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Boston (Mass.). Record Commissioners.

Second report of the record commissioners of the city of Boston : containing the Boston records, 1634-1660, and the book of possessions online

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SECOND REPORT



Record Commissioners



CITY OF EOS TON;



CONTAINING THE



BOSTON RECORDS, 1634-1660, AND THE BOOK OF POSSESSIONS.



SECOiVn KIHTIOX.




BOSTON:
ROCKWELL AND CHURCHILL, CITY PRINTERS,

No. 39 Alien STREET.
18 8 1.



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F13.1



[Document 46 — 1881.] p ij



CITY OF i...&; J BOSTON.




In Boaed of Aldermen, April 30, 1877.

Ordered, That the Record Commissioners be authorized
to publish a second report, to contain a transcript of the first
volume of the Town Records and of the Book of Possessions,
to be printed, bound, and distributed in the same manner as
their first report, at an expense not exceeding one thousand
dollars, to be charged to the appropriation for printing.

Passed. Sent down for concurrence. May 3, came up
concurred. Approved by the Mayor, May 7, 1877.

A true copy.

Attest ;

JOHN T. PRIEST,

Asst. City Clerk.



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SECOND REPORT OF THE RECORD
COMMISSIONERS.

To His Honor the Mayor and the City Council of Boston : —
It will be understood, from, the terms of the preceding
vote, that no detailed report is to be expected from the
Record Commissioners at the present time. Acting under
the instructions given them, they have endeavored to present
faithful transcripts of the two earliest volumes of the records
of the town of Boston, viz., of the first Book of Records
proper, and of the Book of Possessions.

The value of the first volume of Records consists not
only in the information given as to the names and posses-
sions of the first inhabitants, but also in its indications of the
extent of the powers exercised by the town authorities.
Inasmuch as the progress of town government on the New
England plan is, and always w^ill be, of great interest to the
student of social science, it must be worth while to present



IV



City Document No. 46.



to the public the full and exact statement of the proceedings
of the greatest town in the colon3^ _

As to the Book of Possessions, it is sufficient to say tiiat
this must be the foundation of all titles to real estate withui
the old town limits, and that, therefore, it was, on many
accounts, most desiral)le that it should be made accessible
and permanent by receiving- the honors of print.

The records of the town of Boston, now in the custody ot
the City Clerk, may be described as follows : —

Ten volumes, of which the lirst is here prmted, contam-
ino- the acts of the town from 1634 to 1822. The hrst
volume (1634-1660) contains also the acts ot the Selectmen ;
the second volume (1660-1728) contains the acts of the
Selectmen from 1660 to 1701 ; and thcncetorward it records
only the proceedings of the town. In 1701 the system was
established of recording the doings of the Selectmen sepa-
rately, and twenty-three volumes contain their records until

182'^

There are a few miscellaneous volumes, as the Book of
Possessions, etc. In two large volumes, also have been
bound up the miscellaneous papers »\t|^«^ ^f.^t^^l^^""; X/
City Clerk, covering the periods ot 1634-171;) 1^17-1734
After this date the papers are still arranged in hies and

bundles. , , ^ i i. rii^

Recently the Record Commissioners have reported to ills
Honor the Mayor the necessity of taking some measures to
assort and preserve the records of the old courts of the
County of Sutl'olk prior to the Revolution. In spite ot the
neo-lect which these tiles have sutiered for many years it is
highly probable that they contain documents of prime im-
portance to the history of our town.



It may be proper to mention that very little has yet been
done towards publishing the history of Boston. The mag-
nitude of the task has probably prevented its acc-omp ish-
ment; and the deplorable deticiencies in the records, which
it is the task of the Commissioners to repair, may also mue
discoura-(>d enthusiasts. A brief sketch of the principal
contributions to our local history may be of some service

In the third volume of the Collections ot the _I\Iassuchu-
setts Historical Society, for 1 7



Online LibraryBoston (Mass.). Record CommissionersSecond report of the record commissioners of the city of Boston : containing the Boston records, 1634-1660, and the book of possessions → online text (page 1 of 35)