With each new volume, the evolution of The Correspondence of Thomas Hutchinson becomes ever more complex. Properly considered, the work began in the late 1950s when Malcolm Freiberg and Catherine Shaw Mayo made the first transcriptions of Hutchinson’s letterbooks (owned by the Massachusetts Archives) for use at the Massachusetts Historical Society, which generations of scholars have consulted there ever since. To be sure, the present editors now have frequent access to online facsimiles and have rechecked every letter, but it is a rare occasion when improvements can be made on Freiberg and Mayo’s transcriptions. At the outset of work on the present edition in the 1990s, Elizabeth Dubrulle located over six hundred additional letters to and from Hutchinson held by archives and libraries throughout the United States and United Kingdom. These additional letters were eventually transcribed in their present form by Dubrulle and John Tyler.

    Volume 3 is the first prepared for the press without the active involvement of Elizabeth Dubrulle, for whom work and family made participation no longer possible. Her place has been amply filled by Margaret Hogan who prepared the source notes and calendar and reviewed the final printed presentation of the documents. Hogan’s year of experience with the Adams Papers helped make certain that the policies of this edition did not stray too far outside the generally accepted canons of good practice among documentary editors. Jane Ward checked for variations in the texts of those letters for which multiple copies exist. Ward also procured the illustrations and provided invaluable proofreading services.

    Hutchinson wrote a few passages in his letterbooks in a private cipher that have stumped would-be readers since his letterbooks first came into the possession of the Commonwealth in 1775. Matthew Snider of California State University, Fullerton, provided tentative decoding of these passages, but because of Hutchinson’s bad handwriting, these symbols are very difficult to distinguish, and thus the suggested wording should be regarded as very conjectural. Ashlee Backhus assisted with the double-blind proofreading of the transcripts. Colin Nicolson, Neil L. York, and J.L. Bell all provided helpful research leads and prevented embarrassing errors through early readings of the manuscript. John Hannigan, curator of the Massachusetts Archives, has graciously provided ready access to the original letterbooks when needed, and every scholar working on Boston history would be lost without the dedicated and knowledgeable staff of the Massachusetts Historical Society.

    Jeanne Abboud was the designer of all the volumes of The Correspondence of Thomas Hutchinson and Enid L. Zafran prepared the index.