Societies, noting whatever they may think worthy of observation respecting the good of the Society or the general union of the United states — and giving information of the offlcers chosen for the current year. ^ A copy of this letter shall be regularly transmitted to the Secretary General of the Society, who shall record it in a book to be assigned for that purpose.
[“the good,” interlined by Knox, but cancelled]
The state Society will have a right to regulate every thing respecting itself, consistent with the general maxims of the Cincinnati — to judge of the qualifications of the members who may be proposed — and to expel any member, who by a conduct inconsistent with the gentleman and the man of honor, or by an opposition to the interests of the Community in general, or the Society in particular, may render himself unworthy to continue a member.
The monies which may be furnished by the County Societies, and the interest of the donations, shall be appropriated by the state Society, by a majority of votes, to the unfortunate members, or their widows and orphans.
The whole sum raised by subscription in the County Societies shall be distributed annually, for the first ten years after the institution, provided that proper objects claim the relief of the Society. But after that period, the interest only shall be expended, and the principal formed into a permanent fund, for the benevolent purposes before recited.
[No break in Knox’s MS.]
The general meeting of the Society shall consist of all the members who may find it convenient to attend. But the Officers, that is to say, the President, Secretary and Treasurer of the state Societies shall consider themselves under indispensable obligations to be present.
The circular letters which have been written annually by the respective state Societies to each other, and their particular laws shall be read ^ and confirmed, or otherwise as shall be judged proper — and all ^ measures concerted which ^ may conduce to ^ the general intendment of the Society.
[No break in Knox’s MS.]
over and considered such concerted
as | advance
All the Officers of the American Army — as well those who have resigned with honor, or who have been de-296  deranged by the resolutions of Congress upon the several reforms of the Army, as those who shall continue to the end of the war — are free to become parties to this institution, provided that they sign their names to the general rules in each state Society within two years ^ after the Army shall be disbanded. The rank, time of service, ^ resolutions of Congress by which any ^ have been deranged, and place of residence must be added to each name.
dismissed regulations | respective
specifying opposite their names their times | and the | may the places | of each member
Each state Society shall obtain a list of its members, and at the first annual meeting the state Secretary shall have ^ engrossed two copies of the institution of of ^ the Society, ^ upon parchment, which every member present shall sign, and the Secretary shall endeavor to procure the signature of every absent member, — one of those to be transmitted to the Secretary General, to be kept in the archives of the Society, and the other to remain in the hands of the state Secretary, and copies be given to the County Secretaries.
the | engrossed
one to go
From the state lists the Secretary General must make out, at the first general meeting, a complete list of the whole Society, with a copy of which he will furnish each state Secretary, ^ who shall transmit them to the County Societies.
of the state societies | will
The principal figure, Cincinnatus — three senators presenting him with a sword and other military ensigns — on a field in the back ground, his wife standing at the door of their yoked cottage — near it a ^ plough and instruments of husbandry —
[No break in Knox’s MS.]
— round the whole,
Omnia reliquit servare Rempublicam.
— On the revese —
Sun-rising — a city with open gates and vessels entering the port — Fame crowning Cincinnatus with a wreath, inscribed Virtutis Prcemium.
Hands joined supporting a heart, with the motto
— round the whole, in Latin,
The Name of the Society and Year of its Institution.
The Foreign Officers who have served in the Army of the United states, and who have been honorably dismissed the service, shall be entitled to all the honors, rights297
The Articles of Association298 as finally adopted on 13 May, 1783, were in the following form: —
It having pleased the Supreme Governor of the Universe, in the disposition of human affairs, to cause the separation of the colonies of North America from the domination of Great Britain, and, after a bloody conflict of eight years, to establish them free, independent, and sovereign states, connected, by alliance founded on reciprocal advantage, with some of the greatest princes and powers of the earth;
To perpetuate, therefore, as well the remembrance of this vast event, as the mutual friendships which have been formed under the pressure of common danger, and, in many instances, cemented by the blood of the parties, the officers of the American army do, hereby, in the most solemn manner, associate, constitute, and combine themselves into one society of friends, to endure as long as they shall endure, or any of their eldest male posterity, and, in failure thereof, the collateral branches who may be judged worthy of becoming its supporters and members.
The officers of the American army, having generally been taken from the citizens of America, possess high veneration for the character of that illustrious Roman, Lucius Quintius Cincinnatus; and being resolved to follow his example, by returning to their citizenship, they think they may with propriety denominate themselves
THE SOCIETY OF THE CINCINNATI.
The following principles shall be immutable and form the basis of the Society of the Cincinnati: —
An incessant attention to preserve inviolate those exalted rights and liberties of human nature for which they have fought and bled, and without which the high rank of a rational being is a curse instead of a blessing.
An unalterable determination to promote and cherish, between the respective states, that union and national honor so essentially necessary to their happiness and the future dignity of the American empire.
To render permanent the cordial affection subsisting among the officers: This spirit will dictate brotherly kindness in all things, and particularly extend to the most substantial acts of beneficence, according to the ability of the society, towards those officers and their families who unfortunately may be under the necessity of receiving it.
The general society will, for the sake of frequent communications, be divided into state societies, and these again into such districts as shall be directed by the state society.
The societies of the districts to meet as often as shall be agreed upon by the state society, those of the states on the fourth day of July, annually, or oftener, if they shall find it expedient, and the general society on the first Monday in May, annually, so long as they shall deem it necessary, and afterwards, at least once in every three years.
At each meeting the principles of the Institution will be fully considered, and the best measures to promote them adopted.
The state societies will consist of all the members resident in each state respectively; and any member removing from one state to another is to be considered in all respects as belonging to the society of the state in which he shall actually reside.
The state societies to have a president, vice-president, secretary, treasurer and assistant-treasurer, to be chosen annually, by a majority of votes, at the state meeting.
Each state meeting shall write annually, or oftener, if necessary, a circular letter to the other state societies, noting whatever they may think worthy of observation respecting the good of the society or the general union of the states and giving information of the officers chosen for the current year. Copies of these letters shall be regularly transmitted to the secretary-general of the society, who will record them in a book to be assigned for that purpose.
The state society will regulate everything respecting itself and the societies of the districts consistent with the general maxims of the Cincinnati, judge of the qualifications of the members who may be proposed, and expel any member who, by conduct inconsistent with a gentleman and a man of honor, or by an opposition to the interests of the community in general, or the society in particular, may render himself unworthy to continue a member.
In order to form funds which may be respectable, and assist the unfortunate, each officer shall deliver to the treasurer of the state society one month’s pay, which shall remain forever to the use of the state society; the interest only of which, if necessary, to be appropriated to the relief of the unfortunate.
Donations may be made by persons not of the society, and by members of the society, for the express purpose of forming permanent funds for the use of the state society, and the interest of these donations appropriated in the same manner as that of the month’s pay.
Moneys, at the pleasure of each member, may be subscribed in the societies of the districts, or the state societies, for the relief of the unfortunate members, or their widows and orphans, to be appropriated by the state society only.
The meeting of the general society shall consist of its officers and a representation from each state society, in number not exceeding five, whose expenses shall be borne by their respective state societies.
In the general meeting, the president, vice-president, secretary, assistant-secretary, treasurer, and assistant-treasurer general, shall be chosen, to serve until the next meeting.
The circular letters which have been written by the respective state societies to each other, and their particular laws, shall be read and considered, and all measures concerted which may conduce to the general intendment of the society.
It is probable that some persons may make donations to the general society, for the purpose of establishing funds for the further comfort of the unfortunate, in which case such donations must be placed in the hands of the treasurer-general, the interest only of which to be disposed of, if necessary, by the general meeting.
All the officers of the American army, as well those who have resigned with honor, after three years’ service in the capacity of officers, or who have been deranged by the resolutions of Congress, upon the several reforms of the army, as those who shall have continued to the end of the war, have the right to become parties to this Institution: provided that they subscribe one month’s pay and sign their names to the general rules, in their respective state societies, those who are present with the army immediately, and others within six months after the army shall be disbanded, extraordinary cases excepted; the rank, time of service, resolution of Congress by which any have been deranged, and place of residence, must be added to each name; and as a testimony of affection to the memory and the offspring of such officers as have died in the service, their eldest male branches shall have the same right of becoming members as the children of the actual members of the society.
Those officers who are foreigners, not resident in any of the states, will have their names enrolled by the secretary-general, and are to be considered as members in the societies of any of the states in which they may happen to be.
And as there are, and will at all times be, men in the respective states eminent for their abilities and patriotism, whose views may be directed to the same laudable objects with those of the Cincinnati, it shall be a rule to admit such characters as honorary members of the society, for their own lives only; provided always that the number of honorary members in each state does not exceed a ratio of one to four of the officers or their descendants.
Each state society shall obtain a list of its members; and at the first annual meeting the state secretary shall have engrossed on parchment two copies of the institution of the society, which every member present shall sign, and the secretary shall endeavor to procure the signature of every absent member; one of those lists to be transmitted to the secretary-general to be kept in the archives of the society, and the other to remain in the hands of the state secretary. From the state lists the secretary-general must make out, at the first general meeting, a complete list of the whole society, with a copy of which he will furnish each state secretary.
The society shall have an Order by which its members shall be known and distinguished, which shall be a medal of gold, of a proper size to receive the emblems, and suspended by a deep blue ribbon two inches wide, edged with white, descriptive of the union of France and America, viz.: —
The principal figure
Three senators presenting him with a sword and other military
ensigns; on a field in the background, his wife standing
at the door of their cottage; near it a plough
and instruments of husbandry.
Round the whole,
omnia reliquit servare rempublicam.
On the reverse,
Sun rising; a city with open gates, and vessels entering the port.
Fame crowning Cincinnatus, with a wreath inscribed,
Hands joined, supporting a heart, with the motto,
Round the whole,
SOCIETAS CINCINNATORUM INSTITUTA
a. d. 1783.
The society, deeply impressed with a sense of the generous assistance this country has received from France, and desirous of perpetuating the friendships which have been formed, and so happily subsisted, between the officers of the allied forces in the prosecution of the war, direct that the president-general transmit, as soon as may be, to each of the characters hereafter named, a medal containing the order of the society, viz.: —
His Excellency the Chevalier de la Luzerne, Minister Plenipotentiary,
His Excellency the Sieur Gerard, late Minister Plenipotentiary,
Their Excellencies —
The Count d’Estaing,
The Count de Grasse,
The Count de Barras,
The Chevalier de Touches,
Admirals and Commanders in the Navy,
His Excellency the Count de Rochambeau, Commander-in-Chief,
And the generals and colonels of his army,
and acquaint them that the society does itself the honor to consider them members.
Resolved, That a copy of the foregoing Institution be given to the senior officer of each state line, and that the officers of the respective state lines sign their names to the same, in manner and form following, viz.: —
We, the subscribers, officers of the American army, do hereby voluntarily become parties to the foregoing Institution, and do bind ourselves to observe, and be governed by, the principles therein contained. For the performance whereof we do solemnly pledge to each other our sacred honor.
Done in the Cantonment, on Hudson River, in the year 1783.
That the members of the society, at the time of subscribing their names to the Institution, do also sign a draft on the paymaster-general in the following terms (the regiments to do it regimentally, and the generals and other officers not belonging to regiments, each for himself, individually), viz.: —
To John Pierce, Esquire, Paymaster-General of the United States.
Sir, — Please to pay to treasurer for the state asssociation of the Cincinnati, or his order, one month’s pay of our several grades respectively, and deduct the same from the balance which shall be found due to us on the final liquidation of our accounts, for which this shall be your warrant.
That the members of the several state societies assemble as soon as may be, for the choice of their president and other officers; and that the presidents correspond together and appoint a meeting of the officers who may be chosen for each state, in order to pursue such further measures as may be judged necessary.
That the general officers, and the officers delegated to represent the several corps of the army, subscribe to the Institution of the general society, for themselves and their constituents, in the manner and form before prescribed.
That General Heath, General Baron de Steuben, and General Knox be a committee to wait on his excellency the commander-in-chief, with a copy of the Institution, and request him to honor the society by placing his name at the head of it.
That Major-General Heath, second in command in this army, be — and he hereby is — desired to transmit copies of the Institution, with the proceedings thereon, to the commanding officer of the Southern army, the senior officer in each state, from Pennsylvania to Georgia inclusive, and to the commanding officer of the Rhode Island line, requesting them to communicate the same to the officers under their several commands, and to take such measures as may appear to them necessary for expediting the establishment of their state societies, and sending a delegation to represent them in the first general meeting, to be holden on the first Monday in May, 1784.
The meeting then adjourned without day.
Mr. Abner C. Goodell, Jr., spoke as follows: —
The paper before us is one of several which Mr. Hilton selected from the collection of his uncle, the late Hon. Samuel C. Cobb, upon one of which I discoursed at considerable length at our December meeting. It is by far the most interesting of the lot, and, for historical purposes, the most valuable. It is an incomplete draught, in the handwriting of Washington, of the original plan for establishing the Society of the Cincinnati.
The presentation and consideration of this precious document, upon which Mr. Hilton has asked me to make some comments, have purposely been postponed to our February meeting, which, occurring on the eve of the anniversary of the birth of Washington, was thought the most opportune occasion for calling your attention to it as a rare memorial of the Pater Patriæ.
The importance of the paper, aside from the fact that it is, unquestionably, wholly autographic, consists in its being the only known document showing that the particular feature of the original Articles of Association of the Cincinnati which was made the subject of special animadversion in Ædanus Burke’s “Considerations” (in which he also covertly attempted to connect the aims of the Association with the supposed unworthy purposes of the famous Newburgh Addresses) was inserted, if not at the suggestion, certainly with the distinct approval, of Washington. This feature — the clause relating to hereditary membership — was seized upon by the politicians of that day, and made a party shibboleth to foment the most extraordinary hostility, not only widely among the people and by the press, but in several of the State legislatures.
General Knox is now universally regarded as the founder of the Cincinnati. If he was not the first to conceive of such an organization, which may be doubted, his claim to the authorship of the first written scheme for the establishment and regulation of that body is put beyond dispute by the discovery, among his papers, of the earliest crude draught of the Articles of Association in his handwriting (and interlined and amended by him), under date of 15 April, 1783.
Now the draught before us is substantially a copy of Knox’s original draught, revised and cleanly reproduced, with the addition only of a single full paragraph, besides such minor changes as seemed necessary to render it more perspicuous and to improve its style. The paper covers, as you see, four pages of cap size, and the catch-word at the end of the fourth page shows that it is only a part of the document written out by Washington. Unfortunately the remainder has not been found, which is to be regretted, chiefly, because it might afford a clew to, if it did not contain explicit evidence of, the precise date at which it was written, the person or persons through whom it came to its late custodian, and the circumstances which induced Washington to take a hand in its preparation. However, by carefully comparing it with Knox’s draught of 15 April, 1783, and with the Articles of Association as finally approved and adopted on the thirteenth of May following, by the field and line officers of the American army, it appears unquestionably that the paper was written between those dates.
The Articles of Association adopted were reported by a committee of four officers appointed, on the tenth of May, at a meeting held at the headquarters of the Baron de Steuben, at a cantonment on the Hudson, — the Baron himself presiding. The new and final draught agreed upon by this committee was in the handwriting of Captain Shaw, the officer whose name appears last in order upon the list of the committee; which circumstance led, at one time, to the supposition that Shaw was the author or compiler.299 The chairman of this committee, however, was Knox himself; and the committee’s re-draught is evidently based upon his original composition; which gives plausibility to the surmise that Washington’s revision was first submitted to the chairman, and was retained by him after the committee had reported, and that so it might have come directly from Knox to his friend, General Cobb, from whom it descended to Cobb’s grandson.
Another surmise, however, equally plausible, is that, since General David Cobb was a member of Washington’s military family, it may have passed to him directly from Washington, or, what is quite as probable, that it may have been received by him from the hands, or as part of the posthumous effects, of General Henry Jackson, who was the lifelong friend and correspondent of General Knox, and his business agent while the latter was Secretary of War. Jackson was also the first Treasurer of the Massachusetts Society. Generals Jackson and Cobb were not only intimate friends, — the latter naming one of his children for his brother officer, but it significantly appears that another paper in the Cobb collection refers to Jackson, and to his friendship for Madam Swan, in whose tomb his body was deposited after death. This last-named paper is of so personal a nature as hardly to have been treasured by any other than himself. These, however, as I have said, are surmises with more or less foundation in fact.300
I am glad to be assured by Mr. Hilton that he intends to make an exhaustive search for the missing portion of the paper, in the course of which I suggest to him that he carefully inspect other papers inherited by his uncle, in the hope of obtaining further light as to the history of this document, which so far as can be ascertained is absolutely unique, and certainly of interest not inferior to that of any paper which, for these many years past, has been brought as a novelty to the notice of any historical society.
I trust I may be pardoned for trespassing upon your patience by adding a few words concerning the political tempest which was raised over the institution of the Society of the Cincinnati. From the standpoint of to-day it would seem incredible that a man of Franklin’s philosophic mental character could have been drawn into the vortex of apprehension and resentment which was produced in the current of public opinion by the act of this simple, voluntary association. But men must be judged by contemporary standards; and there was some reason for clear-headed patriots at that time to fear that in the establishment of a national government there would be influences exerted, especially by those who were not wholly emancipated from their old notions of loyalty, or who had imbibed Blackstone’s plausible theories as to the perfection of the English political system, to set up an aristocracy, if not a nobility, in what had been so recently the British possessions in America. And, really, the absurdity of these groundless fears is not greater than the foolish antipathy exhibited in our day to capitalists, and the “protection” of so-called millionnaire manufacturers. We have not yet reached that stage of progress in which the generality of American citizens clearly discern the essential distinction between a hereditary aristocracy (or a segregate class or caste, created, subsidized, and maintained by the fundamental law, or exclusively established in a monopoly, by partial legislation) and wealth or influence attained by fair competition in a field open to all. The same encouragement which unreasonable prejudice received from leaders of the people, in Washington’s day, is now vouchsafed to the visionary doctrinaires who, by encouraging the organizers of lawless assaults upon the fortunate and thrifty, are undermining the authority of government, and threatening the State with absolute anarchy.
This is not the place for an extended panegyric of the members of the Cincinnati, nor of the Institution itself; and if it were, there are others of our Society better entitled, from their intimate relations to the first members of that patriotic order, to pronounce the eulogy. But I feel that I ought not to allow this opportunity to pass unimproved to express my utter detestation of the spirit of hostility which inspired the mean attempts, that have become historical, to cast obloquy on those pure patriots who, having for eight weary years formed ties of warmest friendship in the camp and on the field of battle, sought, through the medium of this combination for social and benevolent purposes, to strengthen those ties, and to perpetuate them in their posterity. Fealty to historic truth, and to every generous sentiment, constrains me on this memorial occasion to denounce in the bitterness of Pindar’s simile that unscrupulous horde who assailed with every form of vituperation the ideal patriot, the majestic, the immortal Washington, — those
“ — rooks and chattering daws that, with loquacious cries, Pursue the bird of Jove that sails along the skies.”
If no sense of shame restrained those who throughout the Revolutionary War were fêted and flattered by foreign courts, or those who at the bar preyed on clients at their mercy, or purveyed for the army at enormous profit, or in the security of their counting-rooms repleted their coffers by domestic speculations or foreign ventures, — if these, I repeat, were restrained by no sense of shame, or gratitude, from jealousy of their fellow-citizens, who, deprived of every home comfort through months of hunger, exposure, and disease, endured for their country the rigors of Canadian frosts, the miseries of Valley Forge, and the miasms of Southern swamps, in a triumphant contest with the best military forces of Europe, — we who at this distance survey the panorama of the past, and are able to discern the comparative merits of those who rose to distinction during the terrible throes which attended the birth of our Nation, ought not to be insensible of the grandeur of the character of Washington. His meek surrender to the silly clamor against an imaginary conspiracy for upbuilding an aristocracy, and his consenting, at the suggestion of Jefferson, to urge an amendment to the original Articles of Association of the Cincinnati, by which the clause providing for hereditary honors was stricken out, are illustrations of one side of his character which can never be too much admired. For the sake of conciliating those who had never been his friends, and to retain the good-will of sentimentalists, and the well-meaning among the dupes of ungrateful demagogues, that noblest of men consented to a retractation which was construed to imply that he had been Avilling to subvert the principle of equality which is the corner-stone of our political fabric.301 Yet the very name of the Association, derived from that of the patriot Roman Consul, suggested the resumption of the peaceful arts, and the renunciation of the pomp and circumstance of war, and all the distinctions of rank, as soon as the invading foe should have been vanquished, and, with his departure, the cause of strife and bitterness removed.
The Cincinnati, however, needed no such adventitious aid as the inheritance of the honors of heroism and patriotism would imply. In giving to the nation the great free Northwest as a garden for the cultivation and dissemination of all the best traditions of New England, this band of patriots at once provided for the conservation of republican ideas, and ennobled every true son of America. This crowning act of the Cincinnati is fittingly com memorated by the name which is still borne in their honor by the “Queen City” on the banks of the Ohio.
Let us to-day reverently turn our eyes westward, and repeat the legend inscribed, with Washington’s approval, on the medal of the Association which he helped to found, — “Esto perpetua!”
The thanks of the Society were given to Mr. Hilton for his valuable present.
The following is the text of the Original Minutes of the Convention of Delegates of Bristol County held at Taunton 4 and 5 January, 1775,302 presented by Mr. Hilton at the December Meeting, and upon which Mr. Goodell offered the remarks printed below: —
 At a Meeting Convention of Deligates from the several Towns in ye County of Bristol, held at Taunton on the 4th & 5th days Jany 1775 ye following Resolutions & Recommendations were unanimously Voted for the direction of the County.
 That ye Convention recommend to the several Towns in this County a determin’d & strick compliance with the association of ye Continental congress & that Committees of Inspection their recommendd be immediately chosen by each Town, whose duty it shall be to cearfully & vigilantly inspect ye conduct & behaivour of every individual respecting their compliance therewith & yt it be recommended to every Town to purchase such a number of ye convention Association papers of ye Continental Congress as they shall think proper so yt each the people in general may know then Duty.
Whereas Harryson Gray Esqr, formerly the Treasurer of this Province, being instigated by ye Maliee of a wicked heart; has by to accepting of a commission to subvert the happy constitution of this provence, by which he has not only forfeited that theconfidence of the people of this provence County but has thereby render’d himself an unconstitusional Treasurer; And as the people of ye Provence, in its present disturb’d state, can never know in what manner their money303 is expended, if it is pay’d to him as Treasurer, wch is ye essence of Government, therefore. Resolv’d that, ye Towns in this County, if they mean to be actuated by ye Laws of God & ye Principles of a free Government do immediately order their respecty constables not pay any Money into ye sd Harryson Gray; but as ye necessities of Government has oblig’d the good people of ye provence in Congress assembled to make chose of Henry Gardner Esqr of Stow as a Treasurer who has given sufficient security for ye faithfull performance of his office, by which our property may be secur’d & ye exigenses of the provence supplied; therefore we ernestly recommend to the Towns in this County that they order their respective Constables & indemnify them therefor immediately to collect & pay to Henry Gardner Esqr of Stow their arrerges of Provence Taxes & the Tax Voted last years pay May session of the General Court.
 As ye Militia of this County in general have not complied with the desire of ye Provincial Congress, & as the safety of this Country must, under God, depend in a great measure, in its present alarming scituation, on a regular disaplin’d Militia, We therefore ye Deligates of ye County do in a most serious Manner recommend to ye several Companies of Militia in the County, that they immediately inlist a quarter [part at least] of their Companies & see that they [are] acquip’d with a Good Gun, wth an Iron Ram-Rod, Bayonet & a Cotouch Box & yt they are properly Instruct’d by a person skill’d in ye Military Art as soon as possible each person having 30 rounds of Cartridges, & that each Town in the County use their utmost endeavours to be provided with a double stock, or more, of [good] powder lead & flints.
As a Congress of this Provence is soon to be conven’d at Cambridge, we recommend to the several Towns in this County to chose Members therefor & that they do not elect more Members than what is customary for a General Court, as we wou’d comply as far as possible with an [that] equal representation long since experienc’d to the benefit of this Provence.
That the Clerk of this Convention forward a Copy of these Resolutions to every Town in ye County as soon as possible.
Mr. Goodell said of the foregoing paper: —
I have been asked to make some remarks in explanation of one other paper presented by Mr. Hilton, which appears to be the first draught of certain Resolutions adopted at a convention of delegates from the several towns in Bristol County on 4 and 5 January, 1775. The objects of these Resolutions are, first, to recommend to the several towns in the county that the proposal by the Continental Congress of an association be complied with, and that the recommendation of the same Congress of the formation of Committees of Inspection be adopted and carried out; second, to approve of the orders of the Provincial Congress of the previous October, that money collected as public taxes be paid over to Henry Gardner, instead of to Harrison Gray, the Province Treasurer; and, third, to recommend to the several companies of militia in the county that the orders of the latter Congress in relation to filling up and drilling and equipping the militia, and forming from them the detachment known as minute-men, be observed.
Another Resolve recommended the several towns in the county not to send more delegates to the Provincial Congress, to be convened at Cambridge in February, 1775, than the number of deputies that had been customarily elected to the General Court.
The final Resolve required the clerk of the Convention to forward a copy of the Resolutions to every town in the county, as soon as possible.
This paper is worthy of preservation as establishing some facts in our Revolutionary history not to be got from the public archives, nor, so far as I have been able to learn, found in contemporaneous newspapers.
Mr. Francis C. Lowell communicated, in behalf of the Hon. Leverett Saltonstall, who was unable to be present, a Memoir of Frederick Lothrop Ames.
Frederick Lothrop Ames, distinguished for his high character, was well known as one of the largest capitalists in the country. He was born in North Easton, Massachusetts, 8 June, 1835. He was the only son of Oliver and Sarah (Lothrop) Ames, great-grandson of Captain John Ames of Bridgewater, and grandson of the first Oliver, who founded the house of Oliver Ames and Sons, and, in 1803, built the works at North Easton for the manufacture of shovels, — an establishment which has long been famous, not only throughout the country, but all over the world, — Oliver, his father, and Oakes, his uncle, father of Ex-Governor Ames, being the other members of the firm. His mother was daughter of Hon. Howard Lothrop of Easton, and sister of Hon. George Van Ness Lothrop, United States Minister to Russia during the first administration of President Cleveland.
Mr. Ames, thus descended from good, sturdy, Old Colony families, marked for their many virtues and vigorous traits of character, throughout his active life, in every word and act, evinced his inheritance of these sterling qualities. No one ever met him without being impressed by his uprightness, intelligence, and good judgment. Prepared for college at Concord and Phillips (Exeter) Academy, he entered Harvard at fifteen years of age, and was one of the youngest in the class of 1854. Known to his classmates as a quiet, unassuming young man, who preferred the retirement of his own room to the social life of the college clubs, he held their entire respect, and after graduating became one of the most conspicuous members of the class.
He wished to study law; but in accordance with the custom of his family, and at the strong desire of his father, he became a clerk in the establishment of Oliver Ames and Sons at North Easton, and devoted his whole attention to acquiring an accurate knowledge of its affairs. So rapidly did he advance that he soon was placed in charge of the Accountants’ Department. He was admitted a member of the firm in 1863, and in 1876, when the firm was incorporated as the Oliver Ames and Sons Corporation, he became its Treasurer, and held that office while he lived.
Mr. Ames did not, however, confine his attention to manufacturing, but early in his business career, impressed by the rapid development of the Western country, he became interested in the great railroads which span the continent, and have brought about such miraculous results in the enormous increase of the population and wealth of the country; so that at the death of his father, and before the inheritance of his vast estate, he had acquired through his own intelligence and industry an ample fortune, and filled many important offices of trust.
The Union Pacific Railway, at the time of its inception, was undoubtedly the greatest enterprise of its kind which had ever been attempted or even conceived. Most men were quite incredulous as to the possibility of building a railroad hundreds of miles, over desert plains and across vast mountain-ranges, through regions inhabited only by Indian tribes and wild beasts. It appeared to be an impracticable scheme; but Mr. Ames’s father and uncle, seeing and fully appreciating the necessity of more rapid communication with the young giant State of the Pacific coast, and of binding it to the Union by links of steel, zealously threw themselves into the work, and, overcoming every obstacle, were chiefly instrumental in bringing to a triumphant conclusion that magnificent work, the pioneer of all the great trans-continental railroads of the country and of the world, — a work which should entitle them to enduring fame and gratitude.
Quite naturally, then, Mr. Ames at the death of his father assumed his place, not only as the head of the North Easton establishment, but as one of the principal owners and directors of the Union Pacific Railway Company, always continuing to devote a large part of his time to its interests. He was at the time of his death officially connected with some seventy-five railroads, and was conceded to be one of the best informed men on all matters pertaining to this branch of enterprise in the country. In addition to the Union Pacific Railway Company, in which he was so largely interested, and which, perhaps, received the greatest share of his time and attention, and to the Oregon Short Line, now known as the Oregon Short Line and Utah Northern Railway, — probably the most important branch line which the Union Pacific ever carried through, — a few of the prominent companies with which he was officially connected may be enumerated. He had been Vice-President of the Old Colony Railroad and the Old Colony Steamship Company, and was active in the directory of the Western Union Telegraph Company. He was also a Director in the General Electric Company; the Chicago and Northwestern Railway Company; the Atchison, Colorado, and Pacific Railroad Company; the Atchison, Jewell County, and Western Railroad Company; the Boulder Valley and Central City Wagon Road Company; the Bozeman Coal Company; the Carbon Cut-off Railway Company; the Central Branch Union Pacific Railway Company up Pike’s Peak; the Colorado Western Railroad Company; the Denver, Leadville, and Gunnison Railway Company; the Denver Union Railway and Terminal Company; the Echo and Park City Railway Company; the Fort Worth and Denver City Railway Company; the Green River Water Works Company; the Fitchburg Railroad; the Fall River Line; the Morrison Stone, Lime, and Town Company; the Oregon Railway and Navigation Company; the Oregon Railway Extension Company; the Rattlesnake Creek Water Company; the South Park Coal Company; the Union Coal Company; the Union Elevator Company of Omaha; and the Union Land Company; and of the American Loan and Trust Company, the New-England Trust Company, the Bay State Trust Company, the Old Colony Trust Company, and the Security Safe Deposit and Trust Company, all of Boston; as well as of the Mercantile Trust Company of New York. He was President of the First National Bank of Easton, of the North Easton Savings Bank, and of the Hoosac Tunnel Dock and Elevator Company.
He was never satisfied to hold office in any of these and other corporations without acquainting himself with the details of their transactions, and in most cases being able to answer all questions relating to them. Such was the strength of his remarkable memory.
Mr. Ames, amid his vast business cares, was a most kind and generous man. After his father’s death he assumed and continued his pensions and charities, besides incurring new obligations of the same kind. He never turned a deaf ear to one whom he believed to be a sufferer, or to a charity which he considered meritorious. A keen judge of men, he readily drew the line between impostors and deserving applicants, and was as quick to dismiss the one as he was ready to give his ear and open his hand to the other. He was President of the Home for Incurables, Trustee of the Children’s Hospital, of the Massachusetts General Hospital, and of the McLean Asylum. He took a strong interest also in the Kindergarten for the Blind, and gave it both time and money. He was one of the Fellows of Harvard College, and was a liberal benefactor of the Botanical Garden and of the Arnold Arboretum. Mr. Ames was well known as one of the most accomplished and enthusiastic lovers of Horticulture, and was for many years a director and one of the most influential members of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society. His beautiful grounds at North Easton evinced his fine taste and great knowledge of this pursuit. Here it was indeed a great pleasure to see him, after he had laid aside the cares of the day, to accompany him through his shrubberies, gardens, and greenhouses, and to hear him, in his gentle, modest way, discourse on their various treasures. His collection of orchids was the most complete in the country, and probably was unsurpassed in the world. Gathered from every source, there were eight thousand plants and seventeen hundred varieties of these rare exotics, some of which were propagated by himself. As he walked through the houses containing them with the Trustees of the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture, who were his guests only five days before his death, his gentle and affectionate manner to them was only equalled by his loving, tender expression, as he touched and described the many varieties of these exquisite flowers, with their difficult names, by which, without a moment’s hesitation, he designated any one of them. Had he on that day been asked with which of his many pursuits he would wish his memory to be identified, he would, I think, have answered, “As a devoted lover of Horticulture.”
One seldom sees a man carrying such a vast burden of cares, and remembering to a nicety at all times the particular points which mark each and every one of them, so that when questioned he would, in concise terms and fewest possible words, give a clear account of any, while at the same time his gentle, unruffled manner impressed you as that of one having not a care in the world.
A zealous Unitarian, he interested himself greatly in the attractive church of that denomination in North Easton, which was erected by his father, and in which he and his mother had placed an exquisite window to the memory of his beloved sister. The First Church in Boston also will sadly feel the loss of its devoted parishioner, who was the head of its executive committee, and was always ready with his time and money to advance its interests. He carried into his daily life his composed manner, amid all his varied trials, never using harsh language, whatever the provocation.
Mr. Ames was a true lover and an excellent judge of the fine arts, and displayed admirable judgment in the selection of his great collection of paintings, tapestries, jades, and crystals, — among the latter owning the largest in the world. His beautiful houses contained fine paintings by Troyon, Millais, Rousseau, Corot, Diaz, Daubigny, and others, with two admirable portraits by Rembrandt, bearing the date of 1632, which Mrs. Ames has recently presented to the Museum of Fine Arts. All these valuable works of art he liberally exhibited at the Museum of Fine Arts, to the great enjoyment and instruction of the people. He selected these paintings himself, and in his selection showed the good judgment which characterized him in everything he undertook. He embellished his two homes with them, not because fashion rendered it imperative to adorn his walls, but because he was a true lover of art. They gave him many an hour of rest and happiness. He was, fortunately, able to gratify this refined taste, and he did so without stint.
Early in the career of Richardson, the architect, Mr. Ames became one of his most generous patrons. The Public Library at North Easton, designed by Richardson, built and endowed according to the bequest of Mr. Ames’s father, was an object of pride to the son, who took the strongest interest in it, and with his mother and sister largely increased its means of usefulness.
The rustic Gate-Lodge, built of massive boulders, which excites the admiration of all who see it, was also an original and characteristic work of Richardson. The noble store at the corner of Bedford and Kingston Streets, almost too beautiful for a commercial building, which was recently destroyed by fire, showed the cultivated taste of this admirable architect. The railroad station at North Easton was erected by Mr. Ames at his own expense, after the design of Richardson. Mr. Ames, of late years, rapidly increased his holdings of real estate in Boston, and after the death of Richardson employed his pupils and successors in erecting the stately building at the corner of Washington and Court Streets, known as the Ames Building, which is so perfect in all its details that it is an ornament to the city and an object lesson in architecture.
Mr. Ames was thus in the prime of his usefulness at the time of his death, with his clear head and sound judgment directing affairs of infinite variety and vast importance, and with his abundant means generously aiding them in their necessities. In the still nobler work of educating the people, he cultivated their taste for architecture by setting before them the purest and best examples; for art, by procuring and exhibiting the works of the masters; and for the refining love of flowers, by his wonderful collections which he freely opened to them. As an agriculturist, too, he was one of the Trustees of the Massachusetts Society for Promoting Agriculture, and carried on a large farm at North Easton according to the most scientific methods, — not for his own selfish amusement, however, but largely with the view of benefiting the inhabitants of North Easton by supplying them with pure milk.
It is well known that Mr. Ames was giving his attention to a noble work which he contemplated for Harvard College. Being one of the Fellows of the Corporation, and knowing well the pressing need of a new building for its rapidly growing library, he determined to erect one at his own expense. So far as is known, it would have been an edifice worthy the object and the benefactor, — as conspicuous for its usefulness as for its beauty, and an enduring monument to his memory. It would have shown to future generations the great scheme of liberality on which the last thoughts of his life were concentrated. Alas! he did not live to carry out his generous design; but his recognition of the obligations imposed upon him by his great success is the most impressive act of his life, and the failure of its completion in no way impairs the esteem to which he is entitled for its conception.
Truly was he a most exceptional man, respected by all who knew him, and beloved by his friends. Few men ever devoted themselves to so many and varied interests, attaining distinction in all with such apparent ease. A friend might enter his office at any time, and always meet with a cordial reception, as though he had not a care to occupy him. In his daily walks, apparently calm and undisturbed, he was keenly observant of what he saw, and of those whom he met. There was a dignity, a gentleness, and urbanity in his nature which were most attractive.
In politics Mr. Ames was a stanch Republican; but, though very earnest in his convictions, he had no ambition to enter the political arena. In 1872 he was elected, against his strong remonstrance, to the State Senate, where he served on the Committees on Manufactures and Agriculture.
On 7 June, 1860, Mr. Ames was married to Rebecca Caroline, the only child of James Blair, of St. Louis, Missouri. Five of their six children are now living, — Helen Angier, wife of Robert C. Hooper of Boston; Oliver, who married Elise A. West of Boston; Mary Shreve; Lothrop; and John Stanley. His death occurred suddenly, and while he was apparently in full health, 13 September, 1893. Thus, in the height of his activity, was taken from us this rare man, this courteous, dignified, Christian gentleman. His loss will long be lamented by his many friends, as well as by the financial circles of Boston and New England.
Mr. Ames was elected a member of this Society, 15 March, 1893.