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Editorial note.

It is very unlikely that the incidents of any other picnic party or summer outing in Medford are as well preserved as those of the above relation. The daughter of the Mrs. Quincy therein alluded to kept a diary, in [p. 11] which many of the facts related are noted, with others of equal interest. Both letter and diary formed the basis of an interesting communication to the Colonial Society of Massachusetts in 1907, which is illustrated by a view of the ‘Lake of the Woods’ with its wooded island. It was the privilege of the editor to identify the various localities therein named, and assist that writer, H. H. Edes, Esq., at that time. Very recently we have found (what neither knew at that former time) the story of the lily-picking episode as told by Mr. May himself in his autobiography.

The view across ‘the Lake of the Woods’ (Horn pond) is little changed in the lapse of a century, and ‘nature has dealt kindly, as the tall trees witness,’ with the locality in ‘Upper Medford,’ from which could be seen ‘the distant spire of Menotomy.’ At the latter the canal embankments remain intact, from the site of the aqueduct which spanned the Aberjona, to the Mystic Valley parkway, where is a bronze tablet relative to the canal, erected by the park commission.

Mr. May in later years became a zealous advocate of temperance, and espoused the anti-slavery cause. But there came a time when ‘Mr. Webster's eloquence’ in favor of the fugitive slave law became distasteful to him. To him Lydia Maria Child dedicated her book, the ‘Appeal for that Class of Americans Called Africans,’ which publication was for a time disastrous to her rising fame.

There is, in the Historical Society's collection, a framed copy of the endorsement by Medford people (with their appended names) of Mr. Webster's speech in Congress. Doubtless the signers honestly thought it brought him ‘laurels,’ but the verdict of years is the reverse, as was, at the time, that of ‘Sam May.’

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