Among the austere manuscripts of the Massachusetts Historical Society’s collection resides an unassuming assemblage. Weighing in at precisely ten boxes, it bears a substantive though middling rank in the vast archival stock of America. An additional marker of ordinary quality concludes the title of the collection: “Transcripts.” These are thus ten boxes of derivative, copied papers—primary documents by proxy only. Yet a full examination of the collection title suggests a content that is anything but mundane, for these are the “Winthrop Family Papers [Transcripts],” also known as Ms. N-2211, a trove of transcribed, unpublished correspondence from the family whose various progeny presided at the very center of seventeenth-century New England’s political orbit.
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Are you looking for some good books on the Winthrop family? Here are a few titles:
Francis Bremer, John Winthrop: America’s Forgotten Founding Father
Edmund Morgan, The Puritan Dilemma: The Story of John Winthrop
Daniel T. Rodgers, As a City Upon a Hill: The Story of America’s Most Famous Lay Sermon
Richard Dunn and Laetitia Yaendle, ed., The Journal of John Winthrop, 1630-1649: Abridged Edition.