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Towpath Topics Middlesex Canal Association P.O. Box 333 Billerica, MA 01821 Volume 56 No. 2 February 2018

For a special treat we will be publishing in serial format, A Social History of the Middlesex Canal by MCA Honorary Director and Harvard Divinity School Emeritus, Alan Seaburg. Starting in this issue will be the preface, table of contents, and introduction. This major work has so far been available on-line, and we are thrilled he is making it available for inclusion in Towpath Topics.

A SOCIAL HISTORY OF THE MIDDLESEX CANAL ALAN SEABURG Curator of Manuscripts, Emeritus, Harvard Divinity School Library ILLUSTRATIONS BY THOMAS DAHILL Professor of Fine Art, Emeritus, Emerson College THE ANNE MINIVER PRESS History of American Transportation Publication 2017 Copyright @2017 Text by Anne Miniver Press and the “Murals” by Thomas Dahill. All rights reserved, which includes the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form whatsoever except as provided by the U. S. Copyright Law. For information about permission contact FOR Betty and Gerry Bigwood, Bill Gerber, Tom Raphael, Jean Potter, Russ Silva, Howard & Lenore Winkler, Neil Devins, J. Jeremiah Breen, Debra Fox, Robert Winters, Marlies Henderson, Alec Ingraham, Roger Hagopian, Traci Jansen, Shayne Reardon, and other Middlesex Canalers now held sacred in so many good memories CONTENTS INTRODUCTION - page 5 AMERICA’S FIRST MAJOR CANAL - page 10 Interlude One: The Canal 1803 and 1804 - page 22 THE PORT OF BOSTON AND THE MIDDLESEX CANAL - Page 24 Interlude Two: The Canal 1814 - page 55 AMERICAN SLAVERY AND THE MIDDLESEX CANAL - Page 58 Interlude Three: The Canal About 1820 - page 81 DICTIONARY OF MIDDLESEX CANAL BIOGRAPHY: A SAMPLER - page 84 Interlude Four: The Canal 1843 - page 221 Interlude Five: Harvard and the Canal - page 222 DAHILL’S MIDDLESEX CANAL MURALS - page 223

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