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Appendix D.

  • Bequest by Mr. Ticknor, to the Boston Public Library, of his collection of Spanish and Portuguese books.

when Mr. Ticknor's will was proved, the following article in it was made known:—

Ninth. On the death of my wife I give to the city of Boston, where I was born, where I have lived a long and happy life, and where I hope to die, all my books and manuscripts in the Spanish and Portuguese languages; and I further give and bequeath to the same city of Boston, the sum of four thousand dollars, to be paid within one year after the probate of this my will, the same to be always kept by the said city safely invested at interest, for the purposes hereinafter specified. But I make these two bequests to the city of Boston only in trust for the following purposes, and no other, to wit:—

(1.) That in the course of each and every five years during the twenty-five years next succeeding the receipt by the said city of the said sum of four thousand dollars, the said city shall expend not less than one thousand dollars in the purchase of books in the Spanish and Portuguese languages and literatures, or in one of them, and furthermore expressing it as my wish, but not as my requirement, in [509] order, so far as may be, to insure the purchase of books already determined to be worth possessing, that no books shall be so purchased during said twenty-five years, nor afterwards, from the income of the said fund of four thousand dollars, which shall not have been published in some one edition at least five years,—it being my will that every book purchased at any time from the income of my said fund of four thousand dollars shall be a book of permanent value and authority, and neither newspapers, periodicals, nor other popular publications not likely to be of lasting consideration.

(2.) That no person whatever shall, at any time, or under any circumstances, except for binding or needful repairs in binding, be permitted to remove from the proper rooms of the Public Library any of the books hereby bequeathed or for the purchase of which provision is hereby made, but that within such rooms, and at all such times and hours, and under such restrictions as the Trustees or other lawful managers of the said Library may deem expedient or reasonable, each and all of said books so bequeathed, or so purchased, shall be freely accessible for reference or study to all such persons as may be permitted to resort to said Library or to use it.

(3.) That at the end of the twenty-five years aforesaid, and in each and every year thereafter forever, the said city of Boston shall cause the income of the said fund of four thousand dollars, but no part of the principal, to be expended in the purchase of books of permanent value, either in the Spanish and Portuguese languages, or in such other languages as may be deemed expedient by the Trustees of the said Library, or other persons having lawful charge of the same, but always under the conditions and restrictions hereinbefore expressed, namely, that the same shall be used only in the proper rooms of the said Library, and never lent abroad or out of them.

(4.) That none of the books bequeathed by me as aforesaid, or to be purchased from the income of the fund of four thousand dollars as aforesaid, shall at any time be sold, exchanged, or given away; but that they shall, if not inconvenient, be kept together, like the Bowditch and the Parker collections now in the said Library.

(5.) That if at any time the fund aforesaid shall, from any cause whatever, become diminished, then at least one half of the annual income thereof shall yearly be added to the principal until the full sum of four thousand dollars shall be made good again.

(6.) But in case the city of Boston shall refuse or neglect, for the space of one year after the probate of this my will, to accept the said bequests of books, manuscripts, and money, on the trusts and conditions [510] hereinbefore set forth, or shall at any time, after accepting the same, fail or neglect faithfully to fulfil each and all of said trusts and conditions, according to their true spirit and intent, then, and in either of said cases, I give and bequeath the said books, manuscripts, and money to the President and Fellows of Harvard College, in the city of Cambridge, for the use of the General Library of said College, upon the same trusts and conditions, so far as the same can be applicable to the said General Library, giving, as I do hereby give, to the said President and Fellows, full power to sue for and recover the said books, manuscripts, and money, or any of them, from the said city of Boston, or from any person or persons who may have the same, or any of them, in his or their possession.

About two months after Mr. Ticknor's death, Mr. W. S. Dexter, on behalf of the Executors, informed the City Council of the city of Boston, through the Mayor, that Mrs. Ticknor had offered to relinquish her right to retain the books thus bequeathed to the city; and the City Council accepted the bequest, in accordance with the terms and conditions of the will. Resolutions were passed in relation to this subject by the City Council, April 4, 1871, and by the Trustees of the Library, April 26; and the books were removed to the Library building at once.

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Elisha Ticknor (4)
William Sohier Dexter (1)
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