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On commencing a periodical, the question naturally arises, Why issue a new publication ? This question we assume as put in our case; and we reply to it, There is no work of the kind in the country, and one seems to be much needed. The following list of subjects mentioned in the Prospectus of the Periodical will serve 10 elucidate its character and show the importance of its publication. “ It will comprehend,
“1. Biographical Memoirs, Sketches, and Notices of persons who came to Norih America, especially 10 New England, before Anno Domini 1700; showing from what places in Europe they came, their Families there, and their Descendants in this country;
“2. Full and minute Genealogical Memoirs and Tables, showing the lineage and descent of Families, from the earliest dates to which they can be authentically traced, down to the present time, with their branches and connections ;
“3. Tables of Longevity, Statistical and Biographical Accounts of Attorneys, Physicians, Ministers and Churches of all denominations, of Graduates at Colleges, Governors, Senators and Representatives in Congress, Military Officers, and other persons of distinction, and occasionally entire Tracts, which have become rare and of permanent Historical value;
“4. Lists of names found in ancient documents, such, especially, as were engaged in any honorable public service; also the documents themselves, when they may contain any important facts illustrative of the lives and actions of individuals;
“5. Descriptions of the Costumes, Dwellings, and Utensils of various kinds, belonging to the earliest times to which the Ancestry of Families may be traced ; to be accompanied, when practicable, with drawings or engravings;
“6. Ancient Inscriptions and Epitaphs, with descriptions of Cemeteries, Monuments, Tombs, Tablets; also, extracts from the Town and Parish Records of New England;
“7. Descriptions of Armorial Bearings, and of other Heraldic devices, occasionally emblazoned, with sufficient explanations of the principles and terms of Heraldry.
“The Publication will embrace many other materials of a Miscel. laneous and Statistical character, more or less connected with its main design ; which, it is believed, will contribute to render it interesting to intelligent persons of every class in the community.
" Each Number will be einbellished with a Portrait of some distinguished individual. There will also occasionally be illustrative engravings in the work.”
The period has arrived when an awakened and a growing interest is felt in this country in the pursuit, and especially in the results, of Historical and Genealogical Researches; and when the practical importance, both to individuals and 10 society, of the knowledge which is obtained by such investigations, from the scattered and perishable records of local, domestic, and traditionary history, begins to be appreciated. The existence, and active exertions, of the Historical, Antiquarian, and Statistical Societies which have arisen within a few years past in most of the older states of the Union, is a sufficient evidence of the fact.
The New England Historic-Genealogic :l Society, chartered some years since by the Legislature of Massachusetts, proposes to direct its attention to the promotion of the objects above specified. It will do this in various ways ;- particularly by the establishment of a Library, a Cabinet of Curiosities, and a Collection of Paintings; but especially by a Periodical. A Library, respectable for the time the Society has existed, has been established, and a Cabinet of Curiosities and a Collection of Paintings have been commenced. Though the Society early contemplated the publication of a Periodical, yet the time for issuing it seemed not to have arrived until the beginning of the present year, when a work was coinmenced. And through the goodness of a kind Providence we have been enabled to bring to a close the first Volume of the New England Historical and Genealogical Register. Some of the articles have been prepared with a great amount of labor, and in some cases from sources exceedingly rare. During the arduous labors performed, we have been sustained by the hope that we were not laboring altogether in vain.
We would here take occasion to express our thanks to those gentlemen who have aided us by contributing to the articles of our pages, by extending the circulation of the work, and by commending it to
the patronage of the community. In these ways essential service has been rendered.
We now enter upon the duties of another year with undiminished zeal and confidence in the cause we have espoused, hoping with the Divine blessing, to make the ensuing volume inore valuable than its predecessor. In this work, we come in collision with no other class of men; we interfere with no other publication. Occupying a new and distinct department, we shall aim to make the periodical a work of permanent value as a repository of minute and authentic facts, carefully and methodically arranged on a great variety of subjects pertaining to antiquities, history, statistics, and genealogy. In doing this we cannot but feel that we are performing a great service for the country at large, but especially for New Eng. land, and her sons wherever scattered. Accurate and faithful historians, chronologists, and genealogists are important benefactors. Such was Polybius among the Greeks, Tacitus among the Romans, Thomas Prince, Abiel Holmes, and John Farmer, in New England.
In preparing the Register, our sources of information have been Hazard's Historical Collections, the Panoplist and other periodicals, as newspapers, the Collections of the numerous Historical and Antiquarian Societies, the various works on Biography, the different Histories of the States and of the Country, as well as other works of a similar character, and the almost innumerable histories of towns, and historical and biographical discourses; but our greatest and best sources of information have been family, church, town, and county records, original ancient manuscript documents of various name and nature, and also many recent communications respecting matters of olden time. But little reliance has been placed upon hearsay or traditionary evidence. We make this general statement as an apology for not having mentioned continually, and many times over, the authorities for what we have published.
In preparing the coming volume, we are encouraged to expect the coöperation of several learned antiquaries and other estimable writers. We shall also have access to a large amount of valuable materials suited to our wants. In various ways we hope to give an increased interest to our works, and that a corresponding patronage will be awarded to us by a reading, intelligent, and generous public. We respectfully and earnestly solicit the assistance of those friendly to our object, and above all, the benediction of Him, whom
CONTENTS OF VOLUME I.