Cambridge, Massachusetts. First Church records, 1783-1948.

Collection Information
Title:

Cambridge, Mass. First Church records, 1783-1948.

Creator(s):

First Church (Cambridge, Mass.)
Shepard Congregational Society (Cambridge, Mass.)
Shepard Memorial Church (Cambridge, Mass.)
Shepard Congregational Church (Cambridge, Mass.)

Dates:

1783-1948, bulk 1831-1923

Extent:

20 boxes: 13 document cases, 4 clamshell boxes, 3 flat boxes (3.5 cubic feet)

Collection ID #:

RG4935

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to this collection is unrestricted and open to the public.

Physical Access:

Some manuscript sermons have rips and torn pages. The Alexander McKenzie journals include several volumes with damaged covers and text blocks. The majority of the second series is comprised of bound and unbound volumes; most volumes that retained their covers are fragile. Consult with the librarian or archivist before starting extensive research with regard to book cradles and weights.

Copyright: Preferred Citation:

[Identification of item], in the First Church (Cambridge, Mass.) records, RG4935. The Congregational Library and Archive, Boston, MA.

Language:

English

Processing information:

Processed by Jessica Steytler 2010 using DACS and re-described 2013 using DACS Second Edition.

Abstract:

Cambridge was called Newtowne when the congregation organized in October 1633. This collection includes records created by ministers: sermons, letters, notes, Alexander McKenzie's autobiographical writing and journals Sunday school; young people's groups; women's groups; and mission work.

Acquisition Information:

Collection was held by Harvard's Houghton Library until 2010.

Collection transferred from Houghton to the Congregational Library & Archives and deposited as a permanent loan by the church.

Description

Historical Note

The church has a comprehensive timeline on their website.

Cambridge was called Newtowne when the congregation organized in October, 1633. After three years Thomas Hooker and a large contingency departed to establish a new church in the new settlement in Hartford, Connecticut. The remaining members, with Thomas Shepard as minister, formally gathered in 1636. This is the same year that Harvard is established, and the town is renamed Cambridge in honor of Cambridge, England where Hooker and Shepard both graduated from Emmanuel College. Over the years, the congregation has hosted some memorable events, including Anne Hutchinson's trial and formalizing the Cambridge Platform. They have had a total of six buildings, the most recent one erected in 1872; all the buildings have been within a few blocks of each other in Harvard Square.

Names
1633 The Cambridge Church,
The Church in Cambridge,
Church of Christ in Newtowne,
The Church of Christ in Cambridge,
The First Church in Cambridge
1829 The Shepard Congregational Society
1872 The Shepard Memorial Church,
The Shepard Congregational Church
1899 First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, incorporated in 1919
1957 First Church in Cambridge, Congregational, United Church of Christ

 

Ministers
Thomas Hooker 1633-1636    Abiel Holmes 1792-1831
Thomas Shepard 1636-1649   Nehamiah Adams 1829-1834
Henry Dunster interim, 1649-1650   John Adams Albro 1835-1865
Jonathan Mitchell 1650-1668   Alexander McKenzie 1867-1912
Charles Chancey interim, 1668-1671   Raymond Calkins 1912-1940
Urian Oakes 1671-1681   John Leamon 1940-1962
Nathaniel Gookin 1682-1692   Wells Grogan 1962-1976
William Brattle 1696-1717   Allen Happe 1977-1998
Nathaniel Appleton 1717-1784   Mary Luti 2000-2008
Timothy Hilliard 1783-1790   Daniel Smith 2008-present

 

Scope of Collection

This collection includes records created by ministers: sermons, letters, notes, Alexander McKenzie's autobiographical writing and journals Sunday school; young people's groups; women's groups; mission work. There are no records of membership, monthly or annual church meeting minutes, finances, or materials from all of the ministers from within the collection's time-frame. Review the collections kept at Harvard's Theological Library for further related records throughout the congregation's lifetime.

 

Further Searches

Subject Headings

First Church (Cambridge, Mass.)

First Church in Cambridge Congregational UCC (Cambridge, Mass.)

Church records and registers - Massachusetts - Cambridge.

Holmes, Abiel, 1763-1837.

McKenzie, Alexander, 1830-1914.

Albro, John Adams, 1799-1866.

Hilliard, Timothy, 1747-1790.

Appleton, Nathaniel Walker, 1755-1795.

Phillips Academy.

Church group work.

Church group work with youth.

Shepard, Thomas, 1605-1649.

Sermons, American - 19th century.

Sermons, American - 18th century.

Sunday school

Installation (Clergy).

Ordination.

Women - Societies and clubs.

 

Related Materials

Records at Harvard's Andover-Harvard Theological Library:

Cambridge, Massachusetts. First Parish in Cambridge. Records, 1658-1993. (bMS 300)

Cambridge, Massachusetts. First Parish in Cambridge. Records, 1804-2008. (bMS 604)

 

Arrangement

Series I: Ministers
Series II: Auxiliary Groups

Arranged by subject and chronologically within each section, while maintaining as much original order as possible.

 

Contents

Series I: Ministers

Date: 1784-1914
Extent: 15 boxes
Physical Access: Some manuscript sermons have rips and torn pages. Please use extra care with the Alexander McKenzie journals. Several of the covers are damaged. Consult with the librarian or archivist before starting extensive research with regard to book cradles and weights.
Scope of Series: This series does not include records from all ministers. Particularly, Abiel Holmes has sermons and correspondence Alexander McKenzie's papers comprise ten of the fifteen boxes.
Arrangement: This series is arranged in chronological order, while maintaining as much original order as possible.
  Date Box/Folder
  William Brattle, 3 sermons undated B1/F1
  Nathaniel Appleton sermon fragment undated B1/F1
  Timothy Hilliard sermons including one for Nathaniel Appleton 1784 February 15,
1788
B1/F1
  Abiel Holmes Box/Folder
    Sermons at anniversaries of his installation 1793-1831 B1/F2
    Sermons at anniversaries of his installation 1793-1831 B1/F3
    Sermons at anniversaries of his installation 1793-1831 B1/F4
    Sermons at anniversaries of his installation 1793-1831 B1/F5
    Fast sermons 1794-1836 B1/F6
    Fast sermons 1794-1836 B1/F7
    Fast sermons 1794-1836 B2/F1
    New Year sermons 1793-1829 B2/F2
    New Year sermons 1793-1829 B2/F3
    General sermons 1788-1836 B2/F4
    Weather memorandum 1830-1837 B2/F5
    Correspondence 1816-1832 B18
    Sermons 1783-1836 B3
  Nehemiah Adams Date Box/Folder
    Letters 1826, 1829 B3/F1
    Sermons 1831-1839 B3/F2
    Sermons 1831-1839 B3/F3
    Sermons 1831-1839 B3/F4
    Address by Rev. Green at laying of cornerstone ceremony 1830 B3/F5
  John Albro Date Box/Folder
    Sermon and letter to Albro 1864, 1865 B3/F6
  Alexander McKenzie Date Box/Folder
    Journal 1846-1850 B5/F1
    Journal 1851-1855 B5/F2
    Journal 1855-1860 B5/F3
    Journal 1861-1870 B5/F4
    Journal 1870-1885 B5/F5
    Journal 1885-1910 B5/F6
    Journal 1867 B6/F1
    Journal 1867 B6/F2
    Journal undated B6/F3
    Journal 1883 B6/F4
    Journal 1883 B6/F5
    Journal 1884 B7/F1
    Journal 1887 B7/F2
    Journal 1891 B7/F3
    Journal 1892 B7/F4
    Journal 1897 B8/F1
    Journal 1899 B8/F2
    Journal 1900 B8/F3
    Journal 1902 B8/F4
    Journal 1904-1908 B8/F5
    Journal 1906 B8/F6
    Journal 1910 B9/F1
    Journal 1911 B9/F2
    Journal 1913 B9/F3
    Journal 1914 B9/F4
    Sermon notebook, 1. Men and women of the Bible 1969-1870 B10
    Sermon notebook, 2. Men and women of the Bible, Genesis, etc. undated B10
    Sermon notebook, Christianity and Life undated B10
    Sermon notebook, 181-206 1878 April B10
    Sermon notebook, 207-231 1879 January B10
    Sermon notebook, 232-251 1879 B10
    Sermon notebook, 252-270 1880 B10
    Sermon notebook, 271-291 1880 B10
    Sermon notebook, 292-311 1881 B10
    Sermon notebook, 312-336 1882 B11
    Sermon notebook, 337-361 1883 B11
    Sermon notebook, 362-382 1884 B11
    Sermon notebook, 383-404 1885 B11
    Sermon notebook, 405-425 1885 B11
    Sermon notebook, 426-448 1886 B11
    Sermon notebook, 449-469 1887 B11
    Sermon notebook, 470-494 1888 B11
    Sermon notebook, 495-516 1888 B11
    Sermon notebook, 517-549 1889 B12
    Sermon notebook, 550-585 1890 B12
    Sermon notebook, 586-638 1891 B12
    Sermon notebook, 639-683 1893 B12
    Sermon notebook, 684-741 1894 B12
    Sermon notebook, 742-801 1896 B12
    Sermon notebook, 802-878 1898 B12
    Sermon notebook, 879- 1901 B12
    Topical research undated B13/F1
    Biblical notes, research. 2 volumes 1862, undated B13/F2
    Evening meeting notes 1860-1866 B13/F3
    Sermon lists of those given, unpublished, and Sunday statistics 1860-1866 B13/F4
    Notes on Book of John 1868-1870 B13/F5
    Notes 1899-1900 B13/F6
    Sermon notes 1899 B13/F7
    Phillips Academy, essays and orations 1853-1855 B14/F1
    Phillips Academy yearbook with photographs and notes written in from classmates 1855 B14/F2
    Material at the back of the Phillips Yearbook 1855 1856, 1888-1889 B14/F3
    Harvard essay book 1859 B14/F4
    Acceptance letter to pastorate 1867 B14/F5
    Correspondence related to call 1865-1867 B14/F6
    Correspondence 1883-1914 B14/F7
    Correspondence 25th Anniversary 1892 B14/F8
    Correspondence 40th Anniversary 1906-1907 B15/F1
    Correspondence 40th Anniversary 1906-1907 B15/F2
    Memorial, legacy 1914 B15/F3
    McKenzie scrapbook of newspaper clippings 1907-1914 B15/F4
    McKenzie autobiography 1910 B15/F5
    McKenzie's autobiography, Annals of England 1914 B15/F6

Series II: Auxiliary Groups

Date: 1819-1948
Extent: 5 boxes
Physical Access: The majority of this series is comprised of bound and unbound volumes; most volumes that retained their covers are fragile. Consult with the librarian or archivist before starting extensive research with regard to book cradles and weights.
Scope of Series: Series includes Sunday School records, several different young people's group and several different women's groups.
Arrangement: To help differentiate between groups' with multiple bound volumes, there are folder wrappers separating the groups' records as well as some groups tied together with linen ribbon.
  Date Box/Folder
  Sunday School membership 1888-1889 B18
  Sunday School Minutes 1888-1904 B16/F1
  Sunday School records by teacher Elsie Paine 1903-1948 B16/F2
  Sunday School group statistics undated B16/F3
  Riverside Alliance minutes and membership 1902-1904,
1905-1908
B16/F4
  Riverside Alliance membership 1905-1913 B16/F5
  Riverside Alliance 1908-1911 B16/F6
  Riverside Alliance membership 1910-1917 B16/F7
  Riverside Alliance records 1900-1922 B18
  Young People's Alliance minutes 1884-1895 B17/F1
  Young People's Alliance minutes 1896-1900 B17/F2
  Young People's Alliance minutes 1900-1904 B17/F3
  Young People's Alliance reports 1905-1906 B17/F4
  Young People's Alliance reports 1907-1910 B17/F5
  Young People's Alliance reports 1910-1915 B17/F6
  Young People's Alliance reports 1915-1920 B17/F7
  Young People's Alliance reports 1920-1924 B17/F8
  Young People's Alliance reports 1928 B17/F9
  Captains of Ten constitution minutes and membership 1889-1897 B18
  Captains of Ten constitution minutes and membership 1892-1908 B18
  Captains of Ten booklet with history and lecture 1908, 1932 B18
  Knights of King Arthur minutes 1897-1904 B18
  Knights of King Arthur minutes 1904-1911 B18
  Knights of King Arthur minutes 1911-1922 B18
  Knights of King Arthur minutes 1923-1934 B18
  Old Cambridge Freedman's Aid Society constitution and minutes 1864-1873 B18
  Freedman's Aid Society financial 1865-1874 B18
  Freedman's Aid Society minutes 1867-1870 B18
  Ladies Union Missionary Society for First Church and North Congregational 1872-1886 B18
  Ladies Union Missionary Society for First Church and North Congregational 1887-1892 B18
  Young Ladies Missionary Society working party 1872-1886 B18
  Young Ladies Missionary Society working party 1879-1890 B18
  Missionary Sewing Circle records 1819-1840 B19
  Missionary Sewing Circle membership and accounts 1833-1843 B19
  Missionary Sewing Circle records 1840-1870 B19
  Missionary Sewing Circle accounts 1843-1866 B19
  Missionary Sewing Circle membership and accounts 1853-1870 B19
  Female Tract Society 1819-1834 B19
  Female Tract Society 1855-1875 B19
  Female Auxiliary Tract Society 1828-1854 B19
  Ladies Foreign Missionary Society records 1892-1898 B19
  Woman's Foreign Missionary Society records 1897-1903 B19
  Woman's Foreign Missionary Society records 1903-1910 B19
  Woman's Foreign Missionary Society records 1909-1918 B19
  Woman's Foreign Missionary Society executive committee 1918-1922 B19
  Woman's Foreign Missionary Society records 1918-1923 B19
  Woman's Foreign Missionary Society loose materials 1913-1919 B19
  Woman's Foreign Missionary Society letter to H.L. Burrage from Lucy Ella Case in Osaka, Japan 1903 B19
  Woman's Home Missionary and Church Aid Society records 1903-1904 B19
  Woman's Home Missionary and Church Aid Society records 1910-1916 B19
  Woman's Home Missionary and Church Aid Society records 1916-1920 B19
  Woman's Home Missionary and Church Aid Society, "birthday papers" lectures 1906, undated B19
  Maternal Association 1833-1856 B20
  Shepherd Singing Society 1830-1832 B20
  Parish Auxiliary 1916-1923 B20
  Church Aid Society 1870-1871 B20
  New Church Aid Society 1870-1874 B20
  Shepherd Benevolent Society 1866-1870, 1897 B20
  Shepard Guild 1911-1912 B20
  Shepard Guild records 1892-1897 B20
  Shepard Guild directory 1898-1915 B20
  Shepard Guild records 1909-1923 B20
  Shepard Guild executive committee 1910-1917 B20
  Margaret Shepard Society records 1880-1881 B20
  Margaret Shepard Society 1883-1886 B20
  Margaret Shepard Society 1886-1898 B20
  Margaret Shepard Society 1889-1896 B20
  Margaret Shepard Society 1886-1889 B20
  Margaret Shepard Society 1898-1901 B20
  Margaret Shepard Society 1906-1909 B20
  Margaret Shepard Society 1910-1912 B20

 

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