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CITY OF BOSTON.
In Board of Aldermen, January 1, 1870.
AFTER the business of the Board had been accomplished, Alderman WHITE submitted the following Resolve:
Resolved, That the thanks of this Board are due, and they are hereby tendered to His Honor the Mayor, for the punctuality with which he has attended its meetings the past year, and for the courtesy and impartiality manifested by him in presiding over its deliberations, and in facilitating the business of the Board.
Alderman White, speaking to the resolution which he had presented, commented on the very cordial relations which had subsisted between His Honor and the members of the Board, and expressed the regret which those who were about to retire experienced in severing those intimate relations. He believed there was no member of the Board who did not wish the highest success in the future to him who had presided over their deliberations during the past year.
The resolve was passed unanimously by a rising vote, when the Mayor appeared and responded as follows:
Gentlemen of the Board of Aldermen :
I feel duly sensible and grateful for the vote which you have just passed and communicated to me. It is but a verbal expression of that kindness which you have extended to me during the year that has just passed, in every manner, on all occasions. I recognize in it the same honest good-will that has made all our intercourse with each other so pleasant, agreeable, and harmonious; and I return to you my sincere thanks for the sentiment, assuring you that I fully appreciate the friendly feelings which alone could have dictated such a resolution. If my intercourse with you has been such as to have met your approval, it has been on my part but the reflection of that courtesy and respect which you have always so kindly extended to me.
It may seem to you superfluous for me to say in this presence that the year which has just been brought to a close is one of the most eventful as to great public improvements of any that has ever occurred in the history of our ancient municipality; for you, of all others, know it to be true, because you have partaken largely in the deliberations and labors that have been productive of the surprising results which all can witness. All the great interests, and the small ones too, have been subserved. All have received your special attention, and have been subject to your most careful and thoughtful consideration. You have been uncommonly patient and painstaking in all your investigations; and before arriving at determinations on important matters affecting the rights, privileges, or even the peculiar notions of others, you have given satisfactory hearings, and most patiently listened to the opinions of those who have had peculiar ideas or individual opinions on the questions which have been brought before you. No one can complain in
any case that you have been inattentive to reasonable demands, or that you have been hasty in legislation or discourteous in your demeanor. Your labors have been productive of great and distinguished results. Boston will rejoice in years to come in the great accomplishments brought about during your year of administration. Need I rehearse to you, that you have promoted the arts of civilization and of good learning by the erection of school-houses, and the cultivation of those things which pertain to the highest order of education? And that you have studied
the wants of all, and have striven to remedy deficiencies and hinderances that prevented the accomplishment of things and works desired? All the great and important interests have most certainly been benefited by what you have done in this hall during the past year. You have caused avenues to be built, and streets to be widened and extended for business and for travel. You have raised the low and sunken places, and made them habitable and pleasant. At your bid all things that would in any way be for the good of our city have been done. You have faithfully performed your duties, and most undoubtedly you will have your reward, not only in the plaudits of the citizens, but in your own approving consciences. You have well deserved of those who have confided to you the management of their trusts, for you have honored your positions by most faithful service. You have endeavored in all things to lighten the burdens of your fellow-citizens, and to ameliorate the condition of all whose lot has been cast within our city. Food and raiment have been literally bestowed upon the hungry and ragged. The soft pillow has given rest and quiet slumber to the weary. Music, with its harmonizing effects, has been free to all. Charity, in active benevolences and in forestalling the invasion of want and distress, has been dealt out by you in no stinted manner. Under your ministrations, Boston has in reality become a free city. Our avenues are now all free, no tolls nor taxes now burden them; our citizens are now free to go
and come, when and where it listeth; all are free, and all can enjoy the fullest liberty compatible with law and order.
But, my friends, the time draws near when our present agreeable official relations will be severed, perhaps forever, when many of you will be called to part from each other.
This Board will soon be no more; and many who have met within this hall, almost daily for the past twelve months, will quit these seats that they may be filled by others. I trust that none of you will leave thus but with the most agreeable feelings, and with pleasant remembrances of the associations which have clustered around them. I feel assured that you will, each of you, bear away from this place the kindest regards for each other. As for me, I assure you, as time wears on, and age shall creep most certainly upon me, no associations of the past will be more pleasant than those which have originated here; and although the larger part of this Board will retire from their active duties of these their present places, I shall always most dearly cherish the friendships which I have here made; and no persons will ever be more welcome to my remembrance than the Aldermen of the year 1869.
Gentlemen, in leaving the seat, which by your indulgence I have occupied with that hearty support which is seldom accorded to any presiding officer, I bid you all a most affectionate farewell; and may the blessings of our Heavenly Father be with you and upon you all in your future journey of life; and may health, happiness and prosperity be yours through a long and unclouded future!
At the conclusion of the Mayor's Address, Alderman Pratt spoke as follows:
At the closing hours of this session, as our official relations are about to terminate, our minds naturally revert to the associations of the past year. I believe I express the sentiments of
my associates who have assembled at this Board, that the retrospect recalls none but the most satisfactory feelings, and that we may congratulate ourselves that in parting, it is with the most cordial personal friendship, and a hearty desire that the coming years may bring to each in their bountiful stores the choicest blessings of our common Father.
Entertaining these sentiments, Mr. Mayor, it is with a profound appreciation of the privilege which has assigned to me the duty, in this case no mere formality, of recognizing the services of our chairman, who carries with him to his retirement the kind regards of us all, by offering the following resolve:
Resolved, That the thanks of the Board be presented to Benjamin James, Esq., its retiring Chairman, for the faithful manner in which he has discharged his duties, and for the valuable aid and assistance which, by his long experience in this branch of the government, he has been able and willing to render to us, his associates.
The resolve was adopted unanimously by a rising
Alderman James then addressed the Board as fol
Gentlemen of the Board of Aldermen :
For the very complimentary vote just passed, please accept my heartfelt thanks.
To nine of the members of this present Board this is our last official meeting, yet the many pleasant associations have left an imprint on our memories that cannot be effaced.
As chairman of this Board, I claim the right, as I feel the pleasure, of bearing testimony to the able and faithful manner in which your varied and arduous duties have been performed.
None but members of this Board can fully comprehend the