JOHN WARREN 1753-1815
Grand Master, Massachusetts Grand Lodge, 1783-1784, 1787-1788
FROM PROCEEDINGS, 1815
From Proceedings, Page II-628:
REPORT OF THE COMMITTEE OF ARRANGEMENTS ON FUNERAL SOLEMNITIES, VIZT:
The committee appointed to carry into effect the vote of the Grand Lodge upon the decease of the late Doctor John Warren, Past Grand Master, have attended to their duty and respectfully report:
That arrangements are made for the performance of Funeral Solemnities at the present Quarterly Communication of the Grand Lodge, in honor of the memory and expressive of the high sense entertained of the merits and services of their late Grand Master, Doctor John Warren.
An address upon the occasion will be deliver'd by the R.W. and Hon'ble Josiah Bartlett, Past Grand Master; prayers by the Rev, Bro. Eaton, Past Grand Chaplain; odes, written by the R,W, and Rev'd Bro, Harris and by Mrs. Rowson, copies of which accompany this report, will be sung by a select choir of Brethren, accompanied by Doctor Jackson, professor of music, on the grand piano.
The committee, in the name of the Grand Lodge, have invited His Excellency the Governor; His Honor the Lieut, Governor; the Hon'ble Council; the Sheriff of Suffolk County; President of the Senate and Speaker of the House of Representatives; the Judges and Clerks of the United States and State Courts; Attorney and Solicitor General; District and County Attornies; United States Marshal; President, Corporation, professors and tutors of Harvard College; officers of the Medical Society and of the Academy of Arts and Sciences; the Rev'd Clergy and the Selectmen of Boston and Charlestown; Commodore Bainbridge and Captains Stewart, Smith, Morris, Crane and Ridgley of the Navy; General Miller and suite; Hon, Artemas Ward, Rep. in Congress, etc., etc., to visit the Grand Lodge on the occasion, and have presented to the officers of the Grand Lodge, and to the gentlemen invited who reside in Boston, cards of admission for one lady each.
For the better accommodation of the Grand Lodge, and those who assist at the contemplated solemnities, the Quarterly Communication is to be held at Concert Hall,
From New England Galaxy, Vol. I, No. 18, 02/13/1818, Page 3:
The following Ode to the memory of John Warren, M. D., was written by Mrs. Rowson at the request of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, and performed at Concert Hall, immediately after the Oration of R. W. J. Bartlett.
Be wreaths of glory for the hero's name,
August his deeds, and sacred be his fame;
But flow'rs of rich perfume shall deck the grave
Of him, who lived to succour and to save,
And Cassia's blossoms twine with Sharon's rose,
Where our dear brother's relicks now repose.
Thy memory, oh Warren! will ever be dear,
Whilst any the sense of thy virtue retains,
Fraternal affection, with Gratitude's tear,
Shall blend on the marble that shrouds thy remains,
For bright as the arch, that through Heaven extends,
Was the genius that flash'd from thy luminous mind;
And soft as the dew on the dry earth descends,
Was the pity that led thee to succour mankind.
How sweet was the voice, that instructed our youth,
What wisdom, what science, that voice could impart;
How bright was that face, where the radiance of truth,
Beam'd over each feature direct from the heart.
Le sorrow each ensign of glory enshroud,
(When Sol is eclipsed we his absence deplore)
For sad is the hour, dark and sombre the cloud;
Warren's voice will be heard, and his face seen no more.
Then build the fair cenotaph, true be each block,
That raises the column his fame to record;
And oh! may that column, of time, bear the shock;
Upright as the actions, and firm as his word.
But where is the man on this sublunar ball,
The jewels of honor so worthy to wear?
Since our Brother obeyed the Grand Architect's call,
And the bright gem of hope is bedimm'd with a tear.
Who shall, sweet Hope, on thee rely,
Who lift the full confiding eye,
Who resting on thy promise, die,
If not the just?
Freed from a world of care and pain,
His body shall in rest remain,
Till the Grand Master's voice again,
Shall animate his dust.
See Religion's sacred ray,
Chase the cloud of grief away,
While welcom'd by th' Eternal Eye,
Our Warren's spirit mounts the sky.
NEW ENGLAND FREEMASON, 1875
From New England Freemason, Vol. II, (No. 10, October 1875, Page 491); (No. 11, November 1875, Page 534); (No. 12, December 1875, Page 591):
Biographical Sketch of John Warren, M.D., GRAND MASTER OF THE GRAND LODGE OF MASSACHUSETTS IN 1783, 1784, AND 1787.
(We take this sketch of Dr. Warren, in almost the exact language of the writer, from the admirable Life by his son, Dr. Edward Warren. Our only object has been to present, from the best source, a brief and flowing narrative, giving the clearest idea of the man and his life.)
Dr. John Warren was born on the 27th of July, 1753. His father, Joseph Warren, was a farmer in Roxbury, in easy circumstances, such as were at that time considered opulent. The principles of himself and wife were Calvinistic; and in the strong hatred of oppression, which Joseph Warren manifested and inculcated in hie children, we recognize the descendant of the Pilgrims He studied the Scriptures with great zeal, and impressed upon his children a deep love and veneration for the Bible. Second only to this was a love of country. He discerned the first germs of oppression, which were almost coexistent with the settlement of the Colonies, and which may be found distinctly described by the subject of this memoir in the first Fourth-of-July oration ever delivered, pronounced by him in 1783. It was not difficult for the shrewd and well-informed patriot to foresee the ominous consequences that must ensue, unless the people of New England watched with wary eye over that liberty for the sake of which they had left their native land.
Upon one occasion, it is stated, turning his eye upon his eldest son, Joseph, he said, " I would rather a son of mine were dead, than a coward." This sentiment was never forgotten. It sank deep into the mind of the hearer, and was almost rendered prophetic when, many years after, on the eve of the battle of Bunker Hill, his friends attempted to dissuade him from going to what they considered certain death, and a premature sacrifice of the powers and influence his country so much needed. Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori, was his well-known reply.
The same spirit was infused into the youngest son, John. It was evinced in his whole life ; and in enforcing it in the oration delivered in 1783, already alluded to, he spoke only the feelings of his own heart; he enforced only his own spirit of action. It is true, as we shall find in the coming pages, John Warren always lived in his busy, earnest life, too much out of himself ever to be aware of personal danger.
The father was killed by a fall from an apple-tree in October, 1755. At this period, John was only two years and three months old. The sight of his father's body borne home to the house made an impression upon his mind at this early age which was never effaced. Thus was he bereft in infancy of that parent whose influence and guidance, though not so strongly needed or felt in early childhood, increases so greatly in importance as that age is passed, and the child goes on from youth to manhood. He had, however, an excellent mother. She possessed, it is true, few of the advantages of early education; but was naturally of a strong mind, firm in religious faith, and stern and unyielding in her sense of duty. Yet she was charitable to her neighbors, benevolent to the poor, and hospitable with the hospitality of former days.
In her family, the rigid observance of the Sabbath, which commenced on Saturday evening, daily worship, and the diligent study of the Scriptures, were rigidly practised and enforced. Joseph, the eldest son, is said to have possessed a knowledge of their contents that was unsurpassed. John, the youngest, of delicate constitution, and more entirely the subject of maternal care,—impressed, too, in infancy, by the solemn scene of his father's death,—imbibed, perhaps, a tenderer disposition and softer affections than his brothers. With equal knowledge of the whole, he dearly loved the pathetic portions. The history of the patriarchs, of Jacob and his children, Joseph and his brethren, and, in the New Testament, the history and sufferings of the Founder of our faith, were great objects of interest. One of the strongest traits transmitted from the father was the old Puritan hatred of injustice in any form. The stern sense of duty, the paramount love of justice, was their pervading characteristic. Let justice be done, though the skies fall.
John Warren did not evince any precocious talents for learning. He was ten years old before he began to read. He then went to the Grammar School in Roxbury, where he applied himself to study with great zeal. At the age of fourteen he was well prepared for college, and entered at Harvard, July, 1767. He was supported in college by his own exertions, and, perhaps from that very reason, was induced to avail himself more earnestly of the opportunities he enjoyed. He became a good classical scholar, and acquired a facility of speaking the Latin language, which was of essential use to him in after life, when brought into communication with medical men from Europe, who had no other common tongue. His indefatigable industry, and a memory wonderfully tenacious, gave him a high rank during his whole college course. He conceived a strong passion for the study of anatomy, and by his zealous exertions a club was formed in college for its pursuit.
Immediately after leaving college, he commenced the study of medicine with his brother Joseph, who had become one of the most successful practitioners in Boston. It is very possible that the fearful scene which he witnessed in childhood, while it produced serious and reflective habits, induced the desire to examine into the structure of that machine, so wonderful in its operations while active, so suddenly arrested in its course, beyond the power of man again to set it in motion. However induced, this disposition to inquire into the structure of the human body as displaying the work of a divine artificer, led him to overcome the natural horror and disgust which is especially felt by persons of delicate and refined organizations in breaking in upon the secrets which mortality hides from us, and witnessing the progress of corruption in forms once beautiful and beloved. The prominent idea in his studies, as in the lectures which he subsequently gave, was to contemplate and describe the work of a superior and benevolent designer in all the mechanism of the human frame. He was, like other men, ambitious of success in life, but this study was not regarded by him mainly as that upon which he should build the foundation of future prosperity. He delighted in the study as displaying the work of a contriver, creator, and sustainer of powers infinitely superior to those of man. It was the earnestness and enthusiasm with which he enforced these views, that gave him his power of eloquence when he became a lecturer.
The term of two years' study only was then required to qualify a student for the practice of medicine. Having completed the usual course, Dr. Warren determined to settle in Salem. Boston was well supplied with physicians. In Salem, his sound qualifications and agreeable manners won for him the friendship and support of Dr. Holyoke, who then enjoyed a large practice. (He retired from business, in full possession of his faculties of mind and body, at the age of ninety-nine, in 1827, twelve years after Dr. Warren's death.) He soon became extensively employed, and in after life he often expressed his gratitude for the honorable notice he had received from this town. He became much attached to it, and nothing but the call of his country could have induced him to leave it.
Dr. Warren was indeed well qualified for the practice of his profession. His love of anatomy had overcome the difficulties which, at this period, particularly interfered with the study of that branch of medical science, — the most important foundation, especially for surgery. There were no lectures given in those days. It had been necessary for him to obtain his knowledge by his own diligent exertions, his own personal risk, and the aid of those whose ardor he had excited. The modes of study were also very different then. Fewer books were read ; the whole course was more practical. The pupil was an apprentice, in everything but the name and the articles of service. He was required to prepare medicines, spread plasters, dress slight wounds, and rise to attend calls in the night. He accompanied his instructor in his attendance on patients; in suitable cases he made visits and prescribed himself. He was sometimes required to wire a skeleton,—certainly a very useful work, involving the acquisition of much skill and familiarity with the bones, but requiring no little labor. By this practical course, the pupil acquired experience and confidence whilst under the eye of his master. The demand for practical knowledge, for personal responsibility in the treatment of disease, led him to draw upon his own mental resources. He was not the mere passive recipient of what he read and saw. He became accustomed to apply it, and to depend upon himself.
Very strong attachment existed between John Warren and his brother Joseph. The latter's twelve years' seniority, while it gave him the advantage of a large experience, was not sufficient to repel familiarity, neither was his disposition likely to do so. Both brothers, warmhearted, ardent, enthusiastic, of attractive manners, were closely united by patriotic, as well as professional sympathies. There can be no doubt that the elder afforded to his pupil every advantage which his large practice and his friendly instructions could render. The younger brother, possessed of great natural quickness, powerful memory, and an intuitive perception of facts, suffered no opportunity to pass unimproved. He enjoyed the advantage of seeing a large practice, and receiving the instructions of an able and experienced practitioner. He was, therefore, well qualified to justify the recommendations of Dr. Holyoke, and the confidence he so rapidly obtained in Salem.
His professional occupations did not prevent hie taking a warm interest in the politics of those stirring times, and aiding the public cause with his tongue and pen. He was early enrolled in Colonel Pickering's regiment of foot, which he joined as a volunteer, and was elected surgeon to that body. His correspondence with his brother Joseph at this time gives us a most interesting insight into his character. He was indebted to him to a considerable amount, probably for hip medical tuition. His creditor was gently pressing for payment in the form of a note to be used in promoting some of the numerous speculations which the active mind of General Warren led him to engage in extensively and vigorously, even in those troublous times. John, on the other hand, was extremely cautious. He had a strong aversion to debt; it weighed heavily on his mind, and he felt a horror of owing so large a sum to any one but his brother, while the latter considered the amount a mere trifle.
These letters also indicate a degree of anxiety with regard to future means of support,—ran anxiety produced from some physical cause, probably hereditary, which never left him even in his most prosperous days, and continued to the end of his life. While his friends were congratulating him upon his brilliant prospects, and he himself considered that they were all that he could expect, he still felt that there were many difficulties before him. While he was of pleasant address, always cheerful in conversation, enjoying wit and fun with as keen a relish as any one, he had always a distrust of himself, a secret feeling of doubt as to the future. This distrust, however, never palsied his powers, but led him on only to increased exertions. Possessed of the keenest susceptibility, he was very strong in his feelings, and naturally impulsive, though not sanguine. The motto he had chosen, and the manner in which he applied it, showed his plan of life. Æternilati pingo—I paint for eternity—meant, as he limited it, the determination not to aim at transient success and rapid emolument, but to lay the solid foundation for permanent eminence.
There is another point of view in which these letters are interesting. We look back upon the men of the Revolution as if their thoughts must have been full of the disturbances and great events of the time, and we feel almost surprised at their thinking of anything else. While these two writers were standing upon the edge of a volcano which might burst out at any time under their feet, they were discussing matters of business, and calculating upon the future, as if there had been no clouds in the horizon. It is certainly very curious to see Joseph Warren at this time—July, 1774—forming a partnership for twenty-one years with a surgeon in his Majesty's Regiment of Foot.
The four brothers, Joseph, Samuel, Ebenezer and John, were summoned from their respective abodes, Boston, Roxbury and Salem, to the Battle of Lexington. John accompanied Colonel Pickering's Regiment, and encamped with it at Cambridge for a fortnight after the fight, after which he returned to Salem. On the 17th of June he was again called from his "beloved Salem" by the sound of the firing of cannon, and by the flames of Charlestown. His journal thus eloquently describes his feelings and acts on that memorable day :
"June 17, 1775.—This day,—a day ever to be remembered by the United American Colonies,—at four o'clock in the afternoon, I was alarmed with the incessant report of cannon, which appeared to be at or near Boston. Towards sunsetting, a very great fire was discovered nearly in a direction from Salem for Boston. At the beginning of the evening, news arrived that a smart engagement had happened in the afternoon, on Bunker Hill, in Charlestown, between the King's regular troops and the Provincials. Soon after, we received intelligence that our troops were repulsed with great loss, and the enemy had taken possession of the ground, which we had broke the night before. I was very anxious, as I was informed that great numbers had fallen on both sides, and that my brother was in all probability in the engagement. I, however, went home, with the determination to take a few hours' sleep, and then go immediately for Cambridge, with my arms.
"Accordingly, in the morning, about two o'clock, I prepared myself, and went off on horseback, and when I arrived at Medford, received the melancholy and distressing tidings that my brother was missing. Upon this dreadful intelligence, I went immediately to Cambridge, and inquired of almost every person I saw whether they could give me any information of him. Some told me he was undoubtedly alive and well; others, that he was wounded; and others, that he fell on the field.
"This perplexed me almost to distraction. I went on inquiring, with a solicitude which was such a mixture of hope and fear as none but one who has felt it can form any conception of. In this manner I passed several days, every day's information diminishing the probability of his safety.
"It appears that about twenty-five hundred men were sent off from the ministerial quarters in Boston, to dispossess a number, about seven hundred, of our troops, who had, in the course of the night, cast up a small breastwork on the hill. They accordingly attacked them, and, after having retreated three times, carried their point. (upon which our men retreated with precipitation), having lost about two hundretl dead, and about three hundred wounded, amongst whom were a considerable proportion of officers,—Lieutenant-Colonel Abercrombie, Major Pitcairn, etc.,—a dear purchase to them indeed!"
While endeavoring, on this occasion, to pass a sentinel, in his overwhelming anxiety to ascertain his brother's fate, Dr. Warren received a thrust from a bayonet, the scar of which he bore through life. It was several days before he could ascertain the fact of his brother's death. He was ever accustomed to feel more for others than for himself. The affliction of his mother, the condition of his brother's children, now completely orphaned and destitute, the loss of so many of his countrymen, not only produced the severest grief, but excited his utmost indignation against those in the mother country who had counseled measures of violence and oppression, as well as those who were the submissive instruments of these measures.
Under these feelings he lost no time in offering himself, arms in hand, as a volunteer. It would doubtless have been more agreeable to him to have served in the ranks. At various times afterwards he evinced a smothered but constant desire to let fall the scalpel, and grasp the musket. But there were those at camp who knew his medical qualifications, and prevailed upon him to accept the honorable post of hospital surgeon, in which his abilities would be of much greater advantage. The distress of his mother, also, at the idea of losing her younger son, as she had the elder, had its influence. He was only twenty-two years old when he received the appointment of senior surgeon of the hospital at Cambridge. His prospects of a quiet and lucrative practice in the town of Salem, among a people to whom he had become fervently attached, and whose respect he had acquired, were now at an end. Suddenly he had become transferred to the service of his country, with an ample field for unremitting labor in aiding the establishment of the new hospital, and in attending the sick and wounded. Dr. Benjamin Church was appointed Director-general of the army hospital, but, having been detected in a treasonable correspondence, he was tried, convicted and confined for a year. He was afterwards allowed to leave the country, but the ship in which he sailed was never heard from again. Doctor Foster was appointed in his place, and Dr. Warren came next on the establishment.
The British troops evacuated Boston on the 17th of March, 1776, and the American army was soon afterwards transferred to New York. Dr. Warren remained at Cambridge, in charge of the sick and wounded, until the 11th of May following, when he set out for New York. In August we find him acting in the capacity of Surgeon of the General Hospital at Long Island. On the twenty-seventh of that month, the disastrous battle of Long Island took place, and Washington made his celebrated retreat. Nearly two thousand of the Americans were among the killed, wounded, or prisoners. He felt severely the defeat, shame and loss; and anxiety and depression, added to fatigue and exposure, brought on a severe and dangerous illness, from which he barely escaped with life. Being recovered, he accompanied the army in its retreat through New Jersey, and was present at the battles of Trenton and Princeton.
About the first of July, 1777, we find him established as senior surgeon of the General Hospital in Boston It was a fortunate period for him. The death of his brother had created a wide chasm in the profession. A strong interest and sympathy was felt towards so near a relative, whose patriotic zeal, as well as his professional talents and industry, had been so amply demonstrated. Dr. Jeffries had accepted the service of the English commander, aud left Boston with him. Dr. Lloyd was considered in the Tory interest. The field was open for a youthful aspirant, already possessed of sufficient experience and ample medical acquirements. On the 4th of November of this year, he married Miss Abby, daughter of John Collins, Governor of Rhode Island. He made the acquaintance of this lady in the camp at Cambridge, when he first joined the army. She is said to have been a favorite protege of Washington, and lived in the midst of the elite of military and civil life.
Dr. Warren's new-formed ties, his occupations in the hospital, his private practice, which was rapidly becoming important, his disappointment in obtaining a higher position, did not damp his ardent interest in the public cause and the progress of the war. He supported it by conversation, by writing, and by his earnest efforts in behalf of every active measure. In the following summer, when the expedition against Newport was being prepared, alid many distinguished citizens were volunteering, he could not be restrained from following their example. The principle so strongly laid down afterwards in his Fourth-of-July oration — that all other claims must yield to love of country—triumphed over private feelings, Rincc neither his professional business, his recent marriage, nor the situation ofhis youthful wife could restrain him. While absent on this service, his first child, John Collins, (who became the eminent surgeon,) was born on the 1st of August. The expedition proved a failure, and Dr. Warren returned to his hospital duties and his family in Boston.
The enormous depreciation of the Continental paper money caused him and his patients great anxiety on account of the high prices and scarcity of the necessaries of life. His brethren of the profession often assigned to him the duty of presenting their grievances to the authorities. This duty he performed in language as respectful as it was forcible. As an example of the latter quality, we make an extract from a brief manuscript sermon found among his papers, and probably written by himself. It appears to have been intended for the edification of those officers who were inclined to throw up their appointments on account of their wretched pay and consequent impoverished condition. The text is taken from Luke iii, 14: "And the soldiers likewise demanded of him,— saying, And what shall we do? And he said unto them, Do violence to no man, neither accuse any falsely; and be content with your wages." After expatiating upon his theme at some length, the preacher thus concludes his discourse: "But if you persist in your disposition to oppose the country by deserting its service, or taking up arms against it, I will foretell the consequence by a fable which one Agrippa told the people of Rome in one of their civil wars:
"'Upon a time, the hands and belly made war with each other. The hands complained that they did all the drudgery, while the belly lay idle, and sleeping, and loungiug. The belly replied laconically (for Monsieur Paunch is not very talkative) that he supplied the hands with blood and animal spirits, by assisting in concoction and digestion. The answer did not please, and to war they went. The hands refused to labor, the belly to grant his usual supplies, and both starved to death.'
"The moral is plain. The Commonwealth is the belly or guts; and the army are the hands. If we proclaim war, we shall all go to hell together."
Dr. Warren's biographer characterizes this language as "sufficiently plain and forcible." It should be remembered, however, that the customs of the time justified the use of many words and phrases which are not now tolerated by ears polite.
In the winter of 1780, Dr. Warren made the first attempt at anatomical instruction by actual demonstrations, in Boston. They were conducted with great privacy, on account of the popular prejudice against dissection. They were attended by a small number of medical students and young practitioners, chiefly attached to the army. Boston had many skillful, well educated physicians, most of whom had obtained their medical education in England. On the breaking out of the Revolution, it was no longer possible for American students to obtain instruction abroad, and they were driven to seek at home all that could be obtained. On the 3d of Nov., 1781, the Boston Medical Society passed a vote, requesting Dr. Warren " to demonstrate a course of Anatomical Lectures the ensuing winter." A course was accordingly delivered at the hospital, which was quite public. Many of the literary and scientific gentlemen of Boston, and some of the students of Harvard College, were permitted to attend. He had so much enthusiasm for his science, and was so full of his subject, that he readily infected others. President Willard and some of the Corporation of the College, who attended these lectures, requested Dr. Warren to draw up the plan of a Medical Institution to be connected with the University. Such a plan was submitted to the Corporation on the 19th of Sept., 1782, and, it having met their approbation, he was elected Professor of Anatomy and Surgery on the 22d of Nov., 1782, and the whole superintendence of the institution was devolved upon him. On the 30th of the same month, a provisional treaty of peace between England and America was signed at Paris, and made definitive on the 30th of November in the succeeding year.
Up to the conclusion of the war, it had always been the custom to commemorate the anniversary of the Boston Massacre by appropriate ceremonies and an oration, partly with the design of keeping up the resentment of the people against the English government. Dr. Welsh delivered the last of these orations on the fifth of March, 1783, and it was then proposed, that as the object of commemorating this day had ceased, that of the Declaration of Independence should be substituted. In a meeting held upon this subject, James Otis presided, and it was his last public appearance.
Another meeting was held in Faneuil Hall, and it was there announced that Dr. John Warren would deliver an oration in Brattle Street Church, as soon as the General Court had ended its morning session on the Fourth of July. The fact that two of the Fifth-of-March orations had been delivered by Joseph Warren, the last on the sixth of March, 1775, when the pulpit was in possession of British officers, and he entered it by the window, naturally suggested the brother of the slain orator as the proper person for this occasion. Dr. Warren's reply to the committee, who applied to him for a copy of his "learned and elegant oration," is characteristic and sincere. He says, "On condition that the honesty of my intentions, and the warmth of my feelings on the important event which was the subject of this oration, may be admitted to atone for the imperfections of the performance, I deliver a copy for the press."
He gives a sober and succinct view of the causes which led the British ministry to adopt those measures which excited resistance. He shows from the example of other nations, both ancient and modern, that as soon as the prosperity of a state leads to the acquisition of great wealth, and its citizens become entirely engrossed in the pursuit of arts, commerce, trade and manufactures; when public spirit is no longer regarded a virtue; when patriotism is sneered at as a thing which is not; when the talented and the wealthy are no longer willing to leave more profitable pursuits for public duties— general corruption ensues, offices are bargained for and purchased ; the representatives of the people obtain votes by cajolery and bribery, and then sell their influence to reimburse themselves; fraud and embezzlement are resorted to, to make these offices profitable. Government falls into the hands of those whose motto is, "After me the Deluge;" whose highest aim is to temporize, compromise with present evils, and cover over those seeds of destruction and decay, which in due time shall germinate, and bring forth rich fruit after their own ambition has been satisfied.
In conclusion, he says : "If, to the latest ages, we retain the spirit which gave our independence birth; if, taught by the fatal evils that have subverted so many mighty states, we learn to sacrifice our dearest interests in our country's cause, enjoin upon our children a solemn veneration for her laws as, next to adoration of their God, the great concern of man, and seal the precept with our last expiring breath, these stars, that even now enlighten half the world, shall shine a glorious constellation in the Western Hemisphere, till stars and suns shall cease to shine, and all the kingdoms of this globe shall vanish like a scroll."
The concluding words of this address were no vain oratorical declamation. He had given ample proof that he was ready at all times to give his life for his country if occasion demanded. His great characteristic through life, as described by his biographers, was his utter forgetfulness of self, and the safety and welfare of his country was second only to his duty to God. In this oration he shows that, like all the statesmen and patriots of his time, he had deeply studied the history of the ancient republics, and the writers on modern history and government; and that he had deeply reflected upon their teachings; seeking to ascertain the causes of a people's rise to greatness, as well as those which ultimately lead to their destruction. The new Medical Institution made great demands upon Dr. Warren's care and labors. The whole burden of making it successful rested upon him. He is reported to have been wonderfully happy in interesting the students, and was wont to hold them in fixed attention during a lecture of two hours' length ; for he did not limit himself to a fixed time. All his biographers have attributed to him a rare eloquence. His own warmth and enthusiasm communicated itself to his hearers. It was not a dry account of bones, muscles and blood vessels. It was an eager description of the structure of a wonderful machine, such as would be given by an enthusiastic artist of a complicated invention in which he was deeply interested.
The infant institution encountered violent opposition at the outset from the Massachusetts and Boston Medical Societies. This opposition was exceedingly annoying to the sensitive nature of Dr. Warren; but he entirely ignored his own feelings, and would not allow any obstacles to retard his efforts for what he was convinced was for the good of his patients and the profession.
The year 1789 was made memorable in Boston by the visit ol Washington, who came to view again the scene of his early military labors as commander of the continental forces. This event was ever alluded to by Dr. Warren with the greatest enthusiasm. It was an era in the life of every Bostonian of that period.
Though taking no prominent part in public life, and fully occupied in his profession, he did not feel himself justified in neglecting to inform himself fully upon every subject connected with the welfare and permanence of those institutions for which he had labored and suffered. On important questions of public policy, he occasionally addressed his fellow-citizens, at their meetings in Faneuil Hall, and frequently expressed his opinions upon such subjects through the columns of the newspapers. In both forms his arguments were clearly stated and cogently enforced. He is believed to have been the author of some of the state papers which were given to the world as the productions of John Hancock. The remarkable rapidity with which he made his visits, the rapidity of his ideas, by which he took in at a glance the whole situation of his patient, enabled him to obtain time for other objects,—charitable, scientific and political. He was noted for his rapid driving. On one occasion, Dr. Danforth accompanied him to a consultation. He afterwards declared, in very strong language, that he would never ride with Dr. Warren again. Said he :—"I would sooner ride with the devil." The streets of Boston were not very much crowded in those days; rapid progress was easier. A military company once barred the way, and the captain, who knew him and perceived his rapid approach, gave the order to open to the right and left; either respecting the surgeon's haste, or paying this honor to the brother of General Warren.
When the yellow fever prevailed in Boston, in 1798, and again in 1802, Dr. Warren gained great credit for the intrepidity with which he exposed himself while the fever was supposed to be highly contagious, in earnestly prosecuting dissections in every accessible case, in order to discover the morbid phenomena and the true indications of treatment. It is stated that he was in the habit of inhaling the breath of the fever patients, in order to judge of the effect of the mercury and its progress toward salivation, it being considered necessary to produce salivation in order to check the disease. The result of this devotion to his patients and his profession was, that he acquired a larger practice than any physician in Boston ever had before, or has had since, according to the testimony of his son, Dr. John C. Warren, who was certainly good authority. At home, matters were equally lively. Nineteen children were born to him, of whom nine survived him.
As to his religious views, it may be said that he loved the Scriptures; he received them as the word of God. Yet he investigated the writings of different sectarians, and formed his convictions upon study and research. He read family prayers in the morning, using the " Book of Common Prayer," and had a reading of the Bible after church on Sunday afternoon. The rigid observance of the Sabbath was enforced, but it was never regarded as a gloomy day by the family. It was looked forward to as a day of cheerful relaxation and rest. He was more with his family, and his genial disposition made the day pass pleasantly.
It is said the best of men have their faults. Those of Dr. Warren seem to have leaned to virtue's side. He was keenly alive to any sense of injustice done to others, or even to himself, and was sometimes impulsive in resenting it. He was one day riding in a chaise with his wife in Roxbury, when a truckman drove carelessly against his vehicle. He remonstrated. The truckman replied insolently, and the Dr. descended at once to chastise him, without considering for a moment the difference in strength or in the weight of his own whip compared with that of his adversary. It is needless to say that he had very much the worst of it.
He owned, as part of his paternal estate, a piece of land on Walk Hill. It was not fenced in and its boundaries were not settled. A Dr. _____ claimed a portion of this land, which Dr. Warren considered as belonging to him. This gentleman was one of the projectors of a rival college of physicians, and was bitterly opposed to Warren in politics as well as in medical affairs. An interview took place between the two upon the land in question. When the discussion grew warm, the said Dr. _____ drew a knife and stab Dr. Warren. The interference of a bystander broke off the interview for the time. Dr. Warren's proceeding thereupon was singularly cool and straightforward. He borrowed of his son an elegant pair of French duelling pistols, for be never kept weapons on hand. Thus provided, he sent out his eldest pupil, Mr. M., to Dr. _____ , verbal challenge. He, himself, followed in his sulky with the pistols. Driving fast, as usual, and probably more than usually absorbed in thought, the sulky was overturned, and the pistols as well as himself thrown out into the road, to the great admiration of the crowd which speedily collected. His vehicle was soon set to rights, and he drove rapidly on to the interview.
In the mean time Mr. M. had found Dr. ____ working in a field, with some laborers at a little distance. He explained his business, and the Dr. entered into earnest conversation, during which he gradually receded toward the laborers. Suspecting his object, M. shifted his ground and eluded all attempts to draw him in that direction. Finding it impossible to get the ambassador committed before witnesses, the Doctor gave a decided refusal to the challenge. This seems to have been the end of the controversy. The boundaries of the land were not settled; but at that period a man who had declined a hostile encounter was not likely to pursue any open course that would draw attention to the subject.
"The personal appearance of Dr. Warren was most prepossessing. He was of about middling stature, and well formed; his deportment was agreeable; his manners, formed in a military school, and polished by intercourse with the officers of the French army, were those of an accomplished gentleman. An elevated forehead, black eyes, aquiline nose, and hair turned off from his forehead, gave him an air of dignity which becomes a person of his profession and character." (from Thacher's Medical Biography.)
Accustomed as he was to the use of sharp instruments, he could never shave himself. In early times he had a black girl who regularly performed that service for him. Afterwards he had a barber, who came every day to shave him and dress his hair. He wore hair powder and a queue, as was the fashion of the time. His boots came up to the knees to meet the breeches, as was then the style. There were no Irish servants in those days. All were either Yankees or blacks. Dr. Warren's establishment consisted largely of the latter class, several of them having come into his wife's possession by the terms of her father's will.
Dr. Warren's sentiments in regard to slavery, and especially against the slave trade, which was then a subject attracting much attention, were very strong; and he undoubtedly employed his strenuous efforts for their abolition. In a conspicuous place in his parlor hung two engravings. One, designated "African Slave Trade," represented husbands, wives and children torn from each others arras, while well dressed white men fought for their possession; the other, entitled "African Hospitality," represented a group of blacks rescuing and kindly administering to white men who had been shipwrecked on their coast. He looked upon the declaration in the Bill of Rights, that "all men are born free and equal," as meaning what the words imply, and applying as strongly to the blacks as to the whites. Considering the former as an injured race, his sympathies were particularly interested in their behalf, and upon all proper occasions he exerted his influence in their favor, employed them in his service, and gave them his attendance freely in sickness for such return as they were able to make.
An amusing anecdote is related of Cuff, "a man and a brother," who had come into Mrs. Warren's possession under her father's will. At one period Cuff submitted to the common lot of man; he fell in love. A nice room was hired for him and neatly furnished, and he was married. The day after the wedding the bride eloped, taking with her all the furniture of the room and leaving only bare walls. Cuff returned crest-fallen to his former patron, and never ventured to try matrimony again.
Dr. Warren's was not a long life, but it was crowded with events. Its active period began with the breaking out of the Revolutionary War. It was intimately connnected with that War, and the public events succeeding it, to the War of 1812; and his activity and his life terminated together with the celebration of the Peace of 1815. The Treaty was concluded at Ghent on the 24th of December, 1814. On the 8th of January following, (and, of course, before the news of the Treaty was received,) the battle of New Orleans was fought. The people combined that victory with the Treaty of Peace, and believed that the latter was somehow the result of the former. In the subsequent rejoicings, bales of cotton were carried in triumphal procession, they having been used as ramparts in the defence at New Orleans.
The 22d of February, Washington's birthday, was selected as a day for the celebration of the great event. In Boston, a triumphal procession was formed, in which all the trades and mechanical occupations joined. Each carried implements, or emblems and banners, designating their trades. The truckmen brought up the rear with an elegant team of seventeen horses, drawing a sled loaded with bales of New Orleans cotton. Public services were held in the Stone Chapel, at which a Te Deum was sung. There was a public dinner at the Exchange Coffee House, a place of a good deal of importance in those days, as the centre of business and the principal public house. [Where all the Masonic Bodies in Boston were accustomed to meet from July 22d, 1817, until its destruction by fire on the night of November 3d, 1818.) In the evening, fire-works were exhibited, and the public buildings, including the State House, were illuminated.
Dr. Warren, then sixty-two years of age, but in feeble health and with a broken down constitution, could not be prevented from walking out to witness the illumination. Accompanied by his youngest son (then a boy of eleven, and afterwards his biographer), he weut through the principal streets, finding the transparencies abundant and the signs of rejoicing universal. He was greatly pleased. "Now," said he, on his return home, "now let me depart in peace, for I have seen the salvation of my country."
In this winter he was called upon to attend in consultation Governor Brooks, who was dangerously ill at his residence in Medford. "Notwithstanding the pressure of his business and the state of his health, urged on by friendship for Governor Brooks, and his sense of the value of his life to the community, he contrived to visit him once, and sometimes twice, every day while his severe illness lasted. Governor Brooks' situation was such as to make it necessary to adopt some decisive remedy, and an application of tobacco was made, of which, as the success was uncertain and as it was the last resort, the operation was awaited by Dr. Warren with intense anxiety. His delight was proportionable in finding it take a favorable turn. Governor Brooks recovered.
" About this time, on returning home one day toward evening, he found a letter from Foxborough, about twenty-five miles from Boston, stating that his brother, who resided there, had dislocated his shoulder three days before, and that the neighboring practitioners had not been able to reduce it. He immediately ordered a carriage to carry him there. On his family urging him, on account of his own ill health, to wait till morning and take some rest, he replied, 'It would be like resting on a bed of coals,' and set out without delay. "As soon as he arrived there he commenced his operations. He made several unsuccessful attempts with the pulleys. After trying an hour or two he desisted, and said he would try again in the morning. On retiring, he expressed to his student, who was with him, his great anxiety about his brother. He neither undressed nor slept that night, but spent it principally in walking about the room in great agitation. Before morning he caused the family to be roused to make another attempt. In this, after an hour or more, he succeeded. For a short time afterwards he was in great spirits, but soon after getting into his sleigh to return home, seemed to sink from exhaustion. He, however, proceeded to Boston, and, without resting, resumed his visits to his patients."*
While he was laboring under severe illness and confined to the house, he was sent for by his friend, Dr. Dexter, who was very ill. Despite of all the remonstrances of his wife and family, he would not refuse the summons, though entirely unfit to go out, and he must have been convinced that he did so at the peril of his life. The result was a severe aggravation of his disease. The period of his compelled inactivity was short. He visited and received patients on the 23d and 24th of March, and died on the 4th of April, at a few minutes after seven o'clock in the morning.
Disease of long standing was found existing in the main vessel of the heart, and there were extensive adhesions of the lungs, which must have been of long duration. Acute inflammation of the latter organs was also discovered, and this was probably the immediate cause of death.
The funeral took place on the 8th of April, and was attended by the Overseers and Faculty of Harvard University, together with the Senior Class, the Fellows of the Massachusetts Medical Society, the Members of the Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Grand' Lodge of Massachusetts and the Members of the Humane Society. A most eloquent and appreciative eulogy was delivered in the Stone Chapel, by Dr. James Jackson, and the remains were deposited in the family tomb in the burial ground at the foot of the Common, by the side of those of General Warren. On the following Sunday an able funeral sermon was delivered in Brattle Street Church by the Rev. Joseph McKean, of Harvard College.
In a letter to a medical editor, the eminent surgeon, Dr. John C. Warren, testifies: "My father was a much better surgeon than myself." He notices particularly his successful performance of the operation for cataract in many cases—an operation which, when successful, obtains, and deserves, so much gratitude. He also testifies to the great extent of his father's practice,—such that nothing but the extreme rapidity with which he took in at a glance the condition of his patient, and with which he made his visits, could have enabled him to accomplish.
Had his inclination induced him, or his medical occupations permitted, he was forbidden by the rules of his professorship from holding any civil office.
His prominent characteristic, as shown by almost every act in his life, was his utter and entire forgetfulness of self. He was at all times utterly regardless of danger for himself. "Danger for a friend," says one of his biographers, "seemed to shake his whole frame. The idea of pain to any one in whom he took an interest caused him more suffering than the reality did them. His whole soul was open to the feelings of his patients. He felt their afflictions and gave them his warmest sympathy, and his sympathy was repaid by their gratitude and affection. The same susceptibility gave a spring to his exertions in everything he undertook. What he thought his duty he entered upon with all his might, allowing himself no rest, night or day, until it was concluded."
On the 2d of May, 1780, as appears from the records of Massachusetts[ Lodge, of Boston, Bro. [sic Warren and others were "proposed for members of the Lodge." In those days it was customary to admit Entered Apprentices to membership. He must, therefore, have been initiated previously; although this is the first time his name is mentioned. On the 6th of June he was unanimously admitted. On the 4th of July it was proposed that he be "crafted and rais'd next Lodge night." On the 1st of August and 5th of September he is recorded as one of the members present. On the last- named date, " Bro. Love proposed Bro. Warren to be raised a Master Mason," which was accordingly done. He was appointed one of a committee " to prepare a flooring for the Lodge" on the 3d of October, and on the 5th of December was chosen 1st Steward, with Perez Morton as Master. At the Communication of December 18th, it was voted to celebrate the Feast of St. John at the Bunch of Grapes, and a committee was appointed to assist the Stewards in preparing the Feast. It was also voted, "that, should any strange gentlemen, who are Masons, be in this place at the celebration of St. John, it should be at the option of the Stewards and committee to invite them at the expense of the Lodge; that the representatives of this Lodge request of the Grand Lodge that the Grand Martial [sic], who is Master of this Lodge, walk as Master of this Lodge on next St. John's; that Brothers belonging to this Lodge that intend celebrating the Feast, together with those who are invited to dine with the Lodge, attend at the Bunch of Grapes precisely at ten o'clock with their cloathing."
On the 6th of February, 1781, Brother Warren acted as Steward on the occasion of an official visit to Massachusetts Lodge by the Most Worshipful Grand Master, Joseph Webb, and Paul Revere, Deputy Grand Master. At the meeting of July 3d, "The Lodge being told of the distressing circumstances of the family of our late Tyler, deceased, a committee of three was appointed, viz., Brothers Bruce, Warren, and Scollay, to enquire particularly of their situation and make report next Lodge night." At the Annual Meeting, December 4th, 1781, Brother Warren was elected Senior Warden. The Feast of St. John the Evangelist was omitted this year, the Grand Lodge being of opinion that it "ought not to be celebrated, as it can't be done with dignity."
On the 2d of April, 1782, he was appointed on a committee to look into the Book of Constitutions, and report next night the power a Master has in ruling his Lodge." The committee reported May 7th, "but the Lodge being thin," the subject was deferred until the next Lodge night, and there it appears to have dropped. He was chosen on the 3d of September a member of a committee " to take into consideration the notorious remissness of the members of this Lodge in their attention to the Constitutions of Masonry and By-Laws of the Lodge, to determine who are members of it and who are not, agreeable to the said Constitutions, and to devise such means as may be productive of a general attendance on summonses and a revival of the dignity and usefulness of the Craft, and make a report next Lodge night." There is no record of any report from this committee, although Brother Warren was its chairman, and must have been deeply interested, as Senior Warden, in the subject referred to them. At the meetings in October and November, the officers of the French fleet are recorded as visitors. We have already recited (pp. 74 and 75 of the present volume) the unusual proceedings as to the election of Master at the December meetings of this year. Brother Warren appears to have been very constant and regular in his attendance upon the Lodge, both before and after his election to the office of Grand Master. These unusual proceedings must have had his entire approval, as his name continues to appear on the list of members present with almost unvarying regularity.
On the 2d of May, 1785, Brother Warren was made one of a committee of six to represent Massachusetts Lodge in the Convention at Charlestown on the 26th of that month, the proceedings of which are given at length in this Magazine, Vol. I., pp. 465—473. He first appears in Massachusetts Grand Lodge on the 7th of December, 1781, as the Senior Warden of his Lodge, three days after his election to that office. The estimation in which he was held is indicated by the fact that he was added to an important committee previously constituted, although a young Mason, and this his first appearance in Grand Lodge.
At the Communication held March 1st, 1782, he was appointed on a committee "to enquire into the form of making Masons in the Perfect Union Lodge." At the Special Communication of June 10th, 1782, he was chosen on a committee "to draught resolutions explanatory of the powers and authority of this Grand Lodge respecting the extent and meaning of its jurisdiction, and of the exercise of any other Masonic authorities within its jurisdiction." The Festival of St. John the Baptist was celebrated by Massachusetts Grand Lodge that year with more than usual ceremony. " The Lodges under this jurisdiction accompanied the Grand Lodge in a regular procession from the Hall [Faneuil] to the Chapel [Stone], where our Rev. Bro. Eliot delivered a Sermon and our Bro. Warren a Charge worthy to be observ'd by the Brethren present." "A handsome collection was made for the poor, and delivered to the Overseers. Then the Brethren returned to Faneuil Hall and enjoyed themselves upon an elegant dinner."
On the 6th of December, 1782, the committee on the powers and authority of the Grand Lodge submitted a report, which was accepted and ordered to be recorded. In this celebrated report the committee recite and defend the action of the Grand Lodge on March 8, 1777, in choosing a Grand Master and constituting an independent Grand Lodge—the first on this continent. They declare "that the political head of this country having destroyed all connection and correspondence between the subjects of these States and the country from which the Grand Lodge originally derived its commissioned authority, and the principles of the Craft inculcating on its professors submission to the commands of the civil authority of the country they reside in, the Brethren did assume an elective supremacy, and under it chose a Grand Master and Grand Officers, and erected a Grand Lodge with independent powers and prerogatives, to be exercised, however, on principles consistent with, and subordinate to, the regulations pointed out in the Constitution of Ancient Masonry." Accordingly, the Grand Lodge thus established was declared to be "free and independent in its Government and Official Authority of any other Grand Lodge or Grand Master in the Universe." The report and resolutions were ordered to be printed, and a copy sent to each of the Lodges under the jurisdiction, in order that they might " be kept in and considered as part of the Book of Constitutions." At the same meeting the Grand Master, Joseph Webb, proposed Brother John Warren for his successor, and he was unanimously elected.
Although the election took place on the 6th of December, 1782, and although on the 3d of January, 1783, the Grand Lodge voted unanimously " that the Most Worshipful Grand Master be requested to call a meeting of the Grand Lodge, as soon as may be, for the installation of the Grand Master elect, "the ceremony was not performed until the 24th of June following, and after a second vote of the Grand Lodge on the subject.
On the 3d of June, 1784, upon nominationof Brother Warren, Past Grand Master Joseph Webb was re-elected Grand Master, and held the office until his death in April, 1787. At a meeting on the 1st of June following, Dr. Warren was again chosen Grand Master, and was installed on the 24th, at Charlestown. At the next Communication of the Grand Lodge, Sept. 7, 1787, a vote of Hampshire Lodge was reported as follows: "that the names of Daniel Shays, Luke Day and Elijah Day, who are members of that Lodge, be transmitted to the Grand Lodge, to be recorded with INFAMY — in consequence of their conduct in the late rebellion (Known as Shays' Rebellion.) "Voted, That the G. S. write to the respective Lodges under this jurisdiction, informing them of the vote."
On the 6th of June, 1788, Dr. Warren was re-elected; but declined, and Brother Moses Michael Hays was thereupon chosen. At the last-named meeting it was "voted unanimously, That the thanks of this Grand Lodge be presented to the Most Worshipful John Warren, Esq., G.M., for his faithfull and unremitted services Render'd the Grand Lodge."
Dr. Warren took an active part in the measures for the suppression of Shays' Rebellion before alluded to. In a speech delivered in Faneuil Hall in 1850, Dr. John O. Warren describes the impression which that affair made upon his mind when he was eight years old: "It has been my lot to have lived during a period when there was no Constitution and no Union; when there was no commerce, no manufactures, little of agricultural, or of any of the arts calculated to make a powerful and a happy people. It was a period when there was no sound currency, no confidence between man and man, no harmony in the action of the different States. It was a period when men's hands were turned against their neighbors ; when the courts were beset by armed men; when law and justice were trampled under foot; when our best towns and villages were threatened with pillage, fire and the sword; when the soil was polluted with the blood of its own citizens. I remember the unorganized little band of fathers of families, who in that emergency issued from this place, feebly provided with arms or other means calculated to put down a daring and desperate rebellion. What a dark moment was this! What a dreadful foreboding arose in the minds of those who had been expending their labor, their treasure, and their blood for the safety of an unhappy country! "
Dr. Warren assisted in getting up the "little band of fathers of families," and purchased a new sword for the occasion. Notwithstanding his distress at the condition of the country, this expedition is said to have been very exhilarating to him. It renewed the association with old companions, it revived military sensations, and the party left town in high spirits, as if on a pleasure excursion. The expedition was entirely successful. Its weight of character and influence doubtless did much to strike terror into the insurgent body. The rebellion was soon suppressed.
Dr. Warren was present on the 5th of March, 1792, when the union between Massachusetts and St. John's Grand Lodges was consummated. On the 19th of the same month a meeting was held at Concert Hall, in Boston, "for the Special Purpose of Installing the Grand Master Elect, and establishing the Grand Lodge of the Most Ancient and Honorable Society of Free and Accepted Masons for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Right Worshipful Bro. John Warren in the Chair." "The Records which respect the Union, and the Constitution, were read; after which the Rev) Bro. Walter, in a prayer suitable to the occasion, addressed the Supreme Architect of the Universe.. The R. W. Bro. Warren then installed the Grand Master in Ample Form, and, after an animated Address calculated for the happy Event, placed Him in the Chair of Solomon and invested Him with his proper jewel."
At the next Communication, held on the 2d of April, 1792, Brother Warren was appointed chairman of a committee of thirteen "to consider and compile a Book of Constitutions, containing all things necessary for the use of the Fraternity; and that they proceed with all convenient dispatch; and the same be published under the Sanction of the Grand Master and Grand Wardens, attested by the Secretary." Dr. Warren's biographer informs us that—"This work was undertaken and carried through with such diligence that it was ready for publication and received the sanction of the Grand Master and Grand Wardens on the 10th of May following. The Reverend Thaddeus Mason Harris, Librarian of the University of Cambridge, (afterwards Grand Chaplain,) was appointed to superintend the publication." It was "Inscribed and Dedicated To our Illustrious Brother George Washington: The Friend Of Masonry, Of His Country and Of Man." At the Annual Communication, December 10th, 1792, it waa "Resolved, That the Grand Master, with the Grand Wardens, present to our Most Beloved Brother, George Washington, the new Book of Constitutions with a suitable Address;" and it was further "Voted, That the Grand Lodge most sincerely thank the Committee appointed to compile the Book of Constitutions, for the very eminent services thereby rendered in that important Work." The correspondence between the Grand Officers and Gen. Washington has been often printed, and is doubtless familiar to our readers.
At the Annual Communication, December 8th, 1794, Dr. Warren was again chosen Grand Master, but declined, and Paul Revere was elected. From this time his name very rarely appears on the record of those present at the meetings of the Grand Lodge. Undoubtedly his professional duties rendered his attendance exceedingly difficult. But we find his name from time to time as a member of important committees, indicating that the Brethren set a high value on his judgment, and that he was still deeply interested in the prosperity of the Fraternity. On the 9th of December, 1799, he was appointed chairman of a committee "to confer with St. Andrew's Lodge on the propriety of their acknowledging the jurisdiction of this Grand Lodge; a measure which we think at this particular time highly essential to the fair reputation of the Masonic Character in the opinion of our country."
At a Special Communication held on the 8th of January, 1800, it was voted to be inexpedient to attend as a Grand Lodge "in the procession proposed by the citizens of the town in commemoration of the decease of our late illustrious Brother, George Washington." It was, however, "voted—That this Lodge will form a public funeral procession on 11th day of February next, and invite all the Lodges under the jurisdiction of this Gd. Lodge to join them on that day, and that the invitation extend to St. Andrew's Lodge." A committee of eleven was appointed to make all necessary arrangements, including the selection of an orator. On this committee Dr. Warren's name stands the second—the Grand Master, Samuel Dunn, being chairman. At the same meeting, Past Grand Masters Warren, Revere, and Bartlett were instructed "to write a letter to the widow of our deceased Brother, George Washington, in behalf of the Gd. Lodge, condoling with her on her heavy affliction; and to request of her a lock of her deceased husband's hair, to be preserved in a golden urn, with the Jewels and Regalia of the Grand Lodge." The same Brethren were "requested, in behalf of the Gd. Lodge, to communicate to the several Grand Lodges in the United States a Letter of Condolence, expressive of the irreparable loss the Fraternity at large have recently experienced in the decease of their distinguished Brother, George Washington."
The funeral obsequies were performed with great pomp, as is fully set forth in the records. The eulogy was delivered by the Hon. Timothy Bigelow, of Groton, (afterwards Grand Master,) and R. W. John Warren acted as one of the six "Paul Supporters."
On the 31st of October, 1805, the Grand Lodge attended the funeral of Past Grand Master John Cutler. Dr. Warren had been appointed one of the pall-bearers, but on the morning of the funeral he informed the Grand Master, Isaiah Thomas, "that by reason of the death of his brother, Mr. Samuel Warren, this morning, he should be unable to attend the funeral of the M. W. Bro. Cutler, as a Pall-Holder." Under date of November 30, 1807, overtures were received from St. Andrew's Lodge for a union with the Grand Lodge, an object which the latter Body had strenuously labored for ever since the union of the two Grand Lodges in 1792. The composition of the committee to confer with that from St. Andrew's Lodge was considered of so much importance that it was voted to elect the members by ballot. Dr. John Warren was one of the seven thus chosen. The two committees held their conference at the Green Dragon Tavern on the 5th of December following ; and the terms of union were satisfactorily settled. Accordingly, St. Andrews Lodge notified the Grand Lodge of Scotland of the termination of its connection with that Body, and on the 11th of December, 1809, came under the jurisdiction of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts.
A Special Communication of the Grand Lodge was held on the 8th of April, 1815, for the purpose of attending Dr. Warren's funeral; and on the 12th of June following, public funeral services were held by the Grand Lodge, and a eulogy delivered by Past Grand Master Josiah Bartlett.
CENTENARY HISTORY OF JOHN WARREN LODGE, OCTOBER 1960
From Proceedings, Page 1960-197:
While no reason is advanced for the selection of the Lodge name, the early records contain the following transcription:
This Lodge was named in honor of Dr. John Warren (brother of General Joseph Warren), who was born in Roxbury, Mass., July 27, 1753, and died April 4, 1815.
He was the "Beloved Physician," Patriot, Soldier, and Teacher, — A MAN in the largest and truest sense, respected and beloved by all, the peer of any of his chosen profession.
Of sturdy New England stock, he made the most of his advantages. Eloquent, honest, capable, he was often called upon to address large convocations of the most cultured of his day.
He was elected Hersey Professor of Anatomy and Surgery of Harvard University, November, 1772, and a month later, December 6th, was unanimously chosen Grand Master of Massachusetts Grand Lodge. His was not a long life, but the estimate of a true man is in his deeds, not years.
At his death full Masonic honors were accorded him. His mortal remains rest in the family tomb at the foot of Boston Common.
The Lodge has ever been proud of the noble man whose name we bear, and if we strive to measure up to the life of this noble man, then will the world be better for our having lived in it.