Thursday, June 1, 2017

The Old Planters Society

Thomas Wentworth Higginson was the first President of The Old Planters Society (TOPS) that instituted in 1899. Frank A. Gardner, M.D. was Vice-President. The members list consists of illustrious descendants of the early colonists (see below).

The following documents are found at archive.org.
In the pamphlet, published June 19, 1900, there is an overview of the society (page 11) and its motivations. We have seen this mentioned elsewhere, but one purpose was educational. And, one focus was to get those here before 1630 included in historical looks, excluding the "Mayflower people." 

The Thomas Gardner Society, Inc. agrees with this view and will carry this forward using The Gardner Annals. The issue for Vol. IV, No. 1 is in preparation.  


In that same section, we find the reading list of the Society. These are on our bibliography, but we will be looking at them again. 


Finally, the pamphlet starts out with a talk by Col. Higginson. It was titled "The Alliance between Pilgrim and Puritan in Massachusetts." The TOPS published many talks which we will document. 

Of note, briefly, though, is that in 1900, Col. Higginson was 77 years of age. Many other members were elderly.

Dr. Frank and his sister were much younger. Too, later, Lucie M. Gardner was Secretary of the TOPS. TOPS published via The Massachusetts Magazine (started printing in 1908) while it was published. Lucie edited a section that was titled "Pilgrims and Planters" that reported on meetings of the TOPS, offered commentary, and gave notice of the activity of other organizations, such as the Balch Family Association and The Gardner Family Association. The TMM ceased publishing in 1918. 

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Earlier, we wrote of this group in a post (December 2012): Old Planters, Massachusetts. A corresponding post covered another group (May 2011): Old Planters, Beverly.  

Remarks: Modified: 06/14/2017 

06/14/2017 -- Thomas Wentworth Higginson and Bleeding Kansas. The Massachusetts Magazine (Vol. II, No. 2, pg 117)  reported that it was an official arm of the Old Planters Society.


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