Mayor Josiah Quincy Jr. 
Served 1846-1848

"Born in Boston, January 17, 1802; died November 2, 1882; served as Mayor during 1846-1848.

At the time he took office, the city of Boston had passed through the transition period from town to city, not without many trials; but the city had gained in conveniences through various kinds of service and had prospered greatly notwithstanding several years of severe depression. Josiah Quincy, Jr., showed many of the characteristics of his distinguished father, the second Mayor of the city, and the same abounding energy.

His first inaugural was devoted to the question of water supply, and his clever presentation of the subject, his energy in obtaining the cooperation of his associates in the government and action by the legislature, had the result that in a few months after his inauguration ground was broken for the beginning of what later became known as the Cochituate water supply, the name being given to Long Pond near Framingham. Three years later, the actual introduction of water from Lake Cochituate to Boston Common was celebrated as a great public event.

During the first term, Mayor Quincy had effected an organization of the police force and appointed as city marshal Francis Tukey who made a name for himself as an efficient officer, although he had but a very small force at his command. The license question continued to agitate the city government. The Board of Aldermen refused to issue licenses for the sale of intoxicating liquors. Still the mayor was elected for a third term.

Under Josiah Quincy, Jr., the question of making extensive sales of land owned by the city came up. Authorization was obtained for filling a part of the marsh lands on the easterly side of the "Neck," known as the South Bay. Here large tracts of land were graded and made ready for sale. Before he retired from office, Mayor Quincy signed contracts for the building of the Suffolk County Jail on Cambridge and Charles Streets. Among the reforms which took place in the school system under Mayor Quincy was the abolition of the so-called double-headed system of school supervision.

In his last inaugural, Mayor Quincy called attention to the habit of citizens of escaping taxation by moving into the country by the first of May. He said, 'Some of our wealthiest citizens, from their interests in agriculture or other reasons, find it convenient to leave the city in the month of April.' The custom originated long before Boston became a city. Mayor Quincy's plan for circumventing this evasion of taxes was to change the time of assessment on personal property. The law of 1852 was expected to accomplish this end, but the hope was vain, for the wealthy found other means of escaping taxes."


Josiah Quincy Jr, Boston Mayor 1846-1848
Josiah Quincy Jr.


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