Annual Meeting November, 1957

    THE Annual Meeting of the Society was held at its House, No. 87 Mount Vernon Street, Boston on Thursday evening, 21 November 1957. At the dinner which preceded the meeting, the Reverend Duncan Howlett said grace. Rear Admiral E. M. Eller, United States Navy, Director of Naval History, was the guest of the Society.

    The President, Mr. Richard Mott Gummere, called the meeting to order at half after eight o’clock. Mr. Samuel Eliot Morison read the Mayflower Compact.

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

    Among nominations reported from the Council to be acted upon at the December meeting was that of Francis Henry Taylor, Director of the Worcester Art Museum, for Honorary Membership. In view of the serious illness of Mr. Taylor, the Society voted to suspend its usual rules, and to elect him an Honorary Member immediately. As Mr. Taylor died the following day, his membership in the Society was, unfortunately, the shortest on record.

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

    Report of the Council

    ALTHOUGH the Colonial Society began to meet in its House in February 1955, it was only on 20 November 1956 that its domestic arrangements had reached a point that permitted the holding of the Annual Meeting and Dinner at 87 Mount Vernon Street. At that time we had to borrow our china, through the kindness of Vice-President Adams; this year we have our own—perhaps not too elegantly matched, but purchased at a very reasonable rate when the Somerset Club decided to outfit itself with a new dinner service. The excellence of Mrs. Greene’s cooking and the ease with which nearly eighty members fitted into seats at table made the Society’s first dinner in its own House a very pleasant occasion, which was enhanced by the presence of Ronald Syme, Camden Professor of Ancient History in the University of Oxford. At the stated meeting on 20 December 1956 Thomas R. Adams, now Librarian of the John Carter Brown Library, spoke on the collections of the Chapin Library at Williams College of which he was then in charge. Richard G. Appel spoke on the Bay Psalm Book and its music on 28 February 1957, and on 25 April 1957 David McCord read a paper on the three hundredth anniversary of the death of Edward Hopkins, Governor of Connecticut. Some of the Trustees of the Charity of Edward Hopkins were present at the April meeting.

    The Society has continued its support of the New England Quarterly by a grant of $3,500, and Mrs. Lovell Thompson continues to use the Library of this House for her office as Book Review Editor of the Quarterly.

    Two volumes of Transactions, volumes 38 and 42, are in various stages of proofs, while the Reverend Richard D. Pierce is making steady progress with the editing of the records of the First Church of Boston, which will form volumes 39–41.

    The furnishing of our House has benefited by the generosity of friends both within and without the Society. Mr. and Mrs. Henry M. Channing have brought additional pieces of furniture to the William Ellery Channing room on the third floor, and have given a rug and desk for the library, which with the secretary owned by the first George Richards Minot that they gave last year, is becoming steadily more attractive. Sedgwick Minot has given one thousand dollars toward the furnishing of the library, which is still to be spent as appropriate pieces are found. The Museum of Fine Arts has lent a Washington Allston portrait of William Ellery Channing to the Channing room, and Mrs. Francis B. Crowninshield has lent small oil portraits of Mr. and Mrs. George Gibbs of Newport. Mrs. E. Sturgis Hinds has given a rug, sofa, chairs and other pieces of furniture, while Paul C. Cabot has given an Aubusson rug that fits the Cupid and Pysche room with extraordinary felicity. The dining room now rejoices in impressions of Hogarth’s Gin Lane and Beer Street from Walter G. Davis and the reception room a circular mirror from Laurence B. Fletcher. Mrs. Augustus Vincent Tack of Deerfield, a great-granddaughter of Stephen Higginson, Junior—the first occupant of this House—has given an urn that belonged to Stephen Higginson, Senior, a pair of Japanese cloissone vases presented to Rear Admiral Francis J. Higginson by the brother of the Emperor of Japan, two Chinese vases, and numerous books belonging to members of the Higginson family. During the year Mrs. Llewellyn Howland has made a third gift of twenty thousand dollars, thus bringing the endowment of the House to sixty thousand dollars.

    The following were elected to membership during the year:


    • Edward Pierce Hamilton
    • Frederick Johnson
    • Benjamin Woods Labaree
    • Edwin Williams Small
    • Duncan Howlett
    • Abbott Lowell Cummings
    • William Rotch
    • Conover Fitch
    • Richard Bourne Holman
    • Frederick Josiah Bradlee


    • Wesley Frank Craven
    • Alfred A. Knopf
    • Francis Lewis Berkeley

    The Society has lost by death nine members:

    Robert Dickson Weston, Resident, 1906, died on 30 November 1956. Herald and genial companion, whose knowledge of family history made him the Society’s Registrar from 1927 to 1950, and whose sense of humor kept him from taking the duties of that office with excessive seriousness.

    Joseph Burr Tyrell, Associate, 1928, Corresponding, 1936, died on 27 August 1957. An eminent Canadian geologist, mining engineer, and scholar, who traveled thousands of miles by canoe and snowshoe around Hudson’s Bay, who edited the journals of earlier travelers for the Champlain Society, and all but reached the century mark.

    Stewart Mitchell, Resident, 1929, died on 3 November 1957. Successor to Worthington C. Ford as Editor of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and its Director from 1947 until a few weeks before his death.

    William Emerson, Resident, 1931, died 4 May 1957. Dean of Architecture of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology for twenty years, and permanent benefactor of the Cambridge Historical Society by the bequest of his house in Brattle Street.

    Zechariah Chafee, Jr., Resident, 1931, died on 8 February 1957. A fearless proponent of freedom, learned in the law, and an inspiring teacher, who served this Society as a member of Council from 1933 to 1936, from 1940 to 1943, and as Corresponding Secretary for the decade following 1933.

    Wilfred James Doyle, Associate, 1934, Resident, 1950, died on 18 June 1957. City Clerk of Boston, a retiring and scholarly student of Boston history, who knew colonial officials intimately, and did much to safeguard and preserve the manuscript records of the city and county.

    Robert Peabody Bellows, Resident, 1942, died on 23 May 1957. An architect and painter who, as a member of the Boston Art Commission, was invaluable in preserving the architectural and historical traditions of a city that he knew intimately and loved deeply.

    Joseph Breed Berry, Resident, 1947, died on 28 January 1957. A gentle, generous, and devoted scholar who died just as he was completing an account of the Episcopal church in Massachusetts during the nineteenth century.

    Llewellyn Howland, Resident, 1954, died on 5 January 1957. A good sailor, whose imaginative and perceptive writing, begun late in life, has preserved for the future certain unforgettable pictures of the New Bedford past.

    In the absence of Mr. Richmond, Mr. Whitehill read a condensed summary of the following:

    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 1957.

    Statement of Assets and Funds, 14 November 1957








    Investments at Book Value:

    Bonds (Market Value $186,346.25)


    Stocks (Market Value $293,239.25)


    Savings Bank Deposit



    Total Assets





    Unexpended Income


    Total Funds


    Income Cash Receipts and Disbursements

    Income Cash Overdraft, 14 November 1956







    Real estate tax rebate


    Annual Assessments


    Sales of Publications



    Total Receipts of Income

    $ 13,157.31



    New England Quarterly


    Volumes 36–37


    Volumes 39–41



    Expenses of 87 Mount Vernon Street Property:

    Renovations, maintenance and furnishings


    Heat and light


    Telephone and telegraph







    Editor’s Salary and Expenses


    Secretarial Expense


    Annual Dinner


    Notices and Expenses of Meetings




    Miscellaneous Supplies and Expenses






    Interest on Sarah Louisa Edes Fund added to Principal


    Interest on Albert Matthews Fund added to Principal


    Total Disbursements of Income


    Income Cash Overdraft, 14 November 1957


    Mr. William Bradford Osgood reported that the Auditing Committee had employed Messrs. Arthur Young and Company 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:

    • President Richard Mott Gummere
    • Vice-Presidents Samuel Eliot Morison
      • Thomas Boylston Adams
    • Recording Secretary Robert Earle Moody
    • Corresponding Secretary David Britton Little
    • Treasurer Carleton Rubira Richmond
    • Member of the Council for Three Years William Bradford Osgood

    At the conclusion of the business meeting, Mr. David McCord read a witty verse based upon a recent headline in the Haverhill Gazette, “Dr. Fuess and Poet McCord,” over an item announcing their participation in the recent Whittier celebration. He then read a poem entitled, “My Mother’s Poet” that he had written in honor of the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of Whittier’s birth. Mr. Samuel Eliot Morison then addressed the Society on the subject of his recent investigations into the life of John Paul Jones.