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Mayor Harrison Gray Otis 
Served 1829-1831

"Born in Boston October 8, 1765; died October 28, 1848; served as Mayor during 1829-1831.

From early manhood, Mr. Otis had been prominent in public affairs. In his first inaugural address, he recommended the establishment of railroad communication with the Hudson river. His administration was not remarkable for any extension of municipal activities. Rather, his incumbency marked a period of retrenchment made necessary by general financial conditions. There had been a decline in the valuation of assessed property, and the City of Boston, which counted a population of over sixty-one thousand at the census of 1830, suffered from a depression that Mayor Otis attributed to 'over-capitalization in manufactures.'

On his recommendation, the Old State House was renovated in order to provide accommodations for the Mayor, Aldermen, Common Council and other officials. They took possession on September 17, 1830, the two hundredth anniversary of the settlement of the town. Former Mayor Josiah Quincy, who meanwhile had become president of Harvard College, delivered the address of the day.

During the preceding administrations the city government had been housed in the Old Stone Court House on School street. On the initiative of Mayor Otis, during the last year of his administration, the General Court passed an act which vested all the property of Suffolk County in the City of Boston. Thereafter Boston was to provide and maintain all the county buildings and to pay the county charges.

If the administration of Mayor Otis was not remarkable for any special advance in municipal government, he must be said to have fully maintained the standards set by Mayor Quincy."


Harrison Gray Otis, Boston Mayor From 1829 To 1831
Harrison Gray Otis
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