At a meeting of the Historical Society at the House of William
esq on Monday the 24th day of January 1791
The 24th day being the last monday of January 1791.
mr Belknap, mr
mr Freeman, mr Sullivan, mr Thacher, mr Tudor, mr Wallcut, & mr Winthrop
met at the house of William Tudor esq & agreed upon the following as the prin
=ciples of the Society & voted also the following articles for its government.
The preservation of books, pamphlets, manuscripts & records, containing
historical facts, biographical anecdotes, temporary projects, & beneficial
speculations, conduces to mark the genius, delineate the manners, &
trace the progress of Society in the United States, & must always have
a useful tendency to rescue the true history of this Country from the
ravages of time, & the effects of ignorance & neglect
A collection of observations & descriptions in
natural history &
topography, together with specimens of natural and artificial curiosities
& a selection of every thing which can improve & promote the historical
knowledge of our Country either in a physical or political view, has
long been considered as a desideratum; & as such a plan can be best ex=
=ecuted by a Society wholes sole & special care shall be confined to the
WE the subscribers DO agree to form such an in=
=stitution & to associate for the above purposes, subject to the following re=
This Society shall be called the Historical Society, & consist of a number
not exceeding Thirty, who shall at the time of their election be Citizens
of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
That each member at the time of his admission shall pay Five Dollars
& Two Dollars annually to create a Fund for the benefit of the Institution
And any member shall be exempted from the annual payment of
Two Dollars provided he shall at any time after six months from his
admission pay to the Treasurer Thirty Four Dollars in addition to
what he had before paid.
All elections shall be made by ballot. No member shall nominate
more than one Candidate at the same meeting, & all nominations shall
be made at a meeting previous to that at which the Ballot is to be taken
There shall be four stated meetings of the Society in each year, namely
on the last Tuesdays of January, April, July & October. And occasi=
=onal meetings shall be convened on due notification from the President,
or in his absence by one of the Secretaries upon the application
of any of the members.
There shall be annually chosen at the meeting in April a President,
a Recording & Corresponding Secretary, a Treasurer, a Librarian, &
a standing committee of three.
All communications which are thought worthy of preservation shall be
entered at large, or minuted down in the Books of the Society, & the
originals to be kept on file.
At the request of any two members present any motion shall be deferred
to another meeting for further consideration before it is finally determ=
All accounts shall be kept in Dollars & Cents.
Five members present shall be a quorum for all purposes, excepting
those of making alterations in or additions to, the aforegoing articles, & the
election of members.
No member shall be chosen unless there are eight members pre=
=sent at the election.
The first article shall not restrict the Society from electing correspond=
=ing members in any other State or Country.
That members who are chosen in other States & Countries shall not exceed
the number of Thirty & shall not be required to make contribution with the
members who are citizens of the Commonwealth.
The members present agreed to consider this as the first meeting
& proceeded to organize the Society, & the ballots being taken
Thomas Wallcut was elected Recording Secretary—
The hon James Sullivan esq was elected President—
William Tudor esq was elected Treasurer—
Revd Jeremy Belknap was elected Corresponding Secretary
Revd John Eliot was elected Librarian & Keeper of the Cabinet
Revd Peter Thacher, James Winthrop esq & George R. Minot
esq were elected a standing Committee for the Year—
Voted that the said Committee be requested to enquire what
collections can be made for the Society, & a suitable place
to deposit the same.
[In upper right hand margin] 1st. meeting
revd J Belknap
revd J Eliot
revd J Freeman
hon J Sullivan
rev P Thacher
Wm Tudor esq
J Winthrop esq
Voted that in the Records of the Society the names of the
members be alphabetically arranged
Voted that the accounts of the Society be kept in the
Federal Currency of the United States
The hon James Sullivan
esq having presented the Society
With a folio blank volume for the Records—
[In right margin to note contribution of a record book by James Sullivan ] Donation
Voted that it be accepted, & the thanks of the
Society be pre=
=sented him for the same
Voted that the Recording Secretary be desired to attend
the sale of books from time to time, & buy such as come within
the views of the Institution until the next meeting & draw
upon the Treasurer for the expence