Albert W. (Albert William) Mann.

Walks & talks about historic Boston online

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THE Sev/ yof;'<




R. 1917*- ■-

Copyright by

All rights reserved

Printed by the

152 Purchase St.

Boston, Mass.


_ .'.RY



A native and resident of Boston, educated in her public
schools, one of the many thousands she sent forth in de-
fence of the Union, a lover of her history and her tradi-
tions, the writer submits this volume for the perusal of
other lovers of this good old town and of citizens all over
the great Republic who hold the name and fame of Boston
in reverence.

The early settlers on these Eastern shores, the Pilgrnns
and the Puritans, were intelligent, liberty-loving, God-
fearing men and women, who laid broad and deep the foun-
dations of this mighty nation. They were devoted to prin-
ciple. They toiled, they suflfered, they fought, and, in man}-
cases, they died for righteousness' sake. They were men
of like passions as ourselves, with their faults, but their
virtues far outweighed their failings, and they left us a
glorious heritage of character and achievement.

In the mad rush of these days for wealth, power, and self-
gratification, we need to pause and ask whither are we
tending? A well-known educator once said: "The biogra-
phies of the good and great have, for their direct tendency,
the reproduction of the excellences they record." Let us
hope that a careful reading of the character and work of
some of the men herein recorded may result in a saner out-
look upon life and a better and nobler use of our oppor-

The writer acknowledges his great indebtedness to many
.«;ources in the compilation of this work; to the "Boston
Globe." the "Boston Post." and the "Boston Budget." for
much interesting and valuable matter : to the State Street
Trust Company, for permission to copy from their inter-
esting historical pamphlets such pictures as might be se-
lected to illustrate the articles herein presented ; and his
sincere thanks to all who have in anv wav assisted him in
this work. ALBERT W. MANN.


Boston, the Modern Athens i

John W'inthrop, the Founder of Boston 4

The Settlement of Dorchester and Mattapannock (South

Boston ) 14

The Early Settlers — How They Dressed and How They

Lived and Worked 24

The Ancient and Honorable x\rtillery Company 37

Cotton Mather and the Days of Witchcraft in New

England 45

The Puritan Blue Laws 51

Roger Williams, the Apostle of Religious Toleration .... 56

Some Items of Historical Interest — First Things 6^

Boston Streets, Old and Present Names, and Some Items

of Interest Concerning Them y2

Old Boston ; Additions and Improvements 78

The Old State House 88

Faneuil Hall, The Huguenots and the Faneuil Family . . 97

The Stamp Act. 1765-1766 125

The Boston Massacre 134

The Boston Tea Party 147

The Boston Port Bill. 1774 167

Lexington and Concord. April IQ. 1775 176

The Battle of Bunker Hill 187

"The Sword of P.unkcr I nil" 197

Some Famous Places of Resort for Wliigs and Tories of

Revolut-onary Days 199

How \\'ashington Compelled the r.ritish to Evacuate

Boston 205

William Cunningham 210

The American Flag 214

The Hiring of Foreign Mercenaries by England to Sub-
jugate America 221

Samuel Adams 22;

ContcnW (continueb)

Paul Revere, the Mercury of the American Revohition .236

Benj amin Frankhn 247

John Adams 275

General John (jlover, a Revolutionary Hero 281

General Henry Knox, Bookseller, Patriot, General, and

Secretary of War 299

The Charles River Bridge 309

The Exchange Coffee House 311

The Puhlic Garden 31^

Boston Schools 320

The First Church 326

The I'nited States Xavy in the War of 1812 — On the

Ocean and on the Lakes 335

Daniel \^'ehster and His Home in Boston 353

The \'isit of Lafayette to America in 1824-1825 362

The Anti-Slavery. Struggle and the Aholition Leaders in

Massachusetts 371

The \ isit of the Prince of Wales to Boston 390

South Boston in the I^^arly Fifties 400

Boston Common 416

Boston Libraries 425

Union Bank Building. 40 State Street, 1850 428

The ^Merchants" Exchange, State Street 430

Dr. Oliver A\'endell 1 lolmes 431

Rev. Edward Everett Hale. D. D 438

(jcorge E. McX'eill 441

Temple Place 444

Parker's Restaurant and the Parker House 447

^lusical Festivals 45 1

The Old South Church 454

Park Street Church 464

The Baptists in Boston — First Baptist Church 467

Tremont Temple Baptist Church 471

Contents; (continueb)

The J')rattie S(|uare Church 480

The ArHngton Street Church 484

The Birthplace of the I'niversaHst Church 487

The Roman Cathohc Church in Boston 490

The West End Church 497

The Draft Riot in I'oston. July, 1863 500

Christ Church, i jy^ 508

Trinity Church 513

The Christian Science Church 519

Methodism in I'.oston 521

Ralph Waldo Emerson 523

Some X'iews on '{"reniont Street 531

Xew South Church 53(^

Old 1 >oston Theatres 541

Alhert W. Mann 546

Events Preceding the Civil War 548

Massachusetts and Boston in the Ci\il War 5i:;5

The Boys in Blue \\'lio Sa\ed the Cnion 1564

Lincoln's (iettysburj? Address 568

1 -incoln and the Soldiers ^(n\

An Illinois Soldier at the I'uneral of Abraham Lincoln., sji
lioston : Its Area. City ( iovernnient and I 'resent .Standing 574

Walki anb tICalfefii ^bout Historic

Hon. M'illidili A. Morsr

From a speech at the banquet to the Ancient and Honorable
Artillery Company of Boston at Norfolk, Va.. Oct. 5, 1904.

Boston is indeed the modern Athens, and well deserves the
title, for she has preserved the ^^enius and spirit of the art and
culture of her illustrious predecessor. The old Athens erect-
ed a forest of majestic Corinthian columns in front of "^he

2 JJ'alks Olid Talks About Historic Boston.

temple of Oh'mpian jove as a symbol of his might. On
Bunker Hill there rises a plain, unadorned column as a sym-
bol of the simplicity of the power of right. The old Athens
had her Mars hill, where Paul ascended, and gazing on the
beautiful, costly temples about him dared say, God does not
dwell in temples made by hands." Our Athens has the old
South church, where Joseph \\'arren entered and forcing his
way past British officers to the pulpit, while drums of a regi-
ment were beaten to drown his voice, dared to denounce the
injustice and oppression of his majesty King ( ieorge in the
presence of his soldiers.

Old Athens had her blue ^Egean sea, where her ships sailed
"to destroy the Persian fleet, the conquerors of the east, but on
the shores of our Athens was built and launclied the iron-
sided frigate Constitution that relmked the haughty mistress
of the seas, and in the roar of her cannon, ])roclaimed the fact
that Britannia rules no more. (Irand. glorious, the gem of
ancient Athens was her temple-crowned Acropolis, its summit
risiug to heaven and consecrated to the immortal gods, but our
Atliens. with the diviner light of understanding and conscious
pride in beautiful Copley S(|uare, where is gathered together
within the granite walls all the best recorded thoughts of all
the centuries, holds in reverence this her most j)riceless jewel,
which scintillates with the brightness of her intelligence as
she points to the inscription, "P.uilt by the people and dedi-
cated to the advancement of learning." Cone are the inmior-
tal gods of the old .\croi)()lis, l)ut modern Atliens, still in the
enchantment of ber xoutli and witli perfect sublimity of faith,
looks toward tbe future 1)\' tbe ])ower of her genius, deter-
mined to reveal more to man of bis own dcstiuN and clearer
revelation of the purposes of the infinite.

Dear old Boston, we. your sons, hold you in tender remeui-
brance tonight. Like all your absent children, we ever tin-n
to you in loving thought and affection, and when the sands of
life are nearly nm, we want our last walk to be in the old fa-
miliar streets, we want om- last look to be on the old familiar
faces, and as the twilight dee])ens into darkness we want to
sink to our eternal niglit. our soul exalted by uiemories of vou.

The mother may forget the child

That smiles sae swdflM- on ber knee :

But ril remember thee^llencairn.
And all that thou hast done for me.

■John \\ intlirop
Founder of lioxion inni First (lovrrnor of Maftsnchiisetis

iD^n mintfftop, ^|)e jfounlifr of :2BoGtDn

John Winthrop was born in 1588. in the manor house of
Groton, County of Sufifolk, B2ng-land. He came of an an-
cient and honored family of staunch Puritans. The estate
of Groton was a part of the monastery of Bury of St. Ed-
mands and was purchased in 1544, by his crrandfather. Adam
Winthrop, a wealthy cloth merchant of London, shortly
after the monasteries were abolished. The son, also named
Adam, succeeded to the estate. lie was a lawyer, with a
London practice, and sat as magistrate, at his manor at
Groton. for the Coimty. He had a fine estate, a snug- for-
tune, and was a schnlarl}- and liospitable man.

John Winthrop. as a youth, met at his father's table
many intelligent men and preachers of the Puritan persua-
sion, for the sympathies of the family were with the prin-
ciples that led the Pilgrims to emigrate to Plymouth, and,
later, were to lead to the settlement of Pioston. in which
John Winthrop was to have a leading part. There is no
doubt but that the conversations and arguments of such
guests, made a deep impression on the young and plastic
mind and liad much to do in shaping his career. At the age
uf 14 lie was sent to Cambridge University, not far from
liis home. At 18 years of age, he was converted, and be-
came an earnest Christian, and at 21 vears of ag^e, he sat for
the first time as a magistrate, at his home in Groton Manor,
showing that he was a good student of the law, for he had
already been admitted to practise in tlie London courts.

His third wife. Margaret Tyndale. was a rarely attract-
ive character, and was devoted to Winthrop and her family
duties. At this time the spirit of religious persecution was
sweeping over England. Many had taken refuge in other
countries, especially in Holland, and from these refugees
came the little l^and of Pilgrims, who set sail on the "Alay-
flower" for America. John Winthrop saw, that if he w4s
to be true to his religious convictions, he, too, must fly to
some place of refuge, so he made ready to leave his pleas-

Walks and Talks About Historic Boston. 5

ant home, his old friends, his lucrative business, and he
joined his fortunes with the men who were to found the
colony of Massachusetts Bay.

The settlement of the Pilg^rim Fathers at Plymouth, was
made under a patent, issued by the Virginia Company, in
1620 and the Company was called the "Council for New
England," and it was from this latter Company, that six
well-to-do Englishmen, secured in 1628. a grant of ^lassa-
chusetts, which was defined as having a northern boun-
dary three miles south of the Alerrimac river, and its
southern boundary, three miles south of the Charles river,
and extending indefinitely westward. The primary object
of this grant was commercial, but among the promoters
were men of sterlinu' Puritan views, and as things fell out,
the Commercial Company's enterprise was to develop a
predominating religious character, and this came about
largely through the election of John A\^inthrop as the first
Governor of the Community to be planted in Massachu-
setts. It was an important position, needing a good or-
ganizer, a man of great wisdom, judgment, integritv and
forbearance. All these (pialities W'inthrop possessed in an
eminent degree, in additi<»n to a sympathetic nature, and
deeply religious temperament. To lead these colonists
meant a great sacrifice on his part, for he stood high in the
estimation of his fellow men. he had a fine estate, and a
very large law practice. TTis selection of several hundred
persons, composing the company of emigrants, the charter-
ing and victualing of so many ships, the employment of
ministers, a surgeon and other persons for places of respon-
sibility and trust, the purchase of supplies for the settle-
ment, the arranging of his personal affairs for a long ab-
sence, possibly ne^•er to retin"n. occupied everv moment of
his time. ,

"Xo event of ancient or modern times is more interest-
ing, as certainly none has proved to be more important in
its influence on the political institutions of the nations, and
the cause of libertv and civilization, than the emigration of
this band of colonists in t^>30." The ships' rendezvoused at
Southampton and it is estimated that the expense of sup-
plying them amounted to nearly one hundred thousand dol-
lars. Am(^ng the emigrants were clergvmen. phvsicians.
magistrates, military officers, millers, merchants, mechan-
ics, and others, possessed of horses, cattle and other prop-

6 ]J\iIks and Talks About Historic Boston.

erty. "In point of intelligence, social position, firmness of
purpose, and an exalted standard of conscience, it was the
most remarkable party of colonists that ever left their na-
tive shores to lead the way in the establishment of great
civil institutions." Just before the fleet sailed. Rev. John
Cotton of Boston, in Lincolnshire, the spiritual guide of the
emigrants, and who Avas to follow them to the new world,
two vears later, preached a sermon from 2 Samuel 8:10,
"Moreover I will appoint a place for my people, Israel, and
will plant them that they may dwell in a place of their
own." On March 2^. 1630. four of the ships set sail on
their "long and tedious voyage across the stormy Atlantic."
The "Arabella" named for Lady .Arabella Johnson, a pass-
enger on the ship, led the way. On board the same shij)
were (lovernor Winthro]). Sir Isaac Johnson. Richard Sal-
tonstall, \\'illiam Coddington, afterward (jovernor of Rhode
Island, Thomas Dudley, later a ('io\ernor of Massachusetts.
and others, as someone has said : "all devout and serious
people in the better walks of life; leaving the strong ties
of home and country, like W'intbrop, to find freedom of
conscience in the new world." After a stormy ])assage of
eleven weeks, they canu- in sight of the shores of I^astern
Maine. Under date of June 8, 1630, we find the f<^llowing
entry in "W^inthrop's diary of the voyage": .\bout 3 in the
afternoon we had sight of land to the X. W., about ten
leagues, which we supposed were the isles of Monhegan.
but it proved Mount Munsell (M(nmt Desert). Then we
tacked and stood \\\ S. \\\ ^^\' had now fair sunshine
weather, and so pleasant and sweet an air, as did much re-
fresh us, and there came a smell of the shore like the smell
of a garden." Coasting along towards ?^Iassachusetts. en-
countering fog, calm and head winds, at four o'clock on
June 12, 1630, they were off their jioint of destination.

The emigrants had reached the little settlement of Salem,
then two years old. "There Winthn.p expected to find
ample means sent out the year before with wliicli to es-
tablish his new community, either there or elsewhere, but
in this he was bitterly disajipointed."

In the expedition headed by jolin I'.ndicott in ir)28 to
Xaumkeag were six ships, and in tlie Company were 300
men, 80 women and maids and 2<") children, bringing with
them 140 cattle, 49 goats, farm implements, and liousehold
goods. Winthrop expected to find liotises l)nilt. crops

JJ'alks and Talks About Historic Boston. 7

planted and eventhing- in a prosperous condition, but saw
nothino^ but misfortune on every hand. A shipload of food
had not arrived. During the previous winter, sickness had
carried off 80 of the company. The rest were so ill and
hungry, they were scarcely able to move. They were in
such a desperate condition that Winthrop had to take care
of them, as well as of his own company, making" over 1,000
souls, that he must carry through the Winter and he had
not sufficient stores to do that. He at once sent back to

■(////'/■'</, \- >■//(/(.

England for more food. His destination was Boston Har-
bor, where was a small settlement at Mishaw^an (Charles-
town I a kind of picket post, sent out by Endicott, to hold
the ground against all other comers. But according to
Winthrop's understandmg, his charter embraced, not only
iVaumkeag, but Massachusetts also, should a favorable
location be found, so with his vessels, he sailed up the
Mystic river six miles, to the present site of Medford. He
noted the land carefully, and the hnal decision was that
Charlestown was best suited for all the purposes of his
l)arty. In the last days of June his company disembarked.
(Governor Winthrop moved into a great house that had
l)een built there, as did also some of his prominent asso-
ciates, while the multitude set up cottages, booths and

8 JValks and Talks About Historic Boston.

tents about the Town Hall. On August 2t„ 1630, the first
court was held, a meeting of the Governor and his Coun-
cillors or Associates, as they were called, numbering 18.
It was the first representative government in the Colony,
and this may be called the birth of the "Great and General
Court of Massachusetts." It was a religious community.
^^'ith but few exceptions, all the members of the little band
had emigrated to America because they could not con-
scientiously worship according to the rules of the Church
of England. They did not separate themselves entirely
from the church and so stated in a petition to the clergy
before leaving England. What they desired and asked for
was a church reform without a separation. Rut the Church
of England did not heed their petition, and the Puritans
continued to stand for Congregationalism. As religious
men the first question which they settled was the support
of their minister. Sickness swept away several of that
little band at Charlestown. among others Lady Arabella
Tohnson. Following the sickness came other trials and
hardships. 'I'heiv stock of provisions was getting Idw. the
springs began to dry up. At last only one spring remained
and that could be reached only when the tide Avas out. In
this extremity there came across the Charles river from
Shawmut. AX'illiam Blaxton (Blackstone) whose home was
on the Southerly slope of Beacon Hill, and who was known
as the hermit settler. He was a man of education, but very
eccentric. He settled in Shawmut about 1623 and was
about thirty-five \ears of a^e. 1 le wa'^ rather tall and slen-
der in form with a pale and thoughtful face. He told (iov-
ernor A\'inthrop of a fine spring on the peninsula and invit-
ed the colonists to change their settlement to its vicinity.
The majority voted to accept the invitation and the colonists
moved over in September 1630. "In 1634 he sold 44 of his 50
acres to Governor Winthrop for $150. the monev being raised
bv a tax levied on the inhabitants. He retained 6 acres for
his homestead, which one hundred years later was owned
by Copley, the famous portrait painter.

The 44 acres became "Boston Common." The (icneral
Court at this time decided to name the town. In honor of
the ancient East county city where their favorite minister,
the Rev. John Cotton, preached, and from whence came
several of the prominent emigrants it was called "P>(iston."

JValks and Talks About Historic Boston. 9

In the sharp, frosty weather of a New England autumn.
Winthrop, and his fellow colonists, raised their roof trees
in Boston, and it was with much foreboding- they looked
forward to the coming winter. The new location was a
rough, uninviting place, its surface uneven, and covered with
a scrub growth and hideous thickets in which Avolves and
bears nursed their young in sight of all beholders. Marshes
surrounded it on three sides. Governor Winthrop's first
house in Boston, was located on State Street, where now
stands the Exchange Building. It had been framed in
Charlestown and was moved over. A little later he changed
his residence to Washington Street, opposite School Street,
the site of the Old South Building. He was induced tn
make the change because it was in the immediate vicinity of
a never failing spring of excellent water, where now is
Spring Lane. Many of his associates located near him.

Winthrop's garden extended to Milk Street. That was
lOO years before the Old .^outh Meeting House was erected.
The removal from Charlestown in September, did not give
the settlers time to erect substantial dwellings, and many
had to pass through the rigors of a New England winter
in tents. The few houses that were constructed, were of
the roughest materials, with roofs of thatch, and chimneys
made of sticks and mud, and these houses were filled to
overflowing. The exposure of the vovage, the poor and in-
sufiFicient diet, and unsanitary condition, brought on an
epidemic of fever, dysentery and scurvy, which proved fatal
in a large number of cases. From the Governor's house,
where a considerable number appear to have been shel-
tered, 12 corpses were carried out to be buried in the flintv
frozen ground. Such was the scarcity of food, that the men
scoured the shores for clams and mussels, and scraped the
snow on the wooded hills in search of nuts and acorns.
There was the howling of wolves at night, and their in-
roads by day. on their fast dwindling stock. There were not
many Indians in the vicinit\-, but these few were friendly.
In those dark days the strength of the homesick and strick-
en people was John Winthrop. He was the valiant soul
that gave them all courage. He tended the sick. He la-
bored with his own hands to help the sufiFering. He shared
his food with whoever was in need of it. He quelled the
turbulent. He chastised evil doers with inexorable justice.
He kept alive the flame of hope. To the Indians who came

lo 1/ alks and Talks About Histonc Boston.

among" them, the Governor put on a "brave front." The
crisis came February 5th, 163 1. As the Go\ernor was dis-
tributing with his own hands, the last handful of meal in
the barrel, to a poor man, distressed by hnnger, the}^ spied
the ship at the harbor's mouth, laden with provisions for
them all. On account of the floating ice in the harbor, the
ship anchored off Long Island. She had on board 20 im-
migrants and 200 tons of goods. Food was immediately
carried bv boats to the starving colonists and four days
later the ship anchored otT the little settlement. "( )n the
22d of February, 1631, a day of General Thanksgiving was
held." The long and bitter winter finally wore away and
with the coming 1 if Spring, they commenced to look for
land which would yield an adequate return in agriculture.
The land of Roston was too uneven and rocky for cultiva-
tion. Farms were apportioned to the settlers l)ordering
on the Charles, Mystic and Xeponset rivers, and crops were
planted. The Governor had one assigned to him on the
Mystic rixer of se\'eral hundred acres, extending from
Charlestown to A\here Medford now stands, lie built a
substantial stone farmhouse, where he spent most of his
time in Summer and called the place the "Ten llills" be-
cause ten well defined hills were visible from it. i le built
and launched on the Mystic, a craft of 30 tons, which he
christened "The Illessing of the Ray," in which lie made
voyages, on the business of the Colony, going |-'ast to the
coast of .Maine, and west as far as New \'ork. Into his pri-
vate life were to come hai)pier days, for in Xo\-ember 1631,
his wife, whom he was obliged to leave l)ehind in Eng-
land, arrived with four of his children. It was a time of re-
joicing in the little colony.

^^'hen the shi]) arri\ed off the town, she was saluted with
artillery. The (jovernor, on landing, was honored with a
guard, and most of the people from the nearby planta-
tions came in to welcome him, and brought and sent for
days, great stores of provisions and fat hogs, kids. \'enison.
poultry, geese, partridges, etc., so as the like joy and mani-
festati(~>ns of love, had never been seen in .Vew I-Jigland.

"The next day the following entry appeared in the Gov-
ernor's Diary: 'November ri. W'e kept a day of Thanksgiv-
ing in Boston."

The next few years, while full of labor and care for (io\-
ernor ^^'inthrop. appear to ha^•e been prosperous and ha])-

JP'alks and Talks About Historic Boston. n

py. He now felt that New England was his home, his
country, for when he left England his manor house in
Groton was sold. He received no salary as Governor, and
when requested by the freemen for an accounting", he con-
founded them by showing that he had spent out of his own

Online LibraryAlbert W. (Albert William) MannWalks & talks about historic Boston → online text (page 1 of 42)