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GONTAINING TOPOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL SKETCHES OF THE TOWNS OF
ING THE PAST AND PRESENT CONDITION%F TABS!!!
, County of Cuorcester, ze
WILLIAM LINCOLN & O. O. BALDWIN,
EDITORS AND PUBLISHERS.
HARLES GRIFFIN, PRINTER,
For Grange Bancroft. Esger with Hin Respects of the
Christopher covémbu Madura Worcester. Jums 17. 1836.
THS PUBLISHERS TO THE READERS.
Os the commencement of the work, pow arrived to the termination of the first year of its existence, it was proposed by the publishers, so far as they should be sustained by public patronage, to furnish to each subscriber within the County of Worcester, a minute and particular account of the town of his residence. It was intended to collect and preserve those facts tending to develope the origin, progress, and present condition of our useful institutions and social relations, and exhibit the resources and advantages bestowed on our fellow citizens, until an entire and complete history should be furnished of the divisions of a territory, from its local situation, physical, political, and moral advantages, extent, population, and the variety of its institutions, of no inconsiderable consequence among the sister sections of the Commonwealth. Influenced more by the wish to place on permanent record the relics fast fading from memory, than by the expectation of reputation to be derived from the humble toil of compiling local histories, or the humbler merit of being merely the architects of the materials of others, still less by the hope of great pecuniary reward, but relying on the aid of friends who have kindly rendered effectual assistance, and on the liberal spirit of an enLightened community, the Publishers commenced this Journal. Thus far they bave proceeded, until they find that greater sacrifices would be required for the prosecution of the undertaking than it is possible for them to meet, with. out more extensive support than has been received. They are therefore compelled to suspend the work, for the present, to await more farourable circumstances for its successful conclusion.
As their motives have been generally understood and duly appreciated, they can feel little personal regret on being forced to relinquish an enterprise, necessarily attended with so much labour, expense and responsibility. It is, however, matter of sorrow that the materials for the completion of the undertaking are fast perishing. Every succeeding year renders its accomplishment more difficult. Many of the most interesting particulars exist only in fleeting traditions, in the memory of the aged and gray haired fathers of our villages, soon to be numbered with the companions of their early years, to carry with them to their graves the rich recollections of the past, there to be irrecoverably lost. Valuable and curious documents are dispersed among the families of actors in remarkable scenes : Much information is scattered through the broken masses of town and church records; but these are almost apintelligible without the communications of the survivors of the events partially described, to furnish the connecting links. The effacing fingers of time are busy on the monuments of our ancestors and the memorials of those who bere laid the foundations and raised the solid structures of social virtue, religious and civil liberty, moral improvement, and pational prosperity, must pass into forgetfulness unless some vigorous and speedy effort be made to rescue them from oblivion.
Without consuming space in the expression of unavailing regret, the Ed. ilors may be permitted to look back, with something of satisfaction, on those portions of the work already accomplished, for the purpose of making their grateful acknowledgments to the writers of the papers communicated through the pages of this work. The general view of the county, the notice es of the civil and ecclesiastical history of Sterling, the list of civil officers, and the catalogue of Ministers, were prepared by Isaac GooDWIN, Esq. The History of Shrewsbury has been furnished by A. H. WARD, Esq.-of Northborough, by the Rev. Mr. ALLEN,--of Leicester, by EMORY WASHBURN, Exq.--of Lancaster, by JOSEPH WILLARD, Esq.--of Paxton, by Mr. LIVERMORE--and of West Boylston, by the Rev. Mr. Crosby. Or the merits of these performances it would not become the Publishers to speak. In the opinion of those possessing too much discernment to be deceived, and too much sincerity to bestow undeserved praise, they have exhibited ninuteness of detail, fidelity in research, and historical learning not exceeded by preceding compositions of similar character.
To the Hon. EDWARD D, Baros, the Publishers have been deeply indebted for the untiring patience and politeness with which he has furnished copies of long documents from the records of his office, or entered into the examination of questions, without any pecuniary compensation.
It has been the earnest wish aod constant effort of the Publishers to present to their readers, a work of permanent value, which should not alone furnish amusement to while away the passing hour, but beneficial information for future use. Since the commencement of the second volume, in the pursuit of its primary object, the pages of the Journal have been rigorously devoted to the communication of the mass of historical facts, by the almost entire exclusion of papers of more general interest and miscellaneous character. That which has been recorded, may seem of inconsiderable imporiance to many of our fellow citizens : but even the triples of the present age become matters of weight' with future generations. The facts of History increase in value as they grow in age : the faithful picture of our own period, reflected from its mirror, will acquire interest as time passes. : Circumstances have induced the Publishers to believe that they have over-rated the present demand for this species of information. They would not therefore contend against public taste. It is better their work should perish by a sudden death than coniinue through the struggles of protracted dissolotion. If the Jourpal cannot he nourished by the liberality of the public, it must not live as the dependent on stinted charity.
To those who have generously aided by their pens or patronage in the at. tempt to obtain a full and accurate History of our territory, its population, and resources, the publishers present thanks for their liberali!y: to those who have looked on their efforts with the surly determination to see faults only they reco:nmend more pleasant employment: to the people of the County, they wish Historians with the same warnest disposition to perpetuate the remembrances of the past and better abilities to execute their purposes than the subscribers.