UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS
IN THE FORTUNE
ANNO DOMINO l621
ADAMS • BASSETT- BEAC
CANNON • CONNOR • CUSHMAN
DEANDE LA NOYE • FLAVEL
FORDHICKSHILTON • MORGAN
MORTON • NICHOLAS • PALMER
PRENCE- PITT • 5IMONSON
WI N5LOW- WRIGHT
^LITTLE JAMES ^1623
ANNABEL- BANGS BARTLETT
BURCHER • C ONANT • CLARK
fl9RT9N- OLDHAM- PRATT
RAND -RATCUFFE - SNOW
THE PILGRIM SHORE
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THE PILGRIM SHORE
m m m
ny Edmund H Qarrett - ^itf7 many
little J^ifturings drawn Jrom Nature
or jrom Fancy by t^e Wrlter^Tpud-
li/hed atSoston by Little.Brown
^Company Anno Domini igoo
By Little, Brown, and Company
UNIVERSITY PRESS . JOHN WILSON
AND SON • CAMBRIDGE, U.S.A.
Jnterduction w''ich may be skipb "
.VEN if travel abroad best
strengthens our love of
country, we should not
neglect for it those
places, hallowed by their
associations or history, that
lie at our very doors. And
so an occasional reminder
of the attractions of our own
land may not be amiss, and
it is for the purpose of set-
ting forth in a familiar way
the charm of a pilgrimage
through some of our own towns that this
book is now published.
The writer has already recorded in a like
manner a journey northward to Cape Ann, ^
1 Romance and Reality of the Puritan Coast.
and as this volume treats of the South Shore
of Massachusetts Bay, — the two books to-
gether describe the coast of the Puritans and
that of the Pilgrims.
These two regions, like the two peoples
themselves, while having much in common,
yet present marked contrasts.
The Puritan land is rich, populous, and en-
terprising. Along its length teeming cities
and growing towns are ever reaching toward
each other. All day long its air is vexed
with the thunder of rolhng trains and the
shriek of shrill complaining trolleys. Tall
factory chimneys vie in height with its stee-
ples and wreathe their smoke over its hom.es,
sails of toil and pleasure crowd its harbors.
It is active, busy, energetic, laborious, and
competent. Its shore is comparatively high,
bold, and sternly rockbound.-^
^ In reality it extends southward to the rocks of Cohas-
set, for the river that flows through this town marked the
boundary between the Plymoutli and the Massachusetts
Bay colonies. In this book, however, the whole South
Shore from Boston to Plymouth is treated of under the
general title of the Pilgrim Shore.
The land of the Pilgrims is by contrast less
bold and rocky, and it has not kept pace with
the other side of the bay, either in population,
material prosperity, or enterprise. It has
been until quite lately very much more
countrified and quiet, and having for many
years been less easy of access, it is not so well
known as a whole. In spite of this, however,
none of the North Shore towns is so famous
as Plymouth, whose soil and waters nourished
the Forefathers, men whose love of mercy
and justice, whose humanity and nobility of
character, have hallowed the place of their
dwelling, and made their name revered at
home and abroad.
" There are places and objects so intimately
associated with the world's greatest men or
with mighty deeds," says Governor Roger
Wolcott, "that the soul of him who gazes
upon them is lost in a sense of reverent awe,
as it listens to the voice that speaks from the
past in words like those which came from the
burning bush, * Put off thy shoes from off thy
feet, for the place whereon thou standest is
holy ground.' On the sloping hillside of Ply-
mouth such a voice is breathed by the brood-
ing genius of the place, and the ear must be
dull that fails to catch the whispered words."
Need we wonder then that this old town
has become an American shrine, and the ways
that lead to it made paths of pilgrimage?
Somehow, in spite of the gentle and liberal
tendencies of the Pilgrims, one associates
them most often with a bleak and wintry
shore such as they landed on that stormy
December night so long ago. It seems to
harmonize well with the stern courage which
prompted them to set forth for the New
World, and is a fitting background to the
hardy, temperate, manly lives of those res-
olute hearts, self-exiled for conscience' sake.
Happily, however, the coast is not always
forbidding, nor its beauty awesome ; not al-
ways does a leaden sky hang low over wan
surges, nor the gray sea fling its freezing
spray across a pallid shore to black forests
buffeted by the icy north wind. Far other-
wise is it when summer clothes it in genial
and smiling beauty. Then kindly blue waves
lap its warm glimmering sands. To beach
and rock creep grass, and vine, and flowering
shrub. Birds then sing in its groves, but-
terflies flutter over its fields, the pines, like
swinging censers perfume the winds and cast
welcome shadows over the warm earth. As
if dressed for a festival, the landscape glistens
under the sun, and all is as sweet as the
morning. It was in such pleasant times
that the notes and sketches in this book
were made, and the purpose has been, while
wandering along, rendering homage to the
land's beauty, to record its present aspect
and recall in a measure its traditions and
Preface, Decorative Initial 7
A Pilgrim 1 1
Tailpiece . 13
Contents, Decorative Heading 15
List of IllustratioJis, Decorative Heading . . . 17
Dorchester, Decorati^je Initial 21
" Gardens tliere were everywhere " .... 24
The Blake House 27
" Till in turn she dreamed herself " ... 31
Captain Roger Clap 37
i8 A List of the Illustrations
J\'epo7iset^ Decorative Initial 39
"Mounted guard at a window " . . . . 41
Quincy, Decorative Heading 43
Unitarian Church, WoUaston 44
" The steep hill by the tablet " . . » • • 47
Dorothy Q , 51
The Quincy House ........ 55
Merrie Mounte 59
Lord of Misrule . 61
" Cut down the Maypole" 65
Christ Church Fountain 69
John Quincy Adams was born here ... 73
John Adams House 76
Weymouth, Decorative Heading 'j'j
The Fore River . 78
Wattawamat . .......... 81
The Smith Parsonage 84
Hingha/n, Decorative Heading 86
Home of General Lincoln '^'j
Major-General Lincoln . 89
An Antique Treasure 94
Hull^ Decorative Heading 97
"As necessary as church and preaching" . 99
A List of the Illustrations 19
Cohasset, Decorative Heading 105
The Jerusalem Road 107
Cohasset River 1 1 1
Cohasset Common 113
'• Through the village "' 115
'• Their home on the little hill " . . . . 116
The old Lincoln House 119
Sciitiate, Decorative Heading 12 e
Fourth Cliff, Scituate 122
The Street, Scituate Harbor 125
" The mill that stood by it " 129
The " Old Oaken Bucket " 133
"' The placid stream sleeps " ..... 135
On Humarock Beach 137
^' And Jemm}' the Negur shall catch it for
Marshjield^ Decorative Heading 143
On the old White Estate 144
The Winslow Arms 147
Proud Peacocks 149
The old Winslow House 153
Duxbnry, Decorative Heading 157
"The Married Lovers" 159
The John Alden House 163
The Arch Priscilla 167
20 A List of the Illustrations
Duxbury (continued). p^ce
The Grave of Miles Standish 169
" At Standish's Fireside" 173
Miles Standish 175
The Standish Cottage 179
Kingston, Decorative Heading 181
By Island Creek 182
Major John Bradford's House 184
Plyinonth, Decorative Heading 187
Tlie pewter plate and iron pot 192
*' Plymouth's first, last, and only duel " . . 197
One of the quaint chairs 199
North Street 203
" Mary Chilton first " 509
Site of First House 213
Ancient Mere-steads 217
Governor Bradford 219
The Bradford Monument 223
The Oldest House . . . . • 225
"A Paradise to Etchers" 227
Pond Lilies 230
"Just as the Pilgrims found it" ... . 231
e way out of cities is not always a
pleasant one, for between town
and country there lies commonly
a forlorn region, neither the one nor
the other, whence the country has
fled, and the city has not yet set
firmly its foot. It seems like some
melancholy shore on which beat the
waves of urban life, casting up the
scum and dregs
i^.''^^^'*^''~~^^~~ of its poverty,
/ toil, and
yf "" Over
by the smoke and cinders of grimy work-
shops, brood squalor, intemperance, and
2 2 The Pilgrim Shore.
weariness, settling on the old dumps and
arid wastes, fattening ever on the filth, the
unhealthy fumes, and the noxious odors that
overspread and arise from all this cast-out
detritus. Hurry through this unlovely land,
if it cannot be avoided.
Such a waste must be passed going to
the Pilgrim Shore, unless one leaves the city
from the west, and so goes by the parks and
through Roxbury to the first town on the
South Shore, " Good Old Dorchester."
Settled in 1630, it was first known as Matta-
pan ; for in history we read that the Court
of Assistants held at Charlestown, September
7, 1630, ordered that " Trimountaine be called
Boston ; Mattapan, Dorchester, and the
towne upon Charles Ryver, Watertown."
" Why they called it Dorchester," says
eld-er James Blake, one of the earliest annalists,
" I never heard ; but there was some of ye
Towne of Dorchester that settled here, and
it is very likely it might be in honor of ye
aforesaid Rev'd Mr. White of Dorchester."
This Mr. White was Rector of Trinity Parish,
Dorchester, England, and was the most
prominent of the active promotors of the
Puritan emigration. He organized the church
that settled here, and aided it with heart and
In 1633 this was declared to be the great-
est town in all New England, by the author
of " New England's Prospect," well wooded
and watered : *' very good arable grounds and
Hay-ground, faire Cornefields and pleasant
Gardens." And this description of its attrac-
tions seems to have held good many, many
years; indeed no town near Boston for so
long a time preserved its rural beauty, its
country simplicity, and its air of well-bred
English quiet. I remember, especially, just
how it used to look in the sixties seen from
the neighboring high hills of Roxbury, so
invitingly fair it was, stretching green un-
dulations against its blue bay and the sea's
rim, its houses and steeples shining white,
and its gardens hanging to its hillsides like
apples on a bough. Gardens there were
everywhere, pleasant as in the days of the
The Pilgrim Shoreo
quaint old author of the " Prospect," not Hke
the shaven lawns and geometric parterres of
''.f^y* " Gardens tJie^-e were everywhere.'''*
to-day, nor shamming nature either, but
picturesquely formal and yet accidental.
Therein grew venerable pear-trees, and spread
crooked apple boughs, and in cherry-time
luscious black-hearts and white-hearts hung
thickly above their own gummy trunks.
Streaked gooseberries fattened there, and
currants crimsoned, and in thorny thickets
long blackberries ripened and sweetened
till they dropped of their own weight to the
rich and shaded soil that nourished them.
And all kinds of old fashioned flowers spread
their bloom along the prim box-bordered
paths that led formally to the pleasant home-
steads. Some of them old Revolutionary
mansions, and some that were already an-
tique when these were built, dating from that
far colonial time when this was the greatest
town in all New England.
Of all these old colonial houses, the only
one remaining nearly in its original condition
is the old Blake house, said to have been built
before 1650 by elder James Blake. Its pre-
servation is due to the Dorchester Historical
Society, whose home it now is. They re-
stored it, and moved it from its old founda-
26 The Pilgrim Shore.
tion to its present site under the great trees
where the new park way starts from the end
of Massachusetts Avenue.
It was on a winter's night, just after a great
snow-storm, that I made my first visit to this
old colonial home. Upon the roof the snow
sparkled coldly against the frosty sky, and
through the latticed windows the lamp and
fire-light passed the black walls and flickered
Oil the snow-drifts and the winter-laden trees,
giving a promise of the warmth and cosy
old-fashioned comfort within. I seemed to
step at once by the hospitably opened door
into a past far from the promiscuous apart-
ment houses near by, and the shrieking, clang-
ing trolley car that had whisked me through
the city streets with our modern marvellous
and unregarded magic. The present slipped
away from me, and my fancy peopled the low
ceiled rooms with the shapes of staid God-
fearing Puritans. Undoubtedly, it was in
some interior quaintly like this that Captain
Roger Clap, the first annalist of Dorchester,
The Blake House.
set down his memoirs of that early time that
are now so precious. And I seemed to see
him at his work upon them in moments
snatched from ruder toil. And Mistress
Joanna Blake, too, hushing the children, or
singing softly one of the old Puritan hymns
as she rocked the youngest to sleep, till in
turn she dreamed herself, dreamed of the
hedgerows and orchards of old Dorsetshire,
the pleasant lanes, the breezy hills, the shel-
tered valleys, the roses, the hawthorn, the
skylark and nightingale, snugly thatched
cottages, the old ivy clad church and the
quiet church-yard in their old home beyond
the wide, wide sea. I wonder if she did not
sometimes sigh for the motherland, in spite of
the Puritan grit. No such weakness or ten-
derness, however, found a place in the hearts
of the men, if they were all like Captain
Roger Clap ; for, after reciting the sore straits
to which they were put by hardships, and for
want of provisions for themselves and their
little ones, he could yet find it in his heart to
write, ** I do not remember that I ever did
30 The Pilgrim Shore.
wish in my Heart that I had not come unto
this Country or that I ever did wish myself
back again to my Father's House."
But comforts accumulated in time ; for thus
he apostrophizes his children, *' You have
better Food and Raiment than was in former
times ; but have you better Hearts than your
Forefathers had? If so, Rejoice in that
Mercy and let New England then shout for
The old house has been happily furnished
with old colonial and provincial belonging, so
that it is precious to the artist or antiquary.
In the summer it seems a little out of keep-
ing with its park-like surroundings, and one
is not surprised to learn then that it has been
moved here. It has the look of those an-
tiques which one sees set in the glass cases
of museums, stripped of their natural uses
and surroundings, and become only objects
Here, as elsewhere in Dorchester, one will
notice the magnificent old trees. The people
must always have loved trees, and to this day
^1 'h\^ '' •-.
'■ / / / i
I I <
" Till in turn she dreamed her self. ^^
Dorchester. 3 3
they protect and preserve them lovingly. A
bit of the sidewalk is not begrudged them,
nor even a little of the roadway. After all,
what decent man would not be willing to
turn a little out of his way for the sake of a
tree ! So they lift their screen of leaves in
the summer, their lacing of twigs in the
winter, over the streets, and cast shade and
beauty over the whole place. However, this
old town is changing so rapidly that it seems
as if stone and brick must soon take the place
of leaves and grass, and the trees follow after
the old houses. Indeed, the new houses
seem no longer like interlopers, for it is rather
the old ones, hanging hopelessly to their
diminished gardens, that seem out of place,
elbowed out of countenance by aggressive
newcomers, like guests that have worn out
their welcome. It is a pity that they should
all go, as go they must in a short time.
But If Dorchester is to be robbed of her
old landmarks, no one shall take from her
the grand part she played in the making of
the Puritan republic. Here was raised the
34 The Pilgrim Shore.
first meeting-house ^ in the Bay Colony. She
claims, too, the distinguished honor of having
instituted the first special town government
in New England. But perhaps greater pride
yet is felt that the people of Dorchester were
the first in all America who by a direct tax
or assessment made public provision for a
free school. The instruction to the school-
master was that he should '' equally and
impartially receive and instruct such as shalbe
sent and Committed to him for that end,
whither there parents bee poore or rich."^
This was the corner-stone of our public
school system. The moneys for this purpose
came from the rental of Thompson's Island,
which was owned by the town.
This island lies across Dorchester Bay, off
Squantum Point, and is seen in the glimpses
that one has of the bay and harbor on the
road to Neponset. At high tide this view is
very pretty. In the foreground lies embow-
ered Savin Hill, and beyond it South Boston.
1 It was built in 1631 on the plain near the corner of
Cottage and Pleasant Streets.
The latter was a great attraction to the Puri-
tan settlers, for on that grassy neck of land
they found fine pasturage for their cattle.
From the Marine Park at the Point, the
long iron pier is seen jutting out to Fort In-
dependence on Castle Island. This has
been a strong place since 1634, or almost
from the first settlement; for, says Captain
Roger Clap, ** God stirred up his poor ser-
vants to use means in their beginnings for their
preservation. ... At first they built a castle
with mud walls which stood divers years . . .
when the mud walls failed it was built again
with pine-trees and earth." Brick walls
replaced these in 1645, ^I'^d, says Edward
Johnson, ''Although this Castle cost about
£4000 yet are not this poor pilgrim people
weary of maintaining it in good repair."
Roger Clap was captain of "The Castle"
in his old age, when it was indeed a strong
fort for that time, mounting " 38 guns and 16
whole culverin." Its name was changed in
1705 to Castle William, in honor probably of
the Prince of Orange, William III., though
36 The Pilgrim Shore.
he had at that date been dead three years,
and the colonies were under the rule of
simple, homely Queen Anne. Again was it
rechristened, in 1799, after it had been ceded
to the national government, and the temper
of the people required a name more in keep-
ing with their republican contempt of kings,
and so it was called Fort Independence, as
it is to-day.
Though the shore of Dorchester Bay was
perhaps never attractive except at high tide,
still it must have deserved a better fate than
has come to it. Neglect and other obvious
factors have brought it to a state of decided
unloveliness. The redeeming feature of the
ride shorewise is the outlook over the bay
and harbor, for there are few breaks in the
long dreariness of the ride down to the village
Captain Roger Clap.
HIS part of Dorchester
is named from the
Neponset tribe of In-
dians, whose home it
was. Here change is
as busy as in the other
parts of Dorchester,
and its old landmarks
have nearly all passed
away. Perhaps the greatest loss was that of
the Old Minot House, for it was not only a
very old house, built before 1640, but it was
called the oldest wooden house on the conti-
nent. Yet although it seemed outwardly to
be only of wood, it was really all lined be-
tween its ponderous oaken timbers with brick,
fort-like and bullet proof. Picturesquely an-
cient it was, with a pleasant outlook over the
40 The Pilgrim Shore.
winding river and the level marshes to the
It had its legend, too, one tinctured with
the resolute bravery of that old time which
pulsed from the hearts of both men and
women. In this instance 't was the courage
of a woman ; for it is related that, during King
Philip's War, a straggling red warrior sud-
denly appeared before the old house, when it
was occupied by a lone maid and two of John
Minot's small children, but not to the con-
fusion of the young woman. For no sooner
did she see the Indian, than she hid the two
babies under a brass kettle and ran upstairs
for a musket, and then mounted guard at
a window. The Indian, who was armed like-
wise, fired first and missed her ; but she,
taking careful aim, wounded him in the
shoulder. Mad with rage and pain, he then
tried to force an entrance through a window;
whereat the amazon rushed to the fire-place,
and, filling a shovel with burning coals, hurled
them in his horrible painted face. Doubly
wounded with fire and lead, the foiled sav-^
age, weak and suffering, crept off into the
woods, in the depths of which he was after-
wards found dead.
'^'' Mounted guard at a window.^''
Unhappily the old house caught fire in
1874, and burned to the ground. What a
pity to have lost the theatre of such an
heroic adventure !
From the wooden bridge over the Nepon-
42 The Pilgrim Shore.
set River there is a pretty view inland across
the green meadows and blue curves of the
river to the steeples and groves of Milton,
under the shadow of the Great Blue Hill
that Captain John Smith called " the high
mountaine of Massachusetts." Indeed, it was
from the native name of this hill, Massa-
wacJmsctt, that the tribe of that name was
called, and so our State itself takes its name
secondly from these same hills. How long
the range has been known as the Blue Hills,
I do not know, but the reason is obvious to
anyone who sees them from the bay. Wood,
in his " New England's Prospect," 1634, says
that, " Up into the Country westward from
the plantations is a high hill which is called
rattlesnake hill where there is crreat store of
these poysonous creatures." I know that
these dreaded reptiles used to be common
enough there, and I am told that they are
even now occasionally found by the park
guardians, and to this day the easternmost
of the chain is called Rattlesnake Hill.
Across the bridge
in Atlantic a road turns
off seaward to Squan-
tum, along a neck of
mingled beach and
marsh. The name
commemorates that fast friend
of the Pilgrims, Squantum —
Squanto or Tisquantum, as he
is variously called in the old
chronicles. He piloted ten
adventurous men of Plymouth,
amongst whom were Standish
and Winslow, to this beautiful little promon-
tory in 1 62 1. According to Edward Everett
Hale, the account of this expedition is the
first authentic record of the landing of Eng-
lishmen in the vicinity of Boston. The
The Pilgrim Shore.
Quincy Daughters of the Revolution have
placed here a cairn with an inscription in
memory of that early pilgrimage.
Unitarian Chtircli. Wollastoii.
The peninsula is now cut up into private
estates profusely decorated with signs for-
bidding trespass, and is connected by a long
causeway with Moon Island, the mouth of a
great sewer. Years ago Squantum was a
pretty little place, a miniature Nahant; but
it now is hardly worth a visit.
If one keeps on past Atlantic, and crosses
the railway, skirting the Neponset River and
Meadows, where is the site of the first rail-
way in America, he will soon come up the
hill by the Unitarian Church into WoUaston.
Right by the square at the foot of First
Hill is a tablet set in the greensward and
thus inscribed : —
This and the neighboring
Wollaston Hills were part of the
Original grant of 600 acres
Made by the town of Boston to
William Hutchinson in 1636-7.
His house stood near this spot,
And to it came his wife
on the seventeenth of April 1638
When exiled from Massachusetts
by the General Court of the Colony,
and here she tarried for a brief space
While on her way to Rhode Island
This Tablet placed A.D, 1894.
46 The Pilgrim Shore.
So we find that at the beginning of its his-
tory, Wollaston was sheltering and comfort-
ing an *' advanced woman."
This is one of the few places named after
their founders, for we learn from Dudley's let-
ter to Bridget, Countess of Warwick, that "one
Capt. Wollaston with some thirty with him
built on a hill which he named Mount Wollas-
ton." Now though this was undoubtedly a
part of the original domain of the Captain, the
first settlement was not made just here. That
place, known sometimes as Merrymount, we
shall visit later, meanwhile it is best to climb
the steep hill by the tablet, the roses, the
pretty cottages, and the flagstaff, for Wollas-
ton is really a pretty place, and would be
misjudged if seen only from the lower road.
From the top of the hill, Grand View Avenue,
shady and pleasant, leads on to Second Hill,
with many a vista over the harbor and the
A mile it is to Ouincy, and, just before
reaching the centre, our road crosses Furnace
Brook. Then the first house on the right, at
" T/ic steep hill by the tablets
the corner of Adams Street, is that of Brooks
Adams. A long low gambrel-roofed mansion
under stately elms, and girt with pleasant
gardens, it has in a measure the air of some
old English manor-houses which have grown
slowly in a rambling and delightful way, by
pushing out an ell here, or gallery there, as a
growing family required, or a waxing fortune
Originally this was the country seat of a
rich and powerful colonial family, the Vassals.
'T is said that they were of Italian blood, and
wealthy beyond the habit of those days, lords,
too, of vast estates in New England and the
West Indies. From his possessions in the
latter place, it was that Leonard Vassal
brought the magnificent old Santo Domingo
mahogany with which one of the old rooms is
panelled from floor to ceiling.
This, the most interesting of the Adams
houses, has sometimes been called the House
of Golden Weddings ; for in one of its
rooms have been celebrated the golden wed-
dings of John Adams, of his son John Quincy
50 The Pilgrim Shore.
Adams, and his grandson Charles Francis
Opposite the old estate is President's Lane,
a lovely shaded road which leads to the other
Adams houses. It is better, however, to cross
the bridge over the railway, whence it is a
short distance to the centre, or Quincy Square.
A pleasant walk it is, too, for this suburban city
is a delightful mixture of town and country.
Great trees arch the streets, and under their
shade the fine old dwellings are interspersed
with shops, churches, banks, and schools.
The Square is the heart of Ouincy ; from it,
like arteries, the streets lead in all directions,
and through them pulses a very modern life.
How busy it is with the trolley cars whisk-
ing about everywhere, flashing and clanging !
And beside all this bustling, noisy activity,
as if to emphasize it by deep sharp contrast,
lies the quiet old mouldering burying ground
with its heaped turf and crumbling stones.
Here, in their narrow beds amongst the fore-
fathers, sleep Josiah and Edmund Ouincy and
that stalwart patriot, John Hancock.
Well cared for is the old place now, but
neglect fell upon it for a long time; for years
the weeds choked its borders, the cows
grazed among its broken and tottering head-
stones and trampled down the forgotten
graves. Many of the oldest monuments
were by this means lost, and to-day the
oldest stone dates back to only 1666, al-
though the graveyard is contemporary with
the earliest settlement.
Two gates give entrance to its quiet from
the busy street. Over one is the grim re-
minder, ** Dust thou art and unto dust shalt
thou return." But it seems a good omen
that over the one usually opened is arched
the beautiful promise, '' This mortal shall put
Across the square in the deep shade of
trees the Stone Temple rises sedately from
its tiny greensward. Aloft it bears a cupola
fashioned like a small pagan temple, and its
grim sombre granite is capped by dusky
gold. This edifice is the Unitarian church,
and it stands on a remnant of the old train-
54 The Pilgrim Shore,
ing-ground. It is called the Stone Temple
because 'twas built of granite taken from
quarries given to the town by Ex-President
John Adams, who requested that a "temple '
should be erected from their stone. In the
church are the tombs of the two presidents,
and monuments of the Adams family.
Indeed one can hardly turn about in
Ouincy without seeing something to remind
him of the Adams or the Quincy family, and,
in fact, the history of the town is in a great
measure a history of these two illustrious
families. The city itself is named after
Colonel John Quincy, and one part of the
people, not content to honor one family, have
called their locality Ouincy-Adams.
The best monument to the Ouincy family
would have been the preservation of the
Ouincy homestead. This old mansion, much
altered and fallen in estate, may be reached
from the Square by going toward Boston on
Hancock Street. It stands just beyond the
High School, where Furnace Brook slips
under the road by some giant willows where
; 1 i <^/
The Qiiincy House.
a double row of trees marks what seems to
have been an old garden walk along the
The poor old house where " Dorothy Q "
was born and in which generations of the
Ouincys have lived and died has the very
air of neglect and desertion. Straggling
weeds and rank have crept over the driveway
once so trim, so neat. Choked by them too
are all the garden walks and the formal old-
fashioned flower-beds ; over their bent and
tangled stalks brood the venerable lilacs, still
flanking the quaint old doorway. Beside the
antique panelled door with its ponderous
knockers and staring bull's eyes of turbid
glass, there still stands some of the old bor-
dering box. Unkempt it is now, but digni-
fied by the growth of many years, for this
slowest of growing plants now out-tops the
The house itself has been disfigured by
clumsy and ugly additions; yet amid these
modern barbarities you may find bits of
background wholly of the past, and in fact
58 The Pilgrim Shore.
some portions date back to 1634. Even
above the eaves the old lilacs tower ; matted
and branch-bound, they blotch with violet
shadows the gray walls and old windows, and
fret the many paned sashes, pied with the pale
pinks, the amber greens, and amethysts of
ancient glass: But their tints no longer color
the landscape and stain the sky to outlooking
Quincy eyes ; the inside shutters are closed,
and against this panelled white, the panes
reveal their minor harmonies to the peering
At the side of the house, where a rickety
bridge now spans the brook, was a flight of
stone steps to a boat-landing, for Furnace
Brook widened here into Black's Creek,
and a great convenience it must have been
to have at one's door a thoroughfare to that
great highway, the sea ; for in the early
days all communication between the settle-
ments was by water.
The first comers to Quincy settled, as was
the custom, close to the shore, and not far
from this old house, toward the Bay is Merry
Mount where the famous Maypole
was set up in the days of King
Charles. Here it was that Captain
Wollaston settled in 1625. And
from here he set sail, after a year's
hard trials, discouraged and strait-
ened in circumstances, to try and
retrieve his fortune in Virginia ; for
the adventure was not happy, and
the story of its early days is one of
trouble and disappointment.
The settlement was left in charge
of a Lieutenant Pitcher and a small
company. To them came one who
was destined to weave into the fab-
ric of New England's early history
6o The Pilgrim Shore.
a few threads of vivid dye, gaudy, if not well
spun. This individual was one " Mr. Mor-
ton a lawyer " (who had been a kind of
pettifogger of Furnefell's Inne).^ He was,
if Governor Bradford may be believed, a
pestilent fellow and a troubler of the country.
Of course Governor Bradford was not unpreju-
diced, but Morton really seems to have been a
good deal of an adventurer. However, he was
no common one, for he was educated, tal-
ented, and, above all, whimsical and pictur-
esque. Devoted was he to all the follies and
vanities of Merrie England, which included,
from the Plymouth standpoint (it has been
said), ''The Book of Common Prayer."
Naturally he had no sympathy with either
Puritan or Pilgrim, and if he, too, in common
with them, sought any liberty, it was surely not
that of conscience nor religion. For in the
plague-swept fields of the Massachusetts, and
the silent shadowy paths of the primeval
1 Bradford's History. Morton called himself "Of
Clifford's Inn, Gent.," and Samuel Maverick says that he
was " a gentleman of qualitie."
Lord of Misriile.
forests, his heart turned not to God, but longed
for the Hcense of the old-world, and his nimble,
scheming brain visioned a little realm where
the jollity of English wake and fair and revel
might be enjoyed and fostered under his
So, with his brain all fancy-stuffed, he
craftily enticed the Captain's servants, and
conspired with them, until, taking opportunity
they " thrust Lavetenante Pitcher out a dores."
Then did Morton make himself Lord of
Misrule, and set up a Maypole on Mount
WoUaston, 80 feet high, topped with a buck's
horns and decked with flowers. On it, too, he
hung pagan conceits and gallantries in his
own verse, for to his other accomplishments
he added that of rhyming.
But a Maypole was of little use to a lot of
men, and so, as there were no fair English
girls at hand (Hawthorne to the contrary
notwithstanding), he and his men were forced
to revel alone, or to beguile the Indian women
thereto. They did not revel alone, you ma}'
64 The Pilgrim Shore.
How strange this motley assembly must
have looked, capering about the Maypole on
the lonely hill overlooking the lonely bay
and the lonely fields and forests ! Surely not
a pleasant sight to the Pilgrims was it, for
thus does Bradford describe it, ''After this
they fell to great licenciousness, and led
into a dissolute life, powering out them selves
into all profaneness. . . . As if they had anew
revived & celebrated the feasts of ye Roman
Goddes Flora, or ye beasly practieses of y°
madd Bacchinalians." Then they changed
the name of their place to Merie-mounte, '' as
if this joylity would have lasted ever."
To maintain their prodigality, they sold to
the Indians arms and ammunition, — a com-
merce king-forbidden. And besides furnish-
ing their red brothers with firearms, they also
kept him in fire-water and themselves set a
great example of drunkenness. So, says
Charles Francis Adams, Mount Wollaston
was the first recorded instance of what was
known in later Massachusetts history as " a
liquor nuisance." Thus the settlement be-
'•' Cut dou'7i the Maypole.''''
came not only a scandal, but a continual
danger and menace to both colonies.
Then the settlers scattered about the Bay,
though they were all Episcopalians and gen-
erally held themselves aloof from the men of
Plymouth, besought aid of them that the mis-
chief at Merrie-mounte might be stopped.
To this entreaty the Pilgrims turned not a
deaf ear, and forthwith despatched Miles
Standish and a small guard to take the defi-
ant Morton captive by force.
This was easily done, for the Maypole crew
were fortified only with Dutch courage, Mor-
ton himself, though boastful and haughty, was
but overloaded with it, and had in his drunk-
enness rammed his gun half full of powder
So he was easily disarmed and humbled by
the Captain whom he had reviled with scoffs
and scorns, and reduced at last to the petty
and spiteful revenge of calling his captor
After the encounter, Morton was shipped
back to England, and the Pilgrims* task was
68 The Pilgrim Shore.
done, for it is to be noted that they pushed
not the business farther then to dehver the
country of the Master of the Revels, and to
stop the sale of weapons to the Indians.
After admonishing the others, they left them
to their own devices and returned home.
Not so did the Puritans, however ; for Endi-
cott soon visited the Mount, cut down the
Maypole, and rebuked its votaries roundly,
declaring in plain words that if there was not
better walking he would make " their Merry-
mount a woful mount for them." Thereupon
the colonists mended their ways and changed
the name of their abiding place to Mount
Dagon, a name that endured not.
A romantic interest has always clung to
these Maypole days at Merrie-mounte. Haw-
thorne gives a highly fanciful account of them
in '' Twice Told Tales." But in spite of all the
glamour that such a master of romance may
weave into this episode of scarlet and tinsel,
one will never regret that the victory was
with Standish and Endicott. Perhaps I may
close aptly with the words of Governor Brad-
• • 2
Christ Church Fountaiii.
Quincy. y i
ford : " But I have been too long aboute so
unworthy a person and so bad a cause."
To many the old Adams houses, birth-
places of the presidents, will be the most in-
teresting sights in Quincy. To reach them
we must return to the Square, and follow
Hancock Street in the other direction. It is
worth while to examine Christ Church on the
way. Before it stands a curious drinking
fountain, surmounted by a cross and lantern,
and decorated with scriptural texts and a
representation of our Saviour. It is as use-
ful as it is picturesque, and recalls the wayside
shrines of the old world.
Turn to the right from Hancock Street
opposite this fountain. Notice on the left
the old churchyard of Christ's Church in
Braintree, New England (for Quincy was a
part of Braintree), where stood the first house
of worship from A.D. 1727 to A.D. 1833, and
are buried the founders of the church and
many of their descendants.
The car tracks guide us straight to the two
•old Adams houses. They stand on a little
72 The Pilgrim Shore.
delta of desolate land by the side of the road,
close together. Little ground has been
spared them, and that is barren. Rude stiles
and a few shrubs soften slightly the grimness
of the John Adams House, standing gable end
to the street and facing its junior. In it
John Adams was born. It has been restored
by the Adams Chapter of the D.A.R.
The other old house, with a picturesque
leanto and well-sweep, is called the cottage.
It was '' the home of John and Abigail
Adams. Here goodwife Abigail wrote let-
ters that time has not dimmed. John Quincy
Adams was born here in 1767." The house
was built in 1716, and was restored in 1896
by the Quincy Historical Society. Both the
houses are open in the afternoon, and may be
seen for a fee.
Our sincere thanks and gratitude are due to
the societies which have rescued these old
landmarks from destruction. It is a pity that
the surroundings are so singularly incongru-
ous and unfortunate. However, both the
houses are exceedingly interesting inside and
/(///« Qnmcy Adams was born here, *
out, and if they seem forlorn and woe-begone,
clinging dejectedly to their foundations, I have
no doubt that in time, when they have had a
little garden care and the companionship of
vine and flower and shrub, they will become
more home-looking and seem a little less
In Quincy all roads lead to the Square, and
so we must return there to resume our jour-
ney. This time we take the broad road be-
hind the Stone Temple, at the side of which
stands the Crane Memorial. This fine build-
ing was given to the city by and is so named
after Thomas Crane, a Quincy stone-cutter
who coined a fortune out of his town's granite
ledges. One needs not to be told that it was
designed by Richardson. His thumb-marks
are all over it. How strikingly different is
this Romanesque style to anything else in New
England ! But in our hodgepodge of styles
nothing seems incongruous. The hall's in-
terior, with its stately mantel, its oaken wains-
coting, and dusky magnificence of stamped
leather, is rich and fine and worth seeing.
The Pilgrim Shore.
/(3/^?? Adams House.
bay and the thickly
clustered cottages at
Nantasket and Hull.
At Quincy Point, un-
der fine elms, is a group of old fashioned man-
sions with great square chimneys whose rigid
lines are softened by vines. Then you come
to the bridge over Fore River, across which
The view is pretty only at high tide. Up
the river are green hills, partly grove and
orchard clad ; down-stream black coal
pockets, brown headlands, barren islands,
a few old stranded wrecks, and hundreds of
little cottages huddled together in seaside
This bleak desolation was not when the
Charity and the Swan sailed up the flood
with the first settlers. Of the landscape in
those days Morton wrote, in his quaint de-
lightful way, "When I had seriously consid-
ered of the beauty of the place with all her
fair indowments, I did not thinke that in all
the knowne world it could be paralel'd. For
so many goodly groves of trees ; dainty fine
The Pilerim Shore.
hillucks, delicate faire large plaines, sweet
cristall fountainesand cleare running streams,
that twine in fine meanders through the
The Fore River,
meads, making so sweete a murmuring noise
to heare as would even lull the senses with
delight a sleepe."
To this region then called Wessagusset
came in 1622 Weston's colony, — a brawling.
profane crew, *' rude fellows made choice of at
all adventures, " whom Governor Bradford
considered unfit for honest men's company.
As might have been expected, these roughs
were soon in hot water. After robbing the
Pilgrims, they squandered their own stores,
and were soon at the mercy of the Indians,
and became but little more than slaves to
them. At menial tasks they worked for the
savages, or wandered about the shore, half
naked and half starved.
But their misery bred only contempt in the
hearts of their savage masters, who resolved
to slaughter them. This they could have
easily done, but they dreaded the punishment
by the Pilgrims, which they knew was sure to
follow. So they conspired with the tribes
near by to massacre also the little colony at
Plymouth. It was this conspiracy, as well as
the danger menacing the miserables at Wey-
mouth, that brought Standish here in 1623,
resolved to deliver the colonists and punish
The little Captain set out with only eight
8o The Pilgrim Shore.
men. His small force met open defiance.
After a short parley with the Indians, Watta-
wamat sprang before the others, shouting,
" 'Who is there to fight with the brave Wattawamat,'
Then he unsheathed his knife, and, whetting the
blade on his left hand,
Keld it aloft and displayed a woman's face on the
Saying, with bitter expression and look of sinister
^ I have another at home, with the face of a man on
the handle ;
By and by they shall marry ; and there will be
plenty of children ! '
Then stood Pecksnot forth, self-vaunting, insulting
While with his finger he patted the knife that hung
at his bosom,
Drawing it half from its sheath, and plunging it
back, as he muttered,
' By and by it shall see; it shall eat; ah, ha ! but
shall speak not !
This is the mighty Captain the white men have sent
to destroy us !
He is a little man ; let him go and work with the
women ! '" i
1 Courtship of Miles Standish, Longfellow.
But little did this boasting avail him, for
with that very knife did Standish slay him
in single combat. Wattawamat was also
killed, and five others.
FoUowine the English custom, Watta-
wamat's head was cut off, carried back to
Plymouth by Standish, and set on a pike,
there to scowl from the fortress church.
Thus the conspiracy was defeated, and
the colony was delivered of a great danger.
" By ruthlessly murdering seven men," says
Charles Francis Adams, " Standish re-estab-
lished the moral ascendency of the whites,
and so saved the lives of hundreds."
With the Plymouth men departed what
remained of Weston's colony, and *' thus in
failure, disgrace, and bloodshed ended the
first attempt of a settlement at Weymouth."^
This was, next to Plymouth, the oldest
settlement in Massachusetts. As early as
1635 the Fore River was crossed by a ferry
with rates established by law. It is not far
from the bridge to Bicknell Square, where
1 Charles Francis Adams.
The Pilgrim Shore.
stands the old Bicknell homestead. Just
beyond, perched above the State Road, is
TJie Smith Parsnjtage.
the old Smith parsonage,
which was moved from its
original site, and is much
changed. In it Abigail
Smith Adams was born, and here John
Adams came a-courting. Her father, the vil-
lage parson, frowned upon the future presi-
dent's suit, and the neighbors even did not
consider an Adams quite good enough for a
Smith of Old Spain. But even in those
times of strait-laced sordidness, love found
the way, and the parson's daughter, with
a will as strong as his own, became Mrs.
Adams, and in time added to the glory of
being a Smith by becoming the first lady
of the land and the mother of a president.
It is a tradition of the family that with her
own hands she scrubbed the floor of her
bedroom the afternoon before her eldest
son, John Ouincy Adams, was born.
This part of Weymouth is called Old
Spain. Why or when it was so named there
is not even a tradition to explain. It is
neither ancient nor Spanish in appearance ;
but a pretty village under branching elms,
and bustling with New England thrift and
Bevond Old Soain and the Back River,
the road is long and lonesome, and hedged
in by woods all the way to Hingham. But
just before the town is entered, blue patches
of its harbor show through the white birches.
Up its winding channel in 1633 sailed the
ship Diligent, the Mayflower of this settle-
ment. As most of the newcomers came
from Hingham in Norfolk, they named their
new home after the old.
Soon the quiet village green is reached,
delta-like under great green elms, sur-
rounded by old fashioned houses and a
church with quaint belfry. At the right is
the home of General Benjamin Lincoln. This
distinguished Revolutionary officer rose to
the rank of Major-General, and also served
as Secretary of War. In the quiet Hingham
Ho7ne of General Lincoln.
streets he must have cut
./^ quite a figure. He was
very fat in his later years,
making up In breadth
what he lacked in height. He walked about
with a tall cane ; his coat was blue with large
gilt buttons ; and he wore a buff waistcoat
88 The Pilgrim Shore.
and the small clothes of the period. He
always wore Hessian boots, and an enormous
cocked hat put the finishing touch of mag-
nificence and dignity to his appearance.
But all this grandeur was in his old age
marred by a strange affliction. In his chaise,
at table, in military council, even while stand-
ing, he would fall asleep, sound and snoring.
You may imagine what a fortress the family
pew in the " Old Church " was to him, and
how impregnable to the assaults of the
Beyond the general's house, and high above
the present road, is another Lincoln mansion,
not quite so much altered. It still retains an
antique look, and was once a roadside inn.
The Lincolns of Hingham have always had
a part in making the town's noblest history,
and from this sturdy family have come some
of the great men of the nation, foremost
among them the martyred and great presi-
dent, Abraham Lincoln.
Close to the common is the village square,
once called Broad Bridge, and where in old
days stood the stocks and pillory for evil-
doers. From it leads Main Street, beautifully
shaded by magnificent elms that droop over
picturesque cottages and fine old mansions.
Just beyond a grand old elm that towers
over a quaint little home is the Derby Acad-
emy, and in front of it, on a hill since levelled
to grade the street, stood once the first church,
erected in 1635. Surrounded it was by a
" pallisado," but from its top no cannon
frowned, as at Plymouth ; for a belfry rose
there from the first and sent its brazen call
to prayer into the depths of the dark forest.
About its walls on the hillside were laid to
rest the early dead. And here they reposed
for two centuries in mouldering peace, when
they were removed to the cemetery close by,
and a monument was erected over them by
the town in 1839.
For forty-five years this rude '* pallisadoed "
temple answered every purpose, but by 1679
the town had so outgrown it that it was agreed
** to build a new meeting-house with all con-
92 The Pilgrim Shore.
After much wrangling and great dispute,
embroiling even the Governor and Magistrates
at Boston, the present site was fixed upon,
and there the church stands to-day, the oldest
house of public worship in the original limits
of the United States.
The outside of the meeting-house must
look to-day much as it did in the old time;
but the interior has suffered many changes
from time to time. At first the inside was all
open to the roof, against which the rafters
and braces drew a stout oaken tracery. There
was no plaster, and the walls were clapboarded
inside and out. There was a gallery on one
side and also at both ends. In that at the
east sat the maids, glancing shyly across to
the opposite gallery, where, safely corralled
together, sat their longing swains. On the
oaken seats and benches below sat the married
folk and elders, the men on one side and the
women on the other. Well filled the seats
were, for it cost a peck of corn to stay away
from service, or to leave before it was finished.
About everything really old has gone,
except the pulpit; but the church to-day has
a proper air of staid old-fashioned dignity.
One curious feature is the bell-rope, dang-
ling over the middle of the central aisle. In
Mr. Gladstone's church at Hawarden, the
belfry is also over the centre of the edifice,
but the bells are rung from the ceiling above ;
still there 's a trap-door beneath them, and
through it I have caught comical glimpses of
the legs of the ringers, and their vigorous
It makes one shiver to think that in 1792
it was voted " to take down the meeting-house
and build a new one." Fortunately this pur-
pose was abandoned, and so the antique treas-
ure, consecrated for so many years to the
worship of the Almighty, has been preserved
to us, a holy inheritance.
Close by the church, in the oldest part of
the cemetery, is the tomb of Major-General
Lincoln, and near by is a monument to the
first settlers of Hingham, whose bones were
removed here from the old palisaded church-
The Pilsrim Shore.
Beyond, in the modern part of the grounds,
is a fine monument to the great war governor
An Antique Treasure.
of Massachusetts, John Al-
bion Andrew, and an obelisk
of granite in memory of the
men of Hingham who died in the War of the
Rebellion. But no monument interested me
more than that to Sergeant Peter Ourish.
Youngest of all the town's volunteers, he died
of his wounds when only nineteen years old,
after having fought in fifteen battles, many
of them the fiercest and most bloody of all
that cruel war.
From the terraced hills here, there is a good
view over the harbor, where occasionally a
lonely coaster may be seen beating in or out
the harbor. Once the little port was all
activity, for a fleet of sixty sail of vessels hailed
from here fifty years ago. Most of them
were engaged in fishing, according to King
James, an honest trade and the apostle's own
I regret that I cannot speak of the many
other interesting things in Hingham, but must
hurry on, calling attention as I leave the
Square to the old Rev. Ebenezer Gay house.
Perched high above the street, its walls vine-
clad, and its old well half hidden under droop-
ing boughs, it has the most interesting exte-
rior of all in Hingham and an air of real
Between this old town and Nantasket, lies
a lovely country, partly wooded, partly
96 The Pilgrim Shore.
marshland, bordering a little river that winds
by great masses of purple rocks that hedge
the cedared slopes. Suddenly, however,
comes the glare, the noise, the dust, the con-
tusion of " The Beach " Nantasket.
This has been a pleasure resort for over a
hundred years. The oldest summer hotel,
*' The Sportsman," was the resort of Daniel
Webster and other distinguished men. Until
within thirty or forty years, however, there
were few houses, and the beach stretched
toward Hull, lonely, windswept, and barren,
but with the dignity of the desert. Now it is
littered with an illy-arranged assortment of
hotels and cottages, between which electric
trains screech and rattle.
All sorts of entertainment are here pro-
vided, including, according to a New York
paper, '* cultured clams, intellectual chowder,
refined lager, and very scientific pork and
98 The Pilgrim Shore.
The beach retains its old Indian name,
spelled in the early accounts Natasco or
Nantascot. Three hills dominate the length
of its fine long sweep, — Strawberry, Saga-
more, and Allerton. These, as well as the
plains at their base, were in the Pilgrim days
heavily wooded. From them the seamen
could have good timber to repair their
weather-beaten ships and make long masts
and yards. To-day not a forest tree remains,
and it is worse than barren.
The first settlement was probably where
Hull now stands. Roger Conant was here
then, and so was Isaac Allerton. The latter's
name is kept in remembrance by Point
Allerton, and that of his wife's family by the
Brewster islands. From time to time Hull is
referred to as an " uncouth place," or as hav-
ing " a straggling people," so that we may
infer that it was never very prosperous.
Hull itself was named for the English town
of that name in 1644. With one exception,
it is the smallest township in the State, and
until quite lately contained but a few people.
^' Ai 7iecessayy as chtirch and f reaching.^''
Its quota to the Revolution was but three
men, and in the present century it could claim
no more than twelve to eighteen votes. An
old saying has it, " As goes Hull so goes the
In the good old days when every one, from
ministers and deacons down, considered flip
and toddy inalienable rights, and as necessary
as church and preaching, this town had but
one tavern, and, despite such monopoly, this
important institution ** had custom barely
sufficient to supply its venerable mistress
with the necessaries of life." Perhaps, how-
ever, it was not so much the lack of people,
as their sobriety, that made such hard lines
for the tavern's mistress ; for the men of Hull
were early zealots in the cause of temperance,
and as long ago as 1721 voted to allow no
tavern to be kept within its limits. Thus
they may have been the first " no license
town " In the country.
The history of Hull is not the history of its
churches, and the succession of its ministers,
so much as is the case with other towns ; for
I02 The Pilgrim Shore.
it seems to have been without either for great
lengths of time. Its small size, and the rigor
of life there, would have deterred any one
but a real follower of Christ and his fisher-
men apostles from settling within its tiny
A jocular writer in 1848 declared that
every townsman of Hull had a religion of his
own, and that in the small population were
to be found, " a slight sprinkling of Mormons
and Latter Day Saints, as well as Univer-
salists. Baptists, Calvinists, Methodists, Uni-
tarians, Catholics, and Sculpinarians (a sect
who worship the dried head of a sculpin)."
This diversity of opinion he ventures to put
forth as the reason why no minister was then
settled there ; but he adds that the last one
was fairly starved out, one who when he
settled there was a corpulent man, but who
left the town to accept a situation as a living
skeleton. But if the town had no minister, it
had no lawyer and no doctor; so you see it
must have been spared much evil.
Little is left of the old time. Here and
there an old square chimney
rises among the hodgepodge of
Queen Anne accretions to the
old cottages, about all that is
left except the great shady
elms and the hollyhocks that,
if they do not look old in their
fresh beauty, still look old-
Hull's greatest antiquity,
perhaps, is the ruins of the old
fort on Telegraph Hill. In it
there used to be a well with the
extraordinary depth of ninety
feet. Years ago, when Boston
had a merchant marine under
the Stars and Stripes, its in-
coming vessels were signalled
from this eminence to the city
by the use of one hundred and
twelve flags, one for each ship-
ping merchant. It is well
worth one's time to climb this
bill for the magnificent view it commands.
I04 The Pilgrim Shore.
The harbor, its approaches, hght-houses, forts,
islands, and shipping stretch inland to the
smoke -wreathed, dome-crowned city; the
North Shore dwindles away toward Cape
Ann; the level sea fills all the east; and
southward lies the curving Pilgrim Shore to
which we are bound.
The next town is Cohas-
set, and it is most pleasantly
reached by the famous Jeru-
salem Road, which, though
not as beautiful as its rival
along the North Shore, is
still very fine. A perfect
road-bed, it winds along the
shore, at first far from the sea
and out of view of it. Across
the little bay between it and the
Bay, there stretches a long and
narrow strip of rocks, once dot-
ted with thickets of bayberry and wild rose.
Now this is covered by small crowded cot-
tages that lift a ragged line of rooftrees and
gables of mixed paint diversified.
io6 The Pilgrim Shore.
Over the curving road-bed go luxurious
carriages with lady whips and Hveried servants,
landaus and barouches glittering in the sun
and brilliant as if with flowers from the
dresses and parasols of their occupants, — all
the pomp of affluence in fact. Meanwhile
the air is vexed with the rumble and screech
of plebeian trolley cars across the river.
Overhanging the road, the great rounded
shoulders and ramparts of the hills have been
smoothed off, and the hollows and slopes
coaxed into graded, shaven lawns. From the
heights, the villas of the great folks look over
the ragged sky line of cheap cottages to the
But when Green Hill and the terminus of
the electric road is passed, the road in rising
sweeps toward the shore that tumbles to the
breakers. Patches of golden and emerald
green gleam amid its rocky buttresses, gray
white or ruddy and tawny. The ledges and
bowlders are fringed by bronzes and browns
of clinging seaweed, and these sombre tones,
in whose shadows purple lingers, are in turn
edged by the dazzling contrast of supreme
white, the flashing foam of surf.
Bordering the road are the
The Jerusalem Road.
*' cottages," some of them stately mansions
of stone or rambling composites, examples
of what we call colonial architecture. Their
smooth lawns, broken here and there by
upheaved edges, are gay with scarlet gera-
io8 The Pilerini Shore.
niums, rich green woodbine, and breeze-
silvered poplars, all shining and glinting
under the sea-sunshine.
Where else, indeed, are the sunbeams so in-
tense or color so brilliant? Are not flowers
alw^ays brighter by the sea? Do not the
fluttering flags, even, reveal tints gayer and
fresher than any they ever unfold elsewhere?
It soon becomes a pageant — this journey.
Seaward, the foreground is dotted with islets
and flecked by white sails. Farther out, a
great ocean steamer tears along, pushing
before her a mass of snowy foam, and trailing
behind long wreaths of smoke ; slow barges
crawl behind puffing tugs; coasters spread
rusty sails ; and beyond all lies the dim pur-
ple of the North Shore, beneath the graded
blue of our clear New England sky, glorious
with the rolling cumuli of summer.
There is one beauty spot where the road
turns away from this water view by low walls
and thin screens of sumachs and locusts, till it
winds in shade between hedges that flaunt
gorgeous trumpet-flowers, reddening rose-
hips, and yellow honeysuckle, where the air is
all perfumed from the masked flower gardens
whose galleries of phlox and hollyhocks rise
in tiers to the leaf-screened verandas.
Where the shade ends, the hedges frame a
picture of rocky islets and blue bays, curving
to purple pebbly beaches. Landward, the
dusty dwindling road bounds calm ponds,
dyed gray and green by long drawn reflec-
tions of lichened rock and leafy trees. Here
and there only is the smooth mirror dashed
with deepest blue, where the sea-breeze frets
How astonishing is the beauty of very
common things ! Here on the edges of these
ponds, where the water had receded, I noticed
an edge of stagnant growth which, under the
sunbeams, shone transfigured with all the
lustrous tones of copper and verd-antique.
The beauty of color could be matched only by
the shimmering reflections of antique Phoeni-
cian glass. Heightened was this strange
loveliness by the bordering turquoise and
azure of the reflected sky.
no The Pilgrim Shore.
Piled high along the shore, bleaching
wrecks, with timbers wrenched and shat-
tered, attest the fury of that great November
storm in ninety-eight, when the waters rose to
a height never known before. During that sad
night, from one of the vessels cast away be-
yond Little Harbor, came some sailors up the
road in search of aid for their injured ship-
mates. When at last the doctor was found,
and they were returning with him, however,
they discovered to their dismay that all com-
munication with the ship was cut off; for the
sea was breaking, with deep violence, right
over the road beyond Kimball's Point, and
that where they had that morning passed dry-
shod was become impassable, smothered in
But in summer weather this road stands
well above the sea, and beyond from the
beach is more like a private drive than a
highway, for it is lawn-edged and winds
through groves till the surf's sound is lost,
and one hears only the roll of carriages and
the clamp of hoofs.
1 1 1
And when the Cohasset River is crossed,
where it winds through rocky gates and
" creeps into the deep sea's gulfy breast," a
mile of inland road, through shady woods,
leads to Cohasset village, directly to the
sequestered common. There in the middle
stands a quaint little church, and all about
hundreds of beautiful elms. Over all broods
the staid New England quiet.
The town was, until 1770, a precinct of
Hingham, and reference is once made to it, in
the records of the General Court, as *' Cohas-
set alias Little Hingham/'
1 1 2 The Pilgrim Shore.
Its name comes from the Indian word
Quonahassit, meaning a long place of rocks.
And it is aptly named. According to
Thoreau, *' It is the rockiest shore in Massa-
chusetts — hard sienitic rocks which the
waves have laid bare, but have not been able
to crumble. It has been the scene of many
One of the most notable of these disasters
was that of the brig St. John from Galway,
wrecked on the Grampus Rocks, October 7,
1849. On board of her were many Irish
emigrants, — men, women, and children, —
and fully a hundred of them lost their lives.
A graphic description of the sad scenes after
the storm is given by Thoreau in his " Cape
Drake says that, of the recovered bodies,
twenty-seven were buried in the village grave-
yard. This quiet old burying-place is not
far from the common, and backs upon the
Old Harbor, from which it is separated by a
fringe of melancholy blasted pines. It is not
so well kept but that a ** sweet neglect "
'IV^, r' " ,1 U •i^^mWMIIII-j6',,R'IMIIllllllMUllinili
^ 5^ ^U @g^Wiiiiigiti||i
" Through the village^
seems to brood over its mouldering stones and
the liberty of its wandering vines and weeds.
Simple and natural it is in its half decay, but
lonesome even in the sunlight.
The Pilsfrim Shore.
A pleasant street leads
through the village to
the harbor and across
the bridge to Govern-
, '■* 'i
" Their home on the little hill.**
ment Island, where live the keepers of Mi-
nors Ledge Light and their families. In
their home on the little hill many an anxious
heart must beat when gales sweep the coast,
Cohasset. 1 1 7
and the white shroud of the winter night is
seared by the trail of appeahng rockets ;
many an anxious eye must peer forth at
dawn to that lonely beacon rising beyond the
breakers in the dark, wrathful sea. .
By day its grim gray tower, and at night
its flashing lamp rise in warning over one of
the most treacherous stretches of sand and
shoal and reef and rock that ever fed with
wreck and corpse the cruel sea.
The present structure replaces one built
on iron piles which was swept away in the
great April storm of 185 1. The present
granite shaft is nearly a hundred feet high.
The lower forty feet are of solid masonry,
dovetailed and bolted together, and into the
reef below the sea, until it is almost a part of
the ledge itself. It took years to complete
the foundations alone, for there were in all
the long twelve months but a few hours
when any work could be done. On Govern-
ment Island the great blocks were fashioned,
and the places of construction may still be
ii8 The Pilenni Shore.
Looking down the river, there 's a fine v^iew
of level stretches, rock-dotted, to Hominy
Point and the sea. Inland, the river winds
by rocks and cottages toward North Scituate,
and is called the Gulf.
Captain John Smith was the first European
explorer to enter this harbor, and it was he
who first recorded its name, Quonahassit, on
the page of history. Here he had a quarrel
with the Indians, and, as he sailed through
the narrow harbor mouth, the savages, am-
bushed (probably at Hominy Point), bade him
a revengeful farewell with a shower of arrows.
Of all the old houses in Cohasset I think
that the most interesting is the old Lincoln
home on South Main Street, near the Scituate
line. It was built by the pioneer Mordecai
in 1717, for his son Isaac, of whom Abraham
Lincoln was a lineal descendant. Standing
as it does on a little hill, the old house com-
mands a delightful view. Near by, the street
is lined by great elms, and through their dark
shade gleams the blue winding river and the
lush green level meadows.
If paint ever defiled the old homestead, all
trace of it has long since gone, and the gray
77/(? old Lincoln House,
^ lichened shingles are
worn as thin as paper
and honeycombed by time.
As one stands here in its quiet precincts,
there comes through the rustling elms the
I20 The Pilsfrini Shore.
monotonous beat of the mill near by on Bound
Brook, so-called because it was the boundary
between the colonies. Indeed, the brook and
its power was Mordecai Lincoln's greatest
wealth, and the real reason of his settling here.
His house and the old mill are both gone, but
they stood about where the new buildings are.
The proverb says that the mill will never
grind with the water that has past. Whether
Mordecai disproved this saying or not, I do
not know ; but it is on record that he man-
aged, by an ingenious arrangement of dams,
to make the brook work six days a week, de-
spite the fact that by any ordinary arrange-
ment it could have furnished power for but
one third of that time. It must have been
a sort of triple expansion. By trade the in-
genious miller was a blacksmith ; but he was
able to turn his hand to most anything, hav-
ing what New Englanders call faculty. One
should, if possible, visit the interior of Isaac's
house, for it is charmingly antique. I re-
member, with much pleasure my visit there,
and the kindly courtesy of its owner, still a
The shore of Scituate, the next Pilgrim
town, is far from rocky; indeed it is one long
stretch of sand that is raised in places to low
cliffs. The level shallows outlying these
beaches are as dangerous to vessels as the
granite tusks of Cohasset, and many a ship's
bones have bleached upon the long curved
reaches of their wastes.
The great November storm of 1898 was
felt in all its force here, and there remains on
Scituate Beach a curious reminder of its fury.
This is the wreck of the pilot boat Columbia,
now converted into a sort of Peggotty sum-
The Pilo:rim Shore,
Fourth Cliff, Scituate.
mer home. She
was driven ashore
here during that
terrible night, and crashed down upon a sea-
side cottage. All on board of her were lost.
That night the sea not only littered the
beaches with wreckage, but it also swept the
sands themselves about, undermining here,
building up there, or boldly cutting channel
or bay in the shore itself, thus making mar-
vellous changes. Hundreds of acres of valu-
able lands were submerged or ruined in
places, while in others, from the sea's bottom,
wide fields were lifted above the waters.
Through the beach, just south of the Third
Cliff, in a few hours, it cut a channel to the
North River nearly two hundred feet wide
and sixteen feet deep at low water, besides
swallowing up two islands that lay in the
course of its fury. On one of these islands
four young men were camping out ; they
were all lost.
Back from its beaches, Scituate stretches in
flat plains with only an occasional hill. In
years gone by, these sparsely wooded lands
were shaded by great groves of black walnut.
But none of them remain to-day, the last one,
a giant three feet in diameter, fell before the
woodman's axe in 1820.
Scituate, called so from Satuit Brook, was
124 The Pilgrim Shore.
settled 'tis said, by *' Men of Kent" in 1628,
and in growing it drew new blood from both
the Pilgrims and the Puritans, lying as it did
between the Republic and the Commonwealth.
In the latter part of the seventeenth century,
this old town was the richest in the colony.
Now it has, as it was described fifty years
ago, ** the appearance of stillness and retire-
ment." One long street borders the meadow,
through which runs the estuary that forms
a harbor, safe, but difficult of access and
emptied by the tides. Seaward, across green
levels, is the sandy bulwark that keeps off the
ocean. Strewn from end to end is this
hummocky beach with the paraphernalia of
" mossing," for that is the principal occupa-
tion of the people to-day. A few years ago
Scituate and the immediate coast furnished
all the Irish moss used in the whole country,
except what was imported from Ireland.
When gathered, it is as green as any weed.
It is then washed in large tubs, and afterward
bleached and dried in the sun.
Of all the places in Scituate, the most inter-
The Street, Scitziate Harbor.
esting to many is " The Old Oaken Bucket "
homestead. It is close to the railway station
on a pretty little country road. At one side
of the way a narrow path winds, grass-fringed.
Crimson hardhack, yellow false indigo,
yarrow, white and pink, bespangle its borders,
and over all these nod the broad panicles of
the Queen Anne's lace. A pleasant walk it
is crossing close by the railway over the dam
" The wide spreading pond, and the mill that stood
The first mill on this site was erected in
1646, but before that time there had been a
windmill on the Second Cliff.
All the way, on either hand, lie the orchards,
the meadows, and the deep-tangled wildwood,
so dear to the heart of the poet.
The site of the old homestead is on the
Northy place, at the right not far from the
pond, and over its precincts the ancient well-
sweep still lifts its slanting sign of promise.
There, shadowed by woodbine and lilacs, in
the old well the water, ** emblem of truth,"
128 The Pilgrim Shore.
still swells crystal clear, and as delicious as
ever. The " old oaken bucket" itself is rep-
resented by a successor bravely bound with
brass, — a gift from a distant city.
As one stands here in the quiet level land-
scape, one can realize with what longing the
heartsick author of the touching song looked
back to the peace of the old home. From the
cares, regrets, and disillusions of the city, his
fancy turned sadly back to his light-hearted,
He, Samuel Woodworth, was a printer and
journalist, and, like so many of his trade at
that time, was a great wanderer and quite a
" Bohemian." Like most men of that sort,
he suffered many vicissitudes of fortune. It
was while he was an editor in the city of New
York that he wrote the song which is his only
claim to public remembrance.
It is said that the inspiration came to him
in a popular bar-room. He had just taken a
drink of cognac, and as he set down his glass
he declared that it was the finest drink in
" 77^1? mill that stood by if."
" There you are mistaken," said one of
his comrades, ** remember the old oaken
bucket and the clear cold water of the old
At this reminder, tears rushed to his eyes,
and he left the room. He returned to his
desk, and, with a heart overflowing with
the recollections of innocent childhood, he
quickly set down the words that have be-
come so dear to many others.
But peace has not always been the lot
of Scituate, for in King Philip's War nine-
teen houses and barns were burned by the
Indians, and terror spread through its pre-
cincts. Right here, about the mill and the
Northy farm, a savage fight occurred.
On the day of the attack there sat in the
old Northy farmhouse, Dame Ewell, alone
except for her grandson, John Northy, who
slept beside her in his cradle. As she
looked out of the windows toward Coleman
Heights, she saw the savages running down
toward the valley. Thinking only of alarm-
ing the garrison, she rushed from the house
132 The Pilgrim Shore.
without ever thinking of the baby. But,
in the midst of the battle, she remembered
him, and returned stealthily amid its dangers,
found the little one peacefully sleeping, and
carried him to a place of safety.
Perhaps the red men had some just cause
against the men of Scituate, for in the early
days the colonists had not hesitated to
make bondsmen of their savage brothers
on various pretexts. Later on, negroes were
possessed by all the wealthy families, and
slavery left perhaps a deeper stain on Scit-
uate than upon any other town of the
But if the town has not been always so
peaceful, neither has it been ever so inactive,
for once it was a busy, bustling place with
two harbors, — Scituate Harbor, already
mentioned, and the New Harbor, as the old
North River near its mouth was called.
This river was once lined with ship-yards,
to which the tide rose and fell. " Now,"
says Daniel E. Damon, historian of the
town, ** its portals are closed to the passage
The <« Old Oaken Buckets
of vessels, the ship-yards are all gone, and
where once was heard the sound of axe,
adze, and hammer, all is still, and the placid
stream sleeps unbroken by any passing keel.
" The placid stream sleeps.'*
Its beauty still remains, enhanced, perhaps,
by the fact that the obstructions at its mouth
keep it always bank-full. Its history is
largely the history of ship-building and
builders. Their achievements bred amongst
136 The Pilgrim Shore.
them naval heroes and patriots." Here, in;
1773, was built the ship Columbia that
gave its name to the mightiest river that
flows into the Pacific.
It was into this tranquil, landlocked water
that the sea tore the deep channel already
mentioned, which connected again the river
with the ocean, after many years of separa-
tion. Between this new channel and the
old mouth is stretched the long length of
the fine beach that the Indians called Hum-
arock. Once a peninsula, it is now an
island five miles long and one thousand yards
Along its crest I saw other and melan-
choly witnesses of the power of that great
November storm. High on its pebbly ridges,
bleaching and mouldering in sunshine and
rain, lay the great timbers of many a wreck.
Splintered and twisted were the great beams
of oak, and, wrenched from vessels' sides,
among these timbers, great strips torn bodily,
and now decaying, all in rusty tones of black
and red, here and there enriched by gilded
carvings, remnants of former parade, but
all slowly yielding to the attrition of wind
and sand and weather. The white rimmed
ports that once let in the light and breeze
0)1 Hmiiarock Beach.
to cosy cabins, now stare skyward like the
glazed eyes of a drowned man, — dead eyes
This coast is not so stuffed with legend
as the North Shore, for Pilgrim land was
never the home of superstition. A certain
amount of that, and a great deal of willing
credulity, as well as imagination, are neces-
sary to the growth of such wonderful and
138 The Pilgrim Shore.
generally gruesome tales as linger still on
the other side of the Bay. Not even witch-
craft itself was able to fasten its clutches on
this community, although the elders, follow-
ing the example of all Christendom, took
the precaution to pass laws against it, and
even provided for the punishment and ex-
ecution of witches.
Right here in Scituate it was that this con-
tagious error first broke forth, and right here
it was stamped out forever in the Pilgrim
It seems that one Mistress Dinah Sylvester
of this town declared, with many sacred oaths,
that she had seen her neighbor, Goodwife
Holmes, in conversation with the devil. The
fiend in this case, so she averred, came not in
horns and cloven feet, but appeared in the
form of a bear with whom, the accuser de-
clared. Mistress Holmes deported herself in a
way unbecoming both to a Christian and to
To this accusation Goodman Holmes, who
stood stoutly by his wife and her good
name, replied in a sensible way by a suit for
In those days any one charged with witch-
craft stood in deadly peril, and it is doubtful if
in any other Christian community at that time
would the magistrates have shown so much
common sense and simple justice; for after
hearing the case in a thorough and dignified
manner, as befitted its gravity, they found
Dame Sylvester guilty of slander, and ordered
her to be publicly whipped, or to pay Mr.
Holmes ;£" 5, or to publicly confess her sin and
to pay Mr. Holmes his costs and charges.
As may be supposed, she chose the course
cheapest, both to her purse and person, for to
such an one it was little abasement to acknow-
ledge herself a slanderer and backbiter.
Thus was the delusion of witchcraft warded
off for a time by honest men.
But sixteen years later, another attempt was
made, and again in Scituate. Mary Ingham
was denounced for having bewitched one
Mehitable Woodworth, affecting her with vio-
lent fits, and bereaving her of her senses by
140 The Pilgrim Shore.
the '' help of the devil in a way of witchcraft
or sorcery. " This black charge Goodwife
Ingham denied, and put herself " on trial of
God and the Country ! " Then a jury of
freemen, presided over by Governor Josiah
Winslow, rendered the only just verdict, but
at variance with the spirit of the age, — the
just verdict of '' Not Guilty. " To them all
honor, these clear-headed freemen, for with
this case ended all attempt to inoculate the
minds of the Pilgrims with the dread dis-
ease that so oppressed and shamed other
And to this poverty of tales of witches and
wizards we must add the dearth of legends
horrific, — no ghosts, no " shrieking woman, "
no spectre leaguers, stone-throwing devils,
no, not even a sea serpent. Indeed, the
traditional stories are mostly pleasant ones
of historic persons or events, and as simple as
the people, often as quaint. As an instance,
let me quote the story of an old will, in which
one provision was, "To my wife Frances, one
third of my estate during her life, also a gentle
'horse or mare, and Jemmy the Negur shall
catch it for her."
One who has not travelled the roads that
lead to Plymouth knows not in what a fair
country the Pilgrims settled. Too apt are we
" And Jemmy the Negur shall catch it for her?^
always to think only of the bleak and dismal
shore on which they landed. There were
highways even then. To be sure, they were
but Indian trails, but, though lonely, they
were lovely, — a sylvan loveliness, strange to
the newcomers. Unlike the hedged lanes of
Old England, or the dyked paths of Holland,
^vere these forest ways through long woods of
142 The Pilgrim Shore.
pine and shadow. But now the way is bared
to the sky, and is bound by hedges, not of
clipped thorn and holly, however, as in
Devon or Dorset, but by that charming nat-
ural screen which of itself springs up along the
gray stone boundaries of New England fields,
wilful, wayward, but beautiful.
Thus bordered, winds the road to Marsh-
field, an old town that, as has been truly-
said, shares with Plymouth the interest that
attaches to the early home of the Pilgrims.
Until 1641 it was a part of Duxbury, when it
was set apart and called Green's Harbor or
The road there from Scituate parallels the
shore, though not near it, and soon after
crossing Little's Bridge, where was the old
Indian Ferry, later called Doggett's Ferry,
tortuous Snake Hill is climbed. From its top,
one takes the first glimpse of Pilgrim Land,
a grand view over Brant Rock, and the inter-
vening valleys and marshlands that give the
The Pilgrim Shore.
town its name. Saliently stands the monu-
ment on Captain's Hill, and far in the distance
is the blue ridge of Manomet.
On the old White estate.
Near by, close to the South River, and at
the foot of a wild rough lane, is the old White
estate. Here Peregrine White, the first child
born to the colony, raised his roof-tree. Here
he brought his bride, and settled on the land
given him by his stepfather. Governor Wins-
low. Here he lived for many years, years of
toil and of honors, for he held many offices in
the service of the people, and was twice
chosen a deputy to the General Court. At
a green old age, fourscore and three, he
passed away, and was buried, it is said, by
the side of his mother, who was the first
bride of the colony, in the ancient burying-
This estate remained in the possession of
his descendants for six generations, until the
death of Miss Sybil White in 1884.
The present house is a low ceiled cottage,
very modern in appearance from the front,
but inside it bears evidence of great age in
parts. It is said to rest on the original sills,
and to contain many of the rough-hewn
beams, all spiked with hand-made nails.
Like the lusty Peregrine, who was a fine
type of a rugged race, most of the old settlers
seem to have reached also an advanced age.
The most notable example of long life in
Marshfield was the grandson of Governor
Carver, who died at the great age of 102. In
146 The Pilgrim Shore.
1775 he was at work in the field with his son,
grandson, and great-grandson, the last of
whom had in the house an infant son, — in
all, five generations.
The old burial-ground where Peregrine and
nearly all the old settlers were buried, is well
worth a visit. It is near the Webster place,
and commands a view of the coast and sea ;
for it crowns a little hill, wind-swept and
almost treeless. The old, old stones, leaning
and broken, have been worn by the weather
into sharp tusks, and the inscriptions eff"aced.
Here, as I have said, by the side of her son
lies Susanna White Winslow, who came over
in the Mayflower. That is the tradition, and
there is no reason to disbelieve it. But her
grave is unknown, as indeed are all the graves
of the early settlers. To their memory, how-
ever, a monument has been erected, and on
it are inscribed their names.
" The weary pilgrim slumbers,
His resting place unknown;
His hands were crossed, his lids were closed,
The dust was o'er him strewn,
The drifting soil, the mouldering leaf,
Along the sod were blown ;
His mound has melted into earth,
His memory lives alone."
Near by, under a stone sculptured with a
coat-of-arms, lies the remains of General
Josiah Winslow, half-brother to Peregrine
White. He was the
governor, and was
buried at the ex-
pense of the colony,
as a mark of esteem
And here, in this
Ion ely bu rying-
place, lies one with
whose great fame
the name of Marshfield must always be asso-
ciated, — Daniel Webster. All that was mor-
tal of him rests in the tomb of rough granite
under a marble slab on which is cut his name
and the epitaph composed by himself as he
lay on his death-bed.
The Winslow Arms.
148 The Pilgrim Shore.
In death he was not far removed from his
loved home, for reached by a short lane
through the woods and by the ponds is the
spot where his mansion once stood. Unfor-
tunately this old building was burned down
over twenty years ago, and a modern house
now stands on its site.
It was here that the great statesman
sought the quiet life of a country home, amid
that rural beauty he so dearly loved. His
estate extended over two thousand acres, and
on it he could enjoy to the utmost his taste
for farming, gardening, and stock-raising.
But the utilitarian side of a farmer's life was
not all to him ; he cultivated as well its beau-
tiful and ornamental part, for beside raising
the usual crops and stock, he planted thou-
sands of shade-trees and a great flower gar-
den that stretched its bloom and fragrance
between the mansion and the sea. To his
smooth lawns proud peacocks lent their
magnificence, and rare and curious birds
and beasts added color and interest to the
Here, in 1852, amid the evidence of his
labors, and surrounded by his family and
friends, he passed away in hopeful resigna-
tion. His last words were, " I still live."
And, indeed, for such noble souls there is no
In his estate was contained part of an early
Pilgrim domain, the ** Careswell " of Edward
Winslow, who is called the founder of Marsh-
field. He came here from Plymouth about
1637, ^^d built what was then the finest house
in the colonies.
Like Standish, Winslow was of ancient and
noble lineage, and he was the most accom-
plished in worldly affairs of all the Pilgrims.
150 The Pilgrim Shore.
A little romance clings to his memory, for
he was the first bridegroom among the new-
comers. It was, however, not his first mar-
riage, for he had been married in Holland, and
his wife Elizabeth came with him in the May-
flower. Her gentle nature was soon crushed
by the rigors of that first dreadful winter in
the New World, and she soon faded away
amid the New England snows. His wedding
in Plymouth was to the widow Susanna White,
whose husband had died also during the
winter. She had been a widow scarce twelve
weeks, and Edward had mourned his wife but
Mistress White's son Peregrine, born in
Provincetown Harbor, v/as the first child born
to the colony. By her second union she
had the honor, later, of being the wife of one
governor and the mother of another.
This marriage, according to the manner of
the Pilgrims, was a civil contract presided
over by a magistrate, *' according to y^ laud-
able custome of y^ Low-Cuntries," and
" followed by all ye famous churches of
Christ in these parts to this time, — An° :
Years afterward, when Winslow was on a
mission to England, the cruel Archbishop
Laud made this marriage, and Winslow's
defence of the colonists' practice in such
matters, a pretext for casting him into the
Fleet Prison, where he languished for seven-
Edward Winslow, besides being governor,
served the colony in many positions of trust
and honor, both in the New World and in the
Old. It was he who brought the first cattle
to Plymouth, but not in time, alas, as the poet
would have us believe, to furnish the snow-
white bull for the wedding procession of John
Alden and Priscilla.
His son Josiah, born of the second mar-
riage and half-brother to Peregrine White,
was the first native-born governor, and was
commander-in-chief of the military forces of
Plymouth and the Bay colonies.
A warlike temper was a family trait of the
1 Bradford's History.
152 The Pilgrim Shore.
Winslows, down even to our time ; for from
this stock was descended Rear-Admiral John
Winslow, who sank the Alabama in the War
of the RebeUion. And, to return to the old
days, Governor Josiah's son John was a
general in the Canadian Campaign of 1775.
To his lot fell the execution of the harsh
edict that drove into exile, from their secluded
and peaceful homes by the Basin of Minas,
the Acadian peasants of Grand Pre, to that
" Exile without an end and without an example in
So he figures in Longfellow's Evangeline,
and the poet describes him standing in the
sacred shadows of the old church on the
steps of the altar, — |.
" Holding aloft in his hands, with its seals, the
Royal commission," ji
and then uttering the sentence which stripped
the poor people of their homes and posses-
sions, and drove them, wanderers, to foreign
Of course it was in the King's service that
General John Winslow was called upon to
The old Win slow House.
execute this cruel duty. But no one ever
doubted the loyalty of the Winslows, and in
fact their home was a stronghold of Toryism.
Dr. Isaac Winslow's house was the chief
meeting-place of a society of loyalists, three
hundred in number.
This old Winslow house is interesting ; a
grand old mansion in its day, it still retains
an air of its past grandeur. Like many great
houses of its time, it has a secret chamber,
the entrance to which is by a sliding panel
over one of the wide fire-places.
It is related that one of the Winslows, all
of whom were staunch Tories, took refuge in
this hiding-place after the house had been
surrounded by a body of patriots. In the
room connected with the secret place, there
was at the time a woman in bed with a new-
born child. The colonists, with a delicate
forbearance, made but a superficial search of
her apartment, and so the royalist in hiding
Like the old mansion, Marshfield itself bears
not the glory of its earlier years. In the first
156 The Pilgrim Shore.
of this century *t was far busier, had more
houses, and considerable ship-building.
When it was first settled, it was called
Roxham or Green's Harbor, and until 1641
was a part of the next old Pilgrim town,
On this old place there has fallen also
the calm of age, for fifty years ago it was
a bustling place. Its sons were familiar to
China, Japan, and the Indies, and its ships
were known round the world.
Settled it was in 1630- 1632, by men of
honor and distinction in the civil and re-
ligious history of the Pilgrims, and was
called Duxbury, after Duxbury Hall, the
seat of the Standish family in England ; for
Miles Standish settled here, as did John
Alden, his rival.
Here they raised the roof-trees of their
rough homes, which, like all the earliest
ones, were surrounded by palisades to
keep off wolves and savages. Fortified
158 The Pilgrim Shore.
cottages, they were lighted dimly by win-
dows of oiled paper which oaken shutters
made secure. On the ground floor was a
large living-room with a kitchen, and gen-
erally one bed-chamber. Under the gam-
brel roof were two chambers. The lean-to
roofs, which are still seen in many old houses,
were of a later period. The walls were of
stout square planks, and they were clap-
boarded inside, as were also the partitions.
The chimneys stood outside the walls, and
were built, cob-fashion, of sticks and clay
John Alden built his home in 163 1, on
the south side of Blue Fish River, near
Eagle Tree Pond, ten years after his mar-
riage to Priscilla,
" The damsel Priscilla, the loveliest maiden of
Here, the married lovers raised a good
old-fashioned family of eleven children, and
here they both died at an advanced age,
crowned with honor and affection. Indeed,
John Alden outlived all the signers of the
famous Mayflower compact, and was eighty-
seven at the time of his death. Many posi-
tions of honor and trust had he held in his
long and useful life.
Near the site of his dwelling now stands
an Alden house, the third one on the
estate. This one, two hundred and forty
years old, was built by his grandson. It is
of wood with a pitched roof and a massive
chimney of brick laid in pasture clay. The
interior is very interesting, and most of the
rooms keep their old wainscoting of native
pine. The house frame is all of hewn white
oak. In it lives John Alden, the eighth, a
lineal descendant of Standish's envoy to
the arch Priscilla. John Alden, ninth, was
killed by lightning while a lad. In con-
nection with this cutting off of the line of
John Aldens, it is a curious fact that the
first death in all the colony from a light-
ning stroke occurred in this very town in
The ride to Old Powder Point and the
Beach is a very pleasant one. Here the
1 62 The Pilgrim Shore.
French cable from Brest is brought ashore,
and it is more than interesting to visit the
cable house ; for no one with any imagina-
tion could help yielding to the spell of this
wonder, — this binding together of two con-
tinents ocean-parted. One thinks with awe
of the dark and silent depths through which
these cables creep, and of the wonders of
God there wrought.
"Words, and the words of men, flicker and flutter
and beat —
Warning, sorrow and gain, salutation and mirth
For a Power troubles the Still that has neither
voice nor feet."
In the presence of this every-day miracle
of our time, we think of the gloom, deep as
that of the ocean floor these cables traverse,
which, in the Pilgrim days, shrouded even
the commonest phenomena of life and nature.
For in their day, the rainbow and the light-
ning had not given up their secrets; the
pendulum and the barometer were unknown;
the circulation of the blood and the attrac-
tion of gravitation were undiscovered. Two
The John Alden House.
centuries and a half were to elapse before
the invention of the telegraph. Considering
the ignorance of the world at that time, we
should marvel that the Forefathers were so
little ruled by superstition and its sister,
But in Duxbury the greatest interest at-
taches to the life here of Miles Standish.
The place of his dwelling is reached by the
long and pleasant village street past many
an old-fashioned mansion, and under many
On the way is the h'ttle burying-ground
where his grave has recently been dis-
covered. Elder Brewster is buried there
too, it is believed, and many others of the
For years the last resting places of the
most eminent of the Forefathers were un-
known. It seems strange that the descend-
ants of these Englishmen should so soon
have lost the reverence and care for the dead
which is so characteristic a trait of their
nation, — that loving care of the graves that
1 66 The Pilgrim Shore.
they have ahvays exhibited in the old church-
yards of England. In the little English vil-
lages, just such villages as the Pilgrims came
from, the tiny God's Acres are close to the
lives of the people, and they are kept sweet
with flowers nearly all the year. In the long
summer twilights the women and children
may be seen carrying to them baskets of
flowers from the cottage- gardens to beautify
the graves. And there is something gently
and sweetly sorrowful in the thought of
slipping away into forgetfulness so near to
the busy life of the village. Sharp is the
contrast with the lonely graveyards of New
England, so many of them remote and neg-
lected. On lonely hillsides, or by the dusty
road, uncared for and forgotten, the weeds
and briers enwrap the headstones, and trees
spring up between the graves.
This burying-place, for example, was for
years wholly neglected, a tangled waste of
weeds choked it, and the cattle roamed over
it. It is only within a few years that it has
been cleared up and inclosed. While this
The arch Priscilla,
work was in progress, the workmen came
upon some peculiarly shaped stones buried
in the sand. Now there was a tradition that
Standish's grave had been marked by two
... /'•[. ,r,yi '^^^^
T/ie Grave of Miles Standtsli.
pyramidal stones placed due east and west
and about six feet apart. As the ones found
answered to this description, very careful re-
searches were made with the result, that three
graves were finally uncovered there. In two
I JO The Pilgrim Shore.
of them were the skeletons of two vounsf
women, one with abundant light brown hair,
and the other with long tresses of a darker
shade, and both with beautiful teeth. Be-
tween these two, in the middle grave, was the
skeleton of a man. Now the Captain's will
requests that, should he die in Duxbury, that
his body was ** to laied as neare as conven-
iently may bee to my two deer daughters,
Lora Standish my daughter and Mary
Standish my daughter in law." And there
is every reason to believe that the grave of
Miles Standish has been found. So the spot
has been inclosed by a fort-like fence of
stone, guarded at the corners by cannon.
It is probable that John and Priscilla Alden
also found a resting-place here, and in fact
the oldest dated headstone bears the name of
their son Jonathan, and many other Alden
graves are here.
A churchyard this spot originally was, and
the site of the church, the first meeting-house,
has been located and marked by a stone.
Not far from the Captain's grave is the spot
where his house once stood. Sheltering it
and high above it rises Captain's Hill crowned
by the monument that has been erected to
his memory. His house was burned down
after his death, about 1666, but the cellar is
still plainly marked. His dwelling must have
been a very peculiar one, for it seems to have
consisted of two wings converging like the
stems of a V. When it was built the penin-
sula on which it stands was thickly wooded,
and over it roamed the deer and many a
gaunt wolf besides, so the house was stoutly
palisaded to protect it from savage beasts
as well as men. At that time too it was
generally believed that lions and other
ferocious beasts infested the woods of the
New World. " New England's Prospect "
says, " Besides Plimouth men have traded for
Lyons skinnes in former times." Whether
this belief was held by the Pilgrims them-
selves, I do not know, but the Puritans along
the North Shore never doubted that " Lyons "
to say nothing of demons, or even the evil-
one himself, were lurking in the deep shadows
172 The Pilgrim Shore.
of the forests that swept backward from the
shores of Cape Ann.
For even them, you may be sure the Cap-
tain would have stood in little dread. His
natural courage had been braced by a life of
adventure in camp and field. A life that
makes him the most picturesque character of
all the Pilgrims. He has been ever rep-
resented as a man of fiery temper, impetuous
and masterful, '* a little chimney soon heated,"
for he, like Caesar and Napoleon, was of small
stature. But if he was quick, he was still '' a
friend of peace yet ever ready to fight for it
and with little regard for the odds against
him." He probably felt able to settle all
disputes himself, for he was the rarest of liti-
gants, — twice only did he appeal to the law,
and then to resent the cruel treatment of his
dumb animals. Once his dog was killed, and
another time his sheep were worried by a
neighbor's dog. These wanton acts the old
soldier would not tolerate and in each case
he secured the punishment of the offenders.
Also was he a friend of all good Indians,
especially of that ** proper lustie man," that
" man of accounte for his vallour & parts
amongst y" Indians," Hobamock, the staunch
" At Sla7uiish''s Fireside.''^
friend of the Pilgrims. An intimate friend-
ship existed between these two, and Hoba-
mock spent his declining years well cared for
at Standish's fireside. To this intimacy with
the Indians the Captain owed, no doubt, his
174 The Pilgrim Shore.
skill in their language, for he surpassed all
the other colonists in that respect.
He was, too, the best linguist otherwise, —
an accomplishment that had come to him in
his roaming life, for when young he had held,
under Elizabeth, a military commission to
fight in foreign parts, and so had mastered
French and Spanish, as well as Dutch and
It was probably during his campaigning
against the cruel Spaniard that he met and
was attracted to the Pilgrim Fathers. That
he should have been so much their friend as
to have gone with them across the sea to a
savage land seems the more remarkable be-
cause it is not clear that he shared their par-
ticular faith. It has even been claimed that
he was a Romanist, at least that he was a
scion of a noble Catholic family. Of a long
and noble line he really was, for on the roll
of the Norman barons, made soon after the
Conquest, appears the blazon of Thurston de
Standish. This baron's son Hugh held an-
cient Dokesbury (Duxbury) Hall in 1306.
One John Standish was knighted by Richard
II. for helping to kill poor Wat Tyler in
1 38 1. An Alexander Standish was knighted
in 1482, and indeed the family was ever emi-
nent in peace and war — generally the latter.
The Reformation divided the house against
itself, and the Duxbury Hall branch went
over to the Protestants, but the Standishs of
Standish Hall clung faithfully to the church
It was from this latter branch that Miles
Standish was descended ; and at his death
he bequeathed to his son Alexander all his
lands, ** as heir apparent by lawful descent in
Ormistic, Bousconge, Wrightington, Maud-
sley, Newburrow, Cranston, and in the Isle of
Man and given to me as right heir by lawful
descent, but surreptitiously detained from
me, my great grandfather being a second or
younger brother from the house of Standish
Efforts have been made in this century by
his descendants to unravel the secrets of his
birth, and to prove the right of his claim.
178 The Pilgrim Shore.
According to the commission given him by
Queen Elizabeth, he must have been born in
1584 or 1585. But the lawful evidence in
England has been wilfully destroyed by oblit-
erating all the entries for those dates in the
parish register of Chorley, his native place.
Moreover, by authority of an ancient law, the
rector of Chorley has prevented any one
from examining the records, and so stands
guard for his patron, who, it is believed, holds
the estates under a fraudulent title. Of im-
mense value are the lands now, and of great
extent, and yield each year an income of half
a million dollars.
It seems strange that Standish should have
given up his brilliant prospects as a brave and
skilful soldier, and his heirship to manorial
rights and honors, to cast his lot with a hand-
ful of almost friendless, expatriated religious
enthusiasts, with whom it is even suspected
that he was not wholly in sympathy. Why
he should have sacrificed so much for no re-
turn cannot be explained by what we know
of his early life. It would seem that he must
have had some private reasons of which the
world knows nothing nor can ever know.
Yet was he content with the sHm honors
and estate that his chivalrous devotion to his
— T- ».».,-»^»'^""r''g"77°?"T^^ ^^
The Sta7idish Cottage.
new friends brought him. " No task was for
him too difficult or dangerous, none too hum-
ble or disagreeable. Great as a ruler over
others, he was far greater as a ruler over
himself No one ever more decidedly had a
i8o The Pilsfrim Shore.
mission, and none ever more nobly fulfilled
When he died he left a few choice books
that show him to have been a man of literary
tastes. Among them were three Bibles, just
the number of his muskets. But this was not
all his arsenal, for he left beside a fowling-
piece, four carbines, two small guns, besides
a sword and cutlass.
The Standish cottage now standing was
built by his son Alexander, and is nearly two
and a half centuries old. It was built partly
of materials taken from the old house.
Elder Brewster, the Captain's old friend,
lived near him, but nothing remains of that
house to-day ; and not far away across the
marshes and the river lived the dear compan-
ion of his labors and responsibilities, — Gov-
ernor Bradford in Kingston.
And a pretty drive it is to this old town
which all the way looks invitingly across
the bay. By the meadows the road winds,
and through them winds Island Creek. Just
at the entrance to Kingston Jones' River is
crossed, and here the first settlements were
made. Here Governor Bradford lived at
Stony Brook in the parish of Jones' River,
Plymouth, for Kingston was not set off from
Plymouth until 1717. The site of his dwel-
ling is now marked by a tablet.
From his house he overlooked the meadows
to Captain's Hill to the dwellings of his friends,
Standish and Brewster. Here he entertained
the Chief Wamsutta, and it is thought by
many that this was his principal home. If
The Pilo:rim Shore.
it was not, he may dispute with Samuel
Fuller, the old colony's first physician, the
distinction of having been the first summer
resident of our coast, for the doctor had a
By Island Creek.
summer house near Smelt Brook, and a town
house on Leyden Street, not far from the
The most interesting landmark of Kingston,
however, is the Major John Bradford house.
Close by the river it stands on a high em-
bankment. It is not disfigured by paint, and
its cool grays melt softly into the shadows
of the great elms that shade it.
In King Philip's War the house was par-
tially burned. It was at the time abandoned,
for Major Bradford had removed for safety
to the guard house across the river. One
day he returned with a few of his neighbors
for some forgotten goods. As he neared
his home he saw smoke rising over the trees,
and upon drawing near he found that his house
was on fire. At the same time his attention
was attracted to an Indian sentinel who was
standing guard on Abraham's Hill, and was
waving his blanket aloft and crying, Choc-
wan g ! Chocwang ! (the white men are
coming). He knew then that it was the
savages who had set the fire. He and his
companions rushed boldly forward, but the
Indians were so intent on plunder that they
did not hear their comrade's warning nor the
approach of the white men, so that Bradford
rushed without any warning upon them, and
firing his piece apparently killed one of
them before they fled. On coming to the
The Pilerim Shore.
spot where the man fell, however, he was
astonished not to find the body of the
plunderer, and for a time believed that he
Major John Bradford'' s House.
must have been mistaken. But after the
war an Indian came one day to him and
declared himself to be the wounded man,
and in proof thereof showed the scars where
three bullets had passed through his side.
This old house was for years the casket
in which reposed that famous manuscript,
the Bradford " History of Plymouth Planta-
tion." But in 1728 Major John Bradford lent
it with other precious books to Thomas
Prince to take out of it what he thought
proper for his New England Chronology.
It is known that others used it years after-
ward and that Governor Hutchinson had it,
and by many it is believed that this Tory
governor carried it away with him to Eng-
land. Certain it is that it disappeared about
the time of the Revolution, and for many
years was lost to the knowledge of the world.
But in 1855 it was by chance discovered in the
library of the Bishop of London at Fulham.
How or when it got there nobody knows.
Senator Hoar, speaking of the loss of the
book and its discovery in England, declared
that he knew of no incident like this in history,
unless it be the finding of the royal crown
and sword and sceptre of Scotland, in a
chest in the castle of Edinburgh, where they
had lain unknown for over a century.
1 86 The Pilgrim Shore.
Called by the English, The Log of the
Mayflower, it was recognized by them to be
of great value. So that repeated attempts
failed to procure its return to this country.
Finally, in 1897, through extraordinary good
fortune, our Ambassador to Great Britain,
the Hon. Thomas F. Bayard, secured the
precious document, and conveyed it to the
people of the Commonwealth of Massachu-
setts in the care of whose governors it now
There are many other old and interesting
houses here in Kingston, for the place is
most intimately associated with the history
of the first-comers, for it was during nearly a
hundred years a part of Plymouth.
It was named Kingston, it is said, at the
sues:estion of Lieutenant-Governor Dummer
on the 28th day of May, 1717, that being the
birthday of his gracious majesty King George
the First. It is now connected with the
mother-town by an electric railway which
affords an enjoyable ride to Plymouth.
URELY, the journey
along the Pilgrim
Shore reaches the
climax of its interest
at Plymouth, an inter-
est so great that most
visitors rush directly to
the mothertown, and regard
not the many attractions that
lie along the way.
c Or they come by water, and
thus only see from the steam-
er's deck the low line of rocks and sand
along which the colony spread and prospered.
Without doubt they save themselves some
trouble, for everything along the shore is not
1 88 The Pilgrim Shore.
arranged for the sight-seer, as it is at Ply-
mouth, where all is ticketed and labelled,
where there are good guides and guide-books.
This thoroughness is indeed a distinguish-
ing feature of Pilgrim land and Pilgrim story.
No episode of history has been so thoroughly
investigated. And it would seem that every
fact connected with the Pilgrim movement,
which must ultimately be regarded as the real
origin of the United States, — every fact, I
say, discoverable by the energy and persis-
tence of man must have already been brought
to light, classified, and recorded.
A considerable literature has grown up
about these facts, one that continues to grow
in volume and even in interest. The writer
will not attempt then to rehearse what has
already been so ably and so gracefully told,
but will confine himself to his own impres-
sions : those of a visitor who has onlv the
information of the ordinary reader, and one
who is apt to view a subject from the pic-
turesque stand-point rather than from that of
critical exactness or eager denial.
The general impression of Plymouth, as
one enters the town from Kingston, is that of
prosperity, thrift, and respectabihty. Good
streets there are, well shaded and watered,
comfortable houses, with finely kept grounds
and lawns, and a glimpse of thriving indus-
tries, while over all is an air of modernity.
In this the newer part of the town is the
monument that we saw long ago from Dux-
bury. It is called the National Monument to
the Forefathers, and was *' erected by a grate-
ful people in remembrance of their labors,
sacrifice, and sufferings for the cause of civil
and religious liberty." A work of recent
years it is, for it was finished no longer ago
than 1888, although the corner-stone had
then been laid for twenty-nine years.
It stands on a bare hill reached by shady,
pleasant streets that make its shadeless
■exposure seem more barren by contrast.
Opposite the entrance to its precincts, how-
ever, is a friendly wayside bench that affords
a good view of it and a rest under green
190 The Pilgrim Shore.
The pile itself is granite of indifferent art, it
must be allowed, but nevertheless, as it rises
from the bare hill against the sky, it has a
certain amount of dignity, — a dignity which
would not be lessened, I beheve, were the sur-
roundings softened a little by flower, shrub,
and tree. '' Why," said a native to me, " that
hill 's nothing but a heap of sand, but it 's a
good one. If we had it anywhere where
'twould be of use, 't would be worth a fortune
The monument consists of a pedestal,
octagonal, from every other face of which
extends a buttress ; on these four buttresses
are seated as many figures of heroic size ; on
the pedestal itself stands a gigantic figure of
Faith. She holds a Bible under one arm, and
points heavenward with the other. The seated
figures represent, respectively. Morality,
Law, Education, and Freedom. All are
conventional in design, and are supplemented
by small accessory figures. On the faces of
the buttresses are four slabs of marble carved
in high relief and protected by plate glass.
They represent the departure from — Delft
Haven, the signing of the Social Compact, the
Landing at Plymouth, the Treaty with Mas-
Not far from the monument on the Main
Street is the Museum, " Pilgrim Hall."
Within it is an interesting collection of many
and divers objects connected with or related
more or less intimately to the history of the
town, many of them of priceless value as
relics of the Forefathers. But of course they
differ in degree of value and interest. For
instance, in the Alden case is John Alden's
Bible, a fine halberd found in the cellar of
his house at Duxburv, and a few bricks from
Bradford's house at Kingston, and beside
these relics a Chinese razor and a pine-tree
The most interesting of all the cases is, I
think that which contains the Standish be-
longings. Here is the pewter plate and iron
pot so familiar to us in photographs, and
brought over by the Captain in the May-
flower. There 's a piece of his hearthstone
The Pilgrim Shore.
too, and other
relics from his
house in Dux-
prize of all, how-
his sword —
" his trusty sword of Damascus
Curved at the point and inscribed with
its mystical Arabic sentence."
What food for thought and
fancy it is ! Its sun and stars suggest the an-
cient days of Persia, the glories of Babylon
and Nineveh. Indeed no one knows how old
it is, this blade of the Captain's. Centuries
before he dimmed its brightness wnth the
blood of his red brother (w^as it with this
blade he hewed off the head of savage and
brave Witawamat ?), centuries before that it
may have been wrenched by Moslem hands
from some fierce fire-worshipper, then wet
with blood of Greek, Christian, and Jew, when
the hordes of Omah first humbled Palestine
to Islam's yoke. It may have flashed in
triumphal processions beneath the minarets
of Damascus, or '* by Bagdad's shrines of
fretted gold." Then hundreds of years later,
perhaps, when 't was drawn in defence of the
Holy Land, it was torn from swart Paynim
grasp by a gaunt crusader, a Standish, on the
very walls of Jerusalem.
An heirloom then it became, descending
from Standish to Standish, until finally, after
being wielded against the cruel Spaniard in
the Low Countries, 'twas brought across the
seas to be the defence of the Pilgrim Republic.
All this may be true, indeed Professor
Rosedale of Jerusalem does not hesitate to
declare that the sword was forged before the
year A. D. 637. A part of the inscriptions he
says are in Cufic, in which was written the
Koran in the time of the prophet Moham-
med, one thousand years before Standish set
foot in America.
One of the inscriptions Professor Rosedale
translated thus : —
" With peace God ruled His slaves (creatures) and
with the judgment of His arm gave trouble to the
valiant of the mighty and courageous "' (meaning the
194 The Pilgrim Shore.
The hilt is not the one Miles Standish knew,
the blade has probably known many another.
His was a basket hilt, like the ones carried
by Cromwell's Roundheads. As will be seen,
it is a backsword, and with its basket hilt
should have made an excellent weapon for
the hacking sword play of his time.
I used it as a model in drawing the crest
of the great seal of the Commonwealth of
Massachusetts, a broadsword held in an
arm clothed and ruffled as the law demands.
But there are gentler reminders of the
Captain than this, for here are fragments of
a quilt which once belonged to his first wife
'• Beautiful rose of love that bloomed for me by the
But more suggestive, and even as touching,
is the sampler embroidered by his daughter
Lora. Its colors are but the ashes of their
once bright hues, and the faded floss is sink-
ing gradually into the background of yellow-
ing linen. Still the pretty design of the
marshalled bands is plainly marked, and
below them one can yet distinguish the
prayerful verses : —
" Lorea Standish is my name.
Lord guide my hart that I may doe Thy will ;
Also fill my hands with such convenient skill
As may conduce to virtue void of shame ;
And I will give the glory to Thy name."
In the White case is the will of Peregrine
White. With what tender pity one thinks of
him in looking at this last testament ! Bowed
by over fourscore years, and as the will re-
cites : under many weaknesses and bodily
infirmities, not even able to sign his name, for
at the end appears a cross, " his mark," sign
typical of his afflictions, for the infirm old
fingers could no longer guide the pen for
even this little. How bold and good his
penmanship once was may be seen by the
bond written and signed by him years before,
and now in the case K.
All sorts of things are there in these cases,
most of them connected intimately or remotely
with the colony's history, — rare books, pre-
cious documents, china, silver, in short, most
196 The Pilgrim Shore.
everything, even to a broken brick or two
and a handful of nails. In one case is a
rapier which suggests Plymouth's first, last,
and only duel. Two of the young men
fought with rapiers and daggers after the
fashion of the day, and one was wounded.
They were afterwards so ignominiously pun-
ished that duelling was stopped forever in
The Winslow relics betray, as might be
expected, evidence of a certain luxury beyond
the others. A bit of real vanity is that fine
slipper of Madame Governor Winslow's. All
embroidered in silver, it suggests moments of
elegant idleness that must have been almost
unknown in Old Colony days. It is what the
French call a mule, has a high Louis XIV. heel,
but covers only the instep and toes.
Interesting, too, are the cunning baby shoes
worn by Governor Josiah Winslow, the first
governor's ring, Penelope's inlaid cabinet
and beaded purse. But all will find things to
look at for themselves, still may I say
a word about the things *' behind the rail"?
We know the two quaint
chairs by the pictures and
copies of them that have so
often been made. Both were
brought in the Mayflower,
one by Elder Brewster, and
the other by Governor Car-
ver. They are of ash, and
alike in style, — a style that is reflected in
the ancient flax-wheel near by, and would
seem to indicate that the wheel also was of
the same period. Still this
style, as applied to wheels,
persisted for many years,
and may be seen to-day
in remote districts of
Holland in wheels of a
much later date.
Then there is the cra-
The Pilerim Shore.
die, that in which Susanna White rocked her
baby, the first Pilgrim baby. It is woven
of osiers, and recalls the skill of the Dutch
in wicker - work. It
suggests now, and
must always have re-
minded the Pilgrims
of their Holland
home, the low level
placid canals, and
the long dykes, wil-
low -bound and
shaded. And while
the picture of the
Low Countries is painted on our fancy, we
should remember gratefully the brave hearts
of that land which for so many years offered
the only asylum for the priest-oppressed, and
who maintained so long the only bulwark, of
soul freedom in all Europe.
There 's a model, too, of a ship of the
Mayflower's type, and a beautiful ideal pict-
ure of the Pilgrim ship in Mr. Halsall's lovely
painting of her at anchor in the ice-bound
A great many pictures hang on the walls
beside, but the most precious of them all is
the portrait of Governor Edward Winslow ; for
it is the only authentic portrait of a May-
Of all the other things to see in Pilgrim
Hall I will not speak. Each visitor will find
enough that is interesting and fancy-stirring.
So I will leave the museum and return to the
Of all the old streets in Plymouth the love-
liest is surely North Street. Its elms and
lindens frame, with leaf and shade, a sparkling
glimpse of the sea. The row of great lindens
with rugged furrowed trunks were, it is said,
brought from England in a raisin-box, and
were set out by Colonel George Watson over
a century ago.
It is said that Penelope Winslow set out the
two in front of the old Winslow house oppo-
site, and a droll story is told of the one which
shades the seats on Cole's Hill.
202 The Pilgrim Shore.
The tale is that once upon a time a maiden
Hved there, on the hill, who was made miser-
able by the attentions of an unwelcome suitor.
Hints rolled off him like water from a duck's
back. On snubs and cuts his love throve as
do pigs on sour milk. In fact, his devotion
was as steadfast as it was disagreeable. No
wonder then that the maid, at the end of her
patience, at last armed herself with a stout
switch one night, and falling upon the persist-
ent swain with amazonian ardor, drove him by
force from the field. Then, the story goes,
she cast her switch away upon the brow of
the hill, where it took root and grew, a monu-
ment to unrequited love.
The old Winslow house at the corner of
North and Winslow streets is a fine example
of colonial architecture made extra decorative
by the recent additions. Its frame was brought
from England, so 't is said, in 1745, the year
of its building. It has been very much
altered lately, and is more picturesque than
ever. In its antique drawing-room Ralph
Waldo Emerson was married to his second
wife. Upon his wedding day he drove from
Concord to Plymouth in his chaise. That
evening he was married, and the next morn-
ing he " set forth in the chaise again and
brought his bride before sunset to their new
home in Concord," a journey of more than
sixty miles each way.
Cole's Hill is at the end of North Street,
and overhangs the road as it dips to the
wharves. On its brow are a few seats which
may be divided after the fashion of a Spanish
bull ring into sonibra and sola. They are
generally occupied by professional as well as
amateur loafers, and the latter will probably
find that they will have to sit in the sola.
Seaward from this point is a broad view of
the harbor, and at high tide it is a lovely one
too, but, when the water recedes, gray green
flats rise to sight and to smell. Through
these levels wind the channel and crooked
sluggish streams of varying widths that all
seem fouled by the muddy bottom.
However, let us not turn up our noses at
these flats, for perhaps the tiny colony owed
2o6 The Pilorrim Shore.
in a large measure its preservation to the
unlimited store of clams and lobsters that
these flats aff'orded.
On the farther side of the harbor stretches
the long, low, slender line of Plymouth
Beach, hummocky and sandy, then beyond
its ribbon, farther seaward, the headland and
lights of the Gurnet. On that low bluff, ' t is
said, was buried in 1004 the bold Norse wan-
derer and chieftain Thorwald.
The next headland to the left is Saquish
(meaning plenty of clams), and the next in
the same direction is Clark's Island. Weather
and tide permitting, it is a pleasant sail to
this last, where, remote from trolley and tour-
ist, the spell of old Pilgrim memories is apt
to be much more potent than in the town
The island is quite large, containing over
a hundred acres, and although the original
woods were long ago cleared away, it has
fine trees and a good soil. It is said that
crops of figs are grown there in the open air.
Near the middle of the Island is a huge
bowlder formerly called Election Rock, be-
cause in the old days the young folks used
to picnic there on ancient election holidays.
But now it is called Pulpit Rock, because,
according to tradition, in its shelter the Pil-
grim explorers worshipped God on that first
Sunday in Plymouth Harbor. On it there-
fore have been cut these words from " Mourt's
Relation " : " On the Sabbath day wee rested."
This great bowlder is similar to Plymouth
Rock, and is the only other one of any size
along the coast. However, there is a small
one on the southeasterly shore of the Island
bearing some strange black markings said by
some to be the footprints of the Evil One
himself, while by some others they are no
more than the trail of a passing witch.
Sometimes, however, they are called Mary
But after all there is but one rock — •
Plymouth Rock. Right at the foot of Cole's
Hill it lies, under a granite canopy, and as
nearly as possible in its proper place. For
the rock has been a traveller, and for a time
2o8 The Pilsnm Shore.
it rested in Town Square, from the breaking
out of the Revolution till 1834, when one
Fourth of July it was carried in triumphal
procession to the lot in front of Pilgrim Hall,
where it rested for forty-six years. In those
days, it used to seem to the visitors that the
Pilgrims had made pretty long steps to land
on it from their shallop. Happily its stupid
and unnatural position was at last recognized
by a gentleman from Baltimore, Mr. Joseph
Henry Stickney, who, without any flourish
of trumpets, returned it to its original site.
That this is the actual spot at which the
Pilgrims landed — Mary Chilton first — is
too well attested by facts and tradition to
admit of any doubt. In those days it was
the only convenient landing-place from such
a deep and bluff-bowed boat as the Pilgrim
shallop, and the Pilgrims had had quite
enough of landing on the sands by wading
in the icy wintry waters. Then it was on the
edge of the beach that was backed by the
deserted cornfields of the natives, and, as now,
near the mouth of the sweet brook that
' * Mary Ch ilton first.''''
slipped down there from the forest-girdled
ponds inland. To-day its surroundings are
prosaic and unlovely, and I doubt that they
are always forgotten by those who step
thoughtfully on the hallowed spot.
However, let us go down the steps
" Down to the Plymouth Rock that had been to their
feet as a doorstep,"
" The corner-stone of a nation."
I have said that the Rock has been a
traveller in recent years, but it is more of
a Pilgrim than these short journeys would
warrant. Whence and when did it come
here? For it is as much a stranger on these
sandy shores as were the Pilgrims them-
selves. Let the words of Goodwin answer.
** In dim and prehistoric ages, * Fore-
fathers' Rock ' had been reft from its parent
ledge by icy Nature ; wrapped in the chill
embrace of some mighty floe or berg of
the glacial epoch, it had been slowly borne
for centuries over mountain and valley,
until, guided by the Divine Hand, it found
at last a resting place between land and
212 The Pilgrim Shore.
water where in future eons it was to become
the most noted bowlder in Christendom.
On that rockless strand it had patiently-
awaited the great day which should, though
unconsciously, make it forever famous as the
stepping stone of New England civilization."
It was on Cole's Hill that the dead who
departed in the first dreadful winter were
buried, and if one re-ascends the steps, and
turns to the left by the tiny greensward, a
flat tablet will be seen which marks the spot
where rest the bones of some of those unfor-
tunates. Over their heads the Pilgrims
planted the waving wheat, that it might, with
its grace and greenery, shield from savage
eyes the resting place of so many dead.
'* Lest they should count them and see how many
already have perished."
Other sad memories must the Forefathers
have had of Cole's Hill, for I doubt not that
it was from this vantage "ground that they
watched the Mayflower depart, — that only
bond between them and the Old World. Yet
■•-:-:',^a'/JL'.. ,.,. .. .. •
SiU of the First House.
not one of them repented their venture, even
with the recollection of the dreadful winter
fresh and sore upon them.
" O strong hearts and true ! not one went back in the
No, not one looked back, who had set his hand to
this ploughing ! "
Close to their doors were these early
graves, for near by, where Carver Street over-
hangs Leyden Street, may be seen the site of
the first common-house. A gambrel-roofed
house stands there now, and on it the Common-
wealth of Massachusetts has placed a tablet
which sets forth that here the Pilgrims built
their first common-house, and in it, on the
27th of February, 1621, they first exercised
the right of popular suffrage, '' and Miles
Standish was chosen Captain by a majority
vote." Strange that it was not a unanimous
choice ! And under its roof, too, was made
the memorable treaty with Massasoit, —
" after friendly entertainments & some gifts
given him," a peace that continued for
2i6 The Pilgrim Shore.
As one looks down into Leyden Street
from near the great elm in front of the
church, one regrets that the neighborhood of
this, the First Street of the Pilgrims, which is
in part so picturesque, should be so marred
by the necessities of modern Hfe. Among
the old-fashioned houses with quaint roofs
and massive chimneys, these wombs of hght
and power make an incongruous and unwel-
'T was along Leyden Street that the rows,
of roughly fashioned thatch-roofed houses
were huddled together under the protection
of the fort on Burial Hill. And separated
they were from the hills to the south by the
Town Brook, whose sweet waters then
tumbled, unfettered and unfouled, into an
estuary that could shelter several ships in
To-day its mouth is disfigured and ugly,
but along its banks the sloping gardens of the
old houses, sites of the ancient mere-steads,
make many a picture full of queer lines and
surprises. And along its length, almost ta
its source, its natural beauty is marred by
a succession of dams and mills whose clatter
reaches quite into the forest.
However, I was not writing about the
brook, 'twas about the Pilgrims' First Street,
of which Leyden Street was a part. On it,
near its other half, Town Square, is a drink-
2i8 The Pilgrim Shore.
ing fountain built of field stone. Over it is
" Drink here and quench your thirst.
From this spring they drank first."
It is called the Elder Brewster spring, be-
cause it is on the land allotted to him in 1621,
and where he built his house.
The Square is a busy place, the centre of
Plymouth's activity. At its head stands the
fine new church of the Pilgrimage. At first,
the Newcomers worshipped in the fort on the
hill, each man with his matchlock beside
him, while a sentry on the cannon-guarded
roof kept a sharp lookout for foes ; but in
1638, they built a meeting-house, and for a
hundred years it was sufficient to their needs.
Then another church was built, which en-
dured for a century more, when it was re-
placed by a " gothic edifice," which, in turn,
was destroyed by fire in 1892.
The present fine structure was built five
years later, and on its front it bears a tablet
which reads : —
THE CHURCH OF SCROOBY LEYDEN AND THE
GATHERED ON THIS HILLSIDE IN 162O
HAS EVER SINCE PRESERVED UNBROKEN RECORDS
AND MAINTAINED A CONTINUOUS MINISTRY
ITS FIRST COVENANT BEING STILL THE BASIS OF ITS
IN REVERENT MEMORY OF ITS PILGRIM FOUNDERS,
THIS FIFTH MEETING HOUSE ERECTED AD M. D. CCC. XCVII.
On the right hand side of Town Square,
looking toward Burial Hill, lived Governor
Bradford, and here he died in the sixty-eighth
year of his age, having lived long enough
to see the struggling colony, of which he
had so long been the guardian, firmly and
Upon his shoulders had rested more than
upon any other's the care and responsibility
of government. Thirty-one times was he
chosen governor, and many of these times
much against his will, for he believed in
rotation in office, and that every one should,
in turn, do his part. But he never shirked
a duty, and even in the years when he was
222 The Pilgrim Shore.
not chief magistrate, he bore most of the
burdens of the office, it not its honors. Only
" by importunity he gat off," as Winthrop
says, during a few years of deserved leisure,
and, to secure this respite, he once filed
eight objections to a re-election.
Yet, in the midst of his many duties, he
found time for study in those branches of
learning wherein he excelled. A good lin-
guist he was, speaking Dutch and French,
and knowing Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.
In connection with his study of this last
tongue, he touchingly says : " Though I am
grown aged, yet I have had a longing desire
to see with my own eyes something of that
most ancient language and holy tongue, in
which the law and oracles of God were written^
and in which God and the angels spake to the
holy patriarchs of old time ; and what names
were given to things from the creation."
Beside his linguistic skill, he was versed in
antiquity, history, philosophy, and theology.
But his learning was less remarkable than
his liberality in that narrow age, and most
unusual was his freedom from nearly all of
the superstition which like a nightmare op-
pressed his age and confused the keenest
The Bradford Monument.
intellects. For him, the comets had no
terror, nor had the eclipses, for witchcraft
he felt only contempt, and in his history
never alludes to it. His tolerance in relief-
2 24 The Pilgrim Shore.
ious matters, as well as his courtesy and
thoughtfulness for others, is witnessed to by
the Jesuit Father Druillette, who visited him
in Plymouth. The visit falling on Friday,
the Governor served the priest a dinner of
fish, in respect of the usages of the Church
of Rome. His most precious gift to the
world, next to the fostering care he gave the
struggling settlement, is the history that he
wrote of Plymouth colony, and which, after
being lost for many years, has since been
returned to the Commonwealth of Massa-
chusetts by the Bishop of London. Of all
the Pilgrims, he is the most eminent. He,
more than any other, sowed the seeds of that
tolerance and freedom which have become the
crowning glory of the Republic.
On Burial Hill, that had sheltered his happy
home of many years, he was buried with sad
and reverent honor by his mourning people.
There his grave has been discovered and
properly marked, and thousands of pilgrims
each year seek it out with reverence. Near
the crest of the hill it is, and on it a marble
obelisk has been erected. " Do not basely
relinquish what the Fathers with difficulty
attained " is its Latin inscription, and in
The Oldest House.
Hebrew: *' Jehovah is my lot and mine
Burial Hill, though low, is steep, and domi-
nates the country in every direction. It was
the natural place for the fort that defended
Plymouth, a fortress and church combined,
126 The Pilgrim Shore.
for in it the Forefathers met to worship God,
and on its roof they mounted six cannon.
The site of the fort is marked, as well as the
corners of the watch tower which was after-
wards put up on nearly the same place.
On the Hill it is beheved that the Pilgrims
buried their dead from the earhest time, ex-
cepting those who died during the first
winter. But the gloom of a graveyard does
not hang over it, for its situation is so pleasant
and so accessible that it is used as a park,
and in fact few pleasanter resting-places can
be found anywhere. The view it commands
of the harbor and the town itself is charm-
ing, and a cheeriness is given to it by the
many visitors. With a guide-book, it is easy
enough to find all the interesting things, and
there are always guides who are ready to
help one for a small fee.
I have spoken of these, the well known
" sights" of Plymouth, because it is next to
impossible not to ; but if the visitor confines
himself to them he will miss much that is
interesting. A walk through the older parts
" /4 Paradise to Etchers."
of the town is quite worth while, for al-
though Plymouth is not so extraordinarily
built as is Marblehead, and holds not so
many fine old houses as does Salem, still it
has a picturesqueness and charm far from
commonplace, and is in its unexpectedness
quite fresh and original.
In the older parts of the town the ancient
houses are set on the very edge of the sidewalk,
just as they are in the Old World. Doubtless
this custom was brought from England by
our ancestors. A few of these old houses
are parallel to the streets, either lengthwise
or endwise, but the most of them have no
■ regard for street lines, even if they are not
set quite eater-cornered. Each one seems to
have been placed according to the particular
needs of the house and the lot, and were
adapted, as were the streets themselves, to
*' the lay of the land." Thus the town's ways
go twisting in and out or up and down, as
occasion demands, along a serrated line of
All the old houses, of which there are a
The Pilgrim Shore.
number, have been much
altered, and everywhere
an extraordinary accre-
tive style of building has
been developed. A par-
adise it is to etchers and
sketchers, for it abounds in
*' bits " quaint and unusual.
The picturesque old town it-
self is finely set, for down to its
doors almost come the light
forests that spring from the thin
soil. A country of little hills it
is, with a dry scant loam like
Cape Cod ; woods of oak and
birch and pine are interspersed
with fields of moss, and scant
grass, embossed here and there
by clumps of bayberry, sweet
fern, blueberry, and wild rose.
And everywhere gleam the shal-
low Cape ponds, hundreds of
them, like sapphires in emerald
settings. Powdered are they with
'"'■Just as the Pilgrims found ity
white lilies, and hedged by broad bands of
blue flags, green rushes, the purple pickerel
weed, and nodding pink sabbatia.
Here in early spring under the pines, the
Mayflower blooms, just as the Pilgrims found
it so long ago, and gave it, so 'tis said, the
name of Mayflower, in loving remembrance
of the good ship which had brought them
safe across the seas, and had been for so long
a time their only home.
Through these woods a few of the wild
deer still roam and breed. Plenty there
were in the old days, and a great help they
were to the colonists. The wolves, against
which the early comers had to protect them-
selves, have long since been extinct.
Probably the country itself looks about as
it did at the time of its settlement, for the
Cape was never heavily wooded like the
North Shore, and the annalists speak of much
open and fine champaign country.
And if the landscape has changed but
little, is it not also true that the lofty spirit
of the Pilgrim Fathers still lives unchanged
The Pilerim Shore.
in their descendants all over our broad land?
For has He not multiplied their seed " as the
stars of the heaven ; and as sand which is
on the seashore" ? Surely. So from every
part of this great nation their children come
to do homage to the memory of those illus-
trious men who, self-exiled for conscience'
sake, crossed the wild seas to an unknown
wilderness, and founded a nation on the sure
foundations of Justice, Charity, Liberty, and
In uniform style exquisitely illustrated
THREE HEROINES of NEW
I. PRISCILLA, by Harriet Prescott Spofford
II. AGNES SURRIAQE, by Alice Brown
III. MARTHA HILTON, by Louise Imogen Guiney
With notes on the towns in which they lived, and eighty-
seven illustrations, including numerous full-page pictures
By EDMUND H. GARRETT.
12nio. Cloth, gilt top, $2.00
Full morocco, giltedges, $4.50
A charming volume, dealing with the courtship and marriage
of three famous beauties of old colonial times.
Mr. Garrett's notes describe and illustrate the famous old
towns of Plymouth, Marblehead, and Portsmouth.
The old stories are told again with renewed sweetness by the
pens of three New England women of to-day. — Nenv England
Gracefully written and felicitously illustrated. — 'The Literary
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symmetrical and harmonious book-making we have seen. —
The romantic stories of these three beautiful women are placed
in a book bound in artistic manner — in delicate gray, pale
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a wonder to plainly nurtured Priscilla, whose sole books were
doubtless her leather-bound Bible and her ill-printed, parch-
ment-covered psalm-book. Even the luxury-loving Lady
Wentworth knew naught of such daintiness. — Alice Morse
Earle, in the Book Buyer.
ROMANCE AND REALITY
OF THE PURITAN COAST
With Many Little Picturings, Authentic or Fanciful. By
EDMUND H. GARRETT. Author of "The Pilgrim
12mo. gioth, gilt top, $2.00
Full morocco, gilt edges, $4.50
I From " Romance and Reality of the Puritan Coast "]
This volume, a companion to "The Pilgrim Shore," de-
scribes the Massachusetts coast as far as Cape Ann, includ-
ing Lynn, Swampscott, Nahant, Beverly, Marblehead,
Manchester-by-the-Sea, Gloucester, Magnolia, etc. The
illustrations number nearly one hundred full-page plates
and vignettes from pen-and-ink drawings by the author.
He has enabled his readers in one brief evening to see all the
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