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EXTRACTS



JOHN MARSHALL'S DIARY,



January, 1689 — December, 1711.



litf) an Entrotiuction



By SAMUEL A. GREEN.



EXTRACTS



JOHN MARSHALL'S DIARY,



January, 1689 — December, 1711.



Wiit\) an 3:ntrol)ucti0n



By SAMUEL A. GREEN.



CAMBRIDGE:
J()H\ WILSON AXU SOX.

iilluitcrsttg ^xcss.
1900.






JOHN MARSHALL'S DIAKY.



At a meetinsT of the Massachusetts Hlstorical
Society, held in Boston on Thursday, March 8,
1900, Dr. Samuel A. Green made the following
remarks : —

Among the early gifts to the Historical Library was "A
MS. Journal of John Marshall," as appears from the Proceed-
ings (I. 31). The journal was presented by James Winthrop,
one of the original members of the Society, on March 30, 1792.
It begins on January 24, 1688-9, and ends on December 30,
1711. In size the book is about eleven inches long by
four wide, and contains 118 leaves or 236 pages ; and it is
bound in vellum. The writer was John Marshall, of Braintree,
whose mother married for her second husband Daniel Fairfield ;
and this family connection has been the cause of some con-
fusion in regard to the authorship of the journal. A few of
the earliest entries, which relate to a military company in
Boston, are signed " Daniel Fairfield, Clerk," but they are all
in the same handwriting as the rest of the book. Apparently
John Marshall made the entries for his stepfather and signed
the stepfather's name to them. There is no record to show
how long the journal remained in the Library after it was
originally given, but there is reason to think that it
was out of the Society's possession for an unknown length
of time.

On September 29, 1839, the Rev. William P. Lunt, of
Quincy, a former member of this Society, delivered two his-
torical addresses in that town ; and in the Appendix (p. 107)
to tlie pamphlet containing these discourses, he quotes freely



from the journal, which he calls " Fairfield's Diary " ; and
he says, furthermore, that " it was presented to the Library
of the Historical Society, by Rev. Dr. Harris," of Dorchester.
Mr. Savage, in his " Genealogical Dictionary of the First Set-
tlers of New England," under several family names (Copeland,
Fairfield, and Marshall) also alludes to the manuscript, and
says that it was procured for the Historical Society by Dr. T.
M. Harris. Sixteen years ago, Mr. Adams, now our President,
gave very copious extracts from the diary, which appear in
the Proceedings (second series, I. 148-164) for April, 1884 ;
and he also said that the book was given by the Rev. Thad-
deus M. Harris. I have dwelt somewhat more fully on this
matter than I otherwise should have done, in order to show
that the journal was given originally by James Winthrop, and
not by the Rev. Dr. Thaddeus M. Harris, a former Librarian.
At some subsequent date, probably, it was lent to a member,
and a record of the loan not kept, and in the course of time
the fact was forgotten. It should be borne in mind that in
the early days of the Societ}'- manuscripts were not guarded
with great care- In a Loan-book, first used in 1809, instances
are recorded where both books and manuscripts were lent out
and not brought back by the borrowers for many years.
Indeed, there are instances where apparently volumes were
never returned. According to a charge in the same book,
" Fairfield's ms. Diary " was lent to a member on April 26,
1832, and returned on May 25.

It is an interesting fact to note that the Rev. Thomas Prince
used this manuscript when he compiled his " Chronological
History of New-England in the Form of Annals" (Boston,
1736), as appears from the Preface (p. vii) to that work. He
there mentions among his authorities: "An Onginal Journal
of a very Intelligent Person deceased, who desired not to be
named ; relating remarkable Matters from 1689 to 1711, inclu-
sively." In order to clinch the connection between this title
and the one now under consideration, I will mention the fact
that Dr. Jeremy Belknap makes an extract from it, and says
that it is " From a MS Journal in N E Liby by one Daniel
Fairfield of Boston, Mason." The New-England Library —
" Begun to be collected by Thomas Prince," according t • the
book-plate in the volumes —^fk now known as ^le Prince
Library, and is in the keeping of the Boston Public Library.



In various places throughout the journal are numerous words
underscored in red ink, showing unmistakable signs of its
use by Dr. Belknap, who was in tlic habit of thus marking
manuscripts examined by him.

The following theory is offered as an explanation of the
several variances in the statements here mentioned in connec-
tion with the journal : —

First, Mr. Prince had the use of tlie manuscript before the
year 17-)6, when his work was publisli


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Online LibraryJohn MarshallExtracts from John Marshall's diary → online text (page 1 of 3)