Boston, Massachusetts. City Mission Society. Records, 1820-2006.
The Boston Society for the Moral and Religious Instruction for the Poor was organized October 9, 1816 in Boston, although it was not officially incorporated until February 21, 1820. The founding officers were a mixture of clergymen, active church members and business men and included: Rev. Joshua Huntington, president; William Thurston, vice president; Josiah Salisbury, treasurer; and Thomas Vose, secretary. The original Board of Directors were Samuel Armstrong, Charles Cleveland, Pliny Cutler, Henry Homes, John Hopkins, John Proctor, Samuel Train and Josiah Vinton, Jr. Please note that many of the wives and relatives of these men were active and founding members of the Corban Society (Massachusetts) and Graham Society (Massachusetts); some of the men occasionally served as auditors for these societies.
The group was funded through life subscribers, who contributed $20, and annual subscribers, who contributed smaller amounts annually; individuals and churches also contributed funds. Some of the members were both life members and annual subscribers, i.e., Thomas Vose and Samuel Armstrong.
The organization was concerned with the basic right of children to have an education; individuals who could not afford to attend church services and the relationship of illiteracy to this matter; and the spiritual leadership of seaman. The Society was in part a response to the problems of the increased urbanization of Boston. There was an increase in immigration, as laborers were recruited for building railroads and as mill laborers. Other issues for the poor of Boston were the Civil War, which contributed to the loss of family income earners and the Great Boston fire of November of 1872. Public institutions were not able to deal with the employment needs, illness, and housing needs of the new residents, nor the change in the city's homogeneity. In this context, the City Missionary Society (renamed May 3, 1841) attempted to deal with the physical and spiritual needs of the poor though home visitation by paid missionaries, tract distributors, Sabbath Schools and summer programs for youth.
The City Missionary Society (CMS) has had seven different locations, with the majority of the history in Congregational House, 14 Beacon Street. CMS was located in the original Congregational House at 7A Beacon Street (1872-1899), as well as the current location (from 1899 to the present), where CMS continues the work it started in 1816.
Scope of Collection
Collection includes annual reports, minutes of meetings from board of directors and committees; financial records; programs run by the Society; photographs and lantern slides. The Congregational Library & Archives does not hold a complete record of materials, as the organization is still active and retains many of its own records.
African Americans - Massachusetts - Boston-Social conditions.
African Americans - Massachusetts - Boston - Religion.
Boston (Mass.) - Race relations.
Boston (Mass.) - Social Conditions.
Boston Seaman's Friend Society.
The Boston Society for the Moral and Religious Instruction for the Poor.
City Mission Society of Boston.
City missions - United States - History - 20th century.
Civil rights movements - Massachusetts - Boston.
Huntington, Joshua, 1751-1821.
Poor - Boston - Massachusetts.
Boston City Missionary Society. Portraits. Image Collection
City Mission Society annual reports, 1817-1988. 3.9
Cleveland, Charles. Addresses and Reports. 3.9
Dunstan, John Leslie. A Light to the City: 150 years of the City Missionary Society of Boston, 1816-1966. Boston, Mass. 1966. 126.96.36.199
|Series I.||Annual reports, 1841-1991 (gaps)|
|Series II.||Meeting Minutes and Reports|
|Series V.||Historical and printed material, 20th century|
|Series VI.||Lantern slides, undated|
|The slides are arranged by geographic location and have identification numbers, so that images from the same location fall together. For an index to the slides, request a copy from the collection file from the archivist.|
|The annual report volumes and published history are on the shelf stored after the boxed items.|
Series I: Annual Reports
|Extent:||6 bound volumes, 1 box, 1 folder|
|Scope of Series:||Consists of annual reports from 1841-1990, with some gaps. Some are bound volumes, others are individual issues.|
|Arrangement:||The bound volumes are listed first, followed by individual issues in chronological order, but because they are pamphlets, are not stored in folders. The bound annual report volumes are on the shelf stored after the boxed items.|
|Annual reports||1930, 1944-1966||B3/F1|
|Annual reports||1980, 1984-1990||B3/F2|
Series II: Meeting Minutes and Reports
|Scope of Series:||Includes board of directors; corporation; committees including executive.|
|Arrangement:||Arranged by sub-group and then chronologically.|
|Charter and bylaws||1976||B1|
|Board of directors minutes||1820-1866||B2|
|Board of directors minutes||1867-1922||B2|
|Board of directors minutes||1923-1938||B2|
|Board of Directors minutes||1938-1944||B3/F3|
|Reports to board of directors||1895, circa 1920s||B3/F4|
|Summary of board of directors actions||1923-1937||B3/F5|
|Corporation statements at annual meetings||1952-1954||B3/F6|
|Corporation meeting minutes||1952-1959||B3/F7|
|Corporation meeting minutes||1960-1964||B3/F8|
|Corporation meeting minutes||1965-1970||B3/F9|
|Executive committee minutes||1847-1875||B4|
|Executive committee minutes||1875-1910||B4|
|Executive committee minutes||1911-1924||B4|
|Executive committee minutes||1924-1937||B4|
|Executive committee minutes||1937-1944||B4|
Series III: Financial Records
|Scope of Series:||Includes lists of donors, life members, account books, and ledgers.|
|Arrangement:||Material in chronological order.|
|Investments, Legacies Ledger||circa 1920||B5|
|Expenses, Salaries Ledger||1900s-1920s||B3/F13|
Series IV: Programs
|Scope of Series:||CMS has had many programs over the years. The majority of the material from this series is photographs. The bulk of the printed photographs are from Camps Andover and Waldron, which were camps for children 8-15, primarily from lower-income families. Other topics include youth programs, volunteerism, and Rosemary Cottage in Maine.|
|Arrangement:||The photographs are stored in envelopes by approximate size and arranged by topic and within each topic, loosely in chronological order.|
|Camps Andover and Waldron architectural drawings||1961, 1968||B3/F14|
|Camps Andover and Waldron correspondence and printed material||1924-1925, 2006, undated||B3/F15|
|Camp Andover - "Ship Andover"||1932||B3/F16|
|Camp Waldron photographs||1926-1930||B7/E1|
|Camp Waldron photographs||1926-1930||B7/E2|
|Camp Waldron photographs||1926-1930||B7/E3|
|Camp Waldron photographs||1926-1930||B7/E4|
|Camps Andover and Waldron photographs||1920s-1960s||B7/E5|
|Camps Andover and Waldron photographs||1920s-1960s||B7/E6|
|Camps Andover and Waldron photographs||1920s-1960s||B7/E7|
|Camps Andover and Waldron photographs||1920s-1960s||B6/E1|
|Camps Andover and Waldron photographs with some documentation of staff names||1920s-1960s||B6/E2|
|Camps Andover and Waldron photographs||1930s-1980s||B6/E3|
|Camps Andover and Waldron photographs||1930s-1980s||B6/E4|
|Camps Andover and Waldron photographs||1940s-1980s||B7/E8|
|Camps Andover and Waldron photographs||1980s-1990s||B7/E9|
|Camps Andover and Waldron photographs||1980s-1990s||B7/E10|
|Camps Andover and Waldron graphic||undated||B8|
|Camp Meadowcrest for Elders photographs||undated||B6/E5|
|Church School photographs||1940s||B6/E6|
|East Boston Churches correspondence Bennington Street, Baker, Maverick||1885-1912||B11|
|Maverick Church project||1907||B3/F17|
|Photographs of children||1957||B8/E1|
|Prison program - Behind the Wall and Pole Star publications||1990-2003 (gaps)||B3/F18|
|Rosemary Cottage, Maine printed material||1888, 1929-1930s||B3/F19|
|Rosemary Cottage, Maine photographs||undated||B8/E2|
|Rosemary Cottage, Maine photographs||undated||B8/E3|
|Rosemary Cottage scrapbook||undated||B8|
|Rosemary Cottage, Maine photographs||undated||B6/E7|
|Social service program photographs||1960s-1990s||B3/F20|
|Youth program children's picture and poetry exhibit||1991||B3/F21|
|Youth program photographs||1940s-1990s||B8/E5|
|Youth program photographs||1940s-1990s||B8/E6|
|Youth program photographs||1940s-1990s||B6/E9|
|Youth program Bird Street, Christmas, summer||1997, 1998||B8/E7|
|Youth program Hurley after school, Christmas, and drama photographs||1996-1997||B8/E8|
|Youth program Hurley Arts Program and play photographs||1997-1998||B8/E9|
|Youth program Hurley artist in residence, drama group photographs||1995-1996||B8/E10|
|Youth program Hurley, dance class with Adrienne Hawkins||1990 February||B8/E11|
Series V: Historical and Printed Material
|Scope of Series:||Materials include anniversaries, histories, speeches, publicity, memorial tributes, clippings and scrapbooks.|
|Arrangement:||Topics are loosely arranged alphabetically and within each topic in chronological order whenever possible. The Publicity section was originally in loose leaf binders. The folder headings mirror the original descriptions and the contents are in original order.|
|A Light to the City: 150 years of the City Missionary Society of Boston, 1816-1966 by John Dunstan||1966||shelf|
|Excerpts from CMS histories, preparation For 175th anniversary||1991||B9/F6|
|Copies of annual reports, preparation For 175th anniversary||1862-1989 (gaps)||B9/F7|
|Research material for anniversary preparation||1947-1989||B9/F8|
|Correspondence||1876, 1895, 1900, 1918||B9/F11|
|Historical talk, Dedham Riverdale Thanksgiving talk||1927||B9/F13|
|In memoriam: Helen Mar Atwood||1898||B1|
|In memoriam: Laurin Aldin Bumpus||1902||B1|
|In memoriam: Hariette Carter||1915||B1|
|In memoriam: Martha Elizabeth Clapp||1902||B1|
|In memoriam: Lorena Wright Field||1906||B1|
|In memoriam: Armeda Gibbs||1884||B1|
|In memoriam: Thomas Thwing||1868||B1|
|Tribute: Harriet Briggs||1939||B1|
|Charles Cleveland 90th birthday gathering||1862||B1|
|Dorchester Old and New Tercentenary, 1630-1930||1930||B1|
|Lincoln, Mass. Farington memorial||undated||B1|
|"Task of City Missionary Society of Boston in the Next Generation"||1929||B10/F1|
|Publications - services||1946-1965||B10/F2|
|Publicity - Camps Andover and Waldron||1920-1967||B10/F3|
|Publicity - fresh air||1957-1967||B10/F4|
|Publicity - miscellaneous||1950s||B10/F5|
|Publicity - missionary services||1944-1956||B10/F6|
|Publicity - summer services||1944-1954||B10/F7|
|Publicity - Thanksgiving, Christmas||1954-1968||B10/F8|
|Publicity - volunteerism||1961-1966||B10/F9|
|Scrapbook, news clippings on CMS||1916-1930s||B11|
|Scrapbook, news clippings on CMS||1965-1968||B11|
|Scrapbook, news clippings on CMS||1970-1974||B11|
Series VI: Lantern Slides and Photographs
|Extent:||81 lantern slides, 1 box|
|Scope of Series:||Lantern slides contain eighty-one items circa 1890-1905. Images include churches and/or congregations in Dorchester, Roxbury, East Boston, Franklin Park, Brighton, Hyde Park, Everett, Charleston, Belmont, Saugus and Boston, Massachusetts, as well as Cleveland, Ohio. A number of these slides also show the neighborhoods around the churches and/or recreational images, such as picnics. The images also include the Boston Seaman's Friend Society (including an image of the Bethel boat, the "Seaman's Friend") and City Missionary Society's Rosemary Cottage in Elliot, Maine.
Images were identified using the title of the slide and/or information in the slide, along with Richard Taylor's Churches of Christ of the Congregational Way in New England (Benton Harbor, Michigan: self-published, 1989). If there was any question about the location, a note was added. A small portion of the slides did not have any title whatsoever and are currently not identified.
|Arrangement:||The lantern slides are in one grouping.|
 Parts of the historical note written by CLA staff, 1995. Edited by Jessica Steytler, 2014. For original note, please see collection file for the older guide.
 Dunstan, John Leslie. A Light to the City: 150 years of the City Missionary Society of Boston, 1816-1916. Boston, Mass.: 1966), p. 24.
 Ibid., p. 24-27.
 Ibid., p. 35, 89.
 Ibid., p. 131-132.
 Ibid., p. 282.