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member shall in person, if present, and in writing, if absent, give an account of the books and manuscripts, or whatever article belonging to the Society, he may have in his possession.

ART. IV. Once in every year, previous to the spring meeting, the standing committee shall inspect the library and museum, and report the state of every article at that meeting, and what books are particularly wanted.

ART. V. There shall be two keys to the Society's room, one of which shall be kept by the Librarian and the other by the Cabinet Keeper, to be by them delivered to no person except one of the members.

ART. VI. Each member shall give receipts for the books which he shall take out of the library, in a receipt-book to be provided for that purpose. He shall be under obligation to return each book within three months after receiving the same; and shall not have more than three books at a time, unless by special leave obtained by a vote of the Society. No manuscript shall be taken out of the library, but in the presence of the Librarian, a receipt and obligation being given to return it within the space of three months.

ART. VII. The sixth article shall not prevent the Committee, annually chosen to superintend the publications of the Society, from taking out of the library as many books and papers as they may want, they giving a receipt for the same, as provided in that article.

ART. VIII. If books or manuscripts be requested for public uses, or for the peculiar benefit of persons whom the Society is disposed to oblige, the application shall be made to the Librarian, through the medium of some member, who shall be responsible in a written obligation for the return of each article borrowed, within such time as shall be stipulated by the Librarian, not exceeding three months, and shall be accountable for all loss and damage.

ART. IX. Every book lost shall be replaced by the person who shall have lost the same, if it can be procured; and if not, another equally valuable shall be accepted to supply the vacancy.

ART. X. All pamphlets shall be bound, except duplicates; which shall be kept by themselves, and triplicates shall be exchanged.

ART. XI. All manuscripts shall be distinctly marked and numbered, and kept in cases of paper; which shall also be numbered, and the contents of each registered.

ART. XII. Every present received shall be recorded, and an account of it rendered, at the next meeting of the Society.

ART. XIII. A printed ticket shall be pasted on the inside of the cover of each book, signifying that it is the property of the Society, and also the name of the donor, if it be a present.



Respectfully addressed to every Gentleman of Science in the Continent and Islands of America.


THE professed design of our institution is to collect, preserve, and communicate materials for a complete history of this country, and of all valuable efforts of the ingenuity and industry of its inhabitants. In pursuance of this design we have already amassed a large quantity of books, pamphlets and manuscripts; and we are still in search of


The Library and Museum of the Society are deposited in a new, spacious and convenient apartment of the Tontine Crescent, in Franklin place, BOSTON. To this apartment, any person may have access, by application to the Librarian, or to any one of the members.


But from many instances which have occurred during our memory, we are satisfied, that depositories, however desireable, are exposed to such accidents, from the hand of time, from the power of the elements, and from the ravages of unprincipled or mercenary men, as to render them unsafe. The surest way of preserving historical records and materials is, not to lock them up; but to multiply the copies. The art of printing affords a mode of preservation, more effectual than Corinthian brass or Egyptian marble. Statues and pyramids, which have long survived the wreck of time, are unable to tell the names of their sculptors, or the date of their foundation.

Impressed with this idea, the MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY have determined, not only to collect; but to diffuse the various kinds of historical information which are within their reach. Though these materials may come in, at different times, and there may not be opportunity to digest then, in the best manner, previously to their publication; yet we will present them in such order as may be convenient and effectual. If we cannot erect an elegant building, we will plant a forest, into which every inquirer may enter at his pleasure, and find something adapted to his purpose.

We have therefore encouraged the publication of a monthly pamphlet; in which is given the result of our inquiries into the natural, political, and ecclesiastical history of this country. It is requested, that you would contribute to its value and importance, by attending to the annexed articles of inquiry; and we beg leave to depend on your obliging answers, when leisure and opportunity will permit.

We have also contemplated the forming of an extensive cabinet; comprehending the various natural productions of our continent, the adjacent islands, and the neighboring seas. To facilitate this purpose, we have annexed to this letter, the best directions we have been able

to obtain, for the collection and preservation, of all the proper subjects of natural history. Any specimens which it may be in your power to send will be gratefully received.

Your letters, free of expense, addressed to the subscriber, will be duly acknowledged; and noticed in the Society's publications; and you will have the satisfaction of contributing to the general stock of knowledge with which we hope to entertain the public.

In the name, and by order of the Society.


Boston, July 1, 1794.

Corresponding Secretary.


No. I.

Articles on which the Society request information.

1. THE time when your own town or city was incorporated; its Indian name; when the settlement began; whether it was interrupted, and by what means; to what Colony or County it was first annexed; and if there have been any alterations, what they are, and when made.

2. The exploits, labours and sufferings of the inhabitants in war; particular accounts of devastations, deaths, captivities and redemptions.

3. Divisions of your town or city into parishes and precincts, or the erection of new towns within the former limits.

4. Time of gathering churches of every denomination; names of the several ministers; the times of their settlement, removal and death; and their age at the time of their death.

5. Biographical anecdotes of persons in your town, or within your knowledge, who have been remarkable for ingenuity, enterprise, literature, or any other valuable accomplishment; an account of their literary productions, and if possible, copies of them.

6. Topographical description of your town or county; and its vicinity; mountains, rivers, ponds, animals, vegetable productions; remarkable falls, caverns, minerals, stones, sands, clays, chalk, flints, pit-coal, pigments, medicinal and poisonous substances, their uses and antidotes.

7. The former and present state of cultivation, and your thoughts on farther improvements, either in respect to agriculture, roads or canals.

8. Monuments and relicks of the ancient Indians; number and present state of any remaining Indians among you.

9. Singular instances of longevity and fecundity from the first settlement, to the present time.

10. Observations on the weather, diseases, and the influence of the climate, or of particular situations, employments and aliments, especially the effect of spirituous liquors on the human constitution.

11. Accurate bills of mortality, specifying ages and casualties, the proportion of births and deaths; and the increase or decrease of population.

12. Observations on manufactures of various kinds in any part of America, at any time; and a comparative view of them at any two or more periods; particularly before and since the independence of the United States; before and since the establishment of the present federal constitution; with thoughts on the farther improvement of them.

13. Past and present state of fisheries either in the seas or rivers of America.

14. Modes of education, private or public; what encouragement is given to schools and colleges, and what is done to advance literature; whether you have a social library, what is the number of books, and of what value.

15. What remarkable events have befallen your State, county, town, or particular families or persons at any time.

The Corresponding Members of this Society are requested to transmit to the Corresponding Secretary, any historical and geographical information of which they may be possessed, respecting any part of the American Continent and Islands, together with printed acts and journals of Assemblies and Conventions, whether civil or ecclesiastical. And the Society will gratefully receive from them and from all other persons whatever, any books, pamphlets, manuscripts, maps or plans which may be useful in forming an historical collection—and any natural or artificial productions which may enlarge the Museum.


As one branch of a collection of materials for the civil and ecclesiastical history of this country-it is intended to form a complete series of Sermons, On the discovery of America.

On the completion of one century from the discovery or settlement of any State, Town, or other place in the United States.

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Delivered before the General Court ? in Plymouth or
At the anniversary elections
Boston, in Con-
necticut, New Hampshire, or any other of the States.
At the anniversary conventions of the clergy, Episcopal, Pres-
byterian, Congregational, or Baptist.

At the anniversary elections of officers of the artillery com-

On annual and special Fasts, and Thanksgivings.

To militia companies, or to troops in camp.
On victory or defeat in war.

On the return of peace.

On remarkable events, as fires, earthquakes, epidemic sickness, &c.

At assizes, or the opening courts of justice.

At town meetings and on other popular occasions.

Orations, Sermons, or Poems,

On the anniversary of the first landing of

our ancestors at Plymouth.

On the anniversary of the 5th of March.
On the anniversary of the 4th of July.
At the meetings of the Cincinati Society.
On the death of eminent characters in
church or state.

Before any literary society.

Journals, laws, resolves and protests, Of Congresses.

Of assemblies, Conventions, and other Legislative and deliberative bodies.

Conferences and treaties of public Commissioners, appointed to

treat with Indians.

Tax acts of an older date than 1775.

Proclamations by authority, and other single printed sheets.


Proceedings of Episcopal conventions, Ecclesiastical councils, Presbyteries, Synods, General Assemblies, Baptist associations ; Letters of the societies of Friends; and of other denominations of christians.

Indian exploits, speeches, anecdotes, &c.

Narratives, Of battles with the Indians.

Of captives, their exploits, sufferings, escapes, &c.

Of missionaries and itinerant preachers of all denominations. Journals, Of voyagers and travellers, for discovery, curiosity, or other


Minutes, or other doings of political clubs.

Magazines, museums, newspapers, &c.

No. III.

Directions for preserving animals and parts of animals.

QUADRUPEDS. The head should be preserved as nearly as possible in its natural form, with all its parts. If it be necessary to remove any of the bones of the head, care should be taken, to retain the jawbones with all the teeth entire; as the number, form, and situation of the teeth afford some of the most essential and distinguishing characters. The tongue ought to be preserved in its natural form; also the legs, feet, and hoofs or claws.

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