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[p. 172]

A valuable gift.

A pleasant and well-attended social meeting opened the season for the Medford Historical Society at its rooms October 16. President Wait reported that the enrolment of members in the several committees, according to the plan proposed last summer, had not proceeded far, and emphasized the fact that this enrolment is wholly voluntary, and should not be regarded as imposing a burden upon any member.

The notable event of the evening was the presentation to the Society of several valuable articles once the property of Mrs. Lydia Maria Child, and intimately associated with different periods of her life from girlhood to full maturity. The presentation was made by Mrs. Anna D. Hallowell, through whose efforts they have been secured for the Society. The articles are the gift of Mr. W. H. Parsons, of Brooklyn, whose wife was a niece of Mrs. Child. They were given in the name of Mrs. Sarah M. Parsons (born Preston).

The gift included (1) a baby's gown, wrought by Lydia Maria Francis, at the age of nineteen, for her niece, Sarah Preston; (2) life-size oil portrait of Lydia Maria Francis, at the age of twenty, by Alexander; (3) gold watch given to Mrs. Lydia Maria Child in 1835, by ‘some ladies of Lynn and Salem,’ just after the publication of her ‘Appeal in Behalf of those American Citizens called Africans;’ and (4) a colored photograph of David Lee Child.

It seems peculiarly fitting that these memorials of Mrs. Child should be committed to the care of the Medford Historical Society, and should rest in the house so intimately associated with her early years. A cordial vote of thanks very inadequately expressed the appreciation of the members of the Society for the spirit of the gift.

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