Republican Institute

The Republican Institute

Dearborn, Henry - Republican Institution one share stock certificate made out to Mr. William Ross signed by Henry Dearborn as President and Thaddeus Page as Recording Secretary. The Republican Institution was founded in 1819 "as a body politic and corporate forever, for the purpose of procuring a building, and keeping it in repair, with suitable apartments for a reading room, library, and the meeting of the said society, in the town of Boston, Massachusetts." Its intent was to provide a forum for political education and discussion of best means of promoting national welfare. Measures approximately 10" x 8 1/4". Affixed at left is the large corporate seal which indicated that the corporation was incorporated in 1819. Attached to and extending below the paper seal is a blue ribbon.


The undersigned, a committee appointed at the annual meeting of A Republican Institution in the Town of Boston, held on March 4, 1893, "to print the by-laws and such other matter as in their opinion would be of interest to the members," respectfully submit the following statement of facts relative to the origin and history of the Institution.

A Republican Institution in the Town of Boston was incorporated in 1819, and a copy of its Act of Incorporation is printed with this report. By this Act of Incorporation, and by the original subscription paper, a copy of which is also printed herewith, it appears that the Institution was formed because, in the language of the subscription paper, it was deemed to be "absolutely necessary that the Republicans of the Town of Boston should be possessed of some respectable building wherein they may meet together to transact their business, and also a place to receive their Brethren from all parts of the Union."  It would appear from this Act that the words "in the Town of Boston" properly form a part of the name of the Institution, as they do of the "Provident Institution for Savings in the Town of Boston," which was incorporated about two years earlier. (See St., 1816, c. 92.) There is a tradition, which is probably well founded, that it had been proposed at first to incorporate this society under the name of " The Republican Institution in the Town of Boston"; but, it having been objected that this name would seem to imply that there were no other Republican Institutions in Boston, the word "the" was altered to "a."

At the time of the formation of this society the two great political parties in the country were the "Republicans” and the "Federalists." The Republicans, as a party, originally favored a strict construction of the Constitution of the United States with regard to the powers of the general government, and were jealous to preserve the rights of the several States. The Federalists, on the other hand, were inclined to magnify the powers of the general government at the expense of "State Rights." Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and James Monroe had been leaders among the Republicans, and John Adams, Alexander Hamilton, and Aaron Burr among the Federalists.

In 1819 the Republicans were in control of the general government, their candidate, James Monroe, having been elected President in 1816, and being in possession of that office when this "Republican Institution " was formed. The State government of Massachusetts was, however, at this time in the control of the Federalists, their candidate, John Brooks, having been Governor of the State from 1816 to 1823. The Republicans continued in control of the general government under the Presidents who succeeded Monroe, namely, John Quincy Adams, Jackson, and Van Buren; but the party gradually became known as the "Democratic-Republican," and finally as simply the "Democratic" party, — a name which it retains to the present day.

The meetings of the Institution were at first held at the "Old Court House," at the "Market Hotel," and at "Davidson's." In March, 1822, a room in the "Merchant Hall" Building was hired, and fitted up. This room is called in the records the "Corporation Room"; and meetings were held there until 1830, when this room was given up. From 1830 until 1840 meetings were held at "Concert Hall"; from 1840 to 1855 at the "Bromfield House"; from 185610 1886 at the "Parker House"; and since 1886 they have been held at "Young's Hotel," except that in 1887 the annual meeting was held at the "Tremont House."

The first mention of a "collation" at one of the meetings occurs in the record of the annual meeting in March, 1831. The records also show that an "elegant entertainment" was served at the "Bromfield House" in March, 1844, and that in 1850 a committee reported that they had "provided a supper for members of the Corporation, but from the numerous attendance on these occasions had found it difficult to confine themselves within the limit of fifty dollars authorized by a vote of the Corporation some years since, when the attendance was much less."

In 1824 the Institution began to refund to members, who wished to withdraw, the amounts that had been paid by them; and the majority of the members at this time availed themselves of this opportunity and gave up their membership, and thus the membership of the society became largely reduced from its original members. In March, 1852, it was voted to refund $20 on each share that had not already been redeemed, leaving the holder of the share still entitled to all the rights of membership.

We also print herewith a list of the first officers of the Institution.

Uriel H. Crocker and Frank A. Drew, Committee,  [heading Of Original Subscription Paper.]


It being absolutely necessary that the Republicans of the Town of Boston should be possessed of some respectable building wherein they may meet together to transact their business, and also a place to receive their Brethren from all parts of the Union,

We, the Subscribers, do therefore agree to purchase or build a place for that purpose by subscription. Each Subscriber may have the privilege to take any number of shares not exceeding four. The amount of each share shall be twenty-five dollars, and, as soon as four hundred shares are subscribed for, such measures as shall be deemed proper shall be taken to procure the contemplated building.

The payment to be made by instalments of ten per cent on each share every three months after the subscription is completed till the whole is paid in.

(St. 1818, c. 94.)


Section 1. Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives, in General Court assembled, and by the authority of the same, That William Ingalls, Ebenezer Clough, Joseph N. Howe, Abraham H. Quincy, Peter P. F. Degrand, Jonathan Simonds, Daniel Adams, Robert H. Thayer, Thomas Badger, Thaddeus Page, Davis C. Ballard, Rolun Hartshorn, and William Gale, together with all others who now are, or hereafter may be, associated with them, be, and they are hereby, constituted a body politic and corporate forever, for the purpose of procuring a building, and keeping it in repair, with suitable apartments for a reading-room, library, and the meeting of the said society, by the name of a Republican Institution, in the town of Boston; and by that name may sue and be sued, plead and be impleaded, answer and be answered unto, defend and be defended, in all courts and places whatsoever, in all actions, real, personal, and mixed; and the said corporation shall have full power to make, have, and use a common seal, and the same to break, alter, and renew at pleasure; and shall have, exercise, and enjoy all the powers and privileges incident and usually granted to other corporations of a like nature and purpose.

Section 2. Be it further enacted, That the said corporation be, and the same is hereby, made capable in law of having and holding, by gift, grant, devise, or otherwise, any estate, real or personal, provided the same shall not exceed the annual income of five thousand dollars. And the said corporation may annually, or at any special meeting called for the purpose, make, establish, and put in execution such by-laws, rules, and regulations as to calling future meetings, the election of officers, and the admission of members, as they may judge to be necessary and expedient; provided that such by-laws, rules, and regulations shall not in any case be contrary to the constitution and laws of this Commonwealth.

Section 3. Be it further enacted, That any three of the persons named in this Act be, and they are hereby, empowered by advertisement in any one or more newspapers printed in Boston, to call a meeting of the members of the said institution, to be holden at such convenient time and place as shall be appointed in said advertisement, to organize the said institution by the election and appointment of its officers.

[Approved by the Governor Feb. 18, 1819.]


President: General Henry Dearborn

Vice Presidents: Thomas Badger. William Ingalls. Joseph N. Howe and John Brazer.

Treasurer:  James Prince.

Recording Secretary: Thaddeus Page.

Corresponding Secretary: Samuel Adams Wells.

Trustees:  Seth Grammar, Ward 1.  -  Isaac Rhodes, Ward 2 - William B. Bradford, Ward 3 - Nathaniel Alley, Ward 4 - Benajah Brigham, Ward 5 - James Ridgway, Ward 6Joel Prouty, Ward 7 - . William Gale, Ward 8 - . Daniel Adams, Ward 9 - . Samuel A. Shed, Ward 10 - . Jonathan Simonds, Ward 11 -  Joseph N. Howe, Jr., Ward 12.
Solicitor: William Gale. 


As amended at Annual Meeting held March 4, 1893.


The officers of the Institution shall be a President, four Vice Presidents, a Treasurer, a Solicitor, a Corresponding Secretary, a Recording Secretary, and twelve Trustees, who shall collectively form the Government thereof, all of whom shall be annually elected, by ballot, by the members of the Institution, and serve until their successors are chosen and shall have accepted office. No officer of the Government shall receive any fee or pecuniary compensation for his services.


The Seal of the Institution shall bear the inscription,— " A Republican Institution, Chartered February, 1819."


The President, or, in his absence, the Vice-President, Senior in order of election and present, shall preside at all meetings of the Institution.

In the absence of the President and all the Vice-Presidents, a presiding officer, for the meeting, shall be chosen from among the members of the Institution.

The President shall annually appoint an Auditing Committee, consisting of two members of the Institution, to audit and examine the books and accounts of the Treasurer and the property of the Institution; and said Committee shall report at the next regular meeting of the Institution after their appointment.
The President shall, at least two weeks before each annual meeting, appoint, and cause to be notified, a committee of five, four of whom shall be members, not officers, of the Institution, the fifth member to be the Recording Secretary, who shall nominate and report in print, at the annual meeting, a list of officers for the ensuing year.


The Government shall annually elect, from the members thereof, a committee to be called "The Executive and Finance Committee," who shall have, subject to vote of the Government, the direction of all receipts and disbursements of the Institution, and the supervision of the funds and property thereof.


The Treasurer shall collect and receive all funds of the Institution, which he shall deposit, invest, and hold in the name of the Institution, in such manner as may be ordered by vote of the Government; and, under direction of the Executive and Finance Committees, shall disburse the same.

He shall keep the accounts of the Institution in books belonging to it, which shall at all times be open to the inspection of any member of the Government.

He shall make a full report, in writing, at each Annual Meeting of the Institution, of all the receipts and disbursements of the past year, with a statement in detail of all the funds and property of the Institution.

He shall have charge of the Seal of the Institution.


The Solicitor (who shall be some gentleman learned in the law) shall draft all legal instruments, and give legal advice, when required by the Government, in relation to the business of the Institution.


The Corresponding Secretary shall write all letters of correspondence, circular letters, and other communications which may be necessary or required by a vote of the Institution or of the Government, and of which he shall keep a record. He shall keep a file of all official letters or other written communications that he may receive, for the reference and inspection of the officers and members of the Institution.


The Recording Secretary shall issue the proper notifications for all such meetings of the Corporation, or of the officers thereof, as may be called in pursuance of these regulations. He shall be present at all such meetings, and keep a fair record of all their important proceedings, to be open at proper times for the inspection of any member of the Institution; and, in case of the sickness or inability of the Recording Secretary to attend, a Secretary pro tern, shall be chosen.


The Government shall meet at such times and places as may be found necessary, and be convened by order of the President or any two members of the Government. It shall have power to transact the business of the Institution in conformity with the act of incorporation, and the by-laws and votes of the Institution; and it shall be the duty of the Government to call special meetings of the Corporation for important business. The President, on the application to him in writing of any ten members of the Corporation, shall call such meetings of the Corporation at such times and places as may be deemed expedient, giving reasonable notice thereof as hereafter is provided. Not less than eleven members of the Government shall constitute a quorum to do business.


The annual meeting of the Corporation for the choice of officers shall be holden on the fourth day of March (or, if it comes on a Sunday, then on the succeeding Monday). Notice of the time and place of all meetings, whether stated or special, is to be given by the Recording Secretary in one or more newspapers printed in Boston, and by printed notifications to each member of the Institution, at least one week preceding the time fixed for such meeting.


At all meetings of the Institution it shall be necessary that twenty of its members be present to constitute a quorum for business, and on all questions at the meetings of the Institution or of the Government, the decision shall be by a majority of the members present, except as hereafter provided; and no member shall be entitled to more than one vote.

No vote or other act of the Corporation shall be reconsidered at any subsequent meeting thereof unless there be as many members present as at the time of the passing of such vote or act.


The following-named persons, John Q. Adams, Thomas Aspinwall, Frederick P. Bacon, Edward F. Baker, Walter F. Baker, John T. Bates, Jeffrey R. Bracket!, Martin L. Bradford, Albert Bowker, Francis H. Brown, John Carr, George O. Carpenter, Parker C. Chandler, George L. Clark, Henry Paston Clark, John M. Clark, Uriel H. Crocker, Stephen M. Crosby, Charles B. Cumings, J. Bradley Cumings, William E. Cumings, William F. Davis, Frank A. Drew, Walter H. Dugan, Charles E. Dunham, Josiah F. Dunham, J. Rayner Edmands, Thomas F. Edmands, William A. French, W. Gordon Gerry, Charles M. Greene, Charles A. Fitzgerald, David S. Greenough, Edward C. Huxley, William Ingalls, Eben Jackson, William C. Lawrence, John Leavitt, Beza Lincoln, Frank A. Loud, Thomas J. Loud, Edward E. Harden, J. Grafton Minot, Otis Munroe, Russell J. Parker, William Parkman, William E. Parmenter, A. Ward Perkins, John C. Randall, Billings B. Reed, Thomas Restieaux, B. H. Richardson, Edward C. Richardson, George R. Richardson, Frank Langdon Smith, Morrill A. Smith, Nathaniel G. Snelling, J. H. Thayer, F. B. Wallis, Stanwood Wallis, Frederick A. Wellington, Edward A. Whiston, and Levi L. Willcutt, are hereby recognized as the members of the Institution on March 4, 1893; and the President and Treasurer are authorized to issue to them certificates of membership upon their signing acknowledgments that they receive the same in substitution for, and cancellation of, any other certificates of the 'Institution held by them. No person shall hereafter become a member of the Institution except as hereinafter provided.


Rights of membership or shares in the Institution shall not be transferable, and upon the death of a member his share shall revert to and become the property of the Institution; and the Treasurer shall, if demand therefor is made upon him, pay to the executor or administrator of the deceased member the sum of .one hundred dollars.


Whenever, by the death of a member, a share becomes the property of the*Institution, the Government may at any time cause it to be reissued to a person named by them, who, upon paying to the Treasurer the sum of one hundred dollars, signing the by-laws, and receiving and receipting for a certificate of membership, shall become a member of the Institution. The Government may also issue certificates of membership upon the receipt and cancellation of certificates now supposed to be in existence and outstanding in the names of the following persons: Joseph Hawkins, Joseph N. Howe, Samuel G. Perkins, and Francis Gardner. In the reissue of a share, a relative or connection of the deceased member shall, if unobjectionable in character, have a preference, or, if no application for the share shall within one year of the decease of the member be made by a person entitled to such preference, the relatives and connections of any member shall be entitled to a similar preference.


Certificates of membership in the Institution shall be in the following form, and shall be signed by the President and Treasurer : —

[form Of Certificate,]
[corporate Seal.] "

Chartered in 1819 by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Be it known that, _______________________ of.- ,  __________________________________ is a member of the said Institution and the owner of one share thereof, which membership and share are not transferable, and are to cease and revert to the Institution upon the death of the said member, as provided in the By-laws.

In Witness Whereof the seal of the said Institution is hereto affixed and this certificate signed by its President and Treasurer this ______________  day of - in the year _____.




No alteration of these By-laws shall be made without the concurrence of at least three-fourths of the members present. And, whenever any amendment or alteration is proposed, the motion to that effect shall not be considered until the subsequent annual meeting, and in the notification for the meeting the proposed amendment or alteration shall be particularly stated.

OFFICERS, 1893-94.
President: Charles E. Dunham.

First Vice President:   F. B. Wallis.

Second Vice President: Nathaniel G. Snelling.

Third Vice President: Billings B. Reed.

Fourth Vice President: Thomas F. Edmands.

Treasurer: Francis H. Brown.

Solicitor: Uriel H. Crocker.

Corresponding Secretary: William E. Parmenter.

Recording Secretary: Frank A. Drew.

Trustees:  George O. Carpenter. Frank A. Loud. Stephen M. Crosby. Edward C. Richardson. Walter H. Dugan. John T. Bates. John Carr. William F. Davis. A. Ward Perkins. William E. Cumings. W. Gordon Gerry. George R. Richardson.

March 4, 1893.

Otis Munroe – 1841, William Ingalls – 1851, John M. Clark – 1855, Martin Bradford – 1858, F. B. Wallis – 1861, Charles E. Dunham  186, William Parkman 1863, William E. Parmenter 1865, Charles B. Cumings 1865, B. Heber Richardson  1866, Frederick A. Wellington 1866,
John Q. Adams 1867, Nathaniel G. Snelling 1868,  J. H. Thayer 1868, William C. Lawrence  1869,  Russell J. Parker 1870, Billings B. Reed 1870, Albert Bowker 1871, Edward C. Richardson   1871, George L. Clark 1872, Thomas J. Loud 1874, John T. Bates 1875, William F. Davis 1875, Eben Jackson 1876, William E. Cumings .... 1878, Francis H. Brown 1879, Frank A. Loud 1879, J. Grafton Minot 1881, A. Ward Perkins 1881, George R. Richardson . . . 1881, Stanwood Wallis 1881, Thomas F. Edmands . . . . 1881, Jeffrey R. Brackett .... 1882
Walter H. Dugan ..... 1882, Josiah F. Dunham ..... 1883, Morrill A. Smith ..... 1883, Frederick P. Bacon .... 1884, J. Raynor Edmands .... 1884, W. Gordon Gerry ..... 1884, John C. Randall ..... 1884, Edward F. Baker ..... 1885, John Carr ........ 1885, Stephen M. Crosby .... 1885, Frank A. Drew ...... 1885, Beza Lincoln ....... 1886, George O. Carpenter .... 1887, William A. French .... 1887, Walter F. Baker ..... 1888, Uriel H. Crocker ..... 1888, David S. Greenough .... 1888, John Leavitt ....... 1888, Thomas Restieaux .... 1888, Frank Langdon Smith . . . 1888, Parker C. Chandler .... 1890, Edward C. Huxley .... 1890, Levi L. Willcutt ..... 1890, J. Bradley Cumings .... 1892, Charles M. Green ..... 1892, Thomas Aspinwall ..... 1893, Henry Paston Clark .... 1893

Charles A. Fitzgerald . . . 1893, Edward E. Harden .... 1893, Edward A. Whiston .... 1893, 

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