The Duxbury Rural & Historical Society


Drew Archival Library

  • Journal of The Point School – Home of the First Student Government August 19, 2014
    In 1840-41 when this journal or “Report of the Secretary” was written, The Point School was one of nine common schools in Duxbury (there would eventually be 12 neighborhood schools throughout town). The school, built in 1800, was located on what is today the corner of Powder Point Ave. and Bay Pond Road.  The students at the Point School ranged in […] […]
  • 1662 Letter to Experience Mitchell: Drew Archives’ Oldest Document April 16, 2014
    The Drew Archives has many wonderful holdings, but the oldest by far is a letter written on July 24, 1662 to Experience Mitchell, one of Duxbury’s earliest settlers.  The letter, written in iron gall ink on wove paper, measures 8.5″ x 12″.  It has been conserved by the Northeast Document Conservation Center in Andover, MA. and can be viewed if you […] […]
  • The Fire That Burned the Weston Dynasty April 4, 2014
    Just after midnight on March 29,1850 an Irish servant in the employ of Gerhsom Bradford Weston awoke to the smell of smoke. After giving an alarm, she, along with the large Weston clan, ran from the house in their nightclothes and watched in horror as the quickly moving blaze burned the stately home on Harmony […] […]
  • Duxbury High School Interns Catalog Three New Collections March 5, 2014
    Over the past few years I have had the pleasure of working with and mentoring Duxbury High School interns.  Each semester two to four students come daily to the Drew Archives and assist in the cataloging of collections.  I am pleased to have been able to add three new finding aids here because of their hard work […] […]
  • Imprinted on My Heart: The Unrequited Love of Sarah Freeman Sampson February 24, 2014
    At 9pm on the night of September 11, 1836, Sarah F. Sampson sat in her bedroom and wrote one last love letter to her cousin Jacob Smith, Jr. It was Jacob’s 25th birthday but she did not mention the occasion in her letter, perhaps she had forgotten. What she did mention, repeatedly, was her devotion […] […]
  • Author Greg Grandin coming to Drew Archives, March 29th at 3pm January 28, 2014
    From the acclaimed author of Fordlandia, comes the story of a remarkable slave rebellion that illuminates America’s struggle with slavery and freedom during the Age of Revolution and beyond. Greg Grandin visited the DRHS Drew Archives in doing research for his book, The Empire of Necessity: Slavery, Freedom and Deception in the New World, utilizing […] […]
  • PHOTO GALLERY/VIDEO: Duxbury Rural and Historical Society leads tour of Mayflower Cemetery November 6, 2013
    PHOTO GALLERY/VIDEO: Duxbury Rural and Historical Society leads tour of Mayflower Cemetery. […]
  • First Hand Account of USSC’s Role at Gettysburg August 19, 2013
    The Drew Archives is very fortunate to house the large Bradford Family Collection – a collection that, I may have mentioned once or twice before, contains thousands of items and spans over two hundred years. A goodly portion of this collection relates to the Civil War – a number of the family fought or were […] […]
  • New Acquisition of Rev. John Allyn’s Sermons July 31, 2013
    In a town as old as Duxbury, there are many men and women who can claim a prominent place in its history.  Founders such as John and Priscilla Alden; shipbuilders Ezra “King Caesar” Weston I and II; master mariner and author Amasa Delano; and stage actress Fanny Davenport, are only a few names that come […] […]
  • The Day the Cable Came to Town March 22, 2013
    Many of you are no doubt are familiar with the Landing of the French Atlantic Cable in Duxbury in 1869, but for those of you who have never heard the tale, gather ‘round… Once upon a time, before smart phones and email, before telecommunications, before even Marconi’s wireless, there was only one way to communicate […] […]

Duxbury in the Civil War

  • Civil War Relics: Tribute and Legacy
    by Erin McGough, Collections Manager Last year, DRHS pulled from a bureau drawer in the Gershom Bradford house a small wooden trinket box containing a number of Civil War relics, previously uncatalogued. This box includes some wood fragments from the deadline at Andersonville Prison, a hickory nut from Bloody Lane at Sharpsburg (Antietam), and a […] […]
  • Hurry Up and Wait . . .
      July 8, 1863 – “…marched to Middleton…” July 9, 1863 – “…marched again across the mountain toward Antietam…” July 10, 1863 – “…Marched to the Creek …” July 11, 1863 – “…Marched about three miles…” Excerpts from the Civil War Journal of David Meechan If you are like me then the image of you […] […]
  • A Duxbury GAR Ceremonial Bugle
    by Erin McGough, Collections Manager Reveille. Assembly. Drill Call. Call to Quarters. Tattoo. And at the very end, Taps. During the Civil War, the call of the bugle sounded out the structure to a soldier’s day. In battle, bugles also rang out orders across a field, providing an essential tool for communication in the midst […] […]
  • The “Division” of Duxbury: Soldiering and Temperance
    by Carolyn Ravenscroft, Archivist The Confederate army was not the only enemy being fought during the Civil War. For some, demon alcohol was an even bigger foe. Having a drink or two or three in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth century was a daily occurrence by almost all men, women and even children. Consumption […] […]
  • Assault on Port Hudson, a Terrible Fight for Duxbury Soldiers
    The second Union assault on Port Hudson, Louisiana took place 150 years ago today on June 14, 1863. It was, in hindsight, a hopeless and reckless assault for those Federal troops that attacked the forts and trenches outside one of the last Confederate strongholds on the Mississippi River. Among those Union troops were a significant […] […]
  • Charlotte Bradford, Part Three: Matron of the Home for Soldiers
    by Carolyn Ravenscroft This is the third installment in a series of articles describing Charlotte Bradford’s career as a nurse during the Civil War. Previous articles discussed her work aboard the United States Sanitary Commission’s Transport Ships in Virginia and her time as a U.S. Army nurse under Dorothea Dix. The third phase of her […] […]
  • The Political Battle for Duxbury Soldier’s Bounties
    One of the more perplexing episodes in Duxbury’s Civil War history (and a lengthy one at that) was the matter of the bounties that were promised to the first group of Duxbury men who enlisted in May 1861. Periodically, when calls for troops went out from the Federal government, quotas were allotted to each state and, […] […]
  • Watertown Arsenal
    by Erin McGough, Collections Manager Some weeks ago, I chose to highlight two artifacts relating to the Watertown Arsenal for my next contribution to our “Duxbury in the Civil War” blog. Now, in the aftermath of events in Boston and Watertown, it seems difficult to sit down and write a blog article. As history unfolds […] […]
  • “Dear Mother and Father:” Civil War Letter Writing
    by Alison Arnold For a soldier in the Civil War, letter writing was the main form of communication with loved ones at home and helped to relieve the tedium of camp life. Almost all soldiers begged for their parents, wives and friends to write back right away as there were few pleasures greater than receiving mail from home. March […] […]
  • Duxbury Soldiers in the Bayous
    By March 1863, 150 years ago this month, about 162 men from Duxbury had enlisted to serve in the Union Army. We have, in this blog, frequently discussed the Duxbury men who belonged to the 18th Massachusetts Infantry (originally about 55 in number) who served with the Army of the Potomac. Being engaged in the […] […]

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