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DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, TO WIT:
District Clerk's Office. BE it remembered, that on the twenty eighth day of November, A. D. 1925, in the fiftieth year of the Independence of the United States of America, ABEL BOWEN, of the said District, has deposited in this Office the title of a book, the right whereof be claims as Proprietor, in the words following, to wit :
A HISTORY of BOSTON, the Metropolis of Massachusetts ; from its origin to the present period. With some account of the Environs. By CALEB H. SNOW, M. D. Mons Idæus ubi et gentis cunabula nostræ.–Virgil. Embellished with Engravings.
In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United States, entitled, “ An act for the encouragement of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts and books, to the aathors and proprietors of such copies, during the times therein mentioned:” and also to an act, entitled, “An act supplementary to an act, entitled an act for the encouçage. ment of learning, by securing ihe copies of maps, charts, and books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits thereof to the arts of designing, engraving and etching, historical and other prints."
"IN W. DAVIS, Clerk of the District of Massachusetts.
The reader may expect to find in this book some account the persecutions, which drove the first settlers of New England from their native country, and some brief notices of the settlements, that were made or attempted to be made, in various parts of the United States, before the arrival of Governour Winthrop and the company under him, which laid the foundation of Boston.
There taking up our history, I have endeavoured to select from the mass of records, which numerous hands have left to us, those facts which appear to have excited any great or general interest among the inhabitants of this metropolis.
To those who are aware of the disadvantages under which I have composed this work, I need offer no apology for the imperfections they may discover in the execution of it. To others it may be proper to mention, that Mr. Bowen, the publisher, was disappointed in his expectation of the assistance of other gentlemen, and that my engagements with him commenced at least four weeks after his proposals of the 17th April, 1824, had been issued. To enable him to fulfil the terms of those proposals, I was obliged to let the first number appear, on the first of July, before I could possibly know what the succeeding number should contain. The case has been similar with all the other numbers. I have consequently found it necessary to put my notes to the press, almost in the same form in which I had taken them, at the hazard of being compelled afterwards to exclude other matter, perhaps more important. These circumstances, indeed, do not derogate from the correctness of the work, or from its usefulness as a book of reference, so far as it extends, yet they may account for some peculiarities, which might otherwise have been amended ; and the same circumstances will, I trust, sufficiently apologize for any dispropor
tion between the importance of some of the subjects and the attention I seem to have bestowed upon them. It has been my aim to be accurately minute and scrupulously correct : some errours are marked in the errata, (into which also has crept the mistake of Barton's for Purton's ;) and I am requested to rectify another, which occurs on page 356, attributing to Mr. Wallcut an agency in the formation of the Historical Society, to which he makes no claim.
As Mr. Bowen is the proprietor of Shaw's Description of Boston, I have, sometimes without the formality of marks of quotation, made such use of that book as suited the purposes of mine ; how much I have depended on it may be ascertained, if any have the curiosity to compare the two. It is right, however, to state, that this volume contains three times the quantity of matter contained in Mr. Shaw's, and thirty-two pages more than were originally promised, besides several extra plates.
While engaged in this pursuit, I have been particularly indebted to the libraries of the Historical Society and the Athenæum : the records in the offices of the secretary of the commonwealth and clerks of the city have been of much service to me : every facility has been afforded at each of these places for the accomplishment of my object; and I have great reason to acknowledge my obligations to the gentlemen who have those invaluable archives and collections in charge, and no less to many private gentlemen, for the patience and politeness with which they have attended to my frequent calls for information and assistance.
CALEB H. SNOW.
Boston, October 20, 1825.