In writing this History, it has been my wish to secure Medford such territory in time as its acres are territory in space.
The gathering of these annals has been too long delayed.
Time, moth, and rust have done their fatal work on many valuable materials; and some gentlemen, who felt a deep interest in their native town, have died without leaving any manuscript testimonies.
When the history of New England
shall be written, the true data will be drawn from the records of its towns.
Now, therefore, in humble imitation of those States in our Union which have contributed each its block of granite, marble, or copper to the National Monument
at Washington, I ask leave to offer Medford's historical contribution to the undecaying pyramidic monument which justice and genius will hereafter raise to the character and institutions of New England
The records of the first forty years are lost.
I have reproduced them, as far as I could, from documents in the General Court relating to our earliest history; from several monuments of the first settlers, which are yet standing among us; from authentic traditions which were early recorded; and from collateral histories of the neighboring towns.
To find the lost, and remember the forgotten, seems to be the province of the local annalist.
From the moment I reached the first town-records of Medford (1674), I implicitly followed those excellent guides.
Where I could save space by abbreviations, without altering the sense, I have occasionally done so in my quotations, and have used our modern orthography.
The spirit of antiquarian research, now beginning to show itself, will lead to the discovery of many facts concerning the early history of Medford which are beyond my reach.
These may soon render necessary a new history of the town; and I hope it may be undertaken by a person whose ability and leisure will enable him to do far greater justice to the subject than has been within my power.
There are no foot-notes in this volume.
My reason for incorporating such matter with the text is this: whenever notes are printed at the bottom of a page, it is expected they will be read in
at the place where the asterisk in the text directs.
If the note is put there to be read in there
, why not put it into the text at that place, and thus save the eye the trouble of wandering down to the bottom of the page to hunt up the note, and then wandering back again to find the spot whence it started on its search?
If the new mode I have adopted should prove inconvenient to readers, they must so declare against it that no writer will follow the example.
I have received great help front the Massachusetts Colony Records
; and Dr. N. B. Shurtleff
's beautiful edition of them is a noble monument to a