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A small organ
sudden death of the man who was to have played, whose name I cannot at this moment recall, though I knew him well ; and having no other person among them, who could play it as that man had proposed, gratuitously, and being too small in numbers, and too poor in pence, to hire an organist, the matter was altogether relinquished. About the year 1905, the present Catholic church was built, where it now stands, and the old one was sold to the Universalists, who built upon the ground the present brick church, that is now there.
It is said, in the Magazine, (vol. vi. p. 37) speaking of the organ in Brattle street church -- This was the first organ erected in any Congregational church in Boston, and was undoubtedly the only one then contained in any church, not Episcopal, in New-England.' This, it appears, is not strictly correct. had previously been used in the Old Brick church, that is now there.
An account of the circumstances, attending its introduction, is thus related in the notes :
The first introduction of organs into our Congregational churches, though the Catholics and Episcopalians have used them so long, is of recent date, and perfectly within my recollection. Our fathers thought they savored of Popery and Episcopacy, and therefore excluded them from their places of worship. They thought the same, likewise, of wearing the black gown and cassock; and they were never worn, in any of our New-England churches, until they came into use, and were worn, for the first time, on the very same day, and in the very same house of worship, where the first organ had ever sounded in an American Congregational church. That church has long since been removed to Chauncy place, in Boston ; and the spot it occupied is converted into stores and offices. After the Old Brick meeting-house, as it was then called, had undergone very extensive alterations, internally, as well as repairs without, in the year 1785 — forty-nine years since, two of its most influential members, (the late Dr. John Joy, and Joseph Woodward, who is still living at South Boston — one of whom is gone, we trust, to worship in a higher church) feeling a deep interest in the welfare, respect, ability, and success of the society, and desiring to render it more attractive, proposed an organ, and contributed generally to its purchase. They first placed a very small one, of two stops only, in the loft. This was, ten years since, in the possession of Mr. John Mycall, at Cambridgeport. It was a miserable instrument, and was removed the day or two after it was tried, but was never used there on any Sunday. The society then purchased, of Nathan Frazer, senior, a large, English chamber-organ, which he had imported for his own use. This instrument remained in that church till the house was taken down, when it was sold to the Rev. Dr. Codman's society, in
Dorchester, whence it has recently been transferred to the Dedham Episcopal church, where it now is. It has one row of keys, and contains eight stops, including sesquialter and hautboy. The same persons, who were leading men in procuring the organ, presented both Dr. Chauncy and Mr. Clarke, from subscriptions of various persons, which they set on foot, a black gown and cassock each, with a request that they might be worn, on the day of their return to their newly-repaired church, when the organ would, also, for the first time, be played.
The senior pastor, Dr. Chauncy, who had recently been engaged in a theological controversy with the late Bishop of Landoff, and some other distinguished clergymen of the Episcopal church in England, objected, saying — It looked 100 Episcopal.' They replied All your people, sir, would be gratified by your doing so.' • What! black gown and organ both ?' said the old gentleman. “Yes, sir,' they rejoined. Well,' he replied, 'I suppose, then, it will be well enough to let them have their own way. Children are always pleased with fine clothes and baubles and whistles, and so they shall have them all at once, and they will be soon tired of them. The black gowns were worn accordingly, both by Dr. Chauncy and Mr. Clarke ; and the organ was played, for the first time, in the first Congregational society that was established in the town of Boston. This was seven years previous to the introduction of the organ into Brattle street church, in 1792, at which church I was present on the Sunday immediately preceding the one on which it was first played. It was then putting up, but the work was not entirely finished.
I was, (continues the writer) from my earliest recollection, extravagantly fond of music, particularly of sacred music; and of the solemn, deep tones of the organ, above every other instrument. This led me to take a peculiar interest in such things, to notice, more particularly, the introduction and building of church organs, and to impress more strongly upon my memory the time and circumstances connected with their history in this part of the country. I always feared to indulge my taste to its full extent this way, lest it might interfere with my duties, and with more important pursuits. But, to this hour, I hear no organ, without being immediately arrested in my walks ; and I find it difficult to quit the all-absorbing melody it emits.
The order of time, in which organs were introduced into our Congregational churches, in Boston and the vicinity, was, as the writer of these notes well recollects, as follows. 1. The Congregational church, in which an organ was first placed, was the Old Brick Meeting-house,' so called, then situated where Joy's buildings' now stand. This was in 1785. The organ has been already described. 2. An organ was next placed in the first Universalist church, at the north-end, about the year 1791 or
1792, where the Rev. John Murray was then, or soon afterwards, the settled minister. It was built by Dr. Leavitt, of Boston. 3. The third organ was the fine English instrument, which was put up in Brattle street church, in 1792. It was played by Hans Gram, a German, of some celebrity in his day. 4. The fourth organ was placed in the Rev. Dr. Kirkland's church, in Summer street, (Church Green.) It was stated in the Magazine, (vol. vi. p. 38) on the authority of Monsieur Mallet, who was the first organist, that it was a very large chamber-organ, with two rows of keys. This is a mistake. It had but one row of keys, and only five stops, namely: stopt diapason, dulciana, principal, fifteenth, and Aute. It was afterwards in the Episcopal church at South Boston. 5. The fifth organ was introduced into the first congregational church in Charlestown, of which, the Rev. Dr. Morse was the minister. This was an English chamber-organ, imported by James Cutler, Esq. (brother of the widow of the late Bishop Parker) for his own use. It has recently been taken down, and disposed of to Mr. Appleton, organ builder, in part payment for a larger one ; and it has since been purchased of him for the mariners' church, on Fort hill. Its tone is excellent. It has one row of keys, and six stops, namely : stopt diapason, dulciana, principal, fifteenth, flute, and hautboy ; the latter in a swell. 6. A small organ, of four stops, built by Dr. Leavitt, in 1799, then living in Portland, was next introduced at the Rev. Dr. Gray's church, Jamaica Plain, Roxbury. It was played by barrels, on which was set a large number of the psalm tunes then in use. Manual keys were afterwards added, and the bass extended. It was subsequently sold to an Episcopal church in Connecticut, where the proceeds of two concerts upon it paid its cost. 7. An organ, built by Dr. Leavitt, was next placed in the old Congregational church, in Newburyport, of which, the Rev. Messrs. Carey and Andrews were then ministers. 8. An English organ was next put up in the church of the Rev. Dr. John Prince, of Salem. 9. A large organ, built by Geib, of New-York, was soon after erected in the late Dr. Barnard's church, in Salem. Not long afterwards, organs were gradually introduced into a great number of our principal churches, of all denominations.
The late James Swan, Esq., who died in France some time since, offered, many years ago, an organ to the first Congregational church, in Dorchester, (now Dr. Harris's) of which, the Rev. Moses Everett was then minister. The offer was refused. Either the present Nicholas Brown, Esq., of Providence, or his father or uncle, (I am uncertain which) offered, likewise, an organ to the Baptist church, in Providence, which was also refused.
The circumstances and incidents, which have been stated in these notes, are not mere heresay; they are entirely within my
own personal knowledge. And how soon are facts forgotten ! I will relate a remarkable case of forgetfulness. Immediately after the Cadets, from West-Point, had visited Boston, and encamped a day or two on the common, it was purposed to adopt a uniform dress for the students at the University at Cambridge. A gentleman, now living, (one of the Overseers) attended a meeting of the board, when a student was introduced, dressed in the uniform proposed. He alluded to the fact, of a former uniform worn at the college. Not a person present, except himself, had the least recollection of such a circumstance. It was doubted, even by the president himself, who was one of the earliest that wore it. The gentleman insisted on the fact, and described the uniform, in every particular. He was still doubted ; for, strange to tell, no one could recall the memory of a uniform, which he must have worn if it were true. Reference was made to the college laws, and in them was found a full confirmation of all that had been stated. The gentleman, when a student, had worn the dress himself, and recollected it perfectly well ; yet, he could never meet one of his college mates, who remembered the existence of this uniform.
So soon pass away the recollections of our youthful scenes and days !
DEAR love, I think of thee, with deep delight
The busy moments of the day fleet on,
To me, scarce conscious how they all are gone,
And, in the changeful pictures of my dream,
With gentle tenderness, thy blue eyes gleam ;
Or the melodious murmur of a stream,
Reader, are you acquainted with the system of humbug (to use a vulgar, though expressive, term) and imposition used, to palm works, not American, though written by American authors, upon an American public ? If not, we will strive to enlighten you, without meaning any especial reference to the voluines upon our table. In the first place, the author has, of course, a great many personal friends, who do their utmost to force the nauseous pill, he is about to compound, down the general throat. Then, also of course, he has written sundry communications, it may be, editorials, for some of the popular news-prints, which are therefore bound, in gratitude, to do their best to make his volumes yield him a solid return. 'Caw me, caw thee,' is a proverb, all the world over. Then comes a tremendous flourish of penny trumpets. American literature has been too long neglected at home, and abused abroad. Foreign works have been too much encouraged and patronized. It is our duty to fling our own pearls before our own swine. The spirit of national vanity, or national patriotism, is fooled to the top of its bent. Our distinguished countryman is about to publish a work, of which we have been honored with a perusal of the proof-sheets, and which, we are of opinion, will stand forth a proud trophy of our country's genius, and will put the writings of such inferior witlings as Scott, Byron, and Bulwer, to shame. We have read it, and know that it is strictly national — strikingly describes American maoners and American scenery ; it is graphic in its descriptions, correct in its details, powerful in its incidents; and it is the bounden duty of every true lover of his country, to ornament his shelves with a copy. Thus the eagles are gathered to the prey, and all the cognoscenti are eager to purchase.
In the meanwhile, some great publisher has stereotyped the books. This publisher sends a copy of each of his seventy thousand volumes a year to some ten thousand editors of newspapers and periodicals, and advertises with at least half of them. They are, in duty, obliged to praise, or they lose his patronage ; and they do so. Puff'! puff! puff! The deceived public buy, stare, yawn, and admire. Here are, certainly, beauties, though they cannot be seen by the unassisted eye. Enough copies are sold, by retail, to secure the publisher; the world yawns, and the book is neglected and forgotten. The stereotype plates,
*PAULDING's WORKS, Vols. 1 and 2. Salmagundi: or, the Whim-whams and Opinions of Launcelot Langstaff
, Esq., and others. New-York: Harper and Brothers. VOL. IX.