Note: This exhibit is currently on display in the Westborough Center for History and Culture through the months of September and October, 2018.
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Dr. Charles H. Reed was a Westborough veterinarian and devotee of local history. His collection of papers consists of correspondence, deeds, diaries, letters, maps, wills and other government documents pertaining to the early history of the Town of Westborough. Reed began gathering information on the Town’s history, land and people as a hobby, starting with the Town’s first 27 founding families. The collection grew to contain several hundred original documents, and a portion of journals and lists that were transcribed by Dr. Reed. All items contained in this collection describe the early culture, history and life of folks living and doing business in Westborough.
After Reed died, his daughter Rachel Deering carried on his work of collecting items relating to Westborough history. In 1985, she donated the collection to the Westborough Public Library for preservation and safekeeping.
Click here to learn more about the Historical Papers of Dr. Charles H. Reed and to start exploring the collection.
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Receipt from William Brinsmead to Thomas Beman [Beeman], December 18, 1690
This receipt is the oldest known document in the library’s archives.
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Appointment of Nathan Fisher, Esq, as a Lieutenant Colonel in the Second Regiment, signed by Governor John Hancock, 1787
Nathan Fisher eventually became Westborough’s first postmaster on March 6, 1811 and was the original owner of the “Nathan Fisher House,” which is now occupied by the Release Well-Being Center. The document is signed by John Hancock with the same flourish he used to sign the Declaration of Independence.
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A love letter from Joseph Woods to his wife while serving in the French and Indian War, 1757
Kenterhook May ye 14th 1757
Loving wife these Lines are to Inform you that I am got to Kenterhook and am In good helth and I Can give No account when or where I Shall march Next there is a [T reant[?] story that we are to go to the Lake But nothing sartain and I would acquaint you that all that Came from Westborough are in helth give my love to the children No more at present So I Remain Effectionate Husband hopeing that we Shall Live So whilst apart that if we Never meet here on Earth that at Last we Shall meet In heaven
Brother Tuller these may give you account of my Afairs So I give my Love to you and my Sister and Remain your Loving friend
Note: Joseph was killed in action shortly after writing this letter during the Battle of Lake George in the French and Indian War.
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Letter to Mrs. Mary Aldrich, December 26, 1861
Thank you letter to members of the Ladies Benevolent Society for sending sleeping caps to men during the American Civil War.
Camp Jackson, Md. Dec. 26/61
Mrs. Mary M. Aldrich
Sec. Ladies Benevolent Society of the
Unitarian Parish, Westboro. Mass.
The package directed to my care for the distribution of its contents among our company arrived here last evening, and the Sleeping Caps contributed by the ladies of your Society formed a large and most useful part of it. A portion of this fore-noon has been devoted to fitting the various heads with caps of a proper size, and could you have seen the smiling faces that passed out from my tent under your gifts, you would not have doubted they were fully appreciated.
Your request regarding the disposal of any caps not needed by the Company, I shall take pleasure in fulfilling.
Captain Hovey & Lieut. Bacon desire to join with the company and [back of letter not shown:] myself in expressing our thanks for the continued interest taken in us by the ladies of Westboro’ and in conveying to them through you, this sincere regards and the best wishes of the New Year.
Trusting that the confidences now reposed in our company and the officers may never be disappointed I remain Respectfully
Chas. B. Fox
2d Lieut. Co. K