Digital Commonwealth

Book of possessions of the town of Boston, ca. 1644-1693

Item Information

Title:
Book of possessions of the town of Boston, ca. 1644-1693
Title (alt.):
Possessions of the inhabitants of Boston
Description:
This document, a 154-page manuscript dating largely from ca. 1652, records land transactions and holdings of the residents of Boston. Entries contain the names of owners or parties to the transactions, the properties in question, and the dates of the transactions. The earliest transaction date referenced is 1644 and the latest is 1652. The first four pages are comprised of a manuscript index dated 1827 and signed by Samuel F. McLeary, City Clerk. An earlier index, possibly contemporary to the original text, is present on the last page. The final six pages contain later entries, running from back to front, that primarily describe transactions related to stray livestock. These entries are dated from 1675 to 1693 and are signed by various clerks. One of these later entries, appearing on the bottom of the page labeled 145, bears the name of Governor John Leverett and attests to the sale of seven enslaved Native American men to Lancelott Talbott and Joseph Smith.
Author of introduction, etc.:
McCleary, Samuel Foster, 1780-1855
Creator:
Boston (Mass.). Town Clerk
Date:
[ca. 1644–1693]
Format:
Manuscripts
Documents
Genre:
Bills of sale
Location:
Boston Public Library
Rare Books Department
Collection (local):
Colonial and Revolutionary Boston (Collection of Distinction)
Subjects:
Land titles--Registration and transfer
Public records
Local government
Indians, Treatment of
United States--History--Colonial period, ca. 1600-1775
Places:
MassachusettsSuffolk (county)Boston
Extent:
[154] p., bound ; 35 cm.
Permalink:
Terms of Use:
No known copyright restrictions.
No known restrictions on use.
Restrictions:
Access to physical copy/copies by appointment only. Please contact Boston Public Library Rare Books and Manuscripts Department for further information.
Notes (date):
Date range derived from contents. William Henry Whitmore suggests a creation date of mid-1652.
Notes:
Title from spine; also corroborated by references to this manuscript in various early records of the town of Boston.
Published in: Records relating to the early history of Boston (Boston: Rockwell and Churchill, 1876-1909), vol. 2, p. 161.
Notes (object):
Individual pages are encapsulated in polyester film and are housed in a cloth preservation binding. Each page is numbered in a hand that appears to be contemporary to the body of the manuscript. Pagination starts with page 3, suggesting that the first leaf (2 pages) may have been lost. An earlier, likely 19th-century binding of black morocco has been retained and is shelved together with this item.
Language:
English
Identifier:
14_03_000001-14_03_000158
Call #:
RARE BKS MS Bos.2 FOLIO
Barcode:
39999089684326