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for a grammar school.* Nor has there ever been an individual prepared for college in the Eliot School. No other than the English common town school branches have been taught in it to this day. As an historical fact, I deem it important to correct the mistake (and a strange one indeed) of Mather, as quoted in the above life of Eliot.
Eliot Hall, on Jamaica Plain, erected in 1831, was built from the income of funds arising from John Eliot's donation of lands, and therefore bears his name. He died in Roxbury, May 26, 1690, aged eighty-six years, and was buried in the tomb with his wife in the old burying-place, at the foot of Roxbury street, the full and satisfactory evidence of which I have in my possession, though so often and so long disputed and said, as of Moses, that no man knoweth his sepulchre.
Dr. Gordon thought that the fee simple of land for a burying-place should be in the parish, or it would be a violation of moral right otherwise so to appropriate it. He was a man of high moral sense, and by means of it sometimes incurred offence. While he had enough of the fortiter in re, he lacked greatly the suaviter in modo.
When the late Gov. John Hancock was treasurer of Harvard College, there was great delay on his part in the settlement of his accounts.t Late Rev. Dr. Samuel Cooper, of Brattle Street Church, Boston, and Dr. Gordon talked freely together of it, and it was finally agreed between them, that at the next Overseer's meeting he should introduce a motion for the immediate settlement of the treasurer's accounts, and which Dr. C. was to second. But Dr. Gordon spoke so plainly his mind of the "gross neglect” of the treasurer, though so often urged to do it,” that the manner was thought by Dr. C., who was perfectly mild and polite in every thing, to be as gross, and therefore he forbore to utter a syllable upon the subject, and it passed off at that meeting in perfect silence. This circumstance so greatly offended Mr. Hancock, that he removed immediately from the Plain into Boston, and dropped all future intercourse whatever with Dr. Gordon. I
The estate he then left, now the property of Nathaniel Curtis, Esq., was purchased by Gov. Hancock of the late Dr. Lemuel Hayward, of Boston, by exchange for seven or eight shares on Long Wharf,
* See R. G. Parker's Sketch of the Grammar School in Roxbury, 1826. + See Josiah Quincy's History of Harvard College, 1840.
† Nichols's Anecdotes of Literature. See Index to Vol. ix. for Rev. Wm. Gordon. Gentleman's Magazine for 1807, an obituary notice of Dr. Gordon.
Boston, then valued at fifty dollars per share, - all of which, a few years since, at Dr. Hayward's death, were appraised at one hundred thousand dollars.
March 12, 1781, the following votes were passed at a parish meeting. In order to show the immense depreciation of the then paper currency, I here transcribe. Voted, to raise the sum of £15,000, lawful
money, to pay Dr. William Gordon's salary, fire-wood, and other necessary charges for said precinct. Also, voted to Nathaniel Brewer £90, lawful money, ($300,) for taking care of the meeting-house last year.” Both which votes greatly surprised me. But my surprise was soon at an end, when I found, at a subsequent meeting held June 26, following same year, “voted £200 ($666 66) to William Gordon, in hard money, instead of the £15,000 in paper, which was voted him at the last annual meeting. And to Nathaniel Brewer £1 12s., ($5 33,) instead of the £90, lawful money, voted him at the last meeting for taking care of the meeting-house the year past."
Note D. Page 12.
The following is a copy of the vote passed at a meeting of the town of Roxbury, August 4, 1796.
At a legal meeting of the freeholders and other inhabitants of the town of Roxbury, held at the meeting-house in the Easterly Parish, on Thursday, fourth day of August, one thousand seven hundred and ninety-six.
The second article in the warrant being read and considered, the town thereupon unanimously voted, That the waters of Jamaica Pond belong to the town, and are and ever have been held under their direction and at their disposal, and that it is the opinion of this meeting, that the design now attempting to be carried into execution by the Aqueduct Corporation, of drawing water from Jamaica Pond, (so called,) for the purpose of conveying the same to the town of Boston, by subterraneous pipes, if carried into effect, will be a daring attack upon the rights and property of the said town of Roxbury, will operate to the great injury of the town, and more especially to such of its inhabitants as are proprietors, or live upon Jamaica Plain, the value of whose estates, we conceive, will be materially affected thereby. And the Selectmen, to wit, Hon. John Read, Esq., Mr. John Davis, Mr. Jacob Weld, Ebenezer Seaver, Esq., and Mr. John
Williams, together with Hon. John Lowell, Dr. Thomas Williams, Deacon David Weld, Major Ebenezer Whiting, David S. Greenough, and Martin Brimmer, Esqrs., be a committee in behalf of the town, with full power to use all lawful means to prevent any waters being drawn from said pond for the purpose aforesaid, and to prosecute any person or persons, or society who shall draw the said waters for the purpose aforesaid, or for
other purpose, not heretofore expressly granted at a legal town meeting. A true copy. Attest,
STEPHEN WILLIAMS, JR.
Note E. Page 13.
The trifling circumstance here alluded to, was this : Dr. Gordon one morning calling on Mr. Pemberton, fastened his horse to the front fence, which had been newly painted. He requested him to remove him to a tree near by, which Dr. G. declined doing. Mr. P. then called his servant, and ordered him to do it. Dr. G. peremptorily forbid him; and when Mr. P. repeated his order, left the house and refused to go in. This gave so much umbrage, that he changed his former intentions towards this parish, in behalf of the town of Boston, to whose poor he willed the whole of his property; and refused, during his last illness, to converse with, or even to see Dr. Gordon. “How great a fire a small spark kindleth.”
Note F. Page 15.
On the 14th of May following, the committee reported an annual saving of $352 48 to this parish by a separation. A further investigation was voted, and a further report made in April, 1818, confirming the first, and recommending a committee of conference with the second parish, to join in a petition to the next General Court, for a separation of both from the First Parish, and an act of incorporation into a distinct town. This report was unanimously accepted, and a committee chosen for the conference, and the parish adjourned to the second Monday in May following. The report was published, and the meeting again adjourned to second Monday in November, when it was voted yet again to adjourn the meeting to March, 1819, for further investigation. But the committee declining further service, the meeting was accordingly dissolved.
February 10, 1838, P. M. three o'clock, the parish by previous notice assembled at Eliot Hall upon the subject of a separation of this and the Upper Parish from the town of Roxbury for the third time, Committees were appointed respectfully to invite the union and co-operation of the Upper Parish, and to obtain the consent of the Lower Parish for the accomplishment of that object. Then adjourned to Monday evening, February 19th, seven o'clock. Met again February 19th, and adjourned to Thursday Evening, February 22d.' Met February 22d, and adjourned to Thursday evening, March 1st.
On Friday morning, February 23d, a petition was presented to the General Court for the separation, by S. G. Goodrich, Senator of Norfolk, with the signatures of all present at the meeting, and a committee appointed to obtain more.
March 22, 1838, a public town meeting was held, our separation refused, and a committee of the Selectmen and others appointed to attend the General Court's committee, and by all lawful means to oppose
it. The Court's committee had two meetings in the State House, to hear both parties. Gen. William H. Sumner and David S. Greenough for the parish, Judge S. Leland and Mr. Simmonds for the town. The meetings were held in the afternoons of Tuesday, 20th, and Wednesday, 28th inst.
The subject of the separation was finally laid over to the next session of the General Court in January, 1839, for further consideration, and has not since been called up.
Note G. Page 15.
This bell, weighing one thousand pounds, was cast at Canton, Mass., by Joseph Revere, Esq., obtained partly by subscription, together with the proceeds of the other, and $140 remaining in treasury, overplus from sale of new pews in 1820.
Note H. Page 15.
On this occasion Benjamin P. Williams, Esq. delivered an appropriate address, which is published.
Order of services at the dedication of Eliot Hall, Jamaica Plain, on Tuesday, January 17, 1832: 1. Introductory Prayer, by. Rev.
Dr. Gray. 2. Address, by Benjamin P. Williams, Esq. 3. Original Hymn, by Dr. Thomas Gray, Jr.
TUNE - Old Hundred.
On darkling man whose glory turns ;
Which round God's bright pavilion burns.
There in that ever radiant beam,
The sacred tree of knowledge grew;
Than Siloam's fountain ever knew.
That tree of life's eternal fruit,
A mightier than the Hebrew gave,-
A purer stream than Horeb's wave.
And may it flow, forever fair,
Here, as it flowed in days of yore:
And bade its living waters pour.
Lord, speed that ray with power to save.
From heart to heart, from clime to clime,
Through countless worlds, and endless time.
May unborn thousands here repose
In wisdom's light their upward wings;
Eternal life's undying springs.
Note I. Page 15.
This organ was built and put up by William Goodrich, organbuilder at Lechmere Point, Cambridge. Obtained by subscription. The committee for its selection were Joseph Curtis, Benjamin P. Williams, Esqrs., Benjamin Bussey, Esq. who subscribed fourth part of the whole expense, and Dr. Thomas Gray, Jr., of Boston, and who for a time first played it.