- Family Activities
- Community Programs
- Old Dartmouth Lyceum
- Ellis Antique Show
- Haunted Whale Ship
- Around the World and Back Again Reception
- Chairman's Awards Celebration
- New Year's Eve Bash
- Moby-Dick Marathon
- Watkins Bioacoustics Symposium
- Annual Events
- Charles W. Morgan Visit
- Sailors' Series
- Whaling History Symposium
- Scrimshaw Weekend
- Fado from Portugal
- 20 Feet From Stardom
- Past Programs
OLD DARTMOUTH HISTORICAL SKETCH
Being the proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society, Water Street, New Bedford, Massachusetts, on March 27, 1909
Containing the following reports:
- REPORT OF THE DIRECTORS, William Arthur Wing
- REPORT OF THE TREASURER, William A. Mackie
- REPORT OF THE MUSEUM SECTION, Annie Seabury Wood
- REPORT OF THE HISTORICAL RESEARCH SECTION, Henry B. Worth
- REPORT OF THE PUBLICATION SECTION, William Arthur Wing
- REPORT OF THE PHOTOGRAPH SECTION, William Arthur Wing
- REPORT OF THE EDUCATION SECTION, Elizabeth Watson
[Note.—The "Old Dartmouth Historical Sketches" will be published by the society quarterly and may be purchased for ten cents each on application to the Secretary and also at Hutchinson's Book Store.]
Proceedings of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society's
Sixth Annual Meeting
New Bedford, Massachusetts
March 27, 1909
The sixth annual meeting of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society was held March 27, at the building of the organization.
The following officers were elected:
President — Edmund Wood.
Vice Presidents — George H. Tripp, Henry B. Worth.
Treasurer — William A. Mackie.
Secretary — William A. Wing.
Directors (for three years) — Mrs. Clement N. Swift, Henry H. Rogers, Ellis L. Howland.
President Wood's address was as follows:
The Old Dartmouth Historical Society might, with accuracy, be described as that society which, while devoting itself almost wholly to dead men and dead things, is itself very much alive. The past may be moldy and the people dusty, yet to us they are full of a lively interest.
The history of this township and the study of the lives and characters of its worthies still continue to attract us, and as we pass on tonight to another year of the society's life we are impressed not with our accomplishments, but with the smallness of the corner of this great field which we have already tilled.
But we have some good workers among us, who are delving into the unexplored corners of our past with rich results, and we begin to have faith in the old prophecy as it applies to Old Dartmouth—'there is nothing covered which shall not be revealed, neither hid that shall not be known.'
The most notable results of the past year are the revelations contained in that most remarkable collection of historical facts found in the manuscripts of our former townsman, the Hon. Henry H. Crapo. It is impossible to overestimate the value and importance of these new contributions to our knowledge. I will not review them, for you have all read them as they appeared regularly in the columns of our morning newspaper. They had been clearly arranged and annotated by the chairman of our research committee, Mr. Worth.
Other papers, of great interest and value, have been prepared and read at the several meetings during the year, and these all have appeared in the printed bulletins of the society.
We have continued to enjoy our richest life in this new convenient home, which is constantly being ornamented and made more instructive by the enthusiastic work of our museum committee and by the liberal gifts of our members and friends. More and more as time passes individuals come to realize that this is the appropriate and fitting home for their own ancestral treasures. Here they are fittingly displayed, with the names of the donors, and here they are studied, admired and appreciated by hundreds of sympathetic visitors.
It isn't often that a building erected for business offices lends itself so graciously to the uses of new tenants with different aims and purposes. When we entered in upon the enjoyment of this gift we found already erected in the vestibule two marble memorial tablets waiting to be suitably inscribed with appropriate legends. These have lately been prepared, and tonight you have been properly received and guided at our portal.
On one of these tablets the visitor can read:
"On this site in 1803 was erected the building of the Bedford Bank, the first financial institution of Bristol County. Here for nearly a century, in the centre of the mercantile and commercial activity of New Bedford, the banking business was conducted."
On the other tablet is the following:
"Old Dartmouth Historical society, incorporated 1903. This building was erected by the National Bank of Commerce, 1884. Donated to the society, 1906."
In the early history of the settlers in this region we can well imagine that living was quite primitive. The struggle with an ungenerous soil and a rigorous climate was real and unremitting and the venturous voyages in small vessels were full of hardship. It would not be expected in those first 100 years that the arts and sciences would find a footing—or that the softer side of our nature would receive much nourishment. But it is sure that as whaling developed into a leading industry—and as the voyages extended to foreign seas and uncivilized islands the fireside tales of our ancestors were full of romance and the imaginations of the youth were richly fed and sufficiently excited. Soon the commerce which had to follow the world wide demand for the oil, broadened the horizon and gave abundant mental stimulus to the larger portion of this whole community.
Now were born conditions in which literature and art might find a fitting soil and take root. Whether it matured and flourished or not depended in large measure whether the budding artistic imagination encountered the cooling and quieting winds of Dartmouth Quakerism. Art must then be colorless and the imagination chastened and subdued. No one since ever know the flaming red buds of poetic and artistic promise born and fostered by the extreme romanticism of family travel and adventure which faded into gray with the [more mature] example and teaching of friendly environment.
But some found a stimulating atmosphere and landscapes in which nature's brilliant coloring was recognized and admired.
Fairly early in the last century our captains brought home oil portraits of themselves painted abroad and soon we had native talent attempting severe portraiture. It was not long before these local painters felt the stronger and more romantic call of the sea—-and of the life of those who go down to it in ships, and we begin to find sketches of the shore and ships, the wharves and the boats.
At last some sailor himself becomes the artist—or the artist goes on a voyage for the experience, and then we have a portrayal of the actual excitements of hunting the whale—the chase, the harpooning and the capture. The most spirited illustrations of whaling as a sport, and the most accurate are found among the sometimes crude etchings on whale's teeth. Some of these are remarkable representations, and many valuable specimens can be found in our collections now in this building.
It often happened on ship-board that the member of the crew who developed a talent for drawing became a favored individual who was relieved from standing watch and worked during the day in carving or etching in ivory for the captain—or pricking in India ink a spirited sketch of a whale's dying flurry upon the bared forearm of a mate.
The first local artist who produced finished pictures of actual scenes of whaling was Benjamin Russell of New Bedford. Some of his best pictures have been lithographed and thus given a wide circulation. Some of the most popular of these were entitled "The Chase," "The Capture," "A Ship on the Northwest Coast Cutting in Her Last Right Whale," "Whaling in all its Varieties."
Mr. Wood said that Russell's panorama of a whaling voyage was still in existence in this city, and expressed the hope that it might be revived for a presentation before the members of the society.
Last year, many years after Benjamin Russell's death, continued the speaker, three of his original finished drawings came into the market and were held at prices which would have delighted and flattered the artist during his life time. One of these pictures has been purchased by W. W. Crapo, and presented to the society. It is one which perhaps has the most interest as a picture to hang in a historical society. The scenes represented by the artist is the burning of the whale ships by the Shenandoah. Sunday we shall have read in this room a paper on the events which led up to the court of the Alabama claims— a most interesting and exciting chapter in this city's history. Then, with that recounting we shall realize the historical value of this picture—and the true appreciation of its value, and the foresight on its liberal donor.
Benjamin Russell was a good draughtsman and remarkably well informed on the details of the subjects which he painted. He had not much knowledge of technique or of values, but his composition was excellent. His painting of water is never artistic. But he was inspired in his art by the artistic value of the familiar scenes connected with his native city and he has represented with fidelity and talent scenes and events which were unique at the time and which make his work of unusual value to the students of Old Dartmouth history.
Report of the Directors
by William Arthur Wing
The Old Dartmouth Historical Society again greets its members at its sixth annual meeting, the third held in its beautiful home.
During the past year your secretary has as usual kept in touch with various other historical societies, ancient and of highest standing, and wishes to express not only his pleasure but gratitude to them for the courtesies and cordial recognition extended to this society, and to him. Our methods have been the subject of hearty commendation and approval in many ways most gratifying—and we, too, have much to learn from them and may well follow in their footsteps in many directions.
There is only one—it hardly can be called unpleasantness, rather an inconvenience—and it seems to obtain in most historical societies—carelessness about paying annual dues (only $1 a year), and no society offers more attractions than this.
Every membership card contains the legend, prominently placed: "Read this card carefully and keep it as a receipt." If you will only heed this to the letter, you can always tell when your membership money is due, and pay accordingly. Notice in regard to dues is placed on the postal notices of each quarterly meeting—"lest we forget."
New members are joining, but death claims from our ranks these, whom we shall ever hold—
In Memoriam—Elizabeth Williams Braley, Albion Turner Brownell, Wm. H. Carney, H. Wilder Emerson, Myra Norton Haskins, John Jay Hicks, Dr. Frederic H. Hooper, Frederick N. Gifford. Frederic Sumner Potter, Mrs. Alfred Nye, Helen Howland Prescott (a life member), Eleanor Masters Read, Dr. John Cook Shaw, Hannah Mary Stowe, George Howland Wady, Martha Jefferson Waite (a life member), William Ricketson Wing.
The executive board have met as occasion required. The secretary will always gratefully remember one such meeting so full of kindly fellowship and cordial appreciation of his services. A recent writer has aptly expressed our feelings, in saying: "It is commendable to cherish the home towns among the home-people. If there were shrines at such places we would visit them. There is an urgency to recognize shrines."
William Arthur Wing,
Report of the Treasurer
by William A. Mackie
The treasurer's report was presented by William A. Mackie, as follows:
"William A. Mackie, treasurer in account, with Old Dartmouth Historical Society:
March 26. 1908.
To Balance, $624.86
Life memberships, 175.00
Annual dues, 705.00
Income, N. B. Lyceum fund, 129.00
Rebate tax, 50.44
By museum. $61.40
Repairs and improvements. 225.37
Current expenses, 464.64
N. B. Inst, for Sav. Life Mem. 175.00
William A. Mackie, Treasurer
Report of the Museum Section
by Annie Seabury Wood
The report of the museum section was presented by Mrs. Anna Seabury Wood, as follows:
The museum section herewith presents its fifth annual report. At the first meeting of the section held during the year just closing we found that we had in our possession a fund which had accrued from entertainments and teas held the previous year amounting approximately to $140. The existence of this fund made the creation of a new officer necessary, and to fill that office Miss Florence L. Waite was elected treasurer. The greater part of the money has been expended for cases to hold the various exhibits of the society.
We point with especial pride to the cases in the main room, the cost of which was $150. Of this amount $75 was paid from the fund of the museum section, $25 from the fund of the society, and $50 was contributed by Mr. Oliver F. Brown. We take this occasion to make public acknowledgment of his kindness.
The balance in our treasury at present is extremely small, and it is hoped that it may be substantially increased by an entertainment to be given in the Unitarian chapel on Patriots' Day, the 19th of April. The entertainment is to consist of a series of historic tableaux, which should be of interest to all members of the society and to all lovers of Old Dartmouth.
In addition to the regular teas held as usual each month through the winter, the entertainment committee has managed successfully an exhibition of old prints, rare books and book plates, an exhibition of old china and a 'Breton Afternoon,' when Mrs. Clement N. Swift, in Breton costume, read two delightful stories written by Clement N. Swift.
We consider that the work of this committee has always played an important part in arousing and maintaining public interest in the society, and we acknowledge with gratitude the services rendered by the committee for 1908-1909: Miss Mary E. Bradford, Miss Elizabeth H. Swift, Mrs. Clement N. Swift, Mrs. Herbert E. Cushman, Miss Mary K. Taber and Mrs. Edmund Wood. The last of the teas given under their auspices will be held on Saturday. April 3, and Saturday, May 1.
During the year the value of the museum itself has been increased by many notable acquisitions, the enumeration of which would be well-nigh impossible. The largest collection which has been added is one brought from the Philippines and loaned by Dr. Frederick A. Washburn. We are promised for the coming year the loan of a very good Alaskan collection, which, in addition to the one we have already, should make our Alaskan room one of the best equipped in the museum.
We congratulate ourselves that more portraits are finding their way to us, and pictures, some of them of historic interest and some the work of famous Old Dartmouth artists. Now and then pieces of rare old china are entrusted to our keeping, and bits of ivory, carved into curious shapes and polished by the skillful fingers of dead and forgotten seamen, are gathered in for us by our chairman, Frank Wood, or by Nathan C. Hathaway, who are always awake to their beauty.
Photographs and colonial relics arouse the especial enthusiasm of William A. Wing, and his aid in arranging and caring for all our exhibits is simply invaluable. And so we have grown into a museum to love and be proud of—a museum which adds dignity to our city of New Bedford.
We have many ambitions for the coming years, some of them perhaps never to be realized; but two things it is safe to say here we are promising ourselves to do—one, to make our whaling exhibit as concise and complete as possible; the other, so to arrange and mark it as to make it of the greatest possible benefit in an educational way to our own people and to the many visitors, for whom it is the thing of all others in our museum which they most desire to see."
Annie Seabury Wood,
Report of the Historical Research Section
by Henry B. Worth
The method of many people in preparing historical works is to consult all possible books, make copious extracts there from, and then interview all old people and pour together the combined results and present the aggregation as history. Compilations from printed works merely rearrange what is already prepared and add nothing to the store of historical knowledge, and often produce mischievous results by copying the errors of former writers and perpetuating these mistakes.
The testimony of old persons as to facts which have come within the range of their observation comprise an important contribution to the amount of historical knowledge and should not be underestimated. A notable example is a recent publication of this society of the labors of Henry H. Crapo, but the value of that work was largely due to the skillful manner in which the witnesses were interrogated and the results of their interviews stated. If the same men had been questioned by a less careful investigator, the results might have had no value. Dr. Leonard W. Bacon once said that he never stated a fact of history unless he had verified it by his own investigation. This remark was quoted to him a few months before his death and his characteristic reply is worth preserving: 'Yes, that is a very good rule if you don't want to be contradicted.'
But original sources vary according to the subject under investigation. It may be an old Bible, a gravestone, an account book, letter, logbook, report, public record, will or deed. The cardinal rule followed by the courts of law is that written statements to be entitled to credit should be made at the time of the event by some person acquainted with the facts with no purpose to mislead or deceive. This involves several requirements, and one of the most important is that the individual shall be known. Unsigned statements are always open to the objection that there is no way to judge of their accuracy by knowing the author. This is one of the defects in a very highly respected class of records, viz.: entries in old Bibles and inscriptions on tomb stones. At the present time there are numerous patriotic and historical societies, like the Mayflower Descendants, Colonial Dames, Sons and Daughters of the Revolution. In some circles it is considered a high honor to gain admission thereto, and so eager are many persons that they will furnish money without limit to obtain the prize. The temptation has led to the fabrication of pedigrees and genealogies and the production of fictitious evidence to comply with the requirements. It would be entirely possible to place an entry in an old Bible, or to cut some inscription on a tombstone with the expectation that the fraud would not be detected.
In the old cemetery at the Head of the River at the grave of Dr. West is a fine marble stone. The original inscription was no doubt contemporaneous with his death, and is on the face of the stone; but in one of the lower corners near the ground, in recent cutting, will be found the words 'See other side.' On the north side of the stone, also in recent cutting, will be found the statement that one Captain Francis West, the brother of the third Lord Delaware, came from England to Virginia in 1608; he had a son, not named, who had a son Thomas, a physician, who had a son, Sackfield, and Samuel West, D.D., was son of Sackfield West of Yarmouth.
It is not the present purpose to state the objections that have been presented to this pedigree, but to call attention to the fact that here is a case where years after the death of Dr. West and the erection of the tablet, some person not known, inspired by a motive not apparent, has placed a modern inscription on the old tablet, and when it is considered that the statements could be preserved in many other ways equally permanent, the query arises as to the object of the person who resorted to this singular performance.
In a burial lot in Freetown near the Acushnet line are some slate stones erected a few years ago, having several names on each; the purpose being to preserve the names of some of the family who might have been buried in that lot; but if in the future the inscriptions on these stones are taken as historic evidence, some troublesome discrepancies might be discovered between them and authentic records. Within a short time a published account has appeared relating to a stone in the Rochester cemetery commemorating the deaths of Elnathan Haskell and his son, Nathan. The facts stated on this stone are in serious conflict with contemporary records, and somewhere there is a mistake. The most reasonable explanation is that the confusion was occasioned by the person who erected the gravestone, who may have had information of the facts stated. Thus the opportunities for fraud, as well as mistake, are much greater than might be supposed, and the most stringent proofs are now being insisted upon by the above-mentioned societies before applications are accepted. These requirements are fully met in the records of wills and deeds and for the purpose of local history they furnish the surest basis.
Ultimately all history is only a record of the doings of mankind. Land is the most important thing to men outside of themselves; and consequently history is practically what men have done concerning land. All wars have their origin, progress and termination over questions of territory. Every conflict between nations relates to, or involves land, and is determined by the peculiarity of the region over which the war is fought. Land transactions, therefore, in full and complete details, comprise the whole of the world's history, and form the basis of all that is real and certain in historical information, not only concerning states but equally true of individuals. In the first place every document is signed by some person interested, and in the regular course of events is presented to a public official for record, and takes its place among other documents of that date as a usual and regular proceeding.
This kind of historical evidence becomes of the greatest value in this region because of the dominant control of the Society of Friends during the first two centuries after its settlement. In relation to religion, education, politics and social customs this sect firmly impressed its principles on this community. In 1851, for the first time, the New England yearly meeting permitted memorial tablets to be placed in burial places. Before that date none were allowed in any Quaker cemetery, and so subservient were the other inhabitants of Dartmouth, not affiliated with the Friends' meeting, to the principles of that society that there have not been found west of the Acushnet River as many as ten memorial tablets bearing a date earlier than 1800. The adoption of this same principle led to another result: the records of Dartmouth, of marriages, births and deaths are as meager as in any town in the state. It was considered an exhibition of vanity to preserve the history of individuals in either of these ways; therefore the forefathers of Dartmouth lie in unknown and unmarked graves, and the information generally presented in stone has been irretrievably lost.
In colonial days it was customary for each man to own his own homestead and this was transferred, at or before his death, to the members of his family. So the land records will often chronicle numerous facts as to what land was his home, who was his wife, and what were the names of the members of his family. In all such matters the fullest credit may be given to the statements in deeds and wills.
A few extracts selected from land transfers, relating to the village of Padanaram, will serve as illustrations: In a deed in 1816 from Patience Smalley mention is made of the schoolhouse lot, the record of which cannot be found, but from this deed, and from those of surrounding tracts it is possible to prove that as early as 1806 a schoolhouse stood near the corner of School and High Streets. A deed from John Wing in 1743 establishes the fact that James Akin had a tan-house about 400 feet east of the bridge.
The name "Padanaram" was first used in a deed from David Thatcher, in April, 1818. In 1800, John Ricketson who owned the Neck, divided his estate between his sons, Henry and Clark, and refers to his brother, Benjamin. The division of the land of Elihu Akin in 1796 indicates that his five sons were Ebenezer, John, Jacob, Joseph and Abraham.
In 1818, Laban Thatcher conveyed to William Thatcher, Sylvanus Bartlett and George Parker, deacons of the Congregational church, land for a meeting house. The Baptist church stands upon a lot purchased in 1830, from Reuben and Anna Russell by the church committee, consisting of Anthony and Archelaus Baker. The church at the Head of Apponegansett started in 1838, when the lot was purchased by the trustees of the Methodist Episcopal church, Jireh Sherman, Stephen Sherman, Ezra Baker, Richard Macomber, Elihu Gifford, Barker Cushman and Stephen Brownell. The location of the famous Garrison lot on the Russell farm, can be determined from ancient deeds.
Abraham Sherman, who died in 1772, was a trader and proprietor of a store at the head of Apponegansett, and in the inventory of his estate is the following item: 'A gun which is said once killed an Indian across Apponagansett River from ye old Castle on Russell's land to Heathen Neck.' Heath's Neck, as it is later called, is the location of the dwelling of the late Dr. Gordon, and in recent years of Captain Charles Schultz.
The land records of Plymouth prove that the John Alden house in Duxbury was not built in 1653 as alleged, but in 1720.
One of the most satisfactory improvements in process of completion is the new Registry of Deeds in New Bedford. This contains 350 large volumes of land transfers relating to Old Dartmouth since the formation of Bristol County, in 1686. These are accessible by the assistance of numerous volumes of maps and plans and carefully prepared indexes. Since the institution of this registry, in 1837, the quarters devoted to its use have been a few rooms in the Bristol County Court house. While the repository has been eminently safe, yet it has not been adequate to the purpose of consulting these records. The present crowded rooms during the coming year will be abandoned, and the records placed in a registry equipped with modern conveniences, at the corner of William and Sixth Streets, where an ample opportunity will be afforded every investigator to examine this library of historical information.
It has been the aim and purpose of the research department of this society to have its publications, as far as possible, in accord with the evidence from land records. It frequently offends people when some long standing tradition, some cherished bit of folklore, or some romantic story is rejected as fictitious; and such disappointments will continue until the difference between fact and fancy and the place and value of each is justly appreciated.
Henry B. Worth,
Report of the Publication Section
by William Arthur Wing
It was the Gentle Reader who asked, "Can it be true that the quarterly publications of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society are only 10 cents each?" It is true, Gentle Reader. They are obtainable at Hutchinson's or of the secretary at the building of the society.
Said the Gentle Reader, "They have such interesting illustrations and subject matter unobtainable elsewhere. Why, I know of people who have found genealogical and revolutionary clues that enabled them to join most delightful societies. Of course, I know," said the Gentle Reader, "that they do not always come out exactly quarterly because you wait and combine them with other interesting and valuable papers. Now, to the proceedings of last year's annual meeting was added that fine article on Smith Mills, by Henry B. Worth, and though that delays them somewhat, it makes the number so much more valuable, and it takes, of course, much time to see to the proofs, the illustrating, the arrangement and the like." The Gentle Reader is so discerning!
And there is such a range of subjects—Whaling, Friends, biographical, genealogical, geological, colonial and miscellaneous.
"I shall take a complete set (with this number 24 in all),' said the Gentle Reader, 'for you can have them nicely bound for less than a dollar."
Would there were more Gentle Readers!
William Arthur Wing,
Report of the Photograph Section
by William Arthur Wing
Old Dartmouth has ever had her share of famous descendants. Some years since, when Mrs. Nicholas Longworth, descendant of Hathaway Wilcox and Smith families, was married, Old Dartmouth showed a fine Quaker complacency—it was not the first time one of her daughters, likewise the daughter of a president, had been married in the White House during her father's administration. Miss Nellie Grant, the daughter of President U. S. Grant, had done the same thing, and she and her father were both descendants of the Delano Family of Old Dartmouth.
Mrs. Russell Sage, generously dispensing her benefactions throughout the country, has perhaps an added local interest in her good doing, in that her ancestors were of Old Dartmouth's Slocum family.
The artist Whistler's fondness for his half-sister, Lady Seymour-Haden—that delightful lady, whom he has pictured, well known for her interests and accomplishments in art and music— is a daughter of Old Dartmouth, with ancestors in its Delano, Pope and Cooke families.
That notable figure in Chicago and the middle west, the late Potter Palmer, was a descendant of the Potter, Ricketson and Russell families; and a descendant of the Cooke, Hathaway, Russell and Howland families. Governor Henry Howland Crapo, who held that office in Michigan during the trying times of the late unpleasantness, and whose love and interest for Old Dartmouth and its history, has been shown by his manuscript, now published by this society through the kindness of his son, Hon. William W. Crapo, our first president.
Our photograph-room is a thing unique among historical societies, who heartily commend it. There we wish to gather and present portraits of her sons and daughters. For the history of a place is the history of its people! Not only do we honor those who found fame and favor in the great world, but those who lived the "simple life" within their walls; those who 'went down to the sea in ships' and those who kept the hearth fire burning and awaited their return; those who served their township, their colony and country and their God.
Williain Arthur Wing,
Report of the Education Section
by Elizabeth Watson
According to our constitution, the special province of the education section is to create and foster an interest in local history among the school children of Old Dartmouth. Or, in a broader sense, to so educate and inspire the younger generation that the work which we have begun may be continued with fidelity and enthusiasm. For the life of this society, in the years to come, depends entirely upon the children of today.
This committee, as the first step in its work, has invited certain classes in the public schools of New Bedford to visit the museum. The superintendent of schools has heartily cooperated in the plan, and the appreciation of teachers and pupils has been most sincere and gratifying.
We have entertained the ninth grades of the Fifth Street, Knowlton and Middle Street schools. In each case the teacher and principal accompanied the class. Members of the senior class of the high school, with Mr. Butler and Mr. Sargent, have also been our guests. Swain School students, the Young Men's club of the Union for Good Works, and a few from the North End Guild, have enjoyed our hospitality.
No formal plan of entertainment has been adopted. Members of the committee have been in attendance to answer questions or tell the story of the various collections. We have been most kindly assisted by Mrs. Horace Smith, whose knowledge of the Arctic and Alaskan exhibit added much to the pleasure of the visitors. Mr. Wood, of the museum section, has shown us many favors, and Mr. Wing's assistance has been, as it always is—invaluable.
Perhaps the most popular place has been the whaling room, where Capt. Geo. O. Baker has walked the deck, and undismayed by the sea of upturned faces on every side, has dispensed reliable information and doubtful "yarns" with equal facility.
These youthful guests of ours have carried into hundreds of homes the news of what we are doing here, and the echoes of their enthusiastic reports have come back to us in many different ways. Surely a wider knowledge of our objects and ambitions must slowly, but none the less surely, beget a wider and permanent interest in the society.
Although various plans for enlarging the work of the section are in contemplation, provided the committee is reappointed. The immediate future will be devoted to receiving school children at the rooms; extending the invitation to the schools of all the towns of Old Dartmouth when satisfactory arrangements can be made.
Having reported progress and outlined its platform, the committee respectfully submits its report and its fate to the hands of its friends.