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hardest fighting armies in history, and again, in 1904, he said that the view expressed in his article on Grant to which I have referred had been modified by later studies and that he should not care to have its comments on the Wilderness taken as a critical discussion of that campaign.
About the year 1900 Colonel Dodge, finding himself in circumstances which permitted him to quit business, established his residence in Paris, as the point most convenient for his visits to the fields on which Frederick and Napoleon manæuvred and fought, and for access to the books and archives to be consulted in the preparation of his narratives of their careers. During the remainder of his life he devoted bimself to that work. At his residence in Paris a fine hospitality attracted much and varied company from his large acquaintance, and there, between the pleasures of social intercourse and the work on his books in the congenial company of a talented wife who greatly aided in his work, he found, in the enjoyment of an ideal life, reward for the trials and stress of his long business career. In 1908, seeking relief from an infirmity which had grown upon him, he established his residence in the ancient Château de Rozières, which he had acquired, but his health failed further and recrudescence of his old wounds impaired his vitality so that for months he was unable to resume his narrative of Frederick, a sore trial to him, when the official publications for whose appearance he had suspended the work were at last at hand. To complete this work then became the chief desire of the life that was in him. His hopes all centred upon this object and braced his feeble frame for recovery. After months without ability to
his pen, he rose from his bed a shadowy embodiment of courage and nerve, and once more resumed his reading, able to pursue it but for a brief hour a day, and, striving to finish his work while yet there was life, he fell, with his barness on, as became the soldier that he was.
The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 13th instant, at three o'clock, P. M. ; the PRESIDENT in the chair.
The record of the last meeting was read and approved; and the list of donors to the Library during the last month was read.
The PRESIDENT announced the death of George Park Fisher, a Corresponding Member, which took place on December 20, 1909. He reported, for the advisory Committee on the final definitive edition of the Bradford and Winthrop Histories, that the Editor had reached a point in the preparation of the work where he would be able to begin the printing early in the coming summer; and that the Committee had accordingly directed him to proceed with the publication.
Samuel Walker McCall, of Winchester, was elected a Resident Member of the Society.
The PRESIDENT called attention to a paragraph of the notice of the meeting wherein reference was made to the fact that its date marked the completing of fifty years in the membership of the senior Vice-President and Librarian, Dr. Green. In doing so he said :
Personally, this reminder had for me a somewhat curious
It is a thing for which I take some blame to myself that when Mr.
by the Society of events of such interest to us. I hope this will not be the case when the third pame on our list shall touch the golden period in the coming month of May. Nor need the Society apprehend that, if the practice should be introduced of noticing an event of this sort whenever the time for so doing may arrive, the thing would become of such ordinary occurrence as to sink into a conventional usage. After our friend Dr. Paige shall have passed his fiftieth year of service in the coming May, an examination of the list shows that no similar event is likely to occur until our friend Dr. Green shall arrive, in the year 1910, at his eightieth year, should he, as we all hope he may, attain that age. I
At the time I said this, there were, I remember, as there have just now again been, indications of suppressed amusement on the part of those present, the year 1910 seeming, in 1894, so very remote. Yet here it is ! But there is to me also a certain humor in the present situation, because in that January of 1894, when I uttered those words, I recalled that, only a short seven months before, in June, 1893, -- to be historically exact, on Tuesday, the 6th of that month, - I chanced to be in Concord, visiting, in company with members of the American Antiquarian Society, the historic localities of that place as the companions and guests of Senator Hoar. Among those there present, as I do not doubt he himself remembers, was Dr. Green; and I recall the occasion the more distinctly because, while waiting on the platform of the station at Concord for others of the party to arrive, Dr. Green took occasion to mention to me, in an incidental, pleasant sort of way, that he was satisfied he had not then long to live; that there were certain physical indications about him he had of late noticed, of a significance unmistakable to a medical man; and that, in fact, his remaining days, practically numbered, would be few. Being not wholly unaccustomed to medical prognostics of this nature, I am, in view of the present occasion, not unwilling to admit that I received the announcement in a spirit of Christian resignation and with silent acquiescence, not troubling our associate with any anticipatory condolences. Indeed, what mattered it? Had not Hamlet assured us that, “ if it be now, 't is not to come; if it be not to come, it will be now; if it be not now, yet it will come : the readiness is all.” So, upon that June morning sixteen years ago, on the platform of the Fitchburg Railroad station in Concord, the Doctor
1 2 Proc., viii. 399.
pronounced himself “ ready”; and I, in appearance at least, showed myself resigned: yet here we are, both of us, bearing our parts in this far otherwise than funereal function,
As I have said, this occurred in June, 1893 ; and during the sixteen intervening years not only has the list of those once belonging to the Resident membership of this Society, but now composing the silent majority, been enlarged by no less than eighty-six additional names, but that of Dr. Green is not among them. Of those who then composed the Society twenty-nine only survive. Conspicuous, first among those twenty-nine, is one bearing the name of Green. In the Doctor's case the “readiness,” literally, was “all.”
Once more recurring to the record and my perhaps too constant contributions to it, I find that in October, 1896, when, as President, it devolved on me to announce the death of Dr. Paige, I also alluded to the fact that Dr. Green had been promoted to the place just made vacant at the head of the Resident roll,' becoming our senior member; thus to his other titles had been added that of Dean of the Society. Measured in years, a long stride was then taken. Dr. Ellis, the previous Dean also a Harvard graduate, was of the Class of 1833, and became a member of the Society in 1841. Dr. Green, who thus followed him, was of the Class of 1851, and became a member of the Society in 1860. There was, therefore, in graduation, the gap of eighteen years between the two; and, in membership, one of nineteen years.
Passing to the next point suggested by the occasion, when, the other day, I came to preparing some statistics on the subject of longevity of membership, I found the speech I now would
ave made bodily anticipated, and anticipated by no other than by Dr. Green himself! For, when Dr. Paige, at the May meeting of 1894, passed his fiftieth year, Dr. Ellis, then President of the Society, called attention to the fact; but it was Dr. Green who spoke as follows:
At the present time the Historical Society has the remarkable distinction of bearing on its roll of living members the names of three gentlemen whose connection with the Society began at least half a century ago. Mr. Winthrop was chosen a member on October 31, 1839, more than fifty-four years since; and now for twenty-one years
1 2 Proc., XI. 108.
he has headed the list of membership, where the names are given in the order of election, Dr. Ellis follows Mr. Winthrop as a close second, having been chosen on October 28, 1841, two years later; and at the meeting to-day Dr. Paige completes his connection of half a century with the Society. ...
There have been but three other members who have given so long a service to the Society, but not all covering a common period of fifty years, -- and they were John Davis, Josiah Quincy, and James Savage. Mr. Davis's membership lasted from December 21, 1791, to January 14, 1847, term of fisty-five years ; Mr. Quincy's from July 26, 1796, to July 1, 1864, sixty-eight years; and Mr. Savage's from January 28, 1813, to March 8, 1873, sixty years. Such cases of continued membership are necessarily rare, but in all those just mentioned it is worthy of note that they comprise some of the most active and valuable workers in the Society during a period of more than a century of its existence."
The Doctor then proceeded to say exactly what I would have said had it devolved on me to prepare a speech for the present occasion. He marshalled all the statistics and facts relating to those of the Society who had attained the fiftieth year of membership, and submitted other interesting matter germane to the present, as well as to that, occasion; so I will now only repeat his short list of those who, having passed the semi-centennial, were then dead. The first, John Davis; Mr. Davis's membership lasted from December 21, 1791, to January 14, 1847, a term of fifty-five years. Next President Quincy, - Josiah Quincy, - whose term lasted from July 26, 1796, to July 1, 1864, sixty-eight years. Finally, James Savage; Mr. Savage's term lasted from January 28, 1813, to March 8, 1873, sixty years. Now let me complete the records of the three members then referred to by Dr. Green as still living, the membership of each of whom had already rounded out a half-century or more,- Mr. Winthrop, Dr. Ellis and Dr. Paige. Their deaths have since increased the roll of our semi-centennialists to six. The seventh, I today call attention to. In the long life of the Society, numbering, as it has, no less than four hundred and fifty-seven Resident Members, there have thus been, including Dr. Green, just seven to whom it has been given to reach the half-century goal, or one in each sixty-five of those chosen. Of course, as this Society did
1 2 Proc., 1x. 92.