ALLEN FRENCH-RUTH WHEELER COLLECTION OF PAPERS AND DOCUMENTS RELATING PRIMARILY TO CONCORD, MASS., 1668-1852
Military orders from the Barrett papers
Permission to reproduce this image in any form must be obtained from the Curator of Special Collections, Concord Free Public Library.
Vault A45, French, Unit 3
EXTENT: .42 linear feet (1 container).
ORGANIZATION: Four series: I. Government and organizational documents and records, 1730-1819; II. Barrett family papers, 1764-1850; III. Wheeler family papers, 1719-1849; IV. Other Concord family and personal papers, 1668-1852.
BIOGRAPHIES: Allen French (1870-1946) was an author, historian, antiquarian, lecturer, and resident of Concord, Mass. He was a prolific writer of juvenile stories for serial and book publication and of historical fiction, as well as of studies of Colonial, Revolutionary, and Concord history. His historical titles include The Siege of Boston (1911), Old Concord (1915), The Day of Concord and Lexington (1925), A British Fusilier in Revolutionary Boston (1926), and The First Year of the American Revolution (1934). His guidebook Historic Concord was first issued as a pamphlet in 1924 by the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company, republished in revised and expanded form in 1942, later reissued. French was a deacon and Sunday school superintendent at the First Parish in Concord, vice president and president of the Concord Antiquarian Society, member (1909-1946) and long-time chairman of the Library Committee of the Concord Free Public Library, member of the Social Circle in Concord from 1919 until his death, founding member and vice president of the Thoreau Society, member of the Saturday Club and Dramatic Club in Concord and, beyond the town, of the Harvard Club, Massachusetts Historical Society, Colonial Society of Massachusetts, New England Historic Genealogical Society, American Antiquarian Society, and Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities.
Concord historian and author Ruth Robinson Wheeler (1890-1973) was Allen French’s junior colleague and successor as collector, preserver, and interpreter of the town’s documentary heritage. Born in Watertown, Mass., she became a permanent resident of Concord in 1916, when she married Concord farmer Caleb Wheeler. The Wheelers made their home in the Thoreau birthplace on Virginia Road. Mrs. Wheeler was an active member of Concord boards and committees from the late 1920s. She was the author of Our American Mile (1957), Concord, Climate for Freedom (1967), and numerous articles on Concord history, houses, and people. Research on the North Bridge area for Minute Man National Historical Park resulted in the 1964 typescript North Bridge Neighbors; work on Concord houses led to the Wheeler House File in the Concord Free Public Library Special Collections. Ruth Wheeler was news editor for the Concord Journal and a founder and officer of The Thoreau Society. Committed to the preservation of Walden Pond, she served on the Society’s Save Walden Committee in 1957. In 1970 she received Concord's Honored Citizen Award. She was also a member of the Concord Antiquarian Society and of the First Parish Church in Concord.
SCOPE AND CONTENT: Papers, records, and documents, 1668-1852, most generated by Concord, Mass. individuals or families or otherwise relating to Concord, collected by Allen French and given for research purposes by French and (after his death) by his family to Ruth Wheeler. The collection includes a number of printed Massachusetts documents of the Revolutionary period, some Concord town records, and a major accumulation of Barrett family papers.
Series I. Government and organizational documents and records, 1730-1819: Records and documents, 1730-1819, generated by the Continental Congress and the federal government, by the colony and later the state of Massachusetts, by the local government of Concord, and by one organization (the Middlesex Convention for Suppressing Violations of the Lord’s Day) in which Concord people were involved. Continental Congress/United States material (all printed) includes a broadside outlining the non-importation agreement of 1774 and a pamphlet printing of the treaties between America and Great Britain between 1783 and 1814. Massachusetts material (also all printed) consists of "An Act for forming and regulating the Militia within the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay" (1776) and twelve troop requisitions (1776-1781). Concord material (all manuscript) includes a list of the Proprietors of Concord Village (1730), a receipt from the Rev. John Whiting to Constable John Heartwell for the payment of Whiting’s salary (1732), an order to Surveyor of Highways Nehemiah Ball to discount Daniel Barrett's highway taxes for 1815, and two Surveyor of Highways record books (one Nehemiah Ball’s and one Nehemiah Hunt’s, dated 1817 and 1819, respectively). The Middlesex Convention for Suppressing Violations of the Lord’s Day material consists of a single item, the Convention’s printed proceedings (1814).
Series II. Barrett family papers, 1764-1850: Papers, 1764-1850 (arranged chronologically), of several generations of Barretts. Members of the family represented include: Daniel Barrett; Humphrey Barrett; James Barrett; John Barrett; Mary Barrett; "Mother Barrett" and her daughters Sukey, Mary, and Lucy; James Barrett’s son Nathan Barrett (1735-1791) and Nathan’s son Nathan (1763-1829); Nathan H. Barrett; Peter Barrett; and Stephen Barrett. The papers of the two Nathans comprise the bulk of the series. Other names represented in the Barrett papers: John Appleton; John Beatton; William Bowers; William F. Brazer; Eleazer Brooks; Jonas Buttrick; Samuel Buttrick; Willard Buttrick; Francis Faulkner; John Flint; William Frothingham; John Handley; Gershom Heald; Samuel Hoar; Jesse Hosmer; Nehemiah Hunt; Simon Hunt, Jr.; Isaac Hurd; Francis Jarvis; James Minot; Francis Moore; Jonathan Palmer; Phinehas Wheeler; Edward Wright; and Jonathan Wright. Among the material types in the series are deeds (including a deed for the sale of a young slave by James Barrett to Francis Moore of Cambridge), receipts, military orders, correspondence, an estate inventory, a stock certificate (Union Turnpike Corporation), a commission, copies of votes at Concord town meeting, and an indenture of apprenticeship. Series also includes an undated account of Barrett family history and role in the Concord Fight.
Series III. Wheeler family papers, 1719-1849: Papers, 1719-1849 (arranged chronologically), of multiple generations of Wheelers. Members of the family represented: Abiel H. Wheeler; David Wheeler; Ebenezer Wheeler; Edward Wheeler; Ephraim Wheeler; Henry A. Wheeler; Jonathan Wheeler; Samuel Wheeler; and Timothy Wheeler. Other names represented in the papers: Joseph Barrett; Reuben Brown, Jr.; William Brown; Jacob Davis; John Farrar; Clark Gibbs; John Heald; Samuel Heywood; Joshua Jones; John Merriam; Samuel Merriam; and Roxalania Wellington. Material types include estate papers (of Samuel Wheeler, d. 1717 Dec. 20), deeds, and appointments to guardianship.
Series IV. Other Concord family and personal papers, 1668-1852: Papers,1668-1852, generated or accumulated by Concord individuals and families other than Barrett and Wheeler. Items are arranged alphabetically by personal or family name and chronologically within each name. The following names provide the framework for arranging papers in the series: Ball; Beatton; Blood; Buttrick; Hartwell; Hayward; Hubbard; Hunt; Keyes; Kossuth (the Hungarian patriot, who visited Concord 1852 May 7); Prescott; Sanderson; Woolley; and Wright. Other names represented in the papers: Adams; Baldwin; Barrett; Borland; Bowman; Flatt; Hallett; Hardy; Hoar; Hurd; Johnson; Melven; Minott; Perry; Sanderson; Stearns; Stow; and Wheeler. Among the various material types represented in the series are deeds, a will, a summons, a demand note, an obligation bond, a bill of sale, and promissory notes.
PROVENANCE: Acquired by Allen French over time from multiple sources, including Goodspeed’s Book Shop, Boston. Passed by French and his heirs to Ruth Wheeler.
SOURCE OF ACQUISITION: Presented by Ruth Wheeler to the Concord Free Public Library, 1965.
ASSOCIATED MATERIALS: Multiple collections of manuscript papers and records and printed holdings in the Concord Free Public Library Special Collections dovetail with material in the French-Wheeler collection. The library also has significant holdings of the working papers of Allen French and of Ruth Wheeler. Consult Special Collections staff for more information.
PROCESSED BY: LPW (preliminary sorting by Bette Aschaffenburg); finding aid completed November 8, 2003.
SERIES I. GOVERNMENT AND ORGANIZATIONAL DOCUMENTS AND RECORDS, 1730-1819:
Continental Congress/United States, 1774-1814:
The Association, Agreed upon by the Grand American Continental Congress [printed broadside outlining non-importation agreement] (Boston: Edes and Gill, 1774).
All the Treaties Between the United States and Great-Britain; from the Definitive Treaty of Peace, Signed at Paris, 1783; to the Treaty of Peace, Signed at Ghent, 1814. Published by Order of the House of Representatives of Massachusetts (Boston: Printed by E.G. House, 1815). Nathan Barrett’s copy, with his signature on the title-page.
"An Act for forming and regulating the Militia within the Colony of the Massachusetts-Bay, in New-England, and for repealing all the Laws heretofore made for that Purpose." Pages 15-22 detached from Massachusetts Acts and Resolves, 1776, covered with a sheet of newspaper and stitched.
In the Year of Our Lord One Thousand Seven Hundred and Seventy Six. An Act for providing a Reinforcement to the American Army … (Boston: Printed by Edes & Gill). 4 p. Inscribed in ink on p. 4: "Chief Military Officer / Concord."
In the House of Representatives, July 10th, 1776 … [resolves relating to the raising of two regiments].  p. Inscribed in ink on p. 2: "For Majr. / Barrett Concord."
… on the 30th Day of November, A.D. 1776. A Resolve for amending and explaining a late Act of the General Assembly of this State, intitled "An Act for providing a Reinforcement to the American Army." Broadside. Inscribed in ink on the blank verso: "For the Town of Concord."
State of Massachusetts-Bay. In the House of Representatives, April 20, 1778. Resolve for filling up and compleating the fifteen battalions of Continental troops, directed to be raised in the State of Massachusetts-Bay …  p.
State of Massachusetts-Bay. In the House of Representatives, April 20, 1778 … [resolves relating to provision of 1,300 militia "to fortify and secure the Passes of the North-River]. Broadside.
State of Massachusetts-Bay. In the House of Representatives, June 10, 1778 … [resolves relating to the provision of 1,800 men].  p.
State of Massachusetts-Bay. In the House of Representatives, June 8, 1779 … [resolves relating to the raising of 800 men]. 2 p.
State of Massachusetts-Bay. In the House of Representatives. June 9, 1779 … [resolves relating to the raising of 2,000 men].  p.
State of Massachusetts-Bay. In the House of Representatives, October 9, 1779 … [resolves relating to the raising of 2,000 men]. 3 p.
State of Massachusetts-Bay. In the House of Representatives, June 23, 1780 … [resolves relating to the request by General Washington for 5,117 men]. Broadside.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In the House of Representatives, June 16, 1781 … [resolves relating to the raising of 500 men]. Broadside.
Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In the House of Representatives, June 30, 1781 … [resolves relating to the raising of 2,700 men].  p. Inscribed in ink on p. : "These Certify that the Insertion of the Word Three in / Writing was done by Order of the General Court / Attest John Avery Secy." The printed word "four" in the text of the first resolve is crossed through and above it, in manuscript, is written "three."
Manuscript list of Proprietors of Concord Village (1730 Sept. 4), "A True Copie taken out of Concord village proprietors Book".
Receipt, John Whiting to John Heartwell, Constable, for payment of salary (1732 Oct. 11[?]).
Order to discount Daniel Barrett’s highway taxes for 1815, "he having overworked [the] sum in the year 1814, when he was Surveyor of highways," Abiel Heywood to Nehemiah Ball, Surveyor of Highways for 1817 (1818 Mar. 20).
Manuscript record book, "Mr. Nehemiah Ball, Surveyor of Highways, 1817" (payments of highway tax for 1817, with addenda dated 1818).
Manuscript record book for 1819 of Surveyor of Highways Nehemiah Hunt.
Middlesex Convention for Suppressing Violations of the Lord’s Day:
Proceedings of the Middlesex Convention for Suppressing Violations of the Lord’s Day: The Laws of Massachusetts, and Report of the Legislature on the Sabbath: Directions to Tithingmen and Others, How to Proceed in Executing the Laws: And an Address to the Public. Published by Order of the Convention (Andover: Printed by Flagg and Gould, 1814).
SERIES II. BARRETT FAMILY PAPERS, 1764-1850:
1764-1779, plus undated items:
Manuscript account ( p.) of Barrett family history and role in the Concord Fight (undated).
"A List of Those Parsons [persons] that Have Fence to make in Nathan Barrett’s Land for Great Meadow … A True Copy att. Jonas Heywood Clerk" (undated). Jonas Heywood was Concord Town Clerk 1755-1759 and again 1762-1770.
Indenture of apprenticeship, Gershom Heald (son of Eleazer Heald "Late of Concord") to Nathan Barrett, with the consent of Heald’s guardian Jonathan Palmer, 1764 Jan. 24.
Deed, Nehemiah Hunt to Nathan Barrett, for property in the northerly part of Concord, 1764 Apr. 14.
Receipt for payments by Nathan Barrett, "one of the Constables of Concord for 1765," to John Beatton, Town Treasurer, 1766 Feb. 28.
Agreement between Humphrey Barrett and Nathan Barrett regarding "division of fence, " 1766 [1767?] Apr. 27.
Deed, James Barrett to Francis Moore (of Cambridge), for "a negro boy named Philop, seven years of age," 1772 Feb. 10.
Military orders, Lieut. Col. Francis Faulkner to Maj. Nathan Barrit [Barrett], Acton, 1778 Mar. 21[?].
Military orders, Col. Eleazer Brooks to Major [Nathan] Barret [Barrett], Lincoln, 1778 Sept. 9.
Deed, Willard Buttrick to Nathan Barrett, for property in northerly part of Concord, 1779 Feb. 24.
Military orders, Commanding Officer Francis Faulkner to Maj. Nathan Barret [Barrett], Acton, 1779 May 12.
Military orders, Col. Francis Faulkner [to Maj. Nathan Barrett], Acton, 1779 Aug. 31.
Military orders, Col. Francis Faulkner to Col. Nathan Barrit [Barrett], Acton, 1780 Dec. 9.
Military orders, Col. Francis Faulkner to Lieut. Col. Nathan Barritt [Barrett], Acton, 1781 Apr. 10.
Military orders, Commanding Officer Francis Faulkner to Col. Nathan Barrit [Barrett], Acton, 1781 July 9.
Order to pay, Nathan Barrett for Peter Barrett to pay John Flint, 1783 Mar. 4.
ALS, Nathan Barrett, Jun. to "Honoured parrents," Barrettstown [Maine], 1788 June 1.
ALS, Nathan Barrett, Jun. to "Honoured parrents, Barrettstown [Maine], 1789 July 5.
Order to submit bill for "stone &c. we have had of you for the Goal [i.e. Gaol] yard," Committee for Building the Gaol to Col. Nathan Barrett, 1790 Sept. 10.
Estate inventory (personal property) of Nathan Barrett (1791).
Deed, committee appointed to "give sufficient titles to those persons who should purchase the new pews that should be built in the [First Parish] meeting house … after the same is altered and repaired" to Nathan Barrett, for pew No. 42, 1791 Dec. 1.
Deed, Samuel Buttrick to Nathan Barrett, for property in northerly part of Concord, 1796 Jan. 9.
Deed, John Handley (of Acton) to Stephen Barrett and Nathan Barrett, for property in Acton, 1802 Mar. 29.
Manuscript list of personal property divided between "mother Barrett" and her three daughters "Sukey, marey, & Lucey Barrett," 1802 Aug. 17.
Deed, Phinehas Wheeler and Jonas Buttrick to Nathan Barrett, for property in the southwesterly part of Concord, 1803 Nov. 28.
Deed, James Minot to Nathan Barrett, for property in the southwesterly part of Concord, 1804 Mar. 31.
Printed stock certificate with manuscript additions for share No. 263 of the Union Turnpike Corporation, made out to William Bowers , 1805 Jan. 1, and transferred by sale to Nathan Barrett, 1807 Mar. 7.
Receipt (printed with manuscript additions), Union Turnpike Corporation to Nathan Barrett, for payment of assessment on share No. 263, 1809 Dec. 14.
Official copy of vote at Concord town meeting, 1810 Apr. 2, at which Nathan Barrett was appointed a member of a committee formed to consider the possibility of town assistance toward building a bridge "over the river near Col. Roger Brown’s clothiershop." Addressed to Nathan Barrett.
Official copy of vote at Concord town meeting, 1812 May 4, at which Nathan Barrett was appointed a member of a committee formed to "rebuild the North bridge, near the rev. Mr. Ripley’s house." Addressed to Nathan Barrett.
Deed, John Barrett to Daniel Barrett, for property in the northerly part of Concord, 1812 Dec. 19.
Commission of Nathan Barrett to Assistant Assessor "for the Assessment district composed of the Towns of Concord, Lincoln, Acton, Boxborough, Stow, Sudbury, and East Sudbury … ," by John Appleton, "Principal Assessor for the tenth Assessment, district of the State of Massachusetts," 1814 Jan. 15.
ALS (headed "Circular"), John Appleton to Nathan Barrett, Cambridge, 1814 Jan. 15, regarding Barrett’s responsibilities as Assistant Assessor "for the 4th Section of the tenth Massachusetts district."
ALS, Samuel Hoar, "Principal Assessor for the tenth district State of Massachusetts," to Nathan Barrett, directing Barrett to "enquire after … all lands, lots of ground with their improvements, dwelling homes and slaves … and after the value of all household furniture, and the number of gold and silver watches … ," Lincoln, 1815 Apr. 5.
ALS, Samuel Hoar, "Principal Assessor for the tenth district in the State of Massachusetts," to Nathan Barrett, authorizing compensation to Barrett for his services as Assistant Assessor, Concord, 1815 June 21.
Deed, Isaac Hurd (of Billerica) to Nathan Barrett, for property in the southeasterly part of Carlisle, 1816 Feb. 7.
Deed, Daniel Barrett to Francis Jarvis, for property in the southeasterly part of Carlisle, 1816 Dec. 13.
Deed, Simon Hunt, Jr. (of Boston) to Nathan Barrett, for property in Concord, 1817 Sept. 10.
Deed, Edward Wright as Administrator of the estate of Jonathan Wright, to Nathan Barrett, for property in the southerly part of Acton, 1818 July 20.
Deed, Daniel Barrett to William Frothingham, for property in the northeasterly part of Concord, 1819 Jan. 23.
ALS, Nathan Barrett, Jun. to Nathan Barrett, Camden [Maine], 1819 June 19.
Deed, William F. Brazer (of Groton) to Nathan Barrett and Moses Pritchard, for property in the northerly part of Concord, 1822 Feb. 18.
Deed, Jesse Hosmer to Nathan Barrett, for property in the westerly part of Concord, 1825 Mar. 23.
ALS, Mary Barrett to grandson Nathan H. Barrett (his address given as Cambridge, Mass.), Concord, 1850 July 2. (Includes reference to plan for new courthouse and John S. Keyes’s intention of building opposite it.)
SERIES III. WHEELER FAMILY PAPERS, 1719-1849:
Itemization, with appraisals, of real estate of Samuel Wheeler "Late of Concord," 1719 Dec. 5. (Wheeler died 1717 Dec. 20.)
Request by heirs of Samuel Wheeler to appoint Edward and Ebenezer Wheeler administrators of Wheeler’s estate, 1720 Apr. 27.
Appointment of a committee (John Heald, Joseph Barret [Barrett], Samuel Haywood [Heywood], John Merriam [Meriam], and Samuel Merriam [Meriam], all of Concord) to divide Samuel Wheeler’s estate among his heirs, 1720 May 9.
Itemization of the division of Samuel Wheeler’s real estate, 1720 June 15.
Deed, Clark Gibbs (of Rutland, Worcester County) to John Farrar, David Wheeler, and Timothy Wheeler, Jun., for property in Holden (Worcester County), 1750 Dec. 18.
Deed, Timothy Wheeler to Ephraim Wheeler, for "one Quarter part of all my Right Title and Interest in all my lands Lying In Holden," 1769 Mar. 13 (not recorded in Worcester until 1797 May 22).
Deed, Joshua Jones to Ephraim Wheeler, for property in the northerly part of Concord, 1810 Oct. 5.
Appointment of Ephraim Wheeler as guardian of Roxalania Wellington, 1811 Apr. 10.
Appointment of Ephraim Wheeler as guardian of his son Jonathan Wheeler, 1813 Apr. 14.
Deed, Reuben Brown, Jr. as administrator of the estate of William Brown to Ephraim Wheeler, for property in Holden (Worcester County), 1827 Jan. 12.
Account itemizing purchases made by Ephraim Wheeler of Jacob Davis, 1827-1828.
Deed, Abiel H. Wheeler to Henry A. Wheeler for property in Concord (including parcels near Walden Pond and Fairhaven Bay), 1849 Dec. 22.
SERIES IV. OTHER CONCORD FAMILY AND PERSONAL PAPERS, 1668-1852:
Deed, Daniel Hoar, Jr. to Nathanael [Nathaniel] Ball, for "my full right and title to and in the one third part both as to quantity and quality of a sixty one right in Concord Village or new Grant lying in the Northerly part of Concord," 1733/4 Mar. 1.
Deed, Elizabeth Woolley to Nathaniel Ball, for property in the easterly part of Concord, 1736 June 12.
Will of John Beatton, 1776 May 17, probated 1776 June 26. (Beatton died 1776 June 9.)
Award of sawmill to John Blood, 1760 Apr. 15.
Deed, Nathaniel Stearns to Willard Buttrick, for property in the Great Meadows in Concord, 1773 Jan. 18.
Agreement of John Buttrick to build a fence between his and Nathan Barrett’s land, 1830[?] Oct. 23.
Deed, William Hardy to Ebenezer Hartwell, for property ("swamp for ye most part") in Concord, 1700 Dec. 10.
Deed, Samuel Hartwell to John Hartwell, for property (meadow) in the northerly part of Concord, 1729/30 Jan. 20.
Summons to John Hartwell (of Concord) and Timothy Hartwell (of Bedford), executors of the estate of John Hartwell (of Bedford), to court in Cambridge for failure to pay John Perry (of Lexington) for "husbandry work," 1748 Apr. 29.
Deed, Robert Melven to John Hartwell, for property in the northerly part of Concord, 1752. Lower half of deed (including full date) missing.
ALS, George Hayward to "Honored Sir," regarding nonappearance in court, "6.1.68."
Quitclaim deed, Joseph Hubbard to Edward Wheeler, for right-of-way over Hubbard’s property in the southerly part of Concord "on ye westerly side of Sudbury old Road near to … muddy meadow," 1712 Mar. 25.
Statement by Joseph Hunt of Jonas Minott, Jr.’s ineligibility for military duty for medical reasons, 1790 Sept. 28.
Statement by Joseph Hunt and Isaac Hurd of Joseph Minott, Jr.’s ineligibility for military duty for medical reasons, 1803 July 29.
Signature of John Keyes as Justice of the Peace on a statement of the legality of Elisabeth B. Hallett’s signature on a document, 1825 Jan. 1.
Kossuth (Hungarian patriot):
Printed demand note for contribution to Hungarian Fund, signed by Louis Kossuth, 1852 Feb. (Kossuth visited Concord 1852 May 7.)
Obligation bond, William Johnson promising Abel Prescott to vacate a house owned by Prescott, 1741 Jan. 18.
Bill of sale, Peter Prescott to Abel Prescott, for a chest of drawers and a chamber table "of Black Walnutt," 1755 June 26.
Deed, Charles Prescott to Abel Prescott, for property (plowland) in the easterly part of Concord, 1758 Jan. 10.
Deed, Charles Prescott to John Borland (of Cambridge), for property in the southwesterly part of Concord ("Woodland Plowland Pasture land and Orcharding & mowing land"), 1770 June 19.
Deed, Ebenezer and Rosanna Bowman (of Oakham, Worcester County) to Abel Prescott, for "all the right, title & interest which we … have in & unto all or any part of the lands, tenements & hereditaments which John Beatton … deceased … seized & possessed … in said Concord or elsewhere," 1791 Mar.
Deed, James Flatt (of North Carolina) to Abel Prescott, for "all my right, title & interest
… as heir at law … to the real or personal estate which John Beatton late of Concord … seized or possessed … situate[d] in Concord," 1792 May 5.
Declaration for assessment purposes (printed slip with manuscript additions) by Capt. Henry Sanderson of one silver watch (undated).
Promissory note, Samuel Woolley to Joseph Stow, 1727 June 2.
Deed, John Adams (of Acton) to Jonathan Wright, for property in the southerly part of Acton, 1804 Jan. 4.
Name unidentified [signature cut from document as collectible?]:
Promissory note, [name unidentified] to James F. Baldwin, Cambridge, 1817 Mar. 6.
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