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Washington create here no other feelings than those of pity and contempt for the weakness of its head, and the inefficiency of its members. Tender the assurances of my love to all my relatives, and believe me to remain truly and affectionately

Your Brother

FRED: S, BLOUNT. N. B. The girls here are the most beautiful, engaging and accomplished in the world, - those of North Carolina excepted. I shall be at home by the 25th of July to prepare for Onslow Court.

Address: The Hon. John H. Bryan, Newbern, No. Ca.


The stated meeting was held on Thursday, the 11th instant, at three o'clock, P. M.; the senior Vice-President, SAMUEL A. GREEN, in the chair.

The record of the October meeting was read and approved; and the list of donors to the Library during the last month was read.

Dr. GREEN announced the gift, by the New England Society of New York, of a bronze medal, recently struck by Tiffany and Company, to commemorate the one hundredth anniversary, in 1905, of the founding of that Society.

Dr. GREEN then said:

My first duty this afternoon is to announce the death of Colonel Theodore Ayrault Dodge, a Resident Member, which took place at his château in France, on October 26. He was a native of Pittsfield, where he was born on May 28, 1812. He received his early education abroad, having studied in Berlin and Heidelberg, and graduated at the University of London in 1861. At the outbreak of the Rebellion he returned home and enlisted in the ranks, and served in every capacity from that of a private to a colonel. Later he was given a commission in the regular army, and also four brevets, for gallant services on different occasions, and was placed on the retiring list for wounds received in the line of duty. He was chosen a member of the Society, on May 14, 1896, and later he gave a complete set of his historical and military works, – a valuable addition to the Library. In accordance with custom a tribute will be paid to his memory at the next meeting by our associate Colonel Thomas L. Livermore, his friend, who is to-day temporarily absent from his home.

It is also my duty to announce the death of Henry Charles Lea, an Honorary Member of the Society, which took place in Philadelphia on October 24. He was first chosen a Corresponding Member on October 14, 1875, and later, on October 9, 1892, was transferred to the Honorary list. An active worker in many branches of useful labor, he enjoyed a wide reputation

both at home and abroad. Professor Charles H. Haskins will prepare the customary tribute to him, which will be read at the next meeting. The passing of an Honorary Member is now made a special occasion, when formal and suitable action is taken by the Society. Membership on this roll implies services in historical or literary work of more than usual importance.

I wish to call attention to a new volume of Proceedings, third series, volume II., containing the minutes of the meetings from October, 1908, to June, 1909, both inclusive, which has been received by the members within the last few days. It will be noticed that a change has been made in the numbering of the volume, which is to be known as “ Vol. 42” in sequence from the beginning, as well as " 3 series II."

In connection with this subject I wish to quote from a letter received from the Hon. John Bigelow, who in a fortnight will be ninety-two years old, and is the last survivor of those who have held important European diplomatic positions during the War of the Rebellion. For some years Mr. Bigelow's name has stood at the head of our list of Corresponding Members, he having been chosen at the February meeting of 1875. Under date of November 6, 1909, he writes me:

The Proceedings of the Massachusetts. Historical Society constitute a body of historical literature many times more valuable than those of any other historical society in the United States, - so far as I know; and by your new Index of the Proceedings for twenty-three years you have fully as many times increased the value of those Proceedings by making them so conveniently accessible to the student. It is a model piece of work of its kind and one which any student can pore over with interest and profit, even though he has none of the volumes to the contents of which bis attention is invited.

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JONATHAN Smith read the following paper :


CONTROVERSY, 1693–1740. In 1628 the Council of Plymouth granted to Sir Henry Roswell and five others, and to their associates, the land lying between a point three miles south of the Charles River and a point distant three English miles to the northward of the river called Monomack, otherwise Merrimack, or to the northward of any and every parte thereof." In 1677 Charles

II and Council, upon the report of the Lord Chief Justices, in a controversy between the Colony of Massachusetts Bay and Mason and Gorges, concerning the line, defined the boundary in the same language. Again, in 1691, in the charter of William and Mary creating the Province of Massachusetts Bay, the northern boundary of the Province was fixed at the same place by identical language. The description of this north line, in the decree of 1677 and also in the charter of 1691, is obviously copied from the charter granted by the Council of Plymouth, dated 1628. At the last date the true course of the Merrimack River was unknown. In 1677 and in 1691 the people of the colonies knew its direction. Evidently the King and his advisers cared very little about the facts, or at least took no steps to discover them, and were content simply to reaffirm the line as originally described. Their conduct in the matter shows how indefinite the knowledge of the English authorities was relating to colonial geography and their loose and careless methods of transacting business connected with their New England possessions.

In this instance the ignorance or carelessness of the granting power gave rise to a bitter controversy between the two provinces which lasted for forty-eight years, brought suffering and heavy loss to many deserving people, and inflicted wounds which were not healed until the Revolutionary War.

In the controversy New Hampshire took the ground that when the grants were made, the earlier as well as the later, the English authorities supposed the general course of the river to be easterly from its source to its mouth; 1 that the line was fixed under mistake of a very material fact, and that it should be finally established where, under the wording of the charters, it would be if the river had an easterly direction through its whole length. Massachusetts clung to the strict letter of the grants, and as far as the language describing the line went had right upon its side. Under a well-known rule of equity law, however, the justice of the case was upon the side of New Hampshire. It was a vital matter with our northern neighbor, and meant to her much more than the twenty-five hundred square miles of territory involved in the dispute, for her very existence as an independent province

IN. H. State Papers, XIX. 243; 2 299.

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was included in the issue, and this was probably the key to her conduct in the premises. The action of Massachusetts, taken possibly to strengthen her claim to the disputed territory before the King and Council, and the consequences of that action to her grantees and those claiming under her, concern

this paper.

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In 1693 New Hampshire took the initial step by appointing a commission to run the line between the two provinces, and invited Massachusetts to join in the work. The request was declined. From that time forward for twenty-three years, interrupted, it is true, by several Indian wars, she renewed repeatedly her efforts to settle the matter, and each time was defeated by the Massachusetts authorities. At last, in 1726, the State appealed directly to the King and Council. This move stirred the Bay-State officials to vigorous action.

Prior to 1726 this State had granted but three townships, or parts of townships, in the disputed territory. It had also made many grants of land in plats varying from one hundred to one thousand acres each, to soldiers in consideration of military duty done, or to their heirs, to officials for valuable public service, and to Massachusetts towns on account of their burdens of taxation, or for schools and public improvements. Up to that date, 1726, it had granted but eleven townships in whole or in part in the preceding one hundred years in what is now New Hampshire territory. These bad been given to actual settlers, and as a general rule no conditions had been attached to the grants. When it was found that by the appeal the question would have to be settled by a tribunal in England, the Massachusetts authorities entered upon a more radical policy, taken, it is reasonable to believe, in order to strengthen their cause before the court which was to decide it. It was apparent to them that if this controverted territory was settled by Massachusetts citizens, bound to her by ties of nativity, business interests and title to the soil, it would furnish a strong, if not conclusive, reason for a judgment in their favor. It is to be frankly said that no declaration by any Massachusetts official has been found which avows that to be the reason for this action following the appeal of New Hampshire in 1726. But that such was

1 N. H. State Papers, xix. 181; 2 Mass. Archives, 111. 479.
8 N. H. State Papers, xix. 200.

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