OLD DARTMOUTH HISTORICAL SKETCH
Being the proceedings of the Meeting of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society Annual Meeting on March 25, 1918 and March 24, 1919
- PROCEEDINGS OF THE OLD DARTMOUTH HISTORICAL SOCIETY ANNUAL MEETING: March 25, 1918
- PROCEEDINGS OF THE OLD DARTMOUTH HISTORICAL SOCIETY ANNUAL MEETING: March 24, 1919
- SPECIAL MEETING:February 25, 1919
- EXTRACTS FROM DIARIES OF JOHN QUINCY ADAMS AND CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS RELATING TO VISITS TO NANTUCKET AND NEW BEDFORD DURING THE YEARS 1835 AND 1843
- MARDI GRAS (PART IV): March 4, 1919
Proceedings of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society’s
New Bedford, Massachusetts
March 25, 1918
Frank Wood, curator of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society, made an especially pleasing announcement to the members, at the annual meeting, held in the hall of the Library building last evening. It was to the effect that the Charles W. Agard collection of lantern slides, made from photographs taken in New Bedford and vicinity 30 years ago, including many views along the wharves, has been presented to the society by Anthony T. Briggs, who for a short time was Mr. Agard’s successor in the local office of the Philadelphia & Reading.
Mr. Briggs sent the following letter in relation to the gift:
“141 Milk Street, Boston,
July 28, 1917
“Frank Wood. Curator O. D. H. S.,
New Bedford. Mass.:
“My Dear Mr. Wood:
“Referring to our recent conversation in regard to my collection of lantern slides. About thirty years ago I became interested, with the late Mr. Agard, in amateur photography, and for several years following we made a large number of photographs of New Bedford and vicinity, especially along the wharves where many of the old time whale ships were tied up and quite a number still in service, besides various subjects in other places.
“To these were added photographs taken in Alaska and Hudson Bay, through the kindness of our lamented friend, David Jarvis, and Captain Comer of schooner Era fame, also photographs taken by a personal friend in the Sandwich Islands and other places. Later on we made lantern slides from many of the photographs.
“After the death of Mr. Agard, I came into possession of his slides, which, added to my own, made a large collection, which has been kept intact.
“Feeling that this collection should be preserved and that the Old Dartmouth Historical Society would appreciate it more than anyone, for the reason many of the slides illustrated what New Bedford was years ago, I concluded to offer it to them and since you have confirmed by judgment in the matter, I now take great pleasure in presenting the collection to them in memory of Charles Walter Agard.
“Yours very truly,
“Anthony T. Briggs.”
President Herbert E. Cushman presided at the meeting, and about 20 members were present.
by Frederic H. Taber
The report of the treasurer, Frederic H. Taber, showed a balance on hand of $24.97. The receipts during the year were $3958.74. Following is the statement of the assets and liabilities:
N. B. Institution for Savings (Lyceum fund) $1,772.27
N. B. Institute for Savings (Life Membership fund) 1,050.00
N. B. Institution for Savings (Caroline O. Seabury fund) 50.00
$500 N. B. Cotton Mill bond (Caroline O. Seabury fund) 450.00
N. B. Five Cents Savings Bank (Lyceum fund) 1,168.18
N. B. Five Cents Savings Bank (Life Membership fund) 250.00
$1000 N. B. Cotton Mill bond (Ruth L. Smith fund) 1,000.00
15 shares Mechanics National Bank 2,300.00
3 shares Merchants National Bank 612.00
Real estate and buildings 54,302.00
Three notes for $290 each $870.00
Temporary loan 99.79
President Cushman congratulated the society and the treasurer upon the financial showing for the year. “A few years ago.” he said, “we had hard work to raise $700 or $800. We little dreamed that we would be able to raise nearly $3600 in a single year, as we did last year. This was done without holding any entertainments as we thought the people’s money ought to be spent for worthier causes.” Mr. Cushman stated that admission to the rooms of the society and the whaling museum had brought in $658 during the year.
Report of Curator
by Frank Wood
The report of the curator was as follows:
“From the date of the annual meeting of 1917, through the summer months and the fall, interest in the museum was very active. A large number of enthusiastic people visited the rooms, the new Jonathan Bourne Whaling Museum being of course the principal attraction. The varied exhibits of the general museum, however, appeal to visitors, and the interest, especially of people from away, is flattering and inspiring. We have had at the rooms the directors and curators of many of the large museums of the country and they have shown enthusiastic interest in the collections.
“Early in January, when the coal shortage began to be felt, the majority of smaller museums throughout the east either went into smaller quarters or closed down entirely. We shut down our furnaces, drew off the water from the buildings and spent the remainder of the winter in one stove-heated room. On account of the intense cold it was practically impossible to do any work in the buildings, and it is only within a short time that any attempt has been made to get ready for the coming season.
“Changes are being made in the arrangements of the rooms which we feel will make them more attractive and which we hope to complete by the middle of April.
“The society has had the good fortune during the year to receive as gifts a number of valuable accessions, as follows:
- F. H. Warren, Philadelphia, model of a woman’s canoe, west coast Greenland.
- Mrs. Mary J. Paddock, painting, Ship Victor, and plate with picture of her husband, Captain William J. Paddock.
- Joseph K. Nye, cast of porpoise (life size).
- William Thorup, papers and scrapbooks.
- Mrs. Frederick Mason, Lonsdale, Pa., Newport print.
- Mrs. J. J. Albertson, wedding certificate.
- W. V. Wallace, Providence, model of ship.
- Mrs. John Washburn, Mattapoisett, model of ship (very old).
- Frank T. Ricketson, Boston, bronze medal given to New Bedford Cordage Co., from World’s Fair, London, and wedding certificate.
- Miss Clara Bennett, log book, ship Helen, 1810.
- Mrs. Charles Lawrence Barry, Craigville, silver dollar, 1799; old slippers and shoes, cup and saucer, 1709; tortoise shell jewelry.
- Miss Thomas, portraits.
- American Museum Natural History, New York, cast of sperm whale.
- Mrs. Elizabeth F. Brightman, tapa cloth from Savage Islands.
- Richard H. Morgan, a very beautiful model of merchant ship fully rigged and complete in every detail.
- Charles A. Mosher, shells.
- H. P. Burt and Mrs. Norman Almy, portrait of Joseph Tripp.
- R. S. Gifford, Wilmington, Dela., print, Unitarian church.
- Frederick J. Bradlie, Boston, indenture ship Galatea.
- Mrs. Samuel P. Winegar, water color ship Julian, Captain Samuel Winegar Jr., and portrait of Nathan Gifford, Westport.
- Mrs. William M. Owen, East Greenwich, R. I., a fine model of full rigged ship, made on a New Bedford whaler.
- The estate of Sarah Howland, through Miss Grace Potter of Providence, a high clock made by William Wood of Dartmouth about 1770 for his brother-in-law Nicholas Howland, whose great grand daughter Sarah Howland gives it to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society; and various other small objects.
- Frederick A. Lewis, two fire buckets and song dedicated to old hand engine company “Young America.”
- James H. Tallman, special weights used by the Old Bedford Bank.
- Walter E. Plummer, flag brought home by Captain Elbridge Clock.
- Dr. Herbert C. Terry, Providence, Gilbert Island swords and shells.
- Ed. B. Merrill, New York, book, some correspondence between the governors, etc., published in London, 1896.
- Mrs. E. Stanley Swift, a military coat and band box.
- James L. Sherman 2nd, wood door latches from old house.
- Miss Susan F. Haskins, large brass kettle, which belonged to Susanna Alden, a direct descendant of John Alden.
- F. Gilbert Hinsdale, New York, full rigged model of a whaler, in case.
- Willis G. Underdown, fan whittled by sailor from one piece of wood, and old copy of Mercury.
- Donor unknown, an oil color of Dutch boats by Zimmerman.
- Estate of Catharine Howland, portrait of Cornelius Howland and various articles which will be properly marked with name and properly placed. Among these 1 would mention a unique hot air drum, sage squeezer, and canoe bailer from New Zealand.
- Anthony T. Briggs of Cambridge, cabinet containing the Charles Walter Agard collection of lantern slides.
- Many of you may have noticed in the Whaling Museum nine very heavy and fine benches. These are a gift to the Society from the daughters of our president, Sally and Eleanor Cushman.
- Benjamin Cummings, the well known panorama by Benjamin Russell and one by Raleigh. These are not only of great interest historically but of much value to our Society.
In closing, I desire to thank the directors for their support in this branch of the work of the society, and the president for his ready co-operation, his many gifts and his generous help in every way.
Report of the Secretary
by Henry B. Worth
Henry B. Worth, secretary of the society, presented the following report:
“The publication department of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society has printed pamphlet No. 46, which includes the proceedings of the annual meeting of 1917 and the papers on “Authors of New Bedford,” by George H. Tripp; and “Banks of Old Dartmouth,” by Henry H. Crapo; and comprises sixty-three pages.
“These publications are not copyrighted, but are open to the unrestricted use of all readers. That they are found to be of advantage is apparent from the columns of the New Bedford papers. The reading public has the benefit and must appreciate the fact, or the papers would not quote so freely from these collections. A history of New Bedford, soon to be issued from the press, has drawn liberally on these publications.
“The society’s research work has not been actively pursued during the last year. This has not been because all the subjects have been fully investigated, for the work already completed is but a small part of the whole. But for the time being, the museum department has claimed attention. Public interest in the Bourne museum and the whale ship will not readily turn to figures of the past.
“The chief demand upon the public has centered about the great European war. Until this conflict subsides, interest in local history may be suspended.
“Owing to the scarcity of coal last winter the building of the society was not opened during the severe weather. But previous to the cold period several of the school teachers visited the museum with their pupils. They were: Miss Brownell, Rodman School, with thirty pupils; Miss Carr, Grace Church, with forty pupils; Miss Briggs, Ingraham School, with thirty-eight pupils; Miss Sturtevant, Rodman School, with fifteen pupils; Miss Hellmer, Rodman School, with sixteen pupils; Miss Anthony, Mary B. White School, with forty pupils: Miss Briscoe, Lincoln School, with eighteen pupils; Mrs. Manning, Congdon School, with thirty pupils; Miss Moore, Merrimac School, with forty-one pupils; Miss Carver, Fifth Street School, with twenty pupils; Miss Coombs, Acushnet School, with thirty pupils.
“The only meeting of the society during the past year occurred Aug. 2, 1917, at the building on North Water Street, when Wallace Nutting delivered a lecture on “Early American Houses and Furnishings,” illustrated by his photographs.
“Fifteen members have died since the last annual meeting: Mary E. Morton, Sarah F. Fuller, Mrs. H. H. Hosmer, George W. Dibble, Dr. Edward T. Tucker, Clarence H. James, J. Francis Powers, Mrs. Alice Tucker, Allen F. Wood, Frederic L. Snow, William G. Pierce, Mrs. Mary L. Pierce, Mrs. Mary L. Jones, Edmund F. Maxfield, Ellen M. Gray and Job C. Tripp.
“Job C. Tripp of Fairhaven, for eight years had been a director of this society and had placed at our disposal a rare combination of natural endowments and well-trained talents. His long life, covering nearly ninety years, was spent in Fairhaven. He received an excellent education and engaged not only in business but largely in public affairs. His family relations placed him in close acquaintance with people of all grades of wealth and social standing and gave opportunity for the high degree of urbanity that nature had bestowed. For almost a generation he had been the moderator of the town meeting, a fact that carries with it great force, to those who have known the characteristics of a Fairhaven town meeting. A great knowledge of people and incidents, a wonderfully retentive memory and fine public address made him a valuable speaker on historical subjects. Few men could relate experiences on “Fifty years on the school board.” Punctual and steady in his attendance, prudent in counsel, Mr. Tripp was one of our most valued officials.
“Beside losing 15 members by death, 12 have withdrawn and 20 new members have been added. The members now enrolled are 37 life and 868 annual members.
“When it became necessary to increase the dues, some had doubts whether the full membership would feel able to continue. Perhaps no period of 12 months will ever witness such unprecedented demands upon the New Bedford people. Yet the number of members has remained practically without reduction. This unexpected result proves that they value the institution, as William E. Hatch predicted would be realized.
“When this dismal war is over and we consider the devastation that has been wrought and measure what remains, and what has taken place, how not only has the world changed, but we have changed with it, you may be sure that the Old Dartmouth will continue to be one of the most valuable educating influences in the community.”
President—Herbert E. Cushman.
Vice Presidents—George H. Tripp, Oliver Prescott.
Secretary—Henry B. Worth.
Treasurer—Frederic H. Taber.
Directors (for three years)–Annie A. Swift, Henry M. Plummer, Abbott P. Smith.
Director (for two years)—Annie Seabury Wood.
President Cushman announced that he did not believe the society could do much active work this year. He said that it was hoped, as soon as the weather was warm enough for the use of the society’s rooms, to have a paper read by Nat C. Smith, upon the architects from New Bedford, and some who have done work here.
The president also said that some of the women members had in mind an old-fashioned May party, to be held in the afternoon, with possibly an informal dancing party about the ship in the evening. Another event which the society is anxious to hold is “An Evening Around the Ship,” one part representing the scene attending the departure of the whaler, with the farewells of friends, the crew going aboard, and possibly a man being shanghaied; and the second part representing night on the ship, with the “Old Man” pacing the quarter deck, and the sailors doing scrimshaw work and singing chanties.
The society has had a set of five handsomely colored photographs of the Lagoda printed upon post cards, and four of the five cards were ready for distribution last evening. They will be sold to members at the rooms for 25 cents a set.
Proceedings of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society’s
New Bedford, Massachusetts
March 24, 1919
Announcement of a most valuable and appreciated gift to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society was made at the annual meeting of the organization, held in the hall of the Library building last evening. The gift is the collection of whaling logs and ivories made by the late Andrew Snow Jr., and the donor, Mrs. Snow, stipulates that it shall be arranged as a special collection and occupy a suitable place in the rooms.
President Cushman read the following letter from Mrs. Snow, with regard to the gift:
“South Dartmouth. Mass.
“My Dear Mr. Cushman,
“As you may know, my husband had a valuable collection of whaling logs—about 400, all catalogued—also many interesting and good specimens of the whale ivory. I will be very glad to present them to the Historical Society, providing they can be arranged as a special collection, and Andrew Snow Jr.’s, and occupy a suitable place in the rooms.
“I write you, thinking you may be interested to look into the matter and communicate with me about them.
“B. B. Snow.
“March 17. 1919.”
In addition to the log books the collection includes 81 pieces of ivory, 77 canes and a smoking set. After expressing his gratification at the gift, President Cushman said that the collection had been brought to the society’s rooms, and that a suitable place for it would be provided as soon as Curator Wood returned home.
Upon motion of Henry B. Worth it was voted that the gift be accepted, and that a written vote of thanks be sent to Mrs. Snow.
Officers were elected as follows:
President—Herbert E. Cushman.
Vice Presidents—George H. Tripp, Oliver Prescott.
Treasurer—Frederic H. Taher.
Directors (for three years)—William W. Crapo, Walton Ricketson, Edward L. Macomber.
Director (for two years)—F. Gilbert Hinsdale.
by Frederic H. Taber
The annual report of the treasurer was as follows:
March 25—Balance $ 24.97
Dues: Arrears 149.00
Sustaining memberships 625.00
Admission fees 399.25
Commonwealth of Mass 59.89
N. B. Cotton Mill bond coupons 37.50
Sale of postals 52.90
Proceeds lawn fete 3.45
Proceeds Mardi Gras 119.83
Frank Wood to Jan. 1st $ 500.00
Chas. W. Smith to March 23 845.00
H. E. Wahlgren to Nov. 1st, in full 375.00
Postal cards 117.74
Loans repaid 299.79
Sundry bills 667.89
FREDERIC H. TABER,
OLIVER F. BROWN, Auditor.
March 20, 1919.
March 24, 1919.
N. B. Institution for Savings, Lyceum fund $1,777.27
N. B. Institution tor Savings, life membership fund (42
N. B. Institution for Savings, Caroline O. Seabury fund 50.00
N. B. Institution for Savings, Annie M. Washburn fund 100.00
N. B. Institution for Savings, Clement N. Swift fund 25.00
N. B. Five Cents Savings Bank, Lyceum fund 1,168.18
N. B. Five Cents Savings bank, life memberships fund (12
$500 N. B. Cotton Mill bond (Caroline O. Seabury fund) 450.00
$1000 N. B. Cotton Mill bond (Ruth L. Smith fund) 1,000.00
15 shares Mechanics National Bank 2,300,00
3 shares Merchants National Bank 612.00 Real estate and buildings:
Bethel St. building $45,000
Water St. building 4,700
Land 4,600 54,300
Gosnold Island 1.00
3 notes for $290 each $870.00
FREDERIC H. TABER,
OLIVER F. BROWN, Auditor.
March 20, 1919.
Mr. Tabor stated that the society has at present 37 life members, and 782 annual members.
Report of the Curator
submitted by Frank Wood
The report of the curator, read by President Cushman, was as follows:
“From Del Mar facing the Pacific, we send to you on Buzzards Bay Greetings. Many a day, sitting on the front porch of the beautiful inn where we are staying, I have watched finbacks spouting not far off shore, and have felt that we were surrounded with something of our home atmosphere.
“I regret to say that almost invariably when we mention New Bedford to the people we meet in California, a peculiar sort of smile that we have learned to look for flits over their faces, and we are sure these words will follow: ‘Oh, yes, that is where they have that awful hotel.’ We own up “at once that that is the place and then try in a quiet way to mention some things in New Bedford that we are proud of, and the chief of these are the wonders of the Museum of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society.
“So although we are thousands of miles away, and our life so different from our life at home, we are really keeping in touch with you. Through newspapers and letters, we know about the Mardi Gras celebration, and today we have heard of the wonderful gift of Mrs. Andrew Snow to the society. Although last in point of time, I would place it first in our accessions, because it certainly ranks first in importance.
Frank Wood, Curator.
The letter was accompanied by the following list of gifts to the society:
- Estate Edward F. Maxfield—Working model of steam pump made by Mr. Maxfield.
- Mrs. David Kempton—Five books and lithograph of the Boston Massacre.
- Charles M. Hussey—Blubber hook, used in Arctic whaling.
- Mrs. A. Martin Pierce, in name of her late husband, a painting by William Bradford.
- Miss Mary Rodman, Concord—Oil painting of Fort Phoenix, 1863, and three silver spoons.
- Mrs. Charles M. Hussey and Miss Annie Wing—Old iron cannon taken from whaleship Charles W. Morgan.
- James F. Tripp, Fairhaven—Cluster barnacles taken from bottom bark Mary Ann, 1862.
- Edward Merrill, New York—History of Massachusetts by Alden Bradford, 1835.
- Miss Mary Leonard—Earthenware tea pot.
- Gideon Allen Jr.—Copy of the poetical works, Dr. Johnson, Smolett and Goldsmith, 1810.
- William W. Crapo—New Bedford directories, 1915-1916.
- W. K G. Brown—Interesting frame made on board of a whaler.
- Roland Macy—Wooden letter press (very old).
- Mrs. Horatio C. Allen—Daguerreotype of George Howland Senior.
- Miss Leila Allen—Old book, belonged to Gilbert and Eliza Allen.
- Miss Clara Bennett—Old letters and documents.
- Mrs. Herbert E. Cushman—A very fine figure-head from the old whaleship Marcia.
- Thomas B. Akin—A most interesting panorama of Fairhaven, painted on wood by his father, the late Francis T. Akin, when a boy.
- Mrs. Frank Wood—Framed lithograph of SS Ocean Queen, commanded by her father, the late Charles P. Seabury.
- Lindsey W. Poole—On Oct. 19, 1872, the bark Ansel Gibbs, belonging to Jonathan Bourne, was lost at Marble Island, Hudson Bay. Mr. Poole, who was one of the ship’s officers, has presented the society with a native stone stove which was used by him on the island during the winter of 1872-73. I would add that we are the owner of the log book kept on this voyage.
- Mrs. John F. Johnson, Fall River—Various articles of interest and brought home by her father, who was in command of New Bedford whalers.
- William B. Smith—An old and unique clothes wringer.
- Mrs. Julia A. Mayhew—Shell combs.
- Miss Marjory Thayer, Marion—Oil painting ship China.
- Hiram W. Look—Colored lithograph town and harbor of Apia.
- Sherman T. Fearing—Ships protest Captain William Gibbs, 1813. Indenture, William Williams, 1793.
- Mary E. Brown—(a bequest) Cup and saucer, one of a set of six received by Mial Cushman as part of a prize when he was on the privateer Providence under the command of Captain John Paul Jones, also a swift made on ship Prov., 1838.
- Mrs. Augusta A. C. Harvey, Lakeville—A beautiful coverlet, made by Mrs. Nathan Clark on the Clark farm, right after the war of 1776.
- Mrs. John Eldridge—Dr. Kane’s Arctic Expedition, two volumes.
- William Arthur Wing—Water color of Perry Wing’s school house, which was located on Fountain, now School Street, just east of Sixth Street.
- Miss Annie Bennett, Bellville—A large dressed doll.
- Mrs. Lydia L. Gifford, Horseneck—Drip stone and bowl used on a whale ship to filter water.
- Miss Emily Hussey—Old letters and documents.
Report of the Secretary
by Henry B. Worth
The report of the secretary, Henry B. Worth:
“The society has held two meetings, one Feb. 25, 1919, in the Public Library building, when Mrs. H. E. Cushman read the compilation of Mr. Crapo including the extracts from the Adams diaries. The other was the Mardi Gras party in the Bourne museum, ‘in and about the good ship Lagoda.’
“At the annual meeting in 1918, Henry M. Plummer was elected a director for three years. Subsequently it proved that he would not be able to serve, and the executive board selected F. Gilbert Hinsdale to fill the vacancy for the balance of that year.
“The membership of the society remains at a reassuring figure, considering the influences that might cause some to withdraw. Six new members were admitted, 23 died and 70 resigned, making a net loss of 87. This leaves the present membership 819, comprising 37 life members and 782 annual members. The members who have died are as follows: Roland R. Ashley, Daniel B. Fearing, Thomas R. Plummer, Andrew Snow Jr., Mrs. Alice Tucker, James E. Moore, George R. Phillips, Margaret Earl Wood, Catherine W. Chandler, Sarah E. Worth, Mrs. Horatio Allen (wife of Gideon Allen Jr.), Allen Russell, Abram T. Eddy, Francis T. Akin, David L. Parker, Theodore F. Tillinghast, Mrs. Mary K. Potter, Clement N. Swift, Stephen E. Parker, William Thompson, Clarence A. Cook, Catherine Howland, Mrs. George N. Alden.
“Then classes from the public schools have visited the buildings, the teachers and number of pupils being as follows: Miss Bennett, 29; Miss McAfee, 32; Miss Rodman, 42; Miss Killigrew and Miss Gleason, 43; Mrs. Smead, 48; Miss Sturtevant, 30; Miss Taylor, 42; Miss Dalton, 44; Miss Winchester, 15.
“Previous to 1850, it had been the rule among the Society of Friends not to allow gravestones in their burial places, nor to have the members of families buried in groups. Therefore, when the modern system of perpetual care was instituted, it was impossible to apply it to these ancient cemeteries. After 1850, stones of a limited size were permitted, and the later graves were identified, but thousands were without identification. As the perpetual care plan depended upon endowments from families of persons whose graves could be located, there would be no incentive to provide for the older sections, and in some places, as at Nantucket, large grounds were sadly neglected, until public-spirited citizens were moved to collect subscriptions large enough to provide care for the entire burial ground.
“The cemetery adjoining the old Friends Meeting House north of Russells Mills, the use of which began soon after 1700, was an instance where a similar situation was anticipated by Miss Sarah Howland. late of Dartmouth, who provided a bequest of $4000, the income from which was to be expended in its care and preservation. She named the Old Dartmouth Society as trustee, and the probate court approved the appointment.
“The executor of the will of Mrs. Mary P. B. Greene, daughter of Robert B. Greene, had notified this society that it is one of the residuary legatees in said will, and it is expected that a substantial amount will be received in the distribution.
“There has been no research work accomplished during the past year, for the conclusive reason that attention has been devoted to war activities. Demands crowding from every direction and the unprecedented and intense endeavor of the people, left no opportunity to consider incidents of history, and the multitudes rushing from one office to another proved that they had no concern except for the present object. This condition was appreciated by the research section, and no attempt was made to engage individuals in delving into the past. Consequently there has been no publication of the society. But matter has been compiled which will be printed in Bulletin No. 47 in the near future.
“Some years ago William W. Crapo learned that ex-President John Quincy Adams kept a journal of his travels and described a trip to New Bedford when Mr. Crapo was a lad. Investigation proved that there were two visits to this city, and the events were described not only in the diary of the ex-president, but also in the journal of his son, Charles Francis, later famous as ambassador to Great Britain during the Civil War. Copies of these have been obtained and presented to the society by Mr. Crapo, with his introduction, and will be printed with explanatory notes in the next Bulletin.
“These diaries and journals are not only of fascinating interest to the reader, but are also of historical value to a student. One of innumerable illustrations can be cited. The question was undecided at Nantucket when the old vestry of the Congregational society was built. Traditions were numerous, not all in agreement, but no definite proof. The diary of Judge Benjamin Lynde was printed, describing a visit in 1732 to the island, to preside at the trial of an Indian for murder. He attended a church service and heard ‘Mr. White preach very well at the new-built Presbyterian Meeting house.’ Here is the best indication when the building was erected and settled the question.
“On the road east from Lunds Corner across the bridge was a famous house vacated a few years ago. In the rubbish that was left was found a manuscript account of a journey on horseback by a father and son, possibly Edward and Jacob Bennett, in June, 1800, from Long Plain to Montpelier, Vt., and Saratoga, returning home after an absence of one month. No Quaker minister ever wrote more in detail concerning incidents and persons, nor in better method and style for the purpose. This pamphlet was given to the Old Dartmouth, and sometime may be used for one of its publications, in connection with a paper on the Quaker emigrations from Dartmouth before 1800. These movements of considerable numbers of Friends from southern New England to the new lands along the line to the far west, undertaken in the days when poor roads rendered travel dangerous as well as slow, brings to the attention a phase of character widely different from what is generally attributed to the solid and staid Quaker, the embodiment of conservative thought and action. And yet many of them manifest a roving tendency; and the subject is full of interest when it is discovered that through Vermont, western Massachusetts, New York and in states further west may be found communities where families have the same names as are enrolled on the records of Friends in Bristol County and Rhode Island. Old journals furnish the details needed for such a paper.”
An amendment to the by-laws was adopted, providing for a board of trustees, consisting of the secretary, treasurer and one other member, to have control and management of all real and personal estate, their acts to be under the supervision of a board of auditors. Harry Taber was elected as the third member of the board of trustees, and Frank H. Gifford was elected an auditor, to serve with Oliver F. Brown, the present auditor.
President Cushman announced that the society proposed to hold a historical week next June, with a special program for each day. Monday night will be “Ship Night,” showing the vessel’s crew being shipped and taken aboard, and people in the costumes of 1857 gathered to witness the ship’s departure. The second part of the entertainment will represent a night on board, showing the crew singing chanties and dancing; and the third, the cutting-in of a whale.
There will be a “Pewter and old silver” night; a “Lace and old dresses” night; one night will be devoted to tableaux; Friday night will be a repetition of the ship night; and Saturday will be Children’s day, with a community sing for the children.
Proceedings of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society’s
New Bedford, Massachusetts
February 25, 1919
At a special meeting of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society, held last evening in the lecture hall of the Free Public Library, Mrs. Herbert E. Cushman read a paper prepared by
William W. Crapo, upon his “Recollections of the Visit of President Adams to New Bedford.”
There was a large attendance, and the reading of the paper was listened to with eager interest. It was as follows:
A few days ago your president received a letter from Mr. Crapo enclosing a report of the visit of one of our ex-presidents to New Bedford.
As it touches the lives of many of those people who were prominent in New Bedford circles in the 40’s, it seems especially appropriate that our society should have an opportunity of hearing it and of keeping it for its records, and through the kindness of Mr. Crapo we are able to do so.
The letter from Mr. Crapo reads as follows, and is in itself most interesting:
October 23rd, 1918.
Herbert E. Cushman, Esq., President
Old Dartmouth Historical Society,
New Bedford, Mass.:
Dear Mr. Cushman—In sending to the Old Dartmouth Historical Society copies from the unpublished diaries of ex-President John Quincy Adams which describes his visits to New Bedford, it may interest you to know how they came into my possession.
I had heard in an indefinite way that John Quincy Adams many years ago made a visit to New Bedford and that he recorded in his diary an account of the same. I thought this might be true, as the Adams family for several generations had been noted as writing each day its occurrences. In calling the attention of my friend, the late Charles Francis Adams, to this fact, he said there was in one of his grandfather’s diaries such an account and that he would look it up and send me a copy. As it was not forthcoming I at times called his attention to my request. I knew that Mr. Adams was a very busy man and that hunting through many volumes of manuscript was not an easy task and involved a serious expenditure of time. But I was conscious that because of our intimate acquaintance of many years in which we were engaged in public and business duties that he had a genuine desire to oblige me.
At length I addressed a letter to him in which I stated that I had been told that his grandfather John Quincy Adams had written in his diary an account of the visit made by him to New Bedford and that I wished if practicable to have a copy of the manuscript. There were two reasons which prompted my request. First, I desired to know what impression New Bedford and its people had made upon him, and second as I saw him at that time and listened to his address in the Town hall in opposition to the annexation of Texas to the United States which he vehemently denounced as an extension of our slave territory and asserted would further add to the slave power in the nation, I desired to compare my remembrance of the events attending that visit with President Adams’s narrative made at the time.
Mr. Adams in his reply with characteristic bluntness said that the tricks of memory were beyond comprehension. He had found the manuscript diary of the visit to New Bedford which occurred in 1835, at which date, he added, according to the biographical dictionary I was five years old. He wrote that he did not believe I was present and heard the speech delivered on that occasion.
I confess to have been somewhat aroused by Mr. Adams’s reply. He did not impeach my veracity but he did impeach my memory. I knew I had not been dreaming and that what I had stated was a fact.
It was necessary for me to corroborate this for Mr. Adams had often declared that little reliance could be placed upon the recollections of old men when speaking of events which had taken place in their youth, and I did not want to be shown up as an example of his pet theory.
I could recall that the ex-president came from Boston by railroad and was met at the Pearl Street station and was escorted by a company of cavalry under the command of Major George A. Bourne to the residence of Joseph Grinnell. I recalled that the address at the Town hall was in the afternoon and that at the time I was a school boy, and as my attendance at the High school was from 1842 to 1845 the visit was within that period. With the assistance of Librarian Tripp the files of The Mercury were examined and under the dates of September 9th and October 6th, 1843 extended accounts were given of John Q. Adams’s visit. Thus it appeared that I was 13 years of age instead of 5 years of age when I saw and heard ex-President Adams.
The Mercury articles were copied and sent to my friend Charles F. Adams, who in return sent to me the following letter:
February 26, 1904.
Hon. W. W. Crapo. New Bedford, Mass.:
Mr. Dear Mr. Crapo—I take it all back. Your memory was perfect, and I impeached it carelessly.
My grandfather did visit New Bedford in 1843, and did deliver a speech in the Town hall, presumably of a political character. A careful examination of the diary reveals the fact.
Enclosed I sent you the extracts from this diary, covering the two visits to New Bedford, one in 1835, the second in 1843.
In 1835 he was accompanied by my father; who, also, had the diary habit.
The two accounts throw a great deal of light, sometimes quite amusing, on each other. You will readily pick out what I consider the edifying passages. The son’s observations on the father’s characteristics are really quite delightful, especially when it came to somnolence in public places. The father’s comments upon himself, and his own speech in 1843 are highly characteristic. I doubt if a severer, not to say harsher, judge of one’s self, had ever existed.
It is unnecessary for me to say that you can make such use of these extracts from the diary as you see fit. I see nothing in them of a very illuminating character; nor anything at the same time that might not be shouted from the house-top. Locally they have an interest.
I remain, etc.
Charles F. Adams.
You will notice that I am given liberty to make such use of the copies from the diaries as I may desire.
As they contain a detailed account of New Bedford and the people then living here I think the proper disposition of them is in the custody of the Old Dartmouth Historical Society.
(Signed) Wm. W. Crapo.
The Copy from Diary of John Quincy Adams
J. Q. A. Diary (Age 68)
Monday, 14 September. 1835.—At half past seven o’clock this morning the stage from Boston to Plymouth stopped at my door in Quincy. Mr. Isaac P. Davis and Mr. Peter C. Brooks* were in it, my Son Charles and I immediately joined them, and the Stage proceeded to Plymouth where we arrived at 1/2 past 12 at noon. We came through Hingham, visited the registry of Deeds, and saw Scituate, Hanover Four Corners, Pembroke, Duxbury and Kingston. There were three women in the Stage, one of them with a child, under two years at Scituate, and one of the other women at Kingston. There were also three other men in the Stage, who were, and remained, strangers to us. There is comparatively very little improvement of the Country from Hingham to Plymouth. The appearance of it, however, is pleasing—the season has been fine, and the verdure is yet upon the fields and upon the trees. Indian corn, and apple orchards just ripening. Groves of pitch pine trees, with sapling black Oaks, mark the approach to Plymouth. We stopped at Mrs. Nicholson’s where we met several gentlemen boarders. Before and after dinner we had several visitors. Mr. Thomas and Joseph Morton Davis, Dr. Russell and his son, Dr. Zaccheus Bartlett, a son of Judge Thomas at whose house I lodged in 1802, Dr. Hayward, Dr. Thatcher, Mr. Russell, a member of the House of Representatives, and Isaac Lathrop Hodge, one of the Senators of the County. We visited the Registry of Deeds and saw the records of the first settlement in 1620 the town hall, and the enclosed fragment of the primitive rock, the remainder of the rock on the wharf, the new meeting house of Dr. Kendall and graveyard on the brow of the hill. We had visitors again in the evening, some of whom left us to attend the wedding of Ralph Waldo Emerson with Miss Jackson.
Tuesday, 15 September, 1835, rose with the sun. Visits from Dr. Kendall, Dr. Winslow Warren and several of our yesterday’s visitors again. We ordered our baggage to be sent on by Stage to Sandwich; and, after breakfast, went in a barouche and pair to Manomet Pond to a house kept by a man named Holmes. Thence Charles and I, with Mr. Morton Davis and Mr. Charles Hedge went out in a small boat, and caught a few fish. I caught two Cod; but the tide was low and a heavy surf, though with fine weather. We dined at Holmes’s—Dr. Thatcher, Dr. Heyward, Mr. Russell and his son, Thomas and Morton Davis and Charles Hedge dined there with us. At 4 p. m. we took the barouche and came 12 1/2 miles to Sandwich, chiefly through Pine woods and sands. At the house, in Sandwich, we met Mr. Walker, the minister of Charlestown and Mrs. Walker. He said he was going upon a mission to the Marshpee tribe of Indians—Mr. and Mrs. Hayward, the latter a beautiful daughter of Judge M’C Lean of the U. S. supreme court, Mr. Emmons and Mrs. Gedney King and Mr. King—all persons from Boston, who come to pass a week or weeks here in pursuit of amusement or of health. We spent the evening with this party, by the side of a good fire, which we have needed both last evening and this. Since I left home yesterday morning I have found no opportunity to write till now and I availed myself of a comfortable bed-chamber to write a short letter to my wife, and also the preceding and this page. I sought for the comet, but in vain.
*Mr. Brooks was the father-in-law of Charles Francis Adams. His place of residence was West Medford, but he had also a house in Boston.
Wednesday, 16 September, 1835. From Sandwich to Woodville, (Woods Hole) Falmouth. My late hours last night delayed my rising till with the sun. We breakfasted at seven, and Mr. and Mrs. King immediately after dropped in the stage for Boston. Mr. Brooks, Mr. Davis, Charles and I went in our barouche to the old village of Sandwich, where I had been once in my life before, that is in April, 1787. Forty-eight years have since passed away, but we passed by the house on the spot where old General Freeman then resided, and the new meeting house on the spot where the old one stood, in which we saw our tutor, Jonathan Burr, ordained. The pond, the brook, and the waterfall, are still there, with all their lively remembrances; but there is now besides a very extensive glasshouse establishment belonging to Mr. Deming Jarves, which we visited, and over every part of which we went. It is far less extensive than that of Dr. Dyott at Kensington, near Philadelphia, but there are here 350 workmen and boys, employed at wages from 9 to 25 dollars a week—and they not only make here the same sort of pressed glass which I had seen made there, but Mr. Jarves claims to be the inventor of it, and that it was first made here. We returned and dined at Hinckley’s tavern with the company we had left there, and with the addition of Mr. Merrick, the minister of the parish where Mr. Burr had been settled. Mr. Emmons had been out to hunt deer; but lost his dog, and returned without game. At half-past two we took again to the barouche, and came across Cape Cod through Falmouth, to Wood’s Hole to Woodville. At North Falmouth we had some conversation with the Postmaster Nye. At half-past 6 we arrived at the tavern kept by I. Webster, and sent for an old sea Captain Hatch, who came and agreed to go out with Mr. Davis and me early tomorrow morning to fish for the tautaug or blackfish, and the scuphaug or whitefish. There is now no company at Woodville, but it is a summer resort for valitudinarians from Boston, and Mr. Brooks and his son Edward, with William Sturgis, and their families, were some weeks here during the late summer season.
Thursday, September 17, 1835. I rose at 5 o’clock and Mr. Davis and I went out with Captain Hatch in a fishing boat into Marthas Vineyard Sound to fish for tautaug and scuphaug, otherwise called blackfish and whitefish. We caught eight or ten of the first, and one of the latter, which resembles a large silver fish. But our time was limited. I caught only one large tautaug, and at a quarter past nine, we were obliged to return to Woodville. We breakfasted at Webster’s Tavern, and at 10 o’clock the steamer Telegraph, Captain Nathaniel Baker, touched at the wharf and took us in. We dined on board the boat, and arrived at 20 minutes past 2 at the island and town of Nantucket. We had on board the boat ten or twelve fellow passengers, among whom was a Methodist minister named Lindsay, who gave me Dr. Wilbur Fisk’s inaugural addresses, president of the Wesleyan University at Middletown, Connecticut, 21 Sept. 1831.—An address of the same Dr. Fisk to the Middletown Colonization society ,4 July 1835; and a Zion’s extra, upon slavery, and against the abolitionists. At Nantucket we took lodgings at Starbuck’s hotel, where we found Professor Silliman and his son, and Robert Treat Paine, who is here engaged in astronomical observations for the geological map of the state. Professor Silliman is delivering a course of lectures on geology. Numbers of the citizens of the island visited us in the afternoon, among whom Mr. Bunker, of the committee of arrangements upon the delivery of Professor Silliman’s lectures, who invited us to attend one of them this evening which we did—from 7 o’clock till near 9 o’clock. It was at the Town hall. There was a full auditory of at least 300 persons, men and women, all neatly dressed. The lecture was on the primary formations of the earth, and the remains of gigantic animals, chiefly of saurian, lizard, or crocodile kind.
Friday, 18 September, 1835. Dinner at Siasconset. We had numerous visitors this morning, among whom Mr. Barker Burnall, Walter Folger, Dr. Morton, Collector of the Port, Mr. Barrett, Mr. Tuck, Mr. Mitchell, &c. After breakfast we visited the wharf, from which we had a view of the Harbor. Then Mr. Philip Folger’s manufacture of Spermaceti Candles. Then the Athenaeum, where is a small Library, and a collection of curiosities, chiefly from the South Sea Islands. Then the top of the Meeting House tower, whence we had a view of the mainland of Cape Cod, and of the boundless Ocean. Then a private school of thirty-five boys and girls kept by a Mr. Pearse, who told me he had attended my Lectures at Harvard University in 1808 and 1809. Then the School founded by Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin, for his relations, of whom there are about 130 male and female in attendance. Then two Banks, of one of which Mr. Burnall is cashier. We then went to Siaskonset, a headland on the South side of the Island, where there is a small village and where several of the Citizens of Sherburne have small neat country houses for summer residence. We visited an establishment of dunghill fowls, ducks, and geese on the way, belonging to two brothers Macy, and kept by an Irishman. We visited Saconet (Sankaty) head, dined at Mr. Elkins’s (George B. Elkins had an inn and bowling alley at the north edge of the village), on Chicken chowder. Messrs. Burnall, Morton, Barrett, Mitchell, Tuck, R. T. Paine, were of our dinner party. Bowls after dinner. I went with Mr. Philip Folger after dinner to his Country House. Saw his wife, daughter, and niece—returned to Town, visited Mr. Walter Folger, saw his Clock and Telescope, and closed the evening by attending Professor Sillimans’ Lecture on tertiary formations.
Saturday, 10 September, 1835. From Nantucket to New Bedford. The hour of departure of the Steamer Telegraph was 9 o’clock of the morning, but she was out to tow a vessel into the harbor. The vessel ran aground, and we waited for the boat a full hour upon the wharf. We visited a portrait painter named Swain and the garden and great house of Mr. Aaron Mitchell, raising peaches, grapes, and flowers from the deep sands. We took leave of Professor Silliman and his son, Mr. Burnall, Dr. Morton, Philip Folger, Captain Myrick and sundry others, and at 10 a. m. loosened from the wharf. Mr. Burnall promised to write to me about the Breakwater, and the Bar. R. T. Paine embarked with us, and landed at Holmes’ hole on Martha’s Vineyard. We had as fellow passengers a company of Circus men with their whole establishment, in three large baggage wagons and eight horses. They departed from the wharf with a chorus of horns, clarinets, and a drum. We touched only at Holmes’s hole and at Wood’s Hole or Woodville, where we saw Captain Chase on the wharf. At half past 3 we landed at New Bedford with another flourish of horns and hautboys, and clarinets, from our companions of the Circus. We were received by Mr. Congdon (James B. Congdon), Chairman of the Selectmen of the Town, and were accompanied by all the Selectmen to our lodgings at Mrs. Doubleday’s (Mrs. Doubleday was proprietress of the Mansion House). Here we had numerous visitors, but soon walked out and round the town with Mr. Arnold (James Arnold lived on the southwest corner of County and Union Streets, where his famous garden extended to the west). We admired the fine Palace Houses of the Citizens, specially visited that of Mr. Parker (John Avery Parker lived on the east side of County, between Pearl and Willis Streets), and we viewed its magnificent furniture. We took tea, spent the Evening and supped with Mr. Arnold, who had a large party of Gentlemen to meet us. We saw also Mr. Arnold’s garden. Returned to our lodgings at 11 p. m.
Sunday, September 20, 1835. Heard Mr. Edes from Leviticus 19:18. “Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” Visits from Judge John Davis, Mr. Morton Davis, and Mr. Rodman and Mr. Russell. Mr. T. D. Eliot had accompanied us in the morning. After dinner we went with Mr. Black and heard Mr. Joseph Angier, recently settled as the minister of this church (the Congregational Church at corner of Union and Eighth Streets), from Luke 10:27, “and he answering said ‘Thou shaft love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind.'” He omitted the remainder of the verse, which is the repetition of Mr. Edes’s morning text from Leviticus. There is great difference of style, as well as of delivery between these two young men, Mr. Edes’s manner being more plain and better adapted to the understanding of uncultivated minds. All his reasonings were pointed to the practical exercise of benevolence. Mr. Angier ingeniously brought his disquestion what was to be understood by the word Love as applied to God, and very properly urged that it was a sentiment entirely different from that affection which is borne towards any earthly object. He observed that there was danger of mistaking one of these sentiments for the other, and he noticed the cumulation of human faculties to which the commandment is course to the same conclusion, but he discussed somewhat largely the applied: “The heart, the soul, the strength, and the mind.” He did not, however, attempt to define those faculties, to discriminate them from each other. The understanding, the affections, the reasoning faculty and the will appear to be intended in the use of those words, and perhaps they were used only to enforce in the most emphatic manner the precept. Mr. Russell, one of our visitors, reminded me that I had measured him in the year 1815 at London for a passport. After the church service this afternoon, Mr. Brooks and Mr. I. P. Davis visited again at Mr. Arnold’s and saw his fine garden and two greenhouses, and Mr. Arnold himself closed the evening with a visit to us.
Monday 21 September, 1835. From New Bedford to Quincy. My crippled hand made me lose two morning hours before I rose. This morning we had several additional visitors, among whom Mr. William Rotch, 76 years of age, strong and hearty. He reminded me that he had traveled with me in the year 1825 in the steamboat from Providence to New York; C. H. Warren, T. D. Eliot, Joseph Angier, Mr. Tolman, and sundry others whose names it was impossible for me to recollect. At half-past 8 we departed from New Bedford in the stage, and came through Fairhaven, Rochester, Middleborough, South Bridgewater, West Bridgewater, Bridgewater, and Randolph to Dorchester, just beyond Milton Bridge. There my son Charles and I parted from our companions. Mr. Brooks and Mr. I. P. Davis continued the journey to Boston. We engaged a cariole and came home to Quincy, where at half-past five by God’s blessing we found all the family well. We had among our fellow travelers from New Bedford a very respectable Methodist preacher by the name of Mudge. The road from New Bedford is fine all the way. The towns through which we passed all thrifty and prosperous. At South Bridgewater we had an uncommonly good dinner, at an excellent inn; from Randolph to Milton Mills we came over the Blue Hill Turnpike, and found upon it a village two miles long of neat, comfortable and elegant dwelling houses, with two large houses of worship, all a new creation since the turnpike was opened, that is within the last fifteen years. We passed by East Randolph, about two miles distant on the right hand as we came, exhibiting a village apparently as nourishing as that through which we passed. Near the whole Blue Hill Turnpike, and much of the New Bedford road, it cut through forests of pitch pine, black and white oak, white maple, white birch and hornbeam, all but the pitch pine small and young wood. The largest trees are of the buttonwood sycamore or plane trees—as we approach Milton, while elms, chestnuts, hickories, ash, commence and the locust trees cease. Indian corn, potatoes, grazing and pasture lands are all the cultivation. There are in Middleborough four large ponds.
Journal of Charles Francis Adams
C. F. A. (age 28)
Wednesday, September 9, 1835. Mr. I. P. Davis called to make a proposition to my father to go to Plymouth and New Bedford, which I agreed to be the bearer of. My father seems much inclined to accept the proposition, and I think myself of going.
Friday, September 11, 1835. Office where I found Mr. Isaac P. Davis, and made the arrangements necessary previous to starting on Monday morning next. Mr. Brooks has also agreed to make one of the party.
Monday, September 14, 1835. The day looked dark and occasionally lowering. It rained a little, but finally cleared away. We made ready for our departure and, accordingly, shortly after breakfast the stage called and took us in. We found Mr. Brooks and Mr. Davis together with all the other places but ours occupied. Our ride was a pleasant one through Hingham, Scituate, Hanover, Marshfield, Duxbury, and Kingston to Plymouth. It cleared off as we arrived at the house kept by Mrs. Nicholson, to dinner. A neat, but old place near the Court house. We dined, and in the afternoon were visited by several of the Plymouth gentlemen who accompanied us around the town. We went to their building for their meetings as a Society of Antiquaries, saw the fragment of the rock upon which the first of the Pilgrims is supposed to have stepped, which is now enclosed by a fine iron railing in the middle of the town, where it has been moved. We then went to the burying ground where but few of the most ancient stones remain; then to the Court House where we saw the records of the first Settlers. Plymouth is a somewhat flourishing town even at this day; but its principal pride is in its historical recollections. As the place upon which a few pious, conscientious men founded a State, which with all its deviations yet bears much of the primitive stamp, it will ever be memorable. To think of landing here on the 22nd of December without a shelter, and three thousand miles from what was once a beloved home! The idea as I stood upon the burying place, which is high and overlooks the harbor, made me shiver. Home—evening, a variety of visits, Judge Vassell and his two sons, two Messrs. Davis, nephews of our companion, and Dr. Thatcher.
Tuesday, 15. The day opened very bright, and, after breakfast, we started in an open Barouche, taking leave of some of our friends, for a place seven miles off called Manomet Ponds, where the sea opens to the view, and there is a fine chance commonly for catching fish. It proved today exceedingly windy, and discouraged almost all of our party. Several gentlemen from Plymouth had joined us, and my father insisting upon going. Mr. T. Hedge and young Mr. Russell, with myself, went with him in the boat to the point, about thirty rods from the land. We caught very few fish, and what was worse, I became very seasick. This was doleful. I had no disposition to fish, if I had ever so many bites, which I had not. My father caught two codfish, which made him content to return, and glad was I when we trod on terra firma again. Fortunately my stomach was not put entirely out of tune, and I made a very tolerable dinner. The company present were Dr. Thatcher and Dr. Bartlett, Mr. T. Hedge, Judge Vassell and his son, Mr. Davis’ nephews and Mr. Gilbert, a lawyer, who boarded at Mrs. Nicholson’s. My father talked with great vigor, and appeared to much advantage. Dinner over we started again for Sandwich, taking leave of the gentlemen who had been very civil and attentive. Our ride in Barouche was through heaps of sand and a pine forest, in which it would appear unpleasant to lose the track. We doubled for one moment, which was very disagreeable, but finally came out right. The distance was said to be only eight or ten miles, but proved fifteen; and we did not get to the house at Sandwich until nearly seven. We were expected. There were several persons here whom we knew, Mr. and Mrs. J. Walker, Mr. J. H. Hayward and his wife, Mr. Gedney King and his wife, a Mr. Emmons and a Mr. Hooper. After tea we passed the evening in conversation by the fire, and dipping into the newspapers. Much talk of the appearance of the Comet.
Wednesday, 16: Another magnificent day. Our party changed its face much today. Mr. King and his wife and Mr. Hooper went home, Mr. Davis proposed to spend the morning in a drive to Sandwich, while Mr. Hayward and Mr. Emmons went out to try and kill a Deer, and Mr. Walker in quest of a companion to his place whither he goes from the College, Marshpec. All these, however, to return to dinner. We enjoyed our share of the morning very much. The town is very prettily situated, looks thriving and contented. We went round it, stopping at the glassworks of the Sandwich Company. These are very complete. We examined the process from the outset through its various ramifications to the perfected article, saw the mode of making the pressed glass and some of us pressed some plates. This is ingenious and American. The beauty of the result, and the many changes of form which the materials undergo before they reach perfection renders every part of the work interesting. This establishment was fixed here on account of its distance from the City, the cheapness of the surrounding woodland, principally pine, and the healthiness of the air. It employs about three hundred and fifty men and boys and turns out a vast deal of work. At present they do well. Mr. Deming Jarves, the Agent, was very civil to us indeed, and we returned to our house, Swift’s now Hinckleys’ well satisfied. We found our party reassembled, the hunters without any game, and Mr. Walker with a Mr. Merrick, the Clergyman of the town. A pleasant and a very excellent dinner, and then off. The house is very well kept now, and, on the whole, I know no place I could enjoy myself better for a month or two than here. We now took a drive in the same barouche across the neck of land called Cape Cod, to the water on the other side. About twenty-two miles, and as pleasant a ride as I ever took in my life. The weather was magnificent, and the Country in all the beauty of early vegetation. Indeed, it is not improbable that in the course of many years I should have so fine an opportunity to see this section of country. The season has been uncommonly wet, and has, therefore, given to the grass and the trees a degree of verdure uncommon in this region. The people are comfortable and independent. I saw no poverty, no distress. Perhaps there is no greater moral spectacle on the face of the earth, than this of the victory of honest industry over the disadvantages of soil and climate. The orchards seemed loaded with trees, and the houses and grounds in perfect repair. We passed through Falmouth, and reached the place of destination called Wood’s Hole or Woodville, shortly after sunset. It was a sort of headland, jutting out from between a couple of small bays, on which were three or four houses, the most modern of which was the Hotel. We had good supper; and, after a little conversation with a curious character called Hatch, who was summoned for further operations in the morning, we retired.
Thursday 17. I was roused early to join the party, who proposed to go out before sunrise to catch fish. But, upon reflecting that I might again spoil the sport, I concluded that I would leave my father to go with I. P. Davis, and myself take a breakfast, and dress comfortably. Thus the time elapsed between sunrise and the hour for the New Bedford steamboat. My father and Mr. Davis having returned with moderate success, in time, we all took passage in a very good boat for Nantucket. Our passage of about five hours stopping a few minutes at Holmes Hole, was quite favorable and we reached this singular island at about 3 o’clock. My father’s arrival had been expected, and there was a very large collection of people assembled on the wharf, for the purpose of looking at him. This is never pleasant, and, with him, particularly otherwise. We walked up to the hotel, a very indifferent one kept by a man named Starbuck; and, after delay, obtained our accommodations. We met here Professor Silliman and his son, and Mr. R. T. Paine, who were very civil to us. The next visitor was Mr. C. Bunker (Charles Bunker, an attorney, brother of James M.), whom I well recollected as a classmate of my elder brother at Cambridge. He was deputed from a committee to invite us to attend the lecture of Professor Silliman upon Geology, to be held tonight. After tea we went and heard the subject discussed of the coal formations, and the remains of the sauri, of whom Cuvier has made so much. Silliman is a very good popular lecturer, and succeeds in making a dry subject quite amusing. My father who was the lion of the evening, could not help going to sleep, much to the discomfiture of the party; but this is one of the unavoidables. We returned home and had one or two more to see us, Mr. Aaron Mitchell, and Professor Silliman himself.
Friday 18. The town of Nantucket is a narrow and ill-looking one, but the people appear industrious and kindhearted. Mr. Burnall, formerly a senator of the state and now cashier of the bank, called and we accompanied several gentlemen to see the new wharf, and the spermaceti candle works of a Mr. Folger; thence to the museum which they are commencing under very favorable auspices; and from thence to the tower of the South church to see the view. The day was, as all our weather has been, delightful. From here we were taken to visit a private school of a Mr. Pearse for boys and the Coffin school, so named because founded by Admiral Sir Isaac Coffin for the descendants of the first Coffin who settled in Nantucket. This business of visiting schools, and having to admire whether you do or not, is a tax levied upon distinction. Thus the morning went. Mr. Davis had arranged a party to Siasconset, and we accordingly started for the purpose of driving there. A very good carriage and pair of horses took us seven miles to a little settlement. Nantucket is a curious place. The poverty of the spot, its utter nakedness, and the rich subsistence it affords through the active disposition of its citizens, Siasconset is the Nahant of this community. Originally a fishing settlement, the huts were gradually deserted by their original tenants, and taken by the comfortable citizens for the purpose of affording clear air and change of scene for the two summer months. They are all of a similar construction, of one story, and protected from the external air by shingles over boards. They are rarely painted, and probably cost five or six hundred dollars to build. The houses are placed within a very few feet of each other, and the people when there make a sort of general society. There is a primitive simplicity which is amusing to imagine, although perhaps not agreeable to practice. Everybody in the settlement must of course be aware of everybody’s daily doings. The gossip must all be of each other’s domestic matters, with the usual modicum of scandal. We rode half a mile farther to Sancota head, the highest land on the island. We returned to the neat inn where we had ordered dinner, and found Mr. Paine, Dr. Morton, the collector of the place, Mr. Burnall, a Dr. Webb, and Mr. Athearn who joined our party. The dinner was neat and composed of Nantucket dishes—chicken chowder, pumpkins dressed in the shell and corn puddings. Fish could not be procured in time. The neatness of everything was remarkable. Several more gentlemen joined us after dinner and took us to the bowling alley; but we had promised to be at Nantucket early, so we cut it very brief. As it was, we had hardly time to call upon Mr. Folger (Hon. Walter Folger), the old gentleman of Nantucket. I recollected when he was in congress many years ago, and being then told of this fancy of his, but I was surprised when he showed us his clock, which gives the moon’s cycle and her daily course with that of the sun and the motions of the nodes, and his telescope, even to the glasses, of his own making. He showed us also the tables for Encke’s Comet, which he has made. Mr. Folger has got into some squabbles with the rest of the town, and is very unpopular, so much so that I think he is not properly appreciated. He is a mathematician as well as an observer; hut I afterwards found that neither Mr. Paine nor Mr. Mitchell admitted he could see, excepting what was not to be seen. There is no knowing what to decide in such cases. A prophet is rarely honored in his own country. We hurried home to be ready for the next lecture of Professor Silliman, which we attended in the same form. The various ichthyolites and petrifications of shells made the lecture amusing, but not so much so as last evening. Returned home pretty well fatigued with our day’s experience, and were glad, after dipping into the Boston newspapers of yesterday, to retire.
Saturday, 19—Weather continues fine. We arose early and made our preparations for leaving. After having accompanied Mr. Stillman to the room of a portrait painter, Mr. Swain, who appears to have some merit, we walked down to the steamboat, but it was not quite ready, so that we waited a considerable time on the wharf. This was disagreeable as the knowledge of our departure was rapidly bringing down persons to the wharf. The presence of a band, with the Circus company which has been performing here for some time and which was now leaving with us, added to the noise and bustle. This band had serenaded my father last evening; and now, when the steamboat rounded off, produced quite a scenic effect. Thus we left this singular community, one which is worth seeing, but not worth envying. Yet I was pleased with the civility of the people, their freedom and pomp, and the kindness which they manifested. One old Captain Myrick especially drew me aside and expressed so much very plain but honest respect for our name, that I felt as I always do upon such occasions, that there is some compensation to a public man for his trials and mortifications. Our passage across the shoals to the Vineyard was a very favorable one, and here we left Mr. Paine whom I have never known much before. From the Vineyard we went across to Woodville, and then over the fine sheet of water called Buzzards bay to New Bedford. The band again struck up as we came up to the wharf; and, no sooner did we touch, than a crowd pushed in, and there were appearances of a design to make an affair of the reception. My father manages these matters very awkwardly, and I, feeling no disposition to make part of the train to follow him to his lodging, took a circuitous route to the house where we were expected, and got there before him. But the afternoon was taken up by the various visitors, and by looking at the place, New Bedford is an offshoot from Nantucket, and more thriving than the original stem. Both equally depend upon the whaling business, which is now carried on to an extent far too great for permanent success. The fortunes suddenly made at this place have poured themselves out upon the surface, in the shape of houses and grounds. We were taken to see the street, which has lately risen like magic, and which presents more noble looking mansions than any other in the country. In the most beautiful and expensive one we were asked to go, and accordingly went through it. It belongs to a Mr. J. A. Parker who has built and furnished it in a manner as costly as any of the most extravagant of the modern houses in Boston. After having seen and duly admired, we went to Mr. Arnold’s, where we stopped. He took us over his garden, which has been laid out with much taste. The presence of a female of taste is perceptible in it. Having gone through it, we were ushered into the house, and found Mrs. Arnold, her daughter, and his sister, to whom we were introduced. Mrs. Arnold too is a lady as there are not many. A considerable number of gentlemen came in during the evening, but circumstances made it wearisome to me. After a beautiful fruit collation I hurried home before the rest of the party.
Sunday, 20. The morning looked stormy, as our friend Captain Myrick had predicted; but it rained a short time only. Our parlor at this house was exceedingly dark and rather gloomy; and, for the first time upon this trip, my spirits left me. I attended divine service with our party at the Unitarian church and heard Mr. Edes, a young man, from Leviticus 19.19. “Thou shall love thy neighbor as thyself,” and the clergyman himself who is settled there, Mr. Joseph Angler, from Luke 10.27. “Thou shall love the lord thy God with all thy mind.” A singular similarity in the topic of these. Love, discussed by one as the tie of earthly relations; by the other, spiritualized into a heavenly existence. Angler’s mind like Mr. Frothingham’s is a very delicately refined one, not over well adapted to the taste of the multitude, but producing style and beautiful results. Angler has more imagination, Mr. Frothingham more polish. I am glad the former has secured so favorable a position, and hope he will be able to maintain it; but the trials of a clergyman in these days pass belief and I much fear that he is destined to encounter them. We remained at home all day, and, for want of better books, I amused myself with Peter Pindar’s Lusiad. The world has much changed in half a century, for were Pindar to write again the chances would be strongly against his making any headway at all. He would now be voted out of society as coarse and vulgar. We had some visitors occasionally through the day and evening, Mr. Morton Davis, Judge Davis, Mr. Russell, Mr. S. Rodman, and in the evening Mr. Tallman (William Tallman), an old Quaker who came in and sat with his hat on and thou’d and thee’d his friend Adams in regular form and after the most approved manner. There is something not unpleasant in all this—so much depends upon the spirit in which a thing is done. Perhaps upon the principle of the thing the Quakers are right. Mr. Arnold spent the remainder of the evening with us.
Monday, 21. The morning again looked threatening and again cleared away, giving us a bright day. After breakfast we were visited by numbers of people. Mr. William Rotch among others—an old Quaker gentleman of 76, but fine looking, and very solid. He is the father of Mrs. Arnold, and all the present family. His grandfather moved from Nantucket in 1769 and founded the fortunes of the town. I like this. There is something respectable in it. The stage called for us at nine, and soon put New Bedford behind us. Circumstances conspired to make my stay there the least agreeable portion of my excursion. But this as it may, our route today lay through the flourishing places of Fairhaven, Rochester, Middleborough, Bridgewater, where we had a very good dinner, West Bridgewater, Stoughton to Milton bridge, where we stopped. A most flourishing series of villages, built up by industry. The state of Massachusetts is made up of the enterprise of its inhabitants, which bring it forward faster than the richer natural productions of her neighbors do them. The stage did not upon this day pass through Quincy, so that I hired a little carryall which took my father and myself to his house in a few minutes. Thus ended a little pleasure party of a week, carried through as few such ever can be in this world, without a single failure by accident, or one disagreeable incident of any sort or kind. It seemed as if nature and man had conspired to make the whole thing one of the happiest periods man can experience, and the most delightful he can remember.
J. Q. A. Diary
Wednesday, 27 September, 1843.—Hurried back to Mr. Edward Brooks’s, at whose door his father was stepping into my carriage, and we drove to the depot of the New Bedford railway, which we reached on the stroke of four; stepped into the car, and were off, with scarcely time to greet Mr. Grinnell who was waiting for us there. At half past six we alighted from the cars and stepped into Mr. Grinnell’s carriage at New Bedford. They call it 55 miles; it may be 50. The road is half the way the same as that to Providence; but the movement is so rapid that there is scarcely time to count the towns through which we pass on the road. There was a cavalcade of firemen with lighted torches at the depot, who escorted us to Mr. Grinnell’s house (Joseph Grinnell lived in the stone house on the west side of County Street, at the head of Russell), and a crowd of boys followed us shouting to the great consternation of Mr. Grinnell’s horses; to no small personal danger and great annoyance to us all. Yet it was meant in honor to me, of which I was duly sensible in gratitude to him who disposes of the minds of men. Numbers of visitors came into Mr. Grinnell’s in the course of the evening, among whom the selectmen of the town, the chairman of whom Mr. Congdon, told me that they would come tomorrow at 12 o’clock and take me to the town hall and introduce me to the citizens of New Bedford.
New Bedford, Thursday 28, September, 1843.—I slept till the day dawned upon my chamber from the east, and without losing time I saw the sun rise in glory, from my windows. I wrote with assiduity till breakfast time and finished the diary of yesterday. After breakfast, Mr. Grinnell took Mr. Brooks and me in his carriage, first to see his father (Captain Cornelius Grinnell), a very neat clad and gravely dignified old man, who told me he was just ten years older than myself, being just turned of his 86th year. He has enjoyed sound health till within two or three years, but is now infirm with rheumatic complaints. Our next visit was to Mrs. Russell, mother of Mrs. Grinnell, an old lady of 82, also of the Society of Friends. She lives in a large square wooden house, which has been removed from a street different from that on which it now (Abraham Russell’s house stood on the west side of County, in the line of Union which was extended in 1839 and the house moved back to the northwest corner of Union and Orchard Streets. It was demolished a few years ago.) stands. And our third visit was to Mr. and Mrs. Arnold, in the same house where we met an evening party in September, 1835. The year after which they went to Europe, and travelled three years. Their house was then graceful and comfortable, and furnished with elegance, and at great cost. It is now embellished with many articles of exquisite luxury from Italy, so that it is like a second princely palace. Mr. Arnold was not at home, but Mrs. Arnold received and treated us with a profusion of flowers and of fruits—grapes, pears and peaches. We returned to Mr. Grinnell’s at 12 and found waiting there the selectmen, Congdon, Stowland (The Selectmen were George Howland Jr., James B. Congdon, and Ephraim Kempton.), and Kempton, with whom I went in a carriage to the town hall, a new stone and spacious building. There on the platform, where the selectmen have their seats, Mr. Congdon addressed me in a speech, carefully composed and handsomely delivered of about 20 minutes—and introduced me to the meeting composed entirely of men. I answered him in a speech of half an hour, like all the other extraordinary and extemporaneous speeches that I have been doomed to deliver, a source to me of deep mortification from the consciousness how flat and impotent is every effort of mine of this kind; and I was on this occasion more than usually dull. After the speeches came the shaking of hands for half an hour. I met there unexpectedly Dr. Thomas Robbins of Mattapoisett. Mr. Brooks and Mr. Grinnell went to the hall, but did not come on the platform. The selectmen returned with me and left me at Mr. Grinnell’s where there was a small party of 12 to dine. The Rev. Mr. Peabody and Mr. Arnold were of the company. Discussion upon theatrical entertainments. At 4 o’clock the selectmen came and took me to Mrs. Howland’s, where a considerable number of ladies had assembled, and received my very respectful salutations. Mr. Grinnell came with Mr. Brooks and took us to ride over the river, and round the town of Fairhaven. We returned to Mrs. Grinnell’s, where there was a large evening party; ladies and gentlemen to meet us.
New Bedford, Friday 29, September, 1843.—A cold, and hoarse sore throat is one of the sequences to my speech at the town hall yesterday; yet I had a good night’s rest, and awoke this morning with the dawn well advanced. I saw the sun rise glorious in front of my window, but had no time, but to dress and pack my trunk for departure. At a quarter past six we breakfasted—then took leave of Mrs. Grinnell and the young ladies, to the railroad depot, and accompanied us to Boston. The train started from the depot precisely at 7, and we landed at the depot at the bottom of the Common in Boston at ten.
Before the meeting adjourned, President Cushman introduced Mrs. Clement Swift, who presented the society in behalf of Allen Russell and Mrs. John A. Russell, a valuable old deed which bears the signature of Samuel Hunt, the first ordained minister of the town of Dartmouth.
By this deed in 1722, Jonathan Delano, of Dartmouth, who played a prominent part in the Indian wars, conveyed to Joseph Russell 130 acres of land in Dartmouth. The land involved included a parcel of the north side of the Mattapoisett road, another, farther north, in “New Boston”; and a third, to the eastward, near the Rochester line.
The deed was acknowledged before Col. Seth Pope, as justice of the peace; and received and recorded at Bristol, Oct. 20, 1723, by Samuel Howland, register. The names of Samuel and Hannah Hunt appeared upon the deed as witnesses.
Henry B. Worth called attention to the interesting fact that the Bristol where the deed was recorded, is the present Bristol, R. I. At that time it was the county seat of the county of Bristol, Massachusetts, which extended to Narragansett Bay. In 1741, the town of Bristol was annexed to Rhode Island, and an attempt was made to hold all the deeds that had been recorded there; but interested Massachusetts people had been quicker and the Massachusetts deeds had been domiciled at Taunton before the authorities at Bristol could take action to prevent their removal.
Mardi Gras–Part IV
March 4, 1919
The Old Dartmouth Historical Society’s Mardi Gras party held last night in the Jonathan Bourne memorial and the rooms of the society, was a genuine novelty, the most unique and interesting that has taken on Johnny-cake Hill for many years.
The whaling bark Lagoda was dressed for the event, colors were hoisted to the mast-head, and from jib boom to peak of the mainmast, thence to the boom of the mizzenmast, red and blue electric lights blazed. No whaler was ever decked quite so gaily as was the Lagoda last night, and the members of the society, many of whom had never seen the half-sized model of the whaleship that sailed the seas so successfully for the famous whaling merchant, discovered something that they had missed.
Around the ship the dancers slid on the slippery waters, and they could not have been more glassy had they been oiled. The crew evidently not only holy-stoned the deck of the Museum, but waxed it with high grade spermaceti also.
As the bells of the ship sounded the half hours from eight to twelve, the Orpheus quartet, Messrs. Drew, Kirkham, Jenney and Macy sang chanties. They began with “Blow the Man Down,” and proceeded to get the ship underway for a cruise with “Haul on the Bowlin’,” “Rio Grande,” “Blow My Bully Boys, Blow,” and “The Capstan Bar,” all of which gave the party a salty flavor, even though chanties and whalers are not closely associated in the history of the whale fishery.
Captain Fred R. Fish commanded the Lagoda on this festive voyage and he was a whaleman to the life, and his fringe of whiskers descended direct from the type of men who went hunting blubber.
Although an upright piano was hoisted on deck, the staunch craft had no list to port. One part of the crew were busy playing waltzes, two steps and fox trots throughout the watch from 8 to 12, and many who came merely to look on were tempted to dance a bit.
Many pictures, not a few of them associated with New Bedford’s whaling industry, painted by Clifford W. Ashley, are hung in the museum, and this exhibit attracted much attention. During intermission guests ventured aboard the Lagoda and into the cabin of Captain Fish, anxious to see how the inside of a whaler looked.
Ice cream, candy and favors were sold during the evening, and guests found that they were in the low-price district. Ice cream and punch were served in the rooms on the second floor of the museum, this department being in charge of Mrs. Nat C. Smith, Mrs. John S. Howland, Mrs. Fred R. Fish and Mrs. Robert A. Terry.
Favors were spread under the bows of the Lagoda in the canoe from the Orient, and Mrs. Floyd Cary was in charge, assisted by Mrs. George Hale Reed and Miss Mary A. Tripp, who wore an Egyptian costume.
The candy table was in charge of Mrs. W. A. Robinson Jr., assisted by Mrs. Frank A. Cummings, Mrs. C. F. Broughton and Mrs. David D. Pratt, Mrs. Pratt wore a Grecian costume.
About 250 people were glad that they located bark Lagoda. In addition to providing a unique party, the society succeeded in bringing to the attention of many people one of the most interesting buildings in the country. Whaling craft of the type of the Lagoda are almost extinct, and soon this craft in the Bourne memorial museum will be all that is left of the famous whaling fleet that brought wealth to New Bedford.
The general committee in charge of the festivities last evening included Herbert E. Cushman, chairman; Mr. and Mrs. Frederic H. Taber, Harry L. Pope, Mr. and Mrs. Fred R. Fish, Mrs. John S. Howland, Harry V. Jason, Seth J. Besse, and Mrs. Floyd Cary. Mr. Jason rigged the Lagoda with electric lights and found the standing rigging all in tip-top condition. Not a weak strand on the ship.