faithful student and public benefactor.
I have also gathered much from the Historical Collections
of the Massachusetts Historical Society,--from Winthrop
, and other early writers; and especially from the registries of Deeds and Probate.
Mr. Frothingham's History of Charlestown
I have obtained less information from old manuscripts in Medford than I expected.
Many such important papers, long since collected here, have been irrecoverably scattered.
I have received aid from Caleb Swan
, of New York; from Mr. Joseph P. Hall
, the accurate town-clerk; from Rev. Samuel Sewall
, Mr. W. B. Shedd
, and several other friends.
To each and all I would here offer my sincere thanks.
To Messrs. William Tufts
, of Boston, George W. Porter
and Peter C. Hall
, of Medford, I owe special acknowledgments for their examination of my proof-sheets.
The Register of Families has been prepared by my young friend, Mr. William H. Whitmore
, of Boston.
With the patience that belongs to older scholars, with an accuracy that belongs to a true lover of genealogical inquiry, and with a generosity that issues from a Christian heart, he has devoted himself to these researches; and every family mentioned in the Register owes him a debt of gratitude.
By means of printed circulars and public addresses in 1853, '54, and '55, I gave very urgent invitations to all the living descendants of our ancestors, and to all the present inhabitants of Medford, to furnish me with genealogical registers of their families, promising to insert all they might send.
Many have complied with these requests, and many have not. I regret exceedingly that families, who alone possess the requisite information, should have withheld it. It is a serious loss to our history, and may hereafter be regretted by themselves.
In this respect, the history of a town is apt to disappoint everybody.
These registers of early families in New England
will contain the only authentic records of the true Anglo-Saxon
blood existing among us; for, if foreign immigration should pour in upon us for the next fifty years as it has for the last thirty, it will become difficult for any man to prove that he has descended from the Plymouth Pilgrims
I have introduced much collateral history, as illustrative of local laws, ideas, and customs.
The true history of a town is nearly an epitome of that of the State
It is not a single portrait, but a full-length figure amidst a group, having the closest relations to all contemporary life, and to all surrounding objects.
To neglect these accessory circumstances and illustrations, is to leave all life out of historic details, and convert history into a wide, silent field of graves, ruins, and darkness.
I have spared no pains or expense in collecting materials for this work; but my chief solicitude has been concerning its accuracy.
In no case have I recorded a fact, or drawn an inference, without having satisfactory historical evidence of its truth.
If my labors shall help to fix Medford in the elevated rank it now holds in the State
, and shall stimulate future generations to deserve and attain a higher, my proudest hopes will be realized.
That peace may for ever be within its walls, and prosperity within its palaces
, is the fervent prayer of its humble friend,