BROOKLINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
ANNUAL MEETING, JANUARY 26, 1909
PUBLISHED BY THE SOCIETY
Committee on Papers and Publications.
William O. Comstock
Charles F. White.
Charles F. Read.
BROOKLINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
EIGHTH ANNUAL MEETING.
The eighth annual meeting of the Brookline Historical Society was held in the G. A. R. Room, Town Hall, Brookline, Mass., on Tuesday, January 26, 1909, at 8 p. m., in accordance with a notice mailed to every member. President Rufus G. F. Candage was in the chair.
The records of the last annual and monthly meetings were read by Charles F. Read, who was elected
Clerk, pro tem
, in the absence of Edward W. Baker, Clerk of the Society.
The President then read his annual address.
Members of the Brookline Historical Society and Friends
We have met at this eighth annual meeting of our Society to hear reports of officers and committees of the year passed, elect officers for the current year, and to confer and consider plans for the future. In the year
just closed the Society has carried forward its work, and has held regular meetings at which the following papers have been read : -
January 22, The President's Annual Address.
February 26, "The Edward Devotion Fund," by Edward W. Baker.
April 1, "Some Interesting Events Preceding the Battles of Lexing-
ton and Concord," by Alexander Starbuck of Waltham. Mass.
May 27, "Milestones In and Near Boston," by Charles F. Read.
October 28, "Mrs. Amanda Maria Edmond, a Brookline Poetess,"
by Rufus G. F. Candage.
November 25, "Gouvemeur Morris," by George S. Mann.
December 23, "Old Harvard Street, The Road from Boston to the
Colleges," by Edward W. Baker.
The Society entertained the Bay State Historical League on April 18, 1908. The meeting was largely attended and the courtesy of our Society was appreciated.
There are at present one hundred and seventy-five members in the Society. We have lost by death two members, Caleb Chase and McPherson LeMoyne, who died at their homes in Brookline near the close of the year.
DEATHS IN BROOKLINE IN 1908
There were 390 deaths in Brookline during the past year, ten less than in 1907. Of that number 99 had reached and passed the three score and ten limit; 34 were between 70 and 75; 28 were between 75 and 80; 17 were between 80 and 85; 14 were between 85 and 90; one was between 90 and 95, and 4 were between 95 and 100. Of the latter, one was 96 yrs. 7 mos. 6 dys.; one 97 yrs. 9 mos. 4 dys.; one 98 yrs. 6 mos., and one 98 yrs. 7 mos. 14 dys.
During the past year many persons of prominence in this and other countries have died, and the appalling loss of life in Italy and Sicily, December 28, 1908, by the earthquake, which called forth the aid and sympathy of the civilized world, will take place in history as a shocking calamity.
SOME HISTORICAL OCCURRENCES OF THE PAST
This is probably the last annual address I shall write for this Society, and I wish to thank the members for their uniform courtesy, friendship and forbearance to me in the eight years of my incumbency as president. I have in the past been deeply interested in the Society's welfare and shall continue my interest in it, but am warned by advancing years that the direction of its affairs should rest upon younger shoulders, with more active bodies and minds to carry forward the work so happily begun and maintained to the present time.
I shall now call your attention to some historical occurrences of the past, which have transpired since my life began, in the year 1826. John Quincy Adams, the sixth President, then sat in the Presidential chair of a nation of twenty-nine states and 11,500,000 people. Since then twenty others have filled that high office, and on March fourth President-elect Taft will be inaugurated the twenty-seventh President from Washington, the Executive of forty-six states and a population bordering upon 90,000,000!
Massachusetts had in 1826 a population of 575,000; it now has over 3,000,000; Boston then had a population of 58,000, it has now 600,000; Brookline then had a little over 900 population, while today it has 25,000 or more. Chicago, now the second city in our country in population and the fourth upon the globe, with its present 2,050,000 inhabitants, had no existence even as a town until 1833. London, New York and Paris, in the order here named, only exceed it, and the latter by less than half a million. To have reached its site from Boston would have been a long journey by stagecoach, canal and lake conveyance, and would have taken as many or more days than it now takes hours by modern railway transportation.
In 1826, at the date of my birth, there was not a foot of steam railroad in our country, and scarcely any on the globe. Now, in this country alone there are 250,000 miles, equal to a belt wound round the globe at the equator more than ten times, and representing an invested capital of $13,000,000,000. This vast achievement, all accomplished within the lifetime of many persons now living, with its graded roadbeds, its cuttings, fillings, tunnelings and bridges, with the iron required for them, for the rails, rolling, etc., then ore in the bowels of the earth, has been brought out and wrought into use for this stupendous work within the period mentioned.
Were this the only great achievement, it would be marvelous to contemplate; but there have been many, and our minds have become accustomed to think of things which to a past generation would have exceeded imagination.
The steam railroad displaced the stagecoach and revolutionized travel on long distances, then came the horse railroad on short routes, abolishing the omnibus, and this in turn has been superseded by the electrical trolley car. This does an amount of work which would seem incredible were it not sustained by figures and reports. A vast amount of capital is invested in this enterprise, and every city and large town in the country is webbed with radiating and cross lines of rails and wires. What they are doing in the way of transporting passengers may well be illustrated by a glance at what is being done in Brookline.
Previous to 1848, when the Brookline branch of the Boston&Worcester Railroad went into operation, an hourly omnibus accommodated public travel between here and Boston. As travel increased, the omnibus was displaced by a single line of horse-cars via Tremont street, and later that was superseded by the trolley cars, and instead of one line there are now entering and crossing the town nine or ten lines of cars, making more than 500 daily trips, and all are well patronized. Even now, at certain hours of the day, the cars are too crowded to obtain seats or even standing room. And all this notwithstanding the number of automobiles seen passing and repassing! It is a convincing proof of the fact that "facilities invite travel."
In 1840 the Cunard steamship line was established, previous to which, mails and passengers were carried across the Atlantic in sailing ships, with average passages of 30 to 40 days. It then took a year for a merchant in this country to receive answers from letters sent to China and India, and it was not an unusual occurrence for his ship to make a voyage out and home without reporting her arrival outward. The first Cunard steamship made passages of 18 to 20 days, a gain of nearly one half the time taken by the sailing ship. Now the Cunarders make the passage in a week or less, and other steamship lines in a little longer time. The sailing ship has been abandoned for Atlantic mail and passenger service, and in fact for most other service, the steamship having taken her place.
In 1844 the electric telegraph was patented and put into operation, and spread over the world, across deserts, ravines, rivers, over mountains, under the sea, its tiny wires stretching from city to city, from state to state, from nation to nation, in the iron grasp of friendliness. It is a vehicle of human speech outdistancing the wind, competing with the lightning's flash, swift as thought,-the wonder of the past and of the present. Along its wires with lightning speed human speech flies to the uttermost parts of the globe, in all languages, gathering intelligence for the merchant, scientist, statesman and all conditions of men, to be published in the daily morning paper, so that he may read at home, upon the train, or elsewhere. It has put an end to time and distance in the matter of disseminating human intelligence, and with the steam engine has done more than any other agency to unify the nations of the earth. Through its wires the merchant sends his message to China and India, and instead of waiting nine months or a year for a reply, as was once the case, the reply comes in a few hours, or a few days at most.
The accession of Texas to the Union, the Mexican War and the acquisition of territory, including California, with the discovery of gold there in 1848, set many new enterprises in motion, of which I shall mention one,-our merchant marine.
The ships under the American flag in the Atlantic packet service, in the China and other trades, held a prominent position on the ocean, and culminated in the clipper ship called into being by the demand for shorter passages round Cape Horn to California. She was the pride of her owner and master, the pet of her crew, and her fine lines, graceful model and tapering spars were the admiration of landsmen. She was the leader of the world's fleets in sailing and in freights; her flag was seen and honored on every sea. Other nations recognized her superiority, bought her, built after her model and lines, and the day of her supremacy was a glorious one for the flag and country. Then came the Civil War. Alabamas and Floridas, with aid and sympathy of those who by ties of blood, religion and humanity, should have been our friends, destroyed many and drove others to shelter under foreign flags. Steamships got the ascendancy during the national struggle; the war ceased, after lasting four years; and the sailing ship in the struggle against steam was driven from the ocean; Congress looked on and did nothing; and the consequence now is that steamships flying alien flags do our foreign carrying trade, and the flag of an American ship, which once flew so gracefully on every sea, is now seldom seen many leagues from our coast on a merchant ship.
The voyage around Cape Horn to California in the old days averaged 150 days, and round the world from one to two years. Now one may go from Boston across the continent, in a luxurious Pullman car, inside of five days, and may keep on round the globe and reach home in less than sixty days.
In my early schooldays I studied Olney's Geography, which described that part of our country beyond the Mississippi and Missouri as the "Great American Desert,"-they are now fertile states of the Middle West, which railroads and modern appliances have been the means of settling and making prosperous.
Agriculture in the West since that day has made rapid progress, and in some states corn and wheat fields larger than many a New England township are plowed and planted, and their harvests are threshed, bagged, loaded upon cars and sent to market by machinery unknown to the farmer of sixty years ago, and without being put under cover of a roof.
In my early boyhood there were no friction matches, the flint, steel and tinder box being the dependence in lighting a fire, aided by a homemade brimstone match. There were no furnaces nor stoves in country houses, and I fancy much the same conditions obtained in the cities. The fuel was wood, and it was burned in large fireplaces which heated the house, and over the fire was the iron crane, with hooks and trammels upon which pots and kettles hung for cooking purposes; to the right of the fireplace was the brick oven for baking, with a place beneath for the preservation of wood ashes to be used in making soap for the family. In front of the fire the rye and corn cakes were baked, and in a tin kitchen in front the meats were roasted. The house was lighted by tallow candles, fish or whale oil lamps; and other household comforts were equally crude. Care was taken to keep the ashes over the burning backlog at night so that there might be coals to start the morning fire, for should there not be and the tinder become damp, fire had to be obtained from a neighboring house.
It was as important to keep the tinder dry and ready for use as for the soldier and hunter to keep his powder dry. This was all changed by the discovery and invention of the friction match, which is easily ignited when fire and light are needed, and is kept in the home, shop and pocket, always ready for use; it is said to be the most useful of all discoveries and inventions the world has known.
Coming down to later time, the telephone, patented in 1876 and soon after put to use, was a wonderful discovery,- more wonderful than the telegraph in the fact that it is not only a chariot of speech, but a transmitter of the sound and tones of the human voice, a hundred or a thousand miles. It is more direct than the telegraph, being installed in home, office, shop or elsewhere, and is more serviceable for distances within its radius, although probably it will not supplant the telegraph on long distances. Many millions of dollars have been invested in it in this and other countries, and it is entitled to rank as a great discovery and convenience of modern times.
Still later, Marconi brings to our attention his discovery of wireless telegraphy, by which messages are sent over land and sea, the atmosphere being the conductor. It is an established fact that messages have been and are being sent through his device, but how far it will affect the electric telegraph is not yet apparent. The public mind has become so accustomed to modern discoveries and inventions for the speedy transmission of news and wants in the world's activity that this wonderful discovery causes little astonishment or comment.
Since the foregoing sentence was first penned a wireless message has been received reporting a collision on the twenty-third instant in a dense fog, twenty-six miles south of Nantucket, between the steamships Republic and Florida; in one hour four steamships at sea received the message and hurried to the scene of the disaster, and four others from ports between Boston and New York. There were 1650 persons on the two colliding vessels, all of whom, except four, who lost their lives, were three days later landed at New York. The Florida arrived at that port with her bows stove in and forward compartments full of water, but the Republic, which was struck near abreast of the engine room, into which water entered, flooding and extinguishing her boiler fires, sank off No Man's Land while in tow for New York.
This disaster proves beyond doubt the utility of wireless telegraphy upon the ocean, and indicates its adoption by all seagoing steamships and a wide field of usefulness in the future.
"Following close on the heels of the marine disaster which sent the Republic to the bottom of the sea, comes the introduction of a bill into Congress requiring ocean passenger steamers, which ply between American ports and distant foreign ports, to be equipped with wireless telegraph instruments.
"Wireless telegraphy has ceased to be a plaything or a scientific experiment. Through the air over New England at all hours of the day and night fly messages from ships, and from naval and commercial stations on land. Even ingenious boys, who have fashioned their own apparatus, are talking from house to house."
The modern development and use of electricity only needs to be mentioned to bring to mind what we see daily in the lighting of buildings and streets, in the moving trolley car seen on every hand, and in hundreds of other ways which make the present a wonderful age of discovery and invention unknown and unanticipated a few decades ago.
We see countless horseless carriages propelled by electricity, steam and other power, a means of conveyance unknown a few years since, and they are now so common as to cause us no thought, except to keep out of their way.
In 1856 the ship Victor Emmanuel
of Liverpool was rigged with wire standing rigging, and was the first to be thus rigged. She made her first voyage to Bombay, where in that year she was visited by hundreds (I being one) to see, examine and comment upon the strange device, little anticipating that the time was near at hand when all vessels would be thus rigged, and hemp superseded. But such was the case, and in modern eyes hemp would seem as strange as wire did to men at that time.
Then ships were built of wood and propelled by sail. Now nearly all long-voyage ships are built of steel and are propelled by steam. Then the American flag was in the ascendency among the merchant fleets of the world. Now it has vanished from the ocean and the great marts of oversea trade.
The naval fleets of the world were encased in wooden hulls; now they are of steel, with armament that would have astonished the mind of mankind in its calibre, carrying power and effect, managed and used by machinery of modern invention and construction.
In the period under review, that of a human life, the mines of California, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, our Rocky Mountain region, Alaska and elsewhere have been opened and developed, bringing from the bowels of the earth their long hidden treasures of gold, silver, copper, tin, zinc and other metals to enrich the people not only of our country but of the entire world. The use of natural gas for domestic and manufacturing purposes, the refining of crude petroleum, and its discovery in various parts of our land have been an agency in the march of progress. The mining and use of coal and iron have gone on, hand in hand, to bless the world and its people, in the household, upon the farm, in the whirr of machinery of every name and nature, in all the great enterprises we have been considering, and in thousands of other ways, being of greater importance to the human race than all other products of mines the world over, and perhaps of all other products of the earth, that of agriculture alone excepted.
In schools, public, private and technical, in colleges and universities, education has made great advancement. Through museums, public libraries, general literature and the public press, general knowledge has been disseminated in the past half century and has exerted a greater influence than ever in the world's history. Old theories have been set aside, new ones have been adopted, and the wheels of progress have been started. I say started advisedly, for what may seem progress today may be as far behind the attainments of fifty years hence as those of fifty years ago are now behind the present.
The world's activities have been revolutionized by the discoveries and inventions which have taken place in a lifetime. Manufactures and mechanical works of almost every kind have multiplied, industries which did not exist fifty years ago have come into being and are now indispensable to our needs. Wealth has accumulated as never before, and its lavish display is seen on every hand. It endows schools, colleges and universities, founds museums and libraries, establishes asylums, hospitals, homes, institutions and retreats for all classes, aids in moral, intellectual, philanthropic and religious objects, and every enterprise, public or private, for the betterment, comfort and well-being of mankind as never before. The things we have enumerated are some of those, and their results, which have aided in the progressive march of a lifetime.
And yet, notwithstanding it all, the pessimist claims to see in it a wider cleavage between rich and poor. To admit that would be to admit that modern civilization and all Christian effort is but a backward step, in "peace on earth and good will to man."
When changes in social conditions, advocated by impatient agitators, are not immediately put into operation, it is customary to assail the wealthy and educated classes of society for the delay. Such malcontents do not take into consideration that time as we measure it counts but little in the economy of the ages, and that He who rules the universe rules in accordance with His plan to bring about the millennium. Wholesale denunciation of what is called the upper classes is unmanly, and a poor apology for a ladder upon which to climb to a higher plane.
How little the busy man, of this busy age, realizes the changes which have taken place, except those which are near and affect him directly, until his attention is called to the subject. The human mind and memory are so constituted that they grasp and hold but a slight portion of things, and occurrences near at hand soon make us forget the distant ones, and leave us without power to penetrate into the future.
In my boyhood I heard a gentleman say that he had lived in the most progressive age of the world's history, and that it did not seem possible to him that there could be so much advancement and progress in the next fifty or sixty years as had taken place in a past period of that length of time. He was born in 1781, died in 1852, and has been in another sphere of existence fifty-six years. If he from that other sphere has been permitted to pass in review the great changes and wonderful progress of the past fifty or sixty which we have been considering, how astonished he must be at his former shortsightedness! And yet we know of no safer guide for future occurrences than the history of the past.
It is the self-appointed province of an historical society to delve into the past, bring to light, record and preserve the things reposing in the gulf of forgetfulness, that in reviving their memories the present may be enriched by the lessons they teach. In that line of work the Brookline Historical Society in the eight years of its life and activity has accomplished much; there remains much for it yet to accomplish, and it is desired and hoped that in the years to come it shall prove to act vigorously, be more useful to the town and community, and produce greater satisfaction than in the past. There are hundreds of subjects relating to the town, thousands relating to the vicinity and the commonwealth and New England, and an unlimited number relating to the country, which can be written up, read before the Society for the benefit of its members, and preserved in its archives to form a rich collection for future generations. Every member is capable of doing something to aid in that work, and where "there is a long pull, a strong pull, and a pull all together" the accomplishment is easy and the result surprisingly satisfactory.
REPORT OF THE NOMINATING COMMITTEE.
Your committee appointed to nominate officers of the Brookline Historical Society for the coming year begs leave to report that it has attended to its duty and proposes the following candidates:-
The report was accepted and it was voted to proceed to ballot. The ballot was taken and the candidates nominated were unanimously elected.
, That the next meeting of the Society be held on February 12, 1909, and that it be commemorative of Abraham Lincoln, the date named being the one-hundredth anniversary of his birth.
, That a committee of three be appointed by the chair to make arrangements for the meeting and that the C. L. Chandler Post, G. A. R., The Women's Relief Corps, the Joanna Aspinwall and Hannah Goddard Chapters, D. A. R., the Isaac Gardner Chapter, D. R., and The Thursday Club, all of Brookline, be invited to attend the meeting as guests of the Society.
The chairman appointed as the committee Messrs. White, Comstock and Read.
Notice was given of an intention to change the By-Laws of the Society in the following manner at the March meeting of the Society:-
To add to Article V the following paragraph:-
"The Officers of the Society shall also include a President Emeritus when the Society shall so vote."
To substitute for the first paragraph of Article VI the following paragraph:-
"The annual meeting of this Society shall be on the third Wednesday of January. Regular stated meetings shall be held on the third Wednesdays of February, March, April, May, October, November and December."
, To print the president's annual address, treasurer's report, by-laws, list of officers and members, and such papers as the Committee on Publications may select.
, To dissolve the meeting.
Edward W. Baker, Clerk
A Paper Read before the Society by Charles F. Read, May 27, 1908.
Before the introduction of the steam railroad in the nineteenth century, it was the custom in the new world, as in the old, to travel by stagecoach or private carriage on the roads which connected the towns and villages which lay scattered on the route. At intervals on these roads could be seen stone posts suitably inscribed, which were called milestones. They were welcome sights to travellers, when beginning in gay mood a day's journey; a more welcome sight at nightfall when one was found to be near a hospitable tavern where food and shelter were ready for tired traveller and more tired beast.
When Benjamin Franklin was Deputy Postmaster-General of the British Colonies in America, he caused many milestones to be placed on the post roads between Boston and Philadelphia to enable His Majesty's mail carriers to measure distance as they travelled on the king's business on their fleet horses. It is related of the many-sided Franklin, whom we delight to honor as a native of Boston, that he constructed a mechanical device whereby he could have his milestones placed at regular intervals on the road. He travelled in a comfortable chaise, to which his contrivance was attached. His chaise was followed by workmen travelling in a cart, from which they unloaded and set a milestone at each designated place. This invention of Franklin may be called a forerunner of the modern cyclometer and speedometer which the bicyclist and autoist attach to "wheel" or "auto" to record the distance travelled. A few of the Franklin milestones are still standing on the former post-roads between Boston and Philadelphia. One in Stratford, Conn., is marked-
By the time of the administration of Gov. Hutchinson, the Province of Massachusetts Bay had become well supplied with milestones, and several are still standing. Two are to be seen on the old Boston and Worcester Turnpike. One is situated in the town of Framingham at the junction of the turnpike and the road to South Framingham. It is inscribed-
It is interesting to note that within a quarter of a mile of this stone is the old Buckminster Tavern, where the three companies of Framingham militia paraded before the Battle of Lexington in 1775. The two spies sent through Middlesex County in February of the same year by Governor Gage stayed at this tavern over night and saw a parade of the Framingham men. In their report to the governor they said, after describing the parade, that "the militiamen went into the tavern and drank liquor until they were full of pot valor." The other stone is to be seen in the centre of the city of Worcester and bears the inscription-
These stones are probably two of many which were set in compliance with the following order of the Council of Massachusetts Bay issued in 1767, the original record being filed in volume xvi, page 239, of the Massachusetts Archives. The order reads, "To the Justices of Middlesex, Essex, York, Cumberland and Lincoln Counties. To preserve mile marks of Captain (Francis) Miller, by fixing stones at said marks. Also Suffolk, Norfolk, Hampden and Berkshire Counties." I am informed that this is the only reference to milestones in the records of the Governor's Council from 1729 to 1767.
It was customary in tavern days for a landlord to locate at a mile post on the highway, and fortunate indeed was he whose hostelry was placed at the end of a day's journey, for this ensured him a steady and profitable business. We can see in imagination the rotund figure of "mine host" as he hastens to his front door on the arrival of the evening coach, joyfully rubbing his hands together at the prospect of a good night's trade.
Landlords were permitted by authority to place milestones in front of their taverns at their own expense and were even allowed to so place such stones if the house was located to one side or the other of the proper marking-places. These private stones bore the initials of the landlord in addition to the distance inscription, and were formerly many in number. Such a stone is to be seen now in Walpole, Mass., and is inscribed-
This stone was set in provincial days when our "forbears" lived under the King, by Ezekiel Robbins, landlord of the Brass Bull Tavern in Walpole, a famous relay house or noon rest, half way on the post road from Boston to Providence. Landlord and tavern have long since disappeared from sight, but the milestone was made of more enduring material. Banished from its former location by the widening of the highway, it now occupies a prominent position in front of the town hall in Walpole.
In these opening years of the twentieth century, as we travel through some of the highways and byways of Greater Boston, mayhap by trolley car, automobile or, best of all, by "shank's mare," we see scattered along the roadside many milestones which have come down to us from the days of which we have been speaking. They are zealously guarded today by antiquarians who delight in the study of the past, although in a practical way the present also claims their activities.
We should know something of the men to whom the people of Boston and its vicinity were indebted for placing so many milestones, and of these public-spirited citizens we must first consider Samuel Sewall, for he began the good work in
1707, two centuries ago. It is, however, only necessary to give a. brief biography of this useful and distinguished man, for all students of our local history are familiar with the life and activities of Boston's famous diarist.
Samuel Sewall, eldest son of Henry Sewall, was born in Bishops-Stoke, England, March 28, 1652, and died in Boston, January 1, 1730. He was graduated at Harvard College in 1671, and received there three years later the degree of A. M. He was an assistant of the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1684 to 1686, and was appointed by William and Mary in 1692 as one of their first council, serving in that capacity until 1725, a period of thirty-three years. He was appointed a judge in 1692 and Chief Justice of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in 1718, resigning this last office in 1728 on account of the infirmities of age. He was also judge of probate of Suffolk County from 1715 to 1728.
Judge Sewall was married three times. His first wife, with whom he lived for forty-three years, was Hannah Hull, daughter of John Hull of Boston, the famous mint master. He married for his second wife Mrs. Abigail Tilley; his third wife was Mrs. Mary Gibbs.
Judge Sewall made the following entry in his diary on July 14, 1707: "Mr. Antram and I, having Benjamin Smith and David to wait on us, Measured with his Wheel from the Town House Two Miles and drove down Stakes at each Mile End in order to placing Stone Posts in convenient time. From the Town House to the Oak and Walnut is a Mile wanting 21 % Rods. Got home again about Eight o'clock."
Three weeks later the judge wrote: "Peter Weare set up the Stone Post to show a Mile from the Town House ends: Silence Allen, Mr. Gibbon's son, Mr. Thrasher,-Salter, Wm. Wheelers,-Simpson and a Carter assisted, made a Plumb Line of his whip. Being Lecture day, I sent David with Mr. Weare to show him where the second should be set; were only two little Boys beside."
These stones were placed on the thoroughfare we now call Washington street. One mile from the Town House, then standing on the site of the present Old State House, is at about the corner of Washington and Lucas streets. The one milestone at this location is shown on Bonner's map of Boston, which was printed in 1722, fifteen years after Judge Sewall had the stone placed in 1707. Two miles from the town house, where the second Sewall stone was set, is at about the corner of Washington and Camden streets. It is to be regretted that these two ancient marking stones are not standing today. But in the upbuilding of a city there is continued change; by such a process these stones may have found useful if not appropriate places in cellar walls. Will they ever be brought to light and reset as relics of the past?
The distinguished Paul Dudley may next claim our attention, for he cut the initials of his name deep and strong on many of the milestones which we see today.
Paul Dudley, son of Joseph Dudley, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony from 1702 to 1715, was born in Roxbury, Mass., September 5, 1675, and died there January 25, 1752. He was educated for the law at the Temple in London, and returned to New England in 1702 with a commission from Queen Anne as Attorney-General of the Province of Massachusetts Bay. He was appointed a judge in 1718 and became Chief Justice of Massachusetts in 1745, holding this office until his death.
Judge Dudley was a naturalist as well as a jurist, was honored as such by membership in the Royal Society of London, and contributed material for a natural history of New England to the transactions of that society.
He married in 1703 Lucy, daughter of Col. John Wentworth of Ipswich, Mass. She died in 1756, surviving her husband less than five years.
It is easy to imagine that in the pursuit of the study of natural science Paul Dudley, the learned judge, traversed on foot the roads and lanes of Roxbury and its vicinity and then conceived the placing of his famous milestones; or he may have set them at the request of his friend Judge Sewall, whose life was then drawing to a close.
In connection with this biography of Paul Dudley it is interesting to relate what I was told by a grandson of Rev. Dr. John Pierce, the beloved pastor of the First Parish of Brookline, Mass., from 1797 until his death in 1849, a period of fifty-two years. Dr. Pierce was driving one day with his grandson, then a boy, and was calling his attention to the Dudley milestones which they passed on the way. "Remember," said Dr. Pierce, "that these stones were placed by Paul Dudley, and to fix this fact in your memory I will teach you a couplet of verse which you must always remember;
"His name on every side you see;
The very stones are marked P. D."
Many of the Dudley milestones must have been familiar to young John Pierce when as a student in Harvard College it was his custom to walk from his home in Dorchester to Cambridge at the beginning of the week and at the week's close to return in like manner.
Let us now speak of another native of Massachusetts who rose to distinction. Jonathan Belcher, son of Andrew Belcher, a councillor of Massachusetts Bay, was born in Cambridge, Mass., January, 1682, and died in Elizabeth, N. J., August 31, 1757. He was graduated at Harvard College in 1699 and then travelled in Europe for six years. Returning to Massachusetts, he became a Boston merchant and was later a representative in the General Court, a councillor, and agent of the Province of Massachusetts Bay in England.
He was appointed by the Crown in 1730 Governor of Massachusetts and New Hampshire-then under the same jurisdiction-and served until 1741, when in response to the opposition to his administration he was superseded by Gov. William Shirley. He was appointed Governor of New Jersey in 1747, and held that office until his death.
Jonathan Belcher married January 4, 1705, Mary Partridge, daughter of William Partridge, Lieutenant-Governor of New Hampshire from 1699 to 1702. She died in Boston, October 6, 1736, and in 1748, when Governor of New Jersey, he married for a second wife Mrs. Teel of London.
Lastly, let us study briefly the life and activities of John McLane, a Boston merchant and benefactor. He was born in Milton, Mass., in 1761 and died there October 16, 1823.
It is interesting to relate of Mr. McLane that, having failed in business late in the eighteenth century and at a later period having recovered his lost fortune, he invited his creditors to a supper at the Exchange Coffee House in Boston. At the gathering, which proved to be a joyous one, each guest found under his plate a check covering the amount of his claim, including interest.
In his will, John McLane made the Massachusetts General Hospital his residuary legatee, and that institution, then just beginning its great work, received more than one hundred thousand dollars from the estate. As a tribute of respect for this benefaction, the trustees of the hospital named the department for the care of the insane the McLean Asylum. The asylum, now great in itself, was located for many years on the Barrell estate in Somerville. It is now splendidly maintained in Waverley.
The milestones which were erected at the expense of John McLean were placed in position in 1823, the year in which he died. In fact, the work was completed after his death by his business partner, Isaac Davenport, who caused the name of J. McLean to be placed on all the stones.
The milestones which we are to consider in this paper were set on five roads which, then as now, connected Boston and some of the neighboring towns, and it is well to remember that all five lines of stones supplement the two which Judge Sewall had placed in 1707, and of which I have spoken previously. The five roads radiate from a southeasterly to a northwesterly direction from the portions of Washington and Roxbury streets which extend from Eustis street to Eliot Square.
The ancient Lower Road to Dorchester, of which I shall speak first, began at the corner of Washington and Eustis streets, and, running through Roxbury and Dorchester, ended at Dorchester Lower Mills; it followed the present Esutis, Dearborn and Dudley streets, Columbia road and Hancock and Adams streets. On this road a line of milestones was placed in the year 1734 by Gov. Jonathan Belcher "to guide the weary traveller on his way." Teel's History of Milton, published in 1889, tells us that a platway of these stones was at one time in the possession of Edward J. Baker, who died in Dorchester in 1891, and who was deeply interested in the local history of Milton.
We should find the three-mile stone in the immediate vicinity of the Hugh O'Brien School on Dudley street, Roxbury, but it has disappeared from sight.
A distance of one mile carries us to Hancock street, opposite Trull street, Dorchester, but the stone which stood there for one hundred and seventy-three years was removed in 1907 for safe keeping to the grounds of the Dorchester Historical Society at Edward Everett Square. Placed within a foot of the front wall of the ancient Blake house, the appropriate home of the society, it has found a permanent resting place. It is inscribed-
4 Miles from
The removal of a milestone from its proper location is always to be regretted, but a visit to the locality where it formerly stood, convinces us that it was by no means safe there, so rapidly is the neighborhood changing from a rural to an urban condition.
The five-mile stone should be near the corner of Adams and Park streets, Dorchester, but it cannot be found at the present day.
As we journey on for the next mile on Adams street, we see many evidences of the ancient character of this thoroughfare. We pass houses some of which were built possibly in the seventeenth century, and we see the stately elm trees bordering the way, the fast decaying fruit orchards and the primitive stonewalls which bounded the once productive farms. Before many years, all of these, with the exception possibly of the elms, will have disappeared, for there is to be seen on every side the three-story wooden apartment house.
The six-mile stone should be at about the corner of Adams street and Oak avenue, midway between Ashmont and Neponset, but we found no trace of it.
It is gratifying to record that the seven-mile stone has been cared for by the Boston authorities. It has been built into the Adams street wall of Dorchester Park and will thereby be preserved for generations to come. It is marked-
Miles to Boston
Descending the slope to the Neponset River, the picture of the valley and the hills beyond gladdening our eyes, we cross the river at Dorchester Lower Mills, and find ourselves in Milton, one of the fairest towns in the Commonwealth. Continuing on Adams street in that town, we find the last of the Belcher stones set in the front wall of Hutchinson Field, a metropolitan reservation. It is inscribed-
Miles to B Townhoufe
The Lower Way 1734
As we stand in front of this stone on the summit of Milton Hill and look on the beautiful picture embracing the Blue Hills and the wide expanse of Boston Harbor, we recall the three royal governors who travelled by coach and four the lower road to Dorchester in the eighteenth century. Time and again have Governor Belcher and Governor Hutchinson counted the milestones on this road as they journeyed to and fro between the Boston town house and their estates in Milton. The third chief magistrate was William Shirley, Governor of Massachusetts Bay from 1741 to 1756, succeeding Jonathan Belcher. Governor Shirley travelled continually a portion of the lower road, for his home was very near where we hoped to find the three-mile stone on Dudley street, Roxbury.
The line of milestones which were placed on the Upper Road to Dorchester, and which extend through Milton to Quincy, should be considered next. These stones are shown on an original plan which is preserved in the Massachusetts Archives. It is entitled, "Boston Town House to the tenmile stones in Quincy measures 10^ miles plus 1 rod. The Upper Road as travelled," and was drawn in 1802 by William. Taylor of Boston, Surveyor.
The total distance, 10^4 miles plus 1 rod, indicates that the stones were not placed in their proper locations, and furthermore the distances between them vary from 78 to 120 chains. But probably the traveller of the eighteenth century replied, if the locations of his milestones were questioned, "Never mind, they serve their purpose."
The third milestone was in place on Warren street, near Rockland street, Roxbury, until about the year 1871, when it disappeared during the erection of a block of dwelling houses there. This information was given me by the late L. Foster Morse, who is remembered for his interest in the local history of Boston, and especially that of Roxbury, where he resided.
One mile further on, we find at 473 Warren street, Grove Hall, the four-mile stone, which is the first Paul Dudley stone that we have considered. It is marked-
and it is interesting to say in addition that at the beginning of the nineteenth century one Bugbee had a tavern here, which was the first resting place on the road.
The next stone should be near the corner of Washington and School streets, Dorchester, but it has disappeared.
The six-mile stone, which stands at the corner of Washington and Mora streets, Dorchester, is a peculiar one, and it would be interesting to learn the meaning of a portion of the following inscription-
On Adams street, Milton, which was laid out as early as 1654, we see near the railroad station the next stone, which is inscribed-
A walk of one mile on this ancient road to Quincy carries us to the location of the next stone, near the corner of Adams and Babcock streets, East Milton. The stone is inscribed-
We find one mile further, on Adams street, Quincy, just beyond the Furnace Brook metropolitan reservation, the next stone, on which we read-
I am informed by William G. Spear, who is an authority on the antiquities of Quincy, that the initials on this stone, J. N., are, to quote his exact words, "most likely meant for Joseph Neal."
One more mile carries us to Hancock street, Quincy, and on that thoroughfare, within sight of the church under which lie buried the second and sixth Presidents of the United States, we see what remains of the next one of this line of milestones. It is built into the stonewall in front of the Brackett house and we read on it only-
The eleven-mile stone formerly stood near the Adams house, at the base of Penn's Hill, Quincy, but it disappeared many years ago.
The twelve-mile stone is still to be seen on Franklin Street in Braintree as one enters the limits of that town. It is inscribed-
IM 1727 IH
On the broad boulevard which we now call Blue Hill avenue, and which was called Brush Hill Turnpike from 1805 to 1870, we find the McLean milestones, which were placed in 1823. They are six in number, are constructed of hammered granite of uniform size, and the inscriptions on them are similar, with the exception of the numeral indicating the distance from Boston.
The five-mile stone is at Harvard street, Dorchester, one mile from the Dudley stone at Grove Hall. It is inscribed-
The six-mile stone is at the corner of Ormond street, Dorchester, and the seven-mile is passed as one enters the town of Milton.
Continuing, we find the three remaining McLean stones in Milton. The eight-mile stone is about a quarter of a mile south of Robbins street, the nine-mile stone is at Atherton street, and the ten-mile stone is safely set in the stone wall of a private estate not far from the boundary line between Milton and Canton.
Proceeding on Washington street, Canton, which is the continuation of Blue Hill avenue, we find a line of stones which practically supplement all three lines which we have considered thus far. They differ, however, from one another in form and material, and were placed by different persons.
At the base of Blue Hill we find a stone which was placed by Lemuel Davenport of Canton. It is marked-
One mile further is a stone set in a wall in front of a residence which was formerly the Cherry Tavern. It is inscribed-
Miles to Boston
John Spare, who set this stone, was a son of Samuel Spare, an early settler in Canton, and who was the first one of the name in New England. Both father and son were prominent in the Episcopal Church, or, as it was then called, the English Church, which was formed in the early days of the town.
Huntoon's History of Canton tells us that the fourteen mile stone is not standing, the author believing, when he compiled the history, that the stone lay buried beneath a modern wall.
The fifteen-mile stone stands in front of the Roman Catholic Cemetery in Canton and opposite the meeting house of the the First Congregational Parish. We cannot learn who placed it there, for the inscription merely reads-
Two miles further on the same road in Canton is a stone which bears the inscription-
This stone was set by Nathaniel Leonard, and is the first one placed in the town.
At the junction of Roxbury and Centre streets, Eliot Square, Roxbury,at which point the two last lines of milestones begin, we find the famous Dudley "Parting Stone." It bears on its faces the three inscriptions-
It is a satisfaction for antiquarians to know that this stone was saved from threatened destruction a few years ago, and that it will now be preserved for many years to come by the Boston authorities.
Centre street, on which we trace the next line of stones, runs through Roxbury, Jamaica Plain, Roslindale and West Roxbury to Dedham and beyond. The road was laid out as early as 1662, and was once called "The Middle Post Road from Boston to Hartford." The stones which we find on this ancient road were set by Judge Dudley, and four of them are in place today.
The three-mile stone is at the corner of Centre street and Highland avenue, just beyond Eliot Square, and is inscribed-
It is one mile distant from the former location of Judge Sewall's two-mile stone on Boston Neck.
Proceeding on Centre street, we find one mile further, opposite Creighton street, the four-mile stone, a small one, set in a retaining wall. It is marked-
The five-mile stone stands at the corner of Centre and Eliot streets, Jamaica Plain, and is the largest and finest of all the Dudley stones. It is about four feet high, almost three feet wide and quite symmetrical. It is, moreover, the only one on which a title is affixed to the name of the man who placed it. The inscription reads-
P Dudley Esqr
The six-mile stone is opposite Allandale street, Jamaica Plain, and, like the five-mile stone, is large and well proportioned. It is marked-
1735 P D
This is the last stone standing on this route, with one exception ; fourteen miles further on, we find in Walpole the Ezekiel Robbins stone, of which mention has been already made in this paper.
Starting again at the Parting Stone in Eliot Square, Roxbury, we find the fifth and last line of milestones on the ancient road to Cambridge and Watertown. We find the road today in the following avenues and streets: Roxbury street, Columbus avenue, Tremont street and Huntington avenue, Boston; Washington and Harvard streets, Brookline; Harvard avenue, Franklin and North Harvard streets, Brighton; and, crossing the Charles River, Boylston street, Cambridge, to Harvard Square in that city.
The three-mile stone on this route should be on Roxbury street, just beyond Eliot Square, but it has disappeared.
As we walk the next mile, we see a milestone on Tremont street, just beyond Roxbury Crossing, which is one of the Worcester Turnpike stones. It is set in the retaining wall in front of the Comins School and is inscribed-
Line 1 M
While considering this line of stones, I will speak of another one which is to be seen at the corner of Boylston and Warren streets, Brookline. It is of similar design and size and was placed in the same year. It is inscribed-
Line 3 M
This stone is not in its proper location, it being evidently placed in its present position by the authorities of Brookline to ensure its preservation. It stands in a triangular plot of town land at the intersection of the above named streets.
Returning to the line of milestones we are considering, we find the four-mile stone in front of the grounds of the House of the Good Shepherd, on Huntington avenue, Roxbury. It is a Dudley stone and is marked-
The five-mile stone is now permanently placed on the lawn of the Harvard Congregational Church of Brookline. It bears the inscription-
This stone was formerly on the opposite side of the street, and it was largely by the efforts of the Brookline Historical Society that it was placed in its present appropriate position.
The six-mile stone should be near the corner of Harvard street and Commonwealth avenue, Brighton, but it has disappeared from sight.
The seven-mile stone is in front of the North Harvard Street Primary School, Brighton. To preserve it, the Boston authorities have had it set in a brick wall, surmounted by flagstone. It is marked-
A walk of a mile carries us to Harvard square, Cambridge, and there in the ancient burying-ground where "the rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep," we find a milestone which is the last one we shall consider in this paper. It was set up in 1734, and supplements the line of stones which Judge Dudley placed five years earlier, and which we have just studied. It bears two inscriptions, the one on the face fronting on Harvard square reading-
When the first West Boston Bridge was built the following inscription was cut on the opposite face of the stone-
This stone was placed by Abraham Ireland of Cambridge on the east side of the first Middlesex County Court House, which stood in the middle of Harvard Square. The stone narrowly escaped destruction when removed from this location, and it then stood for some years in front of Dane Hall, then occupied by the Harvard Law School. After a second rescue from demolition, it was placed in its present location.
Abraham Ireland died in 1753 and lies buried in the burying-ground near where his milestone stands today. His gravestone bears the following inscription, which is a fair specimen of the mortuary poetry of the eighteenth century:
"God brought him from a distant land
And did preserve him by his mighty hand.
God blessed him with old age and a great posterity.
Pray God to give them Grace to fly to Christ!
To prepare them for great Eternity."
It is not possible, in a brief paper, to speak of all the milestones to be seen at the present time in Greater Boston. There are scattered stones in Boston, Quincy, Milton and other towns which I have not mentioned, and occasionally I am told of others in various parts of Eastern Massachusetts.
You have, however, learned that there are still standing a goodly number of these interesting relics of provincial days; most of them now receive watchful care and will probably be preserved for many years.
It is appropriate to close with a quotation from Alice Morse Earle's delightful book entitled, "Stage Coach and Tavern Days." The words of the quotation were often used almost two centuries ago to induce travellers to patronize some particular stagecoach route; they are, "This Elegant Road is fully Set with well cut Mile stones."
A paper read before the Society by Rufus G. F. Candage, October 28,1908.
The familar saying that "a poet is born not made" does not answer the question of what constitutes a poet. Dryden said, "A poet is a maker, as the word implies." Landor said, "A poet represents things impressed on his mind by the Creator." Sharp said, "The poet is one whose emotions, intenser than others, find vent in some form of harmonious words." Said Whittier, "Poetry is the lofty engine of thought the fire of poesy."
These definitions lead to the conclusion that a poet is one skilled in the art of metrical composition, has gift of poetic imagination, invention and creation, with eloquence of expression in prose or verse. A poetess is to be measured by like rules. With this introduction I shall now proceed to give a sketch of a Brookline poetess.
Amanda Maria Corey was the daughter of Elijah Corey, Jr., and Mary (Richards) Corey, and was born October 28, 1824, eighty-four years ago today. The place of her birth was the old Whyte-Corey-Bartlett house on Washington street, Brookline, under the southwestern slope of Corey Hill. She was descended from Thomas Corey, who settled in Chelmsford in 1662, and from Edward Richards, who came to Watertown in 1630 and settled at Dedham in 1635, and she was therefore of New England Puritan ancestry. Her great grandfather, Timothy Corey, for whom Corey Hill was named, was a soldier of the Revolution. He was a farmer, a man of sturdy character, and the ancestor of the Coreys of Brookline.
To have been born of an honorable line of ancestry, it is said, is to be well born, and having been born, to have the ability and to use it aright for the improvement of one's inheritance is truly commendable. Whether Amanda Maria Corey did that or not I shall leave for the determination of my auditors after hearing the evidence contained in this brief sketch of her and of her writings.
The Coreys of Brookline were respected, honest and industrious farmers, who at Amanda's birth, for three generations had tilled the soil on the southwesterly slope of Corey Hill. In the house upon the farm, she spent her infancy and childhood. She attended the town schools, and there received her education. In childhood and girlhood she was reticent and thoughtful and she chose to roam alone through fields and woodlands, to climb Corey Hill, drink in the beauties of the landscape, listen to song birds, admire flowers and plants and commune with nature.
Her school and playmates called her exclusive and strange. They did not fathom the depth of her imagination and the nature of her poetic mind, which even then, was gathering inspiration for the songs soon to burst forth. Nor could they, for she lived in a realm apart from theirs. In a poem to her mother she explains this. I quote a portion.
Mother! dear mother! a song for thee;
Thou : halt the theme of my minstrel be;
Thou who didst smile on my ruder lays
I warbled first in my early days.
Tis the hand of a daughter sweeps the lyre,
With a life whose melody shall not tire
Till the brow is cold and the eye is dim,
Of her who carrolled my cradle hymn.
Mother! dear mother! when I was a child,
I loved the hill and the greenwood wild,
When the silvery song of the soaring bird,
And the circling insects hum was heard;
Dearer to me than my childish play
Were the haunts I sought of a summer day;
But there was a greater love for thee
In the heart that clung to flower and tree.
Mother! dear mother! as oft I strayed
To muse alone in the woodland glade,
They called me gloomy, they called me strange,
But little they dreamed of the wondrous change
Which the spell of poesy, sweet and wild,
Had wrought in the heart of thy pensive child;
And little dreamed they of the lyre she swept
Where the old oak's shade on the green turf slept.
Her school days were happy ones, and friendships were formed severed only by death. Early in life she had clear convictions as to her religious duties, which led her to unite, at the age of fourteen years, with the Baptist Church, and to remain a consistent member until called to the church above. Her religious exercises and feelings often found expression in her writings, which were marked by piety, faith, and trust in the goodness of her Maker; these gave her the hope of a better world beyond, where she would meet kindred and friends gone before, and be joined in due time by those left behind.
From the beginning her poetic ideals were high and pure, as will be seen by the following lines written at the age of fifteen upon a flyleaf of her manuscripts:
The spirit song is on me, and the lyre
The heart's own music pours, but not to thee
Oh earthly fame shall the glad offering be,-
Higher than this my spirit shall aspire,
For oh, what art thou but a fleeting breath
Bought by a weary life, or early death,
Sweeter far to me the thought in after days,
Cherished in loving hearts my name to live
Thou blazoned on the rolls a theme of praise,
'Mong those who, oft but hollow flattery give;
Therefore these powers of mine thou shalt not claim,
For I will lay them on a holier shrine,
Whose sacred fires burn with celestial flame,
Father in heaven! on thine, and only thine!
Between the age of fourteen and twenty she wrote many poems, and a selection of these was published after her death for the use of friends. In 1845, when she was twenty-one, a volume entitled "The Broken Vow and Other Poems," was published and a copy sent to James Montgomery, the hymn writer. He wrote in acknowledging its receipt, as follows:-"I pretend not to equal you and Mrs. Sigourney with our own Felicia Hemans and Joanna Baillie.but in many of your respective compositions you may without disparagement, gracefully and honorably compete with them; so far be it said, to resemble them, as become sisters of one lineage and family features."'
Mrs. Sigourney responded with generous appreciation, to a copy sent her that she had "read the poems with pleasure,
admired their melodious numbers, and always their ture spirit. One of them, 'When is the Time to Die,' has long been a favorite of mine, without knowing what lyre first awoke its sweetly, plaintive music. I am happy to have it in my power to thank the true author, and to congratulate her on possessing a gift, which has such an affinity with inward joy, and sometimes so strong an influence for the good of others."
In 1843 Miss Corey's father died at the early age of fortythree. She was strongly attached to him and his death was the first great bereavement over which she and her family deeply sorrowed. She wrote tenderly to her mother in a poem concerning it, a verse being here quoted:-
Mother! dear mother! when years had past,
Sweet years, that fled on their pinions fast,
The angel of death his shadow flung
Where our silvery bow of hope was hung;
And we stood together, side by side,
When a father sank in his manhood's pride;
Together we caught the parting sigh,
As the soul was borne to the world on high.
On another occasion, we see her, heavy-laden, climb Corey Hill to a secluded spot to meditate on her loss and to pour out her sorrow within in plaintive melody:-
A year ago! a year ago
Old Hill, I climbed thy brow,
But bearing not the heart of woe
That beats within me now!
The blossoms of my summer bowers
Lie withered neath my tread;
I care not for the faded flowers;-
My heart is with the dead!
And this is all-the time has been-
I am still true to thee;
But thou, Old Hill, can ne'er again
Be what thou wert to me!
O Time! The shadow of thy wing
Is dark that beareth me;
Alas! that e'en thy flight should wring
Such bitter tears from me!
The dark shadow, as sunshine follows rain, was turned aside. She was won and wed by James Edmond in May, 1844, and thereafter her poems when printed, bore the initials, "A. M. E." Their wedding tour was a voyage across the Atlantic, with visits to England Ireland, Scotland and France. Even upon the voyage out she burst into song; a verse is here quoted:-
Roll on! roll on, ye giant waves,
In grandeur, fierce and wild,
Old Ocean, though he madly raves,
Must own me as his child!
In London they visited Westminster Abbey, where the poet Campbell had recently been laid to rest in "Poet's Corner," she then wrote:-
There came to the Abbey a funeral train,
The corpse of a minstrel bearing.
Whom the hand of the spoiler, Death, had slain;
With the laurel he yet was wearing.
In Scotland they visited Melrose Abbey, Loch Leven Castle where Mary, Queen of Scotts was confined after the defeat at Carbury Hill, and she wrote poems on each. On visiting Abbotsford she wrote a poem, one verse of which is as follows :-
It dawned on our vision, a beautiful spot,
The home of a poet, the dwelling of Scott;
And we thought as we entered its precincts profound,
We were treading where genius had hallowed the ground,-
And the tiniest wildflower that sprang at our feet
Seemed blooming with fragrance, was sacred and sweet!
The visit abroad was to her interesting and instructive. She wrote many lines of verse concerning it, one being in praise of the heroine, Grace Darling, and her efforts to save the lives of crew and passengers from the wrecked steamship Forfarshire in the North Sea in 1837.
Notwithstanding her enjoyment of her visit abroad, Mrs. Edmond was glad when the time came for her return to her loved native land, to which she was ever loyal. She wrote of her feelings and longings as follows:-
I'm pining for the birds and flowers
Around my native home;
I'm pining for the wildwood bowers
Through which I loved to roam.
And for the gentle summer breeze
That brought the earnest words
I fancied in the hum of bees
And silver song of birds.
I'm pining for the old green hill
That rises high and grand,-
The soil my father used to till
With rough but honest hand;
And for a dear, a hallowed spot
Beyond the rolling wave,
My spirit never hath forgot,-
I'm pining for his grave!
I'm pining for my mother's smile,
And for her gentle voice;
The little ones, whose sportive wile
Oft made my heart rejoice;
A sister's welcome, warm and true,
A brother's greeting hand,
And all the dear old friends I knew
When in my native land.
I've gazed on Scotia's heathered hills,
In purple bloom arrayed,-
Her lakes of blue, her silver rills,
Her bands hath lovelier made;
I've traversed Erin's emerald isle
So beautiful, so fair,-
The contrast of her woe the while
My spirit ill could bear;
I've gazed on England's pomp and power
Her cities, known to fame,
Where palace proud and lofty tower
Bear high and royal name;
And on that land of many lays,
The sunny land of France,
Where peasants in the harvest days
Upon the red grapes dance;-
But oh, not Scotia, fresh and fair,
Not Erin, fairer still,
Nor England, with her riches rare,
Nor France, with vine-clad hill,
Have aught so lovely and so grand,
So beautiful and wild,
As thou, my own, my native land
Thou! nature's fairest child!"
Upon their return, Mr. and Mrs. Edmond began housekeeping in the old Croft-Atkinson-Salisbury house on the corner of Cypress and Washington streets, and they resided there for several years. While residing there, Mrs. Edmond's mother, to whom she was devotedly attached, died in 1848, her elder brother Charles in 1851, and in that house the writer made her acquaintance. Children were added to the family, and Mrs. Edmond's cares multiplied, but she snatched moments from other duties to write poems and stories for the young and for the Ladies' Almanac, of which she was editor for a series of years, over the signature of "A. M. E." She was still a loving child and admirer of nature, with pictures from which she often adorned her writings. In front of the old house, on the corner of the two streets, as some will remember, were large and beautiful elms, which could be seen and admired from her door and windows; she made them the subject of a poem of six stanzas, the first two being quoted:-
How beautiful are the ancient elms
That o'er the wayside bend;
In graceful drapery green and soft,
Their clustering leaves they blend;
And thickly o'er the gray, rough bark
Creepeth the yellow moss,
Up and around the branches dark,
Where the boughs each other cross!
When spring returns with her blossoms gay,
And the earth in green appears,
The birds come carolling back to build
Where they have built for long years;
And children come with hoop and ball,
And a merry song of glee,
And loud and clear their joyful call
From under each ancient tree!
Mrs. Edmond's children played with others under the "ancient trees,"and her family was a cheerful and happy one. But shadows were gathering and soon enveloped the home in sorrow and gloom. Amy, a bright, lovable daughter of four years was taken from the family circle to the home above. Two days before her departure she looked up into the face of her mother and said:-"When I was up in God's house, I said to God, 'May I go down and see mother?" And he said yes, and so I came down!" "I did not know," said her mother, from whence she derived the idea, but the words and the look accompanying them thrilled my soul and brought conviction of the return that soon took place." The loss of that child filled the heart and soul of Mrs. Edmond with anguish and she gave expression to her grief in the following poem entitled, "Our Amy":-
Back to His house her spirit flew,
The bright and blest abode;
Ah, me! how well the way she knew
Along the heavenly road.
What life, what light, what joy was hers!
The beauty how divine!
What wild regret, what bitter tears,
What agony was mine!
I watched her through the weary night,
And every hour to me
Gave a sad foretaste, in its flight,
Of what the last would be.
And when the cold gray morn had come
And turned to early day,
Her angel came,-my lips were dumb
And dared not answer, nay!
For while with grief my spirit shook,
As by a tempest thrilled,
Her eyes sought mine with such a look
The rising storm was stilled.
I gave her one fond kiss, the last,
Of my farewell the sign,
Then from my arms to His she passed,
Who gave her first to mine.
Close nestled to my heart, she died,
Nor did it dying seem;-
Awake my soul! awake! I cried!
For thou dost only dream.
Oh, mocking hope, as fleet as vain!
Bewildered, bleeding, sore.
I laid my darling down again,
For she was there no more!
Of all the prayers that test our faith.
This is the hardest one;-
To gaze on a dear face in death,
And say, 'Thy will be done.'
In the wild struggle nature fails
And sinks affrighted, down;
A mortal grief o'er faith prevails,-
The cross obscures the crown.
So fast upon her pale, sweet clay
Came down my blinding tears,
They veiled awhile, her shining way
To the celestial spheres.
Oh Thou! who hast with hand unseen,
Removed the loved to thee,
Come now, with helping grace, between
The little child and me!
The cup of her sorrow seemed overflowing, but it was to be added to twelve days later by the death of her youngest child, a daughter of two years of age, little Jenny. This affliction, like the previous one, was hard to bear and weighed her spirit down, but again she had recourse to her pen and unburdened her soul in the following poem:-
At midnight hour, while others slept,
From troubled dreams we woke and wept,
For death had o'er our threshold crept
For little Jenny!
The watcher's lamp was burning low,
We could not see our loved one go;
There was no sound, no cry, but oh!
Our little Jenny!
So still she lay, so very still,
White as the snow-flakes on the hill;
We touched her cheek, it gave a chill,
Our darling Jenny!
Our hearts with grief were running o'er
For one we ceased not to deplore,
Who went a few brief days before
Our little Jenny!
And now another! help us, Lord!
By the dear promises of thy word,
To drink this cup which thou hast poured
Of grief for Jenny!
We kissed and laid her from our sight,
In all her childish beauty bright,
Down in the grave's cold, quiet night,
Our precious Jenny!
'Twas hard to turn to life again;
Through everything the ringing pain
Came back of looking all in vain
For little Jenny!
Then faith with sweet assurance said,
Behold! the loved one is not dead;
Up with the angels overhead
Sings little Jenny!
And not alone her tiny feet
Went upward in the golden street,-
An angel child came forth to meet
Our darling Jenny!
Two little sisters, hand in hand,
In His dear presence joyful stand,
Who called to His better land,
Amy and Jenny!
Time rolled on and soothed the sorrow for the deaths of Amy and Jenny. The family removed to Philadelphia to reside for a time, and there they made new acquaintances and friends, who were appreciative admirers of Mrs. Edmond and her writings. There, amid new scenes and family cares she continued to write, and her poems read by thousands unknown to her: one such expressed in verse the following appreciation of her poem:-
Unknown thy home, unseen thy smile-
But not unheard thy gentle lays:
A stranger's mind they oft beguile-
They move her to attempt thy praise.
Thy songs have touched responsive chords
In many a heart unknown to thee,
And thoughts unutterable in words,
Are stirred by thy sweet minstrelsy.
Though never in this earthly clime,
Shall be my lot to meet with thee,
My soul a union feels with thine,
A friendship, fervent and divine
And lasting as eternity.
East Bethany, N. Y.
Death entered the family at Philadelphia, taking from it Mary Cornelia Corey, Mrs. Edmond's youngest sister, a beautiful young woman, who made her home with the family. Family affections and ties were strong with them, and their parting was sorrowful. While residing in Philadelphia Mrs. Edmond visited Washington, Mount Vernon, and viewed the Monument in process of erection to the memory of Washington ; of this she wrote:-
From New England's vales of beauty,
From the stern old granite hills,
Where in battle's stormy duty
Blood was poured in crimson rills;
From the homes where freemen cherish
Like a household word his name,
Come, with gifts that shall not perish
To adorn the spire of Fame!
From the South, whose broad dominions
Glow beneath a warmer sun,
Where our eagle furls her pinions
O'er the grave of Washington;
Where he fought and scorned to falter
In the darkest hour of strife,
Come, with offerings for his altar,-
His, who gave our freedom life!
Genius of a mighty nation!
Speed the work with earnest hand,
Till in one sublime creation
All the vast memorials stand
On the spire that points eternal
To the shining path he trod;
With his name forever vernal,
Freedom's son, the gift of God!
Mrs. Edmond longed for the scenes of her childhood and her friends in Brookline, and the family returned from Philadelphia to Cypress street, opposite the old house and "ancient elms" and Mrs. Edmond lived there for the remainder of her life. There her last child was born, and there she continued to write whenever a moment could be spared from household duties.
At the dedication of the Brookline Baptist Meeting-house, December 1, 1858, she wrote the following poem:-
Eternal Father! Sovereign Lord!
We read, recorded in thy word
Thy servants built a house of prayer,
And thou didst meet and bless them there.
So, longing here thy face to see,
A temple. Lord, we build to thee;
Oh, let the sacred fire appear
Upon the new-made altar here!
Come, thou celestial spirit, come,
And make these earthly courts thy home;
Here oft the burdened soul relieve,
And bid the mourner cease to grieve.
O Cross! whereon to bleed and die
Our Ransom was uplifted high;
The memory of the thorn, the spear,
Forever be exalted here!
Here, Lord, may age grow ripe for heaven,
And manhood's strength to thee be given;
Youth in its freshness seek thy face,
And childhood sing thy saving grace.
So shall these earthly courts prepare
Our souls for nobler worship, where
The temple of thy glory stands,-
The heavenly house not made with hands.
Rev. William Lamson, D. D., was installed pastor of the Brookline Baptist Church, in the new meeting-house January 29, 1860, and for that occasion Mrs. Edmond wrote the following verses:-
Welcome! thou servant of the Lord!
Welcome, this flock of God to lead
Through the rich pastures of his word,
And on his promises to feed.
Welcome, for us, with words divine
To break the sacramental bread,
And pour the emblematic wine,-
Type of the blood our Ransom shed.
Stand on our Zion's walls and lift
Before the mourner's weeping eye
Salvation's priceless, peerless gift,
The Cross upreared on Calvary.
Welcome for our souls to watch, and pray,
With love that faith makes strong and bold,
While we thine hands unwearied stay,
As Aaron's hands were stayed of old.
Welcome our griefs and joys to share,
Thine shall be ours, and ours thine,
Each others burdens will we share
Before the throne of grace divine.
Almighty God! whose sovereign will
Ordains such unions here in thee,
Now with thyself this people fill,
So to thy glory it shall be!
Mrs. Edmond's poetry was, for the most part, of a meditative and religious nature, although it was jocular and merry, when occasion required; with children her smile was sunny and her voice reassuring. For a Union Sunday school picnic, she wrote:-
All hail to the picnic! all hail to the grove!
"Mid scenes of enchantment delighted we rove;
Dame Nature affords us a glorious hall,
And a carpet, the best in the world, for a ball.
All hail to the meeting of warm hearts and true,
To pastors and peoples, the Old and the New!
Though varied the creed that our hearts may approve,
We have but one banner, the banner of love.
Here's a flock from the hill-tops magnificent edge,
Kept firm in the faith by an excellent Hedge:
Here's one from the vale, that's surprisingly grown,
When we know all the food which they get is from Stone.
Here's another so fortunate lately to find
A well-polished Diamond (Diman), that cuts to their mind;
And the lovers of truth and the seekers of good,
That never need stray while there's hay in their Wood.
And here are our friends that are zealous in soul
For the use of cold water applied as a whole;
Let them grow in their faith, if they like, and be strong,
For if they are right, then some others are wrong.
All hail to the President! safe o'er the track
His pass brought us here and will carry us back;
Our thanks we'll pass him,-small pay it is true,
But he'll get something better when such bills become due.
Oh, fill up the goblets with wine of the lake,
And sit at the banquet where all may partake;
Here's beauty and eloquence, music and mirth,
Here's union and talent, and all kinds of worth.
Overflowing with pleasure, pure-pleasure like this.
Let us pass round the cup, drinking deep of its bliss;
Enjoy the bright moments, and when they are flown,
From the homes of the birds we'll depart for our own.
Mrs. Edmond entered with zest into the spirit of children's sports and pastimes, and in her enthusiasm was again a child in feeling whenever she witnessed their innocent gambols and play. She wrote much in that line, but we must be content with quoting, "The Frolic in the Snow":-
Play on, play on while the feathery snow
From the sky comes whirling past;
Thy cheeks are bright with a crimson glow,
The rose that blooms when the north winds blow,
When the pulse of youth beats fast.
What dost thou heed, light-hearted child,
Who knowest no care nor pain ?
Though cold be the breath of the winter wild,
And the sun since yesterday hath not smiled
On the ice-bound hill and plain.
The hearth in thy home is bright and warm,
Unfelt is the piercing air;
Oh, naught to thee is the biting storm
Raging without, while a mother's form
Hovers in kindness there.
Play on; for the days of youth are fleet,
From wearisome burdens free;
Life's earliest cup is the cup most sweet,
And the merriest pulse is first to beat.
As it beats today in thee.
When burdened life shall thy heart appal,
As the years shall come and go,
And golden castles dissolve and fall,
With a sigh, perchance, thou wilt recall
Thy frolic amid the snow.
Tenderly sympathetic for down-trodden and suffering humanity, we should expect Mrs. Edmond to espouse the cause of the slave in our Southern States, and that she should from time to time wield her pen in his behalf; for the amelioration of his condition and for his ultimate freedom.
With prophetic vision she saw the rising storm, and the conflict of arms and the battle that was to be waged, and with never failing faith that right would triumph over wrong, she shrank not from the sight. When the Civil War came, her youngest brother sharing her feelings and beliefs, enlisted in the Union army. She encouraged and cheered him on, followed him with her prayers and with tender, sisterly letters of" cheer. And although she did not live to see the close of the War, she followed closely its course while she did live, rejoicing when the Union forces were successful, and lamenting when news came that they were defeated. She wrote a poem bearing the title of "Freedom's Champions," which so well summed up the situation just before the clash of arms came, that it is here quoted in full:-
Children of a Southern soil,
Holders of unlawful spoil,
Ye, whose groaning thousands toil
In their hopeless misery,-
Hear ye not the battle cry
That proclaims the warfare nigh,
When the oppressor's rank shall lie
Slain by Freedom's champions?
On they come in holy might,
Men of foulest crime to smight
With the keen-edged sword of Right
And the steel of Liberty.
Ye may draw the fetters strong
Round the victims of your wrong;
Justice shall not linger long,
Vengeance cometh speedily.
God hath heard the cry of him
With the mangled, fettered limb,
And the eye with weeping dim,
In the grasp of slavery.
God hath heard, and not in vain;
And his fires of wrath shall rain
Death upon the Southern plain,-
Land of shame and cruelty.
Ye whose hearts some pity crave
For the scorned, degraded slave,
Longing for a quiet grave
Haste, avenge his injuries.
Onward, brothers, hand in hand,
God shall aid his chosen band,
Drive the oppressors from the land;
Onward, brothers, fearlessly.
Gathered from the East and West
And the North, the noblest, the best,
From the South the rod to wrest
Of her shameful tyranny.
Craven hearts that shrink through fear,
Dare not in our ranks appear;
What do we with cowards here.
Baser spirits wavering!
What are ye but those in part
Who defend the human mart,
Though ye hold with such no part
Kindred in their infamy?
But the bold the true shall be,
In our strife on land and sea,
Ending not till earth is free,-
Ay, and free eternally!
Men of single hearts and hands,
Fired with zeal, the cause demands;
Those shall make our stalwart bands,
These shall conquer slavery.
The dread disease, consumption, fastened its fangs upon Mrs. Edmond, but she continued to write even in her weakness and to be cheerful in suffering. She was aware that hex life was drawing to its close. She clung to life, for it had been a joy to her. In the autumn of 1861 the approaching end seemed near, but she lingered until the folowing May at the portals, waiting for the summons to enter into rest.During that period she was solicitous for others, grateful for attentions shown her, and the beauties of her character shone brightly. Her farewells to husband, children, friends, and her messages to her church and Sunday school were legacies more prized than gold. Two nights before her death, in suffering and expecting any hour to be her last, she said, "If any asked how I die, tell them in the triumphs of faith and hope, looking for salvation alone through my Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ." As the final hour drew near she thanked her physician, who stood near her bed, for his kind attentions, and in a clear voice repeated these lines:-
Sweet land of rest, for thee I sigh;
When will the moment come
When I shall lay my armor by
And dwell with Christ at home?
And then she fell asleep, and never woke again to the scenes of this life.
While in sickness she composed some verses and entrusted them two days before her death to the care of a friend to give them to her husband after she had passed on. They were farewells to husband, children and friends, and were as follows:-
Keep me not here while I tremble and shiver;
Stay not my feet where the dark waters be;
For over the river, just over the river,
Amy and Jenny are waiting for me.
Hark to the sound! the sweet sound of voices,
Lovingly, tenderly, 'Come, mother, come!'
Oh, how my spirit exulting rejoices,-
Darlings, I'm coming, I'm nearing my home!
Dearer than children, than father or mother,
Watching and waiting, there's one by my side,
Next to my Saviour, and next to no other,-
He who once won me and made me his bride.
How can I leave thee, beloved of my bosom?
How can I leave thee to wander alone?
Blessed Redeemer, oh, comfort the mourner,
Fold thou his wounded heart close to thine own.
Children, dear children, so dear to me never,
Now is the cup of our agony given;
Now must we part, but we part not forever,-
I have loved you on earth, I shall love you in heaven.
Friends, gentle friends, who have strewn my sick pillows
With blossoms of hope, of peace, and of love,-
Sister, sweet sister, away on the billows.
Brothers beloved, I shall meet you above."
"Sister, sweet sister, away on the billows," was the wife of the writer, and for ten years the companion of his voyagings about the globe; they heard of Mrs. Edmond's death at Melbourne, Australia, in August after its occurrence in May, through Mr. Newell, a resident of Melbourne, a friend and former resident of Brookline. It was sad news, though not entirely unexpected.
Mrs. Edmond died May 30, 1862, in the thirty-eighth year of her age. Her funeral was held in the Brookline Baptist Church, June 1st. Rev. William Lamson, D. D., officiated, and the burial was on the central ridge of the Walnut Street cemetery beside Amy and Jenny, and her father and mother. Later her husband and sons followed her, and they were buried beside her, leaving space for the two remaining daughters, Flora Amanda and Theodora Augusta. Although but thirty-seven and onehalf at the time of her demise, Mrs. Edmond had written much, made hosts of friends, and was mourned by many whose only acquaintance with her was through her writings.
The editor of the Philadelphia Chronicle wrote concerning her:-"The announcement of Mrs. Edmond's death will cause a pang of anguish in many hearts. Those who have read her sweet poems, and the children who have been entertained and instructed by her stories of "Willie Grant," "Over the Sea," "The Vase of Flowers," "Early Days," "Philip Garland," "The Forget-me-not," etc., will all be mourners. There was an ease and grace in Mrs. Edmond's compositions which made them agreeable and impressive. Their style was nothing careless, dashing or overwrought, which kept the reader disputing every moment with his reason and better judgment, but every scene and illustration harmonized with and deepened his conviction of right. And best of all, her private character was in harmony with the spirit her pen inculcated. The social and domestic pathway of her life was kept constantly cheerful and happy. Mrs. Edmond still lives in the hearts of her friends, and lives in her works."
Miss Harriet Woods, her life-long friend, author of "Historical Sketches of Brookline," and an acceptable writer of prose and poetry, wrote of her:-
"This lovely first Sabbath in June has brought sorrow to many hearts, for today our dear friend, Mrs. Edmond, has been borne away to her long home. She made an effort to live for the sake of her family, and until a week ago had hoped to live till autumn, if no longer, but when the conviction fastened upon her that her days were numbered, she cheerfully resigned herself, made all her arrangements, gave her parting messages, took leave of all her dear ones, and waited with longing hope the hour of her release. . . . Thus her lovely last hours left precious memories. She never seemed to dwell upon herself, or her sickness to those who came in, but always thought of others. Her death has left a void that no other life can fill. Since I was six years old I had known her in school and at home, and I never saw her temper ruffled. She has been the first to die of a class of six of us Sunday school scholars, who were baptized together, upwards of twenty years ago."
"Long ago she wrote thus of Christian hope:-
"Thanks be to God, though sin and strife
Oppress us till our latest breath,
Life here is not our only life,
And death is not forever death.
O joyful season! welcome day!
That sees our earthly fetters riven;
Speed, tardy hours, your dull delay,-
Your faster flight, my sooner heaven."
And in that heaven she worships today, while we wait sorrowing a little longer."
Miss Woods wrote the following lines in memoriam:-
"Spring comes! The forms of life she loved
Begin to stir,
And not a butterfly or bud but brings
Memories of her.
All bright-hued flowers that bloom, the pink,
The tulip and the rose,
The sweet, wild berries of the wood, beside
The brook that flows
Through violet-scented meadows, and the breath
Of south winds o'er the hill,-
All earth awakening from its winter death
Recalls her still.
Whitsunday cometh silent, in the garb
Of fragrant May
And incense-breathing orchards stand again
In white array.
Sacred its memory ever; since her eyes
Looked forth in calm delight
On her last earthly Sabbath,-on the trees
Arrayed in white;
And ere June dawned upon the waiting earth,
The summons given
Called her from their fresh beauties, to the flowers
Fadeless in heaven."
From the pen of her pastor, Rev. William Lamson, D. D., came the following just and beautiful tribute to the life and character of Mrs. Edmond:-
"Amanda M. Edmond is the name of one, who, not quite a year since, left us for her home above. She lives in the memory of friends, enshrined in the affections of many loving hearts, and needs for them, no record of her virtues. But it is never amiss to stop a moment beside the grave of departed worth and recall the excellence of one whom we have loved. It was on the first Sabbath of last June that we bore her sleeping body to the sanctuary in which she had delighted to worship, and thence to its last silent home.
"It seemed fitting that she, who so loved nature, to whom every bud and blossom and spire of grass had a charm, should see it for the last time in its dress of beauty, and feel that it smiled lovingly on her as she closed her eyes upon it. There is no gloom in such a burial.
"When quite young she developed an ability, uncommon for her years, and that ability grew till she became an accomplished writer, widely known by the productions of her pen. Thousands who never saw her have been consoled and cheered by her sweet hymns, or instructed and guided by her stories for the young. Beside the many fugitive pieces scattered through papers and monthlies, she added ten choice volumes to our Sunday school literature, a volume to our religious biography, the memoir of the missionary, Mrs. Comstock, her early friend, and published a volume of poems, entitled, from the principal piece in it "The Broken Vow." She also edited for a series of years, the beautiful little annual, The Ladies' Almanac.
"It is with no little surprise that we look at the amount of her productions, remembering that they were written in the midst of domestic cares never neglected, and many of them during years of failing health. But she had a rare facility of uniting literary labor with the daily duties of life,-of dropping her pen for the toil of the kitchen, and returning to it at the first leisure, as though there had been no interruption.
"Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth. Our friend did not escape the discipline of sorrow. Within a few weeks her Father saw fit to take to himself two precious jewels, whom for a season he had loaned her, and on whom her heart had become too strongly fixed. Little Amy and Jenny were getting between her and her God, and he loved her too well to permit it. It was a crushing blow. For a season she refused to be consoled,-could not see the wisdom or goodness of providence. All was fearfully dark, and her spirit rose and murmured against God. Faith gained the ascendancy, and she bowed her whole heart lovingly, submissively, to the Divine chastening. She painted the struggle as no other could in the exquisite lines on Little Amy:-
Of all the prayers that test my faith,
This is the hardest one,
To gaze on that dear face in death,
And say, 'Thy will be done.
O thou who hast, with hand unseen,
Removed the loved to Thee,
Come now, with helping grace, between
The little child and me!
"The helping grace came. God himself filled the place made sorrowfully vacant by that which he had taken away. She lived to say from a full heart, as did David, 'It is good for me that I have been afflicted.'
"Some four years since, her watchful friends began to fear the approaches of that insidious and fatal disease that every year desolates so many of our New England homes. She, too, saw it, and set herself resolutely to contend against it. She clung to life. It had been a joy to her and was a joy still. The future was full of promise.
" 'Why,' said she, 'should I not try to live as long as I can, when I have everything to live for?' And right earnestly did she struggle, at times seeming almost to have gained the victory. But in the autumn of 1861, indications of the approaching end became more and more decisive. Yet during the winter months which followed, chiefly for the sake of those she loved, we now think, did she talk cheerfully and hopefully of her case. But when the Father's will was too plain to be mistaken, she resigned herself at once and wholly to his disposal. Every mortal wish was hushed, and every fear banished. With thoughtful solicitude for others, grateful for every human attention, and overflowing with thankfulness to God, she lingered for a few days at Heaven's portals, waiting the summons to enter.
"It was during these days, in the intervals of her suffering, that the moral and spiritual beauties of her character shone most brightly. Her farewells to husband, children and friends, and her messages to the church and Sabbath school, are legacies more prized than gold. As the final hour drew near, she turned her eyes to her physician, who stood by her bedside, thanked him for his kind attentions, and then, with a clear, full voice, as in health, repeated these lines:-
"Sweet land of rest, for thee I sigh;
When will the moment come
When I shall lay my armor by,
And dwell with Christ at home?"
One does not fail to notice in the writings of Mrs. Edmond her love of her native town, family, friends and children; her love of purity and of her Divine Master. Her own mind and thought were as pure as newly fallen snow, and sparkle in her writings as snow sparkles in the sunlight.
Forty-six years have rolled by since she wrote the farewell lines to husband and kindred, laid down her pen, and her spirit took its flight from earthly scenes. Her husband, sisters, brothers and "children, except two unmarried daughters in another state, and two grandchildren, and all her early friends, have followed her.
In life she loved by many, and known by thousands through her writings, which had consoled and cheered them. And yet, so evanescent are the lives and doings of mortals, that probably not one hundred of Brookline's present inhabitants have personal recollections of her, and to the masses even her name is unknown.
It is the province of this society to gather from the dust of forgetfulness the history of the families and individuals of our town for preservation, and to publish the same when deemed expedient. In fulfilment of that purpose, this sketch of the life of Mrs. Edmond has been prepared, that it may be preserved in the archives of the Society, as a memorial of a native resident who by common consent was entitled to be called A Brookline Poetess.
BROOKLINE HISTORICAL SOCIETY
The name of this corporation shall be Brookline Historical Society.
The objects of this Society shall be the study of the history of the town of Brookline, Massachusetts, its societies, organizations, families, individuals, events; the collection and preservation of its antiquities, the establishment and maintenance of an historical library, and the publication from time to time of such information relating to the same as shall be deemed expedient.
Any person of moral character who shall be nominated and approved by the Board of Trustees may be elected to membership by ballot of two-thirds of the members present and voting thereon at any regular meeting of the Society. Each person so elected shall pay an admission fee of three dollars, and an annual assessment of two dollars; and any member who shall fail for two consecutive years to pay the annual assessment shall cease to be a member of this Society; provided, however, that any member who shall pay twenty-five dollars in anyone year may thereby become a Life member; and any member who shall pay fifty dollars in any one year may thereby become a Benefactor of the Society, and thereafter shall be free from all dues and assessments. The money received from Life members and Benefactors shall constitute a fund, of which not more than twenty per cent, together with the annual income there from, shall be spent in anyone year.
The Society may elect Honorary and Corresponding members in the manner in which annual members are elected, but they shall have no voice in the management of the Society, and shall not be subject to fee or assessment.
Certificates signed by the President and the Clerk may be issued to all persons who become Life members, and to Benefactors.
The officers of this Society shall be seven Trustees, a President, a Vice-President, a Secretary (who shall be Clerk of the Society and may also be elected to fill the office of Treasurer), and a Treasurer, who, together, shall constitute the Board of Trustees. The Trustees, Clerk, and Treasurer shall be chosen by ballot at the annual meeting in January, and shall hold office for one year, and until others are chosen and qualified in their stead. The President and Vice-President shall be chosen by the Board of Trustees from their number at their first meeting after their election, or at an adjournment thereof.
The annual meeting of this Society shall be held on the fourth Wednesday of January. Regular stated meetings shall be held on the fourth Wednesday of February, March, April, May, October, November, and December.
Special meetings may be called by order of the Board of Trustees. The Clerk shall notify each member by a written or printed notice sent through the mail postpaid at least three days before the time of meeting, or by publishing such notice in one or more newspapers published in Brookline.
At all meetings of the Society ten (10) members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
The meetings of the Board of Trustees shall be called by the Clerk at the request of the President, by giving each member personal or written notice, or by sending such notice by mail, postpaid, at least twenty-four hours before the time of such meeting; but meetings where all the Trustees are present may be held without' such notice. The President shall call meetings of the Board of Trustees at the request of any three members thereof. A majority of its members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business.
Vacancies in the offices of Trustees, Clerk, or Treasurer may be filled for the remainder of the term at any regular meeting of the Society by the vote of two-thirds of the members present and voting. In the absence of the Clerk at a meeting of the Society, a Clerk pro tempore shall be chosen.
At the monthly meeting in December, a Nominating Committee of three members shall be appointed by the presiding officer, who shall report at the annual meeting a list of candidates for the places to be filled.
The President, or in his absence the Vice-President, shall preside at all meetings of the Society. In the absence of those officers a President pro tempore shall be chosen.
DUTIES OF THE CLERK.
The Clerk shall be sworn to the faithful discharge of his duties. He shall notify members of all meetings of the Society, and shall keep an exact record of all the proceedings of the Society at its meetings.
He shall conduct the general correspondence of the Society and place on file all letters received. He shall enter the names of members in order in books or cards kept for that purpose, and issue certificates to Life members and to Benefactors. He shall have charge of such property in possession of the Society as may from time to time be delegated to him by the Board of Trustees. He shall acknowledge all loans or gifts made to the Society.
DUTIES OF THE TREASURER.
The Treasurer shall collect all moneys due the Society, and pay all bills against the Society when approved by the Board of Trustees. He shall keep a full account of receipts and expenditures in a book belonging to the Society, which shall always be open to the inspection of the Trustees; and at the annual meeting in January he shall make a written report of all his doings for the year preceding. The Treasurer shall give bonds in such sum, with surety, as the Trustees may fix, for the faithful discharge of his duties.
DUTIES AND POWERS OF TRUSTEES.
The Board of Trustees shall superintend the prudential and executive business of the Society, authorize all expenditures of money, fix all salaries, provide a common seal, receive and act upon all resignations and forfeitures of membership, and see that the by-laws are duly complied with. The Board of Trustees shall have full powers to hire, lease, or arrange for a suitable home for the Society, and to make all necessary rules and regulations required in the premises.
They shall make a report of their doings at the annual meeting of the Society.
They may from time to time appoint such sub-committees from their own number as they deem expedient.
In case of a vacancy in the office of Clerk or Treasurer they shall have power to choose the same pro tempore till the next meeting of the Society.
The President shall annually, in the month of January, appoint four standing committees, as follows:
Committee on Rooms.
A committee of three members, to be styled the "Committee on Rooms," to which shall be added the President and Clerk of the Society ex-officio, who shall have charge of all arrangements of the rooms (except books, manuscripts, and other objects appropriate to the library offered as gifts or loans), the hanging of pictures, and the general arrangements of the Society's collection in their department.
Committee on Papers.
A committee of three members, to be styled the" Committee on Papers," who shall have charge of the subjects of papers to be read, or other exercises of a profitable nature, at the monthly meetings of the Society.
Committee on Membership.
A committee of three or more members, to be styled the "Committee on Membership," whose duty it shall be to give information in regard to the purposes of the Society, and increase its membership.
Committee on Library.
A committee of three or more members, to be styled the" Committee on Library," who shall have charge of the arrangements of the library, including acceptance and rejection of books, manuscripts, and other objects tendered to the library, and the general arrangement of the Society's collections in that department.
These four committees shall perform their duties as above set forth under the general direction and supervision of the Board of Trustees. Vacancies that occur in any of these committees during their term of service shall be filled by the President.
The President shall annually, in the month of January, appoint two members, who, with the President, shall constitute the Committee on Finance, to examine from time to time the books and accounts of the Treasurer, to audit his accounts at the close of the
year, and to report upon the expediency of proposed expenditures of money.
These by-laws may be altered or amended at any regular meeting by a two-thirds vote of the members present, notice of the subject matter of the proposed alterations or amendments having been given at a previous meeting.