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Cambridge, Mass. Second Church covenant, 1739.

 Collection
Identifier: RG0833

Scope and Contents

This collection contains the original covenant of the Second Church in Cambridge. The covenant was created during the formation of the church in 1739 and includes the tenants that would be upheld by members of the church and a list of names of the original members.

Dates

  • 1739

Creator

Restrictions on Access

Access to this collection is unrestricted and open to the public.

Restrictions on Use

Items in this collection are subject to U.S. Copyright Law. It is the responsibility of the researcher to determine the copyright status of collection items and to secure any permissions necessary for their reproduction and publication. Requests for permission to publish material must be discussed with the archivist or librarian.
Digital Reproductions are protected by copyright and/or related rights. You are free to use the Digital Reproductions in any way that is permitted by the copyright and related rights legislation that applies to your use. In addition, no permission is required from the Congregational Library & Archives for educational uses. For other uses, you need to obtain permission from the Congregational Library & Archives. For additional information regarding copyright, please consult the Congregational Library & Archives' Digital Collections Copyright & Use policy.

Historical Note

The town of Arlington, Massachusetts, was originally a village within the boundaries of Cambridge named Menotomy, an Algonquin word meaning "swift running water." In 1725, citing the long distance required to attend worship services, a group of parishioners from the First Church of Christ in Cambridge requested that a precinct be formed in Menotomy so that a new church could be gathered. This initial request was denied. Subsequent requests were brought to the General Court and in 1732 they ruled that Menotomy would become the Norwest Precinct of Cambridge. Construction on the first meetinghouse was completed in 1734. In 1735 the search for a permanent minister was begun; the search did not end until 1739 when Rev. Samuel Cook agreed to become the first minister. With Rev. Cook installed, the church was formally gathered on September 9, 1739.

In 1805 the second meeting house was constructed. Two years later, in 1805, Manotomy village was incorporated as the independent town of West Cambridge. In 1829 the church called Rev. Frederick Hodge, a Unitarian. In the wake of Hodge’s installation, some members left the parish on order to form the Pleasant Street Congregational Church. In 1833 there was a parish meeting where a resolution to designate the church as Universalist was introduced and passed. The following week, another meeting took place and the previous resolution was overturned. The split in the parish led to those advocating a conversion to Universalism leaving the parish to form their own church. The third meeting house was constructed in 1840. That meeting house was destroyed in a fire on January 1, 1855. Construction on the fourth meeting house was completed that same year. The meeting house drew on Victorian architectural design and included a steeple; the town paid for the steeple to include, in its design, a clock with four faces.

In 1867 the town of West Cambridge was renamed to Arlington; at that time the name of the church was changed to First Congregational Church in Arlington. Throughout the latter half of the nineteenth-century, and well into the twentieth century, the parish community was largely split between conservative and progressive factions; this resulted in the short ministerial services of a number of pastors during this time. In 1961 the Unitarian and Universalist denominations merged. As a result, First Church and the Universalist church, which had split from First in 1833, began to talk of reuniting the churches. That merge happened in 1965 and the church was renamed to the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church. In 1975 the fourth meeting house was destroyed in a fire. The fifth, and final, meeting house, was constructed shortly thereafter.

The First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Arlington continues to serve the local community today.

Extent

1 Folder

Language of Materials

English

Abstract

In 1725, citing the long distance required to attend worship services, a group of parishioners from the First Church of Christ in Cambridge requested that a precinct be formed in Menotomy village, now Arlington. This request was granted in 1732 and the Second Church of Cambridge was formaly gathered in 1739. This collection contains the original covenant of the Second Church in Cambridge. which was created during the formation of the church.

Technical Requirements

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Acquisition Information

No acquisition information is available for this collection.

Accruals

Additional accruals are expected for this collection in the form of full-text transcription. There is no anticipated date for this accrual.

Bibliography

Shriver, Diane Taraz. "On This Corner." Sermon presented at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, Arlington, MA, February 7, 2016. http://www.firstparish.info/PDFDownloads/history/on_this_corner_sermon.pdf.

Shriver, Diane Taraz. "Opening the Doors." Sermon presented at the First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church, Arlington, MA, May 7, 2017. http://www.firstparish.info/PDFDownloads/history/opening_the_doors_sermon.pdf.

Processing Information

Processed by Zachary Bodnar, April 2019, using DACS Second Edition.
Title
Cambridge, Mass. Second Church covenant, 1739.
Status
Completed
Author
Zachary Bodnar
Date
2019-04-30
Description rules
Dacs2 2013
Language of description
Undetermined
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
English

Repository Details

Part of the Congregational Library & Archives Repository

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