The following abbreviations have been used throughout to identify the most frequently used references.

Acts and Resolves

The Acts and Resolves, Public and Private of the Province of the Massachusetts Bay. . . . 21 vols. (Boston, 1869–1922).

Boston Records

Reports of the Record Commissioners of the City of Boston. 39 vols. (Boston, 1876–1909).

Boston Town Papers

Manuscript records at Boston Public Library, Special Collections.


“Boston Overseers of the Poor Records, 1735–1925: Guide to the Manuscript Collection.” (Boston: Massachusetts Historical Society, 1988).


Massachusetts Historical Society, Boston.


New England Quarterly.


The manuscript records of the Boston Overseers of the Poor. See “Guide” above.

Quincy Report

Josiah Quincy Jr. Report of the Committee on the Pauper Laws of This Commonwealth. (Boston, 1821).


Lemuel Shattuck. Report to the Committee of the City Council to Obtain the Census for the year 1845. (Boston, 1846).


Lawrence Towner. “The Indentures of Boston’s Poor Apprentices, 1734–1805,” Colonial Society of Massachusetts, Publications (1956–63): 417–68.


Stephen E. Wiberley Jr. “Four Cities: Public Poor Relief in Urban America, 1700–1775.” (PhD diss., Yale University, 1975).


William and Mary Quarterly, Third Series.