Annotation / Notes: This ambitious work reconstructs with admirable detail the biographies of the 1,445 legislators who served between 1635 and 1789. In addition to collecting the normal information expected in this type of work, the authors searched for such important additional factors as family background, marital connections, public and private career, as well as wealth during one's lifetime at death. Considering that family ties were often an important aspect of political advancement in the colonial era, this information is especially useful. The full potential of this approach can be seen in the entry for Samuel Chase (Vol. I, pp. 214-216), although most biographies are not as complete, especially for those who were in the legislature in the earlier period.