Featured Artifact of the Week


An Astronomical Diary or Almanac from 1792. It was printed and sold by T. & J. Fleet in Boston, the only proprietor of Dr. Law’s Copy Right. Included are the expected descriptions of eclipses, weather patterns, and expected high tide, as well as court schedules and “vulgar notes.” The latter “notes” described the traditional determining for Easter, but often without descriptive tables. Printed on rag paper, notice the differing spellings and long S common into the nineteenth century.

The Almanac was originally owned by Westford’s Jonathan Keyes (1763-1828), who gave it to is daughter, Lydia (1792-1874). It eventually found its way to lawyer Charles Lewis Hildreth (1879-1968) in 1924. Hildreth transcribed most of the first page some time later. By the 2000s, it was possessed by the Atwood-Millett family.

Discolored Rag paper, string bound
4.25 x 7″