History of the town of Marlborough, Middlesex County, Massachusetts

In preparing the following pages, I have labored under many disadvantages. The early Records of Marlborough are very meagre, so far as historical matters are concerned the most of the space being occupied by the location and description of grants of land. Besides, one volume of their Records has been lost; so that we have no connected record of town officers, or of the proceedings of the town, from 1665 to 1739. We have been enabled to supply some of the defects from the Records of the Proprietors of the Town, and from the Book kept by the Proprietors of the Indian Plantation. But as these Records relate principally to their lands, they do not give us full information relative to town affairs. Nor have we had any connected Church Records, to supply the deficiency. Many facts have been collected from the Colony Records, and from the Massachusetts Archives, a valuable collection of papers of almost every kind, and on almost every subject, in the office of the Secretary of the Commonwealth. I have not learned that there are any collections of old papers, containing historical information, in the pos- session of any of the old families of Marlborough. Doubtless there are such papers, containing important information, but I have been unable to find them.

From the widely scattered materials thus collected, I have endeavored to present an impartial Historical Sketch of the Town. I have in several cases introduced matter of a general character, which applies to Marlborough only in common with most other towns. But such digressions seemed to me important, as illustrating the manners and customs of the people, and the spirit of the age without a knowledge of which many portions of our early history would be destitute of interest, and in some cases would be likely to mislead us. How far I have succeeded in presenting an interesting and instructive narrative, I leave others to judge. I could have made it more flattering ; but I chose to appear in the character of a historian, rather than in that of a eulogist.

 

Table of Contents

CHAPTER I.
GRANT AND SETTLEMENT OF THE TOWNSHIP.

CHAPTER II.
THE INDIAN PLANTATION.

CHAPTER III.
KING PHILIP'S WAR.

CHAPTER IV.
RE-SETTLEMENT OF MARLBOROUGH INDIAN WARS, &c.

CHAPTER V.
ECCLESIASTICAL MATTERS, &c.

CHAPTER VI.
THE FRENCH AND INDIAN WARS.

CHAPTER VII.
THE CAUSES OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

CHAPTER VIII.
THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION.

CHAPTER IX.
THE STATE OF THINGS AFTER THE REVOLUTION.

CHAPTER X.
EDUCATION.

CHAPTER XI.
MISCELLANEOUS HISTORY.

CHAPTER XII.
STATISTICAL HISTORY.

CHAPTER XIII.
OFFICIAL HISTORY.

SKETCH OF NORTHBOUROUGH.
GENEALOGICAL SKETCH OF FAMILIES.
THE CELEBRATION.

 

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It may be expected, and it is certainly very proper, that the Publishing Committee should give some account of the circumstances which led to the preparation and publication of this volume. We are the more ready to do so, because it seems to us that the course of the Town of Marlborough, in relation to it, might well be imitated by other Towns whose annals are worthy of being written.

In June, 1860, occurred the Two Hundredth Anniversary of the Incorporation of the Town. It was decided to commemorate it. In extending an invitation to Hon. Charles Hudson to deliver the Address, they selected a distinguished native of the town, who cherished a strong filial regard for it, and whose taste led him into historical researches. In his faithful preparation for the occasion, he went very thoroughly into the early history of the town, and prepared an amount of matter far beyond what could be used on such an occasion. After the Celebration, this was placed at the disposal of the Committee of Arrangements, who were authorized by the town to publish it. Though thorough and accurate, as far as it went, yet, published as then prepared, it would be only a fragment. It seemed to the Committee exceedingly desirable, that the author should be induced to go on and make a complete history of the town. They applied to Mr. Hudson, to ascertain if he would undertake the work, and on what terms. They received from him a proposition, which they laid before the town, with the recommendation that it be accepted. The town with great unanimity authorized the Committee to engage him to do the work, and to obtain an engraved likeness of the author, at the town's expense, to face the title-page. The result is the volume which is now presented to the public.