It is now fifty-seven years since this History of Bridgewater was published. The original edition was not a large one, and was soon exhausted. It brought no possible pecuniary profit to its author, being sold (when not given away) at less than cost. He was quite content to be rewarded by the consciousness of having rendered a real service to his fellow-townsmen, at whose urgent request it was printed. The present re-print has been made through the enterprise of Mr. Edward Alden of Swampscott, a native of East Bridgewater, of the family of Thomas Russell Alden, son of "Isaac 25," (see page 88), and he has requested me as the eldest living descendant of the author, to furnish an introductory notice. The object of the present undertaking is to gratify a widely expressed wish on the part of those who have found it impossible to obtain copies of the original work. With this simple end in view, no correction, alteration or addition has been attempted. To re-edit the work, or to bring down the genealogical history to the present date, would be a task of such magnitude as no one is yet prepared to attempt.
The value of such a labor however cannot be overestimated. It is to be hoped that, at some time, a successor to the venerable author may arise, who combines the intellectual fitness and the literary leisure with the pecuniary means to build upon the foundation thus laid for the benefit of future generations.
In the meantime it would seem fitting to present, with this issue, some notice of the man to whom we are indebted for the original conception and early publication of the work.
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