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Circular Letter, of the Historical Society

CIRCULAR LETTER,
OF THE
HISTORICAL SOCIETY.

Sir

A SOCIETY has lately been instituted in this town, call-
ed the HISTORICAL SOCIETY; the professed design
of which is, to collect, preserve and communicate, materials
for a complete history of this country, and accounts of all
valuable efforts of human ingenuity and industry, from the
beginning of its settlement. In pursuance of this plan, they
have already amassed a large quantity of books, pamphlets
and manuscripts; and are still in search of more: A cata-
logue of which will be printed for the information of the
public.

THEY have also given encouragement to the publication of
a weekly paper, to be called THE AMERICAN APOLLO;
in which will be given the result of their inquiries, in-
to the natural, political and ecclesiastical history of this coun-
try. A proposal for the printing of this paper is here in-
closed to you; and it is requested that you would promote
subscriptions for it; and contribute to its value and impor-
tance, by attention to the articles annexed. The Society

beg leave to depend on your obliging answer to these heads
of inquiry, when leisure and opportunity will permit.

YOUR letters addressed, free of expense, to the subscriber,
will be gratefully received, and duly noticed in the Society's
publications; and you will have the satisfaction of contrib.-
uting to the general stock of knowledge, with which they
hope to entertain the public.

In the name, and by the order of the Society,
JEREMY BELKNAP, Corresponding Sec.

Summer Street, Boston,
November 1, 1791

Articles on which the Society request information.

1. THE time when your town was granted and incur-
porated; 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, labors and sufferings of the inhabitants
in war; particular accounts of devastations, deaths, captive-
ties and redemptions.

3. DIVISIONS of your town into parishes and pre-
cincts, or the erection of new towns within the former lim-
its.

4. TIME of gathering churches of every denomination;
names of the several Ministers; the times of their settle-
ment, removal and death; and their ages 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 ac-
complishment; an account of their literary productions, and
if possible, copies of them.

6. TOPOGRAPHICAL description of your town and its
vicinity; mountains, rivers, ponds, vegetable productions;

remarkable falls, caverns, minerals, stones, fossils, pigments,
medicinal and poisonous substances, their uses and anti-
dotes.

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 the particular situations, employ-
ments 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 in-
crease or decrease of population.

12. ACCOUNTS of manufacturers and fisheries, and
thoughts on the farther improvement of them.

13. MODES of education, private or public; what en-
couragement is given to schools, and what is done to ad-
vance literature; whether you have social library, what
is the number of books, and of what value.

14. WHAT remarkable events have befallen your town,
or particular families or persons at any time.

P.S. ANY books, pamphlets, manuscripts, maps or plans
which may conduce to the accomplishment of the views of
the Society; and any natural or artificial productions which
may enlarge its museum, will be accepted with thanks.
THE library of the Society is deposited in an apartment
of the Massachusetts Bank. Any person desirous of making
a search among the books or manuscripts, may have access
to it, under such regulations, and at such hours as may be
known by applying to any one of the members.

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