The memorial history of Boston, including Suffolk County, Massachusetts

The memorial history of Boston comprises four volumes of manuscripts written by professionals in their field of study at the time, and edited by one of the premier historians of the 19th Century, Justin Winsor. Starting with the first volume in the early and colonial period, this work defines the history of Boston up to the date of its publication in 1880. This work is not restricted to Boston, but also includes the cities of Brighton, Charlestown, Dorchester, Roxbury, and West Roxbury, Replete with illustrations and facsimiles of autographs, genealogists can use this work to help fill in the historical narrative of their ancestors life in Suffolk County Massachusetts. Each volume is fully indexed, and it is highly suggested that you refer to those indices if looking for an ancestor, not a search. Since the memorial history of Boston was OCR’d for search purposes, but not human edited afterwards, the results of the search are less than satisfactory.

Title:The memorial history of Boston, including Suffolk County, Massachusetts, 1630-1880
Author:Justin Winsor
Publication date:1880
Publisher:Boston, J. R. Osgood and company
Digitizing Sponsor:Kahle/Austin Foundation
Contributor:Internet Archive
Repository:Internet Archive
Memorial History of Boston title page
The memorial history of Boston, including Suffolk County, Massachusetts, 1630-1880

The scheme of this History originated with Mr. Clarence F. Jewett, who, towards the end of December, 1879, entrusted the further development of the plan to the Editor. On the third of January following, about thirty gentlemen met, upon invitation, to give countenance to the undertaking, and at this meeting a Committee was appointed to advise with the Editor during the progress of the work. This Committee consisted of the Rev. Edward E. Hale, D.D., Samuel A. Green, M.D., and Charles Deane, LL.D. The Editor desires to return thanks to them for their counsel in assigning the chapters to writers, and for other assistance; and to Dr. Deane particularly for his suggestions during the printing. Since Messrs. James R. Osgood & Co. succeeded to the rights of Mr. Jewett as publisher, the latter gentleman has continued to exercise a supervision over the business management.

The History is cast on a novel plan, — not so much in being a work of co-operation, but because, so far as could be, the several themes, as sections of one homogeneous whole, have been treated by those who have some particular association and, it may be, long acquaintance with the subject. In the diversity of authors there will of course be variety of opinions, and it has not been thought ill-judged, considering the different points of view assumed by the various writers, that the same events should be interpreted sometimes in varying, and perhaps opposite, ways. The chapters may thus make good the poet’s description, —

“Distinct as the billows, yet one as the sea,” —

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and may not be the worse for each offering a reflection, according to its turn to the light, without marring the unity of the general expanse. The Editor has endeavored to prevent any unnecessary repetitions, and to provide against serious omissions of what might naturally be expected in a history of its kind. He has allowed sometimes various spellings of proper names to stand, rather than abridge the writers’ preferences, in cases where the practice is not uniform. Such annotations as he has furnished upon the texts of others have, perhaps, served to give coherency to the plan, and they have in all cases been made distinctly apparent. For the selection of the illustrations, which, with a very few exceptions, are from new blocks and plates, Mr. Jewett and the Editor are mainly responsible. Special acknowledgments for assistance in this and in other ways are made in foot-notes throughout the work.


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