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1869.] DECEMBER MEETING. 159 



DECEMBER MEETING. 

A stated monthly meeting was held this day, Thursday, 9th 
December, at 11 o'clock, a.m. ; the President, Mr. Winthbop, 
in the chair. 

The Recording Secretary read the record of the previous 
meeting. 

The Librarian read a list of the donors to the Library, which 
included Mr. Savage, the senior member of the Society, in 
whose name a number of valuable manuscripts and pamphlets 
were presented by his daughter, Mrs. Rogers. 

The Corresponding Secretary said he had received a letter 
of acceptance from Mr. Theodore Lyman, who was present at 
this meeting. 

Mr. Edmund Quincy, of Dedham, was elected a Resident 
Member. 

A copy of a lithographic portrait of the late Mr. George 
Peabody was presented by the publisher, Mr. A. Trochsler, of 
Boston. 

The President read the following memorandum from Mr. 
Henry Gillman, of Detroit, presenting a number of interesting 
relics to the Society : — 

The following named relics appearing more in keeping with the 
objects of the Historical Society, I have reserved them from among 
those deposited at the Peabody Museum. 

No. 9. A portion of the flag-staff of Old Fort Mackinac (Michili- 
mackinac), on the south shore of the Straits of Mackinac. When the 
writer in 1851 visited the site, so interesting from its historical associa- 
tions, nothing remained on the bleak sandy point to denote the original 
works, save a few shapeless mounds, and the remnants of the pickets 
which once formed the sally-port, near which was the stump of the 
flag-staff, projecting about two feet above ground. These last were fast 
being undermined by the waters of the Straits which washed within a 



160 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [DEC. 

few feet of them, and in stormy weather swept clear over them, so 
that, in all probability, they have long since disappeared. The great 
massacre occurred on June 4, 1763. The place has not been occupied, 
since about ten years after that. See Schoolcraft's " N. A. Indians," 
with Mr. Henry's singular narrative, and other works. 

No. 10. Stemless brass button with initials E. A., and figure 2 en- 
closed by wreath ; found a few years ago on a lot near the site of the 
old Fort at Detroit — now one of the most thickly settled parts of the 
city. The initials no doubt denote Royal Artillery, and this button 
probably dates back to the occupation of the British. 

No. 28. Copy of map of " The Town and Fortifications of Detroit, 
as they stood before the year 1796. T. Smith, 30 May, 1816 (Copy)." 
This shows the town as it was in the time of the British occupation, 
all standing within pickets, which was rendered necessary by the 
Indians. Among other interesting details, it shows the position of the 
river Savoyard, — a stream which then ran through the town, and was 
large enough for the citizens and their wives to amuse themselves on 
in their canoes of a summer evening ; but which has long since dis- 
appeared through the march of improvement. 

Henry. Gillman. 

December 6, 1869. 

A new book, entitled the " Primeval World of Hebrew 
Tradition," was presented by the author, our associate, Dr. 
Hedge. 

A memoir of the late Col. T. B. Lawrence was presented 
by Mr. Abbott Lawrence, through the Librarian. 

Mr. Adams exhibited, and afterwards presented to the So- 
ciety, a manuscript, labelled " Tory Account of Whig Characters 
before the War," dated London, 18th April, 1775. He read 
some portions of the paper, which he thought, on the whole, 
hardly came up to the dignity of an historical document. 

The President presented a quantity of paper money of the 
Colonial period. 

The thanks of the Society were ordered for the various gifts 
presented at this meeting. 

The President made some remarks, and read a number of 
communications relative to the recent alleged discovery of a 



1869.] THE " CARDIFF GIANT " CONTEOVERST. 161 

petrifaction or ancient statue, called the " Cardiff giant," 
among which was the following from the Eochester " Daily 
Union": — 

THE CARDIFF GIANT A HUMBUG. 

Prof. O. C. Marsh, who occupies the chair of Palaeontology in 
Yale College, has lately examined the " Cardiff Giant," and the 
'* Buffalo Courier " is permitted to publish a letter written from this city 
by him to a friend containing his views thereon. From such a source 
opinions are entitled to great weight on such a subject, and it must be 
admitted that the testimony of Prof. Marsh finally settles the claim of 
the monstrosity to be of antique origin. The following is the letter : — 

Rochester, Nov. 24, 1869. 

Dear , — I saw the " Cardiff Giant" last evening, and in accordance 

with your request I will tell you what I think of it, although I can now only 
give you my conclusions. The reasons for them would make a longer letter 
than I have at present time to write. 

By especial permission of the proprietors, I was allowed to make a more 
careful examination of the statue than is permitted to most visitors, and a 
very few minutes sufficed to satisfy me that my first suspicions in regard to 
it were correct; viz., that it is of very recent origin, and a most decided 
humbug. 

The figure is cut from a block of gypsum, similar to that found in Onon- 
daga county, and at other localities of the Salina formation in the State 
further west. 

The peculiar position of the body and limbs, which has occasioned so 
much remark, was apparently determined in a great measure, by the form of 
the block of stone, which was water-worn on at least three of its sides before 
the sculptor began his work. These rough water-worn surfaces were not 
entirely removed in cutting. Portions of them still remain on the sides of 
the head, and on the limbs and feet, and have erroneously been regarded as 
indicating for the work a high antiquity. 

The tool-marks are still very distinct on different parts of the statue, 
especially where they have not been obliterated by the imperfect polishing 
which evidently completed the work. On the more prominent portions of 
the figure these marks appear as small pointed depressions, but in the less 
exposed places, where the polishing was more carelessly done, or omitted, 
they are nearly as distinct and fresh as when first cut. In several places they 
are very near or immediately surrounded by the water-worn surfaces (i. e., 
in the opening of the right ear), and therefore are evidently of subsequent 
formation. 

Now, as gypsum is soluble in about four hundred parts of water, a very 
short exposure of the statue in the locality at Cardiff would suffice to oblit- 



162 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Dec. 

erate all traces of tool-marks, and also to roughen the polished surfaces, but 
these are both quite perfect, and hence the giant must have been very 
recently buried where discovered. 

Altogether, the work is well calculated to impose upon the general public ; 
but I am surprised that any scientific observers should not have at once 
detected the unmistakable evidence against its antiquity. 

The President concurred substantially in these views of 
Prof. Marsh ; but Mr. Salisbury, on the other hand, who had 
also seen the statue, dissented from some of the positions 
taken in this communication. 

The President read the following letter from Mr. Henry 
Pickering, son of the late Octavius Pickering, placed in his 
hands by our associate, the Hon. Charles W. Upham : — 

Boston, April 9th, 1869. 
Rev. Charles W. Upham, Membier of the Massachusetts Historical Society. 

Dear Sir, — My father, 1 as you already know, intended giving to 
the Massachusetts Historical Society the bound volumes of Col. 
Timothy Pickering's manuscript correspondence, and such of his un- 
bound papers as should be thought proper to accompany them, — with 
the exception of the first four volumes containing private and family 
letters, — and a will was drawn in which was embodied the above be- 
quest to the Society. My father did not live to execute this will, and 
the property in the manuscripts and papers passed to me as his sole 
heir. 

It is my desire to carry out my father's intention by presenting to 
the Society the books and papers now in your hands : it being under- 
stood that they are to remain with you, or in the hands of such person 
as shall carry on or complete the biography of Col. Pickering, as long 
as may be necessary for that purpose. 

Will you oblige me by laying this communication before the Society, 

or asking their acceptance of the bound manuscripts and of such of 

the unbound papers as you consider worthy of preservation for the 

objects of the Society, in any way you think proper ; and when you 

have finished your examination of them, and have no further use for 

them, will you give them into the hands of the Society as their own 

property ? 

I am, Sir, yours very respectfully, 

Henry Pickering. 
Rev. Chas. W. Upham. 



1869.] DECEMBER MEETING. 163 

Voted, That the Society gratefully accept the papers presented 
by Mr. Henry Pickering, and that they will take charge of them 
when deposited in the Library. 

The President announced a new number of the " Proceed- 
ings," embracing the transactions for June, July, and August, 
1869. 

The President exhibited a manuscript, comprising notes of a 
course of Lectures by Prof. John Winthrop of Harvard College, 
taken by a student about the year 1740 ; and presented it to 
our associate, Mr. Sibley, for Harvard College Library. 

The President read a letter from our associate, Dr. Ellis, 
making some suggestions relative to another course of lectures 
to be delivered by members of the Society at some future 
time. 

The Librarian read a letter from Mr. N. Goodwin, of Pram- 
ingham, explaining a passage in the journal of Mr. Samuel 
Davis, published in a late number of the " Proceedings ". 
In passing through Wethersfield, Conn., Mr. Davis says, he 
saw Beadle's House and Shop, both of which were closed, as 
no one would occupy them.* " Perhaps few if any persons 
know," writes Mr. Goodwin, " the cause of this house and shop 
being closed and avoided. Dr. Lazarus Le Baron, of Plymouth, 
grandson of Dr. Francis Le Baron, returned from Barbados 
after a residence of fifteen years there ; and, in 1756, October 
14th, married for his second wife the widow of Ansell Lothrop, 
— Mary (Thompson) Lothrop. At the time of her second 
marriage, Mrs. Lothrop had one child, a daughter, Lydia 
Lothrop. Soon afterwards the daughter was married to William 
Beadle of Wethersfield, Conn., a merchant or trader of con- 
siderable property. By her he had four children, all of whom 
with his wife he murdered, then cut his own throat. Hence 
arose the reluctance to occupy his house and shop." 

Mr. Appleton exhibited a rare picture of Bunker Hill, pro- 

* Ante, p. 14. 



164 MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY. [Dec. 

cured by him in New York. It was probably by an American 
artist, and evidently taken soon after the battle of Bunker Hill. 
It is inscribed as follows : " An Exact View of The Late 
Battle at Charlestown, June 17th, 1775," &c. By B. Romans. 
It is from a copperplate, 16 1-2 by 11 inches, and colored by 
hand. 

The President announced that the Standing Committee had 
accepted the invitation of our associate, Mr. Mason, for the 
Society to meet at his house on Tuesday evening, the 21st 
inst. 



SPECIAL MEETING. 

A social meeting of the Society was held at the house of Mr. 
R. M. Mason, No. 1 Walnut Street, corner of Beacon Street, 
on the evening of Tuesday, the 21st of December, at seven and 
a half o'clock ; the President in the chair. 

In his opening remarks, the President indulged in some 
reminiscences relating to the house in which the Society were 
assembled, it having once been the residence of his father, the 
Hon; Thomas L. Winthrop, a former President of the Society. 

The President read the following letter from our associate, 
Mr. W. S. Appleton, noticing the death of a Corresponding 
Member, Mr. John Bruce, F. S. A., of London. 

Boston, Deo. 10, 1869. 

Dear Mr. Winthrop, — Had I supposed that the death of our 
Corresponding Member, John Bruce, F. S. A., would not have beeu 
noticed at the meeting yesterday, I would have sent you an extract 
from some English paper announcing it. He died on the 28th of 
October, aged 67, and the following appeared in the " Illustrated Lon- 
don News " for Nov. 13 ; the " Athenasum " and " Notes and Queries " 
have also printed memoirs : — 

" John Bruce, Esq., F. S. A., an eminent antiquary, has just died, 
aged sixty-seven. He was of a Scottish family, and passed some time