Annual Meeting November, 1958

    THE Annual Meeting of the Society was held at its House, No. 87 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, on Friday evening, 21 November 1958. At the dinner which preceded the meeting, the Reverend Henry Wilder Foote said grace. Dr. William J. Robbins of the American Philosophical Society was the guest of the Society.

    The President, Mr. Richard Mott Gummere, called the meeting to order at eight o’clock. Mr. Henry Hornblower, II, read the Mayflower Compact.

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

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

    Report of the Council

    SINCE the last Annual Meeting the Society has held three Stated Meetings in this House. On 19 December 1957, Edwin W. Small read a paper entitled “The Battle Road of the 19th of April 1775—Then and Now”; on 27 February 1958, Abbott Lowell Cummings spoke on “The Rise of the Architectural Profession in Boston in the Eighteenth Century,” and on 24 April 1958, the Reverend Richard D. Pierce reported to the Society on the records of the First Church of Boston, which he is editing for publication in our Collections.

    On 2 July 1958 the Massachusetts Historical Society joined the Colonial Society in giving a party at 87 Mount Vernon Street to a delegation of the Government of Nova Scotia, headed by Premier Stanfield, that had come to Boston in connection with the celebration of the bicentenary of representative government in Nova Scotia.

    The Society’s House has been used by the Harvard History Department and other historical organizations during the year. On 18 October 1958 it was open to visitors in the Beacon Hill tour arranged by the League of Women Voters. The furnishing of the House has progressed materially through the kindness of many friends. Upon the death of Mrs. William Crowninshield Endicott, whose husband was a Resident Member of the Society from 1910 to 1936, and its Treasurer from 1922 to 1931, her nephew, Benjamin W. Thoron, in company with his sisters and brother, gave many of the furnishings of 163 Marlborough Street to the Society. Mr. and Mrs. Endicott’s houses were packed with singularly handsome objects, both inherited and of their own collecting. The pair of great gold mirrors in our meeting room—originally from the house of his grandfather, George Peabody, in Washington Square, Salem—the crystal chandelier in the library, and numerous chairs, clocks, candelabra and handsome pieces of china preserve in 87 Mount Vernon Street some memory of the Marlborough Street house. Furniture and paintings have been given by Miss Ruth Richardson and Messrs. T. Jefferson Coolidge, Russell Sturgis Paine, M. A. DeWolfe Howe, and William Bradford Osgood. Mrs. Llewellyn Howland has made her fourth annual gift of $20,000, thus raising the endowment fund of the House to $80,000.

    1958 has been a remarkable year in that for the first time a member of this Society, Richard James Cushing, Archbishop of Boston, elected an Honorary Member in 1947, has been elevated to the College of Cardinals.

    The following members have been elected during the year:


    • Malcolm Freiberg
    • Paul Whitman Etter
    • John Bryant Paine, Jr.


    • Thomas Randolph Adams


    • Francis Henry Taylor

    By unprecedented misfortune, two of the five gentlemen above, in addition to another relatively recent member, have died during the year.

    Francis Henry Taylor, elected an Honorary Member at the last Annual Meeting, died the following day, 22 November 1957. Director of the Metropolitan Museum of Art for fifteen years, he had recently returned to the directorship of the Worcester Art Museum, where he had made his mark in the thirties. A Philadelphian by birth, a witty and irreverent Frenchman by temperament, he was a cheerful addition to the institutional landscape of Massachusetts. Upon settling in Worcester for the second time, he began to take an active rôle in the American Antiquarian Society and the Massachusetts Historical Society. His premature death deprived the United States of a sorely needed voice that spoke with authority in matters of taste, and removed from this region a new and valued ally in the cause of Massachusetts history.

    Paul Whitman Etter, elected a Resident Member on 19 December 1957, was wantonly killed on 23 May 1958 in an accident caused by the ill-considered zeal with which police officers were hotly pursuing a stolen car. A graduate of Harvard College in the class of 1951, he traveled in Europe and was a member of the staff of the Worcester Art Museum before becoming Assistant Curator of Decorative Arts at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Few men have made so permanent a mark in a Boston institution in so short a time, or have been more sincerely mourned.

    Laurence Brown Fletcher, Resident, 1953, died 30 June 1958. A lover of the New England scene, its birds, and its antiquities, who, as Secretary of the Trustees of Reservations, did much to preserve the natural amenities of the region for future generations.

    No publications have been issued during the year, although the Society has continued as copublisher of the New England Quarterly.

    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 1958.

    Statement of Assets and Funds, 14 November 1958








    Investments at Book Value:

    Bonds (Market Value $244,413.00)


    Stocks (Market Value $332,949.00)


    Savings Bank Deposit


    Savings and Loan Association Deposits



    Total Assets





    Income deficit


    Total Funds


    Income Cash Receipts and Disbursements

    Balance, 14 November 1957







    Annual Assessments


    Sales of Publications


    Gifts for Current Purposes


    Transfers from principal cash:

    Interest accumulation of U. S. Savings Bonds


    Interest added to Savings Bank Deposit



    Total Receipts of Income




    New England Quarterly


    Volumes 39–41





    Expenses of 87 Mount Vernon Street Property:

    Renovations, maintenance, and furnishings


    Heat and light




    Telephone and telegraph





    Editor’s Salary


    Secretarial Expense


    Annual Dinner


    Notices and Expenses of Meetings


    T. W. Nason Wood Engraving


    Auditing and Accounting Services


    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 1958


    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. Mr. Osgood stated that the Committee had complete confidence in the Treasurer and in the professional competence of Messrs. Arthur Young and Company, even though the names of some of the companies in which the Society had money invested seemed singularly inappropriate. Mr. Osgood’s report, like the Treasurer’s report of the late Robert Benchley, was unanimously and hilariously accepted, and with the other reports, referred to the Committee on Publications.

    The following amendments to the By-laws of the Society, recommended by vote of the Council of 6 November and printed in the notice of the Annual Meeting, were adopted.

    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 Myron Piper Gilmore

    At the conclusion of the business meeting, Mr. David McCord read his poem “The Man with the Vellum Valise,”303 which is an affectionately satirical portrait of the confused activities of the Society’s Editor of Publications. Mr. Bernard Bailyn then addressed the Society on “The Relevance of Colonial History.”