|Memorandum filled out by Senator Moody Merrill of the|
1st Norfolk District in 1874.
Our object is to obtain statistical tables for present use, assuring you that no publicity will be given to the information, offensive in the slightest degree to you personally.
Such information, when properly presented, is of great value to the officers of the two branches, and facilitates public business, by making members acquainted with the antecedents of their legislative associates.
|Memorandum filled out by Representative |
Henry Cabot Lodge of the 10th Essex
District in 1880.
Although the Journal’s collection does not extend past 1892 (with 1874 being incomplete), it’s important to note that this was not the only effort undertaken to gather information about members of the Massachusetts General Court.
State Librarian Caleb Benjamin Tillinghast was driven to collect as much biographical information about as many past and contemporary Massachusetts state legislators as possible. From 1884 to 1909, he mailed letters out to anyone he felt might be able to give him the information he was seeking: town clerks, librarians, legislators and their relatives, etc. In fact, he estimated that he had sent out more than 75,000 letters and questionnaires total. This 35-box collection of correspondence, also known as Manuscript 151, is the prime source for our “Legislators’ Biographical File”—a index file that continues to be updated today.
For more information about our collection of legislative memoranda and correspondence, please contact our Special Collections Department at 617-727-2595. The library is open 9am-5pm Monday through Friday.