SEPTEMBEE 20, 1882.
TRIBUNE PUBLISHING COMPANY.
18 8 3.
City of tUcimbriogc.
ACCEPTANCE AND UNVEILING
OF THE STATUE OF
JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN,
PRESENTED TO THB
CITY OF CAMBRIDGE, SEPT. 20, 1882,
SAMUEL JAMES BRIDGE.
i-i TUE ERECTED ON CAMBRIDGE COMMON, AND UNVEILED
NOVEMBER 28, 1882.
TRIBUNE PUBLISHING COMPANY-.
STATUE OF JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN.
In the " Genealogical Register," which forms the supplement
to Paige's "History of Cambridge," is the following : —
" Bridge, John was among the earliest inhab. of Camb. and owned
land here in 1632. He resided in 1635 at the N. E. corner of Dunster and
South Streets, and soon afterwards owned a house at the N. W. corner
of Holyoke and Winthrop Streets. About 1638 he purchased a house
near the spot where the "Washington Head Quarters now stand, with
twelve acres of land, and resided there. He was early elected Deacon of
the church ; was Selectman twelve years, between 1635 and 1652 ; Rep-
resentative four years, from 1637 to 1641 ; and was frequently employed
in the settlement of estates and in determining the boundaries of towns.
He m. Elizabeth Saunders 1658, (marriage contract dated 29, Nov. 1658,)
who had previously been the wife of Roger Bancroft of Camb. and
Martin Saunders of Braintree. He d. about 1665, leaving wife, son
Matthew and granddaughter Dorcas, dau. of S. Thomas, deceased. His
wife Elizabeth subsequently m. Edward Taylor of Boston and was liv-
ing in 1685."
The subject of the foregoing notice had one son, Matthew,
who survived his father, dying April 28, 1700, when upwards
of 80 years old. The remains of father and son were deposited
in the burial-ground in Harvard Square. Memorial stones were
placed over their graves and over that of a descendant, Levi
Bridge (hereinafter mentioned as the founder of the Bridge
Charitable Fund in this city), July 4, 1876, b} r Samuel J.
Bridge, the donor of the statue of the first of the name.
Shortly after the city of Cambridge was the recipient of a
donation from another member of the family, the late Mr. Levi
Bridge, who, by a deed of trust, dated Aug. 12, 1875, gave the
sum of $"3.95, which had been deposited in the Cambridge-
port Savings Bank in the name of the late Hon. John Sargent as
trustee. It was stipulated iu the deed that, after the death of
4 JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN.
Mr. Bridge, this sum was to be transferred to the city of Cam-
bridge, and a statement of the facts relating to the gift was
made by the trustee in a communication to the City Council,
dated Sept. 6, 187(5, the donor having deceased.
By the provisions of the deed of trust, the money thus given
was to form the nucleus of a fund to be known as the " Bridge
Charitable Fund," to be forever held by the city upon this
further trust, to add the interest of said fund to the principal,
until such time as said fund, by the accruing interest, or by
gifts from other philanthropic persons, shall amount to two
thousand dollars, after which time one third part of the in-
terest of said fund shall be added to the principal annually for-
ever, and the remaining two thirds of such interest shall be paid
over annually to the overseers of the poor for the time being, to
be by them expended for the deserving poor of the city of Cam-
bridge, in such manner as the}' shall deem best."
The donation of Mr. Bridge vyas formally accepted by the
City Council, Sept. 27, 1876, and an ordinance was subse-
quently adopted creating a board of commissioners of the fund
thus established. The bank-book was delivered to the com-
missioners by Mr. Sargent, Jan. 24, 1877, the sum on deposit
then amounting to $891.83. In the month of October follow-
ing, this sum was doubled by the gift of Mr. Samuel J. Bridge,
who was a distant relative of the original donor, thus making
the total amount given to the fund $1,783.6(5. In the letter
from Mr. S. J. Bridge, dated Oct. 15, 1877, covering the gift
made by him, he said, referring to the original donation by his
kinsman : "It was his wish, and it is mine, that beyond a proper
record, there may be no unnecessary publicity in the animal
distribution of the fund, nothing that would have a tendency to
wound the pride of the recipient." In this communication,
allusion is made to the graves of his ancestors, John and
Matthew Bridge, and of his kinsman Levi, over Avhich he had
caused the erection of memorial stones, and the hope is ex-
pressed that the city "will always have a fostering care over
Samuel James Bridge, who will hereafter be especially
remembered in this community as the generous donor to the
city of Cambridge of the statue of the first of his name in this
JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN. 5
country, is a native of the State of Maine, where many of the
descendants of John Bridge still reside. He removed to Boston
many years ago, and in the year 1841 was appointed by Presi-
dent Harrison as an appraiser in the Boston Custom House,
where he remained until 1856, when he was appointed appraiser-
general of the Pacific Coast. His unwavering fidelity to the
trust reposed in him by the Treasury Department while appraiser
for the port of Boston, is well remembered by the older mer-
chants of that city. Mr. Bridge had the confidence of every
administration of the national government from the time of his
appointment in 1841 to the close of the administration of Presi-
dent Grant. . He was the commissioner having charge of the
erection of the Custom House at San Francisco, costing
$5,000,000 ; and also of the United States Mint and Marine
Hospital in the same city. In his later years he has travelled
much, visiting every quarter of the globe, and by his rare
powers of observation has made himself familiar with the
characteristics, institutions, and population of nearly every coun-
try in the world.
The commission to execute a bronze statue of John Bridge,
the Puritan, was given by Mr. S. J. Bridge to the eminent
sculptor, the late Thomas R. Gould, of Boston, in the autumn
of lf>81. He designed and modelled a statuette, which was sat-
isfactory to Mr. Bridge, and subsequently carried it with him to
Florence, where he arrived on the first of November. Prepar-
ations for the clay model of the " Puritan " were soon after
begun, and about the 23d of November the aitist personally
worked upon the statue for the first and last time, also giving
suggestions in regard to certain changes desired. Mr. Gould
died on the 26th of November, 1881, and the completion of the
figure devolved upon his son and co-worker, Marshall S. Gould,
who devoted his entire time and energy to the execution of his
father's conception of the " Puritan." In advancing and com-
pleting the work, he made such changes from the small model
as had been previously suggested to him by his father, together
with such alterations as every artist finds necessary in making
a colossal statue from a diminutive study. The names of T. R.
and M. S. Gould are thus properly connected in the production
of the finished work, — the one as the original designer of the
6 JOHN BRIDGE, TIIE PURITAN.
statue, the other as the skilled and appreciative co-worker,
than whom none could have more fully realized the father's
conception of the character to be produced in monumental
It has been said that this generous and artistic gift is believed
to be the first statue of a Puritan pioneer that has been erected
in New England. Through the pious forethought of the donor,
it is also the first sculptured representation of one of its early
settlers that has been set up in the city of Cambridge.
The stormy periods of our early history have heretofore been
commemorated l>y us from time to time, and such localities as
have been rendered historical through their association with lead-
ing men and events of the past have been marked by memorial
tablets placed at different points in our city. To Samuel James
Bridge, now for the second time the city's benefactor, must be
accorded the merit of having brought to our view the linea-
ments and figure of the Puritan himself, as idealized in the
CITY OF CAMBKIDGE.
Statue of John Bridge, the Puritan.
At a meeting of the Mayor and Aldermen, Sept. 20, 1882, a
communication was presented by hi-* Honor the Mayor, from
Samuel James Bridge, Esq., of Boston, offering to the city a
bronze statue of his ancestor John Bridge, one of the first set-
tlers of the town, and an active and useful man.
The kind offer thus made was met with an appreciative spirit
by the City Council, as appears by the following order, which
was adopted in concurrence : —
City of Cambridge,
In Board of Aldermen, Sept. 20, 1882.
Ordered, That the statue offered to the city by SamuelJames Bridge be
accepted, and that the thauks of the City Council be given to Mr. Bridge
for his generous offer.
Also that a joint special committee, to consist of his Honor the Mayor,
and Aldermen Read, Corcoran, and Fairbanks, with such as the Common
Council may join, be appointed to take such action as may be proper in
JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN. 7
relation to the reception of the statue and the selection of a location for
Sent down for concurrence.
Attest : Justin A. Jacobs, City Clerk.
In Common Council, Sept. 20, 1882.
Concurred. The President, with Councilmen Bent, Pear, Kussell, Doyle,
and Thorogood, are joined on the part of this board.
Attest : J. Warren Cotton, Clerk.
Approved, Sept. 21, 1882.
James A. Fox, Mayor.
The Joint Special Committee thus appointed was composed
as follows : —
His Honor James A. Fox, Mayor.
Alderman John Read.
Alderman Michael Corcoran.
Alderman John TV. Fairbanks.
President George H. Howard.
Councilman George C. Bent.
Councilman Isaac S. Pear.
Councilman William E. Russell.
Councilman James E. Doyle.
Councilman John G. Thorogood.
The commitee immediately proceeded to the duty assigned to
it, receiving assistance in the suggestions of William S. Bar-
hour, Esq., city engineer, and Marshall S. Gould, Esq., the
sculptor. After visiting several localities in the vicinity of the
former abode of John Bridge, the committee finally selected
a spot deemed suitable as a site for the statue upon Cambridge
Common. There was a slight delay, owing to the non-arrival of
the statue from France, where it was cast, and on account of the
illness of the donor, with whom the committee wished to con.-ult
in reference to the location to be selected, and whose views it
was desired to meet in the fullest manner.
The general superintendence of the work of locating the statue
was committed to Mr. Barbour, city engineer ; the labor of
putting in the necessary foundation, placing the pedestal thereon,
and setting up the statue, being pei formed by Mr. Alexander
McDonald, of this city. The granite base was firmly set, and
8 JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN.
the statue placed in position under the immediate supervision
of the sculptor, and the work was completed on Saturday, Nov.
25th, after which it was covered to await the inauguration cere-
monies. The statue is located in that part of Cambridge Com-
mon, near the junction of North Avenue and Waterhonse Street,
and faces in a nearly southerly direction, looking towards the
College grounds. The figure is about nine feet in height, and
that of the pedestal about the same, the entire structure being
about eighteen feet from the foundation.
The da} r of the formal acceptance and unveiling of the " Puri-
tan" was fixed for Tuesday, Nov. 28th, at 3 o'clock, p. m. It
was intended by the committee that the ceremonies should take
place around the base of the statue, but a fall of snow and sub-
sequent cold weather intervening, it was decided to ask that
Shepard Memorial Church, on Garden Street, opposite the Com-
mon, be opened for the purpose. The attention of the public
had been called to the occasion, through the various local news-
papers, all being invited, while special invitations were also sent
to a large number of prominent citizens and others. A special
form of invitation was also sent by the donor to the descendants
of John Bridge, numbering as far as known one hundred and
thirteen in all, including one infant seven months old, of the
ninth generation from his ancestor.
CITY OIF CAMBEIDG-E.
This city invites you to be present at Cambridge Common, on
Tuesday, November 38th, at jj P. M., at the ceremonies attending
the acceptance of a statue of
one of the founders of the town, presented to the city by Samuel
James (Bridge, a descendant in the sixth generation.
For the Committee of Arrangements,
JAMES A. FOX, Mayor.
Cambridge, Nov, 2D, 1BB2,
JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN.
CITY OIF CJLDVCBE,ZXJG-E.
This city invites the descendants of John (Bridge, one of its
founders, to be present at Cambridge Common, on Tuesday,
Nov. 28th, at J r P. M., at the ceremonies attending the acceptance
of a statue of their ancestor, -presented to the city by
SAMUEL JAMES BRIEG-E,
a descendant in the sixth generation.
For the Committee of Arrangements,
JAMES A. FOX, Mayor.
Cambridge, Mass., Nov, 2D, 1BB2,
The invitations to descendants of John Bridge were sent to
the following : —
Samuel James Bridge San Francisco, Cal.
Mr. and Mrs. Nathan "William Bridge . . . West Medford, Muss.
Jane P. Bridge Somerville, Mass.
Edmund Bridge West Medford, Mass.
Frederick William Bridge West Medford, Mass.
Mr. and Mrs. James Bridge Augusta, Me.
Susan Williams Bridge Augusta, Me.
Margaret North Bridge Augusta, Me.
Sarah Cony Bridge Augusta, Me.
Ruel Williams Bridge Augusta, Me.
James Bridge, Jr Atlanta, Qa.
Horatio Bridge New York City.
Joseph Hartwell Bridge Leadville, Colorado.
Hannah North Bridge Genera, JV. Y.
Anna Frazier Bridge Geneva, N. Y.
Mr. and Mrs. William Bridge West Medford, Mass.
Henry Saunders Bridge West Medford, Mass.
Edward W. Bridge West Medford, Mass.
Helen W. Ritchie Philadelphia, Pa.
Lucy Perkins Bridge West Medford, Mass.
Eliza Putnam Stone Boston, Mass.
Mary Bridge Vose Colorado.
Hannah North Vose Colorado.
Chandler Vose Colorado.
George Howe Vose California.
10 JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN.
Hannah Bridge Williams Augusta, Me.
Abby Williams Marble New York City.
Horatio Bridge Washington, D. C.
Charlotte Marshall Bridge Washington, D. C.
Margaret North New York City.
Hannah E. North New York City.
George Weston New York City.
Mary Austin New York City.
William F. Bridge Foster's Crossiyigs, Ohio.
James Crosby Bridge Foster's Crossings, Ohio.
Elizabeth Crosby Bridge Exeter, N. H.
Henry Whitney Bridge Cincinnati, Ohio.
William E. Bridge, Jr Cincinnati, Ohio.
Herbert Sage Bridge Cincinnati, Ohio.
Catherine May Bridge Foster's Crossings, Ohio.
Walter Guild Bridge Foster's Crossings, Ohio.
Josiah Bridge Cambridge, Mass.
Mrs. William T. Piper Cambridge, 3Iass.
Charles Bridge Albany, N. Y.
Charles Francis Bridge Albany, N. Y.
Erastus T. Bridge Haverhill, Muss.
Mrs. Samuel Bridge Cambridge, Mass.
Mr. and Mrs. George O. Davis Lexington, Mass.
Frederic Gardner Davis Lexington, Mass.
Charles Bridge Davis Lexington, 3Iass.
Harry Wellington Davis Lexington, Mass.
Alice C. Baker Cambridge, Mass.
Mr. and Mrs. George L. Stratton Concord, N. II.
Florence Gardner Stratton Concord, N. H.
George Bridge Stratton Concord, N. H.
Charles Devens Boston, Mass.
Thomas M. Devens Charlestown, Mass.
Martha Lithgow Downes Charlestown, Mass.
Caroline Devens Morris Portsmouth, N. H.
Henry Devens Brattlehoro, Vt.
Francis Payson Sberburu Charlestown, Mass.
Edward P. Devens Charlestown, Mass.
Helen Devens Crocker Charlestown, Mass.
Richard Devens Washington, D. C.
Mrs. Arthur L. Devens Cambridge, Mass.
Mary Devens Cambridge, Mass.
Arthur Lithgow Devens Cambridge, Mass.
Agnes Devens Cambridge, Mass.
Frank Payson Neiu York City.
Charles Payson Washington, D. C.
Francis Faithful Brighton, England.
James N. Bowman Council Bluffs, Iowa.
JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN. 11
Lizzie Y. Bowman Wiscasset, Me.
M. W. Bridge Providence, B. I.
W. W. Bridge Wilbraham, Mass.
M. Wells Bridge Springfield, Mass.
Benjamin B. Bridge East Broohfield, Mass.
Jesse F. Bridge Meriden, Conn.
Charles A. Bridge Boston, Mass.
C. S. Bridge Boston, Mass.
Mrs. Sarah Knowles Gibson Boston, Mass.
Caroline Knowles Boston, Mass.
Mrs. Rebecca Bridge Boston, 3Fass.
Mrs. Abel E. Bridge Waltham, Mass.
Theodore E. Bridge Boston, Mass.
Mrs. C. T. Jackson Concord, Mass.
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Dodge Concord, Mass.
Mr. and Mrs. William Arthur Mayor, U. S. A. Governor's Island, N. Y.
John Jackson Boston, Mass.
Lillie Jackson Concord, Muss.
Charles Jackson Concord, Mass.
Mrs. Stephen Barrett, Jr Ayer Junction, Mass.
Mathew Bridge San Francisco, Col.
William D. Bridge New Haven, Conn.
Mrs. William Barber San Bafael, Cal.
Wm. II. Bridge -. Marbh head, Mass.
Robert Bridge Marblehead, Mass
Edward Bridge Marblehead, Mass.
Mrs. Isabella Freeman Sandwich, Mass.
Bowman B. Johnson Dresden, Me.
Elizabeth W. Gerry East Lexington, Mass.
Charles Downing Newbury, N. Y.
Henry Garfield Cleveland, Ohio.
William Garfield Cleveland, Ohio.
Mr. and Mrs. James McDonald Boston, Mass.
John II. Sherburne Boston, Mass.
Charles Morris U. S. Army.
Caroline L. Hoy Washington, D. C.
Gertrude M. Burnham Lowell, Mass.
Caroline Watson Charlestown, Mass.
John W. Bridge Lawrence, Mass.
John W. Bridge, Jr Lawrence Mass.
Benjamin Hartwell Bridge Lawrence, Mass.
[Seven months old, in the ninth generation from John Bridge.]
Unveiling of the Statue.
The services connected with the unveiling of the statue of the
"Puritan" on Cambridge Common were held, in accordance with
12 JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN.
previous arrangement, in Shepard Memorial Church, the mem-
bers of the city government, invited guests, and citizens gen-
erally assembling informally at the hour appointed.
The church was well filled, among the audience there being
many distinguished citizens, conspicuous among whom was the
venerable donor. There were also numerous other descendants
of John Bridge, including Nathan William Bridge, Esq.,
of West Medford, Mass., and Judge Charles Devens, of the
Supreme Court of Massachusetts.
The opening exercise was the performance of a voluntary on
the organ by Edwin L. Gurney, organist of Broadway (Cam-
bridge) Baptist Church, at the conclusion of which Alderman
John Read, chairman of the committee of arrangements, made
the following announcement: — ■
Fellow Citizens and Guests : — We are assembled at this time for
the acceptance of the statue of John Bridge, the Puritan. I invite the
Rev. Dr. Alexander McKenzie to invoke the divine blessing.
Eev. Alexander McKenzie, D. D., of the Shepard Memorial
Church, then offered prayer, at the conclusion of which the audi-
ence joined in singing the following hymn, accompanied by
the organ : —
HYMN BY REV. LEONARD BACON, D. D.
O God, beneath thy guiding hand,
Our exiled fathers crossed the sea ;
And when they trod the wintry strand,
"With prayer and psalm they worshipped thee.
Thou heard'st well pleased the song, the prayer:
Thy blessing came ; and still its power
Shall onward through all ages bear
The memory of that holy hour.
Laws, freedom, truth, and faith in God
Came with those exiles o'er the waves ;
And where their pilgrim feet have trod,
The God they trusted guards their graves.
And here thy name, O God of love,
Their children's children shall adore,
Till these eternal hills remove,
And spring adonis the earth no more.
JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN. 13
Alderman Read : —
"The statue which will be unveiled immediately after these exercises
is the work of the late Thomas It. Gould, completed by his son. It is
of one who, having held offices of high trust, was a representative man of
the early times. Samuel J. Bridge, a descendant in the sixth generation,
has made this gift to the city of Cambridge, and his letter of presentation
will now be read by George H. Howard Esq., the President of the Com-
President George H. Howard then read the following letter:
Boston, Sept. 20, 1882.
To the Honorable James A. Fox,
Mayor of Cambridge:
Sir, — I beg to offer to the city of Cambridge, through you, a bronze
statue of my ancestor, John Bridge, one of the first settlers in the town,
and a man useful and influential in his day and generation.
The sculptor, the late Mr. T. R. Gould, has tried to figure forth the Puri-
tan pioneer, and upon the pedestal for the statue I have caused to be
described the typical services and character which seem to me to make
John Bridge worthy of lasting commemoration.
If the City Council accepts this offer, I shall ask leave to set up the
statue in one of the public squares of Old Cambridge, the exact site to be
determined in whatever way may seem to the Council suitable.
I have the honor to be, Sir, with respect,
Your obedient servant,
Samuel James Bridge.
Mayor Fox accepted the statue in behalf of the city as fol-
lows : —
Fellow Citizens : — From the communication of Mr. Samuel James
Bridge, dated Sept. 20th last, to which you have just listened, you are
informed that that gentleman — not now for the first time, I may say, a
liberal donor to us, and happily present with us to-day — has presented
this statue of his sturdy and heroic ancestor to the city of Cambridge, —
believed to be the first statue in Puritan garb that has been erected in
With becoming acknowledgment, the generous and artistic gift was
promptly accepted by our City Council, and now being setup on our prin-
cipal public ground not far from the spot of his early home on Dunster
Street, we have assembled together formally to accept the finished work.
It gives me great pleasure to be the recipient, in behalf of the corpora-
tion and the citizens at large of Cambridge, of this statue of one of the
early Puritans and settlers of our ancient and favored town from one
his worthy descendants in the sixth generation.
14 JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN.
John Bridge must indeed have been " a man useful and influential in
his day and generation." Born in 1578 in old Braintree, in Essex County,
England, during the reign of Queen Elizabeth of brilliant fame, he
came in 1C31, at the mature age of fifty-three, and settled here, as the in-
scription upon the pedestal states. He was our original supervisor of the
public school, first townsman or selectman for twenty-three years, repre-
sentative to the Great and General Court for four years, and was appointed
by that body to lay out lands in this town and beyond.
We find his name prominently mentioned in the early records of the
town in connection with those of Dunster, Hooker, Shepard, and others.
" Among the reasons," says the Rev. Thomas Shepard, " which swayed
me to come to Xew England, divers people in Old England of my dear
friends desired me to come here to live together, and some went before
and writ to me of finding a place, one of which was John Bridge."
But I will not go into detail on these points, and thus encroach upon the
province of the accomplished gentlemen who are to follow me, and who
will illustrate the lives and the times of our Puritan progenitors much more
ably than I can do.
It is surely well to "remember the days of old," and the men as well,
who, by their sacrifices in any department of human endeavor or toil,
have set forward the state of human progress on earth ; and it is particu-
larly fitting to erect statues to perpetuate the forms, the character, and
the labors of our Puritan ancestors, that coming generations as they rise
may not forget those devoted pioneers of freedom in religious truth and
observances who preferred to emigrate to an unknown and inhospitable
land, where they might worship God according to the dictates of their
own consciences, rather than to wage a long and doubtful conflict with the
strongly entrenched ecclesiastical system of England, united as it was
to the complete civil power of the kingdom.
The Puritans brought to this land the highest principles of religious and
civil liberty ; and if we would witness the ultimate outcome of their prin-
ciples, we may well say, with the epitaph in St. Paul's Cathedral, London,
on the great architect of that church, " Look around you."
This statue has been executed by an American artist of genius and ex-
quisite taste, of whom we have good reason to be proud, the late Thomas
R. Gould, a native of Boston, but who long dwelt and wrought in
Florence, Italy. His uutimely death left the unfinished work to his son,
Mr. Marshal] S. Gould, who has admirably and successfully completed the
original design of his father. The elder artist has impressed his genius
upon many portrait statues and busts in this city and vicinity. In yonder
library of Harvard University is his fine bust of Ralph "Waldo Emerson;
the Town Hull of Lexington contains a statue of John Hancock ; while
in the Public Library Building of Concord is one of its liberal donor to
the town, "William Munroe. By commission from the Grand Army of the
Republic, he executed the beautiful statue of the noble Andrew which
stands in the burial lot of our great war governor at Hingham-by-the-Sea.
New York City claims a bust of the elder Booth ; while in the vestibule
JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN. 15
of the Boston Herald Building his artistic illustration of steam and electricity
may be admired. His portrait statue of King Kamehameha the First, at
Honolulu, is a notable one, as well as that ideal conception entitled the
" Ascending Spirit, " which is appropriately placed on the burial lot in
Forest Hill Cemetery where the mortal remains of the talented sculptor
And now need I repeat, as the representative of the city, that I accept
with pride and pleasure this statue of the devoted Puritan and non-con-
formist, so liberally and handsomely bestowed by Mr. Bridge? and we
will ever preserve it amid its pleasant surroundings with especial care, so
that it may teach to our children's children to a late generation the
courage, the self-denial, the humble yet heroic religious spirit of as brave
and honest a body of Christian adventurers as, acting under their own
light, have ever existed, who did so much towards setting forward the
Bedeemer's kingdom upon earth, and who so honestly labored to establish
on this western continent what they deemed to be a great good, viz.,
"A Church without a Bishop, and a State without a King."
After the close of his address, the Mayor said : —
" A descendant of the Puritans has been invited to speak to you to-day.
I take pleasure in introducing Col. Thomas W. Higginson."
Col. Higginson then delivered the dedicatory address of the
occasion, as follows : —
The man whose name we to-day commemorate represents none of those
classes which have hitherto almost monopolized bronze and marble. He
was neither general nor statesman, neither poet nor author. No encyclo-
paedia records his name, no history of the nation mentions him. Is it not
strange that under these circumstances we should meet to dedicate his
statue? On the contrary, it is for this very reason. It is a characteristic
of the rising art of America, that, unlike the art of older nations, it cele-
brates the common man. Yonder silent figure upon our soldiers' monu-
ment does not wear the uniform of the brilliant general of cavalry, whose
name heads the inscription below, but that of the hundreds of private
soldiers whose names follow. It is the same with nearly all of the thou-
sand other soldiers' monuments throughout the land. In the same way,
going back to the Bevolution, we have French's " Minute-Man" at Con-
cord. Following the same instinctive tendency, going back to the settle-
ment of the country, we have before us not Winthrop, not Endicott, but
the private soldier, or at most the non-commissioned officer of the early
Cambridge settlement, the typical Puritan, plain John Bridge.
It is the first time, so far as I know, that the every-day Puritan has
appeared in sculpture. In the time when the clergy were kings or
viceroys, this man was content to be a deacon. In the time when this
very Cambridge Common, where we stand, was the scene where gov-
ernors were elected, John (Bridge was satisfied with an office which is
16 JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN.
to this day a school of humility, and was member of the " Great and General
Court." He was, in the expressive phrase of that day, a "townsman."
He stands for the plain people, who founded the little settlement, and
built for their defence the great " pallysadoe " and "fosse" which once
passed within a rod or two of where the statue stands, and which have
left their memorials to this day in the willow-trees of yonder play-ground.
John Bridge probably worked in person on those defences; he was one of
those who kept back the Indian and brought civilization forward; he
stands for the average ancestry of us all. Whatever we now possess we
owe, in a general sense, to the fact that our forefathers were even such
men as John Bridge.
But, beyond this, we owe a peculiar debt to him individually. It hap-
pened to him to be instrumental, in a special way, for preserving the very
existence of the little settlement. He came to America in 1031, probably
as a member of a company from Braintree, England, which settled first
near Mount Wollaston, and then was removed hither by order of the
General Court, being soon joined by Rev. Thomas Hooker, who became
their pastor. John Bridge came to Cambridge, then Newtown, in 1032;
owned land here in that year, and became a freeman March 4, 1035. He
lived at that time on the northeast corner of Dunster and South Streets,
owning also a house on Holyoke Street soon after. In 1030 came an event
which very nearly brought about the extinction of the little settlement.
Parson Hooker, moved by the earliest outbreak of what has since been
called the Western fever, made up his mind that the village, with
its sixty-two houses, was too crowded for him and too near other villages.
This was at least the nominal reason why he and the bulk of his congrega-
tion resolved to set off through the woods to Connecticut with wife and
child, bag and baggage, cows and oxen, there to establish a transplanted
Newtown at what is now Hartford. It is very possible that this formida-
ble secession might have been the death of the little town, but for one fact,
that John Bridge decided, in his sturdy Puritan spirit, to stay where he
was and save the settlement.
The way in which he saved it was this: There was at that time in
England a young clergyman named Shepard, not yet thirty years old, but
of such repute for piety and eloquence that he has come down to posterity
with four resounding epithets forever linked to his name, — " the holy,
heavenly, sweet-affecting, and soul-ravishing Mr. Shepard." We know
from his own autobiography that he came to America by the urgent
request of friends; but the only friend whose name he mentions is John
Bridge. He came at the most opportune time, with a company of sixty,
and* was persuaded to remain temporarily, at least, in Cambridge. He
and his party stayed permanently; they took the meeting-house of Mr.
Hooker, the dwelling-houses of his parishioners; and when, upon a day
in June in 1630, Mr. Hooker and his hundred men, women, and children
went with their oxen and cows through the streets into the wilderness,
Mr: Shepard and his sixty stood at their newly acquired front-doors and
bade them farewell. Exit Hooker; enter Shepard: but John Bridge was
JOHN BRIDGE, THE TURITAN. 17
the link between. He was like the French herald whose duty it was to
proclaim the king's death ami the accession of his successor. " Le roi est
mort, rice le roi." It would have been strange indeed if when the new
church was organized John Bridge had not become its first deacon. He
was. as the facetious Cotton Mather would undoubtedly have said, had he
but thought of it, " the Bridge that carried us over."
And, as it turned out, by securing Mr. Shepard he secured not the town
only but the college. That was placed here partly for the sake of the
climate, but more for Mr. Shepard's sake. It was because of him, Cotton
Mather tells us, that this, " rather than any other place, was pitched upon
to be the site of that happy seminary." There was thus a regular chain
of circumstances. It was because of Deacon Bridge that Mr. Shepard
came; because of Mr. Shepard that the college came; because of the, col-
lege that the name came, taken from the English university town.
Whether John Bridge was or was not identical with the "Mr. Bridges"
who gave the infant college £50 in 1638, and who united with others in
giving it £20 worth of goods four years after, this cannot now be deter-
mined; but the point beyond question is, that he indirectly secured its
presence in Cambridge and all the advantages that have come to both
college and city from the combination.
Under such circumstances, John Bridge began the duties of what an
English poet calls the "mild diaconate" — not so mild then as now. In
those days, when the village and parish were one, the minister was com-
mander and the deacon was orderly sergeant. In that capacity John
Bridge may have personally beaten the drum which was used iu 1636,
according to Johnson, to call the people of the village to church. At any
rate he doubtless superintended the offices of the church, and the schooling
of the children, so far as it went; he was deacon for twenty-two years,
selectman for twelve years, and member of the Legislature for four. He
was frequently employed in the settlement of estates and in determining
the boundaries of towns. He was one of the commissioners appointed by
the town when Billerica was set off from it, and his son was one of the
first settlers of Lexington, both of these towns having been included iu
the unwiehVy Cambridge of that day. John Bridge's own homestead was
outside the village, and included twelve acres not far from where Craigie
House now stands; he also owned a strip opposite, on the south side of
the Watertown road, and running to the river. It included live acres of
marsh and one of upland, perhaps including part of the very field across
which our poet Longfellow loved to look at the winding Charles. In this
homestead, then a rural region, he lived until his death in 1665; and it is
pleasant to find that his son, in transferring a part of the real estate at a
later period, describes it as " the mansion house of my honored father,
deseased." It is not always that sous remember to express respect for
their fathers when disposing of their property.
It is in a similar feeling of respect to that worthy man that we honor Ms
monument to-day. Bronze corrodes and marble crumbles, but they are,
nevertheless, among the most permanent of earthly things; and this modest
18 JOHN BRIDGE, THE TURITAN.
Puritan name will take long life from this event. One of the most famous
of modern English sonnets describes an imaginary traveller in the East as
finding in the desert two vast and trunkless legs of stone, with a carved
and broken head resting near them. On the pedestal appears, —
" My name is Qzymandiaa, king of kings,
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair."
And the poet adds: —
" Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away."
But of what consequence was this desolation? The statue fulfilled its
object. The disappearance, of all else only vindicated the foresight of the
monarch, and the name of Ozymandias is immortal. And thus the pious
reverence of the descendants of this plain Puritan will achieve its end.
The name of John Bridge, rescued from oblivion and made the type of
the founders of our civilization, is destined to be transmitted on the lips of
children's children yet unborn.
When Col. Higginson had concluded, the Mayor said : —
" From what has been said by the orator of the day, there is no doubt
that John Bridge, whom we commemorate, was deeply interested in educa-
tion, and might have been a worker in its behalf in the early days of our
college. It seems eminently fitting, therefore, that a representative of
that college should be heard upon this occasion. I introduce to you
President Eliot said : —
" What is this durable monument in stone and bronze to say to us and
to coming generations ? It will say, —
"It is good to stand stoutly in one's lot, doing faithfully and generously
the homely duties of each day.
"It is good to leave behind sturdy and thrifty descendants to transmit
one's name and recall one's memory through long generations.
"It is good to have inn's life, though humble and obscure, represent
In posterity great ideas.
" The simple life of this Puritan pioneer in barren Newtown foretold the
life of the teeming millions who in two centuries were to vivify the wild
continent. It was a worthy vehicle of three pregnant principles, — free-
dom of thought, political freedom, and freedom to worship God."
Mayor Fox : —
"You have In aid from :i descendant of the Puritans, you have also
heard from the representative of Harvard College ; let me now introduce
to you a lineal descendant of John Bridge himself, General, and now
JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN. 19
Judge Devexs' Address.
Mr. Mayor: — As a descendant from John Bridge, one degree further
removed than my kinsman whose graceful liberality lias presented this
statue of our ancestor to the city of Cambridge, I thank you for the
opportunity of being present upon this occasion. There is little to remind
us in this splendid city, adorned with the buildings of its great university,
in external things at least, of the humble hamlet defended by its palisade
in which a band of exiles struggling with the stern soil, the inhospitable
climate, the hostile savage, sought to make for themselves a home in which
they could worship God according to the dictates of their own con-
It may lie true, it no doubt is true, that there are others equally worthy
to be commemorated with John Bridge, yet as he has been described to
us in the remarks of Col. Higginson, d> whose researches we are all siu-
cerely indebted, as its first townsman for many years, as the deacon of its
church, as ils representative in the councils of tin- infant colony, he is a
suitable representative of the founders of this town. lie is in this place
also a suitable representative of that great race of men to whom he be-
longed, the English Puritans.
The Puritan emigration to New England was a part of the struggle
which had already commenced between King Charles and his people.
However that might end, one place they were determined should exist
where they should be free to practise their own faith and to act as that
taught them. Profound as was their belief in a higher power, they knew
that God works by human means and agencies, ami that it was for them
to endeavor to compass that for which they prayed by all the instrumen-
talities at their command. They believed in the sword of the Lord and
of Gideon, but the sword of Gideon for them was the good weapon that
hung in their own belts, and whose hilt was within the grasp of their own
strong right hands.
We may imagine, if we cannot know, the intense interest with which,
during the years John Bridge lived here, these people watched the progress
of that English Revolution which has made of all who speak the English
tongue a free people. Here they heard of the open war in England be-
tween their king and his Parliament, of the first doubtful and undecided
conflicts under the inefficient commanders on behalf of the Parliament, of
the rise of the great Puritan soldier Cromwell, of the victories of Naseby,
Dunbar, and finally of Worcester, and of the complete triumph of the
Puritan party. Here, too, came later the sad news of that September
day when the Lord Protector sank to his eternal rest,and the way was
open for the return of the king to England. Although he heard of all
these events. John Bridge did nut live long enough t<> know of the second
English Revolution which was so promptly responded to in Massachusetts
and which finally drove the Stuart kings into exile. To him ii may have
seemed as if this contest had failed. II<; certainly could not have real-
ized how vast was the work which the Puritans hail done aiel were to do
20 JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN.
on this as well as (he othor side of the water, or how great was the im-
pression they would make on the people of a vast continent.
Mr. G. W. Curtis has said, " Through all our history, from the deposition
of Andros to Bunker Hill, and from the Declaration of Independence to
the Proclamation of Emancipation, the dominant power in American
civilization has been the genius of Puritan England."
If we look back to the days of the Revolution we see how strong
was its influence over those who conducted it. Mr. Winthrop, who (I
may, without impropriety say, now that he is absent from us ami separated
by the stormy sea) emulates so well the dignified and scholarly virtues of
his illustrious ancestor, has in one of his recent orations preserved a let-
ter of Col. Prescott which might in its spirit have been written by one of
the Puritans themselves. I quote it from memory, and not with entire
verbal accuracy. " Our forefathers," says he, " passed the vast Atlantic,
spent their blood and treasure that they might enjoy their liberties both
civil and religious, and transmit them to their posterity." . . . . " Is
not a glorious death in defence of our liberties better than a short and
infamous life, and our memory to be had in detestation to the latest pos-
terity ? Let us all be of one mind, and stand fast in the liberties wherewith
Christ has made us free: and may he of his infinite mercy grant us deliv-
erance out of all our troubles! "
This was a letter written on behalf of the farmers of Pepperell to the
inhabitants of Boston some months before the battle of Bunker Hill. As
we stand here we recall that summer night of the 16th of June, 1775,
when the two regiments selected by Prescott, one his own. the other
commanded by Col. Ebeuezer Bridge of Lexington, the great-grandson of
John, stood here upon this very Common together, and the venerable pres-
ident of the College came from his study to invoke the blessing of God
on their expedition.
Xor, Mr. Mayor, when the hour of trial came in our day and generation
to us, was the influence of these Puritan forefathers absent. It is at such
a time they will always be freshly remembered. Let then this statue
stand, in its simple Puritan garb, in memory of one of the founders of this
city, of the race of men to whom he belonged, and in honor to their sim-
ple lives, their high courage, and their unswerving faith.
At the conclusion of Judge Devens' address, the audience
again joined in singing a hymn with the organ accompaniment.
Hymn. — " America. " J. S. Dwigiit.
God bless our native land!
Firm may she ever stand,
Through storm and night;
When the wild tempests rave,
Ruler of wind and wave,
Do thou (Mir country save
K\ thy great might.
JOHN BRIDGE, SHE PURITAN. 21
For hpr our prayer shall rise
To God above the skies,
On him we wait;
Thou who art ever nigh,
Guarding with watchful eye,
To thee aloud we cry,
God save the state!
A benediction was then pronounced by Rev. Edward II. Hall,
of the First Parish Church, and the audience then adjourned to
the Common to witness the ceremony of unveiling.
When all had reassembled around the statue, which was en-
tirely covered with cloth, Mayor Fox spoke as follows : —
" This statue of John Bridge, the Puritan, presented to the city of Cam-
bridge by one of his descendants in the sixth generation, having been
formally accepted, it is my direction that it be now unveiled."
At the signal of the Mayor, the folds of the covering quickly
separated, and it fell to the base of the statue, disclosing an
undoubted impersonation of the typical Puritan, in whose stern
and resolute countenance is fully reflected the strong character
of the men who founded our New England institutions of free-
dom and education.
The following inscriptions are upon the pedestal of the statue :
LEFT BRAINTREE, ESSEX COUNTY, ENGLAND, 1631
AS A MEMBER OF REV. MR. HOOKER'S COMPANY
SETTLED HERE 1632
AND STAID WHEN THAT COMPANY
REMOVED TO THE CONNECTICUT.
HE HAD SUPERVISION OF THE FIRST PUBLIC SCHOOL
ESTABLISHED IN CAMBRIDGE 1635
WAS SELECTMAN 1635-1652
DEACON OF THE CHURCH 1636-1658
REPRESENTATIVE TO THE GREAT AND GENERAL COURT 1637-1641
AND WAS APPOINTED BY THAT BODY TO LAY OUT LANDS
IN THIS TOWN AND BEVOND
22 JOHN BRIDGE, THE PURITAN.
AND GIVEN TO THE CITY
SEPT. 20, 1882,
SAMUEL JAMES BRIDGE,
OF THE SIXTH GENERATION
FROM JOHN BRIDOE.
THEY THAT WAIT UPON THE LORD
SHALL RENEW THEIR STRENGTH.
HELPED TO ESTABLISH HERE
AND REPRESENTATIVE GOVERNMENT
AND THUS TO PLANT
A CHRISTIAN COMMONWEALTH.