« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »
To imskw* ftfo .,i
BY JOHN WINTHROP, ESQ. '^i^P
FIRST GOVERHOUR OF THE COLONY OE THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY.
SIS ORIGINAL MANUSCRIPTS.
THE CIVIL AND ECCLESIASTICAL CONCERNS, THE GEOGRAPHY, SETTLE-
BY JAMES SAVAGE,
MEMBER OR THE MASSACHUSETTS HISTORICAL SOCIETY.
Siepe audi?!, Q. Maximum, P. Scipionem, praeterea civitatis nostra preeclaros viros, solitos ita
PRINTED BY PHELPS AND FAKNHAM,
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS, TO WIT:
District Clerk's Office,
Be it remembered, that on the eighteenth day of April, A. D. 1825, in the forty-ninth year of the Independence of the United States of America, James Savage, of the said District, has deposited in this office the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as proprietor, in the words following, to wit:
"The History of New England from 1630 to 1649. By John Winthrop, Esq. first Governour of the Colony of the Massachusetts Bay. From his original Manuscripts. With Notes to illustrate the civil and ecclesiastical Concerns, the Geography, Settlement and Institutions of the Country, and the Lives and Manners of the principal Planters. By James Savage, Member of the Massachusetts Historical Society. Vol. I.
"Saepe audivi, Q. Maximum, P. Scipionem, praterea civitatis nostra praeclaros viros, solitos ita dicere, cum majorum imagines intuerentur, vehementissime sibi animum ad virtutem accendi.—Sallust, Bell. Jugurth. c. iv."
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 authors 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 encouragement of learning, by securing the 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."
JNO. W. DAVIS,
Early in the spring of 1816 was discovered, in the tower of the Old South Church in Boston, the third volume of the History of New England, in the original MS. of the author, John Winthrop, first governor of the Massachusetts Bay. When the precious book was presented to the Massachusetts Historical Society, at their next meeting, 25 April, the difficulty of transcribing it for the press seemed to appal several of the most competent members, whose engagement in more important duties afforded also a sufficient excuse for leaving such labour to be undertaken by any one, at any time, who could devote to it many weeks of leisure. The task appeared inviting to me. On the same evening the MS. was taken, and the study of its chirography was begun, the next day, by the aid of one of the former MSS. collated with the printed volume, usually called Winthrop's Journal. Of all the three MSS. and of the published Journal, a sufficient account may be seen in 2 Hist. Coll. IV. 200.
Before the collation of the former MS. with the volume printed in 1790 had proceeded through many pages, the discovery of numerous important errours seemed to make a new edition of the earlier part of the History very desirable; and when a transcript of the new-found volume was completed, my resolution was fixed, that it should not be printed without a perfect revision of the Journal. Notes, explanatory, in some instances, of the text, illustrating, in some degree, the biography of many persons named in it, and referring to better accounts of others than I could furnish, were thought necessary. Several hundred notes were prepared, and a careful collation of the whole printed volume, for the second time, with the original volumes of MS. was finished on 2 June, 1819. Being then required to visit a foreign country, all my preparations were suspended until I returned. Care, however, was taken to leave the corrected copy of the printed volume, with my copy of the third part, to be kept safely. Again called abroad in 1822, I so carefully disposed of my copy of the third volume, as to leave it in a forgotten place, which afforded me the gratification of making a new one, begun 8 December, 1823, and finished 30 March, 1824. This circumstance admonished me of the propriety of adopting early measures for guarding against farther accidents of that kind. Application was made, at the next session of the General Court of this commonwealth, by the Historical Society, for encouragement of the publication. In consequence of the liberal aid of the Legislature, the volume comes thus early before the publick.
To the account of the three MSS. above referred to, may be added, that the whole had been in possession of Hubbard, the reverend historian of Ipswich, who made the basis, and much the most valuable part of his work, out of Winthrop's materials, using them commonly without other labour than literal copying, and disposing them in a different order. See page 297 of this volume, for an estimate of the value of that work. Nor can I forgive the slight use of these invaluable documents, which is evinced by Mather, the Unhappy author of Magnalia Christi Americana, who, in the hurry of composing that endless work, seems to have preferred useless quotations of worthless books, two or three centuries older, or popular and corrupt traditions, to the full matter and precise statement of facts, dates, principles and motives, furnished by authentick history. That he possessed these MSS. is-plain enough from his citations of several passages in his Life of our author, book II. cap. 4. Perhaps he grudged the time, which must have been consumed by a devoted study of the volumes; for no other excuse can I imagine for his clumsy abbreviation of that excellent speech in § 9, that will appear in