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Mayor Frederick W. Mansfield collection

Identifier: 0240.001

Scope and Contents note

This series contains 10 boxes of scrapbooks, 1 box of ephemera (in box 11), and 1 box of framed certificates (in box 12). The only notable gaps in time between scrapbooks are August 13 1934 - September 29, 1934 and September 3, 1935 and October 8, 1935. Box 11 contains a guest book ranging from February 7, 1934 to January 31, 1938, four copies of speeches (1 inauguration speech, and 3 annual addresses), 2 pages of a copied newspaper article, and a pamphlet issued to attendees of the Frederick W. Mansfield inauguration. The guest book contains the signatures of visiting politicians, foreign dignitaries, and celebrities. Notable examples include Robert Ripley of Ripley's Believe it or Not (dated February 12, 1934), the Moulin Rouge Good Will Caravan, and numerous diplomats from China, Russia, and Japan. Box 12 contains three framed certificates: a citation from Saint Peters College to Frederick Mansfield thanking him for his service, a "Golden Jubilee Anniversary Greetings" given to Mr. and Mrs. Mansfield on their 50th anniversary, and a framed military certificate stating "Frederick W. Mansfield - U.S.S. Vulcan"; the ship in which he served as an apothecary during the Spanish American War.


  • Creation: 1934-1938


Biographical note

Frederick W. Mansfield, mayor of Boston from 1934-1937, led the city in the midst of the Great Depression. Though disadvantaged by a mounting welfare burden and rampant unemployment, Mansfield was able to bring about significant changes to Boston. Using the federal Works Progress Administration to the cities advantage he was able to bring about the Hunting Avenue subway extension, Huntington avenue underpass, and upgrades to various city parks. Additionally, the Mansfield administration saw to the construction of the City Hospital surgical building, reconstruction of Faneuil Hall, opening of seven new schools, and a reduction in the cities debt while modernizing the city accounting and auditing systems.

Often, Mansfield would take his political appeals to the radio where he would broadcast right out of the mayor's office in Old City hall. Though unsuccessful in reducing the bureaucracy that slowed city reform, he was very progressive in his ideals. He was a strong advocate for a sales tax on non-necessities and an increased focus on creating low-income housing instead of substandard housing, both of which became governmental standards.

Before his time as mayor, Mansfield was the first Democrat to be elected state treasurer in 1914. Additionally, he served 12 years on the State Judicial council and 29 years as counsel to the Boston Catholic Archdiocese. He remained a prominent member of the Boston political system until his death on November 6, 1958.


12.0 Cubic feet

Language of Materials


Guide to the Mayor Frederick W. Mansfield collection
Tom Keville
Language of description
Script of description
Code for undetermined script

Repository Details

Part of the City of Boston Archives Repository

201 Rivermoor St.
West Roxbury MA 02132 United States
617-635-1194 (Fax)