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Bishop DOANE, from the Committee appointed to nominate of. ficers, reported the following names
JOSEPH C. HORNBLOWER, President.
DANIEL V. MCLEAN, NICHOLAS MURRAY, WILLIAM B. KINNEY,
Which gentlemen were duly elected officers for the ensuing year. The Society deemed it due to the distinguished services of the venerable Colonel Johnson to continue him as first Vice President, notwithstanding his letter declining the office. Society, at half-past 4, adjourned for dinner.
When the Society met in the evening, pursuant to adjournment, M. Charles King asked leave to introduce a resolution relating to the system of Inter-National Exchanges under the direction of M. Vattemare.
Leave being granted, Mr. K. proceeded to say, that having been unavoidably detained from the meeting in the morning, when he had designed to present the resolution he was now about to offer, he would not occupy much time in relating its objects. Ile had seen with pleasure the resolution passed by the Society in the morning in relation to M. Vattemare, and only now wished to add to it what would carry out in the most essectual manner the object of that resolution.
Of the enterprise to which M. Vattemare has consecrated so many years, so much time, effort and money, the Society need not any fresh illustration. They had in their own possession gratify. ing evidence of its results, and the State had recently acknowledged very valuable works presented, through the instrumentality of M. Vattemare, to its legislature by the Chamber of Depu. ties of France, and other public authorities of that Kingdom.
But it might not be generally known, and that was the point at which he (Mr. K.) was aiming, that in this labor of love, this genuine and original enterprise of philanthropy, this self-imposed mis. sion for making better known to each other the nations of the
earth, by an interchange of their intellectual treasures, and their works of art and utility, M. Vattemare was an unpaid volunteerthat he not only gave his time, bis zeal, but his money, for the moving about from place to place, and from nation to pation, with large accumulation of books, engravings, &c., cost a great deal of money. In view of these, the Legislature of the States of Maine and Massachusetts had each voted several hundred dollars, to be paid to M. Vattemare to defray the necessary expenses of his agen. cy, and New York had done likewise.
Mr. K. then read a letter from Dr. T. R. Beck, of Albany, one of the Regents of the University of N. Y., setting forth the ap: propriations made by two consecutive Legislatures for the object and put at the disposal of the Regents aforesaid, in order to be paid to M. Vattemare.
It was in the hope and belief that New Jersey would follow these good examples that Mr. K. now proposed a resolution, that this Society should ask from the Legislature at its present ses. sion, some like appropriation-a few hundred dollars only—to be disbursed by a Committee of this Society, under the direction of the Legislature, for similar purposes.
Mr. K. spoke from personal knowledge, when he said that there was no speculation in M. Vattemare's enterprise. It was wholly and singularly disinterested-one of which the labor and sacrifice were all his-the benefits all ours. But it did not seem fit in itself, nor consonant with the dignity of a free State, to permit any individual, however zealous or enthusiastic, to expend his means for its benefit. It concerns, therefore, the character, not less than the right feelings of the State, to take care that no pe. cuniary sacrifices shall be incurred by M. Vattemare in his beneficial enterprise, so far, at least, as we are interested in it. It is not, Mr. K. desired it to be understood, a compensation to M. Vattemare, that any appropriation is asked--that gentleman neither expects, nor seeks, any pecuniary reward. His reward is in the consciousness of seeking to do good. It is merely to in demnify him and the agency he has established for unavoidable expenses of storage, packing, freight, transportation, &c., and to put the general agency upon a footing that will establish it inde. pendently of the lite and services of M. Vattemare himself, so that the good he does may live after him.
Mr. K. then branched off into some anecdotes, illustrative of M. Vattemare's singular enthusiasm in the work which has been the business of his life-a work of such entire self-abnegation, and such unmixed benefit to others. The very presence of such a
man among us was fitted to inspiro with new zeal every Histori. cal Society.
From these considerations, Mr. K. felt authorized to ask the concurrence of the Society in the resolution he would now read.
Mr. JAMES G. King then rose and said
“The motion just made-of which I had no knowledge beforehand-appears to me entitled to the favorable consideration of the Society, and in rising to second it, I wish to add a few words in confirmation of that part of it which asks for an appropriation by the Legislature of a moderate sum of money towards defraying the expenses of M. Vattemare's proceedings; for I have reason to know that his ardor in the cause which he has espoused, has led bim so far in his disinterested career as to lose sight of all pecuniary considerations, and, indeed, to impair his private re. sources.
In a conversation which I had quite recently, in Paris, with a member of the Chamber of Deputies, allusion was made by him to the second visit to this country of M. Vattemare-in whose behalf the greatest interest was evinced. The Deputy remarked that he was a most extraordinary man—and had devoted all his energies to his philanthropic labors, with a zeal and disinterestedness which were unparalleled, and he trusted that in America everything would be done to promote his success—for that his own means were quite moderate, and could not prove adequate to his object without public aid.
I could not help replying, that it seemed but a duty for us, n this country, to co-operate in that, as in every other way, with se
, true a friend to the dissemination of knowledge, in all its branch. cs—who was devoting his life and talents to objects in which the United States were perhaps more interested than any other portion of the globe; for, Mr. President, who shall set a limit to the benefits to be conferred upon us by the constant interchange of knowledge between the enlightened nations of the World-and our people who are so generally educated ? It seems to me therefore a most approprinte action on the part of this Historical Society to adopt the resolution just offered.”
Bishop DOANE followed with some strong expressions of grati. fication and approbation of these remarks and their object.
The resolution of Mr. King was adopted as follows
Resolvd, That an application be made in behalf of the Society to the Legislature of the State, for an appropriation of money for the furtherance of the system of International Exchanges under the charge of M. A. Vattemare, and that General Wall, Chief
Justice Green and R. S. Field, Esq., be a committee to present the application and to receive and disburse whatever sums may be appropriated, under such restrictions as the Legislature inay prescribe.
A paper was then read by R. S. FIELD, Esq., upon “ The estab. lishment and progress of Courts, and the peculiarities in the administration of Justice in the provinces of East and West Jersey.”
On motion of Rev. Mr. MCLEAN,
Resolved, That the thanks of the Society be presented to Mr. Field for his highly valuable and interesting paper, and that he be requested to deposit a copy in the archives of the Society.
On motion of Judge Duer,
Resolved, That the address of Mr. Field, should a copy be placed at the disposal of the Society, be referred to the Committee on Publications with power.
The Society then adjourned to meet at Newark on the fourth Thursday of May next, in accordance with the by-laws.
SELECTIONS FROM THE CORRESPONDENCE AND PAPERS
Laid before the Society, January 20th, 1848.
To The Hox. DANIEL HAIXES, GOVERNOR.ELECT OF NEW JERSEY :
NEWARK, December 15th, 1847. Sir-Knowing the interest which you have heretofore mani. fested in the success of the project for obtaining definite information respecting our Colonial Documents in the English archives, which has been several times brought to the notice of the Legis Jature, I venture to draw your attention to the subject at the present time with the view of suggesting, that an expression of your approbation to the Legislature would be calculated materi. ally to remove objections that may exist in the minds of some of the members. The subject will again be brought before the Leg. islature through the Historical Society, and it is to be hoped that the session will not be allowed to pass without some favorable ac. tion. It has been referred to in most of the influential papers
of the State at different times in terms of warm approval, and I be. lieve no individual out of the Legislature has been heard to ex. press a doubt of its propriety, and, indeed, in that body, when a vote was last taken upor. it in 1845–6, it required but one more in the affirmative to make the two-thirds majority required.
My own interest in the subject-having first brought it before the Legislature in 1843-1844-and the desire felt by the Historical Society for prompt action by the Legislature, must be my apology for troubling you with some remarks in relation to the mode proposed for securing the information sought; the value of which has been fully set forth in the reports made by Commit. tees both of the House of Assembly and Senate, to two of which, transmitted to you by the mail that takes yon this, I would draw your attention.
We have recently commenced a new era in our political existence, and it seems therefore particularly appropriate for us to adopt some means for the preservation of the documents illustrative of our past history. Every individual who feels an honest pride in tracing his descent from an enterprising and virtuous ancestry, from whom a valued estate has been derived, feels also an interest in the events that marked their course to prosperity and honor, and gathers from their history the lessons of wisdom and experience; and so should it be with a citizen of the State. He has inherited a patrimony his own arm procured not for him; it was not by his enterprise that the broad land has been filled with thriving villages and populous cities, nor was it by his foresight that his civil and religious liberties were secured to him. He has taken possession of his inheritance and finds himself surrounded by blessings which render the responsibilities of occupancy and improvement far more weighty; and to fit himself for his duties, and to enable him to discharge the debt of gratitude he owes the fathers of the State, a recurrence should certainly be had to the sentiments and measures of the men, their characters, and the emergencies they triumphed over in creating for him the privi. leges and advantages he enjoys. Regarded in this light, the me. morials of our history abroad assume a value which I am confident every Jerseyman must appreciate.
I would not, however, have the State taxed with the expense of a Historical Agent like her sister New York: our economical legislators might well hesitate to recommend the creation of such an office, or to appropriate the requisite sum; but the course pointed out in both the reports sent herewith, of obtaining an Analytical Index to the papers in the English Archives, will be at. tended with comparatively small expense, while it will place the State in possession of precise information, which will enable either the Legislature or individuals to obtain such documents as may