Annual Meeting

    November, 1954

    THE Annual Meeting of the Society was held at the Algonquin Club, No. 217 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston, on Monday, 22 November 1954, at 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.

    The Corresponding Secretary reported the receipt of letters from Mr. Hugh Whitney, of Boston, accepting election to Resident Membership; from Mr. Thompson Ritner Harlow, of Hartford, Connecticut, accepting election to Non-Resident Membership; and from Mr. Robert Sturgis Ingersoll, of Philadelphia, accepting election to Corresponding Membership in the Society.

    Mr. Waldo Gifford Leland, of Washington, D. C., was elected an Honorary Member, and Mr. William Bentinck Smith, of Groton, was elected a Resident Member of the Society.

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

    Report of the Council

    THE recent appearance of volumes 36 and 37 of the Society’s Publications completes an undertaking that has occupied some sixteen years. George Nixon Black, who was elected to the Colonial Society in 1894, on his death in 1928 bequeathed us not only a generous sum of money but the papers of his great-grandfather, General David Cobb, who was a significant figure in the development of the district of Maine. In 1938, at the instigation of S. E. Morison, the Council requested Mr. Frederick S. Allis, Jr. of the History Department at Phillips Academy, Andover, to edit a volume of selections from the Cobb Papers with pertinent extracts from the papers of General Henry Knox. The choice of an editor proved a fortunate one for historians of Maine, for Mr. Allis was successful in obtaining access to important papers in the Bingham Estate archives in Philadelphia that had previously not been available to scholars. His work was interrupted by naval service during the war, and publication was further delayed by the discovery of significant documents in the Baring Papers. The two substantial volumes, totaling more than 1,300 pages and liberally illustrated with contemporary maps and Stuart portraits of the principal protagonists, indicate how in skilful hands a work that was initially conceived in terms of respect to the memory of a friend and benefactor of the Society may be enlarged into a historical contribution of broader significance. William Bingham’s Maine Lands, 1790–1820, which reflect great credit upon Mr. Allis, were distributed to Resident Members during the past week. Copies will be mailed to members in the other classes within a few days as they come from the bindery.

    With the completion of this work, which has occupied the available time that The Anthoensen Press can spare for the Society’s work in the past year, it will be possible for the Editor to make rapid progress on Volume 38, which will include the Transactions of recent years. In addition to contributing $3,200 to the New England Quarterly, of which it is co-publisher, the Society has made a grant of $750 to The American Neptune: a Quarterly Journal of Maritime History.

    The meetings of the Society, four in number, have followed the pattern of recent years. At the Annual Meeting on 21 November 1953 the speaker was Sir Herbert Read, Charles Eliot Norton Professor of Poetry at Harvard College. At the December meeting, Mr. Allis spoke on the Baring Papers; in February Professor Howard Mumford Jones read a paper entitled “Republican Humanism,” and in April Professor Silvio Zavala, a visiting lecturer at Harvard from Mexico City described “The Influence of More’s Utopia in Mexico around 1530.” For the first time in many years all three regular meetings were held at the Club of Odd Volumes. As the possibility of meeting at members’ houses is steadily diminishing, the prospect that the Society may have a home of its own in the near future seemed particularly attractive to the Council. In September 1954, Mrs. Llewellyn Howland of South Dartmouth, Massachusetts, most generously offered to give the Society the fine Bulfinch house at 87 Mount Vernon Street, with the expectation of adding an endowment that would permit its maintenance without reducing the Society’s publication funds. Although the Council, upon careful investigation, was enthusiastically convinced of the possibility of putting the house to good use, it did not wish to exercise its right to accept gifts offered the Society without knowing the opinion of the membership. Consequently in mid October a letter was sent to the 120 living Resident Members. As 101 of the 107 who replied expressed approval, the Council, feeling that there was no reasonable doubt of the interest of a strong majority, expressed its thanks to Mrs. Howland and asked her to have her lawyer consult with Mr. R. Ammi Cutter (acting on behalf of the Society) regarding the technicalities of the transfer of the house and the endowment. These legal negotiations are proceeding with harmony, and it is hoped that they may be completed before the end of the year. Mr. Morison has expressed the opinion that the ghost of H. H. Edes is leaping for joy in its grave.

    Since the Annual Meeting four Resident and one Corresponding Members have died.

    Julian Lowell Coolidge, a Resident Member since 1947, Professor of Mathematics Emeritus in Harvard College, who as the first Master of Lowell House from 1930 to 1940, signally shaped the pattern of his cousin Lawrence Lowell’s house plan, resigned in December 1953 and died in March 1954.

    James Melville Hunnewell, a Resident Member since 1922, and Treasurer since 1931, died in March 1954. His painstaking devotion and service to the Society was rivaled only by that of its founder who was also its Treasurer.

    James Duncan Phillips, a Resident Member since 1930, historian of Salem, died on 19 October 1954. He loved Essex County with a passion rivaled only by his detestation of Thomas Jefferson and doctors of philosophy.

    Alfred Marston Tozzer, a Resident Member since 1924, a teacher of anthropology for fifty years devotedly attached to the Peabody Museum of Harvard University, died on 5 October 1954.

    Kenneth Charles Morton Sills, a Corresponding Member since 1924, teacher of the classics, who was President of Bowdoin College during the greater part of his academic life, died on 15 November 1954.

    During the year the following members have been elected:


    • Lawrence Brown Fletcher
    • Edward Neal Hartley
    • John Peabody Monks
    • Charles Rutan Strickland
    • Hugh Whitney


    • Hamilton Vaughan Bail
    • Charles Woolsey Cole
    • John Douglas Forbes
    • Francis Taylor Pearsons Plympton
    • Thompson Ritner Harlow


    • William Hutchinson Pynchon Oliver
    • Ray Nash
    • Robert Sturgis Ingersoll
    • Jose Maria de la Peña


    • Nathan Marsh Pusey
    • Keyes DeWitt Metcalf
    • Henry Francis du Pont

    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 1954.

    Statement of Assets and Funds, 14 November 1954











    Investments at Book Value:


    Bonds (Market Value $126,908.31)



    Stocks (Market Value $278,305.38)



    Savings Bank Deposit



    Total Assets






    Unexpended Income


    Total Funds


    Income Cash Receipts and Disbursements

    Balance, 14 November 1953









    Annual Assessments



    Sales of Publications



    Total Receipts of Income





    New England Quarterly



    The American Neptune


    Volumes 36–37


    Volume 38


    Volumes 39–41




    Editor’s Salary




    Secretarial Expense




    Annual Dinner




    Postage, Office Supplies and Miscellaneous



    Notices and Expenses of Meetings






    Auditing Services



    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 1954


    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


    • Carleton Rubira Richmond

    Member of the Council for Three Years

    • Stephen Thomas Riley

    After the meeting was dissolved, dinner was served. The guests of the Society were Messrs. William Bentinck Smith, Ebenezer Gay and Johannes A. Gaertner. The Reverend Henry Wilder Foote said grace.

    After dinner the President read the Mayflower Compact, Mr. David McCord read one of his poems, and Mr. Lyman Henry Butterfield, Editor-in-Chief of The Adams Papers and Lecturer on History at Harvard University, addressed the Society on the subject: “Alteri seculo—A First Look at the Adams Family Archives.”