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“ To the candor of the Public,
I submit my work ;

to the
providence and favour of ALMIGHTY God,
I commend my beloved family;

and to the hopes,
not of the present,

of the future life,

I resign myself.” Shortly after his return from this Western expedition, — indeed but a month or two afterwards, — he published a compilation, The Minor Encyclopædia,” in four small volumes. Though I am not aware of its obtaining any great notoriety, it seems to have left an impression upon the memory of one of the greatest men of this generation. Daniel Webster, on meeting Dr. T. W. Harris at the foot of the White Mountains, the summer before last, said to him: “Your father was the Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris. He prepared a useful work called the Minor Encyclopædia, which I remember to have seen many years ago.” In 1805, Mr. Harris appeared again before the 0. B. K. Society at their annual celebration, reciting a poem “On the Patronage of Genius,” and it was in the same year that he was elected a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. After five years more of persevering service as a professional and literary man, he sailed from New York to England. This was a great event in his recluse and sedentary life. He was allowed to gratify that filial reverence for the land of his forefathers, which he entertained very deeply; to see with his eyes what had always been painted fondly upon his imagination, and to make personal acquaintance with learned men of the old hemisphere. In these expectations he was not doomed to be disappointed. The shy student admired with a keen delight the wonders of which he had only read, and entered into correspondences that added not a little to the satisfaction of his after days. Having visited several parts of England, Scotland, and Ireland, he embarked at Liverpool for New York, where he ar

rived May 13, 1811; his voyage and visit having occupied about 'nine months. Many of the letters that passed between him and excellent persons abroad are still in the possession of his family.

The following year the Antiquarian Society was incorporated. His turn of thought led him to take peculiar interest in the researches which such a society was designed to promote; and he may be regarded as one of its founders, since his diploma is dated on the same month with its act of incorporation. He loved everything that carried him back to the remote past, while at the same time he had no servile adherence to what was old, as if it could thereby obtain any authority for us, but looked forward with sanguine hope of great improvements to be continually making hereafter. It

It may be properly mentioned in this connection, that when Judge Winthrop, in 1788, made a copy of the famous inscription on the “ Dighton rock," which has mystified the wisdom of so many wise men of the North, Mr. Harris, then a young man of twenty, accompanied and assisted him. I have heard him describe the pantographic process by which it was done. Considering the amount of fiction and of controversy to which this supposed writing has given occasion, and considering also the injury done to the document itself by the fading of the characters and the wearing of the stone through the action of air and wave, this transcript may be considered valuable. It is preserved in the library of Harvard College, and a part of it has been engraved in the great Danish publication. A different diploma awaited him the next year; one that was not of his seeking, but rather marked his deserving, - that did not show his wish for further instruction, but was a reward for having already attained to so much. So at least his degree of Doctor in Divinity was considered at Harvard College, in 1813. It was richly merited, and conferred at comparatively an early age.

The most considerable of Dr. Harris's works, if estimated by the amount of patient scholarship that it contains, appeared in 1820. It was the “ Natural History of the Bible." As early as 1793, while he was Librarian of the University, he printed a small volume under this title.

But the present edition was greatly enlarged and improved, so as to be substantially a new book. " The late Cardinal Cheverus, then resident in Boston, spoke in high terms of this treatise." It is extremely valuable as a manual on this pleasant subject. Biblical students will find nowhere a volume that can be compared to it in this line of inquiry. He was very desirous to publish it in an illustrated form, and would most gladly have called in the art of the engraver to second the descriptions of his pen. But such a project was too costly, and he abandoned it. The undertaking, even as it was, and with all its praise upon its back, was destined to rather more than the usual share of literary misfortune. " Laudatur et alget," to be commended and to starve, was written for it in the higher book of the Fates. In the first place, it found but a slow sale, and of course gave small remuneration for the toil of its author. In the second place, an English pirate pounced upon a copy of it that had found its way to the other side of the sea; recast it, with some variations and additions, in a pictured and popular form, changing the alphabetical into a scientific arrangement; then published it under his own name, with a grand parade of always giving his “authorities,” and “conscientiously” respecting the rights of “ literary property," and realized substantial profits from the sale of it through several editions. Not content with this theft and hypocrisy, he had the effrontery to allude in his preface to a Mr. Harris, who had written a book on the same subject, which was rendered “unfit for general use by the utter destitution of evangelical sentiment” in it. A notice of this Mr. William Carpenter and his “ Scripture Natural History” may be found in the American Monthly Review, Vol. IV. pp. 80-86. The “ Natural History of the Bible” met with its final disaster at the great fire in Court Street, Boston, which destroyed the extensive book establishment of Messrs. Wells and Lilly, its publish

All the copies that remained unsold, and this was by far the greater part of the edition, were then burnt up. Such was the fate of a book that met at home a reception far inferior to its deserts; while it has gone through several editions in England, and has been published on the Continent in a German translation.


Mention has been made of several societies of which Dr. Harris was a member, and, with his activity and faithfulness, membership always implied something really done. The list of these might be easily enlarged, for he loved to take part in every association that was meant to promote the objects of natural science, or any good learning, or social improvement, or religion, or charity. He was a member of the Humane Society, of the Massachusetts Bible Society, the New York Historical Society, the American Peace Society, and the Horticultural Society. Of the Congregational Charitable Society he was at one time the Vice-President. The Society for Propagating the Gospel among the Indians found him a useful coadjutor. Later in life he became a corresponding member of the Georgia Historical Society, and of the Archæological Society in Athens, Greece. But there was one institution in which his mind and feelings took a peculiar interest, for which he studied and wrote more than almost any of his contemporaries, and in the cause of which he suffered for a long time such a quantity and coarseness of printed abuse, as would have been hard to bear even by a stoic or a manat-arms, and must have cut such an extremely sensitive nature as his to the quick. He seems to have attached himself early to this association, for in 1792 he collated, revised, and published the “ Constitutions of the Ancient and Honorable Fraternity of Free and Accepted Masons”; an octavo volume, printed at Worcester, Mass., which came to a second edition in 1798. For a number of

years he was Chaplain and Secretary of the Grand Lodge, and rendered frequent and various service to that body by occasional addresses, by his defences of Masonry, — sometimes in anonymous tracts, — and a volume of Masonic Discourses published in 1801. These works, says an adept, * “constitute a large part and valuable portion of the Masonic, classic literature of America. They contain a faithful and dispassionate exhibition of our principles, in that chaste and captivating style, that forcible and earnest lan

* Rev. Benjamin Huntoon, in “ A Eulogy, delivered by the Request of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, at the Funeral Services in Commemoration of Rev. and R. W. Thaddeus Mason Harris, D.D., and R. W. Brother Samuel Thaxter, at the Masonic Temple, May 4th, 1842."

guage, which characterize all the productions he has given to the public.” In 1816 “A. L. 5816” the Lodge presented to him a silver vase in token of their high appreciation of the benefits he had conferred on their order, with the inscription : “ Memoria tenemus quæ non remunerare possumus." In the storm of obloquy that was raised against Free-Masonry and Free-Masons, after the sad events of 1826, that swept over the vast field of politics as well as through the sanctuaries of private life, and convulsed the whole nation, Dr. Harris, from his social position, his talents and learning, and the leading part that he had taken in the concerns of the fraternity, was a conspicuous mark for attack. Papers of all kinds were continually sent to him, loaded with indecent remonstrances and personal insult. But of these he took no notice in any way. He showed neither anger, nor mortification, nor fear. Though he felt them deeply, he said nothing. Through the whole of that trying emergency, he preserved his patience and kindliness; provoked to no retort, and quietly persevering in the course that he continued to think right. His friends who knew best his aspen-like sensibility could not fail to be struck with the calmness and firmness with which he held his peace and discharged his duty. He once pointed to a high shelf in his library, that seemed to be stored with papers of different shapes, and said to a young man who had the privilege of his friendship: “ All the pieces there contain something abusive of me; but I have put them far out of the

way, I never take them down.” Such was the truly Christian temper that he showed of meekness and forgiveness; while at the same time, as he spoke these words, an expression came over his face, half of painful feelings and half of a sly comic wonder, that a poor minister like him, who had never wished or done the least harm to anybody all the days of his life, should be singled out for such a whirlwind of vituperation.

In the winter of 1832-33, he was visited with an alarming fit of sickness, which reduced him to so great a state of debility, that it was thought advisable for him to seek the aid of a milder climate than that of New England before another winter came round. Georgia was now


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