Beacon Street Diary
Archives: February 2018
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The latest additions to our New England's Hidden Histories program come from our project partners, the Phillips Library at the Peabody Essex Museum. One is a brand new collection to the program, and two are consolidations of materials that are physically separated between our two institutions.
Essex, Mass. First Congregational Church
This church was founded as the Second "Chabacco" Church in Ipswich in 1683, and it has been through many changes over the centuries. This collection contains volumes of church records and town meeting records of Chebacco Parish. It also includes some papers written Rev. John Cleaveland during his time as pastor, a few loose administrative records, and relations of faith from female members.
We had already published the minutes of a 17th-century ecclesiastical council from the CLA's holdings, but several new additions from the PEM's collection give a much fuller picture of the church's history. They include volumes of church records and ministers' records, as well as documents relating to later ecclesiastical councils.
The majority of these materials come from our collection at the CLA. The contribution now added from the PEM's holdings is an earlier version of the church's covenant from 1786. It is a particularly useful supplement because the previously published version is a copy made almost a decade later. Other materials in this collection include both bound and loose church records, construction plans for the Tabernacle itself, and a lengthy dispute between the church's first pastor and its proprietors.
Take a look at some or all of these documents. You never know what interesting information you might find.
Special ThanksCouncil on Library and Information Resources, through a Digitizing Hidden Collections grant.
Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the Council on Library and Information Resources.