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Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1784-1789
Volume 71, Preface 14   View pdf image (33K)
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xiv Introduction.

XLIII (No. 5 of the sub-series), in 1927 Volume XLV (No. 6 of the series),
in 1930 Volume XLVII (No. 7 of the sub-series), and in 1931 Volume LVIII
(No. 8 of the sub-series). This final volume of the series brought the printed
journal down to November 11, 1784.

The remaining unprinted manuscript materials pertinent to this sub-series
present a less unwieldy mass than the court records. The Proceedings of the
Governor and Council between November 1784 and December 1821 are found
at the Hall of Records, Annapolis, in eight folio volumes of approximately
3000 pages altogether. Four letterbooks containing out-letters of the council
over these same years have about 800 pages. This total of 3800 pages would
fill seven volumes of the Archives if the present format is followed.

In planning the future of the Archives the Publications Committee of the
Society recommended to the Director and Council that the Court Series be
discontinued as of Volume LXX (No. 15 of the Court Series) and that
publication of the Journal and Correspondence of the State Council, in abeyance
since the last volume appeared in 1931, be resumed. The committee arrived
at this decision after carefully considering the expressed needs of scholars as
well as possible alternative publication projects and their feasibility. In the first
place the approaching bicentennial of the American Revolution suggested the
appropriateness of publishing materials from the revolutionary period which
inevitably will be prominent among the interests of students in the field of early
American history in the immediate future. Secondly, the Revolution and the

early national period are patently under-represented in printed series based on

manuscript sources. Thirdly, the body of archival material pertinent to this
series could be edited and brought to publication within the foreseeable future,
say within a decade.

The decision to resurrect the sub-series, Journal and Correspondence of the
State Council, raised a problem of content, or more accurately raised anew this
ancient problem. For questions of content had cropped up almost as soon as
the editors began preparing text for the first two volumes of the Journal and
Correspondence (Volumes XVI and XXI of the Archives) and had never
ceased to plague the work. By 1924 it had become serious. Briefly, the editors
had in the beginning attempted a difficult combination of archival materials,
three altogether, into a single text. The basic text they chose was the Journal
of the State Council, the day by day minutes of proceedings, as recorded by
the clerk. Into this basic text they interpolated at appropriate dates the council's
out-letters as taken from the Letter Books, which contained copies of all the
Council's letters chronologically recorded by the clerk. This interpolation
proved not too difficult, because the letters were closely articulated to Council
decisions and ordinarily went out on the same or succeeding day. It was the
letters to the council—the in-letters—that created difficulties of several sorts.
In the first place, the in-letters were scattered: some were in the Rainbow
Series—particularly the Red Books; others were in bundles which had not
been examined since the Society acquired them in the 1880's. Secondly, some
were addressed to the Governor, others to the Council, and still others to the
Governor and Council. Finally, though the letters bore the date the writer


 

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Journal and Correspondence of the Council of Maryland, 1784-1789
Volume 71, Preface 14   View pdf image (33K)
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