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After the toast “The Cherished Memory of our Immortal Washington,” Mr. Eaton (1796) sung the hymn, “From Vernon's Mount behold the Hero rise,” and after the toast “The Farmer of Quincy,” the song “Adams and Liberty” was rendered.
Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, D. D., of Dorchester, delivered the Artillery election sermon of 1805. Rev. John Pierce, D. D., who preached the Artillery sermon in 1813, wrote a minute sketch of Dr. Harris, which was printed in Sprague's “Annals of . the American Unitarian Pulpit.”
Thaddeus M. Harris, son of William Harris by his wife, Rebeckah, daughter of Thaddeus Mason, of Cambridge, was born in Charlestown, July 7, 1768. He married, Jan. 28, 1795, Mary, only daughter of Dr. Elijah and Dorothy (Lynde) Dix, of Worcester, by whom he had five sons and three daughters.
Mr. William Harris, teaching school at Charlestown, at the opening of the war, moved his family to Sterling for safety. He, a captain and paymaster in the Revolutionary Army, died Oct. 30, 1778, aged thirty-four years, at Sterling, while at home on a furlough. Thaddeus then went to live with a farmer at Westminster, and attended the district school; afterward at Templeton, and in 1779 returned to Sterling, and soon after resided with Rev. Ebenezer Morse, of Boylston. There he prepared for college. In 1782 he visited his mother, Mrs. Samuel Wait, of Malden, and in 1783 entered Harvard College. He graduated in 1787; taught school the next year at Worcester; returned to Harvard to pursue his studies, when he was appointed sub-librarian, and, in 1791, librarian. He began to preach in 1789, and settled with the church in Dorchester, Oct. 23, 1793. He resigned this position Oct. 23, 1836, the forty-third anniversary of his settlement. He died in Boston, April 3, 1842.
Dr. Harris was a member of the Humane, Charitable, Peace, and Antiquarian societies, and overseer of Harvard University. He was prominent in the Masonic Fraternity, and was the pioneer in furnishing a distinctively American Masonic literature. He published more than forty “occasional addresses” in pamphlet form, and several miscellaneous; also, a history of Dorchester, biography of Father Rasle, “A Journey to Ohio,” Massachusetts Magazine, 1795–6, Constitutions of the Freemasons, 1792 and 1798, and other works.
The officers of the Artillery Company elected in 1806 were: William I 800. Alexander (1795), captain; Peter Osgood (1797), lieutenant; William Jepson (1797), ensign. William Marston (1804) was first sergeant; Jacob Hall (18oz.), second sergeant; John B. Hammatt (18o 1), third sergeant; Levi Melcher (18oz.), fourth sergeant; John Winslow (1786), treasurer; Thomas Clark (1786), clerk, and Samuel Todd (1786), armorer. The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company for a century and a half has been more or less identified with Faneuil Hall. Its original home, or place of assembling, was the Old Town-House. It was a condition in Robert Keayne's (1637) will that the proposed town-house should have “a roome for an Armory to keepe the Armes of the Artillery Company & for the Souldiers to meete in when they have occasion.” An armory
Rev. Thaddeus M. Harris, D. D. Authori- April 7, 1842; Eulogy, by Mr. Benjamin Huntoon, Ties: Sprague's Annals of the American Pulpit; before the Grand Lodge of Mass.; Proceedings of Mr. Nathaniel IIall's address at Mr. Harris's funeral, the Grand Lodge of Mass., 1873.
was provided, for Feb. 13, 1733–4, the selectmen met to view the small arms lodged in the town's armory. The town-house was much too small to accommodate the General Court, the civil courts, officers of the town, etc., and the erection of Faneuil Hall, in 1741–2, was a fortunate relief. The town officers moved in 1742 into the new building. The first meeting of the Artillery Company in Faneuil Hall, according to the Company records, was April 7, 1746. The next meetings held there, so far as the records state, were April 3, 1758, and April 2, 1759, though it is probable that the Company met there every year between 1746 and 1758. From the Boston Records we learn that May 26, 1760, “the Officers of the Artilery Company desired of the Selectmen the Liberty of Faneuil Hall on the next Monday being Artillery Election of Officers & for their Company to Dine in Voted that Liberty be granted.” May 3, 1762, certain proposals were made to the Company by some of the members, viz., “1st That the Company for the future break up at Faneuil Hall, should leave be obtained of the Selectmen for said purpose. 2dly. That the Governour, Council, &c be invited on the anniversary of the Election of officers, as formerly to dine at Faneuil Hall. . . . .3dly The Governour, Council, &c, after the Election of officers, to be invited and entertained as usual [at Faneuil Hall].” And it was further proposed that “the eldest Sergeant provide for and entertain the Company at Faneuil Hall on their muster in September,” the second sergeant in October; the third sergeant in April; and the fourth sergeant in May. These proposals were accepted, and “to stand during the pleasure of the Company.” It appears from the records that the very next year the Company held its meetings the first Friday in April, the first Monday in May, and the first Monday in June, at Faneuil Hall, and also in subsequent years, which implies that the proposals were agreeable to the selectmen of the town. These were daytime meetings, or parades, while the evening meetings for business were held at some one of several taverns, the proprietors of which were members of the Artillery Company. The selectmen granted special permission for the use of Faneuil Hall for drills whenever it was asked, the last request prior to the Revolution being April 22, 1772. After the Revolution the first recorded meeting, Oct. 19, 1786, was held at Faneuil Hall. The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company has met there regularly for more than one hundred years, except in a few instances, when the enlargement of Faneuil Hall building or the making of repairs has prevented. The original Faneuil Hall building was one hundred feet long and forty feet wide, two stories high, and would accommodate one thousand persons. Dec. 29, 1773, the people of Boston met at Faneuil Hall for determining some effectual method to prevent the tea from being unloaded, and, “it appearing that the Hall could not contain the people assembled, it was voted that the meeting be immediately adjourned to the Old South Meeting-House, leave having been obtained for this purpose.” The town felt the need of a larger hall. It was sufficient for the transaction of ordinary town business, yet on every interesting occasion, when great numbers of the inhabitants were assembled, it became necessary to adjourn to some larger building. After a time the proprietors of the places of worship became unwilling to admit such large numbers to the free use of their buildings. The town being thus destitute of suitable accommodations for large assemblies of people, the selectmen, on the ninth day of May, 1805, offered to the town a plan for the enlargement of Faneuil Hall, which was accepted, and the selectmen were directed to carry it into effect.
Two years prior to this suggestion the Artillery Company had made an attempt to obtain a new armory, etc. In the original building there was considerable unoccupied space between the ceiling of the Hall and the roof. A committee was appointed to learn the expense of fitting up an armory for the Company in the attic. The estimated cost was seventy-nine dollars and fifty cents. The Company obtained the permission of the selectmen to take possession of the attic, an assessment was levied upon the members, and the new armory was completed and occupied. This probably accounts for the arrangement of the headquarters of the Artillery Company in the present building. The plan proposed by the selectmen provided for a building twice as wide, i. e., eighty feet, and a third story added. The picture of Faneuil Hall as it appeared in 1826, from Snow’s “History of Boston,” shows by its white lines the relative size of the original building. - \ In February, 1806, “the agents appointed to superintend the enlargement of Faneuil Hall gave a Raising Supper to the artisans and workmen employed on that stately and beautiful edifice. The fathers of the town, and a number of the municipal officers, were present. The repast was abundant, and concluded with libations to ten excellent toasts.”" The enlargement proceeded with uncommon despatch, and without accident, and, in twelve months from the beginning of the work, was completed to general satisfaction. The Artillery Company occupied the old Faneuil Hall on the first Monday in June, 1805, and the new Faneuil Hall on the first Monday in June, 1806. On the latter occasion the following toast was offered : “New FANEUIL HALL. May its walls ever echo the dignified sentiments of rational liberty to remotest posterity.” Since the enlargement of the building, the apartments called “the armory of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company” have remained practically as they are at present. In the centre, running lengthwise of the building, there is a commodious hall, about seventy-five feet by thirty feet, and on either side a series of several rooms adjoining, each about twenty-five feet square. For many years after the enlargement these various rooms were occupied by the companies of the Boston regiment and the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company as armories, and the large hall was used in common. As the years passed, some of these companies were disbanded, and others obtained new armories in other buildings, until the Artillery Company became the sole occupant, and occupied, as now, the hall and all the adjacent rooms. These apartments are used for offices, gun-rooms, picture gallery, library, museum, etc., and are stored with precious relics and heirlooms. The members of the Artillery Company recruited in 1806 were: John Banister, Caswell Beal, Stephen Bean, William Bowman, Josiah Calef, Benjamin Clark, William Coffin, Jr., Thomas Dean, Caleb Eddy, Robert Fennelly, Henry Fowle, David Francis, Benjamin Fuller, William Howe, Henry Hutchinson, Jonathan Kilham, Thomas C. Legate, James Penniman, John Pickens, Jr., Andrew Sigourney, Samuel Waldron.
John Banister (1806), cooper, of Boston, resided on Purchase Street. Mr. Banister married (probably for the second time), Feb. 10, 1811, Mary Cunningham. He was third sergeant of the Artillery Company in 181o. He removed to New Orleans, La., and died there about 1824. "Columbian Centinel, Feb. 8, 1806.