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Title: The Bay State Monthly — Volume 1, No. 2, February, 1884
Author: Various
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bay State Monthly — Volume 1, No. 2, February, 1884" ***

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[Illustration: Alex H. Rice.]


A Massachusetts Magazine.


       *       *       *       *       *


By Daniel B. Hagar, Ph.D.

[Principal of the State Normal School, Salem.]

Massachusetts merchants have been among the most prominent men in
the nation through all periods of its history. From the days of John
Hancock down to the present time they have often been called by their
fellow-citizens to discharge the duties of the highest public offices.
Hancock was the first governor of the State. In the list of his
successors, the merchants who have distinguished themselves by honorable
and successful administrations occupy prominent places. Conspicuous
among them stands the subject of this sketch.

Alexander Hamilton Rice, a son of Thomas Rice, Esq., a well-known
manufacturer of paper, was born in Newton Lower Falls, Massachusetts,
August 30, 1818. He received his early education in the public schools
of his native town and in the academies of the Reverend Daniel Kimball,
of Needham, and Mr. Seth Davis, of Newton, a famous teacher in his
day, who is still living, in vigorous health, at the venerable age of
ninety-seven years. As a boy, young Rice was cheery, affectionate, and
thoughtful, and a favorite among his companions. His earliest ambition
was to become a Boston merchant. After leaving school he entered a
dry-goods store in the city. He there performed his duties with such
laborious zeal and energy that his health gave way, and he was compelled
to return to his home in Newton, where he suffered many months' illness
from a malignant fever, which nearly proved fatal. About two years later
he returned to Boston, and entered the establishment of Messrs. J.H.
Wilkins and R.B. Carter, then widely known as publishers of music books
and of dictionaries of various languages, as well as wholesale dealers
in printing and writing papers. Three years of service in their employ
laid the foundation of the excellent business habits which led to his
ultimate success.

During this time he was a member of the Mercantile Library Association,
in company with such men as Edwin P. Whipple, James T. Fields, Thomas R.
Gould, afterward the distinguished sculptor, and many others who were,
active participants in its affairs, and who have become eminent in
literature or in public life. Young Rice was a careful student in the
association, though sharing less frequently in its exercises than some
others. His decided literary tastes finally led him to resolve upon the
enlargement of his education by a collegiate course of study. He
accordingly entered Union College, Schenectady, New York, then under the
presidency of the venerable Dr. Eliphalet Nott, where he was graduated
in 1844, receiving the highest honors of his class on Commencement Day.
His classmates bear testimony to the fact that his career in college was
in the highest degree honorable to himself and to the institution of
which he was one of the most respected and popular members.

At the time of his graduation his purpose was to study law and to pursue
it as a profession; but soon afterward delicate health interposed a
serious obstacle, and a favorable offer of partnership in business with
his former employers induced him to join them in the firm which then
became known as Wilkins, Carter, and Company, the senior member of which
was a graduate of Harvard College, and, at one time, a member of its
Faculty. The present firm of Rice, Kendall, and Company, of which he is
the senior member, is its representative to-day, and is widely known as
one of the largest paper-warehouses in the country.

In 1845, Mr. Rice married Miss Augusta E. McKim, daughter of John McKim,
Esq., of Washington, District of Columbia, and sister of Judge McKim,
of Boston, a highly-educated and accomplished lady, who died on a
voyage to the West Indies, in 1868, deeply lamented by a large circle of
acquaintances and friends, to whom she had become endeared by a life of
beneficence and courtesy.

After his graduation from college, Mr. Rice, having again engaged in
mercantile business, pursued it with great earnestness, fidelity, and
success. These qualities, together with his intellectual culture and his
engaging address, eminently fitted him for public service, and early
attracted favorable attention. He first served the city of Boston as
a member of its school-board, in which capacity he gave much personal
attention to the schools in all their various interests. To his duties
in connection with the public schools were soon added those of a trustee
of the lunatic hospital and other public institutions.

In 1853, Mr. Rice was elected a member of the common council, and a year
later he was president of that body. In 1855, he received, from a large
number of citizens of all parties, a flattering request that he would
permit them to nominate him for the mayoralty of Boston. He reluctantly
acceded to their request, and, after a sharply-contested campaign,
was elected by a handsome majority. His administration of city affairs
proved so satisfactory that he was re-elected, the following year, by
an increased majority. By his wisdom, energy, and rare administrative
ability, Mayor Rice gained a wide and enviable reputation. He was
instrumental in accomplishing many reforms in municipal administration,
among which were a thorough reorganization of the police; the
consolidation of the boards of governors of the public institutions,
by which much was gained in economy and efficiency; the amicable and
judicious settlement of many claims and controversies requiring rare
skill and sagacity in adjustment; and the initiation of some of the most
important improvements undertaken since Boston became a city. Among
these may be mentioned the laying out of Devonshire Street from Milk
Street to Franklin Street, which he first recommended, as well as the
opening of Winthrop Square and adjacent streets for business purposes,
the approaches to which had previously been by narrow alleys. The
magnificent improvements in the Back Bay, which territory had long been
the field of intermittent and fruitless effort and controversy, were
brought to successful negotiation during his municipal administration,
and largely through the ability, energy, and fairness with which he
espoused the great work. The public schools continued to hold prominence
in his attention, and he gave to them all the encouragement which his
office could command; while his active supervision of the various
charitable and reformatory institutions was universally recognized and
welcomed. The free city hospital was initiated, and the public library
building completed during his administration.

Endowed with gifts of natural eloquence, his public addresses furnished
many examples of persuasive and graceful oratory. Among the conspicuous
occasions that made demands upon his ability as a public speaker was the
dedication of the public library building. On that occasion his address
was interposed between those of the Honorable Edward Everett ard the
Honorable Robert C. Winthrop, both of whom were men of the highest and
most elegant culture, possessing a national reputation for finished
eloquence. The position in which the young Boston merchant found
himself was an exceedingly difficult and trying one; but he rose
most successfully to its demands, and nobly surpassed the exacting
expectations of his warmest admirers. It was agreed on every hand that
Mayor Rice's address was fully equal, in scope and appropriateness of
thought and beauty of diction, to that of either of the eminent scholars
and orators with whom he was brought into comparison. It received
emphatic encomiums at home, and attracted the flattering attention of
the English press, by which it was extensively copied and adduced as
another evidence of the literary culture found in municipal officers in
this country, and of American advancement in eloquence and scholarship.

At the close of Mr. Rice's second term in the mayoralty of Boston, he
declined a renommation. While in that office, he was faithful to the men
who had elected him, and abstained from participation in party politics
farther than in voting for selected candidates. Originally, he was an
anti-slavery Whig, and, upon the formation of the Republican party, he
became identified with it.

When he retired from the office of mayor, in January, 1858, it was his
intention to devote himself exclusively to business; but an unexpected
concurrence of circumstances in the third congressional district led to
his nomination and election to Congress by the Republicans, although
the partisan opposition was largely in the majority. He continued to
represent the district for eight consecutive years, and until he
declined further service. He entered Congress just before the breaking
out of the Civil War, and became a participant in the momentous
legislative events of that period. He witnessed the secession of the
Southern members from the two houses of Congress, and served through the
whole period of the war and through one Congress after the war closed,
embracing one half of President Buchanan's administration, the whole of
Lincoln's, and one half of Johnson's. He served on the committees on the
Pacific Railroad, on the District of Columbia, and on naval affairs, of
which last important committee he was chairman during the two closing
years of the war. In this last position he won much reputation by his
mastery of information relating to naval affairs at home and abroad, and
by his thorough devotion to the interests of the American Navy. Mr. Rice
did not often partake in the general debates of Congress, but he had the
confidence of its members to an unusual degree, and the measures which
he presented were seldom successfully opposed. When occasion called,
however, he distinguished himself as a debater of first-class ability,
as was shown in his notable reply to the Honorable Henry Winter Davis,
of Maryland, one of the most brilliant speakers in Congress, in defence
of the navy, and especially of its administration during the war period.

Notwithstanding his arduous labors as chairman of the naval committee,
Mr. Rice's business habits and industry enabled him to attend faithfully
to the general interests of his constituents, and to many details of
public affairs which are often delegated to unofficial persons or are
altogether neglected. All of his large correspondence was written by
himself, and was promptly despatched. Governor Andrew used to say that
whenever he needed information from Washington, and prompt action, he
always wrote to the representative of the third district.

At home Mr. Rice has filled many positions of prominence in business
and social life. He was for some years president of the board of trade,
and of the National Sailors' Home. He was president of the great
Peace Jubilee, held in Boston in 1869, the most remarkable musical
entertainment ever held in America, embracing an orchestra of twelve
hundred instruments, and a chorus of twenty thousand voices. The opening
address of this jubilee was made by Mr. Rice. He was also the chairman
of the committee to procure the equestrian statue of Washington for the
Public Garden in Boston, and of the committee that erected the statue of
Charles Sumner. He delivered an appropriate address at the unveiling
of each of these works, and also at the unveiling of the statue of
Franklin, erected during his mayoralty in front of the City Hall. He has
also been president of the Boston Memorial Society, and of the Boston
Art Club, as well as of many other associations.

Mr. Rice was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1875, and was twice
re-elected. His career as governor was characterized by a comprehensive
and liberal policy in State affairs. While he was always ready to listen
to the opinions and wishes of other men, his administration was strongly
marked by his own individuality. His messages to the Legislature were
clear and decisive in recommendation and discussion, and his policy in
regard to important measures was plainly defined. He never interfered
with the functions of the co-ordinate branches of the government; on the
other hand, he was equally mindful of the rights of the executive.
Always ready to co-operate with the Legislature in regard to measures
which the welfare and honor of the Commonwealth seemed to him to
justify, he did not hesitate to apply the executive veto when his
judgment dictated, even in relation to measures of current popularity.
He thoroughly reorganized the militia of the State, thereby greatly
improving its character and efficiency, besides largely diminishing its
annual cost. His appointments to office, though sometimes sharply
criticised, proved, almost without exception, to have been judiciously
made, and in many instances exhibited remarkable insight into the
character and aptitude of the persons appointed.

Although elected a Republican, Governor Rice was thoroughly loyal to
the best interests of the State in the distribution of patronage. Every
faithful and competent officer whom he found in place was reappointed,
regardless of his politics, and the incompetent and unreliable were
retired, though belonging to his own party. It is, however, but fair
to say, that in making original appointments and in filling absolute
vacancies, he gave the preference, in cases of equal character and
competency, to men of his own party.

During the centennial year, 1876, the special occasions, anniversaries,
and public celebrations were very numerous, and added greatly to the
demands upon the governor's time and services in semi-official
engagements, in all of which he acquitted himself with high credit to
himself and the Commonwealth.

In 1877, he escorted President Hayes to Harvard University to receive
the degree of Doctor of Laws, an honor which had been conferred upon
himself the previous year; and in 1878 he also escorted Lord Dufferin,
governor-general of Canada, to the university, on an occasion made
memorable by the visit of that distinguished statesman.

During his whole administration, Governor Rice took a deep interest
in the cause of education in the State, as president of the board of
education, and in visiting schools and colleges for personal inspection.
He also carefully watched over the several State institutions for
correction, for reform, and for lunacy and charity, encouraging, as
opportunity offered, both officers and inmates, and, at the same time,
unsparing in merited criticism of negligence and unfaithfulness.

In a word, Governor Rice's administration of State affairs justly ranks
among the administrations that have been the most useful and honorable
to the Commonwealth.

In 1881, Mr. Rice was elected honorary chancellor of Union University,
his _alma mater_, and at the commencement anniversary of that year
he delivered an elaborate oration on _The Reciprocal Relations of
Education and Enterprise_, which was received with the highest favor
by the numerous statesmen and scholars who honored the occasion by their
presence, and was afterwards published and widely circulated.

Mr. Rice is still actively engaged in business, and still maintains an
undiminished interest in the affairs of public and social life.

       *       *       *       *       *


By the Hon. Samuel Abbott Green, M.D.

Tradition has preserved little or nothing in regard to the earliest
trading stores of Groton. It is probable, however, that they were kept
in dwelling-houses, by the occupants, who sold articles in common use
for the convenience of the neighborhood, and at the same time pursued
their regular vocations.

Jonas Cutler was keeping a shop on the site of Mr. Gerrish's store,
before the Revolution; and the following notice, signed by him, appears
in The Massachusetts Gazette (Boston), November 28, 1768:--


  Whereas on the 19th or 20th Night of November Instant, the Shop of the
  Subscriber was broke open in _Groton_, and from thence was stollen
  a large Sum of Cash, viz. four Half Johannes, two Guineas, Two Half
  Ditto, One Pistole mill'd, nine Crowns, a Considerable Number of
  Dollars, with a considerable Quantity of small Silver & Copper, together
  with one Bever Hat, about fifteen Yards of Holland, eleven Bandannas,
  blue Ground with white, twelve red ditto with white, Part of a Piece of
  Silk Romails, 1 Pair black Worsted Hose, 1 strip'd Cap, 8 or 10 black
  barcelona Handkerchiefs, Part of a Piece of red silver'd Ribband, blue
  & white do, Part of three Pieces of black Sattin Ribband, Part of three
  Pieces of black Tafferty ditto, two bundles of Razors, Part of 2 Dozen
  Penknives, Part of 2 Dozen ditto with Seals, Part of 1 Dozen Snuff
  Boxes, Part of 3 Dozen Shoe Buckels, Part of several Groce of Buttons,
  one Piece of gellow [yellow?] Ribband, with sundry Articles not yet
  known of---- Whoever will apprehend the said Thief or Thieves, so that
  he or they may be brought to Justice, shall receive TEN DOLLARS Reward
  and all necessary Charges paid.


  Groton, Nov. 22,1763 [8?].

  ==> If any of the above mentioned Articles are offered to Sail, it
  is desired they may be stop'd with the Thief, and Notice given to said
  _Cutler_ or to the Printers.

On October 21, 1773, a noted burglar was hanged in Boston for various
robberies committed in different parts of the State, and covering a
period of some years. The unfortunate man was present at the delivery
of a sermon, preached at his own request, on the Sunday before his
execution; and to many of the printed copies is appended an account
of his life. In it the poor fellow states that he was only twenty-one
years old, and that he was born at Groton of a respectable family. He
confesses that he broke into Mr. Cutler's shop, and took away "a good
piece of broad-cloth, a quantity of silk mitts, and several pieces of
silk handkerchiefs." He was hardly seventeen years of age at the time of
this burglary. To the present generation it would seem cruel and wicked
to hang a misguided youth for offences of this character.

Mr. Cutler died December 19, 1782; and he was succeeded in business
by Major Thomas Gardner, who erected the present building known as
Gerrish's block, which is soon to be removed. Major Gardner lived in the
house now owned by the Waters family.

Near the end of the last century a store, situated a little north of the
late Mr. Dix's house, was kept by James Brazer, which had an extensive
trade for twenty miles in different directions. It was here that the
late Amos Lawrence served an apprenticeship of seven years, which ended
on April 22, 1807; and he often spoke of his success in business as due,
in part, to the experience in this store. Late in life he wrote that
"the knowledge of every-day affairs which I acquired in my business
apprenticeship at Groton has been a source of pleasure and profit even
in my last ten years' discipline."

The quantity of New-England rum and other liquors sold at that period
would astonish the temperance people of the present day. Social drinking
was then a common practice, and each forenoon some stimulating beverage
was served up to the customers in order to keep their trade. There were
five clerks employed in the establishments; and many years later Mr.
Lawrence, in giving advice to a young student in college, wrote:--

  "In the first place, take this for your motto at the commencement of
  your journey, that the difference of going _just right_, or a
  _little wrong_, will be the difference of finding yourself in good
  quarters, or in a miserable bog or slough, at the end of it. Of the
  whole number educated in the Groton stores for some years before and
  after myself, no one else, to my knowledge, escaped the bog or slough;
  and my escape I trace to the simple fact of my having put a restraint
  upon my appetite. We five boys were in the habit, every forenoon, of
  making a drink compounded of rum, raisins, sugar, nutmeg, &c., with
  biscuit,--all palatable to eat and drink. After being in the store four
  weeks, I found myself admonished by my appetite of the approach of the
  hour for indulgence. Thinking the habit might make trouble if allowed
  to grow stronger, without further apology to my seniors I declined
  partaking with them. My first resolution was to abstain for a week, and,
  when the week was out, for a month, and then for a year. Finally, I
  resolved to abstain for the rest of my apprenticeship, which was for
  five years longer. During that whole period, I never drank a spoonful,
  though I mixed gallons daily for my old master and his customers."[1]

The following advertisement is found in the Columbian Centinel (Boston),
June 8, 1805:--

  _James Brazer_,

  Would inform the public that having dissolved the Copartnership lately
  subsisting between AARON BROWN, Esq. SAMUEL HALE and the subscriber; he
  has taken into Copartnership his son WILLIAM F. BRAZER, and the business
  in future will be transacted under the firm of


  They will offer for sale, at their store in _Groton_, within six
  days a complete assortment of English, India, and W. India GOODS, which
  they will sell for ready pay, at as low a rate as any store in the


  Groton, May 29, 1805.

"'Squire Brazer," as he was generally called, was a man of wealth
and position. He was one of the founders of Groton Academy, and his
subscription of £15 to the building-fund in the year 1792 was as large
as that given by any other person. In the early part of this century he
built the house now belonging to the Academy and situated just south of
it, where he lived until his death, which occurred on November 10, 1818.
His widow, also, took a deep interest in the institution, and at her
decease, April 14, 1826, bequeathed to it nearly five thousand dollars.

After Mr. Brazer's death the store was moved across the street, where it
still remains, forming the ell of Gerrish's block. The post-office was
in the north end of it, during Mr. Butler's term as postmaster. About
this time the son, William Farwell Brazer, built a store nearly opposite
to the Academy, which he kept during some years. It was made finally
into a dwelling-house, and occupied by the late Jeremiah Kilburn, whose
family still own it.

James Brazer's house was built on the site of one burnt down during the
winter season a year or two previously. There was no fire-engine then in
town, and the neighbors had to fight the flames, as best they could,
with snow as well as water. At that time Loammi Baldwin, Jr., a graduate
of Harvard College in the class of 1800, was a law-student in Timothy
Bigelow's office. He had a natural taste for mechanics; and he was
so impressed with the need of an engine that with his own hands he
constructed the first one the town ever had. This identical machine, now
known as Torrent, No. I, is still serviceable after a use of more than
eighty years, and will throw a stream of water over the highest roof in
the village. It was made in Jonathan Loring's shop, then opposite to Mr.
Boynton's blacksmith shop, where the iron work was done. The tub is of
copper, and bears the date of 1802. Mr. Baldwin, soon after this time,
gave up the profession of law, and became, like his father, a
distinguished civil engineer.

The brick store, opposite to the High School, was built about the
year 1836, by Henry Woods, for his own place of business, and afterward
kept by him and George S. Boutwell, the style of the firm being Woods
and Boutwell. Mr. Woods died on January 12, 1841; and he was succeeded
by his surviving partner, who carried on the store for a long time,
even while holding the highest executive position in the State. The
post-office was in this building during the years 1839 and 1840. For the
past twenty-five years it has been occupied by various firms, and now is
kept by D.H. Shattuck and Company.

During the last war with England, Eliphalet Wheeler had a store where
Miss Betsey Capell, in more modern times, kept a haberdasher's shop. It
is situated opposite to the Common, and now used as a dwelling-house.
She was the daughter of John Capell, who owned the sawmill and
gristmill, which formerly stood near the present site of the Tileston
and Hollingsworth paper-mills, on the Great Road, north of the village.
Afterward Wheeler and his brother, Abner, took Major Thomas Gardner's
store, where he was followed by Park and Woods, Park and Potter, Potter
and Gerrish, and lastly by Charles Gerrish, who has kept it for more
than thirty years. It is said that this building will soon give way to
modern improvements.

Near the beginning of the present century there were three military
companies in town; the Artillery company, commanded at one time by
Captain James Lewis; the North company by Captain Jonas Gilson; and the
South company by Captain Abel Tarbell. Two of these officers were soon
promoted in the regimental service: Captain Tarbell to a colonelcy, and
Captain Lewis to a majorate. Captain Gilson resigned, and was succeeded
by Captain Noah Shattuck. They had their Spring and fall training-days,
when they drilled as a battalion on the Common,--there were no trees
there, then,--and marched through the village. They formed a very
respectable command, and sometimes would be drawn up before Esquire
Brazer's store, and at other times before Major Gardner's, to be treated
with toddy, which was then considered a harmless drink.

David Child had a store, about the beginning of the century, at the
south corner of Main and Pleasant Streets, nearly opposite to the site
of the Orthodox meeting-house, though Pleasant Street was not then laid
out. It was afterward occupied by Deacon Jonathan Adams, then by Artemas
Wood, and lastly by Milo H. Shattuck. This was moved off twelve or
fifteen years ago, and a spacious building put up, a few rods north, on
the old tavern site across the way, by Mr. Shattuck, who still carries
on a large business.

Alpheus Richardson kept a store, about the year 1815, in his
dwelling-house, at the south corner of Main and Elm Streets, besides
having a book-bindery in the same building. The binder's shop was
continued until about 1850. It is said that this house was built
originally by Colonel James Prescott, for the use of his son, Abijah, as
a store; but it never was so occupied.

Joseph and Phineas Hemenway built a store on the north corner of Main
and Elm Streets, about the year 1815, where they carried on a trading
business. They were succeeded by one Richardson, then by David Childs;
and finally by John Spalter, who had for many years a bookstore and
binder's shop in the building, which is now used as a dwelling-house.
At the present time Mr. Spalter is living in Keene, New Hampshire.

About the year 1826, General Thomas A. Staples built and kept a store
on Main Street, directly north of the Union Church. He was followed
successively by Benjamin Franklin Lawrence, Henry Hill, and Walter
Shattuck. The building was burned down about ten years ago, and its site
is now occupied by Dr. David R. Steere's house.

In the year 1847 a large building was moved from Hollis Street to
the corner of Main and Court Streets. It was put up originally as a
meeting-house for the Second Adventists, or Millerites as they were
called in this neighborhood, after William Miller, one of the founders
of the sect; but after it was taken to the new site, it was fitted up in
a commodious manner, with shops in the basement and a spacious hall in
the second story. The building was known as Liberty Hall, and formed a
conspicuous structure in the village. The post-office was kept in it,
while Mr. Lothrop and Mr. Andruss were the postmasters. It was used as a
shoe shop, a grocery, and a bakery, when, on Sunday, March 31, 1878, it
was burned to the ground.

The brick store, owned by the Dix family, was built and kept by Aaron
Brown, near the beginning of the century. He was followed by Moses
Parker, and after him came ---- and Merriam, and then Benjamin P. Dix.
It is situated at the corner of Main Street and Broad-Meadow Road, and
now used as a dwelling-house. A very good engraving of this building is
given in The Groton Herald, May 8, 1830, which is called by persons who
remember it at that time a faithful representation, though it has since
undergone some changes.

Near the end of the last century, Major William Swan traded in the house
now occupied by Charles Woolley, Jr., north of the Common near the old
burying-ground. It was Major Swan who set out the elm-trees in front of
this house, which was the Reverend Dr. Chaplin's dwelling for many

Two daughters of Isaac Bowers, a son of Landlord Bowers, had a dry-goods
shop in the house owned and occupied by the late Samuel W. Rowe, Esq.
About the year 1825, Walter Shattuck opened a store in the building
originally intended for the Presbyterian Church, opposite to the present
entrance of the Groton Cemetery. There was formerly a store kept by one
Mr. Lewis, near the site of Captain Asa Stillman Lawrence's house, north
of the Town Hall. There was a trader in town, Thomas Sackville Tufton by
name, who died in the year 1778, though I do not know the site of his
shop. Captain Samuel Ward, a native of Worcester, and an officer in the
French and Indian War, was engaged in business at Groton some time
before the Revolution. He removed to Lancaster, where at one time he was
town-clerk, and died there on August 14, 1826.

The Groton post-office was established at the very beginning of the
present century, and before that time letters intended for this town
were sent through private hands. Previous to the Revolution there were
only a few post-offices in the Province, and often persons in distant
parts of Massachusetts received their correspondence at Boston. In
the Supplement to The Boston Gazette, February 9, 1756, letters are
advertised as remaining uncalled for, at the Boston office, addressed to
William Lakin and Abigail Parker, both of Groton, as well as to Samuel
Manning, Townsend, William Gleany, Dunstable, and Jonathan Lawrence,
Littleton. Nearly five months afterward these same letters are
advertised in The Boston Weekly News-Letter, July 1, 1756, as still
uncalled for. The name of David Farnum, America, appears also in this
list, and it is hoped that wherever he was he received the missive. The
names of Oliver Lack (probably intended for Lakin) and Ebenezer Parker,
both of this town, are given in another list printed in the Gazette of
June 28, 1762; and in the same issue one is advertised for Samuel
Starling, America. In the Supplement to the Gazette, October 10, 1768,
Ebenezer Farnsworth, Jr., and George Peirce, of Groton, had letters
advertised; and in the Gazette, October 18, 1773, the names of Amos
Farnsworth, Jonas Farnsworth, and William Lawrence, all of this town,
appear in the list.

I find no record of a post-rider passing through Groton, during the
period immediately preceding the establishment of the post-office;
but there was doubtless such a person who used to ride on horseback,
equipped with saddle-bags, and delivered at regular intervals the weekly
newspapers and letters along the way. In the year 1794, according to the
History of New Ipswich, New Hampshire (page 129), a post-rider, by the
name of Balch, rode from Boston to Keene one week and back the next.
Probably he passed through this town, and served the inhabitants with
his favors.

Several years ago I procured, through the kindness of General Charles
Devens, at that time a member of President Hayes's cabinet, some
statistics of the Groton post-office, which are contained in the
following letter:--

Post-Office Department, Appointment Office,
  Washington, D.C., September 3, 1877.

Hon. CHARLES DEVENS, Attorney-General, Department of Justice.

_Sir_,--I have to acknowledge the receipt of a communication
from Samuel A. Green, of Boston, Massachusetts, with your endorsement
thereon, requesting to be furnished with a list of postmasters at the
office of Groton, in that State, from the date of its establishment to
the present time.

In reply, I have the honor to inform you, that the fire which consumed
the department building, on the night of the fifteenth of December,
1836, destroyed three of the earliest record-books of this office; but
by the aid of the auditor's ledger-books, it is ascertained that the
office began to render accounts on the first of January, 1801, but the
exact day is not known, Samuel Dana, was the first postmaster, and the
following list furnishes the history of the office, as shown by the
old records.

Groton, Middlesex County, Massachusetts. Office probably established in
November, 1800. Samuel Dana began rendering accounts January 1, 1801.
Wm. M. Richardson, October 1, 1804.

From this time the exact dates are known.

Abraham Moore, appointed postmaster January 31, 1812.

Eliphalet Wheeler, August 20, 1815.

James Lewis, September 9, 1815.

Caleb Butler, July 1, 1826.

Henry Woods, January 15, 1839.

George S. Boutwell, January 22, 1841.

Caleb Butler, April 15, 1841.

Welcome Lothrop, December 21, 1846.

Artemas Wood, February 22, 1849.

George H. Brown, May 4, 1849.

Theodore Andruss, April 11, 1853.

George W. Fiske, April 22, 1861.

Henry Woodcock, February 13, 1867.

Miss Hattie E. Farnsworth, June 11, 1869, who is the present incumbent.

Each postmaster held the office up to the appointment of his successor,
but it is probable that Mr. Boutwell and Mr. A. Wood, although regularly
appointed, did not accept, judging by the dates of the next postmasters.

As to the "income" of the office, to which allusion is made, it is very
difficult to obtain any of the amounts; but the first year and the last
year are herewith appended, as follows:--

                Fiscal Year
        (1801)                (1876)
  First quarter, $1.91  First quarter, $314.15
  Second  "       2.13  Second  "       296.94
  Third   "       2.93  Third   "       305.71
  Fourth  "       5.29  Fourth  "       294.28

  For the year, $12.26  For the y'r, $1,211.08

Trusting the foregoing, which is believed to be correct, will be
acceptable to you, I am, sir, respectfully,

Your ob't serv't,


Acting First Ass't P.M. General.

It will be seen that the net income of the office, during the first
seventy-five years of its existence, increased one hundred fold.

West Groton is a small settlement that has sprung up in the western part
of the town, dating back in its history to the last century. It is
pleasantly situated on the banks of the Squannacook River, and in my
boyhood was known as Squannacook, a much better name than the present
one. It is to be regretted that so many of the old Indian words, which
smack of the region, should have been crowded out of our local
nomenclature. There is a small water-power here, and formerly a sawmill,
gristmill, and a paper-mill were in operation; but these have now given
way to a factory, where leather-board is made. The Peterborough and
Shirley branch of the Fitchburg Railroad passes through the place, and
some local business is transacted in the neighborhood. As a matter of
course, a post-office was needed in the village, and one was established
on March 19, 1850. The first person to fill the office was Adams
Archibald, a native of Truro, Nova Scotia, who kept it in the

The following is a list of the postmasters, with the dates of their

  Adams Archibald, March 19, 1850.
  Edmund Blood, May 25, 1868.
  Charles H. Hill, July 31, 1871.
  George H. Bixby, June, 1878.

During the postmastership of Mr. Blood, and since that time, the office
has been kept at the only store in the place.

A post-office was established at South Groton, on June 1, 1849, and the
first postmaster was Andrew B. Gardner. The village was widely known
as Groton Junction, and resulted from the intersection of several
railroads. Here six passenger-trains coming from different points were
due in the same station at the same time, and they all were supposed to
leave as punctually.

The trains on the Fitchburg Railroad, arriving from each direction, and
likewise the trains on the Worcester and Nashua Road from the north and
the south, passed each other at this place. There was also a train from
Lowell, on the Stony Brook Railroad, and another on the Peterborough and
Shirley branch, coming at that time from West Townsend.

A busy settlement grew up, which was incorporated as a distinct town
under the name of Ayer, on February 14, 1871.

The following is a list of the postmasters, with the dates of their

  Andrew B. Gardner, June 1, 1849.
  Harvey A. Wood, August 11, 1853.
  George H. Brown, December 30, 1861.
  William H. Harlow, December 5, 1862.
  George H. Brown, January 15, 1863.
  William H. Harlow, July 18, 1865.

The name of the post-office was changed by the department at Washington,
from South Groton to Groton Junction, on March 1, 1862; and subsequently
this was changed to Ayer, on March 22, 1871, soon after the
incorporation of the town, during the postmastership of Mr. Harlow.

The letter of the acting first assistant postmaster-general, printed
above, supplements the account in Butler's History of Groton (pages
249-251). According to Mr. Butler's statement, the post-office was
established on. September 29, 1800, and the Honorable Samuel Dana was
appointed the first postmaster. No mail, however, was delivered at the
office until the last week in November. For a while it came to Groton
by the way of Leominster, certainly a very indirect route. This fact
appears from a letter written to Judge Dana, by the Postmaster-General,
under date of December 18, 1800, apparently in answer to a request to
have the mail brought directly from Boston. In this communication the
writer says:--

  It appears to me, that the arrangement which has been made for
  carrying the mail to Groton is sufficient for the accommodation of
  the inhabitants, as it gives them the opportunity of receiving their
  letters regularly, and with despatch, once a week. The route from
  Boston, by Leominster, to Groton is only twenty miles farther than by
  the direct route, and the delay of half a day, which is occasioned
  thereby, is not of much consequence to the inhabitants of Groton.
  If it should prove that Groton produces as much postage as Lancaster
  and Leominster, the new contract for carrying the mail, which is
  to be in operation on the first of October next, will be made by
  Concord and Groton to Walpole, and a branch from Concord to

  I am, respectfully, sir, your obedient servant,


The amount of postage received from the office, after deducting the
necessary expenses, including the postmaster's salary, was, for the
first year after its establishment, about twelve dollars, or three
dollars for three months. In the year 1802 it was thirty-six dollars, or
nine dollars for three months, a large proportional increase. At this
time the mail came once a week only, and was brought by the stage-coach.

Samuel Dana, the first postmaster, was a prominent lawyer at the time of
his appointment. He was the son of the Reverend Samuel Dana, of Groton,
and born in this town, June 26, 1767. He occupied a high position in the
community, and exerted a wide influence in the neighborhood. At a later
period he was president of the Massachusetts Senate, a member of
Congress, and finally chief-justice of the circuit court of common
pleas. He died at Charlestown, on November 20, 1835.

Judge Dana kept the post-office in his own office, which was in the same
building as that of the Honorable Timothy Bigelow, another noted lawyer.
These eminent men were on opposite sides of the same entry; and they
were generally on opposite sides of all important cases in the northern
part of Middlesex County. The building stood on the site of Governor
Boutwell's house, and is still remembered as the medical office of the
venerable Dr. Amos Bancroft. It was afterward moved away, and now stands
near the railway-station, where it is occupied as a dwelling-house.
Judge Dana held the office during four years, and he was succeeded by
William M. Richardson, Esq., afterward the chief-justice of the superior
court of New Hampshire. Mr. Richardson was a graduate of Harvard College
in the class of 1797, and at the time of his appointment as postmaster
had recently finished his professional studies in Groton, under the
guidance of Judge Dana. After his admission to the bar, Mr. Richardson
entered into partnership with his former instructor, succeeding him as
postmaster in July, 1804; and the office was still kept in the same
building. During Judge Richardson's term, the net revenue to the
department rose from nine dollars to about twenty-eight dollars for
three months. He held the position nearly eight years, and was followed
by Abraham Moore, who was commissioned on January 31, 1812.

Mr. Moore was a native of Bolton, Massachusetts, where he was born on
January 5, 1785. He graduated at Harvard College in the class of 1806,
and studied law at Groton with the Honorable Timothy Bigelow, and after
his admission to the bar settled here as a lawyer. His office was on
the site of the north end of Gerrish's block, and it was here that the
post-office was kept. During his administration the average income from
the office was about thirty-three dollars, for the quarter. In the
summer of 1815, Mr. Moore resigned the position and removed to Boston.

Eliphalet Wheeler, who kept the store now occupied by Mr. Gerrish, was
appointed in Mr. Moore's stead, and the post-office was transferred to
his place of business. He, however, was not commissioned, owing, it is
thought, to his political views; and Major James Lewis, who was sound
in his politics, received the appointment in his stead. Major Lewis,
retained Mr. Wheeler for a short time as his assistant, and during this
period the duties were performed by him in his own store. Shortly
afterward Caleb Butler, Esq., was appointed the assistant, and he
continued to hold the position for eight years. During this time the
business was carried on in Mr. Butler's law office, and the revenue to
the government reached the sum of fifty dollars a quarter. His office
was then in a small building,--just south of Mr. Hoar's tavern,--which
was moved away about the year 1820, and taken to the lot where Colonel
Needham's house now stands, at the corner of Main and Hollis Streets. It
was fitted up as a dwelling, and subsequently moved away again. At this
time the old store of Mr. Brazer, who had previously died, was brought
from over the way, and occupied by Mr. Butler, on the site of his former

On July 1, 1826, Mr. Butler, who had been Major Lewis's assistant for
many years, and performed most of the duties of the office, was
commissioned postmaster.

Mr. Butler was a native of Pelham, New Hampshire, where he was born on
September 13, 1776, and a graduate of Dartmouth College, in the class of
1800. He had been the preceptor of Groton Academy for some years, and
was widely known as a critical scholar. He had previously studied law
with the Honorable Luther Lawrence, of Groton, though his subsequent
practice was more in drawing up papers and settling estates than in
attendance at courts. His name is now identified with the town as its
historian. During his term of office as postmaster, the revenue rose
from fifty dollars to one hundred and ten dollars a quarter. He held the
position nearly thirteen years, to the entire satisfaction of the
public; but for political heresy was removed on January 15, 1839, when
Henry Woods was commissioned as his successor.

Mr. Woods held the office until his death, which occurred on January 12,
1841; and he was followed by the Honorable George S. Boutwell, since the
Governor of the Commonwealth and a member of the United States Senate.
During the administration of Mr. Woods and Mr. Boutwell, the office was
kept in the brick store, opposite to the present High School.

Upon the change in the administration of the National Government,
Mr. Butler was reinstated in office, and commissioned on April 15, 1841.
He continued to hold the position until December 21, 1846, when he was
again removed for political reasons. Mr. Butler was a most obliging man,
and his removal was received by the public with general regret. During
his two terms he filled the office for more than eighteen years, a
longer period than has fallen to the lot of any other postmaster of
the town. Near the end of his service a material change was made in the
rate of postage on letters; and in his History (page 251) he thus
comments on it:--

  The experiment of a cheap rate was put upon trial. From May 14, 1841, to
  December 31, 1844, the net revenue averaged one hundred and twenty-four
  dollars and seventy-one cents per quarter. Under the new law, for the
  first year and a half, the revenue has been one hundred and four dollars
  and seventy-seven cents per quarter. Had the former rates remained, the
  natural increase of business should have raised it to one hundred and
  fifty dollars per quarter. The department, which for some years before
  had fallen short of supporting itself, now became a heavy charge upon
  the treasury. Whether the present rates will eventually raise a
  sufficient revenue to meet the expenditures, remains to be seen. The
  greatest difficulty to be overcome is evasion of the post-office laws
  and fraud upon the department.

Like many other persons of that period, Mr. Butler did not appreciate
the fact that the best way to prevent evasions of the law is to reduce
the rates of postage so low that it will not pay to run the risk of

Captain Welcome Lothrop succeeded Mr. Butler as postmaster, and during
his administration the office was kept in Liberty Hall. Captain Lothrop
was a native of Easton, Massachusetts, and a land-surveyor of some
repute in this neighborhood. Artemas Wood followed him by appointment on
February 22, 1849; but he never entered upon the duties of his office.
He was succeeded by George H. Brown, who had published The Spirit of the
Times--a political newspaper--during the presidential canvass of 1848,
and in this way had become somewhat prominent as a local politician. Mr.
Brown was appointed on May 4, 1849; and during his term the office was
kept in an ell of his dwelling-house, which was situated nearly opposite
to the Orthodox meeting-house. He was afterward the postmaster of Ayer.
Mr. Brown was followed by Theodore Andruss, a native of Orford, New
Hampshire, who was commissioned on April 11, 1853. Mr. Andruss brought
the office back to Liberty Hall, and continued to be the incumbent until
April 22, 1861, when he was succeeded by George W. Fiske. On February
13, 1867, Henry Woodcock was appointed to the position, and the office
was then removed to the Town Hall, where most excellent accommodations
were given to the public.

He was followed on June 11, 1869, by Miss Harriet E. Farnsworth, now
Mrs. Marion Putnam; and she in turn was succeeded on July 2, 1880, by
Mrs. Christina D. (Caryl) Fosdick, the widow of Samuel Woodbury Fosdick,
and the present incumbent.

The office is still kept in the Town Hall, and there is no reason to
think that it will be removed from the spacious and commodious quarters
it now occupies, for a long time to come. Few towns in the Commonwealth
can present such an array of distinguished men among their postmasters
as those of Groton, including, as it does, the names of Judge Dana,
Judge Richardson, Mr. Butler, and Governor Boutwell.

By the new postal law which went into operation on the first of last
October, the postage is now two cents to any part of the United States,
on all letters not exceeding half an ounce in weight. This rate
certainly seems cheap enough, but in time the public will demand the
same service for a cent. Less than forty years ago the charge was five
cents for any distance not exceeding three hundred miles, and ten cents
for any greater distance. This was the rate established by the law which
took effect on July 1, 1845; and it was not changed until July, 1851,
when it was reduced to three cents on single letters, prepaid, or five
cents, if not prepaid, for all distances under three thousand miles. By
the law which went into operation on June 30, 1863, prepayment by stamps
was made compulsory, the rate remaining at three cents; though a special
clause was inserted, by which the letters of soldiers or sailors, then
fighting for the Union in the army or navy, might go without prepayment.

[Footnote 1: Diary and Correspondence of Amos Lawrence, pages 24, 25.]

       *       *       *       *       *


By John N. McClintock, A.M.

On the morning of September 4, 1724, Thomas Blanchard and Nathan Cross,
of Dunstable, started from the Harbor and crossed the Nashua River, to
do a day's work in the pine forest to the northward. The day was wet
and drizzly. Arriving at their destination they placed their arms and
ammunition, as well as their lunch and accompanying jug, in a hollow
log, to keep them dry. During the day they were surrounded by a party of
Mohawks from Canada, who hurried them into captivity.

Their continued absence aroused the anxiety of their friends and
neighbors and a relief party of ten was at once organized to make a
search for the absentees. This party, under the command of Lieutenant
French, soon arrived at the place where the men had been at work, and
found several barrels of turpentine spilled on the ground, and, to the
keen eyes of those hardy pioneers, unmistakable evidence of the presence
of unfriendly Indians. Other signs indicated that the prisoners had been
carried away alive. The party at once determined upon pursuit, and
following the trail up the banks of the Merrimack came to the outlet
of Horse-Shoe Pond in the present town of Merrimac, where they were
surprised and overwhelmed by a large force of the enemy. Josiah Farwell
alone of that little band escaped to report the fate of his companions.

Blanchard and Cross were taken to Canada. After nearly a year's
confinement they succeeded in effecting their own ransom and returned to
their homes. The gun, jug, and lunch-basket were found in the hollow log
where they had been left the year before.

Enraged by these and similar depredations, the whole frontier was
aroused to aggressive measures. John Lovewell, Josiah Farwell, and
Jonathan Robbins at once petitioned for, and were granted, the right to
raise a scouting party to carry the war into the enemy's country.

At this time the settlements of New Hampshire were near the coast
outside of a line from Dover to Dunstable, except the lately planted
colony of Scotch-Irish at Londonderry. Hinsdale, or Dummer's Fort, was
the outpost on the Connecticut. To the north extended a wild, unbroken
wilderness to the French frontier in Canada. Through this vast region,
now overflowing with happy homes, wandered small bands of Indians
intent on the chase, or the surprise of their rivals, the white trappers
and hunters.

A large section of this country, fifty miles in width, was opened for
peaceful settlement by the bravery of Captain John Lovewell and the
company under his command. In this view their acts become more important
than those of a mere scouting party, and demand, and have received, an
acknowledged place in New-England history.

The company, which was raised by voluntary enlistments, was placed under
the command of John Lovewell. This redoubtable captain came of fighting
stock--his immediate ancestor serving as an ensign in the army of Oliver
Cromwell. Bravery and executive ability are evidently transmissible
qualities; for in one line of his direct descendants it is known that
the family have served their country in four wars, as commissioned
officers; in three wars holding the rank of general.[2]

At this time Captain John Lovewell was in the prime of life, and burning
with zeal to perform some valiant exploit against the Indians.

The first raid of the company resulted in one scalp and one captive,
taken December 10, 1724, and carried to Boston.

The company started on their second expedition January 27, 1724-5,
crossing the Merrimack at Nashua, and pushing northward. They arrived
at the shores of Lake Winnipiseogee, Februrary 9, and scouted in that
neighborhood for a few days, when, from the scarcity of provisions, a
part of the force returned to their homes.

Traces of Indians were discovered in the neighborhood of Tamworth by the
remaining force, and the trail was followed until, February 20, they
discovered the smoke of an Indian encampment. A surprise was quickly
planned and successfully executed, leading to the capture of ten scalps,
valued by the provincial authorities at one thousand ounces of silver.

Captain Lovewell next conceived the bold design of attacking the village
of Pigwacket, near the head waters of the Saco, whose chief, Paugus, a
noted warrior, inspired terror along the whole northern frontier.

Commanding a company of forty-six trained men, Captain Lovewell started
from Dunstable on his arduous undertaking, April 16, 1725. Toby, an
Indian ally, soon gave out and returned to the lower settlements. Near
the island at the mouth of the Contoocook, which will forever perpetuate
the memory of Hannah Dustin, William Cummings, disabled by an old wound,
was discharged and was sent home under the escort of Josiah Cummings, a
kinsman. On the west shore of Lake Ossipee, Benjamin Kidder was sick and
unable to proceed; and the commander of the expedition decided to build
a fort and leave a garrison to guard the provisions and afford a shelter
in case of defeat or retreat. Sergeant Nathaniel Woods was left in
command. The garrison consisted of Dr. William Aver, John Goffe, John
Gilson, Isaac Whitney, Zachariah Whitney, Zebadiah Austin, Edward
Spoony, and Ebenezer Halburt. With his company reduced to thirty-three
effective men, Captain Lovewell pushed on toward the enemy. On Saturday
morning, May 8, in the neighborhood of Fryeburg, Maine, while the
rangers were at prayers, they were startled by the discharge of a gun,
and were soon attacked by a force of about eighty Indians. Their rear
was protected by the lake, by the side of which they fought. All through
the day the unequal contest continued. As night settled upon the scene
the savages withdrew, and the scouts commenced their painful retreat of
forty miles toward their fort. Left dead upon the field of battle were
Captain John Lovewell, Lieutenant Jonathan Robbins, John Harwood, Robert
Usher, Jacob Fullam, Jacob Farrar, Josiah Davis, Thomas Woods, Daniel
Woods, John Jefts, Ichabod Johnson, and Jonathan Kittredge. Lieutenant
Josiah Farwell, Chaplain Jonathan Frye, and Elias Barron, were mortally
wounded, and perished in the wilderness. Solomon Keyes, Sergeant Noah
Johnson, Corporal Timothy Richardson, John Chamberlain, Isaac Lakin,
Eleazer Davis, and Josiah Jones, were seriously wounded, but escaped to
the lower settlements in company with their uninjured comrades, Seth
Wyman, Edward Lingfield, Thomas Richardson, Daniel Melvin, Eleazer
Melvin, Ebenezer Ayer, Abial Austin, Joseph Farrar, Benjamin Hassell,
and Joseph Gilson,--names which should be held in honor for all time.

[Illustration: Township of Bow, NH, and vicinity.]

Both parties seemed willing to retreat from this disastrous battle, each
with the loss of its chief. Paugus and many of his braves fell before
the unerring fire of the frontiersmen, and the tribe of Pigwacket, which
had so long menaced the borders, withdrew to Canada.

The ambitious young men of the older settlements had seen with jealousy
a band of strangers, Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, granted a beautiful
and fruitful tract, which already blossomed under the industrious
work of the newcomers. They clamored for grants which they, too, could
cultivate. Every pretext was advanced to secure a claim. No petitioners
were better entitled to consideration than the representatives of those
who had rendered so large a section habitable.

Massachusetts Bay Colony had long claimed as a northern boundary a line
three miles north of the Merrimack and parallel thereto, from its mouth
to its source, thence westward to the bounds of New York. Under the
pressure brought to bear by interested parties, the General Court of
Massachusetts granted, January 17, 1725-6, the township of Penacook,
embracing the city of Concord, New Hampshire.

In May, 1727, a petition from the survivors of Lovewell's command was
favorably received by the General Court, and soon afterward Suncook, or
Lovewell's township, was granted. Only two of the company are known to
have settled in the town--Francis Doyen, who was with Lovewell on his
second expedition, and Noah Johnson. The latter was the last survivor of
the company. He was a deacon of the church in Suncook for many years,
received a pension from Massachusetts, and died in Plymouth, New
Hampshire, in 1798, in the one hundredth year of his age.

Captain John Lovewell was represented in the township of Suncook by his
daughter Hannah, who married Joseph Baker, settled on her father's
right, raised a large family, and died at a good old age. A great
multitude of her descendants are scattered throughout the United States.

The original grantees of the township, for the most part, assigned their
rights to persons who became actual settlers.

In the year 1740, the King in council decided the present line as the
boundary between New Hampshire and Massachusetts, thus leaving Suncook,
and many other of the townships granted by the latter Province, within
the former. For a score of years following, the settlers were harassed
by the proprietors of the soil under the Masonian Claim, until, in 1759,
a compromise was effected, and Pembroke was incorporated.

In 1774, a new township in the District of Maine, was granted, by the
General Court of Massachusetts, to the "proprietors of Suncook," to
recompense them for their losses. The township was called Sambrook, and
embraced the present towns of Lovell and New Sweden; it was located in
the neighborhood of the battle-field, where, a half century before, so
many brave lives had been sacrificed.

NOTE.--The townships of Rumford and Suncook, both granted by
Massachusetts authorities, made a common cause in the defence of their
rights against the claimants under New Hampshire, known as the Bow
proprietors. The latter, who were, in fact, the New Hampshire Provincial
authorities, and who not only prosecuted but adjudicated the cases,
brought suits for such small extent of territory in each case, that
there was no legal appeal to the higher courts in England. The two towns
therefore authorized the Reverend Timothy Walker, the first settled
minister of Rumford, to represent their cause before the King in
council. By the employment of able counsel and judicious management of
the case, he was eminently successful, and obtained a decision favorable
to the Massachusetts settlers. In the meanwhile, the proprietors of
Suncook had compromised with the Bow proprietors, surrendering half of
their rights--for them the decision came too late. The Rumford
proprietors, however, were benefited, and Concord, under which name
Rumford was incorporated by New Hampshire laws, maintained its old
boundaries as originally granted,--which remain practically the same to
this day.

[Footnote 2: General Timothy Bedel served during the Revolution; his
son, General Moody Bedel, served in the War of 1812; his son, General
John Bedel, was a lieutenant in the Mexican War, and brigadier-general
in the Rebellion.]

       *       *       *       *       *


By L.L. Dame.


At the north end of the Common in Old Cambridge stands the famous
Washington Elm, which has been oftener visited, measured, sketched, and
written up for the press, than any other tree in America. It is of
goodly proportions, but, as far as girth of trunk and spread of branches
constitute the claim upon our respect, there are many nobler specimens
of the American elm in historic Middlesex.

[Illustration: THE WASHINGTON ELM. [From D. Lothrop & Company's Young
Folks' Life of Washington.]]

Extravagant claims have been made with regard to its age, but it is
extremely improbable that any tree of this species has ever rounded out
its third century. Under favorable conditions, the growth of the elm is
very rapid, a single century sometimes sufficing to develop a tree
larger than the Washington Elm.

When Governor Winthrop and Lieutenant-Governor Dudley, in 1630, rode
along the banks of the Charles in quest of a suitable site for the
capital of their colony, it is barely possible the great elm was in
being. It would be a pleasant conceit to link the thrifty growth of
the young sapling with the steady advancement of the new settlement,
enshrining it as a sort of guardian genius of the place, the living
witness of progress in Cambridge from the first feeble beginnings.

The life of the tree, however, probably does not date farther back than
the last quarter of the seventeenth century. In its early history there
was nothing to distinguish it from its peers of the greenwood. When the
surrounding forest fell beneath the axe of the woodman, the trees
conspicuous for size and beauty escaped the general destruction; among
these was the Washington Elm; but there is no evidence that it surpassed
its companions.

Tradition states that another large elm once stood on the northwest
corner of the Common, under which the Reverend George Whitefield, the
Wesleyan evangelist, preached in 1745. Others claim that it was the
Washington Elm under which the sermon was delivered. The two trees stood
near each other, and the hearers were doubtless scattered under each.
But the great elm was destined to look down upon scenes that stirred the
blood even more than the vivid eloquence of a Whitefield. Troublous
times had come, and the mutterings of discontent were voicing themselves
in more and more articulate phrase. The old tree must have been privy
to a great deal of treasonable talk--at first, whispered with many
misgivings, under the cover of darkness; later, in broad daylight,
fearlessly spoken aloud. The smoke of bonfires, in which blazed the
futile proclamations of the King, was wafted through its branches.
It saw the hasty burial, by night, of the Cambridge men who were slain
upon the nineteenth of April, 1775; it saw the straggling arrival of
the beaten, but not disheartened, survivors of Bunker Hill; it saw the
Common--granted to the town as a training-field--suddenly transformed
to a camp, under General Artemas Ward, commander-in-chief of the
Massachusetts troops.

The crowning glory in the life of the great elm was at hand. On the
twenty-first of June, Washington, without allowing himself time to take
leave of his family, set out on horseback from Philadelphia, arriving at
Cambridge on the second of July. Sprightly Dorothy Dudley in her Journal
describes the exercises of the third, with the florid eloquence of

"To-day, he (Washington) formally took command, under _one of the
grand old elms_ on the Common. It was a magnificent sight. The
majestic figure of the General, mounted upon his horse beneath the
wide-spreading branches of the patriarch tree; the multitude thronging
the plain around, and the houses filled with interested spectators of
the scene, while the air rung with shouts of enthusiastic welcome, as he
drew his sword, and thus declared himself Commander-in-chief of the
Continental army."

Dorothy does not specify under which elm Washington stood. It is safely
inferable from her language that our tree was one of several noble elms
which at this time were standing upon the Common.

Although no contemporaneous pen seems to have pointed out the exact tree
beyond all question, happily the day is not so far distant from us that
oral testimony is inadmissible. Of this there is enough to satisfy the
most captious critic.

Where the stone church is now situated, there was formerly an old
gambrel-roofed house, in which the Moore family lived during the
Revolution. The situation was very favorable for observation, commanding
the highroad from Watertown to Cambridge Common, and directly opposite
the great elm. From the windows of this house the spectators saw the
ceremony to good advantage, and one of them, styled, in 1848, the
"venerable Mrs. Moore," lived to point out the tree, and describe the
glories of the occasion, seventy-five years afterward. Fathers, who were
eyewitnesses standing beneath this tree, have told the story to their
sons, and those sons have not yet passed away. There is no possibility
that we are paying our vows at a counterfeit shrine.

Great events which mark epochs in history, bestow an imperishable
dignity even upon the meanest objects with which they are associated.
When Washington drew his sword beneath the branches, the great elm, thus
distinguished above its fellows, passed at once into history,
henceforward to be known as the Washington Elm.

    "Under the brave old tree
  Our fathers gathered in arms, and swore
  They would follow the sign their banners bore,
    And fight till the land was free."--_Holmes_.

The elm was often honored by the presence of Washington, who, it is
said, had a platform built among the branches, where, we may suppose,
he used to ponder over the plans of the campaign. The Continental army,
born within the shade of the old tree, overflowing the Common, converted
Cambridge into a fortified camp. Here, too, the flag of thirteen stripes
for the first time swung to the breeze.

These were the palmy days of the elm. When the tide of war set away
from New England, the Washington Elm fell into unmerited neglect. The
struggling patriots had no time for sentiment; and when the war came to
an end they were too busy in shaping the conduct of the government, and
in repairing their shattered fortunes, to pay much attention to trees.
It was not until the great actors in those days were rapidly passing
away, that their descendants turned with an affectionate regard to the
enduring monuments inseparably associated with the fathers. Among these,
the Washington Elm deservedly holds a high rank.

On the third of July, 1875, the citizens of Cambridge celebrated the one
hundredth anniversary of Washington's assuming the command of the army.
The old tree was the central figure of the occasion. The American flag
floated above the topmost branches, and a profusion of smaller flags
waved amid the foliage. Never tree received a more enthusiastic ovation.

It is enclosed by a circular iron fence erected by the Reverend Daniel
Austin. Outside the fence, but under the branches, stands a granite
tablet erected by the city of Cambridge, upon which is cut an
inscription written by Longfellow:--

        OF THE
    JULY 3D, 1775.

In 1850, it still retained its graceful proportions; its great limbs
were intact, and it showed few traces of age. Within the past
twenty-five years, it has been gradually breaking up.

In 1844, its girth, three feet from the ground, where its circumference
is least, was twelve feet two and a half inches. In 1884, at the same
point, it measures fourteen feet one inch; a gain so slight that the
rings of annual growth must be difficult to trace--an evidence of waning
vital force. The grand subdivisions of the trunk are all sadly crippled;
unsightly bandages of zinc mask the progress of decay; the symptoms of
approaching dissolution are painfully evident, especially in the winter
season. In summer, the remaining vitality expends itself in a host of
branchlets which feather the limbs, and give rise to a false impression
of vigor.

Never has tree been cherished with greater care, but its days are
numbered. A few years more or less, and, like Penn's Treaty Elm and the
famous Charter Oak, it will be numbered with the things that were.


When John Eliot had become a power among the Indians, with far-reaching
sagacity he judged it best to separate his converts from the whites, and
accordingly, after much inquiry and toilsome search, gathered them into
a community at Natick--an old Indian name formerly interpreted as "a
place of hills," but now generally admitted to mean simply "my land."
Anticipating the policy which many believe must eventually be adopted
with regard to the entire Indian question, Eliot made his settlers
land-owners, conferred upon them the right to vote and hold office,
impressed upon them the duties and responsibilities of citizenship, and
taught them the rudiments of agriculture and the mechanic arts.

In the summer of 1651, the Indians built a framed edifice, which
answered, as is the case to-day in many small country towns, the double
purpose of a schoolroom on week-days, and a sanctuary on the Sabbath.
Professor C.E. Stowe once called that building the first known
theological seminary of New England, and said that for real usefulness
it was on a level with, if not above, any other in the known world.

It is assumed that two oaks, one of the red, and the other of the white,
species, of which the present Eliot Oak is the survivor, were standing
near this first Indian church. The early records of Eliot's labors make
no mention of these trees. Adams, in his Life of Eliot, says: "It would
be interesting if we could identify some of the favorite places of the
Indians in this vicinity," but fails to find sufficient data. Bigelow
(or Biglow, according to ancient spelling), in his History of Natick,
1830, states: "There are two oaks near the South Meeting-house, which
have undoubtedly stood there since the days of Eliot." It is greatly to
be regretted that the writer did not state the evidence upon which his
conclusion was based.

Bacon, in his History of Natick, 1856, remarks: "The oak standing a few
rods to the east of the South Meeting-house bears every evidence of an
age greater than that of the town, and was probably a witness of Eliot's
first visit to the 'place of hills.'" It would be quite possible to
subscribe to this conclusion, while dissenting entirely from the
premises. It will be noticed that Bacon relies upon the appearance of
the tree as a proof of its age. His own measurement, fourteen and a half
feet circumference at two feet from the ground, is not necessarily
indicative of more than a century's growth.

The writer upon Natick, in Drake's Historic Middlesex, avoids expressing
an opinion. "Tradition links these trees with the Indian Missionary."
For very long flights of time, tradition--as far as the age of trees is
concerned--cannot at all be relied upon; within the narrow limits
involved in the present case, it may be received with caution.

The Red Oak which stood nearly in front of the old Newell Tavern, was
the original Eliot Oak. Mr. Austin Bacon, who is familiar with the early
history and legends of Natick, states that "Mr. Samuel Perry, a man who
could look back to 1749, often said that Mr. Peabody, the successor to
Eliot, used to hitch his horse by that tree every Sabbath, because Eliot
used to hitch his there."

This oak was originally very tall; the top was probably broken off in
the tremendous September gale of 1815; as it was reported to be in a
mutilated condition in 1820. Time, however, partially concealed the
disaster by means of a vigorous growth of the remaining branches. In
1830, it measured seventeen feet in circumference two feet from the
ground. It had now become a tree of note, and would probably have
monopolized the honors to the exclusion of the present Eliot Oak, had it
not met with an untimely end. The keeper of the tavern in front of which
it stood had the tree cut down in May, 1842. This act occasioned great
indignation, and gave rise to a lawsuit at Framingham, "which was
settled by the offenders against public opinion paying the costs and
planting trees in the public green." A cartload of the wood was carried
to the trial, and much of it was taken home by the spectators to make
into canes and other relics,

  "The King is dead, long live the King!"

Upon the demise of the old monarch, the title naturally passed to the
White Oak, its neighbor, another of the race of Titans, standing
conveniently near, of whose early history very little is positively
known beyond the fact that it is an old tree; and with the title passed
the traditions and reverence that gather about crowned heads.

Mrs. Stowe has given it a new claim to notice, for beneath it, according
to Drake's Historic Middlesex, "Sam Lawson, the good-natured, lazy
story-teller, in Oldtown Folks, put his blacksmith's shop. It was
removed when the church was built."

The present Eliot Oak stands east of the Unitarian meeting-house, which
church is on or near the spot where Eliot's first church stood. It
measured, January, 1884, seventeen feet in circumference at the ground;
fourteen feet two inches at four feet above. It is a fine old tree, and
it is not improbable--though it is unproven--that it dates back to the
first settlement of Natick.

  "Thou ancient oak! whose myriad leaves are loud
  With sounds of unintelligible speech,
  Sounds as of surges on a shingly beach,
  Or multitudinous murmurs of a crowd;
  With some mysterious gift of tongues endowed
  Thou speakest a different dialect to each.
  To me a language that no man can teach,
  Of a lost race long vanished like a cloud,
  For underneath thy shade, in days remote,
  Seated like Abraham at eventide,
  Beneath the oak of Mamre, the unknown
  Apostle of the Indian, Eliot, wrote
  His Bible in a language that hath died.
  And is forgotten save by thee alone."--_Longfellow_.

       *       *       *       *       *


By Henrietta E. Page.

  Yet slept the wearied mæstro, and all around was still,
  Though the sunlight danced on tree-top, on valley, and on hill;
  The distant city's busy hum, just faintly heard afar,
  Served but to lull to deeper rest Euterpe's brilliant star.

  Wilhelmj slept, for over-night his triumphs had been grand,
  He had praised and fêted been by the noblest in the land,
  And rich and poor had vied alike to honor Music's king,
  Making the lofty rafters with the wildest plaudits ring.

  Now, brain and hand aweary, he had fled for peace and rest,
  And he should be disturbed by none, not e'en a royal guest.
  The porter nodded in his chair: I dare not say he slept:
  But sprang upright, as through the door a fairy vision crept.

  A tiny girl with shining eyes, and wavy golden hair,
  Tip-toed along the corridor, and close up to his chair,
  And a bird-like voice sweet questioned, "Wilhelmj, where is he?
  I've brought a little tribute for the great mæstro,--see!"

  Her looped-up dress she opened, displaying to his view
  A mass of brilliant woodland flowers, wet with morning dew;
  Placing his finger on his lip, he pointed out the door;
  She smiled her thanks, and softly went and strewed them on the floor.

  Then like a vision of the morn, with eyes of heaven's own blue,
  She slowly oped the outer door and gently glided through.
  Hours after, when Wilhelmj woke he gazed in mute surprise
  Upon those buds and blossoms fair, with softened, tender eyes.

  They took him back long years agone, when, as a happy child,
  He wandered, too, amid the woods, on summer mornings mild;
  Aye, back to his home and mother; back to his old home nest,
  To the blessed scenes of childhood; back into peace and rest.

  And when he heard the story,--how the child had come and fled,--
  "This is my greatest triumph" (with tears the mæstro said),
  "For no gift of king or princes, no praise could please me more.
  Than this living mat of flowers a child laid at my door."

       *       *       *       *       *


By Thomas W. Bicknell, LL.D.

The act of banishment which severed Roger Williams from the
Massachusetts Colony, in 1635, was the means of _advancing_, rather
than _hindering_, the spread of the so-called _heresies_ which
he so bravely advocated. As the persecutions which drove the disciples
of Christ from Jerusalem were the means of extending the cause of
Christianity, so the principles of toleration and of soul-liberty were
strengthened by opposition, in the mind of this apostle of freedom of
conscience in the New World. His Welsh birth and Puritan education made
him a bold and earnest advocate of whatever truth his conscience
approved, and he went everywhere "preaching the word" of individual
freedom. The sentence of exile could not silence his tongue, nor destroy
his influence. "The divers new and dangerous opinions" which he had
"broached and divulged," though hostile to the notions of the clergy and
the authorities of Massachusetts Bay, were at the same time quite
acceptable to a few brave souls, who, like himself, dared the censures,
and even the persecutions, of their brethren, for the sake of liberty of

The dwellers in old Rehoboth were the nearest white neighbors of Roger
Williams and his band at Providence. The Reverend Samuel Newman was the
pastor of the church in this ancient town, having removed with the first
settlers from Weymouth in 1643. Learned, godly, and hospitable, as he
was, he had not reached the "height of that great argument" concerning
human freedom; and while he cherished kindly feelings toward the
dwellers at Providence, he evidently feared the introduction of their
sentiments among his people. The jealous care of Newman to preserve what
he conscientiously regarded as the purity of religious faith and polity
was not a sufficient barrier against the teachings of the founder of
Rhode Island.

Although the settlers of Plymouth Colony cherished more liberal
sentiments than their neighbors of the Bay Colony, and sanctioned the
expulsion of Mr. Williams from Seekonk only for the purpose of
preserving peace with those whom Blackstone called "the Lord Bretheren,"
yet they guarded the prerogatives of the ruling church order as worthy
not only of the _respect_, but also the _support_, of all.
Rehoboth was the most liberal, as well as the most loyal, of the
children of Plymouth; but the free opinions which the planters brought
from Weymouth, where an attempt had already been made to establish a
Baptist church, enabled them to sympathize strongly with their neighbors
across the Seekonk River. "At this time," says Baylies, "so much
indifference as to the support of the clergy was manifested in Plymouth
Colony, as to excite the alarm of the other confederated colonies. The
complaint of Massachusetts against Plymouth on this subject was laid
before the Commissioners, and drew from them a severe reprehension.
Rehoboth had been afflicted with a severe schism, and by its proximity
to Providence and its plantations, where there was a universal
toleration, the practice of free inquiry was encouraged, and principle,
fancy, whim, and conscience, all conspired to lessen the veneration for
ecclesiastical authority." As the "serious schism" referred to above led
to the foundation of the first Baptist church within the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, on New Meadow Neck in Old Swanzey, it is worthy of record
here. The leader in this church revolt was Obadiah Holmes, a native of
Preston, in Lancashire, England. He was connected with the church in
Salem from 1639 till 1646, when he was excommunicated, and removing with
his family to Rehoboth, he joined Mr. Newman's church. The doctrines and
the discipline of this church proved too severe for Mr. Holmes, and he,
with eight others, withdrew in 1649, and established a new church by

Mr. Newman's irascible temper was kindled into a persecuting zeal
against the offending brethren, and, after excommunicating them, he
aroused the civil authorities against them. So successful was he that
four petitions were presented to the Plymouth Court; one from Rehoboth,
signed by thirty-five persons; one from Taunton; one from all the
clergymen in the colony but two, and one from the government of
Massachusetts. How will the authorities at Plymouth treat this first
division in the ruling church of the colony? Will they punish by severe
fines, by imprisonment, by scourgings, or by banishment? By neither, for
a milder spirit of toleration prevailed, and the separatists were simply
directed to "refrain from practices disagreeable to their brethren, and
to appear before the Court."

In 1651, some time after his trial at Plymouth, Mr. Holmes was arrested,
with Mr. Clarke, of Newport, and Mr. Crandall, for preaching and
worshiping God with some of their brethren at Lynn. They were condemned
by the Court at Boston to suffer fines or whippings. Holmes refused to
pay the fine, and would not allow his friends to pay it for him, saying
that "to pay it would be acknowledging himself to have done wrong,
whereas his conscience testified that he had done right." He was
accordingly punished with thirty lashes from a three-corded whip, with
such severity, says Governor Jenks, "that in many days, if not some
weeks, he could take no rest but as he lay upon his knees and elbows,
not being able to suffer any part of his body to touch the bed whereon
he lay." Soon after this, Holmes and his followers moved to Newport, and
on the death of the Reverend Mr. Clarke, in 1652, he succeeded him as
pastor of the First Baptist Church in that time. Mr. Holmes died at
Newport in 1682, aged seventy-six years.

The persecution offered to the Rehoboth Baptists scattered their
church, but did not destroy their principles. Facing the obloquy
attached to their cause, and braving the trials imposed by the civil
and ecclesiastical powers, they must wait patiently God's time of
deliverance. That their lives were free from guile, none claim. That
their cause was righteous, none will deny; and while the elements
of a Baptist church were thus gathering strength on this side of the
Atlantic, a leader was prepared for them, by God's providence, on the
other. In the same year that Obadiah Holmes and his band established
their church in Massachusetts, in opposition to the Puritan order,
Charles I, the great English traitor, expiated his "high crimes and
misdemeanors" on the scaffold, at the hands of a Puritan Parliament.
Then followed the period of the Commonwealth under Cromwell, and then
the Restoration, when "there arose up a new king over Egypt, who knew
not Joseph." The Act of Uniformity, passed in 1662, under the sanction
of Charles II, though a fatal blow at the purity and piety of the
English Church, was a royal blessing to the cause of religion in
America. Two thousand bravely conscientious men, who feared God more
than the decrees of Pope, King, or Parliament, were driven from their
livings and from the kingdom. What was England's great loss was
America's great gain, for a grand tidal wave of emigration swept
westward across the Atlantic to our shores. Godly men and women, clergy
and laity, made up this exiled band, too true and earnest to yield a
base compliance to the edict of conformity. For thirteen years here the
Dissenters from Mr. Newman's church waited for a spiritual guide, but
not in vain.

How our Baptist brethren here conducted themselves during these years,
and the difficulties they may have occasioned or encountered, we know
but little. Plymouth, liberal already, has grown more lenient towards
church offenders in matters of conscience. Mr. John Brown, a citizen of
Rehoboth, and one of the magistrates, has presented before the Court his
scruples at the expediency of coercing the people to support the
ministry, and has offered to pay from his own property the taxes of all
those of his townsmen who may refuse their support of the ministry. This
was in 1665. Massachusetts Bay has tried to correct the errors of her
sister colony on the subject of toleration, and has in turn been rebuked
by her example.


Leaving the membership awhile, let us cross the sea to Wales to find
their future pastor and teacher--John Myles.

Wales had been the asylum for the persecuted and oppressed for many
centuries. There freedom of religious thought was tolerated, and from
thence sprung three men of unusual vigor and power: Roger Williams,
Oliver Cromwell, and John Myles. About the year 1645, the Baptists in
that country who had previously been scattered and connected with other
churches, began to unite in the formation of separate churches, under
their own pastors. Prominent among these was the Reverend Mr. Myles, who
preached in various places with great success, until the year 1649, when
we find him pastor of a church which he organized in Swansea, in South
Wales. It is a singular coincidence that Mr. Myles's pastorate at
Swansea, and the separation of the members from the Rehoboth church, a
part of whom aided in establishing the church in Swanzey, Massachusetts,
occurred in the same year.

During the Protectorate of Cromwell, all Dissenters enjoyed the largest
liberty of conscience, and, as a result, the church at Swansea grew from
forty-eight to three hundred souls. Around this centre of influence
sprang up several branch churches, and pastors were raised up to care
for them. Mr. Myles soon became the leader of his denomination in Wales,
and in 1651 he was sent as the representative of all the Baptist
churches in Wales to the Baptist ministers' meeting, at Glazier's Hall,
London, with a letter, giving an account of the peace, union, and
increase of the work. As a preacher and worker he had no equal in that
country, and his zeal enabled him to establish many new churches in his
native land. The act of the English Saint Bartholomew's Day, in 1662,
deprived Mr. Myles of the support which the government under Cromwell
had granted him, and he, with many others, chose the freedom of exile to
the tyranny of an unprincipled monarch. It would be interesting for us
to give an account of his leave-taking of his church at Swansea, and of
his associates in Christian labor, and to trace out his passage to
Massachusetts, and to relate the circumstances which led him to search
out and to find the little band of Baptists at Rehoboth. Surely some law
of spiritual gravitation or affinity, under the good hand of God, thus
raised up and brought this under-shepherd to the flock thus scattered in
the wilderness. Nicholas Tanner, Obadiah Brown, John Thomas, and others,
accompanied Mr. Myles in his exile from Swansea, Wales. The first that
is known of them in America was the formation of a Baptist church at the
house of John Butterworth in Rehoboth, whose residence is said to have
been near the Cove in the western part of the present town of East
Providence. Mr. Myles and his followers had probably learned at Boston,
or at Plymouth, of the treatment offered to Holmes and his party, ten
years before, and his sympathies led him to seek out and unite the
elements which persecution had scattered. Seven members made up this
infant church, namely: John Myles, pastor, James Brown, Nicholas Tanner,
Joseph Carpenter, John Butterworth, Eldad Kingsley, and Benjamin Alby.
The principles to which their assent was given were the same as those
held by the Welsh Baptists, as expounded by Mr. Myles. The original
record-book of the church contains a list of the members of Mr. Myles's
church in Swansea, from 1640 till 1660, with letters, decrees,
ordinances, etc., of the several churches of the denomination in England
and Wales. This book, now in the possession of the First Baptist Church
in Swanzey, Massachusetts, is probably a copy of the original Welsh
records, made by or for Mr. Myles's church in Massachusetts, the
sentiments of which controlled their actions here.

Of the seven constituent members, only one was a member of Myles's
church in Wales--Nicholas Tanner. James Brown was a son of John Brown,
both of whom held high offices in the Plymouth colony. Mr. Newman and
his church were again aroused at the revival of this dangerous sect, and
they again united with the other orthodox churches of the colony in
soliciting the Court to interpose its influence against them, and the
members of this little church were each fined five pounds, for setting
up a public meeting without the knowledge and approbation of the Court,
to the disturbance of the peace of the place,--ordered to desist from
their meeting for the space of a month, and advised to remove their
meeting to some other place where they might not prejudice any other
church. The worthy magistrates of Plymouth have not told us how these
few Baptist brethren "disturbed the peace" of quiet old Rehoboth. Good
old Rehoboth, that roomy place, was not big enough to contain this
church of seven members, and we have to-day to thank the spirit of
Newman and the order of Plymouth Court for the handful of seed-corn,
which they cast upon the waters, which here took root and has brought
forth the fruits of a sixty-fold growth.

From a careful reading of the first covenant of the church, we judge
that it was a breach of ecclesiastical, rather than of civil, law, and
that the fines and banishment from the limits of Rehoboth were imposed
as a preventive against any further inroads upon the membership of Mr.
Newman's church. In obedience to the orders of the Court, the members of
Mr. Myles's church looked about for a more convenient dwelling-place,
and found it as near to the limits of the old town and their original
homes as the law would allow. Within the bounds of Old Swanzey,
Massachusetts, in the northern part of the present town of Barrington,
Rhode Island, they selected a site for a church edifice. The spot now
pointed out as the location of this building for public worship is near
the main road from Warren by Munro's Tavern to Providence, on the east
side of a by-way leading from said road to the residence of Joseph G.
West, Esq. A plain and simple structure, it was undoubtedly fitted up
quickly by their own labor, to meet the exigency of the times. Here they
planted their first spiritual home, and enjoyed a peace which pastor and
people had long sought for.

The original covenant is a remarkable paper, toned with deep piety and a
broad and comprehensive spirit of Christian fellowship.


SWANSEY IN NEW ENGLAND.--A true coppy of the Holy Covenant the first
founders of Swansey Entred into at the first beginning and all the
members thereof for Divers years.

Whereas we Poor Creatures are through the exceeding Riches of Gods
Infinite Grace Mercyfully snatched out of the Kingdom of darkness and by
his Infinite Power translated into the Kingdom of his dear Son, there to
be partakers with all Saints of all those Priviledges which Christ by
the Shedding of his Pretious Blood hath purchased for us, and that we do
find our Souls in Some good Measure wrought on by Divine Grace to desire
to be Conformable to Christ in all things, being also constrained by the
matchless love and wonderfull Distinguishing Mercies that we Abundantly
Injoy from his most free grace to Serve him according to our utmost
capacitys, and that we also know that it is our most bounden Duty to
Walk in Visible Communion with Christ and Each other according to the
Prescript Rule of his most holy word, and also that it is our undoubted
Right through Christ to Injoy all the Priviledges of Gods House which
our souls have for a long time panted after. And finding no other way at
Present by the all-working Providence of our only wise God and gracious
Father to us opened for the Injoyment of the same. We do therefore after
often and Solemn Seeking to the Lord for Help and direction in the fear
of his holy Name, and with hands lifted up to him the most High God,
Humbly and freely offer up ourselves this day a Living Sacrifice unto
him who is our God in Covenant through Christ our Lord and only Savior
to walk together according to his revealed word in the Visible Gospel
Relation both to Christ our only head, and to each other as
fellow-members and Brethren and of the Same Household faith. And we do
Humbly praye that that through his Strength we will henceforth Endeavor
to Perform all our Respective Duties towards God and each other and to
practice all the ordinances of Christ according to what is or shall be
revealed to us in our Respective Places to exercise Practice and Submit
to the Government of Christ in this his Church! viz. furthur Protesting
against all Rending or Dividing Principles or Practices from any of the
People of God as being most abominable and loathsome to our souls and
utterly inconsistent with that Christian Charity which declare men to be
Christ's Disciples. Indeed further declaring in that as Union in Christ
is the sole ground of our Communion, each with other, So we are ready to
accept of, Receive too and hold Communion with all such as by a judgment
of Charity we conceive to be fellow-members with us in our head Christ
Jesus tho Differing from us in Such Controversial Points as are not
absolutely and essencially necessary to salvation. We also hope that
though of ourselves we are altogether unworthy and unfit thus to offer
up ourselves to God or to do him a--or to expect any favor with, or
mercy from Him. He will graciously accept of this our free will offering
in and through the merit and mediation of our Dear Redeemer. And that he
will imploy and emprove us in his service to his Praise, to whom be all
Glory, Honor, now and forever, Amen.

The names of the persons that first joyned themselves in the Covanant
aforesaid as a Church of Christ,

  JOHN MYLES, Elder,

The catholic spirit of Mr. Myles soon drew to the new settlement on New
Meadow Neck many families who held to Baptist opinions, as well as some
of other church relations friendly to their interests. The opposition
which their principles had awakened, had brought the little company into
public notice, and their character had won for them the respect and
confidence of their neighbors.

The Rehoboth church had come to regard Mr. Myles and his followers with
more kindly feelings, and, in 1666, after the death of the Reverend Mr.
Newman, it was voted by the town that Mr. Myles be invited to "preach,
namely: once in a fortnight on the week day, and once on the Sabbath
day." And in August of the same year the town voted "that Mr. Myles
shall still continue to lecture on the week day, and further on the
Sabbath, if he be thereunto legally called."

This interchange of pulpit relations indicates a cordial sentiment
between the two parishes, which is in striking contrast to the hostility
manifested to the new church but three years before, when they were
warned out of the town, and suggests the probable fact that animosities
had been conquered by good will, and that sober judgment had taken the
place of passionate bigotry.

       *       *       *       *       *


_The Elders' Advice in Matrimonial Matters._

From the Baptist Church records copied from the Welsh, which were
brought from Swansea, Wales, by the Reverend John Myles, we quote, as

"The Sabbath meeting shall begin at 8 A.M., and on the fourth day of the
weeke begins at nine of the Clock."...

"That one brother extemporize in Welsh for an hour, and after the said
Welsh brother there shall be a publick sermon to the world, after this
breaking bread."...

"That such brethren or sisters as shall any way hereafter intend to
change their calling or condition of life by marriage or otherwise, do
propose their cases to the elders or ablest brethren of the church, to
have council from before they make any engagements, and in all difficult
cases, and before all marriages, the churches council be taken therein."

       *       *       *       *       *


By Henry B. Carrington.

  "And the veil of the temple was rent in twain."


  The Great I AM,--that Presence, Infinite,
  Which wrought creation by the breath
  Of Sovereign Will,--and in His Image bright,
  Brought man to life, to dwell in Paradise,--
  Took gracious pity on his lost estate,
  When sin had marred that perfect image,
  And Earth could pay no ransom for the soul.


  Jehovah,--God, effulgence bright,--august,--
  In majesty supreme, from Heaven stooped down,
  And through His wondrous love, ineffable,
  Enshrined Himself within that sacred place,
  Which, once in each revolving year,
  The type of the Redeemer, promised,
  Might dare approach, with awe, with offerings
  For the sins of Israel's children.


  As but a day, four thousand years, when told,
  With Him, who was, and is to be,--
  Eternal--Three in One,--Omnipotent:--
  Such was the span of ripening promise,
  Until the hour matured, and Saving Grace,
  The full Redemption offered,--by gift
  Of Spotless purity,--His Only Son.


  Within the "Holy Place," the High Priest bowed,
  While dread Shekinah lingered,--(ne'er again
  To yield to Jewish rite or sacrifice,
  The boon of pardoned guilt, for blood of goats
  Or bullocks, without blemish);--and bowed,
  While yet the echoes of his voice, profane,
  Still quivered in the midnight air,--floating
  Upward toward the Great White Throne,--crying,
  O,--crucify the spotless Son of Man,
  And let Barabbas, son of sin, go free.


  Where direst portents, solitude profound,--
  Place, awful with the bleaching types of death,
  Had published forth Golgotha's cruel name.
  The stately High Priest, from the "Holy Place"
  Approached, to consummate prophetic crime,--
  To fill the measure of Judea's sin,--
  And bring Messiah to a dying race.




  O,--light of day, whose now averted face,
  As ne'er before, withholds thy cheer from man!--
  O,--quaking earth, whose bed of solid rock,
  Is shivered by some pang of awful ill!--
  O,--graves, once sealed o'er loved ones, laid aside,
  To answer only at Archangels' call!--
  What tragedy of creation's Master;--
  What spell upon creation's normal peace;--
  What overturn of laws immutable;--
  What contradictions in the mind Supreme;
  Have wrought this pregnant ruin,--earth throughout!


  O,--priest, whose ministrations, laid aside
  To bring fulfillment of the fearful curse
  Upon thy race, have now that curse assured,--
  Look back!--and see the altar, bared to view
  Of vulgar herd and phrenzied populace.
  "_The veil in twain is rent_,"--and never more
  Shall dread Shekinah show Himself to thee;--
  But where each humble soul, with sin oppressed,
  Lifts up the cry of penitential grief,
  A temple shall be found,--and deep within,
  Shall dwell that sacred Presence,--evermore.

       *       *       *       *       *


By Elizabeth Porter Gould.

When Agassiz requested to go down the ages with no other name than
"Teacher," he not only appropriately crowned his own life-work, but
stamped the vocation of teaching with a royalty which can never be
gainsaid. By this act he dignified with lasting honor all those to whom
the name "Teacher," in its truest meaning, can be applied.

In this work of teaching, one man stands out in the history of New
England who should be better known to the present generation. He was a
benefactor in the colonial days when education was striving to keep her
lamp burning in the midst of the necessary practical work which engaged
the attention of most of the people of that time. His name was Ezekiel
Cheever. When a young man of twenty-three years, he came from
London--where he was born January 25, 1614--to Boston, seven years after
its settlement. The following spring he went to New Haven, where he soon
married, and became actively engaged in founding the colony there. Among
the men who went there the same year was a Mr. Wigglesworth, whose son,
in later years, as the Reverend Michael Wigglesworth, gave an account of
Mr. Cheever's success in the work of teaching, which he began soon after
reaching the place. "I was sent to school to Mr. Ezekiel Cheever, who at
that time taught school in his own house, and under him in a year or two
I profited so much through y'e blessing of God, that I began to make
Latin & to get forward apace."

Mr. Cheever received as a salary for two or three years twenty pounds;
and in 1643, while receiving this salary, his name is sixth in the list
of planters and their estates, his estate being valued only at twenty
pounds. In the year following, his salary was raised to thirty pounds
a year. This probably was an actual necessity, for his family now
consisted, besides himself and wife, of a son Samuel, five years old,
and a daughter Mary of four years. Ezekiel, born two years before, had
died. This son, Samuel, it may be said in passing, was graduated at
Harvard College in 1659, and was settled as a clergyman at Marblehead,
Massachusetts, where he died at the age of eighty-five, having been
universally esteemed during his long life.

Besides being the teacher of the new colony, Mr. Cheever entered into
other parts of its work. He was one of the twelve men chosen as "fitt
for the foundacon worke of the church." He was also chosen a member of
the Court for the plantation, at its first session, and in 1646 he was
one of the deputies to the General Court. It is supposed that during
this time he wrote his valuable little book called The Accidence. It
passed through seventeen editions before the Revolution. A copy of the
eighteenth edition, printed in Boston in 1785, is now in the Boston
Athenæum. It is a quaint little book of seventy-two pages, with one
cover gone, and is surely an object of interest to all loving students
of Latin. A copy of the tenth edition is found in Harvard College, while
it has been said that a copy of the seventh is in a private library in
Hartford, Connecticut. The last edition was published in Boston in 1838.
In a prospectus, containing commendations of the work from many eminent
men of learning, the Honorable Josiah Quincy, LL.D., president of
Harvard College, said of it: "A work which was used for more than a
century in the schools of New England, as the first elementary book for
learners of the Latin language; which held its place in some of the most
eminent of those schools, nearly, if not quite, to the end of the last
century; which has passed through at least twenty editions in this
country; which was the subject of the successive labor and improvement
of a man who spent seventy years in the business of instruction, and
whose fame is second to that of no schoolmaster New England has ever
produced, requires no additional testimony to its worth or its merits."
A copy of this edition is now in the library of the Massachusetts
Historical Society. Dr. David W. Cheever, of Boston, a descendant of the
schoolmaster, also has one in his possession.

There is another old book in the Boston Athenæum, published in 1757,
containing three short essays under the title of Scripture Prophecies
Explained. The first one is "On the Restitution of All Things"; the
second is "On St. John's First Resurrection"; and the third, "On the
Personal Coming of Jesus Christ, as Commencing at the Beginning of the
Millenium described in the Apocalypse." These were written by Mr.
Cheever, but at what time of his life there seems to be some doubt. They
indicate his religious zeal, which at this time in New Haven was put
forth for the good of the church. Although he was never ordained to the
ministry, yet he occasionally preached. In 1649, however, he dissented
from the judgment of the church and elders in regard to some cases of
discipline, and for some comments on their action, which seemed to them
severe, they brought charges against him. Two of the principal ones
were: "1. His unseemly gestures and carriage before the church, in the
mixed assembly;" and "2. That when the church did agree to two charges
(namely, of assumption and partiality), he did not give his vote either
to the affirmative or the negative."

As showing some of the phases of a common humanity, the reading of the
trial is interesting. Mr. Cheever, who was then thirty-five years old,
was desired to answer these charges of unseemly gestures, which his
accusers had brought down to a rather small point, such as holding down
his head into the seat, "then laughing or smiling," and also "wrapping
his handkerchief about his face, and then pulling it off again;" and
still another, "that his carriage was offensively uncomely," three
affirming "that he rather carried it as one acting a play, than as one
in the presence of God in an ordinance."

In his answer to these, Mr. Cheever explained his actions as arising
from violent headaches, which, coming upon him usually "on the Lord's
day in the evening, and after church meeting," were mitigated by winding
his handkerchief around his head 'as a fillet.' As to his smiling or
laughing, "he knew not whether there was any more than a natural,
ordinary cheerfulness of countenance seeming to smile, which whether it
be sinful or avoidable by him, he knew not;" but he wished to humble
himself for the "least appearance of evil, and occasion of offence, and
to watch against it." As to his working with the church, he said: "I
must act with the church, and (which is uncomfortable) I must either act
with their light, or may expect to suffer, as I have done, and do at
this day, for conscience' sake; but I had rather suffer anything from
men than make a shipwreck of a good conscience or go against my present
light, though erroneous, when discovered."

He then went on to say that, while he did not wholly free himself from
blame as to his carriage, and as to his "want of wisdom and coolness in
ordering and uttering his speeches," yet he could not be convinced as
yet that he had been guilty of "Miriam's sin," or deserved the censure
which the church had inflicted upon him; and he could not look upon it
"as dispensed according to the rules of Christ." Then he closed his
address with the following words, which will give some idea of his
Christian spirit: "Yet I wait upon God for the discovery of truth in His
own time, either to myself or church, that what is amiss may be repented
of and reformed; that His blessing and presence may be among them and
upon His holy ordinances rightly dispensed, to His glory and their
present and everlasting comfort, which I heartily pray for, and am so
bound, having received much good and comfort in that fellowship, though
I am now deprived of it."

At about this time of his trial with the church he was afflicted by the
death of his wife. Three more children had been born to them--Elizabeth,
Sarah, and Hannah. Soon after this, in 1650,--and, it has been said, on
account of his troubles,--he removed to Ipswich, Massachusetts, to
become master of the grammar school there. His services as teacher in
New Haven must have been valued, if one can judge by the amount of
salary received, for, in the case of the teacher who followed him, the
people were not willing "to pay as large a salary as they had done to
Mr. Cheever," and so they gave him ten pounds a year.

After Mr. Cheever had been in Ipswich two years, Robert Payne, a
philanthropic man, gave to the town a dwelling-house with two acres of
land for the schoolmaster; he also gave a new schoolhouse for the
school, of which this man was the appreciated teacher; for many
neighboring towns sent scholars to him, and it was said that those who
received "the Cheeverian education" were better fitted for college than
any others.

In November of this same year he married Ellen Lathrop, sister of
Captain Thomas Lathrop, of Beverly, who two years before had brought her
from England to America with him, with the promise that he would be a
father to her. While living in Ipswich they had four children, Abigail,
Ezekiel, Nathaniel, and Thomas; two more, William and Susanna, were born
later, in Charlestown. Their son Ezekiel must have lived to a good old
age, at least seventy-seven years, for as late as 1731 his name appears
in the annals of the village parish of Salem, where he became heir to
Captain Lathrop's real estate; while their son Thomas, born in 1658, was
graduated at Harvard College in 1677, was settled as a minister at
Malden, Massachusetts, and later at Rumney Marsh (Chelsea),
Massachusetts, where he died at a good old age.

After having thus lived in Ipswich eleven years, Mr. Cheever removed,
in 1661, to Charlestown, Massachusetts, to become master of the school
there at a salary of thirty pounds a year. The smallness of this salary
astonishes and suggests much to the modern reader; but when he is
informed that the worthy teacher was obliged during his teaching there
to petition the selectmen that his "yeerly salarie be paid to him, as
the counstables were much behind w'th him," the whole matter becomes
pathetic. Mr. Cheever also asked that the schoolhouse, which was much
out of order, be repaired. And in 1669 he is again before them asking
for a "peece of ground or house plott whereon to build an house for his
familie," which petition he left for the townsmen to consider. They
afterward voted that the selectmen should carry out the request, but as
Mr. Cheever removed in the following year to Boston, it is probable that
his successor had the benefit of it.

When Mr. Cheever entered upon his work as head master of the Boston
Latin School, in 1670, he was fifty-seven years old; and he remained
master of this school until his death, thirty-seven years later. The
schoolhouse was, at this time, in School Street (it was not so named by
the town, however, until 1708) just behind King's Chapel, on a part of
the burying-ground. It has been said that the building was of two
stories to accommodate the teacher and his family. This seems probable
when we read that Mr. Cheever was to have a salary of sixty pounds a
year, and the "possession and use of y'e schoole house." But if he
lived in the building at all, it was not very long, for he is later
living in a house by himself; and in 1701 the selectmen voted that two
men should provide a house for him while his house was being built. The
agreement which the selectmen made with Captain John Barnet with
reference to this house is given in such curious detail in the old
records, and suggests so much, that it is well worth reading. It is as

  "That the said Barnet shall erect a House on the Land where Mr. Ezekiel
  Cheever Lately dwelt, of forty foot Long Twenty foot wide and Twenty
  foot stud with four foot Rise in the Roof, to make a cellar floor under
  one half of S'd house and to build a Kitchen of Sixteen foot in
  Length and twelve foot in breadth with a Chamber therein, and to Lay the
  floors flush through out the maine house and to make three paire of
  Stayers in y'e main house and one paire in the Kitchen and to Inclose
  s'd house and to do and complete all carpenters worke and to find all
  timber boards clapboards nayles glass and Glaziers worke and Iron worke
  and to make one Cellar door and to finde one Lock for the Outer door of
  said House, and also to make the Casements for S'd house, and perform
  S'd worke and to finish S'd building by the first day of August
  next. In consideration whereof the Selectmen do agree that the S'd
  Capt. Barnet shall have the Old Timber boards Iron worke and glass of
  the Old house now Standing on S'd Land and to pay unto him the Sum of
  one hundred and thirty pounds money, that is to say forty pounds down in
  hand and the rest as the worke goes on."

Then follows the agreement for the "masons' worke" in all its details.
Later on, in March, 1702, there is some discussion as to how far back
from the street the house should be placed. But in June of that year the
house is up, for the worthy dignities order that "Capt. John Barnard do
provide a Raysing Dinner for the Raysing the Schoolmasters House at the
Charge of the town not exceeding the Sum of Three pounds." This was
done, for later they order the "noat for three pounds, expended by him
for a dinner at Raysing the Schoolmasters House," be paid him.

After Mr. Cheever's house had received all this painstaking attention
of the town, it was voted that the selectmen should see that a new
schoolhouse be built for him in the place of the old one; this to be
done with the advice of Mr. Cheever. The particulars of this work are
given in as much detail, and are interesting to show the style of
schoolhouse at that day. They are as follows, in the "Selectmen's
Minutes, under July 24, 1704":--

  "Agreed w'th M'r John Barnerd as followeth, he to build a new School
  House of forty foot Long Twenty five foot wide and Eleven foot Stud,
  with eight windows below and five in the Roofe, with wooden Casements to
  the eight Windows, to Lay the lower floor with Sleepers & double boards
  So far as needful, and the Chamber floor with Single boards, to board
  below the plate inside & inside and out, to Clapboard the Outside and
  Shingle the Roof, to make a place to hang the Bell in, to make a paire
  of Staires up to the Chamber, and from thence a Ladder to the bell, to
  make one door next the Street, and a petition Cross the house below, and
  to make three rows of benches for the boyes on each Side of the room,
  to find all Timber, boards, Clapboards shingles nayles hinges. In
  consideration whereof the s'd M'r John Barnerd is to be paid One
  hundred pounds, and to have the Timber, Boards, and Iron worke of the
  Old School House."

Some interesting reminiscences are given, by some of his pupils, of
these school-days in Boston. The Reverend John Barnard, of Marblehead,
who was born in Boston in 1681, speaks of his early days at the Latin
School, in his Autobiography, which is now in the Massachusetts
Historical Society. Among other things he says: "I remember once, in
making a piece of Latin, my master found fault with the syntax of one
word, which was not used by me heedlessly, but designedly, and therefore
I told him there was a plain grammar rule for it. He angrily replied,
there was no such rule. I took the grammar and showed the rule to him.
Then he smilingly said, 'Thou art a brave boy; I had forgot it.' And no
wonder: for he was then above eighty years old." President Stiles of
Yale College, in his Diary, says that he had seen a man who said that he
"well knew a famous grammar-school master, Mr. E. Cheever, of Boston,
author of The Accidence; that he wore a long white beard, terminating in
a point; that when he stroked his beard to the point, it was a sign for
the boys to stand clear."

Judge Sewall, in his Diary, often refers to him. He speaks of a visit
from him, at one time, when Mr. Cheever told him that he had entered his
eighty-eighth year, and was the oldest man in town; and another time,
when he says: "Master Chiever, his coming to me last Saturday January
31, on purpose to tell me he blessed God that I had stood up for the
Truth, is more comfort to me than Mr. Borland's unhandsomeness is
discomfort." He also speaks of him as being a bearer several times at
funerals, where, at one, with others, he received a scarf and ring which
were "given at the House after coming from the Grave." A peculiarity of
the venerable schoolmaster is seen where Judge Sewall says: "Mr.
Wadsworth appears at Lecture in his Perriwigg. Mr. Chiever is grieved at
it." In 1708, the judge gives in this Diary some touching particulars as
to the sickness and death of Mr. Cheever. They are valuable not only for
themselves, but as preserving in a literary form the close friendship
which existed between these two strong men of that day. Hence they are
given here:--

"_Aug_. 12, 1708.--Mr. Chiever is abroad and hears Mr. Cotton Mather
preach. This is the last of his going abroad. Was taken very sick, like
to die with a Flux. _Aug_. 13.--I go to see him, went in with his
son Thomas and Mr. Lewis. His Son spake to him and he knew him not; I
spake to him and he bid me speak again; then he said, Now I know you,
and speaking cheerily mentioned my name. I ask'd his Blessing for me and
my family; He said I was Bless'd, and it could not be Reversed. Yet at
my going away He pray'd for a Blessing for me.

"_Aug_. 19.--I visited Mr. Chiever again, just before Lecture;
Thank'd him for his kindness to me and mine; desired his prayers for me,
my family, Boston, Salem, the Province. He rec'd me with abundance of
Affection, taking me by the hand several times. He said, The Afflictions
of God's people, God by them did as a Goldsmith, knock, knock, knock;
knock, knock, knock, to finish the plate; It was to perfect them not to
punish them. I went and told Mr. Pemberton (the Pastor of Old South) who

"_Aug_. 20.--I visited Mr. Chiever who was now grown much weaker,
and his speech very low. He call'd Daughter! When his daughter Russel
came, He ask'd if the family were composed; They aprehended He was
uneasy because there had not been Prayer that morn; and solicited me to
Pray; I was loth and advised them to send for Mr. Williams, as most
natural, homogeneous; They declined it, and I went to Prayer. After, I
told him, The last enemy was Death, and God hath made that a friend too;
He put his hand out of the Bed, and held it up, to signify his Assent.
Observing he suck'd a piece of an Orange, put it orderly into his mouth
and chew'd it, and then took out the core. After dinner I carried a few
of the best Figs I could get and a dish Marmalet. I spake not to him

"_Aug_. 21.--Mr. Edward Oakes tells me Mr. Chiever died this last

Then in a note he tells the chief facts in his life, which he closes

"So that he has Laboured in that calling (teaching) skilfully,
diligently, constantly, Religiously, Seventy years. A rare Instance of
Piety, Health, Strength, Serviceableness. The Wellfare of the Province
was much upon his spirit. He abominated Perriwiggs."

"_Aug_. 23, 1708.--Mr. Chiever was buried from the Schoolhouse. The
Gov'r, Councillors, Ministers, Justices, Gentlemen there. Mr. Williams
made a handsome Latin Oration in his Honour. Elder Bridgham, Copp,
Jackson, Dyer, Griggs, Hubbard, &c., Bearers. After the Funeral, Elder
Bridgham, Mr. Jackson, Hubbard, Dyer, Tim. Wadsworth, Edw. Procter,
Griggs, and two more came to me and earnestly solicited me to speak to a
place of Scripture, at the private Quarter Meeting in the room of Mr.

Cotton Mather, who had been a pupil of his, preached a funeral sermon in
honor of his loved teacher. It was printed in Boston in 1708, and later
in 1774. A copy of it in the Athenæum is well worth a perusal. Some of
Mr. Cheever's Latin poems are attached to it. Cotton Mather precedes his
sermon by An Historical Introduction, in which, after referring to his
great privilege, he gives the main facts in the long life of the
schoolmaster of nearly ninety-four years. In closing it, he says: "After
he had been a Skilful, Painful, Faithful Schoolmaster for Seventy years;
and had the Singular Favours of Heaven that tho' he had Usefully spent
his Life among children, yet he was not become Twice a child but held
his Abilities, with his usefulness, in an unusual Degree to the very
last." Then follows the sermon, remarkable in its way as a eulogy. But
the Essay in Rhyme in Memory of his "Venerable Master," which follows
the sermon, is even more characteristic and remarkable. In it are some
couplets which are unique and interesting.

  "Do but name _Cheever_, and the _Echo_ straight
  Upon that name. _Good Latin_ will Repeat.

  "And in our _School_, a Miracle is wrought:
  For the _Dead Languages_ to _Life_ are brought.

  "Who serv'd the _School_, the _Church_, did not forget,
  But Thought and Prayed & often wept for it.

  "How oft we saw him tread the _Milky Way_
  Which to the Glorious _Throne of Mercy_ lay!

  "Come from the _Mount_ he shone with ancient Grace,
  Awful the _Splendor_ of his Aged Face.

  "He _Liv'd_ and to vast age no Illness knew,
  Till _Times_ Scythe waiting for him Rusty grew.

  "He _Liv'd_ and _Wrought_; His Labours were Immense,
  But ne'r _Declined_ to _Præter-perfect Tense_."

He closes this eulogy with an epitaph in Latin.

Mr. Cheever's will, found in the Suffolk probate office, was offered by
his son Thomas and his daughter Susanna, August 26, 1708, a few days
after his death. He wrote it two years previous, when he was ninety-one
years old, a short time before his "dear wife," whom he mentions, died.
In it his estate is appraised at £837:19:6. One handles reverently this
old piece of yellow paper, perhaps ten by twelve inches in size, with
red lines, on which is written in a clear handwriting the last will of
this dear old man. He characteristically begins it thus:--

  "In nomine Domini Amen, I Ezekiel Cheever of the Towne of Boston in the
  County of Suffolk in New England, Schoolmaster, living through great
  mercy in good health and understanding wonderfull in my age, do make and
  ordain this as my last Will & Testament as Followeth: I give up my soule
  to God my Father in Jesus Christ, my body to the earth to be buried in a
  decent manner according to my desires in hope of a Blessed part in y'e
  first resurrection & glorious kingdom of Christ on earth a thousand

He then gives all his household goods "& of my plate y'e two-ear'd Cup,
my least tankard porringer a spoon," to his wife; "all my books saving
what Ezekiel may need & what godly books my wife may desire," to his son
Thomas; £10 to Mary Phillips; £20 to his grandchild, Ezekiel Russel; and
£5 to the poor. The remainder of the estate he leaves to his wife and
six children, Samuel, Mary, Elizabeth, Ezekiel, Thomas, and Susanna.

One handles still more reverently a little brown, stiff-covered book,
kept in the safe in the Athenæum, of about one hundred and twenty
pages, yellow with age, on the first of which is the year "1631," and on
the second, "Ezekiel Cheever, his booke," both in his own handwriting.
Then come nearly fifty pages of finely-written Latin poems, composed and
written by himself, probably in London; then, there are scattered over
some of the remaining pages a few short-hand notes which have been
deciphered as texts of Scripture. On the last page of this quaint little
treasure--only three by four inches large--are written in English some
verses, one of which can be clearly read as, "Oh, first seek the kingdom
of God and his Righteousness, and all things else shall be added unto

Another MS. of Mr. Cheever's is in the possession of the Massachusetts
Historical Society. It is a book six by eight inches in size, of about
four hundred pages, all well filled with Latin dissertations, with
occasionally a mathematical figure drawn. One turns over the old leaves
with affectionate interest, even if the matter written upon them is
beyond his comprehension. It certainly is a pleasure to read on one of
them the date May 18, 1664.

Verily, New England should treasure the memory of Ezekiel Cheever, the
man who called himself "Schoolmaster," for she owes much to him.

       *       *       *       *       *


By E.H. Goss.

Longfellow may well be called the Poet of the Bells; for who has so
largely voiced their many uses as he, or interpreted the part they have
taken in the world's history. That he was a great lover of bells and
bell music is evinced by the many times he chose them as themes for his
poems; nearly a dozen of which are about them, containing some of the
sweetest of his thoughts; and allusions to them, like this from

  Anon from the belfry
  Softly the Angelus sounded,"--

are sprinkled all through his longer poems, as well as his prose. The
Song of the Bell, beginning,--

  "Bell! thou soundest merrily
  When the bridal party
  To the church doth hie!"

was among his earliest writings; and The Bells of San Blas was his last
poem, having been written March 15, 1882, nine days only before he

  "What say the Bells of San Blas
  To the ships that southward pass
  From the harbor of Mazatlan?"

And this last stanza must contain the last words that came from his

  "O Bells of San Blas, in vain
  Ye call back the Fast again!
    The Past is deaf to your prayer:
  Out of the shadows of night
  The world rolls into light;
    It is daybreak everywhere."

One of his latest sonnets is entitled Chimes.

  "Sweet chimes! that in the loneliness of night
  Salute the passing hour, and in the dark
  And silent chambers of the household mark
  The movements of the myriad orbs of light!"

This was sung of the beautiful clock that

  "Half-way up the stairs it stands"

in his mansion at Cambridge, by so many thought to be the one referred
to in The Old Clock on the Stairs. But no; that one was in the "Gold
House" at Pittsfield, and is now in disuse; while this one is a fine
piece of mechanism, striking the coming hour on each half hour, and on
the hour itself sweet carillons are played for several moments, so
familiar to the poet that it is no wonder that to hear it he says,--

  "Better than sleep it is to lie awake."

And who has not been entranced by the melody of his

  "In the ancient town of Bruges
  In the quaint old Flemish city,
  As the evening shades descended,
  Low and loud and sweetly blended,
  Low at times and loud at times,
  And changing like a poet's rhymes,
  Rang the beautiful wild chimes
  From the belfry in the market
  Of the ancient town of Bruges."

In the prologue to The Golden Legend, we have the attempt of Lucifer and
the Powers of the Air to tear down the cross from the spire of the
Strasburg Cathedral, with the remonstrance of the bells interwoven:

  "Laudo Deum verum!        Funera plango!
  Plebem voco!              Fulgura frango!
  Congrego clerum!          Sabbata pango!

  "Defunctus ploro!         Excito lentos!
  Pestem fugo!              Dissipo ventos!
  Festa decoro!             Paco cruentos!"

  "I praise the true God, call the people, convene  the clergy;
  I mourn the dead, dispel the pestilence, and grace festivals;
  I mourn at the burial, abate the lightnings, announce the Sabbath;
  I arouse the indolent, dissipate the winds, and appease the avengeful."

Another rendering of the two last lines reads:--

  "Men's death I tell, by doleful knell;
  Lightnings and thunder I break asunder;
  On Sabbath all to church I call;
  The sleepy head, I raise from bed;
  The winds so fierce I do disperse;
  Men's cruel rage, I do assuage."

And in the Legend itself, an historical account of mediæval
bell-ringing is given by Friar Cuthbert, as he preaches to a crowd from
a pulpit in the open air, in front of the cathedral:--

  "But hark! the bells are beginning to chime;...
  For the bells themselves are the best of preachers;
  Their brazen lips are learned teachers,
  From their pulpits of stone, in the upper air,
  Sounding aloft, without crack or flaw,
  Shriller than trumpets under the Law,
  Now a sermon and now a prayer."...

In the Tales of the Wayside Inn occurs the pretty legend of The Bell of
Atri, "famous for all time"; and from his summer home in Nahant, from
across the waters he listens to

  "O curfew of the setting sun! O bells of Lynn!
  O requiem of the dying day! O bells of Lynn!"

In the Curfew he quaintly and beautifully reminds us of the old
_couvre-feu_ bell of the days of William the Conqueror, a custom
still kept up in many of the towns and hamlets of England, and some of
our own towns and cities; and until recently the nine-o'clock bell
greeted the ears of Bostonians, year in and year out. And who does not
remember the sweet carol of Christmas Bells?

  "I heard the bells on Christmas Day
  Their old familiar carols play,
      And wild and sweet
      The words repeat
  Of peace on earth, good will to men!

         *       *       *       *       *

  "Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
  'God is not dead; nor doth he sleep!
       The wrong shall fail,
      The right prevail
  With peace on earth, good will to men!'"

Indeed, many are the sweet and musical strains that he has sung about
the bells, and he often wished that "somebody would bring together all
the best things that have been written upon them, both in prose and

Southey calls bells "the poetry of the steeples"; and the poets of all
ages have had more or less to say upon this subject. Quaint old George
Herbert told us to

  "Think when the bells do chime
  'Tis Angel's music!"

It was a curious theory of Frater Johannes Drabicius, that the principal
employment of the blessed in heaven will be the continual ringing of
bells; and he occupied four hundred and twenty-five pages of a work
printed at Mentz, in 1618, to prove the same.

Truly has it been said: "From youth to age the sound of the bell is sent
forth through crowded streets, or floats with sweetest melody above the
quiet fields. It gives a tongue to time, which would otherwise pass over
our heads as silently as the clouds, and lends a warning to its
perpetual flight. It is the voice of rejoicing at festivals, at
christenings, at marriages, and of mourning at the departure of the
soul. From every church-tower it summons the faithful of distant valleys
to the house of God; and when life is ended they sleep within the bell's
deep sound. Its tone, therefore, comes to be fraught with memorial
associations, and we know what a throng of mental images of the past can
be aroused by the music of a peal of bells.

  'O, what a preacher is the time-worn tower,
  Reading great sermons with its iron tongues.'"

       *       *       *       *       *



By William E. McClintock, C.E.

[City Engineer of Chelsea.]

Sheltered from the winds of the Atlantic by the outlying towns of Revere
and Winthrop, and that section of the metropolis known as East Boston,
Chelsea occupies a peninsula, once called Winnisimmet, fronting on the
Mystic River and its two tributaries, the Island End and Chelsea Rivers.
Its area of fourteen hundred acres presents an undulating surface,
rising from the level of the salt marshes to four considerable
elevations, known as Hospital Hill, Mount Bellingham, Powderhom Hill,
and Mount Washington.

Corner of Broadway and Third Street.]

Originally it was included within the township of Boston, and was
settled as early as 1630; and a few years later was connected with
Boston by the Winnisimmet Ferry, whose charter, granted in 1639, makes
it the oldest chartered ferry company in the United States.

In those early days the Winnisimmet Ferry connected the foot of Hanover
Street, in Boston, with the old road leading to Salem and the eastward,
which followed the course of Washington Avenue.

Samuel Maverick, of Noddle's Island, an early settler, was the first
claimant of the land. Richard Bellingham, "the unbending, faithful old
man, skilled from his youth in English law, perhaps the draughtsman of
the charter [of the Massachusetts Colony], certainly familiar with it
from its beginning, was chosen to succeed Endicott," as governor. About
1634, he came into possession of most of Winnisimmet, but his title was
rather obscure; it was confirmed to him, however, by the town of Boston,
in 1640. He is not known to have lived upon his estate. He divided the
land into four farms, which he let to tenants,--subdivisions which
remained substantially the same for two centuries. The government
reservation is said to have remained in the possession of Samuel

About forty years ago.]

Governor Bellingham died in 1672, at the age of eighty, and, although
a lawyer and a good man, left behind him a will which gave rise to
litigation that continued for over a century. As this instrument affects
every title in Chelsea, it becomes of public interest. He bequeathed the
estate of Winnisimmet to trustees, to be devoted to the support of his
widow, his son, and his two nieces, during their lives, after which it
was to be used to build a meeting-house, support a minister, and educate
a limited number of young men for the ministry.

The son, Dr. Samuel Bellingham, after the death of his father, contested
the will in court, and had it set aside.

Erected A.D. 1871.]

After his death the trustees named in the will brought a suit to carry
into effect the directions of the old governor. One by one they dropped
out of the contest, silenced by death, until at length the town
authorities undertook to maintain their supposed rights. It was not
until 1788, after the close of the Revolution, that the case was finally
decided, and the town was defeated.

After over a century of outlying dependence, and forced attendance in
all weathers at the churches in Boston, the good people of Winnisimmet,
Rumney Marsh, and Pullen Point, having demonstrated their willingness
and ability to support a minister, petitioned for and obtained the
privileges of a new parish and township, named Chelsea.[3] Rumney Marsh
is now known as Revere, and Pullen Point as Winthrop. The new township
also included a strip of land half a mile wide and four miles long,
extending north-westerly through what is now Maiden and Melrose, well
into the town of Wakefield, and at present forming a part of Saugus.

Site of present church; moved and used by Bellingham Methodists.]

The old Town House, or meeting-house, built in 1710, and still standing,
was at Rumney Marsh.

The earliest census of the town, on record, was taken in 1776, and
indicated a population of four hundred and thirty-nine.

The Reverend Dr. Tuckerman was settled over the parish, which included
the whole township, in 1801, and for a quarter of a century ministered
to the people of an almost stationary community. During that time, only
three new buildings were erected; and they were built to replace as many
torn down.

In 1802, the Chelsea Bridge was built, to form a part of the turnpike
(Broadway) leading from Charlestown to Salem. Before that time, the only
way to reach Boston from Chelsea, with a loaded team, was through
Malden, Medford, Cambridge, and Roxbury, over the Neck, requiring a
whole day to make the journey.

As late as 1830, Winnisimmet was of no importance except as a
market-garden and thoroughfare. Of the seven hundred and seventy-one
inhabitants of Chelsea, but thirty lived within the present limits of
the city. The original Bellingham subdivisions were known as the Cary,
Carter, Shurtleff, and Williams Farms, and were owned and occupied by
those families. Three years previously, in 1827, the general government
had secured possession of the hospital reservation, which it still
occupies. About 1831, the value of Winnisimmet as the site for a future
city became apparent, and a land company was formed, which secured the
Shurtleff and Williams Farms, and laid out a very attractive city--on

The ferry accommodations at this date consisted of two sailboats
of about forty tons each. During the following summer the steam
ferry-boats, Boston and Chelsea, were put on the line, and increased the
value of property in Chelsea. These boats were the first of the kind to
navigate the waters of Boston Harbor.

In 1832, John Low built the first store, at the corner of Broadway and
Everett Avenue, and was the pioneer merchant of the city. The newcomers,
known to the older inhabitants as "roosters," settled principally in the
neighborhood of the landing. So many came, that in 1840 there were in
the town twenty-three hundred and ninety inhabitants. In 1832, the
omnibus, "North Ender," commenced running from Chelsea Ferry landing to
Boylston Market; the fare was twelve and one-half cents. The "Governor
Brooks," the first 'bus in Boston, had been running about a week before.
It was twenty years later when an omnibus line was established for the
convenience of the village.

[Illustration: First Baptist Church. Gerrish's Block. First M.E. Church,
Winnisimmet Congregational Church. Park Street.

To town meetings at Rumney Marsh the settlers at the landing had to
tramp to vote on questions affecting the town. Right bravely would they
attend to their duties as citizens, to find their efforts of no avail on
account of the sharp practices of their neighbors of the Marsh and
Point, who would reverse their action at an adjourned meeting. At
length, in overwhelming numbers, they assembled once upon a time, and
voted a new Town House, near the site of the present Catholic church. As
a consequence, North Chelsea was set off in 1846, and Chelsea shrank to
its present boundaries. In 1850, notwithstanding the loss of so large an
extent of territory, Chelsea numbered sixty-seven hundred and one
inhabitants. Seven years later, in 1857, the town was granted a city
charter; it was divided into four wards, and Colonel Francis B. Fay was
inaugurated the first mayor.

From that time the growth of the city has been rapid. In 1860, there
were 13,395 inhabitants; in 1870, 18,547; in 1880, 21,785; to-day there
are probably 24,000. The Honorable Hosea Ilsley was the second mayor; he
was succeeded by the Honorable Frank B. Fay, in 1861; by the Honorable
Eustace C. Fitz, in 1864; by the Honorable Rufus S. Frost, in 1867; by
the Honorable James B. Forsyth, M.D., in 1869; by the Honorable John W.
Fletcher, in 1871; by the Honorable Charles H. Ferson, in 1873; by the
Honorable Thomas Green, in 1876; by the Honorable Isaac Stebbins, in
1877; by the Honorable Andrew J. Bacon, in 1879; by the Honorable Samuel
P. Tenney, in 1881; by the Honorable Thomas Strahan, the present mayor,
in 1883.


In 1849, the railway connected Chelsea with Boston, and in 1857 the
horse-cars commenced running.

During the Rebellion, Chelsea responded loyally for troops. In the Union
army there were sixteen hundred and fifty-one soldiers from Chelsea. Of
that number, forty-two were killed in battle; sixteen died of wounds;
seventy-five died in hospitals; nine died in Rebel prisons; besides one
hundred and four who were more or less seriously wounded. The city also
furnished one hundred and thirty-seven recruits for the navy during the
war. The city has commemorated those heroes who died for their country,
by a very appropriate monument in Union Park.

The conservative character of the political fathers of the city may be
judged by the fact that Samuel Bassett, who was first elected town clerk
in 1849, has served the town and city continuously in that capacity to
the present time. For the half-century before his election there had
been only three incumbents of the office.

[Illustration: Jonathan Bosson's house. Deacon Loring's house.
Present site of D. & L. Slade's grain store; burned just after the late

The efforts of the land company, who fostered the early growth of the
city, were directed to induce people doing business in Boston to select
homesteads in Chelsea; but manufacturing was gradually introduced, until
to-day many important industries have become established, which have
given the place a world-wide reputation. Chief among these are the works
of the Magee Furnace Company. Their buildings occupy a lot of several
acres, fronting on Chelsea River. Here the celebrated Magee stove, in
all its various forms and patterns, is manufactured from the crude iron.
The establishment consumes two thousand tons of coal annually, and
converts four thousand tons of pig-iron into graceful and useful
articles. John Magee, the organizer and president of the company, is the
patentee of all the improvements. The works were established in Chelsea
in 1864; they employ five hundred operatives, and produce thirty
thousand stoves and furnaces yearly. These are shipped by car-load all
through the Northern and Western States, to the Pacific slope, reaching
Oregon without breaking bulk. Their goods are sold in England, Sweden,
Turkey, Cape Colony, Australia, China, and the islands of the Pacific,
although the home demand almost forbids their seeking a foreign market.
The popularity of their work may be known from the fact that one hundred
and fifty thousand stoves of one pattern have been sold. The iron
entering into the manufacture of stoves must be of a peculiar fineness
of texture. The best of ore of three or four qualities is mixed,
frequently tested, and constantly watched during the manufacturing


The beauty of their stove castings has led to a new industry,--the
fine-art castings,--in which the most marvelous results are produced.
Professional artists and art critics are constantly employed in the
establishment, and many thousand dollars are judiciously expended
yearly, for the purpose of forming and perfecting new designs to meet
the popular demand.

[Illustration: NAVAL HOSPITAL.
Erected in 1836. Wing added in 1865.]

Another celebrated industry of Chelsea is the manufacture of the Low
tiles, for household decoration. John G. Low, son of the pioneer
merchant, is the artist who has created this class of goods, and he has
succeeded in producing a tile of special artistic value. His work
surpasses anything of the kind made in the world, and finds a market
wherever works of art and beauty are appreciated.

There are several establishments in the city, for the manufacture of
rubber goods of every variety, and many hundred operatives find
employment therein.

The famous "Globe Works" are soon to be occupied by the extensive
establishment of the Forbes Lithograph Company.

The Keramic Art Works of J. Robertson and Sons are noted throughout the
land for the beauty of their products.

The pioneer manufacturers of the city are the firm of Bisbee, Endicott,
and Company, who established a machine-shop in 1836, and a foundry in
1846, and are still in business.

Aside from these, Chelsea manufactures anchors, pilot-bread, mattresses,
bluing, boxes, bricks, britannia ware, brooms, cardigan jackets,
carriages, chairs, cigars, confectionery, enameled cloth, fire-brick,
furniture, hose, lamp-black, lumber, oils, wall-paper, planes, pottery,
roofing, salt, soap, spices, type, tinware, varnish, vaccine matter,
vessels, yeast, and window-shades,--giving employment to a very large
number of skilled artisans.

There are two well-managed banks in the city, two ably-conducted
newspapers, one large and several small hotels, and an Academy of Music,
which is one of the finest provincial theatres in New England, boasting
of a fine auditorium and a well-appointed stage.

The Naval Hospital, which generally accommodates about a dozen patients,
occupies eighty acres of the most desirable part of the city, the hill
upon which it is built overlooking Mystic River.

The Marine Hospital, in the same neighborhood, which has usually from
seventy-five to eighty patients from the ranks of our mercantile marine,
occupies a lot of about ten acres.

Fronting toward the water. Erected in 1827, and in 1857 converted
into a schoolhouse for the Hawthorne School.]

Powderhorn Hill the summit of which is about two hundred feet above the
level of the sea, commands a fine view of Boston Harbor, the ocean, and
many miles of inland territory. Chelsea is spread out like a map at its
base. It has been the dream of enthusiastic admirers of the varied
scenery afforded from the top, to include it within the limits of a
public park, forever set apart for the benefit of the present and coming
generations. Half-way up the side of the hill stands the Soldiers' Home,
where many scarred veterans of the Union army find a safe haven, cared
for by those who appreciate their struggles in their country's cause.
The city, although occupying narrow limits, has become a very attractive
place for residence. The streets are broad, straight, and shaded by very
many thrifty trees. The water-works, organized in 1867, supply good
water; gas is furnished at reasonable rates, and the city has nearly
completed a system of sewerage, which adds to the comfort and health of
the people. The public buildings are commodious and ornamental. Churches
of pleasing architecture, of many religious denominations, appropriate
school buildings and good schools, spacious and elegant private
mansions, a well-organized fire and police department, a public library,
low death-rate, and good morals, serve to make the city of Chelsea a
very desirable place for those seeking a quiet home in a law-abiding

[Illustration: ACADEMY OF MUSIC.]

All through the colonial period the civil affairs of the community were
intimately connected with the interests of the church; and
ecclesiastical history, when church and State were united, and the
minister was the greatest man of the parish, becomes of importance.

As early as 1640, in the church of Boston, "a motion was made by such
as have farms at Rumney Marsh, that our Brother Oliver may be sent to
instruct our servants, and to be a help to them, because they cannot
many times come hither, nor sometimes to Lynn, and sometimes no where at
all." The piously disposed people of Boston evidently commiserated the
destitute condition of their poor dependents, and were desirous of
ministering to their spiritual wants.



[Illustration: GERRISH'S BLOCK.]

For many years the inhabitants of this section received the benefit of
irregular preaching from Brother Oliver and other kindly disposed
ministers from neighboring parishes. The wishes of Governor Bellingham
to provide for their wants had been frustrated, as before narrated.
Prior to 1706, the people were nominally connected with some church in
Charlestown or Boston. In that year, at the March meeting of the town of
Boston, a committee was appointed to consider what they should think
proper to lay before the town relating to petitions of sundry of the
inhabitants of Rumney Marsh about the building of a meeting-house.
Action was postponed, from year to year, until August 29, 1709, when it
was voted to raise one hundred pounds, to be laid out "in building a
meeting-house at Rumney Marsh." The raising of the frame was in July of
the following year.

The Reverend Thomas Cheever, son of the famous schoolmaster, was chosen
pastor October 17, 1715, and was dismissed December 21, 1748. At the
formation of the church, the Reverend Cotton Mather, D.D., was
moderator, and there were eight male members, including the pastor.

The Reverend Thomas Cheever was born in 1658; was graduated at Harvard
College in 1677; was ordained and settled in Maiden, July 27, 1681; was
dismissed in 1686, "on the advice of an ecclesiastical council"; removed
to Rumney Marsh and lived in the Newgate House; taught school many
years, and preached occasionally; died December 27, 1749, aged about
ninety-two years.

[Illustration: CITY HOTEL.]

Toward the close of his ministry, the Reverend William McClenachan was
installed as Mr. Cheever's colleague, although considerable opposition
was manifested, and several prominent members withdrew to other
churches. The connection of the pastor with the church continued until
December 25, 1754, when Mr. McClenachan left them and joined the
Established Church of England. He was a man of remarkable eloquence, and
soon after his resignation of the pastorate of the Chelsea parish, he
went to England.

[Illustration: C.A. CAMPBELL'S COAL OFFICE.]

The Reverend Phillips Payson was settled as pastor, October 26, 1757. He
was a noted scholar and teacher, and was a man of much influence in his
day. He was an active patriot during the Revolution, led his
parishioners in person, and held a commission from the Massachusetts
authorities. He preached the Election Sermon in 1778, and died in
office, January 11, 1801. He was born in Walpole, January 18, 1730, and
was graduated at Harvard College in 1754.

The Reverend Joseph Tuckerman, D.D., was ordained and settled over the
parish November 4, 1801, and maintained this relation for just one
quarter of a century, preaching his farewell sermon November 4, 1826. He
was born in Boston, January 18, 1778; was graduated at Harvard College
in 1798; died in Havana, April 20, 1840.

The First Baptist Church, the first religious society at Ferry Village,
was organized in 1836.

The Unitarian Church was organized in 1838.

The First Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1839. The
meeting-house they first occupied was on Park Street; it has been
recently sold to the Grand Army of the Republic. The edifice they now
occupy is on Walnut Street.


The St. Luke's Episcopal Church and the First Congregational Church were
organized in 1841.

The First Universalist Church was organized in 1842.

The Central Congregational Church was organized in 1843, under the name
of Winnisimmet.

The St. Rose Catholic Church was organized in 1849.

The Mount Bellingham Methodist Episcopal Church was organized in 1853.

The Cary-avenue Baptist Church was organized in 1859.

The Third Congregational Church was organized in 1877.

[Illustration: T.H. BUCK & BROTHER'S LUMBER YARD.]

The importance of education for the children was recognized at an early
date by the settlers of Winnisimmet and Rumney Marsh. Brother Oliver may
have given instruction; Thomas Cheever certainly did, and for his
services received twenty pounds per annum from the town of Boston, as
shown by the vote of January 24, 1709.

In 1833, the town of Chelsea was divided into three districts, known as
the Ferry, Centre, and Point. In 1834, Point Shirley district was set
off from the Point; and in 1838 the northern district was set off from
the Centre. The school committee, first elected in 1797, made their
first written report in 1839; their first printed report in 1841.

The first schoolhouse in Ferry district was built in 1833, near the
corner of Chestnut Street and Washington Avenue.


In 1837, the Park-street schoolhouse was built, and the following year a
grammar school was kept.

In 1839, a primary school was started at Prattville. From the
committee's report one is led to infer "that a stump with a piece of
board on top for a seat, having no back attached, affords no enviable

In 1840, there were two primary schools in Ferry village, one occupying
the site of the Pioneer newspaper office, the other near the corner of
Shawmut Street and Central Avenue.

The question of starting a high school was agitated in 1840, but no
action was taken until 1845. In 1850, a high school building was erected
on Second and Walnut Streets.

In January, 1873, the present high school building, on Bellingham
Street, was dedicated with appropriate exercises, Tracy P. Cheever
delivering the address.

The tithingmen were the ancient conservators of the peace, and were
chosen annually as late as 1834; after that date their duties devolved
upon the constables. In 1847, a night-watch was first deemed necessary.

In 1854, the first steps were taken toward organizing a police force.
During the year occurred the memorable Know-Nothing riot, which resulted
in the pulling down of a cross.

The first city government established a police department, and appointed
a city marshal and six assistants. As at present organized, there is a
chief-of-police, two deputies, and fifteen patrol-men, whose duties are
to keep watch over the city day and night, keep the peace, and protect
property, and observe and report any defects in the public way which
could by any chance result in injury to either man or beast.

In 1842, at the annual town-meeting the selectmen were authorized to
erect twelve street-lamps. Their number has been increased from time to
time until there are now over five hundred and fifty lamps, besides two
large lanterns: one on the Square, the other in front of the Academy of



[Illustration: FIRING THE KILN. (Low's Art Tile Works.)]

A board of health was first elected in 1846. From 1850, to the
organization of the city government, the selectmen acted as the board.
From 1857 to 1878 the duties of the board were in the hands of the mayor
and board of aldermen. Since 1878, a board has been annually elected.
Their supervision and oversight have been of great advantage to the

In 1863, the Chelsea Library Association presented the city with about
one thousand volumes, which became the nucleus of the Public Library.
Eight thousand books have already been collected; they are soon to be
gathered within an appropriate and spacious building generously donated
to the city.

There is much of romance in the history of such an ancient settlement as
Winnisimmet and Rumney Marsh, although most of the incidents worthy of
note have long since passed into oblivion.

The Indian wars never affected directly the early settlers, for before
hostilities commenced the frontier had been advanced some miles into the
interior; but the brave sons of the pioneers were called upon for the
defence of more exposed localities, and promptly responded.

"In military affairs Rumney Marsh, for many years, was associated with
the neighboring towns in Essex and Middlesex, in an organization called
the 'Three County Troop.'" The company appears to have been formed as
early as May, 1659. Edward Hutchinson was confirmed as the first
captain. Captain John Tuttle was in command of the company in 1673.

In the war of 1676, the Three County Troop sent ten men, "well fitted
with long arms," to the rendezvous at Concord.

"In the year 1677, about April the 7th, six or seven men were slain by
the Indians, near York, while they were at work two miles from the town,
whereof one was the son of Lieutenant Smith of Winnisimmet, a hopeful
young man.... Five Indians paddled their canoes down towards York, where
they killed six of the English, and took one captive, May 19 following;
and, May 23, four days after, one was killed at Wells, and one taken by
them betwixt York and Wells; amongst whom was the eldest son of
Lieutenant Smith, forementioned; his younger brother was slain in the
same town not long before."

The company was disbanded in 1690. A company of sixty soldiers under
command of Captain John Floyd, a citizen of Rumney Marsh, was sent as a
garrison to protect the frontier at Portsmouth, about this date.

[Illustration: ORNAMENTAL JUG. (Low's Art Tile Works.)]

"While the regulars were on their retreat from Lexington, on the 19th of
April, 1775, protected by reinforcements under command of Lord Percy, a
detached party who were carrying stores and provisions were attacked at
Metonomy by Rev. Phillips Payson, leading a party of his parishioners,
whom he had hastily gathered on the alarm. One of the regulars was
killed and some were taken prisoners, together with arms and stores,
without loss to the attacking party."

Captain Samuel Sprague had command of a Chelsea company of twenty-eight
men, which was mustered into the service April 19, 1775. At a later date
Chelsea furnished the patriot army with a company of fifty-two men,
under the same commander.

[Illustration: A GROUP OF TILES. (Low's Art Tile Works.)]

"On the 27th of May, 1775, as a party of the Massachusetts forces,
together with a party of New Hampshire forces, In all about six hundred
men, were attempting to bring off the stock upon Hog Island, and about
thirty men upon Noddle's Island were doing the same, when above a
hundred regulars landed upon the last-mentioned island and pursued our
men till they got safely back to Hog Island."

A spirited engagement ensued, attended, however, with no serious loss to
the American forces. The regulars were supported by an armed schooner
which the enemy were obliged to abandon, having first set the vessel on

[Illustration: A TILED FIREPLACE. (Low's Art Tile Works.)]

General Putnam, Colonel Stark, and Dr. Joseph Warren, are said to have
been present during the contest, either as actors or witnesses.

"During the siege of Boston, Chelsea formed the extreme left of the line
of circumvallation; and on the south-eastern slope of Mount Washington
stands the house of Robert Pratt, which occupies the site of an earlier
house at which Washington lunched when inspecting the lines."

In closing this sketch, the writer wishes to give credit to the
Honorable Mellen Chamberlain, an honored resident of Chelsea, for
information relating to the early history of the town, which he has
kindly furnished, and to the researches embodied in his valuable
article, "Winnisimmet, Rumney Marsh, Pullen Point, and Chelsea, in the
Provincial Period," printed in the second volume of the Memorial History
of Boston, published by James R. Osgood and Company, in 1881.

It is not difficult to predict the future of Chelsea. Situated as it is
on navigable waters, with an extensive waterfront, near to the
metropolis of New England, and already the site of many important
industries, prosperity awaits it. Time alone can tell whether, like its
namesake in the Mother-Country, it becomes absorbed in the neighboring
and growing city, or develops into a great manufacturing suburb, like
Newark and Patterson.


[Footnote 3: Date of Act, January 10, 1739.

Chelsea, as every Englishman is aware, is the name of a suburb of
London, where are situated the great national hospitals of Great Briton.
It was in existence as a village as early as A.D. 785, but was long
since absorbed by the expanding city.]

       *       *       *       *       *


John Wiswall, a "young man with somewhat original objurgatory
tendencies," was not of the meaner sort of families. His grandfather,
John Wiswall, then some eighty-three years old, ever took an active
interest in the church and social affairs, first in Dorchester, and
afterward in Boston. Mr. Savage says that he was a brother of Thomas
Wiswall, a public-spirited man of Cambridge, Dorchester, and Newton; but
John Wiswall was ruling elder of the First Church, Boston, made so the
third month, fourth day, 1669, the day John Oxenbridge was ordained
pastor. He also was one of the town's committee to act with the
selectmen, to receive the legacy of Captain Robert Keayne, in 1668.
"Elder Wiswall died, August 15, 1687, aged eighty-six years."

Elder John Wiswall left one son--John, Jr. This John, Jr., was a man of
life and zeal in the community. He is mentioned as "a well-known and
wealthy citizen." Among his children, by his wife Hannah, was one John,
born March 21, 1667, who became the "young man with somewhat original
objurgatory tendencies," and in the autumn of 1684 was rising seventeen
years of age. John Wiswall was a Boston boy, full of the animation which
has ever characterized the youth of that town. If he had been entirely
of the plastic sort, and represented not one of the leading families, he
never would have been made an example of to the youth of the community.
An example was needed. The new government felt that stringency was
demanded. If data serve us well, would say that John Wiswall, "a
mariner," died about 1700, leaving a widow, Mary, who afterward married
a White. None of the Wiswall name of to-day are from this line, but the
Wiswall blood is infused in the Emmons, the Fisher, the Cutler, and the
Johnson families.

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "The Bay State Monthly — Volume 1, No. 2, February, 1884" ***

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