Annual Meeting

    November, 1953

    THE Annual Meeting of the Society was held at the Algonquin Club, No. 217 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, on Friday, 21 November 1953, at a quarter before seven o’clock in the evening, the President, Hon. Robert Walcott, in the chair.

    With the consent of those present, the reading of the minutes of the last Stated Meeting was omitted.

    Mr. William Hutchinson Pynchon Oliver, of Morristown, New Jersey, and Mr. Ray Nash, of Hanover, New Hampshire, were elected Corresponding Members of the Society.

    The Annual Report of the Council was read by Mr. Walter Muir Whitehill.

    Report of the Council

    FOLLOWING the pattern of the past quarter century, the Society met four times during the year. At the Annual Meeting on 21 November 1952 the magnificence of the lobsters provided for those gentlemen who observed the Friday fast caused envious glances and searchings of soul among many of the members who attacked the traditional saddles of lamb. The speaker was Sir Richard Livingstone, sometime President of Corpus Christi College and Vice-Chancellor of Oxford University. The two winter meetings were held at the Club of Odd Volumes. On 18 December, our former Corresponding Secretary, the Reverend Charles E. Park returned after a long absence to read a paper entitled “Puritans and Quakers,” while on 26 February both Vice Presidents offered contributions, Mr. Gummere speaking on “Byrd and Sewall, Two Colonial Classicists” and Mr. Morison reading an account by the Abbe Casgrain of his visit to Boston in 1871, during which he was the guest of Francis Parkman. On 23 April the Society returned to its former custom of crossing the river to Cambridge, meeting at the Signet Society as guests of President Walcott. On this occasion, Professor Warren O. Ault read a paper entitled “The Court Roll of the Manor of Scrooby.” The Society elected the following members:


    • Thomas Boylston Adams
    • Robert Hammond Haynes


    • Raleigh Ashlin Skelton
    • Frederick George Emmison


    • Everett Harold Hugo

    Seven members have died during the year:

    Alice Bache Gould, an Honorary Member since 1947, died on 25 July 1953, the feast of Santiago el Mayor, Patron of Spain, while crossing the drawbridge across the moat of the castle of Simancas in the twilight. The daughter of our first President, Benjamin Apthorp Gould, she spent four decades in Spanish archives establishing the identities of Columbus’s crew. A phenomenal scholar, with zest for attacking and skill in achieving the seemingly impossible, Miss Gould was more widely known in Spain than in her native Massachusetts. It was appropriate that she should have worn the cross of Isabel la Catolica; it was equally fitting that she should have been the only woman ever elected to this Society.

    Douglas Southall Freeman, an Honorary Member since 1951, died on 13 June 1953. The incomparable biographer of the greatest Virginians and the worthy successor of their traditions, Dr. Freeman nevertheless delighted in claiming Cape Cod colonial origins.

    Reverend Warner Foote Gookin, a Non-Resident Member since 1952, died on 2 March 1953. A priest of the Episcopal church, living in retirement on Martha’s Vineyard, he continued, in spite of failing health, to pursue studies of Gosnold and the early explorers of our coast.

    William Greene Roelker, elected a Resident Member in 1938, transferred to Corresponding Membership in 1941, and to Non-Resident Membership in 1950, died on 29 May 1953. After twenty-five years in business, he turned to the graduate study of American history. His sudden death by accident cut short a useful second career as Director of the Rhode Island Historical Society.

    Frederic Adrian Delano, a Corresponding Member since 1918, died on 28 March 1953 at the age of eighty-nine. President of three railroads, a colonel in the old war, and public servant under four presidents of the United States, he served as chairman of the National Resources Planning Commission during the presidency of his nephew, F. D. R.

    John Marshall Phillips, a Corresponding Member since 1950, died on 7 May 1953. The foremost authority upon American silver, Mr. Phillips ably directed the Yale University Art Gallery. His early death saddens many scholars, who have lost not only a valued colleague but a dear friend.

    Reginald Fitz, a Resident Member since 1934, died 27 May 1953. A distinguished member of the Faculty of Medicine of both Boston and Harvard Universities, medical historian, university marshal at Harvard for two decades, Dr. Fitz was a member of the Council of this Society at the time of his death. Few men have been so universally valued in this Society, as in their profession and in the whole community.

    The Society has continued to act as co-publisher of the New England Quarterly, now in its twenty-sixth year. In commemoration of the Society’s sixtieth anniversary a Handbook, containing an historical sketch and complete lists of members, has been printed and distributed. The task of establishing the membership lists was begun by the Reverend Frederick Lewis Weis, and completed by the Editor.

    Two volumes of collections dealing with early Maine land grants and speculation will be distributed during the coming winter. This project sprang from the bequest to the Society by George Nixon Black, a Resident Member from 1894 until his death in 1928, of a group of papers of his great-grandfather, General David Cobb, who was the Maine agent for William Bingham of Philadelphia in the extensive maneuvers that opened that eastern district of Massachusetts to settlement. In the late thirties, our fellow member, Mr. Frederick S. Allis, Jr. of Phillips Academy, Andover, was commissioned to edit the Cobb papers for publication by the Society. Attacking the problem with praiseworthy thoroughness, Mr. Allis gained access to related papers in the offices of the Bingham Trust in Philadelphia, which greatly expanded the scope of his work. Service in the United States Naval Reserve during the war caused him to set the project aside for several years, but since returning to Andover he has continued to such purpose that in June 1952 a very substantial manuscript was sent to press. In September last, when some 400 galleys were corrected, and there seemed every reason to believe that the bound volumes would be in our members’ hands by the time of the Annual Meeting, Mr. Allis and Professor Moody discovered in the Library of Congress newly acquired microfilms of pertinent papers from the files of Baring Brothers, who were deeply involved in the Maine lands. As permission to publish this material, which admirably supplements the galleys already in type, was graciously given by Lord Ashburton, it seemed wise to delay an already extended project by a few more months.

    The Treasurer submitted his Annual Report as follows:

    Report of the Treasurer

    In accordance with the requirements of the By-laws, the Treasurer submits his Annual Report for the year ending 14 November 1953.

    Statement of Assets and Funds, 14 November 1953









    Investments at Book Value:


    Bonds (Market Value $136,827.81)



    Stocks (Market Value $222,855.63)



    Savings Bank Deposit



    Total Assets.







    Unexpended Income



    Total Funds



    Income Cash Receipts and Disbursements

    Balance, 14 November 1952










    Annual Assessments



    Sales of Publications



    Total Receipts of Income




    New England Quarterly



    Handbook of the Colonial Society



    Other publications



    Editor’s Salary



    Secretarial Expense



    Annual Dinner






    Auditing Services



    Notices and Expenses of Meetings



    Fire Insurance



    Postage, Office Supplies and Miscellaneous



    Contingent Fund



    National Trust—Active Membership



    Interest on Sarah Louise Edes Fund added to Principal



    Interest on Albert Matthews Fund added to Principal



    Total Disbursements of Income



    Balance of Income, 14 November 1953



    Mr. Willard G. Cogswell reported that the Auditing Committee had employed Messrs. Stewart, Watts and Bollong, Public Accountants and Auditors, to make an audit of the accounts and to examine the securities, and presented the report of that firm to the meeting.

    The several reports were accepted and referred to the Committee on Publication.

    On behalf of the committee appointed to nominate officers for the ensuing year the following list was presented; and a ballot having been taken, these gentlemen were unanimously elected:


    • Robert Walcott


    • Samuel Eliot Morison
    • Richard Mott Gummere

    Recording Secretary

    • Robert Earle Moody

    Corresponding Secretary

    • David Britton Little


    • James Melville Hunnewell

    Member of the Council for Three Years

    • Palfrey Perkins

    Member of the Council for One Year

    • Stephen Thomas Riley

    After the meeting was dissolved, dinner was served. The guests of the Society were Sir Herbert Read, Colonel George L. Smith, Messrs. Isaiah Berlin, Christopher Hawkes, Ray Nash, and Hugh Whitney. The Reverend Henry Wilder Foote said grace.

    After dinner Mr. Samuel Eliot Morison read the Mayflower Compact, Mr. David McCord read several of his poems, and Sir Herbert Read, Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard University, addressed the Society.