Annual Meeting November, 1959

    THE Annual Meeting of the Society was held at its House, No. 87 Mount Vernon Street, Boston, on Thursday evening, 19 November 1959. At the dinner which preceded the meeting, the Reverend Richard D. Pierce said grace. Messrs. Marcus Cunliffe and Clarence Ver Steeg were the guests of the Society.

    The President, Mr. Richard Mott Gummere, called the meeting to order at half after eight o’clock. Mr. Robert Earle Moody 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

    IN the past year, in addition to the Annual Meeting, at which Professor Bernard Bailyn spoke, the Society has held the usual three Stated Meetings in this house. At two of them the papers were by young local scholars: Wendell D. Garrett who, on 18 December 1958, gave an account of Apthorp House, and Leonard C. Faber who, at the meeting on 26 February 1959, spoke on the Quincy family. Both speakers have subsequently been elected to Resident Membership in the Society. It is perhaps worth repeating that Henry H. Edes, the founder of this Society, although an extremely conservative man in most respects, was adventuresome and imaginative in regard to the choice of members. During the first thirty years of the Society’s life, he arranged dinners of a portentous nature, of which tonight’s entertainment, with a single excellent speaker, rather than five in succession, is a mercifully abridged reflection. He pretty much dictated elections to membership, but in spite of a taste for patriarchs, prophets and elder statesmen, he also had a keen eye for new talent. This is a tradition that the Council has maintained, in the thirty-seven years since Mr. Edes’s death, to the benefit of the Society.

    Since the visit in July 1958 of a delegation of the Government of Nova Scotia to Boston in connection with the celebration of the bicentenary of representative government in Nova Scotia, there has been a marked increase in historical visiting across the almost invisible frontier between New England and the Maritime Provinces. One agreeable example of this was the paper read at our 23 April 1959 meeting by W. Stewart MacNutt, Professor of History at the University of New Brunswick, entitled “New England’s Tory Neighbors.”

    Every now and then the Society has gone traveling, but until 1959 always within the limits of New England. Many members will recall pleasant days spent at Hadley with Jim Huntington, at Plymouth with Ellis Brewster, at Middleborough with our greatly missed friend Peter Oliver, and at Portsmouth with Bill Wendell. This year, through the amiability of four members resident in Charlottesville—Charles C. Abbott, Francis L. Berkeley, John D. Forbes and William Rotch—the Society was invited to come to Virginia to share in the observance of Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. Thus a small group traveled to Charlottesville for a two-day visit on 12 and 13 April that included a cocktail party at Dean Abbott’s Pavilion on the Lawn, a dinner given by President Darden, the Founder’s Day address at the University of Virginia, a luncheon given by the Thomas Jefferson Memorial Foundation, and a visit to Monticello.

    In 1954 when Mrs. Llewellyn Howland gave this house to the Society, she promised to give $20,000 a year for five years to provide an endowment that would make it possible for the Society to occupy it without drawing upon funds that would otherwise be used for publications. Mrs. Howland’s fifth and final gift has been gratefully received during 1959, so that the Treasurer now has the full endowment fund of $100,000 invested. It was fortunately possible to attend to the initial restoration out of accumulated income, and the furnishing has been almost entirely due to wonderfully generous friends. Last year I reported the gift of many handsome pieces from Mrs. William C. Endicott’s house at 163 Marlborough Street. This year I must add other equally welcome additions from Mrs. Endicott’s country house, Glen Magna Farms in Danvers, that are the gift of G. Peabody Gardner. Other welcome gifts have come from Mrs. Andrew Chalmers Wilson of Newport, Messrs. W. G. and S. C. Nickerson and from our Honorary Member, Waldo G. Leland. Henry M. Channing places us monthly in his debt by superb additions to the William Ellery Channing Room on the third floor, which now boasts a rug, curtains, a chandelier and other amenities that set a standard that we would like to be able to afford on some of the lower floors.

    The house has been used as in past years by the Harvard History Department and other historical organizations. It has been open to visitors on the spring Beacon Hill tour of the Women’s City Club and on the fall tour of the League of Women Voters. In addition the Executive Committee of the Beacon Hill Association has held its meetings here.

    The Society has continued as copublisher of the New England Quarterly. We had hoped that Volume 38 of our Publications would be distributed before this meeting. It is, alas, because of the popularity of the Anthoensen Press for learned printing, still in the bindery, while other volumes are in press in various stages of completion.

    The following members have been elected during the past year:


    • Gilbert Russell Payson
    • Alden Porter Johnson
    • Wendell Douglas Garrett
    • Leonard Carl Faber


    • Nicholas Biddle Wainwright


    • John Fitzgerald Kennedy
    • Rudolph Ruzicka

    During the year the Society has lost by death five Resident Members of long standing, one Non-Resident and two Corresponding Members.

    Edward Motley Pickman, Resident, 1924, died 9 May 1959. A twentieth-century example of the Boston tradition of history written by the private scholar, his works extended from The Mind of Latin Christendom to seventeenth-century France.

    Arthur Orlo Norton, Resident, 1929, died 25 August 1959. Professor of the History and Principles of Education at Wellesley College for a quarter of a century, his interests ranged from mediaeval universities to Harvard textbooks of the seventeenth century.

    Ludlow Griscom, Resident, 1933, died 28 May 1959. An eminent ornithologist, who served for thirty years at the Museum of Comparative Zoology, whose field researches extended from central America to Arctic Newfoundland.

    A. Warren Stearns, Resident, 1935, died 24 September 1959. A psychiatrist and criminologist, long Dean of the Tufts College Medical School, who loved every acre of colonial Billerica.

    Jerome Davis Greene, Resident, 1937, died 28 March 1959. A much-loved man of many talents, secretary to President Eliot, banker, teacher at the University of Wales, chief architect of the Harvard Tercentenary, a lifelong friend of Japan, where he was born.

    Peter Oliver, Resident, 1940; Corresponding, 1940; Non-Resident, 1950, died 17 February 1959. A descendant of Loyalist Olivers, who devoted his life to learning and human kindness; bibliographer of Izaak Walton, historian of the year 1800, and a lover of Horace.

    William Hutchinson Pynchon Oliver, Corresponding, 1953, died 27 August 1959. A Harvard graduate, who practiced law in New York, but at his home in Morristown, New Jersey, assembled portraits and memorabilia of his Loyalist ancestors; the father of Peter Oliver.

    Gilbert Stuart McClintock, Corresponding, 1955, died 18 June 1959. A wise and gentle friend of scholars; a lawyer in Wilkes-Barre who stood as the conspicuous champion of history and the arts in the coal fields of Pennsylvania, the founder of Wilkes College, to which he bequeathed, among other things, his remarkable collection of John Wilkes.

    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 30 September 1959, the end of the fiscal year established by the revision of Article XIV of the Bylaws, adopted at the Annual Meeting on 21 November 1958. This report therefore covers a period of less than twelve months.

    Statement of Assets and Funds, 30 September 1959








    Investments at Book Value:

    Bonds (Market Value $267,444.00)


    Stocks (Market Value $345,712.00)


    Savings Bank Deposit


    Savings and Loan Association Deposits


    Accrued Interest Receivable



    Total Assets





    Income Deficit


    Total Funds


    Income Cash Receipts and Disbursements

    Balance, 14 November 1958







    Annual Assessments


    Sale of Publications



    Total Receipts of Income




    New England Quarterly


    Volumes 39–41


    Volume 42



    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


    Auditing and Accounting Services


    Legal 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, 30 September 1959


    For himself and Arthur Stanwood Pier, the Auditing Committee, Mr. William Bradford Osgood announced that the Treasurer’s report, so far as they had had opportunity to examine it, was in good order, and that they had been happy to accept the assurance of the Society’s paid auditors, Messrs. Arthur Young and Company, that the securities owned by the Society were accounted for by inspection and that the statements of receipts and disbursements were presented fairly “on a basis consistent with that of the preceding year.” Although Mr. Osgood advised against it, the Recording Secretary included in the minutes the final words of his report, aware that in doing so he may be charged with treating the Society’s business with the same levity and responsibility with which the Auditing Committee evidently discharges its duties.

    Your Audit Committee of Osgood and Pier

    Have met and examined the books for the year.

    Actually all that we’ve seen is the audit

    And now we’re expected to arise and applaud it,

    But applaud it we can’t for the truth we must tell you

    The Bonds which we own show a decrease in value.

    But all is not lost for inflation is here

    And our most common stocks have a gain for the year,

    And this is in spite of a certain dilute

    In the value of Boston’s own United Fruit;

    And we view with alarm that our income is tending

    To follow a pattern of deficit spending,

    But since Treasurer Richmond’s a man we revere,

    The audit’s accepted by Osgood and Pier.

    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 Stephen Thomas Riley

    At the conclusion of the business meeting, Mr. Louis Booker Wright, a Corresponding Member, addressed the Society on “William Byrd.”