‘[p. 130] the locality more worthy of the society's time and money because nobody outside of the locality can by any possibility be expected to take an interest in it? On the contrary, it is just these subjects which deaden historical societies. If the State or the locality has any importance whatever which should make it worth while to have its history studied it is because it has played some part in the life of the world. This is the thing to work at. Hoc opus, hic labor. Every one knows that one of the leading defects of American historical writing has been that the writers knew too little of other history. So it is with local history. Neither men nor societies can hope to deal with it rightly unless their minds are full of American history at large and quick to see the relations of their tasks to that which explains them and gives them meaning. . . . With increase of intercommunication purely local feeling has become less acute. The number of people who care a rush whether the Blue Boar Tavern stood in First street or in Second street, or who can excite themselves over silly questions of local priority in this or that small achievement, has grown considerably smaller and is constantly diminishing. Meanwhile the number of persons who have read a considerable amount of general American history or who take an intelligent interest in it has greatly increased. It is to these people that societies must, in the long run, make their appeal for pecuniary and other support. It is highly probable that by avoiding fussy antiquarianism and looking chiefly at the larger aspects of local history they would accomplish the difficult feat of serving both God and Mammon. Not a few of our historical societies consist of two or three hundred sustaining members, who like to help in keeping up such an institution, and who are not without interest in American history, but who never attend the meetings, which have become the exclusive property of a few fossilized antiquarians. Would not fresh life be brought in if the society were to perceive clearly that its field of ’
This text is part of:
Table of Contents:
Bridges in Medford .
Medford in the War of the Revolution .
Births, Deaths and Marriages from early records.
Medford Historical Society .
Births, Deaths, and Marriages from early records.
Report of the School Committee made March 8th 1838 .
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