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Thomas Prince

Prince, Thomas, 1687–1758, American clergyman, scholar, and historian, b. Sandwich, Mass., grad. Harvard, 1709. From 1709 to 1717 he was abroad; he studied in London and preached at a Congregationalist chapel in Suffolk. Returning (1717) to Massachusetts, he became copastor (1718) of Old South Church in Boston, a position he held until his death. He bequeathed to his church his large and excellent library; during the British occupation of Boston, some of the volumes were destroyed, but the many books and manuscripts that were preserved are now in the Boston Public Library. Prince published a number of sermons, A Vade Mecum for America: A Companion for Traders and Travelers (1732), and Psalms, Hymns & Spiritual Songs … the New England Psalm-Book Revised and Improved (1758), but he is best remembered for his informative Chronological History of New England (Vol. I, 1736; Vol. II entitled Annals of New England, 1755). Designed by its author to cover the years 1602 to 1730, the annals are carried only to Aug. 5, 1633. An edition of his history published in 1852 has a memoir of Prince by S. G. Drake.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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