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our ears ; but that the accession of Mr. Smith to the treasurership of the Society occurred hard upon the lifetime of a generation since becomes very apparent as the record of that April meeting is scanned. Mr. Winthrop, for twenty-two years already President of the Society, occupied this chair; but of the thirteen members then elected to office three only now survive, our senior member, Dr. Green, then as now Librarian, but whose name stood, not at the head, but forty-second on our Resident roll, Mr. Smith, newly elected Treasurer, and our associate Mr. Warren, the junior member of the Standing Committee as that year composed. Since 1877 the Society has been practically renewed; for, of the ninety-nine names of living associates then borne upon the roll, among which that of Mr. Smith appeared in the sixty-seventh place, fourteen only are on it now. To-day Mr. Smith stands sixth. But it is an even more suggestive fact that of the present Resident membership more than one half of the names on the roll have been placed there since the April meeting of 1897, the last held in the Tremont Street building, when Mr. Smith had already been Treasurer a score of years.
Though, since the organization of the Society one hundred and sixteen years ago, it has had eight different Treasurers, the combined terms of service of Mr. Smith and his immediate predecessor, Mr. Frothingham, cover more years than are covered by the united terms of all those who preceded them. The first six Treasurers served an aggregate period of fifty-six years; Mr. Frothingham and Mr. Smith together served for a period of sixty years.
As matter of record not without interest, the list is as follows:
William Tudor, 1791-1796.
To us of the Society, however, much the most interesting as well as noticeable feature of Mr. Smith's term of service as Treasurer has been the very gratifying increase in our resources and income. In the earlier years the duties of our Treasurer were, comparatively speaking, nominal. In 1877 the Society owned the Tremont Street building subject to a heavy mortgage, its equity being valued at some $18,000. Its permanent funds, not invested in the building, amounted to about $50,000, and it had about $7500 in cash or quick assets. A total of approximately $75,000, the entire accumulation of eighty-six years. Financially, results up to 1877 had not been considerable; nor could the outlook have been deemed propitious.
Ten years passed; years of narrow means and resources carefully husbanded. At their close, in April, 1887, Mr. Smith was able to report nine permanent funds aggregating over $74,000 belonging to the Society, the discharge of the original mortgage note, and a beginning made in the reinvestment of permanent funds, up to that time largely invested in the Tremont Street building. The accumulated property of the Society then amounted approximately to $143,000.
Another ten years later, in 1897, the Tremont Street building was sold. Our accumulation had now risen to an aggregate of over $310,000.
Finally, when, the other day, at the close of yet another decennial period, the Smith stewardship was closed, our real estate, free from every incumbrance, is valued by the city assessors at $196,000, and our invested permanent funds and cash in hand were represented by securities and deposits having a market value of over $450,000. Truly, during those thirty years, our talent had not been kept laid up in a napkin! That our annual income had mounted from $11,000, in 1877, to $24,000, in 1907, does not tell the story of increase ; for, during the earlier period, three fourths of our income were derived from a lease of the larger portion of our Tremont Street building, the Society reserving for its own use the two upper stories only. And when, in October, 1894, this lease expired and the leased premises became vacant, we found ourselves, as no new tenant could be obtained, badly crippled. In 1895-1896 our entire income was less than $5000; and the free income, but $1500, “ did not suffice to meet the requirements of the organization when reduced to the most economical basis.”i Now we are in exclusive occupancy of our whole
1 2 Proceedings, vol. x. p. 575.
building, and in the enjoyment of a handsome annual surplus revenue.
That these results were altogether, or even in greatest part, due to Mr. Smith’s prudent or skilful management, he would be the last to suggest. On the contrary, they bore evidence to frequent and generous gifts and bequests from benefactors whose names may be read in every annual report of the Treas
None the less those results, this great change, either came about or was brought about during Mr. Smith's stewardship. How much of it was due to the action of the Treasurer, and how much to all other causes combined, it would be difficult, perhaps impossible, accurately to say. It is, however, right and proper that the general fact should now be of record.
When Mr. Smith's predecessor retired after a similarly prolonged term of service, the Society contented itself with a somewhat perfunctory vote of thanks bearing witness to its sense of his faithful service and “especially for the judgment and devotion with which Mr. Frothingham had" as a member of the government during that period “watched over its interests.” It is to my mind, and to the mind of the Council generally, matter of regret that the action then taken was limited to this formal and wholly uninteresting record. Richard Frothingham was for thirty-four years (1816-1880) active in our Society, and he stood also in the front rank of that remarkable group of historical writers and investigators, members of the Society during the mid years of the last century, to whose accomplishments it was my privilege to bear witness from this chair exactly a year ago, when the bust of James Savage now before you was unveiled. But Richard Frothingham, like Mr. Savage and even Robert C. Winthrop, is fast becoming a shadowy figure of the past. Not one in four of you who now occupy these chairs ever listened to his voice or can recall his face. Yet he filled the important position of our Treasurer for nearly a third of a century; he was distinctly one of the notable worthies of our order. It is, therefore, deeply to be regretted that portraits not only of Mr. Frothingham, but of the line of distinguished men who preceded him in the same position, should not have been provided for at the times of their resignations, and now be in our possession. They would constitute a most interesting memorial as well as precious possession.
In the judgment of the Council, a precedent should therefore now be established, hereafter, let us hope, to be faithfully observed. The omission in the case of Mr. Frothingham should not be repeated in the case of Mr. Smith or his successors.
I am directed, therefore, to report the following votes for the action of the Society :
Voted, That the thanks of the Society are presented to Charles Card Smith for thirty years' faithful and successful service as Treasurer of the Society, to which position he has recently declined re-election.
Voted, That the series of reports of record in the printed Proceedings of the Society since 1878 bear the highest possible testimony to the judgment, devotion and success with which the office has been administered during its tenure by Mr. Smith, and of the grateful estimation in which his services are held.
Voted, That the Council be empowered and instructed to secure a portrait of Mr. Smith for preservation in the collections of the Society.
Voted, That the Council be further requested to take measures to secure for the Society a similar portrait of Richard Frothingham, its Treasurer from 1817 to 1877; and also, so far as may be practicable, portraits of the predecessors of Mr. Frothingham as Treasurers of the Society.
The votes as recommended were unanimously adopted.
The PRESIDENT announced the death of Hon. Daniel H. Chamberlain, and read the following tribute to his memory:
It is now eight months, an interval of somewhat unusual length, since the presiding officer was called upon to announce a vacancy in our Resident membership, arising from death. The last such was that caused by the demise of Dr. Slafter, on the 22d of September, 1906. I have to-day to announce another. Daniel Henry Chamberlain died at Charlottesville, Virginia, Saturday, April 13.
Of Mr. Chamberlain I shall have something presently to say both directly and through another; for it so chanced my association with him dates far back, and, though for a long period interrupted, has of late years been renewed, and towards the end, though carried on almost wholly by correspondence, had become close. In the first place, however, I will, in conformity with our practice, refer only to Mr. Chamberlain's connection with the Society.
1 2 Proceedings, vol. x. pp. 8, 9.
Chosen at the February meeting of 1900, Mr. Chamberlain at the time of his death had been a little more than seven years one of our Resident Members. At first, living in West Brookfield on the ancestral farm he had re-acquired in his later years, and otherwise much occupied, he seldom, if indeed ever, attended our meetings; but between May, 1902, and October, 1904, at which time he went abroad for reasons of health, he was constantly here, evincing, through frequent contributions to it, a lively interest in our work. Returning to this country early in July a year ago with both general health and his hearing greatly impaired, he did not again reside in Massachusetts. Retaining his citizenship, he sought a less rigorous climate; and at last, stricken by the disease of which he died, his life slowly ebbed away at Charlottesville, under the immediate shadow of Jefferson's Monticello.
Never a member of the Council of the Society, or serving on any of its committees, his first contribution to our printed Proceedings was in a paper entitled “ The Historical Conception of the United States Constitution and Union" submitted at the May meeting held in this room five years ago yesterday. A month later, at the June meeting, he paid a tribute to our associate George Bigelow Chase, whose death was that day announced. Though at the time absent from the State, he, sixteen months later, forwarded an appreciative paper, which appears in our Proceedings, commemorative of Edward McCrady, the historian of South Carolina, a Corresponding Member of this Society whose death had recently occurred. A year later, before going abroad for the last time, he was present at our October, 1904, meeting and participated in the discussion which arose; and what he then said clearly foreshadowed that which has only now occurred. Constantly active while abroad, and to the last moment of his life at work with mind and pen, he from time to time forwarded contributions which have found a place in our Proceedings or elsewhere. Papers entitled “A Third Bunker's Hill,” “A Word More on an Important Topic,” and “A Great Historical Acquisition” form a part of our still unpublished twentieth