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Full text of "Police records and recollections, or, Boston by daylight and gaslight : for two hundred and forty years"

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" 'Tie Btrange but true — for truth is always strange, stranger than fiction." 

— Btcbok. 

B O S T O IST : 


23, 25 AKu 27 BoYLSTON Street. 






K 1935 L 

Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by 


In the office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington, 


POLICE 7_106; 














CHOLERA IN 1854 2C3 










































The Author of this volume has boon in the sen'ice of the 
Government of Boston as a Police Officer a large number of 
years, and has ver}- good reasons for feeling a deep inter- 
est in the histoiy and welfare of his adopted city. Under 
this influence, and with opportunities oflered through the 
courtesy of numerous friends, the writer has devoted much 
of his leisure time for some years past, in collecting mate- 
rial for a Chronological History of the Town and City of 
Boston ; and although the collection is yet incomplete, it 
would now fill a large volume. 

From these records have been borrowed the materials 
that compose the " Chronological History of the Boston 
Watch and Police." The work has been prepared with 
no little labor and care, and it is hoped will prove of interest 
and value. 

The duties of the Police Officer afford peculiar opportu- 
nities for the study of human nature ; and the views of city 
life, by him witnessed, present a wide field not only for the 
pen of the novelist or critic, but also for the hand of the 
philanthropist and Christian. 

The writer has not been an idle observer in his police 
life ; and during his long term of service, no day has passed 
that he has not made a note of some passing event. Many 
of these notes are of no value except perhaps, now and 
then, as matters of reference. Others, consisting mostly of 
incidents and casualties, may be of more or less interest, 
and many reflect little credit on those most intimately con- 


cerned. Of this last class, few will ever meet the public 
eye. For although 

" Vice is a monster of so frightful mien, 
As to be hated, needs but to be seen ; 
Yet seen too oft, familiar with her face, 
We first endure, — then pity, — then embrace." 

And again, there is neither profit nor honor, in exposing 
the secrets and follies of others, for the purpose only of 
holding them up for contempt and ridicule ; but if any one 
should here recognize his own identity in an unenviable 
position, let him improve upon the past, and fear nothing 
from me unless the case demands a judicial investigation. 

From this volume of memoranda the Author has selected 
such as are believed to be unobjectionable and of interest ; 
and, at the earnest solicitation of friends, he now offers to 
the public " A Chronological History of the Boston 
Watch and Police," together with his own " Police 

In his work, the writer has made no attempt to draw 
upon the imagination, believing that truth is not only 
stranger, but more profitable i\xim fiction. Neither does he 
claim for himself any of the detective tact of a Hayes or a 
Reed, nor for his " Recollections " the historical romance 
in the career of a Vidocq or a Jonathan Wild. They are 
only the observations of a plain man, told in a plain way, 
and are but every-day transactions in city life. 

The Author hopes to be forgiven for the many errors not 

only in his book, but in his life ; and if he is permitted to 

reap the assurance that in the one he has done his duty, 

and in the other he has been successful in an attempt to 

please and instruct, his highest aim will be accomplished, 

and his fondest hopes realized. 

E. n. Savage. 





A WELL-REGULATED PolicG is the stroiig right arm 
of all local civil governments ; its presence is ever 
♦a guarantee of peace and the supremacy of law, 
and a safeguard to life and property. 

In reviewing the history of the " Boston "Watch 
and Police " since its first orgatiization, covering a 
period of two hundred and forty-two years, the 
limits of this work will allow but a brief outline. 
In fact, its character and duties can only be gath- 
ered from the customs, opinions, and tastes of the 
people, — the nature of transpking events, and the 
peculiar condition of things. As we pass along, 
" catching the manners li\ing as they rise," an 
attempt will be made to give a " bird's-eye view " 
of the character of the times, the Internal or Police 
Regulations of the town, with here and there an 
inkling of the civil and criminal Jimsprudence. 

The peninsula now called Boston, was probably 
first visited by Englishmen in the year 1621. A 


colony of Englisli emigrants had commenced a set- 
tlement at Plymouth in 1620, and on the eigh- 
teenth day of September, the year following, ten 
Englishmen of the colony, accompanied by three 
Plymouth Indians as guides and interpreters, set 
sail in a " Shallop, to visit The Massachusetts^ for the 
purpose of exploring the country and trading with 
the natives." 

The party arrived " at the head of the Bay " the 
same evening, and early next morning they 
" landed under the clilF," supposed to be on the 
beach at the foot of Copp's Hill. 

On landing, they found a pot of lobsters that 
had been left unguarded by the unsuspecting na- 
tives, which they without ceremony appropriated 
to their own use (the Harbor Police had not been 
established then ) ; after which they started over 
the hill in search of the inhabitants. 

They had not proceeded far, however, when 
they met an Indian woman going for her property, 
little dreaming it had been so unceremoniously 
confiscated by her civilized visitors. The party 
seeing that their mistake was about to be de- 
tected, concluded to " fork over a sum of hush 
money, (the Record says, " they contented the 
woman for them,") and the matter was settled with 
out an expose. 

The party, finally, had an interview with the 
Sachem, and formed a treaty. It was said that 


" He submits to the King of Englund, on our 
promising to be a safeguard against his enemies." 
The agreement was undoubtedly kept by one party 
about as well as by the other, as it docs not appear 
that the visit was repeated or returned for years 

In the summer of 1630, the ship ArbcUa, with 
several other emigrant vessels, having on board 
Governor John Winthrop and party, who were 
called the " Massachusetts Company," arrived at 
Salem and Charlesto\\Ti, and commenced perma- 
nent settlements there. 

At this time the peninsula, which by the Indians 
was called " Shawmut," but by the English " Tri- 
mountain," (because, from Charlestow^n, " the west- 
erly part had the appearance of three contiguous 
hills,") was inhabited by only one white man, a 
^Ii*. William Blaxton (or Blackstone), who lived 
at the westerly part, near where is now Louisburg 
Square. How long he had lived here, no one 
seems to know; he was not here in 1621, when 
the Plymouth party paid their first visit ; but it 
was said he had a house and garden, which indi- 
cated an age of seven or eight years. 

Trimountain was then described as being very 
uneven, abounding in hills, hollows, and swamps, 
and was covered either with wood, or blueberry 
and other wild bushes, and abounded in bears, 


wolves, snakes, and other beasts, birds, and reptiles 
too numerous to mention. ^ 

The location at Charlestown being low, wet, and 
short of good water, in a few weeks proved quite 
unhealthy, and Trimountain offering much better 
inducements for a settlement, at the invitation of 
Mr. Blackstone several persons went over to dwell 
on his grounds, till it was finally determined to 
make the place the seat of Government for the 
colony ; and on the seventh day of September, at 
a coui't holden at Charlestown, it was ordered that 
Trimountain be called Boston, at which time the 
settlement of Boston has since been reckoned, the 
seventh of the month old style answering to the sev- 
enteenth according to the present reckoning. The 
name was said to have been given in honor of 
several distinguished persons of the colony, who 
were emigrants from an old town called Boston in 
Lincolnshke, England. 

The Massachusetts people in their new homes 
were almost surrounded with a wild, unexplored 
wilderness, inhabited by uncivilized men, whose 
numbers and strength were unknown, some of 
whom it was said would •■' tie their prisoners to 
trees, and gnaw the flesh from their bones while 
alive." This, perhaps, had its influence in making 
Boston the seat of Government, as it was almost 
surrounded by water, and could be fortified much 
easier than any place near it. 


Although the inhabitants of Boston were at first 
quite numerous, yet not until 1(131, (April 12), 
was it ordered " by Court " that Watches be set at 
sunset, and if any person fiie off a piece after the 
watch is set, he shall be fined forty shillings, or be 
whipped." And two days after, it was said, " we 
began a Court of Guard upon the Neck, between 
Roxburie and Boston, whereupon shall always be 
resident an officer and six men." 

This was an organization of the first Boston 
Watch ; and although it partook more of the char- 
acter of a military guard than otherwise, it was 
well adapted to the wants of the people, as all 
Police arrangements should be ; and was probably 
continued, with greater or less numbers, till the 
organization of a watch by the selectmen. 

For several years after the settlement of Boston, 
" The Court," consisting of the Governor, Deputy 
Governor, Secretary, and a certain number of 
assistants, constituted the Legislative, Judicial, and 
also the Executive power, not only of Boston but 
of the whole colony ; and, judging from the num- 
ber and character of thek laws, and the frequency 
of their violations, they must have had a pretty 
busy time of it. Nor was there then, more than 
now, complete perfection in the executive, for at 
one time one of the assistants was fined five jjounds 
for whipping a culprit unlawfully, no other assist- 
ant being present. However, in time, population 


and business had so ranch increased, and the duties 
of " The Court " had become so oppressive, that it 
was deemed expedient to institute a new order of 
things, and on the first day of September, IGSi, a 
Town Government was organized for Boston, by 
choosing nine " Townes Occasions " (Selectmen), 
and various other officers, for superintending the 
local aff"airs of the town, the name of William 
Chesebrough first appearing on the records as 

From the fii'st, the people had plenty of " Court," 
yet a grand jury was not organized till September 
1, 1635, and that was none too soon, for at its first 
setting it was said they found " over one hundred 
presentments, and among them were some of the Mag- 

Although a Watch had been established as early 
as 1631, it does not appear that the authorities of 
the town assumed the prerogatives of its appoint- 
ment and control till the twenty-seventh day of 
February, 1636, when, at a Town Meeting, " upon 
pryvate warning, it was agreed y* there shalbe a 
watch taken up and gone around with from the 
first of the second month next for y^ summertime 
from sunne sett an houre after y^ beating of y^ 
drumbe, upon penaltie for every one wanting 
therein twelve pence every night." 

The organization of a Town Watch here estab- 
lished, under various names and hundreds of dif- 


ferent modifications (with perhaps the exception 
of a brief period during the Revolution), has ex- 
isted to the present time. The duties of tlie Watch, 
as appears by the order, were to be performed in 
turn by the mhabitants ; they were not " citizen 
soldiers," but citizen Watchmen, and having an in- 
terest in their work, no doubt did it well. What 
their duties were is not laid down in the record, 
and can only be inferred from the condition of 
things at the time. 

The dwellings of the inhabitants had mostly 
been thro^vn up in a hurry, with such material as 
was at hand, and were built of wood or mud walls, 
thatched roof and stick chimneys, plastered with 
clay ; this left them particularly exposed to fire, 
and a fire in those days was a calamity indeed. 
There were numerous straggling Indians, who paid 
their nocturnal visits from the wilderness, and they 
were not over scrupulous in relation to etiquette 
or the ownership of property. There were also 
among the inhabitants (if we believe the report), a 
set of knaves, thieves, and burglars, of their o^^^l 
" kith and kin." Wolves and bears were also nu- 
merous, and came into Boston even, and carried 
off young kids and lambs. Nor was this all ; tnas- 
ters were sorely annoyed by the frequent desertions 
of their slaves ; for Boston men had slaves, and not 
only black slaves, but white ones. (At one time a 
ship-load of one hundi-ed and fifty Scotch em- 



igrants were sold in Boston to pay their passage ;) 
and these, especially, were prone to take French 
leave of their masters the fii'st opportunity, prefer- 
ring a wild life and a wigwam with liberty, to civ- 
ilization and bondage. 

These and attending circumstances would plainly 
indicate what might be the nature of the duties 
required of the Town Watch at that time. 

1637. This year Rev. John Wheelwright was 
banished from Boston for entertaining heretical 
opinions, and the year following Dorothy Talbe, a 
poor insane woman, who killed her child to save it 
from being miserable hereafter, was hanged. It 
was believed that the devil prompted her to do it, 
and hanging her would punish him. It was said 
that Mr. Peters and IVIr. Wilson, the ministers, 
went with her to the place of execution, but they 
" could do her no good." 

1639. Edward Palmer was employed to build 
the stocks (a place in which to set criminals for 
punishment) ; when completed, he presented his 
bill of £1. 135. Id. This was thought to be exor- 
bitant, and poor Palmer got placed in his own 
machine, and fined five pounds. The next year 
Hugh Bewett was banished, " for maintaining that 
he was free from original sin." 

1645. The inhabitants were not allowed to en- 
tertain strangers, for fear they might become pau- 
pers, and a law was passed forbidding any person 


to swear an oath ; " and if an Indian powwow, he 
shall pay 106\ and stop powwowing." No house 
shall be sold without liberty from the Selectmen. 

lG-18. Margaret Jones was hung for witch- 
craft. " A little child was seen to run from her, 
and when followed by an officer, it vanished." This 
sealed her fate. Ilcr husband, Thomas, attempted 
to escape on a vessel for Barbadocs, but the ship 
being in light ballast, and having on board eighty 
horses, *' fell a rolling." An officer was sent for, 
and when he came, one said, " you can tame men, 
can't you tame the ship 1 " Said the officer, draw- 
ing a warrant, " I have here what will tame her," 
and arrested Jones. " At that instant she began 
to stop, and stayed, and when Jones was put in 
prison moved no more." 

1650. The court passed a law forbidding the 
wearing of " great boots," and other extravagant 
articles of dress, unless the wearer was worth two 
hundi-ed pounds. — Oliver Holmes was whipped for 
being a Baptist. Some persons who shook hands 
with him after the whipping, were fined, and 
others whipped. 

1652. Fires began to do much damage, and 
ladders and swabs were to be prepared by the in- 
habitants to extinguish them, and " Bell Men shall 
goe aboute y® town in y® night, from ten to five 
o'clock in y® mominge." 

1655. The people were very poor, and money 


scarce, taxes were paid in rye, peas, and corn, and no 
man was allowed to carry more than twenty shil- 
lings out of town. 

1657. " Christopher Holder and John Cope- 
land, Quakers, were whipped through town with 
knotted cords, with aU the strength the hangman 
could command. The prisoners were gagged with 
a stick in the mouth, to prevent their outcries." 
Horred Gardner, a Quakeress with a child at her 
breast, was brutally whipped ; and when liberated, 
knelt down and prayed for her persecutors." The 
year following, the penalty of death was added to 
the law against Quakers. 

1659. William Robinson and Marmaduke Ste- 
phenson, men of irreproachable character, were 
hanged to the limb of a tree on the Common, as 
Antinomians and heretics. When dead, they were 
rudely cut down by the hangman, Robinson falling 
so as to break his skull. Their friends were not 
allowed their bodies, but they were stripped, and 
cast naked into a hole, without any covering of 
dirt, and were soon covered with water." " A ]\Ir. 
Nichols built a fence about the place to protect 
them." Mary Dyer was to have been hung at the 
same time, but was reprieved for a season. Peter 
Pearson, Judith Brown, and George Wilson, were 
whipped through the town to the wilderness, tied 
to a cart-tail, " the executioner having prepared a 
cruel instrument wherewith to tear their flesh." 


These were no solitary instances, but the heart 
sickens at the tliouglit, and we gladly drop the 
curtain over these scenes of cruelty and bloodshed. 

1661. " Ordered y^ y® constables begin their 
rounds from May first all night." 

1665. Sir Robert Carr, sent over by the king 
to modify the abuses of the Colonial Government, 
spent his time on Sunday at a noted tavern called 
" Noah's Ark," in Ship Street. The Governor 
issued a warrant against Sir. Robert, for violation 
of the Sunday kiw, and Richard Bennett, the Con- 
stable, was sent to make the arrest. Sir Robert 
caned the officer, and sent him away. The Gov- 
ernor then sent a summons for Sir Robert to 
appear before him, but he would not come." Ar- 
thur Mason, a spirited officer, was then sent to 
bring Carr, when some high words arose between 
the officer and Carr, and ere long poor Mason 
found himself in prison for attempting to obey his 
superior, and was eventually fined for an honest 
eff'ort to do his duty, the Governor being glad to 
find a scapegoat in the person of his subordinate, 
whereby to escape punishment himself in abusing 
the King's agent. 

1670. An Indian hung in gibbets on Boston 
Common, for the murder of Zachary Smith in 
Dedham woods. 

1672. Governor Bcllingham imprisoned George 
Heathcock for neglecting to take off his hat when 



he came to bring a letter. — " Boston had fifteen 
hundred families, and there were not twenty houses 
that had ten rooms apiece. There were no musi- 
cians by trade. A dancing school was set up, but 
it was put down." 

1676. A terrible fire destroyed all the build- 
ings between what is now K-ichmond, Hanover, 
Clark streets, and the water. Soon after this, 
cages were set up about town to put violators of 
the Sabbath in, and constables were ordered to 
" search out and arrest Quakers." Margaret 
Brewster went into the South Church, and pro- 
nounced her curse. She had her face blackened, 
and wore sackcloth. Margaret was hurried off to 
jail, and brought to court next day. She had been 
washed, and the officer could not identify her, but 
she was whipped. 

1679. A fire consumed eighty buildings, near 
the dock. A Frenchman, " who was suspected" of 
setting the fire, was sentenced to stand in the 
pillory, to have both ears cut off, pay charges of 
court, give five hundred pounds bonds with sure- 
ties, and stand committed till sentence was per- 
formed. (Query. What would have been the 
sentence if there had been proof of guilt %) 

1686. It was said the affairs of the town were 
much neglected in consequence of trouble with the 
Home Government. The charter had been taken 
away. Town officers were officers no longer, and 


the people were disfranchised, and the agents of 
the Home Government, without having an interest, 
had the control of the town. Town meetings held 
but once a year. 

1689. Governor Andros got into a quarrel with 
the people, who became exasperated, and the Gov- 
ernor, for safety, fled to the castle, and from thence 
to a man of war lying in the harbor ; but the cap- 
tain of the frigate being on shore, fell into 
the hands of the people, and would not let the 
frigate fire on the town, for fear of his own safety. 
Governor Andros was finally given up, put in jail, 
and sent home to England. 

1692. Governor Pliipps arrived in Boston wath 
a new charter. — Giles Corey was pressed to death 
for being a wizzard. — A cage and watch-house 
had been built near the market. 

1698. A Mr. Ward, who visited New England 
this year, said of Boston : " The buildings, like 
their women, are neat and handsome, and their 
streets, like the hearts of their men, are paved 
with pebbles. They have four churches, built with 
clapboards and shingles, and supplied with four 
ministers, — one a scholar, one a gentleman, one a 
dunce, and one a clown. The captain of a ship 
met his wife in the street after a long voyage, and 
kissed her, for which he was fined ten shillings. 
WTiat a happiness, thought I, do we enjoy in old 
England, where we can not only kiss our own 


wives, but other men's, without a danger of pen- 
alty." So much for Mr. Ward. 

1701. At town meeting, " Watchmen are en- 
joined to be on duty from ten o'clock till broad 
daylight." " They are to go about silently with 
watch bills, not using any bell, and no watchmen to 
smoke tobacco while walking thek rounds ; and 
when they see occasion, to call to persons to take 
care of their light." — " Those intending to build, 
must have permission of the Selectmen." — "Many 
ordinaries, beer-shops, and stands out of doors were 
licensed." — " Several persons warned out of town 
for fear they will become paupers." — " Three 
warehouses near the dock were blown up with 
powder, to stop the progress of a fire." 

1703. John Barnard built a watch-house for 
the town at North End, with a sentry-box on top 
of it ; and another near the powder-house on the 
Common. — April 24. The first newspaper in 
North America, issued by John Campbell, post- 

1707. The main street towards «the South End 
paved. Three hundred pounds appropriated to 
support the Watch. Twelve watchmen were em- 
ployed at forty shillings a month. James Thornby 
and Exercise Conant, overseers of the watch. 
AVatch rules and regulations adopted. 

1708. The various streets, over one hundred in 
number, named and recorded in the Town Book. — 


The town petitioned the legislature for an act of 
incorporation as a city. 

1709. Town officials fined for neglect of duty. 
A minister said, " The covetous office-holders are 
intent on gain ; sometimes they are contriving to re- 
move obstructions, sometimes to prevent discovery; 
sometimes in supplanting rivals, they spend many 
hours in imagining mischief upon their beds." — The 
watch increased to fifteen. They petition for leave 
to prosecute those who abuse them while on duty. 

1710. Fortification rebuilt on the Neck, com- 
posed of brick and stone, across Washington at 
Dover Street, as now named, extending to the sea 
on the east, and south to where is now Union 
Park, having a parapet on which to place a 
cannon, with gates for teams and foot passengers 
at the street. — Watch-boxes set up in various parts 
of the town. — Male and female Indians sold at 
auction as servants. 

1711. A terrible fire consumed the old town- 
house, and about one hundred buildings about it, 
including the first meeting-house. Many persons 
were killed by blowing up houses. Several sailors 
perished in the flames, in trying to save the church 
bell. One hundred and ten families were made 
homeless. — Fii-e-wards appointed. They w^ere " to 
carry a stafi" five feet long, colored red, with a bright 
brass spike at the end, six inches long, and have 
power to command all persons at fires." — Bounties 


for Indian scalps paid in Boston. — Deaths in town 
during the year; whites, 305; negroes and Indians, 

1713. George Brownell " teaches writing, ci- 
phering, dancing, treble violin, English and French 
embroidering, flourishing, plain work, and mark- 
ing." — Numerous colored people advertised for 
sale. — The half bushel of a countryman selling 
turnips at the dock, was found to be small. A 
justice ordered the measure stove to pieces, and 
the turnips given to the poor. — A Mr. Bacon, 
going with a team over the Neck one winter night, 
lost his way, and both he and the team perished 
with cold. 

1714. Two men added to the watch, and " two 
sober, discreet men to have charge thereof." — The 
watchhouse near the townhouse to be removed, 
" and set by the schoolhouse in Queen Street, and 
a cage to be added." Also ordered, that " the 
whipping-post be removed thereto." 

1715. There were four watchhouses ; one in 
Clark Square, one near the Conduit, one near the 
schoolhouse. Queen Street, and one at South End, 
with about four watchmen at each. The watch 
went on duty at nine o'clock p. m. in winter, and 
ten o'clock p. m. summer, remaining till daylight 
next morning, at forty shillings per month. There 
were two overseers. — The town was divided into 
eight wards this year, three of which were north 
of Mill Creek. 


1718. Mary rorccll, Abigail Thurston, and 
Esther Ray, were publicly whipped for being 
night-walkers, and afterward fined ten shillings 

1720. " Ordered^ That trucks shall be no more 
than eighteen feet long, tires four inches wide ; 
two horses to one team, and one ton load." 

1721. A great linen wheel-spinning exhibition 
on the Common, where " aU classes met and vied 
with each other in skill. A great concourse of 
people from town and country." 

1722. Boston contained ten thousand six hun- 
dred and seventy persons ; four thousand five 
hundi'cd and forty-nine lived north of Mill Creek. 
There were said to be one thousand brick, and 
two thousand wood houses, forty-two streets, 
thirty-six lanes, twenty-two alleys. — The watch 
reduced to twelve men; the south watch discon- 

1723. Five divisions of the watch established, 
and called the "Old North, New North, Dock 
Watch, To^vnhouse Watch, and South Watch. 
The names indicated the locality. The South 
watch were supposed to be located in a narrow, 
one-story brick house in Orange Lane, which was 
recently to be seen at NTo. 518 Washington 
Street (another story having since been added), 
and which was occupied for a watchhouse over 
one hundi-ed years." There were five watchmen 


at each house. They were ordered to " walk their 
rounds slowly and silently, and now and then stand 
still and listen." 

1725. A lad aged seventeen years, for abusing 
some smaller children, sentenced " to be whipped 
thirty-nine stripes at the cart tail, twelve at the 
gallows, thirteen at the head of Summer Street, 
thhteen below the townhouse, and be committed 
to Bridewell six months." — Hoop petticoats were 
a subject of ridicule in Franklin's newspaper. He 
advertises, " Hoop Petticoats, just published and 
sold by the printer, arraigned and condemned by 
the light of nature and law of God — price 3^." 

1726. William Fly, Samuel Cole, and Henry 
Grenville, hung for piracy. Two days before 
execution they were taken to Mr. Colman's 
church, to listen to a sermon, for which they 
cared little. Fly was hung in gibbets on an 
Island in the harbor. The wind whistling through 
his bones many months after, was a warning to 
sailors passing in and out of the harbor. 

1727. The General Court passed laws prohibit- 
ing violations of the Sabbath, such as swimming, 
unnecessary walking in the highways, in fields, or 
on the Common ; violators " to be put in jail," " set 
in the stocks," &c. 

1728. Henry Phillips and Benjamin Wood- 
bridge, two aristocratic youths, got in a quarrel at 
Royal Exchange Tavern, went to the Common, and 


fought a duel with swords. Woodbridgc was run 
through the body and killed, and Phillips made his 
escape. Shortly after, a law was made against 
duelling. The offender was to be " carried in a 
cart, with a rope about his neck, to the gallows, to 
sit thereon one hour, and be imprisoned twelve 
months ; " the person killed "to be buried with a 
stake driven through his body, and stones piled on 
his grave." — Ratable polls in Boston, about three 
thousand. — Governor Burnet quarrelled vnth the 
House of Representatives, and removed the gen- 
eral court to Salem. 

1730. Boston cast 530 votes. The following 
To^vn Officers officiate : Town Clerk, 1 ; Select- 
men, 9 ; Treasurer, 1 ; Overseers Poor, 8 ; Asses- 
sors, 7; Constables, 16; Sealers of leather, 5; 
Clerks of Market, 8 ; Measurers of boards and 
shingles, 7 ; Fence viewers, 7 ; Scavengers, 16 ; 
Hogreeves, 4 ; Watchmen, 25. It does not 
appear that the town held any centennial celebra- 
tion of its settlement, but Mr. Prince preached a 
sermon to the legislature, in which he says, " A 
flood of irreligion and profanencss has come in 
upon us, — so much terrible cursing and swearing, 
lying, slandering, and backbiting, cruel injustice, 
oppression, rioting, and drunkenness." 

1732. The town had seven fire engines, and 
eighty-seven firemen. It was said that " John and 
Thomas Hill have a newly constructed engine at 


their Distil House, drawn by a horse, that throws 
a great quantity of water twelve feet high. It is 
a great improvement, and the first of the kind." 
— The Selectmen authorized to award faithful 
watchmen, " not exceeding ten shillings a month." 

1733. At town meeting, an application was 
made to have Mathew Young appointed watchman, 
" that he and his children do not become a town 
charge." — The whipping-post that had been blown 
down was " ordered to be set up near the town 
house Watchhouse." 

1734. Three market-places established, " one 
in Orange Street, one in Dock Square, and one in 
Market Square." — A mob demolished a house of 
ill-fame, under the countenance of some well- 
meaning Magistrates." — The town voted to build 
a workhouse. — The weight of bread' was estab- 
lished, bakers to put their initials on each loaf. 

1735. Watchmen " Ordered to cry the time of 
night and state of the weather, in a moderate tone, 
as they walk their rounds after 12 o'clock, — One 
o'clock, clear, and all's well." Boston divided 
into twelve wards, names dropped, and numbers 
used instead. — Thirty shillings a winter allowed 
each watchhouse for coal. 

1736. Porters to be licensed, and to " wear a 
badge with the figure of a Pine Tree." — The 
number of watchmen reduced to sixteen, watch- 
houses four, viz : " Old North, New North, Town- 


house, and South End." — The badge of the over 
seers to be " a quarter pike ; " " one watchman to 
attend at each watchhouse door all night, to in- 
spect persons." 

1737. A workhouse built near the Granary 
and a house at Rainsford Island for persons with 
contagious diseases. — Quarantine established. 

1739. John Chambers and other gravediggers 
inform the Selectmen, that The Johnson and 
Granary burial-grounds are so full, they are ofttimes 
obliged to bury four deep. — The School Commit- 
tee reported that " there are five schools, with 595 
scholars, all satisfactory." — Dock Square Market- 
house torn doAvn by a mob. 

1740. The overseer of the watch petitioned to 
have a coal-hole door to a watchhouse repaired. 
— The watch ordered "to look out for disorderly 
Negroes and Indians." — There were fifteen 
churches in Boston. 

1741. William Shhley, Esq., an Episcopa- 
lian, was appointed Governor of the Province. — 
Fifty-five persons in the workhouse. 

1742. There were said to be in Boston, 16,382 
inhabitants, 1,200 widows, 1,719 dwelling-houses, 
116 warehouses, 1,514 negroes, 418 horses, 141 

1746. "The Justices in town agree to walk 
and observe the behavior of the people on Lord's 
day." — A law passed to prevent fii'ing guns. 


1747. A riot occurred on the wharves, by 
Commodore Knowles pressing laborers into service. 
— The Townhouse again destroyed by ike ; valu- 
able ancient books destroyed. 

1748. Able-bodied watchmen allowed seven 
pounds, ten shillings per month, but fined twenty 
shillings for getting asleep on duty. 

1749. Some Englishmen, for their own amuse- 
ment, got up theatrical exhibitions at the Royal 
Exchange. Some interlopers, endeavoring to force 
an entrance, the matter became public, and the 
Exhibition was broken up. — Written rules pre- 
pared for the government of the watch. 

1750. A Town meeting called, and a remon- 
strance formed against the duty levied on tea, 
coffee, chaises, coaches, and various other articles, 
which operated unequally and unjustly on the 

1751. The General Court authorized a lottery 
to raise $ 26,700, for supplying the Treasury. 
Hon. Mr. Watts, manager. Office at Faneuil Hall. 
Tickets, $ 3.00 each. 

1752. By an act of British Parliament, this 
year began on January 1, instead of March 25, 
as heretofore ; and all ' Deeds and Public Docu- 
ments, began to be dated to correspond. The old 
style followed the Julian method of computing the 
months and days in the calendar, as established by 
Julius Caesar, in which every fourth year consists 


of 366 days, and the other years of 3G5 days. 
This is something like 11 minutes in a year too 
much. Pope Gregory Thirteenth reformed the 
calendar by omitting 10 days in October, 1552, in 
order to bring back the Vernal Equinox to the 
same day as at the Council of Nice, A. D. 325 ; 
which reformation was followed by Parliament, as 
above stated, by which 11 days in September, 1752, 
were left out, calling the 3d the l-lth. This 
mode of reckoning is called " New Style," accord- 
ing to which, every year divisible by 4, unless it 
is divisible by 100, without being di\isible by 400, 
has 366 days, and every other year has 365 days. 

1753. A revolting spectacle in King Street. 
" A female, accused of lewdness, was exposed nearly 
naked on a scaffold near the Townhouse, for the 
space of an hoiu', facing each of the four cardinal 
points fifteen minutes, suffering the most disgust- 
ing and brutal treatment by a mob." 

1754. It was said that Benjamin Franklin 
" has greatly surprised and obliged the world, by 
the discovery of the Electrical Substance, as one 
great and main instrument in lightning and thun- 
der." — Thomas Williston appointed Captain of 
Watch. — Concert Hall built. — Elizabeth Creigh- 
ton whipped for cohabiting with a negro. 

1756. In consequence of numerous evening 
processions got up by the lower clases, and ending 
often in bloodshed, a law was passed to prevent 


such assemblages. — The Common burial-ground 
was purchased of Mr. Andrew Oliver. 

1757. Although there was a law against lot- 
teries, the Town was carrying on one, and on one 
occasion the inhabitants were notified that, " If 
they do not adventure before a given day, they 
will be excluded, as the Town had voted to take 
all unsold tickets to itself." — Another lottery was 
also got up to raise money to pave the highway. 

1760. A terrible fire near Oliver's Dock. A 
subscription of $ 28,000 was raised for the sufi"er- 
ers, who were each required to bring in a schedule 
of their loss. Mrs. Davis presented the following. 
"Lost in the fire, March 20, 1760, a velvet jacit 
and pr close Briches, 2£. 85. ^d. ; a dark alpine 
Peticote, £1. 4^. 0^/. ; seven Shetes, £1. 65. Qd. ; 
Baby linings ; one doz. Dipers, Clotes, £*1. 145. 
8^. ; one new warming Pan, £'0. IO5. Qd. ; one half 
dozen pewter Plates, £1. O5. 0^. ; one Meal Barrel, 
£0. 85. 0^. ; half dozen Chiny Tea-cups and Sar- 
sers, £0. 6.9. 0^/. ; Bosten Errus exsepted, la^vful 
Munny, £7. I65. 8^7." At this fire it was said 350 
buildings were bui'ned, and 1,000 people left with- 
out homes. 

1763. Serious difficulties arose between the 
Revenue officers and the people. — James Otis de- 
livered his " remarkable speech against the Writ^ 
of Assistance^ in the Council Chamber, old Town- 
house." It was said that '• then and there was In- 


dependence born." — The terms Mltirj and Torj/ 
begin to be used. 

1765. Captain Semmes, of the South watch, 
reported that " Negro Dick came to the watch- 
house, and reported rowdies under his window. 
Watchmen were sent, and met a gang of rowdies, 
one of which drew a sword. The watch cried 
murder and fled to the watchhouse, and the row- 
dies escaped." — Tlie Union Chib (or Sons of Lib- 
erty) formed under the great Elm, which on the 
14th of August was christened, " The Tree of Lib- 
erty." — The house of Governor Hutchinson, and 
several other government officers mobbed. 

November 5. This was the anniversary of the 
discovery of the Gunpowder Plot, in which Guy 
Fawkcs figured, in 1605. Pope's day, however, 
originated in 1558, on the accession of Queen EUz- 
abeth. At fii-st, the Pope and the Devil were the 
only pageants, but it afterwards became somewhat 
changed. These anniversaries had long been cele- 
brated in Boston, and for several years the compe- 
tition between the North and South Ends, had 
caused two celebrations. The programme on 
these occasions, was to form processions at head- 
quarters, and march through the streets, collecting 
contributions as they passed, to carry on the cele- 
bration ; and woe to them who did not contribute. 
A pageant accompanied the procession, consisting 
of figures mounted on a platform on wheels, and 


drawn by horses. These figures generally repre- 
sented three characters, — the Pope, Devil, and 
Pretender, with sometimes the addition of obnox- 
ions political characters. (The Pretender, was 
James Francis Edward, and his effigy was added 
in 1702.) 

Under the platform were placed half-grown boys, 
with rods extending up through the figures, to 
cause them to face to the right or left, and to rise 
up and look into people's windows. In front of 
the procession might be seen a fellow with a bell, 
who notified the people of their approach, and 
who would chant something like the following : — 

" Don't you remember the fifth of November, 
The Gunpowder treason and plot ? 
I see no reason why gunpowder treason should ever be 

From Eome to Rome the Pope is come, amid ten thousand 

With fiery serpents to be seen, at eyes, nose, mouth, and 

Don't you hear my little bell, go chink, chink, chink? 
Please give me a fittle money, to buy my Pope some 


The two celebrating parties in Boston, after hav- 
ing marched about town, generally met near the 
Mill Creek, where a desperate fight would ensue 
for the possession of the effigies, and bloody noses 


and broken bones were often the result. If the 
South were victorious, the trophies went to the 
Common ; if the North, Copp's Hill was the rcndez- 
Tous, where tlie pageantry was burnt. This year 
the two parties formed a union, and luiion Pope 
was celebrated till the Revolution. 

1769. In consequence of existing difficulties, 
the watch w^ere ordered " to patrol two together," 
" to arrest all negroes found out after dark without 
a lantern." It was snid soon after the order was 
given, " an old darJde was picked up prowling 
about in total darkness." Next morning, when 
asked by the magistrate if guilty, he replied " No, 
sa, I has de lantern," holding up before the aston- 
ished court, an old one, innocent of oil or candle. 
He was discharged, and the law amended, so as to 
require " a lantern with a candle." Old Tony was 
soon up again on the same complaint, and again 
entered a plea " not guilty," and again drawing 
forth the old lantern with a candle ; but the wick 
had not been discolored by a flame. The defend- 
ant was discharged with a reprimand, and the law 
was made to read, " a lantern with a lighted can- 
dle." Old Tony was not caught again, having 
been heard to remark, " Massa got too much light 
on de subjec." — Sheriff Greenleaf was ordered to 
" cause a new gallows to be erected on the Neck, 
the old one having gone to decay." 

1770. The Revenue troubles continued under 


great excitement. The ladies formed an " Anti 
tea-drinking Society." — A custom-house informer 
shot a boy in the street near Faneuil Hall. 
- — March 5. The Boston Massacre occurred in 
King Street, near Flag Alley, in which Samuel 
Gray, Crispus Attucks, and James Caldwell fell 
dead. Samuel Maverick died next day ; Patrick 
Carr died in nine days ; and others were badly in- 
jured by the discharge of firearms in the hands of 
British soldiers. The troops soon after evacuated 
the town, and went on board their ships lying in 
the harbor. 

1773. December 16. The Boston Tea Party 
emptied three hundred forty-two chests of tea into 
the sea. The article was on board three vessels, 
lying at Griffin's (Liverpool) wharf, and the work 
was done in three hours. The Tea Party were in 
Indian costume, and went from the Old South 

1774. June 1. Boston Harbor was closed as 
a port of entry, no vessel being allowed to go in or 
out, and the collection of customs was removed to 
Salem. — Eleven military regiments were quar- 
tered in town. 

1775. Every entrance into town was guarded 
by soldiers, and sentinels were posted in all the 
streets. — - Ajnil 1'^. The Beacon Pole was taken 
down, and a small square fort built in its place. — 
June 11. The battle of Bunker Hill. — General 


Howe had his head-quarters in the belfry of 
Christ's Church during the battle. The alms- 
house, manufactory house, workhouse, and many 
private houses, filled with wounded British sol- 
diers. — Jul J VI. The inhabitants of Boston held 
a to^^^l meeting at Concord. — Negroes were sum- 
moned by General Howe to meet at Faneuil Hall, 
to form a scavenger party. Oscar Merriam, a 
sharp old AVhig darkie, remonstrates, and gets put 
in Jail. — September 1. A party of British soldiers, 
headed by Job AVilliams, cut down the " Tree of 
Liberty ; " one jumped upon the trunk to strike 
ofi" a limb, and fell dead. — October 8. Governor 
Howe issued a proclamation forbidding all persons 
to leave Boston without a pass, " on penalty of 
military execution." Old South Church was oc- 
cupied by Burgoyne's Cavalry, as a riding school, 
with a liquor bar in the gallery. " The pulpit and 
pews were removed, and many loads of du't carted 
in to make the floor. The South door was closed, 
and a rail was there fixed, over which the horses 
were taught to jump. An old lady who passed that 
way every day, used to stop and expostulate with 
the soldiers in their sacrilegious work, and at one 
time told them that the good Dr. Sewall would rise 
from his grave and appear to them. Soon after, a 
superstitious Scotchman was on guard, and late at 
night got terribly frightened at something he im- 
agined he saw. He discharged his piece, set up a 
hue and crv, and fled. This raised the Governor's 


Life Guard, at the old Province House, near by 
(General Howe's head-quarters), and a general 
commotion ensued throughout the town. On being 
questioned, the guard said he saw approaching a 
venerable old man, in a great wig and gown. He 
was only pacified by being told that Dr. Sewall 
never dressed that way." 

1776. Jamiarij 11. Major Montgomery, with 
one hundred men, attacked the British outposts at 
Charlestown, and burnt some old buildings. On 
the same evening the Red Coats were entertaining 
themselves at Faneuil Hall with a play called 
" The Blockade of Boston." In the midst of the 
play, a person came forward to the footlights, and 
with great earnestness proclaimed, " The Yankees 
are taking Bunker Hill ! " " The deluded wretches 
thought this to be a part of the play, and cheered 
the speaker heartily. But soon learning that the 
speaker meant to represent a solemn reallti)^ the 
whole assembly left the house in the greatest con- 
• fusion, and scampered off in great precipitation." 
— March 4. The Continental army, assisted by a 
large body of militia, were carrying on the siege of 
Boston with great vigor, having garrisons at Cob- 
ble Hill, Lechmere Point, and Lamb's Dam at Rox- 
bury. " Shot and shell heard to make great crash- 
ing in Boston." — March 17. " General Washing- 
ton secured positions in Hoxbury and Dorchester 
to command Boston. General Howe evacuated the 
town, and retired on board ships in the Harbor, 


and General Putnam took possession of Boston 
in the name of the Thirteen United States of Amer- 
ica." During the bombardment but little damage 
was done ; one cannon ball went through the 
Lamb Tavern, another struck Brattle Street Church. 
The last was picked up by a Mr. Turell, and re- 
placed where it struck ; it was cemented in the 
west wall of the church. — July 18. " The people 
of Boston were fast returning to their homes, and 
pursuant to an order of the Honorable CouncU, 
there was read from the balcony of the Town 
House, '• The Declaration of Independence, passed 
by the American Congress on the 4th inst, absolv- 
ing the United Colonies from their allegiance to 
the British Crown." — In the evening a large num- 
ber turned out, " and every sign, with every resem- 
blance of it, whether the King's Arms, pestle, mor- 
tar and crown, heart and crown, and every sign 
that belonged to a Tory were taken down and burnt 
in King Street." — September 19. Beacon Pole 
again raised on Beacon Hill. — Several persons tried 
and sent out of the States as Tories. 

1777. September 1. King Street to be called 
State Street, and Queen Street, Court Street. 
" Several persons who had audaciously made them- 
selves obnoxious by renouncing their trades and 
commenced dealing in monopolies," were seized and 
conveyed out of Town in a cart, and passed from 
to^Ti to town till they reached the British Camp 



at Rhode Island. — Several persons were imprisoned 
for exchanging Continental money for gold at a 
great discount. 

1779. May 1. " The great and General Court 
passed an Act confiscating the Estates of the ene- 
mies of Liberty for the benefit of the Government." 
" A convention of delegates from several towns met 
to regulate the price of goods, and take measures 
relative to trade and the currency." — Juli/ 21. At 
a town meeting at Faneuil Hall, the following list 
uf prices were established : — 

Windward Rum, per gallon 

New England Rum, per gallon 

Molasses, " 

Coffee, per pound 

Brown Sugar, per pound 

Bohea Tea, " 

Salt, per bushel 

Indian Corn, per bushel 

Rye, " 

Wheat, " 

Beef, per pound . 

Mutton, " 

Butter, «' 

Cheese, " . 

Milk, per quart 

Hay, per cwt. 

Labor, per day (find themselves) 

Cloth for one pair leather Breeches 

W. I. Rum Toddy, per mug 

N. E. Rum Toddy, per mug 









The schedule begins with rum, and ends with 
toddy. A long list of resolutions were passed, the 
di"ift of which indicate, " that any person taking 
more or less than the prices fixed, or who shall 
refuse Continental money, shall be published in the 
papers, considered enemies, and treated as such ; " 
and a committee was appointed to carry the resolu- 
tion into practice. 

1780. Matj 19. Darkness prevailed at noon- 
day throughout New England, said to be caused by 
smoke from great fires in the woods in Maine and 
New Hampshire. Many people greatly frightened. 
A Mr. Willard went on to Boston Common to make 
observations ; while there, a crowd collected, and 
presently a man came up in breathless haste, 
saying, " The tide has ceased to flow." " So it has 
for to-day," said Mr. W. pulling out his watch, 
" V isjjast twelve o'clock! " — Thomas Gibbs and Eben 
Burbank sat on the gallows, for one hour, for 
counterfeiting Continental currency. — One hundred 
dollars in silver will buy four thousand in Conti- 
nental bills. — October 25. Massachusetts has had 
no governor for about four years. John Hancock 
chosen Governor, and so " proclaimed from the bal- 
cony of the old Town House, amid the ringing of 
bells, filing of cannon, and great joy." 

1781. It was said that " Boston begins to revive 
under the supervision of the Sons of Liberty." 
— Noveniber 14. Great display and rejoicing in 


Boston on account of the surrender of Cornwallis 
at Yorktown, 19tli of October. — Hucksters not al- 
lowed to purchase provisions brought into Town 
before one o'clock, if they intend to sell them 

1783. The inhabitants notified to bring in their 
dirt to fill up the Town Dock. — Mr. Robert 
Hughes, the Boston Butcher, gave notice to drovers 
that he can " dress two hundred hogs or fifty beef 
cattle in a day, which he does for the ofi'al," 

1784. Mr. Joseph Otis, the jailer, solicited aid 
" for numerous poor debtors confined in Boston 
jail, who are sufi"ering with hunger and from the 
inclemency of the weather." 

The judges of the Superior Court " appeared in 
scarlet robes, and the barristers in gowns." — An 
eff'ort made to make Boston a city, but the measure 
was voted down in Town Meeting. — A third row of 
trees set out near the Mall on . the Common. — 
Numerous persons whipped at the Post, in State 
Street, for various ofi'ences. 

1785. 3Iai/ 5. William Scott and Thomas Archi- 
bald hung on the Common for burglary. — Jidj/ 4. 
It was said that " vast multitudes this day declared 
themselves independent. The Mall on the Common 
is filled with temporary dram-shops, and cake and 
ale and punch undergo a rapid annihilation. The 
whole rag-tag and bob-tail gentry, from the Birds 
of Paradise to Barefoot Molly, are in their glory 


and meet on a common level. Independence is the 
word, and the sequel will show many independent of 
common sensed — A code of Town Laws published, 
among which were the following, viz: " to prevent 
damage by brick kilns ; " " to provide town bulls ; " 
'' to prevent tan-pits being left open ; " " to prevent 
gaming in streets ; " " to prevent throwing snow- 
balls ; " " to provide for sweeping streets," &c. &c. 
— The court passed a law that " all idle persons 
who do not properly do their stint, shall be moder- 
ately whipped." Convicts began to be sent to the 
castle, to serve theii' sentence. — April 17. Captain 
John Ballard, William Billings, Christopher Clarke, 
and Mr. Webb, appointed Inspectors of Police. — 
The Selectmen employed four teams to remove dirt 
from the streets. Mr. Gardner appointed to try all 
Town law violations. — June 11. Charles River 
Bridge completed, and a procession of twenty 
thousand persons passed over it. Great demon- 
strations of joy in town. 

1787. At the session of the Supreme Judicial 
Coui't, September 9, the following sentences passed : 
" One burglar to be hung ; five female thieves to be 
whipped ; four male thieves whipped ; two big 
thieves to sit on the gallows ; one counterfeiter to 
stand in the pillory, and have right ear cut off." — 
November 22. John Shean hung on the Common 
for burglary in the house of Mr. Eliot. — Deceinber 
10. The To^vn purchased two and a third acres of 



land of William Foster, at southeast corner of the 
Common, in exchange for stores on a wharf. — 
Merchants began to number their stores in business 

1788. May 8. Archibald Taylor and Joseph 
Taylor hung on Boston Neck, for robbing Mr. Cun- 
ningham, near the place of execution. — July 4. A 
great torchlight procession in the evening. 

1789. Januari/ 8. An Englishman gave gym- 
nastic entertainments at the George Tavern, — a 
great novelty. — April 1. John Norman published 
the first Boston Directory, containing 1,425 names. 
— At State election, Boston cast 1,934 votes. — 
August 7. Several burglaries having been com- 
mitted, it was said, " It is high time the watchmen 
were overhauled ; they have been asleep since New 
Year's. The Captains are generally men in their 
prime, aged from ninety to one hundred years, and 
the crew only average about fourscore, and so we 
have the advantage of their age and experience, 
at least the rohhers do." — October 8. William Dan- 
nesse, William Smith, and llachel Wall hung on 
Boston Common for highway robbery. — October 
24. General George Washington visited Boston. 
A great day in town. — December 2. A dramatic 
exhibition in Boston. To avoid the law and obtain 
license, it was called " School of Moral Lectures.' 

December 14. The highway from Roxbury to 
Elliot's Corner named W^ashington Street. Gen- 


eral Washington came over it when he entered the 
Town on his visit. 

1790. September 1. Boston contained 18,038 
persons, and 2,376 buildings. — September 16. 
Fourteen persons whipped in State Street for crime. 
— October 14. Edward Vail Brown (white), and 
John Bailey (colored), hung on Boston Common, 
for burglary. 

1793. January 1. Colonel Josiah Waters, the 
newly appointed Inspector of Police, gave notice 
that he " enters upon the duties of his office with 
much diffidence, and he asks the assistance of the 
citizens in executing the by-laws. He calls the 
attention of the inhabitants to the bad condition of 
wells and pumps ; recommends increase of fire- 
buckets, ladders, fii-e-bags," &c. He gave direc- 
tions in relation to the management of teams, and 
says that " the present internal arrangement of the 
Town is very bad." — January 24. A civic feast 
was held in Boston, to commemorate the success 
of the French in their struggle for civil liberty. 
" The dawn was welcomed by a salute from the 
Castle, Citizen Bradley's Artillery, and by citizens 
in Liberty Square. At eleven o'clock an ox, weigh- 
ing 1,000 pounds, devoted as an offering, having 
been roasted whole the previous night, was pre- 
pared for exhibition, and a procession was formed, 
moving in the following order : — 


" Citizens on horseback, with civic flags. 
" Citizen Waters, Marshal. 
" Committee of nine, flanked with peace officers 
" Music, full band, drums, and fifes. 
" Citizens, eight and eight. 
" Twelve citizens in white frocks, with cleavers, 
knives, and steels. 
" The Ox, 
" Elevated twenty feet on a car, drawn by fifteen 
horses, ornamented with ribbons. The horns of 
the ox were gilded, and on the right horn hung the 
French flag, and on the left the American. For- 
ward, on a board at the end of the spit, in large 
gold letters, was the inscription — 

"Peace Offering to Liberty and Equality, 

" Citizens, eight deep. 

" Eight hundred loaves of bread, drawn by six 


" A hogshead of punch, drawn by six horses. 

" Eight hundred loaves of bread, drawn by six 

" A second hogshead of punch, drawn by six horses ; 
which closed the procession. 
" The procession moved from the foot of Middle 
Street through various streets to the Common, and 
from thence to State Street, by which time the 
punch had disappeared, and there the ox was carved, 
and disposed of with much good will." Another 
account says : " When the procession arrived at State 


Street, the j)unch /tad done its tuork ; but few could 
get a slice of the ox, and he who did, used it to 
grease his neighbor s face, and the scene that followed 
beggared description." At the close of the cere- 
monies in State Street, the horns of the ox were 
laid at the foot of the liberty pole in Liberty Square, 
and afterwards placed on the top of a flag-staff 
raised there. A few months after, news came that 
Louis XVI. was beheaded three days before the 
celebration, and the head and horns of the roasted 
ox were draped in mourning. 

1794. Fehruarg 3. Mr. Powell, opened the 
Boston Theatre in Federal Street. — Julg 30. A 
terrible fire in Green Lane (Atkinson Street). 
Seven ropewalks and forty-five dwellings burnt. — 
Three pirates, named Collins, Poleski, and Fertidi, 
hung on Boston Common. 

1795. June I. A new Amphitheatre established 
near the foot of the Mall. — Julg 4. Corner-stone 
of new State House laid. — September 14. Mr. 
Bowen raised the frame of the Columbian Museum 
at the head of the Mall. — November 9. The 
grounds of the Almshouse, Workhouse, and Gran- 
ary, sold at auction. 

1796. 3Iag 14. The Legislature passed a code 
of laws relating to Watch and Wards of Towns, 
under which the Boston Watch was soon after re- 
organized. — Under the new regulations, the Se- 
lectmen, or the Constable, were to charge the watch. 


" to see that all disorders and disturbances are sup- 
pressed, to examine all persons walking abroad after 
ten o'clock at night, who they have reason to sus- 
pect, to enter houses of ill-fame, to suppress 
disturbances, and to arrest all violators of law or 
disturbers of the peace. Watchmen are to walk 
their rounds once an hour, to prevent damage by 
fire and to preserve order." Constables, to super- 
intend the watch were to be appointed for each 
house, and the Selectmen were the appointing and 
supervising power. Under the new organization, 
there were five Watchhouses : One on Ship near 
Lewis Street, one at Town Dock, one at Town 
House, one on Orange, near Eliot Street, and 
one near where the Revere House now stands, with 
one constable and about six watchmen at each 
house, at a salary of sixty cents per night for the 
constable, and fifty for the watchman, while on 
duty. The Watch went out at nine o'clock even- 
ings in winter, and ten o'clock in summer, remaining 
on duty till sunrise, one half going out alternately 
every other night, carrying with them their badges 
of office, a hook with a bill, and the rattle, an 
appendage added this year. — December 26. Hay- 
market Theatre opened, on Tremont, near West 

1797. February 3. A terrible fire burnt the 
ropewalks at West Boston. — April 6. John 
Stewart, hung on the Common, for robbing the 


house of Capt;dn llust, iu Piince Street. His 
plunder was taken, at several times, and hid in a 
tomb on Copp's Hill, where he was traced and de- 
tected one stormy night. — October 12. Stephen 
Smith, a colored man, hung on the Common for 
burglary. lie confessed setting fii'e to several 
houses to get plunder. His body was given to 
physicians for dissection. — October 21. The Frigate 
Constitution launched from Hart's wharf. 

1798. Januarj 11. The Legislature met at the 
old Town House for the last time. A procession 
was formed, and possession taken of the new State 
House. — April 2. Boston cast 1,774 votes for 
Governor. A bitter feeling between parties called 
the Federal and Republican. The FederaUsts 
adopt the wearing of what was called " The Amer- 
ican Cockade," a rosette of black ribbon with a 
white button in the centre. — September 15. Sol- 
omon Monroe, selling Jamaica Pond aqueduct 
water, near the fish market, for thirty cents a hogs- 
head, eight cents a barrel, and one cent a pail full. 

1799. December 24. " News received at Boston 
that General George Washington, the Father of 
his Country, died at his residence at Mount Ver- 
non, on the 14th instant, age 67 : minute guns 
were fired, bells tolled throughout the day, and 
the Town was draped in mourning." 

1800. The Town officers for the year were : Se- 
lectmen, 9; Board of Health, 12; Overseers Poor, 


12; Fire Wards, 20; Assessors, 5; Treasurer, 1; 
Clerk, 1 ; Town Advocate, 1 ; Municipal Judge, 
1 ; Inspector Police, 1 ; Constables, 12 ; Consta- 
bles of the Watch, 4 ; Watchmen, 20 ; Collectors 
of Taxes, 5 ; Fence-viewers, 3 ; Hogreeves, 3 ; 
Hay Wards, 4 ; Hemp Surveyors, 2 ; Wheat Sur- 
veyors, 2 ; Assay Masters, 2 ; Cullers of Fish, 3 ; 
Inspector Lime, 1 ; Cullers of Staves, 4 ; Survey- 
ors of Boards, 11; Sealers of Leather, 3. — The 
watchhouses have been reduced to four, — one on 
Ship Street, one near the Market, one in Orange 
Street, one near the State House. — " Complaints 
for all violation of by-laws, to be made to the 
Inspector of Police, who is at his office from 
twelve to one o'clock each day." — The Board of 
Health have the supervision of all sanitary ar- 
rangements in town. — July 4. It was said, " The 
day was solemnized with acts of devotion to Al- 
mighty God, with pomps, shows, games, sports, 
guns, bells, flags, bonfires, and illuminations ; and 
in the evening fireworks were given by Captain 
Gardner's company, at the Gunhouse on Copp's 
Hill." Population of the Town, 24,937. Eatable 
polls, 4,103. Votes cast at State Election, 2,149. 

1801. March 12. Charles Bulfinch, Esq., 
chosen Chairman of the Board of Selectmen, and 
soon after Inspector of Police. — Constables and 
watchmen ordered to " Report all violations of the 
By-laws." — Subscriptions raised for town improve- 
ments. A brick front built to the watchhouse in 


Orange Street. (The narrow brick building lately 
standing at No. 518 Washington Street.) 

1802. January 23. The market-house robbed. 
The next day a newspaper paragraph said, " It is 
remarkable that the broken door of the market- 
house, is just forty feet from the watchhouse." — 
March 8. Town meeting ; a pickpocket caught in 
the act, beat almost to death and then sent to jail. 
— May 18. A foe broke out at midday. It was 
said, " The alarm was communicated rapidly by 
the watchmen stationed on Beacon Hill." — A new 
almshouse built in Leverett, near Spring Street. 
On the front was the figure of a female with a 
child in her arms. " In one part was a work- 
house, where constables commit vagabonds by 
orders from Overseers of the Poor." December 13 
Middlesex canal opened for transportation. 

1803. March 15. Robert Pierpont and Abiel 
R. Story con\'icted of destroying the brig Hannah 
to defraud the underwriters. They were sen- 
tenced to stand in the pillory two hours, and to 
serve two years in State Prison. The case was 
one of great interest. — Lottery ticket offices, with 
a horn of plenty for a sign, were 'plenty in State 
Street. Boarding-house keepers, tavern keepers, 
and carriage drivers, requii-ed to report the arrival 
of all strangers to the Selectmen, for fear of a ma- 
lignant contagion prevailing in New York. 

1804:. Ap-il 9. Town meeting. It had beei 


the custom to decide questions by liand vote. To- 
day an attempt was made to divide the house on a 
question, the yeas being requested to go out of the 
house first, which they refused to do ; the nays were 
then requested, but they refused also, and a most 
ludicrous scene occurred. — The nays had it. — 
June 23. An underground arch was discovered 
near the head of Lewis's Wharf, fifty feet long, 
twenty wide, and six high, the mason-work being 
perfect, with an iron gate at each end. All 
above was a garden, where trees were standing, 
over a foot through. It was probably an old wine- 
cellar. It was said that Lord Percy hid in one near 
Brattle Square, during the bombardment by Wash- 
ington, in 1776. — August 1. Great funeral pro- 
cession on the death of Alexander Hamilton, killed 
in a duel by Aaron Burr. The Selectmen declined 
to ring the bells or to detail constables, lest they 
implicate the Town, — ^^hut the constaUes may go 
if they choose." — October 10. A terrible gale 
blew down the steeple of Christ Church, and 
carried away the tower on King's Chapel. 

1805. It was said, " The Mill Pond is a nuisance, 
full of putrid fish and dead dogs and cats." The 
Selectmen petitioned to fill it up. — At the April 
term of the Supreme Judicial Court, one John 
Nichols, who was convicted of counterfeiting, was 
sentenced to stand in the pillory one hour. It was 
said that the sentence was executed the twenty-sixth 


of April, and it is believed that he was the last 
actor who graced the boards of this ancient relic 
of Puritanism. Nichols had letters of favorable 
notice from President Thomas Jefferson, and an 
attempt was made to turn Nichols's crime to political 
account. The pillory and whipping-post stood in 
State Street, below the Town House, nearly oppo- 
site the Merchants' Bank. It was said that both 
were removed soon after the sentence of Nichols. 
Whipping was practised sometime afterwards, and 
was executed on a platform on the Common, near 
the corner of West Street. The platform was said 
to be " put up temporarily, when occasion required." 
It consisted of a frame work, the platform reached 
by stairs, with posts raised on two sides, and a cap 
across the top like a gallows, but no drop. A pole 
stood in the middle, to which the culprit was made 
fast with ii'on shackles, and with ankles in sockets, 
and arms extended like a malefactor, his naked back 
was ready for the lash. Criminals for small offences 
were sometimes exposed on this platform without 
the lash. — June 28. The powder-house on Mount 
Vernon Street removed, but a small brick house, 
belonging to the estate, was retained for the Town 
Watch. — October 24. A jury of inquest on the 
body of a man found floating in the water, reported 
that " He came to his death by misfortune.'' 

1806. Julj/ 4. A bear, whose body had been 
shaved, and who had been taught to stand on his 


hind legs, and perform certain antics, was exhibited 
on the Common as a nondescript from the East 
Indies. The cheat being discovered, poor bruin 
attempted to escape, and got desperately hustled 
about. The scene ended in a general fight. — De- 
cember 3. Thomas Oliver Selfridge, indicted for 
manslaughter, in shooting Charles Austin. The 
men were political partisans, of opposite creeds, 
and Selfridge being of the dominant party, was 

1807. March 10. The town was divided by 
State and Court streets into two Police districts, 
each under the supervision of an officer. — Several 
persons are fined for keeping disorderly houses. — 
August 16. Joshua Ladd fined thirty dollars for 
cheating the weight of his binding-poles in a load 
of hay. — October 17. Eppes Ellery fined five dol- 
lars for refusing to pass the bucket at a fire, by 
order of a Fireward. 

1808. April 16. A soup-house established in 
Mnk Street, " where the poor can procure soup 
from twelve to one o'clock each day." — September 
3. A great horserace at Lynnfield. One Boston 
editor approved, another condemned. They got 
warm, and accused each other of patronizing cock- 
fighting. A suit for libel, and a fight in the street, 
settled the question between them. — December 8. 
Joseph Underwood fined forty dollars for casting 
three votes at the election. — December 25. The 


Overseers of the Poor gave notice that they had 
given away six hundred loads of wood, " and can 
give no more without further subsa'iptions." 

1809. Mai/ 17. The Board of Health give 
notice that " all dirt-carts must have tail-boards." 

— June 25. Fish pedlers forbid blowing their 
horns in the streets. — October 19. Ezra Brown 
fined five pounds for forestalling. He was then 
complained of as an idler, and sent to the Alms- 
house. — December 2. The funeral of William 
Cooper, who was Town Clerk forty-nine successive 
years, was solemnized to-day. — December 30. A 
masquerade ball advertised, but " it was forbidden, 
as detrimental to morals." 

1810. Jamiarj/ 13. Notice given that " James 
Wilson, Town Crier, will receive all lost property 
at his house. No. 23 ComhUl. — 3Iarch 21. The 
Town chose one Inspector Police, two Assistant 
Police officers, seventeen Constables, and thirty 
Watchmen. Watchhouses in Ship Street, at the 
Market, Mount Vernon Street, and corner of Elliot 
and Washington streets. — Boston had 33,234 in- 
habitants, 9,557 ratable polls, and cast 5,288 votes. 

— Juli/ 4. " The celebration was very spirited. 
Next day, seven hundred persons, without distinc- 
tion of party, were regaled at Faneuil Hall on five 
barrels of punch, that remained of the stores pro- 
vided by the Town for the celebration the day pre- 
vious. Query. How many barrels were provided 



for the celebration ? — August 3. The Town voted 
to open a new burial-ground on the Neck. 

1811. March 1 1 . Alexander Townsend, Thom- 
as Welch, James Savage, William Minot, and 
Lemuel Shaw, were rival candidates for Town Ad- 

1812. June 24. The news of the declaration 
of war with England was received with great in- 
dignation by a majority of Boston people. — August 
31. The Town appointed one hundred S23ecial 
watchmen to patrol the town. " In case of riot, 
they are to toll the bells, and in case of an alarm, 
all well-disposed citizens are requested to place 
lights in all their front windows, and all military 
companies, magistrates, and constables will hold 
themselves in readiness ; and all boys or appren- 
tices who do not wish to be considered rioters, will 
remain in doors." The permanent watch was also 
increased to forty-six, consisting of three divisions ; 
the North, Centre, and South, as follows : at the 
North, fourteen men ; Centre, eighteen men ; South, 
fourteen men, and two constables at each house. 
A Captain was also appointed, whose office was at 
the centre house, and who had general supervision. 
One constable and half the watch being on duty 
alternately every other night, all night. " Watch- 
men arc not to talk loud, or make any noise, nor 
suffer any one to enter a watchhouse without a 
certificate from a Selectman." — Constable's pay, 


seventy-five cents per night ; watchman's, fifty 
cents. — December 10. Samuel Tully, for piracy, 
hung on Nook's Hill at South Boston. John Dal- 
ton, an accomplice, was reprieved on the gallows. 

1813. April 9. Molly Pitcher, who has turned 
the head of many a Boston boy, died, aged seventy- 
five. She was said to be grand-daughter of John 
Diamond (a fortune teller of Marblehead), and the 
wife of Robert Pitcher, at Lynn, having several 
children herself. Her fame as a fortune-teller was 
known throughout the world. No vessel arrived 
on the coast, but some of the hardy crew visited 
Molly. Her dwelling stood on a lonely road near 
High Rock, at the gate of which were to be seen 
the bones of a great whale that the ocean had 
thrown on the banks. To this place repaii-ed the 
weather-beaten mariner, the respectable merchant, 
and the timid swain, who often betrayed the secret 
of their expedition, by inquiring for the bones of 
the great whale. Molly had great tact in pretend- 
ing to discover lost property. She generally saw 
it in the bottom of a teacup ; but her information 
was generally derived from the inquirers them- 
selves, while they were talking with her domestic, 
Molly being in the next room. But it may be asked 
what has Molly Pitcher to do with the Boston 
Watch and Police ; let the frequenters of " The Old 
National," when " The Fortune-Teller of Lynn" was 
the play, answer that question. 


1814. March 23. An Asylum for indigent boys 
established. — April 10. A report that a British 
fleet is off the coast, and Boston made great prep- 
aration for defence. — April 13. The Selectmen 
offer f 100 reward for arrest of grave-robbers at 
South Burying-Ground. — May 10. A public din- 
ner given to Commodore Perry for whipping the 
British on Lake Erie. — June 14. Western Avenue 
Company incorporated. — Juli/ 25. A Company 
called the " Sea Fencibles," formed. — September 
10. Several thousand troops are quartered in Bos- 
ton for the defence of the town against the British. 

1815. February 22. A grand illumination in 
the evening, in celebration of the Treaty of Peace 
with Great Britain. — September 23. A terrible 
storm destroyed many trees on the Common, and 
did much damage in Town and harbor. — October 
22. The Town's people practised going into the 
country on Sunday to get fresh air. Country peo- 
ple remonstrated. A stringent Sunday law was 
enforced, and Boston gentlemen got detained out 
of town over night. — The Supreme Court at Bos- 
ton, decided, " A county Justice cannot issue 
warrants for violation of Sunday laws, against an 
offender living in another county ; neither can an 
officer serve such a warrant on Lord's day." This 
gave Boston people a breathing-hole, and country 
people much annoyance. 

1816. January 1. Boston Post-office removed 


to corner Congress and Water Streets. — December 
11. An efibrt having been made to build a new 
workhouse, it was said, — "As respects The Hill, 
it consists principally of di-unkards, harlots, spend- 
thrifts, and outcasts from the country ; in truth, 
Beelzebub holds a court there, and almost every 
Town in the Commonwealth has a representative. 
These are great nuisances, but every large town 
has them, whether governed by Selectmen, or 
Mayor and Aldermen, in spite of jails and work- 
houses, and probably will till the millennium." 

1817. January 20. Daniel D. Britton sent to 
Jail, for stealing hens. " He is a brawny chimney- 
sweep, and parades the streets in a big cap, a long 
stick, and a train of boys at his heels, to the great 
annoyance of people." — March 13. Henry Phillips 
hung on Boston Neck, for the murder of Gaspard 
Dcncgri, near Roebuck Taveni, in January last. 
" After the cap was drawn over his eyes, he sang a 
song of three verses, di'opped the handkerchief, and 
was launched into eternity." — During the year, 
wonders were plenty. An eg^, with some mysteri- 
ous writing, was on exhibition, and attracted great 
curiosity. But the Sea Serpent, seen in a thousand 
different places and shapes, astonished the natives, 
and cast all other mysteries in the shade. — Decem- 
ber 26. William McDonald sentenced to be hung, 
for killing his wife, but he died before the day of 
execution arrived. 


1818. May 20. A heavy rain overflowed the 
Frog Pond, and when the water fell, a great num- 
ber of small fish were left on dry land. Common 
people were astonished : scientific men attempted 
an explanation, not once dreaming the real cause. 
The case was a sequel to the Sea Serpent, and 
wonderful e^^. — November 3. The Exchange 
Coffee House burned. — The light was seen at 
Amherst, New Hampshire, and Saco, Maine. The 
building contained 210 rooms, covered 12,753 feet 
of land, and cost |600,000. 

1819. A committee of the Selectmen made 
several visits to the watchhouses in the night time, 
and reported as follows : " January 5. Visit the 
several watchhouses, and find them in good con- 
dition." — '•^ January 12. Another visit. Find too 
many watchmen doing duty inside." — '■''January 
20. One o'clock, night. South Watch doing good 
duty, but the two constables are asleep. At North 
Watch, constables awake. At Centre Watch, found 
an intoxicated man and an abandoned female in 
the Lockup." — February 3. Another visit made 
by the Inspector of Police. He said, " At one 
o'clock, visited South Watch ; constable asleep. 
One and one-half o'clock, at Centre Watch found 
constable and doorman asleep. Two o'clock, at 
North Watch found constable and doorman asleep, 
and a drunken man kicking at the door to get in." 
The Inspector recommends that the doorman he re- 


quired to viake tlui constable when necessarj. Constable 
Kccd arrested several persons for keeping gambling 
houses. One was fined $150, for keeping " a new 
French game called Quino." — Fehruarij 18. John 
Williams, John P. Hog, Xiles Peterson, and Francis 
Frederick, pirates, hung on Boston Xeck. — March 
21. William Johnson sent to State Prison for life, 
for robbing a countryman of squirrels on the Com- 
mon, where he decoyed him, under pretence to find 
a purchaser. — Ma)/ 31. At Town Meeting, the 
watch and their friends remained at the polls till 
near the close, till others had left, and then passed 
a vote to pay watchmen seventy-five instead of fifty 
cents per night. The vote was rescinded next 
Town Meeting. — June 17. Freeman Backhouse, 
sent to State Prison three years, for picking the 
pocket of Flavel Case, a watchman. — November 
13. Rope walks burnt in Charles Street. 

1820. March 13. The North watchhouse, for 
many years in Ship Street, was removed to Fleet 
Street, near Moon Street. The Centre watch- 
house was in the east basement of the Town House. 
The South was at the place long occupied on Wash- 
ington, near Eliot Street. West watchhouse, 
corner Temple and Hancock streets. Number of 
watchmen 55. Constables of the watch, 8. Cap- 
tain, 1. Maij 25. Michael Powers hung on Bos- 
ton Neck, for the murder of Timothy Kennedy, in 


South Russell Street, in March last. — Watchmen 
were served with a certificate of appointment. 

1821. May 23. A new Captain of the Watch 
appointed, and a long list of instructions given. 
" Watchmen are not to walk or talk together on 
their beats. They are to go their rounds, and 
return to their box, and there wait till the time 
arrives to go round again. They are not to cry the 
time of night in a vociferous voice," «&;c. &c. — 
July 2. Milldam bridge opened for travel. — 
September 19. A man named Pearl, convicted of 
adultery with a young woman who had been work- 
ing with him as a carpenter's apprentice, in male 
attire, for three years. — December 20. Michael 
Martin hung at Lechmere Point, for robbing ^Major 
John Bray, in Medford, in October last. His 
accomplice, the notorious Captain Thunderbolt, 
lived incog, many years after in Brattleboro', Ver- 
mont, and died there in 1835. — December 23. Sev- 
eral burglaries having been committed, some per- 
sons were very severe on the Watch, and said, 
" They care for nothing but their pay, and are sure 
to get that ; give us a private watch." Others said, 
" A private watch, like the one in 1816, as soon 
as the stores are closed, would be found at the 
Exchange, sipping coffee. The only safe way is 
for merchants to watch themselves." Others suid, 
" AVho will work faithfully all night for the biirfl 
stipend of fifty cents." 


1822. February 22. The Legislature passed an 
Act establishing " The City of Boston," subject to 
the acceptance or the refusal of the citizens. — 
March 4. At a meeting of the legal voters of the 
Town of Boston, held at Faneuil Hall, to adopt or 
reject the City Charter granted by the Legislature, 
the vote was as follows : Yeas, 2,797 ; nays, 1,881 ; 
and the Town of Boston to become a City the first 
day of May next. — March 7. Gilbert Close and 
Samuel Clisby hung on the Neck lands, near the 
burying-grounds, for robbing Ezra Haynes in Cam- 
bridge Street, on the tenth of August last. — April 
25. Samuel Green hung on the Neck lands for 
killing Billy Williams in State Prison, in November 
last. — May 1. Boston City Government inaugurat- 
ed, consisting of Hon. John Phillips, Mayor, eight 
Aldermen, and forty-eight Councilmen. Inaugura- 
tion at Faneuil Hall, and they take up their offices 
at the old Court House, in Coui't Square, where 
subordinate officers are chosen. — May 24. Owing 
to the disorderly state of the Hill and Ann Street, 
constables were detailed there on Sundays. — June 
20. The new Police Court held its first session. 
Honorables Benjamin Whitman, Henry Orne, and 
William Simmons, Judges ; Thomas Power, Clerk ; 
William Knapp, Assistant. They held criminal 
sessions each day, and civil sessions twice each 
week. — August!. Several cases of yeUow fever 
in Boston. — September IG. Howard Trask, a no- 


torious murderer, who had escaped hanging on the 
plea of insanity, attempted to kill two pMsonera 
confined with him in Boston Jail, after which he 
cut up several mysterious antics and escaped. — In 
consequence of _the bad condition of the Jail in 
Court Square, prisoners were taken to Lechmere 
Point. — An effort was made to introduce the tread- 
mill, to punish crimmals. 

1823. February 13. New buildings completed, 
and an order passed, " That the new Court House 
in Leverett Street, be called City Court House." 
The buildings were to be occupied as a Jail, House 
of Correction, and Police Court House. — May 1. 
Josiah Quincy, Mayor. — May 3. The Mayor gave 
notice " That he would attend at his office," at the 
County Court House, every day (Sundays excepted), 
between nine and ten o'clock a. m., to receive 
communications of individual or public interest." — 
May 13. " All cows going at large, shall wear a 
Tally on their neck, with owner's name, and number 
of the license." " No citizen shall pastlire more 
than one cow on the Common." The office of 
Superintendent of Police abolished, and Benjamin 
Pollard appointed City Marshal, James Morgan, 
Captain of the Watch. The North Watch was 
removed to Hancock Schoolhouse, in Middle Street. 
The Centre Watch was at the Town House, the 
West at Derne Street, and the South at the Old 
House on Washington Street. There appeared to 


be little alteration in watch regulations, except that 
they ivere increased to alx)ut sixty. — June 19. An 
order passed to sell the old Jail in Court Street, 
and lease the house of the Jailer. — ''Shaking 
down," by the gu'ls, becomes frequent on The Hill. 
Mayor Quincy inaugurated stringent measures 

182-4. February 14. The great Canal Lottery in 
full blast in State Street. John Beck fined fifty 
dollars for keeping a faro bank. — May 1. Josiah 
Quincy, Mayor. — Watch appropriation, $ 8,800. 
June 23. Type foundry in Salem Street burnt. — 
July 1. An Ordinance passed to renumber the 
streets, placing the even numbers on one side, and 
the odd on the other. Middle and North to be 
called Hanover Street ; and the main street from 
" The Market to Roxbury line, shall be called 
Washington Street." — /w/y 21. The City Clerk 
reported, " Fees received for cow and dog license, 
$3,247, 39." — August 24. General Lafayette vis- 
ited Boston. — September 15. Dr. Harrington 
fined $150, for letting rooms to Susan Bryant for 
unlawful purposes. — October 14. An officer de- 
tailed to patrol Ann Street by day. — November 20. 
— The North wood-stand to be between Cross and 
Merrimac streets and Green Dragon Tavern ; 
The South, between Granary Burying-ground and 
Samuel Phillips's House. South Hay Scales in 
Charles Street. New Lockup about being built at 


the South watchhouse. The Washington Gardens, 
a place of great attraction on Tremont Street, 
between West Street and Temple Place, were 

1825. March 26. The city voted to accept the 
act changing the time of the municipal election to 
the second Monday in December. — " Watchmen 
found asleep, to be discharged." — April 6. The 
old Friends meeting-house, Congress Street, sold. 
— April 27. Corner-stone of new Market House 
laid. — Thomas Melville, who had been Fire ward 
forty-six years, resigned. — May 2. Josiah Quincy, 
Mayor. — Jime 4. The City Marshal gave notice 
that he should execute the laws. — June 17. Cor- 
ner-stone of Bunker Hill Monument laid. — July 
11. An order adopted to survey head waters near 
Boston, to introduce water. — Churches allowed to 
put chains across streets Sundays to prevent dis- 
turbance. — Watchhouse removed from Washing- 
ton to Eliot Street. — July 22. The Beehive de- 
stroyed in Prince Street, by a mob. — July 24. A 
riot attempted at Tin Pot, Ann Street, which was 
suppressed. — October 10. Sign-boards ordered to 
be placed at corners of streets. — October 24. 
Tremont Street widened, taking Gardiner Greene's 
land. — December 12. Watchman Jonathan Hough- 
ton killed in State Street, by a ruffian named John 
Holland. — Boston contained 58,281 inhabitants. 
White males, 27,911; white femaks, 29,453. 


Colored males, 97-4 ; colored females, 943. — Be- 
cemhcr 'Jl. A fearful riot occurred at Boston The- 
tre, Federal Street. Edmund Kean, who had pre- 
viously given offence, was to play. A large num- 
ber of men and boys, but no women, were present. 
At Kean's appearance on the stage, the riot com- 
menced. Kean was driven out, the house and fur- 
niture nearly destroyed, and many persons badly 
injured. 5,000 people, more or less, connected 
with the riot. 

1826. Januari/ 1. City Government inaugur- 
ated ; Josiah Quincy, Mayor. — January 9. The- 
atres charged §1,000 for license. — January 29. 
James Morgan, Captain of Watch, died, and Flavel 
Case was soon after appointed. — February 6. 
House of Juvenile Offenders established at South 
Boston. — March 3. John Holland, or Holloran, 
hung for the murder of Watchman Houghton. — 
War between the Government and Fire Depart- 
ment ; the Fire Department got the worst of it. — 
May 6. The Mayor of Boston fined for fast rid- 
ing. — A stone curb ordered to be built about the 
Frog Pond. — Park Street Mall laid out. — June 17. 
Jerome V. C. Smith chosen resident physician at 
Hospital Island. — July 1. Bodies being removed 
from Quaker Burying-ground to Lynn. — July 4. 
Celebrated with great spirit. A liberty pole 
erected corner Essex and Washington Sti-eet. — 
Presidents Thomas Jefferson and John Adams both 



died this day. — Julj/ 14. A riot on Negro Hill; 
several houses pulled down. — August 26. The 
new market completed and opened, and ordered to 
be called " Faneuil Hall . Market." — October 1, 
The first railroad in America, completed at Quin- 
cy. — October 13. John Tileston died at his resi- 
dence, No. 65 Prince Street, aged eighty-nine. 
Had been a Boston schoolmaster seventy years. — 
October 16. Gaspipe being laid in the streets in 
Boston. — November 27. Boston Marine Railway 
completed. — December 18. Charles Marchant and 
Charles Colson, pirates, sentenced to be hujig. 
When sentenced, Marchant replied, "What! is 
that what you brought me here for, to tell me I 
must die ? No thanks to you, sir ; I am ready to 
die to-morrow." He kiUed himself the day before 
execution arrived. 

1827. Josiah Quincy, Mayor. — February 1. 
Colson, the pirate, and accomplice of Marchant, 
hung in the jail-yard, Leverett Street. — February 
7. Edwin Forrest appeared at Boston Theatre. — 
February 19. The city exchanged land with Asa 
Richardson, front of City Hall. — March 15. A 
temperance meeting held at Julien Hall, Milk 
Street. — April 28. Constables ordered to patrol 
the Common by day. — Joshua Vose pastured cows 
on the Neck for eight dollars the season. May 
18. No more liquor to be sold on the Common 
public days. — Jane 16. A ncY^ monument erect- 


ed over the graves of the father and mother of 
FraukHn, in Granary Burying-groiinds. — Aurjust 
11. Palm-leaf hats first worn in Boston. — Septem- 
ber 24. Tremont Theatre first opened. — October 
11. Old Gunhouse removed from Copp's Hill to 
Cooper Street. — The body of a drowned woman 
floated in the creek, from Creek Square, across 
Hanover Street. — October 31. The Statue of 
Washington placed in the State House. — Novem- 
ber 24. Madam Celeste danced at Tremont The- 
atre. — December 15. No child to be admitted at 
school unless vaccinated. — December 1 7. Two 
watchmen detailed for duty at South Boston. — 
The Boston Directory this year contained 11,164 
names. It had the name of a baker, a blacksmith, 
a cordwainer, a ship carpenter, a tailor, a house 
carpenter, a saddler, a druggist, a wine dealer, an 
auctioneer, two merchants, and two hair-dressers, 
that were in the first Boston Directory in 1789. 
One merchant kept the same store, and one hair- 
dresser the same shop forty-six years. — During 
the year, 921 persons have been committed to Bos- 
ton Jail for debt. 

1828. Josiah Quincy, Mayor. — January 17. 
Ancient wooden house on the west side of Tremont 
Street, removed, a part of which was said to have 
been built by Sir Ileni-y Vane, in 1635, and the 
other by Rev. John Cotton, in 1636. — Fehniarif 
26. The Ursuline Convent at Mount Benedict, 


Charlestown, completed. — April 30. One hundred 
persons more or less injured by the falling of a 
floor, while witnessing the ceremonies of laying the 
corner-stone of the Methodist Church, North 
Bennet Street. — June 23. Persons contracted to 
remove night soil. — Jidtj 4. The corner-stone of 
City Hotel (Tremont House) laid. Mr. J. B. Booth 
appeared at Tremont Theatre. — September 15. 
Marginal (Commercial) Street from Market to Sar- 
gent's Wharf opened. — September 23. Federal 
Street Theatre (renamed the Old Drury). — Sep- 
tember 26. Boston Millpond jfilled up, and the 
Company surrendered their right to the city. — 
Union Street opened from Hanover to Merrimac 
streets. — November 4. The Centre Watch petition 
for beds, but don't get them. — The Grand Jury 
complained of being annoyed by the noise at their 
quarters in Leverett Street, by prisoners hammer- 
ing stone. ■'—December 25. Warren Bridge opened 
for travel. 

1829. Harrison Gray Otis, Mayor. — January 1. 
A Gas Street-lamp placed in Dock Square, as an 
experiment. — January 19. The pay of the Watch 
increased to sixty cents per night. — April 15. 
Clinton Street opened. — April 22. Common Street, 
from Court, by the Common, to Washington, to be 
called Tremont Street. That part of Common St. 
between Southac Court (Howard), and Court, to 
be called Pemberton Hill. 


1829. JuJjj 4. Celebrated with little spirit. 
It was said, " on the Common no liquor, no booths, 
and no people. At the "Washington Gardens, af- 
ternoon, Orator Emmons held forth in flights of 
passing eloquence and rhyme, which, with a nonde- 
script fish, were all to be heard and seen for 
fourpence." In the evening, a man tri-ed to whip Big 
Dick, and got the worst of it. Big Dick (Richard 
Cephas) was a big darkey and bully of the Kill. 
He was a dancing-master by profession, and a peace- 
maker by practice. He is remembered by some 
old men as standing head and shoulders above his 
fellows, weight 300 pounds, with short open blouse, 
red jacket, little round-top hat, and was feared 
by all. He long since " shuffled off this mortal 
coil," but his stately figure may still be seen not a 
mile from his former residence. — August 24. Sia- 
mese Twins in Boston. — October 19. A new wall 
to be built on Tremont Street, next Chapel burying- 
ground. — Cigar-smokers in streets, notified that 
they will be fined. — Market Street to be called 
Cornhill. — November 28. J. B. Booth comes near 
killing another actor in sword exercise at the Tre- 
mont, pretends to be crazy and leaves the city. — 
December 30. A great Anti-Masonic meeting at 
Faneuil Hall, resolved to put down the order. 

1830. Harrison Gray Otis, Mayor. — February 
1. Beecher's church in Hanover, opposite Port- 
land Street, burnt. — February 15. The Franklin 


Schoolhouse having been sold, was repurchased, 
and the South Watch soon removed thereto. The 
watch detailed as follows : North Watch, house in 
Hancock Schoolhouse, 2 constables, 25 men; Cen- 
tre Watch, in Kilby Street, 2 constables, 25 men : 
South Watch, Franklin Schoolhouse, Common 
Street, 2 constables, 22 men ; West Watch, Derne 
Street, 2 constables, 24 men ; 2 men at South Bos- 
ton. Flavel Case, Captain. — March 15. Cows 
excluded from the Common. — April 6. Mr. Joseph 
White, aged eighty-two years, murdered at Salem. 

— May 1. City Marshal's salary, 1 1,000; Captain 
of Watch, $800 ; Watch Appropriation, $ 11,400. 

— Boston had 61,381 inhabitants, of which 1,915 
were colored. — September 17. A committee long 
having the matter under consideration, decided this 
day to be the anniversary of the Settlement of Bos- 
ton, and the day was celebrated with great spirit, as 
the second centennial anniversary of the settlement 
of the Town. — The old Town House having been 
prepared, the City Government took possession, to 
occupy it as City Hall, with appropriate ceremo- 
nies. — September 29. John F. Knapp hung at 
Salem, for the murder of Mr. White. — October 14. 
Corner-stone of Masonic Temple, Treraont Street, 
laid. — November 8. Another peace officer placed 
on Ann Street. — North Island wharf, the last re- 
mains of what was called " the old wharf," was re- 
moved this year. 


1"831. Harrison Gray Otis, Mayor. — March 21. 
John Harrington astonishing Bostonians with vcn 
triloquism, at Concert Hall, — Mat/ 5. Maynard's 
bakehouse in Broad Street, burnt. A man, wife, and 
three children, perish in the flames. — June 13. 
Chambers over the Market to be called Quincy Hall. 
The ^lunicipal Court removed from Leverett 
Street, to County Court House, Court Square. — 
Jul^ 1. Joseph Gadctt, and Thomas Colinett, 
hung in rear of Leverett Street jail, for piracy. — 
No. 60 State Street, corner Flag Alley, once 
the British Custom House, afterwards, United 
States Custom House, sold at auction for ten dol- 
lars per foot. — JtiJj/ 11. Oak, Ash, Pine, and ad- 
jacent streets, being graded. — August 3. John 
Gray Rogers appointed Judge of Police Court ; 
Judge Orne resigned. — August 10. First sale of 
lots at Mount Auburn. — August 23. Funeral 
ceremonies on the death of President Monroe ; 
died July 4. — Septemher 10. The notorious 
swindler Mina, arrested by officer Pierce, for High 
Constable Hayes, of New York. — November 16. 
Mr. Anderson attempted to sing at Tremont The- 
atre, but was driven from the stage, for alleged 
abuse of the Yankees. — December 28. Calvin Ed- 
son, the living skeleton, on exhibition in Boston. 

1832. Charles Wells, Mayor. — February 27. 
Centre Watch removed from Kilby Street, to base- 
ment in Joy's Buildings. — May 1. Among the 


appointments were Hezekiah Earl, Deputy Mar- 
shal ; Zephaniah Sampson, Superintendent Streets ; 
Thomas C. Amory, Chief Engineer, Fire Depart- 
ment ; Samuel D. Parker, County Attorney. — June 
11. The watch to be set at ten o'clock the year 
round. — Jidi/ 3. William Pelby opened the War- 
ren Theatre. — Julij 20. The Asiatic cholera ap- 
peared in Boston. $ 50,000 appropriated, and 
every preparation made to stay its progress. The 
contagion disappeared in a few weeks. — August 9. 
A constable to patrol South Boston on Sunday. — 
August 13. A Steamboat first placed on Chelsea 
Eerry. — September 12. Mrs. Vincent first appeared 
at Tremont Theatre. — September 2-1. Boston lying- 
in hospital established, at 718 Washington street. — 
October 1. Great complaint against the gas works 
on Copp's Hill. — October 16. Steamboat put on 
Noddle's Island Ferry. — December 21. Great ex- 
citement in Boston, in consequence of the alleged 
murder of Sarah Maria Cornell, by Kev. E. K. 
Avery, a Methodist preacher, at Tiverton, R. I. — 
December 31. Eleven o'clock at night, Bromfield 
Street watch-meeting broken up by rioters. 

1833. Charles Wells, Uny ox. — February 17. 
John B. Carter and Mary A. Bradley, a worthy 
young couple, committed suicide by hanging them- 
selves together face to face, in her father's store. — 
March 26. Elisha Towers and other temperance 
men petitioned to have the eleven o'clock bell dis- 
continued, but Boston would have its eleven 


o'clock. — April 8. Jim Crow Rice jumjnng at 
Trcmont Theatre. — Tlie city i)urclKiscd Brown's 
"Wliarf . — Mai/ 1 . Fii'st Boston omnibus run between 
Koxbury and Chelsea Ferry. — Majj 6. Old Court 
House, Court Street, removed. It stood sixty 
yea^s. — June 3. A fight between constables and 
gamblers on the Common. — June 17. House of 
Correction, South Boston, opened. — June 21. An- 
drew Jackson visited Boston. — June 28. New 
Watch arrangement ; the men to go out, one divi- 
sion one half the night, the other division the other 
half, commencing at six o'clock winter, and seven 
o'clock summer, remaining out tUl sunrise. The force 
increased eighteen men. Constable's pay one dollar. 
Watchmen seventy-five cents. — September 28. Cor- 
ner-stone of New Court House, Court Street, laid. 

— November 11. Tremont Street to Roxbury line, 
also Dedham, and several other streets west of 
Washington nearly completed. 

1834. Theodore Lyman, Jr., Mayor. — January 
24. Judge Whitman, of the Police Court resigned. 

— February 4. Constables detailed to attend fii-es. 

— February 17. The name of Lynn Street discon- 
tinued, and Commercial to extend from State to 
Charlestown Bridge. — Aprils, The first cargo of 
ice exported from Boston by Mr. Rogers. — May 
4. Colonel David Crockett visited Boston. — July 
3. During a terrible storm, the figui-e-head of the 
Frigate Constitution (the likeness of General Jack- 


son), lying near Charlestown, was cut oiF and car- 
ried away. — Julij 4. The christening of the Whig 
party. 2,000 persons sit down to a feast under a tent 
on the Common. — August 11. Monday evening, 
the Ursuline Convent at Mount Benedict, Charles- 
town, burnt. — August 19. Theatres agreeing to 
sell no liquor were licensed for five dollars each. — 
September 19. Hair beds furnished for the watch. 

— September 22. Blackstone Street completed and 
named. — November 1 7. Dover Street completed. 

— December 2. Henry Joseph, hung in Leverett 
Street Jail yard for piracy. — December 4. The 
city indicted for a nuisance at South Boston. — 
There were seventy-one gas street-lamps in the 
city. — Ann Street widened so as to connect Mer- 
chants E.OW with Blackstone Street. 

1835. Theodore Lyman, Jr., Mayor. — January 
5. Men go from Central Wharf to the Castle on 
skates. — April 18. Old Mansion taken down, 
comer Salem and Charter Streets. — May 8. Pem- 
berton Hill being removed, to build Lowell Street. 
The Gingko tree removed to the Common, near Joy 
Street. — May 27. Cars put on Lowell Railroad. — 
Juried. Pedro Gilbert, Manuel Costello, Monclle 
Bogga, Jose Bassello DeCosta, and Angelo Garcia, 
five Spanish pirates, hung in rear of Leverett Street 
Jail. — June 30. Special constables appointed for 
July Fourth. — Aiigust 13. Mr. George Robert 
Twelves Hewes, ninety-six years old, said to be 


the last surviving member of " The Boston Tea 
Party," visited Boston from his residence in New 
York. — September 5. Joyce Heth, pretending to 
be one hundi-ed and sixty-one years old, and General 
Washington's nurse, was on exhibition at Concert 
Hall. — September 12. Ruiz, the pirate, hung in 
rear of the Jail. — October 7. Sixty-four building- 
lots sold in Pemberton Square. — October 22. 
George Thompson mobbed at the Liberator Office, 
Washington Street. — October 23. A circus opened 
at the Lion Tavern. — December 31. Charles 
Harris, Esq., submitted a plan for suppl}^ing Boston 
with soft water, by an Artesian well on Fort Hill, 
which he calculated would yield twelve million 
gallons of pure water per day. — Watch appropria- 
tion, $27,210. Special Constable appropriation, 

1836. Samuel Turell Armsti-ong, Mayor. — 
March 16. Simeon L. Crockett and Stephen 
Hussell, for setting lii-e to Mi-. nammo'.Krs 
house in South Street Phiec, woro luini^ in 
the jail yard. — April 1. " Orclerpcl, Tiiat 
hereafter the church bells be rung at twelve, 
instead of eleven o'clock." — April 13. "The 
Boston Stoxe," was set in a building in pi-o- 
gress of erection, corner of Marshall and deck 
Lanes. It was used for grinding paint by an early 
settler in Boston, whose arms are to be seen in the 
front walls of a building on Marshall Street, at the 
present day. The stone was said to have laid use- 


less in the yard many years, but was afterwards 
placed at the corner of the streets, to keep truck 
wheels from injuring the building, which was at 
that time occupied by Mr. Howe. About the year 
1737, the suggestion of a Scotchman, who lived 
near, induced Joe Whiting, whose father then kept 
the shop, to paint the name of " Boston Stone, 
Marshall Lane," on the old paint mill, in imitation 
of " The London Stone," in London, that it might 
be a landmark and directory, which character it 
did eventually acquire. The pestle or ball was since 
found, and " The Boston Stone " has now " become 
the head of the corner." — Jwie 16. Pond Street 
to be called Endicott Street. — July 13. Church 
bells to be rung at one o'clock instead of twelve. — 
JuJif 18. Mount Washington House, South Boston, 
opened. — August 22. The name of Pelby's Theatre 
altered from Warren to National. — September 22. 
William H. Snelling published a paper called the 
Balance^ which he said, " Is to be the author of 
truth, a scourge to blacklegs, and a terror to un- 
righteous judges." — December 16. The iron fence 
around the Common completed; length 5,930 ; cost 
$80,000. $17,000 contributed by individuals.— 
December 20. The new Court House in Court 
Street, completed. — Benjamin Pollard, who had 
been City Marshal fourteen years, died, and Daniel 
Parkman was appointed in his stead. 

1837. Samuel Atkins Eliot, Mayor. — February 


8. The foundution of the United States Hotel 
laid. — March 3. Graham lectures at Amory 
Hall. — Mn^ 11. Boston Banks suspend specie 
payment. — Superintendent Common Sewers chos- 
en. (A new office.) — Ezra Weston appointed City 
Marshal. — June 11. Sunday afternoon. "The 
Broad Street riot occurred between Irishmen and 
fire companies, in which it was said 15,000 people 
were engaged. The riot was finally suppressed by 
the military. — June 14. The National Lancers 
made their first public parade. — June 30. A flag- 
staff erected on the Common, near " The Old Elm." 

— Julij 5. The edgestones about the Frog Pond 
to be removed. — August 21. A watch of four 
men detailed for East Boston. — September 12. At 
the general military review on the Common, when 
the Montgomery Guards appeared, five companies 
left the line, and the review was suspended. — Oc- 
tober 20. Lands granted to Horace Gray for " the 
Public Garden." — Ten deaths by cholera, and 
eleven by delirium tremens^ during the year. 

1838. Samuel Atkins Eliot, Mayor. — Februmy 
3. (Saturday night.) The City Marshal made a 
descent on gamblers in Milk Street, arresting twelve 
men. — February 19. Pemberton Square named. 

— May 21. The Legislature having passed a law 
giving the Mayor and Aldermen of Boston power 
to appoint " Police officers with any or all of the 
powers of Constables, except the power of execut- 


ing a civil process." The Board this day organized 
a Police force for day duty, to be under the direc- 
tion of the City Marshal, and six officers were 
appointed, drawing pay when on actual du- 
ty, the new department having no connection 
with the Watch. There were four Watch- 
houses in the City proper. North Watch, Han- 
cock Schoolhouse, 2 constables, 23 men ; East 
Watch, Joy's Building, 2 constables, 28 men; 
South Watch, Common Street, 2 constables, 22 
men ; West Watch, Derne Street, 2 constables, 28 
men. The South and East Boston Watch were 
combined, having 2 constables, and 9 men, with 
temporary accommodations at each place. Watch 
appropriation, |30,000. Police appropriation, f 3,- 
637. — June 18. Abner Kneeland sent to jail 
two months for blasphemy. — July 24. Great 
Webster dinner at Faneuil Hall. Jim Wilson, of 
New Hampshire, a guest. — A new division of 
wards. — July 31. The iron fence about Wash- 
ington Square, completed. — Fanny EUsler dancing 
at the Trcmont Theatre. — August 27. Eastern 
Pailroad opened for travel. — September 11. " The 
striped Pig" on exhibition at Dedham muster 
(and elsewhere). — The police force increased to 
thii'tccn during the year. 

1839. Samuel Atkins Eliot, Mayor. — Fehni 
ary 11. A committee reported one hundred and 
eighty gas street-lamps in the city. — February 


15. Harnden's Express commences carrying let- 
ters to New York. — March 27. High Sheriff 
Sumner (in office many years), resigned. — June 4. 
City purchased Richardson's estate fronting on 
School Street. — June 17. Jacob's Great test 
liquor case in Police Court. — October 19. A tar 
and feathering liquor informer case occurred. — 
November 19. Iron fence around the Cemetery on 
the Common completed. — November 21. Steam 
communication between St. Johns and Boston 
opened. — Marcus Morton elected Governor by 
one vote this year. 

1840. Jonathan Cbapman, Mayor. — February 
8. William Miller (Father of Millerism) fii-st lec- 
tured in Boston. — February 10. Governor Morton 
signs a new Liquor Bill ; great rejoicing. Coun- 
seller Gill preserves the Governor's pen that did 
the deed. — March 10. Daguerreotypes first taken 
in Boston. — May 1. James H. Blake appointed 
City Marshal, James Barry, Captain of the Watch. 
Police appropriation $4,500 ; Watch appropriation 
$40,000: Marshal's salary, $1,000; Captain of 
Watch, 1,000 ; 14 Police, 110 Watchmen. PoUce 
pay, 1.75 per day ; Watchman's pay, 90 cents per 
night. — May 28. One hundred thirty-two building- 
lots sold on Lowell Street. — June 4. Steam 
Packet communication opened between Boston and 
Liverpool. — July 4. Celebrated with great spii'it, 
partaking somewhat of a political character. " Log 


Cabins,'' " Coon Skins" and " Hard Cider," were 
in the play, and " Tippecanoe and Tyler too" were 
the watchwords. — The Iron fence completed be- 
tween the Granary burial-ground and Tremont 
Street. — August 8. Monsieur Bihin, the Bel- 
gian Giant eight feet high, on exhibition in Boston. 
— December 22. Hannah Kenney on trial for 
poisoning her husband. 

1841. Jonathan Chapman, Mayor. February 
15. Father Matthew, the Irish Temperance Ee- 
former, in Boston. — March 18. Old County Court 
House fitted up, and named City Hall. The Gov- 
ernment removed there from Old Town House. — 
March 28. Davis and Palmer's store, Washington 
Street, robbed of f 20,000 in jewelry. Constable 
Clapp afterwards recovers the property. — Front 
Street to be called Harrison Avenue. — April 21. 
Funeral of President Harrison solemnized in Bos- 
ton. — June 14. Boston Museum, Corner Tremont 
and Bromfield streets opened. — August 2. Cor- 
ner stone of Merchants Exchange, State Street 
laid. — September 23. The fii'st pillar of Mer- 
chants Exchange, weighing fifty-five tons, was raised 
to-day. — October 25. Circuses opened on both 
Haverhill and Friend streets. — November 15. Abby 
Folsom broke up a meeting in Marlboro' Chapel. — 
November 24. The French Prince De Joinville danced 
in Faneuil Hall with the Mayor's lady. — December 
31. The Municipal court docket for the year showed 


five hundred and sixty-nine cases, Judge Thacher 
having been on the Bench one hundred and sixty- 
six days during the year. 

18-12. Jonathan Chapman, Mayor. — January 
21. Elder Knapp, a revival preacher, who was 
reported to have said, " It is easier for a shad to 
climb a greased barber's pole tail foremost, than for 
a sinner to get to heaven," held forth in Boston. — 
April 25. Abby Folsom and Joseph Lamson created 
sensations. — May 16. The first watering-machine 
used for wetting streets in Boston. — July 4. It 
was said that 8,000 school children were on the 
Common in the day, and 100,000 witnessed the 
fireworks in the evening. — July 23. The Cap 
stone of Bunker Hill Monument laid. — September 
27. Brigade muster on the Common. Boston 
represented by fourteen companies. 

1843. Martin Brimmer, Mayor. — January 1. 
Merchants Exchange (State Street) opened. — 
April 23. The day fixed by the Prophet Miller 
for the end of the world. A large number of be- 
lievers assembled at the Miller Tabernacle (Howard 
Street) in the evening, expecting to take their leave 
of earth that night ; but nothing unusual happened 
hut the meeting. — May 9. Trees ordered to be 
planted on Copp's Hill.— J% 22. Tom Thumb 
first appeared in Boston. — June 16. Abner Rogers 
killed Warden Charles N. Lincoln, at Charlestown 
State Prison. — June 17. John Tyler, President 


of tlie United States, visited Boston. — Honorable 
William Simmons, Judge of the Police Court, died. 

— Jidij 11. Judge Gushing first took his seat as 
Judge in the Police Court. — August 27. A riot 
in North Square between negroes and sailors. — 
Septembei' 4. General Winfield Scott visited Boston. 

— September 6. Judge Cummins held the Muni- 
cipal Coui't, Judge Thacher late deceased. — Novem- 
ber 30. Centre Watch removed from Joy's build- 
ings to City building, Court Square. — The Captain 
of the Watch fined for smoking in the street. — 
John B. Gough lectured in Faneuil Hall. — Decem- 
ber 28. The Tremont Theatre having been pur- 
chased by a Religious Society, was dedicated and 
called Tremont Temple. 

1844. Martin Brimmer, Mayor. — January 1. 
Post Office removed from Old State House to 
Merchants Exchange, State Street. — February 3. 
Men drove teams and skated from Long Wharf to 
Boston Light. John Hill & Co. cut a ship chan- 
nel for the British steamer to pass out. — May 20. 
Ole Bull gave his first Violin Concert at Melodeon, 

— and Mr. Franklin threw three somersets at the 
Circus. — June 4. The Fairchild excitement com- 
menced. — July 2. The South Watch " ordered 
to be divided, the southern branch to be in Canton 
Place." — July 4. Fireworks on the easterly part of 
the Common for the last time. --July 23. The old 
building, corner of Union and Hanover streets, a 


competitor for the birthplace of Franklin, is repair- 
ed and becomes a part of Diamond Block. — Sep- 
tember 19. Great Whig meeting on Boston Com- 
mon. — The close of the year is noted for a muni- 
cipal political strife. — A Watchhouse built at 
South Boston during the fall. 

1845. — January 6. The Cit)- Government or- 
ganized "without a Mayor. — January 30. Federal 
Street Church sold, to be removed. — February 21. 
Thomas A. Davis elected Mayor, at the eighth 
trial. — March 14. Peter York sentenced to State 
Prison for life, for killing James Norton, in Rich- 
mond Street. — April 10. Deacon Samuel H. 
Hewes, (Supt. of burials) died. Fie planted one 
hundred and seventy-two trees on the Common, and 
many in the burial-grounds. — May 26. Washing- 
ton Theatre opened at 253 Washington Street. — 
June 23. Ira Gibbs appointed City Marshal. — July 
9. Funeral ceremonies for President Jackson, 
who died June 8. — July 22. Henry Smith, the 
Razor Strop man in State Street, crying " a few 
more left." — September 4. Juba (the dancer), on 
exhibition. — October 6. Mayor Davis resigned on 
accour.t of ill health. — October 18. Howard 
Theatre (built on the site of the Miller Tabernacle) 
opened. — October 27. Maria Bickford murdered 
in Mount Vernon Avenue. — November 8. Old 
Colony Railroad opened. — November 12, Mayor 
Davis died. — November 17. Winthrop House 



1846. Josiah Quincy, Jr., Mayor. January 15. 
Magnetic Telegraph line put up from Boston to 
Springfield. — The third row in the National be- 
coming noted. — March 24. Albert J. Tirrell on 
trial for the murder of Maria Bickford. He was 
acquitted. — May 14. One hundred and twenty- 
nine vessels arrived in Boston Harbor. — May 16. 
War between the United States and Mexico — May 
19. Mrs. Pelby exhibited one hundred wax figures 
at Phillips's Hall. — June 4. Recruiting parties 
patrolling the streets, for Mexican War volunteers. 
June 22. — Francis Tukey appointed City Marshal. 
— July 1. City Stables being removed from Hay- 
market Square. — July 17. The Old Eastern Stage 
House, Ann Street, removed. — August 20. Mayor 
Quincy broke ground at Wayland, for the " Boston 
Water Works." — September 21. Adams House 
opened. — September 29. Trucks and carriages to 
be licensed. — November 2. The New Boston 
Museum between Tremont Street and Court 
Square, opened. — During the year, under the 
direction of Marshal Tukey, the Police Depart- 
ment was reorganized. — The force numbered 
twenty-two day, and eight night officers. The 
former on duty from eight a. m. till nine p. m. 
Detailed throughout the city, reporting to the Mar- 
shal at eight a. m. and two p. m., at $2 per day. — 
The latter a night force, particularly for the de- 
tection of thieves, at pay of $1.25 per night. Police 


appropriation $12,000. — Under Captain Barr}-, 
the watch numbered about one hundred and fift}', 
going out half of each night, one half the force 
alternately, first and last watch at a pay of $1 per 
night. The North Watch was in Cross Street, the 
Centre under the Court House, the West in Dcnie 
Street, Boylston, in Common Street, South at Can- 
ton Street, South Boston in Broadway, and a new 
house building at East Boston. 

184:7. Josiah Quincy, Jr., Mayor. January 
22. Terrible fii'e in Causeway, Medford, and 
Charlestown streets. A complete sheet of cinders 
covered the north part of the city, presenting one 
of the most sublime and terrific spectacles ever 
witnessed. — Fehniary 7. Currier & Trott's store, 
Washington Street, robbed of a large amount of 
jewelry. — March 13. The Grand Jury found one 
hundred and ninety-eight bills of indictment. — 
March 31. A temperance meeting (Deacon Grant, 
President) broken up at Faneuil Hall. — April 26. 
The new Custom House, at the head of Long 
Wharf, (began in 1837, and part completed,) illumin- 
ated. — April 27. Corner-stone of Boston Athenteum, 
Beacon Street, laid. — May 1. The Revere House, 
Bowdoin Square, completed and opened. — May 13. 
The Mayor and Aldermen voted to license no more 
liquor shops. — The Bridge Estate purchased by 
the city. — June 5. Mrs. Partington's witty sayings 
begin to appear in the newspapers. — Ship fe\er 


raging at Deer Island ; a large Police force detailed 
there. — June 9. Mischievous boys come near de- 
stroying the Old Elm, by placing matches in a 
decayed place. — June 12. The house of Deacon 
Grant, the temperance reformer, disgracefully de- 
faced. — June 16. The old Custom House, Custom 
House Street, sold. — June 24. Omnibus war be- 
tween Mr. King and Boston, begun. — June 29. 
President Polk visited Boston. — July 27. Iron 
seats placed on the Common, to har whittlers. — 
August 24. Alexandre Vattemare, Paris, Prefect of 
Police, donated books to Boston, which eventually 
formed a nucleus for a Public Library. — September 
8. The Assessors' book shows real estates $ 97,- 
764,500, and personal estate, $64,595,900, for 
Boston. — October 7. News reached Boston that 
the American Flag is flying over " The Halls of the 
Montezumas" in Mexico. — October 25. New Han- 
cock Schoolhouse, Hichmond Place, completed. — 
November 18. The Chinese Junk arrived in Boston 
Harbor. — November 20. Corner-stone of Beacon 
Hill Reservoir laid. — December 13. Workmen 
digging down Snowhill Street, tombs exposed. 

1848. Josiah Quincy, Jr., Mayor. January 7. 
Marshal Tukey recovered $ 1,100, stolen from 
Hughes & Co., by digging on the Public Garden. — 
February 29. City Hall in mourning for Honor- 
able John Quincy Adams, born July 11, 1767, 
died February 23, 1848. — March 10. The twenty- 


eight-giillon liquor law passed. — March 14. Sam 
Houston, of Texas, at Tremont Temple. — April 27. 
Watchman David Estes shot in Sister Street, while 
on duty. Night Policeman James S. Kimball nar- 
rowly escaped the same fate at the hands of burg- 
lars. — Majj 2. Marshal Tukey fined for fast 
di'iving. — June 16. General order to complain 
of all persons smoking in the streets. — June 28. 
Dearborn's Block, in Federal Street, fell with a ter- 
rible crash. — Jidij 22. The Massachusetts Regi- 
ment, Colonel Isaac 11. Wright, returned from the 
Mexican war. — August 9. Granite depot for 
Fitchburg Railroad, completed. — August 24. Dr. 
CoUyer's ^lodel Artist, at Melodeon. — September 
18. Thrilling account of gold in California reaches 
Boston. — October 25. Grand celebration of the 
introduction of Lake Cochituate water into Boston, 
and a jet of water sent up from the fountain in the 
Frog Pond, — an event worth)/ of commemoration. — 
December 27. The ship Salstillo left Boston with 
twelve passengers for the California gold mines. — 
The Police number twenty-two day officers, twenty 
night officers, and nine specials for Sunday. A 
Police Clerk appointed. Police appropriation, 
129,000 ; Watch appropriation, $58,000. 

1849. John Prescott Bigelow, Mayor. — Janv^ 
ary 1. Good sleighing and great horseracing on 
the Neck. — January 9. Ship Edward Everett 
and two others, clear for California. — February 


19. The City Government offer a reward of fifty 
cents for every dog's head. — February 21. Peo- 
ple walk on the ice from Long Wharf to Spectacle 
Island. — Franklin and Blackstone squares laid 
out. — March 15. Flouring Mills at East Boston 
commence work. — 3Iaij 21. Marshal Tukey 
showing up pickpockets at his office. — May 25. 
Washington Goode hung at the jail for the miu'der 
of Thomas Harding, in Richmond Street, in June 
last. — June 4. The Asiatic Cholera made its 
appearance in Boston. — July 27. Lieutenant 
Hunter, a notorious swindler, arrested. — August 
18. WiUiam Waberton (Bristol Bill), a notorious 
burglar, arrested. — September 17. James Hayes, 
an Irishman, dies in Hamilton Street, aged one 
hundred and eight years. — October 11. Mont- 
gomery House opened for entertainment. — No- 
vember 1. Eye and Ear Infirmary completed, in 
Charles Street. — November 7. Great meeting of 
the Sons of New Hampshire, at Fitchburg HaU. — 
November 16. Iron fence completed about Frank- 
lin and Blackstone squares. — December 1. The 
Statue of Aristides placed in Louisburg Square. 
— December 19. Deer Island Hospital completed. 
1850. John Prescott Bigclow, Mayor ; Francis 
Tukey, City Marshal ; James Barry, Captain Watch. 
In his address, Mayor Bigclow said, " Boston has 
197 schools, 20,000 pupils. The number of deaths 
exceeds any previous year, owing to cholera, being 


5,068. There are 50 Police Officers, 225 Watch- 
men, the beat of each man averaging over a mile. 
The expense of Police and "Watch, $113,000 per 
year. The Water Works are nearly completed, at a 
cost of $4,939,82-1 ; and the city debt, exclusive of 
water, is $1,623,863." — January 14. The clock 
in Faneuil Hall presented to the city by children. 
— Fehruary 8. " The Liberty Tree Block," corner 
of Essex and Washington streets, completed. — May 
18. Chester Square laid out. — June 3. Mr. 
Glidden exhibited an Egyptian mummy at Tremont 
Temple. — August 15. Funeral procession of Pres- 
ident Zachary Taylor. — August 30. Professor John 
W. Webster himg at the Jail yard for the murder 
of Dr. George Parkman, the 23d of November last, 
at the Medical College. — September 28. Jenny 
Lind sang at Tremont Temple. Ossian E. Dodge 
paid $625.00 for choice of seat. — October 26. Slave- 
catchers arrested in Boston ; great excitement among 
colored people. — October 30. Great sale of build- 
ing lots in Chester Square. — November 15. Free 
Soil meeting at Faneuil Hall broken up. — Decem- 
ber 31. Number of dwelling-houses in Boston 
13,173. Inhabitants 138,788. 

Heretofore I have been under the necessity of 
leaving the reader to judge of the character of 
Watch and Police duties, from the nature of 
transpii'ing events, the manners, customs, opinions, 


and tastes of the people, and the peculiar rules and 
regulations that governed them at the time. Hav- 
ing now become intimately engaged in those duties 
myself, I shall hereafter generally speak of what 
has fallen under my own observation. 

1851. John Prescott Bigelow, Mayor ; Francis 
Tukey, City Marshal ; James Barry, Captain of the 
Watch, who are detailed exclusively for night duty, 
the beats extending entirely over the city, and each 
man on his beat one half the night. The City 
Marshal had one deputy, one clerk, one superin- 
tendent hacks, one superintendent trucks, one of 
swill, and one of intelligence offices, who also had 
a particular eye after the day men ; forty day officers 
on patrol on beats throughout the city, and about 
twenty night patrol officers to catch thieves, together 
with five detectives. It was the duty of the day 
men to report at the Marshal's Office at eight a. m., 
go on beats till two p. m., then report and go out 
again till nine in the evening. We looked out for 
our respective districts, the Marshal and his as- 
sistant when in sight of a corner, and our two 
dollars per day. The night police did about the 
same thing for $1.3 7 J per night. — On the eve of 
the 23d of April, this year, we made the great 
Police descent in Ann Street, capturing some one 
hundred and sixty bipeds, who were punished for 
piping, fiddling, dancing, drinking, and attending 


crimes. In the full of this year, the Marshal seemed 
to think that things looked a little squally, and 
under his direction we very quietly dabbled a little 
(very little) in politics at the election. Our choice 
was successful, and we were in very good spirits at 
the close of the year, in anticipation of a longer job. 
1852. Benjamin Seaver, Mayor; Francis Tukey, 
City Marshal, with the organization unchanged. — 
A new prohibitory liquor law w^as passed in May, 
which enjoined peculiar duties on City Marshals, 
imposing, as it was said, a little too much responsi- 
bility ; and from that or some other cause, on the 
24th of June following, the office of City Marshal 
was abolished in Boston, and Francis Tukey was 
appointed Chief of Police. I have said that the 
municipal election resulted in oiu- choice ; but no 
sooner had we got our man m, than he began to 
get us out^ — and served us right, too, for meddling 
with politics. In filling the places of the oiits^ I 
must say I think the Mayor was sometimes unfortu- 
nate. This got the Mayor and his Chief by the 
ears, and the Mayor having the best hold, jJM//<?r/ off 
the Chief's head, together with the heads of his 
whole night force and a part of the day. His 
Honor was indeed after all of us with a sharp stick ; 
but some were like Paddy's flea, — " When ye put 
yer finger on 'im, he aint thar! " It was the 19th 
day of July, that the Mayor pulled off Chief Tukey's 
head, and Gilbert Nurse, Esq. was appointed Chief 


of Police the same day. A better man never lived. 
Said a Frenchman to a Yankee one day, " Vat 
drinque ish dat ye have in dish countrie, vat is all 
c<mthradictlon ? " " What do you mean ? " says Yan- 
kee. " Vy, dar ish de brandie, to make him 
sthronge, and de vatre, to make him veak ; dar ish 
de lemon, to make him sour, an' de sugar to make 
him schvi^eet." ^^ Punch" said Jonathan. ^^Ah! 
oui, oui" says Francis, " he like punch me brain out 
last night." When Mr. Nurse came into office, he 
found our Department very much like the French- 
man's drink, and it came near accomplishing the 
same result on our worthy Chief; but notwithstand- 
ing all the difficulties, he went to work with a steady 
hand, and really made many important improve- 

1853. Benjamin Seaver, Mayor. Gilbert Nurse 
Chief of Police, with two deputies, the usual num- 
ber of office men, and fifty-two day patrol men. 
No night police. The Chief's salary was $1,800, 
and the Police appropriation, $44,200. — In June, 
robberies on vessels and on the wharves having 
become very common, a Harbor Police was organ- 
ized, consisting of a Captain and ten men ; House 
at head of Sargent's wharf. They were furnished 
with row boats, and armed with Colt's revolvers ; 
and plenty of work they found to do. Heretofore, 
for some years, the officers had worn leather 
badges, buckled round the hat, with the word 


Police in large silver letters, and a number in front. 
This year, on June 1, we were furnished a new 
badge, to be worn on the left lapel of the coat. 
It was an oblong, six-pointed brass star, about as 
big as one's hand, with an unintelligible device in 
the centre, and looked more like a Sculpin's head 
than a Policeman's badge. — For some years past, 
there had been a talk of reorganizing the Watch 
and Police, and on May 23d of this year, the Leg- 
islature empowered Boston to make the change ; 
but there were no steps taken in that direction by 
the City Government till the following year. — 
December 29. James Barry, having faithfully 
served the City as Captain of the Watch fourteen 
successive years, resigned his office, and Captain 
William K. Jones w^as appointed in his stead. 

185-4. Jerome Van Crowninshield Smith, Mayor. 
Gilbert Nurse, Chief of Police. I have said that 
the Legislature had empowered Boston to reorgan- 
ize her Watch and Police, and there were probably 
some good reasons why it sliould be done. There 
were two departments, under different heads, and, 
although there was at this time no disunion, yet 
under the du'ection of other and different men at 
the head of so large forces, there might be. The 
Police by themselves, were still a little like the 
Frenchman's punch. The w^atch were paid only 
one dollar per night, and were obliged to work 
by day also, to support their families ; and, good 


men as they were, who could expect them to work 
day and night without sleep or rest ] Under this 
state of things, most of the people and a part of 
the Government were in favor of the change ; but 
a majority of the Council were opposed to the 
measure, and claimed a voice in the matter. How- 
ever, the appointing and the discharging power in 
both departments were, by law, vested in the Board 
of Mayor and Aldermen; and one day. Mayor 
Smith, with the countenance of the Aldermen, dis- 
charged every man on both Watch and Police, and 
out of theu' number appointed a Department of 
Police^ the discharge and appointments to take 
effect on a subsequent day. 

On the 26th day of May, 1854, at precisely six 
o'clock p. M., the Boston Watch and Police, which 
had lived two hundred and twenty-nine years, 
ceased to exist, and " The Boston Police Depart- 
ment " became an Institution. 

The New Department was under the supervision 
of a Chief of Police, subject to the direction of the 
Mayor, and consisted of about two hundred and fifty 
men, with the following divisions: Chief, 2 Depu- 
ties, Clerk, Superintendent Hacks, Superintendent 
Teams, 5 Detectives. Office at City Hall. Station 
No. 1. Captain, 2 Lieutenants, 33 Patrolmen, House 
Hanover Street ; No. 2, Captain, 2 Lieutenants, 44 
Patrolmen, House Court Square ; No. 3. Captain, 
2 Lieutenants, 23 Patrolmen, House Joy Street ; 


No. 4. Captain, '2. Lieutenants, 43 Patrolmen, 
House rear Boylston Market ; No. 5. Captain, 2 
Lieutenants, 24 l\itrolinen, House Canton Street 
Place ; No 6. Captain, 2 Lieutenants, 25 Patrol- 
men, House Broadway, South Boston ; No. 7. 
Captain, 2 Lieutenants, 19 Patrolmen, House Me- 
ridian Street, East Boston ; No. 8. Captain, and 
10 Boatmen and Patrolmen, House head Sargent's 
wharf. The territory of the whole city and har- 
bor, were proportionately divided between the sta- 
tions, and the Captain of each, assisted by his Lieu- 
tenants, had the supervision of his district and 
men, under the direction of the Chief. Each Sta- 
tion consisted of three divisions of patrolmen ; one 
for day, and two for night duty. The day division 
go out at eight o'clock, a m. and remain till six 
o'clock p. M., when they were relieved by a night 
division, and report to their Station House, and 
are often detailed for extra duty at places of amuse- 
ment, or elsew^here, in the evening, for which they 
get exti'a pay. The night division remain on duty 
from six p. m., to one next morning, when they 
are relieved by the other night division, who re- 
main out till eight o'clock, when they in turn are 
reUeved by the day men. The second night, the 
night division change watches, the last out the 
night previous, going out first, and the fii'st, last ; 
and so alternately through the year, for the con- 
venience of giving both night divisions a better 


chance to do day house dut)', which every night 
man does once in six days. This regulation gives 
every man his own beat every day and night, and 
gives him the opportunity to know his route, and 
the wants of those on it, better than any other, 
which is very important to both officer and citizen, 
and which he cannot know too well if a good man ; 
if not^ he should not he there. The badge of the 
old Police for the day, and the hook and rattle for 
the night, were continued for a time, and the 
Houses of the old watch were made Station Houses. 
The salary of the new Chief, Robert Taylor, Esq., 
was |1,800 per year; Captains, |3,00 per day; 
Patrolmen, |2.00 per day, or night and other of- 
ficers in proportion. Every officer to devote his 
whole time, and have no other employment, al- 
though extra pay was allowed for extra work, 
when done for others than the city. 

On the evening of the reorganization, about ten 
o'clock, the whole force, at a moment's notice, were 
called to Court Square, to suppress a fearful riot 
caused by the arrest of a fugitive slave, Anthony 
Burns, by United States officers, in which one man 
was killed and others dangerously wounded. The 
whole department were out nine days and nights, 
performing a most impleasant duty under trying 
circumstances, and, with the solitary exception of 
one individual, met the highest anticipations of their 
friends. — October 23. The Irass bad^je was ex- 


changed for a silver octagon oval plate, little larger 
than a silver dollar, with a '■'■ fvc-po'uitcd star" on 
which Avas engraved Boston Police, and the old 
watchhook, in use one hundred and fifty-four years, 
gave place to a fourteen-inch club, the night men 
retaining the rattle. Such was the condition of the 
Department when organized in 1854, and, with 
little variation, it is so in 1865. And although the 
name is now " The Boston Police Department," yet 
the night duties are virtually a watch, as heretofore, 
and I shall venture to continue my history under 
the head of " The Boston Watch and Police." 

1855. Jerome Van Crowninshield Smith, 
Mayor ; Robert Taylor, Chief of Police. Police 
appropriation, $ 188,000. —A^jnV 9. The Chief 
was ordered forthwith to report to the Mayor, " the 
name, age, 7iativitj/, residence, time of residence in 
Boston, and former occupation of each member of 
the Department, or applicant for office, and to keep 
a copy of said list in his office." In June, both 
branches of the City Government joined in forming 
an ordinance establishing the " Boston Police De- 
partment," and thus recognized an organization 
which, to all intents and purposes, had been in suc- 
cessful operation more than a year. Although at 
first the Mayor was under the necessit}' of appoint- 
ing the Chief of Police Captain of the Watch also, 
and the captains, constables, a Police Committee, 


consisting of four Aldermen, was appointed during 
the year. 

1856. Alexander Hamilton Hice, Mayor ; and 
April 9, Daniel J. Coburn was appointed Chief 
of Police, with a salary of $2,200, and horse and 
chaise. Police appropriation, $ 198,000. The 
Police Committee consisted of three Aldermen. 
At the annual Police appointments, the council 
have a voice for the only time in the history of the 
city. An Assistant Clerk appointed this year. 

1857. Alexander Hamilton Rice, Mayor. — 
March 30. " Father' Hezekiah Earl died, having 
been an officer twenty-five years, and one of the 
Deputy Chiefs since 1853. He had the care of the 
Internal Health Department, and was a good officer 
and worthy man. — March 30. As an act of 
courtesy, the Board appointed the members of the 
Common Council Police Officers. The regular 
force were increased to 266 men. A city prison 
was fitted up under the Court House for the recep- 
tion of prisoners, night and morning from the Sta- 
tions, and a Superintendent appointed. — October 
18. Policeman Ezekiel W. Ilodsdon murdered by 
two burglars at East Boston while attempting their 
arrest. Police appropriation, ^205,500. A new 
Station House in East Dcdhnm Street was built for 
Station No. 5, at a cost of &' 17,000. 

1858. Frederic Walker Lincoln Jr., Mayor. 


In Janc^ the silver badge was altered, leaving off 
the star, and cutting numbers through the plate, 
the number of each officer being recorded at the 
Chief's Office. — In August, the Police Telegraph, 
connecting each Station (except Station No. 7) with 
the Chief office, was established. — November 1. 
The new Police uniform was put on, consisting of 
blue coat. Police buttons, blue pants and black vests, 
dress coat for Chief and Captains, and frock coat 
for Deputy and Patrolmen. Police appropriation, 

1859. Frederic Walker Lincoln, Jr., Mayor. — 
February 28. Sergeants of Police were appointed, 
two to each Station, except the Harbor Police. 
Police were detailed from each Station to do fire 
Police duty, formerly done by constables, and six 
fire Police suits of rubber were furnished for each 
Station. — A new Station House for No. 7 was 
built in Meridian Street, East Boston, at a cost of 
$16,000, and old Hancock Schoolhouse, in Han- 
over Street, was enlarged and improved for Station 
No. 1, costing some $6,000. Police appropriation, 

1860. Frederic Walker Lincoln, Jr., Mayor. 
Police Committee three Aldermen, as last year. — 
The Police were increased to two hundred and 
ninety-two men. A Captain of Detectives ap- 
pointed, and a sailboat purchased for the use 
of the Harbor Police, manned by four men. In 

777591 A 


consequence of a difficulty with some unruly 
members of the Police, the Government got the 
idea that change was required, and each Station 
was organized into six divisions, each division going 
out six hours alternately, day and night, abolishing 
the regular day force ; and the arrangement was 
such that a man went on his own beat but once in 
two days, this was the principal object aimed at, 
but the plan worked bad ; the Police did not like 
it, the people did not like it, nor did the Govern- 
ment like it, and the next spring we went back on 
the old plan. Police appropriation, $228,000. 

1861. Joseph Milner Wightman, Mayor. Feb- 
ruary 11. Josiah L. C. Amee, Chief of Police. — 
April 15. President Lincoln issued his proclama- 
tion, " That in consequence of the bombardment 
and capture of Fort Sumter, in the harbor of South 
Carolina, by a force inimical to the United States 
Government, war is inaugurated between the United 
States and the seceding States, South Carolina j 
Georgia, Alabama, Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana, 
and Texas." This was the opening scene in a 
tragedy the most fearful since the world began, and 
one in which Boston took a most active part, open- 
ing a new field, requiring vigilance, activity, and 
deep responsibilities on all her municipal officers, 
and the Police were at aU times held in readiness 
for any emergency. During the remainder of the 
year, military processions, parades, receptions, re- 


views, and other gatherings continually filled tlie 
streets, and Police details from ten to one hundred 
and fifty officers were made on one hundred and 
thirty-six occasions for these alone. The Harbor 
Police were also in constant requisition for duty on 
the water. Deserters from both army and navy 
were arrested and returned to their places, and re- 
cruiting offices guarded. In fact, wherever aid or 
protection was required, there were the Police to 
be found. — A Police Tent was provided this year 
for furnishing refreshments, and also as a place for 
Police headquarters at large details. A rogue's 
picture-gallery was also commenced, and about one 
hundred valuable likenesses collected. 

1862. Joseph Milner Wightman, Mayor ; Jo- 
siah L. C. Aniee, Chief of Police. Details for 
military escort, procession and receptions, con- 
tinued as last year. The Police force increased to 
three hundred and seventeen men. — March 1. A 
Police Kelief Association established among the 
members ; assessments twenty-five cents per month 
for each member ; benefits in sickness not over $5 
per week. It was dissolved early the next year by 
an almost unanimous vote of the members. — Jidi/ 
25. Great war meetings commence to be held on 
the Common, which continued each day for several 
weeks. Tents and speakers stands raised. — The 
Old South Church opened as a recruiting office. — 
Sunday, August 31. News received of the terrible 



slaughter at second Bull Hun Battle. Religious 
services at church closed and contributions of every- 
thing needed for wounded soldiers collected in large 
quantities, which were packed in cases, and, in 
charge of State and City Authorities and twenty 
Policemen, were immediately on their way to Wash- 
ington. — December 22. Corner-stone of New City 
Hall laid. — A new Station House built in Joy 
Street for Station No. 3, at a cost of $28,000. The 
Station removed there from Leverett Street. 

1863. Frederic Walker Lincoln, Jr., Mayor. 
January 10. The Old City Hall about to be removed 
and the City Government go to Mechanics Hall, 
Chauncy Street. The office of Chief of Police was 
removed to a place in the JDasement of the Court 
House. — February 24. General Aiiiee retired from 
office, and Boston has no Chief of Police. By 
order of the Mayor, Deputy Chief E. H. Savage 
had temporary charge of the Department. — March 
3. Colonel John Kurtz assumed the duties of 
Chief of Police. — April 6. Members of the Police 
sworn into office, having been appointed during 
good behavior and usefulness, subject only to 
removal by the Mayor, the annual appointment 
ordinance having been abolished, both of which 
were new features in our history. — April 28. 
The Police Department met at Faneuil Hall, under 
the Chief, for military drill, which was afterward 
contmued at each Station. — Juli/ 14. The great 


Conscription Riot at North End. — August 17. A 
club two feet long carried in a leather belt around 
the waist provided for the Police. — Several of the 
force have enlisted in the military service. — De- 
tails for military purposes continued, amounting to 
one hundred and eighty-seven, with from six to one 
hundred and eighty officers at each, during the year. 

1864. Frederic Walker Lincoln, Jr., Mayor; 
Colonel John Kurtz, Chief of Police. — No new or 
important event connected with the Police occurred 
during the year, although the number of men and 
the duties have gradually mcreased. Military regi- 
ments were continually arriving and departing, 
and details, from five to one hundred and eighty 
men, have been made on over two hundred occa- 
sions ; and the records show a greater amount of 
work done in the year, than ever before. 

1865. Frederic AValkcr Lincoln, Jr., Mayor ; 
Colonel John Kurtz, Chief of Police. — February 
22. News that President Lincoln had signed the 
Emancipation Bill, was received. One hundred 
guns fired on the Common, flags displayed, bells 
rung, and great rejoicing. — April 10. The news 
of the surrender of Lee's Rebel army reaches Bos- 
ton, and causes tremendous excitement. Cannon 
are roaring on the Common, flags arc thrown out 
from almost every building, bells are pealing, 
twenty steam-engines are rushing, screaming 
through the streets, and people are running crazy 


with joy. A great portion of the buildings in the 
city illuminated in the evening. — April 15. The 
great joy of the people turned to the deepest sor- 
row at the reception of the news that President 
Lincoln fell by the hand of an assassin, last even- 
ing. Business was immediately suspended, and in 
a few hours, the entire city was draped in mourn- 
ing. — June 1. Funeral in memory of the death of 
President Lincoln. A larger procession than ever 
appeared in Boston, passed through the streets, ac- 
companied by the entire Police force ; and an ora- 
tion and other appropriate ceremonies closed the 
solemn scene. 

18G6. Frederic Walker Lincoln, Jr., Mayor; 
John Kurtz, Chief of Police. — January 1. 
The Police force numbers 375 men, rank and 
file. January 11. — Daniel J. Coburn, formerly 
Chief of Police, died, ag-ed 63 years. — June 
3. Ex-Mayor Charles Wells died, aged 79 
years and 5 months. — June 13. Bath-houses 
established by the city, the Police in charge. — - 
Jane 15. A new code of Police Rules and Reof- 
ulations provided. — July 8. A delegation of 
Police carry a contribution to the Police of Port- 
land, who were sufferers by the fire in that city 
July 4th. — July 13. A detail of 100 Police on 
foot, and 12 mounted officers, escort Gen. Sher- 
man into the city. — Septemher 4. Workmen 
break ground in commencing to level Fort Hill. 
— September 13. Reception of Loyal Southerners 


at Fanenil Hall. — Sf^ptembpr 24. Thirty night- 
walkers, from Police Disti-iet No. 3, at court. — 
October 12. School-boys drill on the Common; 
a detail of 75 Police. — J^ovemher 2. AVork com- 
menced on the bridge over the pond on the Pub- 
lic Garden. — Nonemher 14. Astronomers pre- 
dicted a shower of meteors this morning. A large 
number of persons were on the Common to wit- 
ness the event; the bells were to be rung ten 
strokes; watchmen were to spring their rattles; 
but the shower did not come. — December 4. 
Capt. Robert Taylor, of Police Station No. G, for- 
merly Chief of Police, died. 

1867. Otis Norcross, Mayor; John Kurtz, 
Chief of Police. — January 1. The Police 
force numbers 383 pien. — February 4. Gen. 
Josiah L. C. Amee, formerly Chief of Police, 
died. — June 1. Base Ball becoming an insti- 
tution. Police Officers with ropes and stakes 
called into requisition on the Common. — Jane 
24. Dedication of Masonic Temple, corner of 
Tremont and Boylston Streets. The procession 
was 1^ hours passing a given point; estimated 
10,000 Masons present. President Andrew John- 
son and suite, and many distinguished persons, 
witnessed the cermonies. A detail of 275 Police 
on duty. — July 4. Police force increased for 
the day by the appointment of 275 Specials; 
there were 55 separate Police details for the 
occasion. — August 15. James II. Blake, for- 
merly City Marshal, died. — September 9. The 


citizens of Boston and Roxbury vote to unite 
the two cities under one Municipal Government. 

— September 12. The Blue Hill Bank, of Dor- 
chester, robbed of §50,000. — September 15. 
Laying of the corner-stone of the Catholic 
church corner of Washington and Union Park 
Streets; 100 Police detailed for the occasion. — 
October 7. Grand reception of General Sheridan 
in Boston. — JSFovember 2. Funeral of Governor 
John A. Andrew; 100 Police detailed for the 
occasion. — N^ovember 18. Statue of Edward 
Everett presented to the city. — November 23. 
Francis Tukey, formerly Chief of Police, died in 

1868. N'athaniel Bradstreet Shurtloff, Mayor; 
John Kurtz, Chief of Police. — January 1. The 
Police force numbers 347 men. — February 1. 
Soup made and distributed to the poor from the 
several Police Station Houses for the first time. 
April 2. The PoHce furnished with a new Sil- 
ver Badge. — April 11. Kesolve and order 
for widening Devonshire Street approved. — 
April 13. Roxbury having been annexed to 
Boston, the Roxbury Police were reorganized, 
forming District ^o. 9, Station House in Old 
City Hall, Dudley Street. — April 15. Police- 
men commence to canvass the city in aid of the 
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. 

— April 26. Luther A. Ham, formerly Deputy 
Chief of Pohce, died. — 3/«?/ 30. Posts of the 
Grand Army of the Republic decorate soldiers' 


graves, liavinuc a Police escort. — Jiinr \\. AVatcr 
first played iVom the Bi'cwcr Fountain on the 
Common. — Jane 6. Resolve and order for 
widening Ti'cmont Street approved. — Juneli. 
Ttelii^ious meetinu^s bcij^in to be held in Faneuil 
Hall. — June 27. Dedication of the Ether 
Monument on the Public Garden. — Juhj 4. 
The Police force increased for the day by the 
appointment of 200 Specials. Among the 
amusements was a submarine race in the harbor. 
— Jalij 8. Reception of tiie 22d New York Regi- 
ment. — Jul J 13. Workmen commence to raise 
the Church-street territory. — August 2. Young 
Men's Christian Association commence Sunday 
Services under a tent on the Common. — August 
20. Reception of lion. Anson BuiTmgame and 
the Chinese Embassy. — October 28. Republi- 
can torchlight procession. — October 20. Demo- 
cratic torchlight procession. — JVovember 20. A 
bear placed in the enclosure on the Common 
creates a sensation among the deer; the Police 
called. — December 2. Gen. Grant arrived at 
St. James Hotel. — December 8. Tolls taken off 
from the Milldam road. — December 18. Resolve 
and order for the laying out of Atlantic Avenue 
signed. — December 'SI. Resolve and order for 
widening Hanover Street, between Court and 
Blackstone, approved. 

1809. Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtlclf, Mayor; 
John Kurtz, Chief of Police. — Januarijl. The 
Police force numbers 412 men. — February 1(3. 


Velocipede Kinks becoming a popular resort. — 
February 25. Water let into the Roxbury 
stand pipe. — IfarcJi 1. The Old Bite Tavern 
closed as a public house. — April 7. Ceremonies 
in closing the Bromfield House as a public 
house. — April 26. Odd Fellows' Celebration: 
a large procession. — 3fay 22. Old Concert 
Hall ceases to be a place of entertainment. — 
3Iay 26. May training; artillery firing by elec- 
tricity ; 100 Police on duty for the occasion. — 
May 29. Decoration Day. — June 15. The 
IS^ational Peace Jubilee commences on Back Bay 
grounds; 300 Police detailed for the five days. — 
Ju7ie 16. Military review of Gen. Butler's Bri- 
gade by President Grant, on Tremont Street, 
South End, and on the Common. — June 19. 
Peace Jubilee closed. The 300 Police who had 
been on that duty were reviewed and addressed 
by Mayoi- Shurtlefli* in School Street. — June 22. 
The citizens of Boston and Dorchester vote to 
annex. — July i^. Equestrian Statue of AYasli- 
iugton on the Public Garden dedicated. — July 
5. The JS'ational Anniversary celebrated with 
usual ceremonies, the Police iorce increased by 
300 Specials for the day. — August 2. The 
territory of Roxbury, divided by Washington 
Street and Shawniut Avenue, making two 
Police Districts, the east part forming No. 
9 and the west part No. 10. Station House 
No. 10, corner of Washington and Tremont 
Streets, first occupied. — August 6. A license 


granted for a haunted house in Spi-ini^lidd 
Street ; ])ut it was soon revoked. — Aiuiust 
21. Workmen commence moving back Hotel 
Pelham to widen Trcmont Street, corner of Boyl- 
ston Street. — September 8. A terrible hurricane 
blew down the Coli.seum building and several 
other buildings in the city, tore up trees on the 
Common and elsewhere; a Mr. Clark was also 
killed by a plank blown from the sidewalk in St. 
James xVvenue. — September 15. Commence- 
ment of the Mechanics' Fair at Faneuil Ilall. — 
Septetiiber 17. 100 Police detailed on the occa- 
sion of the Firemen's Parade. A detail of Police 
organized for duty at street corners in the cen- 
tral part of the cit}', numbering 14 men, head- 
quartci"s in the basement of the Court House. — 
September 26. A Festival of Irish citizens, num- 
bering 30,000 persons, held at the Coliseum, 300 
police in attendance. — October 12. Italian citi- 
zens celebrate the anniversary of the landing of 
Columbus in America. — October 15. Resolve 
and order for widening Hanover Street, between 
Blackstone and Commercial Streets, approved. — 
October 22. Slight shock of an earthquake at 
half-past five o'clock in the morning. — October 
23. Coliseum Lottery drawn: 100,000 tickets, 
5,200 prizes. — November 20. Boylston Bank 
robbed of about $300,000. — December 7. Great 
fire on Commercial Wharf; flour mills burned. 

1870. Nathaniel Bradstreet Shurtleff, May- 
or; John Kurtz, Chief of Police. — January \. 


The Police force numbers 443 men. Mystic water 
introduced into East Boston. — Fehruary 5. 
His Royal Highness Patrick William Arthur 
arrived at the St. James Hotel. — February 8. 
Boston church bells toll, and flags are at half- 
staff, in consequence of the funeral of Mr Pea- 
body. — February 9. The first grand ball of 
the Boston Police Department at Faneuil Hall, 
to raise funds for the benefit of disabled officers. 

— February 14. The Board of Aldermen 
abolish the Detective Police system. — February 
19. Col. John Kurtz, having been Chief of 
Police 7 years, resigned, and retired from office. 

— April 4. Edward H. Savage appointed 
Chief of Police. — April 8. A deep sensation 
caused by the kidnapping of little I^ellie Burns. 
— April 11. Captain James Quinn appointed 
Deputy Chief of Police. — ^/?WZ 21. The 
remains of Hon. Anson Burlingame arrive in 
Boston, and lie in state at Faneuil Hall. — A 
show up of rogues commenced at the office of 
the Chief of Police. The old system of dealing 
with this class of persons changed for a trial of 
the experiment — attempting to keep thieves out 
of Boston to prevent them irom stealing in it. — 
May 7. The Police arrested 183 night-walkers, 
most of whom were subsequently sent to their 
friends out of the city. — May 25* A great 
militai-y display on the Common; 150 Police in 
attendance. — June 1. The Dorchester Police 
reorganized, forming District ^o, 11; Station 


House Oil Hancock Street, Ward IG. — Jane 2. 
The Police on street corners becomes a part of 
Division ^o. 2. Capt. Asa Morrill, of Police 
District No. 3, died. — June 10. A gallery of 
roi^iies' ]ihotograpbs commenced at the Central 
Police Cilice. — Jidlc 25. The School Kegimcnt 
drilled on the Common; 150 Policemen keep the 
lines about the parade grounds. — July 1. The 
usual celebration; 200 Special Police appointed 
for the occasion. — Jnlfj 13. Order to contract 
for raising the Suftb Ik-street District signed by 
the Mayor. — Jul)/ 25. Great fire on Border 
Street, East Boston. — September 17. Firemen's 
Parade; 2-10 police detailed for the occasion. — 
October 1. Policemen put on the new Boston 
Police Badge and Buttons. — October 16. The 
corner-stone of the Catholic Children's Home on 
Harrison Avenue laid; 150 Police on duty for the 
occasion. — October 20. A slight shock of an 
earthquake occurred at half-past eleven o'clock 
A. M. — October 25. Water let mto the lower 
basin at the Chestnut Hill Reservoir. — Novem- 
ber 4. Kesolve and order for the removal 
of Scollay's building signed. — J^ocember 21:. 
The Police collected and distributed $1,109.60 
among poor persons who were overlooked by 
others. — December. 26. The new Police Tele- 
graph, connecting the several Police Stations 
with the central office, completed. — December 
30. The resolve and order for erectins: a sol- 


diers' and sailors' monument on the Common 

1871. William Gaston, Mayor; Edward H. 
Savage, Chief of Police. — January 1. The 
Police force numbers 500 men. — January 13. 
Police Relief Association organised. — January 
14. In consequence of the scarcity and unneces- 
sary waste of water, the whole of the Police force 
appointed Water Inspectors. — February 2. 
Annual Police Ball at Music Hall. — AijrillQ. 
Policemen at East Boston break up a prize-fight 
at Breed's Island. — May 1. The licensing of 
dogs transferred from the City Clerk to the Chief 
of Police. — May 12. Great meeting of the 
Grand Army of the Republic. — May 18. The 
removal of Scollay's building completed. — May 
30. Decoration Day. — May ^1. Training day 
called for a detail of 100 Police on the Common. 
— June 5. Little Raven and five other Kansas 
Indians visit City Hall. — June 13. The laying 
of the corner-stone of Odd Fellows' Hall, corner 
of Tremont and Berkeley Streets, called out a 
detail of 330 Police. — June 17. Reception of 
the JSTew York Uth Regiment, commanded by 
Col. James Fisk, Jr.; a detail of 100 Police. — 
June 18. (Sunday.) Col. Fisk'u regiment holds 
Mdiyious Services on Boston Common. — Ja)ie 
23. The School Regiment drilled on the Common; 
100 Police on duty. — July 4. Usual celebration. 
Police force increased for the day by the appoint- 
ment of 250 Specials. — July 20. Slight shock 


of an eartliquake at 12.55 o'clock in the morning. 
— Atf(/i(st 2(j. A tenililc accident occurred at 
Revere by a collision of steam cars; 32 i)ers()ns 
killed, and many others injured. Police sent to 
the scene, and the wounded removed from the 
Eastern Depot to the Hospitals. — September 18. 
The corner-stone of the Soldiers' Monument laid 
on the Common; a great gathering, both of the 
military and civilians; 300 Police detailed for the 
duty. — October 4. The drought made it neces- 
sary to ])nmp water from Lake Cochituate for 
the Reservoir. — October 14. Deputy Chief 
Quinn went to Chicago to carry contributions 
from the Boston Police to the Chicago Police, 
who suffered by the great fire. — October 16. 
The corner-stone of the new Post-OfHce on 
Milk, Devonshire, and Water Streets, laid in 
presence of President Grant, many distinguished 
persons, and a great concourse of people; 300 
Police detailed for the occasion. — October 
24. Deep sensation caused by the murder of 
Kate Leehan on Brookline Avenue. — J^ovember 
29. — Thanksgiving Day. The Police collected 
and distributed to the poor about one thousand 
dollars. — December 7. The Grand Duke Alexis 
of Russia arrived in Boston. 

1872. William Gaston, Mayor; Edward H. 
Savage, Chief of Police. — January 1. The Po- 
lice force luimbers 4G8 men. — January 2o. The 
Third Annual Assembly of the Police Department 
at Music Hall. — May 30. Decoration Day. — 


June 3. Detail of 100 Police for Artillery Elec- 
tion. — June 17. Commencement of the World's 
Musical Festival. The regular Police force had 
been increased to 532 men, with the addition 
of 250 Specials appointed for the occasion. At 
8 o'clock A. M. the whole regular force was 
marshalled in Pemberton Square and marched 
to the Coliseum grounds, where 250 men were 
drawn out for duty for the twenty days' ceremo- 
nies, the remainder returning to their respective 
Stations, with the aid of the Specials to cover 
the beats throughout the city. The attendance 
at the Festival was said to be from 30,000 to 
70,000 people daily, many days numbering 
nearly or quite 100,000 persons crowded together 
in the streets; yet during that exciting, pro- 
tracted period there were no burglaries, no store 
robberies, few street larcenies, very few accidents, 
and no disturbance of the peace. — June 26. 
Grand Festival Ball; President Grant and 50,000 
people present. — July 4. The combined attrac- 
tions of the Holiday and the Festival, with the 
thermometer at 100 degrees, caused a serious 
test of the efficiency and power of endurance of 
the Boston Police. Ex-Mayor John P. Bigelow 
died, aged nearly 75 years. — July 7. The closing 
concert of the World's Musical Festival. — July 
22. Yessels running quarantine taken back by the 
Police. — August 2^. Irish citizens' concert at 
the Coliseum. — September 5. Colored citizens' 
convention at Faneuil Hall. — Septemher 17. 


Firemen's Parade; 100 Police detailed for the 
occasion. — September 22. " Father Burke " lec- 
tured at the Coliseum; .30,000 people; 100 Po- 
lice. — Sfptemher 25. The prevalence of the 
small-pox begins to create an alarm. — October 
11. Great torchlight procession; detail of 50 
Police. — October 13. Mr. Charles Lane, liv- 
ing on Hancock Street, "Ward IG, was shot and 
killed in his own doorway by some unknown 
assassin. — October 25. Mr. Gilmore's Ball at 
the Coliseum. — October 2G. The horse disease 
commenced in Boston, making it necessary to 
propel fire engines, horse cars, and other vehi- 
cles through the streets with human muscle. — 
October 30. A great torchlight procession. — 
November G. The body of Abijah Ellis, cut up 
and packed in two barrels, was found floating in 
Chai'les River. — November 9. At 7.15 P. M. the 
Great Fire broke out at the corner of Summer 
and Kingston Streets, which swept off nearly all 
the buildings between Summer, Washington, 
Milk and Broad Streets, destroying nearly $100,- 
000,000 of property and many lives. Firemen 
were called from other cities; buildings were 
blown up to stop the progress of the flames; the 
military were called out for a Police relief; the 
gas was shut off, leaving the city in darkness 
two nights; and Boston presented a scene never 
to be forgotten. — November 10. Post-Ofllce 
moved to Faneuil Hall. — December 2G. The 

106 Jc Boston watch and police. 

small-pox hospital at Pine Island destroyed by 

1873. Henry Lillie Pierce, Mayor; Edward 
H. Savage, Chief of Police. — January 1. The 
Police force numbers 520 men. — January 14. 
Mayor Pierce nominates, and the City Council 
confirm, a Board of Health of three men. — 
January 15. The Board of Health established a 
small-pox hospital at the old almshouse in Rox- 
bury. — February 2. Post-Ofiice opened in the 
Old South Meeting-house, the building hav- 
ing been obtained for two years. — February 9. 
Public Library first opened on Sunday. ■ — Feb- 
ruary 20. Fourth annual Police Ball at the 
Music Plall. — February 27. Serious fire and 
loss of life at the corner of Blackstone and 
Hanover Streets. — March 6. Louis Wag- 
ner, charged with murder at the Isle of Shoals, 
arrested in ^orth Street by the Boston Po- 
lice. — March 17. A show up of burglars 
and burglars' tools at the Central Police Office. 
— March 21. James McElhanney hanged in 
Charles-street jail for the murder of his wife. — 
April 5. 420 passengers from the wrecked 
steamer Atlantic arrive at Faneuil Hall, en route 
for New York. — May 1. The Police force in- 
creased to 575 men. — May 11. Barnum's 
great ten days' show commenced at the Coliseum 
grounds. — May 12. An independent line of 
telegraph wire, connecting each Station House 
separately to the Central Police Office, com- 


pleted. — ^fcnj 13. The system of a mounted 
patrol inaugiirated by placing one mounted 
Police Oilicer on the Milldam road. — Maj 30. 
Decoration Day. At 8.40 o'clock A. M., a fire 
broke out on Washington, near Essex Street, 
destroying nearly $200,000 worth of property, 
calling lor the aid of firemen out of the city, and 
the services of 400 Police. — June 23. School 
Pegiment drilled on the Common; detail of 80 
Police. — Jane 29. Amended Police Rules and 
Regulations furnished for the Department. — 
July 4. — For the first time in many j^ears, 
Boston had no fireworks, no balloon ascension, 
and no Special Police for the day; but with 
ample arrangements made for the occasion, and 
the city as full as usual of people to enjoy them. 
As the City Government had prudently and 
wisely designed, the national anniversary was 
celebrated in a quiet and rational manner. 




As I was passing over my District one morning, 
I came up to where two old gentlemen were stand- 
ing engaged in earnest conversation, their attention 
apparently attracted to some object over the way. 

As I was about to pass them unnoticed, I said, 
*' Good morning, gentlemen ; happy to meet you 
in your morning walk." 

" That you, Geevus" said one of them, turning ; 
and scanning me from head to foot. " Well, sir, 
the likes of you» with your long blue coat and 
bright B. P. Big Poker buttons would have been 
a rare sight in those days." 

" What days do you refer to ? " said I. 

" Why, the days of the olden time ; days of the 
Tinpot and the Beehive" said he ; " days when 
citizens sometimes found it necessary to take the 


execution of the laws into their own hands, and 
pretty summary work they made of it too." 

"Well, sir," said I, " what about the Beehive ?" 
(Shifting his cane from one hand to the other, 
and dropping a big quid of the weed into the 
empty hand and deliberately throwing his old sol- 
dier upon the pavement.) 

"Do you know," said he, " that the street where 
we now stand was once called Black Horse Lane?" 
It was called so, from the Black Horse Tavern, that 
once stood down there by the corner, where you 
see the figure with a big nose standing over the 
apothecary's door. The tavern had the figure of 
a black horse for a sign ; it was long before my 
remembrance, but when I was a boy an old darkie 
who lived over by the water-mill used to tell me 
much about it. He called it Blackiis Inn, but that 
was old Ebony's abbreviation. This Inn was once 
noted as a place of refuge for soldiers who desert- 
ed from Burgoyne's army as it was about leaving 
Winter Hill, near the close of the Revolution. 
There was another tavern, with a like sign, up in 
Back Street afterwards, and one up at old No. 17 
Union Street, not many years since, but this was 
the original one. In early times, the North End 
was the " court end " of the town, and it was pro- 
verbial for its numerous places of entertainment. 
Ann Street was then Fore Street, and Hanover was 
Middle Street, and Salem Street from the mill 


Dridgc to the corner down here was Back Street, 
and from Prince Street up by Christ's Church and 
the old Governor riiipps estate to Charter Street 
was called Green Lane. 

" Smce my remembrance, the millpond extended 
from North Margin to South Margin streets, and 
from the causeway to Ilaymarkct Square. Canal 
boats passed through where Blackstone Street now 
lies, at high water coming out into the Bay near 
where the foot of Quincy Market now stands, and 
there were bridges across the canal at Hanover 
and at Ann streets, and there was a water mill a 
little north of Hanover and Blackstone streets, and 
another near the foot of Endicott Street. Black 
Horse Lane was afterwards widened and called 
Princess Street, in honor of some female woman of 
the English Royal family. Boston men were loyal 
men until the mother country by continued acts of 
oppression drove them to madness and desperation." 

" That is very true," said I ; " but tell us about 
the Beehive." 

" O, yes," said he ; "I had forgotten. Well, 
sir, do you see that narrow three-story house just 
over the way there? it was once painted lead 
color ; it is now Xo. 60, I believe. Well, on that 
ground stood the Beehive" 

" ^Vhy was that name given if? " said I. 

" Well, I will tell you," said he ; " you see it was 
then a two-story wooden dwelling with a shai-p 



roof, the end to the street ; had little windows, 
and externally it looked very much like a beehive, 
and then it was chuck full of cosey little cells, and 
old marm Cooper was the queen bee. She had 
two pretty daughters, and plenty of boarders of the 
female persuasion, and the popping in and out a£ 
the hive on an evening would remind you of the 
genuine article on a June day. Do you think the 
place rightly named] Well, the hive finally be- 
came so notorious and so noisy that respectable 
people would put up with it no longer, and so one 
night the truckmen, — yes, sir, the truckmen^ them 
were the fellows when any game was on foot in 
those days. Well, they might not all have been 
truckmen, perhaps a sprinkling of mechanics and 
laborers, and now and then a sailor hoy, just home 
from sea," said he, givmg his companion a severe 
punch in the side with his elbow. ' Humph!' 
said the other giving a pull at the hip of his pan- 

"WeU," continued the speaker, "just as we 
were knocking off work word came — let me see 
—yes, it was on the 22d day of July, 18"25, about 
nine o'clock in the evening, there came do\^Ti from 
Hanover Street way, about two hundred of the 
most comical-looking fellows that you ever laid 
eyes on. They had pitcliforks, and poles, and 
bars, and axes, and conch shells, and gourd shells, 
and tin horns, and tin pans, and were dressed in 


all kinds of costume, and their faces were blacker 
than the bottom of a tar kettle. Well, just as they 
arrived at the beehive, the band struck up — such 
music — and the work began, and such work, — 
why sir, you could not hear yourself think, and in 
less than ten minutes there was not a piece of door 
or window or furniture left of the beehive so large 
as a Truck Pi?i, and such a stampede by the in- 
mates of the hive. Don't you remember," said he, 
(turning to his friend and lowering his voice,) 
" don't you remember seeing old marm Cooper 
scudding through School alley under full sail at a 
rate that would have done credit to a privateers- 

'■'■ Exactlij" said his friend, (at the same time giv- 
ing an unlucky cur who was passing a most ungen- 
erous punch with his cane that sent him yelping 
down street.) 

" Well," continued the old gentleman, turning to 
me again, " you see the wind was fresh northwest, 
and some dozen- feather beds had been turned in- 
side out from the windows, and the atmosphere 
was about as full of feathers as you ever see it of 
snow-flakes in a squall. To add to the scene, some 
one had got up a prodigious smoke by burning 
brimstone, feathers, and wool rags. I tell you, sir, 
it was a scene for a lifetime. ^Vhy, you would 
have thought all the feathered imps from the 
regions of darkness had shed their coats on this 


devoted ground, and were escaping with their 
dear lives to every lane, passage, and gateway in 
the neighborhood (after a pause) ; and so the 
swarm was taken up," said he. 

" But where were the police all this timel " said I. 

"Police," said he, " did n't I just tell you that 
the likes of you would have been a rarity in those 
days, and did n't I tell you that the citizens some- 
times were obliged to take the laws into their own 
hands ? Pity the practice has gone quite out of 
use. Don't you think, sir, that Justice, who is 
seated in the big County House up town, some- 
times gets a little dht in his eye ? " 

" But where were the city authorities? " said I. 

"City authorities," said he; "why, Boston had 
been a city but a short time then, and if they knew 
anything at all about the matter, they took good 
care not to come there tUl the trouble was all 
over; and beside, them truckmen done up that job 
about as quick as you could say Jack Robinson, 
and then they were off." 

" Well," said I, " it must have been quick work 
and a comical sight indeed. But (and looking at 
him a little slyly), who do you suppose were the 
truckmen engaged in this riot? " 

" Riot — none of your business, you young sauce- 
box" said he ; and taking a fresh quid the two 
walked leisurely up the street, leaving me to re- 
sume my duties. 


Among the many exciting events that marked the 
progress of the year 1854 in Boston, was the ad- 
vent of Gabriel and his horn. I do not mean him 
of olden time, spoken of on the sacred page, but a 
poor, illiterate, half-breed Scotchman, with more 
impudence than brains, who with a three-cornered 
hat and cockade on his head, and an old brass horn 
in his bosom, took advantage of the political excite- 
ment then existing, and travelled about the city 
and suburbs from place to place tooting his horn, 
collecting crowds in the streets, delivering what he 
called Political Lectures, and passing round the hat 
for contributions. 

His lectures generally consisted of a repetition of 
a few ill-chosen words, interspersed with some un- 
meaning slang, relative to some European institu- 
tions that no one ever read of, and the abuse of some 
sport-loving youngster who had pelted him with 
rotten eggs at a former lecture. 

But the hom — Gabriel's horn was the great cen- 
tre of attraction, and appeared to occupy as promi- 



nent a place in the hearts of his admirers, as did 
that which adorned the altar in King Solomon's 
Temple, Without that horn Gabriel would have 
been powerless, but with it he seemed to possess 
the power of a Socrates, and indeed the notes from 
that horn were the best arguments I ever heard him 

So potent was its fame, that even a sound from a 
conch shell made by some roguish boy, was often 
mistaken for the genuine article, and would fill 
the streets with a gaping multitude in a few 

Gabriel usually closed his harangue by notifying 
his audience of the time and place of his next lec- 
ture, which saved advertising, and when the time 
arrived another stampede would occur. AVherever 
these lectures were holden, it became necessary to 
detail a large force of police to preserve the peace, 
and rough times we often had of it. Indeed, it 
really seemed that everybody was bent on a row, 
and perfectly infatuated with humbug. 

I well recollect one of these Gabriel incidents 
that occurred on Sunday afternoon, December 17, of 
this year. 

Gabriel was to lecture at Chelsea, and for once 
he had gone down Hanover Street quietly and un- 
noticed ; but on arriving at the ferry, as he stepped 
on board the boat, he must blow his horn. This 
was a signal for a crowd, and it was soon there, 


but Gabriel had gone, and no one seemed to know 
whither. Many of the boys collected, were deeply 
impressed with t/te spirit of the times, and a disturb- 
ance commencing, the police were under the neces- 
sity of making several arrests, and took one man to 
the Station House. They succeeded in reachmg 
the house with the man, but the crowd supposing 
Gabriel had been arrested, were very indignant, 
and followed up, surrounded the house, and began 
to threaten, and call for Gabriel, in no very pacific 
or flattering terms. 

After the prisoner had been locked up, I went 
out upon the steps and waved my hand to be heard, 
which was granted, 

I then told the crowd that only an intoxicated 
man had been arrested, he would be kindly treated 
and probably discharged when sober. That Gabriel 
had gone to Chelsea to deliver a lecture agreeably to 
appointment made by him in Union Street, last Sun- 
day, as many who now heard me woidd well recol- 
lect ; that they woidd now find him speaking m his 
winning strains on Hospital Hill — God bless him ! 

This tiu*ned the tide of affau-s, and the crowd 
began to cry out, "That's so!" "All right, old 
boy ! " " Give us a speech yourself, Capt'n ! " Hur- 
rah for Station One!" " Hm-rah for Gabriel!" 
" Hurrah for the horn! " " All hands to Hospital 
Hill ! " and a general stampede for Chelsea Ferry 
closed the exhibition. 


I wished, from the bottom of my heart, that Ga- 
briel, his horn, and all his followers were with the 
host of Pharaoh in the bottom of the Red Sea ; but 
recollecting that the truth is not to be spoken at all 
times, I held my peace. 

Gabriel finally became such a travelling nuisance, 
that the more sober portion of the people (if there 
were any at that time,) began to be ashamed to be 
seen following in his wake, and the sport for others 
becoming stale, his collections would not pay his 
lodging bills, and he left his field of labor, in dis- 
gust, for the more sunny clime of Saint Domingo. 

He was not there long, however, before he was 
arrested as a general disturber of the peace, and 
sentenced to the penitentiary for three years, and 
died in prison soon after. 


A PORTLY, intelligent-looking man came into the 
Office one morning and inquired for the Captaia. 
I said I was that celebrated indi\idual, and inquii'ed 
what could be done for him. He leaned over the 
railing that separated us, and stood twu-ling a busi- 
ness card between his thumb and finger for some 
time, apparently in a brown study, " AVell," said 
he, finally, straightening up, "I came in to see you 
on a little matter of business, but on reflection, I 
recon I wont trouble you with it now," and he turned 
to go away. I had been watching him closely in 
his revery, which I saw he noticed, and it seemed 
to strengthen his resolution in not doing his errand. 
He seemed to feel that his appearance indicated a 
recent debauch, which he did not care to have no- 
ticed. As he was about leaving I said, " Look 
here, stranger, are you a Western man ? He turned 
and looked me square in the face a moment, and 
replied, "Well, I recon I am. But why do you ask 

" Nothmg in particular," said I, " only your ap- 


pearance indicates that. And not only so, there is 
something on youi* mind that perplexes you some- 
what ; and if so, I should be most happy to render 
you some service." 

After looking at me a moment, he walked back, 
came inside the railing, and took a seat by my 

" Well, sir," said he, quite frankly, " I take you 
to be a Yankee, and I am told the Yankees are 
some on guessing. Now what have you to say in 
my case % " 

" Sir," said I, we are no fortune-tellers here, only 
policemen ; but as to the matter of Yankee guess- 
ing, as you call it, I am willing to try in your case, 
if you desire it, on one condition, — that you tell 
me when I guess wrong." 

" Very well," said he, " go ahead." 

I reached and took his hand and looked it ovei 
carefully, — and a " huge paw " it was. 

" Well," said I, after considering a while, " 1 
giiess you have done some hard work in your day, — 
some farming, — lumbering some. That is an 
honest-looking hand, and I doubt not it is a ti'ue 
representative of the heart. And you have not 
been confined to farming and lumbering altogether ; 
you could make a good stump speech, or draft a 
set of resolutions, if necessity required." 

I stole a glance at his face and saw that he was 
quite satisfied thus far, and. ready for more. 


"Well,! guess you have a very pretty, hlue-cyed 
wife, far away in a new country, near a wide, smooth 
sti'eara, with four, perhaps five, little responsibil- 

" Stop," said he, with some earnestness, and pull- 
ing away his hand, " do you know me, sir? " 

" Never heard of you in my life," said I ; " you 
was to tell me if I guessed wrong." 

" Well, go ahead," said he, settling back in his 

After quizzing him in the face awhile, " I guess,'' 
said I, " that you are little acquainted in Boston, are 
here on business, have been a little incautious, fell 
in with some jolly companions, took a drop, per- 
haps, that altogether, quite overcame you. I think, 
also you may have lost money, perhaps gold, large 
pieces I think, and I think you have lost some kind 
of a bundle." 

At this, he sprang from his chair like a wild man. 

" Good God, sir!" said he, "I will stand this 
no longer. Do you know me, sir, — do you know 
my name and business ? How came you by all 
this knowledge, sir?" 

" Knowledge," said I, quite innocently, "I have 
no knowledge of you, certainly. You set me to 
guetising, and I have only done according to the 
best of my ability. You have only to tell me when 
I guess wrong. Don't be offended ; just come back 
and sit do\Mi, and see if you can tell it any better 


yourself; and if your case comes in my line, I 
shall be most happy to aid you." 

" Well," said he, " I don t know who the dense 
you are, nor exactly what is in your line^ whether 
policeman or fortune-teller ; but your proceedings 
with me seem very much like the latter, and pretty 
well posted at that. Now, sir, please just tell me 
how you came in possession of all these facts." 

^^ Facts" said I; "then you say I have been 
telling you facts, do you ] Well, I only called it 
guesswork. But you know better than I, and we 
wont dispute the point. But you come and sit 
down here and teU me your case, — I want some- 
thing more tangible than guesswork, — and let us 
see what can be done." 

" I might as well," said he, " although you ap- 
pear to know nearly as much about it now as I do. 
At any rate, you guess well ; and if you can guess 
me out of this scrape as well as you have guessed 
me into it, I shall be forever obliged to you." 

lie then told me his story. 

lie was a resident of Minnesota ; owned a large 
tract of timber land on one of the rivers where the 
country was too level for mill privileges by water 
power, and he had set up several steam mills, 
which were a source of great profit. lie came to 
Boston to purchase machinery for another mill ; 
had closed his business, and was to leave by the 
half past five o'clock train for the West, lie had 


an hour to spare, — took a stroll about town, — 
brought up in North Street, — went into a place to 
take a drink, — a young chap asked him to treat, 
— he drank once, again ; after which he forgot 
what liappened. This morning he found himself 
alone in a strange garret. He examined the room 
carefully, and found no one. Ilis clothes were 
left, but the pockets were empty. He made his 
way out as best he could, and found his way to the 
Station House. He had lost all his money, consist- 
mg of seven twenty-dollar gold-pieces, and a bun- 
dle containing a valuable steam gauge. He had 
seen the elephant, (rather too close a view, he 
thought,) was many hundi-ed miles from home, 
among strangers, and without a dollar in his 

After getting all the information he could give 
me, I sent him into a saloon to get some breakfast, 
and set the boj/s to work. The officers soon learned 
that the chap who had done the shake had left for 
New Bedford. A telegraph dispatch got there 
fii-st : the chap was arrested on his arrival at New 
Bedford, and an officer followed in the next train 
and brought him back with one hundi'ed and 
twenty dollars of the money. He w^as taken be- 
fore the court, and sentenced to two years' service 
in the House of Correction ; and with what money 
was recovered and the steam gauge, the stranger 
took his leave for his home in the West, a wiser, 
if not a better man. 


After arriving liome, he wrote me a polite note, 
thanking me for what was done for him, and took 
occasion to say that if my guessing propensities 
were as accurate in relation to how he felt as they 
were on what he lost, I would surely sympathize 
with him in his folly ; but he was all right now, 
and he had seen enough of Yankeedom to guess 
that he would be in no hurry to again look up the 
Boston elephant. 

Should any curiosity arise relative to the guess- 
work, let me frankly say that I make no pretence 
to supernatural knowledge myself, nor believe it 
in the possession of others, and shall not attempt 
to throw any mystery about the affair. 

My guessing was very simple when explained, 
as most mysteries are. 

Early that morning an officer had brought in 
the steam gauge from a rum hole in North Street, 
which the keeper said was left by a countryman 
who came into his place the previous evening. 
He had any quantity of twenty-dollar gold-pieces, 
treated generously, and finally went off with 
a chap of tlie town well kno-vvn to the officers. 
The steam gauge had the maker's name on it, — a 
well-known firm in the city. We kncw^ of course, 
that the man woutd lose his money in such hands, 
and as soon as the store of the fii'm was open, I 
repau-ed there to learn what I could of the o^vnor 
of the gauge ; and from one of tlie firm I learned 


the man's name, residence, business, and much 
more that I did not put into the guesswork. 
AVhilc he was leaning over the rail twirling the 
card between his thumb and finger, I saw it was 
the card of that same steam-gauge company, and 
with the description I had from one of the firm, I 
was sure of my man. 

That man learned the science of shakitiri^ but in 
all probability, Yankee guessing to him is still a 


As a general rule, the administration of justice is 
best accomplished when each branch of the Executive 
confines itself to its o^vn legitimate duties. The 
Boston Police are appointed for the special pur- 
pose of preserving the peace of the city, executing 
its ordinances, and also the criminal laws of the 
Commonwealth within then* jurisdiction ; and to 
guard against their interference in civil matters, 
and keep them in their proper sphere, it became 
necessary to prescribe their duties by the Statutes, 
gi\ing them " the power, of constables in criminal cases 
onlj/" and also by the ordinance, " They shall 7iot 
render assistance in civil cases." Yet, notwithstand- 
ing these special provisions in both the statute and 
the ordinance, but very few of even our o^vn cit- 
izens seem to be aware of the fact. The conse- 
quence is, demands arc made daily for the mem- 
bers of the Police to do all kinds of work, much of 
which they are not permitted to do by the rules of 



the Department, and not unfrequently that which 
no man can do lawfully. 

The fact that the services of the Police are paid 
for by the cit}', no doubt adds to the number of de- 

An officer is fortunate enough to catch a burglar, 
and carries him before the Police Court, lie is 
bound over for trial. For the sum of twenty-five dol- 
lars paid by the burglar's friends, Mr. Brown bails 
the rogue in the sum of five hundred dollars, takes 
him out of the hands of the officers of the law, 
and turns him loose to again prey upon the com- 
munity. AMien the case comes up for trial, the 
rogue is not in court, and he and liis bail are de- 
faidted. If justice is done, ]\Ir. Brown gets sued 
for the amount of bail. This sometimes happens. 
And ^Ir. Brown, if his bail happens not to be straw, 
immediately hunts up the officer who was smart 
enough to catch the rogue at first, and orders him 
to New York or Nova Scotia, after his j^ro^er/e ; and 
if told by the officer that he has no power in the 
matter, he flies in a passion and uses his influence 
to get the officer discharged. Another has a tenant 
who don't pay rent. The landlord forthwith repau's 
to the Station House and demands an officer to pro- 
ceed without precept or judgment to put the family 
out at once. If told that it would be a gross viola- 
tion of law for any officer, and that the police were 

not qualified to serve di precept in such cases if he had 


one, the officer is strongly reminded that an appoint- 
ing day is soon coming that will fill the ranks of the 
police with men that will do their duty. 

Instances of the like nature are of very frequent 
occurrence ; but they are quite bearable in compari- 
son with some others that sometimes occur with our 
own citizens. The fiirst are excusable, because those 
making such demands, perhaps, have not the oppor- 
tunity of knowing all the rules of law ; but when 
members of the legal profession, and those officers 
whose duties are not restricted to criminal matters, 
make demands even more at variance with law and 
common sense, an excuse is not so easily found. I 
have been ordered by a constable to go into a store 
and remove a large amount of groceries on which 
he had made an attachment ; and I once underwent 
a most searching examination by a " limb of the laiv" 
before the Police Committee because I refused to 
remove a constable's keeper from a store of the law- 
yer's client. 

Yet those cases, too, are sufferable when we rec- 
ollect that we are well paid for being abused, and 
partly by the very men who abuse us. 

But the most annoying and provoking demands 
made on the ^Police, are from persons who do not 
belong to the city, often requiring the most un- 
reasonable duties, and in a manner that would indi- 
cate the belief that the Police were a horde of slaves, 
kept for their own particular benefit. I do not 


mean to say that this is the general rule of all coun- 
trymen, but I do say that such cases often happen. 
Officers are sometimes sent for to go many miles 
out of to^^'n to perform some service which no man 
can lawfully do, with the apparent expectation that 
he will go and '-'-find himself." I have been called 
from my bed at the dead hour of night by a country- 
man, apparentli/ sober, to go and hunt up his worth- 
less dog, who perhaps, disgusted with his master's 
peregrinations and company, had either left for 
home or followed off some other night wanderer by 
mistake. And I have known a countryman hang 
round the Police Office for hours, importuning for 
an officer to go to a bar-room, and demand for him 
a return of three cents, the bar-keeper having taken 
six cents for a drink of raw gin, the countryman 
declaring it should be but three. '* Not that he cared 
for the three cents, — no, not he; but it was the 
principle of the thing, and it was the duty of the 
Police to see him righted." 

The meanest man I ever did a job for was him 
for whom I recovered a stolen team. The team 
consisted of a fine horse, buggy, harness, robe, 
whip, halter, and foot-mat, all worth at least five 
himdred dollars, which was stolen in a country 
town and brought to the city. Before hearing of 
the theft, I had secured the buggy as it was being 
put aboard the Bangor steamer, believing it to be 
stolen; afterwards the horse, harness, and other 


property was all recovered, — all but the mat, val- 
ued probably at fifty cents, which I was not lucky 
enough to get. I had laid out upon the wharf two 
whole nights, after doing duty on the day, and before 
I could reach all the property was obliged to pay 
something over seven dollars from my own pocket 
for assistance. The thief was convicted and sen- 
tenced to State's Prison, and the property safely de- 
livered to the owner, — all but the mat. I thought 
he would refund me the money I had paid out to re ■ 
cover his property, — I expected nothing more ; but 
this he would not do, and finally told me, in so many 
words, that "if you had done your duty, I should 
have my mat also." 

My recollections of that countryman are quite 
fresh, although it is now twelve years since the cir- 
cumstance occurred. He keeps a livery stable yet, 
not many miles from Boston. I will not call his 
name, for I do not write to gratify personal feeling; 
but I do think if that soul ever gets into heaven, it 
will be because it is so small it can creep in unob- 

As a slight illustration of country opinion of police 
duties in Boston, and of the progress of the school- 
master, I give the following true copy of a letter 
which was received at the office of Chief of Police, 
except the name of the party and his place of 


** To the Cheafe of Polease^* : — 

" le sonde this dispache toe you toe Areste A junge 
man bye the name of Nathan Stokes of this place, hea is 
A yimge man aboute 20 yers old an had a blacke frocke 
Cote an Ch)th cap. hea is a Sayler bye perfesion ande 
George Stokes is his unkle an you ken in quier of him. 
an if you doe ketch im cape im til le ken get a permit toe 
taek im her for tryal your in hast. 

please Sende as Sone as you ken an Cape im til you her 
from mea.*' 



While on patrol duty in the summer of 1854, 1 
was passing down Hanover Street early one even- 
ing, and when near Hanover Avenue I was met by 
some apparently living thing, for my life I could 
hardly tell what ; but on .removing a piece of old 
bedquilt, I there found the head of a Mrs. Welch 
among the tattered remnants of her clothing, what 
little she had, all of which was completely sat- 
urated with blood. A more pitiful object my eyes 
never saw, and the poor creatm^e was more dead 
than alive. Knowing the habits of the family, I 
comprehended the state of affairs at once. She 
had again been most cruelly beaten by her brute 
of a husband /o/m, who had already served two 
terms in the House of Correction for the same 

She said she had barely escaped with her life, 
ftnd begged me to run to the house just down the 
avenue, for John was beating the childi'en, two 
interesting little girls, who had often suffered at 




the hands of a cruel father while begging of him 
not to kill their mother. 

The house being but a few steps off, I was soon 
at the door ; but all was still there. Welch lived 
on the second floor, over a colored family, and I 
immediately groped my way, in the dark, up the 
winding stairway to Welch's room. I had been 
there before under similar cu'cumstances, thus far. 
On entering the room, which was dimly lighted by 
an old oil lamp, I cast my eyes over the apart- 
ment. The only furniture consisted of an apology 
for a bed, an old table, and two or three broken 
chairs, and some old torn garments scattered about 
the floor ; but no one seemed to be present. On 
approaching the bed, however, I there discovered 
the veritable John himself, but apparently sound 
asleep. On speaking to him he roused up, and 
wanted to know what I wanted. I said, to see 
him, and asked him to get up. He got out and 
sat upon the side of the bed, ha\Tiig on his usual 
clothing except his shoes, but pretended to be 
entkely unaware that any difficulty had occurred. 
I asked him what caused the appearance of the 
room, and where his wife was. He said it was 
none of my d — nd business ; that he was in his 
own house, and if I valued my life much, I had 
better leave soon. 

Welch was a powerful man, in the prime of life, 
and weighing nearly two himdi-ed pounds, and not 


SO drunk as I had expected to find him. I had 
measured strength with him before, and although 
he was much stronger than myself, I could move 
much quicker than he, and I did not fear him, 
although I had been told that he had said he 
would never be again arrested by me alive. I did 
not doubt but a calm, decided course would subdue 

I finally told him calmly that I was sorry he had 
been having trouble again ; that his wife was out 
in the street badly hurt, and I wanted him to put 
on his shoes and go out with me and see to her. 
He finally said he supposed he might as well go, 
and asked me to reach him his shoes, just under 
the foot of the bed, near where I was standing. I 
stooped down for the shoes, not taking my eye off 
him, when, as quick as thought, he drew from be- 
neath the head of the bed a round stick of wood 
about four feet long and perhaps an inch and a 
half in diameter, and sprang at me with the fury 
of a madman. I straightened up, and jumped 
backwards just in time to be beyond the reach of a 
blow that would have split my head from crown to 
shoulder, the sharp end of his club coming down 
in front of me, and near enough to tear open my 
vest. The second blow, with a " G — d d — mn 
you," quickly followed, my back now being so 
near the side of the room that I was obliged to 
jump sideways ; but he was too near, and I caught 


the blow slantingly on my left arm. It took cloth- 
ing, liidc and all. Before he had time to recover 
for the third blow, my club, which I drew from a 
pocket under my left arm with my right hand, met 
his head, and he fell senseless to the floor. For a 
moment I was relieved ; but the next came the 
fearful thought, " I have killed him ! " I had struck 
him with a heavy lignum-vita? billy, with all my 
jiower. I had hit him on the head ; the blow 
must have broken his skull. I had only acted in 
self-defence ; his next blow would have laid me 
lifeless at his feet. He had missed his aim, and I, 
to save myself, had killed him. But I had killed 
a man in that ill-lighted chamber, and no mortal 
eye was there to witness my extremity. My God ! 
I would have given worlds to have exchanged 
places with him that moment. My club dropped 
from my hands, and I stood aghast. 

But it was too late : the deed was done. I 
knelt down over my victim, and laid my trembling 
hand first on his temple and then on his heart. 
Gracious Heaven ! he was not dead ; the pulsa- 
tions of his heart were as firm and as regular as 
my own. Was it so, — was he not dead? I felt 
again and again, and then with some of the rags 
that he had torn from the person of his wife, I 
wiped the volume of blood which had saturated his 
thick cui'ly hair, and vainly searched for the hole 
in his skull which I supposed my club had made ; 



but it was not there. I then wiped the blood from 
his face, and soon found where my blow had taken 
effect ; it was on the point of the left cheek bone ; 
the flesh was mangled, but the blow being a down- 
ward one no bone was broken. He was still alive, 
and to my unspeakable joy not fatally injured. 

The reaction of feeling was almost too much for 
me. I could have hugged the dirty rascal, so 
overjoyed was I to think I had not killed him. I 
washed the blood from his face as well as I could 
with some dirty water I found in a pail in one 
corner, and laid him on the bed, where he soon 
began to revive. I picked up a part of m.y club, 
which, although a very solid one, was now in two 
pieces, and put it in my pocket. 

Welch finally recovered, so as to sit up, and said 
it was no use ; he would go with me peaceably 
now, and would never attempt to fight me again. 
We got ready and started to go down stairs ; he 
pretended to be weak, and leaned on me for sup- 
port. We passed through the entry to the head 
of the stau's, and as I stepped down on the first 
stair, leaving him somewhat over me, he sprang 
for my throat with both hands, with a power I 
little thought he possessed. I knocked up his 
hand a little as he grabbed for me, so that he only 
got hold of my collar and a part of my throat, and 
we both went tumbling to the bottom of the stairs 
together. As we reached the bottom he broke his 


hold, and springing for my life, I cleared myself 
from him and leaped through the open outside 
door into the yard, well knowing that he was an 
overmatch for me, and would certainly kill me in 
close quarters, but still feeling that I was his equal 
while I could keep, him at arms' length. But I 
had no time to lose, for he was upon me in a 
moment. As he neared me with an uplifted arm, I 
drew what I had left of my club, and again wielded 
it with all the power I possessed. The sharp edge 
of the broken club hit his arm, and it fell useless 
by his side. This time no head or cheek-bone 
was injured, but both bones of his arm just above 
the wrist were broken. 

My fight with John Welch was ended. I took 
him to jail, where the bones were set and proper 
care taken of him ; and when he was sufficiently 
recovered, the court awarded him two years in the 
House of Correction for cruelty to his wife. 

That portion of the club that did me such 
fiiithful service may now be seen in my cabinet of 
Police relics at my house. I have no doubt it 
saved my life in the fight with John Welch ; but 
never shall I forget the awful sensation I expe- 
rienced when I thought I had killed hun. 


During the fall of 1856, a train of circumstances 
came under my notice that were calculated not only 
to reach the deepest sympathies of the heart, but 
they most strikingly illustrate the fact that circum- 
stances apparently trivial in themselves, are often 
of the most vital importance as they are interwoven 
in the great web of human events, and that circum- 
stantial evidence, in some cases, may be even more 
reliable and decisive than direct testimony. 

In October of this year, the habitation of a highly 
respectable family at the north part of Boston was 
made desolate by the death of two beautiful chil- 
dren, the only surviving offspring of the heart- 
stricken parents, and their bodies were borne far 
away to be buried in a little green spot on the 
south shore of " the deep blue sea," the place of 
nativity of the father. 

A few weeks after these sad ceremonies, the 
father, having prepared some little tombstones, 
again took passage on the steamboat for the purpose 
of placing them to mark the spot where these 
loved ones lay. He had already nearly reached his 


point of destination, and leaving the steamer with 
his burden in a skiff, made for the shore ; but before 
reachinf^ land the frail bark upset, and the husband 
and father there found a watery grave. 

The body was soon recovered, and the sad intelli- 
gence conveyed to the childless, heart-broken widow 
at home ; and she immediately repaired to this scene 
of renewed anguish, leaving her home in charge of 
several friends, most of whom had long been inmates 
of the fiimily. 

After paying the last sad tribute of respect to 
those so near and dear, the widow returned to her 
desolate home to find that, during her absence, her 
house had been robbed of some five hundred dollars 
in money, the savings of her late husband's many 
hard days' toil, and all the available funds left her 
in her lonely and forlorn condition. 

Information of the robbery w^as immediately com- 
municated to me at the Station House, and with a 
deep sympathy and all the energy I possessed, I at 
once entered on an investigation. 

On visiting the house with one of my officers, I 
learned that the money had been taken from an 
inside drawer of a desk or secretary standing in the 
sitting-room, and consisted of bankbills, silver, and 
several pieces of gold of different value. 

The lid of the desk on the outside had been un- 
locked by the robber, probably with the key belong- 
ing to the desk, but the inside di-awer had been 



forced. On inquiry, I found the key to the outside 
had been kept on a shelf in the upper part of the 
secretary, and another key was lying by the side of 
it. I proceeded carefully, so as to give the persons 
around me no idea of my thoughts ; but I soon 
learned that the other key wound the clock, and 
the clock required winding every twenty-four hours. 
Any one using that clock key would naturally 
notice the desk key ; no stranger would find either. 

Who wound the clock? The widow always 
when at home, the servant-girl in her absence. 
But the servant-girl was low of stature ; she could 
not reach the clock, and had used a chair. She 
wound it the last thing before going to bed, and on 
one occasion, when her mistress was last absent, 
she had stepped into the chair without the key, and 
asked one of the gentlemen boarders to hand her 
the key from the secretary. The girl herself seemed 
to dislike to be questioned, but I could detect no 
mark of guilt on her. 

Who were the boarders in the house ? I asked 
many questions about each, and finally drew out, 
unnoticed, that the young man who handed the 
clock key to the servant-girl was a painter, that had 
been a boarder some time ; that he worked by the 
week, very steadily, as was supposed ; that he was 
in arrears for board, but had paid up since the 
widow returned from the funeral of her husband. In 
passing through the rooms of the boarders, I learned 


that tliis yoiini]^ man was not at work to-day, for I 
saw his workinj'-clothcs in his chamber, althoue:h 
they told me he was at work. I then left the house 
for the piu'pose of making outside inquiries about 
the young painter. On visiting his employer, I 
found the young man received but seven dollars a 
week when he worked, which was but part of the 
time ; that he had neither worked nor received pay 
for the last three weeks ; that he frequented bil- 
liard rooms, and was sometimes seen in bad com- 
pany. The next object was to see the young man 
himself, and in a few hours he came to the Station 
House in custody of one of our officers. He was 
di'cssed in a new suit of clothes throughout, had 
some seventy dollars about his person, and was 
highly indignant at being invited to the Station 

On being told that he was suspected of the 
robbery, he denied all knowledge of the affair ; 
told a plausible story of his circumstances; ex- 
pressed great sympathy for the widow ; and hinted 
at my own responsibility in the course I had taken. 
The money he had was unlike any that was taken. 
I did not know his story to be false. I had no 
direct e\-idence of his guilt, but I believed I should 
yet find it, and I locked him up. 

We again ^dsited the house where the robbery 
was committed, and asked permission to look at 
the room where our painter slept. We searched 


every mch of the room, furniture, and bedding, but 
found nothing. The last article for examination 
was an old checked vest, that hung behind a door. 
This was the painter's vest, as it plainly showed 
the marks of his trade, (his room-mate being a 
carpenter,) and besides it was known to be the one 
usually worn by the painter when at work. In 
one comer of a pocket in this vest was a small wad 
of paper, a little larger than a good-sized pea. On 
unfolding it carefully, it was apparently a tom-ofF 
corner of an old letter, and on it appeared the 
letters " Pro" evidently part of a word written 
before the corner was torn oif. Nor was this all ; 
on further inspection, it appeared to have been 
wrapped about some round, hard substance, about 
the size of a five-cent piece. It seemed to be 
worth preserving ; and as nothing else that gave 
any light on the subject was to be found, we again 
repaired to the sitting-room to further examine the 
secretary, and the widow showed me how the 
money was placed in the drawer. The bills, she 
said, were laid lengthwise in a long pocket-book ; 
the pocket-book was left, and nothing missing from 
it but the money. The silver was in a steel purse ; 
the silver had been emptied from the purse and 
taken, but the purse was left. The gold was 
wrapped up in an old letter written on a half sheet 
of note paper ; the gold was gone, but the letter 
still remained in the drawer. I took up the letter. 


which was much wabbled up, and on straightening 
it out, found the upper left-hand cotner torn off, 
and asked the widow if she recollected about it. 
On reflecting a moment she said, yes ; when her 
husband was putting away this money she was 
l)rcsent, and counted the gold, and did it up in this 
old letter ; among the gold was a dollar gold-piece, 
and she tore off" a corner of the letter, folded it 
about the gold dollar, and wrapped it up in the 
rest of the letter with the other gold. I drew out 
my bit of paper found in the painter's pocket, and 
it fitted the corner of the torn letter exactly, and 
the letters " Pro " on the small piece, were fol- 
lowed by the letters "\Tnceto^vn." on the large one, 
which made the word complete when the two parts 
were joined. The evidence w^as circumstantial, 
but, with what facts were before known, rather 
conclusive. All were satisfied that we had discov- 
ered the thief; and to me this was not the only 
gratification. The discovery would not only place 
the guilt w^here it properly belonged, but it served 
to remove a most cruel suspicion on the character 
of an innocent and unprotected servant-gM, that 
might have thrown her out of emplojment, and 
marked her with discjrace for life. 

We returned to the Station House, and our suc- 
cess was frankly explained to the prisoner. He 
was not an old criminal, and when he saw the 
weight of e\ddence against him he could hold out 


no longer, but frankly confessed his guilt. The 
money was nearly all recovered, and restored to 
the widow ; the prisoner was remanded to court, 
but there admitted to bail. When the day of trial 
came, he forfeited his bonds by not appearing, and 
I have never seen him since. 


The Watchman's Rattle was fii'st pro^'ided for 
the use of the guardians of the night long be- 
fore Boston was incorporated a city, and has been 
in constant use ever since. I am informed by old 
watchmen that the original was quite similar to 
that now in use, although much larger. From 
what cause its peculiar form was conceived, or who 
was its ingenious inventor, the record saith not ; 
but it is believed to be the only police appendage 
that has not undergone a variety of changes, and is 
an article seldom if ever found in other cities. 

If there is anv one thini? that will infuse life or 
anxiety, or energy, into the heart or heels of a 
policeman, it is the sound of the watchman's rattle 
in the night time. I can hardly tell how or where 
I acquh'ed this feeling, but I have never heard a 
sound beating the air, so fraught with a spirit of 
trouble .and need of assistance, as the sharp crack 
of the watchman's rattle reverberatinsr in the street 
at the dead hour of night. Its peculiar tone is 
different from anything I ever heard, and the sen- 
sation is as peculiarly novel and exciting. 


On the morning of the 17th of October, 1854, 
a circumstance occurred which served to strengthen 
the impressions already somewhat acquired by the 
exciting echoes of the rattle. I was walking alone 
down Hanover Street, on the way from the Station 
House to my home, about half past one o'clock on 
the morning in question, and when near Richmond 
Street I heard the sharp crack of the rattle, which 
seemed to be cut short before it was fairly through. 
That denoted hand-to-hand work, and I well knew 
that some of my boys were in trouble. The air 
that morning was thick and heavy, and the sound 
seemed to fill the entire space around me ; in fact 
it seemed to come from directly overhead. I cast 
a hasty glance up and around, but discovering 
nothing, ran immediately to the corner of Rich- 
mond Street. On reaching that point my ear 
again caught the sound ; but still, I could not fix 
the direction, and thinking it most likely to come 
from North Street, I made hasty tracks in that 
direction. As I nearcd North Street there came 
a third alarm, evidently in the direction of Brick 
Alley. I hastened on, and, arriving at that point, 
by the aid of the lamp-liglit on the corner, I caught 
sight of the object of my search. It was in a 
man's hand, which was thrust through a pane of 
glass up one flight, and was twirling out its notes 
of distress in quick succession. 

I was not a stranger in that locality, and soon 


found my way up an outside stairway in the direc- 
tion of the room ; but the door was fastened. I 
stepped back a pace, and then sprang forward with 
my shoulder against the door with all the force 1 
could command, and the next moment found my- 
self at full length on the broken door in the entry. 
I was not long in reaching the farther end of the 
entry, where I found another door fastened also, 
and which was as soon opened the same way. 

On entering the room, I there found one of my 
boys — and as good a fellow as ever broke bread 
— in what seemed to me to be rather a tight 
place, although in physical power and courage he 
was a match for two common men. He had hardly 
a rag of clothing left on his person, was all covered 
with blood, and had a man nearly his ovra size by 
the throat with one hand, and his bloody arm 
thrust through the window springing his rattle 
wdth the other, while three others were Ipng about 
the floor in the same room, under the influence of 
the muscle in his powerful arm. He had had a 
hard fight against fearful odds, but he was master 
of the field when I arrived. He had followed a 
burglar with his plunder into this den, where he 
was set upon by these four ruffians, who, after 
fastening the door, probably intended to make an 
end of him ; but his stron": arm and indomitable 
courage saved his life, and he was only calling for 
help to carry ofl" his game. 



The four men (three of them brothers) were 
taken to the Station House, and each subsequently 
took a lesson of Captain bobbins ; but the inci- 
dents of that night to me added a new sensation to 
the echoes of the Watchman's Rattle. 


"Fun-loving policemen (for there are some jolly 
fellows among the craft) have some rare opportu- 
nities for gratifying that passion among the numer- 
ous specimens of human oddities that fall in their 
way while in discharge of their official duties, and, 
like the ingenious sculptor who sees symmetry and 
beauty in the rough block, these fellows are often 
successful in drawing out a comical figure to suit 
their taste, even from the most uncouth specimens 
that fall in their way. 

I had a little Lieutenant with me many years, 
who was one of those clever, innocent jokers above 
alluded to ; and although he was one of the most 
kind-hearted and humane men I ever knew, yet 
whatever case came up he was bound to have his 
fun out of it, if there w\as any in it ; and many 
were the side-aching jokes I have -v^-itnessed of his 
getting up at the expense of some unlucky wight, 
and now and then have I witnessed one at his own 
expense, — for he sometimes found his match. 


One evening two intoxicated men were brought 
into the Station House by different officers at about 
the same time. One was dead drunk, and on 
searching his person, as was the rule, a pint flask 
about half full of " Medford " was found in his 
pocket. The other inebriate, whose Christian 
name was Morrill, who was well known at the 
house, and whose legs were much more drunk 
than his head, (which was usually the case with 
him when he got tight,) stood hanging on to the 
rail, silently witnessing the searching operation. 
When the ullage bottle of " Medford " made its 
appearance, the eye of Morrill rested thereon with 
wistful glances. No remark, however, escaped his 
lips, and both he and the stranger were assisted to 
the Lockup, to remain till sober next morning. 

On the next morning it came the little Lieuten- 
ant's turn to let out the prisoners, and Morrill was 
let out with the rest. But there seemed to be 
some weighty matter on his mind, and he hung 
about the house after all others had left. 

As soon as Morrill had an opportunity, he took 
the Lieutenant one side, and the following colloquy 
ensued. By the way, Morrill had an unfortunate 
impediment in his speech, but his earnest manner 
made up the deficiency on that point. 

" Nu-nu-now, Lieutenant," said Morrill, " yu-yu 
you know that I'm a real good fcll-1-feller, and 
o-only been on a little s-p-r-c-e — and T-I'm going 


to have the ho-h errors, sure, nu-now. The h-a-i-r 
of tlie same dog, you know, Lieutenant. Yo-you 
just let me have the bottle that lo-lo-loafer left last 
night, and I-I 'm all right, sir. I-I-I wont tell, 
p-p-p-pon honor." 

" Upon your honor ? " said the Lieutenant, look- 
ing seriously. 

" Ton the honor of a gentleman," said Morrill, 
without stuttering a syllable. 

" You just stop outside, so as not to be seen by 
any of the ofRcers," said the Lieutenant, " and I'll 
meet you in the entry in a moment." 

Morrill readily went out. The Lieutenant took 
the bottle, emptied the contents into the sink, and 
replaced about the same quantity from a pail of 
dirty water ; then stepped into the entry, where 
Morrill was anxiously waiting, and slipped the 
bottle into his hand, saying — 

" Just step over into the alley-way yonder and 
take a snifter, and bring me back the bottle ; the 
owner may call for it." 

" All r-r-r-right," said Morrill, and he made for 
the alley-way. 

He had no sooner reached his retreat than the 
bottle was wrong end up, over his mouth, where it 
remained till completely empt}', the simple liquid 
not penetrating the thick coating in his mouth to 
impart the taste till it was too late ; but the con- 
tents of the bottle seemingly was as much disgusted 



with its new quarters as was Morrill at the joke, 
for it came rushinsr back out of his mouth with as 


much dispatch as it had entered. As soon as 
Morrill could* get breath he looked up, and there, 
just across the street, stood the rascally Lieutenant, 
laughing as if to split his sides. Morrill hurled 
the empty bottle at his tormentor, but luckily it 
passed by and landed in fragments on the sidewalk. 
The last seen of Morrill, he was wending his way 
down street with both hands on his stomach, and 
it was confidently asserted by his friends that he 
was not drunk again for three weeks. 

One summer day when the Lieutenant was at the 
desk, there came in, arm-in-arm, a couple of young 
sprouts apparently from upper-tendom, perfectly 
oblivious to all surrounding circumstances and sub- 
jects save the one idea of a gin cock-tail. They 
staggered up to the rail, and with much sang froid 
one of them peremptorily demanded the aforesaid 

" Sh ! " said the Lieutenant : " don't talk so 
loud. I see you are posted, gents ; you know where 
to come for a good thing. But we have to be a 
little careful, you know ; police are on the watch. 
We keep nothing at this bar, you see ; but just step 
into the basement, where 'tis cool, take a private 
box, and I will accommodate you with the genuine 
article. This way, gents. Sh ! don't talk so loud. 
This way, — this way, gents." 


And do\^Ti stairs they went, taking a scat in the 
fii'st box (cell), with much apparent satisfaction and 
high anticipation. The Lieutenant quietly locked 
the cell door, and stood a little one side to await 
the result. They sat silent some time. At length 
says one — 

"Bill, — I say, Bill, aint that waiter — hie — 
gone — hie — a darned long while \ " 

" So I 'm thinking," said tlie other. " A\Tiy don't 
you pull the bell ? " ^ 

The first speaker, with some difficulty, rose to 
his feet and began searching for the bell-rope, and 
on coming to the iron-grated door he found it fast. 
This seemed to impart a new idea, and he began 
looking about the cell, till all at once the truth 
seemed to burst on his benighted mind, and he sang 
out — 

" Bill, — Bill ; I say, Bill, we are in the watch- 
house, sure as hie ! " 

Bill had careened over on the bench, and was 
fast forgetting his troubles, and his companion find- 
ing his egress essentially impeded, soon availed 
himself of the same accommodation. 

The pair were discharged when sober ; but on 
leaving the house one of them r/jv/Zy remarked, that 
he be darned if he ever again called at a watch-house 
for refreshments. 

At some seasons of the year we had more appli- 
cants for lodging than we coidd accommodate, and 


were often obliged to send some to other stations. 
On these occasions the Lieutenant used sometimes 
to amuse himself in testing his customers a little, 
and selecting those most in need for his own house. 
When an applicant came in, the Lieutenant would 
take his name and description, and propound a few 
questions : — 

" Can you work, Mr. Smith ? " 

" Yes, sir, if I could get it to do." 

*' Can you saw wood ? " 

" Yes, sir." 

" Well, sir, it is the rule at this house for all 
male lodgers to saw wood one hour, in payment 
for bread and cheese and lodging." 

This would touch some loafers in a tender spot, 
and I have seen them leave the Station House in 
high dudgeon. Others would gladly accept the 
opportunity, and start off for the basement with a 
beam of satisfaction resting on their countenance, 
in anticipation of honestly rendering an equivalent 
for what they were so much in need. However, 
none of them ever sawed any wood, for the very 
good reason that there was none to saw ; but such 
always got the best place we had, and the bread 
and cheese to boot. 

But I have said that the Lieutenant sometimes 
found his match, and among others I will note one 

As he was letting out the prisoners one morning, 


(by the way, a favorite job with him,) among the 
rest he espied a young scapegrace of a boot-black, 
who had taken up his quarters there. Now the 
Lieutenant was a perfect gentleman, and withal 
very neat in person and dress. Above all, he ad- 
mired to see an elegant, genteel boot, and the 
thought instantly occurred to him that Shiner should 
be required to pay for his lodging. 

" Hallo, Shiner," said the Lieutenant, what, you 
here ] Why, you don't expect to come here and 
lodge without pay, do you % You earn too much 
money for that now, my lad. You just unshoulder 
that machine of yours, and give my boots a tip-top 
shine', and we will be even. That lodging-house 
over in Union Street charges ninepence ; 't is but 
half-price here, and better doings at that. Come, 
come, Shiner ; no loafers about here. Come, out 
with your tools. 

'• I have got no brush, sir," said Shiner. 

" "What ! " said the Lieutenant, no brush ? " 

" No, sir. I lost it in a row last night." 

" Never mind," said the Lieutenant ; I have a 
nice one up stau's, so come right up." 

And up they went. The Lieutenant went to his 
desk and drew out a nice clothes-brush, that cost 
him one dollar and a half. 

" There," said he, " that is none too good to 
brush my boots with. Now polish 'em up, my lad, 
while I go do^vn and finish up below." 


" All right," said Shiner ; and at it he went. 

When the Lieutenant came up he found one boot 
partly blacked ; but Shiner or the new brush were 
never seen afterwards. 


On the 3d day of April, 1857, there came an 
order from the Central Police Office, to repair 
thither at five o'clock precisely. The order was 
promptly obeyed ; and -when there, appearances 
indicated something up, as the captains of several 
other stations made their appearance at the same 
time and place. Very little was said, however, on 
our arrival, but certain suspicious-looking slips of 
paper were placed in the hands of each captain, 
with an order to exeatte, simultancoitslj/, at precisely 
ten o'clock that evening. The document placed in 

my hand said something about No Street, 

and although it was not within the limits of my 
district, I asked no questions ; for as bad a reputa- 
tion as we enjoyed at the North End, up town could 
beat us on faj'o, roulette, and dead props, and give us 
many points the start. 

Well, as if nothing had transpired, the arrange- 
ments were all completed at eight o'clock, and 
fourteen bunkum boys, with brave hearts and 
strong arms, were ready for the fray at our station. 


During the evening the captain had deployed him- 
self as a sku'mishcr, and made a very valuable 
reconnoissance ; he learned where the main force 
of the enemy were encamped, and the exact local- 
ity of his head-quarters and his supply trains. We 
also obtained information of the exact position of 
his outposts, and, very fortunately, the password 
for the night. 

The most important move on the onset, seemed 
to be to secure the outside picket, who was patrol- 
ling up and down the sidewalk, ready to give the 
alarm to the garrison at the very approach of 

However, the plan of attack was matured, and 
a few moments before ten^ the storming party were 
at their posts, at several points, in near proximity 
to the enemy's camp. As the clock was chiming 
ten, two stalwart fellows passed down the sidewalk, 
and as they were seemingly about to pass the 
enemy's picket, from some unexplained cause the 
said picket passed down with them, as quietly as if 
nothing had happened, and all three were out of 
sight round a corner, quicker than it takes to tell 
this part of the story. The guard was disposed of, 
and now was the time for action. Our whole 
storming party were in line, ready to mount the 
enemy's breast- works at the word. " Rap-rap," 
came a sound on the outside of the outer door. 
■' Rap," was the answer inside. 


" Jake and the boys," said a voice outside. 
(Jake was the pass.) 

Open came the door. " Up one flight," said 
the waiter ; and up went Jake and the boys, with- 
out exciting the least suspicion. 

On arri\'ing at the second romn^ up one flight, 
Jake behekl the coveted prize, consisting of about 
twenty personages, seated about a long table, on 
which appeared certain curious little boxes, with 
square pieces of pasteboard, numberless little 
pieces of ivory, about the size of a half dollar, of 
various colors, snail-shells, money, and various 
other articles too numerous to mention, which en- 
gaged the attention of those seated at the table so 
closely, that the presence of any new visitors was 
not noticed. Jake gave a cuxular motion of his 
arm, which seemed to be well understood by his 
boys, who immediately commenced forming a circle 
about the board, and Jake, with one spring, landed 
with both feet on the very centre of the table at 
the same time taking at one grasp most of the 
stakes ; and before one of the party had time to 
risp from his chair, Jake proclaimed — 

" Hold on, — hold on, gentlemen ; I take this 

trick in the name of the Commonwealth. Keep 

perfectly quiet, gentlemen. You shall all be well 

treated, but you will be under the necessity of 

accompanying me to the oflice of the Chief of 

Police, where, I presume, all things will be made 




The crowd seemed thunderstruck, and most of 
them were shackled hij the hoys, two together, 
before they rose from the table, so complete was 
the surprise. In a short time the spoils were 
gathered up, and the whole party and property 
were on the way to the Tombs. 

On arriving at our head-quarters, the names of 
the captured party were taken, and, strange to say, 
judging from the names, they seemed to belong to 
the same family, or to two families, at most, as 
they were nearly all Smiths and Jones. Jake, 
however, took them at their word, without asking 
any further questions, only remarking as he took 
the last, " Gentlemen will please recollect the names 
they gave when they appear in Court to-morroiv morn- 
ing, to save mistakes" One among the number, 
who was said to hold some office in a neighboring 
town, wrote his name in the lining of his hat, for 
fear of an error. 

However, it was soon apparent that if we had 
the whole family of Smiths and Jones in custody, 
there were kindred and friends outside, for several 
gentlemen soon appeared and oifered to go bail for 
the whole party, some of them holding real estate 
in Boston valued at least at fifty thousand dollars. 
This course seemed to have an indication in the 
premises; at any rate, the commissioner soon made 
his appearance, and the whole party were bailed 
The next day all appeared at court, plead guilt}% 


and were fined, except the keeper of the house, 
whose case was sent up to a hij^her court ; but 
that party probably have not forgotten Jake and 
his boys to the present day. 


A RAT PIT is one of those under-ground novelties 
occasionally seen in Boston by gaslight. The 
whereabouts, however, is not always exactly known 
to the uninitiated, the proprietors generally not 
choosing to either advertise or hang out a shingle 
to indicate the locality where the elephant is to be 
seen ; nor when found is the establishment such as 
would be likely to impress the mind with an idea 
of grandeur or sublimity ; at least, such has been 
the condition of those that I have seen. 

For many years one of these subterranean estab- 
lishments w^as kept at " North End," which I have 
sometimes been called on to visit in my official ca- 
pacity. The establishment consisted of a bar-room 
on the first floor from the street, not wide but deep, 
the counter running the whole length on one side. 
Behind this counter stood females, with vermilion 
cheeks and low-necked dresses, ready to deal out 
Ne^v York gin and cabbage-leaf cigars to all who 
had the dosh. At the lower end of the counter, or 
bar, stood a low-sized, haggard-looking cockney, 


Ill— --■^ 




anxiously waiting for an order to serve np a raw 
from a heap of rough shells before him, — the only 
way of dressing the bivalves known here. A bench, 
a few stools, and a half dozen dirty, uncouth pic- 
tures about the walls, completed the furniture of 
that room. 

In passing through this room, (which was gen- 
erally filled with pickpockets, petty knucks, fumes 
of tobacco, smoke and bad gin,) at the further end 
you find a trap-door leading down a flight of stairs 
to the rat pit below. 

The pit consists of a board crib of octagon form 
in the centre of the cellar, about eight feet in diam- 
eter and three and one half feet high, tightly se- 
cured at the sides. On three sides of the cellar are 
rows of board seats, rising one above the other, for 
the accommodation of spectators. On the other 
side, stands the proprietor and his assistant and an 
empty flour barrel, only it is half full of live rats, 
• which are kept in their prison-house by a wire net- 
ting over the top of the cask. The amphitheatre 
is lighted with oil lamps or candles, with a potatoe, 
a turnip, or an empty bottle for a candlestick. Spec- 
tators are admitted at twenty-five cents a head, and 
take their seats, when preparations for the even- 
ing's entertainment commence. The proprietor 
carefully lifts the edge of the wire netting over the 
rat barrel, and with an instrum*ent looking much 
like a pair of cui'ling tongs, he begins fishing out 


his game, rat by rat, depositing each carefully in- 
side the pit until the requisite number are pitted. 
The assistant has brought in the dog, Flora^ a fa- 
vorite ratter, which he is obliged to hold fast by the 
nape of the neck, so eager is she for the fray. 
Then commences the betting, which runs high or 
low according to the amount of funds in the hands 
of the sports. 

" A dollar. She kills twenty rats in twelve sec- 
onds ! " " I take that ! " " Half a dollar on the 
rats ! " " Don't put in them small rats ! " " Two 
dollars on Flora in fifteen seconds ! " " Done, at 
fourteen ! " " No, you don't ! " " Don't put in all 
your big rats at once ! " " Five dollars on the rats 
in ten seconds ! " (no takers.) 

The betting all seems to be well understood, but 
it would puzzle an outsider to tell whether there 
were really any genuine bets or not. 

The bets having been arranged, time is called, 
and Flora is dropped into the ring. Flora evidently 
understands that her credit is at stake ; but the 
growling, and champing, and squealing, and scratch- 
ing is soon over, and the twenty rats lie lifeless at 
the feet of the bloodthirsty Flora, when time is 
again called, and the bets decided, and all hands 
go up and liquor. This exhibition is repeated sev- 
eral times, with different dogs, and lasts as long 
as the live rats holcl out. 

After the rat game is up, the proprietor generally 


gets iq) the Cltuck game, or something similar, for 
un afterpiece. The Chuck game is on this wise : 
a box some three or four feet long and one foot 
square, closed at one end, is placed in the pit, and 
a woodchuck or a coon is put in, who immediately 
burroughs in the box. Lose then enters the ring, 
and being a dog of (jood blood, he immediately sets 
about pulling Chuck out of his house ; and when 
Bose crawls in, Chuck gives him battle, and being 
well armed, Bose generally gets a black eye and a 
bloody nose before his task is accomplished ; and 
sometimes he backs out altogether, and loses his 
reputation, when some other misguided cur, greedy 
for the prize, renews the attack on poor Chuck to 
lose or win, as the case may be. Dui'ing the fight 
bets run high, and the spectators are excited 
almost to frenzy. One who never witnessed one of 
these exhibitions can have no conception of the 

The hooting, cheering, groaning, shouting, 
screeching, swearing, and stamping, accompanied 
with ten thousand grotesque gestures of the crowd, 
as seen and heard by the dim light in that subter- 
ranean dungeon, beggars description, and would 
put to blush a pandemonium of the first water. 

After the entertainment of the evening is over, 
which is generally at a late hour, — unless the 
exhibition is wound up with a fight, which is not 
unfrequent, — all hands adjourn to the bar to take 


a parting di-ink. Those too leg-weary to walk, 
lounge down in a corner, some go to a lodging- 
room, and others, who have no place or money, go 
out prospecting to obtain means to purchase their 
grub and rum for the next day. 

The rat pit of which I have been speaking is 
now closed, the proprietor having been stabbed 
through the heart with a knife in the hand of one 
of his own pupils, in a drunken fight at a North 
Street bar-room. 

I never objected to the matter of destroying any 
quantity of rats, but the ceremonies attending these 
rat-pit exhibitions most surely tend to cultivate and 
nurse the evils, vices, and crime to which the pro- 
prietors of this pit fell a victim. 

While this rat-hole was in its glory, I was walk- 
ing down Salem Street quite late one evening, and 
just before reaching Richmond Street I saw a man 
dodge round the corner with a bag on his back. 
Supposing it some thief with his booty, I put after 
him in double-quick ; but on coming up I recognized 
in the supposed burglar a clever old darkie, famil- 
iarly known as Jiim. Thinking I woidd give 
honest old Jum a little surprise as he was quietly 
trudgmg along, I suddenly laid my hand on his 
shoulder and sang out, " Now, old covey, I have got 
you ! " 

The poor fellow jumped more than twice his 
length, and as he came to a stand he was facing 


mc, one hand sfill liold of the mouth of the bag as 
it lay on the sidewalk. 

" 0-o-o-a-a-a-r-r-r-umph ! " cried Jum, as he 
brought u[), — " 0-o-wha-wha-wha O, golla massa, 
what ye want o' me ? " gazing at me in perfect 
horror, each eye having the appearance of the sur- 
face of a tub of lard with a boy's marble in the 

" Ah, Jum," said I, " what have you got in that 

" ^Vha-wha-a-o-o-u-u-o-o-a, — oh, dat you, Massa 
Capen ? " O^ Lordy, Lordy, Capen, Ize tot Ize a 
goner ! " 

" Well, well," said T, " but what's in the bag, 
Jum ? " 

" In de bag, — in de bag ! why, wh-why, Massa 
Capen, dem's rats, — rats, dey is, — rats, noffin 
else, noffin else. Golly, — goUy, Capen, t'out Ize 
a goner dat time, sure. Look out, — look out dare, 
Capen ; dcm fellers bite rite frough de bag." And 
sure enough poor Jum had a bag half full of live 

After Jum had got a little over his scare, he 
explained to me how and where he caught the 
rats. His custom was to go down to the stables in 
Medford Street, where horses were fed with oats 
or meal, after dark, and with a lantern in one 
hand, a bag under his arm, and a pair of curling 
tongs in the other hand, Jum quietly hags his game^ 


and relieves the poor donkeys of a very trouble- 
some intruder. 

" An' I picks dem out pretty fast," said he. 
" De teamsters all like to see dis rat-catcher come ; 
de hosses gets more meal." 

" Pretty good, Jum," said I, " and you are all 
right. But what are you going to do with those 
rats ; do you drown them 1 " 

" Drown em ! Lord bress you, Capen, guess not, 
— guess not ! Dis darkey get shillin' apiece, — 
shillin' apiece for dem rats ; Massa Barnej/ give 
shillin' apiece. E-ats scarce now, — get shillin' 
piece, sure." 

" How many have you, Jum 1 " 

" Well, spose dare am t'ii'ty, — full t'irty rats in 
dat bag, sure, and big ones, too." 

" Thirty rats at a shilling apiece, amount to five 
dollars," said I. " A pretty good evening's work. 
Well, Jum, you 're a good fellow ; good-night, and 
good luck." 

" T'ank ye, t'ank ye, Capen," said Jum, as he 
swung the bag over his shoulder and walked off, 
muttering to himself, " scare colored man to deff. 
Tmk dis chile tief, I spose ! " 


DuniNG my scnice for the city I have usually 
been in the habit of being present at any consider- 
able fii-e that might occur, especially in the night 

On the evening of July 11, 1862, having had a 
hai'd day's work, I was about to retire to my bed 
at an early hour, when the bells sounded the alarm 
of fire, in District No. 1. On throwing open the 
window-blinds of my house, which was in Charter 
Street, I saw that the heavens were lighted up by 
a fire apparently somewhere near Ilaymarket 
Square. I immediately threw on an old fire suit, 
and started out. On reaching Haymarket, I fount^ 
the Square and adjoining streets filled with people; 
but the fii'c was fui'thcr on up Sudbury Street, and 
consuming several wood buildings on the north 
side of Sudbiu-y, between Adams and Hawkins 

I elbowed my way through the crowd till I 
reached the fire, where I found the people so 
densely huddled together that it was necessary to 
shut off the streets. 


An additional force of police, with ropes, were 
soon on the ground, and the spectators were forced 
back sufficiently far to give the firemen room to 

The police had hardly accomplished their task, 
when a chimney near the corner of Adams and 
Sudbury Street, losing the support of surrounding 
timbers, fell upon the front wood walls, which 
were still standing, and the whole burning mass 
came tumbling into Sudbury Street, burying sev- 
eral firemen under the rubbish on the very place 
where a large number of spectators had so lately 
stood, and where I stood myself but a moment be- 

A number of men rushed to the spot to remove 
the rubbish and extricate the poor fellows that lay 
buried beneath. There were seven in all, more or 
less injured, some being carried to one place and 
some to another, to have their wounds dressed ; all 
but one escaped without fatal injury, and he was 
struck on the temple with a heavy stick of timber, 
that broke his skull, and he died in a few moments 
after, we had carried him into a shop on the 
opposite side of the street. He was a member of 
Engine Company No. 7, about thirty-five years of 
age, a worthy man and a good fireman, and had a 
wife and three small children dependent on his 
labors for support. 

We procured a litter, and his body was conveyed 


to the Station House in Court Square by his sor- 
rowing comrades. 

Then the melancholy tidings must be conveyed 
to his family, — to his poor wife, who, with hci 
little ones, were patiently waiting the father's 
return after the fu*e. But the stout hearts of those 
brave men, who could meet death in any form 
without a tremor, shrank from the task of convey- 
ing the sad news to the wife. No one felt that he 
could go. Finally, at the earnest solicitation of 
the engineers and some of the members of his 
company, — with his employer and one other 
gentleman, I started off on the melancholy errand. 

We reached the house about 1 1 o'clock at night, 
and on entering found the widowed mother with 
her children drawn closely around her, as if 
expecting some fearful visitation. We told our 
sad tale as best we could ; but the scene there pre- 
sented I cannot describe, neither can I recall it to 
memory without a most painful emotion. Her 
neighbors and friends gathered about her, and 
there was no dry eye in that sad group. The 
wife was calm, but a picture of despau', and spoke 
of her husband and her childi-en with a depth of 
feeling most touching. 

She had a little son about three years old, a 
bright, flaxen-haired child. She said when the 
father left the house at seven o'clock in the morn- 
ing, (he had not been home since,) the child fol- 


lowed him out the door, hanging on to his coat, 
and crying, " Pa pa, don't go ; pa pa, don't go ! " as 
if his little heart would break. The circumstance 
was unusual, and produced a foreboding on the 
mind of the mother throughout the day. " Poor 
child," said she, " he will never again meet the 
smile nor enjoy the parting kiss of that fond father, 
who now sleeps in death." 

We left the poor heart-broken widow in care of 
a few kind friends, and after rendering what fur- 
ther assistance I could, in caring for the body of 
the deceased fireman, long after midnight I found 
myself, almost exhausted, wending my way alone 
through the deserted streets to my own home, with 
a heart deeply depressed at the melancholy scenes 
I had so lately witnessed, yet grateful to Him who 
holdeth the lives of men in the hollow of his hand 
that I was spared to yet be the guardian of my own 
dear wife and child. 




R L 




WuEN I had charge of Station One, on a certain 
Xew Year's Eve I had taken a stroll over the dis- 
trict, and on coming to the Station House two of 
the officers were helping a poor creature into the 
house apparently some intoxicated, and almost per- 
ished with cold. 

The person was a female, about twenty years 
old, tall and slim, with deep black eyes, pale, hag- 
gard countenance, and black, dishevelled hau\ 
She was thinly but decently dressed, and had un- 
questionably seen better days, not a long time 
since. She was taken in by the fire, wrapped in 
blankets, hot drinks administered, and with a little 
attention soon re\'ived. 

During my Police life I have had many hun- 
di-eds of these poor outcasts in my custody, and 
few, very few have I seen that had no claim for 
sympathy. Many an hour have I sat at the cell 
door and listened to their talcs of woe, and often 
have I been led to believe that these poor crea- 


tures are frequently more " sinned against than 

A false step, perhaps, at the beginning, and the 
tide of adversity has borne them onward and down- 
ward. Former friends forsake them, strangers 
ridicule and despise them, no helping hand is out- 
stretched to save, and the victim, writhing under a 
sense of its wrongs, seeks refuge in the haunts of 
dissipation and licentiousness, and perishes in mis- 
ery and degradation, uncared for and unknown. 

I never could turn a deaf ear to these tales of 
woe ; for well do I remember how near the brink- 
of ruin I myself have been, when borne down by 
the weight of poverty and misfortune. 

Good treatment, and a few kind words, seemed 
to give assurance to our new guest that she was in 
the care of those who would do her no harm, and 
little by little I drew out her history. 

She was of highly respectable family, in mod- 
erate circumstances, residing in a neighboring 
State ; had left her home and come to the city but 
a short time since, and her brief history is told in 
the following lines. They are supposed to be ad- 
dressed to her mother, the night she spent at the 
Station House : — 

" And is this New Year's Eve, mother? Oh, mother, can 
it be I 
Oh wliat a sad, sad change, mother, this year hath 
wrouirht in me I 


Last year there was no lighter step, there was no brighter 

There was no merrier heart than mine, — now mother, 

what am I ? 

** A theme for every idle jest, sunk lower than the slave, 
With blighted name and broken heart, and very near ray 

grave ; 
For I feel my days are numbered, my life is waning 

And the thought is strong within me, that this night will 

be my last. 

" 'Tis just two years ago to-day, since Mary Ann was 
Amid the tears of young and old, within the church- 
yard shade ; 
How sad we thought the fate was, for one so young and 

To die thus in the morn of life, upon her marriage day. 

* ' But now I envy her the doom ; what joy for you and me 
If I had died then, mother, when innocent and free. 
Ere I became what I am now, the saddest thing in life. 
Fallen, — deserted, — and betrayed, — A mother, not a 

'* Of a group of lads and lasses, methinks I caught a 

glance ; 

;My old companions are they all, just hieing to the dance : 

And they will pass the night away in noisy mirth and glee, 

While the shelter of a prison-house alone remains for me. 


*♦ I remember last year's sleighride over the frozen snow, 
And how we danced till daylight, and the skies were in 

a glow ; 
I was the lightest-hearted one of all the merry throng, 
And he was by my side that night whom I had loved so 


*' Yes I was very fond of him, he seemed so far above 
The other youths, and all the girls were envious of his 

love ; 
And I was young and guileless, and how could I believe 
That when he spoke of love to me, he meant but to 

deceive ? 

"I think I was bewitched, mother, by the light of those 
dark eyes, — 
By the murmured vows of tenderness, and all those flat- 
tering lies ; 
I had scorn enough for others, who sought to win my love, 
But he seemed to my unpractised eye as guileless as a 

** And even now I cannot think so ill of him as you ; 
I cannot think his heart so bad as many others do : 
I know he 's done me cruel wrong, and bowed my 

head with shame. 
And yet the fault was not all his ; I might Have been to 


"I know how oft you warned me, mother; you told me 
oft the truth. 
That village girls were seldom wed by high and wealthy 
youth ; 


But I thought of many tales I 'd read, and of the songs 

I 'd sung, 
How noble men loved lowly maids, if beautiful and 


" But judge him not too harshly, mother, though I so sad 

Though now he strives to blight my name ; and will not 

own his child ; 
But time may come when he will feel his need to be 

And you '11 forgive him for my sake, when I am gone to 


' ' Some there may be who 'U not regret that I am brought 

so low, 
As I was proud and haughty then ; but I am humbled 

now : 
I prized too much my beauty, wliich so fully proved my 

As I scorned the honest and the true that offered me 

their name. 

•* And now they will not speak to me, they think I am so 

But pass me with a scornful look or with a meaning 

smile ; 
'T is very hard, perhaps 'tis right, but still I think I 

If they had borne what I have borne, I could not treat 

them so. 


•' But you have been so kind, mother, though I've dis- 
graced your name ; 

You soothed me in my sorrow, nor spoke a word of 
blame : 

I should have been a solace, mother, in your declining 
years ; 

I should have brought you comfort, — I have only 
brought you tears. 

" I never can repay you, mother, for your patience and 

your love, 
But your kindness and your tenderness are registered 

above ; 
And He will sure reward you, who said to one of yore, 
' Neither do I condemn thee, daughter ; go and sin no 


*' Oh, how we mourned when father died ; but now tis well 

tis so ; 
He never could have borne with me — as you have done, 

I know : 
He was so just, so good himself, he could not understand 
The temptations that beset the weak ; the snares on every 


*' But now he sees more clearly, in that blest home above, 
And he will judge more mildly, and welcome rae with 

"WTien I leave this weary world to find a heavenly home. 
Where sinful souls are purified, and sorrows cannot 



♦*But yoii will keep my babe, mother, and rear her as 

your own ; 
!May she repay you better, mother, than ever I have 

done : 
Poor babe, she has her father's smile, his briglit and 

beaming eye ; 
Had she a right to bear his name, how peaceful could I 


** If she is mild and gentle, and easily controlled, — 
Unlike her hapless mother, — Oh, let her not be told, — 
Oh, never let her hear her wretched mother's name. 
To sadden her young spirit, and flush her cheek with 

** But if she 's like her mother, as wayward and as wild, 
Though 'tis a painful legacy to leave a guiltless child, 
Then tell her all my story, though she thinks of me with 

hate ; 
Better to scorn her mother's name, than share her mother's 


*' And now good night, dear mother ; I hope that ere the 

Sheds its first ray to-morrow mom, my troubles will be 

done : 
And do not weep for me, mother ; when I have left you 

Within a peaceful dwelling-place, will dawn my next 

New Year." 

I sat long that evening listening to the tale of 
this poor maniac, for I soon saw that reason, if not 


bereft, was trembling on its throne. The next 
morning the necessary means were taken to send 
her to her mother, and we had the satisfaction of 
knowing that she reached her home in safety. 
But I learned that her story was but too true, and 
a few weeks after I read an account of her death 
in a newspaper. 

The seducer now moves in the higher circles of 
society in this city. I know him well, and have 
often watched him when he little thought that the 
eye of one who knew the secret of his guilt rested 
on him. He is wealthy, proud, and haughty ; 
but I believe the dregs of remorse and bitterness 
are in his cup ; and, if I am not mistaken, that 
ever-restless eye and nervous demeanor indicate 
a worm at the heart. 

■X'' ^ ^'^'^ 




In the fall of 1857, numerous reports of house 
robberies were made to the Police, perpetrated in 
various parts of the city. These robberies were 
mostly committed at noonday, and generally con- 
sisted of ladies' clothing. At length these com- 
plaints became so numerous, it was thought there 
must be an organized gang perambulating the city, 
and the whole police force were on the alert. 
Descriptions were given, by the various sufferers, of 
a ghl that applied for board, on whom suspicions 
rested. Some said she was tall, slim, and good- 
looking ; others, that she was rather short and or- 
dinary. One thought her thick-set and ruddy ; 
another, that she was medium size. Now, she had 
a full, round face and pug nose ; then thin-favored, 
with nose aquiline. In fact, no two described the 
supposed thief alike at all, with the exception of 
one feature, — all agreed that she had red hair. 
The police finally arrived at the conclusion that 
there were either a whole fcnnili/ of red-headed 
thieves, or else one very busy individual, who had 


miraculous powers of ubiquity. Accordingly, red- 
headed ladies were objects of much interest to our 
department, and many and laughable were the jokes 
cracked at their expense, and almost any officer 
would readily affirm that at least every other head 
seen in the street had at least an auburn hau\ Per- 
haps those who are unpractised in our line might 
think it a little odd, but, to solve the problem, let 
him take a walk up Hanover or Washington Street 
some fine afternoon, and undertake to look up some 
individual in a particular dress ; for instance, he 
wants to find a boy about seventeen, dressed in short 
jacket, and a close-fitting, gray, round-top cap, or a 
lady in a black dress, with auburn curls and pink 
bonnet ; and if he don't come in within an hour 
ready to swear that there are a thousand on the 
street of either kind, I am mistaken. 

At last one of our officers got a little additional 
description, on which he thought he could rely, and 
a part of his beat being on Hanover Street, where 
many ladies pass, he resolved to capture one of the 
red-heads, at any rate. It was not many days before 
he encountered a young lady on the street who had 
the required description, and, in addition, a nice 
bundle in her arms. He followed her along till 
opposite the Station House, and politely tapping 
her on the shoulder invited her in. She appeared 
very modest, said her name was Maria Whipple, 
was a vestmakcr, and the bundle contained her 


work, -wliich she was taking to tlic shop. On ex- 
amination, however, the bundle contained one silk 
dress, one fur victorine, one lady's mantilla, one 
child's apron and hood, and one checked shawl. 
This was rather uncommon work for a vestmaker's 
establishment to put out, and as none of the cloth- 
ing seemed to be a fit for herself, it was thought 
prudent to investigate further ; and on several 
persons who had suffered by the red-headed girl 
being sent for, she was identified, beyond dispute. 

AVhen the girl became satisfied that she was de 
tccted, she said if we would not be hard with her she 
would tell all, and do all she could to recover the 
property she had taken ; but the effort proved n 
heavy tax on her memory, for she alone comprised 
the whole red-headed family we had been seeking 
for. The next day, her arrest having been made 
known, some forty victims called to see her, the esti- 
mate of their losses in the aggregate amounting to 
over one thousand dollars. Of this amount the 
officers recovered in value some eight hundred 
dollars. Maria was taken before the court, and al- 
though her offences might have sent her to prison 
a lifetime, she was sentenced but two years. 

Maria's story (although that was an assumed 
name) was soon told. She was about twenty years 
old, and having no friends to care for her, she came 
to Boston from a neighboring State to seek employ- 
ment as a vestmaker, having learned that trade at 



home. She engaged board with a respectable 
widow lady at the South End, and w^ent out in search 
of ^yo^k ; but being a stranger, with no one to rec- 
ommend her, she travelled about day after day with- 
out meeting with any success. In a short time her 
board-bill exceeded the small amount of funds she 
possessed, and one morning the landlady demanded 
payment. She paid all she had, and again put on 
her things and went out, to renew her efforts for 
work ; but in vain. She felt she could not go back 
without any prospect of paying her board to ask for 
another meal, and the thought struck her that she 
must get a new boarding-place at once. She wan- 
dered about, she hardly knew where, and coming 
to a house where " Boardlnj'" was on the door, she 
summoned courage to make an application. The 
people in the house turned her coldly away. As she 
passed out through the entry, an opportunity offered, 
and in a fit of desperation she took a lady's cloak 
and made her escape. The cloak was carried to a 
broker, and pawned for enough to liquidate her 
board-bill, which was immediately carried home and 
appropriated to that purpose. 

Said she, " I consoled myself on this, mij first theft, 
that my necessity was an excuse for the act, but it 
paved the way for my ruin. I began to feel tliat 
there was but two ways for me ; one was to steal, 
tlie other, to ahandon mijsclfto the town. Of the two 
o\ ils, I thought I chose the least." She had stolen 


probably twelve hundred dollars in value, sold it 
all to the brokers, and for the whole had received 
less than one hundi-ed dollars. 

I envy not the purchasers their ill-gotten gains 
had no owner appeared ; but, as it proved, the spec- 
ulation for most of them was not very profitable. 

When Maria's term of service expired, she came 
out of prison with the good wishes of all her over- 
seers, and was sent to the kind-hearted matron of 
the Home in Kneeland Street, who soon procured 
her a situation in a family in a neighboring city. I 
have no doubt her story was true ; but she had 
been in prison, was disgraced in the eyes of the 
world, and had lost her own self-respect. She 
stole no more, but she was soon an inmate of a 


I NEVER was very partial to beggars, althougli I 
believe a hungry woman or child never went away 
from my door empty ; but the bloated, red-nosed 
beggar, whose breath smells like a cask of decayed 
onions, never met with a very hearty welcome 
with me. But, opposed to the practice as I am, I 
one day found myself very deeply engaged in the 
same occupation ; and although I never took much 
pride in relating my own exploits, yet I believe on 
that day I performed a feat of begging that will 
not find a parallel in Boston. 

The cause that gave rise to the course I pursued 
was this. In the year 1856, when I had charge 
of Police Station No. 1, a few days before Thanks- 
giving, a poor woman came into my office and in- 
quired if I could give her some work. I had no 
work for her ; but her thin, pale face and a long- 
drawn sigh as she turned to go away, somehow 
made me feel kind of bad under my waistcoat, 
although accustomed daily as I was to witness 
cases of poverty and want. I called her back, and 
told her if she would leave her name and residence 


I would try and find some work for her. To this 
she gladly assented. She told me where she lived, 
and that she had three small children, her husband 
having been dead about a year, leaving her desti- 
tute and in poor health. Said she, " When Wil- 
liam was alive we were poor, but comfortable ; we 
always had enough to cat, and something nice for 
Thanksgiving ; but if I cannot get some work, we 
shall have to go without this year." I gave her a 
little change, and she went away wiping the tears 
from her eyes. As the poor woman left my office, 
I resolved that she should not go without a supper 
for herself and little ones on Thanksgiving Day ; 
and as I sat thinking of the privations and sorrows 
that must weigh down the heart of that poor 
widow, it occurred to me that this was but one 
case of many that existed- on my ow^n Station, and 
within my own knowledge, where rigid necessity 
would allow but a scanty meal even on Thanks- 
giving Day. 

But what could I do ? I had not the means to 
furnish them all with a supper. But I did not feel 
satisfied with that argument ; could not I do some- 
thing ? I knew plenty of people, many of whom, 
perhaps, would give something for such a purpose ; 
but could I go out and beg ? I could hardly beg 
for myself, were I ever so needy ; but this would 
be begging for the needy. I would get laughed at 
for my pains. " Don't care ; that wont hurt me ; 



the object is worth an effort, at least ; " and my 
resolution was soon formed. I had no time to 
lose, and commenced on my new plan at once by 
drawing up the following document : — 

" We, the undersigned, respectively contribute 
the sum of one dollar each, to be expended by 

Captain for the purpose of furnishing a 

Thanksgiving supper for destitute widows and 
orphans residing on Police Station No. One." 

On the following day, at ten o'clock A. M. pre- 
cisely, with my credentials in hand as above drawn, 
and with all the cheek I could summon, I sallied 
forth to try my luck. I took the precaution to 
secure a few names at the head of the list that 
were favorably known among the tradesmen on 
Hanover and Blackstone streets, and my work 
was well begun. 

Having for several years been in a position to 
be pretty well known to the business people at the 
North End, and asking for but one dollar of any 
one for an object that commended itself to every 
generous impulse of the heart, I met with much 
better success than I had anticipated. My cause 
was so good, my encouragement so flattering, and 
I entered into the spirit of my business so deeply, 
that I forgot my own dinner, and continued my 
efforts till five o'clock P. M., when I repaired to 
my Station House to get breath, and take an ac- 
count of stock ; and I must acknowledge I felt not 
only a little proud, but somewhat surprised at my 


success, for till then I had not the least idea ho'V 
much I had received. On counting my money, I 
found I hud collected one hundred and thirty-nine 
dollars, of one hundred and thirty-nine persons, in 
seven consecutive hours, avcra[)hig one dollar in 
about every three minutes. (I would like to shake 
hands with the man that can beat that begging.) 
The next day I made a handsome addition to the 
fund, and the proceeds were appropriated to the 
purchase of such articles of provision as was 
thought would be most valuable and acceptable to 
those for whom they were designed. 

In the mean time, my officers had assisted me in 
completing a list of those persons thought to be most 
needy and worthy, and the day before Thanksgiv- 
ing, I hud the pleasure of leaving at the door of 
over one hundred tenements (not forgetting the 
widow whose sorrowful story had given me the first 
impulse to beg) ample means to satisfy the hunger 
and gladden the hearts of those dwelling therein, 
for one day at least. 

If those generous heart'i who furnished the means 
for those little blessings, could have on that day 
witnessed what I witnessed, and enjoyed the pleas- 
ure of giving, as well as I did in distributing their 
generous liberality, I feel sure they would have 
thought it a good investment. 

I have carefully preserved their names on that 
subscription list, but their deeds are written in a 
book that will last Ioniser than mine. 


"Who that has enjoyed the advantages of dwell- 
ing in civilized society, that does not realize the 
importance attached to a fashionable, genteel hat. 

It has been the pride and the ornament of the 
lords of creation from time immemorial. Long and 
loud, by legend and lyric, have its praises been said 
and sung, by rich and poor, old and young, bond 
and free, while its elegant figure has undergone 
every transformation that human ingenuity could 
invent; fu'st assuming the form of a triangular 
cone, — then the shape of a genteel sugar-loaf, — 
next of an inverted dinner-bell ; now it steps forth 
in the shape of an oyster keg, — next, the pattern 
of a brown-bread loaf, — next, perhaps, the copy of 
a pyramid, and then the fac-simile of a cheese-box, — 
or, mayhap, a thing without comparison in shape, yet 
still imparting spirit and life to its possessor, and 
still the admiration of all. 

Neither has the character and position of this 
strange object been less varied than its form. First, 
it graces the head of a monarch, — then it is the 


habitation of a nest of young rats in a garret ; to-day, 
the pride of an admiring multitude, — to-morrow, 
floating in a frog-pond, a roost for tadpoles, or lying 
hid in the depths of an ash barrel. Such has been 
its history in all ages of the world, and such its 
fate ; and yet it has been but a prototype of its 

No wonder, then, that an article which has at- 
tracted such universal attention of nations and com- 
munities in all ages of the world, should occasion- 
ally become an object of individual interest in our 
own day ; and such was actually the case a few 
days since. 

For many years past a highly respectable firm of 
hat manufacturers, " not a thousand miles from '* 
the State of Massachusetts, have occupied an estab- 
lishment where a salesroom was conspicuous on the 
ground floor, while the manufacturing rooms were 
in the stories above. 

Of late one of the younger members of the fii-m, 
who has the supervision of the manufacturing 
branch, has on several occasions missed a specimen 
of his handiwork in the night-time, and thought 
the circumstances most singular ; but being a pru- 
dent man he kept the matter t§t himself, and resolved 
to watch. 

A few evenings since, at the close of work, a hat 
of peculiar beauty having been finished all but ad 
justing the lining, was left on the bench to receive 


a finishing touch th(? next morning. When the 
man opened his shop the hat was gone, and know- 
ing that none but members of the firm had keys, he 
at once conckided that some burglar with false keys 
had entered the shop. He immediately reported 
his loss to the Police, and an officer was detailed to 
investigate the case. 

Early in the afternoon of the next day, the young 
hatter came into the office quite out of breath, say- 
ing he had discovered his hat on the head of a man 
in the street, and had followed and saw the man 
enter a certain house. An officer went with him 
to the house, where the man and hat were found 
without difficulty. The man, who did ,not seem 
disposed to say how he came by the hat, was locked 
up for a thief, and the hat was retained for evi- 
dence, — the hatter declaring that he would swear 
to his property on a stack of bibles, and pointed 
out his marks, so that no one doubted his correct- 

After the prisoner had been in custody a short 
time a lady called to see him, and on being told 
why he was detained, she said the man was no 
thief, and was held wrongfully, for she herself had 
that day made him a present of that hat ; and if 
anybody was accused of stealing it, she would 
frankly tell how she came by it. At her earnest so- 
licitation the young hatter was sent for. He came, 
but he was not the man she desired to see. 


" Is there not," said she, " another gentleman 
in your firm, that has grayish haii', and sometimes 
walks with a cane ? " 

" Yes," said the young hatter. 

" Well, send for him," said she ; " he is the man 
that I want to see." 

There was some hesitation on the part of the 
young hatter ; but the case began to grow interest- 
ing, and an officer went for the gentleman, who 
soon made his appearance. 

" There," said the lady, " that is the gentleman, 
and this is my story. As I was taking a walk on 
last Friday evening, I fell in company with this 
gentleman. He bade me good-evening, and we 
passed on conversing together. When we got 
opposite a certain block, he said he had got to go 
in there a moment, and if I would wait, he would 
be my company further on. He took out his keys, 
opened the door, and started upstairs. I saw he 
was somewhat lame, and offered to assist him up ; 
and, at his consent, I did so. When he came out, 
he took this hat from a bench and gave it me ; I 
thought no harm, and carried it home, and to- 
day gave it to my friend who is now locked up for 
stealing it. Is my story correct, sir 1 " said she to 
the senior partner. 

The gentleman, who had stood transfixed while 
she was telling her story, turned indignantly on 
his heel and walked out of the office without say- 


ing a word. The lady then turned to the young 
hatter, and demanded her hat and the release of 
her friend. The hatter thought it rather steep, 
but, on a little reflection, he said — 

" I don't care to go to court, and, Mr. Officer, if 
you please you may discharge the prisoner and 
give her the hat." 


AST<«R, T rtTiY rf^y 

f at. 


JOHN H BUM UhD b lI I H '♦HU WA5H" ST iZ"'' ' : 



The detectives celebrated All " Fools Day in the 
year 1862, by cribbing and showing up a celebrated 
rascal who has been both a rescue and a fool all 
the daj/s of his life. 

Chauncet/ Larkin^ who has followed his trade 
under the name of Colonel Gorman, Colonel 
Dupont, Colonel Dudley, and Lieutenant Smith, 
having arrived at the Winthrop House last evening, 
and being wanted by the police in New York, was 
arrested by our police, and brought into the Office. 
When brought in he was dressed in a colonel's 
uniform, and was quite indignant, and said some 
big words ; but on being confronted with some old 
acquaintances (for he had been here before), he 
caved in, and acknowledged that the day was pro- 
pitious to his case. 

In his possession were found various interesting 
papers from distinguished personages. One pur- 
porting to be from !Mr. Johnson, United States 
Marshal for Kentucky, calling the attention of 
Governor Buell to the Henry Rifle ^Manufacturing 



Company in New Haven, Conn., as suitable for a 
regiment of cavalry raised by Colonel Dudley. A 
second was from General Eucll, directing Colonel 
Dudley to proceed to New Ilavcn, and make arrange- 
ments for procuring rifles for his regiment. Of 
course these papers were all forgeries, to aid him in 
raising the wind. However, he contracted with the 
New Haven Company for one thousand rifles, but 
had obtained only a single pair, when his prog- 
ress was arrested. 

He had also several letters of a sentimental 
character, among which was one from the young 
ladies of a seminary in Brooklyn, N. Y., thanking 
him for a visit to their institution under the name 
of Colonel Dupont, and for his autograph, kindly 
written with his hand in a sling, which he pre- 
tended had been wounded in a late battle. 

A few days previous to his visit at New Haven, 
he visited a celebrated military establishment in 
New York City, representing himself as Colonel 
Dupont, or rather Commodore Dupont, dressed in 
a colonel's uniform complete, excepting a sword 
and sash. He said he was commissioned by the 
War Department to select a model sword, and was 
fortunate enough to find one^that exactly suited 
him. The firm felt highly flattered with his 
favors, and while in the store having casually re- 
marked that he was tr> dine with General Scott 
that day, iie was urged to accept the loan of the 


sword, and also of a beautiful silk sasli, for the 
inspection of the brave old general and General 
Anderson, who was likewise to be a guest. lie 
carried off the goods, and forgot to return them. 

The same gentleman operated in Boston some 
dozen years ago on quite an extensive scale, under 
the name of Lieutenant Hunter, and at that time 
produced quite a sensation. 

He purchased real estate, ships, merchandise, 
coal, produce, &c. &c., in large quantities, but did 
not take possession, although in most cases he man- 
aged to raise a little ready money by the opera- 
tion. It was said that he went into one speculation 
in fixncy stock that was not made public at the 
time, on this wise : A landlord who had just fitted 
up a crack hotel in the city, had been at consider- 
able expense in furnishing a suit of rooms for bridal 
chambers, and which really presented a striking 
feature in the establishment. At the time the 
dashing Lieutenant flourished in this locality, these 
rooms had just been completed, but had not been 
occupied. This coming to the knowledge of Lieu- 
tenant Hunter, he at once conceived the happy idea 
of giving them a christening. Accordingly the 
dashing Lieutenant with his wife, one bright moon- 
light evening, jumped into the nearest hack, drove 
to the aforesaid hotel, reported himself as bride- 
groom and lady, just arrived from Providence ; 
engaged the bridal rooms, ordered a splendid 


supper, and, with the exception of some round 
swearing, because the extra carriage with his ser- 
vants and baggage did not arrive, all things went 
smoothly on. However, he consoled himself and 
his worthy host with the idea that by mistake these 
had gone to some other hotel, and, as it was quite 
late, he would let the matter rest till morning. As 
the couple were somewhat weary with theh joui'ney 
they rethed to their splendidly-furnished chambers 
to forget the cares of life in general, and the per- 
plexities of travelling with baggage and careless 
attendants in particular. 

On repairing to the chambers at a late hour the 
next morning, to his great surprise and chagrin, 
our host found them vacant. 

The next seen of Lieutenant Hunter was at City 
Marshal Tukey's Office, under arrest for swindling 
a merchant on one of the wharves out of three hun- 
dred dollars. For this he was sent to the State's 
Prison at Charlestown for three years. 

After serving out his time in Charlestown he 
went to New York, where he was again caught at 
his old tricks, and sent to Sing Sing, where he 
served four years more. Where he has since been 
is not quite certain, but he now turns up again, 
" the same old coon." 

Larkin is still a young-looking man, and is very 
active, although he must be rising forty. He will 
be sent to New York, where the courts will proba- 


bly give him a little of the " sword " exercise, and 
send him again to his old home at Sing Sing. 

Wlien he rose to depart I saw the tears standing in 
his eyes, and as he took a very gentlemanly leave of 
those in the office, he remarked, " TJds is All-FooVs 
daj/, and I am a large stockholder." 



" He was a thief, and had the bag," was an 
epithet applied to one in olden time, and his name 
has come down to us in disgrace. 

A thief is a thief, in any age of the world ; but 
whether the bag and the way of carrying it is of 
modern invention, or patented by the old thief 
aforesaid, is not quite clear. 

Be that as it may, the fact is evident that we 
have thieves amongst us at the present day who 
carry bags, and very big bags too, and female 
thieves at that; and honest shopkeepers in Boston 
(it is supposed there are some) are hardly aware 
to what extent they are fleeced by the walking 
warehouses that promenade our streets. 

In most of the retail dry goods stores the method 
of showing goods to customers results in piling 
them up promiscuously in large quantities on the 
counters, and several pieces might not be missed 
till night nor even then, and it is more than prob- 
able that the footing up of the year's profit in many 


cases is seriously affected by the divers appropria- 
tions made by the bagging fratern'iti) to the utter 
astonishment of the proprietor, and leaving per- 
haps a most cruel and unjust suspicion on some 
innocent clerk or salesman. 

These female bag thieves — for they are mostly 
females — generally " go shopping" in pairs. One 
prices the goods, and while she engages the atten- 
tion of the salesman, the other bags whatever she 
can lay her hands on. 

The thief-bag is no great curiosity in itself, but, 
like most good things, is very simple and useful. 
It generally consists of about two yards of cotton 
cloth, doubled and sewed up at the sides, with a 
strong cord about the top, to fasten about the 
waist under the dress, with a pocket hole on one 
side. This, when well filled, answers all the pur- 
poses of the most approved balmoral. I have 
known a woman to secrete and carry off a whole 
web of cotton cloth in one of these bags. 

In the summer of 1862, one of the officers 
brought in one of the professors of the art, who 
carried a bag, and it was well filled, too ; but the 
bag was a little different from those above de- 
scribed. She wore a Florence silk dress of a costly 
pattern ; the dress was made with a stout lining, 
forming a bag of the whole front part, which 
would hold at least six bushels. She was making 
her morning calls when arrested, but had succeeded 


in bagging about sixty dollars worth of ribbons, 
and a lot of laces, gloves, hosiery, &c., amounting 
in value to over one hundred dollars. These had 
all been taken at one store, and were not missed 
by the proprietor. What amount she would have 
bagged in the course of the day, had not her prog- 
ress been arrested, it is impossible to say, but she 
had made a fair beginning. It was subsequently 
ascertained that she kept a variety store at the 
South End, and was retailing goods very cheap, — 
in fact, sometimes much cheaper than could be 
purchased of the importer or manufacturer, and no 
doubt she realized good profits at that. 

This is by no means a solitary instance that 
came to the knowledge of the police, as numerous 
cases of the same nature occur every year. 

The light-fingered gentry that carry the bag, as 
I have already said, are mostly females, who op- 
erate on dry goods stores ; but cases among the 
other sex are sometimes detected, where overcoats 
with tremendous big pockets in the inside of the 
skirt, serve for the bag ; and in relation to the 
dry goods trade, also, the rule, like all others, has 
its exceptions, as this class sometimes engage in the 
grocery and provision business to some extent. 

I recollect a case that occurred on the 23d day 
of February, 1860. One Margaret (I will not 
mention the other name) was brought into the 
Station House by some citizens. She had got a 


little top-heavy, and fell in Blackstone Street. 
When brought -in, her appearance looked a little 
suspicious, and on examination disclosed one of the 
cotton bags, worn as usual, containing the follow- 
ing schedule of contents, viz : One bottle cham- 
paigne, two glass tumblers (one broken), two 
earthen plates, two oranges, one apple, three boiled 
eggs, one pound of butter, one pound of sugar 
(loose), a double handful of black tea, five seed- 
cakes, two doughnuts, one pepper-box, one mus- 
tard spoon, part of a boiled potato, and two un- 
cooked onions. Unaccountable as this may seem, 
it is true to the letter ; but how or where she 
obtained them, I never could learn. She had 
probably made a grab in every grocery and pro- 
vision shop and every saloon she had entered ; but 
no one would claim any of the property, and she 
was discharged from custody when she became 
sober, saying, " it was a shame that a dacent 
woman cannot go out shopping jist without being 
insulted by the Perlice." 


Having occasion to make a short tour into the 
country, partly on business connected with my de- 
partment and partly to visit some friends, I sallied 
forth one winter morning with valise in hand, and 
proceeded to the Fitchburg Railroad Depot. On 
arriving at the depot, just as the cars were about to 
start, I took a seat in a comfortable car, marked 
Cheshire R. R., and soon found my cage in motion. 
In a few minutes the bridge railings over Charier 
River, and the numerous shops and buildings in 
our sister city of pigs and pigeons, were receding 
from view with true railroad speed. 

After indulging in a passing glance at the figures 
of some score of human beings that had taken up 
their temporary habitation in our flying house, some 
of whom were eagerly devouring the morning news, 
while others seemed deeply engaged in communion 
with their own thoughts, and seeing nothing that 
was likely to break the monotony of a quiet ride, I 
nestled myself into one corner of a double seat, so 
as to get as good a view as possible of external cir- 
cumstances through a frosty pane of glass, and 


calmly resigned myself to the elements that had 
been brought into requisition for the benefit of 
myself and companions on this occasion. 

The morning was cold, but beautifully fine, and the 
large fleece of snow that had so recently spread its 
white mantle over the landscape, had here entii-ely 
disappeared, and every object that from my isolated 
corner could reach the eye, seemed to indicate the 
early approach of Spring. 

We hurried on apace, our iron-horse seeming to 
gain increased ^igor as he puffed and snuffed the 
fresh north breeze, while I sat quietly indulging in 
the anticipations of sweet flowers and singing birds. 
After passing the good old town of Concord, some 
twenty miles on our journey, ever and anon there 
began to appear long, narrow, white banks, half 
hidden from view by the field fence, or gracefully 
encircling the woodland skirt, as if stern old "Winter 
was still lingering, quite unwilling to take his final 

As we passed further on, the white banks became 
more frequent, and of increased magnitude, till only 
here and there were to be seen small hillocks, 
occasionally peeping from their winter bed, looking 
for all the world like so many little islands dotting 
the broad expanse of ocean. 

When we had proceeded so far northward as to 
bring to view the venerated Monadnoc, all vestige 
of earth had disappeared, and we wer-e literally out 


of sight of land. However, nothing daunted, we 
ploughed our way along through the banks of snow 
until we arrived safely at the quiet little village of 
Bellows Falls, Vermont, at about half past twelve 
o'clock p. M.. at which place my car ride was at an 

This village, which lies just above Walpole, 
N. H., on the Vermont side of the Connecticut 
River, and which was named partly from an old 
Indian hunter, who flourished among the early set- 
tlers of Walpole, and partly from the beautiful falls 
in the river at that point, was some years ago se- 
lected as a site for an extensive cotton manufactory ; 
but in consequence of unforeseen reverses, which 
occurred soon after, the enterprise was abandoned, 
and the large foundations then commenced still 
remain uncovered. 

The falls in the river when the water is high, 
present a scene of much grandeur and interest; 
but at the time of my visit, the water being low, 
little was to be seen but a mass of ragged rocks 
partia^'^y covered with snow and ice. 

At this place I took some refreshments with the 
obliging landlord of the Island House, and made 
preparations to take the stage for a nice snug 
village up among the hills about twelve miles to the 

" Stage readj" said a sharp but good-natured 
voice ; and fearing I was about to lose my chance, 


I dove through the open door of the liotol, from 
whence the voice came, and was speedily ushered 
aboard the aforesaid ready vehicle before I was 
fully aware of my exact whereabouts. 

On looking about me to define my position (as 
politicians would say), I found myself not a lone 
tenant of the vehicle, three ladies having secured 
'prehnption rights before my arrival. One was a 
lady of mature age, small stature, thin face, sharp 
nose, and gold-bowed spectacles. The second was 
a small woman, in dark dress, but so closely veiled 
I could not distinguish her features. The third was 
a large-featured, blue-eyed, rosy-cheeked lass of 
some twenty summers, with a fine pearly set of 
teeth, looking as if she could enjoy life in the fresh 
air, and apparently as full of fun as an e^^ is of 
meat. The rest of our freight consisted of some 
kegs of oysters, boxes, trunks, bundles, bandboxes, 
a bag of oats, buffalo robes, blankets and straw. 
And then the stage, — none but a backwoodsman 
would have recognized the thing by the name ; and, 
familiar as I once was with country travelling, under 
any other cuxumstances, I should have been puz- 
zled to know if I were not in the wrong box. 

The stage consisted of two strips of timber about 
ten feet long, turned up at the front end. These 
runners were about four feet apart, and connected 
by strong wood beams, the ends projecting outside 
the runners, and fastened at each end by strong 



oak pins. On top of these beams was a stout 
board box, about eight feet long by four feet wide, 
and two feet deep, and secured by stakes inserted 
in the ends of the projecting beams, the stakes 
reaching about four inches above the top edge of 
the box. There were two old-fashioned high-back 
chairs in the hind part of the box, and two other 
seats consisting of strips of board laid crosswise 
with a hole at either end to receive the projecting 

The team attached to the stage was a fine pair 
of bay horses, hitched on tandem^ or one before the 
other, — and our stage was complete. I have 
been thus particular in giving a description, as it 
was an institution to which I was about to submit 
my life^ if not my fortune and sacred honor. My 
observations w^ere made while the driver was 
politely arranging the bufi"aloes and blankets for 
the comfort of the ladies. 

" Driver," said I, " will you please give me an 
outside seat ? Inside of a stage makes me sick ; 
'tis a very unpleasant sensation, you know? " 

" Certainly, certainly ; take your choice of seats, 
sir ; only accommodate the ladies." 

"Thank you, sir," said I. And as the rear seats 
were occupied by the two elderly ladies, the next 
by the fair-cheeked funny damsel, whose ponderous 
hoop-skirt projected on either side the stage, and 
the only remaining seat seeming to be reserved for 


the driver, I thoiiij^lit my best chance was on the 
bag of oats just under the Ire of the hoop-sku't, 
and there I resolved to make my debut in the com- 
ing performance. 

" All aboard ! " cried the driver (although there 
was no other person in sight) ; and springing 
on to the front seat, with reins in hand, he twirled 
around and above his head a long heavy whip 
which, ended in a crack, that not only hoisted me 
four inches from my bag of oats, but also every 
foot of the fine bay ponies from their underpinning. 

The sudden start elicited a groan from the ladies 
on the rear seat, a tee-he from her in the big hoops, 
and we were off at a speed that would have done 
credit to the most approved locomotive. 

I believe I have given a pretty correct account 
of our travelling establishment, all but the super- 
intendent, and I now had a chance to look at him. 
He was no inconsiderable personage in our enter- 
prise, as the safety of our whole corporation was 
entrusted to his hands. 

Well, he was a man about fifty years of age, 
medium size, broad shoulders, large head, covered 
with a profusion of bushy red hair, whiskers of the 
same color, with a peculiar formed nose, and 
mouth that seemed to indicate that his eye-teeth 
had been cut. His broad, good-natured face was 
well covered with freckles, and his twinkling gray 
eye denoted much good humor. 


" Driver," said I, " you need not hold in them 
animals on our account. I reckon we can ride as 
fast as you can drive." 

" I think so too," said the passenger on the mid- 
dle seat. 

" Don't be too confident," said the driver. "Dis- 
appointment lurks in many a prize." And his 
prediction proved but too true, for we had pro- 
ceeded but a few hundred yards before we got 
spilled out, and left some distance behind. 

Our road lay through a hollow, winding about 
between high hills on either side, and consisted 
mostly of a narrow canal dug out through ponder- 
ous banks of snow, shoulder high in many places. 
This canal was only wide enough for one team to 
pass, which made turning out very difficult. In 
some places it was necessary to dig into the deep 
banks at the side, where one team could switch off 
for another to pass, and sometimes advantage could 
be taken of a little rise where the snow was not 
so deep ; but in all directions the crust on the tojD 
of the snow was of sufficient strength to bear a 

It was at one of these turn-outs that our accident 
occurred, and to us it proved a turn-out in a double 

Our driver, on arriving at one of these points, 
had availed himself of the o^jportunity to let another 
team pass, and our tandem team bcmg in high life. 


and not easily manaj^cd, sprang back upon the 
main track in such a manner as to separate our 
stagebox from the running part, and in the twink- 
ling of an eye we found ourselves in an inverted 
position. To add to our misfortune, this turn-out 
had been chosen on the top of a little rise, where the 
snow was not so deep ; it was also just at the turn 
of the road, and the consequence was, that we 
inside passengers, found ourselves with any quantity 
of lumber, baggage, and straw, making rapid prog- 
ress down a little precipice, and all at once and 
all together bringing up against a fence at the foot, 
one mixed, heterogeneous mass. By hokey ! what a 
mess ! True to nature, my first thought was for 
myself, and after several severe struggles I found 
myself right end up, unhurt. Next for the ladies. 
The fii'st two who sat upon the back seat had at 
first start toppled over backwards, and lay kicking 
among the blankets and buffalo robes wrapp^ 
about them. But where was the lady in hoops ? 
Under the ruins, surely, and I dove for the pile ; 
but before proceeding far in my efforts, I espied on 
the further side from me something in the form of 
a huge umbrella, that had been turned inside out 
by a gust of wind, and was swinging to and fro in 
the breeze like an inflated balloon endeavoring to 
escape from its moorings. I sprang to the spot, 
and peeped in at the top. Gracious heavens ! 
there was a head in it ! As I was about to reach 



in and part the ringlets that hid the features, a 
small voice saluted my ear, saying, " Help me out ! " 
This was one end of our rosy-cheeked passenger ; 
the rest was under the rubbish, and with some diffi- 
culty she was at length rescued from her unpleas- 
ant position. 

After a few inquiries, we passengers, to our 
inexpressible joy, found we were all present and 
uninjured. But where was the team and the 
driver ? Not in sight. However, in a few moments 
both made their appearance, together with the run- 
ning part of our stage. When the stage-box, with 
its contents, had left its foundation, our driver with 
the team and what of the stage remained attached 
to the horses, had disappeared around a curve in 
the road. ^ 

"' AVell," said he, " thought you could ride as 
fast as I could drive." 

" Blast your red whiskers ! " said I, half inclined 
to think it was no accident. The lady in hoops 
nodded assent. 

After some delay, we succeeded in arranging our 
furniture ; and our stage again being rcadij^ and we 
" all aboard," we again took a fresli start on our 

The lady passengers all left at the next village, 
and I being the only inside passenger, had ample 
time to reflect on the uncertainty of all sublunary 
things in general, and of tandem-team staging in 


particular. However, we pursued our journey 
without further accident, and about sunset we 
reached a thriving little village up among the hills 
of New Hampshire, where lies the homestead of 
my good old father, and where I was greeted with 
a hearty welcome. 

After enjoying a night of refreshing sleep 1 
arose with the sun, and sallied out to get a snuff 
of the fresh country air and take a look. I had 
not visited my native hills in winter for twenty 
years, and the scene now presented to my view 
was novel and interesting in the extreme. On 
every side, and at every point, as far as the eye 
could reach, the surrounding landscape was en- 
shrouded in one continued sheet of everlasting 
snow. Xo fence appeared to mark the boundaries 
of the numerous fields that lay hidden beneath the 
frosty deep, and nought but an occasional interven- 
ing woodland, and now and then a human dwell- 
ing, appeared to break the sameness of this 
immense transparent sheet. 

The bright, warm sun w^as shedding its rays 
obliquely on this earth-bound crest, imparting to 
the broad expanse the appearance of one endless 
ocean of glittering diamonds. AVho could look 
upon that scene without experiencing emotions of 
admiration and devotion % My early days were 
passed here ; then a like exhibition of Nature's 
handiwork would have passed my notice as com- 


monplace. Then, at the return of each season I 
witnessed their beauties and enjoyed their sports 
with my companions ; but a lapse of twenty years 
had wrought a change, not in the landscape, but 
in me. 

Those who were my companions then, — where 
are they ? Some are scattered to the four quarters 
of the globe, and many are sleeping in the tomb. 
I myself am an old man, and another generation 
now occupies the place once occupied by me and 
my companions, and I am a stranger in my native 

Yet, standing here, with this familiar scene 
spread before me, brings to my heart the fond 
recollections of my boyhood, so deep, so real; and 
they come rushing back so powerfully as to fill the 
depths of my inmost soul with all their freshness 
and vigor. 

" Am I not a boy again?" I asked myself, as I 
found the tears stealing down my care-worn cheeks. 
" These very tears bear me witness that I am yet a 
child. True, my old playmates are not here, but 
the hills, the valleys, the river, the woodland, the 
glittering silver landscape are here as they were, 
and the beautiful sun is still shining brightly down 
on them all ; and although twenty years have 
passed since I last stood here, it seems but yester- 

I trust I never was prone to murmur at the in- 


scrutable ways of Divine Providence, but have ever 
felt it a duty, as well as a privilege, to improve and 
enjoy the blessings so bountifidly bestowed upon 
us by that infinite Source of all good. And as I 
stood gazing upon the summit of the crest-bound 
hiU on the opposite side of the river, the field of 
many a day's sport when I was young, I involunta- 
rily exclaimed, " Young or old, if I live, I '11 have 
a coast." 

I prolonged my morning walk till a late hour, 
and returned mth a keen appetite, and fancy that 
I did ample justice to a bountifully-spread table in 
the breakfast-roora of my good old fiither. 

After arranging some business I had in the til- 
lage, I wended my way up a steep hillside, on the 
summit of which stood a venerable farmhouse, 
for the double purpose of shaking hands with 
some old acquaintances I thought I might find 
there, and also to find some one to assist me in 
carrying out my morning s resolution. Nor was I 
disappointed in my calculations, for on entering 
the door of that familiar old dwelling, " the latch- 
string of which was ever on the outside," I was 
greeted with the smiles of a dozen familiar faces, 
who with open hearts and extended hands bade me 

" Just in tiime," said half-a-dozen voices ; and so 
indeed I was just in time to make one of a most 
happy and interesting maple-sugar party, known 


only to those localities where the sugar maple-tree 
grows. And a glorious time we had of it too, — a 
time that I had coveted on, many a returning 
spring since I had left my native hills, but a luxury 
that had this time escaped my anticipations, so 
intent had I been in the thought of a boyish coast. 

After we had enjoyed a feast of warm maple 
sugar, and I had been asked and answered ten 
thousand questions, I carelessly remarked what an 
excellent opportunity the young people in the 
country have for coasting, adding, that where I lived, 
such chances would afford rare sport for young 
and old of both sexes. This was enough ; the bait 
had taken beyond my highest expectations ; and 
before I had time to put a serious face on the 
matter, I had received half a dozen challenges from 
as many roguish little nymphs to go out and slide. 
One little minx, not yet out of her teens, came for- 
ward and said, " I gueth you dathent ride with me, 
thir, down that stheep hill by the suthgar houth." 
This was a challenge I did not feel at liberty to 
refuse, and I said I dared to ride anywhere that 
any young lady dared to ride, and I would, too, if 
it broke my neck, — although, I must confess, I 
had my misgivings. 

In a short time all the available rolling stock of 
the coasting company was in readiness, and all the 
stockholders and their guests were off to the coast- 
ing grounds, for a trial of speed. 


Reader, did you ever participate in a regular 
country coasting expedition, where the hillsides 
descend at an angle of forty-five degrees, and as 
much steeper as you deske, all covered with the 
pure white snow, the surface hard enough to bear 
up an ox team, and as smooth and as slippery as 
the purest of glass 1 — where you can select a track 
of any length you choose, on which you can skim 
off with lightning speed into the long, deep valley 
a mile away ; or where, by a circuitous course, you 
can wind around among the hills with your wooden 
horse, carefully guided by first one foot, then the 
other, till you arrive back almost to your fnst start- 
ing-point, where you can again commence the jour- 
ney anew? — where red noses, rosy cheeks, bright, 
roguish eyes, and long flowing ringlets dot the hil- 
locks as plenty as blackberries in August 1 — where 
little wooden clippers, whose capacity is extended 
by the addition of a board projecting behind, 
loaded to their utmost with merry life, are shooting 
down the giddy steep with the swiftness of an 
arrow, perhaps occasionally dropping a little lump 
of humanity, that, in spite of itself, tips end over 
end till it brings up at some convenient stopping- 
place ? — or, mayhap, the bark, misguided by some 
inexperiencedyoof, leaps over some miniature preci- 
pice and lands its precious biu'den at the bottom ? — 
where calico, satinet, caps, hoods, mufflers, shawls, 
tidies, leggings, cloaks, ringlets, big boots, heads, 


arms, feet, shins, and bodies are completely mixed 
up in the most incomprehensible and ludicrous 
confusion ? — where the loud, merry laugh rings 
out from a score of healthy lungs from amid the 
throng of reckless adventurers ? 

Reader, did I hear you say that you had partici- 
pated in these invigorating, soul-stirring exercises ? 
If you have, I need not attempt to picture to you 
the pleasures and enjoyments of my coasting ex- 
perience on that day. If you have not, any attempt 
of mine to enlighten you on the subject will be 
fruitless, for pen, language, or imagination, even, is 
quite incompetent to the task. 

After enjoying my coast and completing my busi- 
ness transactions, I took leave of my friends and 
returned to my family and business in the city ; 
and if I am really no younger or better, I fully be- 
lieve I am, at least, no worse for my trip among the 


The 24th of February, 1862, was one of the 
most remarkable days occurring in our latitude, 
and one long to be remembered as the event of 
Commercial Street fire, which in a few hours 
swept away several millions of property. 

In the morning came a thick mist, with snow 
and sleet, which, about noon, was followed with 
heavy rain. Early in the afternoon the clouds 
broke away, and it was quite warm ; but later the 
heavens again became uncommonly dark, the air 
exceedingly close, and in a short time a most ter- 
rific thunder-storm biu'st upon the city and coun- 
try for many miles around. The electric fluid in 
many places destroyed considerable property, and 
in several instances animal and human life. Just 
at sundown the shower ceased, and a most brilliant 
rainbow appeared in the east. 

Early in the evening the wind shifted to the 
northwest, and blew a gale, and the snow and hail 
fell in avalanches ; the wind strewed the streets 
with signs and wmdow-blinds ; chimneys and 



church steeples were blown down, and in several 
instances buildings were unroofed and much dam- 

About ten o'clock in the evening, while the 
elements seemed to be struggling in the wildest com- 
motion, all at once the whole heavens were lighted 
up in one lurid glare. In a few moments the 
alarm-bells added their doleful notes, and gave 
warning that the dread Fire King was abroad on 
the wings of the storm. 

The scene was the most sublime, the most fear- 
fully imposing, my eyes ever beheld. A fii-e had 
broke out in the upper story of Mathews block, a 
large four-story brick and stone building, facing on 
North, Clark, and Commercial streets. This build- 
ing, in the upper stories, was occupied for the 
storage of cotton, for sailmaker's goods and other 
combustible materials, and in a few moments the 
whole block at the top was wrapped in one sheet 
of flame. The firemen and a large force of police 
were soon on the ground, the former to extinguish 
the flames, and the latter to preserve life and 
property ; but amid this terrible wreck of elements 
human power and greatness sank into insignificance. 

The block was so high that the most powerful 
engine could not throw water to the top, and the 
weather had become exceedingly cold, the mercury 
falling from twenty-eight above to as low as zero, 
in about two hours. Under these difficulties, little 


or nothing conld be done to arrest the flumes in 
the block, and, in about half an hour from the dis- 
covery of the fire, the walls of the building came 
tumbling into the street. 

The police had shut oif the streets with ropes, 
and forced back the great numbers of persons who 
had collected in close proximity to the building, 
and, unquestionably, saved many lives. 

The terrible wind, which seemed to gain new 
strength as the fire increased, drove the flames 
across Commercial Street into a stone block front- 
ing on Eastern Avenue. These stores were also 
occupied mostly by combustible material, among 
the rest an extensive linseed oil mill, which burnt 
with terrific fury, and this whole block was 
soon a heap of ruins. A portion of the block on 
the south side of the Avenue, containing a large 
quantity of grain, was likewise destroyed. 

The wind continued to blow a hurricane ; snow 
was falling in an avalanche ; boards, shingles, and 
cinders were flying in every dii-ection ; tremen- 
dous volumes of flame and smoke, swayed hither 
and thither by the tempest, now covered the ad- 
joining building, and then, swaying over in an 
opposite direction, would seem to swallow up the 
sea of spectators that filled the streets, to witness 
the scene ; red-hot columns of granite were 
tumbling into the street, hissing like serpents 
as they fell into the water, that was nearly knee 


deep. The loud cries of the firemen, the puffing 
and shrieking of the engines, and the crashing of 
falling timbers, all combined to form a tableau 
rarely witnessed. 

More than ten hundred thousand dollars worth 
of property was destroyed. Some forty families 
were turned homeless into the street, two brave 
firemen fell victims to their fearful duties, and 
the morning light presented to the view one vast 
heap of smouldering ruins. 


One evening in September, 1858, an intelligent- 
looking young lady came into the Station House, 
saying that she had shot a man in North Street, 
and, she supposed, had killed him ; dcsii'cd to give 
herself up to the officers, and very calmly seated 
herself and told me the circumstances. 

Her story was the oft-repeated tale of seduction 
and desertion. The man she had shot had long 
been her suitor, and, under a solemn promise of 
marriage, had accomplished her ruin, and in her 
misfortune had abandoned her. In a fit of desper- 
ation she had procured a double-barrelled pistol, 
which she had loaded, both barrels, with powder and 
ball to the muzzle, one of which she designed for her 
seducer, and the other for herself. She had this 
evening crossed his path, and as he passed her she 
shot him in the back. The charge was so heav}' 
that the woodwork of the pistol was shattered in 
splinters, and flew from her hand ; she searched for 
it, and as people came running to the spot where 
the wounded man lay, she felt that she would soon 



be arrested, and hastened to the Station House, that 
the officers of the law might now do that which 
she had intended to do herself had she retained the 
other barrel of the pistol. She was fearfully calm, 
apparently rational, and her simple narrative bore 
the evidence of truth, and excited the sympathy of 
those that heard it. 

AVhen she fii'st came in, officers were sent to in- 
vestigate, and in a short time the wounded man was 
brought in, faint and bloody, and physicians im- 
mediately summoned. The ball was found to have 
entered the back, just under the left shoulder-blade, 
proceeding upward, so that it had not reached the 
vitals. The pistol was discharged just as he was 
stepping from the crossing on to the sidewalk ; he 
was stooping a little as he raised himself up, which 
probably saved his life. The ball could not be ex- 
tracted, but his wound was dressed, and he was 
conveyed home. The pistol was found, and is now 
in my cabinet. 

When the case came before the Grand Jury, I 
took good care that all the facts of the case were 
made known. The jury found no bill, and the 
poor girl was discharged. She, with her offspring, 
are now sheltered by the roof of a kind father, and 
the wounded author of her sorrow now moves in 
respectable society ; but he will carry that leaden 
memento of his perfidy with him to his grave. 


On the night of February 5, 1859, at 11 o'clock, 
a fire occurred on Commercial, between Bat- 
tery and Salutation streets, entirely destroying a 
large building recently erected and furnished for 
a Mechanical Steam Bakery. The building was of 
brick, with a granite front, six stories high, and 
extending back from Commercial Street some one 
hundred and twenty feet in depth, the front ex- 
tending the entire length from Battery to Saluta- 
tion Street, having been furnished with the most 
complete apparatus sufficient to make five hundred 
barrels of fiour into bread daily. This establish- 
ment, together with several dwellings on Battery 
and on Salutation Street, was totally destroyed. 

Several persons were severely injured by the 
falling of the crumbling walls of the bakery, before 
they coidd escape from their dwelling. One old 
man, who was too infirm to walk, was buried in 
the ruins of his house, but was finally rescued by 
the police and citizens, and conveyed to the hos- 
pital. Several were forcibly removed from their 
dwellings on Commercial Street, a captain of police 


actually carrying out by main strength an old lady 
weighing near two hundred pounds, very much 
against her will. She had barricaded her door on 
the inside, to keep the thieves from carrying off 
her little stock of furniture, and when told that her 
life was in danger, she replied, " It is all bosh that 
ye tell me ; has not me landlord repeatedly told 
me that the house was insured ? " But before she 
had been three minutes from beneath the roof, a 
falling wall from the bakery levelled every timber 
to the foundation. 

The front granite wall of the bakery remained 
standing till the end walls had mostly crumbled 
down, when the police made an effort to clear the 
Square in front. This was not accomplished till 
we procured two long ropes, well manned, and 
commencing in the centre, we forced back the 
cro\vd each way, both down and up Commercial 
Street, which, amid loud oaths and imprecations 
from the spectators, was accomplished with no 
little difficulty. The Square, however, had not 
been cleared ten minutes, when the whole six- 
story stone front fell broadside into the street, and 
the space which was now covered with a huge 
mass of broken granite, ten minutes before was 
occupied by at least five hundred human beings, 
who, had they not been removed, would have been 
crushed to atoms. As it was, no one was injured, 
save one man, who had his leg broken by a stone, 



while standing on the opposite side of the street at 
Battery wharf. 

After the fall of this wall, no more complaint 
was heard about tlie interference of the police. 

It would be wel] for spectators at a fire to re- 
member that the falling of a stone wall of a burn- 
ing building is very different from a brick one ; the 
latter comes crumbling down, while the former 
almost invariably falls by a broadside, like a plank 
reared on one end, and a respectful distance is 
much the safer place. 

The loss by the Mechanical Bakery fii-e was es- 
timated at $100,000 ; but the limits of devastation 
were most efficiently prescribed by the brave fire- 
men, and many lives were saved by the prompt 
and energetic action of the police. 


One day in July, 1858, an interesting, dark-eyed 
girl of some fifteen summers came into the Station 
House, inquired for me, and told me her story. 
Her father was a mechanic, and had resided at the 
North End many years ; his business becoming 
dull, he was unable to get employment, and, as a 
last resort, he had enlisted in the Navy, to obtain 
means to keep his wife and family from the alms- 
house. He had been gone eight months, leaving 
his family in a small tenement in a place leading 
out of Snowhill Street. 

A few days since, he sent home a draft on a firm 
in the city for his wages, and to-day, herself and 
little brother procured a check and drew from one 
of the banks in the city, some ninety dollars. They 
took the money, and with light steps and merry 
hearts started for home with their treasure, to pay 
up their bills and to procure the necessaries of life for 
themselves and their mother, she being confined to 
a bed of sickness, from which it was then probable 
she would never rise. 


On aI•l•i^■ing home tlic money was missing ; it 
had been lost on the way, and it was their all. 
The children immediately retraced their steps, and 
made diligent search ; but the money could not be 
found. They were advised to come to the Station 
House, and report the loss. "When she had told 
her story, the big tears came stealing do\\Ti her 
cheeks, and with a tone of anguish that would 
have reached harder hearts than mine, she ex- 
claimed : — 

" Oh, my poor mother ! Can you, sir, do any- 
thing for us ] " 

I said I would try. I immediately sent out two 
trusty officers, with dhections to make every eff"ort 
within their reach to recover the money ; but then* 
most untiring eff"orts were fruitless. I next pro- 
ceeded to Court Square, where, on the first corner, 
I found a group of good-fellows, familiarly known 
as Reporteis^ whose ears are ever open for an item, 
and whose hearts are ever alive with interest and 
sympathy for the unfortunate, and to them related 
the story. AVith the characteristic generosity of 
the craft, there came out in the evening papers a 
prominent notice of the loss. 

About half an hour after the five o'clock edition 
had been circulated about the city, an Irish gentle- 
man came into the Station House with paper in 
hand, and pointing to the notice, he said, " I have 
found that money, and here it is. Will you please 


take care of it, sir 1 " placing a roll of bills in my 

I looked at the money, and it was all there. It 
held been dropped on Salem Street, and picked up 
by this honest, kind-hearted gentleman, and was 
safe. We immediately proceeded to the residence 
of its owner ; there, on the fourth floor of a ten- 
ement, in a small but neat room, we found the 
sick mother, pale and haggard ; and there, too, 
were her children gathered about her. When we 
entered not a word was spoken, but sorrow and 
disappointment marked every feature in that little 
group. I went to the bedside of the mother, and 
told her that her treasure had been found by the 
gentleman with me, and we had brought it to her. 
She reached forth her emaciated hand and took it 
from mine, and the little ones drew closer about 
her bedside. Not a word was yet spoken by 
them, but the moistened eyelids and expressions of 
thankfulness resting upon the countenances of that 
little party, spoke in volumes that words could iiot 

For many years I had been accustomed to wit- 
ness scenes of misery in almost every form, and I 
had supposed my own heart had become hardened 
by the frequent repetition ; but I came away from 
that house involuntarily wiping the tears from my 
own eyes. 


T FIND the following among my records of Police 
Recollections. It is, perhaps, a little out of place, 
but it is so true, and it calls up in my heart the 
recollections of other days in such deep emotion, 
that I hope to be pardoned for recording it here. 

June 17, 1864. I have a pet cat, who has eaten 
of the crumbs of my table, this day, seventeen 
years. He is an old fellow, — not a tooth in his 
head this many a year, — yet he is as fat and sleek, 
as lively and playful, as when a kitten. He is, in 
fact, rather a curious old fellow for a cat, and I 
often think that he really knows more than he will 

After the close of my day's labor, no sooner does 
my footstep reach the threshold, than he is at the 
door to welcome my entrance with ^pert or a mew. 
Tf I am in the house, he is uneasy unless he is with 
me, and hardly any closed door is proof against 
his handy paws till he reaches me ; and then the 
antics and pranks that he will cut are anything but 
what would be expected of an old cat. 



I sometimes think that many of his notions 
appear more like calculation than instinct. Often, 
when about to leave the house, have I found his 
long crooked claws inserted in my coat-tail, or 
deeply imbedded in the leg of my pants, endeav- 
oring with all his might to prevent my egress, as 
if to say, " Dont go yet.'" 

He is but an old gray cat, but he has followed 
me, and shared my varied fortunes, for seventeen 
years. He is but an old gray cat, but he was a 
special favorite with dear and loved ones who now 
lie mouldering in the tomb. In his early life his 
friends were my friends ; hut among them there are 
now none left., — no^ not one ! He seems to be the 
only living link that binds me so tenderly to those 
who have left me to battle the ills of life alone ; 
and often, while looking at him, I find the big hot 
tears stealing unwittingly down my furrowed 
cheeks, as memory wanders o'er the scenes of other 

He is but an old gray cat, but why should I not 
care for him in the wane of life ? He will die one 
of these days, — a7id so shall I. 


As I was about to leave the Office one evening, 
a gentleman came in and inquired for an officer. 
He was a tall, straight, well-built man, with a 
large round head, the moral and intellectual well 
developed, rather sharp features, quick, pleasant 
eye, that did not seem to evade your own ; his 
hands and countenance indicating an indoor life, his 
whole bearing bespeaking the perfect gentleman. 

I at once saw that he was no ordinary customer, 
so I invited him to take a seat, and gave him my 
whole attention. After looking at me a moment 
in quite a familiar, but rather ludicrous manner, he 
laughed, without uttering a word. Was the man 
insane ? No ; the intelligence and self-possession 
shining out in that blue eye could not be mistaken ; 
he was not insane, neither was he a rogue nor a fool. 

After waiting what seemed to me a long time, 
(each of us looking the other square in the face,) 
finding he still hesitated, at last I said — 

" Well, su", what can I do for you 1 " 


" Well, sir," said he, in a rich, mellow voice, " I 
have called on rather a curious errand. I am 

Mr. , the Eector of Church, and 

to-day being Good Friday, a collection was taken 
up for charitable purposes in my church, which 
probably amounted to some two hundred dollars, 
for my people are wealthy and liberal. That 
money, sir, has been stolen from us, and in a man- 
ner which appears so ludicrous — (and the novelty 
of the thing getting the advantage of his dignity, 
he laughed outright,) — excuse me," said he, " but 
the thing is so queer ! " 

" A till thief, of the first water," thought I, run- 
ning over in my mind the whole catalogue of that 
branch of the profession, wondering who among 
them all was mean enough to rob a contribution-box. 
" Please tell me all the circumstances," said I. 

" I can tell you very little of my own knowl- 
edge," said he, " except that the money was col- 
lected, and is gone ; but, as I have it from my 
people, it was this way : As usual, on Good Fri- 
day, the collection was taken up by six messengers. 
After passing through the house, the boxes con- 
taining the contributions were placed on the 
chancel rail till the close of the service, all but the 
one passed by the messenger in the gallery. At 
the close of the meeting, while all were busily 
engaged, some in making their egress from the 
house, and others in stopping a moment to speak 


with a friend, some one walked np to the chancel 
rail and deliberately emptied the contents of the 
boxes into his own pocket. I was in the robe- 
room at the time," said he, " and distinctly recol- 
lect hearing the change chink as it was turned out 
of the boxes. The young sexton came down from 
the gallery at the time, and having no suspicion of 
wrong, also emptied his box into the same pocket 
•with the rest ; and just as our new treasurer turned 
to walk off, an old gentleman of the congregation 
stepped up and remarked that he had not given 
what he intended, and wished to add another five- 
dollar bill, which was politely accepted, and the 
newly-installed official walked quietly away, before 
any of the proper officers had noticed what was 
going on. Did you ever hear of anything so su- 
premely ridiculous ? " said he ; and he again 
showed a fine set of white teeth. " I really think 
the rascal is deserving some credit for his impu- 
dence, but I would like to recover the money, if 
possible," said he. " But I do not wish to make 
the matter public ; I desire you not to publish the 
robbery in the papers." 

I said the case should be managed as he desired, 
and calling one of the officers, gave him instruc- 
tions relative to the matter, and the reverend gen- 
tleman departed 

Next morning the gentleman sent me word that 
the whole suspicion was a mistake, — that the 



money was taken by one of their own people, and 
it was all safe. Then it was my turn to laugh, 
and I really wished the good man who gave me 
the case the evening before had been present for 
my benefit. But I was heartily glad it turned out 
to be a mistake, and that I had the opportunity to 
make the acquaintance of a highly-accomplished 
and respectable gentleman under no worse cir- 





i*i ^-^^v 






Of all the thieves that disgrace the name of man, 
the pickpocket is the meanest. Yet mean as he is, 
it is not uncommon to hear members of the craft 
boasting of their skill. In former times this class 
of thieves were comparatively small and included 
active young men only. I recollect reading an ac- 
count of a pickpocket operation at Faneuil Hall 
many years ago when Town Meetings were held 
there. A young fellow was caught in the act, beat 
almost to death by the bystanders, and afterwards 
sent to the Penitentiary. The crime was looked 
upon with great disgust then, and pity we have not 
a little of their discipline now. But picking 
pockets has since become a profession and includes 
not only active young men but males and females too 
of every age, sex, and color, from the boy and giii 
of eight years to the man and woman of sixty. 

Some officers seem to think it prudent to give 
notice when a pickpocket is seen in a crowd, and 
immediately cry out " Pickpockets, look out for 
your wallets ! " (Sec. ; but this is the very thing he 


should not do, for no sooner comes such word of 
caution than every man's hand almost involuntarily 
goes to his wallet, indicating to the wily thief 
(who stands by unknown to all but the officer) just 
where the coveted treasure lies, and really saves a 
good deal of his valuable time which would other- 
wise be consumed in sounding. 

I have said that the profession now includes 
almost every age, sex, and color. A few months 
since, our fellows brought in two girls, well-dressed 
and sprightly, aged thirteen and fourteen years only, 
who were as busy as bees in rifling the pockets of a 
crowd of ladies who were standing about Scollay's 
Building awaiting the cars ; and a short time since 
the police arrested some dozen boys all in round 
caps, who had a regular organization for pocket 
picking. They were from eight to fifteen years 
old, and one of the number, aged but ten years, 
made his boast in the Police Office, that he h.<xd gone 
down twentj/ pockets in less than six weeks, — and 
he probably told the truth. 

The place selected by these juvenile operators 
is generally some crowded thoroughfare, the vicin- 
ity of a fire, and places where a crowd may be 
found in a street. 

Another class of the profession, consisting of 
well-dressed females, may be found any pleasant 
afternoon in popular retail salesrooms, places 
of amusement, and horse-car offices, while others 


frequent omnibuses, horse-car platforms, and every 
other pUicc affording opportunity. 

A crowd and a lot of tobacco-smoh'ers on the plat- 
form of a horse-car offer peculiar facilities for losiufj 
watches, wallets, and breastpins ; the smoker and 
picker working together most admirably ; the for- 
mer stops your breath and closes your eyes with 
his fumigations, while the latter helps himself to 
whatever you may carry about your person, with 
perfect impunity. And I confess that I never see 
a thififj in pants, puffing his nauseating fumes (from 
a receptacle for aught that is known coated with 
some loathsome disease) into the face of every lady 
and gentleman within his reach, without thinking 
the pickpocket's assistant is at hand, and people 
will do well to look to their wallets. 

One day in March, 1862, a lady from out of 
town went into an auction store on Federal Street 
to make purchases, and whde there missed her 
wallet, containing about thirty-five dollars. She 
suspected a man who had stood near her, but he 
was not to be found ; and, like a sensible woman, 
she came immediately to the Police Office, made 
known her loss, and gave a description of the sus- 
pected thief. 

A detective immediately started out, and was for- 
tunate enough to get the trail, — followed it up, and 
found his game in his own room on the third floor 
of a house in Purchase Street, just as the old thief 


had replenished his stove with the stolen wallet. 
The wallet was secured and the money found on 
his person, and when taken before the lady both 
he and the wallet were fully identified. 

The old thief, for he was a man above sixty, 
stoutly denied the charge, or that he was at the 
auction store, but the evidence was too positive to 
admit of a doubt. He said he was a German by 
birth, but his name plainly indicated another na- 
tionality and was probably a borrowed one at that, 
for on investigation it seemed to be impossible for 
him to tell the truth. 

He was small in stature, very dhty and ragged, 
and looked much more like a rag than a pocket 
picker, and would no doubt have been discarded by 
the more genteel members of the profession, 
although he operated with good success. 

Michael, for that was the name he gave, wound 
up his career with a round turn. At eleven 
o'clock he sustained a good character ; at twelve 
arrested for pocket picking ; at one locked up in 
City Prison ; at three tried and convicted of lar- 
ceny, and at four serving out a six months' term 
at the House of Correction. 

One afternoon an old lady came to the Office 
wdth a sad countenance, and told her story. She 
was apparently si^^ty-five years old, looked tidy but 
careworn and feeble. She said she was formerly 
a resident of Boston, but for several years past had 


lived at Lynn ; the family consisting only of her- 
self and maiden daughter, who had a long time 
been an invalid. Her husband had been dead 
many years, and her only means of support were 
what little labor she could perform ; and, said she, 
" You don't know how hard it is for us to get 

In consequence of her unfortunate condition, an 
old friend of her husband had interested himself 
in her behalf, and secured for her the benefit of 
the Pemberton fund, which is raised by a legacy in 
the will of a gentleman of that name for the benefit 
of indigent widows, amounting to ten dollars semi- 

She had come to Boston to-day and drawn her 
money, and after securing her treasure had stepped 
into the horse-car office at Scollay's Building and 
took a seat on a settee to await the cars for 
home. AVhile there she had her pocket picked of 
all her money and was left penniless. 

Like reports often come to the Office, but this 
case seemed peculiarly painful. True the sum was 
small, — only ten dollars, — but it was all the old 
lady had. Its receipt had been anticipated by 
numerous little wants — those bills must be met, 
and the loss of the money sank deep in the poor 
old widow's heart, and all hands in the Office were 
deeply interested. 

On investigation, it appeared that the old lady 


thought she had kept her hand continually on her 
pocket while in the car office ; nor could she 
hardly be made to believe that she had removed it 
at all while there, although she undoubtedly did, as 
will appear. 

When she took a seat on the settee in the car 
office, two other ladies, one about her own age and 
one much younger, took a seat beside her on the 
right. While sitting there, she noticed a spool of 
cotton on the floor rolling along and unwinding at 
her feet, and, woman-like, she stooped, picked it 
up, reu-ound it (which of course took both hands) 
and passed it to the lady next her on the right, 
supposing it hers. No, it was not hers. She then 
passed it to her companion, but it was not hers 
either, and as there seemed to be no owner the old 
lady put it in her pocket and thought no more 
of the matter, not once dreaming of the opportu- 
nity she had given the pickpocket beside her while 
winding up the thread. 

In a few moments " Cars for Prattville " was an- 
nounced, and the two ladies hurried away. Soon 
the cars for Lynn also were at the door, and the 
old lady arose to go, when she discovered her loss, 
which she immediately made known in the office, 
but no trace of the missing money was to be found. 
She had exchanged her treasure for a spool of cot- 
ton, without the least idea of the trick that had 
been played upon her with such skill and success. 


The lady picki)ockcts were never detected, but 
the old lady did uot go away from our Office pen- 

In the summer of 1862, several ladies who lost 
their portemonnaies on AVashington Street, reported 
noticing an elderly female well-dressed and wear- 
ing goU-howed specs, who abruptly jostled them 
on the sidewalk. Indeed, so common were these 
complaints, that the officers gave the unknown 
the name of Madam Specs, and made it a special- 
ty to look her up ; and one afternoon two of them 
who were on Washington Street tumbled to the 
veritable old lady herself. 

The officers represented her as being one of the 
most industrious and reckless pickers they ever 
saw. She would stop at a window apparently for 
the purpose of looking at the goods inside, but 
really to watch every one that passed. When an 
old lady came along (she seemed partial to ladies 
of her own age) she would brea/i: for her some- 
times in a smart run, get alongside and immedi- 
ately commence on the pocket as they walked on. 
Some would notice her and edge off. If so, she 
would again stop at the first window and watch 
the next chance, all the while appearing as care- 
less and as eager in her labors as if they were ever 
so IcGritimate. 




She was not, however, very successful in her 
work on the day in question, having in the course 
of half an hour made some dozen attempts and 
securing but one wallet containing but about five 
dollars for all her trouble, and no sooner had she 
done this than she found herself in custody. 

The old lady wore a new black silk dress with a 
profusion of flounces, a nice straw bonnet and veil, 
carried a parasol and large reticule, wore a black 
kid glove on her right hand, the left, with which 
she operated, being bare. Ladies usually wear 
their pockets on the right side, I believe, making 
it necessary for the pickpocket to use the left hand, 
and the old woman well understood the theory of 
'' handling her work without mittens." 

When at the Office, old woman as she was, for 
she must have been near sixty, she showed the 
most shrewdness of any thief I ever saw. When 
asked, she would not even give her name, nor 
could you draw a direct answer to any question 
whatever. Thieves, shrewd as many of them arc, 
generally talk too much for their" own good, often 
dropping a word that eventually leads to their own 
conviction, and it is a tough customer that will sit 
quietly under the inquisition of a shrewd officer 
without lessening his chances of escape if really 
guilty. But not so with Madam Specs. Not the 
movement of a muscle, or a sound could be drawn 
from her. 


In her possession was foirad a few trifling arti- 
cles snch as a spool of cotton, a few pearl buttons, 
and the stolen purse which she had taken the last 
grab. If she had raised anything more on that 
day, she had an accomplice to receive the funds, 
but probably she had none. 

^ladam Specs was locked up for the night and 
shown up at the Office next morning, but no one 
knew her. At the close of which she quietly 
said, " 'NMiat do you expect to make out of all 
this ? " which was the only remark she was heard 
to make Avhile in custody. 

The lady who owned the purse refused to ap- 
pear in court against the old thief, and the officer 
who had charge of the case very reluctantly suf- 
fered her to go. I am not aware that she has 
since been seen in Boston. 


A WELL-KNOWN legal gentleman came into the 
Office one day, and requested me to render some 
assistance in ferreting out a ladij rogue^ who had 
been playing a deep-laid game on a highly respect- 
able lady in a neighboring city. 

It seems that a lady of wealth and the highest 
respectability, had formed a matrimonial connec- 
tion with a gentleman every way her equal, and 
considerably younger than herself. After a time, 
although everything passed on smoothly, the lady 
began to have misgivings that the disparity in their 
ages might prove a source of inconstancy on the 
part of her liege lord ; and the germ of distrust 
once having taken root, soon branched forth with 
amazing rapidity, and notwithstanding no earthly 
cause could be assigned in her own mind, the 
thought soon became insupportable. The lady 
was naturally of a marvellous turn, and she soon 
formed a resolution to apply to a certain female 
fortune-teller of considerable notoriety, who, Madam 
Humor said, dealt in charms. 


Well, to the fortune-teller she went, and opened 
her case, which was entered into with much spirit 
and interest. 

The fortune-teller, after a long consultation and 
a frequent recurrence to the cards, finally decided 
that although the case was peculiar and extremely 
difficult, yet it was, if carefully managed, perfectly 
practicable and sure of success, and, notwithstand- 
ing the seeming disparity in age, that the affinity 
of spirit might be formed without a blemish, if the 
lady herself would keep the charm. They were to 
form a profound secret, to which of course the lady 
so deeply interested yielded a ready assent. 

Then for the process : the lady applicant must 
carefully collect together anything valuable belong- 
ing to her husband, the smaller in compass and the 
higher in value the better, especially if ever worn 
by him or carried near his person, — watch, jew- 
elry, money, or anything valuable. " Keep them 
closely near your person for a few hours, and then 
send me word, and I will come to you. You must 
keep them near you, but I, being the medium, 
must touch them, and then I will instruct you what 
to do." 

The deluded lady treasured up every word, as if 
they had fallen from the lips of an angel, promised 
the strictest secrecy, and hastened home to make 
preparation. Before many hours she had collected 
gold watch, jewelry, money and keepsakes amount- 



ing in value to something over two thousand dol- 
lars, and the charm queen was forthwith informed, 
and made her appearance, bringing with her a 
nicely-wrought little box, in which to deposit the 

The property was carefully placed in this box, 
the charmer being particular to touch each piece. 
The box was then locked, and a peculiar seal set 
thereon, so that it could not be opened without 
breaking the seal, the lady owner placing the box 
carefully in her own trunk, where no hand must 
pollute it for three weeks ; and during that time 
the charmer was to retain the key. At the close 
of the specified time the charm queen was to 
return and deliver up the key, when the charm 
would be complete. The charmer departed, and 
the lady rested in peace. 

At the expiration of three weeks, the fortune- 
teller did not make her appearance. The lady 
began to grow a little uneasy, and made inquiries, 
but could learn no tidings of her friend ; but hav- 
ing carefully examined the box, and finding the 
seal unbroken, she felt no alarm for the safety of 
her property. As time rolled on and no charm 
queen appeared, and feeling that she had faithfully 
kept her secret and performed all that was re- 
quired, she thouglit she might as Mcll open the 
box, and replace the money, jewelry, &c., in their 
accustomed places, before the husband missed them. 


She accordinjj;!}- proceeded to break the seal, 
and, as she had not the possession of the key, to 
pry open the box ; but on doing so — oh ! horror 
of horrors ! the valuables were gone, and in their 
place she beheld a box of pebbles. The charm 
game was at once apparent ; she had been most 
cruelly duped, and her treasure was gone. The 
wily charmer had brought two boxes, and had 
managed to place in the hand of her confiding cus- 
tomer the box of pebbles, while she had walked 
off with the box of jewels, having ample time to 
gather up her traps and remove to parts unknown. 

The lady, of course, was in a dilemma, and she 
could not long conceal the circumstances from her 
husband ; but how the case became fully devel- 
oped, the deponent saith not. 

However, diligent search has been made for the 
charm-worker, as yet without success. If she 
manages as shrewdly in avoiding detection as she 
did in securing her booty, she will not soon be 
brought to justice. 

While in the act of making a record of this 
transaction some months after its occurrence, a 
gentleman and lady, both of prepossessing appear- 
ance, walked into the Office and inquired for me, 
and gave me their names. I had never seen them 
before, but they were the duped parties of whom I 
had been writing. They came to make inc^tdiies 
of what had been done relative to their loss ; but 


our efforts having been closely limited by their 
counsel, for fear of exposure, and the guilty party 
not having come to our city, we had done very 
little in the case. 

The people did not appear like persons likely to 
be easily imposed upon, yet so it was, and appar- 
ently very mortifying too. The gentleman seemed 
to take the matter very coolly, and remarked that 
misery loves company, and it was some consolation 
to know that his family were not the only fools at 
his own place of residence, " for," said he " ours is 
not a solitary case, nor the most provoking one of 
the kind that has occurred in our own immediate 


Of the many evils that have taxed the ingenuity 
and the patience of the philanthropist and the 
legislator, the manufacture and sale of liquor has 
not been among the least. The liquor law has 
been enacted, established, amended, reenacted, re- 
established, modified, remodelled, suspended, and 
reconstructed, from time immemorial. 

The present law, which, from its similarity to 
one made for the Pine-Trce State, is called the 
" Maine Law," was passed in Massachusetts in 
1855, and was then supposed by its friends to be 
the best that could be made. At the time of its 
passage, the question assumed somewhat a political 
character, and some are so ungenerous as to hint 
that the spirit still enters into the canvass of our 
municipal matters ; but as the temperance people 
hardly ever have an exclusively separate candidate, 
the idea may be erroneous. 

However, when the Maine Law came in force in 
1855, the order from the City Government to the 
Pohce, went forth to execute^ — not the liquor, but 


the law. Nevertheless, I believe there was some 
of the liquor worthy of condemnation, and some 
men probably punished a good deal of the article. 

Well, when the order came, Geevus (poor 
burgher), loaded down with instructions, struck out 
to perform his duty, — and an up-hill business he 
found it. The opponents of the law (and they 
were a majority in Boston), of course, threw every 
possible obstacle in the way, and those in favor of 
it, I must say, seemed not over-anxious to aid us 
and " come up to the help of the " police against 
the mighty. This made our progress, to say the 
least, a little slow. However, in a few weeks many 
good cases were presented for the investigation of 
the Grand Jury; the police, in all cases, making 
themselves witnesses, and there their powers 
ended. The result is not yet forgotten. 

Notwithstanding the serious necessity of some 
method to regulate the great evil, or of the grave 
character of our work, circumstances would occa- 
sionally grow out of our attempts to execute the 
law, in themselves the most ludicrous and annoying. 

One provision of the law makes it the duty of 
an officer, if he finds a person intoxicated in a 
public place, to take him to some proper place to 
be kept till sober ; from thence to be taken before 
the Police Court and complained of. Further pro- 
vision is made, that if such person shall then- and 
there fully disclose the name of the person who 


sold him the liquor, and all the facts relative 
thereto, said defendant shall be discharged, &c. 
* AVcll. one day, while one of our officers was 
perambulating North Street, he found a poor body 
lying drunk in a public place, contrarj/ to law, and, 
faithful officer as he was, he commenced the per- 
formance of his duty. Next morning poor Pat 
found himself at the bar of justice, — and he was 
not alone in his dilemma, by a long chalk. 

The practice of the clerk then was to first read 
the complaint for being drunk by the voluntary use 
of intoxicating liquor, and then pertinently inquu'e 
of the poor culprit if he wished to disclose. Very 
few ever responded to this invitation in the affirm- 
ative, and, on the morning in question, not one 
seemed to be willing to place his fault at another's 
doer. Pat anxiously watched them, one by one, 
as they were fined three dollars and cost, and 
trotted off to the Tombs below. When his name 
was called by the worthy clerk, he sprang from 
the prisoner's stand with the agility of a cat, and 
sang out at the top of his voice — 

" Hauld on, hauld on, misther Consthable ! Ye 
grady spalpeen, don't let me hear another word 
from your mug at. all, at all ; it is meself that will 
disclose to the jidge, his Honor. And now will 
yer Honor hear me, Misther Jidge? Didn't 1 
mate Dennie, me fii'st cousin, jist come out from 
the auld countlu'y, Mr. Jidge ] And when I 


was so glad to see him, did n't he come along wid 
me to the warehouse, Misther Jidge, and by the 
help of Masther Walker's gimlet and a fine bit of 
sthraw, did n't we take a wee drop of the crather 
free gratis, Misther Jidge ! And now, Misther 
Jidge, I am not like the spalpeens just here who 
gets drunk on three cent liquor, Misther Jidge. 
And now have I not disclosed according to law, 
sir ; and if ye plase, Misther Jidge, I '11 be going 

The venerable magistrate could not see the 
point, and poor Pat was fined three dollars and 
cost, and sent down with the rest. 

Another case, that will serve to illustrate, and 
also to show the ingenuity of an old rogue when 
half-seas-over in an attempt to free himself from 
limbo, may be seen in the following : — 

An old fellow, whose Christian name was Uriah, 
and who had been up for almost every offence 
known in the catalogue of crime, was seen by an 
officer early one morning seemingly inclined with 
a very prying curiosifj/, at the door of a dry goods 
store in Hanover Street; but being a little top- 
heavy, he made but poor progress. After watch- 
ing his movements awhile, the officer brought 
him in. 

" Well, Uriah," said I, " you did not meet with 
much success this morning, I learn ; from present 


appearances it must be in consequence of that arti- 
cle you have in your hat." 

" In my hat ! " said Uriah, starting up from the 
railing on which he was leaning. " What is in 
my hat ? " 

" A brick," said I. 

"■' You mean I 'm drunk," said he, apparently 
quite willing I should take that view of his case. 
" Well," said he, shutting up one eye and squint- 
ing at me with the other in a most comical man- 
ner, " I admit — I admit 'tis the thing in my hat, 
and if I disclose, will ye let me up ; it 's the law, 
sir, an' I know ye will. Well, sir, I have been 
down to the Home^ you know, and one of the good 
people there, no doubt meaning well, gave me 
something that is the cause of all this trouble. 
Yes, it is in my hat, as you say, sure enough ; but 
I will disclose, and then I am free — 'tis the law. 
I will disclose, and here it is," staggering back, 
pulling off his hat, and drawing therefrom a copy 
of the Maine Liquor Law in pamphlet form. 
"That's the thing," said he, — "that's what used 
me up ; and now I 've disclosed, you '11 let me go. 
It 's the law ; " and over he tumbled upon the 
floor, but not half as drunk as he pretended. lie 
was, however, put in the cell, and kept till he was 
quite sober. 



All communities may be said to have their 
peculiar standard of morals, and there must, of 
necessity, be different classes in the scale, as the 
higher, middling, and lower, and in speaking of 
either we have a comparative reference to the 
others. If we say a man is good, we mean that he 
is up to the standard, which, in fact, only means 
that he is better than many others — for no man 
is good, " no, not one ; " and, on the other hand, if 
we say a man is bad, we still speak comparatively, 
meaning that his character is below the average. 
If there was nothing wherewith to form a compar- 
ison, there could hardly be an appreciation of 
either good or evil, and a good man once said, 
" Were it not for the evil, I had not known the 

It has also been said, that the standard of morals 
is lower in large cities than in the country, where 
the population is more sparse, and that the stand- 
ard depreciates as the population increases. I can 
hardly believe this, however, for such doctrine 


would tend directly to encourage u life of celibacy 
and hermitage, where morals would hardly be 
counted as valuables ; and if it is said, also, that 
there are not as good men, and women too, in 
cities as there are in towns, I shall demur to this 
whole batch of opinions. 

However, it cannot be denied that a spirit of 
licentiousness is spread abroad through all large 
cities, where injluence for evil keeps pace in a great 
degree with the increase of population, and which, 
like a lingering humor, often concentrates and 
breaks out at different points in the system. Or, 
if it is smothered by conservative treatment, it may 
for a time disappear from the surface, yet ever 
ready again to break forth anew in a different 
locality. Nor has our own city been an exception 
to the general rule. 

Some people seem to think that licentiousness is 
almost a necessary evil, and argue that a house- 
hold, or a community, who would preserve a 
healthy condition, must have their sitik^ or their 
cesspool^ and some cities in the old world have 
adopted this principle, and attempt to regulate by 
license what they say they cannot prohibit, and 
when we come to look about us in relation to these 
matters, we can hardly see that the execution of 
our own laws of prohibition fully accomplishes the 
desired result. 

In early times, the laws of our Puritan Fathers 


were very severe on the licentious and vicious. So 
much so as to appear to us in some instances quite 
ridiculous : but that such evils did exist, even 
among the Puritans^ is evident from the fact that 
it became necessary to make laws in relation to 
them, and more than that, the record reveals that 
there must have been a very curious standard 
of morals in Boston at these times. The time was, 
when, if a gentleman kissed a lady, he subjected 
himself to a fine of three pence at least (provided 
always that the offence be proved), it is presumed 
that this law did not prove prohibitorij. Or, if a 
woman was suspected of any little improprieties, 
she was liable to be set high up on a stool in the 
broad aisle of the church on Sunday, there exposed 
to the gaze and derision of the whole congrega- 
tion ; if this were the universal practice at the pres- 
ent day, should we not requu'e large churches and 
very Iroad aisles 1 

Since Boston became a city, the evils of licen- 
tiousness have sometimes shown themselves in 
such formidable array as to set at nought, for a 
time, the powers of the executive ; and, in some 
instances, the evils have become so obnoxious that 
the better portion of the citizens have felt com- 
pelled to take the matter into their own hands. 
The demonstrations on what was called " The 
Hill " at the West part of the town, the Tin Pot, and 
The Beehive at the North End, were of this nature. 


In dcinoiistnitions of public displeasure, it was 
not the practice for those engaged in them to make 
any arrest, but the executors generally amused 
themselves by pulling down shanties, and breaking 
up furniture, and allowing the tenants to " flee 
with their lives." 

Since better Police Regulations have been in- 
augurated, these extreme measures have not 
been deemed necessary, or, if they were, parties 
have been careful not to carry them into execution. 
But yet, evil has not been entirely suppressed, 
as the records of Ann Street and some other local- 
ities bear abundant testimony. 

In the year 1851, the purlieus of Ann Street had 
become so notorious and troublesome, that the City 
Government found it necessary to adopt some 
measure to work a reform, and, under the du*ection 
of City Marshal Tukey, a new plan was set on foot 
to " spring a mine." 

About this time, for several weeks, might be 
seen the forms of two stalwart fellows (with neither 
badge nor baton) continually passing up and down 
the sidewalks in Ann Street, peering into dance- 
halls and cellars, and carefully taking notes of the 
various passing transactions ; and on the evening 
of the 23d of April, the grand finale was brought 
out by a tremendous Police Descent. 

The police officers who were detailed for this 
important duty, had been at work accumulating . 


evidence against the numerous disturbers of the 
public peace, and violators of law, and had pro- 
cured warrants for the arrest of some two hundred 
persons. At nine o'clock in the evening of this 
day, the whole police force, consisting of some fifty 
men, and about the same number of the watch 
department, started out from the Watch House on 
Hanover Street, and proceeded directly to Ann 
Street, where each had his work assigned. In 
about half an hour one hundred and sixty-five per- 
sons, of all ages, sexes, nations, and colors, were in 
custody in the Watch House for the various crimes 
of piping, fiddling, dancing, drinking, and all 
their attendant vices, — and from thence were 
marched off in pairs to the Leverett Street Jail. 
The next day, this horde of depraved humanity 
was before the Police Court, and sentenced for 
their crimes. Some three, some four, and some 
six months, to the various Reformatory Institu- 

For many weeks afterwards, the great reform in 
Ann Street, and the efficient and well-judged 
action of the police, was spoken of witlj admiration 
and praise. But the poor miserable victims of 
vice and misfortune, who had been taken from the 
street and sent to prison, were yet alive, and when 
their sentences had expired and they were set at 
liberty, they must go somewhere ; they dare not 
go home, to their respectable friends m or out of 


the city ; they had been in felon's cells, and would 
not 1)0 received and aided to reform where they 
were known. They dare not go back to Ann 
Street ; the eagle eye of justice was there watch- 
ing their return ; they must go somewhere where 
they were not known, and a few weeks afterward 
they were scattered as domestics in the families of 
respectable citizens throughout the city and its 
suburbs. They had not reformed. During their 
confinement they had not the time nor opportunity 
for that great and important work. But they 
necessarily carried with them, more or less, the 
tastes and the feelings that they had acquired in 
Ann Street ; and I firmly believe, that many a 
Christian father, and pious mother, has shed the 
bitter tears of grief over a fallen son or daughter 
who was little aware how or when the first seeds 
of immorality were sown in the heart of their child. 
What else could be the result of such family asso- 
ciations ? At any rate, the house robberies and 
burglaries for a period of time du*ectly after, in- 
creased to a most alarming extent, and those even 
who at first were the admirers of the grand Police 
Descent, began to speak in doubt of the propriety 
or benefit of such measures. That was the end 
of Police Descents of a similar character for many 

In the fall of 1858, the writer was entrusted 
with the supervision of another Descent in Ann 


Street, on a little different principle from that in 
the year 1851, and it is hoped with better results. 

Duriner the time the Station House was un- 
dergoing repairs, in Hanover Street, in the sum- 
mer and fall of that year, the nymphs of Ann 
Street had been gaining ground both in spirit and 
numbers, and the officers thought they could count 
fifty or sixty new faces on the street, and the old 
stock had not diminished. Many of the new arri- 
vals were young, and quite a number had been 
taken from these haunts of vice, and sent home to 
their friends in the country. But most of such 
were soon back again, and it was evident that 
something more potent than moral suasion was 
necessary to convince them of the error of their 
ways. After consulting with the kind-hearted 
Judge Wells, of the Police Court, and taking in- 
stfuctions from the Chief of Police, the officers at 
Station No. 1 were set at work to look up the evi- 
dence, and in a few days fifty-four warrants were 
obtained for as many of the poor deluded spec- 
imens of female humanity dwelling in Ann Street. 

On the evening of the 22d of October, as the 
clock on the old Cockerel Church struck nine, 
forty policemen without uniform quietly left the 
Station House by different routes, and in less than 
thirty minutes there were fifty-one women in 
custody in our guardroom. Such a sight, under 
such cu'cumstances, it was most painful to behold. 


These girls were mostly young, and many of them 
had been in the city but a few months. Most of 
them were good looking, and under other circum 
stances would be considered handsome. They 
were taken in custody at a time when they had but 
just completed their toilet (the best they could 
raise) for the evening dance and debauch. To an 
unpractised eye they might have been mistaken for 
an assembly of beautiful and accomplished young 
ladies, for they were now quite sober and reserved, 
rum not havmg had time on that night to accom- 
plish its accursed work. 

But to one who had often been an eye-mtness 
to their lewd and wanton behavior, and who well 
knew their loathsome haimts of filth and vice, the 
scene was heart-sickening indeed. 

I spoke to them separately of their home and 
friends, to learn something of their history, and 
then told them collectively my design. 

The next morning the fifty-one were at court, 
most of them having realized the sweets of a prison 
for the fu'st night. On the opening of the court, 
the good judge was informed of the natui-e of their 
case, and was asked if not inconsistent with the 
requu'ements of justice, to give all who were found 
guilty of the charges preferred against them, a 
good smart sentence, with a suspension, to en- 
able them to leave the city for their parents and 
home. To this the kind-hearted judge readily 


assented, and forty-seven of the number gladly 
accepted the opportunity. 

With the aid of the officers, I believe they all 
fulfilled their agreement, and it is sincerely hoped 
that most of them left these dens of infamy forever. 

I never had cause to regret the course I pursued 
in assisting to execute this Police Descent. 


In the summer of 1854, the city of Boston was 
visited by that dreadful scourge the Asiatic cholera ; 
and although our northern climate is not so con- 
genial to the fearful malady as more Southern cities, 
yet its ravages here were amply sufficient to carry 
terror and dismay to every household. 

The New Police Organization had gone into op- 
eration in May of that year, and having the charge 
of the North Station, it fell to my lot to be much 
amongst the disease, and a most unpleasant, not to 
say dangerous, duty it was. I hope never to pass 
through like scenes again. 

At the first appearance of the disease, fear 
seemed to seize almost every heart, and the Police 
were expected to do what no one else cared to do. 

I cannot say that I was free from a lingering 
dread myself, but I formed a resolution that, come 
what would, I would not neglect my duty to the 
poor suffering beings about me, nor would I ask a 
subordinate officer to go where I dare not go, or do 


what I dare not do myself ; and I assisted with my 
own hands in removing more than fifty bodies, of the 
dead and dying, where necessity for the safety of 
others required it. In some instances, where life 
had departed but a few hours, the corpse would be so 
swollen, that the largest coffin could not contain it; 
in others the flesh would actually fall to pieces, a pu- 
trefied mass, before it could be properly laid out, the 
stench arising therefrom being almost sufi"ocating. 

Most of the sickness occurred in filthy or over- 
crowded localities, yet the disease found its victims 
in all parts of the city. 

In looking over my memorandum, made at the 
time, I find the following, in substance, omitting 

The first case that occurred was on Sunday, June 
11, in rear of what was then No. 6 Fleet Street. 
Hearing that a man had died there very suddenly, 
after making examination, I called the city physi- 

The man was lying dead in the yard ; had been 
sick about eight hours, — and another man was 
dying in the room from which the first had been 
removed. The physician immediately pronounced 
these marked cases of cholera. The second man. 
died while we were there, and a woman was also 
taken sick. The room where these men died was 
over a shed, low posted, poorly ventilated, and oc- 
cupied by thirteen persons. 


By diicction of tlic physician wo summoned help 
and removed the last body from the room ; it 
being so much swollen, that we had to put it in a 
box and take it out of a window ; the bodies of 
the two men were immediately buried, the people 
removed, and the room closed. The day was ex« 
tremcly hot and muggy, and oiu' work was any- 
thing but desii-able. 

These cases aroused the city authorities to action, 
and preparations were immediately made to remove 
and accommodate the sick at a hospital on Fort 
Hill, and the most stringent sanitary -regidations 
were adopted. 

The next day the weather became cooler, and 
for a few days no more cases occurred, but in 
about two weeks the weather became sultry again, 
and the disease broke out anew. 

June 25. A laborer died in Keith's Alley, after 
an illness of eight hours ; his body was too much 
swollen to put in a coffin, and was buried immedi- 

June 26. A sailor on board the schooner " Cos- 
sack," at Lewis wharf, was attacked and removed 
to the hospital. The city had now provided a 
team with a spring wagon and bed, for the removal 
of the sick, which was driven by a faithful and 
efficient man. The same day, a woman and child 
died in Keith's Alley, and were removed immedi- 
ately, and the house was cleansed and closed. 



June 27. A woman died at 41 Portland Street, 
and the body was removed immediately. 

A laborer was cut down in Mechanic Street, 
was carried home to Causeway Street, where he 
died in about six hours, and was buried immedi- 

June 28. Several cases of smallpox occur. A 
woman in Arch Place is taken sick and cared for. 

July 1. A woman died in Keith's Alley, sick 
but six hours, body putrid before we could remove 
it. Several others being sick in the house, the 
occupants were removed to the hospital. One 
poor woman died in the carriage on the way. The 
house was cleansed by fumigation and closed. 

July 3. A child at No. 150 Canal Street, died 
this morning, sick but ten hours, and in the even- 
ing the mother was cut down and died in six 
hours ; we removed these bodies to the Dead House 
in the night, and smoked the rooms. 

July 5. The weather was very hot and damp, and 
to add to the general gloom, several cases of sun- 
stroke occuiTed at the North End. One man fell in 
the street and was brought into the Station House 
apparently dead. Three others were also struck 
down and brought into the Station House in 
the course of the day. In each case medical 
attendance was procured, and the sufferers were 
carried home or otherwise provided for. Fear 
seemed to act as an auxiliary to the contagion, and 


when these people fell in the street, it was sup- 
posed to be an attack of the dreadful scourge ; but 
the cases mentioned were decided by the physi- 
cians to be sun-stroke. The city physician and 
Superintendent of Health were in constant attend- 
ance, and with great care and skill, rendered the 
most important services in their profession. Thck 
duties were highly responsible, and we took our 
directions from them. 

At this time our Station House had more the 
appearance of a hospital than a prison. Several 
of those brought in on that day, died. 

Jidy 6, two women were taken do-^Ti with chol- 
era at 231 North Street; one died in six hours, 
and the other was removed to the hospital, where 
she lived but a few houi's. We removed the body 
of the first, and cleansed and closed the house. 
A woman died at 212 North Street, sick but five 
hours ; while we were removing the body a woman 
named !Mary McGuire, aged fift}' years, in a fit of 
delirium tremens, jumped from the chamber- 
window to the ground, a distance of twenty feet ; 
we took her up for dead, and carried her to the 
Station House, but she recovered, not being seri- 
ously injured. 

A laborer died at No. 6 Battery Street ; this 
evening we removed the body. I shall long 
remember the sad work of those two days. 

Julv 7. A man was brought into the Station 


House from Meclianic Street, insensible ; it proved 
to be sun-stroke — he recovered in a few hours. 

A man died of cholera at No. 10 Hanover 
Avenue — sick twelve hours — his wife was sick in 
the same house — his body was removed. The 
house being neat, and no others sick there, she was 
iK)t removed. 

July 9. A woman, at 231 Hanover Street, died 
to-day after an illness of twelve hours ; assistance 
was rendered, but the body was buried by the 

July 13. A child at the Beehive in Endicott 
Street died, being sick fifteen hours. The father 
died the same evening, after an illness of ten 
hours. The wife was also taken about the time 
the husband died. The bodies of the father and 
child decayed very fast, and were removed by us 
that night, and the mother was removed to the 

The Beehive consists of two blocks of wooden 
buildings, end to the street, separated by a narrow 
passage, each block containing twenty-four rooms. 
There are, in these forty-eight rooms, forty-eight 
families, and two hundred and eight persons. 
By the direction of the Board of Health, we re- 
moved the families in one block. 

July 14. A man died at No. 116 Friend Street 
— sick ten hours — the body commenced to putrefy 
immediately ; we carried him to the Dead House. 


July 15. A report came that there was cholera 
at No. 92 Endicott Sti'eet. On going there, I 
found no cholera, hut something that required my 
attention. A woman was lying on the lioor dead 
drunk, and beside the drunken mother lay an in- 
fant child nearly naked of clothing, but half cov- 
ered with lice. Another woman was lying drunk 
in the room, which was filthy in the extreme. I 
learned that the family consisted of the mother, 
six children, and three boarders, and they all occu- 
pied but two rooms. "Why the cholera had not 
found them I am at a loss to know. The whole 
were however removed ; the mother to the House 
of Industry, where the father had already gone, the 
cliildren to the Almshouse, leaving the boarders 
to select new quarters. 

A man was taken with cholera at 406 Commer- 
cial Street ; we removed him to the hospital, where 
he died next day. 

A man died at 155 Charlestown Street — sick 
fifteen hours — we removed his body. A woman 
died at Xo. 119 Friend Street — sick but ten 
hours — body immediately became black and pu- 
trid, was very difficult to remove. A man was 
brought to the Station House intoxicated, attacked 
with cholera while there, removed to the hospital, 
and died in a few hours. 

From this date, up to about the fii'st of August, 
the weather became cooler, the atmosphere more 



clear, and the disease seemed to abate. There 
were several cases of smallpox, and some deaths 
by ship fever, but these diseases, fatal as they are, 
had lost their terrors during the prevalence of the 

August 2. The weather again became sultry, 
and cholera began again to appear. A woman 
died at No. 18 North Bennet Street, — sick six- 
teen hours, — she was buried by friends. A 
woman was removed from Jefferson's Block to the 
hospital. A member of our own Police Station 
died at his residence. No. 1 Bennet Avenue, after 
a most distressing illness of twelve hours ; his 
body turned black immediately after death, and it 
was necessary to bury it without delay. "We also 
removed a woman in a dying condition from No. 
554 Commercial Street. 

August 7. A case occurred this morning which 
tended to add to the horror of our duties. An old 
man, who occupied a room on the second floor, 
No. 84 Cross Street, had been absent from his 
room some eight days ; this was not particularly 
noticed by the other occupants, as he was fre- 
quently absent some days at a time. For a day 
or two prior to this day, the people in the house 
had noticed an offensive smell ; this morning it 
was found to come from this man's room ; his 
door was tried, but found fastened, and notice was 
given at the Station House. I went down and 


procured a ladder, which I placed on the outside 
and went up and raised the window to the room, 
but a stench met me that I could not withstand, 
and I came near falUng from the ladder. After 
the foul, confined air had somewhat escaped from 
the room, I entered the window. I there found 
near one comer of the room a man standing erect, 
leaning backward a little with one foot on the 
round of a chair stancUng near, with a rope about 
his neck attached to a hook overhead. lie was 
as stiff as a bronze statue, and his features were 
so blackened and decayed that no one could recog- 
nize them, yet I knew from the figure and dress 
that it was the body of the missing man. lie 
had in all probability hung himself and remained 
in that position about eight days. My eyes never 
beheld such a sight, — I hope never to see such 
another. The coroner was called, who took charge 
of the body. 

August 8. A woman died of cholera at Xo. 131 
Charlestown Street. We removed the body and 
cleansed the room. 

August 11. A man died at No. 129 Charles- 
town Street — sick twelve hours — body decayed 
so as to make the burial of immediate necessity'. 
A man died at 163 Charlcsto^\^l Street — sick but 
ten hours — body so swollen we could not put it 
in the coffin, and removed it in a box. 

August 14. A man came to the Station House 


for lodging, while there he was attacked with 
cholera, and taken to the hospital. 

A woman at No. 1 Crescent Place, and two 
others at No. 6 Battery Street, were removed to the 

August 17. We removed a man from Page's 
yard to the hospital. 

August 21. Several persons were sick at a 
place called the Platform, in Causeway Street, 
many of them having gone there to be sick with 
theu' friends, rather than go the hospital. "We 
commenced an investigation, found twenty-nine 
families huddled together in a very small place, 
and as filthy a place as I ever saw. I was an un- 
welcome visitor, and the occupants would have 
driven me out had they dared. I found several 
persons sick, and by du-ection of the Board of 
Health removed, five persons and a child to the 
hospital. The people there were very determined, 
and the sick were removed with much difficulty. 
The next day the Board of Health passed a special 
order to clear the premises, which was accom- 
plished with great difficulty, some of the occupants 
making a strong resistance. True, it seemed a 
hard case, but no one who saw the premises could 
doubt the necessity. 

There were many cases of a less serious charac- 
ter taking place on our Station, which are not 
copied in this account, in which it became my duty 


to lend a hand, but these last mentioned were 
about the last cases of cholera occurring in Boston 
this year. 

During the prevalence of this di'eadful malady 
nearly the whole police force on my dis;trirt were 
continually employed in caring for the sick and dy- 
ing, and removing the dead, and on no occasion do I 
believe that any man shrank from his task. These 
noble fellows, many days in the discharge of their 
fearful duties, were meeting death face to face in 
its most fearful form, and the disinterested sacrifice 
offered up by them is worthy of a lasting remem- 

In pursuing my own duties through this ordeal 
of disease and terror, I could take little precaution. 
I sometimes took a few cloves in my mouth, and 
sometimes after being a long time exposed to the 
most insupportable stench, and experiencing a 
dizzy nausea, I have taken a few drops of laudanum 
in a spoonful of brandy, but I ate no green thing. 
No one could go where I went and see what I saw 
without dread. I knew by sad experience the in- 
describable suffering attending this fearful disease, 
having had an attack that nearly cost me my life a 
few years previous. The Cholera — no pen, no 
tongue, no thought, no imagination can depict its 
terroi-s. 'T is death and desolation stalking abroad 
at noonday 


One afternoon in tlie month of January, 1856, a 
man who enjoyed the reputation of being a well-to- 
do and respectable citizen, came to the Station and 
required the services of an officer in ferreting out 
some thieving operations that had been consum- 
mated in his house, freely expressing the opinion 
that the theft could be readily traced to Bridget, 
the domestic. 

As such cases were not uncommon, an officer 
was detailed to accompany the gentleman to his 
house to make the necessary investigation. On 
arriving at the house and instituting an inquiry, 
the officer found that the lady of the house had 
been out to the provision store and purchased two 
quarts of small apples, which were placed in the 
hands of Bridget to prepare for pies. Bridget had 
paired and sliced them carefully, and made them 
into two pies, having two apples left. This was 
not satisfactory to the mistress, and Jerry, the half- 
grown son, gave it as his decided opinion that two 
quarts of apples would make at least three pies, 


and ^Irs. thought so too. In talking the mattei 
over in the family, although this was the first sus- 
picion, yet it was carried by a majority that in this 
case at least, Bridget must have been dishonest. 

After settling that point satisfactorily, it was 
further decided that if Bridget was so dishonest as 
to pilfer pic apples she woidd take something else, 
which she certainly had many an opportunity to 
do, although nothing had been missed ; but when 
it was recollected that Bridget had in her chamber 
a large, suspicious-looking trunk, the inside of 
which had been seen by none of the family, and 
when in consequence of all these circumstances, 
Bridget's room had been quietly visited, and that 
trunk was found to be locked, the landlady de- 
clared she could stand such '-'-carryings on " no 
longer, and on consulting the husband they con- 
cluded to call in the officer. 

The whole case was explained to the officer in 
presence of Bridget and the whole family, and 
ended by a- demand to have a search instituted 
inside of that suspicious trunk. It woidd have 
been hard to tell which was the most astonished at 
the proceedings, Bridget or the officer. 

But Bridget, who, by the way, was neither a 
thief nor a fool, scanned the features of the officer 
for a moment, and detecting nothing malicious 
there, but rather perhaps an indication of contempt 
for her accusers, and an expression of sympathy 


for her, in her unprotected condition, she promptly 
said, " Come up to me room," and up went the 
whole injured family followed by the officer. 

On reaching her room Bridget threw open her 
trunk, exclaiming, " we hear enough. Now there, 
mem, ye may sarch me ould duds an' ye will, and 
much may ye find among 'em ; but I tell ye, 
mem, two quarts of yer little pesky wormy apples 
wont make more than two pies any way." 

The injured family appeared satisfied, and the 
officer quietly retired from the house, and in a few 
days the honest, hard-working Bridget found a 
better place at better pay. 


There are seemingly many people plodding 
their way along thi-ough life without any just com- 
prehension of the value of a good character. The 
ricli can live without it, but it is the poor man's 
capital, and by him, above all others, it should be 
held and cherished as a jewel above price. 

Although this feeling, or rather want of it, is 
much too common among mankind, yet I am happy 
to know that it is by no means universal, and I 
have seen some laughable, as well as grave instan- 
ces, plainly indicating that the value of a good 
name is often well understood in the very hum- 
blest walks of life. 

On a certain occasion, an honest laborer came 
to the Station House and requested me to take 
charge of a trunk which he said belonged to one 
Kitty Quadd. It had been left with him w hile Elitty 
was absent in the country. He was about to move, 
and the trunk was a burden, and he wished to 
leave it with me for safe keeping till Kitty's return. 
To accommodate him I took the name of the 



owner, made a schedule of the few articles in the 
trunk, and set it away in the property room for 

About two months after, a buxom Irish girl 
called at the Station House, saying that her name 
was Kitty Quadd, and she was told that I had her 
trunk. After asking her some questions, to see if 
it was right, the trunk was brought out and deliv- 

Kitty's eyes glistened with joy as she beheld her 
treasure, but said she, " It 's not the value of me 
clothing, sir, but it 's me character that 's there, me 
character it is." And hurrying her hand into the 
pocket of an old dress as she lifted it from the 
trunk, she drew forth a dirty piece of paper with 
much apparent satisfaction. " This is it, an' sure 
enough it's safe it is, and it's yerself that shall 
read it too, for yer kindness," said she. 

I unfolded the paper and read as follows : — 

*' This certifies that Kitty Quadd is a good domestic, 
capable of doing all kinds of work, but she will get drunk 
when opportunity offers." (Signed) Mrs. S — ." 

" Pretty good, Kitty," said I. 

" Pretty good ; and well ye may say that," said 
she, folding the paper and placing it carefully in 
her bosom. '' Pretty good it is ; it is me character 
sii', and 't is well earned too ; but it is well worn, 


and I am going to get Biddy Ilarrigan, me first 
cousin, to copy it ; " and she marclicd off with her 
trunk and her character, as happy as a queen. 


Ii is generally known to the citizens of Boston, 
that there are numerous small-sized, convenient 
little rooms in the basement of the Court House on 
the easterly side, with brick walls and iron-grated 
doors, with a bunk, a pail, and a tin cup for furni- 
ture, where persons of almost every age, sex, and 
color find entertainment, in consequence of a neg- 
lect to conform to the various rules and regulations 
established by the usages and customs of the 
society in which they dwell. These various apart- 
ments constitute what are familiarly known as the 
Tombs ; and although the name might impress a 
stranger with grave sensations, yet there are times 
when the name would hardly be suspected from 
the character of the tenants. For although the 
name might seem to indicate to the contrary, it is 
nevertheless inhabited by live men and women, 
where cofi"ee and white bread are plentifully served 
out every morning for breakfast, and I have even 
seen it turned into the drawing-room of a bridal 
party. The circumstance was on this wise. 


In the summer of 1861, it happened that a lad 
who WG will call Arthur Clarke, and a lady we 
will call Johanna Ilickey, were quite intimate. 
Johanna at fii-st thought it was only between herself 
and Arthur, but by and by there began to be indi- 
cations that there might erelong be a third party 
in interest. 

Johanna began to be fidgety, but Arthur was in 
no hurry to marry. Johanna did not feel inclined 
to pocket the insult, and at her suggestion Arthur 
one morning waked up in the Tombs. On a little 
reflection, Arthur concluded he was ready to marri/, 
and Johanna being nothing loth, there seemed to 
be no obstacle to interpose. A certificate of inten- 
tion was procured by some friend of the parties, 
and precisely at twelve o'clock noon, Arthur and 
Johanna met by appointment in the superintend- 
ent's office. The good-natui'ed Esquii-e Beal vol- 
unteered his services, and in presence of several 
witnesses the ceremonies commenced. The bride 
and groom were placed side by side, fronting the 
desk, which was occupied by the worthy Justice, 
who, with certificate of intention in hand, and un- 
covered head proclaimed, " Has any person aught 
to say why Arthur Clarke and Johanna liickey 
should not be joined in wedlock, let him say it now 
or ever hold his peace hereafter." All were silent. 
" Do you, Arthur Clarke, take this woman to be your 
lawful wedded wife." /Vrthur winked. . " And do' 



you, Johanna Hickey, take this man to be your law- 
ful wedded husband." Johanna smacked her lips. 
" If you mutually assent," said the Justice, " you 
will take each other by the right hand." Johanna 
stuck out a paw, but Arthur had no right hand, 
that was gone, but he presented his left, which 
seemed to answer the purpose. And now said 
the Justice, " By virtue of the power vested in me 
by the Commonwealth, I pronounce you man and 
wife, and what God hath joined together let no man put 
asunder y Arthur and Johanna looked at each other 
as if they did not quite understand the last sentence, 
but neither attempted to make any inquiries in 
relation to the subject, but remained motionless, to 
see what came next. 

After a while Arthur began to examine his 
locomotive apparatus, as if to satisfy himself of the 
power of the new shackles with which he had 
been bound, and whether they were as potent as 
those he had left at the cell, and apparently 
becoming satisfied on that point, he took a bee line 
for the door. Johanna soon followed in his wake 
and both disappeared, leaving the spectators 
gaping at the door that closed behind them. 

That proceeding may have vindicated the maj- 
esty of the law, but whether Esquire Beal's last 
remark was correct, I was always in doubt. 


During the summer of 1859, the City Govern- 
ment widened North Street, by removing some 
buildings and cutting off others on one or the 
other side of nearly the whole length .of that an- 
cient thoroughfare. 

Many of these old houses, for most of the build- 
ings were dwellings, were objects of much interest, 
as they were one after another about to disappear, 
both on account of their peculiar structure and 
apparent great age. 

Having considerable extra police duty in that 
locality, on accoimt of the work of widening, in 
common with others I took much interest in the 
history of these ancient relics and old landmarks, 
as they were disappgsaring forever, and during the 
progress of their removal I made some observa- 
tions which I thought might be worthy of note. 

Although many of the houses bear the marks 
of great age, yet to fix the date of the building of 
most of them with any degree of certainty was 
quite impossible. Deeds can be traced back, 


showing the locality and names of owners of most 
of the estates to an early date, but when build- 
ings now standing were erected is quite another 
affair. Most of the older class of buildings were 
built one or one and a half stories high, with vari- 
ous additions to one end or the other, and at top 
in after time, but often the addition will show 
greater marks of decay than the original, and the 
age of either is an equal uncertainty. 

By close observation, however, it is evident that 
something may be gathered from the kind of 
material used, the style in architecture, and man- 
ner of building at different periods, to indicate 
the age of both wood and brick buildings. 

The former, the low-studded, two-story struc- 
tures with heavy oak timbers, the second story 
projecting far over the sidewalk, with Lutheran 
windows, oak clapboards, and triangular floor tim- 
bers, denote the greater age of this class of build- 
ings. Specimens of this style are still to be seen 
at Nos. 19 and 27 North Square, comer of Moon 
and Sun Court Streets, Salem, opposite Cooper 
Street, and in some other localities in the city. 

Something a little more definite, however, may, I 
believe, be gained relative to the age of brick 
buildings, not only from their peculiar structure 
and style of architecture, but from the size of the 
bricks, the composition of the mortar, and the dif- 
ferent styles of the walls at different periods of 



time. The fii-st walls laid in Boston were in 
clay mortar, mixed "with a lime made by burn- 
ing shells, which can at this late day be easily 
detected by close observation. Tlii.s mortar was 
used in the " Deacon Phillips's Old Stone House," 
Cross Street, " Noah's Ark," corner North and 
Clark Street, " Old Province House," Province 
House Coui't, " Old Reed Store," Change Avenue 
and Basement, " Old Feather Store," Dock Square. 

The first brick houses also were built of im- 
ported bricks, which are somewhat larger and 
thicker than those first made in New England. 

There have been several different styles of laying 
brick walls since the fii'st settlement of Boston, 
which more clearly indicate the age of brick build- 
ings. These styles are called bonds, and consist 
in laying " headers " and " stretchers " alternately, 
as they appear in the outer surface of the wall, a 
" header " being the end of the brick appearing on 
the face of the wall, and a " stretcher " the edge. 
The styles consist in laying the headers and stretch- 
ers in different form, and have been known to 
masons at diff'erent periods as the "English Bond," 
" Promiscuous Bond," " Flemish Bond," " Tile 
Bond," and " Modern Flemish Bond," each of which 
was the style of laying brick walls in buildings 
at different periods. 

These styles may be better understood by the 
following table, which shows the front in the dif- 
ferent Bonds in brick walls : — 




This style consists of a course of stretchers and a course 
of headers alternately, and was in use from 1647 to about 


The Promiscuous Bond consisted of a course of headers, 
and from thi'ee to eight courses of stretchers, according to 
the fancy of the builder, and was in use from about 1720 
to 1770. 


The Flemish Bond is a header and stretcher laid alter- 
nately in the same course, each course being laid alike, and 
was in use from about 1770 to 1810. 


I I 



Tile Bond every course alike at the surface, laying a tile 
or eight-inch square brick in place of a header, in use from 
about 1820 to 1855. 


The Modem Flemish Bond consists of a header and a 
stretcher alternately in one course, and the next eight or 
ten courses being wholly stretchers, when a header and 
stretcher are again laid. Tliis style has been in use since 
about 1855. 

The following table shows the style of bond and 
the date of erecting the buildings named : — 


1647, Xoah's Ark, corner North and Clark streets. 

1679, Old Province House (Ordway Hall). 

1680, Basement Old Feather Store, Dock Square. 


1687, Old Reed Store, 'Giange Avenue. 

1712, Part of Old Town House, head of State Street. 

1723, Christ Church, Salem Street. 

PROiynscuous bond. 

1720 No. 6 Margaret St., Nos. 21-3 Richmond St. 

to Nos. 21, 23-73 Charter St., Nos. 125-148 Prmee 
1770, Street. 


1773, Brattle Street Church. 

1729, Old South Church. 

1795, Old Part State House. 

1804, Parkman Church. 

1806, Lynde Street, Chambers Street, and Belknap Street 

1809-10, Park Street and Baldwin Place churches. 


1822, Old Hancock Schoolhouse. 

1824, Charles Street Church. 

1826, Green Street Church. 

1828, Bennet and Salem Street churches. 

1835-6, Merrimac and Pitts Street churches. 

1838, Strccter's Church. 

1843,5, Canal Block and Maine Depot. 

1848,9, New Hancock Schoolhouse, &c. &c. 


See buildings since 1855. 

From the commencement of building brick 
buildings in Boston to about the year 1710 to 1720, 


there seems, so far as can be known, to have been 
but one style of hi) ing bricks ; that style is called 
the English Bond, and was laid so as to show on 
the face a course of headers and a course of 
stretchers laid alternately throughout the building. 
Although several specimens of this bond are 
shown in the table, yet I know of but two build- 
ings now left standing entire, viz : the old Town 
House, built in 1712, and partly destroyed by fire, 
and rebuilt, preserving the same style, in 1745 ; 
the other, Christ Church, in Salem Street, built 
1723. A part of the walls only of some others in 
the table now remain. There were many to be 
seen in North Street before the street was widened. 

The Promiscuous Bond, which was in use from 
about 1720 to 1770, consisting of a course of 
headers and three, four, five, six, or seven course 
of stretchers, are met with much more frequently 
than the old English Bond, but yet the buildings 
have a very aged appearance. 

The Flemish Bond in use from about 1770 to 
1810, are much more common, being seen in 
nearly all the principal streets. The Tile, or Iron 
Bond, from 1820 to 1850, came in use about 
the time faced bricks were fii'st manufactured. 
This bond has the appearance of continued courses 
of stretchers, the bond being formed by laymg in a 
flat piece of ii'on between the courses, which are 
not seen on the outer surface or by the use of 



square tiles, being the same as two bricks struck 

A building which was removed near the foot of 
North Street, in the course of widening that street, 
attracted much attention in consequence of having 
circular openings through the outer walls, and by 
some was thought to have been some military forti- 
fication in former times. The building was but 
eighteen by twenty-seven feet in size, three stories 
high, and the walls but one foot thick, and seemed 
much better adapted to use as a dwelling-house 
than a fortification. The circular windows are no 
bar to this opinion, as such may still be seen at 
numerous churches and stores both of ancient and 
modern date 


The Old Stone House, which for more than two 
centuries had nobly withstood the ravages of time, 
has at length disappeared. It stood on the east 
side of Cross Street, about half way between North 
and Hanover streets, and when removed was one 
of the oldest buildings in Boston. 

By whom this venerable pile was erected is now 
unknown, but old Deacon Phillips, of the Second 
Church, dwelt within these strong walls many 
years. Mr. Phillips died Dec. 22, 1682, at the 
good old age of seventy-seven years, leaving his 
lands and other worldly estate to his grandchildren, 
making reservation for Sarah, " the wife of his old 
age," and for his only daughter, Mary, the wife of 
George Mountjoy, of Piscataqua. 

The estate passed down in the possession of the 
Mountjoys and other descendants of the deacon, 
until it came to Edward Proctor and others. In 
the year 1793, William Williams became the 
owner, who sold it to Thomas Williams in 1810, 
and Thomas sold it to John Sullivan in 1816, since 


which time the history of the estate is well known. 
The estate has been leased to Mr. John Cochran, 
and by him underlet to various Irish families,' for 
more than thu'ty years. 

When Goodman Phillips resided here, his neigh- 
bor toward Middle Street was Mi\ John Turell ; 
on the north was George Burrill ; he had no 
neighbor on the east, his estate extending to Fish 
Street by the sea. 

A short time before Deacon Phillips died, he sold 
from his estate a houselot just southeast of his 
stone house, to IVIr. Christopher Clarke, and other 
portions of the estate have subsequently been sold 
off on North Street. 

Some of the owners of the Old Stone House in 
more modern times have made an addition of a 
third story, consisting mostly of brick, and also 
changed the external appearance by covering 
nearly the whole of it with boards, clapboards, and 

Credulous persons have been willing to believe 
that the old mansion was once used as a prison, 
and many have called it the Old Jail, but there is 
no evidence that it was ever used for that purpose. 
On the contrary, from the time of Deacon Phillips 
down, nearly all the tenants are known. The 
locality of the jail also, from early date, is shown 
to have been in Prison Lane. 

Although no evidence does exist that the Old 


Stone House was ever used cither as a jail or for- 
tress, yet in raising such a formidable and costly 
structure as this nuist have been for that day, it 
would seem that tlio proprietor intended something 
more than a mere dwelling-house. It will not be 
forgotten that tlie early settlers of Boston, from the 
commencement, in 1630, to the termination of King 
Philip's war, in 1676, were in constant dread of 
attacks from the French and Indians. So much 
were the people in fear, that beacons, batteries, 
and fortifications, were thrown up and maintained 
for the protection of the colony. 

The Indians, who generally made their depreda- 
tions under cover of darkness by stealth, quietly 
landing from their canoes, performing their mis- 
sions of plunder and murder on private families, 
and as quietly retiring,' were the especial dread of 
the inhabitants, long before the war of extermi- 
nation was commenced with the Wampanoag 

At the time of the erection of the Old Stone 
House, it is quite probable that neighbors were not 
so plent}' as at subsequent periods ; the house was 
also located near a convenient landing-place for a 
hostile foe of the character most to be dreaded ; 
and it may not be an improbable supposition, that 
the construction of these strong walls was a result 
growing out of these circumstances, although per- 
haps never used for the purpose for which they 
were in part originally fitted. 



After the death of Mr. Elisha Goodnow, who 
was owner of the estate for many years, it 
was conveyed by his executor to the city of Boston 
as a legacy in Mr. Goodnow's will ; and in the 
month of April, 1864, the estate was sold at auc- 
tion for the benefit of the city, and the Old Stone 
House was removed, not leaving one stone upon 

The removal offered a good opportunity to ex- 
amine the character and material of the original 

The Old Stone House at first consisted of two 
wings of uniform size, joining each otlier and 
forming a right angle. Each wing was forty feet 
long, twenty feet wide, and two stories high, the 
wings fronting the south and west. There was 
one door in the end of each wing on the first 
story, and a single circular window in the second 
story over the doors ; there were also two circular 
windows in each story of each wing in front, but 
neither door nor window in cither wing in the 
rear. The foundation walls were four feet thick, 
or more ; the walls above ground were two feet in 
thickness, and built entirely of small quarried 
stones unlike anytL'ng to be seen in this neighbor- 
hood, and were pr -')ably brought as ballast from 
some part of Europe. They were laid in clay 
mortar throughout. 

The timbers were of live oak, sixteen inche^s 
b(|uare, and are in a good state of preservation. 


The upper story, which was added, was built of 
English brick, and laid in lime mortar, and some 
of the circular windows had also been filled with 
the same material, new doors and windows having 
been opened through the thick stone wall. 

But the Old Stone House has disappeared, and 
another of the very few ancient landmarks of old 
Boston will be seen no more forever. 

The stone which formed the walls of the Old 
Stone House, of which there was a large quantity, 
was removed to form the underpinning of a new 
Methodist Church on Saratoga Street, East Boston. 


This ancient building, which could, in 1860, 
be seen at the southwest corner of North and 
Clark streets, claimed to be a rival in antiquity 
with the Old Feather Store in Dock Square, the 
Old Deacon Phillips's Stone House in Cross Street, 
and even the Old Hewes House in Washington 
Street, all of which have since been taken down. 

It is believed that this brick house, which for 
many years was known as Noah's Ark, was built 
in the year 1647, and if so, it had then been stand- 
ing two hundred and thirteen years. It is quite 
certain that it was built previous to 1650, and was 
in possession of a widow as admmistratrix, her 
husband having died in 16-i8, leaving her in care 
of this estate and a family of five children ; and it 
will be hardly supposed she would undertake to 
build a house of this magnitude within two years 
of her husband's death, and that, too, before the 
estate was divided. 

Again, the house was built by a way, of a rod 
wide, which had not been fully completed, early 


ill 1()4(), AValtcr Merry being ordered to build his 
part near the Battery, before the 15th of May of 
that year, under a jienalty of twenty shillings. 

The owner of tliis building improved a shipyard 
on his estate in 1G4G, and was familiarly known 
among his contemporaries as Captain Thomas 
Hawkins. He was a man of wealth and enter- 
prise, and an extensive shipbuilder and owner for 
those days. 

In 1G43, Capt. Hawkins with one Captain Gib- 
bons, fitted out four ships with sixty-eight men, for 
the celebrated DeLatour expedition against D'Aul- 
nay. The ships were the Scab ridge, Philip, Mary 
Increase, and Greyhound, which sailed from Long 
Island, July 14, and it was said " that no ships 
of like burden had gone out before." 

In 1G45, Captain Hawkins built the Seafort, a 
beautiful ship of four hundred tons burden, and 
himself went master in her to the coast of Spain, 
where he was wrecked, losing part of his crew ; 
he sold what was saved of the wreck to the Span- 
iards, and returned home. 

In 1646, Captain Hawkins once more visited 
the coast of Spain, and was again cast away, but 
escaped with his life, and returned home, where 
he remained with his family during the year 1647, 
at which time, it is believed, he built this brick 
mansion-house, importing the bricks from London 
in his own good ship the Greyhound. 


1648. The restless spirit of Captain Hawkins 
again carried him to sea this year, when he was 
again cast away, and lost his life. (See Winthrop. 
by Savage, vol. 2, page 357.) 

Captain Hawkins left a widow, Mary, four 
daughters, and one son, viz : Elizabeth, Abigail, 
Hannah, Sarah, and Thomas. Mary, the widow, 
was married twice afterward, first to Mr. Robert 
Fenn, who died, and she again married Henry 
Shrimpton. Elizabeth married first to Adam Win- 
throp (who died) ; then to John Richards. Ab- 
igail was married first to Thomas Kellond, and 
asrain to John Foster. Hannah married Elisha 
Hutchinson, and Sarah married James Allen. 
Thomas is said to have come to an untimely end. 

In 1645, " Edward Bendall granted to Captain 
Thomas Hawkins, shipwright, a certain parcel of 
land situated in Boston, the bounds thereof begin- 
ning forty feet to the northward, from the lot 
which was Mr. Robert Thompson's, and so by 
Major Nehemiah Bourn's lot, running with a 
straight line, according to Major Bourn's pales, run 
from the seashore toward the east, and unto the 
railes of Christopher Stanley towards the west, the 
south side running nearly parallel to this." Dated 
30, 11, 1645. (See Book-possessions, page 23.) 

The above-described lot of land contained all the 
territory now bounded by a line commencing at 
the south end of Dr. Charles French's apothecary 


shop, No. 307 Hanover Street, thence easterly, by 
the south line of said shop across North Street, 
through Muttliews Block to the water on the 
south, by Bartlett Street on tbe north, by Hanover 
Street on the west, and by the water on the east. 

North Street was then " the way of a rod in 
breadth," from Gallop's point to the Battery. It 
was afterward known as Fore Street, and changed 
successively to " Ship Street," " Anne Street," 
*' Ann Street," and " North Street." 

Clark Street was an eleven feet passage-way left 
between Mr. Hutchinson and Mr. Richards in 
1682, to accommodate Thomas Kellond, and it 
was then known as " Kcllond's Passage," then 
" Shrimpton's Passage," " Hawkins's Lane," " Fos- 
ter's Lane," " Clark Lane," and " Clark Street." 

Bartlett Street was opened at a later date, and 
was first called " White Bread Alley," from a 
bakery located there. 

As has been shown, Captain Hawkins probably 
built his brick house in IG-IT, and his widow is 
found in. possession in 1G50. On the 12th day 
of April 1650, the selectmen ordered that the 
way of a rod in breadth, formerly granted, from 
Gallop's Point to the Battery (by the water side), 
being intercepted by widow Hawkins, her brick 
house, it shall turn up from the water side through 
^lis. Hawkins, her garden, and so by ]\Jj:. Win- 
throp's house, between Major Bourn's house and 


his garden, before Mr. Holyhoke's to the Battery." 
(See Town Records, vol. 1, page 89.) 

The way did so turn up, and the western line 
" of the way " of the part that turned up, and the 
east wall of Mrs. Hawkins's house was within ten 
feet of said way. (See Fleet's plan, drawn in 
1663, on which this brick house is designated.) 
Mr. Fleet's plan of the premises was found among 
papers of the late James Ivers, formerly warden 
of King's Chapel, among other old papers that 
came into his possession from early proprietors of 
the Hawkins estate. 

It is probable that this " turn up of the way," 
as ordered by the selectmen, was in part for the 
accommodation of Mr. Winthrop, Mr. Bourn, and 
Mr. Holyhoke's houses, which were built just 
below, but stood a little further west than Mr. 
Hawkins's house. It is believed that a part of jMr. 
Winthrop's house is still standing in the rear of 
344 North Street. 

1653. Mary Fenn, formerly widow of Captain 
Thomas Hawkins, and his administratrix^ returns 
an inventory of her late husband's estate, including 
" the brick house and lands in Boston, and asking 
for a division of the estate ; which request was 
granted in 1654, she receiving for her share the 
house and lands in Boston." (See Probate Records, 
vol. 3, page 101.) 

1655, April 9. John Ay let conveys by mort- 


gage to William Hudson, vintner, " all that house 
and wharf belonging to the same, which is com- 
monly called or known by the name or sign of 
Noah's Ar/i, situated, lying and being, at the 
north part of Boston, late the inheritance of Cap- 
tain Thomas Hawkins, but now in possession (or 
occupancy) of John Viall." (See Reg. Deeds, vol. 
2, page 244.) There must have been a convey- 
ance of this estate by Mrs. Fenn to John Aylet, 
between the years 1653 and 1655, but as no 
record is found, however, the identification is beyond 
dispute. Thus, as early as 1655, the brick house 
of Captain Hawkins is occupied by John Viall, 
who kept an ordinary, or inn, as it was known by 
the name of Noah's Ark. 

In early times, places of business were known 
by the peculiarity of signs, rather than by numbers 
qf the street. In this case, the proprietor had 
placed over his door for a sign, the model of a 
ship ; but people said the model looked more like 
an old ark than a ship ; hence the name. This 
was still occupied as a noted cake and beer saloon, 
and known as the Ark or Ship Tavern within the 
memorv of some now living:. 

1656, May 6. William Hudson conveyed by 
mortgage his interest in the " Noah's Ark " estate. 
to William Phillips, described in the mortgage of 
Aylet to Hudson, which was not redeemed. (^See 
Reg. Deeds, vol. 2, page 289.) 



1657, June 1. William Hudson, holding a right 
by Aylet's forfeiture, in conjunction with William 
Phillips, who held the mortgage from Hudson, 
conveyed by Deed to Mary Fenn, " All that gar- 
den, dwelling-house, and wharf, commonly known 
by the name or sign of Noalis Ark, formerly 
the inheritance of Captain Thomas Hawkins, since 
of John Aylet of Boston, by him mortgaged to 
William Hudson, and by him to William Phillips." 
{^See Reg. Deeds, vol. 3, page 86.) 

1657, July 1. Mary Fenn conveyed by deed 
to George Mountjoy (Mariner,) " All that parcel 
of land situated in Boston, butting on the sea on 
the east, by Alexander Adams on the west, and by 
land of said Mary on the south, and on the south, 
being at the water side forty-three feet in breadth, 
and at the upper end above the highway thirty-five 
feet, and in length from the water side to the land 
of Alexander Adams, on the west, with the dwell- 
ing-house thereon, commonly called or known by 
the name of Noah's Ark" {See Reg. Deeds, vol. 
3, page 88.) 

This is the first division of the Hawkins estate 
found on the records, in which the bounds of the 
house lot is well defined. 

1663, July 24. George Mountjoy conveyed by 
deed to John Viall (vintner), " All that mes- 
suage, dwelling-house, garden, and wharf com- 
monly called or known by the name or sign of 


Noah's Ay/i', boiiiulcd by the sea forty-three feet, 
at the upper end <if)ovc the highivaij thirty-five feet, 
and extending from the sea to Alexander Adams 
on the west." [See Reg. Deeds, voL 4, page 272.) 

1682, May 19, in deed of Elisha Hutchinson to 
John Richards, the brick house of John Viall is 
mentioned as one of the boundary lines to an ad- 
joining estate. [See Reg. Deeds vol. 12, page 185.) 

1688, July 17. John Viall mortgaged to Abigail 
Kellond "All his tenement at the north part of 
Boston called Ship Tavern, bounded North by 
building yard formerly of Thomas Hawkins, now 
of John Richards, south by land of Abigail Kel- 
lond, east by the sea, west by land of Abigail 
Kellond, measuring in breadth at the sea forty-three 
feet^ at the upper end above the highwaj/, thirty-five 
feet &c." [See Reg. Deeds, vol. 15, page 30.) 

1695. John Viall conveys by mortgage to John 
Foster and wife, " All his tenement at the north 
part of Boston called the Ship Ihvern (bounded 
and described as heretofore), and being in breadth 
forty-three feet at the sea, at the upper end above 
the highway thirty-five feet, &c." [See Reg. Deeds, 
vol. 17, page 148.) 

1713, May 14. John Viall and wife conveyed 
to Thomas Hutchinson (the governor's father) by 
deed, as follows: "This indenture, made the 14th 
day of May, Anno Domini, 1713, in the r2th year 
of our Sovereign Lady Anne of Great Britain, 


France, and Scotland, Defender of the Faith, be- 
tween John Viall of Boston, within the county of 
, Suffolk and Province of Massachusetts Bay in New 
England, Taverner, and Mary his wife on the one 
part, and Thomas Hutchinson of Boston, aforesaid 
merchant, on the other part. That the said John 
Viall, for divers reasons him thereto moving, and 
more especially for the sum of nine hundred and ffty 
'pounds of lawful money to him paid, conveys (&c.) 
All that certain messuage or tenement commonly 
called or known by the name of the Ship Tavern^ 
heretofore as Noah's Ark, containing a large brick 
dwelling-house' (&c. &c.) , lying at the north part 
of Boston, a jyart above and a part below the high- 
way or street called Ship Street, and bounded 
west by land of Thomas Hutchinson, formerly 
Alexander Adams, thirty-five feet extending east- 
erly across the street, being forty-three feet in 
breadth at the water side. [See Reg. Deeds, vol. 
34, page 80.) 

1714. Thomas Hutchinson had a permit from 
the selectmen, to build a dwelling-house on that 
part of the John Viall estate formerly occupied by 
him as a brewhouse. This old brewhouse was 
the one in which Mr. John Viall brewed his beer, 
which was then of world-wide reputation. (See 
Town Records, vol. 2, page 280.) Matthews 
Block at the corner of North and Clark Street, now 
covers the ground where the old brewhouse stood. 


the new building liaving been erected in lf^53. 
It was burnt down and again built in 18G1. The 
dock had been filled in, and that part of Clark 
Street was opened in 1714. The building below 
Clark Street was never known as Noah's Ark, as 
some have supposed. 

1739, Oct. 10. "In the 13th year of King 
George III., Thomas Hutchinson (father of the 
Governor) made his will, dividing his large estate 
between his two sons, Thomas and Foster, and 
four daughters. Sarah Welsteed, wife of Rev. 
William Welsteed ; Abigail Davenport, widow ; 
Hannah Mather, wife of Rev. vSamuel Mather, and 
Lydia Rogers, giving his wife Sarah the income of 
most of his real estate during her life. In this 
will is found the following — 

" Item. I give and devise to my daughter Han- 
nah Mather, wife of Rev. Samuel Mather, her 
heirs forever, my brick house and land in Ship 
Street, which is now rented to Thomas Warbeat 
and Thomas Power, the income whereof I have 
given to my wife during her natural life. {^See 
Reg. Probate, vol. 34, page 261.) 

Mr. Hutchinson owned the brick house called 
the Ship Tavern, and from the wording in the will 
" my brick house," it would appear that he owned 
no other of that description. Warbeat and Power 
also occupied the Ship Tavern. 

1785, May 24. Rev. Samuel Mather makes his 



will, in which he makes mention of his wife Han- 
nah, his three daughters, Elizabeth Mather, Sarah 
Shaw, and Hannah Crocker, his little granddaugh- 
ter Hannah Mather Crocker, and a son in England, 
who appears to be disfranchised (probably in con- 
sequence of Revolutionary troubles). [See Reg. 
Probate, vol. 84, page 235.) This reference is 
important only in showing the heirs of Hannah 
Mather, who are interested afterward in the brick 
house in Ship Street, given them by their grand- 
father, Thomas Hutchinson. 

1788, March 22. Elizabeth Mather, single 
woman, makes her will, in which she bequeaths to 
her sister, Hannah Crocker, wife of Joseph Crock- 
er, " All my right, title, and interest, in all the 
property, real and personal, which I have received 
from my father, Rev. Samuel Mather, my mother, 
Hannah Mather, my aunt Sarah Welstecd, and my 
cousins Nathaniel and Sarah Rogers, all late de- 
ceased. [See Reg. Probate, vol. 87, page 221.) 

This will included her share of the brick house 
in Ship Street. It is said that the other sister, 
Sarah Shaw, died without issue, and her share of 
her grandfather's gift, reverted to the surviving 
heirs of her mother, Hannah Mather, the son 
being in England and disfranchised. By Eliz- 
abeth's will, Hannah Crocker became the sole 
owner of the estate called the Ship Tavern. 

1794, Dec. 9. Hannah Crocker (widow) con- 


vcys by deed to Bciijumin James (brewer), " All 
that dwell ing-hou^e and land thereto belon^nng, 
situated in the north part of Boston at the corner 
of Ship and Clark streets, so called, and bounded 
as follows : From Ship Street, thence running 
west on Clark Street, eighty-two feet ; thence 
southerly on land of Messrs. Dolbcare & Lavis, 
forty-six feet four inches ; thence easterly on land 
of Ml-. Tate fifty feet ; thence northerly by Tate's 
land, two feet four inches ; thence easterly on said 
Tate's land, forty-five feet six inches to Ship 
Street ; thence on Ship Street to the first-men- 
tioned bound." {See Reg. Deeds, vol. 189, page 2.) 

This conveyance includes more than the original 
Noah's Ark estate above the street. That estate 
and much more of the adjoining land, it ^\•ill be 
recollected, formerly belonged to Thomas Hutchin- 
son ; since his purchase of John Viall, in 1713, 
all the territory mentioned in this deed was 
undoubtedly included in his bequest to his daugh- 
ter Hannah and her heu*s in 1739. 

From the date of Benjamin James's purchase of 
the Noah's Ark estate of Hannah Crocker, in the 
year 1794, to the present time, 1860, it has been 
in possession of him and his heirs, being now in 
care of John W. James, Esq., of this city, who is a 
son of Benjamin, and joint heir to the estate. 

This estate, which is now known as the James 
Estate, was for many years a keepsake in the 


family of Hannah Crocker, as a gift from their 
Grandfather Hutchinson, and many interesting 
incidents connected with the place were communi- 
cated by her to persons now living. The Old 
House is still standing. It was at fu'st but two 
stories high, the additional story having been built 
by Mr. James. It was built of the large English 
brick, with shell and clay mortar, and the bricks 
were laid in the old English Bond style, the first 
style of laying brick walls in New England. The 
house had Lutheran attic windows, deep project- 
ing eaving, low-arched wall windows with sliding 
sash, triangular flooring timbers, and finished in 
the heavy style of the times when it was built, 
although the interior has undergone repeated 
alterations, yet the walls probably preserve nearly 
their original appearance. 

The original building was thirty-two feet front, 
*' on the way of a rod in breadth," now North 
Street, and twenty-eight feet wide on Clark Street; 
but in widening North Street in 1855, a part of 
the fii'st wall was removed. Before widening the 
street a large crack was to be seen in the front 
wall, which — tradition handed down from John 
Viall through Hannah Crocker, says — was caused 
by an " earthquake in 1663, which made all New 
England tremble." Mr. Viall occupied the house, 
and history records the event of the earthquake 
that year. Mrs. Crocker used to say, that her 


grandfather Iliitchinson spoke of a casket of 
papers, that was said to be placed under the 
corner-stone of this house when built. If so, they 
would no doubt be extremely interesting at this 
day ; but I never could learn that any such papers 
were ever found. 

Ml'. Samuel Yendell and Mr. John Childs, 
highly-respectable citizens, and in 18G5 residents 
of the Xorlh End, the former ninety-one and the 
latter about eighty years of age, said that Noah's 
ark was amona: their earliest reeol lections. Mr. 
Yendell remembered this house eighty-five years 
distin^-tly, and said it was the same, and looked 
as old when he first knew it. 

Although many generations of men have passed 
away, and change has placed its mark on all sur- 
rounding objects since Noah's Ark first rested on 
Boston soil, yet the venerable relic still remains a 
monument of olden time, and its identity is beyond 

There is something deeply interesting associated 
in the memory of these old houses ; they were the 
homes of our ancestors, and that thought alone 
makes them sacred. They are mouldering links 
that connect us with the past. Our fathers, — 
where are they? Their memory, even, is fast 
fading away. 

I have been thus particular in tracing the 
records of this old building, because there are 


several others, for each of which it is claimed that 
it is the oldest in the city. This hrick house^ 
with the peculiar name by which it was so early 
and so long known, affords facilities for tracing its 
identity enjoyed by none other ; and I think I have 
sho^vn beyond question that Noah's Ark was built 
in the year 1647, seventeen years after the settle- 
ment of Boston. 


In the month of Octohcr, 1855, rumors were in 
circulation that in the witching hour of night, 
something was to be seen, somewhere. Young men 
and middle aged, old men and gray, knownoth- 
ings and knowsomethings, were on tiptoe. The 
countenances of some wore a broad grm ; that of 
others indicated anxiety and caution. Some, who 
seemed to rank with the knowing ones, were ob- 
served with thumb to nose, the digits of the same 
hand performing certain ominous gyrations ; and 
some even were overheard to utter the unintelligi- 
ble word Moakus. 

Geevus, who had both an eye and ear to busi- 
ness, and is ever ready for the chances, in this 
case was not idle, and one of them, a little more 
curious than the rest, was out several nights j^^os- 
pecting, and with a little strategy and disguise, he 
had the good fortune to see and hear even more 
than he had anticipated. In consequence, arrange- 
ments were made for a reconnoissance in force the 
next Saturday night. 


Well, the next Saturday night came, and with 
it a most powerful rain-storm, the water pouring 
down in torrents, which, however, only tended to 
favor the design of the expedition. 

About nine o'clock on the aforesaid Saturday 
evening, just as the church bells were chiming the 
hour, a figure closely wrapped in a dark cloak, 
who had for a short time occupied a deep door- 
way, noiselessly and unobserved mingled with a 
crowd of some dozen young gentlemen as they 
came round the corner of Cooper and North Mar- 
gin streets. The party were from a highly-re- 
spectable public house up-town, and evidently on 
an errand of some interest, but seemed to care very 
little to attract particular notice. 

The whole party hurried noiselessly down North 
Margin Street a few rods, when all hands disap- 
peared round a corner down a dark alley, which 
was entered by a flight of old wooden steps. 

Rap, rap, rap, sounded the knuckles of some 
one of the party on a rickety old door, the first on 
the right. Up came a window in the second story, 
and out popped a woolly head, just discernible 
from below, that seemed of itself to make darkness 

" Whose dar ? " said a gruff, female voice. 

*' MoaJius^'' said one of the party below. 

" Yah, yah, yah," said the voice, " dat you — dat 
you. Jus stop dar one minute — T'ze dar jus one 
minute : " and down went the window agaiQ. 


In a few moments the portals of the establish- 
ment, which were secured with a large wooden 
wedge, were thrown open, and the whole party 
entered. Inside the darkness was intense ; but 
the guide that opened the door piloted the party 
up the winding stairway, till all arrived safely in 
the reception-room on the third floor. 

" Dis way — dis way, gemmen ; dis de 'ception- 
room. Walk right in — done be 'fi*aid ; walk 
right in ; " and in they all hustled. 

The room was a large, square one, neither 
ceiled or plastered, with little furniture, lighted 
with two old oil lamps, and looked about as dark 
as the proprietor. 

" Gemmen, all in — all in," said the proprietor, 
" dat 's right — dat's right ; " and taking the hat 
of one, she began collecting the admission fee. 
" Only quarter dollar, gemmen — jest quarter 
apiece. Put it right in de hat — dat's right, put it 
right in de hat ; " and the gents shelled out their 
quarters without hesitation. 

When this operation was in progress, the figure 
in the cloak, which had attracted no attention, slid 
quietly out the door, down the stairway, and un- 
bolted the outside door (which had been carefully 
fastened after the party entered), passed outside 
and took a convenient position for further obser- 

As the figure in the cloak passed out of the 
establishment, two other portly individuals, who 



seemed to be in waiting, stepped in and passed 
quietly up the stairway into the reception-room, 
without attracting notice, the company inside being 
too intent on witnessing the exhibition to trouble 
themselves about external circumstances. 

When the performance was well in progress, 
the countenances of the whole party having been 
well observed, a tremendous foot-stamp on the 
floor attracted the attention of all present, and 
mantles falling from the shoulders of the two indi- 
viduals revealed the forms of two stalwart fellows 
dressed in blue frock coat and bright buttons, 
standing in their midst, one of whom proclaimed, 
in a plain, clear voice, that the performance of the 
evening was now closed. 

A clap of thunder in a clear sky, or the ghost 
of Hamlet's father in corduroys, would hardly 
have produced a greater surprise on our little 
party of sportsmen. For a moment silence reigned 
supreme ; and then commenced a retreat, a stam- 
pede, — and such a stampede as is rarely wit- 
nessed. Such a scratching, snatching, scrabbling, 
puffing, hunching, punching, rolling, jumping, 
tumbling, " Such a getting down stall's," and out 
of doors and windows, never entered into the 
fruitful imagination of the author of " Paradise 

Those who were the innocent cause of this tre- 
mendous fright, stood looking calmly on until the 


last coat-tail had snapped round the corner, and 
the sound of retreating footsteps was lost in the 
distance, and then two very sable individuals were 
carefully conveyed to the Lockup. 


One of the greatest perplexities encountered by 
the Detective Police Officer, arises in consequence 
of the vague and erroneous description given of 
persons who it is desirable to find. Descriptions 
are often given, that are no more like the persons 
intended, than Cleopatra was like an Orang Outang, 
or the great American traveller is like the celebrated 
Big Dick. 

Descriptions are not unfrequently given by dif- 
ferent individuals, of some intimate missing friend, 
so different from each other, as to cause delays and 
mistakes enough to provoke the most cool and self- 
possessed officer. In fact, it is but too well under- 
stood by every detective, that he will hardly find 
two persons that will describe the figure of a 
stranger alike, although seen at the same time, 
and under the same circumstances. 

My own observation leads me to believe that but 
comparatively few persons can give a good general 
description of others, unless led to make observa- 
tions for that purpose by occupation or profession ; 


and then, when an ofRcer once gets a good de- 
scription, the difficulty of picking up your man 
among the tens of thousands of persons that throng 
the streets is no easy matter, even if you have the 
good fortune to get in sight of the right one. 

I recollect one time of being sent out by my su- 
perior officer, to hunt up a pickpocket ; a general 
description was given of him, which would answer 
for half the men in the streets, but the mark that 
was to fx the fellow, was a round top gray cap, a 
very uncommon article, it was said. 

I started out, with all the confidence I could 
summons, to find that gray cap, with the rogue 
under it ; but before I had proceeded half the 
length of Hanover Street, I was completely dis- 
couraged, and 1 soon returned to the Office, ready 
to swear on a stack of Bibles, that, of all the men I 
met, one in every ten wore that same style of cap. 

But to the Descriptions. I recollect a case which, 
although literally true, may yet be thought a rather 
tall illustration of my subject. One day in the 
summer of 1862, there came a tall, careworn-look- 
ing lady into the Office where I was in charge, 
and proceeding cautiously up to my desk, asked in 
a loud whisper if I was the man. I quietly nodded 
assent, and she took a seat at my elbow ; and after 
carefully adjusting the folds of her dress and bon- 
net strings, she remarked that she had called on 
very important business, and desired the strictest 



secrecy. After being assured that her confidence 
would not be betrayed, she proceeded. 

" Well, sir," said she, " I have lost my son ; " 
and she covered her face with a clean white hand- 

" Indeed, madam," said I, at once touched by 
the apparent depth of her grief. " Pray, madam, 
what were the circumstances attending his death T' 

" Dead ! " said she, springing to her feet, " you 
don't tell me he is dead." 

" Oh no, no, madam," said I, " but I understood 
you to say you had lost a son." 

" Well, so I have," said she, resuming her seat ; 
" but he aint dead ; I should feel better, though, to 
follow him to his grave, than to have him run 
away, as he has, and leave his poor heart-broken 
mother. Oh dear, dear ! for one so young and so 
tender to be sacrificed so soon ! " 

" Well, madam," said I, " what can I do for 
you % " 

" Oh, sir, you can take his description, and hunt 
him up for me. They told me if I left his descrip- 
tion, you would surely get him for me. He is 
surely in some recruiting office." 

" Well, madam, give me the description," said 
I, " and we will try. What is his name ? " 

" Timothy Browning," said she. " But he en- 
listed by another name.'* 

"How old?" 


" Fourteen.'* 

" Uo\v tall ? " 

" Ei///it fict five inches" said she. 

" Eight Icet five," said I. " Do n't you mean 
five feet eight inches, and that would be extremely 
tall of his age." 

" Do you think I don't know my o^vn son better 
tlian a stranger ? " said she, apparently a little 

" Certainly, certainly, madam," said I. " Well, 
fourteen years old, eight feet five inches high. 
"What complexion ] " 

" Light hair and black eyes. 

" Rather uncommon," said I. Well, is he slim?" 

" No, he is thick-set and full face, and he wears 
a No. 9 Boot^ a cap, and gray coat and pants," 
said she. " But he is not dressed so now, for he 
was seen coming out of the Recruiting Office yes- 
terday with some other boys about his size, and 
dressed in military uniform." 

" Any other peculiarity ? " said L 

" That 's all," replied the lady. 

" Well, let us see if I have it correct," I said. 

" Missing Timothy Browning, (has taken 

some other name,) age fourteen, eight feet five 
inches high, thick-set, full face ; was seen coming 
out of a recruiting office yesterday in military 
uniform, with several other boys about his size ; 
wore a No. 9 Boot." 


" That 's correct," said the lady. Any one would 
know him by that description." I thought so too, 
and I promised her my best efforts ; but I never 
found him. 

TOUGH custo:mers. 

During my police life I have had many thou- 
Bands of persons in my custody, the books at Sta- 
tion Xo. One alone showing a record of some sixty 
thousand names, during the seven years I had 
charge there ; and it may readily be supposed that 
among so large a number, we found some very 
tough customers. Tough they were, many of them, 
and I know no reason why they might not be 
called customers^ for they have done a good deal of 
business in our line, — called often at our place of 
business, and we furnished them with a good deal 
of what they very much deserved. Among the 
many I will name a few. 

One day an officer found a man lying insensible 
in Haverhill Street, procured a carriage and 
brought him to the Station House, apparently in a 
dying condition. A physician was immediately 
sent for, who at once commenced applying restor- 
atives. Fhst, he let a stream of cold water fjill 
some distance upon his temples ; no movement 
was produced. Next, he applied a sponge sat- 


urated with hartshorn to his nostrils ; not a muscle 
was seen to stir. The doctor looked puzzled, but 
after carefully feeling his pulse, he said there was 
life, and he would try the lancet. Accordingly he 
drew forth a sharp-pointed instrument, and open- 
ing a vein, the red fluid flowed quite freely. 

At this stage of the proceedings the dying man 
sprang to his feet, and swore with a terrible oath 
that he would stand this nonsense no longer, and 
he pitched into the kind-hearted doctor right and 


He said, he did n't care a fig for the water, or 

the smelling-drops ; but when they came to butch- 
er a fellow in the cellar of a watch-house, it was 
more than he could stand, and he believed the 
rascals would soon had the knife in his throat, 
and he would have been a dead carcase in the 
medical college. 

The fellow was hurried into a cell for the safety 
of the doctor. After being there a few moments. 
he very calmly requested to be let out, that he 
might give the doctor what he deserved ; and, said 
he, " If I am not let out immediately, I '11 be shot 
if I come out till I get ready." 

He came very near being as good as his word, 
for we did not get rid of him for two days, in 
which time he neither ate nor drank, and then he 
was only tuken off by force, on virtue of a warrant 
charging liim with being a vagabond. 


Dick O'Biuen was not one of the very worst of 
roughs, if you could catch him sober. Some 6ne 
has said, " when wine is in, wit is out." If he had 
said, " when Medford rum is in, Dick is a quarrel- 
some blackguard," it would apply better to his case. 

Dick had taken lessons in the manlj/ art, and by 
some means had acquired the title of " The Irish 
Pet," of which name he was very proud, and allu- 
sions to it in a tone of disrespect has caused more 
than one row in North Street. Sometimes, too, 
when Dick had mdulged pretty freely in his favor- 
ite beverage, without any provocation, he was in- 
clined to indulge in his favorite sport, to the great 
annoyance of all peaceably disposed persons. 

One evening in September, 1855, the Pet had 
been tasting rather heavily, and getting a little 
out of sorts because he coidd not get more without 
money, he posted himself at the corner of Rich- 
mond and North streets, evidently intent on mis- 
chief; and by way of openincj the ball, he at first 
selected a young darkey who came up street, and 
gave him a tremendous punch in the head. The 
blow was a severe one, but the darkey seemed to 
think it all a joke, and went off grinning, while 
Dick stood rubbing his knuckles with pain. 

Dick's next attempt was on a country looking 
chap, who came round the corner, who, when he 
saw Dick's well-aimed blow nearing his knowledge- 
box, just threw up his arm, and Dick's fist passed 


harmlessly by ; but at the same time he laid his 
open hand on Dick's cheek with such force, that 
his heels were noticed high in the ak. 

When Dick regained his feet, the countryman 
was nowhere to be seen, and Dick went back to 
his corner swearing vengeance against all mankmd 
in general, and any that might approach him in 
particular. In a few moments after Dick had 
again taken his position, peaceable and unsuspect- 
ing John Bigney came along, and caught a terrible 
blow from Dick's fist, which laid him senseless in 
the street with a broken shoulder, and a stranger 
who hastened up to see what was the matter, got 
a sidewinder, which only left life enough in him to 
cry watch, and the cry being repeated by several 
others in the neighborhood, soon brought up two 
of the guardians. 

Dick was too proud to run, and too well-garri- 
soned to be taken without a siege ; but he was 
eventually obliged to surrender in disgrace, and 
carried into the enemy's camp minus every rag of 

Next day Dick was sent to the House of Correc- 
tion one year, for a felonious assault. 

One evening a little old colored woman came 
into the Station House, and very politely asked for 
a night's lodging. On being questioned in relation 


to her name, age, and residence, she said she was 
a citizen of the world, was nine hundred and 
eighty years old. and her name was Kill Time. 

She was evidently old and tongh, but very 
smart and lively, and was neither drunk nor crazy ; 
so she was taken at her word, and the record made 
on the books. After being furnished with some 
bread and cheese, she took her lodging-room in the 
basement, for which she expressed her thanks, and 
seemed to enjoy herself remarkably well. 

When she turned out next morning, she was as 
bright and as chipper as a school girl, and when 
about lea\ing the house was again asked her age. 

•' Nine hundred and eighty," said she. 

" And what is your right name ? " said one of 
the officers. 

" Kill Time" sir, was the reply ; and she de- 
parted with a low courtesy. 

Early one morning in the month of December, 
1855, one of the officers heard the cry of " watch," 
apparently in a stifled voice, emanating from a 
yard in rear of a lodging-house on Union Street, 
and hastened in that direction. On reaching the 
spot, the officer found the cry came from the lungs 
of one John Diver, a big lump of a drunken loafer, 



who had come over from Cambridge the night pre- 
vious, and whose head held more rum than brains. 

John had taken lodging in the house at a late 
hour, and after rething, " the sphits " or some 
other power, suggested to him that he was in a 
very bad locality, and dangerous withal ; and, to 
add a peculiar interest to the case, John imagined 
he saw myriads of hideous monsters, who, with 
enormous horns, protruding eyeballs, and extended 
jaws, were about to put an end to his corporeal 
identity, uncooked and unseasoned. 

John at once resolved not to surrender without 
an effort, and following up his resolution, he per- 
formed some feats that highly illustrated his name, 
and which would have done honor to the veritable 
Sam Patch himself, although Sam, very unlike 
John, always kept right end up. 

At first, John dove out of bed, — then, down two 
flight of stairs, — then, through a glass window in 
the upper part of a door into the street, — next, 
through the panel of a gate into the back yard, 
every jump head foremost ; and, last of all, he 
jumped his head into a swill barrel, where the 
officer found him kicking and struggling with all 
his might to make further headway. 

Why John had not beat out what brains he had 
left is more than can be well accounted for, yet he 
was not materially injured. When rescued by the 
officer, he entertained the idea that he had barely 


managed to escape from Purgatory, and walked 
off to the Station Ilouse with his new guide with 
a very good grace. 

One evening a neighboring shopman came rush- 
ing into the Station House in breathless haste, 
demanding the immediate assistance of an officer, 
saying that a terrible customer had just entered his 
store with a loaded pistol in hand, and threatened 
to shoot every one mthin his reach. Said he, 
" myself and clerk have barely escaped with our 

An officer was on the way at once, and soon re- 
turned with the would-be assassin in custody, 
closely followed by the affrighted shopman and 
several neighbors. 

The desperado was a little drunk, but not turbu- 
lent, and submitted to be searched without a 
murmur. After carefully examining his pockets, 
the officer drew from the one under the left arm, 
the supposed deadly weapon. As it came in sight 
a shudder seemed to run through the crowd of by- 
standers, and the shopman exclaimed, " That's it; 
look out, it 's loaded ! " 

On examination, however, the weapon proved to 
be but a sweet potato, about the size and some- 
thing in the form of a small pocket-pistol, but cer- 
taiidy possessing none of its deadly qualities. The 


rascal of a prisoner stood grinning as we examined 
the weapon, and when I turned to speak to the 
shopman, he had gone, and his friends were retir- 
ing one by one. 

I HAVE in my mind a pair, one of each sex, who 
dwelt together for some years, who would not 
suffer in comparison with the toughest set I ever 
saw, especially the female specimen, for she was 
the tougher of the two. 

It was shortly after the great Police Descent in 
Ann Street, and a large number of the same class 
hsidjiedfrom the wrath in that street, and taken up 
quarters at North End block. There were at this 
time some fifty rooms in this block, occupied by as 
many different families, if you could call them 
such, and they were made up of the very toughest 
class of human beings I ever met. Add to this the 
numerous roughs visiting every night from other 
localities, and the crews of two men-of-war's men, 
whose vessels lay in the harbor, and who were not 
sloAv in prospecting about this locality, and it made 
up one of the most interesting little colonies ever 
known in the puritan city of Boston. 

Well, Shoddy, as he was called, and Mary Lovi- 
na, were perfectly at home here, especially as far 
as rum and fight was in the play ; and it was said 


that when outsiders were a little scarce, Shoddy 
and Lovina would occasionally get up a brush be- 
tween themselves, just to keep the hand in. 

In these family exercises, the drunker of the 
two generally got the worst of it, although they 
contrived to keep the account along about even. 
In fact, the pair were so troublesome, that, strange 
as it may seem, they really annoyed the neighbor- 
hood, bad as it was, and it became necessary to 
make an example of both Shoddy and his wife. 

One night two of us went down with Constable 
Stratton, who was armed with a warrant to make 
the arrest. We went to Shoddy's room and made 
known our errand, and both he and the wife being 
somewhat accustomed to similar visits, took it all 
as a matter of course, and although both were 
pretty drunk, they immediately began to prepare. 
Mary Lovina, during her preparation, stepped into 
a small side-room. While thus engaged, all at 
once Shoddy cried out, " She 's gone," his eyes 
sticking out most wonderfully as he gazed at an 
open window that led from the side-room do^^•n 
into the street. I looked just in time to see Mary 
Lovina's hands slip from the window-sill. 1 
sprang to the window, but she had gone, sure 
enough, out of the window down to the sidewalk, 
a distance of twenty-two feet, having fallen partly 
into an open cellar-way, her body lying across the 
sharp edge of the cap timber, partly on the side- 



walk and partly down the stairway, and appar- 
ently a lifeless corpse. 

We hiu'ried doAvn as quickly as possible, took her 
up and carried her into the house for dead ; but 
on feeling her pulse it was found she still had life. 
A physician was sent for, and after a while she 
began to revive, and, strange to say, not a bone 
had been broken. She finally so far recovered, 
that, at the physician's suggestion, she was con- 
veyed to the hospital at South Boston, although it 
was supposed that she had received internal inju- 
ries, indicated by volumes of blood from the mouth, 
and could not live. But Lovina did live, and in 
"about ten days so far recovered as to be brought 
over to the Police Court, and sentenced to the 
House of Correction six months for common 

Lovina was placed under the kind care of Cap- 
tain Robbins, and took her post among his pupils ; 
but before ten days had elapsed she had eluded 
the eye of her overseer, crawled over a board fence 
ten feet high, and made her escape, — after which 
I heard no more of Shoddy or Mary Lovina for 
some years. 

However, in the year 1858, some six years after, 
the pair turned up again in an alley-way leading 
out of Friend Street, as purely Shoddy and INIary 
Lovina as ever, and at their old tricks, — getting 
drunk and pummelling each other as in former 


But poor human nature cannot always bear up 
against the storms of adversity, and Lovina, getting 
a little tired of life, one day went down to the 
Boston and Maine railroad wharf and jumped over- 
board. She was so ugly she could not sink, but 
floated off upon the water as buoyant as an old 
bonnet. She was picked up by a boatman and set 
ashore, swearing vengeance upon the poor boat- 
man and her ill luck, and steaming up the wharf 
in a paroxysm of rage. I have never seen her 
since, but, in her prime, I think she stood at the 
head of her class. 

John Brown, iinlike him of song^ was a character 
of very little note, were it not for his big burly 
head and ill temper. John was a rough, however, 
of considerable muscular power, and was always 
to be found at a cock or dog fight, or a bar-room 
brawl, and he not only dealt out many hard 
knocks, but now and then he managed to get one 

One evening John kicked up a row in the pit at 
the National Theatre, and got put out. He imme- 
diately made his way up to the third circle, and 
demanded admittance there. Just at that time I 
was passing the theatre, and thought I would step 
up and see if there were any new faces among the 
jn'ofessioHf as there were usually a good delegation 


of that class to be found in the thii'd circle. As I 
came up the stairs to the door, John was making 
preparation to pitch into the doorkeeper for refus- 
ing to admit him without a ticket, and seeing there 
was likely to be trouble if John remained, I turned 
my back to him (he had not noticed me), and 
taking a good hold with each hand on the bottom 
of each leg of his pantaloons I started down stairs. 
From indications behind me, I came to the conclu- 
sion that John's underpinning had given way, and 
that he was playing the part of a boy coasting belly 
hump, only he was " advancing backwards " at a tre- 
mendous speed ; however, I kept steadily on, with- 
out once relinquishing my hold of the pants, down 
one flight of stairs, and then another, till I fairly 
reached the sidewalk, when I suddenly released 
my hold, sprang across the street to the opposite 
sidewalk, and turned round to see the result, leaving 
John sprawling, face downward, looking very much 
like a frog on dry land in hot sunshine. The 
officer in the lower part of the theatre, who had 
put John out of the pit, hearing the racket, ran 
out upon the sidewalk to see what was the matter, 
and reached the spot where John had lain just as 
he had regained his feet. John, supposing poor 
Geevus (who was the fii'st man he saw) to be the 
cause of all his trouble, pitched into him and made 
the claret fly at short notice. Geevus, Avho was 
not a cripple, returned the compliment in fine 


style, and with the butt end of a heavy cane he 
floored poor John instanter, and with help ready at 
hand lugged him off to the Station House. I fol- 
lowed on to see how matters progressed, but 
nothing further interesting coming up, I quietly 
went my way, and next day I saw in the papers 
that John was sent to the House of Correction six 
months for an assault on an officer in the discharge 
of his duty. 


This venerable representative of olden time, 
which has lived to witness the rise and fall of 
empkes ; the birth, progress, and decay of nations ; 
which has withstood the fury of the storm and the 
ravages of time for many generations " still lives" 
Its widely extended roots still grapple with mother 
earth, in all the tenacity and vigor of manhood. 
Its massive trunk, supported by iron strengthening- 
bands, still stands firm and erect, and its numerous 
branches, with here and there the stump of an 
amputated arm, are still stretched forth toward 
heaven, as if in supplication to the Father of Life, 
and in veneration of the handiwork of the great 

Although the old tree bears unmistakable marks 
of great age, yet the exact date of its origin is now 
unknown. In the year 1854, Dr. Smith, then 
Mayor of Boston, caused a fence to be erected, 
enclosing and protecting the Old Elm. 

This fence is of octagon form, made of cast iron, 
and is one hundred and twenty feet in circumfer- 


encc, although it falls far short of enclosing the 
area shadowed by the branches of the tree. On 
the iron gate at the entrance of the enclosure, is a 
tablet containing a short history of the tree, in 
raised letters, as follows : — 


This Thke has imcen standino 

hekk foil an unknown i'icuiod. i r 19 

dklikvki) to iiavk kxfsted iikiork the ' 

settlement ok bosion, being foi lt ^ 

01:0\vn in 172-*, exiiibned marks of old | 

aok in 17u-', and was nicauly destkoyed 


J. V. C.S3IITU,JI/ayor. 

Although the foregoing account of the supposed 
age of the tree is entitled to great credit, yet the 
Hancock family, who have always had a deep in- 
terest in its history, have a tradition that differ? 
somewhat from that upon the iron tablet. 

I have seen an affadavit of Madame Scott, for- 
merly the wddow of Governor Hancock, which 
says : — 

" Mrs. Hancock, the wife of Thomas, who was 
uncle to the Governor, has often told me that her 
grandfather, Hezekiah Henchman, when a boy, 
transplanted the great elm from the North End to 
where it now stands. Mrs. Hancock has often 
pointed at the old tree, and spoken of the circum- 
stance, and it was a matter of notoriety in our 

Mi's. Hancock used to say that she could re- 
member when the tree was not fully gro^vn. 


Madam Scott was said to be a highly educated 
and accomplished lady, and was living in about the 
year 1818, being then nearly eighty years of age. 

Mr. Thomas Hancock, uncle of the Governor", 
was a bookbinder and bookseller, served his time 
with Colonel Daniel Henchman, and married his 
daughter Lydia. Mr. Hancock lived in Queen 
Street, in the house afterwards occupied as the 
Brattle Street Church Parsonage, which was given 
that Society by his widow. Mr. Thomas Hancock 
was the patron of the Governor, who inherited a 
large portion of his estate. 

Colonel Daniel Henchman, the father of Mrs. 
Thomas Hancock, established the first paper-mill 
in New England, at Quincy, Mass. He was the 
son of Hezekiah Henchman, the boy who is said 
to have transplanted the tree. 

Hezekiah was the son of Captain Daniel Hench- 
man, the emigrant, and was probably born about 
the year 1658. The family removed to Worcester 
in the year 1674, and, if the tradition is correct, 
young Hezekiah probably transplanted the elm 
previously to the removal to Worcester. Which 
account of the origin of the Old Elm is correct, or 
either, I shall not attempt to determine. 

The old tree is said to be a native elm, whose 
roots extend much further and deeper, and lives 
much longer, than the English elm, many of which 
have been blown down or decayed while standing 


on the adjoining malls, while the native of the soil 
remains nnharmed and thrifty. 

The combination of incidents and memories, in 
ten thousand ways associated in the history of the 
venerable old tree for the past two hundred years, 
would fill a volume of the deepest interest. 



'Policemen are often funny fellows, and not only 
so, but they sometimes have the faculty of asking 
some very impertinent questions ; nor is this fault 
confined to patrolmen alone, but is sometimes in- 
dulged in by officers of higher rank. Instances of 
this character from any source were always annoy- 
ing to me, especially where the subject relates to 
matters of a grave nature, or are designed to call 
in question the official integrity of the officer of 
any other department, as I think the interest of 
the public is best subserved by each department 
confining itself to its own legitimate duties. 

However, we should not look for perfection 
among men ; but I am willing to confess, I should 
commence in the PoUce Department to take the 
first look. 

One bright winter afternoon, when for once the 
sleighing was fine in Boston, one of the Captains 
of Police had the impudence to send me the fol- 
io vving communication. 



Dear Sir : Having a leisure hour, I liave taken 
the liberty to send you an account of my doings in one of 
the courts this forenoon, and in return desire you to send 
me your opinion of my success. 

I had four cases in court, of a nature and result as 
follows, viz: No. 1. A thief stole four pair of boots, 
valued at sixteen dollars. Plead guilty to the charge, 
fined eight dollars without costs.' No. 2. A young boy, 
but an old thief, stole five dollars from a money-drawer. 
Caught in the act. Boy said he was coasting on the Com- 
mon at the time, — pretty sister swore he was in the 
house all day. Conflicting testimony, — boy discharged. 
No. 3. Till-tappers accomplice, — no warrant. No. 4. 
Brutal fight, — broken heads, — mutual assault, and mu- 
tual damage. One fined six dollars and costs, the other 

In my perplexity and chagrin at the Captain's 
impudence I returned him the followmg answer. 

" Dear Captain, in your note this day, 
A leisure hour to while away, — 
You gave a sample of your readings 
In our Court of special pleadings; 
Where, in his glory and alone, 
Sat Justice, smiling on the throne. 

**In No. 1, for stealing leather, 
Admit without proceeding further, 

* 1 did iV,' pays one half the debt. 
The balance cash, eight dollars net. 


" Then No. 2, * the noted thief/ 
What if he steals cash, bread, or beef; 
Pray, has he not good claims on grace, 
With a pretty sister in the case? 

*' Now tell me plainly, as your friend, 
What right have you down at North End, 
To pick up strangers, just for sport. 
To worry and perplex the court ; 
Should you not strive its cares to lighten, 
When sleighing 's tip top out to Brighton ? 
Despise not honors, fame, or pelf. 
For you may yet be Judge yourself." 

The Captain sent me no more communications 
of a like nature. 


My Friend : You have recently been appoint- 
ed, and are about to assume the responsibilities, 
of an office the duties of which are much more 
varied and difficult, and the trust of which is of 
much more importance to the pubhc and to your- 
self, than is generally admitted. 

You are to assume the duties of an executive 
officer of criminal law, of the ordinances of a great 
commercial city, and as a conservator of the public 
peace. Your acts will at all times be subject to 
the observation and the animadversion of the 
public, and on the stand-point where you com- 
mence, and the course which you pursue, depends 
not only much of the welfare of the community in 
which you move, but the credit of the department 
to which you belong, and your o^\^^ success as an 
officer and a man. 

At the commencement, do not forget that in this 
business your character is your capital. Deal hon- 
orably with all persons, and hold your word sacred, 
no matter when, where, or to whom given. K 



you are entrusted with the care of a beat, do not 
play the loafer on it by lounging in doorways or 
on corners, or leaning against lamp-posts, but 
patrol your district continually ; make it } our busi- 
ness to know what is doing on every part of it, as 
far as practicable, without unnecessary interfer- 
ence ; let no person or circumstance escape your 
notice, and be able at all times to give information 
respecting any circumstance of importance occur- 
ring thereon. Learn the people residing or doing 
business on your beat ; protect their j)i'operty ; 
make yourself useful, and aid them in all their 
lawful pursuits, and by an upright and straight- 
forward course, and a close attention to duty, en- 
deavor to merit the good will of all good citizens. 
You know not how soon you may need their aid, 
and their favor will add much to your power and 
influence to do good. But in the pursuance of 
your duties, as much as possible avoid laying your- 
self under special obligation to any one ; let your 
services rather place others under an obligation to 
you. You know not how soon your duties may 
peremptorily demand that you act in opposition to 
some individual interest. 

Lend a willing car to all complaints made to you 
in your official capacity ; the most unworthy liave 
a right to be heard, and a word of comfort to the 
afflicted, or of advice to the erring, costs you 
nothing; and may do much good. 


In ordinary cases, if you find yourself in a posi- 
tion not knowing exactly what to do, better do too 
little than too much ; it is easier to excuse a mod- 
erate course tlian an overt act. But if an act of 
great violence has been committed, secure the 
offender the first possible moment ; delay increases 
his chance of escape ; there are always plenty of 
willing hands to care for the party he may have 

Whenever it is necessary to make an arrest, and 
you attempt to do it, dont fail ; but use no more 
force than is necessary to protect yourself and 
secure your man. 

If you have a prisoner in custody, heep him before 
you^ do not trust him behind ; he might escape, or 
he might injure you, and, besides, bystanders 
might mistake you for the criminal, being in his 
place. If an arrest is necessary, so is care and 

A warrant directed to the Police Officers of the 
Citi) of Boston^ may be executed by you, none other. 
Such a warrant legally carries you through any 
door within your precinct where the offender may 
really be ; but before executing any warrant, read 
it, and see what are its directions and requh-e- 
ments ; and when executed, have your prisoner at 
court at its first sitting, never omitting to make 
your return on your warrant over your own official 
sii2:nature, else vou have made a false arrest, and 
may be held liable. 


The offences for which persons may be legally 
arrested without a warrant, are, felony (crime pun- 
ishable in State's Prison), assault and battery in 
your presence^ persisting in disturbing the peace, 
and drunkenness. Simple larceny is not included 
in the statute, but common practice will, I think, 
justify an officer in taking a person charged with 
that crime to the Station House, for the direction 
of his captain. Other cases may occur, which will 
require much good judgment and discretion to 
determine what is proper. 

If you are called to the witness-stand, give in 
your evidence clearly and distinctly, but as briefly 
as the whole facts can be stated. On no account 
let any personal feeling creep into your testimony, 
nor ever disgrace yourself in the eyes of the court, 
or prejudice your case, by a show of malice, or an 
attempt to color the facts ; and never give as one 
reason that you made an arrest, that " he was saucy.'' 

No officer can be successful or efficient in the 
execution of his duties, unless he understands the 
requu'ements of the laws and ordinances. Spare 
no pains in posting yourself in these matters ; rec- 
ollect that by vktue of your police warrant, you 
can only serve a criminal process. Every Police 
Officer should be familiar with the law or ordi- 
nance he is to execute, and he should also know 
enough of the civil law to distinguish between the 


Visit the courts as often as practicable, and make 
yourself f^imiliar with theii' rules and practices, 
that when called as a witness, you may not appear 
a stranger. 

Carry with you at all times a memorandum-book, 
and let it contain some record relative to your 
duties every day ; it will be of great value as a 

Let promptness mark all your acts ; don't be the 
last man at roll-call, or at your post of duty, nor 
leave your post without orders ; and never keep a 
person waiting for you one moment after the ap- 
pointed time. 

In whatever duty you engage, set your mind and 
your face to the work, and while on duty, never 
suffer yourself to appear like an. idle spectator. 
Make promptness a rule for yourself, and require 
it of others. 

School youtself on all occasions to keep perfectJif 
cool ; maintain a perfect control of temper, come 
W'hat will : one thaf can govern himself, can con- 
trol others. Never degrade your position by plac- 
ing yourself on a level with a drunken man or a 
man in a passion, by suffering his abuse to get you 
in a passion also. 

Remember that in your official duties, you are 
continually and eminently exposed to the ten thou- 
sand snares and temptations in city life. I charge 
you, as you value the character of the Department 


to which you belong, as you value your own char- 
acter and happiness, and the fondest hopes of your 
friends, beware^ he ever on your guard ; " be not de- 
ceived, nor led into temptation." Select your 
associates with care. " A man is known by the 
company he keeps ; " you will learn to so judge 
others, and others will so judge you. 

Treat all persons kindly ; avoid discussion in 
politics ; pay your honest debts, and lay up what 
you can spare for a sick-day. And, finally, in 
whatever duties you engage, either in public or 
private life, let all your acts be guided by a 
common-sense view of men and things that sur- 
round you. 

I might say more, but should I, you would still 
have to go out and learn your duty. 


The opening of the spring of 1863 witnessed 
the renewal of hostilities between the loyal and the 
seceding States with redoubled vigor. The last 
session of the Congress of the United States, in 
anticipation of this event, had clothed President 
Lincoln with extraordinary powers to meet the 
emergency by passing the so-called Conscription 
Act, for drafting men for three years or during the 

Early in June, under this law, the President 
issued his proclamation, calling for three hundred 
thousand men. The enrolment was to consist of 
two classes, — first, those between the ages of 
eighteen and thirty-five, and all unmarried men 
between thirty-five and forty-five ; the second class 
comprised all married men between the ages of 
thirty-five and forty-five, — the first class to be ex- 
hausted by the draft before the second were to be 

In this law various exemption clauses were pro- 
vided, among which was the commutation fee, 


whereby the drafted man was entitled to exemption 
on the payment of three hundred dollars. 

It has ever been a difficult task to please every- 
body where life or money is at stake ; and where 
partisanship is in any way involved in the case, the 
undertaking is much more difficult ; but whether 
this was a case in point, I shall not stop to argue. 
One fact is patent, however, there was much oppo- 
sition to the draft even in Massachusetts, and the 
three hundred dollar commutation clause was a 
theme for many an eloquent animadversion. 

However, Provost Marshals were appointed in 
the several congressional districts in all the loyal 
States, who, with their assistants, were to supervise 
and execute the enrolment and draft under the 
dhection of a Provost Marshal General. 

The quota of Massachusetts amounted to some- 
thing over eighteen thousand men, of which Boston 
was to furnish about thirty-three hundred. The 
head-quarters of the Provost Marshal, comprising 
the southern wards, E,oxbury, and Brookline, was 
at No. 22 Summer Street,, and that of the northern 
wards, Cambridge, Chelsea, and Winthrop, were 
at No. 106 Sudbury Street. At the former. Mar- 
shal George A. Shaw ; at the latter, Marshal 
William G. Howe. 

The marshals immediately commenced to canvass 
their districts, and on the eighth day of July fol- 
lowing the enrolment was completed, and drafting 
commenced in Boston. 


The names and residence of those belonging to 
the first class were placed in an octagonal, or cir- 
cular globe, revolving by a crank. 

After several revolutions of the wheel by one of 
the assistants, another, who stood by blindfolded, 
thrust his hand into a slide door at the top of the 
wheel and drew forth one ticket, which he held 
up and passed to another assistant, w^ho, after read- 
ing the name aloud, passed it over to the clerk, 
when the name and residence were recorded, and 
the man whose name was on the card was elected. 

In this manner the draft was proceeded with 
day after day, till, as was supposed, a sufficient 
number of names had been drawn to fill the quota, 
allowing an excess of fifty per cent to make up 

Many spectators were present, all seemingly 
deeply interested in this new kind of lottery ; and 
when one who was present chanced to draw some- 
thing more than a blank, he would immediately 
receive the hearty cheers of the bystanders, and 
start off, if not quite satisfied, yet apparently con- 
vinced that life is a lottery, and it is not always the 
most fortunate that draws the prize. 

So far as /Joston was concerned, there was yet 
no ii.dication of a design to interfere with the 
draft, although some persons in high places spoke 
of the conscription as unconstitutional, unjust, and 
oppressive, and others avowed their determination, 



if drafted, to neither go, pay, nor furnish a sub- 

On the 14th of July, the draft for the Boston 
districts was completed, and the assistants were 
sent out to notify those whose names had been 
drawai to appear at the Marshal's Office and un- 
dergo the surgical examination. 

At this time, and for about two days previous, a 
most fearful riot had been raging in New York 
city, got up and carried on by those opposed to the 
draft in that locality, with a most fearful sacrifice 
of life and property ; and there began to appear 
certain indications that the same dreadful contagion 
lay hidden beneath the surface in our own city. 
The fact that the mob were in the ascendent in 
New York, which was loudly heralded through 
the streets in the hourly newspaper issues, by no 
means served to allay the turbulent spmt here, 
which was fast ripening for action. 

About one o'clock in the afternoon of this day, 
two assistant Provost Marshals from the Fourth 
District were distributing their notices in Prince 
Street near the Gas Works, and went into a house 
to serve a notice. The woman supposing they had 
come to take her husband away, followed the 
marshals into the street, hurling at their heads 
every article within her reach, and screeching like 
a raving maniac. In an instant the street was 
filled with infuriated men and women, each vieing 


with the other in revenging their imaginary 
■wrongs. The two officers were set upon, bruised 
and beaten in a most inhuman manner, barely es- 
caping with their lives. Several citizens, also, 
who attempted to reason with the mob, were badly 
injured, and a store at the junction of Endicott and 
Charlestown streets, through which the assistant 
marslials succeeded in making their escape, was 
damaged and robbed. 

This was the commencement of a scene such as 
has not been witnessed in Boston since it became 
a city. At the fu-st alarm several policemen, who 
were on duty on their respective beats in the 
neighborhood, immediately hurried to the scene of 
disorder ; but their presence only excited the mob, 
who immediately commenced an onslaught, and 
the officers, being but few in number, and arriving 
at opposite points, made but a sorry show with the 
several hundred madmen that filled the streets. 

Several officers from Stations No. One and No. 
Two were struck down, and so severely hurt that 
for many days their lives were despaired of, and 
others were materially injured ; in fact, all the 
officers present only escaped death on the spot in 
consequence of the anxiety of the mob on the out- 
side to press into the centre, literally forcing away 
those who were dealing death-blows on their fallen 
victims, thereby themselves defeating their own 
object, and giving the officers an opportunity to 


crawl away with what little of life remained, the 
enraged mass in their progress overrunning and 
trampling under foot many of their own number, 
without regard to age or sex. 

Whsn the rioters had lost sight of the officers, 
they ran howling through the streets like so many 
demons, in quest of some object on which to vent 
their fury, and meeting with nothing seemingly 
worthy their notice, a large number headed for the 
Hanover Street Station House, and in a few mo- 
ments a mass of many hundreds were crowded 
together in that locality ; but as no one was in 
custody, and nothing appearing there to furnish 
fuel for the fiamp, they offered no violence. The 
violent exercise so lately indulged in, the day being 
hot, might also have had its influence in cooling 
their ardor. 

The whole transaction as above narrated prob- 
ably occupied not more than twenty minutes, and 
word immediately came to the Central Office of 
what had transpired. 

The news was not wholly unexpected, but it 
was not looked for so soon ; anticipation of trouble 
had been entertained when arrests began to be 
made of conscripts for non-appearance after being 
duly notified ; but we had not got to that. How- 
ever, the moment the news came, an order calling 
together the police of the Second Station was 
given, and the writer, who was at the time in 


charge of the Central OfRce, started for the North 
End. On reachino: the Station House in II mover 
Street, he found a collection of some two thousand 
persons, of all ages and sexes, standing in the 
streets, but they Avere perfectly quiet, strikingly so. 
There were some dozen officers at the Station 
House, but no person had been arrested, neither 
was there any apparent cause for the gathering. 
The writer had been in charge of that Station for 
several years, and the crowd being principally 
North End people, he was probably known to a 
greater part of those present, and he took the op- 
portunity to go out upon the steps and say to those 
present that no one was in custody at that House ; 
there was no cause for excitement or alarm, and 
earnestly begged of them to retire quietly to 
their homes or places of business. But it was 
like talking to trees ; the crowd listened in silence, 
and some near by would step back a few paces, 
but it did not number one less, while the indication 
of those upturned faces seemed to forebode no 

The writer then left the steps and passed quietly 
among the people, speaking with many that he 
knew ; but he soon learned for a fact, what he had 
before suspected, that very many were armed with 
various weapons. This, together with the general 
appearance of the crowd, what they had already 

done, with now and then a suppressed threat that 
so* . 


met the ear, but too plainly indicated that there 
was " mischief in the meal" and there was no time 
to lose in preparing for it. To attempt to clear 
the streets with the force at hand was worse than 
useless ; ten or twelve men could not control the 
hundreds there collected, with the temper they 
plainly possessed, and to attempt and fail, would 
likely be a signal for a general outbreak ; we were 
not ready for that. If there was no excuse offered 
the outbreak would not likely occur till favored by 
the darkness of night ; that would give time to pre- 
pare. But should the Police suffer that crowd to have 
exclusive possession of the streets that afternoon with- 
out an effort? After consulting with the captain 
of the Station, the writer started for Station No. 
2, in Court Square, for more officers, with a deter- 
mination to clear those streets at all hazards. But 
he was not to go alone, and at least fifteen hundred 
of every age and sex (there was little diversifj/ of 
color) formed a most uncouth escort up Hanover 
Street, without, however, offering any abuse save a 
continued round of shouts, half complimentary and 
half defiant. 

The company was none too pleasant, but it 
effected a most desirable object little calculated on 
at the start, namely, successfully removing the 
crowd from the Hanover Street Station House, 
and which superseded the necessity of returning 
with a force from Station No. 2. The mob, 


however, or at least a part of them, followed to 
Court Scjuare ; but that locality soon grew a little 
uncomfortable for them, and quiet was restored 
for the time. 

It was now nearly two o'clock. His Honor the 
Mayor, the Chief of Police, and members of the 
City Government were at once fully aware of the 
responsibilities resting on them, and from that mo- 
ment no one was idle. It was well known that a 
lawless mob were at that moment bidding defiance 
to law and order in the city of New York. Were 
Ave to have its counterpart in our own city, and 
not be prepared to meet it "? 

Our Police force were immediately prepared for 
their work, and armed with weapons suitable for 
the occasion. Fire-alarm bell signals were so 
arranged as to call the whole Police force, or any 
part thereof, to either part of the city ; sentinels 
were placed at various points, and scouts to all 
parts of the city were passing to and fro from the 
Central Office. Officers were patrolling every part 
of the city, ready to pass the word if any disturb- 
ance occuiTed, and the whole force were ready for 
duty. Nor was this deemed sufficient. Orders 
were immediately issued by the flavor to call out 
the State Military, who were ordered to be in 
readiness at their Armories without delay, and a 
detachment of Regulars, numbering about one liun- 
di'ed and seventy-five men, were also sent up from 
Fort Warren. 


It was nearly three o'clock p. m. when the first 
step of preparation was taken ; at six o'clock the 
authorities were ready for any emergency. 

The crowd of persons that gathered at the north 
part of the city early in the afternoon, did not en- 
tirely disperse after leaving the Hanover Street 
Station House, but were seen in squads at different 
points in that part of the city ; but no further out- 
break occurred during the afternoon. 

No arrests had been made of those engaged in 
the riot in Prince or Endicott Street, for the reason 
that no identification of the guilty parties could 
then be made, the officers being too seriously in- 
jured to leave their beds, and citizens who knew, 
Qot daring to open their lips. 

At six o'clock the military companies of the city 
had quietly repaired to their respective Armories, 
one by one, and every Police officer was at his post. 

It was the design of the City Government to 
make no unnecessary display, and to pursue no 
course that could be construed into a menace 
which might add fuel to the flame, but to be pre- 
pared to crush at a blow any demonstration that 
could be made, no matter at what point or how 
formidable ; but they were prepared none too well 
or too soon, as the sequel will show. 

About seven o'clock in the evening, the Regulars 
from Fort Warren came down Hanover Street, 
leaving a detachment at the Armory in Marshal 


Street, and passed with the remainder dovra. Salem 
and Cooper Street, Avithout music, so as not to 
attract a crowd. On theh* arrival at Cooper, that 
street was densely filled with an excited mob, 
armed witli pistols, clubs, paving-stones, bricks, 
and otli(>r missiles; but the military steadily pro- 
ceeded to the Gunhousc, where a Battery was 
already in quarters. 

The Regulars had hardly reached the Gun- 
house, when a perfect shower of missiles were 
hurled at them and the building. Sidewalks were 
torn up by the rod by women and children, and 
carried forward to men and boys in front, and the 
mob commenced a siege in good earnest. Various 
persons in the streets who had been attracted by 
the tumult, were knocked dowTi and severely 
beaten, the Rioters seeming to be determined that 
none but their own gang should remain in the 
neighborhood. A Lieutenant of the Battery, who 
arrived alone just after the Regulars had entered 
the Gunhouse, was struck down, trampled under 
foot, and dragged out towards Endicott Street for 

When the Battery entered the Gunhouse, 
which was as early as six o'clock, the commander 
had requested a Police officer of the Fu'st Station, 
who lived near by, to stand at the North Margin 
Street door of the Gunhouse, which was open, and 
allow no citizen to pass. The officer remained at 



this door till about the time of the assault on the 
Lieutenant of the Battery. The mob having col- 
lected on the Cooper Street side, where the Reg- 
ulars entered, when the Lieutenant was attacked, 
some one informed the Police officer, and he 
communicated the information to the military 
commander inside the Armory, who immediately 
dispatched a Lieutenant with a file of men to go 
out and rescue the Lieutenant. About^this time 
the outside on North Margin Street began to grow 
a little warm, and the Police officer, with his 
father, an elderly gentleman, who had been stand- 
ing near, both stepped inside the Gunhouse. The 
Lieutenant and his command at once left the 
house, by the North Margin Street door, and 
charged round into Cooper towards Endicott Street, 
where they found the Lieutenant of the Battery 
lying senseless in the gutter. They took him up 
and attempted to return ; but the mob had filled 
in the rear so densely and determined, that the sol- 
diers were obliged to charge on them with fixed 
bayonets, to again reach North Margin Street, on 
their way back to the Gunhouse. As the military 
filed into North INIargin Street, the mob made a 
furious attack on the rear with bricks, stones, 
clubs, and a ])lcntiful discharge of pistols. The 
attack was so furious that the Lieutenant ordered 
his men to wheel and fire, to preserve their own 
safety. This only seemed to increase the fury of 


the assailants, and they hcing apparently well 
armed, and vastly superior in numbers, the Lieu- 
tenant thought prudent to retire inside the Gun- 
house as soon as possible. 

As soon as the military were under cover, the 
mob seemed to feel that they had gained the 
ascendency, and renewed the attack on the Gun- 
house, on the Cooper Street side, with redoubled 
fury. Every window and some of the doors in the 
lower part of the house were soon broken, and the 
mob were improving all opportunities to fixe upon 
those inside, through the broken doors and win- 
dows ; but there were preparations made by the 
military that the assailants outside had not counted 
on. These were held in reserve till urged forward 
by the most pressing necessity. When the com- 
mand of the Lieutenant retired inside, two brass 
field-pieces were brought forward and manned, 
one at the Cooper Street door, which was closed 
and barred, the other at the North Margin Street 
door, which was still -open. Both were charged to 
meet any emergency, and flanked by the inftmtry, 
with loaded Springfields. In a few moments the 
Rioters had demolished all but the double door on 
the Cooper Street side, and those heavy oak doors 
were fast giving way. It was supposed to be the 
intention of the mob to storm the house, secure 
the firearms, and turn them upon whoever might 
interfere with their progress. In that emergency 


there seemed to be but one course for the mUitary 
to pursue ; at any rate self-defence was justifiable, 
and at this moment this was the only question at 
issue, and that, to be effectual, must be acted upon 
without delay. The commander was not long in 
forming a determination, and just as the Cooper 
Street door was giving way, the order was given to 
the Artillery men to fii-e, and a brass cannon SAvept 
all before it. The mass of human beings outside 
surged back ; but they soon recovered, and came 
rushing forward again ; but they were promptly 
met by powder and minnie ball in such profusion 
that they again fell back, and sullenly retii'ed from 
the near locality of the door for the time. At the 
time the Police officer and his father retired inside 
the Gunhouse, they both stood for a moment near 
the North Margin Street door ; but as soon as the 
cannon were placed in position, by the advice of 
his son, the old gentleman went over upon the 
back or west side of the room, where some soldiers' 
were standing, as a place of safety. His son last 
saw him, alive, standing there ; he was on the left 
of three soldiers, facing the Cooper Street door, 
and was noticed and spoken to by one of them. 
He was unwittingly standing just in range of a 
front window and side door, both of which had 
been broken in, and at that point he was shot by a 
ball entering his body near the left breast and 
coming out under and just back of his right arm. 


He fell dead at the feet of the soldiers. This 
was a few moments before the cannon were dis- 

The dead man was immediately taken up by the 
soldiers, and removed upstairs, with others who 
had been wounded in the fray, where he was rec- 
ognized by his son. 

A\'ord was imm.ediately conveyed by a messenger 
to the Central Office, but the extent of the difficulty 
was not then fully known. A posse of Police, 
however, were forthwith sent to Cooper Street, 
under the charge of a competent officer ; but on 
arriving in the neighborhood, and learning the true 
state of affairs, he reported back to the Central 
Office. AVhile making his report, a scout arrived 
brinmnij intcllijjcnce that the cannon had been dis- 
charged in Cooper Street, and the mob were head- 
ing up town. While he was speaking, a second 
messenger reported the mob rushing up Salem 
and Endicott Street, cr}ing out, " To Dock Square, 
bof/s — to Read's Store! Well give'' em New York!" 
&c. The idea at once occurred that they were 
rushing to the hardware stores, for fii'earms and 
ammunition. The officer who was first sent out 
was ordered to proceed at once, with all the Police 
force at hand, and clear Dock Square at all haz- 
ards ; and then came the ominous sound of the 
alarm bells throughout the city, eleven strokes 
three times repeated. At seven o'clock the assault 



on the Cooper Street Armory was commenced b\ 
the Rioters ; at eight o'clock the field-piece was 
discharged ; at fifteen minntes past eight the signal 
alarm was given ; and in less than fifteen minutes 
more Mayor Lincoln, at the head of the Cavalry 
and Infantry, was on his way from Court Square to 
the scene of disorder. 

The Police who had been sent to Dock Square 
were doing their work nobly ; they reached the 
Square before the Rioters had much time to secure 
arms or ammunition. For a time they were strug- 
gling against fearful odds in numbers, but the alarm 
bells brought reinforcements in a few moments. 

The Rioters had reached several stores in Dock 
Square, where they demolished doors and windows, 
and secured a small quantity of firearms ; but they 
were rushed upon by the Police, who were well 
armed, and driven from the stores. 

Another gang had attacked a store in Faneuil 
Hall Square, where a large quantity of arms was 
known to be kept; but here they met with no 
better success, being there also furiously attacked 
by the Police. Although most of the mob beat a 
retreat when they were met with powder and ball, 
yet there were some master spirits who stood their 
ground, and fought desperately. One man, who 
had a musket, cried out to his fellows, " Don't run, 
like cowards, but let us give the dam' Yankees 
hell ! " lie discharged his piece at one of the 


ofTiccrs, and tlion witli his musket clubbed, rushed 
upon liim. lie however missed his aim, and broke 
the breach of his piece on the sidewalk ; he struck 
again, and bent the barrel of his piece over the 
officer's head. lie received one bullet in his arm, 
and another in his head, before he w\is arrested, 
and fought desperately after that. He was after- 
wards recognized as a ringleader at Charlestown, 
Endicott, and Prince Streets, early in the afternoon, 
and also at Cooper Street, in the early part of the 

Another ringleader was also arrested near Dock 
Square, about tlje same time, who was brandishing 
a large knife, and boasting of his daring deeds 
during the evening. But few arrests, however, 
■were made at that time, the Kioters being so 
strong in numbers that the Police could hardly 
afford to diminish their own force to carry off 

The military force, headed by the Mayor and 
Chief of Police, reached Dock and Paneuil Hall 
squares soon after the affray between the Police 
and the mob, and the Rioters were driven from 
that locality, the military holding possession till 
next day. 

At about half past twelve o'clock, a fire alarm was 
sounded in District No. One, — the Cooper Street 
Armory had been fired. Previous to this, the 
military from this place had removed their arm- 


ament to Dock Square ; the dead and wounded 
had been removed to more convenient and proper 
places, and the house had been closed ; but the 
incendiary had applied his torch in the rear of the 
building, and the flames were beginning to make 
headway. Four Police officers, however, were 
immediately on the spot, broke in at the door of 
the Armory, and commenced to extinguish the 
flames. They were immediately attacked with 
bricks, stones, and pistol-shots by those still lurk- 
ing in the neighborhood ; but these compliments 
were returned with such promptness and vigor 
that the assailants, who were not now in large 
numbers, and who had been treated to a like enter- 
tainment on the same ground earlier in the eve- 
ning, thought it prudent to retire, leaving the 
officers to turn their attention to the fire, which 
they kept in check till the fii-e department arrived. 

The names of these brave and determined men, 
who, at the risk of their lives, prevented a confla- 
gration on that already fearful night, should be 
given here ; but where so many officers merit so 
much as was really due them for that night's ser- 
vice, the names of all cannot be given, and justice 
seems to forbid a distinction. 

Although the organization, if there was one, had 
been substantially broken at Dock Square and 
elsewhere during the evening, yet fragments were 
still lurking about the streets, evidently bent on 


mischief, and the Police and military were con- 
stantly on the alert. 

About two o'clock in the morning, word came 
to the Central Office that an attack was to be made 
on the property of a worthy citizen at the extreme 
north part of the city. Although these reports 
were numerous during the night, it was deemed 
prudent that none of them be unheeded, and in 
this case a squad of Police was despatched to that 
point. They arrived none too soon to prevent the 
mischief intended ; the attempt was made, but the 
military soon reinforced the Police, and the attack 
resulted in breaking a few panes of glass, the 
waste of a few rounds of ammunition, a few broken 
heads, and the arrest of another ringleader. This 
was the last effort made by that mob, so powerful 
in numbers, so determined in its action, so fear- 
ful in its intentions. 

Among the many who were on that night, and 
subsequently, arrested for participating in the riot, 
were five ringleaders, who were charged with the 
murder of a citizen at the Cooper Street Armory, 
on the well-established principle of law, that where 
persons acting in concert commit a crime, each is 
responsible for the act committed by either of the 
others. These five were held for trial without 
bail ; their names are a matter of record in the 
courts, and I have no desire to harrow up the feel- 
ings of their friends by repeating them here. 



Taking into account the great number of persons 
engaged in this riot, the fury and determination 
that seemed at all points to pervade their ranks, 
the amount of property destroyed was compar- 
atively small, but the sacrifice of life was much 
more fearful. 

Of those who suffered in defending life and 
property, and in the preservation of the peace, 
were two men in the service of the General Gov- 
ernment, seven in the service of the city, two or 
three of the military ; and a number of unoffend- 
ing citizens were severely beaten and otherwise 
seriously injured, and one quiet, worthy old man 
was shot dead. But the destruction of life among 
the Rioters will ever remain shrouded in mystery ; 
the public journals subsequently made mention of 
eight that were killed, but it is believed that many 
of the dead were hurried away by their friends, 
whose untimely end was not made known to the 
public ; and it is said by those who had good op- 
portunities to form an estimate, that many more 
than is generally supposed fell victims to their 
own imprudence and folly on that fearful night. 

One instance, which may serve to show the 
spirit of the mob, even before the military had 
shown them any resistance at Cooper Street, is 
worthy of note. 

A gentleman who is universally known in Ward 
One, and who, perhaps, possesses as much influ- 


ence with a majority of the inhabitants there as 
any other one man, was lying on a sick-bed at the 
time the riot commenced in Cooper Street. Ilis 
anxiety was so great that he called his carriage 
and hurried there. On arriving at the Armory he 
was set upon, his carriage upset, himself thrown 
out, and with some difficulty he made his escape 
around the nearest corner. 

Had the authorities known the precise time and 
place the attack was to be made, they might, per- 
haps, have been better prepared to prevent so 
great a sacrifice of life ; but this it was impossible 
to know. Rumors were rife in the afternoon that 
demonstrations were to be made at the Provost 
Marshal's head-quarters at East and at South 
Boston, and at various other places. It seemed 
necessary to be prepared to meet the emergency at 
all points. The Mayor was early at the scene of 
disorder, but the disturbance was so great that he 
could not for one moment be heard, and was 
obliged to give way to save himself from harm. 
The conquest of a mob is ever without limit ; the 
destruction of life and property, fii-e, pillage, and 
carnage, are its legitimate work. The Conscrip- 
tion Riot in the city of New York is an example. 
Nothing but force, and that of the most powerful 
character, can arrest and stay its progress. Too 
much credit cannot be awarded to the Mayor of 
our city, who so promptly prepared to meet the 


crisis, and to the Chief of Police and others who 
planned, and the men who executed their impor- 
tant trusts on that eventful night. Had either de- 
layed, or faltered in their duties, who can count 
the cost, — who can foretell the consequences 1 
They are, indeed, too fearful for contemplation. 

A confidence in the loyalty and law-abiding 
character of the Boston people might have justified 
an opinion that the unprecedented preparation made 
the afternoon preceding the riot was unnecessary 
and uncalled for ; but the events of the evening 
but too well justified the fears entertained by the 
most timid. 

And if there is anything wanting to show the 
estimation entertained by the citizens of Boston 
towards the worthy Chief Magistrate who so nobly 
stepped forth to protect their lives and property, 
and to preserve the good name of our city in that 
trying hour, I would point to the succeeding mu- 
nicipal Election, in which those very acts of his on 
that occasion were made an issue, and where on 
that issue the people rebuked his opponents by 
giving him a majority of their suffrages, too over- 
whelming to be misunderstood. 

Whether the Conscription Riot in Boston was 
the result of a regular and extensive organization, 
reaching far beyond the limits of our own city or 
State, for the purpose of aiding the Rebellion, or 
whether it was only composed of a combination of 


men limited within the bonnds of Boston and the 
suburban towns, or whether it Avas only a sponta- 
neous outbreak, which is at any time liable to 
happen in all thickly populated places, is a ques- 
tion not well undc^rstood. 

Each position has its advocates, and neither, 
perhaps, are without reasons to sustain their the- 
ory. AVithout attemptinj]^ to offer my own views 
on the subject, it may not be irrelevant to inquire, 
"Why was it that fire, rapine, and murder, were on 
that day laying desolate the hearths and homes of 
peaceable and unoffending citizens in the city of 
New York ? Who were the fiends in human form 
whose hands were then recking in the blood of 
innocent women and children, while the hitherto 
strong arm of the law was powerless to save or 
protect ? 

And who is responsible for these deeds of 
wholesale carnage and murder ? Have not the 
same poisonous seeds been strewn broadcast 
throughout the length and breadth of our land, 
and by the self-same hand ? and what would have 
been the result in our own beloved cit)', had not 
those turbulent spirits been crushed at a blow? 
The subject is too painful for contemplation. 

For several days succeeding the Riot, great fears 
were entertained by many of the citizens that a 
concentrated demonstration would be made at 
some point by the Rioters, and preparations were 


kept up not only in Boston, but also in many of 
the adjoining towns to meet the emergency, nhould 
one arise ; but no further outbreaks occuiTed, 
and for some months Boston was never more quiet 
and orderly. 


Early in the summer of 1863, much interest 
and DO little excitement was manifest throughout 
the Loyal States, in consequence of the Conscrip- 
tion, or Military Draft, which our Government 
found it necessary to resort to in order to fill up 
the thinned ranks of our army. 

But even in good old Massachusetts, there were 
those who so far forgot their duty as men, and 
their loyalty as citizens, as to openly denounce 
the act which was forced upon the Government, 
as unjust, unconstitutional, and imcalled for ; thus 
lending their aid and influence in opposition to the 
measure, and the means of sustaining our cause, 
and putting down the Rebellion. 

This course, so persistently pursued by some of 
our people, naturally produced much discussion 
and no little ill-feeling among those whose interests 
certainly were, and whose principles ought to be 
the same ; and it is a matter of no surprise that he 
who was so hardy as to boldly denounce the Draft, 
should be looked upon with suspicion and distrust 
by all loyal men. 


" Hang the Draft," said I, as I one day emerged 
from my house, with swollen eyes, flushed face, 
and an empty stomach. 

" There is secession for you in good earnest," 
said a large, portly gentleman, who was passing 
my door at the moment, and who stopped and 
gazed me square in the face just as I had relieved 
myself of the odious sentiment. 

He was a man apparently fifty years of age (so 
old as not to be mistaken for under forty-five), and 
the contempt got up in his countenance, for my 
especial benefit, I must confess took me a little 

" I have beard," said he, " that we had seces- 
sionists in our midst, but little did I think to meet 
with so flagrant a specimen of disloyalty in open 
day. Do you know," said he, " that this very 
Draft of which you speak so disgracefully, is what 
has become eminently necessary to save our beloved 
country from desolation and ruin ? Do you know, 
sir, that this measure has become the last resort 
of the good and true men who hold the destinies 
of our Government, to raise troops to put down 
this cursed Hcbellion ? Do you know, sir, that / 
(and here he straightened himself up to his full 
height) would sacrifice mi/ life, mi/ fortune, and my 
sacred honor, in this the cause of my country, and 
that he who is not with us is against us, and that 
you, sir, and all like you, who are not only traitors 


at heart, but stand here and boldly proclaim your 
disloyalty, should crc now have been inmates of 
the prison at Tort Warren, with an Ex-^Iayor 
Brown and a Marshal Kane ? Indeed, sir, I can 
but hope that this very Draft may bring forth your 
own name as a conscript in the cause of which you 
speak so contemptuously." 

" Stop, stop, stop, for heaven's sake, my good 
friend ! " said I, imploringly. " Don't, for pity 
sake, annihilate me, and send me to endless perdi- 
tion, without judge, jury, or benefit of clergy ; and 
don't, don't for mercy's sake, sacrifice your own 
valuable life ; for i/ou^ as well as I, are too old to be 
drafted. Sacrifice your property, sir, if you please, 
but be careful of your honor, sir, for that is an 
article so rare and valuable, that its possessor 
ought not to relinquish it without an eqidvalent. 
But, sir, as you seem to take a deep interest in my 
case, I presume you will do me the justice to listen 
a moment to my side of the question, and if you 
don't eventually come to my way of thinking, I 
will be your willing disciple ever after." 

" Convert me to disloyalty, sir ! " said he, with 
disdain. " Xo, sir, never ! " 

" Hold, hold " said I ; " not too fast ; wait a 
miomcnt, and hear me ; don't condemn me without 
an audience. Perhaps, sii', I am not so disloyal as 
you imagine. People who think alike, sometimes 
quarrel by misunderstanding terms. Now, sir. 


please for one moment listen to my case. You 
see, sir, I live here in this house, and generally 
succeed in living quite comfortable. I have a nice 
little family of a good-natured wife, a fine fat baby, 
and an excellent cook, and we usually find some- 
thing wholesome to eat. This day, sir, I came 
home to dine rather late, with a keen appetite and 
in fond anticipation of masticating a portion of a 
rib of roast beef. Well, sir*, on arriving home, 
imagine my disappointment and chagrin at finding 
babe in convulsions, wife in tears, — cook skedad- 
dled, house full of smoke, and no dinner ; and all 
in consequence of the inefficiency of a new thirty- 
dollar stove I had set up in the morning, the flue 
of which persistently refused to draw. And now, 
sir, if any moral man, or devoted Christian, can 
conscientiously console himself under such circum- 
stances without emphatically denouncing that drafts 
he is a more loyal man than I am." 

The portly gentleman turned on his heel, and 
walked hurriedly down the street. 


Under the administration of City Marshal Tu- 
key, who was truly one of the smartest executive 
officers I ever knew, the Police werq not usually 
overstocked witli information in relation to his 
intended movements. Shrewd and sly in his 
nature, his plans were deep laid and secret. If he 
gloried in any one thing, it was in getting up a 
surprise, which usually proved a siurprise, in fact, 
not only to some unlucky offender, but to the 
public also ; and to his tact in planning, and not 
less to the secrecy with which he managed his 
plans, may be attributed most of his success. 

When Marshal Tukey gave an order, it was 
short, tart, and to the point; every man knew what 
it meant, and no questions were asked. If any 
officer did not obey, it was but a word and a blow, 
and the blow usually took off the delinquent" s head. 

If an officer obeyed orders, be they ever so reck- 
less or at fault, no matter ; the Marshal would back 
him up to his utmost. 

In the year 1851, the day Police under the Mar- 


sTial numbered about forty men ; we reported to 
him at his office at eight o'clock a. m. and two 
o'clock p. M. ; from thence we separated to cover 
our respective beats throughout the city. 

When we assembled at the Office, little Johnny 
Crocker, the clerk, called over our names, and read 
to us any orders or notices there might be. We 
did not usually see the Marshal, who was in an 
adjoining office, unless we had a question to ask, 
or he a special order to give. 

When he had something to say to us, you could 
see his office-door open slowly just before Crocker 
had finished the call, and then that peculiar Roman 
nose and keen black eye of the Marshal's would 
make its appearance. Then came the order, short 
and quick, and he was gone, — and so were we too^ 
very shortlij. There are yet a few who will recol- 
lect this picture, but very few of that forty are 
Policemen now. 

One morning in the month of March this year, 
the Marshal made his appearance at the door, and 
in a low voice gave the following order: " Officers 
north of City Hall, will pass the north end of the Court 
House every hour while on duty ; officers south, will 
pass through School Street same ; no questions asked 
or answered ; " — and the Police dispersed. The 
nearest part of my beat was a mile from the Court 
House, and the twelve hours which we were on 
duty made me twenty-four miles travel. The 


reader can judge how much time I spent on tlie 
beat, for if I had been within reach of a " crock of 
gold," I shoukl have k^ft it to conform to the order. 
Day after day I travelled the ground o\er till I 
was actually ashamed to be seen, and I went every 
different route that was open till I felt that I had 
worn them all out. I often met and passed my 
brother officers, who were on the same mysterious 
errand, and I could read in their eye what seemed 
to say, what the d — 1 does all this mean ; but we 
all remembered the order, " no questions asked or 
answered," so we passed each other in silence. 

Some two weeks passed away without any coun- 
termand, and we began to think this was to be 
regular duty, when one morning (it was the third 
day of April), I came by the north end of the 
Court House, as usual, where I was met by a smart, 
good-natured little fellow, who belonged to the 
Office, and who the Marshal familiarly called Es- 
quire. He told me to go quietly to the Office, at 
which place the whole force congregated within 
the hour, and where the long pent-uj) secret was 
soon disclosed. 

Thomas Semmes, a colored man, was in custody 
at the Court House, and was to be tried on charge 
of being a fugitive slave, belonging to a Mr. Potter, 
in Savannah, Georgia. 

This was a new order of things to us, and 
although the whole military force was at the com- 



mand of the Government, it was deemed expedient 
to substitute the Police for guarding the prisoner 
and preserving the peace. 

Semmes had been arrested by two officers of our 
department the night previous in Cooper Street, 
and had made rather careless use of a very ugly 
looking knife which he carried, and he gave one 
of the officers rather an ugly looking mark in the 
hip ; but he was in safe quarters now. Semmes 
was about twenty-two years old, medium size, and 
black as ebony. His master had taught him the 
brickmaker's trade, and had (it was said) made 
provisions for him to purchase his freedom, which 
his brother had already done, and which he could 
do in about two years ; but, like some men of 
different color, Tom was reckless, and took to 
gaming and strong drink, and besides, he had an 
idea that he had as good a right to himself as any- 
body, and so ran away, came to Boston, and took 
up quarters in Richmond Street. 

Here Tom took up his old trade of gambling 
and drinking, got into a quarrel with another 
darkie about a white woman, who gave information 
to his master, and poor Tom got arrested. While 
in charge of the officers during trial, which lasted 
nine days, he proved himself worthy the reputation 
he had gained in Richmond Street, for he could 
smoke and drink his keepers blind drunk (of 
course, I do not mean to say he did that) ; but it 

roLici: ia:('(jLLECTioNS. 


was hinted that Tom liad plenty of small bits of 
change, which he obtaiaed by some process with 
cards, and one day I saw him take three dollars on 
a bet that he could take a man's vest off from 
under the coat and leave the coat on. However, 
we green hands had little chance to lose our money 
with liini, as we were posted outside. I, for one, 
stood on a flat rock at the north end of the Court 
House twelve hours a day, and on the same sub- 
stance inside six hours a night, each twenty-four 
hours, and slept on the soft side of a pine board 
the other six, for nine days. I wished the black 
rascal had stayed at home, or kept dark in Richmond 
Street; and I have since sometimes wished that 
some fellows who have obtained Police appoint- 
ments on account of ill health or laziness, had the 
chance I then enjoyed. 

Well, after it became pretty certain that Semmes 
was to be sent back, the Police began to drill for 
the expected occasion. As good luck would have 
it, we had one man in the Department who "un- 
derstood military." He was a tall, athletic fellow, 
familiarly known as " Captain Sam," and when 
standing at the head of his Battalion of Police 
braves, with his hat a little on one side, a big quid 
in his jaws, " eyes right ; " thunder, was n't he the 
beau ideal of bravery. Then to make the thing 
more imposing, each officer was furnished with a 
mariner's cutlass, and after we had taken a march 


througli Pemberton Square, and a dog trot three 
times around the Court House, our discipHne was 
considered perfect, and we were ready for the fray. 

At length all necessary arrangements were com- 
plete, and on the twelfth day of April, about four 
o'clock in the morning, Semmes, in the centre of a 
hollow square of armed Police, hailed by shouts 
from numerous boys, and groans from various 
other sources, was marched unmolested down State 
Street to the foot of Long Wharf, where he em- 
barked on board of the Schooner Acron, Captain 
Coombs, for his native home in Savannah. 

The Police, like true citizen soldiers, surren- 
dered up the sword — for the rattan^ and quietly 
returned to duty on their beats, wondering, in the 
innocence of their hearts, how one man could own 


Those who made a practice of visiting our crim- 
inal courts for several years previous to the year 
1857, will well recollect a slender-formed, thin- 
faced, gray-hau*ed man who was in almost daily 
attendance about the prisoners' dock, apparently 
quite busy in endeavoring to aid and assist some 
poor unfortimate man, or woman whose misfor- 
tunes or mistakes had led them into the meshes of 
the law. 

Indeed, so common were this gentleman's visits 
in the courts, that he came to be considered almost 
one of the fixtures ; and as the hirjher law had set 
the example of pro\-iding a scapegoat for a cer- 
tain class of offenders, our courts were sometimes 
thought inclined to imitate that precedent by admit- 
ting criminals to bail, occasionally taking this gen- 
tleman as surety for their reappearance. It was 
sometimes called straw bail. 

This course was pursued by our friend, till at 
length he became universally known as a philan- 
thropist, and generous individuals frequently fur- 


nished him with means wherewith to aid the erring 
and unfortunate, and also placed at his disposal a 
ine horse and chaise for his accommodation on 
numerous errands about the city and vicinity. 
Who that does not remember to have seen his 
sleek bay horse and silver-mounted chaise and 
harness, standing by the curbstone in front of the 
dwelling of some unfortunate brother or sister, 
while he was inside on some errand of business or 
mercy 1 

Some evil-disposed persons might have said that 
his visits were sometimes prolonged to an unneces- 
sary length, and others that he bailed out the 
victims of dissipation and licentiousness, for a con- 
sideration ; but what man ever lived whose good 
acts and kind motives were not misconstrued or 
misrepresented "? However, it was all the same to 
him, and, happen what would, he still pursued the 
even tenor of his way. 

Our friend must have seen much of the shadi/ 
side of life, and he was a pretty close observer of 
human nature. He also had a little brass in his 
composition, and was one of the coolest men under 
adverse circumstances in court or out of it, that I 
ever saw. . 

I recollect a circumstance that seemed to me a 
test of this characteristic of the man. 

I was one day called, in my official capacity, to go 
into a house not particularly noted for respectabil- 


ity, where T found my friend the worthy philanthro- 
pist, most patiently submitting to the most intermin- 
able kissing by one of the frail sisters, that my eyes 
ever beheld ; and that, too, with the fortitude of a 
martyr. I remained silent till the scene was ended, 
and then ventured to inquire of him if he was aware 
how disgracefully he had been insulted. He looked 
up very calmly, it being the first he was aware of 
my presence, and meekly replied, " Certainly I am ; 
but it did not hurt me." And, upon my soul, I 
could not see that it did. It was his Vay ; and 
although he might sometimes have been imprudent 
in \iew of jealous eyes, yet I really think he did 
some good, and I never knew of his doing any 
hurt. lie has gone to his long home some years 
since, and I really wish there were no worse men 
than he. 

AVhcn he was alive, he used to tell me some 
queer stories of what he had seen and heard, and 
the following is one which I shall denominate- a 
" kid game," for the reason that a certain class of 
'professional gentlemen call a babe a kid. The trans- 
action, so far as he was concerned, took place but 
a short time before his death. 

It so happened that a man and wife who were re- 
siding in Boston, and who at the time were in com- 
fortable circumstances, were childless. This, to 
them, was a matter of much regret, especially on 
the part of the husband ; and in coui'se of time his 


dissatisfaction became so great, that the spouse was 
constrained to put her woman's wits to work to 
remedy the evil ; and in her extremity she decided 
to call in the aid of our philanthropist, whose in- 
genuity and shrewdness was a match for almost any 

Accordingly plans were concocted, and in the 
course of a few months preparations were made in 
the aforesaid family for a coming event. At length 
the plan was fully matured, and one day when the 
husband (manced to be absent, the lady was taken 
convenlentljj ill ; a physician (in the secret) was sent 
for, but before he arrived a covered carriage drove 
up to the door of the sick lady, and a person closely 
enveloped in a cloak alighted and entered the house, 
but immediately returned, reentered the carriage, 
and hurried away. The physician soon came, ap- 
parently attended to his professional duties, and all 
things progressed favorably. 

AVhen the husband came home at night, he found 
himself not only a husband, but the father (as he 
believed) of a most beautiful little cherub, " the very 
picture of its impa" as all the attendants said. 

Of course the event was not altogether unex- 
pected, and the father was one of the happiest of 
men ; and if to lend a hand in making a fellow- 
mortal most innocently happy is worthy of praise, 
no doubt in this case our philanthropist is entitled 
to his full share. Nor was this all ; a certain un- 


married, unfortunate young lady of hii^lily respect- 
able connections, and heretofore unblemished char- 
acter, was relieved of a serious responsibility not 
conveniently accounted or provided for, and our 
friend had added new laurels to his already deeply 
bedecked brow. 

The only difficulty that seemed to arise in the 
whole transaction, was the want of the fount of life 
for the little stranger ; but as that deficiency was 
nothing uncommon, and was readily provided for 
by artificial means, no serious difficulty ensued. 

This was the happy terminus in the matter, so 
far as our friend was concerned ; he did not live to 
witness the sequel, and little did he then know of 
the true character of the party he had so ingeniously 

The lady whom he had so successfully aided might 
have had quite a reasonable excuse for the little 
deception practised upon her liege lord ; but if so, 
this transgression only paved the way for a higher 
and a bolder stroke. 

It seems that the would-be mother, whose moral 
principles proved not to be of the highest order, 
when the child, which was a boy, was but a few 
weeks old, concocted a plan for a further family 
benefit. Accordingly a secret message was trans- 
mitted to a cci'tam profcssionnl gentleman in a neigh- 
boring town, requesting an interview without delay. 
That gentleman, as it proved, being rather an inti- 



mate acquaintance, immediately obeyed the sum- 
mons ; but the result of the interview is not on the 
records ; but rumor had it that a plea of poverty, 
and an additional responsibility to provide for, to- 
gether with a threat of exposure, brought out a 
handsome accommodation of about fifteen hundred 
dollars, which made matters satisfactory. 

As time rolled on, the babe became a sprightly 
child ; but the wife, who had taken so exclusive a 
part in the increase of the family, eventually took 
to her cups, to which the husband also was some- 
what addicted, which did not add to the prosperity 
or the peace of the family. 

One day as she was attempting to correct the 
child, who was now large enough to wear panta- 
lets, the husband interfered ; in the melee the wife 
became highly exasperated, and in her passion she 
boldly declared to the husband that in this child, the 
idol of his heart, not one di'op of blood cuxulating 
in its veins ever belonged to him. Murder will 
out, although the whole truth was not out yet. 
The husband was thunderstruck ; yet little did he 
then think, that the wife was no nearer akin than 

As may be readily supposed, from this day hence- 
forth, the prospects of the family did not improve, 
the wife persistingly declaring to the husband that 
the professional gentleman was the real father of 
the boy. 


The sLibscqucnt condition of the family, and the 
ill-usage of the child, coming to the knowledge of 
a person who knew the real mother, was the cause 
of an afterpiece in the drama. 

It appears that the mother of the child, who, as 
has before been stated, was of highly respectable 
family, and without a blemish of character herself 
except this unfortunate affair, had emigrated to the 
far West, and there became acquainted with and 
married a wealthy young fiirmer, after having in- 
formed him of the true state of the case in relation 
to this child, as far as she knew ; and the marriage, 
so far as is knoA^Ti, was a happy one. 

But a message from a lady of intimate acquaint- 
ance in Boston, setting forth the condition of the 
child, and that there w^as a probability that it must 
be sent to the almshouse, set the mother's heart on 
fire : and, as she was otherwise childless, with the 
consent of her husband she was soon on her way to 

On arri\'ing in the city, with the aid of her 
friend, the mother sought out the parents by adop- 
tion ; but on learning her errand, they thought 
they saw another opening to make money, and 
laid their plans accordingly. Although they had 
threatened the friend of the mother to turn the 
child over to the overseer of the poor, if the real 
mother did not come and take him away, now they 
could not think of parting with the little fellow 


without the payment of a large sum. The mother 
had not come prepared for this, but she was willing 
to part with an}i;hing, yes, everything she had. 
An agreement was finally made that the child 
should be given up to the mother, and she in 
return was to pay all the money she could raise, 
together with all of her jewelry, a gold watch, and 
some other articles of Avearing apparel, everything 
that she could possibly spare. She was to be at 
the house where the child was, at an early hour 
in the evening, the woman pretending that her 
husband was not at home, and that the bargain 
must not be known to him till after it was com- 
pleted and the exchange made. 

At the time appointed the mother repaired to 
the house, with all the valuables she could here 
command, to give in exchange for her child. The 
woman received the consideration, and stooped to 
kiss her little proteg^ as he was about to depart, 
when she gave a loud shriek. The husband im- 
mediately rushed into the room, seized both the 
child and the property, and thrust the frightened 
mother into the street. 

In her distress she came to the police. An 
investigation led to the arrest and detention of the 
guilty parties, and a subsequent examination before 
a legal tribunal. After a careful examination, the 
mother was awarded the custody of her child, and 
with apparently a light heart departed with him for 
her home in the West. 

THI ;»EW TOirr 



,1 -jf 



- i^^'^i 

, -ii.n' ' 




For the last half century the government of the 
tow7i and citj/ of Boston have made an occasional 
effort to build a City Hall, for the want of which 
officials have been accommodated first at Faneuil 
Hall, next at the old Toivn House, and then at the 
. Old Court House, and various hired offices in the 
neighborhood of Court Square. 

At length, in the summer of 1862, the Hon. 
Joseph M. Wightman being Mayor, with his accus- 
tomed energy took the matter in hand, and the 
subject-matter of building a new Hall was fully 
investigated. It was said a New Hall, of sufficient 
magnitude to accommodate all the city officials, 
could be built for one hundred and sixty thousand 
dollars, the interest of which would amount to a 
less sum than that now paid for outside office hire, 
and a vote passed both branches of the City Gov- 
ernment to build. Under the direction of an ap- 
propriate committee, plans and specifications were 
drawn, contracts entered into, and on the morning 
of the twenty-ninth of September, ground was 



broken directly under the office window of the 

The New Hall is rectangular in form, one 
hundred and thirty-eight feet long on the south 
and north fa9ades, and ninety feet wide on the east 
and west facades respectively, having a central 
projection on the south fifty-one and one half feet 
in length, and fourteen and one half feet from 
the wings on a line of the fa9ades ; this brings 
the front up to within seven feet of the pedestal 
on which stands the life-size bronze figure of the 
venerated Franklin. 

The Hall is four stories high on School Street, 
and five on Court Square, with a French roof, 
or Mansard story, the height of the stories being 
from eleven to fourteen and one half feet high, 
the ceiling to the common council chamber carried 
up in the centre to the height of twenty-three 
and one fourth feet. An attic story of square 
form covers the centre projection, forty- three feet 
square and fourteen and one half feet high, and 
on this attic rises a dome thirty-eight feet from 
the top of the mosaic cornice of the building. 

The exterior walls are of granite, and lined 
up with brick work, and the dome iron work 
throughout. (Such was the plan of the build- 
ing, and it was said it would be completed 
during the year 1863 ; but men are mortal, and 'tis 
human to err.) 


At one time ii religious society in a country 
village desired to build a new meeting-house, the 
old one having become dilapidated. After mature 
deliberation, the society, at a meeting called for the 
purpose, adopted the following resolutions : — 

" First. Ixesolved, That we will build a new 

" Second. Resolved, That we will build the new 
house on the site of the old one. 

" Third. Resolved, That we will use the mate- 
rial of the old house in building the new one. 

" Fourth. Resolved, That we will occupy the 
old house till the new one is completed." 

The City Hall Committee vu'tually followed the 
rules above in the fii'st and second resolutions, and 
the third also, as far as the material would go. 
But they furnished most excellent quarters for the 
removed City Officials at Mechanics Hall, with 
few exceptions, and these might as well have re- 
mained under the Fourth Resolve of the meeting- 
house committee. 

I have said that the workmen broke ground 
September 29. The genteel ii-on fence in front of 
the Old Hall, next School Street, and the flowers 
and shrubbery it inclosed, disappeared in a few 
hours, and the whole beautiful little square and 


garden plat were soon one heap of rocks, broken 
bricks, mud, and dirt. 

During the progress of the excavation, many 
things to remind one of other days were brought 
to light; and as the laborers continued their work, 
old wells, water cisterns, cellar walls, chimney 
foundations, and other relics of antiquity came in 

Just in front of the south entrance of the east 
wing of the Old Hall appeared a deep well, 
which was safely covered over, for the protection 
of the tens of thousands who yearly passed over it. 
When or by whom it was built, no one seems to 
know. At the southeast corner, near Niles' Block, 
was an old cistern some fourteen feet deep, appar- 
ently built of brick, the mason work of which 
crumbled to dust on being exposed to air. On the 
opposite corner was another, not so deep or old as 
the first. Here was the foundation of an old engine 
house, and there of what was once Barristers' 
Block. On the western side, in an embankment, 
was s©en the projecting edges of an innumer- 
able number of stones; they were the outside walls 
of the dwellings of the dead, who lived two hundred 
years ago. 

A large sidewalk committee were present daily 
to oiFer their remarks and suggestions free of 
charge, and to see that all things were properly 
done. One day I noticed a venerable-looking old 


gentleman standing near my window, with his 
ardent gaze fixed intently on a point further 
towards School Street. 

" There," said he, with an energy much beyond 
his years, " on that spot stood mi/ old schoolhouse, 
and there I went to school, seventy-two years ago; 
and just over there, it is said, stood the first Boston 
schoolhouse^ where Philemon Pormort taught the 
young Boston idea how to shoot, two himdi-ed and 
twenty-eight years ago." 

Up to Thanksgiving Day, which was on the 27th 
of November, the excavations were continued as 
far as practicable, and the foundation, preparatory 
to placing the corner-stone, which was to be laid on 
Forefathers' Day, had progressed without cessation 
or accident, and in a manner that seemed intended 
to bid defiance to the hand of Time. 

On the afternoon of Thanksgiving Day, business 
was dull, and being alone in the office, I seated 
myself in a chau*, and placing my feet on the 
window-sill, where I could have a good view of 
the spot which has so long been of so much inter- 
est to every Bostonian, I prepared myself to enjoy 
a little meditation. 

" IVIr. Officer," said a voice at my elbow. 

Supposing I was alone, I turned suddenly in the 
direction from whence the voice came, and to my 
great astonishment beheld at my side the figure of 
a most venerable personage, with his deep, dark, 


sunken, eyes fixed intently on me. He was of 
medium stature, and his snow-white beard fell 
gracefully on his breast. His dress was neat, but 
very ancient, such as I had never seen. His coun- 
tenance was grave, and unearthly in expression, 
and although I sat paralyzed beneath his look, yet 
the sensation was not painful. 

" Mr. Officer," said he, with a familiarity that 
puzzled me, " why sittest thou here, gazing out 
upon the ruins before thee, as though it were sacri- 
lege to remove these beautiful handiworks of olden 
time ? Knowest thou not that change is engraven 
on all the works of earth % Knowest thou not that 
these beautiful structures, about being removed, 
were built upon the ruins of other structures, per- 
haps as beautiful, ornamental, and useful as them- 
selves, and that they in turn were reared upon the 
ruins of still others of an earlier date, each in turn 
being the pride and glory of their age % Seest 
thou not these new foundations springing up on 
these ruins of ruins, to make room for which even 
the venerated form of him who tamed the storm 
and made the lightning of heaven subservient to 
his will is set aside, and wise men of the age may 
yet wrangle where his pedestal shall rest ? Hath 
it not been so in all ages? And is it not so 
in the moral, religious, and political, as well as the 
material world 1 

" Am I not the spirit of Philemon Pormort, the 


first Boston schoolmaster, who dwelt and taught on 
this consecrated ground more than two hundred 
years ago, and have I not long witnessed the 
doings of men I Hast thou not read how that 
those who entrusted me with the instruction of 
their children one day^ banished me from my home 
the next, because I claimed justice for my friend the 
good Mr. Wheelwright, who could not embrace all 
the superstitions of his townsmen ? 

" Ilast thou n.ot read how that the people of Bos- 
ton, in my day, tied men and women to the cart-tail, 
and whipped them through the town on account 
of their belief? And how they hanged their 
fellow-men on the limbs of trees on Boston 
Common, and when dead cast their naked bodies 
into the Froj Pond, to become food for dogs and 
vultures, because they were Quakers 1 Such were 
the men who built themselves on the ruined hopes 
and fortunes of Philemon Pormort." 

Seeing I was about to attempt a reply, he slowly 
raised his withered finger, and continued : — 

" Mr. Officer, art not thou in thy profession a 
servant of servants, and is not thy head ever subject 
to the whim or caprice of a master? Then let 
energy with prudence guide thee in duty, — but 
let thy tongue be silent." 

At this moment most unearthly sounds greeted 
my ear, and darkness seemed inclosing the land ; 
cannon were booming, — drums beating, — bells 


tolling, — strange lights were flickering hither and 
thither, and the elements even seemed to join in 
one general commotion ; but Philemon Pormort 
stood unmoved. At length in a calm, prophetic 
voice, he said : — 

" Mr. Officer, hearest thou not this din of ap- 
proaching contention "? Knowest thou not that the 
hand of man is against his brother ] Sir, a crisis 
is approaching, and fearful events are in the future, 
— but the home of Philemon Pormort is with the 
just ; " and he vanished from my sight. 

In my eagerness to catch his last words, I sprang 
from my chair but to realize that I had been 






n '""■^^-r,;^. 

i^ J" ^'^ 




When on duty at the North End, I knew a 
bright-eyed, barefooted, ragged little orphan girl, 
who lived with some people in an alley-way near 
the Old Cockerel Church, whom we used to call 
Little Ragged Nell. Her pitiable story is told in 
the following lines ; would to Heaven it was a 
solitary case. 

Adown the narrow alley- way, 

Where sun doth never shine*, 
Where poverty is doomed to dwell, 

And babes grow up in crime ; 
Where drunken mothers, wantons, thieves, 

These dens of darkness swell ; 
And where, in sorrow and in tears. 

Lives httle rafjfjed Nell. 


No father, mother, kin, or friend ; 

Not one that NeUie knows. 
Will speak a word, or lend a hand. 

To stay the outcast's blows. 
The homeless children, weak and lone, 

To shame and crime they sell ; 
When buds the flower, the buyers come 

For'litde ragged Nell. 


Fair jewels, soon, and gaudy silk, 

Will deck fair Nellie's form ; 
In gilded halls and mazy dance, 

She mingles with the throng. 
Where vice, enshrined in mellow light. 

Tempting the young and fair, 
Bewitching cheat — heartless deceit. 

Wooing but to ensnare. 

Near by this narrow alley- way, 

Where little Nell was bom, 
A church-spire rears in proud display ; 

And on each Sabbath morn, 
The rich meet here to worship God, 

Who " doeth all things well ; " 
But no one feels, or cares, to pray 

For little ragged Nell. 

Oh, would that Christians could but learn 

To labor, well as pray, 
That kindness teaches to return 

Back from the sinful way. 
Oh, if our preachers all would teach 

The people how to live ; 
And to the vile and suffering preach, 

And words of comfort give. 

Then might the earth see less of strife ; 

And dens, where sorrow dwells, 
Be filled with joy, and hope, and life, 

And happy little Nells. 

Anr FATHER'S likeness. 

Oh, that those lips had language ; 

Then wouKl my longing ear 
The 6ootliing tones of purest love 

And fond affection hear. 
Then would a whispered blessin"- 

Rest on my soul like dew ; 
And tender words of sympathy 

Breathe low, and soft, and true. 

In vain ; those lips are silent ; 

But in those thoughtful eyes. 
So meekly on me beamino-, 

What hidden treasure lies. 
Father, these looks are brin'rin'T 

o o 

Visions of days long past ; 
And sad, yet pleasing memories 
About my soul are cast. 

Thoughts of my o\vn beloved home, 
Of friends that dwelt with thee. 

Those dear familiar faces, 
With smiles to welcome me ; 


Though years of care and sorrow, 
Have vanished in the past, — 

Yet still, methinks I see them now, 
As when I saw them last. 

Dear father, thou art now at rest ; 

Thy spirit wanders free ; 
Thy memory be a living light, 

A guiding star to me. 


I KISSED that lovely brow in death, 

Cold as the winter's clay, 
Ere the murmur of the parting breath 

Passed from the lips away ; 
And that bright, golden curl I shred 
From the bright tresses of the dead. 

That little curl ! my hand had brushed 

Its ruffled gloss full oft. 
As the sweet prattler's cries I hushed, 

"With carol low and soft ; 
And, as he sank to silent rest. 
That curl lay gleaming on my breast. 

Dear child, it was no lightsome thing 
To watch thy spirit's flight, 

To mark its struggling ushering 
To heaven's own world of light. 

We bowed our weary heads to pray, 

And angels bore our babe away. 

I could not leave that lock to mould 

Within the lonely tomb ; 
That quenchless spark of living gold, 

To light so drear a gloom ; 
And now with mournful hearts we kiss 
That Little Curl, that once was his. 


I .AM standing by thy grave, mother, 

And an autumn's sun has set, 
But its purple rays, its golden light. 

Is lingering o'er me yet. 
No murmur stirreth in the trees, 

No whisper on the hill ; 
The very air grows like my heart. 

So heavy, and so chill. 

I am standing by thy grave, mother. 

But memory wanders free ; 
Fond recollections I happy hours, 

My childhood knew with thee. 
But she who watched my youthful steps, 

Who shared each smile, each tear. 
Lies cold and lifeless in the tomb. 

Mother, so loved, so dear I 

I. am standing by thy grave, mother, 

'Neath the cold, unfeeling sod, 
And can I wish to call thee back ? 

Thy dwelling is with God ; 
And when is past this wearied life. 

This pilgrimage of mine. 
May I sleep then by thy side, mother. 

And my spirit blend with thine I