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was not able to bear the expense of publication. It is the only volume of Transactions ever published by a scientific association in Maryland.
So great was the zeal of the members in increasing their cabinet at this time that a regular taxidermist was employed to prepare and mount the numerous skins of birds and other animals that had accumulated for several years.
In this year the society sustained a severe loss in the removal to Charleston of Dr. Geddings, one of its most active and learned members, and his loss was most seriously felt. He had been connected with one of our medical schools and was a man of distinguished talents and attainments.
In this year the cabinet was greatly enriched by a splendid collection of foreign minerals, in a large mahogany case, which was bequeathed by Charles Carroll Harper, Esq., together with the instruments and books relating to mineralogy, all constituting a rich and interesting addition.
An active correspondence with learned foreign societies and individuals was conducted and many donations from them were received.
About the year 1840 the academy began to decline, owing to the removal and death of some active members and the indifference of others. Here was a library of rare and costly books, of nearly 1000 volumes, on every branch of natural science,-here were comfortable and convenient rooms,—here was a large collection of natural history in almost every department, and yet about this time, for vine successive weeks, not a quorum of five members could be brought together. The glory was beginning to depart. The few who remained found it inconvenient to pay the rent and keep up the meetings, and in the beginning of this year the expediency of dissolving the whole concern was intimated. Desperate struggles were made to sustain it. The trustees of Baltimore College offered the academy apartments free of rent, which offer some of the members were exceedingly anxious to accept, but it was finally refused after long, frequent and animated discussion.
For a short time after the settlement of this question, a new
spirit of enterprise seemed to animate the members, and there were several resolutions passed on Mr. Vattemare's plan of international exchanges, which was much talked of in the country at that period but from which no permanent benefit ever resulted.
At this period also the old Baltimore Museum was offered for sale, and the academy appointed a committee to enquire how it might be preserved to the city, but nothing satisfactory was ever done.
The proceedings of 1842 show that the financial condition of the academy was growing desperate and various methods of increasing the funds were suggested and adopted, but not one of which produced any beneficial result. Levies were made on the members, but many of them refused to pay. Urgent appeals were sent out but to no purpose.
This state of things continued for some months, during which various plans of infusing new life into the academy were proposed, until finally in 1843 a direct proposition to dissolve it was made. The discussion of this subject was continued for nearly a year, during which a considerable portion of the zoological collection was sold. A hard struggle ensued, and night after night the conflict was continued. The opponents of dissolution exerted themselves to the utmost to prevent the catastrophe and the friends of the measure were equally zealous. For a long time science had no share in the proceedings ; the question was, shall
, we live or die? Each party rallied its friends. Resolutions were offered only to be negatived or reconsidered or laid on the table. Committees were appointed which did not report; various propositions from other societies in the city were presented but they were not accepted. One came from the Historical Society but the majority voted it down. This then was the state of things, when on the 3d of February, 1844, it was resolved to dissolve the academy. The last blow was given and it fell.
The question now arose, how should the property be disposed of? This also occasioned warm and protracted discussion, but it was finally determined to sell the furniture and the cases, to return to depositors as far as they could be ascertained, those articles presented or deposited by them. The remaining articles and books were divided into lots and each lot valued, which were drawn for by the members according to an equitable rule adopted. Shares were allotted to each member according to the ratio of the number of annual contributions paid by each. The names of all the members were written on separate pieces of paper and deposited in the ballot box. The first drawn name then selected from among the articles the whole number of shares he was entitled to, and so on, until all had chosen. It was done. That fine library, that extensive collection was broken up, dispersed, never to be re-collected. The labor of years was scattered,—the gifts of many liberal persons to the academy for public use, went into the hands of individuals for private use. Books and specimens bought with large sums of money were given away by lottery. The halls were deserted,—the doors were closed, and the Maryland Academy of Science and Literature died. There were not many at its funeral, and those few came not to pay respect to the deceased but to divide among themselves its effects. “They parted its garments among them and on its vesture did they cast lots.” Hic jacet; memoria ejus esto perpetua !
No successful attempt has ever been made to resuscitate it. The fact is there are fewer cultivators of natural science among us now than there were twenty years ago, but we will not despair. When proper accommodations shall be afforded, as we are authorized to believe will be, and when a splendid collection of books on natural history shall be accessible to students, we trust that a new impetus will be given to such studies and that there will be a large number of collaborators in the delightful and profitable
THE HISTORY OF THE SOCIETY OF JESUS IN NORTH AMERICA, COLONIAL AND FEDERAL. By Thomas Hughes of the same Society. Vol. I. Cleveland: The Burrows Brothers Co., 1907.
A complete history of the Jesuits would be one of the most extraordinary and fascinating works in the world. In Europe it would deal with the secret policies and hidden springs that led to the making and unmaking of kingdoms and empires; in Asia and Canada, with deeds of self-sacrifice and heroism compared with which the exploits of chivalry would seem children's play; in South America with achievements stranger than romance.
Compared with these, the doings and the trials of the Jesuits in Maryland seem insignificant enough: a dispute about quit-rents, or about militia duties; the question whether certain lands were feudal or allodial; the extent of court-processes, etc., seem now to be what the General of the Order himself called them reculae, "trifles," about which, especially since they were amicably settled more than two hundred and fifty years ago, nobody now need agitate himself much.
At the same time, these matters do form an episode in Maryland history that cannot be overlooked; and a thorough investigation of them, such as Father Hughes has undertaken and carried out with the most praiseworthy diligence, should be welcome to all students of Maryland history.
The author, being a member of the Order, has had exceptional opportunities of consulting its archives and records everywhere, as well as those of the Propaganda and other religious bodies, and his industry in research seems to have been indefatigable. In fact, the reader is almost overwhelmed with references and citations, usually in the very words of the original documents. This, if a fault at all, is a fault on the right side.
But, while his connection with the Order has given the Rev. author an advantage in one respect, it has injured him in another, in making him rather an advocate than a historian. He can see nothing wrong
in the acts or attitude of the Jesuit Fathers, nor anything right in those who took the opposite view. There is no intentional unfairness; but a sort of mental astigmatism that sees everything distorted. we are saturated with the belief that a man is a tyrant and a hypocrite, all his vigorous actions will be tyranny and his gentle ones hypocrisy ; and behind his most righteous deeds we shall spy lurking sinister motives.
The chief points at issue between the Proprietary and the Jesuit Fathers were these :
1. They thought it a hardship to have to pay quit-rents (in corn) on their lands.
2. They thought it a hardship that they should be called upon to contribute to the defence of the colony: that is, contribute toward the building a fort, and allow the performance of the regular militia duty by their servants.
3. They thought it a hardship that land given them by the Indians should be held under the Proprietary's charter.
4. They thought it a hardship that they and their servants should be subject, as were the other colonists, to the temporal law in matters temporal.
Now to the ordinary unprejudiced mind these matters present themselves thus :—
1. As the Fathers were holding many thousands of acres, most part of which was unproductive, doubtless a rent of a barrel of corn yearly per hundred acres was more than they could afford to pay. But they knew the conditions of plantation when they took them up. And it was easy at any moment to resign so much of the land as was useless and burdensome.
2. As their property and persons were included in the common peril, there seems no reason why they should be exempted from contributing to the common defence.
3. As Baltimore held all the Province under his Charter, to admit that titles to lands could come from any other source, would not only be to impeach his charter, but to assert that there was another source of authority in the Province besides the King of England.
4. To exempt any class of tenants from the operations of the temporal law in matters temporal, would have been to create an imperium in imperio-pleasing, perhaps, to the beneficiaries, but most unjust to the rest of the people.
To the present reviewer Baltimore's position seems not merely