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 At the end of this first volume of records, there is a catalogue of births, marriages, and deaths, mixed up with county rates, &c. The last item in the volume is dated Aug. 20, 1718, and is the receipt of Rev. Aaron Porter for his salary. His signature is in that round and manly style, which, as it stands, seems to be a fit guarantee for the truth of all the preceding records. The second volume is a small folio, bound in parchment. It is twelve inches and a half long, eight wide, and one inch and a half thick. It begins Feb. 12, 1718, and ends June 23, 1735. From 1674 to the present time, the town-records are unbroken. The third volume is a large folio, but sadly torn and injured. A proper index of the records is greatly needed. The first volume of church records is bound in parchment. It is eight inches long, six and a half wide, and half an inch thick. It begins May 19, 1712, and ends April 13, 1774. It contains all the records during the ministry of Rev. Mr. Porter, and that of Rev. Mr. Turell. It records births, baptisms, and marriages, the doings of the church, the admissions to the Lord's supper, &c.; but it does not notice any deaths. The second volume of church records is bound in rough leather, and is of the same form and size as the first. It contains all the facts belonging to the ministry of Dr. Osgood. It begins Sept. 14, 1774, and ends with his last entry, Dec. 2, 1822, made twelve days before his death. Of the later records in town and church (all unbroken and accurate), it is not necessary to speak. They are well secured in strong books; but those above mentioned should be copied by a careful hand, and bound in uniformity. The iron or stone safe, where old manuscripts are kept, should be emptied, aired, and well heated once in every six months. In early times, one page was sufficient to contain a full record of a town-meeting; but, in our day, the record of a March meeting is spread over fifteen or twenty pages. The earliest records of the town-treasurer, which are preserved, are those of Capt. Samuel Brooks. For many years, this gentleman was placed on the most important committees. On the Sunday after his death, July 10, 1768, Mr. Turell preached two funeral sermons from Phil. i. 21. The first person in Medford who seemed to have any true regard for posterity, in making his records, was Mr. Thomas Seccomb, who, for twenty-two years, recorded with admirable particularity the facts most important for the historian.
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