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by a competent author, and that the town become a subscriber for two hundred copies of said history, at a sum not exceeding three dollars per volume, and that said committee shall be authorized to incur such additional expense, as a map of the town and the pictures of such public buildings and places as they think advisable to insert, may require. Chose Thomas E. Glazier, Rev. W. D. Herrick, John M. Moore."
This committee began immediately to attend to the duties 'assigned them by the town. Correspondence was held, with some who had had large experience, in writing town histories, but no definite arrangements were entered into, with any one, till last October, when the author, who had been laid aside, from his pastoral duties, by sickness, for three months previous to September, 1877, was strongly urged, by some of his friends, to undertake the work. III health and distrust of his ability, made bim reluctant to assume so great a task, in addition to his regular pastoral labors.
At length, “ by fair persuasion, mixed with sugared words,” he consented, on certain conditions, to yield his own judgment to the wishes of others. Had he thought such an event as the writing of the town's history by him, possible, not unmindful of the experience of Haman, he would most certainly not have been as active as he was, in inducing the town to have its history written.
The conditions, above alluded to, were these: That Mr. T. E. Glazier, who was greatly interested in the matter, should aid the author, in procuring necessary statistics and facts, and should be responsible for the entire preparation of the chapters entitled, “
“ Memorable Events," "Genealogy of the Early Families of Gardner,” and the chapter on “ Military Affairs."
To this gentleman, always, from early years, greatly interested in the welfare of his native town, and who about twenty years since, aided his venerable father, in preparing a small history of Gardner, we cheerfully and cordially accord the credit and responsibility, attending the authorship of the three chapters, in this work, above named.
The author is also most happy to accord to his wife-a helpmeet indeed—the credit of invaluable assistance, in the preparation of this work. To her belongs the credit of writing the subdivision of Chapter II., entitled “ Scenic Attractions," as well as that part in Chapter X., entitled “ The Murphy Movement."
The author also takes pleasure in acknowledging the valuable assistance rendered him, in copying and proof reading, by Mr. George F. Peabody, 2d, a young gentleman of this town, who has, for the last three years, been engaged in the study of law, and is about to be admitted to the bar.
To all these friends and to all others, to whom the author is indebted for aid in this work, most cordial thanks are publicly extended.
When it is remembered, that this work was begun, about the middle of November last, and has been carried forward, by the author, without any remission of his pulpit, or pastoral duties, till its completion, at the present date-less than eight months— an apology for imperfection and marks of haste, will not be regarded as out of place. In this regard, the advice of Horace to authors, to keep their writings nine years, before publishing them, is most recklessly disregarded.
It should be stated, that the committee, early inserted in the Gardner News, an invitation, to all individuals and religious societies, to present such pictures as they might wish to accompany this work. Several responded, who are here represented by heliotypes, executed by the Heliotype Printing Company of Boston. It is due to the author to state, that his portrait is inserted, in this work through the desire and at the expense of his friends, to whom for their other acts of kindness, he cherishes sentiments of genuine gratitude.
The maps, accompanying this work, were prepared by Mr. Charles J. Day, of this town, and are models of excellence, in his art.
The negatives, for the heliotypes, are by Mr. William A. Cowee, of Gardner; the printing is by A: G. Bushnell & Co., of the Gardner News.
Iu the production of this work, the author has spared no pains to possess the facts, regarding which, he has written, while at the same time, he has sought to make the work something more than a barren, dry restatement of town records, by connecting with these, events of general history, calculated to throw light upon more recent facts, coming under his notice. His object bas been to make this, a book of interest, to the reader, by directing his mind, to events of history not only contemporaneous, with those connected with this town, but antecedent to its existence.
The author is aware that there are several mistakes in this work, which he has no intention of pointing out, since the reader will do that without his assistance.
If any are represented, in this history as dead, who " still live,” we only have to say, that, the announcement need have no effect, in hastening au event, which is sure to come as soon as they will be ready for it; if any are said, in this work to be still alive who are dead, we have no fear that the statement will have the least impression upon them; if any are recorded as married, who never have been, we hope that nothing here said will prevent them from verifying the record, we bave made of them; if any are regarded as having too much, or too little prominence in this work, we have only to say, that it has been our aim to make the facts of history speak for themselves, whatever their effect upon individuals. Further than this, we have no feeling of personal responsibility. If any have been omitted who should be mentioned we are sorry, for our neglect is wholly undesigued.
We began this work, with no adequate idea of the immense amount of labor involved in completing it. We come to the end of our editorial work, with a higher appreciation of the fortitude and faithfulness of the founders of this town, and of those who have succeeded them in promoting its growth, in all good directions.
We are aware that a complete index, to a work, like this, is a good thing, while one incomplete is only a voxation. Not
caring to make a full index, we have thought best to substitute a full table of contents instead, having carefully arranged the work in topical chapters.
In conclusion, we are able, with great candor to state, that our ambition, for this kind of authorship, is entirely satisfied. We lay down our pen, upon this, our nation's natal day, with the most intelligent and unalterable conviction, that nothing but grim necessity, can ever again induce us to resume it, for the purpose of writing a town history.
We would say, however, to all clergymen, who are laid aside from pastoral labor, through“ nervous prostration" that our experience has taught us, that the speediest and surest way to regain health and forget troubles, is to engage in a work like this, preaching at the same time twice, on the Sabbath. They will find its effects more lethean than a draft of Lethe itself, and the greatest of all “ nerve tonics," at their command. Debilitated brethren, by all means, write a town history. We have only to say with Byron,
“What is writ is writ,
WM. D. HERRICK. Congregational Parsonage, July 4th, 1878.
Number of Original Inhabitants, Their Scattered Condition--Hard-
ships and Privations—The Domestic Spinning Wheel and