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Lucius R. Paige Papers, 1644-1881

Identifier: 021

Collection Overview

This collection contains manuscripts, town records, and hand drawn maps relating to Cambridge's early history as collected by Lucius R. Paige. Paige maintained hadwritten mnuscript drafts, correspondence and personal notebooks throughout his research period.

Series 1 contains the handwritten manuscript of Paige's book "History of Cambridge, 1630-1877". Each folder contians around 25 pages of his manuscript. The series also contains handwritten copies of county probate files, deeds, and early town records of Cambridge.

Series 2 contains letters written by correspondents of Paige on the subject of local church histories and genealogies of Cambridge families. Paige was very interested in the histories of the founding families of Cambridge, and compiled the information he received into his notes that are found in the genealogical section of his History of Cambridge. As he himself was a reverend, Paige also kept correspondence with churchgoers around Cambridge who knew the histories of their own churches. This series is a substantial part of the colleciton.

Series 3 contains documents related to the general history of Cambridge including hand written copies of Revolutionary War muster rolls, and Paige's personal endeavor to build a dike in Cambridge by his property. The Original Draft of the City Charter contains a handwritten manuscript of the Cambridge city charter with notations and edit marks in the columns. The Market House Records contain administrative records on the business of running a market house, including deeds and property documents while it was operating. The Cambridge Common, Town House, and Cambridge Bridge, records were donated by Charles Folsom in 1857. The records document Cambridge's growing need in the 19th Century for modern infrastructure to meet the demands of the populace.


  • 1644-1881
  • Majority of material found in 1874-1881


Access to Collection

This collection is open to research.

Conditions Governing Use

The materials in this collection are believed to be in the public domain. However, it is the responsibility of the researcher to understand and observe copyright law and to identify and satisfy the holders of all copyright. Questions concerning copyright and permission to publish should be directed to the Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections.


Rev. Lucius R. Paige was a Universalist minister, biblical scholar, historian, and public official. The youngest of nine children, he was born on March 2, 1802 to Timothy Paige and Mary (Robinson) Paige in Hardwick, Massachusetts.

As a young man, he read Hosea Ballou’s A Treatise on Atonement, which caused him to reject his parents Calvinist faith. In 1823 he wrote to Ballou describing the impact his work had on him, as a result he entered Ballou’s home in 1825 as a student. In 1825 he was settled and ordained in Springfield, Massachusetts where he remained for four years. He ministered for two years in Rockport before moving to Cambridge in 1832, succeeding Thomas Whittemore at the First Universalist Society.

Paige was married four times: first to Clarinda Richardson in 1826 by whom he had three children: Lucius R. Paige, Mary Jane Paige, and Henry Ballou Paige. His second wife was Abby Whittemore, sister of his colleague Thomas Whittemore. They had two children: a daughter Clarinda and a son Thomas Whittemore. He would marry Lucy Richardson in 1845 and Ann (Peck) Brigham in 1866.

Paige was heavily involved in town affairs, resulting in his resigning from the church in 1839. He served as Town Clerk from 1839-1840 and 1843-1846 and when Cambridge was incorporated, as City Clerk from 1846-1855. His public service continued with a career in banking until 1871 and as a representative in the Massachusetts legislature from 1878-1879.

He remained active in church affairs and preached occasionally for thirty years until failing health forced him to decline invitations. He suffered from bouts of illness over the years until dying in 1896 at the age of ninety-five. He is buried in Mount Auburn Cemetery.

References Massachusetts, Town and Vital Records, 1620-1988 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Operations, Inc., 2011.

“Lucius R. Paige”, last modified April 10, 2002,


2.5 Linear Feet

2.7 Cubic Feet

6 boxes (Legal Hollinger boxes)

1,500 Items

Language of Materials


Organization of Collection

Series 1: Book, History of Cambridge, Massachusetts: 1630-1877

Series 1.1: Manuscript

Series 1.2: Notebooks

Series 1.3: Research

Series 2: Correspondence, 1844-1881

Series 2.1: Church History, 1874-1876

Series 2.2: Cambridge Genealogy, 1844-1881

Series 3: Cambridge Historical Documents, 1812-1860

Series 3.1: Cambridge Common, Town House, and Cambridge Bridge, 1832-1857

Series 3.2: Cambridge Market House Records, 1812-1850

Series 3.3: Topical, 1854-1860

Approximately 1,500 items grouped alphabetically within series.

Custodial History

This collection was donated by Lucius R. Paige to the Cambridge Public Library on approximately 8 November 1891.

Processing Information

Processed by Alyssa Pacy in 2013 and Allyson Doyle in September 2016 under the supervision of Alyssa Pacy. EAD created by Allyson Doyle in September 2016 under the supervision of Alyssa Pacy.
Lucius R. Paige Papers, 1644-1881021
The collection was processed by Alyssa Pacy in 2013 and Allyson Doyle in October 2016 under the supervision of Alyssa Pacy. The EAD was created by Allyson Doyle under the supervision of Alyssa Pacy in October 2016.
October 1, 2016
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Repository Details

Part of the Cambridge Room, Cambridge Public Library Archives and Special Collections Repository

Cambridge Public Library
449 Broadway
Cambridge MA 02138 USA