Malcolm Freiberg and Catherine Shaw Mayo were the first to transcribe Thomas Hutchinson’s letterbooks, a trove of correspondence that has been in the Massachusetts Archives ever since it was first seized by patriot authorities in 1775. These transcriptions, made in the late 1950s, have been consulted by innumerable scholars at the Massachusetts Historical Society and have saved them many tedious hours deciphering Hutchinson’s handwriting for themselves either on microfilm or, more recently, digital images available from The editors of this volume have checked and rechecked every letter transcribed by Freiberg and Mayo, but it is a rare occasion when any improvements can be made to their work.

    Although the letterbooks constitute a major part of Hutchinson’s extant correspondence, they are by no means all. At the outset of work on the present edition in the 1990s, Elizabeth Dubrulle located over six hundred additional letters to and from Hutchinson in libraries and archives throughout the United States and United Kingdom. These additional letters were initially transcribed by John Tyler and Elizabeth Dubrulle. John Tyler, assisted by Ashlee Backhus and Ainsley Winship, conducted a double-blind proofreading of the transcription of all selected letters, both from the letterbooks and elsewhere. Margaret Hogan and Jane Ward, who joined the project with volume 3, subsequently checked and rechecked all the transcriptions before they appeared in print.

    Margaret Hogan brought considerable expertise from her previous work on the Adams Papers, checking transcriptions and looking for variants among multiple copies but most importantly reviewing the final presentation of the manuscript to make sure it was consistent with the general practices of documentary editions. Jane Ward prepared the source notes and the calendar. She also undertook the time-consuming work of procuring the illustrations. Matt Snider of California State University at Fullerton provided tentative decoding of those passages written by Hutchinson in his private cipher, but because of Hutchinson’s difficult handwriting any suggested wording should be regarded as conjectural.

    Historians could accomplish very little on their own without the assistance of dedicated archivists and librarians. Key institutions for this project include the Massachusetts Historical Society, the British Library, and the Archives of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts at Columbia Point.

    Colin Nicolson, Neil L. York, and J. L. Bell all took time away from their own research to read early stages of the manuscript and answer queries. Jeanne Abboud has been the designer of all the volumes of The Correspondence of Thomas Hutchinson. Scribe Inc. converted files into HTML for the online version of the book. Kate Mertes prepared the index.