Yankee Destinies: The Lives of Ordinary Nineteenth-Century Bostonians

Yankee Destinies: The Lives of Ordinary Nineteenth-Century Bostonians

Yankee Destinies: The Lives of Ordinary Nineteenth-Century Bostonians

Yankee Destinies: The Lives of Ordinary Nineteenth-Century Bostonians

Synopsis

Yankee destinies reconstructs important milestones in the lives of 2,808 white, native-born men who resided in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1860 or 1870. Selected systematically from the census for those tow years, these men represent two cross-sections of those viewed by contemporaries as 'typical' Bostonians.

Excerpt

This inquiry afforded a striking illustration of the fact that many men, whose life careers were highly useful, who held positions of trust and influence, and as to whose history and characteristics there might well be a more widespread interest than that of their personal circle of friends, were themselves careless of posthumous fame, and have left insufficient memorials; while their descendants are too much absorbed in the affairs of the moment to assist in recalling the things of the past which would increase the importance and add to the instructiveness of these histories. So when some of these histories appear brief,--limited possibly by the facts that this or that man lived, was of us, was "successful," and passed on,--the reader will kindly note that it is not for want of effort to obtain them that we fail to present more extended details. For like reasons there may be errors as well as omissions.

--Albion Bicknell, in Massachusetts Charitable Mechanic Association, Annals, 1892

If it be objected that too large a portion of the representatives are New England men, we reply, it is the fault of facts, which like the laws of the Medes and Persians, are unalterable: for, in the cities of Philadelphia and New York, as well . . .

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