This section is from the book "The Gardener's Monthly And Horticulturist V23", by Thomas Meehan. See also: Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long.
Address of President M. P. Wilder, at Boston, Mass, Sept. 14, 15, 16, 1S81.
Members and Friends of the American Pomological Society:
Once more, through the merciful Providence of Him who healeth our broken bones, restoreth our health and preserveth our lives from destruction, I am enabled to stand before you and discharge the duties incumbent on me as the ancient presiding officer of our Association. Gladly would I have been with you at the last two sessions of our Society, but God had otherwise ordered. Glad should I have been had you accepted my resignations of the office which you have conferred on me for more than thirty years, and transferred the honor to some one of fewer years, whose health, enterprise and ability would have surpassed my own. But, gentlemen, as you have declined to receive my resignation, often tendered to you, thus manifesting a desire that I should die with the harness on - no, no, I will not say die, but rather still live to co-operate with you in efforts for the perpetuation of our time honored institution, and the promotion of its objects - and since you have provided a substitute to perform my duties in my absence, I am disposed to confide in your wisdom rather than in my own judgment, and keep working on, fulfilling whatever duty you may assign me while life and strength shall last.
When I reflect on by-gone days, and bring to mind the many old and zealous co-workers who have gone to their rest, and know before long I shall join them on the other side of the river, I am inclined to seek for rest also. But when I look around me and see so many who have labored with me from the establishment of our Society, and are here to day, and so many others from all parts of our continent who have come up to aid in the prosecution of our good work, I am inspired with the zeal and interest of those halcyon days when life was young and hopes were bright. O, yes, I feel the bliss of younger days, Bright as the beams of morning rays; With greetings warm and gladsome smile, My care-worn soul they cheer awhile, And fill with hope, as though in truth, I breathed new life, a second youth.
Happy, most happy am I again to join hands with some who aided in the establishment of our institution; who rocked the cradle of its infancy, and still survive to rejoice in its progress and usefulness. Thanks to the Giver of all good, Charles Downing, Thomas, Ellwanger, Barry, Hovey, Manning, Warder, James, Mead,and the brothers Parsons still live!
Thanks, that we are here once more in old Boston, from which primarily emanated so much of the interest in Pomology which now pervades our whole country - here again engaged in efforts to promote the objects of our institution, and to disseminate its blessings throughout our widely extended territory. I cannot find words to express the gratitude I feel that my life has been prolonged to the present moment, and that you have come once more, during my life, to my own home, where, after many years of absence, I may renew the bonds of affection and regard with my old co-laborers, and unite with those of fewer years in advancing the science of American Pomology.
Come ye as the representatives of the various States and districts; as the delegates of kindred institutions, or as members of our own Society; come ye from the Provinces of the Dominion on our borders; from the fertile valleys and prairies of the Great West and Pacific slope; from the genial clime of the sunny, flowery South, or the vast interior of our land; from whatever section you come, we of pilgrim and puritan ancestry, in behalf of our good old Commonwealth of Massachusetts, tender to you a most hearty welcome! welcome!! welcome to all!!!