Imágenes de páginas
[blocks in formation]


Members who have died, or of whose death information has been received, since the last volume of Collections was issued, June 15, 1905, arranged in the order of their election, and with date of death.

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

[The Membership of John Carver Palfrey, A.M., was terminated by resignation Dec. 14, 1905, and the Memberships of George Spring Merriam, A.M., and of Thomas Corwin Mendenhall, LL.D., were both terminated by resignation Nov. 8, 1906.]

[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

[The Membership of Hon. William Ashmead Courtenay, I.L.D., was terminated by resignation Dec. 14, 1905; and the name of Capt. Alfred Thayer Mahan, D.C.L., was transferred from the Corresponding to the Honorary List Jan. 10, 1907.]




'HE Bowdoin and Temple Papers form a portion of the great collection of Winthrop Papers given to the Society under the will of our late associate Robert C. Winthrop, Jr., and are mainly comprised in five large volumes. In 1897 a selection from them, consisting almost wholly of letters to or from Governor Bowdoin and his son-in-law Sir John Temple, during our revolutionary period, was published under the direction of a committee, of which Mr. Winthrop and the late Mellen Chamberlain were members. That volume ended with the year 1782, and it was thought best to defer the publication of a second volume in order that the Society might print at once a selection from the Jefferson Papers given by Mr. Coolidge, and carry out some other plans which had been necessarily delayed. The preparation of the second part has been deferred for a longer time than was then anticipated; but as only one of the original committee is living it has been thought desirable that their plan should now be completed. This second and final volume covers the period from 1783 to 1812, closing with the death of the younger Bowdoin. In the earlier part of this period much light is thrown on the history of Governor Bowdoin's administration and on his successful efforts for the suppression of Shays's insurrection; and


in the later part abundant details will be found relating to the abortive efforts between 1806 and 1808 for the acquisition from Spain of East and West Florida and the settlement of the western boundary of Louisiana.

In the Preface to the first part, which, with the exception of the last paragraph, was written by Mr. Winthrop, some account of the different members of the Bowdoin family is given, but it will be convenient to add here. a few facts connected with the younger Bowdoin's diplomatic career. In November, 1804, he was nominated by Mr. Jefferson as minister to Madrid, and the appointment was at once confirmed. At that time his health was such as to render it inexpedient for him to go to Washington to receive his instructions and have a personal interview with the President and the Secretary of State, and this formality was accordingly dispensed with; but it was not until the end of April that he was able to embark for Spain. He reached Santander, on the Bay of Biscay, a little more than two hundred miles from Madrid, early in June. Here various vexatious delays occurred in obtaining permission to land and proceed on his journey; and in the meantime he became seriously ill and was confined to his bed in the house of the American consul in Santander. Finally he decided that his health was such as to render it dangerous for him to go to Madrid, where he could not obtain the necessary medical advice, and he went to England. He arrived there about the end of July, and remained until the latter part of October, when he went to Paris. In March, 1806, he was joined with General Armstrong, the American minister to France, in a special commission to treat with Spain through the intervention of France. This ill-judged measure wholly failed to produce the results which the administration at Washington had in view, and during Mr. Bowdoin's residence in Paris the

two ministers worked at cross-purposes and were openly suspicious of each other. The ill-feeling which existed between them was well known at Washington, and was probably as well known in Paris and in Madrid; but at no time do Jefferson and Madison seem to have had their confidence in Bowdoin and their personal regard for him. shaken. Of Armstrong's general ability there is no doubt, but he was utterly deficient in judgment and tact, and he was the victim of his own petty jealousies. His authorship of the Newburg Addresses will not be forgotten by any student of American history; and his management of the War Department during the war of 1812 with Great Britain was not successful. Some years afterward, in September, 1822, John Quincy Adams expressed his belief that Armstrong was "one of the ablest writers and most unprincipled men that this country had ever produced.” For the Committee,


BOSTON, February 18, 1907.

« AnteriorContinuar »