A website from the Massachusetts Historical Society; founded 1791.

Online: Massachusetts Maps

Clough's Atlases of Property Owners of Boston in 1798

60-Page Atlas

60 pages of maps depicting Boston property ownership in 1798.
open the atlas key map

Oversize Atlas

12 maps depicting larger areas of Boston in 1798.

Index of Streets

A

B

C

D

E

F

G

H

I

J

K

L

M

N

O

P

R

S

T

U

W


Samuel Chester Clough (1873-1949) created two significant atlases that visually depict information he obtained from the Direct Tax Census of 1798. Clough, a draftsman for the Boston Edison Company and Boston Navy Yard, spent years assembling information about property owners and land titles in Boston. His detailed research of town records, probate records, court records and church records allowed him to reconstruct maps depicting various sections of Boston from 1633-1798. The two atlases depicting Boston in 1798 have two different formats--one is a 60-page atlas (originally bound), the other is a group of 12 oversize plates, part of an unfinished atlas.

Clough developed a block numbering system that allowed him to given each piece of property in Boston a number that would remain consistent throughout his research and relate to the numerous notes, lists and indexes he assembled. These block numbers assigned by Clough range from 100 to 5500 and appear on many but not all of his maps. The 60-page 1798 atlas presents the information by Clough’s block numbers (some of Clough’s blocks appear on a single page of the multi-page atlas, other blocks span more than one page). The oversize 1798 atlas plates depict areas that relate to multiple blocks, and only some of the oversize plates include Clough's block number.

Both of these 1798 atlases are from the Samuel Chester Clough research materials towards a topographical history of Boston. The entire collection is available at the Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston, Massachusetts.