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Four hundred and eighty-fourth meeting.
May 29, 1860. — ANNUAL MEETING. The PRESIDENT in the chair.
The Corresponding Secretary read letters acknowledging the reception of the Academy's publications; also from the Entomological Society of Stettin, and the Royal University of Christiana, Norway, accompanying donations to the library. Also, a letter from Theodore Lyman, Esq., Fellow of the Academy, presenting a copy of the Histoire et Mémoires de l'Académie des Inscriptions, Vols. 1 to 50, inclusive, and Index, and fourteen volumes of the Mémoires de l'Institût, complete to the year 1818.
The thanks of the Academy were voted to Mr. Lyman for his valuable donation.
The Treasurer presented his annual report upon the finances of the Academy; which was ordered to be entered in full upon the record-book.
Professor Rogers reported, from the Committee on the Library, that 236 volumes and 416 parts of volumes have been added to the library by gift during the past year, and 213 volumes and 268 pamphlets by purchase. Also, that 723 volumes have been borrowed from the library during the year.
Professor Lovering read the report of the Committee on Publication, detailing its operations during the past year.
In behalf of the Council, Professor Gray, its secretary, read the following report upon the changes which have occurred in the personelle of the Academy since the preceding annual meeting:
Since the last annual meeting, the Academy has elected six Resident Fellows, three Associate Fellows, and two Foreign Honorary Members.
Three of the newly chosen Fellows belong to the First Class; one to the Second; and two to the Third Class.
Of the Associate Fellows, one was chosen into each Class.
Of the Foreign Honorary Members, one, M. LIOUVILLE of Paris, belongs to the First Class, Section 1: the other, Professor VALENTIN, to the Second Class, Section 3.
These accessions exactly equal the number of vacancies which have been caused by death during the past year.
Within this period, five Resident Fellows have deceased ; viz. Hon. Thomas G. CARY, Hon. Rufus CHOATE, Rev. DR. WILLARD, MR. BENJAMIN A. GOULD, MR. WILLIAM WELLS, — all of Class III.
We have lost three Associate Fellows; viz. THOMAS NUTTALL, of the Second Class; HORACE Mann, and WASHINGTON IRVING, of the Third Class.
Also, three Foreign Honorary Members; viz. Robert STEPHENson, of Class I.; KARL RITTER, of Class II. ; and FREDERICK WILLIAM THIERSCH, of Class III.
The anniversary meeting offers a fitting occasion for some tribute, however cursory, to the memory of the Associates whose death we have to deplore. For important assistance in the preparation of these obituary remarks, the Council offer their acknowledgments and thanks to several Fellows, who kindly responded to their call, and of whose help they would gladly have availed themselves more largely. But our statements upon the present occasion must needs be brief and general.
Indeed, two of our late Associates, CHOATE and Irving, were men whose mark and fame render all comment, which could be offered here and now, superfluous. Prompt and fitting public eulogies have already been elsewhere pronounced over the remains of the most eloquent advocate of our time; and, still more recently, over those of the popular author, who down to the close of a long and most honorable life continued to adorn, by important works, that American literature to the formation and general recognition of which he had, even in early years, contributed more than any other writer.
The earliest loss from our immediate ranks was that of the Hon. Thomas GRAVES Cary, which followed within a month our last anniversary. Mr. Cary was born at Chelsea in 1791 ; was graduated at Harvard College in 1811, and admitted to the Suffolk bar in 1814. After a residence of several years in Brattleborough, Vermont, in the practice of his profession, and afterwards in New York, where he engaged in commerce, he returned to Boston, where he passed the rest of his useful and honorable life in various business pursuits, and in the occupation of many important trusts. He died on the 3d of July last. Mr. Cary was a man of refined literary taste, a lover of art, and a careful student of moral, political, and economical science. His numerous published articles, lectures, and reviews upon these subjects, and his more elaborate Memoir of Thomas Handasyd Perkins, show him to have been a vigorous writer and speaker, in a pure and idiomatic style. His sterling integrity and good sense, and unaffected dignified manners, bis active interest in educational and social questions, and his efficient administration as President for many years of the Boston Athenæum, and in other responsible trusts, are well remembered by his associates in this and in other institutions.
Rev. SAMUEL WILLARD, D. D., was born at Petersham, Mass., on the 19th of April, 1776, was graduated at Harvard College in 1803, became Assistant Preceptor in Exeter Academy in 1804, and a Tutor in Bowdoin College the following year. He was ordained over the Unitarian Church in Deerfield, Mass., in 1807, elected a Fellow of the Academy in 1816, resigned his pastoral charge on account of loss of sight in the autumn of 1829, and died at Deerfield on the 8th of October, 1859. These few data indicate all the principal epochs of an uneventful, but a valuable and useful life. They suggest no title to celebrity; but they present a modest and valid claim to that respect which justly attaches to intelligence, virtue, and piety, and to a faithful and exemplary devotion to his sacred calling. His publications were few; but they are creditable to his learning, good sense, and Christian temper. Among them is a collection of hymns, many of which were of his own composing, and prepared with reference to an original theory, which is elaborately explained in the Preface. During the thirty years of his total blindness, his memory, which was naturally good, was cultivated, as is not unusual in such cases, to great quickness and accuracy. Besides retaining with literal exactness nearly the whole of the New Testament, he is said to have solved all the problems of Euclid, orally, by recalling the images of the diagrams with which he had been familiar in his youth.
Our late respected colleague, BENJAMIN APTHORP Gould, also died in October last. Mr. Gould was born in Lancaster, Mass., in 1787, and graduated at Harvard College in 1814. In early life he struggled against many disadvantages, having only the opportunities of a common country school, and not having even the command of his own time until he became of age. He then supported himself by teaching for some years, a profession in which he exhibited peculiar aptitude and acquired a marked reputation. Being intent on a collegiate education, he prepared himself, somewhat late in life, for admission into College, almost without assistance, and afterwards took his place in the foremost rank of a class distinguished by the presence of some of our brightest luminaries in literature. In the latter part of his Senior year, a vacancy occurred in the Public Latin School in Boston, and Mr. Gould, though yet an undergraduate, received, in consequence of the character he had acquired and the strong recommendations of President Kirkland and others, the appointment of master in that institution. How well he discharged the duties of that office the testimony of his numerous pupils, and the acknowledged elevation of the character of the seminary itself, afford ample proof. In 1828, Mr. Gould resigned his post as Principal of the Latin School, and devoted the remainder of his life to commerce. For many years he sustained the reputation of an honorable, intelligent, and successful merchant; and has died in the maturity of life, leaving many who recollect with pleasure his generous nature, bis conscientious rectitude, and his unwavering fidelity in the path of duty.
Even within the past month, viz. on the 21st of April, the Academy lost another, and one of its most venerable Fellows, Mr. WilLIAM WELLS of Cambridge. Mr. Wells had reached nearly the age of eighty-seven years, — an age which had of late precluded him from any active participation in our labors, — and his retirement had made him comparatively a stranger to most of our members. Yet those who were privileged to know him can truly say, that to
the last his lively sympathy still followed with interest the literary and scientific movements of the day. Mr. Wells was endowed by nature with that exquisite taste which avoids in life, as in literature, all tints that do not blend and harmonize. No surer critic could be found of any work of genius, classical or modern; no safer arbiter of the appropriate and the true in social intercourse. His conversation was singularly fascinating, and it would be prized just in proportion as study and refinement had qualified the hearer to appreciate his highly cultivated intellect. To these mental endowments, to sound scholarship and fine taste and critical power, were added in Mr. Wells a most attractive sweetness and simplicity of character.
Of our two late Associate Fellows deceased during the past year, one, MR. YUTTALL, was personally known only to some of the older Fellows of the Academy, and perhaps mostly to those interested in Natural History. The other, Mr. Mann, moved in a wider and more public sphere, and was too prominent and active in educational, reformatory, and political life not to attract a large measure of attention.
HORACE MANN was born in Franklin, Norfolk County, Mass., May 4, 1796. His early life was one of toil and sorrow. His father died in 1809, and he remained with his mother on the farm until 1816, when, after a hurried preparation by an itinerant teacher, he entered the Sophomore Class in Brown University, Providence, R. I., where he was graduated with the highest honors in 1819. After a few months spent in reading law, he was appointed to a tutorship in Latin and Greek at Brown University. He resigned this post in 1821, and was admitted to the bar in December, 1823; and immediately opened an office in Dedham, where he continued in the practice of law until 1833. In 1827 he was elected to the General Court, and annually re-elected until 1833, when he removed to Boston. From that time until 1837, he was a member of the State Senate, continuing also in the practice of his profession. He then became first Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, and for twelve years was indefatigable in those labors which have given him an enduring fame. In the spring of 1848, he was chosen to succeed John Quincy Adams in the National House of Representatives, re-elected in November, 1848, and again in November, 1850. In September, 1852, he was elected President of Antioch College, at Yellow Springs, Ohio, which was opened in October, 1853, and over which he presided to the