Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
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FELT, Joseph Barlow, antiquarian, born in Salem, Massachusetts, 22 December 1789; died there, 8 September 1869. He was graduated at Dartmouth in 1813, licensed to preach in 1815, and was pastor of Congregational Churches at Sharon, Mass. in 1821'4, and in Hamilton, Massachusetts, in 1825'34. He was commissioned by Governor Everett, in April 1836, to arrange the ancient state papers, then in almost hopeless confusion, and in 1845 spent six weeks in England searching for duplicates of lost records. As a result of his labors, which were ended in 1846, the state archives are now contained in several scores of carefully classified volumes. After serving as librarian of "the Massachusetts historical society in 1842'58, he retired to Salem, where he engaged in literary work. He was president of the New England "historic genealogical society in 1850'3, recording secretary of the American statistical association in 1839'59, and a member of many other historical societies. Dartmouth gave him the degree of LL.D. in 1857. Dr. Felt was noted for his thorough acquaintance with New England history. He published, "Annals of Salem," called by Bancroft "an accurate and useful work" (Salem. Massachusetts, 1827; 2d ed., 2 vols., 1845'9); "History of Ipswich, Essex, and Hamilton," including numerous biographies (Cambridge, 1833); " Historical Account of Massachusetts Currency" (Boston, 1839); memoirs of Roger Conant (1848), Hugh Peters (1851), and William S. Shaw (1852); "Genealogical Items for Gloucester and Lynn" (1850'1); "The Customs of New England "(1853); "Ecclesiastical History of New England" (2 vols., Boston, 1855'62); and various addresses.
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