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date when they had notified him that his duties would cease, they informed him that, as he seemed to have some doubt as to the meaning of their previous communication, in which they stated that the duties of all connected with his office would cease on the 30th of June, they had passed an order that the office of the editor should be discontinued, and the editor and his assistants discharged, and they further ordered that all property and materials in the office should be turned over to the custody of the Sergeant-at-Arms.
Volume 6 was then completely in type, all the stereotyped notes having been abandoned and marginal references substituted. When Volume 7 came out in 1892, Mr. Goodell had announced that he would make in his preface to Volume 6 some necessary explanations relative to the private acts. He therefore prepared a preface in accordance with that promise and to it he added a history of his connection with the publication of the laws, including all the events that had occurred that spring and including also the various letters that had been sent to him from the office of the Governor. He closed the preface in these words: “This presentation, inadequate as it must needs be under the circumstances is as full as the brief time at the editor's disposal allows before yielding up the keys of his office to the Sergeant-at-Arms, whose demand for them followed within a few minutes the last of the foregoing orders of the Council. Beside this enforced haste the want of opportunity for a new comprehensive study of details as above named must be his apology for disappointing the scholars who have been expecting more satisfactory results." This preface including this last clause was dated on the 16th of July. He sent it to the State printer, and it was printed and submitted to the Governor and Council for approval. Portions only were permitted to appear in the official edition of the volume. All the personal part was expurgated and only such matter as was deemed of value was published with a statement that these were extracts from a preface written by Mr. Goodell. A limited number of copies having the original as well as the expurgated preface were distributed by Mr. Goodell among his friends. . For three years after this there was no publication of the Laws. In 1899, however, Governor Wolcott communicated with Mr. Charles Francis Adams and urged upon him to report to the Gov
ernor and Council a scheme for renewing the publication of the Province Laws. This Mr. Adams declined, at first, to do, but the Governor, not content with this refusal, a second time appealed to Mr. Adams for his aid in securing the publication of the Laws. In response to this second appeal of the Governor, Mr. Adams told him that if he would refer the matter to a committee of three, consisting of himself, Mr. John Noble, clerk of the Supreme Court for Suffolk County, and Mr. Andrew McFarland Davis, he would undertake it. The Governor at once appointed the committee and a meeting of the same was promptly called by Mr. Adams to be held at the office of Mr. Noble. The three members of the committee were of one mind that it was desirable that the publication of the laws should go on, and that it was of the utmost importance to the state to secure the services of Mr. Goodell as editor if possible. There was therefore no occasion for discussion. When the committee met, Mr. Adams at once moved that Mr. Davis be made chairman, and having carried his point it was agreed that Mr. Noble should act as secretary. It was then formally voted that a report should be made to the effect that the committee recommended that the best method of renewing the publication of the Province Laws was that the office of editor should be conferred upon Mr. Goodell. And it was also agreed that the salary he had been paid heretofore, $2400, was too small, and the committee recommended in case of his appointment that the salary of the office should be raised to $3000. Mr. Davis was designated to prepare this report. At a subsequent meeting of the committee the report was submitted. Mr. Adams said that so far as the contents of the report was concerned, it was all right, but he would like to add a little snap to it, and he did so by making a few of the phrases commending Mr. Goodell’s work somewhat stronger than they were in the original. This report was sent by the committee to the Governor and a copy was forwarded to Mr. Goodell. A short time after this Mr. Davis was summoned to the Governor's office and was asked if he knew about the preface Mr. Goodell had written which the Council were unwilling to publish. Mr. Davis replied that he knew something about it, but was ignorant of the details. He added that whatever the relations between Mr. Goodell and the Governor and Council might have been at that time, the committee were of opinion that it was of the utmost importance that the State should avail itself of the services of Mr. Goodell to carry on the work. After some discussion the Governor said he was willing to lay aside his feelings and would recommend to the Council the adoption of the report. A short time after this the entire committee was summoned before a committee of the Council, where the report came up for discussion. Mr. Davis was called upon first and stated in a general way what lay at the basis of the report which they had submitted, namely, their belief that the State ought to avail itself of Mr. Goodell's services. One member of the Council said, “Mr. Davis, you know that we discharged him just a short time ago," and Mr. Davis replied, “Yes, but it is nevertheless true, that if the State wishes to renew the publication of the laws and wishes to secure the best equipped man to be had for editor Mr. Goodell must be appointed to the place.” A member of the Council then said "you don't expect us to hire him over again after we have discharged him and then give him an increase of pay?” to which again reply was made, “that is precisely what we recommend, for you did not pay him enough before. His services were worth more than you paid him, and if re-employed he ought to have more." Following that, both Mr. Adams and Mr. Noble were called upon and added to what had been said the weight of their approval. As a result of it all the Governor and Council authorized the committee to renew the publication of the Laws and Resolves with Mr. Goodell as editor at the same salary that he had before. Thereupon the committee tendered the appointment to Mr. Goodell on those terms. In reply to a communication officially tendering him the position of editor, Mr. Goodell said that he would accept the place only upon the condition that the salary be raised to the sum that the committee had endeavored to secure for him. He asked permission to appear before the committee and argue the question. He was told that it was of no use, that everything had been done that could be done. Nevertheless he insisted upon appearing and on an appointed day did appear, but inasmuch as his refusal to accept the office except with increased pay seemed to preclude the possibility of getting him for the editorship, Mr. Davis shortly thereafter wrote to him, saying that inasmuch as he declined the office it became the duty of the committee to
look elsewhere for somebody to perform the work, and that in all probability there was no man in the Commonwealth better fitted to advise the committee in this matter than Mr. Goodell himself. Mr. Goodell was therefore asked to submit for consideration the names of such persons as he thought might be competent to carry on the work. In reply to this Mr. Goodell wrote, giving a list of names, beginning with that of James Bradley Thayer, professor at the Harvard Law School, followed by that of James Barr Ames, who was then the Dean of the Harvard Law School and three or four other names of prominent lawyers. These were all busy men who as a rule would not have thought for a moment of taking the place, but amongst them was the name of Melville M. Bigelow, whose connection with the law school of the Boston University and his office in town in the Tremont Building, brought his field of work so close to the State House that he could very readily divide his time between his various occupations and take on this in addition. Mr. Davis therefore visited Mr. Bigelow and tendered him the nomination for the place. Mr. Bigelow took the office and the publication of the Province Laws was renewed, following, however, the system of marginal references and losing the valuable notes the continuation of which was of so much importance to students. It is not unlikely that Mr. Goodell’s refusal to accept the position was influenced by the fact that he could no longer carry on the system of annotation which had given the Province Laws such value for historians. As a sentimental proposition he might have wished to see his name alone connected with the complete publication, but as an editor he could only have regretted being obliged to furnish such unsatisfactory notes as marginal references. It is evident that the committee in their contention that Mr. Goodell’s services ought to be secured as editor, were influenced by his annotations in the past and that they did not take into consideration the fact that these notes would not be permitted in the future. In conclusion, a word of praise ought to be said of the attitude of the Governor and Council in the matter of the reappointment of Mr. Goodell. It was no small thing for them to lay aside their prejudices and adopt in substance the recommendations of the committee.