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“‘Your committee will not take up the time of the Company to discuss the public advantages which would arise from establishments for drilling of officers. As those are well known, it is sufficient for them to observe that in almost every petition which has been presented to the General Court for the amendment of the militia law, this has been enumerated among the most important of those which have been named. The popular sentiment, therefore, as well as the sound judgment of the community, is in favor of such a modification of it. The Company, according to the spirit of their charter, may anticipate the amendment of the law by making the Company what it was designed to be at its institution, a school of and for officers, with confidence that its efforts will be encouraged by the Legislature. But to make it as extensively useful as its powers admit, the objection of many officers, which arises from the expense of providing a new uniform, and paying a considerable annual assessment besides, must be obviated. For it cannot be supposed by any one that if the General Court should adopt any plan for drilling the officers of the militia, either in regiments or brigades, that they would require them to provide a separate uniform for the purpose. On the contrary, it cannot be doubted that they would permit them to exercise in the uniforms which are worn by them in their respective corps and offices, as is now practised by several voluntary associations for the purpose. If a similar principle is not, therefore, adopted by us, it must be obvious that a great proportion of very meritorious officers, who are at as much expense to maintain the respectability of their situations in the volunteer companies in the militia as their firearms will allow of, will be unable to join it, and the very object which the Company has in view, to obtain the advantage of their acquirements in military knowledge and their zeal in displaying it, will be defeated. But although these general principles were admitted to be applicable to the subject, yet, when the committee first entered upon its consideration, some particular objections occurred, which made them doubtful of the expediency of adopting the proposition. A fear was entertained that, if the uniform of the Company was changed, the identity would be lost to the public; and, it was observed that though such changes might be becoming in younger institutions, yet, as the dignity of ours consisted of its antiquity, its distinguishing characteristics, by a change of uniform, would be lost. But as the Company have already had four, and it is supposed six, different uniforms, it was concluded (inasmuch as the plan proposed to be adopted as an inducement for the officers of other corps to join it, is predicated upon the saving of expense to them, while the old members subject themselves to no expense or inconvenience, in the mode proposed for effecting it) that the objections weighed less against the proposed alteration in this than it would against a change of uniform in any other Company. It was also another objection, arising from the singularity of the appearance which the Company would present if the plan was adopted, which recurred to almost every one upon its first promulgation. The universality of this objection induced the committee to give it much thought themselves, and those who urged it time for consideration. And they are happy to be able to inform the Company that the minds of all the members of the committee not only, but of all others whom they have consulted and who have maturely considered the plan, have become reconciled to it.
“The Company, it is supposed, was first uniformed in 1738, and for a long time it was the only uniformed company in the State. In 1772, when they adopted a new uniform, considering themselves as a company of officers, they had distinct regard and reference to that worn by the militia. And in 181o the uniform then worn was entirely laid aside, and that which was established for the field and company officers of the militia infantry, upon the same principle of convenience and accommodation, was adopted by the Company. In searching its history your committee have, besides these, found continued instances of a disposition in the Company to meet the views and wishes of the militia officers, who, until a few years back, it must be inferred from the records, have had the principal regulation of the Company affairs. In illustrating this remark, we might cite the record to show that the field officers of the Boston regiment used to be appointed members of the regular standing committee of the Company as frequently as its own officers are now, and that in one instance a committee was appointed “to wait on the field officers of the regiment, to know if they either of them would take the command of the Company the ensuing year.” This vote was passed in 1773, and shows that until that time, at least, the Company was chiefly composed of militia officers. Since that period very great changes have taken place in our military as well as civil institutions. Our militia is not now confined to artillery, cavalry, and infantry corps, but light infantry, grenadier, rifle, and sea fencibles companies have been established and incorporated with it by law. As these are composed of such as voluntarily enlist into them, they are generally distinguished for the beauty of their dress, the excellence of their discipline, and the extent of their military attainments. Can any good reason be offered why the officers of these companies, as well as others, should not be admitted into the Company without being at the expense of providing new uniforms ? The committee know of none, and from personal communication had with many of them, they believe that most, if not all of them, who reside in the capital and neighborhood, would join it, if they could be admitted upon terms of equality with others. Not only so, but many of the officers of the cavalry and artillery, and the staff officers of the different corps, would be able and willing to join the Company; and some of them who, by having been admitted into it as honorary members, now seem to be excluded from its active duties, the committee learn with pleasure will solicit permission to appear in the ranks. The Company would not only be filled and enlarged, but a competition among those who are emulous to excel each other would be excited between the officers of different corps, which would increase its spirit, respectability, and usefulness. “‘The objection under consideration, arising from the singularity of the appearance which the Company would present, it is admitted, might be urged with great propriety against any other company than this, for they consist principally of privates; whereas, this is principally of officers. This distinguishing feature of our institution never should be lost sight of in the consideration of this subject; as it is, this only which makes the proposition at all admissible. But, composed as it is, we can see no reason why it should not appear to be what it is denominated, “a company of officers,” and why, by its appearance as well as its charter, it should not be distinguished from all other incorporated companies. Other objections were made against details of this plan, which it was supposed the adoption of the proposition would necessarily involve, but which the committee think are so entirely disconnected with the subject that they do not bring them distinctly before the Company for their consideration. “Under the general head of authority given to your committee to inquire into the “expediency of any measures that it is advisiable for the Company to adopt to advance the interests, promote the honor, and increase the number of the members of the Company,” they have taken into consideration various projects which have been suggested for the purposes mentioned. There is one only, however, in which the committee are united in opinion, which is that, after the present year, the squad meetings of the Company at the houses of the officers and non-commissioned officers, – which have been found to be both expensive and troublesome, – should be dispensed with. Upon the whole, then, as the committee, upon mature consideration of the proposition submitted to them for examination, can see no objection to it of any great weight; and as they believe the adoption of it will be attended with great advantage to the Company, by enlarging its numbers and increasing its respectability, by making the ranks of the Company an object of ambition to the elevated, and producing a spirit of emulation among its members, by adding to its influence in the community, and of course making it more deserving of the consideration of the government, they are unanimously of opinion that the proposition submitted to their consideration should be adopted, and that the following alterations in the Rules and Regulations of the Company should accordingly be made :“‘Members of the Company who hold or have held commissions in the militia may appear in the uniform of their respective offices; provided, that the commissioned officers of the Company only shall be permitted to wear in it the insignia of their militia offices. “‘The number of the officers of the Company shall be proportioned to the number of its active members, and shall be fixed previous to the election of officers annually. “The members of the Company shall wear a herring-bone, or the number of them to which they are entitled by the rules of the Company, at all times, on their military coats, as a badge of membership. “‘Officers of the militia, though under the age of twenty-one years, may be admitted into the Company as members. “‘All which is most respectfully submitted.
“‘BENJAMIN LORING [181 ol, GEORGE WELLEs , Commander,
The above report, after slight amendment, was adopted by the Company, and a large number of gentlemen immediately applied for admission into the Company.
In the summer of 1820 the following paper was presented to the Company: —
“Understanding that the ‘Antient and Honorable Artillery Company’ are about adopting a plan whereby the General Field and Staff Officers and also the officers of Light Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery will be permitted to perform duty in said Company, wearing the uniforms of their respective Commissions or Corps under proper regulations and that arrangements are expected to be made to render the Antient and Honorable more extensive and useful as a school for officers, –
“We the undersigned do severally apply to be admitted as members provided the same shall be adopted by the Company.
Monday, Oct. 2, 1820, the Company paraded at Faneuil Hall at one o'clock P. M., and marched to South Boston, with their field-pieces, to fire at a target. While firing, the left piece, Adams, burst. No one was injured by the explosion, and no fault could be attributed to the Company. The Company returned to Faneuil Hall, and was dismissed.
The last meeting of the Artillery Company in 1820 was on the first Sunday in December, when the Company attended the funeral of Lieut.-Col. Daniel Dunton (1812), formerly an honorary member, over whose remains funeral services were held at the residence of his bereaved family, corner of Cambridge and Belknap streets. The badge of mourning was worn by the Company thirty days.
Rev. John Codman, A. M., delivered the Artillery election sermon in 1820. He was a son of Mr. John Codman, a distinguished merchant in Boston, and was born in that town in 1782. He attended the public schools of Boston, and graduated at Harvard College in 1802.
There was but one church in Dorchester in 1805, of which Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, who delivered the Artillery election sermon in 1805, was pastor. That year a project was formed for erecting another meeting-house and forming a second church, on account of the largely increased number of families in the town. The building was erected at the corner of Washington and Centre streets, and the church was called the Second Church. The meeting-house was dedicated Oct. 30, 1806. The church was gathered Jan. 1, 1808, on which occasion Rev. John Pierce, of Brookline, who delivered the Artillery election sermon in 1813, was the preacher of the consecration sermon. The church met Sept. 9, 1808, for the purpose of electing a pastor, and, “by written votes,” Rev. John Codman was unanimously chosen to that office. The parish confirmed the selection Sept. 20. After due consideration Mr. Codman accepted the invitation, and was ordained to the Christian ministry, and installed as pastor of the Second Church in Dorchester, Dec. 7, 1808. The sermon on that occasion was delivered by Rev. William E. Channing, D. D. A year passed harmoniously, but as party lines began to be drawn between the liberal and conservative parties in the New England churches, differences appeared in the Second Church. Mr. Codman identified himself with the conservatives and did not exchange pulpits with the liberal clergymen, who were favorites with many of the church-members. The controversy grew warmer and more personal, and finally resulted in the withdrawal of the liberal party from that church. Mr. Codman continued, however, as pastor until his decease, which occurred Dec. 23, 1847, in the sixty-fifth year of his age, and the fortieth of his ministry.
“Dorchester Cemetery,” so called, on Norfolk Street, was bequeathed to the Second Church by its pastor, Rev. John Codman, D. D. It was consecrated Oct. 27, 1848. The remains of Mr. Codman were, on that day, transferred to the family tomb in that cemetery, and the parish subsequently erected a granite monument to his memory, and inscribed upon it, “Our Pastor.”
The officers of the Artillery Company elected in 1821 were: William 182 I. Hyslop Sumner (1819), captain; Theodore Lyman, Jr. (1820), first lieutenant; Alexander H. Gibbs (1820), second lieutenant, and Christopher Gore (1814), ensign. Peter Mackintosh, Jr. (1820) was first sergeant; Daniel Brown (1818), second sergeant; Ruel Baker (1819), third sergeant; Stephen S. Davis (1821), fourth sergeant; Nehemiah Wyman (1820), first corporal; Solomon Loud (1821), second corporal; Charles M. Domett (1821), third corporal; Henry Fowle, Jr. (1821), fourth corporal; Jacob Hall (1802), treasurer; Andrew G. Winslow (1820), clerk, and David W. Bradlee (1811), armorer. The members of the Artillery Company recruited in 1821 were: Samuel L. Abbot, William Adams, Alfred Allen, Thomas C. Amory, Lewis Bailey, William Baldwin, William A. Bancroft, John F. Banister, Levi Bates, William Beach, Richard Brackett, John Brazer, James Brown, Samuel Burr, Joseph Butterfield, William Buttrick, Samuel A. Coburn, Artemas Conant, Isaac Davis, John B. Davis, Stephen S. Davis, Samuel Doggett, Charles M. Domett, Ebenezer Eaton, William H. Eliot, John Elliot, Drury Fairbanks, Freeman Fisher, Josiah S. Fisher, Henry Fowle, Jr., Walter Frost, Abraham Gates, George M. Gibbens, Frederick Gould, Moses Gragg, James Hamilton, Isaac M. Hawes, Ezra Hawkes, Nathan Hobbs, Prentiss Hobbs, William Hooten, Isaac Hurd, Jr., William Ingalls, John Keyes, Winslow Lewis, Thomas J. Lobdell, Solomon Loud, Eliab W. Metcalf, Harrison J. Otis, Jr., Francis Peabody, Silas Peirce, Brewster Reynolds, Jonathan A. Richards, Robert Robinson, Michael Roulstone, Micah M. Rutter, Edward L. Scott, Daniel Shattuck, Nathaniel Snow, Silas Stuart, Amos Sumner, George W. Thayer, Salem Towne, Jr., William Tucker, Edward Watson, Eliphalet Wheeler, William Whiting, John Temple Winthrop.
Samuel L. Abbot (1821) was a merchant, of the firm of Oliver & Co., 21 Central Wharf, Boston. He was ensign of the Winslow Blues in the Third Regiment, Third Brigade, First Division, of the State Militia, in 1819 and 1820, lieutenant of the same in 1821 and 1822, and captain in 1823. He paraded with the Artillery Company in 1822, and was discharged at his own request, April 26, 1824. He never held office in the Artillery Company.
William Adams (1821), yeoman, of (North) Chelmsford, son of William and Elizabeth (Richardson) Adams, was born in North Chelmsford, April 13, 1762, and died at that place Dec. 25, 1843. He married, Nov. 1, 1786, Mary Roby, -born Oct. 30, 1763,- of Dunstable. She died July 3, 1849. William Adams (1821) was a descendant (fourth generation) of Henry Adams, of Braintree, whose son, Henry, of Medfield, joined the Artillery Company in 1652, and was a cousin of President John Adams.
At the age of sixteen years William (1821) joined the Revolutionary Army, and served for fourteen months. While a soldier at West Point, he was an eye-witness of the execution of Major André. After his war service he returned home and devoted