BAY STATE MONTHLY.
A Massachusetts Magazine
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BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BUTLER.
There is a belt extending irregularly across the State of New Hampshire, and varying in width, from which have gone forth men who have won a national reputation. From this section went Daniel Webster, Lewis Cass, Levi Woodbury, Zachariah Chandler, Horace Greeley, Henry Wilson, William Pitt Fessenden, Salmon P. Chase, John Wentworth, Nathan Clifford, and Benjamin F. Butler.
BENJAMIN FRANKLIN BUTLER was born in the town of Deerfield, New Hampshire, November 5, 1818.
His father, Captain John Butler, was a commissioned officer in the War of 1812, and served with General Andrew Jackson at New Orleans. As merchant, supercargo, and master of the vessel, he was engaged for some years in the West India trade, in which he was fairly successful, until his death in March, 1819, while on a foreign voyage. In politics he was an ardent Democrat, an admirer of General Jackson, and a personal friend of Isaac Hill, of New Hampshire.
Left an orphan when an infant, the child was dependent for his early training upon his mother; and faithfully did she attend to her duties. Descended from the Scotch Covenanters and Irish patriots, Mrs. Butler possessed rare qualities: she was capable, thrifty, diligent, and devoted. In 1828, Mrs. Butler removed with her family to Lowell, where her two boys could receive better educational advantages, and where her efforts for their maintenance would be better rewarded, than in their native village.
As a boy young Butler was small, sickly, and averse to quarrels. He was very fond of books, and eagerly read all that came in his way. From his earliest youth he possessed a remarkably retentive memory, and was such a promising scholar that his mother determined to help him obtain a liberal education, hoping that he would be called to the Baptist ministry. With this end in view, he was fitted for college at the public schools of Lowell and at Exeter Academy, and at the early age of sixteen entered Waterville College. Here for four years, the formative period of his life, his mind received that bent and discipline which fitted him for his future active career.
He was a student who appreciated his advantages, and acquired all the general information the course permitted outside of regular studies; but his rank was low in the class, as deportment and attention to college laws were taken into account. During the latter part of his course he was present at the trial of a suit at law, and was so impressed with the forensic battle he then witnessed, that he chose law as his profession. He was graduated from the college in 1838, in poor health, and in debt, but a fishing cruise to the coast of Labrador restored him, and in the fall he entered upon the study of the law at Lowell. While a student he practised in the police court, taught school, and devoted every energy to acquiring a practical knowledge of his profession.
While yet a minor he joined the City Guards, a company of the fifth regiment of Massachusetts Militia. His service in the militia was honorable, and continued for many years; he rose gradually in the regular line of promotion through every grade, from a private to a brigadier-general.
In 1840, Mr. Butler was admitted to the bar. He was soon brought into contact with the mill-owners, and was noted for his audacity and quickness. He won his way rapidly to a lucrative practice, at once important, leading, and conspicuous. He was bold, diligent, vehement, and an inexhaustible opponent. His memory was such, that he could retain the whole of the testimony of the longest trial without taking a note. His power of labor seemed unlimited. In fertility of expedient, and in the lightning quickness of his devices to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat, his equal has seldom lived.
For twenty years Mr. Butler devoted his whole energies to his profession. At the age of forty he was retained in over five hundred cases, enjoyed the most extensive and lucrative practice in New England, and could at that age have retired from active business with an independent fortune.
Despite his enormous and incessant labors at the bar, Mr. Butler, since early manhood, has been a busy and eager politician, regularly for many years attending the national conventions of the Democratic party, and entering actively into every campaign.
Before the Rebellion he was twice elected to the Massachusetts Legislature: once to the House in 1853, and once to the Senate in 1859; and was a candidate for governor in 1856, receiving fifty thousand votes, the full support of his party.
In April, 1860, Mr. Butler was a delegate to the Democratic convention held at Charleston. There he won a national reputation. In June, at an adjourned session of the convention, at Baltimore, Mr. Butler went out with the delegates who were resolved to defeat the nomination of Stephen A. Douglas. The retiring body nominated Mr. Breckinridge, of Kentucky, for the Presidency, and Mr. Butler returned home to help his election. It may be here stated that Mr. Breckinridge was a Southern pro-slavery unionist. Mr. Butler was the Breckinridge candidate for the governorship of Massachusetts, and received only six thousand votes.
In December, 1860, after the election of Abraham Lincoln was an established fact, there was a gathering of politicians at Washington, Mr. Butler among the rest. South Carolina had passed the ordinance of secession, and had sent commissioners or embassadors to negotiate a treaty with the general government. Mr. Butler told his Southern friends that they were hastening on a war; that the North would never consent to a disunion of the States, and that he should be among the first to offer to fight for the Union. He counselled the administration to receive the South Carolina commissioners, listen to their communication, arrest them, and try them for high treason. Mr. Butler foresaw a great war, and on his return to Massachusetts advised Governor Andrew to prepare the militia for the event. This was quietly done by dropping those who could not be depended upon to leave the State, and enlisting others in their stead. Arms and clothing were also prepared. On April 15, 1861, a telegram was received by Governor Andrew from Senator Henry Wilson asking for troops to defend the capital. A little before five o'clock, Mr. Butler was, trying, a case before a court in Boston, when Colonel Edward F. Jones, of the sixth regiment, brought to him for endorsement an order from Governor Andrew to muster his regiment forthwith on Boston Common, prepared to go to the defence of Washington. Two days later Mr. Butler received the order to take command of the troops.
IN THE WAR.
General Butler's command consisted of four regiments. The sixth was despatched immediately to Washington by the way of Baltimore, two regiments were sent in transports to garrison Fortress Monroe, while General Butler accompanied the eighth regiment in person. At Philadelphia, on the nineteenth of April, General Butler was apprised of the attack on the sixth regiment during their passage through Baltimore, and he resolved to open communication with the capital through Annapolis.
At Annapolis, General Butler's great executive qualities came into prominence. He was placed in command of the "Department of Annapolis," and systematically attended to the forwarding of troops and the formation of a great army. On May 13, with his command, he occupied the city of Baltimore, a strategic movement of great importance. On May 16, he was commissioned major-general, and on the twenty-second was saluted as the commander of Fortress Monroe. Two days later, he gave to the country the expressive phrase "contraband of war," which proved the deathblow of American slavery.
A skirmish at Great Bethel, June 10, was unimportant in its results except that it caused the loss of twenty-five Union soldiers, Major Theodore Winthrop among the number, and was a defeat for the Northern army. This was quickly followed by the disastrous battle of Bull Run, which fairly aroused the North to action.
On August 18, General Butler resigned the command of the department of Virginia to General Wool, and accepted a command under him. The first duty entrusted to General Butler was an expedition sent to reduce the forts at Hatteras Inlet, in which with a small force he was successful.
Early in September, he was authorized by the war department to raise and equip six regiments of volunteers from New England for the war. This task was easy for the energetic general.
Early in the year 1862, the capture of New Orleans was undertaken, and General Butler was placed in command of the department of the Gulf, and fifteen thousand troops entrusted to him. After innumerable delays, the general with a part of his force arrived, March 20, 1862, at Ship Island, near the delta of the Mississippi River, at which rendezvous the rest of the troops had already been assembled. From this post the reduction of New Orleans was executed.
On the morning of April 24, the fleet under command of Captain Farragut succeeded in passing the forts, and a week later the transport Mississippi with General Butler and his troops was alongside the levee at New Orleans.
On December 16, 1862, General Butler formally surrendered the command of the department of the Gulf to General Banks. What General Butler did at New Orleans during the months he was in command in that city is a matter of history, and has been ably chronicled by James Parton. He there displayed those wonderful qualities of command which made him the most hated, as well as the most respected, Northern man who ever visited the South. He did more to subject the Southern people to the inevitable consequence of the war than a division of a hundred thousand soldiers. He even conquered that dread scourge, yellow fever, and demonstrated that lawlessness even in New Orleans could be suppressed.
The new channel for the James River, known as the Dutch Gap, planned by General Butler, and ridiculed by the press, but approved by the officers of the United States Engineer Corps, remains to this day the thoroughfare used by commerce.
The fame of General Butler's career at New Orleans, and his presence, quieted the fierce riots in New York City, occasioned by the drafts.
General Butler resigned his commission at the close of the war, and resumed the practice of his profession. He is now, and has been for many years, the senior major-general of all living men who have held that rank in the service of the United States.
In 1867, Mr. Butler was elected to the fortieth Congress from the fifth congressional district of Massachusetts, and in 1869 from the sixth district. He was re-elected in 1871, 1873, and in 1877. He was a recognized power in the House of Representatives, and with the administration. In 1882, he was elected Governor of Massachusetts, and gracefully retired in December, 1883, to the disappointment of more than one hundred and fifty thousand Massachusetts voters.
Mr. Butler is a man of vast intellectual ability—in every sense of the word a great man. He possesses a remarkable memory, great executive abilities, good judgment, immense energy, and withal a tender heart. He has always been a champion of fair play and equal rights.
As an orator he has great power to sway his hearers, for his words are wise. Had the Democratic party listened to Mr. Butler at the Charleston convention, its power would have continued; had the South listened to him, it would not have seceded. Mr. Butler is a man who arouses popular enthusiasm, and who has a great personal following of devoted friends and admirers.
Books have already been written about him—more will follow in the years to come. He is the personification of the old ante bellum Democratic party of the Northern States—a party that believed in the aggrandizement of the country, at home and abroad; which placed the rights of an American citizen before the gains of commerce; which fostered that commerce until it whitened the seas; and which provided for the reception of millions, who were sure to come to these shores, by acquiring large areas of territory.
This hastily prepared sketch gives but a meagre outline of this remarkable man, whose history is yet by no means completed.
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THE BOUNDARY LINES OF OLD GROTON.—II.
By THE HON. SAMUEL ABBOTT GREEN, M.D.
The report of the Comitty of the Hon'ble Court vpon the petition of Concord Chelmsford Lancaster & Stow for a grant of part of Nashobe lands
Persuant to the directions giuen by this Hon'ble Court bareng Date the 30'th of May 1711 The Comity Reports as foloweth that is to say &ce
That on the second day of October 1711 the s'd comitty went vpon the premises with an Artis and veved [viewed] and servaied the Land mentioned in the Peticion and find that the most southerly line of the plantation of Nashobe is bounded partly on Concord & partly on Stow and this line contains by Estimation vpon the servey a bought three miles & 50 polle The Westerly line Runs partly on Stowe & partly on land claimed by Groton and containes four miles and 20 poll extending to a place called Brown hill. The North line Runs a long curtain lands claimed by Groton and contains three miles, the Easterle line Runs partly on Chelmsford, and partly on a farm cald Powersis farm in Concord; this line contains a bought fouer miles and twenty fiue pole
The lands a boue mentioned wer shewed to vs for Nashobe Plantation and there were ancient marks in the seuerall lines fairly marked, And s'd comite find vpon the servey that Groton hath Run into Nashobe (as it was showed to vs) so as to take out nere one half s'd plantation and the bigest part of the medows, it appears to vs to Agree well with the report of M'r John Flint & M'r Joseph Wheeler who were a Commetty imployed by the County Court in midlesexs to Run the bounds of said plantation (June y'e 20'th 82) The plat will demonstrate how the plantation lyeth & how Groton coms in vpon it: as aleso the quaintete which is a bought 7840 acres
And said Comite are of the opinion that ther may [be] a township in that place it lying so remote from most of the neighboreng Towns, provided this Court shall se reson to continew the bounds as we do judg thay have been made at the first laieng out And that ther be sum addition from Concord & Chelmsford which we are redy to think will be complyed with by s'd Towns And s'd Comite do find a bought 15 famelys setled in s'd plantation of Nashobe (5) in Groton claimed and ten in the remainder and 3 famelys which are allredy setled on the powerses farm: were convenient to joyn w s'd plantation and are a bought Eaight mille to any meting-house (Also, ther are a bought Eaight famelys in Chelmsford which are allredy setled neer Nashobe line & six or seven miles from thir own meeting house
JONATHAN TYNG THOMAS HOW JOHN STEARNS
In the Houes of Representatives Nov'm 2: 1711. Read Oct'o. 23, 1713.
Read and accepted; And the Indians native Proprietors of the s'd Planta'con. Being removed by death Except two or Three families only remaining Its Declared and Directed That the said Lands of Nashoba be preserved for a Township.
And Whereas it appears That Groton Concord and Stow by several of their Inhabitants have Encroached and Setled upon the said Lands; This Court sees not reason to remove them to their Damage; but will allow them to be and remain with other Inhabitants that may be admitted into the Town to be there Setled; And that they have full Liberty when their Names and Number are determined to purchase of the few Indians there remaining for the Establishment of a Township accordingly.
Saving convenient Allotments and portions of Land to the remaining Indian Inhabitants for their Setling and Planting.
Is'a ADDINGTON Secry.
In the House of Representatives
Octo'r: 23th: 1713. Read
[Massachusetts Archives, cxiii, 600.]
The inhabitants of Groton had now become alarmed at the situation of affairs, fearing that the new town would take away some of their land. Through neglect the plan of the original grant, drawn up in the year 1668, had never been returned to the General Court for confirmation, as was customary in such cases; and this fact also excited further apprehension. It was not confirmed finally until February 10, 1717, several years after the incorporation of Nashobah.
In the General Court Records (ix, 263) in the State Library, under the date of June 18, 1713, it is entered:—
Upon reading a Petition of the Inhabitants of the Town of Groton, Praying that the Return & Plat of the Surveyor of their Township impowered by the General Court may be Accepted for the Settlement & Ascertaining the Bounds of their Township, Apprehending they are likely to be prejudiced by a Survey lately taken of the Grant of Nashoba;
Voted a Concurrence with the Order pass'd thereon in the House of Represent'ves That the Petitioners serve the Proprietors of Nashoba Lands with a copy of this Petition, That they may Shew Cause, if any they have on the second Fryday of the Session of this Court in the Fall of the Year, Why the Prayer therof may not be granted, & the Bounds of Groton settled according to the ancient Plat of said Town herewith exhibited.
It is evident from the records that the Nashobah lands gave rise to much controversy. Many petitions were presented to the General Court, and many claims made, growing out of this territory. The following entry is found in the General Court Records (ix, 369) in the State Library, under the date of November 2, 1714:—
The following Order pass'd by the Represent'ves. Read & Concur'd; viz,
Upon Consideration of the many Petitions & Claims relating to the Land called Nashoba Land; Ordered that the said Nashoba Land be made a Township, with the Addition of such adjoining Lands of the Neighbouring Towns, whose Owners shall petition for that End, & that this Court should think fit to grant, That the said Nashoba Lands having been long since purchased of the Indians by M'r Bulkley & Henchman one Half, the other Half by Whetcomb & Powers, That the said purchase be confirmed to the children of the said Bulkley, Whetcomb & Powers, & Cpt. Robert Meers as Assignee to M'r Henchman according to their respective Proportions; Reserving to the Inhabitants, who have settled within these Bounds, their Settlements with Divisions of Lands, in proportion to the Grantees, & such as shall be hereafter admitted; the said Occupants or present Inhabitants paying in Proportion as others shall pay for their Allotments;. Provided the said Plantation shall be settled with Thirty five Families & an orthodox Minister in three years time, And that Five hundred Acres of Land be reserved and laid out for the Benefit of any of the Descendants of the Indian Proprietors of the said Plantation, that may be surviving; A Proportion thereof to be for Sarah Doublet alias Sarah Indian;. The Rev. M'r. John Leveret & Spencer Phips Esq'r. to be Trustees for the said Indians to take Care of the said Lands for their Use. And it is further Ordered that Cpt. Hopestill Brown, M'r. Timothy Wily & M'r. Joseph Burnap of Reading be a Committee to lay out the said Five hundred Acres of Land reserved for the Indians, & to run the Line between Groton & Nashoba, at the Charge of both Parties & make Report to this Court, And that however the Line may divide the Land with regard to the Township, yet the Proprietors on either side may be continued in the Possession of their Improvements, paying as aforesaid; And that no Persons legal Right or Property in the said Lands shall [be] hereby taken away or infringed,
Consented to J DUDLEY
The report of this committee is entered in the same volume of General Court Records (ix, 395, 396) as the order of their appointment, though the date as given by them does not agree with the one there mentioned.
The following Report of the Committee for Running the Line between Groton & Nashoba Accepted by Represent'ves. Read & Concur'd; Viz.
We the Subscribers appointed a Committee by the General Court to run the Line between Groton & Nashoba & to lay out Five hundred Acres of Land in said Nashoba to the the [sic] Descendants of the Indians; Pursuant to said Order of Court, bearing Date Octob'r 20'th [November 2?] 1714, We the Subscribers return as follows;
That on the 30'th. of November last, we met on the Premises, & heard the Information of the Inhabitants of Groton, Nashoba & others of the Neighbouring Towns, referring to the Line that has been between Groton & Nashoba & seen several Records, out of Groton Town Book, & considered other Writings, that belong to Groton & Nashoba, & We have considered all, & We have run the Line (Which we account is the old Line between Groton & Nashoba;) We began next Chelmsford Line, at a Heap of Stones, where, We were informed, that there had been a great Pine Tree, the Northeast Corner of Nashoba, and run Westerly by many old mark'd Trees, to a Pine Tree standing on the Southerly End of Brown Hill mark'd N and those marked Trees had been many times marked or renewed, tho they do not stand in a direct or strait Line to said Pine Tree on said Brown Hill; And then from said Brown Hill we turned a little to the East of the South, & run to a white Oak being an old Mark, & so from said Oak to a Pitch Pine by a Meadow, being an other old Mark; & the same Line extended to a white Oak near the North east Corner of Stow: And this is all, as we were informed, that Groton & Nashoba joins together: Notwithstanding the Committees Opinion is, that Groton Men be continued in their honest Rights, tho they fall within the Bounds of Nashoba; And We have laid out to the Descendants of the Indians Five hundred Acres at the South east Corner of the Plantation of Nashoba; East side, Three hundred Poles long, West side three hundred Poles, South & North ends, Two hundred & eighty Poles broad; A large white Oak marked at the North west Corner, & many Line Trees we marked at the West side & North End, & it takes in Part of two Ponds.
Dated Decem'r 14. 1714.
HOPESTILL BROWN TIMOTHY WILY JOSEPH BURNAP
Consented to J Dudley.
The incorporation of Nashobah on November 2, 1714, settled many of the disputes connected with the lands; but on December 3 of the next year, the name was changed from Nashobah to Littleton. As already stated, the plan of the original Groton grant had never been returned by the proprietors to the General Court for confirmation, and this neglect had acted to their prejudice. After Littleton had been set off, the town of Groton undertook to repair the injury and make up the loss. John Shepley and John Ames were appointed agents to bring about the necessary confirmation by the General Court. It is an interesting fact to know that in their petition (General Court Records, x, 216, February 11, 1717, in the office of the secretary of state) they speak of having in their possession at that time the original plan of the town, made by Danforth in the year 1668, though it was somewhat defaced. In the language of the Records, it was said to be "with the Petitioner," which expression in the singular number may have been intentional, referring to John Shepley, probably the older one, as certainly the more influential, of the two agents. This plan was also exhibited before the General Court on June 18, 1713, according to the Records (ix, 263) of that date.
The case, as presented by the agents, was as follows:—
A petition of John Sheply & John Ames Agents for the Town of Groton Shewing that the General Assembly of the Province did in the year 1655, Grant unto M'r Dean Winthrop & his Associates a Tract of Land of Eight miles quare for a Plantation to be called by the name of Groton, that Thom's & Jonathan Danforth did in the year 1668, lay out the said Grant, but the Plat thereof through Neglect was not returned to the Court for Confirmation that the said Plat tho something defaced is with the Petitioner, That in the Year 1713 M'r Samuel Danforth Surveyour & Son of the abovesaid Jonathan Danforth, at the desire of the said Town of Groton did run the Lines & make an Implatment of the said Township laid out as before & found it agreeable to the former. W'h. last Plat the Petitioners do herewith exhibit, And pray that this Hon'ble Court would allow & confirm the same as the Township of Groton.
In the House of Represent'ves; Feb. 10. 1717. Read, Read a second time, And Ordered that the Prayer of the Petition be so far granted that the Plat herewith exhibited (Altho not exactly conformable to the Original Grant of Eight Miles quare) be accounted, accepted & Confirmed as the Bounds of the Township of Groton in all parts, Except where the said Township bounds on the Township of Littleton, Where the Bounds shall be & remain between the Towns as already stated & settled by this Court, And that this Order shall not be understood or interpreted to alter or infringe the Right & Title which any Inhabitant or Inhabitants of either of the said Towns have or ought to have to Lands in either of the said Townships
In Council, Read & Concur'd, Consented to Sam'll Shute
[General Court Records (x, 216), February 11, 1717, in the office of the secretary of state.]
The proprietors of Groton felt sore at the loss of their territory along the Nashobah line in the year 1714, although it would seem without reason. They had neglected to have the plan of their grant confirmed by the proper authorities at the proper time; and no one was to blame for this oversight but themselves. In the autumn of 1734 they represented to the General Court that in the laying out of the original plantation no allowance had been made for prior grants in the same territory, and that in settling the line with Littleton they had lost more than four thousand acres of land; and in consideration of these facts they petitioned for an unappropriated gore of land lying between Dunstable and Townsend.
The necessary steps for bringing the matter before the General Court at this time were taken at a town meeting, held on July 25, 1734. It was then stated that the town had lost more than twenty-seven hundred and eighty-eight acres by the encroachment of Littleton line; and that two farms had been laid out within the plantation before it was granted to the proprietors. Under these circumstances Benjamin Prescott was authorized to present the petition to the General Court, setting forth the true state of the case and all the facts connected with it. The two farms alluded to were Major Simon Willard's, situated at Nonacoicus or Coicus, now within the limits of Ayer, and Ralph Reed's, in the neighborhood of the Ridges; so Mr. Butler told me several years before his death, giving Judge James Prescott as his authority, and I carefully wrote it down at the time. The statement is confirmed by the report of a committee on the petition of Josiah Sartell, made to the House of Representatives, on June 13, 1771. Willard's farm, however, was not laid out before the original plantation was granted, but in the spring of 1658, three years after the grant. At this time Danforth had not made his plan of the plantation, which fact may have given rise to the misapprehension. Ralph Reed was one of the original proprietors of the town, and owned a fifteen-acre right; but I do not find that any land was granted him by the General Court.
It has been incorrectly supposed, and more than once so stated in print, that the gore of land, petitioned for by Benjamin Prescott, lay in the territory now belonging to Pepperell; but this is a mistake. The only unappropriated land between Dunstable and Townsend, as asked for in the petition, lay in the angle made by the western boundary of Dunstable and the northern boundary of Townsend. At that period Dunstable was a very large township, and included within its territory several modern towns, lying mostly in New Hampshire. The manuscript records of the General Court define very clearly the lines of the gore, and leave no doubt in regard to it. It lay within the present towns of Mason, Brookline, Wilton, Milford, and Greenville, New Hampshire. Benjamin Prescott was at the time a member of the General Court and the most influential man in town. His petition was presented to the House of Representatives on November 28, 1734, and referred to a committee, which made a report thereon a fortnight later. They are as follows:—
A Petition of Benjamin Prescot, Esq; Representative of the Town of Groton, and in behalf of the Proprietors of the said Town, shewing that the General Court in May 1655, in answer to the Petition of Mr. Dean Winthrop and others, were pleased to grant the Petitioners a tract of Land of the contents of eight miles square, the Plantation to be called Groton, that in taking a Plat of the said tract there was no allowance made for prior Grants &c. by means whereof and in settling the Line with Littleton Anno 1715, or thereabouts, the said Town of Groton falls short more than four thousand acres of the Original Grant, praying that the said Proprietors may obtain a Grant of what remains undisposed of of a Gore of Land lying between Dunstable and Townshend, or an equivalent elsewhere of the Province Land. Read and Ordered, That Col. Chandler, Capt. Blanchard, Capt. Hobson, Major Epes, and Mr. Hale, be a Committee to take this Petition under consideration, and report what may be proper for the Court to do in answer thereto.
[Journal of the House of Representatives, November 28, 1734, page 94.]
Col. Chandler from the Committee appointed the 28th. ult. to consider the Petition of Benjamin Prescot, Esq; in behalf of the Proprietors of Groton, made report, which was read and accepted, and in answer to this Petition, Voted, That a Grant of ten thousand eight hundred acres of the Lands lying in the Gore between Dunstable and Townshend, be and hereby is made to the Proprietors of the Town of Groton, as an equivalent for what was taken from them by Littleton and Coyachus or Willard's Farm (being about two acres and a half for one) and is in full satisfaction thereof, and that the said Proprietors be and hereby are allowed and impowred by a Surveyor and Chain-men on Oath to survey and lay out the said ten thousand eight hundred acres in the said Gore, and return a Plat thereof to this Court within twelve months for confirmation to them their heirs and assigns respectively.
Sent up for Concurrence.
[Journal of the House of Representatives, December 12, 1734, page 119.]
The proprietors of Groton had a year's time allowed them, in which they could lay out the grant, but they appear to have taken fifteen months for the purpose. The record of the grant is as follows:—
A Memorial of Benj'a Prescott Esq: Represent'a of the Town of Groton in behalf of the Proprietors there, praying that the Votes of the House on his Memorial & a plat of Ten Thousand Eight hundred Acres of Land, lately Granted to the said Proprietors, as Entred in the House the 25 of March last, may be Revived and Granted, The bounds of which Tract of Land as Mentioned on the said Plat are as follows viz't.: begining at the North West Corner of Dunstable at Dram Cup hill by Sohegan River and Runing South in Dunstable line last Perambulated and Run by a Com'tee of the General Court, two Thousand one hundred & fifty two poles to Townshend line, there making an angle, and Runing West 31 1-2 Deg. North on Townshend line & province Land Two Thousand and Fifty Six poles to a Pillar of Stones then turning and Runing by Province Land 31 1-2 deg North two Thousand & forty Eight poles to Dunstable Corner first mentioned
In the House of Represent'a. Read & Ordered that the prayer of the Memorial be Granted, and further that the within Plat as Reformed and Altered by Jonas Houghton Survey'r, be and hereby is accepted and the Lands therein Delineated and Described (Excepting the said One Thousand Acres belonging to Cambridge School Farm and therein included) be and hereby are Confirmed to the Proprietors of the Town of Groton their heirs and Assignes Respectivly forever, According to their Several Interests; Provided the same do not interfere with any former Grant of this Court nor Exceeds the Quantity of Eleven thousand and Eight hundred Acres and the Committee for the Town of Ipswich are Allowed and Impowred to lay out such quantity of Land on their West line as is Equivalent to what is taken off their East line as aforesaid, and Return a plat thereof to this Court within twelve Months for confirmation.
In Council Read & Concurr'd.
Consented to J Belcher
And in Answer to the said Memorial of Benj'a Prescott Esq'r
In the House of Represent'a. Ordered that the prayer of the Memorial be Granted and the Com'tee. for the new Township Granted to some of the Inhabitants of Ipswich are hereby Allowed to lay out an Equivalent on the West line of the said New Township Accordingly.
In Council Read & Concurr'd
Consented to J Belcher
[General Court Records (xvi, 334), June 15, 1736, in the office of the secretary of state.]
This grant, now made to the proprietors of Groton, interfered with the territory previously given on April, 1735, to certain inhabitants of Ipswich, but the mistake was soon rectified, as appears by the following:—
Voted, That one thousand seven hundred Acres of the unappropriated Lands of the Province be and hereby is given and granted to the Proprietors or Grantees of the Township lately granted to sixty Inhabitants of the Town of Ipswich, as an Equivalent for about that quantity being taken off their Plat by the Proprietors of the Common Lands of Groton, and that the Ipswich Grantees be allowed to lay out the same on the Northern or Westerly Line of the said new Township or on both sides.
Sent up for Concurrence.
[Journal of the House of Representatives (page 108), January 12, 1736.]
The record of the grant clearly marks the boundaries of Groton Gore, and by it they can easily be identified. Dram Cup Hill, near Souhegan River, the old northwest corner of Dunstable, is in the present territory of Milford, New Hampshire. From that point the line ran south for six or seven miles, following the western boundary of Dunstable, until it came to the old Townsend line; then it turned and ran northwesterly six miles or more, when turning again it made for the original starting-place at Dunstable northwest corner. These lines enclosed a triangular district which became known as Groton Gore; in fact, the word gore means a lot of land of triangular shape. This territory is now entirely within the State of New Hampshire, lying mostly in Mason, but partly in Brookline, Wilton, Milford, and Greenville. It touches in no place the tract, hitherto erroneously supposed to comprise the Gore. It was destined, however, to remain only a few years in the possession of the proprietors; but during this short period it was used by them for pasturing cattle. Mr. John B. Hill, in his History of the Town of Mason, New Hampshire, says:—
Under this grant, the inhabitants of Groton took possession of, and occupied the territory. It was their custom to cut the hay upon the meadows, and stack it, and early in the spring to send up their young cattle to be fed upon the hay, under the care of Boad, the negro slave. They would cause the woods to be fired, as it was called, that is, burnt over in the spring; after which fresh and succulent herbage springing up, furnished good store of the finest feed, upon which the cattle would thrive and fatten through the season. Boad's camp was upon the east side of the meadow, near the residence of the late Joel Ames. (Page 26.)
In connection with the loss of the Gore, a brief statement of the boundary question between Massachusetts and New Hampshire is here given.
During many years the dividing-line between these two provinces was the subject of controversy. The cause of dispute dated back to the time when the original grant was made to the colony of Massachusetts Bay, The charter was drawn up in England at a period when little was known in regard to the interior of this country; and the boundary lines, necessarily, were very indefinite. The Merrimack River was an important factor in fixing the limits of the grant, as the northern boundary of Massachusetts was to be a line three miles north of any and every part of it. At the date of the charter, the general direction of the river was not known, but it was incorrectly assumed to be easterly and westerly. As a matter of fact, the course of the Merrimack is southerly, for a long distance from where it is formed by the union of the Winnepeseogee and the Pemigewasset Rivers, and then it turns and runs twenty-five or thirty miles in a northeasterly direction to its mouth; and this deflexion in the current caused the dispute. The difference between the actual and the supposed direction was a matter of little practical importance so long as the neighboring territory remained unsettled, or so long as the two provinces were essentially under one government; but as the population increased it became an exciting and vexatious question. Towns were chartered by Massachusetts in territory claimed by New Hampshire, and this action led to bitter feeling and provoking legislation. Massachusetts contended for the land "nominated in the bond," which would carry the line fifty miles northward into the very heart of New Hampshire; and on the other hand that province strenuously opposed this view of the case, and claimed that the line should run, east and west, three miles north of the mouth of the river. At one time, a royal commission was appointed to consider the subject, but their labors produced no satisfactory result. At last the matter was carried to England for a decision, which was rendered by the king on March 5, 1739-40. His judgment was final, and in favor of New Hampshire. It gave that province not only all the territory in dispute, but a strip of land fourteen miles in width, lying along her southern border, mostly west of the Merrimack, which she had never claimed. This strip was the tract of land between the line running east and west, three miles north of the southernmost trend of the river, and a similar line three miles north of its mouth. By the decision twenty-eight townships were taken from Massachusetts and transferred to New Hampshire. The settlement of this disputed question was undoubtedly a public benefit, although it caused, at the time, a great deal of hard feeling. In establishing the new boundary Pawtucket Falls, situated now in the city of Lowell, and near the most southern portion of the river's course, was taken as the starting-place; and the line which now separates the two States was run west, three miles north of this point. It was surveyed officially in the spring of 1741.
The new boundary passed through the original Groton grant, and cut off a triangular portion of its territory, now within the limits of Nashua, and went to the southward of Groton Gore, leaving that tract of land wholly in New Hampshire.
A few years previously to this time the original grant had undergone other dismemberment, when a slice of its territory was given to Westford. It was a long and narrow tract of land, triangular in shape, with its base resting on Stony Brook Pond, now known as Forge Pond, and coming to a point near Millstone Hill, where the boundary lines of Groton, Westford, and Tyngsborough intersect. The Reverend Edwin R. Hodgman, in his History of Westford, says:—
Probably there was no computation of the area of this triangle at any time. Only four men are named as the owners of it, but they, it is supposed, held titles to only a portion, and the remainder was wild, or "common," land, (Page 25.)
In the Journal of the House of Representatives (page 9), September 10, 1730, there is recorded:—
A petition of Jonas Prescot, Ebenezer Prescot, Abner Kent, and Ebenezer Townsend, Inhabitants of the Town of Groton, praying, That they and their Estates, contained in the following Boundaries, viz. beginning at the Northwesterly Corner of Stony Brook Pond, from thence extending to the Northwesterly Corner of Westford, commonly called Tyng's Corner, and so bound Southerly by said Pond, may be set off to the Town of Westford, for Reasons mentioned. Read and Ordered, That the Petitioners within named, with their Estates, according to the Bounds before recited, be and hereby are to all Intents and Purposes set off from the Town of Groton, and annexed to the said Town of Westford.
Sent up for Concurrence.
This order received the concurrence of the council, and was signed by the governor, on the same day that it passed the House.
During this period the town of Harvard was incorporated. It was made up from portions of Groton, Lancaster, and Stow, and the engrossed act signed by the governor, on June 29, 1732. The petition for the township was presented to the General Court nearly two years before the date of incorporation. In the Journal of the House of Representatives (pages 84, 85), October 9, 1730, it is recorded:—
A Petition of Jonas Houghton, Simon Stone, Jonathan Whitney, and Thomas Wheeler, on behalf of themselves, and on behalf and at the desire of sundry of the Inhabitants on the extream parts of the Towns of Lancaster, Groton and Stow, named in the Schedule thereunto annexed; praying, That a Tract of Land (with the Inhabitants thereon, particularly described and bounded in said Petition) belonging to the Towns above-mentioned, may be incorporated and erected into a distinct Township, agreeable to said Bounds, for Reasons mentioned. Read, together with the Schedule, and Ordered, That the Petitioners serve the Towns of Lancaster, Groton and Stow with Copies of the Petition, that they may shew Cause (if any they have) on the first Thursday of the next Session, why the Prayer thereof may not be granted.
Sent up for Concurrence.
Further on, in the same Journal (page 136), December 29, 1730, it is also recorded:—
The Petition of Jonas Houghton, Simon Stone, and others, praying as entred the 9th. of October last. Read again, together with the Answers of the Towns of Lancaster, Groton and Stow, and Ordered, That Maj. Brattle and Mr. Samuel Chandler, with such as the Honourable Board shall appoint, be a Committee, (at the Charge of the Petitioners) to repair to the Land Petitioned for to be a Township, that they carefully view and consider the Situation and Circumstances of the Petitioners, and Report their Opinion what may be proper for this Court to do in Answer thereto, at their next Session.
Sent up for Concurrence.
Ebenezer Burrel Esq; brought from the Honourable Board, the Report of the Committee appointed by this Court the 30th of December last, to take under Consideration the Petition of Jonas Houghton and others, in behalf of themselves and sundry of the Inhabitants of the Eastern part of the Towns of Lancaster, Groton and Stow, praying that they may be erected into a separate Township. Likewise a Petition of Jacob Houghton and others, of the North-easterly part of the Town of Lancaster, praying the like. As also a Petition of sundry of the Inhabitants of the South-west part of the North-east Quarter of the Township of Lancaster, praying they may be continued as they are. Pass'd in Council, viz. In Council, June 21, 1731. Read, and Ordered, That this Report be accepted.
Sent down for Concurrence. Read and Concurred.
[Journal of the House of Representatives (page 52), June 22, 1731.]
The original copy of the petition for Harvard is now probably lost; but in the first volume (page 53) of "Ancient Plans Grants &c." among the Massachusetts Archives, is a rough plan of the town, with a list of the petitioners, which may be the "Schedule" referred to in the extract from the printed Journal. It appears from this document that, in forming the new town, forty-eight hundred and thirty acres of land were taken from the territory of Groton; and with the tract were nine families, including six by the name of Farnsworth. This section comprised the district known, even now, as "the old mill," where Jonas Prescott had, as early as the year 1667, a gristmill. The heads of these families were Jonathan Farnsworth, Eleazer Robbins, Simon Stone, Jr., Jonathan Farnsworth, Jr., Jeremiah Farnsworth, Eleazer Davis, Ephram Farnsworth, Reuben Farnsworth, and [torn] Fransworth, who had petitioned the General Court to be set off from Groton. On this plan of Harvard the names of John Burk, John Burk, Jr., and John Davis, appear in opposition to Houghton's petition.
The town of Harvard took its name from the founder of Harvard College, probably at the suggestion of Jonathan Belcher, who was governor of the province at the time and a graduate of the college.
To his Excellency Jonathan Belcher Esq'r. Cap't General and Governour in Chief The Hon'ble. The Council and the Honourable House of Representatives of His Majestys Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England in General Court Assembled by Adjournment Decemb'r 16 1730
The Memorial of Jonas Houghton Simon Stone Jonathan Whitney and Thomas Wheeler Humbly Sheweth
That upon their Petition to this Great and Honourable Court in October last [the 9th] praying that a Certain Tract of Land belonging to Lancaster Stow and Groton with the Inhabitants thereon may be Erected into a Distinct and Seperate Township (and for Reasons therein Assigned) your Excellency and Honours were pleased to Order that the petitioners Serve The Towns of Lancaster Groton and Stow with a Copy of their said Petition that they may shew Cause if any they have on the first Thursday of the next Sessions why the prayers thereof may not be granted.
And for as much as this great and Hon'ble. Court now Sitts by Adjournment and the next Session may be very Remote And your Memorialists have attended the Order of this Hon'ble: Court in serving the said Several Towns with Copys of the said Petition And the partys are attending and Desirous the hearing thereon may be brought forward y'e former order of this Hon'l Court notwithstanding.
They therefore most humbly pray your Excellency & Honours would be pleased to Cause the hearing to be had this present Session and that a Certain day may be assigned for the same as your Excellency & Honours in your great wisdom & Justice shall see meet.
And your Memorialists as in Duty bound Shall Ever pray.
JONAS HOUGHTON SIMON STOON JUNER JONATHAN WHITNEY THOMAS WHELER
In the House of Rep'tives Dec'r 17, 1730 Read and in Answer to this Petition Ordered That the Pet'rs give Notice to the Towns of Lancaster Groton and Stow or their Agents that they give in their Answer on the twenty ninth Inst't. why the Prayer of the Petition within referred to may not be granted.
Sent up for Concurrence
J QUINCY Sp'kr:
In Council Dec. 18, 1730; Read and Concur'd.
J WILLARD Secry
[Massachusetts Archives, cxiv, 6-8.]
The next dismemberment of the Groton grant took place in the winter of 1738-39, when a parcel of land was set off to Littleton. I do not find a copy of the petition for this change, but from Mr. Sartell's communication it seems to have received the qualified assent of the town.
To his Excellency Jonathan Belcher Esq'r Captain General & Governour in Chief &c the Honorable Council and House of Representatives in General Court assembled at Boston January 1, 1738.
May it please your Excellency and the Honorable Court.
Whereas there is Petition offered to your Excellency and the Honorable Court by several of the Inhabitants of the Town of Groton praying to be annexed to the Town of Littleton &c.
The Subscriber as Representative of said Town of Groton and in Behalf of said Town doth hereby manifest the Willingness of the Inhabitants of Groton in general that the Petitioners should be annexed to the said Town of Littleton with the Lands that belong to them Lying within the Line Petitioned for, but there being a Considerable Quantity of Proprietors Lands and other particular persons Lying within the Line that is Petitioned for by the said Petitioners. The Subscriber in Behalf of said Town of Groton & the Proprietors and others would humbly pray your Excellency and the Honorable Court that that part of their Petition may be rejected if in your Wisdom you shall think it proper and that they be sett off with the lands only that belong to them Lying within the Line Petitioned for as aforesaid, and the Subscriber in Behalf of the Town of Groton &c will as in Duty Bound ever pray &c.
[Massachusetts Archives, cxiv, 300.]
John Jeffries, Esq; brought down the Petition of Peter Lawrence and others of Groton, praying to be annexed to Littleton, as entred the 12th ult. Pass'd in Council, viz. In Council January 4th, 1738. Read again, together with the Answer of Nathanael Sartell, Esq; Representative for the Town of Groton, which being considered, Ordered, That the Prayer of the Petition be so far granted as that the Petitioners with their Families & Estates within the Bounds mentioned in the Petition be and hereby are set off from the Town of Groton, and are annexed to and accounted as part of the Town of Littleton, there to do Duty and receive Priviledge accordingly.
Sent down for Concurrence. Read and concur'd.
[Journal of the House of Representatives (page 86), January 4, 1738.]
In the autumn of 1738, many of the settlers living in the northerly part of Groton, now within the limits of Pepperell, and in the westerly part of Dunstable, now Hollis, New Hampshire, were desirous to be set off in a new township. Their petition for this object was also signed by a considerable number of non-resident proprietors, and duly presented to the General Court. The reasons given by them for the change are found in the following documents:—
To His Excellency Jon'a. Belcher Esq'r. Captain General and Governour in Chief &c The Hon'ble. the Council and House of Rep'tives in General Court Assembled at Boston November the 29th 1738
The Petition of the Subscribers Inhabitants and Proprietors of the Towns of Dunstable and Groton.
That your Petitioners are Situated on the Westerly side Dunstable Township and the Northerly side Groton Township those in the Township of Dunstable in General their houses are nine or ten miles from Dunstable Meeting house and those in the Township of Groton none but what lives at least on or near Six miles from Groton Meeting house by which means your petitioners are deprived of the benefit of preaching, the greatest part of the year, nor is it possible at any season of the year for their familys in General to get to Meeting under which Disadvantages your pet'rs has this Several years Laboured, excepting the Winter Seasons for this two winters past, which they have at their Own Cost and Charge hired preaching amongst themselves which Disadvantages has very much prevented peoples Settling land there.
That there is a Tract of good land well Situated for a Township of the Contents of about Six miles and an half Square bounded thus, beginning at Dunstable Line by Nashaway River So running by the Westerly side said River Southerly One mile in Groton Land, then running Westerly a Paralel Line with Groton North Line, till it comes to Townsend Line and then turning and running north to Grotton Northwest Corner, and from Grotton Northwest Comer by Townsend line and by the Line of Groton New Grant till it comes to be five miles and an half to the Northward of Groton North Line from thence due east, Seven miles, from thence South to Nashua River and So by Nashua River Southwesterly to Grotton line the first mentioned bounds, which described Lands can by no means be prejudicial either to the Town of Dunstable or Groton (if not coming within Six miles or thereabouts of either of their Meeting houses at the nearest place) to be taken off from them and Erected into a Seperate Township.
That there is already Settled in the bounds of the aforedescribed Tract near forty familys and many more ready to come on were it not for the difficulties and hardships afores'd of getting to meeting. These with many other disadvantages We find very troublesome to Us, Our living so remote from the Towns We respectively belong to.
Wherefore your Petitioners most humbly pray Your Excellency and Honours would take the premises into your Consideration and make an Act for the Erecting the aforesaid Lands into a Seperate and distinct Township with the powers priviledges and Immunities of a distinct and Seperate Township under such restrictions and Limitations, as you in your Great Wisdom shall see meet.
And Whereas it will be a great benefit and Advantage to the Non resident proprietors owning Lands there by Increasing the Value of their Lands or rendering easy Settleing the same, Your Pet'rs also pray that they may be at their proportionable part according to their respective Interest in Lands there, for the building a Meeting-house and Settling a Minister, and so much towards Constant preaching as in your wisdom shall be thought proper.
Settlers on the afore'sd Lands
Obadiah Parker Will'm Colburn Josiah Blood Stephen Harris Jerahmal Cumings Tho's Dinsmoor Eben'r Pearce Peter Pawer Abr'm Taylor Jun'r Benj'a Farley Henry Barton Peter Wheeler Robert Colburn David Vering Philip Woolerick Nath'l Blood William Adams Joseph Taylor Moses Procter Will'm Shattuck Tho's Navins
Non Resident Proprietors
Samuel Browne W Browne Joseph Blanchard John Fowle Jun'r Nath Saltonstall Joseph Eaton Joseph Lemmon Jeremiah Baldwin Sam'l Baldwin Daniel Remant John Malven Jon'a Malven James Cumings Isaac Farwell Eben'r Procter
In the House of Representatives Dec'r 12th. 1738. Read and Ordered that the Petitioners Serve the Towns of Grotton and Dunstable with Coppys of the petition.
In Council January 4'th. 1738.
Read again and Ordered that the further Consideration of this Petition be referred to the first tuesday of the next May Session and that James Minot and John Hobson Esq'rs with Such as the Honourable Board shall joine be a Committee at the Charge of the Petitioners to repair to the Lands petitioned for to be Erected into a Township first giving Seasonable notice as well to the petitioners as to the Inhabitants and Non Resident Proprietors of Lands within the s'd Towns of Dunstable and Groton of the time of their going by Causing the same to be publish'd in the Boston Gazette, that they carefully View the s'd Lands as well as the other parts of the s'd Towns, so farr as may be desired by the Partys or thought proper, that the Petitioners and all others Concerned be fully heard in their pleas and Allegations for, as well as against the prayer of the Petition; and that upon Mature Consideration on the whole the Committee then report what in their Opinion may be proper for the Court to do in Answer there to Sent up for Concurrence.
J QUINCY Sp'kr.
In Council Jan'ry 9'th. 1738
Read and Concurred and Thomas Berry Esq'r is joined in the Affair
SIMON FROST Dep'ty. Sec'ry.
A true Copy Exam'd per Simon Frost, Dep'y Sec'ry.
In the House of Rep'tives June 7'th: 1739
Read and Concurred
J QUINCY Sp'kr;
[Massachusetts Archives, cxiv, 268-271.]
The Committee Appointed on the Petition of the Inhabitants and Proprietors situated on the Westerly side of Dunstable and Northerly side of Groton, Having after Notifying all parties, Repaired to the Lands, Petitioned to be Erected into a Township, Carefully Viewed the same, Find a very Good Tract of Land in Dunstable Westward of Nashuway River between s'd River and Souhegan River Extending from Groton New Grant and Townsend Line Six Miles East, lying in a very Commodious Form for a Township, and on said Lands there now is about Twenty Families, and many more settling, that none of the Inhabitants live nearer to a Meeting House then Seven miles and if they go to their own Town have to pass over a ferry the greatest part of the Year. We also Find in Groton a sufficient Quantity of Land accommodable for settlement, and a considerable Number of Inhabitants thereon, that in Some Short Time when they are well Agreed may be Erected into a Distinct Parish; And that it will be very Form prayed for or to Break in upon Either Town. The Committee are of Opinion that the Petitioners in Dunstable are under such Circumstances as necessitates them to Ask Relief which will be fully Obtained by their being made Township, which if this Hon'ble. Court should Judge necessary to be done; The Committee are Further of Opinion that it Will be greatly for the Good and Interest of the Township that the Non Resident Proprietors, have Liberty of Voting with the Inhabitants as to the Building and Placing a Meeting House and that the Lands be Equally Taxed, towards said House And that for the Support of the Gosple Ministry among them the Lands of the Non Resident Proprietors be Taxed at Two pence per Acre for the Space of Five Years.
All which is Humbly Submitted in the Name & by Order of the Committee
In Council July 7 1739
Read and ordered that the further Consideration of this Report be referred to the next Sitting, and that the Petitioners be in the meantime freed from paying any thing toward the support of the ministry in the Towns to which they respectively belong
Sent down for Concurrence
J WlLLARD Sec'ry
In the House of Rep'tives June 7: 1739 Read and Concurred
J QUINCY Sp'kr:
In Council Decem'r 27, 1739.
Read again and Ordered that this Report be so far accepted as that the Lands mentioned and described therein, with the Inhabitants there be erected into a Separate & distinct precinct, and the Said Inhabitants are hereby vested with all Such Powers and Priviledges that any other Precinct in this Province have or by Law ought to enjoy and they are also impowered to assess & levy a Tax of Two pence per Acre per Annum for the Space of Five years on all the unimproved Lands belonging to the non residents Proprietors to be applied for the Support of the Ministry according to the Said Report.
Sent down for Concurrence
SIMON FROST Dep'y Sec'ry
In the House of Rep'tives Dec 28. 1739 Read and Concur'd.
J QUINCY Sp'kr:
Janu'. 1: Consented to,
[Massachusetts Archives, cxiv, 272, 273.]
While this petition was before the General Court, another one was presented praying for a new township to be made up from the same towns, but including a larger portion of Groton than was asked for in the first petition. This application met with bitter opposition on the part of both places, but it may have hastened the final action on the first petition. It resulted in setting off a precinct from Dunstable, under the name of the West Parish, which is now known as Hollis, New Hampshire. The papers relating to the second petition are as follows:—
To His Excellency Jonathan Belcher Esquire Captain General and Governor in Chief in and over His Majesty's Province of the Massachusetts Bay in New England, the Honourable the Council and House of Representatives of said Province, in General Court Assembled Dec. 12'th, 1739.
The Petition of Richard Warner and Others, Inhabitants of the Towns of Groton and Dunstable.
Most Humbly Sheweth
That Your Petitioners dwell very far from the place of Public Worship in either of the said Towns, Many of them Eight Miles distant, some more, and none less than four miles, Whereby Your Petitioners are put to great difficulties in Travelling on the Lord's Days, with our Families.
Your Petitioners therefore Humbly Pray Your Excellency and Honours to take their circumstances into your Wise and Compassionate Consideration, And that a part of the Town of Groton, Beginning at the line between Groton and Dunstable where inconvenient to Erect a Township in the it crosses Lancaster [Nashua] River, and so up the said River until it comes to a Place called and Known by the name of Joseph Blood's Ford Way on said River, thence a West Point 'till it comes to Townshend line &c. With such a part and so much of the Town of Dunstable as this Honourable Court in their great Wisdom shall think proper, with the Inhabitants Thereon, may be Erected into a separate and distinct Township, that so they may attend the Public Worship of God with more ease than at present they can, by reason of the great distance they live from the Places thereof as aforesaid.
And Your Petitioners, as in Duty bound, shall ever Pray &c.
Richard Warner Benjamin Swallow William Allin Isaac Williams Ebenezer Gilson Ebenezer Peirce Samuel Fisk John Green Josiah Tucker Zachariah Lawrence Jun'r William Blood Jeremiah Lawrence Stephen Eames
"[Inhabitants of Groton]"
Enoch Hunt Eleazer Flegg Samuel Cumings William Blanchard Gideon Howe Josiah Blood Samuel Parke Samuel Farle William Adams Philip Wolrich
"[Inhabitants of Dunstable]"
[Massachusetts Archives, cxiv, 274, 273.]
Province of the Massachusetts Bay
To His Excellency The Governour The Hon'ble Council & House of Rep'tives in Generall Court Assembled Dec'r 1739
The Answer of y'e Subscribers agents for the Town of Groton to y'e Petition of Richard Warner & others praying that part of Said Town with part of Dunstable may be Erected into a Distinct & Seperate Township.
May it please your Excellency & Hon'rs
The Town of Groton Duely Assembled and Taking into Consideration y'e Reasonableness of said Petition have Voted their Willingness, That the prayer of y'e Petition be Granted as per their Vote herewith humbly presented appears, with this alteration namely That they Include the River (viz't Nashua River) over w'ch is a Bridge, built Intirely to accommodate said Petitioners heretofore, & your Respondents therefore apprehend it is but Just & Reasonable the same should for the future be by them maintain'd if they are Set of from us.
Your Respondents Pursuant to y'e Vote Aforesaid, humbly move to your Excellency & Hon'rs That no more of Dunstable be Laid to Groton Then Groton have voted of, for one Great Reason that Induced Sundry of y'e Inhabitants of Groton to come into Said Vote was This Namely They owning a very Considerable part of the Lands Voted to be set of as afores'd were willing to Condesent to y'e Desires of their Neighbours apprehending that a meeting House being Erected on or near y'e Groton Lands & a minister settled it would Raise their Lands in Vallue but should considerable part of Dunstable be set of more then of Groton it must of course draw the Meeting House farther from y'e Groton Inhabitants which would be very hurtfull both to the people petitioners & those that will be Non Resident proprietors if the Township is made.
Wherefore they pray That Said New Township may be Incorporated Agreeable to Groton Vote viz't Made Equally out of both Towns & as in Duty bound Shall Ever pray
Nat'ell Sartell William Lawrence
[Massachusetts Archives, cxiv, 378, 279.]
At A Legall town Meeting of the Inhabitants & free holders of the town of Groton assembled December y'e 24th: 1739 Voted & Chose Cap't William Lawrance Madderator for said meeting &c:
In Answer to the Petion of Richard Warnor & others Voted that the land with the Inhabitance mentioned in said Petion Including the Riuer from Dunstable Line to o'r. ford way Called and Known by y'e. Name of Joseph Bloods ford way: be Set of from the town of Groton to Joyn with sum of the westerdly Part of the town of Dunstable to make a Distinct and Sepprate town Ship Prouided that their be no: More taken from Dunstable then from Groton in making of Said new town. Also Voted that Nathaniel Sawtell Esq'r. and Cap't. William Lawrance be Agiants In the affair or Either of them to wait upon the Great and Generial. Cort: to Vse their Best in Deauer to set off the Land as a fores'd so that the one half of y'e said New town may be made out of Groton and no: more.
Abstract Examined & Compaird of the town book of Record for Groton per
Iona't. Sheple Town Clark
Groton Decem'br: 24'th: A:D: 1739
[Massachusetts Archives, cxiv, 281.]
Province of y'e Mass'tts Bay
To His Excellency Jonathan Belcher Esq'r Governour &c To The Hon'd. His Majesty's Councill & House of Representatives in Gen'll Court Assembled December 1739
Whereas some few of the Inhabitants of Groton & Dunstable have Joyned in their Petition to this Hon'd. Court to be erected with Certain Lands into a Township as per their Petition entered the 12'th: Curr. which prayer if granted will very much Effect y'e. Quiet & Interest of the Inhabitants on the northerly part of Groton
Wherefore the Subscribers most Humbly begg leave To Remonstrate to y'or Excellency & Hon'rs. the great & Numerous Damages that we and many Others Shall Sustain if their Petition should be granted and would Humbly Shew
That the Contents of Groton is ab't. forty Thousand Acres Good Land Sufficient & happily Situated for Two Townships, and have on or near Two Hundred & Sixty Familys Setled there with Large Accomodations for many more
That the land pray'd for Out of Groton Could it be Spared is in a very Incomodious place, & will render a Division of the remaining part of the town Impracticable & no ways Shorten the travel of the remotest Inhabit'nts.
That it will leave the town from the northeast and to the Southwest end at least fourteen miles and no possibillity for those ends to be Accomodated at any Other place which will render the Difficulties we have long Laboured under without Remidy
That part of the lands Petitioned for (will when This Hon'd. Court shall see meet to Divide us) be in & near the Middle of one of y'e. Townships
And Altho the number of thirteen persons is there Sett forth to Petition. it is wrong and Delusive Severall of them gave no Consent to any Such thing And to compleat their Guile have entered the names of four persons who has no Interest in that part of the town viz Swallow Tucker Ames & Green
That there is near Double the number On the Lands Petit'd. for and Setled amongst them who Declare Against their Proceedings, & here Signifie the Same
That many of us now are at Least Seven miles from Our meeting And the Only Encouragement to Settle there was the undeniable Accomodations to make An Other town without w'ch. We Should by no means have undertaken
That if this their Pet'n. Should Succed—Our hopes must Perish—thay by no means benifitted—& we put to all the Hardships Immaginable.
That the whole tract of Land thay pray may be Taken Out of groton Contains about Six or Seven Thousand Acres, (the Quantity and Situation may be Seen on y'e. plan herewith And but Ab't. four Or five hundred Acres thereof Owned by the Petit'rs. and but very Small Improvements On that. Under all w'ch. Circumstances wee Humbly conceive it unreasonable for them to desire thus to Harrase and perplex us. Nor is it by Any means for the Accomodation of Dunstable thus to Joyn who have land of their Own Sufficient and none to Spare without prejudicing their begun Settlement Wherefore we most Humbly pray Y'or. Excellency & Hon'rs. to compassionate Our Circumstances and that thay may not be set off and as in Duly bound &c
Benj'a. Parker John Woods Josiah Sartell Samuel Shattuck iu Joseph Spoaldeng James Larwance Juner Jonathan Shattuck Nath'll. Parker James Shattuck Jacob Lakin John Chambrlen Thomas Fisk John Cumings Isaac Lakin Henery Jefes John Shattuck David Shattuck John Scott Seth Phillips Benj'n. Robines Samuel Wright Isaac Woods John Swallow Enoch larwance William Spoalding John Blood Jonathan Woods James Green Wiliam Cumings Joseph Blood Nathaniel Lawrence iu
[Massachusetts Archives, cxiv, 282-284.]
Wee the Sub'rs: Inhab'ts: of y'e Town of Dunstable & Resident in that part of it Called Nissitisitt Do hereby authorize and Fully Impower Abraham Taylor Jun'r. and Peter Power to Represent to Gen'll. Court our unwillingness that any Part of Dunstable should [be] sett off to Groton to make a Township or Parish and to Shew forth our Earness Desire that a Township be maide intirely out out [sic] off Dunstable Land, Extending Six mils North from Groton Line which will Bring the on the Line on y'e Brake of Land and Just Include the Present Setlers: or otherwise As y'e Ho'll. Commitee Reported and Agreeable to the tenour thereoff as The Hon'rd Court shall see meet and as Duly bound &c
Tho's: Dinmore, and 20 others.
Dunstable Dece'r; y'e 21'st; 1739
These may sertifie to y'e Hon'rd. Court that there is Nomber of Eleven more y't has not signed this Nor y'e Petetion of Richard Worner & others, that is now setled and About to setle
[Massachusetts Archives, cxiv, 277.]
* * * * *
By LAURA GARLAND CARR.
In misty greenhouse aisles or garden walks, In crowded halls or in the lonely room, Where fair tuberoses, from their slender stalks, Lade all the air with heavy, rich perfume, My heart grows sick; my spirits sink like lead,— The scene before me slips and fades away: A small, still room uprising in its stead, With softened light, and grief's dread, dark array. Shrined in its midst, with folded hands, at rest, Life's work all over ere 'twas well begun, Lies a fair girl in snowy garments dressed, And all the place with bud and bloom o'errun; Pinks, roses, lilies, blend in odorous death, But over all the tuberose sends its wealth, Seeming to hold the lost one by its breath While creeping o'er our living hearts in stealth. O subtle blossoms, you are death's own flowers! You have no part with love or festal hours.
* * * * *
YOUNG MEN'S CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATIONS.
BY RUSSELL STURGIS, JR.
There is an old French proverb which runs: "L'homme propose, et Dieu dispose," which is but the echo of the Scripture, "A man's heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps." In truth, God alone sees the end from the beginning.
From the beginning men have been constantly building better than they knew. No unprejudiced man who looks at history can fail to see from how small and apparently unimportant an event has sprung the greatest results to the individual, the nation, and the world. The Christian, at least, needs no other explanation of this than that his God, without whose knowledge no sparrow falleth to the ground, guides all the affairs of the world. Surely God did not make the world, and purchase the salvation of its tenants by the sacrifice of his Son, to take no further interest in it, but leave it subject either to fixed law or blind chance! Indeed the God who provided for the wants of his people in the wilderness is a God who changeth not. The principles which once guided him must guide him to-day and forever. There never has been a time when to the open eye it was not clear that he provides for every want of his creatures. Did chance or the unassisted powers of man discover coal, when wood was becoming scarce? and oil and gas from coal, when the whale was failing? Cowper's mind was clear when he said:—
"Deep in unfathomable mines With never-failing skill, He treasures up his bright designs, And works his gracious will."
If in his temporal affairs God cares for man, much more will he do for his soul. Great multitudes of young men came to be congregated in the cities, and Satan spread his nets at every street-corner to entrap them.
In 1837, George Williams, then sixteen years of age, employed in a dry-goods establishment, in Bridgewater, England, gave himself to the service of the Lord Jesus Christ. He immediately began to influence the young men with him, and many of them were converted. In 1841, Williams came to London, and entered the dry-goods house of Hitchcock and Company. Here he found himself one of more than eighty young men, almost none of them Christians. He found, however, among them a few professed Christians, and these he gathered in his bedroom, to pray for the rest. The number increased—a larger room was necessary, which was readily obtained from Mr. Hitchcock. The work spread from one establishment to another, and on the sixth of June, 1844, in Mr. Williams's bedroom the first Young Men's Christian Association was formed.
In 1844, one association in the world: in November, 1851, one association in America, at Montreal; in December, one month after, with no knowledge on the part of either of the other's plan, one association in the United States, at Boston. Was it a mere hap that these two groups formed simultaneously the associations which were always to unite the young Christian men of the two countries, and to grow together, till to-day the little one has become a thousand?
Forty years ago, one little association in London: to-day Great Britain dotted all over with them; one hundred and ninety in England and Wales; one hundred and seventy-eight in Scotland, and twenty in Ireland. France has eight districts, or groups, containing sixty-four associations. Germany, divided into five bunds, has four hundred; Holland, its eleven provinces, with three hundred and thirty-five; Romansch Switzerland, eighty-seven; German Switzerland, one hundred and thirty-five; Belgium, eighteen; Spain, fourteen; Italy, ten Turkey in Europe, one, at Philippopolis; Sweden and Norway, seventy-one; Austria, two, at Vienna and Budapesth; Russia, eight, among them Moscow and St. Petersburg; Turkey in Asia, nine; Syria, five, at Beirut, Damascus, Jaffa, Jerusalem, and Nazareth; India, five; Japan, two; Sandwich Islands, one, at Honolulu; Australia, twenty-seven; South Africa, seven; Madagascar, two; West Indies, three; British Guiana, one, at Georgetown; South America (besides), three; Canada and British Provinces, fifty-one. In the United States, seven hundred and eighty-six.
In all, nearly twenty-seven hundred, scattered over the world, and all the outgrowth of forty years. It has been said that the sun never rises anywhere that it is not saluted by the British reveille. Look how quickly the organization of young men has stretched its cordon round the world, and dotted it all over with the tents of its conflict for them against the opposing forces of the evil one.
What are its characteristics?
1. It is the universal church of Christ, working through its young men for the salvation of young men. In the words of a paper, read at the last world's conference, at London:—
"The fundamental idea of the organization, on which all subsequent substantial development has been based, was simply this: that in the associated effort of young men connected with the various branches of the church of Christ lies a great power to promote their own development and help their fellows, thus prosecuting the work of the church among the most-important, most-tempted, and least-cared-for class in the community."
The distinct work for young men was thus emphasized at the Chicago convention in 1863, in the following resolutions presented by the Reverend Henry G. Potter, then of Troy, and now assistant bishop of the diocese of New York:—
"Resolved, That the interests and welfare of young men in our cities demand, as heretofore, the steadfast sympathies and efforts of the Young Men's Christian Associations of this country.
"Resolved, That the various means by which Christian associations can gain a hold upon young men, and preserve them from unhealthy companionship and the deteriorating influences of our large cities, ought to engage our most earnest and prayerful consideration."
2. It is a Christian work. It stands upon the basis of the faith of the church of all ages, which is thus set forth in the formula of this organization.
The convention in 1856 promptly accepted and ratified the Paris basis, adopted by the first world's conference of the associations, in the following language:—
"The Young Men's Christian Associations seek to unite those young men who, regarding Jesus Christ as their God and Saviour, according to the Holy Scriptures, desire to be his disciples in their doctrine and in their life, and to associate their efforts for the extension of his kingdom among young men."
This was reaffirmed in the convention of 1866 at Albany. In 1868, at the Detroit convention, was adopted what is known as the evangelical test, and at the Portland convention of 1869 the definition of the term evangelical; they are as follows:—
"As these associations bear the name of Christian, and profess to be engaged directly in the Saviour's service, so it is clearly their duty to maintain the control and management of all their affairs in the hands of those who love and publicly avow their faith in Jesus the Redeemer as divine, and who testify their faith by becoming and remaining members of churches held to be evangelical: and we hold those churches to be evangelical which, maintaining the Holy Scriptures to be the only infallible rule of faith and practice, do believe in the Lord Jesus Christ (the only begotten of the Father, King of kings and Lord of lords, in whom dwelleth the fulness of the Godhead, bodily, and who was made sin for us, though knowing no sin, bearing our sins in his own body on the tree) as the only name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved from everlasting punishment."
But while the management is thus rightly kept in the hands of those who stand together upon the platform of the church of Christ, the benefits and all other privileges are for all young men of good morals, whether Greek, Romanist, heretic, Jew, Moslem, heathen, or infidel. Its field, the world. Wherever there are young men, there is the association field, and an extended work must be organized. Already in August, 1855, the importance of the work made conference necessary, and thirty-five delegates met at Paris, of whom seven were from the United States, and the same number from Great Britain.
In 1858, a second conference was held at Geneva, with one hundred and fifty-eight delegates. In 1862, at London, were present ninety-seven delegates; in 1865, at Elberfeld, one hundred and forty; in 1867, at Paris, ninety-one; in 1872, at Amsterdam, one hundred and eighteen; in 1875, at Hamburg, one hundred and twenty-five; in 1878, at Geneva, two hundred and seven,—forty-one from the United States; in 1881, in London, three hundred and thirty-eight,—seventy-five from the United States.
At the conference of 1878, in Geneva, a man in the prime of life, and partner in a leading banking-house of that city, was chosen president. He spoke with almost equal ease the three languages of the conference—English, French, and German. Shortly after that convention Mr. Fermand gave up his business and became the general secretary of the world's committee of the Young Men's Christian Associations. He traveled over the whole continent of Europe, visiting the associations, and then came to America to make acquaintance with our plans of work. Now stationed at Geneva, with some resident members of the convention, he keeps up the intercourse of the associations through nine members representing the principal nations. I have spoken of the three languages of the conference. It is a wonderful inspiration to find one's self in a gathering of all nations, brought together by the love of one person, each speaking in his own tongue, praising the one name, so similar in each,—that name alone in each address needing no interpretation.
The conference meets this year, in August, at Berlin, when probably as many as one hundred delegates will be present from the United States.
But inter-association organization has gone much further in this country than elsewhere, and communication is exceedingly close between the nine hundred associations of America.
The first conception of uniting associations came to the Reverend William Chauncey Langdon, then a layman, and a member of the Washington Association, now rector of the Episcopal Church at Bedford, Pennsylvania. Mr. McBurney, in his fine Historical Sketch of Associations, says: "Many of the associations of America owe their individual existence to the organization effected through his wise foresight. The associations of our land, and in all lands, owe a debt of gratitude to Mr. Langdon far greater than has ever been recognized." Oscar Cobb, of Buffalo, and Mr. Langdon signed the call to the first convention, which assembled on June 7, 1854, at Buffalo. This was the first conference of associations held in the English-speaking world. Here was appointed a central committee, located at Washington, and six elsewhere.
In 1860, Philadelphia was made the headquarters. The confederation of associations and its committee came to an end in Chicago, June 4, 1863, and the present organization with its international executive committee was born, with members increasing in number. The committee now numbers thirty-three, two being resident in New York City.
In the year 1865, a committee was appointed by the convention at Philadelphia. The president of this convention became the chairman of the international executive committee, consisting of ten members resident in New York City, and twenty-three placed at different prominent points in the United States and British Provinces. There is also a corresponding member of the committee in each State and province, and means of constant communication between the committee and each association, and between the several associations, through the Young Men's Christian Association Watchman, a sixteen-paged paper, published each fortnight in Chicago.
On the sixteenth day of April, 1883, the international committee, which had been superintending the work since 1865, was incorporated in the State of New York. Cephas Brainerd, a lawyer of New York City, a direct descendant of the Brainerds of Connecticut, and present owner of the homestead, has always been chairman of the committee, and, from a very large practice, has managed to take an immense amount of time for this work, which has more and more taken hold on his heart,—and here let me say that I know no work, not even that of foreign missions, which takes such a grip upon those who enter upon it. Time, means, energy, strength, have been lavishly poured out by them. Mr. Brainerd and his committee work almost as though it were their only work, and yet each member of the committee is one seemingly fully occupied with his business or professional duties. See the members of the Massachusetts committee, so fired with love for this work that, in the gospel canvasses of the State, after working all day, many of them give from forty to fifty evenings, sometimes traveling all night to get back to their work in the morning. It is no common cause that thus draws men out of themselves for others. Then, too, I greatly doubt where there are such hard-worked men as the general secretaries,—days and evenings filled with work that never ends; the work the more engrossing and exacting because it combines physical and mental with spiritual responsibility. We who know this are not surprised to find the strength of these men failing. Those who employ them should carefully watch that relief is promptly given from time to time as needed. There are now more than three hundred and fifty of these paid secretaries. Now, look back over the whole history of the associations, and can you doubt that he who meets the wants of his creatures has raised up the organization for the express purpose of saving young men as a class? And to do this he employs the church itself—not the church in its separate organizations, but the church universal. A work for all young men should be by the young men of the whole church. First, because it is young manhood that furnishes the common ground of sympathy. Second, because the appliances are too expensive for the individual churches. Large well-situated buildings, with all possible right attractions, are simply necessary to success in this work. These things are so expensive that the united church only can procure them. That in Philadelphia cost $700,000; in New York, $500,000; in Boston, more than $300,000; in Baltimore, $250,000; in Chicago, $150,000; San Francisco, $76,000; Montreal, $67,000; Toronto, $48,000; Halifax, $36,000; West New Brighton, New York, $19,000; at the small town of Rockport, Massachusetts, about $4,000; and at Nahant, $2,000. In all these are eighty buildings, worth more than $3,000,000, while as many more have land or building-funds. Third, how blessedly this sets forth the vital unity of Christ's church, "that they may all be one," and also distinguishes them from all other religious bodies. "Come out from among them and be ye separate."
This association work is divided into local (the city or town), state or home mission, the international and foreign mission.
The local is purely a city or town work. The "state," which I have called the home mission, is thoroughly to canvass the State, learn where the association is needed, plant it there, strengthen all existing associations, and keep open communication between all. This is also the international work, but its field is the United States and British Provinces, under the efficient management of this committee.
As has been said, the convention of 1866 appointed the international committee, which was directed to call and arrange for state and provincial conventions. This is the result: in 1866, no state or provincial committee or conventions. Now, thirty-three such committees, thirty-one of which hold state or provincial conventions, together with a large number of district and local conferences.
In 1870, Mr. R.C. Morse, a graduate of Yale College, and a minister of the Presbyterian Church, became the general secretary of the committee and continues such to-day. Of the missionary work of the committee the most conspicuous has been that at the West and South. In 1868, the convention authorized the employment of a secretary for the West. This man, Robert Weidansall, a graduate of Pennsylvania College, Gettysburg, was found working in the shops of the Pacific Railroad Company at Omaha. He had intended entering the ministry, but his health failed him. To-day there is no question as to his health—he has a superb physique, travels constantly, works extremely hard, and has been wonderfully successful. When he began there were thirty-nine associations in the States of Indiana, Illinois, Michigan, Wisconsin, Iowa, Minnesota, Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Kentucky, and Tennessee. There was only one secretary, and no building. Now there are nearly three hundred associations, spending more than one hundred and ten thousand dollars; twenty general secretaries, and five buildings. Nine States are organized, and five employ state secretaries. The following words from a recent Kansas report sound strangely, almost like a joke, to one who remembers the peculiar influence of Missouri upon the infant Kansas: "Kansas owes much of her standing to-day to the fostering care and efforts of the Missouri state executive committee." In 1870, two visitors were sent to the Southern States. There were then three associations only between Virginia and Texas. There are now one hundred and fifty-seven.
Previous to the Civil War the work was well under way, but had been almost entirely given up. Our visitors were not at once received as brethren, but Christian love did its work and gradually all differences were forgotten by these Christians in the wonderful tie which truly united them, and when, in 1877, the convention met at Richmond, not only harmony prevailed, but it seemed as though each were trying to prove to the other his intenser brotherly love. The cross truly conquered. No one who was present can ever forget those scenes, or cease to bless God for what I truly believe was the greatest step toward the uniting again of North and South. Mr. T.K. Cree has had charge of this work since the beginning. Not only has sectional spreading of associations been done by the committee, but, in the language of the report already quoted: "Special classes of young men, isolated in a measure from their fellows by virtue of occupation, training, or foreign birth, have from time to time so strongly appealed to the attention of the American associations as to elicit specific efforts in their behalf." Thus, in 1868, the first secretary of the committee was directed to devote his time to railroad employees. For one year he labored among them. The general call on his time then became so imperative that he was obliged to leave the railroad work. This work had been undertaken at St. Albans, Vermont, in 1854, and in Canada in 1855. The first really important step in this work was at Cleveland in 1872, when an employee of a railroad company, who had been a leader in every kind of dissipation, was converted. He immediately began to use his influence among his comrades, and such was the power of the Spirit that the Cleveland Association took up the work and began holding meetings especially for these men. In 1877, Mr. E.D. Ingersol was appointed by the international committee to superintend the work. There has been no rest for him in this. A leading railroad official says: "Ingersol is indeed a busy man. Night and day he travels. To-day a railroad president wants him here, to-morrow a manager summons him. He is going like a shuttle back and forth across the country, weaving the web of railroad associations." When he entered on the work there were but three railroad secretaries; now there are nearly seventy. There are now over sixty branches in operation; and the work is going on besides at twenty-five points; almost a hundred different places, therefore, where specific work is done for railroad men. They own seven buildings, valued at thirty-three thousand two hundred and fifty dollars. The expense of maintaining these reading-rooms is over eighty thousand dollars, and more than two thirds of this is paid by the corporations themselves; most of the secretaries are on the regular pay-rolls of the companies. How can this be done? Simply because the officers see such a return from this expenditure in the morals and efficiency of their men that they have no doubt as to the propriety of the investment.
Mr. William Thaw, vice-president of the Pennsylvania Company, writes: "This work is wholly good, both for the men and the roads which they serve." Mr. C. Vanderbilt, first vice-president of the New York Central and Hudson River Railroad, writes: "Few things about railroad affairs afford more satisfactory returns than these reading-rooms." Mr. J.H. Devereux, of Cleveland, president of the Cleveland, Columbus, Cincinnati, and Indianapolis Railway, writes: "The association work has from the beginning (now ten years ago) been prosecuted at Cleveland satisfactorily and with good results. The conviction of the board of superintendents is that the influence of the room and the work in connection with it has been of great value to both the employer and the employed, and that the instrumentalities in question should not only be encouraged but further strengthened." Mr. John W. Garrett, president of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, says: "A secretary of the Young Men's Christian Association, for the service of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad Company, was appointed in 1879, and I am gratified to be able to say that the officers under whose observation his efforts have been conducted informed me that this work has been fruitful of good results." Mr. Thomas Dickson, president of the Delaware and Hudson Canal Company, writes: "This company takes an active interest in the prosperity of the association, and will cheerfully co-operate in all proper methods for the extension of its usefulness." Mr. H.B. Ledyard, general manager of the Michigan Central Railroad Company, writes: "I have taken a deep interest in the work of the Young Men's Christian Association among railroad men, and believe that, leaving out all other questions, it is a paying investment for a railroad company."
These are a few out of a great number of assurances from railroad men of the value of this organization. In Chicago, the president of one of the leading railroads, the general superintendent of another, and other officials, are serving on the railroad committee of the Young Men's Christian Association, and it is hoped that at every railway centre there may soon be an advisory committee of the work. Such a committee is now forming in Boston. This work should interest every individual, because it touches every one who ever journeys by train. Speak as some men may, faithlessly, concerning religion, where is the man who would not feel safer should he know that the engineer and conductor of his train were Christians? men not only caring for others, but themselves especially cared for.
Frederick von Schluembach, of noble birth, an officer in the Prussian army, was a leader there in infidelity and dissipation to such a degree as to drive him to this country at the time of our Civil War. He went into service and attained to the rank of captain. His conversion was remarkable and he brought to his Saviour's service all the intense earnestness and zeal that he had been giving to Satan. He joined the Methodists and became a minister among them. His heart went out to the multitudes of his countrymen here, and especially to the young; thus he came in contact with the central committee and was employed by them to visit German centres. This was in 1871, in Baltimore, where took place the first meeting of the national bund of German-speaking associations. At their request Mr. Von Schluembach took the field, which has resulted, after extreme opposition on the part of the German churches, in eight German Young Men's Christian Associations, besides an equal number of German committees in associations. When we remember that there are more than two million Germans in this country, and that New York is the fourth German city in the world, we can scarcely overestimate the greatness of this work. Mr. Von Schluembach was obliged on account of ill health to go to Germany for a while, and, recovering, formed associations there,—the one in Berlin being especially powerful, some of "Caesar's household" holding official positions in it. He has now returned, and with Claus Olandt, Jr., is again at work among his countrymen. His first work on returning was to assist in raising fifty thousand dollars for the German building in New York City.
Mr. Henry E. Brown has always since the war been intensely interested in the colored men of the South. Shortly after graduation at Oberlin College, Ohio, he founded, and was for two years president of, a college for colored men in Alabama. He is now secretary for the committee among this class at the South, and speaks most encouragingly of the future of this work.
In 1877, there was graduated a young man named L.D. Wishard, from Princeton College. To him seems to have been given a great desire for an inter-collegiate religious work. He, with his companions, issued a call to collegians to meet at the general convention of Young Men's Christian Associations at Louisville. Twenty-two colleges responded and sent delegates. Mr. Wishard was appointed international secretary. One hundred and seventy-five associations have now been formed, with nearly ten thousand members. These colleges report about ninety Bible-classes during the past year. Fifteen hundred students have professed conversion through the association; of these forty have decided to enter the ministry, and two of these are going to the foreign fields.
The work is among the men most likely to occupy the highest position in the country, hence its importance is very great. Mr. Wishard is quite overtaxed and help has been given him at times, but he needs, and so also does the railroad work, an assistant secretary.
There is a class of men in our community who are almost constantly traveling. Rarely at home, they go from city to city. The temptations to these men are peculiar and very great. In 1879, Mr. E.W. Watkins, himself one of this class of commercial travelers, was appointed secretary in their behalf. He has since visited all the principal associations, and has created an interest in these neglected men. Among the appliances which are productive of the most good is the traveler's ticket, which entitles him to all the privileges of membership in any place where an association may be. A second most valuable work is the hotel-visiting done by more than fifty associations each week. The hotel-registers are consulted on Saturday afternoon, and a personal note is sent to each young man, giving him the times of service at the several churches and inviting him to the rooms. Is it necessary to call the attention of business men to the importance to themselves of this work? Is it not patent? You cannot follow the young man whose honesty and clear-headedness is of such consequence to you. God has put it into the heart of this association to try and care for those men, upon whom your success largely depends. Can you be blind to its value? Every individual man who employs commercial travelers should aid the work. But how is all this great work for young men carried on? It requires now thirty thousand dollars a year to do it. Of this sum New York pays more than one half, Pennsylvania about one sixth, and Massachusetts less than one fifteenth. But to do this work properly,—this work of the universal church of Christ for young men,—at least one third more, or forty thousand dollars a year, is needed. There is another need, however, much harder to meet—the men to fill the places calling earnestly for general secretaries. There are nearly three hundred and fifty paid employees in the field, representing about two hundred associations. Since every association should have a secretary, and there are nearly, if not quite, nine hundred, the need will be clearly seen. This need it is proposed to meet by training men in schools established for the purpose. Something of this has already been done in New York State and at Peoria, Illinois, and there must soon be a regular training-school established to accommodate from fifty to one hundred men.