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Board of Trustees - Former Trustees
John Prescott Bigelow
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Drawing of John Bigelow Spacer graphic

Trustee of the Boston Public Library, 1852-1868. Born 1797 in Groton, MA; died 1872 in his Boston residence. A veteran Massachusetts politician by the time he served as Boston’s mayor from 1849-1851, John P. Bigelow witnessed and participated in the formation and development of the Public Library. Through his support, City and private funding as well as material donations were encouraged during his mayoral term. Upon leaving public life, he was elected to the Board of Trustees as one of its first citizen members. The first fund received by the Library for acquiring books was the Bigelow Fund, which was established through his contribution to the fledgling Library of monies raised for a testimonial to recognize his efforts during an 1849 cholera outbreak in Boston.

Sources:
Green, Samuel A. Groton Historical Series, vol. 3. Cambridge, MA: University Press, J. Wilson and Son, 1887-1899, p. 254.
Kestenbaum, Lawrence. “Index of Politicians: Bigelow”, The Politicial Graveyard: A Database of Historic Cemeteries [online database] at http://politicalgraveyard.com/bio/bigelow.html .
Wadlin, Horace G. The Public Library of the City of Boston: A History. Boston: Trustees of the Boston Public Library, 1911.

Illustration: "John P. Bigelow", engraving, from Massachusetts Political Archive, Print Department