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A. D. 1878. 

[DOCUMENT 93. 1905.] 



(Formerly called Record Commissioners' 1 Reports) 

This volume, which is the thirty-fourth in the series formerly 
issued under the direction of the Record Commissioners, is 
reprinted from the original plates purchased from the estate 
of the late Francis S. Drake, and issued as one of the volumes 
relating to the early history of Boston. 



City Registrar. 



IN the following pages the author's aim has been, while going 
over the old roads and pointing out their memorable localities, to 
present whatever of historical interest the annals of the town 
afford, and also to delineate the manners, customs, mode of life, 
and other characteristics of the men and women who lived and 
wrought here in former days, together with such visible memorials 
of them, their homes, their monuments, etc., as have escaped the 
ravages of time. In the performance of this task, every available 
source of information known to him has been drawn upon, and 
from aged persons, familiar with Roxbury as it was, much has been 
gleaned that would otherwise have been buried in oblivion. 

Though without a printing-press, Roxbury has led the van of 
independent thought, three of her most eminent citizens, by their 
protests against superstition, and their advocacy of political or 
religious reforms, having had their writings condemned to the 
flames by the colonial authorities. She is the mother of towns, as 
many as fifteen prosperous New England communities, including 
the flourishing cities of Springfield and Worcester, having been 
founded or largely settled by her citizens. She can fairly claim to 
be the banner town of the Revolutionary war, furnishing to it three 
companies of minute-men at Lexington, one of which was the first 
that was raised for the defence of American liberty, and having also 
given birth to three of the generals of the Revolutionary army. 
She played a prominent part in the siege of Boston, and was greatly 
injured both by friend and foe. No less than ten of the governors 
of Massachusetts have been natives or residents of Roxbury. But 
while this is a record of which she may be justly proud, it is yet 



JAMAICA POND ----_--.... 405 

LEE, W. R., RESIDENCE -----..._ 393 

LIBERTY TREE -'-------_.- -82 

LORINQ HOUSE ----_-_-_-- 419 

MEAD'S HOUSE ----------- 219 

MEETING-HOUSE HILL -------- Frontispiece. 

MINUTE-MAN ------_..._ 315 

NORFOLK HOUSE ----------- 364 

OLD MILL -___-.. 319 


PARSONAGE ----- 310 

PARTING STONE -----------379 

PILLOET ---....-326 




PYNCHON, WILLIAM --------- - 13 

RUGGLES HOUSE ---------- 306 

SEAL OF ROXBURY --------- Title-page. 

SEAVER, EBENEZEB .--. - 227 

SECOND CHURCH ----- 447 

SHIP OF PILGRIMS -----------7 

SHIRLEY, Gov. WILLIAM, Autograph ------ 125 

SOLDIERS' MONUMENT ---------- 424 

SPINNING WHEEL ----.-_-_. 311 

STAND-PIPE .--_--.-__-- 375 
STONE POUND- -----------381 


SUMNER, Gov. INCREASE --------- 355 

SWAN HOUSE - ----135 

THIRD CHURCH ----- 419 




WARREN, DR., COUNTRY SEAT -------- 413 

" HOMESTEAD. HOUSE ------- 213, 214 

" GEN. JOSEPH -- 216 

WILLIAMS HOUSE. JOHN D., HOUSE ----- 133, 228 

" COL. JOSEPH ---- 385 

" STEDMAN, HOUSE ---------229 

WINSLOW, ADMIRAL J. A. _-_---- 211 





GBNERAL DESCRIPTION ------.._ 43-64 

THE NECK -- ----..___ 65-94 

DORCHESTER ROAD -----_.__. 95-138 



MEETING-HOUSE HILL .---.____ 236-302 



CENTRE STREET ......... 379-403 

JAMAICA PLAIN ........... 404-436 

WEST ROXBURY .......... 437-463 

"Out of monuments, names, words, proverbs, traditions, private 
recordes and evidences, fragments of stories, passages of bookes 
and the like, we doe save and recover somewhat from the deluge 
of time." Bacon. 

" I pray you let us satisfy our eyes 
With the memorials and the things of fame 
That do renown this city." 


"Les monuments sont les crampons qui nnissent une generation 
a une autre, conservez ce qu'ont vu vos peres." 



Causes of the Puritan Emigration. Indian Natives. Settlement of 
Massachusetts Bay. Dudley's Account. Roxbury Colonists. 
Nazing, England. Pynchon. Annals. Philip's "War. Revolution 
of 1689. Stamp Act. Ante-Revolutionary Action of the Town. 
Minute-men. Lexington. Siege of Boston. Revolutionary An- 
nals. Shays's Insurrection. 

READER, before asking } T OU to accompany me in a retro- 
spective stroll through the ancient town of Roxbury, 
noting its old landmarks, treading its old ways, reconstruct- 
ing its old dwellings, and making the acquaintance of its 
men and women of mark in by-gone days, not forgetting an 
occasional glance at the quaint and curious fashions and 
customs of our ancestors, before doing this, we will, if it 
please you, take a brief survey of some passages in its early 
history. Many of the chief events in its annals will be noticed 
in describing those portions of the town with which they are 
especially connected. This breathing space preparatory to 
our journey will be no disadvantage to us, for, as Mrs. Rams- 
botham says, " We are to have a great deal of walking on our 

Rightly to estimate the present, we must invoke the past, 
of which we ourselves are the product, and its study cannot 
fail to teach us the importance of perpetuating those elements 
of true greatness in New England character bequeathed to us 
by our Puritan ancestry, and in which their descendants take 
a justifiable pride. The old church, the old schoolhouse, the 
old burial-place, the old homestead, even 

" The old oaken bucket that hangs by the well," 


all these have their lesson to impart, and recall memories of the 
past, which, though not always pleasurable, are yet not devoid 
of interest, and have a charm for us even in their sadness. 

The settlement of New England was almost wholby due 
to the bitter antagonism between the Protestant dissenters 
and the Church of England. These dissenters were of two 
kinds : the Pilgrims, who were Separatists, and who, after 
some years of exile in Holland, landed at Plymouth ; and the 
Puritans, who, under Winthrop and others, settled the towns 
upon Massachusetts Bay. The latter taught the necessity 
of a more complete and personal regeneration, desiring a 
reform in the church, and not a schism ; the former de- 
nounced the establishment as an idolatrous institution, false 
to Christianity and to truth. Purity of religion and civil 
liberty were the common objects of both. These discontented 
sectaries were found in every rank, but they were strongest 
among the mercantile classes in the towns and among the 
small proprietors in the country, and became so numerous 
that earl}' in the reign of Elizabeth they began to return a 
majority of the House of Commons. 

Under the ecclesiastical administration of Archbishop Laud, 
every corner of the realm was subjected to a constant and 
minute inspection. Every little congregation of dissenters 
was tracked out and broken up. Even the devotions of pri- 
vate families could not escape the vigilance of his spies, 
and many thousands of upright and industrious men, among 
them nearly eighty clergymen, were driven by persecution to 
emigrate to New England. One third of the white popula- 
tion of the United States are the descendants of these men. 
A largf number of them were educated, and to their influence 
it is owing that schools were so early established, and that 
so much attention was paid to instruction in every New Eng- 
land community. Said one of their number, in the quaint 
language of those days, "God sifted three kingdoms that he 
might send over choice grain into the wilderness." 


The Puritan never disowned the name given him in derision 
by those to whom his sobriety of speech and visage, his 
opposition to long hair and other frivolities of dress and man- 
ners, appeared hypocritical and absurd. His witty accusers 
indeed said that his hostility to cruel and barbarous sports, 
such as bear-baiting, arose not from sympathy with the bear, 
but because of the enjoyment it afforded the spectators. 

" To the Puritans," says an eminent English writer, " we 
owe the whole freedom of our constitution." The}' were the 
great conservators of English liberty. To them the present 
political freedom of England and the United States is directly 
traceable. If the founders of great states are entitled to the 
first rank among men, posterity must accord especial promi- 
nence to the Puritan planters of New England. The verdict 
of impartial history must, despite all their faults and short- 
comings, pronounce 
them the most remark- 
able body of men that 
perhaps the world has 
ever produced. 

Just prior to its set- 
tlement, a pestilence 
had swept away a 
large portion of the ^ 
Indian population of ~i 
Massachusetts Bay, 

thus clearing the way 
for the emigrants, and 
enabling them to es- 
tablish themselves 
without opposition, 
a circumstance the 
pious Puritan could 
hardly fail to regard i 

s providential. No distinct traces of 

aboriginal occupation have ever been observed in Roxbuiy, 


not even an Indian name remaining to mark the locality of 
mountain, streamlet, or other natural feature of the landscape. 
The chief sachem of the territory, including Boston, Rox- 
bury, and Dorchester, was Chickatabut, who lived on the 

^ a ^ Neponset River, 
near the Massachu- 
setts Fields, in what 
is now Quincy . This 
sagamore, who was 
the greatest in the 
countr}', had, in 
1631, only fifty or 
sixty subjects, and 
many of these, with 
the sachem himself, 
died of small- pox 
in 1633. Of him 
Thomas Dudley wrote, "This man least favoreth the Eng- 
lish of an}- sagamore we are acquainted with, by reason 
of the old quarrel between him and those of Pfymonth, 
where he lost seven of his best men, yet he lodged one night 
the last winter at my house in friendly manner." Cut- 
shamokin, who is said to have been a brother of Chickata- 
but, and who had been a humble hanger-on of the English 
from their first coming, succeeded for a time to the titular 
honor of sachem of Massachusetts, and to the right of sign- 
ing deeds and conve^-ances of lands once occupied by the 
tribe. Josiah, the son of Chickatabut, a word signifying in 
English " a house on fire," was summarily extinguished by 
the Mohawks, against whom, contrary to the advice of the 
apostle Eliot and other English friends, he led, in 1669, six 
hundred warriors. Gookin says, "The chiefest general in 
this expedition was the principal sachem of Massachusetts, 
named Josiah, alias Chickatabut, a wise and stout man, of 
middle age, but a very vicious person. He had considerable 


knowledge in the Christian religion, and, some time, when he 
was younger, seemed to profess it ; for he was bred up by 
his uncle, Kuchamakin, who was the first sachem and his peo- 
ple to whom Mr. Eliot preached." His son, Charles Josiah 
(Wampatuck) , the last of the race, in 1686 deeded the native 
right to the territory of Roxbury to its agents, Joseph Dud- 
ley and William Stoughton, for 10. 

From the period of Gosnold's visit in 1602 to the year 
1630, the Massachusetts coast had been visited by Pring, 
Wej'mouth, Capt. John Smith, Myles Standish, and others ; 
settlements had been made at Plymouth, Salem, and else- 
where, and individuals had "sat down" either as fishermen 
or Indian traders at different points, Blackstoue, at Shaw- 
mut, now Boston ; "Walford, at Mishawam, now Charlestowu ; 
Maverick, at Noddle's Island, now East Boston ; and David 
Thompson, at Thompson's Island. As no mention is made 
of any one being previously located at Roxbury, there can be 
little doubt that it was originally settled by some of Win- 
throp's company as early as the first week in July, 1630; 
John, the son of Griffin Craft, according to the first entry 
on the Town Book, having been born here on July 10th of 
that year. 

In the first compartment of the corridor leading to the 
English House of Lords, at "Westminster, is a painting de- 
signed to represent the departure of the Pilgrims from Delft 
Haven. Governor Bradford's vivid portraiture of this scene 
faithfully represents many other similar experiences of our 
emigrant ancestors at parting with their families and friends 
and quitting forever the land of their birth. He says : 

" The next day the wind being faire, they wente aborde and their 
frendes, where truly dolfull was y e sight of that sade and mournfull 
parting ; to see what sighs and sobbs and praiers did sound amongst 
them, what tears did gush from every eye and pithy speeches peirst 
each harte, that sundry of y Dutch strangers that stood on the 
Key as spectators could not refrain from tears. Yet comfortable 


and sweet was it to see such lively and true expressions of dear and 
unfeigned love. But the tide (which stays for no man) calyng them 
away were thus loathe to depart, their reverend pastor falling down 
on his Knees (and they all with him) with watrie cheecks com- 
mended them with most fervent praiers to the Lord and his blessing. 
And then with mutuall imbraces and many tears they tooke their 
leaves one of another which proved to be the last leave to many 
of them." 

The story of the settlement of Massachusetts Bay is told 
with touching simplicity in Thomas Dudley's letter to the 
Countess of Lincoln, dated Boston, March 12, 1 630-1. This, 
which is the most interesting document in our early annals, 
was composed under difficulties, and, as he himself says, 
' ' shorth', after my usual manner, and rudely, having yet no 
table nor other room to write in than by the fireside upon my 
knee, in this sharp winter, to which my family must have 
leave to resort though they break good manners, and make 
me many times forget what I would say, and say what I 
would not." 

" Touching the plantation which we here have begun, it fell out 
thus : About the year 1627, some friends being together in Lincoln- 
shire, fell into discourse about New England and the planting of 
the gospel there, and after some deliberation we imparted our rea- 
sons by letters and messages to some in London and the west coun- 
try, where it was likewise deliberately thought upon, and at length, 
with often negotiation so ripened that, in 1628, we procured a patent 
from his Majesty for our planting between the Massachusetts Bay 
and Charles River on the south, and the river of Merrimack on the 
north, and three miles on either side of those rivers and bay ; as 
also for the government of those who did or should inhabit within 
that compass. And the same year we sent Mr. John Endecott, and 
some with him, to begin a plantation and to strengthen such as he 
should find there which we sent thither from Dorchester and some 
places adjoining, from whom, the same year, receiving hopeful news, 
the next year, 1629, we sent divers ships over, with about three 
hundred people, and some cows, goats, and horses, many of which 
arrived safely. 

"These, by their too large commendations of the country and 


the commodities thereof, invited us so strongly to go on, that Mr. 
Winthrop, of Suffolk (who was well known in his own country, and 
well approved here for his piety, liberality, wisdom, and gravity), 
coming iu to us, we came to such resolution that in April, 1630, we 
set sail from old England with four good ships, and in May follow- 
ing, eight more followed ; two having gone before in February and 
March, and two more following in June and August, besides another 
set out by a private merchant. 

" These seventeen ships arrived all safe in New England for the 
increase of the plantation here this year, 1630, but made a long, a 
troublesome, and costly voyage, being all wind-bound long in Eng- 
land, and hindered with contrary winds after they set sail, and so 
scattered with mists and tempests that few of them arrived to- 
gether. Our four ships, which set 
out in April, arrived here in June 
and July, where we found the colony 
in a sad and unexpected condition, 
above eighty of them being dead the 
winter before, and many of those 
alive being weak and sick ; all the 
corn and bread amongst them all 
hardly sufficient to feed them a fort- 
night, insomuch that the remainder 
of one hundred and eighty servants 
we had the two years before sent 
over, coming to us for victuals to 
sustain them, we found ourselves 
wholly unable to feed them, where- 
upon necessity enforced us to our extreme loss to give them all 
liberty who had cost us about sixteen or twenty pounds a person, 
furnishing and sending over. 

"But, bearing these things as we might, we began to consult of 
the place of our sitting down, for Salem, where we landed, pleased 
us not, and to that purpose some were sent to the Bay to search up 
the rivers for a convenient place, who, upon their return, reported 
to have found a good place upon Mistick; but some other of us 
found a place liked us better, three leagues up Charles River, and 
thereupon we shipped our goods into other vessels, and with much 
cost and labor brought them, in July, to Charlestown ; but there 
receiving advertisements by some of the late arrived ships from 
London and Amsterdam of some French preparations against us 



(many of our people brought with us being sick of fevers aud the 
scurvy, and we thereby unable to carry up our ordnance and bag- 
gage so far), we were forced to change counsel, and for our present 
shelter to plant dispersedly ; some at Charlestown, some at Boston, 
some of us upon Mistick, which we named Meadford, some of us 
westward on Charles Eiver, four miles from Charlestown, which 
place we named Watertown ; others of us two miles from Boston, 
in a place we named Rocksbury ; others upon the river of Saugus, 
between Salem and Charlestown, and the western men four miles 
south of Boston, at a place we named Dorchester. 

"This dispersion troubled some of us, but help it we could not, 
wanting ability to remove to any place fit to build a town upon, and 
the time too short to deliberate any longer lest the winter should 
surprise us before we had builded our houses. The best counsel we 
could find out was, to build a fort to retire to in some convenient 
place, if any enemy pressed us thereunto, after we should have for- 
tified ourselves against the injuries of wet and cold. So ceasing 
to consult further at that time, they who had health to labor fell to 
building, wherein many were interrupted with sickness, and many 
died weekly, yea, almost daily, among whom were Mrs. Pynchon, 
Mrs. Coddington, Mrs. Phillips, and Mrs. Alcock, a sister of Mr. 
(Rev. Thomas) Hooker's. Insomuch that the ships being now upon 
their return, there was, as I take it, not much less than one hun- 
dred which returned back again, and glad were we so to be rid of 
them. The ships being gone, victuals wasting, and mortality in- 
creasing, we held divers fasts in our several congregations. And of 
the people who came over with us from the time of their setting 
sail from England in April, 1630, until December following, there 
died two hundred at the least, so low hath the Lord brought us. 

"Well, yet they who survived were not discouraged, but bearing 
God's corrections with humility, and trusting in his mercies, and 
considering how after a lower ebb he had raised up our neighbors 
at Plymouth, we began again in December to consult about a fit 
place to build a town upon, leaving all thoughts of a fort because 
upon any invasion we were necessarily to lose our houses when we 
should retire thereinto ; so after divers meetings at Boston, Rox- 
bury, and Watertown, on December 28th we grew to the resolution 
to bind all the assistants to build houses at a place a mile east from 
Watertown, near Charles River, the next spring, and to winter there 
the next year ; that so by our examples and by removing the ord- 
nance and munitions thither, all who were able might be drawn 


thither, and such as shall come to us hereafter to their advantage 
be compelled so to do, and so, if God would, a fortified town might 
there grow up, the place fitting reasonably well thereto. 

" Half of our cows, and almost all our mares and goats, died at 
sea in their passage hither, which, together with the loss of our six 
months' building, occasioned by our intended removal to a town to 
be fortified, weakened our estates, especially the estates of the 
undertakers, who were 3,000 to 4,000, engaged in the joint stock 
which was now not above so many hundreds. . . . 

"If any come hither to plant for worldly ends that can live well 
at home, he commits an error of which he will soon repent him ; 
but if for spiritual, and no particular obstacle hinder his removal, 
he may find here what may well content him, viz., materials to build, 
fewel to burn, ground to plant, seas and rivers to fish in, a pure air 
to breathe in, good water to drink till wine or beer can be made. 
... If there be any endued with grace and furnished with means 
to feed themselves and theirs for eighteen months, and to build and 
plant, let them come into our Macedonia and help us. 

" Upon the 25th of this March, one of Watertown having lost a 
calf, and about ten of the clock at night hearing the howling of some 
wolves not far off, raised many of his neighbors out of their beds, 
that by discharging their muskets near about the place where he 
heard the wolves, he might so put them to flight and save his calf. 
The wind carrying the report of the muskets to Rocksbury, three 
miles off, at such a time, the inhabitants there took an alarm, beat 
up their drum, armed themselves, and sent in post to us at Boston 
to raise us also. So in the morning, the calf being found safe, 
the wolves affrighted, and our danger past, we went merrily to 

The Roxbury colonists were mostly from London and its 
vicinity, a few being from the "West of England. They were 
people of substance, many of them farmers, none being " of 
the poorer sort." They struck root in the soil immediately, 
and were enterprising, industrious, and frugal. It is the tes- 
timony of an eye-witness, that " one might dwell there from 
year to }*ear and not see a drunkard, hear an oath, or meet a 
beggar." Among them are names still borne in Roxbury by 
their descendants, such as Curtis, Crafts, Dudley, Griggs, 
Heath, Payson, Parker, Seaver, "Weld, and "Williams. Out- 



side of Boston, no New England town can show such a roll 
of distinguished names as have illustrated her annals, unless 
Cambridge be an exception. 

Nazing, a rural village in Essex County, England, the home 
of many of the fathers of Roxbuiy, around which clustered 
the affections and remembrances of their youth, comprises 
the northwest corner of Waltham. Half-hundred. It is on the 
river Lee, and is twenty miles east from London. Its gable- 
fronted cottages, with low, thatched roofs and overhanging 
eaves, show that this quiet little village has undergone slight 
changes during the past three hundred years. The manor 
was given by Harold II to Waltham Abbey. 


Its old parish church may be regarded as the parent of the 
First Church of Roxbury. It is situated on the side of a hill 
overlooking paits of Hertfordshire and Middlesex, bounded 
on the west by the river Lee, and on the east and south by 
Waltham Abbey and Epping. Its parish records contain the 
familiar names of Eliot, Ruggles, Curtis, Heath, Payson, 
Peacock, Graves, and others, who, between the years 1G31 
and 1640, left their beloved homes and, for conscience' sake, 
braved the dangers of a long ocean voyage in the frail vessels 
of that period that they might aid in establishing a Christian 
commonwealth in the wilderness. The accompanying view 


of the church represents the building as it appeared when the 
emigrant fathers worshipped within its old gray walls two 
centuries and a half ago. 

Under the lead of Pynchon, the first-comers to Roxbury 
settled chiefly in the easterly part of the town, next to Boston. 
From the town street, now called Roxbury Street, they gradu- 
ally extended themselves in various directions towards the 
neighboring towns, notwithstanding the enactment of 1635, 
designed as a protection against the Indians, that no person 
should live beyond half a mile from the meeting-house. 
Jamaica Plain and West Roxbury were settled later. The 
first mention of the town occurs in the records of the third 
Court of Assistants, held Sept. 28, 1630, as one of the plan- 
tations on which a part of the general tax of 50 was levied, 
and that da}* has therefore been fixed upon as the official date 
of its settlement. Roxbury was the sixth town incorporated 
in Massachusetts. 

In the year 1631 the ship " Lyon," William Pierce, master, 
left the shores of England with the first batch of Nazing pil- 
grims on board. Eliot, the apostle, was there, with William 
Curtis and Sarah, his wife, Eliot's sister and their children, 
in company with the wife of Governor Winthrop. They were 
ten weeks on the water. In the summer of 1632 she once 
more left the Thames for Boston, having among her passen- 
gers William Heath, with his wife and children, and several 
other Nazing worthies. Isaac, his elder brother, did not quit 
Nazing until 1635. Earl}' in 1633, John Graves, with his 
wife and five children, left their home for the shores of New 
England, and in 1635 they were followed by a large number 
of Nazing Christians who came over in the " Hopewell." 
Others came later, but emigration from Old to New England 
ceased about 1640, when the popular cause there began to 
look hopeful. 

The first year was one of great toil and privation. Fuel 
was scarce, and the cold intense. Few settlers arrived in the 



following year, the undertaking was so hazardous, and the 
accounts brought by the large number of returning emigrants 
were so discouraging. In 1632 many came, and early in 1635 
a great movement in England among the friends of religious 
liberty sent three thousand persons to Xew England. After 
1633, a season of abundance ensued, and emigrants steadily 
poured in. One of the earlier colonists wrote that "bread 
was so very scarce that sometimes I thought the very crumbs 
of my father's table would be sweet unto me, and when I 
could have meal and water and salt boiled together, it was 


so good who could wish better?" " It would have been a 
strange thing," said another, "to see a piece of roast beef 
or mutton or veal." 

AVilliam Pynchon, " a gentleman of learning and religion," 
and one of the assistants or magistrates who came over with 
Winthrop, was, sa3~s Prince, the annalist, "the principal 
founder of the town of Rocksbury, and the first member who 
joins in forming the Congregational church there." In 1636 
he led a party from Roxbur}', among whom were Hemy 
Smith, his son-in-law, and Jehu Burr, to the Connecticut, 



and began upon its banks the settlement of Agawam, which 
he named Springfield, after the town in England, near Chelms- 
ford in Essex, where he formerh" resided. lie was many 
3'ears a magistrate, and was largely concerned in the beaver 
trade till, as we are told, ct the merchants increased so many 
that it became little worth, by reason of their outbuying one 
another, which caused them to live on husbandry." 

This "gentleman of 
learning and religion " 
had the temerity to dis- 
sent from the dissent- 
ers, and the publica- 
tion, in 1650, of his 
" Meritorious Price of 
Our Redemption," in 
opposition to the then 
prevalent Calvinistic 
view of the atonement, 
caused his deposition 
from the magistracj-, 
and the burning of his 
book in the market- 
place of Boston, by 
order of the Court, who 
cited him before them 
and placed him under 
heavy bonds. The scene of this auto da fe was the head of 
State Street, where the Old State House stands. In this 
book Pynchon attempted to prove that " Christ suffered not 
for us the unutterable torments of God's wrath, commonly 
called ' Hell's torments.' " Pynchon's heresy has become 
modern orthodoxy. The General Court condemned his book 
as false, heretical, and erroneous, ordered Rev. John Norton 
to answer it, and declared its purpose " to proceed with its 
author according to his demerits, unless he retract the same, 


and give full satisfaction both here and by some second 
writing, to be printed and dispersed in England." 

At the next Court, held in May, 1651, Pynchon appeared 
and explained or modified the obnoxious opinions. Again 
he appeared before them, says the record, " in a hopeful way 
to give good satisfaction," and the judgment of the Court was 
deferred till the next session in Ma} r , 1652. Before that 
time, Pynchon, disgusted with the persecuting and intolerant 
spirit of those in authority, returned to England, where he 
published a new edition of his book, with additions, in 1655, 
and died there in October, 1661, at the age of seventy-two. 
A street in Roxbury perpetuates the name of its principal 
founder. No other memorial of him exists here save Eliot's 
notice of him in the Records of the First Parish. 

Roxbury ma}' fairly claim pre-eminence in literature of the 
combustible kind, three of its eminent citizens having had 
their books burned or condemned to the flames, Pynchon, 
Robert Calef, who opposed the witchcraft delusion, and the 
apostle Eliot. The latter, indeed, avoided the honor of mar- 
tyrdom by proxy, bj" a seasonable recantation. Toleration 
was not one of the virtues of our Puritan ancestors ; it was 
then a new doctrine, heralded by Roger Williams, and was 
yet to undergo a long probation before it could be recognized 
even in theory. An Index Expurgatorius of the orthodox 
fathers of New England would be an interesting addition to 
our bibliographical literature. 

From various sources, especially from the diaries of the 
apostle Eliot and Danforth, his colleague, some incidents of 
general or local interest have been gleaned. 

1633, Nov. "A great mortality amongst the Indians by the 
Small Pox, whereof Chickatabut, Sachem of Neponset dyed." 

1636. The Koxbury people worked on the fortification at Cornhill. 

1636, Oct. 7. The General Court met at Roxbury, having ad- 
journed from Cambridge on account of the small-pox. 

1636-7. The Pequod War. 


1640. Great scarcity of money. The General Court order that 
corn pass in payment for new debts. 

1643. The five New England colonies confederate for mutual 

1645. Dec. "The first week in the 10& month. This was the 
most mortal week that ever Roxbury saw, to have five dy in otie 
week and many more lay sick about town." 

1646. "This year, about the end of the 5th month, upon a sud- 
daine, innumerable arrays of caterpillars filled the country, devour- 
ing the grasse, oats, corn, wheat and barley. They would crosse 
highways by thousands. Much prayer was made to God about it 
and fasting in divers places, and the Lord heard and on a suddaine 
took them all away in all parts of the country, to the wonderment 
of all men. It was the Lord for it was done suddainely." Dan- 
forth says, "they marched thorow our fields like armed men, and 
spoyled much corn." 

1646-7. "This winter was one of the mildest that ever we had, 
no snow all winter long, nor sharp weather, but they had long floods 
at Connecticut which was much spoyle to y" corue in the meadows. 
We never had a bad day to goe preach to the Indians all this winter 
praised be the Lord." 

1647. "A great sicknesse epidemical did the Lord lay upon us, 
that the greatest part of the town was sick at once. Few died, but 
of these were the choycest flowers and most gracious saints." The 
epidemic prevailed throughout New England, probably from the 
absence of frost in the previous winter. 

1657. A synod held to ascertain who were proper subjects of 

1660, Feb. 1. "About 7 o clock there was an earthquake. At 
Roxbury the shaking was most discernible." 

1661, May 28. " Judah Browne, and Peter Pierson Quakers, tied 
to a carts tail and whipt through the town with 10 stripes after 
receiving 20 at Boston, and again 10 stripes at Dedham." 

1662, June 10. A synod at Boston. "It pleased God this spring 
to exercise the country with a severe drought, but some were so 
rash as to impute it to the sitting of the Synod." 

1663, Jan. 26. An earthquake occurred. 

1664, "A great and dreadful comet seen in New England." 
1667, March 25. " Samuel Ruggles, going up the meeting hill, was 

struck by lightning, his two oxen and horse killed, a chest in the 
cart, with goods in it, burnt in sundry places, himself coming off 
the cart, carried twenty feet from it, yet no abiding hurt." 



1667, llmo. 4th day. " There were strange noises in the air like 
guns, drums, vollies of great shotte &c." 

1667, 12mo. 29th. " Appeared a comet or blazing stream which 
extended to a small star in the river Eridamus, but the star was hid 
by reason of its proximity to the sun." 

1668, 3rd mo. 16th. The shock of an earthquake felt. Prodigies 
were seen in the heavens the night before the Lord's day. 

1670, Oct. "An Indian was hanged for killing his wife lodging 
at an Englishman's house in Roxbury. He threw her out at a cham- 
ber window and brake her neck." 

1675. "This winter past," says Eliot, "John Sassamou was 
murdered by wicked Indians. He was a man of eminent parts and 
wit. He was of late years converted, joined to the church at Natick, 
baptised, and sent by the church to Assawamsic in Plymouth Patent 
to preach the gospel. Soon after the war with the Indians brake 
forth the history whereof I cannot, I may not, relate. The profane 
Indians prove a sharp rod to the English, and the English prove a 
sharp rod to the Praying Indians." 

1685. Contributions taken up in the church for George Bowen, 
of Roxbury, "a captive with the Turks." 


The war with the Indians in 1675-6, " Philip's War," as it 
is called, allusion to which is made by Eliot, was one of the 


severest trials New England was ever called upon to en- 
counter. Of Roxbnry's share in this contest, so destructive 
to the colonists, Eliot elsewhere says in his diary, "John 
Dresser dyed in the warrs and was there buryed. He acquit- 
ted himself valiantly. We had man}* slaine in the warr, no 
towne for bigness lost more if an}* so many." 

On July 6, 1G75, a body of fifty-two praying Indians, 
Eliot's converts, marched from Boston for Mount Hope under 
the "intrepid" Capt. Isaac Johnson, of Roxbury, who after- 
wards certified that the most of them acquitted themselves 
courageously and faithfully. He, with five other captains, 
was killed while storming the Narraganset stronghold when 
that fierce tribe was destroyed at the famous Fort Fight, 
Dec. 19, 1675. The roll of his company, which also em- 
braces men from the adjacent towns, includes these of Rox- 
bury : 








Some who escaped from this sanguinary engagement were 
less fortunate in the Sudbury fight in the following April, in 
which Thos. Baker, Jr., Samuel Gardiner, John Roberts, Jr., 
Nathaniel Seaver, Thos. Hawley, Sen., William Cleaves, 
Joseph Pepper, John Sharpe, and Thomas Hopkins, of Rox- 
bury, were slain. 

Xew England prospered during the struggle between the 

Parliament and Charles I, and under Cromwell, who favored 

her in many ways. With the accession of Charles II there 

came a change. Thenceforth there was a constant struggle 




for colonial rights under the charter. The General Court, in 
its efforts for their preservation, attempted to remove causes 
of offence, such as Eliot's book favoring a republic, which it 
condemned to the flames, and by modif3'ing its laws against 
Quakers. They succeeded so far as to delay for nearly a. 
quarter of a century a catastrophe they could not prevent. 
Among other petitions to the General Court praying it to be 
firm in its resolution ' ' to adhere to the Patent and the priv- 
ileges thereof," is one dated Oct. 25, 1664, and signed by 
John Eliot, John Bowles, Edward Bridg, Phillip Torrey, 
Robert Pepper, Samuel Williams, Samuel Scarbrow, Joseph 
Griggs, Samuel May. William Lion, Moses Graffs, Samuel 
Ruggles, Isaac Curtis, and many other inhabitants of Rox- 
bury. They request the honored Court, both magistrates 
and deputies, to " stand fast in our present libel's," and 
assure them they will pw" the Lord to " assist them to stere 
right in these shaking times." 

The abrogation of its charter in 1685 by James II, and the 
arbitrarj 7 government of Andros, stirred Massachusetts to its 
profoundest depths. The royal governor, with four of his 
council, were empowered to make laws and raise moneys with- 
out any assembly or consent of the people. The laws were 
not printed. Town meetings were prohibited, excepting on a 
certain day once a j*ear. Heavy fees were extorted, fifty 
shillings being the cost for the probate of a will. This was 
not all, for their charter being gone, their title to their lands 
and estates went with it, and " all was the King's, and they 
must take patents from his new representatives, and give 
what they see meet to impose." The people saw themselves 
deprived of the privileges of Englishmen, and that their con- 
dition was little better than slaver}'. The}- said, " Our rulers 
are those that hate us and the churches of Christ and his ser- 
vants in the ministry ; they are their daily scorn, taunt, and 
reproach, and yet are we, our lives and liberties, civil and 
ecclesiastical, in their hands to do with as they please." 


Early in 1689, upon a rumor that the Prince of Orange had 
landed in England, the flame which had long been smothered 
burst forth with violence, and on April 18th Gov. Andros, 
Edward Randolph, such of the council as had been most 
active, and other obnoxious persons, about fifty in all, were 
seized and confined, and the old magistrates reinstated. The 
men of Roxbury took part with their brethren of Boston in 
this revolutionary proceeding, and assisted them in the 
capture of Fort Hill and the Castle. On Ma}' 9th she 
sent Lieut. Samuel Ruggles and Nathaniel Holmes to meet 
deputies from the other towns to settle and establish the 
government. 1 ne instructions given at this meeting being 
too general, another was called, the record of which fol- 
lows : 

"At a meeting of the inhabitants of Roxbury, orderly called upon 
the 20* day of this instant May, it was signifyed by the sayd inhab- 
itants that it was their desire that the governor, deputy governor, 
and such assistants as were chosen and sworn in the year 1686, 
should resume the government of the colony according to charter 
liberty. " JNO GORE Clerk." 

Join Bowles and Lieut. Ruggles represented the town at 
another meeting, held at the same place June 5th, " to con- 
sult for the present emergency." 

For the next three quarters of a century the local annals 
of Roxbur}" furnish few items of general interest. The cap- 
ture of Louisburg in 1745, and the Seven Years' War, ending 
in the conquest of Canada in 1763, necessarily drew upon 
her resources, but with slight disturbance to her peaceful 
progress as an agricultural community. Tanning, leather- 
dressing, and other industrial pursuits flourished, and a fair 
share of prosperity seems to have been hers. 

With the passage of the Stamp Act, early in 1765, the 
American Revolution may be said to have begun ; for although 
its repeal a year later removed that bone of contention, the 
discussions to which it gave rise had aroused an antagonism 


that was constantly increased by new acts of aggression, and 
that ceased only with the achievement of American independ- 
ence. Boston took the lead in opposition to the acts of 
Parliament, and Roxbury nobly sustained and seconded her. 
Dr. Warren, "William Heath, Col. Joseph Williams, and 
others of her leading men were in constant communication' 
with Samuel Adams and other master spirits of what was 
then the " Hub " of revolution, and co-operated with them in 
counsel and in action. The town meetings were held in the 
old meeting house of the First Parish. 

Looking over her records of this period, one is not surprised 
that Lord Dartmouth, his Majesty's secretar}* for the colonies, 
should have written to Governor Hutchinson that " The 
resolves of Roxbury, Marblehead, and Plymouth contained 
very extraordinary doctrines," or that he should express the 
hope that few would follow their example, and that the House 
of Representatives would discountenance them. Many of 
these papers were written by Heath, and are vigorous and 
forcible presentations of the views and feelings of the people 
at large. The bold signature of Deacon Samuel Gridley, the 
veteran town clerk of Roxbury, is appended to all these ante- 
revolutiona^ documents. 

In the first of these, dated Oct. 22, 1765, the town in- 
structs its representative, Col. Joseph Williams, to urge the 
repeal of the Stamp Act, and declares its unwillingness to 
submit to internal taxes other than those imposed by the 
General Court. This is its brief and expressive language : 

" That you readily join in such dutiful remonstrances and humble 
petitions to the King and parliament, and other decent measures as 
may have a tendency to obtain a repeal of the Stamp Act, and a 
removal of the heavy burthens imposed on the American British 
Colonies thereby. And that you do not give your assent to any act 
of assembly that shall imply the willingness of your constituents to 
submit to any internal taxes that are imposed, any otherwise than 
by the Great and General Court of the Province according to the 


Constitution of this government. We also recommend a clear, 
explicit and spirited assertion and vindication of our rights and 
liberties as inherent in our very natures, and confirmed to us by 
charter. " TIMOTHY STEVENS. 



One of the most important results of the agitation, caused 
by the laying of duties upon glass, paper, painters' colors, 
and tea, in 1767, was the resolution to stop importation, and 
at the same time to create and develop domestic manufactures. 
Undoubtedly this policy had its rise in the idea of enforcing 
a hearing for the protests of America, rather than in that far- 
seeing statesmanship that prescribes such a course upon its 
own merits, and it soon became general throughout the colo- 
nies. At a town meeting held Dec. 7, 1767, of which Joseph 
Williams was moderator, it was resolved, that 

" This town will take all proper and Legall measures to encourage 
the produce and manufactures of this Province, and to lessen the 
use of superfluities imported from abroad, viz, Loaf sugar, mus- 
tard, starch, malt liquors, cheese, limes, lemons, Tea of all sorts, 
snuffs, Glew, cheney ware, Pewterers Hollow ware, all sorts of mil- 
linery ware, stays, Hatts, ready made apparell of all sorts, Gloves, 
shoes, Broadcloths, that cost more than ten shillings per yard, Muffs, 
furs, and tippets, Lace of all sorts, sole leather, jewelers ware, Gold 
and silver Buttons and Plate, silk Velvets, cambricks, silks, Linseed 
oyle, cordage, anchors, coaches and carriages, House furniture, 
nails, clocks and watches, fire engines &c. Provided that Boston 
and the neighboring towns will come into it, And as it is the opin- 
ion of this town that divers new manufactures may be set up in 
America to its great advantage, and some others carried to a greater 
extent, therefore voted that this town will by all prudent ways and 
means, encourage the use and consumption of glass and paper made 
in the Colonies of America, and more especially in this Province, 
and also of Linnen and woolen cloths." 

The committee to procure subscriptions to this document 
were "William Bowdoin, Col. Joseph Williams, Capt. Eleazer 
Williams, Deacon Samuel Gridley, Eleazer Weld, Henry Wil- 


liams, and Capt. Joseph Mayo. At a subsequent meeting 
for the purpose of " strengthening the hands of the merchants 
in their Non-importation Agreement," the names of those who 
continued to import contra^ to its tenor were read, and 
it was 

" Voted, That we do with the utmost abhorrence and detestation, 
view the little, mean and sordid conduct of a few traders in this 
Province who have and still do import British Goods contrary to 
said agreement regardless of, and deaf to, the miseries and calami- 
ties which threaten this people. 

"Voted, That to the end the Generation yet unborn may Know 
who they were that laughed at the distress and calamities of this 
people ; and instead of striving to save their country when in immi- 
nent danger, did strive to render ineffectual a virtuous and com- 
mendable plan, the names of these importers shall be annually read 
at March meeting." 

Again, under date of May 26, 1769, Roxbury instructs her 
representative, and recommends a correspondence between 
the House of Representatives in Massachusetts and the assem- 
blies of other provinces. Samuel Gridley was chosen mod- 
erator, and the report of the committee on instructions, acted 
upon sentence by sentence, was published in the Boston 
papers. These instructions, ten in number, direct their rep- 
resentative, Col. Joseph Williams, to "proceed in a cool, 
calm, and steady manner," omitting no opportunity to express 
their loyalty to their "gracious sovereign," and to strive to 
the utmost of his power " to cultivate and maintain a good 
harmony and union between Great Britain and her colonies" ; 
to maintain their "invaluable charter rights"; to strive to 
preserve the honor and dignity of the assembly ; to inquire 
' i why the King's troops have been quartered in the body of 
the metropolis of the Province while the barracks provided 
heretofore have remained in a manner useless," and not to 
comply with any requisition for payment therefor ; to inquire 
why criminals have not been prosecuted and punished, and 


declare, with respect to the revenue acts, that instead of 
being reconciled to them, " we daily find them more and more 
burthensome ; and when we view the trade and commerce of 
the Province under a very sensible decay and loaded with 
embarrassments, and the little circulating cash we have left 
daily draining from us, and the revenue officers, like the 
horse-leech, crying ' give ! give ' ! our groans and complaints 
are increased, you will, therefore, by every constitutional 
method, strive to obtain a repeal of those acts." The remain- 
ing instructions relate to the encouragement of arts and man- 
ufactures within the Province ; the removal of any unfavorable 
impressions respecting this Province from the minds of the 
British ministr}' caused by misrepresentations sent from hence ; 
the cultivation of harmony and correspondence between the 
representative body of this Province and those of the sister 
colonies ; and, finally, they enjoin frugality with respect to 
grants of the public mone^-s, "the load of debt remaining 
on the Province," and the great scarcity of cash say they, 

" is a loud call to this." 

Capt. WM. HEATH, 

" Committee." 

Three da}'s after the "Massacre," as the affray between 
the soldiers and the populace in King Street, Boston, was 
called, a committee, chosen at a full town meeting, consisting 
of Col. Joseph Williams, Eleazer Weld, John Williams, Jr., 
John Child, Nathaniel Ruggles, Capt. William Heath, and 
Major William Thompson, waited on Lieut. -Gov. Hutchinson 
with a petition of the inhabitants of Roxbury, praying for 
the removal of all the troops out of the town " immediately." 
The petitioners say that, 

"Having often heard, and many of us seen, with pity and con- 
cern, the very great inconveniences and sufferings of our fellow 


subjects and countrymen, the inhabitants of the town of Boston, 
occasioned by several regiments of the King's troops being quar- 
tered in the body of that town for many months past ; in a peculiar 
manner we desire to express our astonishment, grief, and indignation 
at the horrid and barbarous action committed there last Mouday 
eveuing by a party of those troops, by firing with small arms in 
the most wanton, cruel, and cowardly manner, upon a number of 
unarmed inhabitants of said town, whereby four of his Majesty's 
liege subjects have lost their lives, two others are supposed to be 
mortally wounded, and several besides badly wounded and suffering 
great pain and distress ; and the town still alarmed and threatened 
with further and greater mischief." 

Hutckinson, on the same day, returned the following 
answer : 


" I have no au- 
thority to order 
" the King's Troops 
from any place 
where they are 

posted by His Maj- 
esty's order, or 
the order of the 
Commander in 
Chief of the forces 
here. Everything 
that is in my 
power to do with 
respect to any al- 
teration of the 
place of quarter- 
ing these troops 
has already been 
done by me in 
pursuance of the unanimous advice of His Majesty's Council. 


BOSTON, 8 March, 1770." 



On the firm demand of Samuel Adams, the troops were 
removed and quiet was restored. Copy's fine picture of 
the stern old patriot represents him when confronting Hutch- 
insonwith the memorable declaration that " Nothing short of 
the total evacuation of the town, by all the regular troops, 
will satisfy the public mind and preserve the peace of the 

The bells of Roxbur}' were tolled in honor of the victims, 
whose funeral took place on the same day the petition was 

On Nov. 16, 1772, at a meeting held to consider "the 
late alarming report that the judges were to receive their 
salaries direct from the Crown," Capt. William Heath was 
chosen moderator, and a committee, consisting of Col. Joseph 
Williams, Isaac Winslow y Major Joseph Ma} r o, Major Nathan- 
iel Ruggles, and William Bowdoin, were desired to report 
thereon, and to draw up instructions for their representative, 
Capt. William Heath. The committee, in their report, pre- 
sented on Nov. 23, instruct Representative Heath to propose 
an act appropriating a sufficient fund to support the judges 
and render them independent of the Crown as far as possible, 
provided their commissions were during good behavior, and 
that they might be removed on application to the two Houses. 
A letter from the town of Boston, requesting a free commu- 
nication of sentiments " on our common danger." was then 
considered, and Isaac Winslow, Major Joseph Mayo, William 
Bowdoin, Capt. Aaron Davis, Capt. William Heath, David 
Weld, Dea. Samuel Gridley, Noah Perrin, and Nathaniel 
Patten were chosen a committee to consider and report 

The report of this committee to the " freeholders and other 
inhabitants" of the town, on Dec. 14, in the language of 
the record, " made great uneasiness in the meeting, and 
very difficult to understand the true state of the vote, and 
numbers of the inhabitants withdrew from the meeting, 


after which said report and letter of correspondence were 
read over again and accepted." In this document, which is 
not upon record, the committee observe that the papers in 
question contain nothing new, saving the following, viz., 
' ' The probability from the best intelligence they have been 
able to obtain that the Judges of the Superior Court, the 
King's attorney, and the Solicitor General, are to receive their 
support from the revenues of America." Inasmuch, there- 
fore, as the town of Roxbury had already instructed her rep- 
resentative in this particular, they believe that nothing more 
should be done. Their report, probably drawn up by the 
chairman, Isaac Winslow, Esq., whose conservative views 
finally led him to cast in his lot with the loyalists, is signed 
by all the committee excepting Capt. William Heath, William 
Bowdoin, and Nathaniel Patten. 

The ' ' Boston Gazette " gives full particulars of this stormy 
meeting, at which the conservative element in the town made 
a strenuous and wellnigh successful effort to check the popu- 
lar movement. It appears that after several unsuccessful 
attempts to ascertain the vote, the House was divided, and a 
majority rejected the report of the committee, whereupon 
those gentlemen and their friends withdrew. Moderator 
Heath then read the minority report, prepared by himself, 
which was accepted, and which appeared in full in the Boston 
papers of the day. In this document the committee declare 
the rights of the colonists to be fully supported and war- 
ranted by the laws of God and nature, the New Testament, 
and the charter of the Province. "Our pious forefathers," 
said they, " died with the pleasing hope that we, their chil- 
dren, should live free ; let none, as they would answer it an- 
other day, disturb the ashes of those heroes by selling their 

After a recital of grievances, they proceed to declare in 
their resolves that they ' ' view these infringements and inno- 
vations as insupportable burdens to which the} 7 cannot, sub- 


mit," and express " a grief of heart" that the prayer of the 
petition of Boston to the governor to permit the General 
Assembly to come together at the time to which it then stood 
prorogued was not granted. They also thank the town of 
Boston for the " great readiness and care discovered by them 
to do all that in them lies, to preserve the rights, liberties, and 
privileges of the people inviolate." A committee of corre- 
spondence was then chosen, consisting of Capt. William 
Heath, Nathaniel Patten, Nathaniel Felton, Samuel Sumner, 
Ebenezer Dorr, David "Weld, and Capt. Ebenezer Whiting. 

New occasion was offered to the citizens of Roxbury for 
the expression of their patriotic sentiments by the scheme of 
the British ministry to raise a revenue in the American colo- 
nies by permitting the East India Company to send their tea 
hither free of dut}*. It was at once seen that not only was 
this an odious monopoly of trade, but that it was calculated 
to circumvent the Americans into a compliance with the rev- 
enue law, and to thereby open the door to unlimited taxation. 
Several of the young men of Roxbury were members of the 
famous " Tea Party," and lent a hand in making a " teapot" 
of Boston Harbor on the evening of Dec. 16, 1773. Com- 
mittees from the towns of Roxbun*, Dorchester, Brookline, 
and Cambridge met with that of Boston, in Faneuil Hall, on 
Nov. 22, 1773, and were unanimous in opposition to the sale 
or landing of the obnoxious herb. 

At a meeting held on Dec. 3, 1773, to consider this subject, 
the town, after voting to pass over in silence the patrolling 
of soldiers " about the streets of this town, with their arms, 
equipt in a warlike posture," chose Capt. William Heath, Col. 
Joseph Williams, Aaron Davis, Major Nathaniel Ruggles, and 
Major Mayo a committee to draw up resolutions suitable to 
the occasion. 

In these the committee find reason to apprehend that the 
Tea Act was designed to " take in the unwary," and resolve 
' ' that the disposal of our own property is the inherent right 


of free men ; that there can be no property in that which 
another can of right take from us without our consent ; that 
the claim of Parliament to tax America is, in other words, a 
claim of right to levy contributions on us at pleasure" ; that 
the purpose for which the tax is laid, namely, for the support 
of government, the administration of justice, and the defence 
of America, has a direct tendency to render assemblies use- 
less, and to introduce arbitrary government and slavery ; that 
" a virtuous and steady opposition to this plan of governing 
America is absolutely necessaiy to preserve even the shadow 
of liberty, and is a duty every freeman owes to his country " ; 
that this plan is a violent attack upon the liberties of America ; 
that whoever shall aid or abet in unloading, receiving, or 
vending the tea is an enemy to America ; and that those who 
refuse to resign their appointments to receive and sell said 
tea "discover a temper inimical to the rights, liberties, and 
prosperit}* of America, and that in such light they will be 
viewed by this town, from whom they may not expect the 
least protection." Finallj*. the}' declare, 

"That this town look upon themselves as in Duty Bound to 
themselves and Posterity to Stand fast in that Liberty wherewith 
the Supream Being hath made them Free, and that they will readily 
Join with the Town of Boston, and other Sister Towns, in Such 
Constitutional Measures, as shall be Judged proper, to preserve 
and hand down to Posterity Inviolate those Inestimable Rights and 
Liberties handed down to us under Providence by our worthy 

As a consequence of the destruction of the tea in her har- 
bor, Boston was singled out for the vengeance of the govern- 
ment. Her port was closed on June 1, 1774; Gage, the 
ro}'al governor, fortified the Neck between Boston and Rox- 
bur}', and other measures were taken by both parties calcu- 
lated to precipitate a conflict. A Continental Congress had 
been called, and a Provincial Congress was to be convened 
at Concord on Oct. 5, 1774. To this body, Roxbury, on 


Sept. 28, sent Capt. William Heath and Aaron Davis, giving 
them for their guidance the instructions voted by the town of 
Boston to its delegates, which, among other things, enjoined 
upon them '' to act upon such matters as may come before 
you in such a manner as shall appear to you most conducive 
to the true interests of this town and Province, and most 
likely to procure the liberties of all America." These same 
delegates were re-elected to the second Provincial Congress, 
held in February following. 

On Dec. 26, after choosing a committee of fifteen per- 
sons, viz., Moses Davis, Daniel Brown, Major Nathaniel 
Ruggles, Lieut. Robert Pierpont, Caleb Hayward, Ebenezer 
Dorr, John Williams, Ensign Joshua Felton, Lieut. John 
Greaton, Stephen Williams, tanner, Lieut. Jeremiah Parker, 
Major Ebenezer Whiting, Deacon David Weld, Col. William 
Heath, and Eleazer Weld, to ' carry into execution the agree- 
ment and association of the late Continental Congress," the 
town took the important step of adopting and encouraging 
its minute-men b}~ passing the following votes, viz. : 

"To know if this Town will grant any Sum of Money for the 
Encouragement of one Quarter part of the Militia in this Town in 
order to their Perfecting themselves in Military Discipline, agree- 
able to the Recommendation of the Provintial Congress. 

"To Encourage one quarter part of the Militia Minutemen, so 

" Then Voted that they hold themselves in Readiness at a Minutes 
Warning, compleat in Arms and Ammunition ; that is to say a good 
and Suffitient Firelock, Baynot, thirty Rounds of Powder and Ball, 
Pouch and Napsack. 

"Voted that these Minutemen meet and Exercise twice a week 
three Hours Lach time. 

"Then Voted to allow Each Person one Shilling Lawfull Money 
for every three Hours Duty. 

"Voted that their be a fine laid on them the said Minutemen in 
case they do not appear at time and place as Preflxt by the Com- 
manding Officer. 

" Then Voted that the fine be one Shilling Lawful Money for their 


non appearance unless they have an Excuse which shall be Satis- 
factory to their Commanding Officers. 

" Voted to choose a Committee to Draw up the Articles of Inlist- 
raent for the said Company of Minutemen. 

" Then Voted and chose a committee of three Persons, viz Col. 
William Heath, Capt. Joseph Williams, Liev't Robert Pierpont. 

"Voted that the Commanding Officer of the said Minute Com- 
pany order that a fair account be kept of the attendance of those 
Persons, after having Inlisted, that the said account may be brought 
before the Town when cal'd for." 

At the meetings held March 6 and 20, 1775, further action 
was taken upon this subject. The companies were reorgan- 
ized so that there was one in each parish, the pay of the men 
was increased to sixpence per hour, and the fine for non- 
attendance increased to two shillings. One hundred pounds 
was appropriated for their pay. 

In a letter to Hon. Harrison Gray Otis, dated " Roxbury, 
April 21, 1798," General Heath says, "The first company 
of minute-men raised in America in 1775 preparatory to 
the defence of their invaluable rights and liberties, was 
raised in this town, and that company, with others, dis- 
tinguished itself in the Battle of Lexington on the 19th of 
April, 1775." 

The "Boston Gazette" of Nov. 28, 1774, tells us that 
"At a meeting in Roxbury last week for choice of military 
officers for the first parish, Rev. Mr. Adams opened the meet- 
ing with prayer, after which he was chosen mederator. The 
officers chosen were, 

Capt. JOSEPH HEATH, Captain. 
Mr. JOHN GREATON, Lieutenant. 

And at another meeting since, for another company, there 
were chosen, " 

AARON DAVis, Captain. 
Capt. JOSEPH WILLIAMS, Sergeant. 


Aggressive military operations having been begun by 
Gen. Gage, in the expedition to Salem, for the seizure of 
cannon belonging to the Province, earl}' in March, 177.">. 
couriers were stationed by the Americans at Roxbmy , Charles- 
town, and Cambridge, the three avenues from Boston, to 
alarm the country should the attempt be made to destroy the 
military stores that were being collected by them at Concord. 
The wisdom of this step was soon apparent. 

Three companies of Roxbury minute-inen, commanded re- 
spectively by Moses Whiting, William Draper, and Lemuel 
Child, responded to their country's call on the 19th of April, 
and did good service on that memorable occasion. Their 
lieutenants were Jacob Davis, Moses Draper, Thomas Mayo, 
John Davis, Lemuel May, and Isaac Williams. Heath, War- 
ren, and Greaton were actively occupied during the day in 
assembling the scattered guerilla parties of minute-men, and 
posting them advantageously, the former, on account of his 
rank, exercising command, or so much of it as the impromptu 
nature of the affair would admit of. Moses Whiting's com- 
pany afterward made part of Heath's regiment, and then of 
Greaton's, serving throughout the campaigns of 1775 and 
1776. Moses Draper led a compan}- of Gardner's Middlesex 
regiment at Bunker's Hill. Edward Payson Williams, a cor- 
poral in Capt. Child's company, afterwards commanded a com- 
pany in Greaton's regiment, and died in the service in 1777. 
His first lieutenant, Samuel Foster, also became a captain in 
Greaton's, with Jonathan Dorr as his second lieutenant. 

Other Roxbury men who held commissions in the army 
were, William Wynian, a captain in Patterson's regiment 
during the siege, and who died in Roxbury, 3 March, 1820, 
aged eighty-one ; Samuel Mellish, lieutenant and quarter- 
master in Greaton's regiment, and Robert Williams, lieutenant 
and paymaster of Henry Jackson's regiment, the father of 
Mrs. Walter Baker, of Dorchester, and grandfather of Alex- 
ander Williams, of the " Old Corner Bookstore" of Boston. 



Complete lists of these minute companies, copied from the 
State archives, are here given : 

" Muster roll of the company from Roxbury under the command 
of Capt. Moses Whiting, in Col. John Greaton's Minute Regiment 
(Served 28 days from April 19, 1775.) 

Capt. Moses "Whiting. 
1st Lt Jacob Davis. 
2cl Lt. Moses Draper. 
Sergt. James Herring. 

Joseph Smith. 

Samuel Foster. 

John Cluly Jones. 
Corpl. Gersham Jackson. 

Jacob Whitemore. 

Noah Parker. 
Fifer, Wm. Dorr. 
Drummer, John Gore. 

Joseph Bailey. 
Wm. Bosson, Jr. 
Samuel Bowman. 
Jonathan Brintnall. 
James Burrel, Jr. 
Stephen Clapp. 

Ebenezer Corey. 
Nehemiah Davis. 
Moses Davis. 
Jonathan Dorr. 
John Dowse, Jr. 
John Eayres. 
George Geyer. 
Jeames Goggen. 
Joseph Gore. 
James Griggs, Jr. 
John Henshaw. 
David How. 
Joseph Hunt. 
John Kneeland. 
Benj. Kuower. 
James Lewis. 
Joshua Lewis. 
John Mather. 
Jeremiah Masher, Jr. 

Stephen Mills. 
Solomon Munroe. 
Jedidiah Munroe. 
John Parker. 
David Richards. 
Joseph Richards. 
Moses Richardson 
Nathaniel Scott. 
Michael Smith. 
Nathaniel Talbot. 
Lemuel Tucker. 
Ebenezer Webb. 
Jacob Weld. 
Thomas Weld. 
Benj. West. 
Ebenezer Whitney. 
Thomas Williams. 
Francis Wood." 

''Roxbury, 7th Dec., 1775. A true and just roll of the Second 
Company in Roxbury, commanded by Capt. William Draper in Col. 
Wm. Heath's Regiment, the 19th day of April, when called to the 3d 
day of May and then dismissed. 

Capt. Wm. Draper. 
Lt. Thomas Mayo. 
Lt. John Davis. 
Sergt. Noah Davis. 

Paul Draper. 

David Richards. 
Corpl. Daniel Lyon. 

David Baker. 
Drummer, Wm. Warren. 

Jeremiah Bacon. 

John Dinsdell. 
Wm. Dinsdell. 
Jona. Draper. 
Nat. Draper. 
Samuel French. 
Samuel Gay. . 
Thomas Giles. 
Moses Griggs. 
Thaddeus Hyde. 
Lewis Jones. 
Josiah Kenny. 

Samuel Mayo. 
Jere. Mclntosh. 
Jacob Parker. 
Stephen Mclntosh. 
Nat. Perry. 
Joshua Pond. 
Samuel Richards. 
Wm. Salter. 
Eben. Talbot. 
Benj. Weld. 
Wm. Weld. 



Jona. Bird. 
Moses Blackman. 
Roland Clark. 
Benj. Corey. 
Timothy Crehore. 
Nat. Davis. 

Jno. Kneeland. 
James Keith. 
Ezra Kimball. 
Timothy Lewis. 
Samuel Lewis. 
Samuel Lauchlin. 

Isaac Whitney. 
Jacob Whitney. 
Stephen Whtiney. 
Rufus Whiting. 
Ephraim Wilson. 
Moses Wilson." 

" Roxbury, Dec. 16, 1775. A true and just roll of the Third 
Company in Roxbury, commanded by Capt. Lemuel Child, in Col. 
Wm. Heath's Regiment, the 19th day of April, then called to the 3d 
day of May, and then dismissed. 

Capt. Lemuel Child. 
Lt. Lemuel May. 
Lt. Isaac Williams. 
Ensign Samuel White. 
Sergt. Eben Weld. 

Stephen Payson. 

Ezra Davis. 

Isaac Sturtevant. 
Corpl. Payson Williams. 

John Lowder. 

Joseph Weld. 

Joseph Brewer. 

John Adams. 
Elijah Child. 
John Child. 
Abijah Clarke. 
Aaron Draper. 
Ichabod Draper. 
Paul Dudley. 
Thomas Dudley. 
Peter Everet. 
John Foster. 
Eben Goodenough. 

John Foster. 
Wm Gould. 
Asa Morse. 
Thomas Parker. 
Eben Pond. 
Samuel Star. 
Peter Walker. 
Elijah Weld. 
Job Weld. 
David White. 
Wm. Wood. 
Jason Winch." 

As the principal events of the ensuing siege are elsewhere 
related, only such matters will be here introduced as are un- 
connected with Roxbury localities. 

Boston was so closely invested that the British army could 
supply itself with fresh meat, straw, or fodder only from the 
islands in the harbor. This brought on several skirmishes, 
in which the Americans, besides being initiated in warfare, 
were generally successful. The first one occurred on the 
morning of May 21, at Grape Island, where the British at- 
tempted to carry off a quantity of hay, but were driven off 
by the people of Weymouth and the adjacent towns, aided by 
three companies detached from Roxbury by Gen. Thomas. 
Warren was present on this occasion, and the hay, the object 
of the expedition, was burned by the Americans. He was 


again present at a similar affair on the 27th, at Noddle's 
Island (East Boston) , where the British were again defeated 
with loss. On May 31 it was ordered that the stock taken 
from Noddle's Island belonging to Henry Howell Williams, 
be delivered to his father, Col. Joseph Williams, of Roxbury, 
for the use of his son. 

On the night of June 2, Col. Greaton commanded a party 
which took off about eight hundred sheep and lambs from 
Deer Island, together with a number of cattle, also a barge 
belonging to one of the men-of-war, with some prisoners. 
These successes so encouraged the people that they stripped 
every island between Chelsea and Point Alderton of forage 
and cattle, and the lighthouse at the entrance of the harbor 
was burnt down. 

The forces under Gen. Thomas at Roxbmy, early in June, 
consisted of the regiments of Thomas, Learned, Fellows, Cot- 
ton, Walker, Read, Danielson, Brewer, and Robinson, of 
Massachusetts, numbering four thousand ; Gen. Spencer's 
Connecticut troops, containing the regiments of Spencer, Par- 
sons, and Huntington ; those of Rhode Island, under Gen. 
Greene, stationed at Jamaica Plain (Varnum's, Hitchcock's, 
and Miller's regiments) , and three or four artillery companies 
with field pieces and a few heavy cannon. On the 13th of 
June authentic advice was given to the American commanders 
that the night of June 18 had been fixed upon by Gen. Gage 
to take possession of Dorchester Heights. To counteract 
this move of the enemy, the Americans, on the night of the 
16th, fortified Breed's Hill and brought on the battle of 
the 17th of June. The success of the British on this occa- 
sion was so dearly purchased as to prevent the accomplish- 
ment of their original object. Greene declared that the 
Americans would like to sell them another hill at the same 
price. But glorious as was the result to America, it was pur- 
chased at the sacrifice of one of her noblest sons, the saga- 
cious, fearless patriot, Joseph Warren. 


At the expiration of the siege, a portion of the armj' was 
sent to Canada, and the remainder to New York, the scene 
of operations of the following campaign. The citizens of 
Roxbury returned to the homes they had abandoned to the 
army, and the town resumed its wonted peaceful appearance. 
Some of the barracks were subsequently occupied as the 
rendezvous of recruits for the regiments of Colonels Greaton, 
Bailey, and others. 

On May 23, 1775, the town instructed the selectmen to 
" take care of the estates of those gentlemen that have left 
them and gone into Boston." The loj'alists of Roxbury were, 
without exception, men of high character and influence, most 
of whom abandoned valuable estates for the sake of principle. 
Their houses and lands were leased by the selectmen until the 
passage of the Confiscation Act of 1779 made them the prop- 
erty of the State, for whose benefit they were eventually sold. 

Oppressed as it was by the presence of large numbers of 
ill-disciplined militiamen, who occupied its houses for bar- 
racks, trampled its growing crops, cut down its fruit trees, 
and inflicted much greater injury than the enemy's cannon, no 
wonder the town, in August, petitioned the General Court for 
an abatement of its Province tax. The petitioners sa}* : 

"In 1774 the real arid personal estates were estimated at 19,572, 
out of which sum, upon a careful examination, 4,417 is totally lost, 
and the possessors, eighty-nine in number, are driven off from their 
respective habitations and employment, and whose estates now lie 
common and unimproved. In addition to which, the profits of about 
thirty of the real estates in said town, calculated at 2,378, have 
shrunk in value not less than three fourths. Of many others, the 
profits have necessarily diminished on account of the encampment 
in their fields and orchards. The improvement of upwards of four 
hundred acres of salt marsh are also entirely lost. A great number 
of polls in the town (exclusive of those in the army) less than the 
year past. That the town poor are removed from the workhouse, 
where their earnings went far towards their support, but in the 
present distressed situation of the town they can't be employed. 


A number of poor people who have heretofore lived without assist- 
ance from the town, having fled from their habitations and business, 
are now calling upon the town for help, and many others, with their 
families, it is expected will in the course of the next winter be throw- 
ing themselves upon the town for support, and of consequence the 
town tax will be much enlarged. This petition is not because they 
want to shirk their duty to pay all they can, but because they feel 
that their abilities will not admit of their paying more than one 
third of their old tax. 



In consequence of this petition an abatement of two ninths 
of its tax was allowed. 

On May 22, 1776, the town instructed her representatives, 
Dr. Jonathan Davies, Aaron Davis, and Increase Sumner, that 
-' if the Honorable Congress should, for the safety of the said 
colonies, declare them independent of the Kingdom of Great 
Britain, they, the said inhabitants, will solemnly engage with 
their lives and fortunes to support them in the measure." A 
j'ear later, Roxbury instructs her representatives to favor the 
adoption of a constitution for the State, but it was not until 
May, 1 780, that the instrument was accepted by the town. 

Toryism, which had been so effectually repressed two years 
before, again began to show itself. Pierce's diary, under date 
of April 19, 1777, says, "There were five tories carted out of 
Boston, and tip't up in Roxbury. They were ordered never 
to return to Boston upon pain of death." Soon afterwards 
the town chose Samuel Williams, " agreable to an act of the 
General Court, to procure evidence of the inimical dispositions 
of any persons in the town, and to lay such evidence before 
a court appointed for the tryal of such persons." 

The Articles of Confederation of the Thirteen United Col- 
onies were adopted by the town on Jan. 30, 1778. 


Among the evils experienced by the country during its 
struggle for liberty, none was more keenly felt than the con- 
stant depreciation of the currenc}', bringing in its train fore- 
stalling and enhanced prices for almost everything. In one 
daj*, Samuel Williams, of Roxbury, cleared two hundred dol- 
lars, on sales of four hundred and fifty, the proceeds of his mar- 
keting in Boston. On July 12, 1779, a committee of twenty- 
one from all parts of the town were directed to draw up 
resolves for appreciating the currency, and reducing the ex- 
orbitant prices of the necessaries of life. They were to 
determine what proportion the prices of foreign and internal 
produce ought, in justice, to bear to each other, and to post 
in the public places in the town the prices of articles specified, 
' ' disregarders " thereof to receive ' ' that severest of all tem- 
poral punishments, the displeasure and contempt of the peo- 
ple." "For a second offence," they say, "his name shall 
be published in the several Boston newspapers as a pest of 
society, and unworthy the confidence and esteem of all man- 

One of the ablest of the State papers of Roxbury is that 
containing its instructions to its representative, Thomas 
Clarke, dated May 19, 1783. It was probably drawn up by 
Dr. William Gordon, chairman of the committee. Such 
instructions it esteems to be a duty and a right, " at this 
critical and important period, when we are just emerging 
from a long and expensive war." It enjoins upon him to 
keep in view the end proposed by entering into society, viz., 
the preservation of life, liberty, and propertj*, which are to 
be enjoyed equally b}' all ; an observance of the letter and 
spirit of the Constitution ; a watch over the executive and 
judicial departments, that any malpractices ma}' be discov- 
ered and immediately stopped ; to secure the faithful and 
economical expenditure of the public moneys ; a jealous 
supervision of the public propert} 7 ; economy in the public 
business, and in the management of the public domain ; the 


necessity of permanent salaries for the judges ; the mainte- 
nance of the financial honor of the State, and the establish- 
ment of the militia on the most respectable foundation. " In 
imposing duties, you will remember that small excises pro- 
duce the greatest revenue by excluding temptations to smug- 
gle, and rendering needless a swarm of officers, who, besides 
the enormous expense they occasion, prove obnoxious to the 
community, and, generally, serve as tools to government. We 
heartily bless God that the war has terminated so honorably 
and advantageously, and take this opportunity of testifying 
our gratitude to our American negotiators for the probity, 
wisdom, and firmness with which they have conducted." 

Of the fifth article of the treat}', recommending the revisal 
of the confiscation acts and the admission of the refugees, 
they say, "We conceive these acts to have been just and 
politic, nor do we perceive, by any events that have yet taken, 
or probablj* will take place, the necessity or convenience of 
their repeal, and you are therefore to use your influence that 
the absentees do not return." 

Sha}-s's Insurrection broke out in the fall of 1786. Rox- 
bury, as usual, performed her part in its suppression, sending 
her artillery company under Capt. John Jones Spooner, and 
also an infantry compan}' under Capt. Moses Draper, whom 
we have already seen a lieutenant at Lexington, and a captain 
at Bunker's Hill. The artillery company, before marching, 
listened to an address from Mr. Samuel Quincy, at the old 
meeting-house, on the importance and necessity of a well- 
regulated militia. On Nov. 30, Roxbury sent some mounted 
volunteers on a secret expedition, but the} T returned without 
effecting their object. A company of veterans belonging to 
the First Parish, organized for the protection of the Supreme 
Court to be held at Cambridge, with Major-Gen. Heath for its 
captain, and Capt. Joseph Williams and Hon. John Read, 
lieutenants. In the answer of the town to the address of 
the town of Boston, the committee say : 


"We are persuaded that there are grievances that ought to be 
redressed, and have instructed our representatives to endeavor to 
obtain redress. This town has borne a large share in the burdens, 
the losses and expenses of the late Avar ; many of us have lost a 
considerable part of our property ; many of our respectable fellow- 
citizens have fallen sacrifices. We are, therefore, unwilling to part 
with our freedom, purchased at so great expense of blood and treas- 
ure. You may, therefore, be assured we will join you in a redress 
of grievances, in supporting with firmness the constitution of our 
country, and assist you in handing down to posterity, sacred and 
unimpaired, the freedom we have dearly purchased." 

In the instructions to Representative Clarke, urging him 
to endeavor to obtain a redress of grievances, and to bring 
about the re-establishment of public faith, public credit, and 
public confidence, they also say : 

"With abhorrence and detestation do the inhabitants of this 
town view and consider the late riotous proceedings. A community 
can no more exist without government, than a body without a soul, 
and an attempt illegally and wantonly to burst the bands of civil 
society can be considered in no other light than the most consum- 
mate political suicide or rankest treason." 

At the public celebration in Boston, on Feb. 8, 1788, of 
the ratification of the Constitution of the United States, the 
farmers of Roxbury, with a plough and other implements of 
husbandry, led the procession. All the industrial arts were 
represented, and the occasion was one of extraordinary in- 
terest. One of its most attractive features was a ship on a 
sledge, drawn by thirteen horses, and manned by a number 
of sailors, called the "New Constitution." An old boat, 
irreparably leaky, also drawn on a sledge, represented the 
Old Confederation. 

In September, 1814, while the second war with England was 
in progress, the town, by vote, unanimously engage " that 
the inhabitants of the town of Roxbury will, by manual 
labor, pecuniary contributions, and military services, do what- 
ever the executive of the Commonwealth shall require to put 


the State of Massachusetts in a proper posture of defence." 
The veteran soldier, Gen. Henry Dearborn, was a member 
of the town's committee to take measures for defence " in the 
present alarming condition of the country." 

No sketch of the historj* of Roxbury would be complete 
that failed to speak of the numerous towns that owe their 
origin to her. A feeling somewhat akin to that of the West- 
ern pioneer, who, when he heard of a settler within ten miles 
of him, felt that it was time for him to leave, " population 
was becoming so dense," must have influenced the early 
inhabitants of this town, judging from their migratory pro- 
pensities ; and there are to-day more of their descendants 
inhabiting the Connecticut valley than are to be found in 
Roxbury herself. Her citizens were among the original 
founders of Dedham, in 1635 ; of Springfield, in 1636 ; New 
Roxbury, now Woodstock, Conn., in 1683 ; Pomfret, Conn., 
in 1687; Lambstown, now Hard wick, in 1686; Dudley, in 
1731 ; Bedford, N. H., in 1732 ; Warwick, in 1744 ; Worces- 
ter, Colerain, and Oxford, besides others chiefly settled by 
her, as Scituate, Braintree, Newbuiy, etc. 

In answer to a petition of Roxbury, the General Court, on 
Nov. 7, 1683, granted a tract of land seven miles square in 
what was called the " Nipmuck Country," for a village to be 
laid out about Quatessit, afterwards called " New Roxbury," 
now Woodstock, Conn. "I gave New Roxbury the name 
of Woodstock in 1690," says Judge Sewall, " because of its 
nearness to Oxford, for the sake of Queen Elizabeth and the 
notable meetings that have been held at the place bearing that 
name in England." Oct. 27, 1684, the committee of the town 
reported a place "comodiose" for a township in the Nip- 
muck Country at " Seneksuk and Wapagusset and the lands 

Thither, in July, 1686, some thirty families of Roxbury 
pioneers, denominated " goers," wended their way, bivouack- 
ing by stream and grove, passing at Medway the last outpost 


of civilization, and thence toiling onward over the old " Con- 
necticut Path," through thirty miles of savage wilderness, to 
their destined home, traversing a distance of eighty miles. 
Among them were Morris, Bowen, Bugbee, Craft, Chandler, 
Davis, Griggs, Gar}*, Johnson, Leavens, May, Lyon, Scar- 
borough, and others of the best families of the town. A 
large number were young men with growing families. Ed- 
ward Morris, Samuel Scarborough, Samuel Craft, John 
Chandler, William Lyon, Jonathan Peake, and Henry Bowen 
were men advanced in years, going out with grown-up sons 
to the new settlement, leaving estates behind them. 

The two hundredth anniversary of the settlement of Rox- 
buiy was celebrated Oct. 8, 1830, with great eclat. Upon 
the square near the Norfolk House a procession was formed, 
consisting of military, naval, and civic associations, together 
with a large body of citizens, who, under escort of the Norfolk 
Guards, marched through the principal streets of the town. 
An historical address was delivered b\- Gen. H. A. S. Dear- 
born, and a centennial poem by Dr. Thomas Gra}-, of 
Jamaica Plain. A dinner at the Norfolk House followed, 
and in the evening the town was illuminated b}' fire-works 
from the Old Fort, and a quantity of blazing tar-barrels on 
Tommy's Rocks. 

On Nov. 22 of the centennial j*ear 1876, another cele- 
bration of the historic old town took place under the aus- 
pices of the Roxbury City Guard. Gen. Horace Binney 
Sargent was the orator, and the reunion proved an occasion 
of Unusual interest, especially to the older citizens. 

From the period of her incorporation as a city, on March 
12, 1846, to the date of her annexation to Boston, on Jan. 6, 
1868, the following citizens occupied the mayor's chair : 


H. A. S. DEARBORN 1847-51. 







WILLIAM GASTON ....... 1861-2. 


In closing this brief historical summary, there remains only 
to add that, after a ten years' experience, annexation has 
not proved an unmixed blessing. The large real-estate own- 
ers in the easterly part of the town, the prime movers in the 
project, have been materially benefited ; a more liberal scale 
of expenditure has been applied to public works ; and the 
commercial importance of Boston has been increased to the 
extent of the added population and territorj r resulting from 
it. Roxbur}* has Cochituate water, to be sure, a matter of 
grave importance to her, but on the other hand, she has lost 
the control of her own affairs, being completely swallowed 
up in a large municipality in which her influence is necessarily 
small, even her name, interwoven as it is with history, having 
fallen into disuse. A careful supervision of its own interests is 
essential to the well-being of every community, and this can 
never be so easily and effectually done in a large as in a small 
body politic. Let other towns heed the lesson. 



Physical Characteristics. Pudding-stone. Early Descriptions of Rox- 
bury. Localities. Boundaries. Titles to Land. Persons and Es- 
tates, 1636-40. Streets and Highways. Street Lamps. Conveyances. 

Occupations. Population. Dress. Fashions. Food. Houses. 
Furniture. Domestic Life. Slaves. Social Distinctions. Sunday. 

Currency and Prices. Social Usages. Apprentices. 

T7IFTY years ago Eoxbury was a suburban village, with a 
J- single narrow street, and dotted with farms, many of 
which still remained in the hands of the descendants of their 
original proprietors. The town was concentrated in Roxbury 
Street, all the rest was country. The territorial exigencies 
of the neighboring city of Boston, with whose interests hers 
have always been closely identified, have changed all this, 
and in its stead we now see broad avenues, spacious and well- 
built streets, numerous church, school, and other public 
edifices, well-filled stores, extensive manufacturing establish- 
ments, and a busy population of more than forty thousand 

The prospect, from the peculiar configuration of the town, 
is constantly changing with the point of view, and an air of 
affluence and comfort pervades the place. Upon its annexa- 
tion to Boston in 1867, a remarkable rise in real estate ensued, 
and a great impetus was given to its growth and improve- 
ment. The most marked change in this respect took place, 
however, in the decade between 1840 and 1850, when the 
population increased from nine thousand to eighteen thousand, 
a city charter having been granted in 1846. 

The natural surface of Roxbury is uneven and rocky, hence 
its name, which in the early records is usually spelled Rocks- 
bury, or borough. To this cause also it owes much of its 


varied and picturesque beauty, heightened as it has been by 
the taste and skill displayed in its horticultural and architec- 
tural embellishment. 

The soil is rich and productive. One of its principal fea- 
tures is the conglomerate or pudding-stone with which it 
abounds, much used in church building, its -brownish hue 
imparting an air of antiquity to the newest structure. 

Geologists tell us this stone was laid down by glacial action. 
In many places this is very apparent. One of the most 
noticeable is on a wooded hill to the left of Washington and 
bej'ond Townsend Street, where the once famous cave was 
located. On the southern slope, among the trees, are several 
masses of conglomerate, the large, projecting round stones 
of which have been smoothed down nearly to the surface of 
the main rock. A chemical agency is observable in this 
structure in the veins of quartz by which it is frequently 
traversed. As this coarse conglomerate contains more cal- 
careous matter than the slaty varieties, and decomposes more 
readily, the best soil is found over this formation, which 
occurs in Eastern Massachusetts and Rhode Island, and it 
furnishes the finest examples of exuberant farms and gardens 
in this State. The predominant direction of its strata is 
nearly east and west, and the dip northerly, approaching to 
forty-five degrees. The rounded nodules or plums show the 
action of water, and that the earliest of the deluges by which 
the materials of the Roxbury conglomerate were accumulated 
must have been of great power. 

In view of the fact that this stone is so abundant in Rox- 
bury, and that the islands in the harbor are evidently the 
remnants of a once continuous similar formation, it seems 
extraordinarj' that not a ledge of rock, no building-stone 
whatever, has been found in original Boston. 

"For the country itself," writes Winthrop, soon after his 
arrival, "I can discern little difference between it and our 
own. We have had only two days which I have observed 


more hot than in England. Here is as good land as I have 
seen there, but none so bad as there. Here is sweet air, fair 
rivers, and plenty of springs, and the water better than in 
England. Here can be no want of anything to those who 
bring means to raise out of the earth and sea." 

" If fresh meat be wanting to fill up our dish, 
We have carrots and turnips as much as we wish ; 
And is there a mind for a delicate dish, 
We repair to the clam banks and there we catch fish." 

From Wood's " New England's Prospect," the earliest 
topographical account of the Massachusetts colon}*, published 
in 1634, I take this first printed description of Roxbury : 

" A mile from this town (Dorchester) lieth Roxberry which is a 
faire and handsome countrey town, the inhabitants of it being all 
very rich. This town lieth upon the maine so that it is well wooded 
and watered, having a cleare and fresh Brooke running through the 
towne ; up which, although there come no alewives, yet there is 
great store of smelts, and therefore it is called Smelt Brooke. A 
quarter of a mile to the north side of the towne is another river, 
called Stony river, upon which is built a water milne. Here is good 
ground for corne, and meadow for cattle : Up westward from the 
towne it is something rocky, whence it hath the name of Roxberry ; 
the inhabitants have faire houses, store of cattle, impaled corne 
fields and fruitful gardens. Here is no harbor for ships because the 
towne is seated in the bottom of a shallow bay, which is made by 
the necke of land on which Boston is built, so that they can trans- 
port all their goods from the ships in boats from Boston which is 
the nearest harbor." 

Next in the order of time is Edward Johnson's descrip- 
tion, written in 1652. He says : 

" Roxbury is situated between Boston and Dorchester, being 
well watered with coole and pleasant springs issuing forth the rocky 
hills, and with small freshets watering the vallies, of this fertill 
towne whose forme is somewhat like a wedge double pointed 
entering between the two fore named towns and filled with a very 
laborious people whose labors the Lord hath blessed that in the 
room of dismall swampes and tearing bushes, they have very goodly 
fruit trees, fruitful fields and gardens, their heard of cows, oxen, 


and other young cattell of that kind about 350, and dwelling houses 
neere upon 120. Their streets are large and some fayre houses, yet 
they have built their house for church assembly destitute and 
uubeautified with other buildings. The church of Christ here is 
increased to about 120 persons." 

One more description of the old town tells us how it 
appeared just at the close of the Revolutionary war : 

"It (Roxbury) is about seven and three fourths miles in length, 
not more than two in breadth in the widest part, and contains 
upwards of 7,100 acres. The soil, where tilled, produces good hay 
and all kinds of vegetables and fruit common to the country, but 
the surface of the ground is in general rough, hilly, and rocky ; at 
the lowest computation there are 400 acres of land unimprovable 
in the town ; the wood belonging to it was very considerably less- 
ened in consequence of the extraordinary demand for the use of the 
American army encamped in and near the town in the winter of 
1775 ; there now remains about 550 acres of woodland. It has sev- 
eral high hills which afford an agreeable prospect of the town and 
harbor of Boston, and one large pond covering about 120 acres, 
near which is a plain of a mile in length known by the name of 
Jamaica Plain, remarkable for the pleasantness of its situation and 
the number of gentlemen's houses upon it ; but only one river called 
Muddy River from a pond of that name which is the source of it, and 
lies six miles from its mouth where it empties into the bay between 
Cambridge and Boston. There is little trade here, though several 
branches are carried on to advantage, particularly in skins and 
hides, but the chief dependence of the inhabitants is upon hus- 
bandry. It has 213 dwelling-houses mostly of wood, which lie 
scattered, not contiguous except at the entrance of the town from 
Boston; 18 tan-houses and slaughter-houses, one chocolate mill, 
two grist-mills, 167 barns, 160 corn-houses and smaller buildings, 
three meeting-houses of the Congregational denomination, one 
grammar school, and four other schools." 

Originally well wooded, the town suffered from the cause 
just mentioned, which left little that could be used for fuel, 
sparing not even the orchards. Water was plenty. Besides 
Muddy River, Stony, Smelt, and Dorchester Brooks, Jamaica, 
Muddy, and other smaller ponds, there were numerous springs, 


of one of which, in Roxbury Street, John Dane says, " I 
never drank wine in my life that more refresht me." Smelt 
Brook, one of the original features of Roxbury, is now 
annihilated. Stem* Brook, which has its rise in Muddj* Pond, 
was once a favorite resort for anglers. It now serves vari- 
ous manufacturing establishments. 

The principal geographical divisions of the town were, the 
First Parish, Jamaica Plain, and Spring Street, correspond- 
ing with its easterly, central, and western portions. The latter 
received its name as early as 1690, and became the Second 
Parish in 1712. A line in prolongation of "Walk Hill Street 
to Brookline would nearly coincide with its eastern limit. 
The central was named before 1667, and became the Third 
Parish in 1770. The two more recentl}' constituted West 
Roxbury. These parochial divisions had all disappeared be- 
fore 1820. Punch Bowl Village was at Muddy River, now 
Brookline ; Roxbury Precinct included the westerly side of 
Parker Hill and vicinity ; Pierpont's Village clustered around 
the mill, where now the Roxbury station of the Boston and 
Providence Railroad is located ; and Canterbuiy, whose no- 
menclature is a puzzle to the antiquary, was that rather quiet 
and obscure portion of the town, yet unvisited by Chaucer's 
Pilgrims, tying between Forest Hills and Dorchester. 

For a period of two hundred and twenty years the limits 
of Roxbury remained essentially the same. It extended eight 
miles from east to west, and two from north to south, and 
contained an area of ten thousand six hundred and eight} r -six 
acres. On the east was Boston, partly separated from her 
by a shallow bay ; Brookline and Xewton made her northern 
boundary ; Dedham la}' on the west, and Dorchester on the 

The boundary line between Roxbury and Boston was es- 
tablished by the General Court in 1636, when it was also 
ordered " that all the rest of the ground between Dorchester 
bounds and Boston bounds shall belong to the town of 


Roxbun-, easterly of Charles River, except the property of 
the aforesaid towns which they have purchased of particular 
persons. Roxbury not to extend above eight miles in length 
from their meeting-house." Respecting the Dedham boun- 
dary there was much controversy, and it was not finally set- 
tled till 1697. Alterations were made in the Boston line by 
the legislative acts of 16th March, 1836; 23d April, 1838; 
and 6th April, 1859. In 1838 one thousand eight hundred 
acres of Newton, at the extreme southerly part of the town, 
bounding southwesterly about two hundred and ninety rods 
upon Charles River, were set off to Roxbury. West Roxbury 
was set off and incorporated 24th May, 1851. That part of 
Roxbury tying between Muddy River and the brook, its origi- 
nal boundary, was annexed to Brookline in 1844. In 1852 
a portion of Dedham was annexed to West Roxbury. When 
its annexation to Boston took place, Jan. 6, 1868, Roxbury, 
which since June 20, 1793, had constituted a portion of 
Norfolk County, again became a part of the county of Suffolk 
Lands were originally apportioned as follows : eacn person 
who came over at his own cost was entitled to fifty acres ; 
each adventurer of 50 in the common stock of the company 
received two hundred acres, or in that proportion, and those 
who brought over servants were allowed fifty acres for each. 
When, in 1686, the old charter was annulled, and new patents 
for their lands were required of the owners by Governor 
Andros, they purchased the Indian title in order to 
strengthen their own, but the governor, intent upon the 
exaction of his fees, assured them that " the signatures of 
Indians to title deeds were of no more worth than the scratch 
of a bear's paw." Each settler had a piece of marsh land for 
the salt hay, one acre of salt marsh being equal in value to 
ten of woodland or two of corn or pasture land. From the 
record book of " Houses and Lands in Roxbury," dated 
1654, we find that the number of homesteads at that time 
was between seventy and eighty, the possessors of lands 



numbering ninety. Scarce any of these homesteads remain 
in the hands of the descendants of their original proprietors. 
What appears to be a fly-leaf from the original book of 
town records, preserved in a torn and fragmentary staje, 
supplies us with the earliest list we have of the inhabitants of 
the town. Its date is somewhere between 1636 and 1640. 
The figures on the right of the names, sometimes erroneously 
supposed to indicate the number of persons in the respective 
households, have an evident correspondence with the number 
of acres given in the column on the left, and are perhaps 
a valuation in pounds and shillings. Some of the figures 
have been torn off. 

A Note of y e Estates and Persons of the Inhabitants of Rocksbury. 




Edward Pason 

1 00 

00 00 


William Webb 

4 02 

00 00 


Martin Stebbin 

2 00 

00 00 


Thomas Pigge 


00 00 


John Totman 

2 06 

00 00 


John Perry 



Laurence Wittamore 

2 02 

06 08 


Pfrancis Smith 



John Stonnard 

2 00 

09 00 


Robert Gamlin 

7 03 


Giles Payson 

2 10 

03 04 


William Chandler 

7 06 


Gawin Anderson 


00 00 


Widow Iggulden 

7 06 


Richard Peacocke 


00 00 


Abraham Newell 

7 07 


John Ruggles 

3 04 

13 00 


Samuel Chapin 



John Levins 

3 17 

00 00 


William Cheiny 



Edward Bugble 

3 17 

00 00 


John Pettit 



Edward Rigges 

4 00 

00 00 


Robert Williams 



Edward Bridge 

4 02 

00 00 


William Perkins 



Thomas Ruggles 

4 01 

15 00 


John Graues 



Thomas Griggs 

4 00 

00 00 


Edward Porter 



John Hall 

4 00 

00 00 


John Roberts 



John Trumble 

4 00 

00 00 


Daniel Brewer 



Richard Peper 

4 03 

00 00 


James Astwood 



Robert Seauer 

4 17 

06 00 


John Miller 



John Corteis 

5 00 

00 00 


Griffin Craft 

10 00 


John Mathew 

5 01 

00 00 


Thomas Lamb 

12 07 


Abraham Howe 

5 01 

00 00 


John Watson 



Arthur Gary 

5 02 

00 00 


Mr John Eliot 

13 00 


John Bowles 

5 07 

10 00 

Thomas Bell 

13 18 

02 00 


Isaac Johnson 

5 02 

00 00 

Samuel Hagborne 

14 17 

00 00 


Ralph Hemminway 

5 09 

14 08 

John Johnson 

15 12 

06 08 


John Buzwell 

5 17 

10 00 


William Cartels 

13 8 


Thomas Waterman 

6 01 

16 08 

George Holmes 

13 10 

10 00 

Samuel Ffinch, 

6 14 

05 00 

William Parke 

15 01 

10 00 







188 John Gore 

15 16 

00 00 

273 John Weld 

23 03 

15 00 

204 Isaac Morrill 

17 00 

00 00 

288 Joshua Hewes 

24 00 

-00 00 

242 George Alcock 

20 03 

00 00 

305 Philip Eliot 

25 07 

13 04 

253 John Stow 

21 02 

17 04 

333 Mr Thomas Weld 26 01 

13 00 

256 Elder Heath 

21 18 

03 04 

356 Mr Thomas Dudley 10 00 

00 00 

267 Wm. Denison 

24 07 

06 03 

Mr Elliot 

8 goats 



Elder Heath 

12 goats 



John Johnson 



Wm. Denison 



Isaac Morrill 



John Stow 



Mr Sbeafe 



Thos Waterman 



Edward Bugbie 



John Burckly 



'1 homas Ffreeman 



Edward Sheffield 



Richard Peacock 



William Chandler 



In 1652 the selectmen with three others were appointed to 
stake out highways, with full powers to settle all matters 
respecting them. Twenty highways were laid out by Edward 
Denison, Isaac Johnson, Griffin Craft, and Peleg Heath, in 
1663, and their report, which covers nine foolscap pages, 
pointing out numerous infringements on the part of the 
abutters, enables us to locate many of the old homesteads. 
One of the first acts of the town prescribes penalties for 
taking rocks out of the highways and leaving holes in the 
road. In the early days these highways were let by the 3*ear, 
for pasturage, and were generally fenced across with a pair 
of bars to keep out cattle. In 1663 it was agreed at a public 
town meeting " according to an ancient town order, that 
every man should have a highway to his division of land in 
the town where it may be most convenient for him, and so as 
ma}* be least damage to his neighbor, through whose land he 
is to have his way." 

In 1816 the old system of repairing highways by working 
out the tax was abolished, and the amount necessary for the 
purpose raised in the same manner as for other items of ex- 
penditure. In 1825 the streets, forty in number, received 
names, some of which have been since changed, in conse- 


quence of annexation. In 1824, Roxburj" Street was paved 
and sidewalks laid. The streets were first lighted in May, 
1826, lamps being provided by the inhabitants. Oil, wicks, 
and lighting were at the charge of the town. Gas was first 
introduced on Nov. 24, 1850, sixteen years later than in 
Boston, but there were only ten street gas-lamps at the close 
of 1852, in which year the Roxbury Gas-Light Company was 
incorporated. A Board of Health was first established here 
in 1829. 

Hourly coaches began to run between Roxbury and Boston 
in 1826. Before this the only public conveyance between 
the two places was a two-horse stage-coach leaving once in 
two hours. Prior to the establishment of hourlies, all who 
kept no carriages or horses walked into Boston, a prac- 
tice much in vogue long afterwards. Even the ladies walked 
in and out of town over the Neck, and carried home the 
bundles containing their purchases. The "Citizens' Line" 
of Providence stages, Timothy Gay, proprietor, made daily 
trips through Roxbury, as many as seven or eight coaches 
sometimes running over the Neck at five o'clock in the morn- 
ing, this being the only existing route to* New York until 
in 1834 the Providence Railroad was opened with a single 

Omnibuses, which first came in use in London in 1830, 
were superseded here in 1856 by horse railroads. 

Husbandry was the chief occupation of the people, but the 
business of tanning, introduced early in the last century, 
soon assumed extensive proportions, and Roxbury became a 
" great tannery for the country." This branch of industry 
ceased here many years ago. Her two landing-places, one 
on either side of the Neck, gave her for a time a commercial 
importance which disappeared with the building of the mill- 
dam and the bridges. Since that period her manufactures 
and other industries have been varied and extensive, none 
now having especial predominance, unless it be her breweries. 


An estimate of the population of Roxbury in 1652 may be 
made from Johnson's statement that there were then ' ' neere 
upon" one hundred and twenty dwellings in the town. These 
WjOuld accommodate about seven hundred souls. The slow 
growth of the town in the next hundred years is seen in the 
fact that the colonial census of 1765 gives her a population 
of one thousand four hundred and sixty-seven, or one hundred 
and sixteen to the square mile. During the siege the east- 
erly part of the town was almost depopulated, and ten years 
later her numbers had not perceptibly increased. In 1811 
Roxbury had one thousand twenty-six polls, four hundred 
and twenty-eight dwelling houses, seventy-nine shops, twelve 
tan-houses, forty -two slaughter-houses, two grist-mills, one 
carding machine, one cotton and woollen mill, one other mill, 
three bakehouses, six hundred and ninety-four tillage acres, 
and one thousand six hundred and fifteen of English hay and 
upland. According to the United States Census, her popula- 
tion at different periods has been as follows : 

1790 . . . 2,226. 1850 . . . 18,373. 

1810 . . . 3,669. 1860 . . . 25,137. 

1830 . . . 5,247. 1870 . . . 34,772. 

1840 . . . 9,089. 

Mathew "Withington's map of November, 1794, the earliest 
existing map of Roxbury, gives the boundaries and county 
roads, Jamaica and Muddy Ponds, the three meeting-houses, 
and two grist-mills, Pierpont's and Ralph Smith's. The first 
engraved map, made in 1832 by order of the selectmen from 
the survey of John Gr. Hales, presents all the topographical 
features of the town, gives the names of the streets, and also 
locates every building then standing, naming a few of the 
most prominent. A reduced copy of this accurate and inter- 
esting map faces the present chapter. 

Clothing in the early daj-s, excepting that of the wealthy 
and professional classes, consisted of home-made fabrics of 

DRESS. 53 

wool. Men wore jerkins, smallclothes, ruffs around the 
neck, and when out of doors short cloaks and steeple-crowned 
hats. Silk stockings were worn by the gentr}*, some of whom 
wore the stiff-plaited linen ruff, while others dressed in the 
broad, falling collar. For the first half-century red stock- 
ings, of yarn, worsted, or silk, were much worn in New Eng- 
land. Those of wash-leather were also used. The band, 
sometimes prepared with wire and starch so as to stand out 
"horizontally and squarely," like the ruff, appears on most 
of the portraits of the Pilgrim fathers. In their day it not 
only hung down before, but extended round so as to lay on 
the shoulders and back. They were held generally by the 
cord and tassel at the neck. 

Their Sunday suits were elaborate, ornamental, and expen- 
sive, and lasted a lifetime. The}* wore broad-brimmed hats, 
turned up into three corners, with loops at the side, showing 
full bush-wigs beneath them ; long coats, having large pocket 
folds and cuffs, and without collars, the buttons either plated 
or of silver, and of the size of a half-dollar ; vests also with- 
out collars, but very long, having graceful, pendulous lappet 
pockets ; shirts with bosoms and wrist-ruffles, and with gold 
or silver buckles at the wrist united by a link ; the neckcloth 
or scarf of fine linen or figured stuff or embroidered, the 
ends hanging loosel}'. The smallclothes reached below the 
knees, where they were ornamented with silver buckles of 
liberal size ; the legs were covered with gray stockings, and 
the feet with shoes ornamented with straps and silver buckles. 

Square-toed shoes kept their footing from 1689 to 1737, 
when the round or peaked toe, originall}* worn by our emi- 
grant ancestors, came again into fashion. A stricture on the 
clress of the ladies in 1732 speaks of " shoe-toes pointed to 
the heavens, in imitation of the Laplanders, with buckles of 
a harness size." As early as 1689 ladies wore clress shoes 
of silk and satin, richly embroidered. In 1716 laced shoes 
for women and children are advertised in a Boston paper. 




Until 1714 the heels were worn very high. Soon after the 
settlement, the fashionables of both sexes had large knots or 
roses of ribbon, generally green, on the 
instep of their shoes. Boots were sel- 
dom worn except by military men. In 
1651 an}* person not worth 200, wear- 
ing great boots, was subject to a fine. 
They were as large at the top as the 
brim of a hat, and our thrifty sires very 
property objected to such a waste of 
leather. Buskins, a kind of half-boot, 
worn two centuries ago, are mentioned 
in the inventor}' of Thomas Lamb, of 

The usual mode of wearing the hair 
was in the close-cropped fashion of the 
Roundheads ; but there were alwaj-s 
those who wore their hair long as a matter of taste, in 
defiance of the straitlaced brethren. A law against this 
*' feminine protexity" was passed as early as 1649, and was 
strenuously advocated by the apostle Eliot. 

The simple costume of our Puritan mothers was a cheap 
straw bonnet, with only one bow without, and " no ornament 
but the face within " ; a calico dress of sober colors, high up 
in the neck, with a simple white muslin collar just peeping 
over the top ; a neat little shawl, and a stout pair of shoes. 
The young women also wore plain and homespun clothing 
ordinarily, but on Sunda}^ appeared in silk hoods, lace neck- 
erchiefs, slashed sleeves, and embroidered caps. The pro- 
pi'iety of wearing veils in public was a matter of sharp con- 
trovers}'. The law required all to dress within their means, 
and Mistress Alice Flynt, when accused of wearing a silk 
hood, was obliged to prove that she was worth 200 in money 
in order to exonerate herself. The use of calico by the 
women became general after the Revolution, but home-made 


linens, especially a pattern of blue check, were then much 
worn. The ladies had their silk robes, which, however, were 
not for daily wear. 

In 1639 a law was passed against the " excessive wearing 
of lace and other superfluities tending to the nourishing of 
pride and exhausting of men's estates," and that " hereafter, 
no garment shall be made with short sleeves whereby the 
nakedness of the arrne may be discovered ; and such as have 
garments already made with short sleeves shell not hereafter 
wear the same unless the}* cover their arms to the wrist with 
linen or otherwise ; and no person shall make any garment 
for women or any of their sex with sleeves more than half an 
ell wide ; present reformation of immoderate great breeches, 
knots of ribbon, broad shoulder bands and vayles, silk roses, 
double ruffs and cuffes &c." was also enjoined. 

Picturesqueness of costume went out with chivalry, and 
few things could be uglier than an Englishman of James II 
or William and Mary's da} T s, except an Englishman of the 
modern tight and buttoned period. About the middle of 
the last century Cocked hats, wigs, and cloaks of every variety 
of color, not excepting red, were worn. Sometimes the cape 
and collar were of velvet, and of a different color from the 
coat. In winter, round coats, made stiff with buckram and 
coming down to the knees in front, were worn. Bo} - s wore 
wigs and cocked hats until about 1790. Powder was in use 
among gentlemen even later. Ebenezer Fox thus describes 
the dress of Obadiah Curtis, of Roxbury, in 1776: "He 
was habited according to the fashion of gentlemen of those 
da} r s, in a three-cornered hat, a club wig, a long coat of 
ample dimensions, that appeared to have been made with 
reference to his future growth ; breeches with huge knee 
buckles, and shoes fastened in the same manner." 

At this period dress was much attended to by both sexes. 
The toilet of the ladies was elaborate, especially the hair, 
which was arranged on crape cushions so as to stand up high. 

56 FOOD. 

Sometimes ladies were dressed the day before a part}', and 
slept in easy-chairs to keep their hair in condition. Hoops 
" of monstrous size" were indispensable in full dress. 

Near the close of the last century the fashions, as well as 
the forms of society, underwent considerable changes in con- 
sequence of the French Revolution. Wigs began to disap- 
pear in France when Franklin appeared at the Court of 
Louis XVI in his own hair. Powder for the hair became 
unfashionable, wearing the hair tied was given up, and short 
hair became common. The round hat came in ; resented at 
first by wearers of the old cocked hat, it notwithstanding 
soon gained headwa} T . A loose dress for the lower limbs was 
adopted ; colored garments went out of use, and dark or 
black were substituted ; buckles disappeared. 

Their poverty made simplicity of living a necessity, and 
any cooking which required sugar was too expensive for our 
early ancestors. For a century and a half the morning and 
evening repast consisted of boiled Indian meal and milk, or 
of porridge or broth made of pease and beans, dealt out in 
small wooden bowls, and flavored by being boiled with salted 
beef or pork. Hasty pudding and succotash were common 
articles of diet. Home-brewed beer was accounted a neces- 
sary of life, and the orchards soon yielded a bountiful supply 
of cider. Bread was made of "rye and Indian," instead of 

The noonday meal, despatched in fifteen minutes, began 
with Indian pudding, relished with a little molasses. Next 
came a piece of broiled salt pork with cabbage, or black 
broth, fried eggs, brown bread and cider. The dinner of 
" boiled victuals" was served in wooden trenchers. In their 
season they had melons, and for extra occasions a little 
cherry wine. The meat of the shagbark was dried and 
pounded and then put into their porridge to thicken it. The 
barlej* fire cake was served at breakfast. They parched corn 
and pounded it, and made it into a nocake. Baked pumpkins 


were common. The extra dish for company was a cake made 
of strawberries and parched corn. There was in the begin- 
ning little butcher's meat, a want supplied to a considerable 
extent by game and fish. Baked beans, baked Indian pud- 
ding, and newly baked rye and Indian bread on "Wednesday, 
and salt-fish regularly on Saturdays, are historical dishes, 
though gradually losing their hold. 

Although potatoes were sent here as earl}' as 1628 or 1629 
for seed, they were not made an article of daily food until 
about the year 1800, when they took the place of turnips, 
which had previously been in common use. A writer in a 
Boston paper, more than a century ago, said, "In 1761 we 
began to plant the Spanish potato ; corn, etc., being so scarce. 
1762 and 1763 were years of scarcity, they would have been 
years of famine, had not this despised root been providentially 
brought among us." Indian corn, squashes, pumpkins, and 
sceva beans were indigenous. Tobacco, which was easily 
cultivated, was considered essential to health and comfort, 
and many can yet remember when every farmer had his 
tobacco-yard, as well as his cornfield. It was to him physic 
in sickness, and a comfort at all times. Most dishes were of 
pewter. Forks were hardly known in England before 1650, 
and silver forks first appeared in Boston after the war of 

The first houses were of one story, with ver}* steep roofs, 
mostly built either of cla}* and mud, or hewn logs, covered 
with poles and thatch. The chimneys, which were usually in 
the centre of the building, were commonly of rough stone and 
clay, or of pieces of wood placed crosswise, the interstices 
and outside covered with clay. The fireplaces, made of rough 
stone, were broad and deep, and were large enough for burn- 
ing logs four feet long. They had huge fireplaces on either 
side of the entrance, and in the back kitchen. The hearths 
were large, with capacious ingles for a seat, from which 
gleamed the sky overhead. These houses usually contained 


but one room, about twenty feet square. The roof may have 
been of shingles and boards, thatch having been prohibited 
in consequence of frequent conflagrations. 

Not long after came frame buildings of two stories in front, 
sloping down to one in the rear. They almost without ex- 
ception faced south. Frames, and 
often the planking and boards, 
were of heavy oak. The general 
room of the family was long and 
spacious, lighted on two sides, the 
? others opening into the lean-to or 
shed. The windows, which were 
very small and opened on hinges, 
were sometimes of oiled paper or 
mica, but generally of diamond panes of glass, 
three or four inches broad, set in lead. 
Houses of the period of Philip's war, when 
of wood, had their second floors project a foot or 
two, that their occupants might, if molested, 
^^.Qyg^ openings for the purpose, fire or pour 
hot water upon their assailants. The houses of Col. Joseph 
Williams and of John Pierpont, of Roxbury, were of this 
description. Very few houses were painted, even at the close 
of the seventeenth centuiy. The third period of New Eng- 
land architecture saw the advent of the gambrel roof, with 
dormer-windows similar to the mansard style. This prevailed 
until the period of the Revolution, after which came the 
Grecian, with columns in front, seen everywhere in our older 

The furnishing of even the more stately residences was usu- 
alty plain and unpretending. The parlor contained a richly 
carved mahogany sideboard, perhaps, with sofa and chairs to 
match ; a massive dining-table, and card-tables of quaint 
pattern ; a fine large mirror, a tall Dutch or English clock 
with its works of brass ; some pieces of silver plate, a set of 


genuine china ware, and the ever-present punchbowl with its 
attendant decanter and goblets. Panelled wainscoting and 
ornamental cornices adorned the walls, which were also hung 

' O 

with imported paper. Painted Dutch tiles decorated the 
huge fireplaces, whose furniture was resplendent with shining 
brass. Silver or plated candlesticks adorned the mantel. 
The high four-post bedstead, with its lofty canopy, and the 
lace window-curtains that hung in folds, gave an air of splen- 
dor rather than of comfort to the chamber. With all their 
luxury, however, they lacked many of the comforts and con- 
veniences that the poorest can now afford. Carpets were un- 

In the ordinary farm-house the parlor was at once kitchen, 
bedroom, and hall ; the "settle" or wooden settee took the 
place of the sofa ; clean white sand served for a carpet ; the 
sideboard, mirror, chairs, tables, and kitchen utensils were 
of a smaller or inferior sort, while the wooden clock did duty 
for the imported article. Candles of tallow dip afforded the 
only light, and candlesticks were more frequently of brass 
than even of plated ware. Domestic life in a New England 
agricultural community of the last century was simple, labori- 
ous, and economical. 

Appliances to lessen household toil were few. From the ex- 
cellent " History of Pittsfield " I quote as follows : " The cook 
must lift the huge iron pot which hung on the crane outswung 
before the blazing fire, and deposit and withdraw the baking 
in the deep brick oven with the long wrought-iron shovel. 
The laundress performed her task by pounding the soiled 
clothes in a barrel of water with a heavy pestle, even the 
fluted washing-board having not yet been invented. Water 
was to be drawn from the cistern or well by the most unaided 
process, the long well-sweep being the best mechanical assist- 
ance to be had. There were the unpainted floors to be 
scrubbed, and an excessively broad surface of wainscoting 
and other joiner work to be kept clean. And when all this 


was done, came the spinning, the weaving, the brewing, the 
candle and soap making, and other toils now unknown to the 
housewife. With all this, and the large families of children 
which were almost alwaj's the rule, it is no wonder that the 
percentage of mortality among women was large, and that 
those who sustained themselves were accounted marvels of 

Some wealthy families had colored servants who were 
slaves ; most households, however, had hired " help," Amer- 
ican girls or men who lived on terms of equality with the 
family. The signatures of the principal slave-owners in 
Roxbury are attached to the following petition : 

"Koxbury, Feb. 28, 1739. Whereas it hath been too much the 
unhappy practise of the negro servants of this town to be abroad in 
the night at unseasonable hours to y great prejudice of many per- 
sons or familys as well as their respective masters, the petitioners 
pray that it may be prevented or punished. 







Titles were formerly matters of grave importance. A very 
few of the best condition, including ministers and their wives, 
had the Mr. or Mrs. prefixed to their names. All militia 
officers, from generals to corporals, received their appropriate 
titles. Goodman and goodwife were applied to the middle 
class above the condition of servants and below that of 

Up to the period of the French Revolution there were dis- 
tinctions in society now unknown. Persons in office, the 
rich, and those who had connections in England of which 
they were proud, were the gentry of the country. Modes 
of life, manners, and personal decoration were the outward 


indications of this superiority. The commencement of hos- 
tilities in 1775 drove a large portion of these gentry from the 
country, but these indications continued among some who 
remained and adhered to the patriot side. Those who held 
considerable landed estates, and who were the gentry of the 
interior, were the great men in their respective counties, 
held civil and military office, and were members of the Gen- 
eral Court. This sort of personal dignity disappeared before 
the end of the last century. 

To secure universal attendance upon public meetings and 
even to the week-day lectures, innkeepers and victualers 
within one mile of the meeting-house to which they belonged 
had to clear their houses of all persons able to go to meeting 
during the time of the exercises except for some extraordi- 
nary cause. Violations of the Sabbath were made penal ; 
children playing in the streets, youths, maids, and other per- 
sons " uncivilly" walking in the streets and fields, travelling 
from town to town, going on shipboard, frequenting common 
houses and other places to drink, sport, or otherwise to mis- 
spend their time, travelling out of one's own town upon the 
Lord's day, either on horseback, on foot, or by boat to any 
unlawful assembly or meeting, were all strictly forbidden. 
As late as 1772, Nathaniel Seaver, of Eoxbury, was fined for 
non-attendance at church. His fine was, however, remitted 
upon his promise to attend public worship in future. 

For " the evil practices of sundry persons by exorbitancy 
of the tongue in railing and scolding," the offender was to be 
gagged, or set in a ducking-stool and " dipped over head and 
ears three times in some convenient place of fresh or salt 
water as the court or magistrate should judge meet." All 
persons were forbidden even to possess cards, dice, or other 
gambling utensils. One prevalent form of gambling, the 
lottery, though prohibited by statute, was yet sanctioned by 
the practice of both church and state. Dancing was also 




As there was little coin in the country, most of that brought 
over speedily returning to England in payment for necessary 
supplies, Indian corn and beaver-skins were in primitive use 
as money ; corn and other products, at fixed rates, being 
received in payment of taxes and 
in ordinaiy pecuniary transactions. 
The prices at which various kinds 
of grain should pass current re- 
quired constant revision at town- 
meeting. In 1667, the town voted, 
" That corn, amongst ourselves, shall pass current and be 
paid and received from man to man, corn, 3s. ; pease, 2s. 
8d. ; barley and malt, 4s. 6d. ; rye, 4s." The first traffic 
with the Indians was bj* barter, to which succeeded the use 
of wampum. Want of silver for a circulating medium led 
the colony in 1652 
to usurp a right be- 
longing only to sov- 
ereign states, that 
of coining money. 
In that year it au- 
thorized John Hull to 
establish a mint, in 
which were coined silver pieces, the largest of which is known 
by its device as the "Pine-Tree" shilling. It is said that 
Hannah Hull's dowry consisted of as mam* of these coins as 
would outweigh the fair damsel in the scales. 

A comparison of the present prices for the ordinaiy arti- 
cles of domestic consumption, such as food and fuel, with 
those in a schedule of 1698, shows that an ounce of silver 
coin would at that time purchase twice and a half or three 
times as much as it will at present. Articles of clothing were 
then much dearer than they now are, yet, when we take into 
consideration the difference in the habits of society, we shall 
find that the expenses of dress were then much less than they 



now are. This is seen in the bequests of deceased persons, 
a lad}-'s dress in those days frequently adorning more than 
one generation. 

The social usages and manners of to-day are in marked 
contrast with those that prevailed a centuiy ago. The moral 
and intellectual condition of society is greatly improved. 
There is a greater variety of occupation. One change of 
incalculable value is the freer and more friendly intercourse 
of parents with their children. With increased means the 
st3~le of living has acquired more of elegance and refinement. 
Social intercourse is, however, less interesting and less cor- 
dial than heretofore. One cannot avoid asking why this is, 
and what has been gained by the change. Marriages and 
funerals were occurrences of much more ceremony than at 
present. The bride wa8 visited dail} r for four successive 
weeks. Public notice was given of funerals, and private 
invitations also. Attendance was expected, and there was 
a long train of followers, and all the carriages and chaises 
that could be ha*d. Drinking punch in the forenoon in public 
houses was the common practice. Wine was little used, 
convivial parties drinking punch or toddy. Young men at 
their entertainments sat long and drank deep, compared with 
the present custom. The punch-bowl, generally of china, 
was for a long time, and until the year 1800, common in 
families of means. It usually held a gallon, and the beverage 
it contained was a customary treat for company and a prolific 
source of the gout. The use of ardent spirits was almost 
universal, their abuse very common. They were offered upon 
all occasions, ceremonial or social, a call, a trade, a wedding, 
birth or funeral, a church dedication, and to refuse was 
considered an affront. 

A further illustration of the customs of our fathers two 
centuries ago is seen in the following extract from the indent- 
ure of an apprentice whom Samuel Williams, of Roxbury, 
and his wife, Theoda, engage to teach the " art, trade, mis- 


tery, and science" of a shoemaker, agreeing also to teach 
him to ' ' wright " : 

"The said Joseph shall truly and faithfully serue, his Counsels 
lawful and honest obay, his seacretts shall keep, hurt to his master 
he shall not doe nor consent to be done, at unlawful games he shall 
not play, nor from his masters buisnes absent himselfe by night or 
day, his masters goods he shall not wast nor imbezzell, nor them 
lend without his masters Consent. Taverns and ale Howses he shall 
not frequent, except about his masters business there to be done 
but as a true and faithful seruant ought to behave himselfe in word 
and deed during the said terme .... and at the end of six years 
to give their said apprentice doubell apparell, one suit for the Lord's 
day and one suit for the working days meet an comely for one of 
his degree and calling." 




The Neck. Dangers. Paving. Executions. Salt-Works. Gen. 
Palmer. Fortifications. Cannon secreted. Siege begun. Fugi- 
tives from Boston. Roxbury Lines. Kufus Putnam. Brown's 
House burnt. John Crane. Eoxbury Street. Boston evacuated. 
Losses. French troops in Roxbury. George Tavern. "Washington's 

A NARROW strip of land, a mile in length, originally 
connected the peninsula of Boston with the mainland, 
and was the only avenue of communication between town and 
country for more than a century and a half. From the site 
of the old fortification at Dover Street, its narrowest point, 
it gradually expanded, until at the .line of Roxbury it attained 
a width of about half a mile. 

Laid out as a street in 1794, the Neck from Dover Street 
to the line measured one mile and thirty-nine yards. The 
name, Washington Street, given it after the President's visit 
in 1789, and applied only to that part of the highway, was 
in 1834 extended over Orange, Newbury, Marlborough, and 
Cornhill, the streets north of it, and over Roxbury Street to 
the Worcester turnpike on the south. Washington Street, 
which now includes Shawmut Avenue, formerly the Dedham 
turnpike, is perhaps the longest in the world, as it bears that 
name over a continuous line of road as far as the city of 
Providence, a distance of forty-four miles. In 1855 it was 
widened from the burying-ground to Warren Street. 

The Neck, as it has alwaj-s been called, was once covered 
with trees, as various entries in the old records show. Those 
of Boston, under date of March 23, 1635, say : 


"Brother Wileboare to see to y e gate and style next ULto Rox- 
burie ; and whereas y> wood upon ye Neck of land towards Roxburie 
hath this last winter been disorderly cutt up and wasted, whereby 
many of ye poor inhabitants are disappointed of reliefe, they might 
have had there in after and ueedfull tynies therefore it is agreed y 
treasurer, Mr. Bellingham, and Mr. Wm. Hutchinson with the 3 
deacons shall consider who have been faultie herein, and sett down 
what restitution of wood unto the poor such shall make." 

In the season of full tides portions of the Neck were cov- 
ered with water, rendering it almost impassable in the spring, 
especially before its centre was paved, and when from neces- 
sity this was ultimately done, the stones were so large that 
the pavement was shunned by vehicles as long as the outer 
margin of the road was practicable. For its protection a dike 
was built on the exposed eastern side, following in its general 
direction the extension of Harrison Avenue, and a sea wall 
was at the same time built on the west side, from Dover 
nearly to Waltharn Street. 

The appearance of this avenue sixty years ago was desolate 
and forbidding enough. It is not eas}' for those who now 
traverse this broad, well-paved thoroughfare, with its hand- 
some parks, its elegant and substantial buildings, its street 
cars, omnibuses, private equipages, and thronged sidewalks, 
to realize that travellers frequently lost their w&y over the 
narrow pass and adjacent marshes, and that it was the scene 
of frequent robberies. So dangerous had it become that, 
in 1723, it was fenced in by order of the General Court. 

Winthrop tells us in his "Journal" that " in 1639 one of 
Roxbury sending to Boston his servant maid for a barber 
chirurgeon to draw his tooth, the}* lost their way in their pas- 
sage between, during a violent snowstorm, and were not 
found until many days after, and then the maid was found in 
one place, and the man in another, both frozen to death." 
Less than a century ago a countryman, with his team, per- 
ished here in a similar manner. 


In 1641 the town of Roxbury was "enjo}'ned" to make 
a sufficient way between the bury ing-place and the gate.' 
Boston, in March, 1650, agreed with Peter Oliver, for 15 
per annum for seven }'ears, " To maintaine the High Wayes 
from Jacob Eliots Barne to the fardest gate bye Roxsbery 
Towns end to be sufficient for Carte and horse, to the satis- 
faction of the Countrye." In 1757 the General Court author- 
ized the town to raise 2,000 by a lottery towards paving 
and repairing the Neck, and next year another was authorized 
to raise funds for paving the highway from Boston line to 
Meeting-House Hill in Roxbury. Notwithstanding the act of 
1719 for their suppression as common and public nuisances, 
lotteries continued for a long time to be resorted to as a 
means of raising money for public works. The whole of the 
Neck was paved under the maj'oralty of Josiah Quincy, the 
Roxbury portion of it in 1824. In the old times the sidewalk 
in Roxbury Street was paved with cobble-stones, a narrow 
brick walk occupying the centre of it. 

The marshes bordering the Neck were covered at high tide, 
and being a favorite resort for birds, were much frequented 
by sportsmen. As early as 1713 the town of Roxbur}' pro- 
hibited gunning on the Neck, and in 1785 was obliged to 
place sentinels there to prevent this desecration of the Sab- 
bath. The practice continued until a much later period. 
Sir Charles and Lady Frankland narrowly escaped being shot 
while journeying along this highway. 

Upon the Neck proper onry three small houses and two 
barns survived the siege. Between Dover Street and Rox- 
bury line there were but eighteen buildings in 1794. In 1800 
there were but one or two houses from the site of the new 
Catholic Cathedral to Roxbury. 

The custom, former!}' so much in vogue here, of building 
houses end to the street, recalls a description of Albany and 
of one of the peculiarities of its inhabitants from an old 
Gazetteer, that may well provoke a smile. Says Dr. Morse : 


"This city in 1797 contained 863 dwelling-houses and 6021 inhab- 
itants. Many of them are in the Gothic style with the gable end to 
the street, which custom the first settlers brought from Holland." 

A gallows that once stood near the old fortifications, and 
subsequently upon the site now occupied by the St. James 
Hotel, was the first object that met the e}'e of the stranger 
journejnng by land to Boston. This fact reminds one of the 
exclamation of the shipwrecked sailor, who on beholding this 
relic of barbarism, thanked God that he had been cast ashore 
in a civilized country ! After all, it must be admitted that for 
this particular mode of capital punishment the " Neck " was 
a peculiarly appropriate place. 

Some pirates were executed here in 1819. When the Stamp 
Act went into operation on Nov. 1, 1765, effigies of Grenville 
and Huske, promoters of the obnoxious measure, were taken 
from the liberty tree and suspended here. Apropos of the 
Stamp Act, about which the people were greatly excited, a 
story is told of a gentleman who after dark sent his servant 
to the barn. Returning without having done his errand, on 
being questioned he replied that he was afraid. "Afraid of 
what?" said the gentleman. "I was afraid of the Stamp 
Act," was the reply. 

As Dr. Warren was one day passing this spot he met 
some British officers, one of whom remarked, " Go on, War- 
ren, you will soon come to the gallows." Warren immecli- 
atel}' turned back and demanded to know which of them had 
thus addressed him, but neither of these heroes had the cour- 
age to avow the insult. 

The manufacture of bricks and of salt was formerly carried 
on upon the marshes and upland along the causeway. In 
December, 1644, liberty was " graunted to Jasper Rawlines 
to make use of a rood of upland for the making of brickes at 
the easterne end of Sargeant Hues his corne field neere 
Rocksbmy gate." Many of the poor people of Boston pur- 
sued this occupation here while the Port Bill was in force. 


Salt, another of the industries of this locality, was also 
made near the "Town Landing," though the "Salt Pans," 
established at a very earl}* da}', were nearer Dorchester. 
After the close of the Revolution, Gen. Joseph Palmer 
settled in Roxbury, and established salt-works on Boston 
Neck. He had just completed extensive works for this pur- 
pose, for which he had built a dam on the east side of the 
Neck, when he discovered that the frost had strengthened the 
brine, and that the ice formed upon it was perfectly fresh. 
Elated by his discovery, he walked into Boston on one of the 
coldest days of the winter to make known his success to Gov. 
Bowdoin, an intimate friend and a subscriber to the project, 
and returning to Roxbury that night after sunset, incau- 
tiously sat down by a warm fire. It was soon perceived that 
he could neither speak nor move. He was struck with palsy, 
and died at his residence in Roxbury, on Dec. 25, 1788, at 
the age of seventy, leaving as a visible memorial only the 
dam on Boston Neck. 

Gen. Palmer, who was a native of England, came to 
America in 1746 with Richard Cranch, and settled in that 
part of Braintree called Germantown, 'where he became a 
leading and influential citizen, and acquired a considerable 
estate. His is one of the most prominent names in the 
Revolutionary annals of the State, outside of Boston. He 
was conspicuous among the patriotic members of the Provin- 
cial Congresses of 1774 and 1775, and of the Committee of 
Safety, and as a brigadier-general of the State forces, took 
part in the expedition to Rhode Island in 1778. He lost all 
his property during the war. 

One of the first cares of the colonists was to take precau- 
tions against Indian attacks. Gov. Winthrop and other influ- 
ential men in December, 1630, projected the building of a for- 
tified town upon the Neck, between Roxbur}' and Boston. 
After surveying the ground, however, they decided to change 
their plan, and fixed upon Newtown, now Cambridge, as the 


site of the proposed town. Their reasons for so doing are 
thus stated by Winthrop : 

" Because men would be forced to keep two families. 

"There was no running water, and if there were any springs 
they would not suffice the town. 

"The most part of the people had built already, and would not 
be able to build again." 

These considerations did not, however, prevent their taking 
advantage of a place naturally so eligible for a defensive 

" We began a Court of Guard," says Winthrop, under date 
of April 14. 1631, "upon the Neck between Roxbury and 
Boston, whereupon should be alwaj's resident an officer and 
six men." The gates of this primitive barrier, erected at the 
narrowest part of the Neck, and which had disappeared by 
the end of the century, were constantly guarded, and were 
shut by a certain hour in the evening, after which none were 
allowed to pass in or out. In 1710 fortifications were con- 
structed, with foundations of brick and stone, upon the site 
of the old ones, having a parapet of earth, with embrasures 
for cannon upon the front and flank, and a deep ditch on the 
side towards Roxbury. There were two gates, one for car- 
riages and one for foot-passengers. 

In September, 1774, aifairs began to look serious, and Gage, 
the royal governor, proceeded to strengthen the old and to 
erect new works in advance of them, digging a deep fosse 
into which the tide flowed at high water in front of the for- 
mer, severing Boston for the time from the mainland. While 
tins work was going on, the people, whose curiosity led them 
to watch its progress, would speak slightingly of it, and sa}*, 
" Gage's mud walls are nothing to old Louisburg, and, if 
necessarj", would be no more regarded than a beaver's dam." 
The recollection of that remarkable achievement caused them 
to depreciate this comparatively slight barrier ; but the skill of 
Montresor, Gage's engineer, soon made it formidable enough 



to deter the Americans from attempting an assault, which 
could hardly have ended otherwise than in failure. 

The Dover Street work was called the " Green Store Bat- 
tery," the warehouse then standing on the site of the Williams 
Market being of that color. Excavations just south of the 
market, in 1860, re- 
vealed what appeared 
to be the remains of 
this old fort. The 
position of the ad- 
vanced work, which 
was much the strong- 
er, was between Ded- 
ham and Canton 
Streets, a point from 
which the first unob- 
structed view in front 
is obtained as far as 
Roxbury. It mounted 
twenty guns of heavy 
calibre, besides six 
howitzers and a mor- 
tar battery. The re- 
dan was flanked by a 
bastion on each side of the highway, from which the lines 
were continued across to the marshes. The road passed 
through the centre of both lines, the first having a gate and 
drawbridge. A third and smaller work, lying between the 
others, on the eastern sea-margin, bore on Dorchester Neck 
(South Boston), and took the left curtain and bastion of the 
main work in reverse. After the siege the works were de- 
molished, in order that they might not be available to the 
enemy should he again obtain possession of the town. Ves- 
tiges of them were visible as late as 1822, particularly on the 
west side. 



Just one month before the siege began, a committee of the 
Provincial Congress on "the present state of the operations 
of the British arm}* " reported : 

"That two mud breastworks have been erected by them on Bos- 
ton Neck at the distance of about 90 or 100 rods in front of the old 
fortifications, the works well constructed and well executed. The 
thickness of the merlons or parapet about 9 feet, the height about 
8 feet, the width of the ditch at the top about 12 feet, at the bottom 
5 feet, the depth 10 feet. These works are already completed and 
at present mounted with 10 brass and 2 iron cannon. A barrack 
is erecting behind the breastwork on the N. side of the Neck." 

" The old fortification at the entrance of the town of Boston is 
repairing and greatly strengthened by the addition of timber and 
earth to the walls of the thickness of about 12 feet. These works 
are in considerable forwardness, and at present 10 pieces of iron 
cannon are mounted on the old platforms. A blockhouse brought 
from Governor's Island is erecting on the S. side of the Neck at the 
distance of about 40 or 50 rods from the old fortification. This work 
is but just begun." 

Under date of May 1, just after the siege opened, a British 
officer wrote in his diary, " Great additions are made to the 
Neck ; on the right flank of the right bastion are mounted 
four guns, and on the left of the left bastion, two mortars ; 
at the lines the curtain is closed up to the road, where there 
is a traverse with two guns which can play right up the town 
of Roxbury." 

A plan of these works being desired at headquarters, John 
Trumbull, adjutant of Spencer's Connecticut regiment, after- 
wards celebrated as an historical painter, undertook to obtain 
one. He says : 

"I began the attempt by creeping (under the concealment of high 
grass) so nigh that I could ascertain that the work consisted of a 
curtain crossing the entrance to the town, flanked by two bastions, 
and I had ascertained the number of guns mounted on the eastern 
bastion, when my farther progress was rendered unnecessary by a 
deserter, who brought with him a rude plan of the entire work. My 
drawing was also shown to the General, and their correspondence 
proved that as far as I had gone I was correct." 


Trumbull was soon after placed upon Washington's staff as 
an aide-de-camp. 

Various were the devices by which, as the day of conflict 
approached, the country people supplied themselves with 
arras and ammunition from Boston, spite of the vigilance of 
its garrison. Through the British lines there came one day, 
it is said, a funeral cortege. In the hearse was borne, not 
one of the victims of the grim conqueror, Death, but one of 
his terrible engines, a cannon. George Minot, a Dorches- 
ter farmer, who from his frequent visits was well known to 
the guard, was allowed to pass without examination, his 
panniers well filled with powder. 

The cannon belonging to Paddock's company of artillery, 
which by a clever stratagem had been taken from the gun- 
house and secreted, were safely brought through the British 
lines, two of them by Minot, who hid them under a compost 
heap at Col. Lemuel Robinson's tavern, near the Lower Mills, 
in Dorchester, and the other two by Jonathan Parker, of 
Roxbury, who deposited them in Muddj" Pond Woods. The 
next day a company of redcoats were at Jamaica Plain, 
searching for the missing cannon. This company was part 
of a battalion of five hundred men who were scattered in 
various directions for the same purpose with no better suc- 
cess. Of these four historic guns, two were taken at Bunker's 
Hill by the enemy, the other two, the " Hancock" and the 
" Adams," did good service at the Roxbury lines and else- 
where, and are now in the chamber at the top of Bunker's Hill 
Monument, and are appropriately inscribed. 

The diary of John Andrews, a merchant of Boston, after- 
wards a resident of Jamaica Plain, furnishes some interest- 
ing items : 

" Sept. 8, 1774. Yesterday the General, with a large party of 
attendants, took a survey of the skirts of the town, more particu- 
larly that part opposite the country shore. 'T is supposed he intends 
to erect batteries there to prevent incursions of the country people 


from that quarter, having effectually secured the Neck by the dis- 
position of the field-pieces, and their caution extends so far as to 
have a guard patrol Roxbury streets at all hours of the night." 

" Sept. 29. In the course of a day or two past the Roxbury peo- 
ple have burnt several loads of straw that were being brought here, 
which has enraged the soldiers to such a degree that I am in con- 
tinual apprehension we shall soon experience another 5th of March, 
which God forbid ! 

"April 11, 1775. We are all in confusion at present; the streets 
and Neck lined with wagons carrying off the effects of the inhabit- 
ants, who are either afraid, mad, crazy, or infatuated, imagining to 
themselves that they shall be liable to every evil that can be enu- 
merated if they tarry in town." 

No wonder the more prudent or timid among the towns- 
people should, upon the eve of the breaking out of a seven 
years' war, have taken the alarm and quitted a place where 
the first blow was so soon to be struck. 

Intelligence of the intended expedition to Lexington on 
the 19th of April was conveyed over the Neck to Roxbury 
on the previous evening by William Dawes, who was 
mounted on a slow-jogging horse, with saddle-bags behind 
him, and a large flapped hat upon his head to resemble a 
countryman on a journey. Col. Josiah Waters, of Boston, 
a stanch Whig, and who afterwards, as engineer, assisted in 
building the forts at Roxbury, followed on foot on the side- 
walk at a short distance from him until he saw him safely 
past all the sentinels. 

Communication between town and country was entirely 
stopped two days after the affair at Lexington, no one being- 
allowed to go in or out without a pass. " The provincials," 
says a letter-writer in Boston, under date of April 24, " are 
entrenching themselves at Roxbury within gunshot of the 
works on the Neck, and erecting batteries to play on the 

One of the sad sights of the early days of the siege was the 
spectacle of the poor people of Boston quitting the town, as 


man} 7 of them did, under an agreement with Gen. Gage, after 
depositing their arms in Faneuil Hall, and promising not to 
join in an attack on his troops. For the brief period during 
which this agreement was in force, especially during the last 
week in April, the road to Roxburj* was thronged with wagons 
and trains of wretched exiles. Parents wandered forth " with 
bundles in one hand and a string of children in the other." 
They were not allowed to take with them any provisions, and 
nothing could be more affecting than to see these helpless 
families come out without anything to eat. The sentinels on 
the Xeck even took away the gingerbread from the little chil- 
dren. "It's a distressing thing," wrote a British officer in 
his diary, " to see them r for half of 'em don't know where to 
go, and in all probability must starve." The Provincial Con- 
gress took measures for distributing five thousand of them 
among the villages in the interior, where the}* were hospitably 
received. An old-fashioned bureau, a memento of this hegira, 
is in the possession of Mrs. Edwin Lemist, of Roxbury, a 
descendant of Edward Dorr, an early resident of the town. 

The grandmother of the Rev. Frederick T. Gray, Mrs. 
Mary Turell, whose maiden name was Morey, a native of 
Roxbury and one of the fugitives from Boston, gave her per- 
sonal experience as follows : 

" When the town was shut up there were no passes given but to 
particular people, and they were to be searched upon leaving town. 
I requested a pass from Major Pitcairn for myself and eight in fam- 
ily, with my horse and chaise, which was readily granted by having 
my trunks looked into in my own house by one of his officers by the 
name of Blackwood! By this means I carried out Deacon Jeffries, 
who was town treasurer, and who had all the donation money for 
the support of the poor, which I carried in my chaise-box with Mrs. 
Jeffries and myself. Mrs. Eckley and Miss Caty Jeffries also went 
with me in my chaise. Pitcairn and Mr. Turell went to the outside 
guards with us, where we were received by Generals Heath and 
Spencer, who were quite rejoiced to see Deacon Jeffries with the 
donation money, and rewarded me handsomely by sending my letters 
and allowing me every indulgence I could expect." 


The final advanced line of the American works crossed the 
highway a little south of Northampton Street, about one 
hundred and fifty yards in front of those fiist constructed, 
near the George Tavern. Tho latter crowned the rising 
ground near Clifton Place, just north of the old boundary 
line between Boston and Roxbury, a little south of the 
George Tavern, and were erected immediately after the 
Bunker's Hill battle. The former, which were connected by 
earthworks and abatis with the Lamb's Dam redoubt, near 
the present lead-works on the east, and similarly round the 
curved shore line to some elevated ground at the corner of 
what is now Sumner Place and Cabot Street, where there was 
a battery on the west side of the highway, was completed 
early in September. The trees in Edward Sumner's orchard 
covering the latter, and of Dr. Thomas Williams, occupjnng 
the former locality, were cut down and pointed, and so placed 
as to protect those points exposed to attack. Five hundred 
men and officers constituted the main and picket guard for 
this line. 

Of the importance attached to this last work, the letters 
and diaries of the time afford ample proof. Col. Huntington 
writes as follows to Gov. Trambull : " Roxbury Camp, Sept. 
6, 1 775. We are this night making approaches towards our 
enemies on the Neck, and expect they will show their resent- 
ment. Thursday morning. Three separate entrenchments 
were thrown up last night, which will cover our out sentries 
and advanced right parties, no opposition made." Another, 
under date of Sept. 10, writes, "What is more amazing, 
though nevertheless true, is, they [the enemy] have suffered 
our men to throw up an entrenchment below the George 
Tavern, and within musket-shot of their last entrenchment, 
and have scarce honored us with a cannon." 

For the two months succeeding the Lexington engagement, 
little intrenching was done by the Americans, who were 
sadl}* deficient in competent engineers. Bunker's Hill demon- 


strated the value of defensive works, and under the direction 
of Col. Rufus I*utnam, aided by Henry Knox and Josiah 
Waters, the Roxbury lines, considered marvels of strength 
in those days, grew rapidly, until at length a complete series 
of redoubts and batteries protected every exposed point from 
Dorchester to Brookline. The American militia-man mani- 
fested a degree of skill and activity in constructing field works 
that was a constant surprise to the veteran European soldiers 
of former wars. 

Rufus Putnam, the constructor of these works, was by 
trade a millwright, whose only experience in military engi- 
neering had been acquired in the campaigns of 1757-60 in 
Canada, which resulted in its becoming a province of the Brit- 
ish Empire. The fortifying of Dorchester Heights in a single 
winter's night, under his direction, compelled the British fleet 
and army to hurriedly evacuate Boston, and successfully 
terminated its siege. Washington afterwards wrote to Con- 
gress that the Yankee millwright was altogether a more 
competent officer than the educated foreigners to whom it had 
given appointments in that line. He attained the grade of 
brigadier-general, and after the war was over founded Ma- 
rietta, Ohio, the first permanent settlement of the eastern part 
of the Northwest Territory. 

Washington was of the opinion that in case of an attack 
there was an insufficient number of men to man the entire 
works, which it must be borne in mind were eight or nine 
miles in extent. At the first council of war, held at head- 
quarters on the 9th of July, it was, however, unanimously 
determined to defend the posts. It was further agreed that 
if the troops should be attacked and routed by the enemy, 
the place of rendezvous should be Weld's Hill, in the rear of 
the Roxbury lines. This hill, erroneously called Wales's Hill, 
by Mr. Sparks and others, is the high eminence on what was 
the Bussey farm. This point covered the road to Dedham, 
where the army supplies were stored. 


The space between the American and British works, a dis- 
tance of about eight hundred yards, was frequentl}* the arena 
of conflict between the artillerists of the opposing forces, and 
at times cannon-balls flew thick and fast over it. This inter- 
change of compliments was somewhat one-sided, the scarcity 
of powder in the American camp placing it in the condition 
of a man with little mone}* in his pocket, who will do twenty 
mean things to avoid breaking in upon his little stock. The 
hostile pickets, covered by slight intrenchrnents, were only 
about two hundred and fifty yards apart, quite near enough 
to converse freely with each other, and to count the reliefs 
on both sides as the}* marched down from their respective 
camps, the limited space between being nearly coincident 
with that from the site of the Commonwealth Hotel to the 

Enoch Brown's house and shop, on the west side of the 
highway, between Blackstone Square and Rutland Street, 
deserves mention as the scene of the only hostile encounter 
that has ever taken place within the original limits of Boston. 
It was here that Burgoyne proposed to meet his old companion 
in arms, Charles Lee, to discuss the issues of the day. The 
meeting did not take place. Lee was willing, but Congress 
quietly interposed its veto. Until their destruction, these 
buildings served the British as an outpost whence the Ameri- 
can camp could be overlooked and its pickets greatly annoyed. 
Their chimneys were left standing, and continued to serve 
them as a cover. 

A letter from camp informs us that 

" On July 8, 1775, two hundred volunteers from the Rhode Isl- 
and and Massachusetts forces, under Majors Tupper and Crane, 
attacked the British advanced guard at Brown's house on the 
Neck, within three hundred yards of their principal works. They 
detached six men about ten o'clock in the evening, with orders to 
cross on a marsh up to the rear of the guard-house and there to 
watch an opportunity to fire it. The remainder secreted themselves 
in the marsh on each side of the Neck, about two hundred yards 


from the house. Two brass pieces were drawn softly on the marsh 
within three hundred yards, and upon a signal from the advanced 
party of six, two rounds of cannon shot Avere fired through the 
guard-house. Immediately the regulars, who formed a guard of 
forty-five or fifty men, quitted the house and were then fired on by 
the musketry, who drove them with precipitation into their lines. 
The six men posted near the house set fire to it and burned it to the 
ground. After this, they burnt another house nearer the lines, and 
withdrew without losing a man." 

"A brave action this, and well performed," wrote young 
Henry Knox to his wife from the American camp. 

The artiller}* of this ke}* to the Roxbury lines was com- 
manded by John Crane, who afterwards succeeded Knox as 
colonel of the Massachusetts regiment of artillery, and served 
with distinction throughout the entire contest A Boston 
mechanic and one of those who threw the tea overboard, 
a chest of tea, that fell upon his head, wellnigh ended his 
career. His comrades bore his body to a neighboring build- 
ing, where, covering him with shavings, they left him for dead, 
but he speedily recovered. The Port Bill drove him with 
many others from the town, and when the struggle for liberty 
began he was pursuing his business of a housewright at 
Providence, in company with Ebenezer Stevens, another 
Bostonian, also celebrated as an artillery officer in the Revo- 
lutionary war. 

Educated in the school that furnished so man} r excellent 
officers of artillery to the army, Paddock's company of the 
" train," as it was called, and full of zeal for the liberties of 
his countrj*, he immediately raised a company with the aid 
of Stevens, and with the commission of major of the Rhode 
Island " Train," joined Thomas's forces at Roxbury, in May, 
1775, with a well-equipped and efficient battery. 

Crane was in his element whenever the state of the powder 
supply would admit of a little artillery practice. So wonder- 
fully keen was his vision, that from the instant the ball left 
the cannon, and until it reached its destination, his eye fol- 


lowed it, and his skill as a marksman was felt and acknowl- 
edged by the enemy. Crane with his cannon, and Morgan 
with his rifles, made it advisable for the redcoats to keep well 
under cover. The fire of the British, on the other hand, was 
comparatively harmless. A distinguished officer in Boston, 
writing to a friend in England, saj's, " The rebel army is not 
brave, I believe, but it is agreed on all hands that their artil- 
lery officers are at "least equal to ours." 

A graphic picture of the appearance of the lines when 
visited on Oct. 20, 1775, is given by the historian Belknap in 
his diary. He says : 

" Nothing struck me with more horror than the present condition 
of Boxbury. That once busy, crowded street is now occupied only 
by a picket-guard. The houses are deserted, the windows taken 
out, and many shot-holes visible. Some have been burnt, and others 
pulled down to make room for the fortifications. A wall of earth 
is carried across the street to Williams's old house, where there is a 
formidable fort mounted with cannon. The lower line is just below 
where the George Tavern stood; a row of trees, root and branch, 
lie across the road there, and the breastwork extends to Lamb's 
Dam, which makes a part thereof. I went round the whole, and 
was so near the enemy as to see them, though it was foggy and 
rainy, relieve their sentinels, which they do every hour. The out- 
most sentries are posted at the chimneys of Brown's house." 

It maj r be supposed that the British officers, cooped up 
within the narrow limits of the town of Boston, would find 
their situation exceedingly irksome, and ardently long for a 
change. Accordingly, when Major Benjamin Tupper, of Fel- 
lows's regiment, had an interview with some of them in the 
month of August within their lines, liquor was sent for, and 
every toast given by Major Urquhart and the other officers 
present expressed the wish that an end might be put to the 
quarrel. At the same time they informed him that they were 
soon coming out. In reply, the major assured them that we 
were read}', and that if they would only give us notice, we 
would meet them with an equal number of men. Capt. Judab 



Alden, who accompanied Col. Learned to the British outposts 
with a flag some time afterwards, inquired of the officer in 
command why they did not come out and make the troops at 
Roxbury a visit. "Ah," replied he, "we should have to 
think of that some time first." 

Not the least interesting of the events connected with this 
locality occurred on the afternoon of March 
17, 1776. The occupation of Dorchester 
Heights, a movement as skilfully executed as 
it was carefulty planned, having compelled the 
immediate evacuation of the town, a detach- 
ment of Americans under Col. Ebenezer Lear- 
ned, who commanded at the outposts during 
nearly the whole of the siege, picked its way 
through the crows' feet and other obstacles 
thickly strewn in its path, and unbarring the 
gates of the deserted stronghold, displayed for 
the first time in the streets of Boston the grand 
union flag of the thirteen United Colonies. 
The flag was borne by Ensign Richards, and 
the troops were accompanied by Gen. Ward. 

With what emotions of pride and satisfaction 
must these patriotic citizens, albeit clad in 
homespun and unattended by ' ' the pomp and 
circumstance of glorious war," have marched into the town 
as conquerors ! It was a proud da}- for them, and never since 
then has its soil been pressed by a hostile foot. 

' ' I took a ride last week and ventured as far as the stump 
of Libert}' Tree," wrote Mrs. John Adams to her husband a 
month later. "Roxbury," she continues, "looks more in- 
jured than Boston, that is, the houses look more torn to 
pieces. I was astonished at the extent of our lines arid their 

An estimate of the losses sustained b} r .the people of Rox- 
bury in 1775, made by the selectmen and Committee of Cor- 




respondence, foots up 24,412 9s. 4d., quite a sum in those 
days. It was shared among some two hundred individuals, 
about forty of whom were damaged to the extent of 300 and 
upward. The principal sufferers were the heirs of Capt. Aaron 

Davis, Dr. Thomas Wil- 
liams, heirs of Major Jo- 
seph Dudley, Dr. Jonathan 
Davies, Increase Sumner, 
Col. Aaron Davis, Joshua 
Lamb Woodbridge, heirs 
of Joseph Weld, Stephen 
Williams, tanner, William 
Bowman, Ebenezer Dorr, 
Nathaniel Felton, William 
Dudlej 1 , and Robert Pier- 
pont, Esq. Most of the in- 
juries were inflicted by the 
besiegers ; houses, fences, 
orchards, and wood-lots, 
as well as growing crops, 
having been destroyed. 
Another military display of a more attractive character 
enlivened the scene a few years later, when, in December, 
1782, the army of Rochambeau marched into Boston, where 
it was to embark for France. Before entering the town the 
troops changed their dress in the open air, and appeared in 
such excellent attire that it seemed incredible that this army, 
coming from Yorktown, Virginia, could have travelled so 
many hundred leagues, exposed to the inclemency of a rainy 
autumn and of a premature winter. 

Though it was late in December the skies were propitious, 
as these gallant Frenchmen, accompanied by a full band, 
marched through Roxbury and over the Neck. At their head 
was the brave Viomenil, who ten years later sacrificed his life 
in defence of his king, in the attack on the Tuileries. With 



him came Berthier, afterwards Napoleon's adjutant-general, 
and one of his marshals ; Matthieu Dumas, a distinguished 
soldier, and a general of division at Waterloo ; Isidore de 
Lynch, an intrepid Irishman, afterwards a general ; Montes- 
quieu, grandson of the author of " L'Esprit des Lois"; 
Carra St. Cyr, Des Prez de Grassier, Alexander de Lameth, 
Langeron, Anselme, and others who attained distinction in 
the wars of the French Revolution. The officers wore 
ehapeaux with a white cockade, a uniform of white broadcloth 
faced with red, green, or blue, according to the corps to 
which they belonged, and high military boots ; the general 
had on a blue overdress faced with red. All were splendidly 
mounted and wore elegant and costly equipments. 

First marched the regiment Royal Deuxponts, dressed in 
white, led by Count Christian de Deuxponts, the same who 
afterward commanded the Bavarians at Hohenliuden. The 
colonel proprietaireof this, the largest of the French regiments, 
was Maximilian de Deuxponts, afterwards Maximilian I, 
King of Bavaria, who, though he had been with his regiment 
in America, had already returned to Europe. 

Next came the Soissonnais, under its second colonel, Count 
Segur, son of the Minister of War. Its colonel, Felix de St. 
Maime, had preceded it to Boston. The brave Vicomte 
de Noailles had commanded the regiment at Yorktowu. 
Saintonge, in white and green, follows, with Count Custine 
and Prince de Broglie, first and second in command, both 
victims of the guillotine. Custine in 1792 commanded the 
Army of the North. 

Last came the Bourbonnais, in black and red, under De 
Laval Montmorenci, and the infantry of Lauzun. The 
artillery, though not with the column, were attired in blue 
with red facings, white spatterdashes, and red pompons. The 
men wore short Roman swords, and carried their firelocks by 
their slings. Among them might have been seen a young 
sergeant named Charles Pichegru, whose subsequent career is 


matter of history. The infantry wore cocked hats with pom 
pons, woollen epaulets, white crossbelts from which were sus- 
pended a short hanger and cartouche-box, and spatterdashes ; 
the hair was worn en queue. 

" No review or parade,'' says Segnr in his Memoirs, " ever 
displayed troops in better order, offering an appearance at 
once more neat and brilliant. A great part of the population 
of the town came out to meet us. The ladies stood at their 
windows and welcomed us with evident applause, and our 
stay was marked by continual rejoicings, by feasts and balls, 
which succeeded each other day after day." 

President Monroe, accompanied by Com. Bainbridge, Gen. 
Miller, Mr. Mason, his secretary, and his suite, and followed 
by Gen. Crane and the officers of the First Division, and a 
number of citizens of Norfolk County, on horseback, was 
escorted from Dedham to Roxbury, on July 1, 1817. After 
reviewing the infantry regiment of Col. Dudley, and Maj. 
Gale's battery of artillery, he proceeded to the Boston line. 
Since then Presidents Jackson, Tyler, and Fillmore, Lafay- 
ette, and Louis Kossuth, the Hungarian patriot, have been 
formally received here by the town or city authorities. Pres- 
ident John Adams, while on a visit to Quincy, in August, 
1797, was escorted through the town by a military and civic 
procession, stopping on his way at Gov. Sumner's residence, 
the occasion being a splendid entertainment given him by 
citizens of Boston. 

The George, or as it was sometimes called the St. George 
Tavern, the first American advanced post, was part of an 
estate of twenty acres, extending to Roxbury line on the 
south and across the marshes to the great creek which formed 
its western boundary. It had orchards, gardens, and a site 
commanding a view of Boston and its harbor on one side, 
and Cambridge Bay with the shore of the mainland on the 
other. This tavern was in 1721 the place of meeting of the 
General Court, probably on account of the prevalence of 


small-pox in Boston. In 1730, while it was kept by Simon 
Rogers, the Probate Court was held there. Samuel Hears, 
whose daughter Catharine became the wife of the Rev. Sam- 
uel Dexter, was at one time its landlord. Their grandson, 
Samuel Dexter, one of the ablest lawyers of his time, and a 
member of President Adams's Cabinet, was some time a resi- 
dent of Roxbury. Gen. John Thomas stopped at Mears's on 
his way from Marshfield, to join Winslow's expedition against 
Annapolis Roj'al, in April, 1755. Edward Bardin, who kept 
the "George" in 1769, changed its name to the "King's 
Arms," a title soon dropped. 

This tavern was burned by the enem}' on the night of 
Sunday, July 30, 1775, in retaliation for the destruction of 
Brown's House a few weeks before. A public house on or 
near its site was in 1788 opened by Sally Barton, but was not 
of long continuance. In its yard bullbaits were a common 

Hither Washington often came to inspect the outposts, 
accompanied by his staif, composed of men afterward famous : 
Mifflin, subsequently governor of Pennsylvania and president 
of Congress ; Joseph Reed, his secretary, a true patriot, and 
who also became the chief magistrate of that great State ; 
and Horatio Gates, whose military experience fitted him 
admirably for his post of adjutant-general, and rendered him 
highly serviceable in organizing the patriot forces. It was 
his singular fortune to achieve at Saratoga the most memora- 
ble victor^*, as it was at Camden to sustain the most crushing 
defeat, of the war. 

It was at this point that on Oct. 24, 1789, the General, 
then become President, and attended by his secretaries, Col. 
Lear and Major Jackson, made his last entry into Boston to 
revisit the scene of his first memorable achievement, dressed 
in his old Continental uniform. He was saluted by a dis- 
charge of cannon from the Roxbury artillerj*, under Capt. 
Jonathan Warner, Col. Tyler's troop of horse escorting him 


to the entrance of the town. He did not bow to the throng 
that crowded around him, but rode his famous white charger, 
a present from Charles IV of Spain, with a calm, dignified 
air, inclining his body first on one side and then on the other, 
and with his head uncovered. From some mismanagement 
Washington was detained at the Roxbury line nearly two 
hours, and exposed to a raw northeast wind, by which 
exposure he took a severe cold. Many others were similarly 
affected, and so general was the distemper that it was called 
the " Washington Influenza." 

Dr. Thacher, surgeon of Col. Henry Jackson's regiment, 
relates this amusing incident attending a forced march of the 
regiment from Providence, R. I., to Boston : 

"A severe rain all night did not much impede our march, but the 
troops were broken down with fatigue. We reached Boston at sun- 
rising, and near the entrance of the Neck was a tavern, having for 
its sign a representation of a globe with a man in the act of strug- 
gling to get through it ; his head and shoulders were out, his arms 
extended, and the rest of his body enclosed in the globe. On a label 
from his mouth was written, ' Oh, how shall I get through this world?' 
This was read by the soldiers, and one of them' exclaimed, ' 'List, 
d n you, 'list, and you '11 soon get through this world ; our regiment 
will be through it in an hour or two if we don't halt by the way.' " 

The Washington Market, standing a little south of the site 
of the George Tavern, covers that of the Washington House, in 
which Mrs. Susanna Rowson once kept a young ladies' school 
of high repute. While under the management of the Coolej's, 
father and son, it was, in the season, quite a noted resort for 
sleighing parties. Before the street railroad was built the 
Neck was the fashionable course for this exciting and exhil- 
arating amusement, and every afternoon while the sleighing 
was good it was sure to be thronged with every variety of 
vehicle upon runners, from the modest pung to the magnifi- 
cent barge, while the sidewalks were lined with spectators, 
watching the sport with eager interest and highly enjoying the 
gay and animated scene. 


Next south of the market, the three-story brick building, 
known first as Washington Hall, and afterwards as the Wash- 
ington Hotel, was a tavern as earl}- as 1820. In 1837, and 
later, it was kept by Amherst Eaton, of Concert Hall. 

Turning our backs upon the building on the opposite side 
of the street, belonging to the Metropolitan Railroad Com- 
pany, and whose unsavory odors it is to be hoped are stable 
rather than permanent, we encounter on the edge of the side- 
walk the upright stone placed here in 1822, that marks the 
old boundary between Roxbury and Boston. The outer gate, 
which in the early days of the settlement barred free ingress 
and egress over the narrow roadway, stood here. " Near this 
gate," says Sewall's Diary, "Mary, Indian James's squaw, 
was froze to death Nov. 27, 1685, being fudled." In 166& 
the inhabitants of Roxbury were prohibited digging clay here. 
The inner gate was at Dover Street. 

Deacon George Alcock was the original proprietor of the 
twenty acres of upland and marsh on the east side of the 
Neck, extending from the line near the " Bull Pasture " to 
the bury ing-ground. Passing by inhei'itance to Col. Joshua 
Lamb, and afterwards to Joshua Lamb Woodbridge, it was 
purchased of the latter by Aaron Blaney. The wooden building 
adjoining the stable was the residence of Major Ben Weld, 
the painter, who was also a prominent militar}' man. 

In a building that once stood just south of Huuneman 
Street, the "Norfolk Gazette," the first newspaper in Rox- 
bury, was published. It was issued weekly by Allen and 
Watts, from Dec. 15, 1824, to Feb. 6, 1827, when its press 
succumbed to the press of creditors. 

Upon the same side, near the burying-ground, is an old 
house, formerly a tavern, with the sign of the " Ball and Pin," 
kept by Capt. Jesse Doggett. 

" A trainband captain eke was he," 

who often marshalled his men along this dusty highway, and 
after a hot day's exercise doubtless threw wide his hospitable 


doors and regaled the thirsty heroes with cool and refreshing 
beverages. The fact is worth noting that from Johnson to 
Doggett, the Roxbury innkeepers have generally been mil- 
itary men. Elizabeth Sumner Doggett, his daughter, became 
the wife of Elijah Lewis, and the mother of George Lewis, 
afterwards mayor of Roxbury. 

Upon the westerly side of the street, beginning at the 
boundary line, was John Johnson's estate of eight acres, in- 
cluding the " house, barn, and house-lot on the back side of 
his orchard, and buildings lying together, with liberty to 
inclose the swamp and brook before the same, not annoying 
any highway." 

John Johnson, " surveyor-general of all y e armyes," was 
ehosen constable of Roxbury, Oct. 19, 1630 ; was made free- 
man in 1631 ; was for fourteen years a representative in the 
General Court, and died Sept. 29, 1659. He probably came 
over with Winthrop, was a "very industrious and faithful 
man in his place," and kept a tavern in Roxbury Street, where 
many public meetings' were held. When Anne Hutchinson 
was taken into custody the General Court ordered that the 
arms of her Roxbury adherents be delivered to ' ' goodman " 
Johnson, the town of Roxbmy being required to take order 
for their custody, and " if any charge arise, to be defrayed 
by her husband." 

Under date of Feb. 6, 1645, Winthrop records that " John 
Johnson having built a fair house in the midst of the town, 
with divers barns and other out-houses, it fell on fire in the 
da}* time (no man knowing by what occasion), and there 
being in it seventeen barrels of the county's powder and 
many arms, all was suddenly burnt and blown up to the value 
of four or five hundred pounds, wherein a special providence 
of God appeared, for he being from home the people came 
together to help and many were in the house, no man think- 
ing of the powder till one of the company put them in mind 
of it, whereupon they all withdrew, and soon after the powder 


took fire and blew up all about it, and shook the houses in 
Boston and Cambridge so as men thought it had been an 
earthquake, and carried great pieces of timber a good way 
off, and some rags and such light things beyond Boston meet- 
ing-house. There being then a stiff gale from the south, it 
drove the fire from the houses in the town (for this was the 
most northerly), otherwise it had endangered the greatest 
part of the town." Eliot, who had an eye for special prov- 
idences, says : " Y e wind at first stood to carry y e fire to 
other howses, but suddenly turned it from all other howses 
only canying it to y e outhouses and barns thereby, and it 
was a fierce wind & thereby drave y e element back from y e 
neighbors howses which in a calm time would by y e great 
heate have been set on fire." At this fire the first book of 
Town Records and the School Charter were destroyed ; the 
former was an irreparable loss. 

The old house standing at the corner of Ball Street was 
built by Aaron Davis, on the site of that occupied Irv his 
father, Capt. Aaron Davis, and taken down during the siege 
on account of its exposed situation. This estate of between 
ten and eleven acres, formerly John Johnson's, lay between 
Boston line, Smelt Brook, and Denison's house, having a 
frontage of three hundred and fifty feet on the west side of 
Washington Street. It included an extensive garden and 
orchard, now partially occupied by the green-house on the 
south side of Ball Street. After Mr. Davis built the house 
in Mall Street, his two unmarried sisters continued to reside 
in the old mansion. The order for the removal of the houses 
from Roxburj* Street came from Gen. Washington through 
Adjt.-Gen. Gates on July 12, 1775, only a few days after 
the commander-in-chief's arrival in camp, and was a military 

Col. Aaron Davis, grandson of William, an earl}' inhabi- 
tant of the town and the father of Capt. Aaron, was early in 
life a blacksmith, and afterwards carried on the farm in West 


Roxbury, formerly Col. William Dudley's, now occupied by 
Mrs. S. D. Bradford. An active patriot, his name is prom- 
inent in the annals of the town as a member of the Commit- 
tee of Correspondence of Suffolk County, and also as a 
member of the Provincial Congresses of 1774 and 1775. He 
died. July 29, 1777, at the age of sixty-eight. 

His son, a merchant, who died in 1773 at the early age of 
forty-eight, was, says an obituar} 7 notice, u A worthy, honest, 
useful man, and a great public loss." He, like his father, was 
captain of a military company, and his death is said to have 
been caused by a cold caught while drilling it. Moses, the 
brother of Capt. Aaron, kept a store where Mrs. Duffy now 
keeps. During the siege he kept a store at Hog Bridge, and 
supplied the troops at the forts and in the vicinity. After the 
war he rebuilt his house, taken down at the same time as his 
brother's, where, with his nephew Aaron for a partner, he did 
a large and lucrative business until overtaken by reverses 
during the war of 1812. His three-story dwelling-house, 
which was very old, was a little back from the street and west 
of the store. Tall and stout, of gentlemanl}' address, and 
much respected, his well-known piety occasioned his being 
always called "Deacon Moses," though he never held that 
office. He died in 1823. Mrs. David Dudley, who is still 
living at a ripe old age, is a daughter of Deacon Moses. 

Next south of John Johnson was the Denison estate of nine 
acres " as you goe towards Boston," extending from a point 
opposite the burying-ground to Vernon Street, and including 
a dwelling-house, bake-house, orchard, and home lot. 

The famil}* of Denison was one of distinction in our colonial 
annals, though like those of Ruggles, Eliot, Bowles, Scarbor- 
ough, and so many others of the early settlers of the town, 
the name has long been extinct here. "William Denison, with 
his wife Margaret, and his sons Daniel, Edward, and George, 
probably came over in the "Lion" with Eliot, in 1631, as 
his name stands third in the record of the First Church. 


Made a constable and a deputy to the General Court in 1634, 
he was a man of mark, possessed considerable property-, and 
was one of the founders of the "Free School." With his 
son Edward and other Roxbury men he was disarmed in 
1637, for " subscribing the seditious libel," or in other words, 
for being a follower of Anne Hutchinson, a woman who had 
opinions of her own upon religious subjects, and worse than 
all, in the eyes of the Puritan leaders in the colony, drew the 
more liberal and intelligent over to her way of thinking. He 
died in 1653. 

His eldest son, Daniel, who married Patience, daughter of 
Gov. Thomas Dudle} 1 , removed to Ipswich, attained the rank 
of major-general, and was highly distinguished both in civil 
and military affairs. Edward, who was in 1665 the first 
town clerk of Roxburj 7 , and a representative in 1652 and 
1655, married Eliza, daughter of Capt. Joseph Weld, and 
died in April, 1668. His son William, a graduate of Har- 
vard College in 1681, also town clerk for many years, died 
on March 22, 1718, when the name became extinct in 

Of George, the youngest son, a romantic stoiy is told. He 
was trained to arms, and while serving in Ireland was severely 
wounded. Borne by his men to the mansion of a gentleman 
named Borodaile, he was attended with great kindness and 
assiduity by Anne Borodaile, his only daughter, to whom, on 
returning to England, Denison engaged himself. Revisiting 
Ireland, he unfolded his intention of emigrating to America, at 
the same time urging her to accompany him as his wife. She 
declined encountering the perils of the sea and of the wilder- 
ness, and they parted. In 1640 he married Bridget Thomp- 
son, of Roxbury, who died three years later. Leaving his 
two infant daughters with their grandparents, he sailed for 
England in 1643, and under Cromwell resumed the military 
career as an officer of cavalry in the civil war then raging. 
Again visiting Ireland, he this time succeeded in persuading 


the lad}' to accompany him to America. They remained a 
few j-ears in Roxbmy, where in 1646 we find that the young 
men of the town chose George Denison, " a young soldier 
lately come out of the wars," to be their captain, a choice 
that was negatived, however, by the elders. They afterwards 
settled in Stoniugtou, Conn., where -he distinguished himself 
in Philip's war as an energetic and capable commander. In 
1676, with sixty-six volunteers and one hundred Christian 
Indians, he slew sevent} r -six of the enemy without losing a 
man, and took prisoner Canonchet, son of Miantouomoh, the 
Narraganset chief. Capt. George Denison died in 1694, at 
the age of seventy-six. Some of his wife's curious needle- 
work is yet in the possession of her descendants. She sur- 
vived her husband eighteen j r ears, dying in 1712, at the great 
age of ninety-seven. 

James Howe's bakery stood on the vacant lot north of Mr. 
J. H. Hunneman's house. At the time of his death, in 1796, 
he occupied the old house adjoining, in which his widow 
afterward lived. Mrs. D. L. Gibbens, a daughter of James 
Howe, is yet living, at the age of eighty-one. His son, John 
Howe, is still remembered for his wit. The artist, J. W. 
Champney (" Champ"), is a descendant of James Howe. 

Next come the residences of Messrs. Hunneman and Pat- 
ten, both prominent citizens in their day, built about the 
beginning of the century, and in front of which are some 
fine horse-chestnut trees. Two of these, set out by Mr. 
Thomas Rumrill, were the first horse-chestnut trees ever seen 
in New England, and were raised from seed of the Ohio 
"Buckej-e." Opposite the burying-ground is the old house, 
once quite an ornament to the street, but now, alas ! fallen 
from its high estate and put to baser uses, such as a barber's 
shop, fish-market, etc. Aaron Davis, and after him John 
Doggett, resided here. 

Before Williams Street was named, it was a narrow lane, 
leading to the marshes and upland belonging to Thomas 


Williams. On its southerly corner stood until quite recently 
an old house in which "Lawyer Tom" Williams lived and 
kept an office until his removal to the homestead, made vacant 
by the death of his father, Dr. Thomas Williams. It then 
became the shop of John Doggett, carver and gilder, who 
under the style of John Doggett & Co. was long at the head 
of the looking-glass and carpet business in Roxbury and 
Boston. Their manufactory, which stood on the opposite 
corner, where the carriage building now stands, had a bal- 
cony in front, reached by steps from the street. Among 
Doggett's apprentices were Samuel Sprague Williams, Samuel 
Doggett, afterwards admitted to the firm, and E. G. Scott, 
W. C. Moore, John Hastings, and Dudley Williams. The 
founder of the house, John Doggett, was the first to carry on 
his trade in this vicinity, and was an ingenious and skilful 
workman. A knowledge of weaving having been obtained 
by him from a travelling English artisan, the foundation was 
subsequently laid for an extensive carpet business. 

The first defensive work constructed by the Americans was 
a redoubt hastily thrown up immediately after the battle of 
Lexington across the highway leading to Boston, where the 
road to Dorchester (Eustis Street) begins. Its front was 
nearly on the southerly line of this road and the lane now 
Williams Street. This work, which at once defended the 
road to Dorchester and the entrance to the town of Roxbury, 
was called the " Burying-Ground Redoubt," and was subse- 
quently enlarged and strengthened. 

"About noon of the memorable 17th of June," says a 
soldier in Col. Learned's regiment, "we fired an alarm and 
rang the bells in Roxbury, and every man was ordered to 
arms, as an attack was expected. Col. Learned marched his 
regiment up to the meeting-house and then to the burying- 
ground, which was the alarm-post, where we laid in ambush, 
with two field-pieces placed to give it to them unawares should 
the regulars come. About six o'clock the enemy drew in 


their sentries, and immediately a heavj" fire was opened from 
the fortification. The balls whistled over our heads and 
through the houses, making the clapboards and shingles fly 
in all directions. Before the firing had begun, the general 
(Thomas) ordered some men down the street to fell some 
apple-trees across the street to hinder the approach of their 
artillery. Bombshells were thrown hourlj" into Roxbury 
during the night." 




Enstis Street. Old Burial-Ground. Burial Customs. Dudley Tomb. 

Ministers' Tomb. John Grosvenor. Old Inscriptions. The Canal. 

Training-Field. Military History. Roxbury Artillery. Lamb's 
Dam. Dudley Street Baptist Church. Deacon Parke. Weld. 
Mount Pleasant. Robert Williams. Dr. Thomas Williams. Enoch 
Bartlett. Gov. Shirley. Gov. Eustis. Lafayette. .John Read. 

Dennis Street. Col. James Swan. 

THE way or lane leading into the Dorchester road by 
Dr. Thomas Williams's, and which formerly took Mall 
Street in its course, was shortened and straightened in 1802 
" as far as the top of the hill." It received its present name 
in 1825, in honor of Gov. Eustis, whose residence it passed, 
and was so called as far as the brook, which made that part 
of the boundary line between Roxbury and Dorchester. Its 
entrance, formerly very narrow, was enlarged in 1854 by 
removing the greater part of the store of Aaron and Charles 
Davis on its southerly corner. 

According to the Record of Houses and Lands in Roxbury 
in 1654, the dwellers in this quarter were, at that time, "Wil- 
liam Cheney, William Parke, Edward and Giles Payson, Rob- 
ert and Samuel Williams, Francis Smith, and Edward Riggs. 

At the corner of Washington and Eustis Streets is one of 
the oldest burial-places in New England, the first interment 
having been made in it in 1633. Here, since the earliest days 
of the settlement, 

" The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep," 

and we cannot traverse it without seeing names alike ven- 
erable and memorable in New England's annals. Here, side 


by side with the apostle Eliot and Robert Calef, were laid the 
Dudleys, the Warrens, and many others of lesser note. 
Names that elsewhere would strike us with a sense of their 
incongruity seem in this place altogether appropriate. Here 
Lyon and Lamb lie down together in fraternal harmony, 
peacefully commingling their ashes with those of Pigge and 
Peacock, while near them reposes the dust of Pepper and 
Onion, savory conjunction! inseparable in life, even in 
death they are not divided. We seem here to be brought into 
the immediate presence of the past. The old homestead and 
place of worship has disappeared, old landmarks have van- 
ished or are so changed as to be almost unrecognizable : all 
that time, decay, and change have left of the past is here, 
the old gravestone, the quaint inscription, the rude verse, and 
the dust sleeping quietly beneath. 

While the old places of sepulture are usually unattrac- 
tive save to the antiquary and those curious in old epitaphs, 
nothing is more characteristic of New England. Their mon- 
uments, epitaphs, and decorations show at once the prevalence 
of religion, the backwardness of taste, and the poverty of the 
times. The mourned and the mourners are now alike forgot- 
ten. Of their descendants, many have left forever the seats 
of their fathers, and such as still dwell here are too remote to 
cherish peculiar veneration for those who died so long ago. 
"Our fathers find their graves in our short memories, and 
eadly tell us how we may be buried in our survivors'." 

This, like most of the early graveyards of our fathers, was 
chosen neither for its picturesque surroundings nor for its 
natural beauty, but simply for its convenient situation. One 
of the most marked differences between their day and our 
own is seen in the contrast of the old graveyards, with their 
sterile plainness, and the modern cemeteries, with their 
charming and varied scener}', their beautiful grounds and 
flowers, and their choice sculptures. The resting-place of 
the departed is now 


" A place of beauty and of flowers, 
With fragrant wreaths and summer boughs arrayed, 
And lovely sculpture gleaming through the shade." 

The town records say : 

" Feb. this 23d, 1648. It is agreed with John Woody, Constabell 
The sayd John is to Fenc in the buring plas with a Fesy (?) ston 
wall sefighattly (sufficiently) don for strenk and workmanshipe, as 
also to mak a doball gatt of 6 or 8 fote wid and to hing(e) it and to 
find all stuf and stons and workmanshipe, and he is to Finesh ed by 
the first of Jvne next, and in considerashan of this work he is to 
have six pounds and he is to paye himself out of the town Eatt 
(tax), in witness we have hereto sett to our hands the day above 


In 1725, Col. Joshua Lamb gave a quarter of an acre to 
enlarge the grounds upon the northwest, " reserving to him- 
self the herbage thereof." From its exposed situation, the 
place was greatly injured during the siege. The first barrier 
erected to prevent the British troops from coming out of Bos- 
ton crossed the highway at this point. After many years of 
neglect and decay, during which it had become overgrown with 
noxious weeds and unsightly bushes, its condition becoming 
unbearable, the city government of Roxbury, in 1857, redeemed 
the sepulchre of their ancestors. They graded the grounds, 
rebuilt the external walls with a handsome gateway, laid out 
and gravelled footpaths in various directions, and planted a 
variety of forest trees, including many evergreens, around 
the borders and among the old graves. Many of the old 
stones, which had been nearly or quite buried in the earth, 
were raised and reset, and the broken monuments repaired. 
The two large wooden gates that afforded entrance, one where 
the present iron one stands, the other near the engine-house, 
were taken away. Interments ceased to be made here in 
1854, excepting those made in family tombs. 


Cremation, abstractly considered, may be a good thing, 
but what ought we to think of the individual who could set fire 
to a graveyard ? Such an event actuallj* occurred here one Sun- 
day evening in March, 1826, when the whole town was alarmed 
by the cry of fire. Flames and smoke were discovered issu- 
ing from one of the tombs in which some miscreant had 
placed combustibles and afterwards ignited them, in conse- 
quence of some paltry dispute about its ownership. 

An earl}' writer tells us that ' ' at burials nothing is read 
nor any funeral sermon made, but all the neighborhood or a 
good company of them come together by the tolling of a bell, 
and carry the dead solemnly to the grave and then stand b\* 
him while he is buried. The ministers are most commonly 
present." As far as is known, the first instance of prayer at 
a funeral in Massachusetts was at the burial of Rev. William 
Adams, of Roxbmy, on Aug. 19, 1685, when, as Judge 
Sewall noted in his Diary, " Mr. Wilson, minister of Medfield, 
prayed with the compan} r before they went to the grave." 

Among the funeral charges at the interment of Rev. 
Thomas Walter, who was, as a testimonial of affection and 
respect, buried at the public cost, are these items : 

" 5 doz and 3 payres of gloves @ 45 / ' 12. 0. 

3 Payres Womens Mourning gloves 1. 16. 

6 Kings 6. 12. 

1 Barrilof Wine 9. 1. 6 

Pipes and tobacco 3. 

Box to put the bones of old Mr Eliot and others in 6. 0" 

Wine flowed freely upon these, as upon all public occa- 
sions. So great an evil had this become that, in 1742, the 
General Court prohibited its use at funerals. That body had 
as early as in 1 724 passed an act recommending a retrench- 
ment in funeral expenses. 

The extravagances and cost of funerals grew so burden- 
some that in 1764 the custom of giving gloves was discon- 
tinued except to the bearers. The custom of distributing 



gloves at funerals, it has been wittil}' suggested, was origi- 
nally, perhaps, a challenge from the doctor, defying all who 
shall dare say that he had committed murder contrary to the 
rules of art. 

At the death of Capt. Samuel Steve ns's wife, the expense 
of mourning apparel was avoided, " according to the new 
method of the town of Boston, which," says the Roxbury cor- 
respondent of the "Boston Gazette," "meets with general 
approval among us." In this measure economy and patriotism 
went hand in hand, the non- importation of all articles not of 
prime necessity having been generally agreed to by the col- 

On entering the cemetery from Eustis Street, the first tomb 
that meets the eye, 
and the one upon the 
highest ground, is 
covered with an oval 
slab of white marble 
bearing the name of 
" Dudley." In it re- 
poses the dust of the 
two governors, 
Thomas and Joseph 
Dudley, Chief-Jus- 
tice Paul Dudley, and 
Col. William Dudley, 
a prominent political leader a century and a half ago. The 
original inscription plate is said to have been of pewter, and to 
have been taken out by some of the patriots during the siege 
and run into bullets, lead being a scarce article in their camp. 

Of the epitaphs on Thomas Dudley, that by Rev. Ezekiel 
Rogers is by far the best : 

" In books a prodigal they say, 
A living cyclopaedia. 
A table talker, rich in sense 
And witty without wit's pretence. 



An able champion in debate, 

Whose words lacked numbers but not weight, 

Both Catholic and Christian too, 

A soldier trusty, tried and true; 

Condemned to share the common doom, 

Reposes here in Dudley's tomb." 

By way of contrast, this, from Broome Churclryard, Eng- 
land, on another Dudley, will do : 

"God be praised! 
Here is Mr. Dudley senior 

And Jane his wife also, 
Who, whilst living was his superior 

But see what death can do. 
Two of his sons also lie here, 

One Walter, t'other Joe; 
They all of them went in the year 

1510, below." 

Near the centre of the ground is the ministers' tomb, in 
which are the remains of the pastors of the First Church, 
including the apostle Eliot. The tomb that formerly occu- 
pied this spot was erected about the }'ear 1686, by the friends 
of William Bowen, of Roxbury, who had been a captive in 
the hands of the Turks. Hearing of his pitiable condition, 
they raised a sum of money for his ransom. He died before 
this could be effected, and the money was appropriated to 
the building of a tomb for their deceased ministers. " Good 
old Mrs. Eliot," the apostle's wife, became its first occupant. 
The old tomb was about three feet in height, built of brick, 
and covered by a large slab of sandstone, without inscription, 
and was in a ruinous condition when the parish committee 
caused the brick portion of the structure to be replaced by 
substantial blocks of sandstone. On one side is inscribed in 
large letters, 


A white marble slab was placed upon the sandstone base 
in 1858, with the following inscription : 


Here lie the Remains 



The Apostle to the Indians, 

Ordained over the First Church Nov. 5, 1632. Died May 20, 1690. 

Also of 


Ordained Oct. 19, 1718. Died Jan. 10, 1725. 
Aged XXIX. 


Ordained Oct. 17, 1688. Died Sept. 17, 1750. 


Ordained Nov. 7, 1750. Died May 29, 1752. 
Aged XXXII. 


Ordained Sept. 12, 1753. Died Oct. 5, 1775. 
Aged XLVII. 


Ordained Oct. 2, 1782. Died Dec. 7, 1833. 

Aged LXXV. 

The oldest gravestone now to be found here is that of the 
first child of Rev. Samuel Danforth, the colleague of Eliot : 


Aged 6 months. 
Dyed 22 D: 3M: 1653. 

A curious epitaph is this of one of the early teachers of the 
Roxbury School and a graduate of Harvard College : 

" Sub spe immortali, ye 

Herse of Mr. Benj. Thomson 

Learned Schoolmaster, 

& Physician & ye 
Renouned poet of N. Engl. 
Obiit Aprilis 13, Anno Dom. 

1714 & ^tatis suae 74 
Mortuus Sed Immortalis. 

He that would try 
"What is true happiness indeed, must die." 



Among the old stones is one thus inscribed : 

" Here lyeth buried ye Body of Mr. John Grosvenor, who Deed. Sept. 
ye 27th in ye 4flth year of his age. 1691." 

Upon it is the coat-of-arms of Gros- 
venor, the family name of the Marquis 
of Westminster, who is accounted the 
wealthiest of English, noblemen. This 
is the only coat-of-arms in this old 
cemetery, although the Dudleys, the 
Denisons, and many other of the early 
families here were no doubt entitled to 
the distinction. The scion of the illus- 
trious house of Grosvenor, who once 
resided in Eoxbuiy, was by trade a 

tanner, and held the responsible office of town constable, 

then of great dignity and importance. 

Some of the early inscriptions remaining are, 

John Alcocke, May 5, 1690, in y e 35th year of his age. 

Robert Calef, April 13, 1719, aged 71. 

Isaac Curtis, May 31, 1695, aged 55. 

John Davis, March 16, 1704-5, aged about 62. 

John Mayo, April 28, 1688, aged 58. Hannah, his wife, Oct. 5, 1699, aged 63. 

Deacon Wm. Park, May 10, 1683, aged 79. 

John Pierpont, Dec. 7, 1682, aged 65. 

Deacon Samuel Scarborough, March 18, 1714, aged 69 years and 2 mos. 
/ Shubal Sever, Jan. 18, 1729-30, aged 92. Hannah, his wife, Feb. 13, 
1721-2, aged 75. 

John Watson, Dec. 2, 1671, aged 77. 

Thomas "Weld, Jan. 17, 1682-3, aged 56. Dorothy, his widow, July 31, 
1694, aged 66. 

Elisabeth Williams, aged 80 years, died the last of June, 1674. 

Theoda, widow of Stephen Peck, Aug. 26, 1718, aged 81. (Her first 
husband was Deacon Samuel Williams.) 

John Stebbins, aged 70 years, died Dec. 4, 1681. "An (Anne Munke), 
who was his first wife lieth by him aged 50 years, died April 3d, 1680." 

" Here lyes interred ye body of WILLIAM DENISON, Master of Arts & 
representative for ye town of Roxbury about 20 years, who departed this 
life March 22<i 1717-18 aetatis 54. 

" Integer atque Probus Dens Patria que fidelis, 
Uixit nunc placide dormet in hoc tumulo." 


Crude and inharmonious as are the verses upon these 
stones, they exhibit no such glaring violation of good taste 
as does this couplet in Westminster Abbey, over the remains 
of the poet Mathew Prior : 

" Life is a jest, and all things shew it, 
I thought so once, and now I know it." 

For all its wealth of costly tombs, monumental marble, 
and storied urn, Westminster Abbey contains no more pre- 
cious dust than that of the good old apostle Eliot, who sleeps 
in this hallowed ground. 

On the north side of the yard are the gravestones of some 
of the Warren family, including Joseph, the father of Gen. 
Warren. Most of their remains have been transferred to 
Forest Hills. 

A canal fifty feet in width, extending from the wharf at 
Lamb's Dam Creek nearly to Eustis Street, just east of the 
burying-ground, was built about the year 1795. Its enter- 
prising projectors, among whom were Ralph Smith, Dr. 
Thomas Williams, and Aaron and Charles Davis, proposed by 
this means to save two and a half miles of land carriage from 
the centre of Boston, in their supplies of fuel, lumber, bark 
for tanning, flour, salt, etc., and in conveying to the shipping 
in the harbor and stores on the wharves, as well as exporting 
abroad, the salted provisions and country produce which con- 
stituted a large proportion of the trade and commerce of the 
town at that time. The line between Roxbury and Boston 
passed thrpugh the centre of this canal. Gen. Heath's man- 
uscript journal, under date of March 9, 1796, notes the fact 
that a large topsail schooner that day came up into the basin 
of the new canal in ' ' Lamb's Meadow." 

When Northampton Street was built in 1832, the terminus 
of navigation was made where Morse & Co. now have their 
coal wharf. North of this street and east of Harrison 
Avenue was a dike to keep out the sea ; all else was marsh 
flats save where the channel afforded sufficient depth to float 


small vessels laden with merchandise to Roxbuiy. The 
canal, never a paying investment, long ago ceused to be of 
commercial importance, and is soon to be filled up by the 

A little to the east, in the direction of the old magazine, 
ran a wide creek, in which the rite of baptism was frequently 
performed. At one of these ceremonies of unusual interest, 
the pressure of the spectators against a fence upon its border 
was so great that it gave way, and a number of sinners were 
immersed nolens volenx, a circumstance which greatly inter- 
fered with the solemnity of the occasion. 

The old canal-house, where the lumber-yard of Win. Curtis 
now is, was the storehouse of Aaron and Charles Davis, pork 
and beef dealers and slaughterers. This was at the head of 
the canal. Near the pier was a little beach or landing-place 
where fishermen disposed of their piscatory wares. Among 
them was Capt. Samuel Trask, a soldier of the Revolution, 
yet remembered by those who as boys frequented the beach 
and enjo3'ed its boating and other privileges as ontyboj'scan. 
The captain, who late in life kept a fishing vessel here, built 
in 1812, near the head of the canal, a schooner of about 
seventy tons. This vessel, laden with provisions by Aaron 
and Charles Davis, on sailing out of the harbor fell an easy 
prey to the British fleet then cruising at its entrance. 

Trask had been an artilleryman at Monmouth, and one of 
his stories of that hot engagement was worthy of Munchausen. 
The bullets fell so thickly in his immediate vicinity, so he 
said, that after the battle was over he found his outside 
pockets filled with those fired from the enemy, they having 
fallen there, somewhat flattened, after first striking his person. 
To the occupation of fishing, Trask added that of roofing. 

The old training- field, devoted to this purpose from 'the 
earliest days, contained seven acres, and was situated 
between Dudley and Eustis Streets, its western boundary 
being opposite Greenville Street. It formed the eastern por- 


tion of the triangle lying between Washington, Dudley, and 
Eustis Streets, having upon its western side the estates of 
Eliot, Walter, Weld, and Danforth. Originally the property 
of Deacon William Parke, it came in possession of the Weld 
family, Joseph Weld, in 1762, perfecting his title by purchas- 
ing of the town its right to use the ground for militar}- exer- 
cises. Other grounds subsequently used for this purpose 
were, the common west of the church, now Eliot Square, 
" Ned's Hill," where the House of the Angel Guardian now 
stands, and the W}*man farm, above Hog Bridge. 

Among the distinguishing traits of our ancestors was their 
attention to military affairs. Arms were a common posses- 
sion. Those of Isaac Morrill, of Roxbury, hung up in his 
parlor, were, a musket, a fowling-piece, three swords, a pike, 
a half-pike, a corselet, and two belts of bandoleers. All males 
between sixteen and sixty were required to be provided with 
arms and ammunition. The arms of private soldiers were 
pikes, muskets, and swords. The muskets had matchlocks 
or firelocks, and to each one there was a pair of bandoleers 
or pouches for powder and bullets, and a stick called a rest 
for use in taking aim. The pikes were ten feet in length, 
besides the spear at the end. For defensive armor corselets 
were worn, and coats quilted with cotton. 

The trainband had not less than sixt}*-four, nor more than 
two hundred men, and twice as many musketeers as pikemeu, 
the latter being of superior stature. Its offi- 
cers were a captain, lieutenant, ensign, and 
four sergeants. The commissioned officers 
carried swords, partisans or leading staves, 
and sometimes pistols. The sergeants bore 
halberds. The flag of the colony bore the 
red cross of St. George in one corner, upon 
a white field, the pine-tree, the favorite em- COLO - VIAL FLAO - 
blem of New England, being in one corner of the four spaces 
formed by the cross. Company trainings were ordered at 


first every Saturday, then every month, then eight times a 
year. "The training to begin at one of the clock of the 
afternoon." The drum was their only music. 

As early as July, 1631, the General Court ordered that on 
the first Tuesday of every month there should be a general 
training of Capt. John Underbill's company, at Roxbury or 
Boston . This company was composed of the freemen of both 

Underbill, who was subsequently banished for sharing in 
the heresies of Mrs. Hutchinson, claimed to have had an 
influx of the Holy Spirit while indulging in "the moderate 
use of the creature called tobacko." He had been a soldier 
in the Netherlands, and was one of the commanders at the 
destruction of the Pequodfort, at ITvstic. 

Lieut. Richard Morris, also exiled for the same cause, was 
one of the founders of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery 
Compairy ; represented Roxbury in the General Court in 
1635-6, and was the second commander of Castle William. 
In March, 1633, he was Underbill's ensign, but " taking some 
distaste to his office, requested the magistrates that he might 
be discharged of it, and so was, whereby he gave offence to 
the congregation of Boston, so as being questioned and con- 
vinced of sin in forsaking his calling, he did acknowledge his 
fault, and at the request of the people was by the magistrates 
chosen lieutenant of the same company, for he was a very 
stout man and an experienced soldier." Punishment on 
"conviction of sin," by promotion, seems singular, but in 
the case of this "very stout man and experienced soldier" 
must be regarded as extremely politic. Com. Charles Morris, 
one of our most distinguished naval officers, was a descendant 
of this Lieut. Richard, of Roxbury. 

Dec. 13, 1G36, the General Court ordered, " That all 
military men in this jurisdiction shall be ranked into three 
regiments, Boston, Roxberry, Dorchester, Weimouth, Hing- 
ham, to be one regiment, whereof John Winthrope senior 

TRAINING IN 1685. 107 

esquire shall be colonel, and Thos. Dudlej T Esquire lieftenant 
colonel." In the expedition under Stoughton against the 
Pequods, in 1637, there were ten Roxbury men. 

In 1646, Capt. Joseph Weld being dead, "the 3*oung men 
of the town agreed together to choose one George Denison, 
a young soldier come lately out of the wars in England, but 
the ancient and chief men of the town chose one Mr. Prich- 
ard, whereupon much discontent and murmuring arose in the 
town." The court negatived the action of ; ' Young America" 
and decided in favor of Prichard. 

At a later period it was ordered and decreed ' ' That all the 
souldiers belonging to the 26 bands in the Massachusets 
government should be examined and drilled eight daies in a 
yeare and whoever should absent himself, except it were upon 
unavoidable occasion should pay 5' shillings for every daies 
neglect." " There are none exempt unless it be a few timor- 
ous persons that are apt to plead infirmity if the church 
choose them not for deacons or they cannot get to serve some 
magistrate or minister," says Lechford, " but assuredly the 
generality of this people are very forward for feats of war." 

John Dunton, a London bookseller then visiting Boston, 
thus describes a training in 1685 : " Being come into the field 
the captain called us all into our close order to go to prayer, 
and then prayed himself, and when our exercise was done the 
captain likewise concluded with prayer. Solemn prayer iu 
the field upon a day of training I never knew but in New 
England, where it seems it is a common custom. About 3 
of the clock both our exercises and praj'ing being over, 
we had a very noble dinner to which all the clergy were in- 

The town that sent three companies of minute-men to Lex- 
ington on the 19th of April, 1773, and furnished three gen- 
erals to the Revolutionar}' army, may well be proud of her 
military record. Eliot's testimony respecting the efforts 
made by the town during Philip's war is given elsewhere. 


In the various Indian wars during the colonial period, and 
those in -which England and France contended for the empire 
of America, the citizens of Roxbury took an active part, 
furnishing many officers of distinction as well as a large num- 
ber of intrepid soldiers. The officers of the military company 
of the town which, in 1689, took part in the Revolution that 
overthrew the government of Andros, were Capt. Samuel 
Ruggles, Sen., Lieut. Samuel Gore, and Ensign Timothy 

Roxbury and Brookline sent thirty-nine soldiers in the ill- 
fated expedition to Canada in 1690, most of whom perished. 
A tract of land was in 1735 granted to their widows and 
children, called Roxbury or Gardiner's Canada, now War- 
wick, Mass., a town in the northeast corner of Franklin 
County, thirty-seven miles from Boston. In September, 
1736, Samuel Newell and the officers and soldiers in the 
company, under the command of Capt. Andrew Gardiner, in 
the Canada expedition, held the first meeting of the proprie- 
tors at the house of James Jarvis, innkeeper, in Roxbury. 
Capt. Robert Sharp, of Brookline, was chosen moderator, 
and William Dudlej', Esq , clerk. Roxbury was well repre- 
sented in the Louisburg expedition in 1745. She sent two 
companies, commanded by Nathaniel Williams and John 
Ruggles, Ebenezer Newell being the lieutenant in the com- 
pany of Estes Hatch. Among the officers from Roxbury 
who served in the campaigns of 1758-60, in Canada, were 
Col. Joseph Williams, Capt. Jeremiah Richards, Jr., and 
Lieut. Ephraim Jackson. 

In December, 1778, the three Roxbury companies were 
commanded respectively by Ebenezer Gore, Thomas Mayo, 
Jr., and Lemuel May. In March, 1784, the Roxbury artil- 
lery was formed, and John Jones Spooner, a gentleman of 
high character, afterwards a clergj'mau, was chosen captain. 
This corps, which did good service in Shaj's's Rebellion, 
became an infantry company in 1857, taking its present name, 


the Roxbury City Guard. It famished three companies to 
the war for the Union. After its change of name the old 
members organized themselves as the Roxbury Artillery 

The first parade of the company took place on Jul} r 5, 
1784, the occasion being the celebration of the anniversary 
of National Independence, the Fourth falling on Sunday. An 
ej'e-witness says, " They appeared well, and performed their 
exercises in a creditable manner. They dined together and 
were joined by a number of gentlemen of this and some 
other towns." On the loth of October following, they again 
paraded on occasion of the visit of Gen. Lafayette, saluting 
him with thirteen guns. Their gun-house, or place of meet- 
ing, was in the rear of the old town house. 

It is quite a feather in the cap of this ancient company, 
that so soon after the Revolutionar}* war, and while every- 
thing was prostrate, it should have succeeded in establishing 
upon a permanent basis the organization that subsists to-day. 
At that time Boston had not a single live military company, 
unless it was the artillery company of Capt. Davis. The 
Ancient and Honorable Artillery, the Cadets, and the Grena- 
dier corps had either been disbanded or were without vitality, 
so that when the celebrations of July 4, 1784, 1785, and 1786, 
took place, Roxbury furnished Boston with the military escort 
for the occasion. 

The Norfolk Guards were organized in 1818, Alexander H. 
Gibbs, commander ; reorganized in 1838, and disbanded in 
1855. Col. Wm. H. Spooner, son of Major John Jones 
Spooner, and grandson of Gen. Heath, commanded them in 
1841. This corps was highl}* distinguished for its bearing 
and efficiency, and bore upon its roll the names of many of 
the prominent citizens of the town. 

Roxbury performed her whole duty in the war of the 
Rebellion, placing her entire quota promptly in the field. 
Among her brave sons whose lives were sacrificed upon the 


altar of their countiy were Gen. T. J. C. Amory and Col. 
Lucius M. Sargent. 

On the corner of Mall Street, formerl}' a part of the train- 
ing field, the large house built in 1804 by Aaron Davis for 
his residence, is the site of a redoubt constructed in the early 
days of the siege to protect the approach to Dorchester. Here 
ran the lower road, the creek making up near it. 

Albany Street, original!}' the " Way to the Town Landing" 
or wharf, was in 1825 widened and named Davis Street. It 
then extended from Eustis Street to the town wharf. Since 
annexation it has been extended to its present terminus, 
forming a broad and continuous roadway east of and parallel 
with Harrison Avenue. The latter, originating in a dike for 
the protection of the Neck, known a century ago as Hill's 
Dam, received its present name in 1841 in honor of the visit 
of the President. Front Street, as it was then called, was 
continued to Eustis Street, and tho Roxbury portion of it 
named Plymouth Street. It was extended in 1870 to War- 
ren Street. 

An elevation, quite precipitous on its western side, begin- 
ning at Yeoman Street and sloping down nearly to the Lead 
Works in Albany Street, was the site of the Lamb's Dam 
Battery, famous during the siege. The works here, completed 
early in September, 1775, were in 1786 levelled by order of 
the town. The hill on which the}' stood was graded down 
many years ago. 

Lamb's Dam, built to prevent the tide from overflowing the 
marsh, and perhaps to facilitate the making of salt here, ran 
parallel with the present Northampton Street, ten feet east 
of it, to the town landing. It made a slight angle at its junc- 
tion with Hill's Dam, and struck Washington Street just 
south of Walnut Place. At the landing-place the brothers 
Aaron and Charles Davis had, besides the store on the corner 
of Eustis and Washington Streets, an extensive establishment 
for packing provisions, a distillery, and a tannery. 


Lamb's Dam was the scene of a tragical event at the close 
of the year 1778. During a violent snow-storm, William 
Bishop, of Cumberland, R. I., returning from Boston with a 
team and two oxen and a horse, through the severity of the 
weather missed his way as he was crossing the Neck, and got 
upon Lamb's Darn, where he with his cattle and horse per- 
ished. Finding it impossible to save his team he left it, and 
endeavored to reach a barrack in the fort near bj*, but failed 
in the attempt. On the following day three Frenchmen were 
found dead in Roxbury, supposed to have perished of the 
extreme cold of the preceding night. 

Having traversed the old lane to its junction with the Dor- 
chester road, let us retrace our steps, and, taking a new 
departure, follow the old Dorchester road which began on the 
town street near Zeigler, and passing around the old school- 
house and over the narrow road between it and Smelt Brook, 
took a straight course to Dorchester through what is now 
Dudle}' Street, so named west of "Washington Street in 1811, 
and east of it in 1825. 

On our left is the Eliot estate, which, with the training- 
field, extended to Mount Pleasant. Upon the right, lying 
between Washington and "Warren Streets, is the Isaac Merrill 
estate. Here also was the blacksmith's shop of Tobias Davis, 
son-in-law of Morrill and contemporary with the apostle Eliot. 
One of Isaac Merrill's two forges belonged in 1720 to his 
great-grandson, Samuel Stevens, the grandfather of Joseph 
Warren. Let us pause for a moment before the Dudle}* Street 
Baptist Church and glance at its records. 

A series of meetings held in the autumn of 1817 at the 
residence of Beza Tucker, now occupied b}* C. F. Bradford, 
subsequently continued in what was called " Whitewash 
Hall," a room in the three-story wooden building in Guild 
Row, led to the formation of the Dudley Street Baptist 
Church. At that time even this, the most thickly settled 
portion of the town, had but a small population, and but one 



religious society, that of Rev. Dr. Porter, worshipping in the 
old meeting-house on the hill. A site was purchased of Dea. 
Munroe, and the first building, which was of wood, was raised 
May 10, 1820, on the same da}* that the remains of Mr. 
Tucker, the early and genei'ous friend of the society, were 
borne to the grave. The church was dedicated Nov. 1, 1820, 

and on March 9, 
1821, the societ}-, 
consisting of 
twenty-three per- 
sons, under the 
name of -'The 
Baptist Church 
in Roxbury," was 
formed. Its pres- 
ent name was 
adopted on Feb. 
28, 1850. 

On May 15, 
1821, seven con- 
verts were bap- 
tized in Stony 
Brook. At this, 
the first adminis- 
tration of bap- 
tism in Roxbury, 
about two thou- 
sand persons 
were present, al- 
most the entire 
population turning out to witness it. On a subsequent occa- 
sion the number present was so great, and all were so eager 
to behold the solemn rite, that they crowded upon the logs and 
planks which extended out over the water near the old dam 
where the service was performed. Suddenly the plank on 


DBA. PARKE. 113 

which stood one of the most excellent and highly esteemed 
Christian citizens of the town gave way, and he was sub- 
jected, in the presence of all, to an unwilling immersion. 

In 1852, to meet the wants of the growing congregation, 
the present beautiful edifice was erected, and the old one sold 
to the Methodists, who removed it to the corner of Warren 
and Cliff Streets, where it was destroyed by fire early on 
Sunday morning, March 29, 1868. The new house, which 
was dedicated July 27, 1853, is of brick, in the pointed 
Gothic stj'le, is covered with mastic, and blocked off in imi- 
tation of brown sandstone. The interior is divided into nave 
and side aisles by cluster columns from which spring arches, 
supporting the clere-story. Its length, exclusive of the 
porch, is one hundred and seventeen feet ; extreme breadth, 
seventy-five feet ; height of tower and spire, built entirely 
of brick, two hundred feet. It has a seating capacity of 
eleven hundred. The succession of its pastors follows : 


JOSEPH ELLIOT, March, 1822. June, 1824. 

WILLIAM LEVERETT, June, 1825. July,. 1839. 

THOS. FORD CALDICOTT, June, 1840. April, 1848. 

THOS. DAVIS ANDERSON, August, 1848. December, 1861. 

On the southeasterly side, after passing Warren Street, 
came the estate of Wm. Cheney, of two and one half acres. 
Next came Dea. William Parke, with eight acres, while 
beyond were the houses and lands of Payson, Francis Smith, 
and Edward Riggs. Dea. Parke, " a man of pregnant 
understanding, and one of the first in the church of Rox- 
bury," came over among the first settlers in 1630, and for 
more than half a century was one of her most useful and 
honored citizens. For thirty-three j-ears he was her repre- 
sentative in the legislature, was often a selectman, holding 
also many other important trusts, public and private, and 
was one of the earliest members of the Ancient and Honora- 


ble Artiller}' Company. He died in 1685, at the age of 
seventy-eight, being, as expressed in his will, " old and 
weake of body but of perfect understanding, according to the 
measure received." He had no sons, and his large property 
passed after his decease into the hands of his grandchildren, 
principally to the children of his daughter Theoda, -wife of 
Samuel Williams. 

A portion of this estate passed to the "Weld family, one of 
whom, Mr. Samuel Weld, } - et resides here. Edmund, grandson 
of Rev. Thomas Weld, in 1742 bequeathed to his son Edmund 
his " part of the homestead and training field, and the land 
adjo3 r ning." The Unitarian Church, on the corner of Green- 
ville Street, in which Rev. Wm. R. Alger preached from 
1847 to 1855, is nearly on the site of the Edmund Weld 
homestead. Moreland, Fahiand, Greenville, and a part of 
Winthrop Streets are comprised within the limits of the Weld 
estate. The home of the pfesent representative of this old 
famil}*, on Moreland Street, is also that of his sister and her 
husband, the well-known writer, Epes Sargent, Esq. 

Between the Weld farm and the estate formerly John 
Read's is the locality known as Mount Pleasant. It includes 
the avenue of that name, Vine and Forest Streets, and 
extends to the northern extremity of Blue Hill, formerh* 
Grove Hall Avenue. Giles Payson, a deacon of the First 
Church, who also held many town offices, had here his home- 
stead of five acres. He was one of the Nazing emigrants, 
and died in 1688. The Payson estate afterwards became the 
property of John Holbrook, tanner, and in 1767 was bought 
by Moses White. Daniel, the last of the Roxbun* Holbrooks, 
died here in 1827, aged eighty-three. This farm, then con- 
sisting of twenty-seven acres, was bought about 1833 of the 
heirs of Aaron White, and cut up into house lots. White's 
former residence is on Forest Street, next that of Hon. John 
S. Sleeper. This was one of the first of the old Roxbuiy 
farms bought for speculative purposes, and received its 


present attractive name in 1835. Prior to 1868 Forest Street 
was called Chestnut ; and Mount Pleasant Avenue, Elm 
Avenue. This part of Eustis Street was at the same time 
rechristened Dudley. 

Mr. Sleeper, who }'et resides here at the age of eighty- 
three, came to Roxbury in 1843. Twenty-one years of his 
earl}" life were passed on the ocean, and his experiences of a 
seafaring life have been given to the public in newspaper 
sketches and in books. He edited and published the " Bos- 
ton Journal " for many years. In 1856-58 he was mayor of 
Roxbury, and recent!}' represented his district in the State 

The homestead of Robert Williams, one of the early set- 
tlers of Roxbury, in which five generations of the family 
lived and died, remained standing until 1794, upon the site 
now occupied by the large brick dwelling-house on Dearborn 
Street, near the schoolhouse. This house, built by Dr. 
Thomas Williams, was the first brick mansion erected in 
Roxbury, and was the family residence until the death ol 
his son, "Lawyer Tom," in 1823. This old family seat 
formed a part of quite a large estate, extending easterly from 
what is now Alban}* Street, on both sides of Eustis Street, as 
far as Magazine Street. It sustained great injur}" during the 
siege, the best part of its orchard having been cut down by 
the troops. 

In 1820 the estate, then containing one hundred and 
twent) T acres of upland and ten acres of marsh, was bought 
of the heirs of Dr. Thomas Williams by Aaron D. Williams 
and William H. Sumner, and afterwards cut up into lots and 
sold. The mansion was recentl}* owned by W. Elliott 
Woodward, who at the same time had in his possession those 
of Gov. Eustis and Col. Swan, all three notable residences. 
To the enterprise and energy of this gentleman, Roxbury is 
greatly indebted for the building up of this quarter of the 


Robert, the emigrant ancestor of this the most prolific of 
the old Roxbury families, came from Norwich, England, in 
1638, and died at a great age in 1693. Among his distin- 
guished descendants are Col. Ephraim, founder of Williams 
College ; Rev. Elisha, president of Yale College ; William, 
governor of Connecticut, and a signer of the Declaration of 
Independence ; Col. Joseph, of Roxbury ; and Rev. Eleazer, 
the " lost Bourbon." 

Most of the Roxbury Williamses are descended from 
Stephen, third son of Robert, who inherited the homestead, 
and died in 1720. Capt. Stephen Williams, his son, is thus 
commemorated on his gravestone in the old burying-ground : 

" His works of piety and love 
Remain before the Lord ; 
Honor on earth and joy above 
Shall be his sure reward." 

Dr. Thomas, son of Eleazer and Sarah Williams, an excel- 
lent physician and a prominent citizen, born here in 1736, 
died in 1815, after a life of remarkable industr}*, temperance, 
and activity. He was influential in town affairs, and was one 
of the projectors and corporators of the Roxbury Canal. 
The doctor was a dark-complexioned man, of exceedingly 
courteous manners, and when making his dail}' round of pro- 
fessional visits upon his large white horse, being near 
sighted, would bow to every window as he passed, so as to 
avoid giving offence by omitting anybody. 

The diary of Daniel McCurtin, one of the Pennsylvania 
riflemen quartered here during the siege, contains some 
amusing particulars. He says : 

"Upon the 13th of August, 1775, we marched from Cambridge in 
company with Capt. Morgan's company to a small village named 
Eocksbury, about two miles from Boston, situated on the south side 
of the city and fairly exposed to their fortifications. This has been 
a pleasant place, but the regulars have spoiled it with their cannon 
balls, and it is now in a manner desolate, the people having left their 
houses and given them to the soldiers for barracks. The 14th being 


Sunday, we had to stand sentry at a place called Lamb's Dam while 
a party of our musketmen were erecting a fort. 

"Sept. 11. This morning as I was breakfasting in the former 
dwelling-house of Dr. Williams, they fired four 32-pounders at 
the house, one of which rushed through the room, dashed one side 
out of the chimney, broke two partitions, and filled our dishes with 
plastering, ceiling, and bricks. George Switzler, Sergt. Dowd. 
and William Johnson were in the room when this happened. Any 
one may judge whether or no this did not surprise us four young 
heroes. How it was with the others I cannot say, but I know to 
the best of my thinking that I went down two pair of stairs of three 
strides, without a fall, and as soon as I was out of doors ran to the 
breastwork in great haste, which is our place of safety, without the 
least concern for our breakfast, to James McCancie's amazement. 

" Oct. 11. This day at eleven o'clock came Dr. Williams to take 
away a corn-house belonging to him which stood adjacent to our 
house. It was thirteen feet long and eleven broad, and very strongly 
made. He brought a cart, six oxen, and two cows. First the house 
was lifted up on the cart and balanced evenly ; then our men conveyed 
him for about a mile, at which time we met a hill which made us 
think that the house could never be hauled up. At this, Dr. Wil- 
liams went Into an orchard and fetched a hatful of apples and came 
out on the hilltop and split them, and expressed himself in these 
words to the steers, ' Come up, and you may eat apples/ at which 
words the cattle strained and pulled for life until they got up, 
which caused us to laugh very heartily, and wonder much." 

The doctor was a Ton*, but by no means an obnoxious one, 
and he was too useful a citizen to be driven away, as were 
the others. On hearing of the affair at Lexington he re- 
marked to Edward Sumner, " Well, the nail is driven." 
" Yes," said Sumner, who was always opposed in politics to 
the doctor, " the nail is driven, and we'll clinch it, too." 

Robert, his grandfather, was some time town clerk of Rox- 
bury, and received two acres of land near Dorchester Brook, 
for his services. He subsequently petitioned the town to 
take it back, as it occasioned him " too much worldly care." 
The doctor being a somewhat avaricious man, Sumner would 
often banter him about the great change in the Williamses in 
this particular since Robert's day. 


A sharp bargain was that which he drove with a passing 
countryman, -whose load of bricks he examined, and having 
selected three perfect samples, made a contract with him for 
enough to build his new house. The astonishment and disgust 
of the countryman may be imagined when he found, on deliv- 
ering his first load, which was no way inferior to the one 
examined, that every brick not equal in size or color, and not 
in every respect up to the sample, was rejected. 

East Street, so named in 1842, now Hampden Street, runs 
diagonally through the Williams estate from Eustis Street to 
the lead works. On Blue Hill Avenue, then called East 
Street, an extensive piggery once stood. Lucius M. Sar- 
gent, in his " Dealings with the Dead," gives the following 
amusing account of this nuisance, and how it was abated : 

"In 1832 Boston went extensively into the carrion and garbage 
business, and furnished the provant for a legion of hogs. The car- 
rion carts of the metropolis of New England, eundo redeundo et 
manendo, dropping filth and fatness as they went, became an abom- 
inable nuisance and, as Commodore Trunnion beat up to church on 
his wedding day, so every citizen, as soon as he discovered one of 
"hese aromatic vehicles drawn by six or eight horses, was obliged 
A) ' close haul his nose, and struggle for the weather gage.' 

" The proprietor of this colossal hog-sty, with his burnery of 
bones and other fragrant contrivances, created a stench unknown 
among men since the bituminous conflagration of the cities of the 
plain, Sodom and Gomorrah, and which terrible stench, in the lan- 
guage of Sternhold and Hopkins, ' came flying all abroad.' In the 
keeping of the varying wind this aria cattiva, like that from a grave- 
yard surcharged with half-buried corpses, visited from day to day 
every dwelling, and nauseated every man, woman, and child in the 
village. Four town meetings were held upon this subject. Roxbury 
calmly remonstrated, Boston doggedly persisted, and at last, 
patience having had its perfect work, the carrion carts, while 
attempting to enter Roxbury, were met by the yeomanry on the line 
and driven back to Boston. Complaint was made, the grand jury 
of Norfolk found bills against the owner of the hogs and the city of 
Boston both were duly convicted and entered into a written obliga- 
tion to sin no more in this wise." 


Magazine Street, ; ' Powder-House Lane," formerly led to 
the powder magazine belonging to the State, and had a gate 
at the present entrance of the street. The magazine stood 
on what was known as Pine Island, a part of the confiscated 
estate of Gov. Bernard, now traversed by Swett Street, and 
was for many years kept by John Read. 

Next comes the Bartlett mansion, built about 1805 by Capt. 
Thomas Brewer, who perished, as is supposed, about the j T ear 
1812 while on a voyage from the Cape of Good Hope to 
Sumatra. His widow, a venerable relic of the old school of 
manners, died greatly respected and beloved at Eastport, 
Me., in 1851, aged eighty. Her father, Andrew Cazneau, a 
judge of admiralty before the Revolution, and whose property 
she inherited, died at Roxbury in 1792. From 1822 to 1860, 
the year of his death, it was the home of Enoch Bartlett, a 
well-known and highly esteemed citizen. It is at present 
occupied by a charitable association called ' ' The Little Sis- 
ters of the Poor." Mr. Allen Putnam, who married a daugh- 
ter of Mr. Bartlett, and who administered the estate, found 
that, adding to the purchase-money of this property compound 
interest for thirty nine years, brought it to within one thou- 
sand dollars of the assessed valuation in 1860. The residence 
of Mr. Putnam, whose writings upon the subject of Spiritual- 
ism are well known, is opposite the mansion house. This 
estate was formerly John "Williams's. 

Two of the original "Bartlett" pear-trees, imported by 
Capt. Brewer, are still in bearing here. This pear, whose 
size, beauty, and excellence entitle it to the high estimation 
in which it is every where held, originated about 1770 in 
England, where it was known as t; Williams's Bonchretien." 
When imported its name was lost, and having been cultivated 
and disseminated by Mr. Bartlett, became so universally 
known as the Bartlett pear that it was found impossible to 
restore its old name 

Mr. Bartlett, who was a Boston merchant, laid the founda- 



tion of his fortune by bringing to the United States a cargo 
of English goods just when the breaking out of the war be- 
tween the United States and England had greatly enhanced 
the price of imported commodities. He took great interest 
in agriculture, and was vice-president of the Massachusetts 
Agricultural Society. 

Perez Swell's old house stands on the opposite side of 
Eustis Street, at some distance from it. This, with Weld's, 


White's, Dr. Williams's, Stephen Williams's, and the Eustis 
house, were all the houses between the burying-ground and 
Dorchester at the beginning of the centuiy. Ewell married 
a daughter of Stephen Williams, the tanner, who lived in the 
old farm-house, since the residence of Samuel Walker, Esq. 

On Shirley Street, some twenty-five rods north of Eustis 
Street, is the house built by Gov. Shirley about the middle 
of the last century, its oaken frame and other materials, even 
the bricks, which were of three different sizes, having, it is 
said, been brought from England at a vast expense. Shirley 
Place, for so the governor styled it, is a large, square, two- 


stoiy, hip-roofed structure, with a stone basement, having a 
piazza at each end, and is surmounted by an observator}' 
enclosed with a railing. This is the most elaborate and 
palatial of the old Roxbury mansions, and notwithstanding 
the vicissitudes it has undergone, is extremely well preserved. 
One of its peculiarities is its double front ; that facing the 
harbor, on the side farthest from the road, being undoubtedly 
the true one. The upper windows on this side afford a fine 
view of the city, the harbor, and the islands. Each front is 
approached by a flight of stone steps, flanked by an iron railing 
of an antique and solid pattern, but now rusted by the elements. 
Entering the nortnern or proper front you find yourself in 
a spacious hall of grand proportions. To the right a broad 
staircase leads to a balcony extending around to the left, 
where two doors open into the guest-chamber in which Wash- 
ington, Franklin, Lafayette. Daniel Webster, and many other 
celebrated men have from time to time been accommodated. 
From this balcony the musicians entertained the company 
seated at the table in the hall. The carved balusters around 
the staircase and gallery are of three different patterns, and 
the rail surmounting them is inlaid at the top. The base 
of the balustrade and staircase is also adorned with a carved 
running vine. The ceiling around the main hall is beautifully 
stuccoed, and its floor was originally painted to represent a 
carpet. To the right and left of the hall are doors leading 
into the reception-room, parlors, etc. The southwest room, 
which was Madam Eustis's, contained a secretary which was 
the gift of Dr. Joseph Warren to her husband when a student 
of medicine with him. On the Dudley Street front is a small 
hall paved with marble. Upon great occasions the two halls 
were thrown into one by opening the folding-doors between. 
The fireplaces were ornamented with Dutch tiles, but when 
the house was sold in 1867 it was completely denuded of 
these by those modern Goths and Vandals, curiosity and relic 


The old house seems queerly constructed, so numerous are 
its apartments and so full is it of doors and closets ; many 
of the latter are let into the solid walls. The wine-closets in 
the guest-chamber could doubtless tell of many a convivial gath- 
ering, and of mirth and jollity unbounded in the time gone "by. 

Col. Thomas Dawes told Gen. Wm. H. Sumner that he 
was one of the masons that helped build the house. Said he, 
"You will see, if you go into the stone basement story, a hall 
or entry running through its centre, kitchens and other 
necessary offices on one side, and the servants' rooms on the 
other." These features necessarily disappeared when the 
building was removed. To insure warmth it was built of 
brick and covered with wood. A lawn of considerable extent 
fronted the house. It was said to have been levelled by sol- 
diers returned from the Louisburg expedition. Mr. Aaron 
D. Williams often heard his father speak of having seen the 
soldiers at work there. 

On the east side ran the brook forming the boundary 
between Eoxbury and Dorchester, but which now flows 
through the sewer. A magnificent willow marks the westerly 
end of a small pond through which the brook formerly flowed. 
A much larger pond, which was on the north side of the 
estate, about where "Woodward Avenue enters George Street, 
has been filled up, and like the larger part of the estate is 
now covered with houses. Of the terraces that formerly 
extended from the brook to the hill on the west side of the 
estate, only three east of the house remain. 

Shirley's first purchase was of Gen. Samuel Waldo, second 
in command of the Louisburg expedition, on Nov. 22, 1746, 
of a dwelling-house and thirty-three acres, bought by Waldo 
in 1729 of Rev. James Allen, the first minister of Brookline, 
and a native of Roxbury. In September, 1756, he bought 
the land on the south side of the road, formerly Nathaniel 
Williams's, extending from Col. Hatch's on the east to 
Dennis Street on the west. 


In 1764 the estate was bought by Judge Eliakim Hutch- 
inson, Shirley's son-in-law. He became a member of the 
governor's council, and chief justice of the Court of Common 
Pleas for Suffolk, and died in June, 1775. Having been a 
loj'alist. his estate was confiscated, the purchaser, in Septem- 
ber, 1782, being the Hon. John Read, a gentleman of consid- 
erable political prominence in Roxbury in his day. During his 
residence here Major Read dispensed an elegant hospitality, 
the memory of which long lingered in the recollection of the 
past generation. He subsequently resided in Dennis Street, 
where Mrs. James Huckins now lives, in a house built by 
him for his son. 

Made a barrack for our soldiers in 1775, it was greatly 
injured thereby. Col. Asa Whitcomb's regiment marched to 
Dorchester Heights from its quarters here, on the evening of 
March 4, 1776. In 1791 Read sold the mansion and a part 
of the grounds to a widow, a French refugee, Madame Ber- 
telle de Fitzpatrick, nee Bovis, from whose hands it passed, 
two years later, into those of Giles Alexander. Among the 
exiles driven from their native land by the French Revolu- 
tion, who took refuge in Roxbury, I find the names of Dr. 
Leprilete, M. Dubuque, M. de Salaberi, and Peter F. C. 

Of Giles Alexander, tradition says that he treated his 
wife so ill, that one evening a party of young men of some of 
the best families in Boston came disguised to his house, 
broke off the heads of two stone lions who kept guard at the 
front gate, and wound up their frolic by bestowing upon the 
obnoxious proprietor a complete suit of tar and feathers. A 
" lab3Tinth" in the grounds in front of the house constituted 
the limit of Mrs. Alexander's prescribed bounds for out-door 

This Boston notion of tarring and feathering is humorously 
described in Foote's play of the " Cozeners." There the coz- 
ener, Mr. Flaw, promises to the Irishman, O'Flanigan, a tide- 


waiter's place in the inland parts of America, and he adds, " A 
word in your ear ! If } - ou discharge well j*our duty you will be 
found in tar and feathers for nothing. When properly mixed 
they make a genteel kind of dress which is sometimes worn 
in that climate. It is very light, keeps out the rain, and 
sticks extremely close to the skin." The practice became so 
prevalent here as to qualify the ancient saying, that " man is 
a two-legged animal without feathers." 

Shirley Place was afterward occupied by M. Dubuque, who 
emigrated from Martinique, and whose cook, named Julien, 
kept the celebrated restaurant in Boston, at the corner of 
Milk and Congress Streets. Upon the lawn in front of the 
house a novel sight was in his da}* presented to the descend- 
ants of the Puritans, that of ball-playing Sunday afternoons. 
In 1798 the estate was purchased of Giles Alexander, Jr., b}* 
Capt. James Magee, a convivial, noble-hearted Irishman, a 
shipmaster in the employ of Thomas H. Perkins, and who, 
while in command of the privateer brig " General Arnold," 
had been shipwrecked near Plymouth, Mass., in the winter of 
1779. The brig was driven ashore in a terrible snow-storm. 
So intense was the cold that seventy-eight of the crew were 
frozen to death, and from the merciless pelting of the waves, 
which froze hard to them, thej* looked rather like solid statues 
of ice than human bodies. The survivors, twenty-eight in 
number, who had been huddled together on the quarter-deck, 
with no extra clothing, with no shelter but the skies, and no 
food for three days, were finally rescued by the men of Plym- 
outh. All that was saved from below was a keg of rum, of 
which all who drank, after a brief excitement, sunk into a 
stupor from which they never awoke. The others made a 
wise and salutary use of it by pouring it into their boots. 

In August, 1819, soon after his return from the mission to 
Holland, Gov. Eustis bought the property of Magee's widow, 
and there passed the remainder of his days. After the de- 
cease of Mrs. Eustis, the estate was sold at auction in August, 



1867, and cut up into house-lots. In order to lay out Shirley 
Street the mansion house was moved a little to the southeast. 
An elm-tree marks the place near which stood its northerly 
corner. The adjacent hill has been dug away to the level of 
the street, so that at present nothing of the old attractiveness 
of the place remains. A fine large painting, " The Carnival 
of Venice," that hung in the main hall, was sold at the same 
time as the house. 

"William Shirley, governor of Massachusetts from 1741 to 
1756, was the son of a London merchant, who by marriage 
became possessed of the estate of Otehall in the parish of 
"Wivelsfield, Sussex, England. He was educated at Cambridge, 
and designed for the bar, where his superior talents and address 
procured him the notice of Sir Robert Walpole, and of the 
Duke of Newcastle, who afterwards gave him his appointment 
of governor. Arriving 
at Boston, in August, 
1 73 1 , with a friendl}* let- 
ter of introduction from 
Newcastle to Gov. 
Belcher, he practised law with success, and had established 
such a reputation for character and ability that the news of 
his appointment to the chief magistracy in 1741 was received 
with general favor. 

He was the prime mover in the successful expedition against 
Cape Breton in 1745, which resulted in the capture of Louis- 
burg, one of the strongest fortifications in America, by a 
force of four thousand New England men led by Col. "William 
Pepperell, aided by a small British fleet under Com. Warren. 
Such was the popularity of this enterprise that more men 
volunteered for it than could be received, and in seven weeks 
three thousand two hundred and fifty men were enrolled in 
Massachusetts, including two full companies from Roxbury. 
This brave and determined but wholly undisciplined body 
embarked from Boston on March 24, 1745. " Pray for us 


while we fight for you," was their parting salutation as 
they left behind them their families, their firesides, and their 

Dr. William Douglass, a man of learning but of strong preju- 
dices, ridiculed the idea of the Louisburg expedition, as did 
even the sagacious Dr. Franklin in one of the wittiest letters 
he ever wrote. But the spirit of New England was up ; the 
celebrated preacher, Whitefield, furnished the motto, "Nil 
desperandum Christo dud" giving to the expedition the air 
of a crusade ; made a recruiting-house of the sanctuary ; and 
not only preached Delenda est Carthago, but Parson Mood}*, 
one of his followers, joined the troops as chaplain, and actu- 
ally carried an axe on his shoulder with which to hew down 
the Catholic images in the churches of the fated city. 

After Pepperell's nomination to the command, Shirley wrote 
to Gov. Wentworth, of New Hampshire, offering it to him, 
undoubtedly supposing that the governor's gout would make 
the proposition safe. But in this he was mistaken. Went- 
worth flung away his crutches and offered his services, and 
Shirley had the mortification not only to make him an apology, 
but to tell him that any change in the command would hazard 
the expedition. 

In spite of the formidable obstacles to be overcome, the 
victorious New-Englanders entered the city as conquerors, 
after a siege of less than two months, on the 17th of June, a 
day destined to become doubly memorable for Americans 
thirty years later. The success of the plan was in great 
measure due to the celerity with which it was carried out, the 
French being totally unprepared. 

Shirley went to England in September, 1749, and was 
soon after appointed one of the commissioners to settle the 
American boundaries, spending much time in France with little 
success. At the age of threescore he was captivated with 
the charms of a 3'oung girl, his landlord's daughter, in Paris, 
married her, and in August, 1753, brought L\s }'oung wife, who 


was a Catholic, to Boston, to take precedence in the society 
of the Puritan matrons of Massachusetts, a most ill-judged 
step, which he had reason to repent as long as he lived. 

When Franklin was in Boston in 1754, he had several 
interviews with Shirlej*, who communicated to him " the pro- 
found secret," " the grand design " of taxing the colonies by Act 
of Parliament. Shirley was a strong advocate of the prerog- 
ative of the king and the power of Parliament, and in 1756 
advised the Ministry to impose a stamp tax in America. 

"Washington visited him in March, 1756, and related to 
him the circumstances of his son's death, at the battle of the 
Monongahela, where Gen. Braddock was defeated and killed. 
He was well received and much noticed by the governor, with 
whom he continued ten days, mixing constantly in society, 
visiting Castle William and other objects worthy of notice in 
the vicinity, little dreaming that it would one day become the 
theatre of his first great military achievement. In a letter to 
his friend Fairfax, he says, " I have had the honor of being 
introduced to several governors, especially Mr. Shirlej', 
whose character and appearance have perfectly charmed me. 
His every word and action discover in him the gentleman and 

In Februar3 r , 1755, he was made a major-general, with the 
superintendence of military operations in the Northern colo- 
nies. While holding the chief command, the loss of Oswego 
was unjustly attributed to him, and he was in 1756 super- 
seded in his command and in the government of Massa- 
chusetts, and ordered to England. He was triumphantly 
vindicated, and two years later was appointed governor of 
the Bahamas. He was made a lieutenant-general in 1759. 

He returned from the Bahamas in June, 1769, and for the 
short remainder of his life resided in his former mansion io 
tioxbuiy, then occupied by his son-in-law, Judge Hutchinson. 
Here he died on March 24, 1771, a poor man, and was interred 
in the bury ing-ground of King's Chapel, of which edifice he had 


laid the foundation-stone. His funeral was attended by the 
Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company, then commanded 
by Capt. William Heath, and three volleys were fired over his 
grave. While the long procession was moving, a detachment, 
under Lieut. Sellon, discharged at intervals seventy-six guns, 
to denote the governor's age. Shirley was a man of great in- 
dustry and ability, but though able, enterprising, and deserv- 
edly popular, was ambitious in a degree disproportionate 
to his powers. 

Hon. John Read, a native of Woburn, and at one time the 
owner and occupant of the Shirle}* mansion, died in Roxbury 
on Jan. 13, 1813, aged eighty-five. In 1740, after the pre- 
vailing epidemic had carried off several of the family, he was 
taken by the wife of Daniel Bugbee, of Roxburj', his mother's 
sister, who carried him before her on horseback to her resi- 
dence in Roxbury, where he lived till his majority, and learned 
the trade of a tanner with Mr. Williams. He was for many 
years agent for Gov. Bowdoin's Elizabeth Island estate, and 
while land agent for the State, named Bowdoinham, Maine, 
in honor of his early patron. Readfield, Me., was named for 
him. Settling in Roxbury, he became one of her leading and 
most distinguished citizens ; was frequently a selectman and a 
representative, and was also a member of the governor's 
council. He was known as Major Read, from having been 
a paj'master of militia before the Revolution. His was a 
long, honorable, and useful career. His brother James com- 
manded a regiment at Bunker's Hill, and in 1776 was made a 

John Read, son of the Hon. John, was a wine-merchant of 
Boston, a man of elegant manners and of marked and varied 
accomplishments. Copley's portrait of him at the age of 
seventeen, now in possession of his granddaughter, Mrs. 
Paul Willard, exhibits him as a youth of remarkable elegance 
and grace. He was a large land-owner in Roxbury, the Has- 
kins estate, a portion of the Perrin estate, and much of the 


land through which Dennis Street and Blue Hill Avenue run, 
having been in his possession. He resided on Dennis Street 
in the house built for him by his father, now the residence of 
Mrs. James Huckins, where he died in 1826. The powder 
magazine on Pine Island was for many years under his charge. 
Read and his neighbor, Gov. Eustis, were great cronies, and 
tradition says they occasional!} 7 enlivened their leisure with 
cards and with cock-fighting, accounted a gentlemanly amuse- 
ment in those days. His son, George Read, a highly respec- 
ted, genial man, was a famous sportsman. In the Natural 
History building in Boston is a fine specimen of an eagle that 
belonged to him, and which the eminent naturalist, Audubon, 
copied for his great work. 

Gov. William Eustis was, like his predecessor in the chair 
of state, Gov. Brooks, a medical practitioner. Graduating 
at Harvard, he studied under Dr. Joseph Warren ; was pro- 
fessionally engaged at the Lexington battle, and served as a 
surgeon throughout the war. Taking a seat in the Massachu- 
setts Legislature in 1788, he thenceforth devoted himself to 
politics, and became successively a member of Congress, Sec- 
retary of War (1809-12), Minister to Holland (1815-18), 
and governor (1823-5), dying while in office, at the age of 
seventj'-one, on Feb. 6, 1825. 

In his profession, Dr. Eustis was faithful, humane, and in- 
defatigable. His. urbanit}', his social qualities, and his hos- 
pitality procured him the acquaintance of many persons of 
distinction, with whom he kept up a friendly intercourse during 
his residence in Roxbury. John Quincy Adams, Henry Clay, 
Daniel Webster, Aaron Burr, and John C. Calhoun were 
among the number of his guests. Eustis was quite tall, ele- 
gant in person and graceful in manners, and most agreeable 
in conversation. His eyes were a dark blue, his complexion 
florid. Like most of the Revolutionary officers, Eustis re- 
turned poor from the army. Speaking of this circumstance, 
he once said, " With but a single coat, four shirts, and one 



pair of woollen stockings, in the hard winter of 1780, I was 
one of the happiest men on earth." 

One of his distinguished visitors was Lafayette, the guest 
of the nation and his old compatriot in the arm}-, whose 
arrival in Roxbury was an occasion of such magnitude as to 
be yet freshly remembered by many among us. He passed 

through the town at 
about one o'clock on 
the morning of Tues- 
day, Aug. 24, 1824, 
accompanied by a 
cavalcade of citizens 
and announced by a 
salute from the Rox- 
bury artillerj', fired 
from the old fort, and 
also by the ascent of 
rockets from an em- 
inence in the centre 
of the town, thus 
sounding the note of 
preparation for the 
parade of the suc- 
ceeding day. 

The meeting of Lafayette and Eustis, at the mansion of 
the latter, was extremely affectionate and interesting. They 
embraced each other for some minutes, Eustis exclaiming, 
" I am the happiest man that ever lived !" After breakfast- 
ing together, the}' were escorted by the Norfolk Guards, the 
Dorchester Rifles, and by a cavalcade to the Boston line, 
where the city authorities were awaiting Lafayette's arrival. 
The houses and streets on the route of the procession were 
crowded in every part. An arch thrown across Washington 
Street at the site of the old fortification was inscribed with 
these lines, written by Charles Sprague : 



" "Welcome, Lafayette ! 
The fathers in glory shall sleep 

Who gathered with thee to the fight, 
But the sons will eternally keep 
The tablet of gratitude bright. 
"We bow not the neck and we bend not the knee, 
But our hearts, Lafayette, we surrender to thee." 

On the following Friday he was entertained at the gov- 
ernor's residence. Col. Hamilton, of the Exchange Coffee- 
House, the caterer for the occasion, was told that no trouble 
was to be given to Mrs. Eustis, except that which should 
result from the use of the house. Said the governor, " They 
may have my kitchen and m}' parlors and my chairs and 
table ; but as to having my knives and forks and plates and 
dishes, they shall not have one of them. My decanters I 
will fill with wine and other suitable liquors, which shall be 
delivered in proper order to place upon the table." This 
anxiety about his spoons was surely a poor compliment to 
his distinguished guests, and hardly in keeping with the gov- 
ernor's usual hospitality. 

At the dinner the plates were placed on the outside of a 
horseshoe table in the hall, leaving the inside open for the 
attendance of the servants and the change of dishes. There 
were between thirty and forty guests, the governor taking his 
position at the head of the table, with Lafayette on his right, 
Gen. Dearborn on his left, Ex-Gov. Brooks second on the 
right, the lieutenant-governor and the council, the military 
staff and other guests on either side. 

While a guest of the governor's, Lafayette attended at a 
target practice by the artillery, at Savin Hill, Dorchester, 
and put a shot through the target nearly in the centre. The 
New England Guards were at that time encamped there, and 
an immense concourse of people were in attendance. Orderly 
Sergeant Watson Gore aimed the piece with which Lafay- 
ette made his successful shot. During Lafayette's visit the 
Cadets were encamped upon the governor's grounds. Forty 


years before, the general had visited Boston, after an absence 
of two or three years, and had been received at Roxbury by 
a number of officers of the Continental army, with an address 
of welcome by Gen. Knox. 

After making a tour through the States, Lafayette returned 
to Roxbury, where he passed the night of the IGth of June, 
1825, and the next morning was escorted to Bunker's Hill, 
where he assisted in laying the corner-stone of the Monument. 
He was ever}'where received with the greatest enthusiasm, 
and a badge universally worn bore the words, "Welcome 

An amusing story, illustrating Lafayette's tact and readi- 
ness, is told by a gentleman who accompanied him in his prog- 
ress through the country. The general made it a point to say 
something agreeable to every one to whom he was introduced, 
a somewhat difficult task. Upon one occasion in a ball-room, 
to his question, "Are you married?" upon receiving the 
gentleman's affirmative reply, he shook him warmly by the 
hand, exclaiming, " Happj* man ! " The same question elicit- 
ing a different response from the next subject^ might have 
nonplussed any other man ; not so the general. With a still 
more emphatic shake of the hand, he whispered in his ear 
loud enough to be heard by his companion, "You're a 
luck\ T dog ! " The difference between the two conditions has 
never, we think, been more felicitously expressed. 

After the governor's death, his widow, a most elegant and 
accomplished woman, who survived him many years, would 
suffer nothing of his to be moved from its accustomed place. 
Hat, cane, and tobacco-box occupied their usual corner of the 
hall, just as they were wont to do forty years before, and as 
though the arrival ctf the master of the house was still 
momentarily expected. 

Dennis Street formerly extended through Quincy to War- 
ren Street, and was called Read's Lane prior to 1825, when 
it received its present name, from a tradition that Dennis, 



an old negro, who once lived here, had performed some 
important service to the patriot cause. There exists nothing 
in verification of this tradition, but opposed to it is the fact 
that the Denison family owned a large tract of bottom or 
low land through which the street runs, and that before it 
was named Read's Lane, it bore the designation of ' Deni- 
son's Bottom Lane." Its name should be changed to Deni- 
son Street, in memory of that distinguished family, of whom 
no memorial at present exists in Roxbury. 

" In Nov. 1697," says the old record, " there being an 
ancient record of a highway from Giles Paj-son's Corner, to 
the house formerly Robinson's, now Deacon Williams's, and 
so forward 
to Brantry 
Road, two 
rods wide, 
said highway 
is confirmed 
from the cor- 
ner of Ste- 
phen Wil- 
liams's Pas- 
t u r e to 
Brantry, and 
between the 

land of William Denison and Stephen Williams." ' The 
town, in 1785, voted to lay open this road from Mr. John 
Williams's house, near Dorchester Brook, across to the upper 
road b}' the house of Daniel Holbrook. The Holbrook estate, 
containing thirtj'-seven acres, ]ay partly in Roxbury and 
partly in Dorchester. 

The old farm-house on the easterly corner of the street 
had been in possession of the Williams family from time 
immemorial, and was included in Gov. Shirley's last pur- 
chase. It is probably the oldest building in this part of the 



town, the rear portion being quite venerable. The masonry 
at the base of the chimney is exceedingly massive, as are 
also the heavy oak timbers of the frame. Stephen Williams, 
the tanner, lived here for many years. In 1826 it became 
the property of Mr. Samuel Walker, who expended $6,000 
on it in improvements and repairs, and established a nursery 
upon the grounds. This well-known horticulturist and citi- 
zen came here from England in 1825 ; succeeded Gen. Dear- 
born as mayor of the city in 1851, continuing in office until 
1854 ; was a State senator in 1860, and died at his residence, 
on Dec. 11, 1860, aged sixty-seven. His family still reside 
in the old house. 

The fine large mansion on the left, within the limits of 
Dorchester, occupied many years by the brothers Taylor, 
was formerly the residence of Perez Morton, speaker of the 
House of Representatives from 1806 to 1811, and attorney- 
general of the State from 1811 to 1832. He died here in 
1837. He married Sarah Wentworth Apthorp, who earned 
by her poetic merit the title of the "American Sappho." 
The seduction of a near and endeared relative is said to 
have formed the ground-work of the first American novel, 
"The Power of Sympathy," written by Mrs. Morton in 
1787, and so effectually suppressed that scarcely a copy 

The estate on the southerly side of Dudley Street, once 
owned and occupied by Col. Estes Hatch, a part of which 
lies in Roxbury and a part in Dorchester, comprised about 
sixty acres, and included Swan's woods, formerly called 
" Little Woods," a portion of which is still in its original 

Col. Hatch commanded the Troop of Horse, in Boston, led 
a, company at the capture of Louisburg, and died in 1759. 
His son Nathaniel, a Tory, accompanied the British troops to 
Halifax in 1776. His estate was confiscated, and in 1780 
was bought of the State for 18,000 by Col. James Swan, 



who very soon afterward offered it to Gov. Hancock for 
45,000, a moderate advance, but the latter declined to 
purchase. Writing to Hancock in regard to the property, 
Swan says, " I have built an elegant and very expensive 
house upon it, including in one, a coach-house, two stables 
and a hay loft, with a servants' chamber and pigeon-house. 
The mansion house can be refitted in as elegant a manner as 
it once was for about 4,000." 

During his brief residence here, Swan made the house a 
seat of hospitality, entertaining among other persons of dis- 

tinction, the Marquis de Viomenil. 
second in command of Rochambeau's army, Admiral d'Es- 
taing, the Marquis de Lafayette, and Gen. Henry Knox. 
When Swan went to France, the house and farm were adver- 
tised as to let, possession to be given on April 1, 1789. 

The present mansion house, known as the Swan House, 
was built about the year 1796, upon an elevated and attrac- 
tive site, nothing about it indicating the fact that it stands on 
a ledge of rocks. Its prominent feature is a circular dining 
hall, thirty-two feet in diameter, crowned at the height of 


twenty-five feet by a dome, and having three mirror windows. 
Perhaps some French chateau furnished its model, for it con- 
tained no fireplaces or heating conveniences of any kind. 

Much elegant furniture, family plate, and many fine paint- 
ings once embellished its interior, which, it was said, were 
stored in one of Swan's vessels at Paris at the commence- 
ment of the French Revolution, and as their owners perished 
during the Reign of Terror, they were never reclaimed. 
Between Madame Guillotine who took off their heads, and 
Swan who took off their trunks, little was left of these unfortu- 
nate Frenchmen. Upon the decease of Mrs. Sargent, Swan's 
daughter, this with the other property was distributed among 
the heirs, Mrs. Bartol, Mrs. Sullivan, and Rev. John T. Sar- 
gent. Man} 1 quaint old images were originally set up around 
the grounds. The stone pedestals, curiously carved, yet 
remain, but the sculptured forms that once adorned them 
long since disappeared. A portion of this estate is now the 
property and residence of Mr. William Gray, Jr. 

Swan's career was an extremely checkered one. He was a 
merchant, politician, soldier, and author before the age of 
twenty -two, and after acquiring a fortune in a foreign land, 
passed the last twenty-two j'ears of his life in one of its 
prisons. A native of Fifeshire, Scotland, he came in early 
youth to Boston, where he was a clerk in a store at the same 
time as Henry Knox, Benjamin Thompson, and others who 
subsequently attained celebrity. Our first public knowledge 
of him is when, at the age of eighteen, his proposals were 
published in the "Boston Gazette" of March 30, 1772, for 

"A Dissuasive to Great Britain and her Colonies from the Slave 
Trade to Africa, by James Swan, a friend to the welfare of the 
Continent. To be published by subscription, one pistareen each 

As might be expected of one who, 3'oung as he was, had 
token so bold a stand for human freedom, he was one of the 


Tea Party in December, 1773. He accompanied Warren as 
a volunteer aid to Bunker's Hill, and was wounded at his side ; 
took part as a captain of artillery in the expedition which, 
early in 1776, drove the British fleet out of Boston Harbor; 
was secretary to the Board of War of Massachusetts in 1777, 
and was afterwards adjutant-general of the State. 

Deeply in debt, he went, in 1787, to Paris with letters to 
Lafaj-ette and other influential men, soon acquired reputation 
and a fortune, and after a visit to the United States, returned 
to Europe in 1798 and engaged in commercial affairs of great 
magnitude. Before 1794 he had paid all his debts, even 
those from which he had previously been discharged. On the 
claim of a German, with whom he had large dealings, Swan 
was imprisoned in St. Pelagic in 1808, and remained there 
until his liberation, keeping up all the while an indefatigable 
litigation in the French courts. His long detention was 
partly voluntary, since his fortune would have enabled him to 
have procured his release on payment of the claim against 
him. This, however, he refused to do, believing it unjust, 
and judgment was finall}- rendered in his favor. Manly in 
person and dignified in manner, Swan was also a man of 
great enterprise and benevolence. His widow, who was a 
very eccentric person, resided here until her decease in 1825. 
Their son James married Lucy, daughter of Gen. Knox. 

St. Pelagic, which had seen Madame Roland and the Du- 
Barry led to the scaffold, and within whose walls the Em- 
press Josephine experienced her first vicissitude of fortune, 
became later a prison for debtors. Swan's sojourn here has 
been thus described : 

"Vainly did Lafayette, who often visited him, or his rich friends 
seek to prevail upon him to escape from this retreat. His lodging 
was a little cell, modestly furnished, upon the second floor. He 
was a fine-looking old gentleman, said to resemble in Ms counte- 
nance Benjamin Franklin. The prisoners treated him with great 
respect, yielding him as much space as possible for air and exercise, 
clearing a path for him, and even putting aside their little furnaces, 


upon which they cooked their meals, at his approach, for fear that 
the smell of charcoal should be unpleasant to him. He had won 
their love by his considerate and uniform benevolence. Not a day 
passed without some kind act on his part, often mysterious and 
unknown in its source to the recipient. Frequently a poor debtor 
knocked at his door for bread, and in addition obtained his liberty. 

" One creditor only retained the venerable captive, hoping each 
year to see his resolution give way, and each year calling upon him 
with a proposal for an accommodation. The director of the prison, 
the friends of the colonel, and even the jailers urged him to accept 
the proposed terms, and be restored to his country and family. 
Politely saluting his creditor, he would turn toward the jailer and 
simply say, ' My friend, return me to my chamber." Toward the 
end of the year 1829 his physician had obtained for him the privilege 
of a daily promenade in one of the galleries of the prison where he 
could breathe a purer atmosphere than that to which he had long 
been subjected. At first he was grateful for the favor, but soon said 
to the doctor, ' The inspiriting air of liberty will kill my body, so 
long accustomed to the heavy atmosphere of the prison.' The 
Revolution of July, 1830, threw open his prison doors in the very 
last hour of his twenty-second year of captivity. After the triumph 
of the people he desired to embrace once more his old friend Lafay- 
ette. He had that satisfaction upon the steps of the Hotel de Ville. 
The next morning he was dead." 

Gen. Henry Jackson, a frequent visitor at Madam Swan's, 
was buried in a tomb near the house, removed when Wood- 
ward Park was laid out through the place. An inscription 
upon it, stating that it was erected by the hand of friendship, 
closed with some eulogistic verses to the memory of the 


Jackson, who had served with reputation as a colonel in the 
Revolutionar}' army, and who as the agent of the government 
had superintended the construction of the frigate " Constitu- 
tion," was a bachelor, a man of wit and gallantry, convivial 
to a fault, and was nearly as corpulent as his bosom friend 
Gen. Knox himself. " Can he still eat down a plate of fish 
he can't see over, God bless his fat soul?" was the significant 
query of Gen. Greene in a familiar letter to the latter. 




Hagborne. Danforth. Davis's Store. Robert Calef . "Witchcraft. 
Cotton Mather. "Wonders of the Invisible "World. More "Wonders. 
Calef 's Book burnt. George Burroughs. Dorr. Fox. Willard. 
Social Library. Roebuck Inn. Gov. Sumner's Birthplace. 
Gen. Greaton. Old Red Tavern. Deacon Monroe. Capt. Joseph 
"Weld. Elder Heath. Bowles. Greyhound Tavern. Fire-engines. 
"Welde. Walter. Eliot. Indian Bible. Gookin. Old Gram- 
mar School. 

RESUMING our journey along the old town street, both 
sides of which were formerly lined with buttonwood- 
trees, we have on our left, between Eustis and Dudley Streets, 
the homesteads of Hagborne, Hewes, Peacock, Thomas Welde, 
and Eliot, the original proprietors of the land between the 
street and the training-field. 

Samuel Hagborne, one of the wealthiest of the early inhab- 
itants of Roxbur}*, was the original owner of the estate of 
nine acres on the east side of Washington Street from the 
corner of Eustis to a point opposite Vernon Street, extend- 
ing back to the training-field. He also owned fifty-six acres 
of upland and marsh upon Smelt Brook, known as Hagborne's 
Neck. To Hagborne belongs the credit of founding the free 
school in Roxbury. the first mention of such an institution 
occurring in his will, made in Ifi42, providing an annual pay- 
ment for that purpose " out of my great desire to promote 
learning for God's honor and the good of his church," when 
one should be " set up." A further indication of his appre- 
ciation of education is found in his will, in which he says, 
" My greate desire is that one sonne be brought up to learn- 


ing if my estate will afforde it." He died in January, 1643, and 
his widow Catharine afterwards married Gov. Thomas Dud- 
ley. His dwelling-house, which stood near the Eustis Street 
corner, had been in 1659 " lately consumed by fier." 

In 1657 this estate was purchased by Rev. Samuel Dau- 
forth, after whose decease it became the property of Edward 
Dorr, who in May, 1707, sold the northerly part of it to 
Robert Calef. 

A native of Framlingham, England, Samuel Dauforth was 
brought to New England by Nicholas, his father, in 1634:, 
and graduated at Harvard in 1643. Rev. Mr. Welde having 
returned to England, Danforth on leaving college was invited 
to assist Eliot, and the evangelical emploj'ments of the latter 
among the Indians having rendered a colleague necessary, he 
was ordained at Roxbury on Sept. 24, 1650. 

" On the llth of the 9th mo. 1651," says the town record, 
' ' there was voted a levy upon all the inhabitants for the 
raj'sing of 50 pounds, towards the building or buying of an 
house for Mr. Danforth our pastor." This was nine years 
prior to his purchase of Capt. Joseph Weld's house, in which 
he finally resided. Here he continued until his decease, and 
neither " the incompetency of the salar}'," nor " the provoca- 
tion which unworthy men in the neighborhood sometimes 
tried him withal, could persuade him to remove unto more 
comfortable settlement." 

Evidence of his uncomfortable proximity to the Greyhound 
Tavern, hinted at above, is also seen in the fact that he exerted 
his influence to have such persons only keep houses of public 
entertainment as would " keep good order and manners in 
them" ; and when from his study window, " he saw any town 
dwellers trifling there, he would go over and chide them 
away." What with the venerable apostle Eliot on one side 
and the godly Danforth upon the other, the tavern roisterers 
would seem to have been under a pretty thorough surveillance. 

Danforth's sermons were usually enriched with forty or 


fifty passages of Scripture. Cotton Mather says, " He was 
very affectionate in his manner of preaching, and seldom left 
the pulpit without tears." He thus alludes to his astronomical 
studies : 

" Non dubium est quin eo iverit quo Stella eunt, 
DANFOETHUS, qui stellis semper se associavit"; 

and with his accustomed quaintness adds, " Several of his 
astronomical composures have seen the light of the sun." He 
published a particular account of the comet of 1664, and a 
series of almanacs. That' part of the diary in the church 
records written by him is filled with accounts of comets, 
earthquakes, prodigies, and other phenomena of nature. In 
the church record, under date of Nov. 19, 1674, Eliot writes 
this touching passage : 

"Our Rev. pastor, Mr. Samuel Danforth, sweetly rested from his 
labors. It pleased the Lord to brighten his passage to glory. He 
greatly increased in the power of his ministry, especially the last 
summer. He cordially joined with me in maintaining the peace of 
the churches. We consulted together about beautifying the house 
of God, with ruling elders, and to order the congregation into the 
primitive way of collections." "My brother Danforth," said he, 
" made the most glorious end that I ever saw." 

Welde thus eulogizes him in verse that reminds us that his 
decease immediately followed the completion of the new 
church edifice : 

Mighty in scripture, searching out the sense, 
All the hard things of it unfolding thence ; 
He lived each truth, his faith, love, tenderness, 
None can to th' life as did his life express. 
Our minds with gospel his rich lecture fed, 
Luke and his life at once are finished. 
Our new-built church now suffers, too, by this, 
Larger its windows, but its Lights are less." 

Danforth's remains were laid in Gov. Dudley's tomb, his 
funeral being celebrated " with a great confluence." A public 
collection was taken up for the widow, a daughter of Rev. 



John Wilson, of Boston, the second Sunday following. His 
son, Rev. John Danforth, was minister of Dorchester from 
1682 to 1730. Another son, Rev. Samuel, was minister of 
Taunton from 1688 to 1727. 

The building on the corner, but a small portion of which 
has survived the widening of Eustis Street in 1856, was the 

warehouse of 
Aaron and 
Charles Davis. 
The brothers 
Davis did a 
large and lucra- 
tive business in 
the early part 
of the century 
in packing and 
shipping pro- 
visions, which 
they carried on 
many years at 
the old corner. They were the sons of Capt. Aaron Davis, 
who lived at the Boston line. 

Allen's furniture store, formerly a gambrel-roof structure, 
standing end to the street, having its main entrance by a large 
porch on the south side, though outwardly much altered, has 
the solid oak timbers and other evidences of being quite old. 
A century and a half ago this was the residence of James 
Mears, the tanner. The old tannery, that once stood a little 
to the south of it, was taken down when Webster Hall was 
built in 1845. Commodore Loring, the Tory, who lived at 
Jamaica Plain, served his apprenticeship here. 

Despite its commonplace appearance, this ancient building 
claims our attention. If witches or the powers of darkness 
ever visited so reputable a town as Roxbury, this of all others 
is the spot they would instinctively avoid, for here dwelt 



Robert Calef, their arch enemy, and here he carried on his 
trade of clothier, which he had previously pursued for many 
3'ears in Boston. " Calf," as his enemies loved to call him, 
deserves everlasting remembrance for the prominent part 
he took in giving a quietus to the witch business in New 

He alone had the courage to speak out boldh* his own 
thought and that of many others. In an age of credulity and 
superstition, he opposed reason and common-sense to fanati- 
cism and delusion, and wrought a revolution in the minds of 
men which he fortunately lived long enough to see. Of his 
personal history, we know only that he was a native of Eng- 
land ; that his occupations were those of a clothier and hus 
bandman ; that he was a selectman of Roxbury, sufficien: 
proof of the esteem in which he was held by his fellow-citi- 
zens ; and that he died at his house in Roxbury on April 13. 
1719, at the age of seventy-one, and was interred in the ok 
bury ing-ground hard b}-. 

The situation of the people of Massachusetts at the time 
the witchcraft delusion broke out was particularly distressing. 
Privateers infested her coast ; French and Indian enemies 
harassed her frontier ; public credit was at a very low ebb, 
and a strong political party opposed every measure except 
adherence to the old charter ; but worst of all was the appre- 
hension that the Devil was let loose among them. The many 
were credulous, the few, who believed witchcraft to be im 
posture or delusion, were afraid to discover their sentiments 
lest some who pretended to be bewitched should accuse them, 
and in such case there was no room to hope for favor. 

" This sudden burst of wickedness and crime 
"Was but the common madness of the time, 
When in all lands that lie within the sound 
Of Sabbath bells, a witch was burned or drowned." 

Such was the condition of the popular mind when Calef 's 
letters to Rev. Cotton Mather, written in 1693 and 1694, 


exposed, with merited severity of language and merciless 
logic, the utter absurdity of the proceedings in the witch 
trials in Salem, as well as the fallacies upon which they 
rested ; controverted the then prevalent definition of witch- 
craft, the assumed source of power to produce it ; asserted 
that the Devil had no power to afflict any with diseases or loss 
of cattle without a commission from the Most High ; and 
demanded Scriptural authority for the use of the revolting 
indecencies then in vogue, and by means of which it was 
claimed that witches might certainty be known. One of these 
epistles closes in these words : 

"And thus, Sir, I have faithfully performed my duty, and am so 
far from doing it to gain applause or from a spirit of contradiction, 
that I expect to procure me many enemies thereby, but (as in case 
of a fire) where the glory of God, and the good and welfare of man- 
kind are so nearly concerned, I thought it my duty to be no longer 
an idle spectator, and can and do say in this whole affair I have 
endeavored to keep a conscience void of offence both towards God 
and towards man." 

To single out Mather as an adversary was certainly " tak- 
ing the bull by the horns," and required some moral courage. 
No man had spoken or written more full}* or plainly than he 
upon the subject. 

' ' The only men of dignity and state 
"Were then the minister and the magistrate, 
"Who ruled their little realm with iron rod, 
Less in the love than in the fear of God, 
And who believed devoutly in the powers 
Of darkness working in this world of ours, 
In spells of witchcraft, incantations dread, 
And shrouded apparitions of the dead." 

Mather was a good and a learned man, but withal a great 
lover of the marvellous and lamentably credulous. At the 
opening of the trials in Salem the magistrates applied to the 
Boston clergy for advice, and unhappily that given, drawn up 
by Mather, was such as to encourage rather than to avert the 
abominable proceedings. 


It is undeniable that his book, entitled " Memorable Provi- 
dences relating to Witchcraft," his prominence in the case of 
the afflicted Goodwin children, and the zealous and strenuous 
assertion of his opinions upon this subject, had been influ- 
ential in preparing the public mind for the terrible scenes that 
were enacted at Salem village in the previous year, by which 
twenty innocent persons had been publicly and ignominiously 
hurried out of existence ; and not long after this deplorable 
tragedy he was found by Calef at the bedside of a young girl 
in Boston, one Margaret Rule, whose case, similar to that of 
some of the afflicted girls at Salem, bade fair, under his man- 
agement, to renew the popular excitement with all its attend- 
ant horrors. 

To prevent so disastrous a result, Calef drew up an account 
of her case, viewed from his common-sense standpoint, which 
was shown to some of Mather's friends. This produced a 
message from Mather to Calef that he should be arrested for 
slander, and in which he called Calef " one of the worst of 
liars." Calef's reply to the angry minister was, to appoint a 
time and place where the two could meet and compare notes 
respecting the occurrences in question. Mather sent word 
that he would meet him. "But instead of doing so," says 
Calef, ' ; at your and 3'our fatther's [Rev. Increase Mather] 
complaint, I was brought before his Majesty's justices by 
warrant for ' scandalous libels ' against yourself, and was 
bound over to answer at sessions. Accordingly, though I 
waited at sessions, there was no one to object aught against 
me, whereupon I was dismissed." 

Mather afterwards printed the testimony of several wit- 
nesses, who stated that they saw Margaret Rule "lifted up 
from the bed wholly by an invisible force a great wa}* towards 
the top of the room where she lay." To this case, of what 
is now familiarly known in spiritualistic circles as " levita- 
tion," Calef, neither denying nor admitting the fact, answers 
that if it was so, then the Papists, who maintain against the 


Protestants that miracles had not ceased, were in the right 
after all, a skilful evasion, that, while it left the points in 
controversy untouched, placed his adversary in an uncom- 
fortable dilemma. 

The facts underlying the Salem witchcraft and modern 
Spiritualism are undoubtedly identical, but both are overlaid 
and weighted by fraud and imposture. Proper medical treat- 
ment of the bewitched girls, and a healthy state of public 
sentiment respecting religion, would probably have averted the 
wretched catastrophe. In estimating the progress of the past 
two centuries in enlightenment, the history of these two move- 
ments is eminently instructive. The intimate union existing 
between the seen and unseen worlds is now a commonly 
received article of belief among thinkers, and this sentiment 
of our foremost poet finds almost universal acceptance : 

" The spiritual world lies all about us, 
And its avenues are open to the unseen 
Feet of phantoms that come and go, and we 
Perceive them not save by their influence, or 
"When, at times, a most mysterious Providence 
Permits them to manifest themselves to mortal eyes." 

One of the lessons of the Salem tragedy should not be lost 
sight of. It was brought to a close neither by force of argu- 
ment nor by pity for its victims, but simply because persons 
elevated in station began to be accused, and then the moot 
question as to whether the Devil could afflict in a good man's 
shape received at once an affirmative reply. Then came the 
sober second thought, and men began to ask the question, 

" Were such things here as we do speak about, 
Or have we eaten of the insane root 
That takes the reason prisoner ? " 
" Can such things be 
And overcome us like a summer's cloud, 
"Without our special wonder? " 

The only reply was, 

" The earth hath bubbles as the water has, 
And these are of them." 


When the storm had nearty spent itself, Mather drew up an 
account of the trials, published with the title of " Wonders 
of the Invisible World." The chief point which he considers 
established by them was, that a great conspiracj" existed 
among the Powers of Darkness to root out the Christian 
religion from New England. 

To Mather's " Wonders," Calef replied with " More Won- 
ders of the Invisible World," published in London, in the 
year 1700. He opposed facts in the simple garb of truth to 
fanciful representations, j'et he offended men of the greatest 
learning and influence. " His narrative," says the historian 
Hutchinson, excellent authority, and a relative of Mather's, 
" gave great offence, he having condemned the proceedings 
at a time when in general the country did not see the error 
they had been in, but in his account of facts, which can be 
evidenced by records and other original writings, he appears 
to have been a fair relator." He argues the case against the 
prevalent madness with skill and effect, showing great famil- 
iarity with the literature of the subject, and has, to the mind 
of the unprejudiced reader, an evident advantage over his 
learned and reverend antagonist, both in argument and 

While his language to Mather is invariably respectful, and 
his animus apparent!}' that of an earnest seeker after truth, 
Mather, on the contrary, exasperated to the highest pitch by 
Calef s book, in his diary and elsewhere, betrays the utmost 
spite and venom whenever its author is alluded to. " That 
miserable man," "a weaver turned minister," "a wicked 
Sadducee," " a vile fool," " that instrument of Satan," 
" a coal from hell," such are some of the choice epithets 
hurled at him b}* the irate divine. 

"This vile volume," so he writes in his diary, "he sent to Lon- 
don to be published, and the book is printed, and the impression 
is this day week arrived here. The books that I have sent over 
into England, with a design to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, are not 


published, but strangely delayed, and the books that are sent over 
to vilify me and render me incapable to glorify the Lord Jesus 
Christ, those are published." 

Calef was compelled to send his book three thousand miles 
away to have it printed, no printer in Boston daring to under- 
take it, and no bookseller there having the hardihood to offer 
it for sale, or give it shop room. It was regarded by the 
parishioners of those influential divines, the Mathers, as the 
most wicked and impudent of slanders. 

" My pious neighbors," says Mather's diary, "are so provoked at 
the diabolical wickedness of the man who has published a volume 
of libels against my father and myself, that they set apart whole days 
of prayer to complain unto God against him, and this day (Dec. 4, 
1700) particularly. ... I humbled myself before the Lord and con- 
fessed and bewailed my sins, which gave a triumph unto his justice 
in the humbling dispensation which was now upon me. . . . Neither 
my father nor myself thought it proper for us to publish unto the 
churches our own vindication from the vile reproaches and calum- 
nies that Satan by his instrument Calf had cast upon us, but the 
Lord put it into the hearts of a considerable number of our flock 
who are in their temporal condition more equal unto our adversary 
to appear in our vindication." 

This vindication was entitled " Some few Remarks upon 
a Scandalous Book," which they called " a firebrand thrown 
by a madman." Their motto, " Truth will come off con- 
queror," proved a satire upon themselves, Calef obtaining a 
complete triumph, his book, which was long read and admired, 
having been often reprinted. 

By order of the president of Harvard College, the Rev. Dr. 
Increase Mather, the " wicked book " was publicly burnt in 
the college yai-d, the scene of the holocaust being the area 
between Massachusetts, Harvard, and Stoughton Halls. 
This fact, though not mentioned by any of the historians of 
that seat of learning, is nevertheless a noteworthy item in 
the annals of intellectual progress and freedom in New Eng- 
land. A few of Calef s friends stood by him, but almost the 


entire community sided at first with his influential clerical 
opponents, and this no doubt induced his removal from Bos- 
ton to Roxbury, where we soon afterwards find him. 

' ' More Wonders " has been erroneously attributed to Rob- 
ert Calef, Jr. There is no difficult}* in supposing it to be the 
work of the mature mind of a man of forty-five, the age of 
the father, while it is in the highest degree improbable that it 
could have been the production of a youth of twenty ; for 
in 1693 the second son of a man born in 1648 or 1649 could 
have been no older. Moreover, the extreme youth of the 
writer would have afforded Mather the best possible weapon 
to make use of against his audacious assailant ; besides, the 
name of the author, given upon the title-page, is Robert 
Calef, and not Robert Calef, Jr. 

Rev. George Burroughs, one of the principal victims of the 
Salem witchcraft, who was convicted mainly on account of 
his almost superhuman strength, had at one time resided in 
Roxbury, where he had been admitted a member of the First 
Church, April 12, 1674. 

It only remains for us now to notice the connection between 
the sturdy opponent of superstition in 1693 and the earliest 
illustrious martyr in the cause of American freedom in 1775. 
Marj*, the daughter of Robert Calef, was, in 1712, married 
to Dr. Samuel Stevens, of Roxbury, whose daughter Mary 
became the mother of Gen. Joseph Warren. 

Next bej'ond the premises once occupied by Calef and by 
Mears was the mansion and garden of some three or four 
acres belonging to Edward Dorr, whose possessions originally 
extended from Eustis Street to a point opposite Vernon. 
After his death in 1734 the business of tanning was carried 
on here by his son, Capt. Ebenezer Dorr. Joseph, the grand- 
son of Capt. Ebenezer, who married Anna Ruggles, was the 
father of Capt. Jonathan and Nathaniel Dorr, well-known 
citizens of Roxbury. During the last century the Dorr fam- 
ily occupied a prominent position here. 



The shop of the painter, John Kitts Penniman, was on the 
spot now covered by Webster Hall. Some of his pictures of 
persons and places in old Roxbury yet survive. Penniman 
was at one time employed by Willard, the clock-maker. In 
the rear of the wooden building next south of the hall is a 
fragment of a very old building which not unlikely formed a 
portion of Calef's premises. Beyond the new " Hotel Com- 
fort " is the dwelling-house once occupied by Zabdiel Adams, 
father of the well-known physician, Dr. Z. B. Adams, of Bos- 
ton. His hat store was where Potter's oyster-house is now. 

Opposite Webster 
Hall, where Warren's 
apothecary store is, 
was the residence and 
shop of a very deaf old 
gentleman named Fox, 
whom very many per- 
x % sons now living: well 


remember. Ebenezer 
Fox, a native of Rox- 
burj- and a resident of 
the town at the time 
of his death in 1843, 
was when a boy an 
apprentice to a farmer 
named Pelham, and in 
his old age published a little volume of " Revolutionary Ad- 
ventures." Becoming dissatisfied with his situation, and 
hearing daily complaints of the injustice and tyranny of the 
British government, 

"I, aucl other boys," says Fox, "situated similarly to myself, 
thought we too had wrougs to be redressed aud rights to be main- 
tained, and we made a direct application of the doctrines we daily 
heard in relation to the oppressions of the mother country to our 
own circumstances, and thought that we were more oppressed than 
our fathers were." 


Fox, and a companion named Kelly who lived with Isaac 
Winslow, on Meeting-House Hill, formed a plan to leave 
home privately and make their way to Providence, R. I., 
where they expected to find employment as sailors on board 
some vessel. At eight o'clock on the evening of the 18th of 
April, 1775, the night before the battle of Lexington, they 
met on the steps of the First Church, and started on their 
way, each with a small bundle of clothing, and half a dollar 
in his pocket. After a brief rest on the steps of Dr. Gordon's 
church in Jamaica Plain, the}' kept on to Dedham, where they 
slept on the ground, and early next morning continued their 
journey. Soon from all quarters came rumors of the Lex- 
ington affair, and they were frequently stopped and eagerly 
questioned, but kept on their way, and finally arriving at 
Providence, there parted company, Fox shipping as a cabin 
boy to the West Indies. 

Passing over his other adventures we come to his enlist- 
ment in the " Protector," a twenty-gun ship commanded by 
Capt. John Foster Williams, and fitted out b} T the State of 
Massachusetts to protect her commerce from British cruisers. 

Fox was on board the ' ' Protector " during the action with 
the wi Admiral Duff," and when in a subsequent cruise she 
was captured -he became an inmate of the Jersey prison-ship. 
His latter years were passed in Roxbury, in the building 
before us, where until 1837 he kept a crockery-ware store, 
which was also the post-office while he was postmaster of 
Roxbury, from 1831 to 1835. 

In his old age he was so deaf that in the exercise of this 
double calling he occasionally made some ludicrous mistakes. 
A story is told of the old gentleman's responding to a lad} T 's 
inquiry for a letter with, " Oh j-es, ma'am, I've some very 
nice ones," and mounting some steps, all the while expatiating 
upon the merits of the article, took down from an upper shelf 
an assortment of a very useful rather than ornamental utensil 
of housekeeping, greatly to the disgust of the applicant. 


For several generations the "Willards have been famous 
throughout the country, as clock and watch makers, one of 
their clocks having been placed in the Capitol at Washington, 
when it was first built, others adorning Harvard College, 
Jefferson College, Va., the old State House, State Street, 
Boston, and the First Church, Roxbury. 

In the " Boston Gazette " of Feb. 22, 1773, is the follow- 
ing advertisement : 

" Benjamin Willard at his shop in Eoxbury Street, pursues the 
different branches of clock and watch work, and has for sale musical 
clocks playing different tunes, a new tune every day in the week and 
on Sunday a Psalm tune. These tunes perform every hour without 
any obstruction to the motion or going of the clock. A new inven- 
tion for pricking barrels to perform the music, and his clocks are 
made much cheaper than any ever yet known. All the branches of 
this business likewise carried on at his shop in Grafton." 

Simon Willard, probably the brother of Benjamin, came to 
Roxbury in 1780, and occupied the premises north of those 
where the round clock or dial, his handiwork, 3 r et remains, 
after the lapse of more than half a century. He learned his 
trade of an Englishman named Morris, and at the age of 
fourteen had succeeded in constructing a clock that was pro- 
nounced superior to those of his master. Upon the Lexing- 
ton alarm he volunteered in the Grafton Company, and 
marched to Roxbury with no other apparel than that in which 
the summons found him at his bench. On coming to Roxbuiy, 
and until in 1802 he received a patent from the government 
for his improved timepiece, he devoted himself almost exclu- 
sively to the manufacture of eight-day clocks, which were for 
many years, and up to the period of the introduction of 
pianos, a chief ornament of the parlor. The improved clock 
soon became a favorite, and is to this day considered the 
most reliable and accurate timepiece in use. 

Mr. Jefferson sent for Willard expressly to construct the 
clock for his college, and was so much pleased with his skill 


that he gave him substantial tokens of his regard. Talking 
freely with him about a pending treat}*, as Mr. "Willard 
refrained from expressing an opinion upon its merits, Jeffer- 
son intimated that he knew but little of public affairs. Soon 
afterwards he desired Mr. Willard to examine a beautiful 
French clock, and see what was the matter with it. He did 
so, and on rising to depart left the various parts of the clock 
scattered about the table. "Don't go, Willard," said the 
President, " until you have put the works together." " Oh," 
said Willard, " \on can do that." "I cannot," said Mr. 
Jefferson. " Ah ! " said Willard, " you can't put the wheels 
of a clock together, yet you expected that I could be familiar 
with treaties." 

He constructed the large clock for the Capitol at Washing- 
ton when at the age of eighty-two. That at the head of 
State Street, made half a century ago, was one of the last of 
his works, and the one of all others upon which anxious e}*es 
have been oftenest turned, especially at the approach of its 
hands to the hour of two P. M., by those with notes to pay, 
and not yet provided for. Willard's great mechanical skill 
was manifested also in much of the philosophical apparatus 
now in" use at Cambridge. The celebrated Orrery of Mr. 
Pope was perfected by him after it had been abandoned as a 
failure by its inventor. Willard died Aug. 30, 1848, aged 
ninety-five years four months and twent}*-seven days. 

Simon Willard, the 3'ounger, was orderly sergeant of the 
Norfolk Guards for more than a quarter of a century. He 
succeeded to his father's business, which he afterwards carried 
on in Boston, attaining marvellous skill and accuracy in the 
manufacture of chronometers, specimens of which are to be 
found in many of our dwellings. Aaron, the brother of Simon, 
Sen., and also a clock-maker, who died in 1844, at the age 
of eighty-seven, first kept where the apothecary shop num- 
bered 2224 Washington Street now is. 

The first public library of Roxbury was established in 


1805, and was kept in the lower story of the building where 
the dial is. Reorganized as the " Social Library" in 1831, 
and as the " Roxbury Athenaeum " in 1848, it was incorpo- 
rated in 1851, and is now located in Guild Row. 

Bacon's Block, opposite, is the site of Edward Dorr's resi- 
dence about the middle of the last century, and also that of 
Major William Bosson, a veteran of the Revolution, and one 
of the minute-men at Lexington. Dean's Block, at the corner 
of Ruggles Street, was formerly a tavern kept by Thomas 
Mayo, having for its sign a horn of plenty. 

The building now Smith's carriage-shop, which like so 
many others once stood end to the street, is one of the old 
landmarks, dating back perhaps one hundred and fifty years. 
During the siege it was doubtless occupied as the quarters of 
a portion of Col. Ebenezer Learned's regiment, which was 
stationed at the lines, and which probably filled the few 
houses then standing in this localitj 7 , and temporarily aban- 
doned by their occupants. Nathaniel Felton, scythe-maker, 
bought the premises of Edward Dorr in 1763. Deacon 
Joshua Felton carried on the business of a blacksmith here 
for many years. The brick building beyond, occupying the 
site of Felton's former residence, was the place of business, 
half a century ago, of Mr. John Lemist, an active merchant, 
who was lost in the steamer "Lexington," in Long Island 
Sound, many years ago. 

William Bowman lived in the old house on the corner of 
Palmer and Washington Streets. Lucy, his widow, the sister 
of Gov. Sumner, continued to reside here for many years. 
Their son, a captain in the army, distinguished himself in the 
last war with England, especially at the battle of Niagara 
and in the sortie from Fort Erie. The corner of this build- 
ing, now Mr. John Newton's provision store, was taken off to 
widen Warren Street a few years since. Half a century ago 
this was Hazlitt's Tavern, its sign being a deer's head. 
Afterwards it was known as the " Roebuck Inn," John 


Brooks being its landlord. Formerly, the street was nightly 
filled with market-wagons from this point to the store near 
the burying-ground, kept by the D avisos, who carried on an 
extensive barter trade with the countrymen for their farm 

Cobb's grocery store, opposite "Warren Street, formerly Dea- 
con Caleb Parker's, was before the Revolution the site of the 
house of a farmer named Pelham, whose farm was situated 
near the creek, belonging to the heirs of Rev. Dr. Porter. 

In the rear of Hall's Block is an old-fashioned, two-story, 
gambrel-roofed house, in which, on Nov. 9, 1746, Gov. In- 
crease Sumner was born. It was moved back from the street 
in 1852, when the block was built, and is not far from one 
hundred and fifty years old. On either side of the front door 
were magnificent buttonwoods, that were cut down more than 
half a century ago. The house is one of the few remaining 
on Roxbuvy Street that antedate the siege. The youthful 
days of the future governor were passed here ; here he kept 
his law office ; here his grandfather, Edward Sumner, died 
in 1763 ; and here his widowed mother resided until her death. 

Increase Sumner, father of the governor, and fourth in 
descent from William and Mary Sumner who settled in Dor- 
chester in 1635, was a farmer, who, by industry, frugality, 
and success in subduing his paternal acres and in making 
rough places smooth, acquired a considerable property. He 
was a man of colossal size and great strength of muscle. 
Traditions of wonderful feats of strength performed by him 
in his youthful daj*s are remembered in Roxbury and its 
vicinity to this da}'. After his death, which took place in 
November, 1774, and the opening of the siege in the follow- 
ing spring, the house being exposed to the shot of the enemy, 
the family removed to Dorchester and resided temporarity 
on the farm left by the elder Increase to his son, called 
" Morgan's," where he built the house now the residence of 
Hon. Marshall P. Wilder. 



On Sept. 10, 1765, John Greaton, Jr., leased of Samuel 
Surnner for ten years a building where Bampton's store now 
stands, for the sale of West India goods. Greatou was a 
prominent " Son of Libert}-," was one of the Roxbury com- 
mittee of fifteen to cam* into effect the non-importation agree- 
ment, and was an officer in the ' ' Governor's Horse Guards," 
a Boston organization, composed of the elite of the citizens, 

and forming the escort on all 
occasions of ceremony or com- 

He was actively engaged in 
the Lexington battle, in com- 
pany with his friends and neigh- 
bors "Warren and Heath, and 
was successively chosen major, 
lieutenant-colonel, and colonel 
of Heath's regiment. His com- 
mission of colonel, signed by 
the President of Congress, and 
dated July 1, 1775, is now in 
my possession. During the 
siege of Boston he led several 
successful expeditions to the 
islands in the harbor, bringing off live stock and destroj'ing 
the fodder and other supplies destined for the British garrison 
in Boston. Heath mentions in his diary for June 27, 1775, 
that "A redoubt was opened b} r Col. Greaton at Dorchester 
Neck, on this side the causewa}-," and that some cannon-shot, 
directed toward them by the enem}', fell short. 

Taking part in the unfortunate invasion of Canada, he was 
taken down grievously ill at Fort George, in September, 1776. 
In a letter to Gen. Heath, dated July 31, 1776, he says, 
"Our fatigues and hardships have been very great. The men 
are in very low spirits. You would hardly know the regiment 
now, it is so altered in every shape." 



Joining Washington's feeble army at Morristown in Decem- 
ber, Greaton and his men, after sharing in the toils and glories 
of the Trenton and Princeton campaign, with true patriotism 
volunteered to remain with the army after the expiration of 
their term of service, and until reinforcements could arrive. 
In the campaign ending with the surrender of Burgoyne, we 
find him doing good service in Nixon's brigade, and as senior 
officer at Albany, in 1779, he was for a time commander of 
the northern department. After commanding his regiment 
during the whole war, he was somewhat tardily rewarded with 
promotion to the grade of brigadier-general on the Conti- 
nental establishment on Jan. 7, 1783. 

Worn out in the service, Greaton, on the disbanding of the 
army in October, 1783, returned to Roxbury, where his family 
had again established themselves, but survived the journey only 
a short time, and died on the 16th of December following. 
The remains of this faithful and patriotic soldier repose in the 
old bury ing-ground, but no stone marks their resting-place. 

In 1760 Greaton was married to Sarah, daughter of Richard 
and Ann Humphreys. His eldest daughter, Ann, married 
Samuel Heath, a son of his friend the general. His son, 
Richard Humphrey Greaton, an ensign in his father's regiment 
and afterwards a captain in the United States army, was 
wounded in St. Glair's battle with the Indians, and died at 
New Orleans in May, 1815. The family is now extinct in 

The famil}- tradition is, that on the morning of the Lexing- 
ton battle, while the men were hastening to the scene of 
action, and their wives and children, momentarily expecting 
the onslaught of the king's troops, were making haste to 
depart also, with little expectation of ever again beholding 
their deserted homes, Mrs. Greaton, taking her younger 
children in a cart, together with such indispensable articles as 
could be carried, made her way to Brookline, the older chil- 
dren walking along by the side of the vehicle. 


On the site of Diamond Block there was a very old house, 
possibly the residence of the Denisous, and in which Edward 
Sumner lived in 1750. Early in the present century it was 
known as the old Red Tavern, and was kept by Martin 
Pierce, the father of Mrs. Lot Young, who recently deceased at 
the age of ninety-eight. Mrs. Young distinctly remembered 
seeing Washington when he visited here in 1789. Her mother 
performed the journey from Swanzy, where the family then 
resided, to Roxbuiy, in 1786, on horseback and alone, meet- 
ing only a single person, a miller, on the road. 

This dilapidated old building was pulled down one night 
by some young men who thought it too shabby to be seen by 
Pres. Monroe, on the occasion of his visit to Boston, in July, 
1817. The perpetrators of the exploit put up a sign stating 
that it was done by " Captain Hatchet." Mr. Sumner, the 
owner of the building, had the reputation of hiding his money 
in stone walls and other out-of-the way places. " I recol- 
lect," said the late John Wells Parker, " of going with a party 
of youngsters to see if there was any ' treasure trove ' on the 
premises, but the old man soon appeared upon the scene and 
stoned us away. He could jerk a stone to a great distance." 

Between the Denison estate and that of Elder Heath, 
beginning at Vernon Street, was the homestead, containing 
two acres of garden and orchard, belonging to Capt. Joseph 
Weld, a man conspicuous in the early days of the town, and 
a brother of Rev. Thomas Welde, who lived on the opposite 
side of the street. He came over in 1633, kept a store on 
Roxbury Street, and represented the town from 1636 to 
1641. In militar}- matters he was quite prominent, having 
been the first ensign of the Artilleiy Company in 1638, and 
also the first captain of the Roxbury Militaiy Company. 
During her four months' detention " it being winter," and 
until she was driven into exile, Capt. Weld had the custody 
of Mrs. Ann Hutchinson, a woman ci of read}' wit and bold 
spirit," whose unorthodox opinions gave a world of trouble to 


our Puritan progenitors. Weld was the firm friend of the 
apostle Eliot, and is said to have been the wealthiest mer- 
chant of his day in New England. Upon one of his many 
voyages to London he was arrested and placed under heavy 
bonds, at the suit of Alderman Bare-la}*, whose ship had been 
seized in New England, "Weld having been one of the jury 
that condemned her. As a recompense for important ser- 
vices to the colon} 1 he received from the town the valuable 
estate in West Roxbury, recently known as the Bussey Farm, 
which he bequeathed to his son John, who like his father 
held the rank of captain. 

Capt. Weld was interred in the old burying-ground on 
Eustis Street on Oct. 7, 1646. His widow afterward mar- 
ried Anthony Stoddard, of whom the estate in Roxbury 
Street was purchased by Rev. Samuel Danforth in 1657. 
The homestead was man}' years in the possession of the 
Bromfield family. 

Vernon Street was in the olden time known as the " Way 
to the Watering-Place, " which was at Smelt Brook, a few 
rods from the street. The brook ran for some distance par- 
allel to the street. Over it was a bridge, beyond which a 
lane, known as the " Town Lane," led into the country road 
to Dedham. Prior to 1842, when it received its present 
name, it was for a brief period known as Norfolk Street. 

The large three-story frame building on the same side, 
beyond Vernon Street, was for over half a century the resi- 
dence of Deacon Nehemiah Monroe, a well-known citizen, by 
trade a cabinet-maker, who died here in 1828. It had been 
the residence of James Orr, blacksmith, who bought it of 
Edmund Weld. 

" Deacon Roe," as he was called, was an odd fish, and 
something of a humorist, as well as a deacon of Dr. Porter's 
church. Standing at his doorway one morning, soon after 
the Universalist Church was built, he was accosted by a 
(stranger, who asked him if he had seen a stray white horse 


passing that way. "No," was the reply. "Where had I 
better look for him? " queried the stranger. " Oh well ! " said 
the deacon, "p'r'aps you'd better go to the Univarsalist 
grounds, 'bout everything fetches up there nowadays." 

A small wooden building, numbered 2331, formerly Haz- 
litt's Tavern, but kept at the time by Edward Jones, was the 
place of refuge of the great but eccentric actor, Edmund 
Kean, when driven by a mob from the Boston Theatre on 
the night of Dec. 21, 1825. Kean's refusal to play to a thin 
house on a former occasion was resented at the very first 
opportunity by the audience, who would not allow him to 
utter a word, and who drove him from the stage with a 
shower of projectiles. The crushed tragedian fled hither in 
disguise, and was taken in a close carriage the next morn- 
ing from the house of Mr. Jones, to Worcester. 

On the southwest corner of Roxbury Street, beginning at 
Vernon Street, lay the homestead and farm of three acres of 
Elder Isaac Heath, a native of Xazing, England, by trade a 
harness-maker, a principal founder of the Grammar School, 
and one of the fathers of the town, who came over in 1635 ; 
his brothers William and Peleg Heath having preceded him. 

Heath was a member of the Legislature in 1637-8, and 
about the same time was made ruling elder, a special recog- 
nition of his prudence, wisdom, and godliness. This office 
placed him in intimate relations with Eliot, who consulted him 
in all his plans and difficulties. 

The ruling elder occupied an elevated seat between the 
deacons' seat and the pulpit, and continued in office through 
life. Elder Heath assisted Eliot in his Indian labors, accom- 
panying him in his toilsome expeditions through the wilder- 
ness, and expounded the gospel to the natives. He died 
Jan. 21, 1660, aged seventy-five. At his decease none were 
left of his household but his aged widow and his son-in-law, 
John Bowles, whose children inherited his property. " My 
will is," so reads a clause in that document, "that John 


Bowles shall be mayntayned at Schole and brought up to 
learning in what way I have dedicated him to God, if it please 
him to accept him." 

The family of Bowles, prominent in town affairs for nearly 
a century afterwards, resided here. John Bowles, a founder 
of the grammar school, a ruling elder of the church, and a 
member of the General Court in 1645, died here 21st Septem- 
ber, 1680. Elder Bowles was a leading member of the Mas- 
sachusetts company for colonizing New England, and was a 
warm friend of the apostle Eliot, who said of him, " Prudent 
and gracious men set over our churches for the assistance of 
their pastors, such helps in government had he (Eliot) been 
blessed withal, the best of which was the well-deserving Elder 
Bowles. God helps him to do great things among us." His 
son, Hon. John Bowles, who married a granddaughter of 
Eliot's, was in 1690 Speaker of the House of Representatives. 
He left a son, Major John Bowles, who served the town faith- 
fully in various capacities. From him was descended Capt. 
Ralph Hart Bowles, a brave Revolutionary officer. 

Next in importance to the church as a centre of town life 
was the public house or inn, the exchange in which, over a 
mug of ale, were discussed the news, politics, and gossip of 
the day, and whose social attractiveness made it a source 
of constant solicitude to the fathers of the town. 

Where Graham's Block now stands, opposite Vernon Street, 
formerly stood the Greyhound Tavern. It had been the site 
of a public house from a very early period ; for Danforth, 
Eliot's colleague, who lived near it, could from his study win- 
dow take note of " town dwellers trifling there," and would 
go over and " chide them away." 

"As ancient is this hostelry 
As any in the land may be ; 
Built in the old colonial day, 
When men lived in a grander way, 
"With ampler hospitality. 
A kind of old Hobgoblin Hall, 



"With weather stains upon the wall, 
And stairways worn and crazy doors, 
And creaking and uneven floors, 
And chimneys huge and tiled and tall." 

Located as it was on the only road leading to Boston (for 
there were then no bridges), the Greyhound was a noted 
resort in the days when public meetings, festive gatherings, 
and other assemblages of a political, social, or business char- 
acter were usuall}* held in such places, and being famous for 
the excellence of its punch, it was much frequented by the 
convivial spirits of Boston and vicinity. 

Joshua Hewes, the original owner of this estate, came over 
in 1633, probably with Cotton and Hooker in the " Griffin." 
He was a merchant of large transactions, and held many 
responsible trusts both public and private. On Aug. 27, 1642, 
Sergt. Joshua Hewes was directed b} 7 " the town ' ' to see to it 
that the people of Roxbury in every house, or some two or 
more houses, joyne together for the breeding of salt peeter in 
some outhouse used for poultr} r or the like, and to give them 
directions about the same." In 1641 he was a representative 
to the General Court, and joining the Artillery Company, 
became a lieutenant in 1643. Quite recentl}" an old grave- 
stone was dug up by workmen excavating for the post-office 
extension in Post-Office Square, upon which was this inscrip- 
tion : " Here lyeth y e Body of Joshua Hewes aged 66 years. 
Departed this Life y e 25 day of January 1675." 

John Greaton, the last landlord of the Greyhound, licensed 
as an innkeeper in 1741, was the father of Gen. Greaton. 
He kept a West India goods store here and also at the South 
End of Boston. His eldest son, James, a graduate of Yale 
College, was master of the Roxbury grammar school in 
1756-8; rector of Christ Church, Boston, in 1759-67, and 
afterwards of the church at Huntington, L. I. 

Drunkenness was severely punished by the sober, Godfear- 
ing men of the early settlement. On March 4, 1633, the 
Court order that Robert Coles, 


"For drunkenness by him comitted at Rocksbury shal be dis- 
franchised, weare about his necke & soe to hange upon his outward 
garment a D made of redd clothe & sett upon white, to contynue 
this for a yeare and not to leave it off att any tyme when he comes 
amongst company under penalty of XL shillings for the first offence 
& V pounds the second, & after to be punished by the courte as 
they thinke meete; also he is to weare the D outwards and is 
eujoyned to appear at the next Generall Court & to contyuue there 
until the court be ended." 

Numberless must have been the " red-letter days" of this 
unfortunate namesake of "old King Cole," for his name 
recurs in connection with public admonitions with great fre- 
quency in the old records. The scarlet letter is still worn by 
votaries of Bacchus, with a difference. Instead of being 
placed upon the neck, it is fastened permanently upon the 
nose. May not the Puritan legislators have derived their 
hint from this circumstance ? 

" In 1637," says Josselyn, " there were in Boston two 
houses of entertainment called ' Ordinaries,' into which, if a 
stranger went, he was presently followed by one appointed to 
that office, who would thrust himself into his company unin- 
vited, and if he called for more drink than the officer thought 
in his judgment he could soberly bear away, he would pres- 
ently countermand it, and appoint the proportion, bej'ond 
which he could not get one drop." 

Innkeepers were forbidden to suffer any to be drunk or to 
drink excessively ; viz., above half a pint of wine for one 
person at a time, or to continue tippling above the space of 
half an hour, or at unreasonable times, or after nine of the 
clock at night. A person found drunk, so as to be thereby 
bereaved or disabled in the use of his understanding, appear- 
ing in his speech or gesture, ' had to pay ten shilling or be 
set in the stocks." Tobacco could not be taken in any inn or 
" common victual house" except in a private room there, so 
as neither the master of the said house nor an}' guest there 


" should take offence thereat," under penalty of half a crown. 
None might retail strong water, wine, or beer, either within 
doors or without, except in inns or victualling-houses allowed. 
No beer might be charged higher than two pence the Win- 
chester quart, and innkeepers and other householders were 
made responsible for the sobriety of their inmates. 

As early as 1643 Richard Wood}*, who dwelt in the imme- 
diate vicinity of the Greyhound, had leave from the town 
" to draw wine." In 1653 leave was given John Gorton and 
Robert Pepper, " to brew and sell penny beare and cakes and 
white bread." In 1678, just after the Indian war, intemper- 
ance had become so prevalent that the town voted that 
" neither wine nor liquors shall be sold at any ordinary in Rox- 
bury," and that there should be but one ordinary in the town. 

Sewall notes in his diary a visit to this inn. He says : 

"Monday July 11, 1687. I hire Ems coach in the afternoon, 
wherein Mr. Hezekiah Usher and his wife, and Mrs. Bridget her 
daughter myself and wife ride to Roxbury and visit Mr. Dudley and 
Mr. Eliot the father, who blesses them. Go and sup together at 
the Greyhound Tavern, with boiled bacon and roast fowls. Come 
home between ten and eleven. Brave moonshine." 

In 1752, and for many years subsequent!}', the Masonic 
Fraternity celebrated St. John's Da}* here. Here the Courts 
were held during the prevalence of small-pox in Boston, in 
1764, and here wild animals were occasionally exhibited, as 
appears by the following advertisement in the " Gazette" of 
April 20, 1741: 

"To be seen at the Greyhound Tavern in Roxbury, a wild crea- 
ture which was caught in the woods about 80 miles to the westward 
of this place, called a catamount. It has a tail like a Lyon ; its legs 
are like bears, its claws like an Eagle, its eyes like a tyger. He is 
exceedingly ravenous, and devours all sorts of creatures that he 
can come near. Its agility is surprising, it will leap 30 feet at one 
jump, notwithstanding it is but 3 months old Whoever wishes to 
sec this creature may come to the place aforesaid paying one shilling 
each shall be welcome for their money." 


The Greyhound was a recruiting station for the Canada 
expeditions of the old French war. A characteristic figure of 
that day was the recruiting sergeant. He was a picked man 
of his corps, had seen sen-ice, was erect and soldierly in his 
bearing and of gentlemanly address. Such a one as we 
describe, dressed in his trim regimentals, and carrying a 
cane, might at that time have been seen promenading up and 
clown the quiet town street in front of the old tavern, a fife 
and drum enlivening the scene, a gaping crowd of boys and 
idlers following on, and among them perhaps some farmer's 
son, captivated by the handsome uniform and the jaunt}', 
dashing air of the soldier, and upon whom the crafty sergeant 
has his eye. 

Soon gathering a crowd, he proceeds to business, and 
enforces the argument with some doggerel verse. These 
fragments of his siren song have been preserved by the 
grandson of one who was himself a listener to it : 

"Here 's two guineas on the head of the drum, 

For every volunteer that will come, 

And enter into constant pay, 

It 's ' over the hills and far away.' 

It 's over the hills, it 's over the main, 
To Crown Point and Lake Champlain. 

" At Quebec there are many stores 
Besides great quantities of furs, 
We'll have a share as well as they, 
Though its 'over the hills and far away.' " 

The most notable of the celebrations of the repeal of the 
Stamp Act is thus described in the " Massachusetts Gazette " 
of Aug. 18, 1768: 

" About 5 o'clock, the morning (Aug. 14th) was ushered iu by 
the firing of 14 cannons in Liberty Square, and hoisting the flag 011 
Liberty Tree. At noon several of the principal gentlemen of the 
town and a great number of other persons of credit assembled at 
Liberty Hall, where was a band of music, and the much-admired 
American song was melodiously sung to the great pleasure of a 
number of gentlemen and ladies who were at the windows of the 


houses in the neighborhood as also to a vast concourse of people in 
the square. Fourteen toasts were then drunk, and after again firing 
the cannon the gentlemen set out in their chariots and chaises for the 
Greyhound Tavern in Koxbury, where an elegant entertainment was 
provided. After dinner the new song was again sung and 45 toasts 
drunk and the afternoon was spent sociably with great harmony 
and affection for the liberties of their country. After consecrating 
a tree sacred to Liberty in Koxbury, they made an agreeable excur- 
sion round Jamaica Pond, in which excursion they received the kind 
salutations of a friend to the cause by the discharge of cannon. It 
is allowed that this cavalcade surpassed all that has ever been seen 
in America." 

A Tory account says, " The selectmen and representatives 
of Boston made part of the company with some who were 
immediate actors in the riot which they were celebrating, and 
in that which next succeeded." The liberty song spoken of 
had just been received by James Otis, from its author, John 
Dickinson. It was first printed on July 4, 1768, and is the 
earliest of the Revolutionary lyrics to advocate independence 
and union. It was sung to the tune of " Hearts of Oak." 
A few stanzas are here given : 

"Come, join hand in hand, brave Americans all, 
And rouse your bold hearts at fair Liberty's call. 
No tyrannous acts shall suppress your just claim, 
Or stain with dishonor America's name. 

" In freedom we 're born and in freedom we '11 live, 
Our purses are ready steady, friends, steady, 
Not as slaves but as freemen our money we '11 give. 

" This bumper I crown for our sovereign's health, 
And this for Britannia's glory and wealth, 
That wealth and that glory immortal may be, 
If she is but just and we are but free. 

" Then join hand in hand, brave Americans all! 
By uniting we stand, by dividing we fall. 
In so righteous a cause let us hope to succeed, 
For Heaven approves of each generous deed." 

Just after the battle of Lexington, and in pursuance of an 
agreement with the British General Gage the house of John 


Greaton it had then ceased to be a tavern was the place 
appointed by the Massachusetts Congress for the issue of 
permits to persons wishing to enter the town. It was con- 
veniently situated for this purpose, but as it was much 
exposed to the shot from the hostile batteries on the Neck, it 
was shortly afterward torn down. An idea of its size may be 
formed from the fact that when demolished it was found to 
contain no less than forty fireplaces. Permissions to enter 
Boston were thus worded : 

"Permit A. B. the bearer hereof with his family, consisting of 
persons with his effects (fire-arms and ammunition excepted), to pass 
unmolested into the town of Boston between sunrise and sunset. 
By order of Provincial Congress. 

Jos. Warren, Prest." 

The story of the old hostelry is told. To him that asks 
the question, ' ' Shall I not take my comfort at mine inn ? " 
it 'shall be answered, No, thou shalt not. The inns have all 
gone out. The mirth and jollity, the comfort and content 
they were wont to bestow, as well as " entertainment for man 
and beast," all these have suffered a permanent eclipse. 
Flower de Luce, Punch-Bowl, Peacock, Greyhound, alike 
with their patrons, have long since passed away, 

" And, like the baseless fabric of a vision, 
Left not a rack behind." 

On the site of the Greyhound was located the first fire- 
engine of Roxbury in 1784, when, agreeably to an act of the 
General Court, the selectmen appointed the following engine- 
men, viz. : 






And in 1785 were added the names of 


They chose Daniel Munroe, captain, William Bosson, Jr., 
clerk and treasurer, and adopted rules and regulations. This 
was subsequently the location of the engine named the ' ' En- 
terprise." Fire wards were first chosen in 1784. Roxbury 
has hitherto been exempt from any serious conflagrations. 
The town records frequently allude to the necessity of pro- 
viding ladders to facilitate the extinguishing of fires, and in 
1 746 a legislative enactment affixed a penalty of ten shillings 
upon ever} 7 householder, living within ten rods of a neighbor's 
house or barn, who failed to provide himself with one. 

A new fire-engine was, in 1787, established near the Punch- 
Bowl Tavern. In 1795 the town voted to pay half the ex- 
pense of repairing the "new" fire-engine in Warren Street 
(Punch-Bowl Village) . The members of this company were. 




In 1802 a new engine, called the "Torrent No. 2," was 
accepted and its company of twent}*-one men appointed. A 
new engine was purchased by subscription in 1819 for No. 1, 
and the town was asked for land on which to build its house 
on the northerly corner of the burying- ground, " the hearse- 
house to be removed." 

In 1831 the chief engineer, Joshua B. Fowle, reported that 
there were in Roxbury seven fire-engines, with four hose-reels 
attached. They were located as follows : 

No. 1, Dudley St. (new house). No. 5, Spring Street. 

2, Centre St., by Poorhouse. 6, Eustis Street (new house). 

3 and 4, Jamaica Plain. 7, "Norfolk," at Punch-Bowl. 

The first suction engines were made in Roxbury many years 
ago by William C. Hunneman. Previously the supply of 
water was brought in buckets and emptied into the " tub." 


Passing the Greyhound, we come to the homestead of two 
acres of the Rev. Thomas "Wekie, first pastor of the First 
Church, which was originally the property of Richard Pea- 
cock. All the estates on this side of the street, from Eustis 
to Dudley, extended back to the training-field, and all save 
Danforth's were in the form of long, narrow strips, running 
parallel with Dudlej* Street, and having a depth of nearly one 
thousand feet. The dwellings were on the street, the gar- 
dens and orchards in the rear. Welde's residence was near 
the northerly corner of Zeigler Street, not far from where the 
City Hotel stood. This was a brick building, erected for a 
residence by George Zeigler, about the commencement of the 
century. The hall of this hotel was prior to 1 840 a favorite 
place for dancing parties and political meetings, the latter 
being sometimes held on Sundaj" evening. 

Daniel Welde, who lived here at one time, was probably 
the brother of Rev. Thomas and Captain Joseph. Pie was 
chosen by the town in 1654 " to record births and burialls." 
He was one of the first teachers of the Grammar School in 
Roxbury, and for his interest in schools the General Court 
in 1659 rewarded him with two hundred acres of land. He 
subsequently bought John "Watson's place, near Ston}* River 
Bridge, where he died July 22, 1666, aged eighty-one. 

Rev. Thomas Welde, a native of Tirling, in Essex, Eng- 
land, was educated at the University of Cambridge, and then 
settled in the ministry in his native place. Incurring the 
penalties of the laws against Nonconformists, he was obliged 
to fly for safet}- to New England. While standing in jeop- 
ardy from that arch-persecutor, Laud, Welde and Rev. 
Thomas Shepard " consulted together whether it was best to 
let such a swine root up God's plants in Essex, and not give 
him some check." Arriving at Boston in the " William and 
Francis," June 5, 1632, he was ordained pastor in July, 
Eliot being soon after settled as teacher. In 1639 he 
assisted Eliot and Mather in making the tuneful New Eug- 


land Version of the Psalms, which was used for many years 
in our churches. Their versification was wretched enough, 
but Welde sometimes wrote with spirit and taste. 

Sent in 1641 to England with Hugh Peters, as agent for 
the colonies, upon the supposition that ' ' great revolutions 
were now at hand " ; that monarchy being then upon the eve 
of the great civil war, and Bishop Laud's anathemas being no 
longer a source of anxiety, Welde did not return, but obtained 
a living at St. Mary's, Gateshead, County Durham, opposite 
Newcastle, and died in London on March 23, 1661. Welde had 
given " the greatest encouragement of any man else," says 
Mather, " for invitation of his friends to come over to New 
England, 3*et was it observed true of him which some note of 
Peter the Hermit, who sounded an alarum and march to all 
other Christians to the Holy Land, but a retreat to himself." 
At his departure he left a fine library, for the purchase of 
which Eliot solicited aid from England. His estate was 
inherited by his son Thomas, who was made " clerk of the 
writs" in 1654, was several years a representative, and was 
an influential citizen. 

" Valiant in the faith, a defender of the truth and of the 
churches in this land, both in the pulpit and with his pen," 
Welde had great influence with the magistrates, by whom he 
was frequently consulted, and was naturally conspicuous in 
the persecution of Eoger Williams and Anne Hutchinson, 
whom Winthrop called the " American Jezebel." Her claim 
to this opprobrious title rests upon the fact of her having 
affirmed that Welde and some other ministers did not preach 
a covenant of grace, and moreover, to the other fact, that hold- 
ing opinions not then received by the clergy as orthodox, she 
dared to express them. The conspicuous and reprehensible 
part Welde took in the cruel persecution ending in the excom- 
munication and banishment of this gifted woman and her fol- 
lowers, places him in the same category with Laud and other 
persecutors for opinion's sake. 


While a prisoner for four months in the house of "Welde's 
brother, in Roxbury, not even her husband or children being 
allowed to see her, except with leave of the Court, Mrs. Hutch- 
inson was exposed to the visitations of this " holy inquisitor," 
whose efforts to convince her of error were, as a matter of 
course, wholly futile. In the simplicity of his bigotry, Welde 
was surprised at her hardness of heart in slighting the excom- 
munication of the church. ' ' But," sa3*s Mr. Savage, the editor 
of " Winthrop's Journal" and a descendant of Mrs. Hutch- 
inson, " the blood of this ' Jezebel.' besides being licked 
by the dogs, was in two generations mixed by intermar- 
riage with that of the more orthodox "Welde, his grandson, 
Rev. Thomas Weld, first minister of Dunstable, having taken 
to wife a granddaughter of this same outcast from heaven 
and from the church of Boston." 

The " Short Story of the Rise, Reign, and Ruin of the Anti- 
nomians," usuall}* attributed to Welde, was the production of 
John Winthrop, Welde contributing the preface to the second 
edition. The discrepancies found in the existing copies of 
this book were due to the unskilful manner in which, at that 
time, books passed through the press. Corrections were 
made while the sheets were being struck off, and the corrected 
and uncorrected sheets were afterwards bound up indiscrimi- 
nately. In this way the number of different copies might be 
multiplied to any extent. 

Next to the Welde estate came that of the Rev. Nehemiah 
Walter, Eliot's colleague and successor. Originally the prop- 
erty of John Woody, it contained two and a half acres, its 
front extending from Felton's shop to Swain's new building, 
the northerly limit of Eliot's homestead. 

Walter, though of English parentage, was a native of Ire- 
land and a graduate of Harvard College. Before coming to 
New England he had been trained in one of the best schools 
in Ireland. At thirteen, he could converse fluentty in Latin. 
Besides his great proficiency in the languages and in the phi- 


losophy of his day, he was a superior general scholar. During 
a sojourn of a few months in Annapolis, Nova Scotia, he 
obtained such masteiy of the French language as enabled him 
to preach occasionally, in the absence of their pastor, to the 
French congregation in Boston in their own tongue. Dis- 
couraged with the prospect here, he had taken passage in a 
ship for England, and waited only for a wind, when, on a Sat- 
urda} 7 afternoon, he received a message from Roxbury desiring 
of him a sermon on the morrow. The church had for some 
time been seeking a colleague for their aged pastor, and were 
much divided in respect to several very worth}' candidates, 
but on hearing Mr. Walter, they hastened to invite him. 
Their good old minister was so charmed with his preaching 
that on the first day of hearing him he stayed the church after 
evening service, and was for putting it immediately to vote 
whether they would give him a call. Mr. Joseph Dudley 
(afterwards governor) opposed so sudden a motion, but after 
a short delay he received a unanimous call, the church making 
its choice Juh' loth, and the town in public assembly Sept. 
9, 1688, approving and confirming it. 

Eliot, then in his eighty-fourth year, presided at his ordina- 
tion, and for the first time in the Puritan church joined the 
two offices of pastor and teacher in Mr. Walter. " Brother," 
said Eliot, " I've ordained you a teaching pastor, but don't 
be proud of it, for I always ordain my Indians so." Respect- 
ing Walter's ordination, Judge Sewall's diary says : 

"Wednesday, Oct. 17, 1688. Ride in the hackiiey-coach with 
Gov. Bradstreet and his lady to Roxbury to the ordination of Mr. 
Nehemiah Walter. Mr. Eliot, Mr. Allen, Mr. Willard also there. 
Danforth, of Dorchester, laid on hands ; Mr. Eliot ordained ; Mr. 
Allen gave the right hand of fellowship, desiring he might keep to 
Christ's institutions in their purity, for which God's people came 
over hither. Mr. Walter, giving the blessing, said, 'Happy are 
they who are faithful in the work Christ calls them to,' etc. The 
132d Psalm sung. Dined at Mr. Dudley's ; Bradstreet and Eliot sat 


at upper end of table. At meeting, in the fore seat, sat Mr. Brad- 
street, Danforth, Richards, Cook, Sewall, Wilson, and Gookin. In 
time of first prayer the governor came by from his progress." 

Walter was an admirable preacher, always studying his dis- 
courses, which were remarkable for perspicuity and simplicity, 
and delivering them with great animation, though with a 
feeble voice. He was low of stature and of a very delicate 
bodily frame. In the beginning of his ministry he preached 
extemporaneously, but a severe illness that affected his head 
and impaired his memory, compelled him to make use of notes 
ever afterward. 

"Whitefield, who visited Mr. Walter in 1740, calls him a 
good old Puritan, and sa3*s, " I had but little conversation 
with him my stay was so short, but I remember he told me he 
was glad to hear I said that man was half a devil and half a 
beast." How so good a man could approve a sentiment so 
repugnant to reason and common-sense is one of the insolu- 
ble mysteries of the human mind. 

Mr. Walter married Sarah, sister of Cotton, and daughter 
of Increase Mather. Two of his sons, Thomas and Nathan- 
iel, were in the ministry, Nathaniel being for forty years set- 
tled over the Second Church of Roxbury. The pastorate of 
Eliot and Walter covered a period of one hundred and eighteen 
years, the latter dying in 1 750 at the age of eighty-seven. 

Rev. Thomas Walter, his son, and his colleague from 1718 
until his death, which took place on Jan. 16, 1725, at the 
early age of twent}--eight, possessed all his father's vivacity 
and richness of imagination with greater vigor of intellect. 
He graduated at Harvard College in 1713 ; was one of the 
most distinguished scholars and disputants of his time ; and 
was the first to reform the church music of America. Rev. 
Dr. Chauncy reckoned him as one of the first three clergy- 
men, for extent and strength of genius and power, New 
England had produced, and believed that had he not died in 
the prime of life, he would have been known as one of the 
first of our great men. 


In 1721 Mr. Walter, who excelled in the science of har- 
mony, being grieved and annoyed bej'ond measure at the 
very indifferent performances in the sanctuary, published in a 
small volume ' ' The Grounds and Rules of Music Explained ; 
or, An Introduction to the Art of Singing by Note. Fitted to 
the Meanest Capacity." The music was printed with bars for 
the first time in America. The tunes were composed in three 
parts only. It ran through successive editions until 1764. 
This book threw the churches into commotion, some battling 
for the old and some for the new way of singing, that is, by 
rote or note. " I have great jealousy," said a writer in the 
"New England Chronicle," " that if we once begin to sing 
b}- note, the next thing will be to praj- by rote, and then 
comes popery." 

Mr. Walter's sermon, " The Sweet Psalmist of Israel," 
delivered in 1722, and dedicated to Judge Paul Dudley, has 
been pronounced the most beautiful composition among the 
sermons handed down to us by our fathers. His uncle, Rev. 
Cotton Mather, commemorated him in a discourse which was 
shortl}" afterwards printed, with the title of " A Good Reward 
of a Good Servant." 

The apostle Eliot's estate of two and a half acres was a 
long, narrow strip, having a front of one hundred and forty- 
five feet on Washington Street, facing the old schoolhouse 
and Gov. Dudle} r 's residence, his orchard extending back to 
the Training Field, just beyond Winslow Street. Rev. Mr. 
Walter's estate adjoined him on the north, while the highway 
to Dorchester (Dudley Street) formed his southern boundary. 
The lower part of Warren Street, not then laid out, divides 
Eliot's lot. 

His house stood just in the rear of the People's Bank build- 
ing, and is probably the old house that was pulled down when 
that was built, and which was long owned and occupied by 
the Mears family. It was of two stories, with a gambrel roof, 
its porch or main entrance in the centre, and is remembered 



as a very old house by the most aged persons now living in 
Roxbury. Its next occupant after Eliot was Deacon Samuel 
Williams, who married Theoda, daughter of Deacon William 

Parke. Their son, Rev. John Williams, of Deerfield, was car- 
ried into captivity by the Indians. North of Hears, on a part 
of the Eliot estate, was the house and lot of William Blaney. 


Nazing, in Essex, England, has the distinction of being 
the birthplace of the apostle. He was educated at Jesus 
College, Cambridge ; then taught awhile in the grammar 
school at Little Badclow, kept by that eminent and learned 
divine, Thomas Hooker, in whose household Eliot received 
those strong religious impressions that determined him to 
become a preacher ; and finally, as England afforded small 
encouragement at that day for a Puritan minister, he took 
passage in the " Lion," bound for New England, arriving at 
Boston on Nov. 2, 1631. Here, in the absence of Mr. Wil- 
son, pastor of the church, he preached for a short time. 

Respecting his settlement, Gov. Winthrop says : 

"Mr. John Eliot, a member of the Boston congregation, whom 
they intended presently to call to the office of teacher, was called to 
be a teacher to the church at Roxbury, and though Boston labored 
all they could, both with the congregation of Roxbury and with Mr. 
Eliot himself, alleging their want of him and the covenant between 
them, yet he could not be diverted from accepting the call of Rox- 
bury, so he was dismissed." 

From the period of Welde's departure for England in 1641 
until the settlement of Danforth as his colleague in 1650, and 
again from the death of the latter in 1674 to 1688, Eliot was 
sole pastor, having on his hands the double labor of his 
own large parish and that of converting the Indians. The 
special merit of Eliot, and which entitled him to be called the 
"Apostle," lay in his zealous and unwearied efforts to Chris- 
tianize the Indians. This, in the language of the charter of 
the Massachusetts Company, was declared to be " the princi- 
pal cause of this plantation." The oaths of the governor 
and deputy-governor bound them to do their best for this end, 
and upon the seal provided for the colony an Indian with 
extended hands raised the Macedonian cry, " Come over and 
help us." " That public engagement," wrote Eliot to a friend 
in 1659, " together with pity for the poor Indian and desire 
to make the name of Christ chief in these dark ends of the 
earth, and not the rewards of men, were the very first and 




chief movers, if I know what did first and chiefly move in 
my heart when God was pleased to put upon me that work 
of preaching to them." 

He first devoted two years to the arduous task of acquiring 
their language from a native, " a 
pregnant-witted young man who had 
been a servant in an English house." 
This man, a Long Island Indian, 
who had been taken prisoner in the 
Pequod war, was hired by Eliot to 
live in his family and teach him his 
language. He left his service before 
1648, and was succeeded by Job 
Nesutan. Of him, Major Gookin 
relates that, " In the expedition 
against King Philip, in 1675, one 
of our principal soldiers of the Praying Indians was slain, a 
valiant and stout man, Job Nesutan. He was a very good 
linguist in the English tongue, and was Mr. Eliot's assistant 
and interpreter in his translation of the Bible and other books 
in the Indian tongue." 

Laborious, indeed, was the task of making a grammar, as 
Eliot was compelled to do, of a tongue in which a word of 
thirty-four letters was required, to express "our loves." The 
expression in this form might be intelligible, but it would cer- 
tainly be lengthy. " Our question" took fifty letters, and 
other simple words and phrases in proportion. There is 
point in Cotton Mather's back reading of Eliot's name, 
T o i 1 e . When Eliot first entered upon this unpromising 
field of labor, there were nearly twenty tribes of Indians 
within the limits of the English planters, all bearing a strong 
resemblance to each other in language, manners, and religion. 
He was violently opposed by the sachems and pawwaws, or 
priests, who were apprehensive that the introduction of a new 
religion would be the means of their losing their authority. 



Once when alone with them in the wilderness, they commanded 
him to desist from his labors on peril of his life, but he calmly 
replied, " I am about the work of the great God, and he is 
with me, so that I neither fear you nor all the sachems in the 
countrj". I will go on. You touch me if you dare." 


The opening scene of this memorable mission at Nonantum, 
an Indian word signifying " rejoicing," is best given in Eliot's 
own language : 

"Upon Oct. 28, 1646, four of us [Eliot, Gookiu, and Heath of 
Roxbury, and Rev. Thos. Shepard, of Cambridge] went unto the 
Indians inhabiting within our bounds, with desire to make known 
the things of their peace to them. A little before we came to their 
wigwams, five or six of the chief of them met us with English salu- 
tations bidding us much welcome. We found many more Indians, 
men, women, and children, gathered together from all quarters round 
about according to appointment to meet with us and learue of us. 
Waaubon, the chief minister of justice among them exhorting and 
inviting them before thereunto, being one who gives more grounded 
hopes of serious respect to the things of God than aiiy that as yet I 
have known of that forlorn generation ; and therefore since we first 
begun to deal seriously with him hath voluntarily offered his eldest 


son to be educated and trained up in the knowledge of God, and 
accordingly his son was accepted and is now in school at Dedham, 
whom we found at this time standing by his father among the rest 
of his Indian brethren in English clothes. 

" After a prayer in English and in a set speech familiarly opening 
the principal matters of salvation to them, the next thing we 
intended was, discourse with them by propounding certain questions 
to see what they would say to them, that soe we might skrue by 
variety of means something or other of God into them, but before 
we did this we asked them if they understood all that which was 
already spoken, and whether all of them in the wigwam did under- 
stand, or only some few; and they answered to this question with 
multitudes of voyces that they all of them did understand all that 
was then spoken to them." 

These are some of the questions asked by these untutored 
sons of the forest, at this and subsequent meetings : 

"Whether Jesus Christ did understand, or God did understand 
Indian prayers ? How came the English to differ so much from the 
Indians in the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, seeing they all 
had at first but one father? How came it to pass that the sea water 
was salt, and the land water fresh? What is a spirit? Whether 
they should believe dreams? Why did not God give all men good 
hearts, that they might be good? and why did not God kill the devil 
that made all men so bad, God having all the power? " 

An amusing incident took place at one of these public 
meetings. George, a drunken Indian, cried out, " Mr. Eliot, 
who made sack ? who made sack ? " This, it will be perceived, 
was a cavil about the origin of evil. It is said that he was 
soon snubbed by the other Indians, who cried out that it 
was a "pappoose" question. This same fellow afterwards 
killed a cow, and sold it to the college for a moose. 

To Harvard College, that seat of knowledge, 

Hies Indian George one day, 
A capital hoax upon President Oakes 

And the learned professors to play. 
So by way of a ruse, he sells them a moose, 

I leave you to fancy the row 
When they sit at their meat, and discover the cheat, 

For lo! he had sent them a cow! 


Eliot "kept a constant lecture to them, one week at the 
wigwam of Waban, a new sachem, near Watertown Mill, and 
the other, the next week, in the wigwam of Cutshamokin, 
near Dorchester Mill." His labors were also extended to vari- 
ous points on the Merrimac River, to Yarmouth, Martha's 
Vineyard, Lancaster, Brookfield, and the country of the 
Nipmucs, which included parts of Southwestern Massachu- 
setts and Northern Connecticut. The neighboring ministers 
greatly encouraged him in his work, and often supplied his 
pulpit while he was absent preaching among the natives. 
Accounts of these meetings were published in England, where 
they excited great interest. To show its appreciation of 
his labors, the General Court, on May 26, 1647, ordered, 
" that 10 be given Mr. Eliot as a gratuity in respect of his 
pains in instructing the Indians in the knowledge of God, 
and that order be taken that the 20 per annum given by 
the Lady Armine for that purpose, may be called for and 
employed accordingly." 

There was a great fishing-place at one of the falls of the 
Merrimac, where the Indians assembled in great numbers in 
the spring of the year, and Mr. Eliot went to meet them. 
He hired a Nashua or Lancaster Indian to beat down a path 
for him from Roxbury through the woods, and to notch the 
trees, that he might find his way through. A sachem with 
twenty men did escort for him, and the journey occupied 
three days. "It pleased God," he says, "to exercise us 
with such tedious rain and bad weather that we were extreme 
wet, insomuch that I was not dry night nor day from the 
third day of the week to the sixth, but so travelled, and at 
night pull off my boots, wring my stockings, and on with 
them again." 

Eliot once had an interview with King Philip, to whom he 
explained the way of salvation, exhorting him to repent. 
The haughty chieftain, who refused to treat with any but 
" my brother, King Charles of England," rose, took hold of 


Eliot's button, and told him that he cared no more for the 
gospel than he did for that button. 

One of Eliot's sound maxims was, that the Indians must be 
civilized in order to their being Christianized. One season 
of hunting, he said, undid all his missionary work. He 
therefore urged upon them the necessity of industry, cleanli- 
ness, good order, and good government. The simple code 
he drew up for them punished idleness, licentiousness, cruelty 
to women, vagrancy*, looseness in dress, and filthiness -in per- 
son. They soon began to be neat and industrious, to put 
aside their old habits, and to assume the manners of the 
whites. A court was established at Nonantum in 1647, on 
Eliot's petition, over which presided Justice "\Vaban, whose 
" gift lay in ruling, judging of cases, wherein he is patient, 
constant, and prudent." There was no circumlocution at his 
office. Here is a specimen warrant : " You, you big consta- 
ble quick you catch um Jeremiah Offscow ; strong 3-011 hold 
um ; safe you bring um afore me, Waban, Justice Peace." 
His sagacious and sententious judgment in a case between 
some drunken Indians would do no discredit to a much higher 
civilization than that at Nonantum : ' Tie um all up, and whip 
um plaintiff and whip um 'fendant and whip um witness." 

Meantime, Eliot, after twelve years of labor, had translated 
the Bible into the Indian tongue. This lasting monument to 
his industry, of a version into a language destitute of an alpha- 
bet, constitutes an epoch in literature. Cotton Mather's state- 
ment, that " Eliot writ the whole with but one pen," seems 
incredible. The New Testament was first printed at Cam- 
bridge in 1661, and the whole Bible in 1663. A new edition 
of two thousand copies was printed in 1686. Copies of this 
work are exceedingly rare, and are so highly prized by col- 
lectors that a thousand dollars have been paid for a single one. 
This was the first Bible printed on this continent, and remained 
the only one until the War for Independence had freed the 
colonies from the literary as well as the political fetters which 



had been fastened on them by the mother country. The ex- 
pense of publishing was principally borne by the Society for 
the Propagation of the Gospel, at the head of which was the 
excellent Robert Bo3"le, through whose influence 50 were 
annual!}' paid to Eliot by the societ}-. 

Eliot's Bible was first dedi- 
cated to the Parliament in 1659. 
The restoration of the monarchy 
necessitated it to be dedicated 
afresh, this time to Charles II, 
who received it " ver}' gra- 
ciousty," says Boyle, who pre- 
sented the book to him ; ' ' but 
though he looked a pretty while 
upon it, and shewed some things 
in it to those that had the honor 
to be about him, yet the unex- 
pected coming in of an extraor- 
dinary envoy from the emperor hindered me from receiving 
that fuller expression of his grace towards the translators 
and dedicators that might otherwise have been expected." 
The "merry monarch" was almost the last person in the 
world properly to appreciate a serious labor of this kind. 
A fac-simile of the title-page of the Indian Bible follows : 













Primers, grammars, psalters, catechisms, " The Practice 
of Piety," "Baxter's Call," and other books in the Indian 
tongue followed the Bible, and soon there were fourteen 
places of Pra} - ing Indians, as they were called, under Eliot's 
care, and about eleven hundred souls apparently converted. 
No pains were spared to teach the natives to read and write, 
and "in a short time," sa}*s Bancroft, "a larger proportion 
of the Massachusetts Indians could do so than recently of the 
inhabitants of Russia." The work was continued by the 
Mayhews, Fitch, John Cotton, Gookin, Pierson, and others. 
In 1673 six Indian churches had been gathered. 

But now came Philip's war, the death-blow to the work 
upon which the apostle had set his heart, and in which he 
had been nearly spent. In the course of the conflict some 
of the Praying Indians joined the English, while some de- 
serted to Philip. This so exasperated the people that the 
utmost exertions of Eliot, Gookin. and Danforth were required 
to save the Christian Indians who remained at home from 
their fury, and in so doing they incurred the popular resent- 
ment. These Indians were for their own safety removed to 
Long Island in Boston Harbor, where they were exposed to 
privations of every kind, and after the war was over were 
settled at Natick and elsewhere. The remembrance of their 
injuries made a breach between them and the English that 
was never healed. In 1684 the Indian towns had been re- 
duced to four. The tribes dwindled, and finally disappeared. 
The following incident, related by Eliot, exhibits the popular 
feeling : 

" 1676. On the 7th day of the 2d month, Capt. Gookins, Mr. Dan- 
forth & Mr. Stoughton w r sent by the councill to order matters at 
Long Island for the Indians planting there y*. called me with them. 
In our way thither a great boat of about 14 ton meeting us turned 
head upon us (whether wilfully or by negligence God he knoweth) 
that run the sterne of our boat where we 4 sat under water. Our 
boats saile or something tangled with the great boat, and by God's 
mercy kept to it. My cosiu Jacob and cosin Perrie being forwarder 


in our boat, quickly got up into the great boat. I so sunk that 
I drank in salt water twice and could not help it God assisted 
my two cosins to deliver us all and help us up into the great boat. 
We were not far from the castle where we went ashore, dryed and 
refreshed and then went to the Island performed our work returned 
well home at night, praised be the Lord. Some thanked God and 
some wished we had been drowned. Soone after, one that wished 
we had been drowned, was himself drowned about the same place 
where we were so wonderfully delivered." 

Taken in connection with the threats against all those friendly 
to the praying Indians, there can be little doubt that this col- 
lision was premeditated. Another extract from the same 
source, Eliot's church record, possesses much interest : 

" 1677. The Indian war now about to finish wherein the praying 
Indians had so eminent an interest. The success of the Indians 
was highly accepted with the soldiers, and they were welcomed when- 
ever they met them. They had them to the Ordinaries, made them 
drink and bred them by such an habit to love strong drink, that it 
proved a horrible snare unto us. They learned so to love strong 
drink that they would spend all their wages & pawn any thing they 
had for rumb or strong drink. So drunkenness increased and quar- 
relling and fighting and more, the sad effects of strong drink. 
Praying to God was quenched, the younger generation being 
debauched & the good old generation of the first beginners was gath- 
ered home by death. So that Satan improved the opportunity to 
defile, to debase & bring into contempt the whole work of praying 
to God. A great apostacy defiled us, and yet through grace some 
shined at Deer Island & the work is yet on foot to this day praised 
be the Lord. When the Indians were hurried away to an Island at 
half an hour's warning, their souls in terror, they left their good 
books, bibles, only some few carried their bibles, the rest were 
spoiled and lost, so that when the war was finished as they returned 
to their places they were greatly impoverished but they especially 
bewailed their want of bibles. This made me meditate upon a new 
impression of a bible, and accordingly took pains to revise the first 

We get a glimpse of the old apostle from the journal of two 
Dutch travellers, Messrs. Dankers and Sluyter, in 1679-80, 
nearly two hundred years ago : 


" The best of the ministers we have yet heard is a very old man 
named John Eliot. . . . On arriving at his house he was not there, 
and we therefore went to look around the village and the vicinity. 
We found it justly called Eocksbury, for it was very rocky and had 
hills entirely of rocks. Keturning to his house we spoke to him 
and he received us politely. Although he could speak neither 
Dutch nor French, and we spoke but little English, we managed by 
means of Latin and English to understand each other. We asked 
him for an Indian Bible. He said in the late Indian war all the 
Bibles and Testaments were carried away and burnt or destroyed, so 
that he had not been able to save any for himself, but a new edition 
was in press. Thereupon, he went and brought us the Old Testa- 
ment, and also the New Testament, made up with some sheets of 
the new edition, so that we had the Old and New Testaments com- 
plete. He also brought us two or three small specimens of the 
grammar. We asked him what we should pay him for them, but he 
desired nothing. He deplored the decline of the church in New Eng- 
land, and especially in Boston, so that he did not know what would 
be the final result. We inquired how it stood with the Indians, and 
whether any good fruit had followed his work. ' Yes, much,' he said, 
if we meant true conversion of the heart.' He could thank God 
there were Indians whom he knew were truly converted of heart to 
God, and whose professions were sincere. He accompanied us as 
far as the jurisdiction of Rocksburv extended, where we parted from 

A few years later he was visited by the eccentric book- 
seller, John Dunton, a writer as well as a vender of books, 
and who has secured a passport to immortaality by being 
transfixed at the end of a verse of the " Dunciad." He 
says : 

" My next ramble was to Roxbury, in order to visit the Rev. Mr. 
Eliot, the great apostle of the Indians, the glory of Roxbury, as well 
as of all England. He was pleased to receive me with abundance of 
respect, and inquired very kindly after Dr. Annesley, my father-in- 
law, and then broke out with a world of seeming satisfaction, ' Is 
my brother Annesley yet alive? Blessed be God for this informa- 
tion before I die.' He presented me with twelve Indian Bibles, and 
desired me to bring one of them over to Dr. Annesley, as also with 
twelve speeches of converted Indians which himself had published." 


That Eliot carried his dislike of controversy to an extreme 
that savored of weakness, was evident whenever his opinions 
conflicted with the views of those in authority. Says Win- 
throp, under date of November, 1634 : 

" It was then informed us how Mr. Eliot had taken occasion in a 
sermon to speak of the peace made with the Pekods, and to lay 
some blame upon the ministry for proceeding therein without con- 
sent of the people, and for other failings (as he considered). We 
took order that he should be dealt with by Mr. Cotton, Mr. Hooker, 
and Mr. Welde, to be brought to see his error and to heal it by some 
public explanation of his meaning, for the people began to take 
occasion to murmur against us for it. 

"The aforesaid three ministers, upon conference with the said 
Mr. Eliot, brought him to acknowledge his error in that he had mis- 
taken the ground of his doctrine, and that he did acknowledge that 
for a peace only (whereby the people were not to be engaged in a 
war), the magistrates might conclude plebe inconsulto, and so prom- 
ised to express himself in public next Lord's day." 

Having written a treatise called ' ' The Christian Common- 
wealth," containing a frame of government as deduced from 
the Scriptures for the benefit of the Indian converts, Eliot 
had it published in London in 1654. This, by the wa} r , is 
supposed to be the first political treatise by a citizen of this 
country. The fathers of the colony were not only spiritualty- 
rninded men, but they we're exceedingly wary and politic, and 
on the restoration of the monarchy under Charles II this 
book, which defended the universal principles of popular free- 
dom, was, in March, 1661, condemned by the governor and 
council as being " full of seditious principles and notions in 
relation to established governments, especially that estab- 
lished in their native country." Obedient to their mandate, 
Eliot did not hesitate to suppress his book, and even went so 
far as to speak of Cromwell and his friends as ' ' the late inno- 
vators in the government of Great Britain," and to acknowl- 
edge the form of government by kings, lords, and commons as 
not only lawful but eminent. His "acknowledgment" was 


ordered to be posted up in the principal towns and the book 
to be called in. 

Eliot was a founder and principal promoter of the grammar 
school in Roxbury, and was zealous and unwearied in his 
efforts for the establishment of common schools throughout 
the colony. In his will he bequeathed a valuable estate for 
the support of the school at Jamaica Plain which bears his 

He appears also to have been the first to lift up his voice 
against the treatment which negroes received in New England, 
and " made a motion to the English within two or three miles 
of him," says Rev. Cotton Mather, " that at such a time and 
place they would send their negroes once a week to him, for 
he would then catechise them and enlighten them to the ex- 
tent of his power." He adds that Eliot did not live to make 
much progress in this undertaking. His efforts to prevent 
the selling of Indian captives into slavery were also futile. 

"He that would write of Eliot," says Cotton Mather, 
" must write of charity, or say nothing." The parish treas- 
urer on paying him his salary, knowing his man, tied it up in 
a handkerchief in as man}* hard knots as possible, hoping he 
would be thereby compelled to cany it home. On his way 
he called to see a poor sick woman, and told the family that 
God had sent them some relief. "With tearful eyes and 
trembling hands he endeavored to untie the knots. After 
man}* fruitless efforts to get at his money, impatient at the 
delay, he gave the handkerchief and its contents to the 
mother, saj'ing, "Here, my dear, take it; I believe the Lord 
designs it all for }*ou." " The parish treasurer," says Horace 
B. Sargent, " is not the first nor last man who has defeated 
his own benevolent intentions by tying up funds too tightly." 

When the venerable and aged man was paying him one of 
his last visits, Joseph Dudley met him at his door, full of 
reverence and love. "Methinks, sir," said he, "the angels 
are hovering here about us, and think it long till they take 


you up from us." " Truly, sir," replied the good old man, " I 
am good for little here below, only while I daily find my un- 
derstanding going and ni}* memorj* and senses deca}'ing I 
bless God, my faith and charity grow." He offered to give 
up his salary when he could no longer preaeh, but the society 
told him that they accounted his presence worth an} T sum 
granted for his support, even if he were superannuated so as 
to do no further service for them. 

' ' His apparell was without any ornament except that of 
humility," says Mather. "Had you seen him with his 
leathern girdle (for such a one he wore) about his loins, you 
would almost have thought what Herod feared, that John 
Baptist was come to life again." He disdained the pride, 
vanit}*, and finery of the time, which he silently rebuked in 
the wise and grave order of his own house. Frugal and 
temperate through a long life, he never indulged in the lux- 
uries of the table. His drink was water, and he said of wine, 
"It is a noble, generous liquor, and we should be humbly 
thankful for it, but, as I remember, water was made be- 
fore it." 

So strong was his prejudice against wearing wigs, that he 
thought all the calamities of the country, even Indian wars, 
might be traced to that absurd fashion. For men to wear 
the hair long he thought "a luxurious feminine protexity." 
But the fashion prevailed, and Eliot lived to see many an 
orthodox minister wear a great white wig ; and it is reported 
that he gave over the utterance of his grieved spirit, saying 
onty as a last word of complaint that ' ' the lust was in- 
superable." Perhaps Eliot might have carried his point had 
he adopted the clever expedient of Clemens of Alexandria, 
who informed the astonished wig-wearers that when they knelt 
at church to receive the blessing the}* would be good enough 
to recollect that the benediction remained on the wig, and did 
not pass through to the wearer. 

His wife, who died three years before him, was " skilled in 

MRS. ELIOT. 189 

physic and chirurgery," and dispensed medicines to the sick 
and needy in her vicinit}*. She also managed the private 
affairs of her husband, whose charities far exceeded his means, 
that he might devote his whole time and strength to his pub- 
lic labors. Once, when there stood several kine of his own 
before his door, she, in order to try him, asked him whose 
they were, and she found he knew nothing of them. 

The affection with which this excellent woman was regarded 
by all, is seen in the following incident. A sum of money 
had been contributed to redeem William Bowen, of Roxbury, 
from captivity among the Turks, but news of his death arriv- 
ing about the time "good ould Mrs. Eliot lay at the point 
of death," it was applied to the erection of a ministerial 
tomb, and it was at the same time resolved that Mrs. Eliot, 
for her great services to the town, should be honored with 
burial there; but before the tomb was finished, "the good 
ould gentlewoman" was dead, and she was placed there, 
"wherein was man never yet laid." It is touching to read 
in Eliot's diary the brief entry on this occasion : "In this 
year (1687) my ancient, dearly beloved wife dyed. I was 
sick unto death, but the Lord was pleased to delay me and 
keepe (me) in my service which was but poore and weake." 

The death of this venerable and Christlike man, 

" Such priest as Chaucer sung in fervent lays, 
Such as the heaven-taught skill of Herbert drew," 

occurred on May 20, 1690, at the age of eighty-six. Had he 
been a Roman Catholic, he would assuredly have been canon- 
ized. Rev. Joseph Eliot, of Guilford, Conn., was the only 
one of his sons who had living posterity bearing his name. 
The poet Fitzgreene Halleck was a descendant of the 

The Eliot portrait, now in the possession of the family of 
the late Hon. William Whiting, an engraving from which is 
given on page 175, was bought by him in London, in 1851, 



of a dealer in pictures, who unfortunatelj 1 could give no infor- 
mation respecting its history, and who supposed it to repre- 
sent some missionary to the East Indies. The costume is that 
of the period, and exhibits a similar style of collar, gloves 
of nearly identical pattern, and hair and beard of a similar 
cut to those represented in the portrait of Gov. Endecott. 
The accessories consist of a book, probably the Indian Bible, 
and in the background a cit}*, perhaps Cambridge, where Eliot 
was educated. On its upper left-hand corner is the inscrip- 
tion: "John Eliot, the Apostle to the Indians, nat. 1604, 
ob. 1690." The portrait was probably painted for the 
Society for the Propagation of the Gospel, doubtless at the 
suggestion of Eliot's friend and correspondent, Hon. Robert 

Daniel Gookin, the neighbor and intimate friend of Eliot, 
when he began preaching to the Indians, and his companion 
in many of his perilous journeys among them, had formerly 
been a Kentish soldier, and " a very forward man to advance 
martial discipline, and withal the truths of Christ." All else 
that can be gleaned concerning his connection with Roxbury 
is, that he was here from 1644 to 1648 ; was a representative 
from Roxbury to the General Court, of which he was some 
years speaker, and was one of the founders of the grammar 
school. Prior to his removal to the more congenial soil of 
New England, he had been a planter in Virginia. In 1652 he 
was made a magistrate, and he was the last major-general of 
the colony under the old charter. In 1656 he was a visitor 
at the court of Oliver Cromwell, who employed him to induce 
emigration from Massachusetts with a view to the settle- 
ment of Jamaica, which England had recently conquered from 
Spain. In this he was unsuccessful. After a life of great 
usefulness, he died on March 19, 1687, at the age of seventy- 
five. Judge Sewall, in his journal, characterizes him as " a 
right good man." 

In 1675, with Eliot and Danforth, he stood boldly forward 


in behalf of the praying Indians, whom the enraged people 
would have destro} - ed. For this display of heroism they were 
openly threatened with death, in placards posted up in 
Boston. One of these, dated Feb. 28, 1675-6, reads as 
follows : 

"Reader, thou art desired not to suppress this paper but to pro- 
mote its designe, which is to certify (those traytors to their king 
and countrey) Guggins and Danford, that some generous spirits 
have vowed their destruction. As Christians we warue them to 
prepare for death, for though they will deservedly dye, yet we wish 
the health of their souls. 

" By the new Society, " A. B. C. D." 

The old-fashioned two-story brick building, the lower part 
of which is used as a market, was in the olden time " The 
Free School in Roxburie," and was long the only building on 
the ground now occupied by Guild Row. The old school has 
a history, and fortunately found a historian in Mr. Charles K. 
Dillaway, a gentleman well known and highly esteemed as 
an educator, and who has for mam' } T ears taken an active 
interest in the schools of the town. Nine generations of 
Roxbury bo} r s have imbibed freely at this fountain of learn- 
ing, a goodl}' number of whom have reflected credit on their 
Alma Mater. Governors, judges, and generals, patriots 
statesmen, and heroes, a list too long to be here given, have 
illustrated its history, and have invested its homely old walla 
with a claim to our reverential regard. 

A Roxbury poet has thus humorously described some of 
the old-time methods of inculcating knowledge : 

" Then, Learning's altar flamed with genial birch, 
And tingling ribs proclaimed how keen its search; 
Then wit and wisdom found their shortest track 
Up to the brain, by travelling through the back. 
Just as the woodman makes his axe descend 
Its handle best, by thumping t'other end; 
And still their course they well knew how to strew 
"With bumps that Gall and Spurzheim never knew." 


Upon a part of the lot supposed to have been given by Gov. 
Thomas Dudley, though it may have been the gift of the 
apostle Eliot, " with the help of many well-disposed per- 
sons, by the way of subscription," this old schoolhouse, the 
third that has stood here, was erected in 1742, "a good 
handsome bell " being also given for the use of the school by 
Hon. Paul Dudley. By the year 1820 the growth of the 
town had necessitated the addition of a second stoiy, but 
even with this enlargement of its capacity it soon became 
totally inadequate to the requirements of the school, and in 
1834 the house was sold, and a new one built in Mount Ver- 
non Place, now Kearsarge Avenue, upon land purchased of 
the Warren heirs. 

The first house was repaired in 1665. In 1681 the condi- 
tion of this temple of learning was thus depicted by the 
teacher : 

" Of inconveniences I shall mention no other but the confused and 
shattered and nastie posture that it is in, not fitting for to reside in, 
the glass broke, and thereupon very raw and cold ; the floor very 
much broken and torn up to kindle fires, the hearth spoiled, the 
seats some burned and others out of kilter, that one had as well- 
nigh as goods keep school in a hogstye as in it." 

The decayed state of this scJwla illustris, as above graphi- 
cally portrayed, explains the vote of the town some time pre- 
viously, that without its consent " The scollers should not 
keep scool in the meeting hous." 

In the will of Samuel Hagburne, made in 1642, is this pro- 
viso, to which the origin of the school may be traced : "When 
Roxburie shall set up a free schoole in the towne, there shall 
10 shillings pr. ann. out of the neck of land, and 10 shil- 
lings pr. ann. out of the house and houselot, be paid unto it 
forever." The first active step was taken when some sixty 
of the principal inhabitants, " wellnigh the whole town," 
bound themselves to the payment of certain sums yearly for 
the support of a free school. This they followed up in 1646 


by pledging their houses, barns, orchards, and homesteads to 
this most praiseworthy object. 

The preamble to this agreement recites that : 

"Whereas the inhabitants of Roxburie, out of their religious 
care of posteritie, have taken into consideration how necessarie the 
education of their children in literature will be to fltt them for pub- 
licke service both in church and commonwealth in succeding ages ; 
they therefore have unanimously consented and agreed to erect a 
free schoole in the said town of Roxburie and to allow 20 pr. 
annum to the schoolmaster." 

They then proceeded to choose seven feoffees " for the well 
ordering of the schoole and schoolars," who had entire charge 
thereof, and also of the collection and disbursement of the funds 
for its support. For near a century this method was pursued, 
but as sufficient sums came in gradually from other sources, 
the rents originally subscribed ceased to be exacted. The 
property of the school consists of various pieces of real estate 
scattered over the town, most of which have been advanta- 
geously leased for a long term of years, and to-day its income 
is scarcely equalled by that of any institution of the kind in 
New England. The feoffees and the trustees of the Bell and 
other estates devised to the school were united into one body 
by the Act of January 21, 1789, incorporating "The Trustees 
of the Grammar School in the Easterly Part of the Town of 

Among the principal benefactors of this well-endowed insti- 
tution were Lawrence Whittamore, " an ancient Christian." 
Elder Isaac Heath, the friend and coadjutor of Eliot in his 
Indian labors, Thomas Bell, the generous London merchant 
and the most liberal benefactor of the school, and William 
Mead, whose gift, small though it was, comprised his entire 
estate. The General Court in 1660 granted it five hundred 
acres of land. This was laid out in Oxford, but in 1790, by 
vote of the town, the proceeds arising from the sales thereof 
went into the town treasury, the school never receiving a dol- 
lar of the money. 


In 1669 John Eliot and Thomas Weld, feoffees, in a peti- 
tion to the General Court, stated that " the first book and 
charter was burnt in the burning of John Johnson's house. 
[This fire occurred on April 6, 1645.] It was renewed, but 
some of the hands of the donors are not unto this second 
book personally which were to the first, nor are the}' attaina- 
ble, being dead." The present book is a small parchment- 
covered quarto of one hundred and twenty pages, containing 
entries by different hands from 1646 to 1787. The earl}' 
entries are few in number, and without regular order. It 
embraces a copy of the agreement for the support of the 
school in 1645, names of donors and amounts pledged, choice 
of feoffees, teacher's receipts, etc. 

Of John Eliot's active agency in the establishment of the 
school, and the high reputation it thus early enjoyed, Cotton 
Mather, in his " Magnalia," thus speaks : 

" God so blessed his endeavors that Roxbury could not live 
quietly without a free school in the town, and the issue of it has been 
one thing that has almost made me put the title of Schola illustris 
upon that little nursery; that is, that Roxbury has afforded more 
scholars, first for the college, and then for the public, than any other 
town of its bigness, or, if I mistake not, of twice its bigness in New 
England. From the spring of the school at Roxbury there have run 
a large number of the streams which have made glad the whole city 
of God." 

Joseph Hansford, serving in 1650, is the first of its teach- 
ers whose name has come down to us, unless an entr}' in the 
old school record, dated 1648, allowing for the board of 
"Father Stowe" and his son, establishes the presumption, 
certainly a fair one, that Stowe preceded him in that office. 
Teachers not residents of the town were boarded out wherever 
convenience dictated, and their board was paid by the trus- 
tees. "Ward Chipman, afterward an eminent Canadian jurist, 
while teaching here in 1770, was boarded at Dr. Thomas Wil- 
liams's at eight shillings per week. In 1652 the feoffees agreed 


with Daniel Weld to teach, and " that he provide convenient 
benches with forms, with tables for the scholars, a convenient 
seat for the schoolmaster, and a desk to put the dictionary 
on, and shelves to lay up books." In 1668 John Prudden 
promises and engages "to use his best skill and endeavors, 
both bj r precept and example, to instruct in all scholasticall, 
morall, and theologicall discipline the children (soe far as 
they are or shall be capable) of those persons whose names 
are here underwritten, all A. B. C. Darians excepted." The 
names of fifty-eight persons are signed to this covenant. 
For this large and beneficent labor the Pruddential considera- 
tion was 25 per annum, three fourths in Indian corn or pease, 
and one fourth in barley of good merchantable quality, and 
at the current rate, to be delivered at the upper mills in Rox- 
bury. Five hundred dollars was the salary paid Master Pren- 
tiss at the beginning of this century, together with the use of 
a dwelling-house. At present the principal of the school 
receives four thousand dollars per annum. 

However desirous the inhabitants of the town may have 
been that their children should receive an education, they 
were certainly not over-liberal to the schoolmaster. They 
refused in 1714 to levy a tax of 10 "for the better support 
of a grammar schoolmaster to teach school in the town 
street." They paid him in corn, as we have seen, which must 
frequently have been against the grain ; they boarded him out, 
possibly to the lowest bidder, as was the case with town 
paupers ; and he sometimes received his pay in coppers, as 
appears by the following receipt : 

ROXBURY, April 8, 1773. 

Received of Colo. Williams of the Feoffees of the Grammar 
School, a bag of coppers, weight 34 pounds in part of my salary for 
the year current, the same being by estimation 4. 13. 4. lawful 
money, and for which I am to be accountable. 



To draw even a small salary paid in copper is no light 
matter, and Mr. Eliot had weighty reasons for taking his 
in small instalments. Being an inmate in the family of 
Mr. Isaac "Winslow, just across the brook from the school- 
house, he did not have to carry it far, though it is quite likely 
he made it go a great way. This young gentleman after- 
wards succeeded his father as minister of the New North 
Church, Boston. 

In 1663 the town gave for the use of the schoolmaster ten 
acres of common land, " that is to say, the use of the wood 
and timber for his own use, not to give and sell any, and so 
this to be forever for the use of the schoolmaster." In 
March, 1680, it was ordered that the parents of the scholars 
supply fuel for the use of the school, either half a cord of 
wood or four shillings for each child, excepting those only 
who were too poor. In 1735 eight shillings in money, or 
two feet of wood, were required, those who furnished nei- 
ther, not to have the benefit of the fire, poor children excepted. 
Seventy years later the master was requested not to instruct 
such children as neglected to pay " fire money." Consider- 
ing its ample income and the large supply of woodland owned 
by the free school, this seems to have been an unreasonable 

Among the instructors of this school who afterwards became 
famous were Gen. Joseph Warren and Gov. Increase Sum- 
ner, natives of Roxbury, and William Gushing, an associate 
justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and who 
subsequently declined the high honor of chief justice of that 
court, tendered him by Washington. Of those who attained 
eminence in the clerical profession, the name of Samuel 
Parker, bishop of the diocese of Massachusetts, deserves 
mention. Benjamin Tompson, "learned schoolmaster and 
physician, and ye renowned poet of New England," taught 
here in 1 700-3 . Ward Chipman , a Loyalist, who accompanied 
the British troops to Halifax in 1776, and became deputy 


muster master general of the Loyalist forces in New York 
in 1782, was instructor here in 1770. Removing to New 
Brunswick, he attained the highest honors, and became presi- 
dent and commander-in-chief of the colony. 

Robert Williams, master of the school in 1777, exchanged 
the ferule for the sword, served as lieutenant and paymaster 
in Col. Henry Jackson's "Boston Regiment," was in the 
battles of Springfield and Monmouth, N. J., and in Sullivan's 
campaign against the Indians, and remained until June, 1784, 
when the regiment, the last body retained in the continental 
service, was disbanded. He was afterwards a merchant of 
Boston, and part owner of the ship " Commerce," in which he 
sailed to the East Indies. Shipwrecked on the Arabian 
coast, Williams, after being plundered and stripped by the 
Arabs, and undergoing terrible hardships and privations, 
suffering the extremes of hunger and thirst, more than once 
lying down in despair to die, at length succeeded in reaching 
Muscat, five hundred miles from the scene of the disaster, 
and returned to Boston, after a three 3*ears' absence, in 1794. 

The standard of admission must originally have been of the 
simplest, since in 1728 it was so raised that only such were 
received as could spell common, easy English words, either in 
the primer or in the Psalter. Sixty years later applicants 
were required " to read tolerably well by spelling words of 
four syllables." To-day, in addition to the three R's, a fail- 
knowledge of grammar and geography are essential. When 
the addition of a second story was made in 1820, the school 
was divided, and the primary department placed under the 
charge of Deacon " Billy" Davis. Under the mastership of 
John Howe, the Grammar School became a Latin School, 
when, in 1674, the legacy of Mr. Bell became available. The 
salary of the teacher was at the same time increased. Out of 
eighty-five scholars in 1770, only nine were students of Latin. 
In 1844, after a five years' experiment of making it a High 
School, its organization as a Latin School was restored, such 


English studies only being permitted as were compatible with 
the latter character. 

The three-story wooden building north of the schoolhouse 
was built a century ago, and was owned by Deacon Samuel 
Sumner. In one of its upper rooms, known at the time as 
' ' Whitewash Hall," the early meetings of the brethren who 
afterwards organized the First Baptist Society were held. 




Warren Street. Edward Sumner. Old Schoolhouse. Stunner Hall. 
Funeral of Washington. Blue Store. Dove's Corner. Auch- 
muty Estate. Gardiner's Green. Admiral Winslow. Warren's 
Birthplace. Mead's Orchard. Perrin. Donald Kennedy. The 
Rocking Stone. Elm Hill. Grove Hall. Ebenezer Seaver. 
Walnut Avenue. Williams's Homestead. Rock Hill. Peter Parley. 

THE " Way to Braintree," or Upper Road to Dorchester, 
as it was afterwards called, was laid out in 1663. It 
received its present appropriate name, Warren Street, in 
1825, when and it marks the epoch of transition from the 
old to the new town more clearly than anj'thing else does 
all the existing roads, to the number of forty, received names 
from the town authorities, who had, however, as early as 
1806, been instructed to perform that duty. The name had 
been borne by the principal street in Punch-Bowl Village as 
early as 1791, as appears by a petition to the selectmen from 
the engine company there located. 

In 1712 Gov. Dudley, Rev. Xehemiah Walter, Samuel 
Williams, Edmund Weld, and Edward Sumner gave, "for 
the benefit of the town," a highway two rods in width 
through their lots, which, it will be remembered, fronted the 
town street on the west and the training-field on the east. 
This highway extended from " the green commonly called 
Gardiner's Green to the other highway lately fenced out 
from the Greyhound to Mr. Calfe's, leading to Boston." By 
opening this road, which was known until 1825 as " the New 
Lane," direct communication was made between Roxbury 


Street and the Dorchester Road, which, as well as the Brain- 
tree Road, was onh r reached formerly by passing around the 
old brick schoolhouse. At the beginning of the century 
Warren Street was styled " The Great Plymouth Road." 
Successive widenings, the first occurring in 1798 and the 
last in 1872, have given it respectable dimensions, and it is 
now one of the most frequented as well as one of the most 
sightly of the streets of Roxbury. 

Palmer, formerly Sumner, Street was accepted in 1817, 
having been laid out in 1802 from Lucy Bowman's, on the 
corner of Washington, to Aaron Davis's in Mall Street. Ed- 
ward Sumner, who lived in the house numbered twenty-two, 
was a thrifty and industrious man, owned considerable real 
estate in Roxbury, and was quite a noted character. Among 
the many anecdotes related of him is this : 

" In answer to the advertisement of a young Boston merchant 
for silver dollars for shipment to China, a Roxbury farmer applied 
at the merchant's counting-room in his usual working attire, and 
modestly inquired if he advertised for silver dollars. ' Yes,' said 
the merchant sharply, 'I have advertised for them, but I do not 
wish to buy less than one hundred at a time. Have you any?' ' I 
think I have : what premium do you pay ? ' ' I pay three per cent, 
but,' added the merchant with a sneer, ' I will pay you six per cent 
for all that you have.' 'That sounds very well,' said the farmer, 
' and as my memory is not the best, please write that on paper and 
read it to me.' 'What is your name?' 'Edward Sumner.' Soon 
the merchant read the following agreement: 'Edward Sumner 
thinks that he has some silver dollars, and I agree to pay him six 
per cent premium for the amount he may have, if over one hundred 
dollars.' 'That's well,' said Sumner; 'now go with me and I will 
see if I have any.' After unloading barrels and baskets of vege- 
tables from his wagon in front of the store, much to the astonish- 
ment of the merchant a large basket of dollars was found, which, 
with his assistance, was carried to the counting-room, where the 
amount, including the premium, was ascertained and a check handed 
to him in payment. But Sumner, whose turn had now come, de- 
clined to receive it. Said he, ' My young friend, a short time ago 
you did not think that I had any money, now I do not know that 


you have any in the bank. There is my money, and you must hand 
me yours.' The merchant, who by this time began to see his mis- 
take, was obliged to send his clerk to the bank and draw the money. 
Before leaving, Sumner told the merchant that, as he was by far the 
older man, he would like to give him a little good advice. 'Young 
man,' said he, 'don't you ever again judge a man by his dress, if 
you do, you may again be deceived.'" 

" Beside yon straggling fence that skirts the way, 
With blossomed furze unprofitably gay, 
There, in his noisy mansion, skilled to rule, 
The village master taught his little school." 

" And well our sires can tell 
How learning entered where the cowskin fell, 
How proved each stripe across his back that flew, 
A sluice, where knowledge ran in gutters through." 

Sumner Hall, the first wooden building on the right-hand 
side of Palmer Street, built in 1 798 in accordance with a vote 
of the town to erect "a decent schoolhouse" in some con- 
venient place, was called the " New Schoolhouse in Roxbury 
Street." The land was given to the town for this purpose by 
Gov. Increase Sumner in 1795. The building is described in 
a petition of the proprietors, as " forty-four by twenty-two 
feet, the lower part a very commodious schoolhouse, the 
upper or second story finished as an elegant assembly-room 
and drawing-rooms connected therewith." They ask the town 
to sanction their doings and to authorize them to lease the 
premises except the schoolroom. This, it is presumed, was 
done, as a public school was kept here many years. We may 
judge of its commodiousness from the fact that in 1829, when 
it had one hundred and sixty-four pupils, the committee, on 
measuring the schoolroom, found that it would " very incon- 
veniently hold, but not accommodate," seventy-two only. 

As early as in 1647, the towns were required to provide a 
schoolmaster to teach children to read and write, and upon 
increasing to the number of one hundred families or house- 
holders, " to set up a grammar school." The forethought 


and urgency of Eliot and his co-workers had already estab- 
lished upon a permanent foundation the "Free School of 
Roxbury " in the easterly parish, but this in time became in- 
sufficient, and school accommodations in the remoter parts of 
the town were for many years far short of their requirements. 
In 1790 the selectmen reported the number of pupils in the 
town schools, except the old grammar school, as follows, 
the average attendance being one hundred and ninety-five : 

The school near "Workhouse, Centre St., Master Kuggles, 25 

" in Warren St. (Punch-Bowl Vill.) " Michael McDonald, 33 
" Jamaica Plain, " Morris, 80 

" Upper Jamaica Plain, " Walker, 20 

" Spring Street, " James Griggs, 67 

In each of these schools the pupils were taught to spell, to 
read and speak the English language with propriety, together 
with writing, arithmetic, and "such other branches of human 
knowledge," say the committee, "as their respective capaci- 
ties are capable of imbibing." In some instances the children 
of poor parents were obliged to neglect the opportunity of 
learning, because their parents were unable to pay a small 
sum towards the maintenance of the school. This evil was 
at once remedied by a vote empowering the selectmen to draw 
on the town treasurer for the sums necessary to make up this 
deficienc} 7 , not to exceed forty shillings to one school. Two 
schoolhouses were soon afterwards established in " Canter- 
bury," one at the corner of Bourne and Canterbury Streets, 
the other on Poplar Street. Nine school districts were formed 
in 1807, four of which were in the easterly parish. The first 
and second were accommodated in the "new" building above 
described. At this time the total expenditure for the town 
schools was raised from one thousand dollars to fifteen hun- 
dred dollars, the pupils, numbering three hundred and eighty- 
one, having increased in the same ratio. In 1816 new vitaluvy 
was infused into the system. The appropriation was increased 
to two thousand dollars, and uniformity in the rules and regu- 


lations and also in text-books was authorized, "the masters 
hitherto using such books as they liked." In 1816 "a new 
school-book," containing the Constitution of the State and 
of the United States, was provided. In 1819 " Cummings's 
Geography" and "Murray's English Exercises" were recom- 
mended. " Grimshaw's United States History" and the study 
of English composition were introduced in 1822, and "Col- 
burn's Arithmetic" in 1826. 

But it was not until 1829 that radical changes were made. 
In that year the committee found a large part of the children 
destitute of books of any kind, and the remainder imperfectly 
supplied. They therefore bought and distributed among the 
instructors such school-books as in their judgment were best 
suited to the wants and capacities of the scholars. They also 
formed subcommittees for visiting the schools at convenient 
times and without ceremony ; and in view of the fact that 
there were thirty per cent of absentees, they recommended 
to parents to require the regular and constant attendance of 
their children. They also expressed their surprise at finding 
the largest school superior to all the others, suggested a revis- 
ion of the school system, the creation of another school dis- 
trict, an increased appropriation, and recommended that some 
of the schools be kept a whole year. The attendance in the 
eleven schools follows, the right-hand columns showing the 
number present : 

Sumner Street .... 164 143 

Workhouse 99 69 

Near Gen. Dearborn's . 66 49 

Lower Plain 57 42 

Upper Plain 70 53 

Eliot (Plain) 62 43 

Eliot (Plain district) . 40 23 

By Swallow's (Taft's) . 52 36 

Lower Canterbury ... 49 32 

Upper Canterbury ... 29 25 

Spring Street 82 55 

In accordance with the suggestion above made, the com- 
mittee in the following year proposed, and the town adopted 
a proposition, to thereafter use the schoolhouses in districts 
Nos. 1, 2, 3, and 4 for primary schools for pupils under eight 


years of age, to be taught by females, and that some accom- 
modations be provided and maintained by the town, situated 
conveniently for the said four districts, for a town school, 
consisting of pupils over eight years of age, and comprising 
a department for girls and one for boys, to be taught by two 
masters. The upper hall of the town house was in 1831 fitted 
up for this purpose, and the appropriation increased to three 
thousand dollars, or a little less than sixty cents per capita 
for each inhabitant. In 1839 the estate on Bartlett Street, 
now the Dudley School for girls, was purchased, and the 
Washington School was built in the following year. In 1841 
there were in Roxbury eleven primary and three grammar 
schools, the Westerly, Dudley, and Washington. 

While the improvements in our public schools within a few 
years, both in their appliances for the phj'sical comfort of the 
pupils and in the facilities for learning, are undoubtedly very 
great, it must be admitted that the wider range of acquisition 
under the present s} T stem is obtained at the expense of thor- 
oughness. How, indeed, could it be otherwise, when the 
number of studies is so largely increased, while at the same 
time the hours of study are so considerabty curtailed ? The 
hours for school formerly averaged seven and a half per day. 
Now, they are five and a half. Vacations of six days in 
August and two at Thanksgiving, with five yearly holidays 
in addition to Saturday afternoons, were then all that were 
allowed, while at present one fourth of the year is given to 
vacations and holidays. 

" Yet is the schoolhouse rude, 
As is the chrysalis to the butterfly; 
To the rich flower, the seed. The dusty walls 
Hold the fair germ of knowledge, and the tree, 
Glorious in beauty, golden with its fruits, 
To this low schoolhouse traces back its life." 

Sumner Hall was the first hall built for public gatherings, 
and was the largest in the town for some }'ears. It was occu- 


pied by "Washington Lodge of Freemasons in the early part 
of the century. Funeral honors were here paid to the mem- 
ory of "Washington, on Tuesday, Jan. 14, 1800. A news- 
paper of the day furnishes the following account : 

"At sunrise the discharge of sixteen guns, by Capt. Jesse Dog- 
get's company of artillery, and the tolling of the bells reminded the 
citizens that the appointed day had arrived. All business was sus- 
pended. At eleven A. M. the citizens and military of the town 
assembled at Sumner Hall and its vicinity, the bier was brought out 
of the hall and received by Capt. Barnes's company of infantry, and 
the procession moved down the main street to the Boston line, and 
then countermarched to Rev. Mr. Porter's meeting-house, in the 
following order : 

" Capt. Barnes's company, with arms reversed, the drums muffled, 
and the music playing a dead march; boys under fourteen accom- 
panied by their instructors ; youths between fourteen and eighteen 
years of age conducted by two drill sergeants ; the infantry companies 
of Captains Dunster and Curtis ; Capt. Dogget's artillery ; Capt. Win- 
chester's light infantry ; Capt. Davis's troop of cavalry dismounted ; 
music; Washington Lodge of Freemasons; reverend clergy; the 
bier carried by six sergeants ; the pall supported by Major Bosson, 
Capts. Dogget, Winchester, Curtis, Dunster, and Davis ; selectmen 
and committee of arrangements ; town clerk ; town treasurer, and 
overseers of the poor, followed by the citizens, four abreast. 

" On arriving at the meeting-house, the children, the Freemasons, 
and the military opening and dressing in ranks with the escort, the 
bier and those who followed it passed through. As a token of grief 
each one in the ranks, except the escort, as the bier approached 
bowing his head a little, placed his right hand over his eyes until 
the bier had passed him. This had a very affecting appearance, 
especially in the children, who were very numerous. The bier was 
carried into the meeting-house and placed in front of the desk, one 
sergeant standing at the head, one at the foot, and two at each side 
during the service. After the prayer, by Rev. Mr. Bradford, a 
eulogy was delivered by Rev. Mr. Porter, which was afterward 
published. The vocal and instrumental music was under the direc- 
tion of Mr. Ebenezer Brewer. 

" While the procession was moving, minute guns ' with full load- 
ings ' were fired by a detachment of artillery, from the fort to the 
southwest of the meeting-house, and cne of the pieces through the 


identical embrasure from which the Americans discharged the first 
cannon against the British troops in Boston during the siege. The 
committee of arrangements consisted of twelve of the most promi- 
nent citizens, including Gen. Heath, Judge Lowell, Major Read, 
Ebenezer Seaver, Esq., and Nathaniel Ruggles, Esq. William 
Heath, Jr., and Samuel Blaney, acted as marshals, and the total 
expense to the town was the modest sum of one hundred and forty- 
two dollars." 

As early as in 1699 there was a dwelling-house and shop 
on the spot now occupied by the " Blue Store," and judging 
from the apparent age of the latter and the solid character 
of the materials employed in its structure, they may be iden- 
tical. Here James Howe, the baker, made bread for the 
American soldiers during the siege of Boston, and between it 
and the " great house" of Dr. Jonathan Davies, along the 
New Lane, now Warren Street, Col. Ebenezer Learned daily 
formed his regimental line. John Parker, afterwards of Par- 
ker's Hill, and Thomas Rumrill, father of William Rumrill, 
the carpenter, were apprentices with Howe. Rumrill and a 
fellow-apprentice who slept in the Metcalf house, adjoining 
the bakery, were aroused one night by an alarm of fire, and 
found that the upper part of the bake-house was in flames. 
Fortunately, a huge iron kettle filled with water was at hand. 
Seizing it, they carried it up the stairs and extinguished the 
flames. Next morning, although it was empty, their com- 
bined efforts were hardly adequate to the task of carrying it 

In 1759 Edward Sumner gave to his daughter, Hannah 
Newman, this estate, containing half an acre, with the build- 
ings thereon, described in the deed of gift as being " directly 
in front or opposite the house where I now live." Early in 
the present century this was a West India goods store, kept 
by Lewis and Brewer. So comprehensive was the assortment 
of goods in the old store that a bet was once made that what- 
ever article might be called for would be on hand. The taker 


of the bet, supposing he had " a sure thing." called for " hen 
yokes," an unheard-of commodity, but to his astonishment 
they were promptly produced. Elijah Lewis, the senior part- 
ner, father of Ex-Mayor George Lewis, of Roxbury, built and 
lived in the brick dwelling-house adjoining. The large, square 
wooden mansion house beyond was the residence of Mr. 
Samuel Doggett. 

Taber Street, originally named Union, laid out in 1802 and 
accepted in 1819, " began at the New Lane, between "W. H. 
Sumner's land and the house of Andrew Newman, deceased, 
and continued by "William Cummins's " on the northwest cor- 
ner of Taber and "Winslow Streets. It was named for Elna- 
than Taber, a native of New Bedford, of Quaker parentage, 
who came to Roxbury at the age of sixteen, served as an 
apprentice to Aaron Willard, and afterwards engaged in clock 
making on his own account. He was the first resident on 
the street. 

Zeigler Street, named for George Zeigler, an active and 
enterprising citizen, was accepted and laid out in 1801, from 
Warren to Eustis Street, and has recently been extended to 
"Washington Street. His is one of the very few names met 
with in the first two centuries in Roxbury indicative of any 
other than a pure English origin. The large square house, 
now Scott's carriage factory, was many years ago the resi- 
dence of Charles, the brother of Aaron Davis. 

The Auchmuty estate, originally Isaac Merrill's and after- 
wards Samuel Stevens's, contained fourteen acres, and was 
bought in August, 1733, of Joseph Scarborough by the elder 
Judge Auchmuty for 300. Its present boundaries, "Warren, 
Cliff, Washington, and Dudley Streets, include hundreds of 
dwellings and stores and the Dudley Street Baptist Church. 
Soon after the death of the elder Auchmuty in April, 1750, 
Dr. Jonathan Davies bought of the widow about one half of 
the estate, the remainder coming into possession of the son. 
Upon the site of the old homestead, at the corner of Warren 



and Glenwood Streets, he built, shortly after his marriage to 
Sarah Williams in 1781, the house yet standing, and which 
has evidently seen better days. Here the doctor, who was a 
noted practitioner, died early in 1801, at the age of eighty- 
five. This was for many years the residence of Mr. Joseph 
Adams. Dr. Davies had previously resided in the old house 
bought of Peter Seaver in 1758, in which William Dove, "the 


painter, afterwards lived ; it was occupied for barracks during 
the siege, and was torn down to make room for the " Hotel 

The bi'ick building seen on the left of the picture, once the 
residence of Samuel J. Gardner, a prominent lawyer, was 
afterwards for many years the home of Dr. Charles M. Wind- 
ship, father of Dr. George B. Windship, the strong man, 
recently deceased. Dr. C. W. Windship, who married a 
daughter of George Zeigler, died here Aug. 27, 1852, aged 
sevent}"-nine. His father, also a distinguished physician, a 
graduate of the University of Edinburgh, was surgeon of the 
' Bonne Homme Richard," Capt. John Paul Jones. 

Robert Auchmuty the elder, by birth a Scotchman, studied 
law at the Temple, London, came to Boston about the year 


1700, attained great eminence as a lawyer, and was judge of 
the Court of Admiralty for New England from 1733 until 
1747. In 1741 he was sent to England as agent for Massa- 
chusetts in its boundary dispute with Rhode Island. While 
there he advocated the expedition to Cape Breton in an ably 
written pamphlet, published in April, 1 744. This tract prob- 
ably gave the historian Smollett the erroneous impression that 
Auchmuty was the originator of that brilliant enterprise, the 
credit of which belongs to Gov. Shirley. His services in the 
settlement of boundaries between Massachusetts, New Hamp- 
shire, and Rhode Island were so valuable, that in December, 
1738, he received from the former a grant of two hundred 
acres of land. His talents were extraordinary, and he was 
famous for his wit and shrewdness. " Old Mr. Auchmuty," 
says a contemporary, "would sit up all night at his bottle, 
yet argue to admiration next day, and was an admirable 
speaker." To him, it was said, the profession in Massachu- 
setts is mainly indebted for the high character it has since 

Samuel, his son, rector of Trinity Church, New York, was the 
father of Sir Samuel, a lieutenant-general in the British army, 
distinguished as the conqueror of Montevideo in South Amer- 
ica. A daughter, Isabella, became the wife of Benjamin 
Prat, afterward chief justice of New York. This gentleman, 
who had in his youth lost a leg b}' a fall from an apple-tree, 
had studied law in Auchmuty's office, and soon rose to the first 
rank in his profession. The graphic pen of John Adams, 
seizing upon the occasion of the memorable discussion of the 
writs of assistance in the council chamber of the Old State 
House in Boston, when, as he says, " the child Liberty was 
born," thus depicts Prat : " In a corner of the room must be 
placed as a spectator and an auditor, wit, sense, imagination, 
genius, pathos, reason, prudence, eloquence, learning, and 
immense reading, hanging by the shoulders on two crutches, 
covered with a great cloth coat, in the person of Mr. Prat, 


who had been solicited on both sides, but could engage on 
neither, being as chief justice of New York about to leave 
Boston forever." This seems excessive praise, but John 
Adams never did anything by halves, and as he was not par- 
ticularly given to eulogy, we must conclude that in this in- 
stance it was well merited. 

The triangular space between Dudley and "Warren Streets 
was two centuries ago the garden and nursery of Peter Gar- 
diner, and was long known as " Gardiner's Green." Some 
of this land belonged to the town, and in 1785 a committee 
reported to a town meeting that the common land formerly 
there was so no longer, and that there was scarce width 
enough for the highwaj^s between Dr. Davies's land and Mr. 
Mears's " at or near the corner." Until the lower part of War- 
ren Street was laid open, this was the point of beginning of 
the Braintree Road. This and the Warren estate 'bej'ond, 
originally belonged to John Leavens, one of the early pro- 
prietors of the town, who came over in 1632 in the same ship 
with Edward Winslow and Robert Gamblin. This most eligi- 
ble site was asked for an Episcopal church in 1739, but 
the petition was not favorably considered, " a true Catholic 
spirit " toward " brethren in the faith " being as yet practically 
unknown. Almost a century was to elapse before churches 
of other than the " Orthodox " faith could be tolerated here, 
and it was not till 1833 that St. James's Church, in St. James 
Street, was established. The petition is as follows : 

" To the Inhabitants of the Town of Roxbury : 

" The memorial of us, the subscribers (and sundry others), inhab- 
itants of said town sheweth, That by the blessing of God and the 
benevolence of divers Catholick and charitable disposed Christians, 
we purpose to build an Episcopal Church in this town. Its there- 
fore prayed that you would grant soe much of the common ground 
near the house of Robert Auchmuty, Esq., as shall be thought need- 
full or proper for such a building, leaving sufficiency of road on all 
sides, and which we shall look upon as only just and equal, but an 
earnest of a true Catholic spirit to your brethren in the faith, which, 



that the great God, the giver of every good thing, may ever estab- 
lish between the true churches and the members thereof, are the 
devout prayer of us, the subscribers. 



Situated upon rising ground, a short distance south of 
Dudley Street, and approached from the west by Kearsarge 


Avenue, which once bore the name of Mount Vernon Place, 
is the Warren Cemetery, laid out by the First Religious 
Society in 1818 and given to the town in 1841. It has an 
area of about one and a half acres. South of it is the pres- 
ent building of the old Roxbury Grammar School, erected 
in 1853. 

Kearsarge Avenue perpetuates the fame of Admiral John 
A. Winslow, a resident of Roxbury for nearly thirty years. 
His home was here, and in it his widow and daughter still 
reside. After his brilliant achievement of sinking the Con- 


federate cruiser "Alabama" off Cherbourg, which, as has 
been well said, will never be forgotten ' ' till the pilgrim can 
walk dry-shod from Calais to Dover," he was, on his return 
home, formally welcomed by the citizens of Roxbury on Nov. 
22, 1864. The State of New Hampshire has fittingly testified 
its sense of his services to the country, by forwarding from 
the mountain that gave its name to Winslow's vessel, a granite 
bowlder, which his widow has placed over his remains at 
Forest Hills, with this inscription : 




Nov. 19, 1811, 

SEPT. 29, 1873. 




JUNE 19, 1804. 






The "Warren estate extended from Warren Place to More- 
land Street, and contained seven acres. It was bought in 
1687 by the general's grandfather, Joseph Warren, of John 
Leavens, who then occupied the dwelling-house on the estate. 
The Warren homestead was a cottage farm-house, built in 
1720 by the first Joseph Warren, who was a housewright. 
It was in military occupation during the siege, Col. David 
Brewer's regiment being quartered here in the summer of 
1775, and the grounds were " improved" for barracks. The 
brothers Ebenezer and Samuel Warren successively resided 



in the old house, which, ou the death of the latter in No- 
vember, 1805, came into the possession of Dr. John C. 

When in 1833 the estate "was offered for sale, no one would 
give over a thousand dollars for it. The present value of the 
land alone is nearly half a million dollars. Real estate in 
Roxbur}- was therefore considered as worth no more at that 


time than it was seventy years before, when this same estate 
was appraised at 292. When put up at auction and sold, it 
brought, to the astonishment of the spectators, five thousand 
two hundred and ninety dollars. At the sale Dr. John C. 
Warren reserved the site of the old house ; and when it be- 
came impossible to preserve the old mansion any longer, he 
built in 1846 the stone cottage that now occupies the spot. 
An exact model of the old homestead, made parti}' of the 
original materials, is retained in the family. On the front of 
the present house are two tablets, bearing these inscrip- 
tions : 


" On this spot stood the house erected in 1720 by Joseph Warren, 
of Boston, remarkable for being the birthplace of Gen. Joseph War- 
ren, his grandson, who was killed at the battle of Bunker Hill, June 
17, 1775." 

"John Warren, a distinguished physician and anatomist, was also 
born here. The original mansion being in ruins, this house was built 
by John C. Warren, M. D., son of the last named, as a permanent 
memorial of the spot." 

The Warren farm contained many valuable fruit-trees. 
Here, it is claimed, originated the Roxbury Russeting, else- 
where known 
as the Boston 
Russeting, a 
fine apple, with 
a red bloom, 
keeping late in 
the spring, but 
which has 
greatly deteri- 
orated. One 
hundred and 
twenty -three of 
these trees were 
cut down dur- 
ing the siege 
for military pur- 
poses, a very 
serious loss to 

Mrs. Warren, who depended very much upon their product 
for her support. Her husband, the father of the general, 
was killed by a fall from one of them in 1 755. His son John, 
who was sent by his mother to call his father to dinner, met 
the body as two laborers were bearing it towards the house. 

Warren's father was a farmer, industrious, upright, and of 
good understanding, who filled several town offices with credit. 


Mary, his widow, was the daughter of Dr. Samuel Stevens, 
and granddaughter of Robert Calef, whose courage and in- 
dependence of character she transmitted to her famous son. 
Mrs. Warren was left with the charge of four sons, Joseph, 
Samuel, who continued to live with his mother and cultivate 
the paternal estate, Ebenezer, and John. She attained an ad- 
vanced age, was hospitable, kind, and benevolent, and contin- 
ued until her death in 1803, at the age of ninet}', to reside in 
the family mansion, where she was long an object of general 
interest. In her old age, when her own children had left 
their fireside to take their part in the active scenes of life, it 
was one of her dearest pleasures to gather a group of their 
children and the children of others around her, and to do all 
in her power to promote their enjoyment. On Thanksgiving 
day she depended on having all her children and grandchil- 
dren with her, and until she was eighty years of age she her- 
self made the pies with which her table was loaded. 

Joseph, her eldest son, born on June 11, 1741, graduated at 
Harvard College in 1759, and became a successful physician. 
A college anecdote shows his fearlessness. Several of his 
class, in the course of a frolic, shut themselves into a chamber, 
and barred the door so as to exclude him. Warren, bent on 
joining them, and seeing near the open window of the cham- 
ber a spout reaching from the roof to the ground, went to the 
housetop, walked to the spout, slid by it down to the window, 
and threw himself into the room. At this instant the spout 
fell, when he quietly remarked that it had served his purpose. 
In 1760-61 he taught the Roxbury Grammar School, at a 
salary of 44 16s. per annum. 

He had a graceful figure and an elegant address, was Scru- 
pulously neat in person, and frank and genial in manner, 
traits that made him a welcome visitor in polite circles, and a 
general favorite. He was- especially attentive to the poor, to 
whom his hand was ever extended to afford relief. The 
political agitation of the day soon drew him into its vortex. 



He wrote for the public journals, worked zealously in the 
private and public meetings of the patriots, and soon became 
a leader whose fervid oratory and tireless activity, together 
with his personal popularity, made him the peer of Samuel 
Adams and Josiah Quinc}', Jr., as well as the idol of the peo- 
ple. In him they found not only the firmness and decision 
required in a leader, but prudence and wariness in all his 
plans. At the time of his death he was president of the 
Congress of Massachusetts, and chairman of the Committee 

of Public Safety, being 
thus virtually at the head 
of the new commonwealth. 
At his own suggestion, 
Warren was selected to de- 
liver the oration on March 
5, 1775, commemorating 
the "Boston Massacre," 
in defiance of the threats 
of British officers that it 
would be at the price of the 
life of any man to speak on 
that anniversary. The pa- 
triots looked forward to the 
day with deep interest, and 
not without apprehension. 
There was " a prodigious concourse," and the Old South was 
crowded. About forty British officers in uniform filled the 
front pews or sat upon the pulpit stairs. There was some 
delay in the appearance of the orator, who at length entered 
the window back of the pulpit by a ladder. An awful still- 
ness preceded his exordium. He began in a firm tone of 
voice, and proceeded with great energy and pathos. " Such 
another hour has seldom happened in the history of man, and 
is not surpassed in the records of nations." "It was pro- 
voking enough to the military," says Frothingham, Warren's 



biographer, " that while there were so many troops stationed 
here with the design of suppressing town meetings, there 
should yet be one for the purpose of delivering an oration to 
commemorate a massacre perpetrated by soldiers, and to show 
the danger of standing armies." It is said that some of the 
officers groaned as the enthusiastic audience applauded. One 
of them, seated on the pulpit stairs, in the course of the 
delivery held up one of his hands, with several pistol bullets 
on the open palm, when the orator, observing the action, 
gracefully dropped a white handkerchief on them. 

At Lexington, where he was said to have been the most 
active man on the field, a musket ball took off a lock of hair 
close to his ear. On that memorable occasion he delighted 
the people with his cool, collected bravery, and united the 
characters of the general, the soldier, and the phj'sician. Here 
he was seen animating his countn*men to battle and fighting 
by their side, and there he was found administering to the 
wounded. Three of the brothers, Joseph, John, and Eben- 
ezer, were in this battle. The latter, afterwards a judge of 
the Norfolk County Court of Common Pleas, was a deputy 
commissar}' at Roxbury during the siege. Warren's great 
influence was exerted in maintaining order and discipline 
amongst the troops that had hastily collected in the environs 
of Boston after the battle, and only three days before the 
engagement at Bunker's Hill he was made a major-general by 
the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts. 

He opposed the project of occupying Charlestown Heights 
on the ground of the lack of ammunition, but when the step 
was determined on, resolved to share in its dangers. To the 
entreaties of friends who would have held him back from 
the field, he replied, " I know that I may fall, but where is 
the man who does not think it delightful and glorious to die 
for his countr} r ? " Declining the command tendered him by 
Prescott, he took his station in the redoubt, which he was one 
of the last to leave, and fell near it, while slowly retiring. 


Kossuth, the famous Hungarian orator and patriot, delivered 
an address to the people of Roxbury at Norfolk Hall, on 
May 10, 1852. He was told by the gentleman who formally 
extended to him the invitation of the citizens, that the remi- 
niscences of Roxbury presented nothing particularly interest- 
ing to him, excepting its having been the home of John Eliot, 
the apostle to the Indians. *' Pardon me," said Kossuth, 
' ' but was it not the birthplace of Warren ? " "A prophet is 
not without honor save in his own country " ; but the neglect 
of the people of Roxbury. after the lapse of a century, to erect 
a monument to her most illustrious son is indeed surprising. 
Besides the marble bust by Stephenson, on the engine-house 
in Dudley Street, the only other permanent memorial of War- 
ren, in his native place, is the " Joseph Warren Monument 
Association," organized in 1860. There is a fine statue, by 
Dexter, in a building near the Bunker Hill Monument. Be- 
yond the neat little Swedenborgian Church at the corner of 
St. James Street, is a small, wedge-shaped strip of ground 
once ambitiously named " St. James Park," but not by any 
means to be regarded as the rival of that famous London 
pleasure-ground. From its proximit}' to the old homestead, 
this would be a most eligible site for the proposed Warren 

Opposite the Warren house, at the corner of Cliff Street, 
there was a wooden structure built originally for the Baptist 
society, but subsequently sold to the Methodists, who removed 
it in 1852 to this spot. Early on Sunday morning, March 
29, 1868, it was totally destroyed by fire, and so intense was 
the heat that the church-bell was melted by the flames into an 
indistinguishable mass. 

William Mead, who died in 1683, leaving no descendants, 
gave house and laud, all his worldly possessions, to the 
Roxbury Grammar School. " Mead's orchard," the land re- 
ferred to, extended from below Tolman Place to the corner 
of Walnut Avenue. The house now occupied by Mr. J. J. 




Munroe, the painter, the front portion of which is very old, 
is probably that in which Mead resided. It was built in the 
style of two centuries ago, and until its alteration by its 
present owner its roof sloped at the rear nearly to the ground. 
The old building contained three ovens. Being the property 
of the school, it 
was often the 
residence of its 
teachers in the 
olden time, one 
of whom, Dr. N. 
S.Prentiss, occu- 
pied it in 1807. 

The land on the 
opposite side of 
"Warren Street, 
now Rockville 
Place, was not 
long ago a rocky ledge, higher than the tops of the houses 
now standing upon it. The rising ground near Montrose 
Avenue was once known as Gorton's Hill, from John Gorton, 
an early resident here, who in 1653 had leave from the town 
"to brew and sell penny beare and cakes and white bread." 
His estate of six acres was called the ""Wolf Trap." The 
area now included in Montrose and Forest Avenues was known 
later as Warren's Pasture. One of Paul Dudley's milestones 
stood until recently on the opposite side of the road. 

Donald Kennedy's residence, between Waverley and Clif- 
ford Streets, was built about 17G4, by Samuel Hawes, who 
inherited a portion of the Holbrook property, and whose son 
Benjamin occupied it until 1836. At that time the mania 
for silk-growing was very prevalent, and the Roxbury Land 
Company bought the estate for a mulberry plantation. The 
solid oak timber in the frame of the house was cut from the 
place itself. Here the " Doctor," as he is called, who is 


well known as a genial, warm-hearted, and public-spirited 
man, has resided since 1844. When quite young, Donald 
Kennedy came to this country from Scotland, his native 
land, and after working in a tannery in Koxbury, commenced 
in a small way the manufacture and sale of his famous "Medi- 
cal Discovery," from which he has realized a fortune. 

A portion of Copeland, "Waverley, Clifford, and Woodbine 
Streets is within the limits of the estate of the late Augustus 
Perrin, and formerly belonged to Hon. John Read. Some 
seven acres on Warren Street were inherited by Benjamin and 
John H. Hawes from Capt. John Holbrook, to whom his 
brother Daniel in 1787 bequeathed thirty-seven acres Ij'ing 
between this locality and Dorchester, on both sides of Blue 
Hill Avenue. The Perrin property, which was acquired in 
the inanila straw hat manufacture, had its origin in the chari- 
table bestowal of a dinner by Mr. Perrin's mother, upon a sick 
and destitute sailor, who in return, taught young Perrin the 
mystery of weaving manila straw, an art then wholly unknown 
in this country. The sailor had on one of these hats, and 
seeing that it attracted the boy's attention told him that if he 
would procure the straw he would show him how to make 
them. The widowed mother was then living with her children 
in Spring Street, West Roxbury, and there the business was 
begun. First the boy, then the mother, and afterwards one 
of his sisters acquired the art, which soon grew to such 
dimensions, that the family removed to Boston, and estab- 
lished the business upon a more extended scale. The large 
brick building kuown as the Old Ladies' Home, between 
Copeland and Waverley Streets, was long the residence of Mr. 

Maywood Street indicates the locality known as May's 
Woods, where was formerly a pond, and was also a part of 
the John Read estate. Opposite this street, about midwa}" 
between Warren Street and Walnut Avenue, there was, till 
quite recently, a portion of the old wall at the southern limit 


of John Eliot's lot, which, it is not improbable, made part of 
its original boundary. South of Eliot's pasture was an eight- 
acre lot, originally Edward Bugbee's. The land on both 
sides of Gaston and Roslyn Streets, and including a part of 
Mr. Samuel Little's estate, was once the property of Aaron 
White, the owner of the Mount Pleasant farm. On the cor- 
ner of Quincy Street there was a tavern, kept many years ago 
by John "White. 

The old farm-house on the French, formerly the John 
Lewis estate, has near it an old pear-tree, from which origi- 
nated the excellent winter fruit known as the Lewis pear, first 
described and brought into notice by Samuel Downer of Dor- 
chester. The estate of forty acres includes French's Woods, 
which is, with the region about it, according to the late Prof. 
Agassiz, one of the most interesting spots to the geologist in 
New England. Huge bowlders of conglomerate are strewn 
around here in most admired disorder, evidently the result of 
glacial action. 

One of these, the Roxbury " Rocking Stone," a famous 
natural curiosity, was located on the Munroe farm, and may 
3'et be seen in the northwest corner of Mr. J. P. Townsend's 
estate, on Townsend Street. Strangers came from a distance 
to gaze and wonder, and it even attracted scientific observers. 
This bowlder was removed many years since, tradition says, 
by old Deacon Munroe, who had been so annoyed by visitors 
to the rock who trampled down his vegetables, that he hired 
a number of men, who with crow-bars displaced it, after great 
effort, from its original position. The stone remains at a dis- 
tance of ten or twelve feet from its old site, but the rock has 

The approach to Elm Hill, formerly the residence of Mr. 
Rufus Greene Amory, now that of Mrs. J. D. W. Williams, 
is through a lane bordered by large elm-trees, one of which, 
at a distance of twelve feet from the ground, is twenty-five 
feet in circumference. A singular object is to be seen in the 


stone fence back of the field to the right of this lane. It is a 
large elm-tree trunk, making with its two lower branches 
twenty-five feet of the horizontal wall, and presenting a sur- 
face as flat as though it had been planed. 

The mansion house, built early in the present century, is 
finery situated on elevated ground, the large open field in its 
front sloping gradually down to the street and affording an 
opening for a magnificent view of the city and harbor. To 
add to its attractiveness, Mrs. Amoiy and her four charming 
daughters made it a seat of elegant hospitality and social 
enjoyment, and it had numerous visitors. These young ladies 
were afterwards Mrs. Joseph L. Cunningham, Mrs. Col. Free- 
man, Mrs. Dr. Jeffries, and Mrs. Edward L. Cunningham. 
Mr. Amory's brothers, John and Thomas Amory, and a sister, 
Mrs. John Lowell, were at the same time residents of Rox- 
bury, the mansions of the two former being on Amory Street. 

Much of the costly furniture at Elm Hill, belonging to the 
period of Louis Quinze, is said to have originally graced the 
chateaus of the French noblesse, who either emigrated, or 
were guillotined during the Revolution. 

S. G. Reed's estate, formerly Daniel Bugbee's, comes next. 
Here, in 1794, Ebenezer Bugbee, tanner, owned five acres and 
the buildings thereon. For many years he kept a tavern 
here, a two-story house painted red, a little back from the 
road on the westerly side, where Mr. William A. Simmons 
now resides. 

The Grove Hall mansion, built in the year 1800, and for 
many years the residence of Thomas Kilby Jones, a Boston 
merchant, was remodelled a few years since, and is now known 
as the " Consumptives' Home." Situated at the intersection 
of Washington Street and Blue Hill, formerly Grove Hall 
Avenue, it occupies a conspicuous and sightly position, and 
is surrounded with ample grounds. The estate of ten acres, 
originally the homestead of Samuel Payson, was owned by 
John Goddard early in the last century. It was afterwards 


the site of Stephen Kent's tavern, which, after his death in 
1767, was kept for more than thirty years by his widow. The 
" Home" was founded in 1862 by Dr. Charles Cullis, upon 
the plan of Miiller's famous orphan asylum. He began with- 
out any funds, and depends upon daily contributions to sup- 
ply its daily wants. Dr. Cullis calls this institution a ' ; work 
of faith," and looks upon the contributions he receives as 
direct answers to his prayers. The usual number of patients 
is from thirty-five to fifty. All poor persons sick with con- 
sumption are freely admitted, irrespective of age or color. 

Beyond Grove Hall, and partly within the ancient limits of 
Dorchester, lie the mansion and grounds of Hon. Marshall P. 
Wilder, whose eminent services in behalf of the agricultural 
and horticultural interests of our country have rendered his 
name almost a household word throughout the land. The 
house, which has been recentl} r altered, was built on what was 
known as the Morgan farm, by Increase Sumner. During 
the siege of Boston, it was the place of refuge and residence 
of his widow and children, one of whom was the future gov- 
ernor of the State. Mr. Wilder's pear orchard contains 
nearly one thousand varieties of that fruit. On the opposite 
side of Columbia Street is the cottage in which Gen. "William 
H. Sumner once resided. 

Near the corner of Schuyler Street and Blue Hill Avenue, 
is the house once occupied by Hon. Ebenezer Seaver. The 
street, named for him, and extending from Brush Hill Turn- 
pike, now Blue Hill Avenue, to Walnut Avenue, was for- 
merly designated "The Long Crouch." Robert Seaver, his 
emigrant ancestor, whose homestead was on Stony River, 
came over in the " Mary and John," in 1634, was a freeman 
in 1637, and died in 1682, leaving numerous descendants. 
Hon. Ebenezer Seaver, "the Squire" as he was commonly 
called, was very prominent in town politics, being frequently 
chosen moderator of town meetings, and also one of the 
selectmen, generally chairman of the board, and administering 



town affairs with scrupulous integrity, wisdom, and econ- 
omy. He had long enjoyed the honorable title of "Father 
of the Town," when on his retirement from public service, 
in 1839, he received the thanks of the town for his ' ' long, faith- 
ful, and unremitting services for nearly forty years past." 

He was for some years a member of the Legislature, was in 
Congress from 1803 to 1813, and one of the Committee on 
Foreign Affairs that reported a manifesto as the basis of the 

declaration of war with Eng- 
land in 1812, and was a 
member of the convention 
which in 1820 amended the 
State Constitution. He was 
a lifelong Democrat, and 
Gov. Eustis, Major Read, and 
Squire Seaver formed a trio 
of political cronies whose 
influence was felt by their 
party throughout the State. 
John Randolph gave him the 
title of " the old Warhawk 
of the Democracy." Though 
a graduate of Harvard Col- 
lege, he preferred the occupation of a farmer to either of the 
learned professions, and closed a useful and honorable life on 
March 4, 1844. 

As exemplifying the simple methods then in use in trans- 
acting the public business of the town, no less than the con- 
fidence and trust reposed in its public servants, it may be 
mentioned that on Mr. Seaver's retirement from the chair- 
manship of the board of selectmen, all the auditing and book- 
keeping occasioned by the transfer, consisted in his pulling 
out a roll of bills which he passed over to his successor, with 
the remark that it was " all right," as it undoubtedly was. 
His grandson, Mr. Augustus Parker, who inherited and 



resides upon the estate of Mr. Seaver, inherited also his 
grandfather's taste for agriculture, a pursuit in which he has 
been highly successful. One of the products of the Seaver 
farm is the fine apple known as the " Seaver Sweeting." 

Returning to "Walnut Avenue, formerly Back Street, and 
anciently ' ' the Way to the Great Lotts, next Gamblin's 
End, and so to Rocky Swamp," our starting-point, is the 
locality once known as " Clewly's Corner," where were for- 
merly two grist-mills. Clewly's lot extended from the school 
land at the corner of "Walnut Avenue (Mead's orchard) to 
Circuit Street, and up the hill to Fountain Street. His house 
stood where the frame building occupied by Mr. Wiswall 
stands, at the corner of Mount Warren. In 1737 Joseph 
Clewly petitioned the town for a small strip of land, having, 
as he says, " purchased a grist mill with design to serve his 
good neighbors as well as himself, and so finds it necessary 
to build a small granary in order to lay in a supply of grain 
while y e same is cheapest." In 1741 he was allowed by the 
town of Boston to remove his grist-mill from Roxbury and to 
set it on Fort Hill. 

To the west of Clewly's lies the locality known as " Tom- 
my's Rock," a rough and stony region, originally the " Rocky 
Pasture," and sufficiently elevated to afford a fine view 
towards the southwest. Its name was derived from Tom 
Hommagen, an old negro, who lived near the Swiss cottage 
on Circuit Street, near Washington. In requital for profes- 
sional services, Tom bequeathed his body to Dr. Windship, 
and this delightful memento mori was long the skeleton in 
the doctor's closet. At the foot of Tommy's Rock is the 
Roman Catholic Church of St. Joseph, built in 1846. Oppo- 
site, is a square stone building belonging to it, only notewor- 
thy for having been subjected to the visitation of a " smell- 
ing " committee of the Legislature in Native American times. 
A small cemetery adjoins the church. 

Emerging here from the region of brick and mortar, one 


sees upon every side, in the handsome residences and lovely 
grounds that line the avenue, such evidences of the wealth 
and taste of their owners, as make this one of the most 
attractive of the many fine avenues in the vicinity of the 
metropolis. Among its noticeable features are the chapel of 
the Walnut Avenue Religious Society, on the corner of Dale 
Street, and the fine residences of Messrs. Fenno, Chadwick, 
the late Horatio Harris, Aaron D. Williams, and William V. 

The chapel, the residence of Mr. Fenno, and the Lewis 
School stand on the thirty-acre pasture, once the apostle 
Eliot's, extending from the intersection of Warren and Walnut 
nearly to Bower Street. To the south lay "the Great Lotts" 
and "' Fresh Meadow." Less tlian half a century ago this fine 
avenue was a narrow road, from the sides of which large 
coveys of quails would frequently start up. Eighty years ago 
it contained but six houses, the " Bugbee" house, the 
Abijah Seaver house, opposite to and not far from Chad- 
wick's, J. D. Williams's house, Deacon Samuel Sumner's, 
Stedman Williams's, and the Scarborough house. The four 
last named are yet standing. 

South of Clewly's and extending as far as Dale Street was 
a thirteen-acre lot belonging to Edward Sumner. Just this 
side of Dale Street a brook, originating in Ma3 r 's Pond, for- 
merly crossed the road and flowed into Smelt Brook. The 
large square house a little to the north of it is on the site of 
the old house of Daniel Bugbee, and also the homestead of 
his ancestor, Edward Bugbee, an early settler of the town, 
which having fallen to decay, was pulled down by some young 
men for a frolic, many years ago. 

Beyond Dale Street and a little to the west of the avenue, 
lies Washington Park, upon which is an eminence called 
Honeysuckle Hill. All this territor} 7 extending westward to 
Washington Street and southeast of the Maccarty farm was 
the estate of Abijah Seaver, grandfather of Benjamin, mayor 


of Boston in 1852 and 1853, and a descendant of Robert the 
emigrant. Midway between Dale and Townsend Streets, 
dividing the Seaver estate into two nearly equal parts, and 
having a front of some eight hundred feet on Walnut Avenue, 
came the southern boundary of the Maccarty farm, an exten- 
sive tract reaching nearly to Centre Street on the west. In 
1836, the period of Eastern land speculation, the " Eoxbury 
Land Company" purchased the Seaver and other adjacent 
estates, and soon owned all the land between the Dedham 
Turnpike and Walnut Avenue, from St. James Street to the 
Kingsbury estate be}'ond Townsend Street. 

The Munroe farm of twenty-two acres, between Munroe 
and Townsend Streets, was bought by the town in 1829 of 
Deacon Nehemiah Munroe. A large part of this land, which 
is very rocky, and which adjoins the French estate, was con- 
veyed to him by William Dorr in 1784. The western portion 
of this territon 1 , fronting the avenue, constitutes a small park 
of great natural beauty. South of it lies the fine estate and 
residence of the late Horatio Harris. 

The old Williams homestead, on the corner of Oriole 
Street, is well preserved, but it has been greatly modernized. 
The fine large elm back of it gives to the old mansion a com- 
fortable, homelike air. Upon this estate, which contained 
about fifty acres, originated the "Williams Favorite," a large 
and handsome dessert apple, worthy of a place in every gar- 
den. It is a fact that the apple-tree, set out so extensively by 
the first settlers here, soon produced a fruit superior in size 
and flavor to what it had borne in England. Opposite the 
residence of Mr. William V. Hutchings and just beyond West- 
minster Avenue, is the Kingsbury house, which stands on the 
farm once the property of Stephen Williams, son of Col. 
Joseph Williams, who lived in Perrin's Lane, now Bartlett 
Street. The old farm-house beyond, once the residence of 
Deacon Sumner, is in a very dilapidated condition. A little 
daughter of the deacon's, who fell into the old well belonging 



to the place and was rescued, became the grandmother of Ex- 
Mayor Lewis. 

Mr. Moses Williams, a descendant of Robert, whose home- 
stead we have already visited, and who, though eighty-eight 
years of age, retains his physical and mental vigor to a won- 


derful degree, has kindly furnished some reminiscences of this 
region, so familiar to his boj'hood. He says : 

"The two Williams houses on Walnut Avenue, the one now 
owned by Aaron D. Williams and the one formerly owned by my 
brother Stedman Williams, were previously owned by my grand- 
father, Capt. John Williams. By his will he gave the former to my 
father, the latter to my uncle, Jonathan Williams, who was mar- 
ried, and who occupied it twenty years or more. He then sold it to 
my father, and removed to Lunenburg, Mass. My father bought it 
with the farm about it for my brother Stedman, who moved into it 
when he was married, and lived in it until he died. 

"The old house on the east side of Walnut Avenue, situated 
about half-way between A. D.'s and Stedman's, belonged eighty or 


ninety years ago to Deacon Samuel Sumiier. He had two wives, 
and I have always understood that he obtained the estate in right 
of his first wife, who was a Williams. I thus am well satisfied that 
all three of these houses and bordering estates were built and owned 
by my ancestors. A. D. Williams's house and my brother Sted- 
man's were originally lean-tos. My father altered his and gave it 
the form it now has, before my remembrance ; and I remember when 
my brother Stedman altered his. I do not think that my grand- 
father built the two houses which he gave to my father and uncle, 
but my great-grandfather probably did. 

"Scarborough was uncle to my father by marriage. He mar- 
ried a Williams, but left no children. His house was the one now 
owned by Mr. Ellicot. It was at one time the residence of Samuel 
Wait, and is at the bend of the road on the north side of the avenue 
as far up as Forest Hills." 

Among the early Roxbur}' names, now extinct here, is this 
of Scarborough. It is, however, kept in remembrance as the 
name given to the 
street leading from 
the corner of the 
avenue, where the 
estate originally 
was, to Morton 
Street. John Scar- 
borrow, admitted 
a freeman in 1640, 
' ' was slaine the 4th 

of the 9th month STEDMAJT WILLIAMS'S HOUSB. 

164G, charging a great gunne." Samuel, the last of the Rox- 
bury Scarboroughs, died here in 1 789. South and southwest of 
the Scarborough estate, which contained eighty-two acres, lay 
the common land of the town, the last of which was sold in 
1812, to Samuel "Waitt. Upon the Scarborough homestead 
there was a majestic tree, beneath whose spreading branches 
the tired minute-men from Lexington were fed, by one who, 
when an ancient dame, loved to recall the past. Much of the 


land beyond School Street on both sides of the avenue re 
mains unimproved, and well merits its old titles of " Rocky 
Pasture" and " Rocky Bottom." 

Lucius Manlius Sargent built, and for many years resided 
in the cottage in the midst of a grove on Rock Hill, near 
the southwest corner of Seaver Street and Walnut Avenue, 
now the residence of Rev. A. H. Plumb. Mr. Sargent, who 
was a fine scholar, was also well known as a writer under 
the nom de plume of " Sigma," and rendered efficient service to 
the cause of temperance both as a lecturer and an author. His 
series of "Temperance Tales "passed through one hundred 
and thirty editions, and was reprinted in many languages. 
His writings were characterized by honesty of opinion and 
boldness and vigor of st}*le. He was six feet in height and 
admirably proportioned, was fond of horseback riding, and was 
an athlete in muscular power. He had a finely formed and 
uncommonly large head, oval face, gray, penetrating eyes, 
well-formed mouth, and a Roman nose. He was affable, 
genial, and kind-hearted, and was admired and loved for his 
many generous and noble qualities. 

The wall-paper on the parlor of the Stedman Williams house, 
near the corner of Glen Road, is unique. It is nearly one hun- 
dred years old, represents an English landscape, and is as fresh 
and perfect in color and appearance as if put on yesterday. 
The painter, Gilbert Stuart, who passed here a portion of his 
Roxbury sojourn, has left appropriate mementos of it in two oil 
portraits of Stedman Williams and Betsey his wife, daughter 
of Col. Joseph Williams. Tradition says there were serious 
misgivings as to the prudence of this match. The young 
lady was for those days highly accomplished, and all unused 
to the detail and drudgery of farm life, but it is -certain that 
she performed the duties devolving upon her in a most exem- 
plary manner. 

Forest Hill Street was, half a century ago, known as 
" Jube's Lane," having but one habitation upon it, "a 


wretched collection of hovels and sheds occupied by a Moor- 
ish-looking man named Jupiter, who kept swine, and who had 
a bevy of wild-eyed children." On this street is the house 
built in 1833 by S. G. Goodrich, best known as " Peter Par- 
ley," and in which he lived many years. He achieved fame 
by his books for children, of which a fabulous number were 
sold, and which gave him a world-wide celebrity. He repre- 
sented his district in the Massachusetts Senate in 1837 and 
1838, and was a prominent speaker in behalf of temperance and 
of the political organization known as the Whig party. Mr. 
Goodrich is described at this time as " tall and slender, grace- 
ful in lineament and speech, with a classic face, wearing gold- 
bowed spectacles that gave him an aristocratic air, and upon 
public occasions charming all with his eloquence." 

Prolonging our walk a short distance we come to Morton 
Street, from which Forest Hills Avenue conducts us to the 
beautiful cemetery of that name, consecrated on June 28, 1848. 
Much of its territory, naturally picturesque and diversified, 
and now so tastefully embellished, was wild land not long 
ago, and as Roxbury Common was almost valueless, save as 
the source of the town's fuel supply for its schools and its 
ministers. The filling up of the old graveyards, and their 
repulsive condition, moved Gen. Dearborn and other citizens, 
in 1846, to petition the newly established city government 
of Roxbury for a rural cemetery. The purchase of the Joel 
Seaverns farm of fifty-five acres for that purpose was the 
result, and to this other pieces of land adjoining have from 
time to time been added. This cemetery, located in " Can- 
terbury," near the geographical centre of the town, and 
bounded by Morton, Canterbury, and "Walk Hill Streets, has 
now an area of two hundred and twenty-six acres. The 
approaches to it are over excellent roads, by well-cultivated 
grounds and charming rural residences, affording the most 
agreeable of the many delightful drives in the vicinity of 


The work of laying out the grounds of this ' ' Garden of the 
Dead" was assigned to Gen. H. A. S. Dearborn, who did so 
much to secure its establishment, and whose skill and taste 
had been so successfully exerted at Mount Auburn. Hill and 
dale, lake and grove, picturesque rocks, cool grottos, fra- 
grant flower-beds, and ever-varying landscapes render this an 


exceedingly attractive spot ; and a saunter through its princi- 
pal avenues, with their beautiful monuments and interesting 
inscriptions, is a pleasure long to be remembered. 

The original wooden gateway, with its Egyptian designs, 
gave place, in 1865, to the present tasteful structure of Rox- 
bury stone and Caledonia freestone, in the style known as the 
modern Gothic. Upon its front, in golden letters, is this 
inscription : 

and upon its inner face : 



At the left of the entrance, near Lake Dell, is an elegant 
marble receiving- tomb, the finest in the country, built in 1870. 
Its catacombs, two hundred and eighty-six in number, are 
five tiers deep, and are ranged on each side of arched pas- 
sages ten feet wide, paved with white and black marble tiles. 
It has a Gothic portico of white Concord granite, and its floor 
is covered with French tiles. On either side qf the arched 
doorway are wall spaces for mural tablets or inscriptions. 

Three avenues diverge towards different parts of the cem- 
etery from the main entrance, opposite which, on Snow- 
flake Hill, is a stone bell-tower and observatory one hun- 
dred feet in height, completed in 1876. From it is obtained 
a magnificent view of the Blue Hills, the surrounding towns, 
and several of the islands in Dorchester Bay. 

The eminences that gave the cemetery its name are the 
Eliot Hills, a range of four heights in its southwestern part ; 
Consecration Hill, at its northeastern angle ; Chapel Hill, 
north of Lake Dell ; the large hill south of Consecration Hill, 
named for the illustrious Warren ; and Cypress Hill, over- 
looking the neighboring cemetery of Mount Hope, and pre- 
senting to the view an extensive and pleasing rural landscape. 
Lake Hibiscus, a charming sheet of water, is near the centre 
of the cemetery, and is approached by avenues from its differ- 
ent parts. It was formerlj* a meadow supplied by copious 
springs, and has an area of three acres. One of the most 
attractive spots at Forest Hills is the grotto on Dearborn 

Some of the more striking and picturesque of the numerous 
bowlders scattered over the ground have been suffered to 
remain in their natural state. One of the most remarkable 
of these groups is in the lot of Gen. William H. Sumner, on 
the western slope of Mount Warren, where stands a statue of 
great beauty, representing the Angel of the Tomb protecting 
the ashes of the dead. The Sumner shield and arms, also a 
medallion head, ornament the base of the statue. 


Among the eminent men whose ashes repose in this ceme- 
tery are Gen. "Warren, Gen. Heath, and Admiral Winslow. 
Man} 7 superb monuments and simple inscriptions attest alike 
the taste and skill of the sculptor, and the strong affection of 
surviving kindred. The " Ascending Angel," on the Gould 
lot, " Memory," on Lake Avenue, and those of Dwight, Per- 
kins, and Lovering, are especially noticeable. From such a 
bewildering multitude of marbles, it is a relief to turn to the 
ivy-mantled bronze tablets, let into the natural rock, commem- 
orating those patriotic young soldiers, Wilder and Howard 
Dwight. On the summit of Mount Warren, in a lot in the 
shape of a half-moon, the ashes of Gen. Warren with others 
of his family have been reinterred, after being taken from 
their original resting-places. In the soldiers' lot is a statue 
in bronze of a volunteer soldier, by the sculptor Milmore. It 
is nearly seven feet in height, on a pedestal of six, and is a 
memorial of the volunteers from Roxbury in the war for the 

One has but to place in imagination this beautiful cemetery 
side by side with the neglected and dilapidated Eustis Street 
graveyard of thirty years ago, to appreciate the beneficent 
labors of the man who -sleeps on yonder hill. The Dearborn 
monument, on the summit of Mount Dearborn, near the lot 
in which the general was interred, is an elegant Corinthian 
column of white marble, on a base which extends by scrolls 
on each side to smaller pedestals bearing funeral urns. The 
shaft is surmounted by a funeral urn with flame. On the front 
of the base is a raised tablet inscribed as follows 


OBIIT JCLII 29, 1851, 

^ETAT 67. 

And on the opposite side : 






At the corner of Walk Hill and Canterbury Streets is an 
old house, now owned by E. M. Fowler, which was built by 
Stephen Williams more than a centmy ago. The old house, 
now Lambert's, once the Isaac Williams house, stands on the 
opposite side of Canterbury Street, a little east of Fowler's. 
Another Williams mansion of a later date is that on Back 
Street, in which lived Benjamin Payson Williams, a man of 
high character, and who filled with credit numerous public 

Mount Hope Cemetery, on Canterbury Street, a little south 
of Forest Hills, lies partly in Dorchester, and contains over 
one hundred acres. It was consecrated on June 24, 1852, 
and on July 31, 1857, its proprietors transferred it to the city 
of Boston. This cemetery is located in an attractive valley, 
and besides the natural beauty of the grounds and their 
floral and other embellishments, contains some fine monu- 
ments, notably the army and navy monument, and the Odd 
Fellows' Memorial, a group representing David and Jonathan, 
by Thomas Ball. 




Smelt Brook. Dudley Estate. Thomas Dudley. Joseph Dudley. Paul 
Dudley. Isaac Winslow. Town House. Hourlies. Koxbury Com- 
mon. Siege of Boston. Gen. Thomas. Roxbury Camp. Annals 
of the Siege. The First Church. Church Music. Eliot's Church 

HAVING hitherto followed the old highway from Boston 
over the Neck, to a point where the natural configuration 
of the ground admitted of lateral roads, that to Dorchester on 
the left, and the Cambridge road on the right, we find our- 
selves at Smelt Brook, a small stream, that, flowing in a 
northerly direction across Dudley Street, through the home 
lots of Heath, Weld, Denison, and Johnson, finally lost itself 
in the marshes near the mouth of Stony River. This stream, 
once so considerable, and whose waters supplied with pisca- 
tory delicacies the scantily furnished tables of the early set- 
tlers, has wholly disappeared from view, if we except that of 
the poet, who asserts that 

" Men may come, and men may go, 
But I flow on forever," 

and its bed lies buried twenty feet below the present level of 
the street across which it originally ran. To the westward of 
it, and south of the Cambridge road, lay the Dudley estate 
and Meeting-House Hill. 

The Universalist Church covers the site of Gov. Dudle}"'s 
mansion, and his well, the sole remaining memento of it, is 
still in existence beneath that edifice. Rumor has it that 
this mansion was the one originally erected at Newtown 


(Cambridge), removed thence on the governor's change of 
residence in 1636, and concerning which Gov. Winthrop 
charged him with extravagance in having it wainscoted. 
Dudley replied to the charge, that the extravagance com- 
plained of was " only for the warmth of the house, and the 
cost small, and that the wainscoting consisted only of clap- 
boards nailed to the wall in the form of wainscoting." In its 
day, this was one of the best houses in the town. It con- 
tained two parlors, a parlor chamber, a hall chamber, stud}*, 
and other rooms. The library, consisting principally of 
religious treatises and law books, contained also a few vol- 
umes of history, and a poem, " Y e Vision of Piers Plowman." 
Few of the early settlers could afford the luxury of books, 
their scant collections consisting mainly of the writings of 
Puritan divines. 

The old mansion was razed to the ground a few days after 
the battle of Bunker's Hill, and its brick basement walls, 
facing north and east, made the angle of the work that was 
erected here by the Americans. The entrenchments at this 
point included the garden, and extended to the hill east of 
the meeting-house. These were ploughed down soon after 
the close of the war, by Gov. Sumner, who for some years 
previous to his decease enjoyed possession of the land in right 
of his wife. In making the necessary excavations for the 
church, the wine cellar of the mansion was unearthed, and, 
strange as it may seem, the liquors were, after a lapse of forty- 
five years, found intact. 

Miantonomoh, the great sachem of Narragansett, came 
here in 1640, and was " well entertained" by Gov. Dudley; 
but refusing to treat by a Pequod interpreter, and no 
greater insult could have been offered to the proud warrior, 
departed for Boston " in a rude manner," says Winthrop, 
' ' without shewing any respect or sign of thankfulness to the 
governor for his entertainment." A contemporary tells us 
that this sachem " was a very good personage, of tall stature, 



subtile and cunning in his contrivements, as well as haughty 
in his designs." When before the Court at Boston, he was 
very deliberate in his answers, " shewing a good understand- 
ing in the principles of equity and justice, and great ingenu- 
ity." He demanded that his accusers be brought before him 
face to face, and if they failed in proof then to be made to 

suffer what himself, if he had 
been found guilty, deserved, 
i. e.j death. Defeated in a 
battle with Uncas, a rival 
chieftain, whom he had at- 
tacked unawares, he was 


made prisoner, being unable 
to escape on account of the 
armor with which his friend 
; Samuel Gorton had provided 
him for the security of his 
person. The haughty sachem 
disdained to ask for his 
life, and Uncas, who was disposed to bury the hatchet, acting 
upon the advice of the magistrates and ministers of the col- 
ony, buried it in the skull of his defenceless captive. At 
a later period Gov. Shute was, on his arrival in Boston, for 
a time the guest of Chief- Justice Paul Dudley, and we may 
be certain that during the entire colonial period no New 
England mansion entertained a larger number of visitors of 

The Dudley homestead, containing between five and six 
acres, la}- between what are now Washington and Bartlett 
Streets on the south, and Roxbury Street on the north, ex- 
tending from Guild Row to Putnam Street, the eastern 
boundary of the land of the First Parish. Smelt Brook 
was originally the eastern boundary of the homestead. 

Thomas, eldest son of Col. William Dudley, came in pos- 
session of the estate on the death of Judge Paul Dudlej', it 


being entailed on the first male heir. He had several children, 
but his brother Joseph had none, and wished him to take 
the paternal estate, and keep up the style of the family. 
Thomas, whose habits were those of a rough farmer, declined 
doing this, professing his inability to take charge of the estate 
in the way desired by his brother, telling him that if he in- 
sisted on his residing there and supporting the ancient man- 
ner of living, he should put his oxen into the governor's 
carriage instead of the family horses. Joseph urged the mat- 
ter, and Thomas tried the experiment, and to show his con- 
tempt for ceremony or st3"le, actualty told his coachman to 
yoke his oxen into the family carriage, and then getting into 
it ordered him to drive to Wood's, the pewterer, in Roxbury 
Street, where he bought a pewter cider mug, and then directed 
him to " gee round " and return home. This laughable esca- 
pade threw so much ridicule on the famity honors, that it in- 
duced Joseph to exchange "the good farm in the woods," the 
residence of Col. William Dudley, with his brother for the 
old homestead. The entail was accordingly broken in his 
favor, and he occupied the family mansion until his removal 
to Boston, when it became the residence of Isaac Winslow, 
Esq. B} 7 his will, dated June 13, 1767, Joseph entailed it 
for the benefit of his nephew, William Dudley. 

Mr. Hyslop, the father-in-law of Increase Sumner, pur- 
chased of Joseph a portion of the estate, and gave it to his' 
daughter, who held possession until 1806, when Joseph, 
eldest son of William Dudley, recovered it by a suit at law. 
At this period, these acres, now covered with handsome 
buildings, were an open field, with a pretty high hill where 
the Eliot Church stands. In 1811 that part of Dudley Street 
west of Washington was laid out through the estate and 
accepted by the town with its present name, and in 1825 the 
land on both sides of it having been alienated by Col. Dudley, 
its unthrifty owner, was cut up into house-lots and sold. 

The distinguished family who flourished here for a century 


and a quarter, and whose name and fame are inseparably 
connected with Roxbury, played in its time an important part 
in the affairs of New England. It furnished two of its gov- 
ernors, a chief justice, and a Speaker of the House, besides 
other less prominent but useful and honored citizens, and 
numbers among its descendants many personages of note. 
A few only of the name now remain in Roxbury. 

Thomas Dudley, second governor of Massachusetts, and one 
of the most eminent of the Puritan settlers of New England, 
was the son of Capt. Roger Dudley, who was u slaine in the 
wars." Brought up a page in the famity of the Earl of North- 
ampton, he was afterwards a clerk in the office of Judge 
Nichols, a kinsman of his mother, thus obtaining a knowl- 
edge of the law which was of great service to him in his after 
career, and early exhibited unusual intelligence, courage, and 
prudence. These qualities procured for him at the age of 

twenty-one the captaincy of an 
English company, which he led at 
the siege of Amiens, under the heroic 
Henry of Navarre, and later on, the 
stewardship of the estate of the Earl of Lincoln, which he suc- 
ceeded, by judicious management, in freeing from a heavy 
load of debt. A Puritan, and a parishioner of the famous John 
Cotton, he with four others undertook, although he was then 
fifty years of age, the settlement of the Massachusetts Colony, 
and came over with the charter as deputy governor in 1630. 
His letter to the Countess of Lincoln depicts clearly and forci- 
bly the trials and obstacles that beset the pioneers to the 
western wilderness. Dudley at first settled in Newtown, but 
removed to Roxbury to place himself under the spiritual 
charge of Eliot and Welde. In 1644, at the age of sixty- 
eight, Dudley was chosen sergeant major-general, the highest 
military office in the colonies. He was governor in 1634, 
1640, 1645, and 1650, and deputy governor or assistant in 
the intervening j r ears, and from the time of his arrival until 


his death, which took place at his home in Roxbury, on July 
31, 1653, in his seventj'-seventh 3*ear. 

Dudley was a man of sound judgment, inflexible integrity, 
great public spirit, and exemplary piety. How strongly he 
was imbued with the intolerance of his age, is evident from 
the prominent part he took in the banishment of Roger Wil- 
liams, Wheelwright, Anne Hutchinson, and others. " I am 
fully persuaded," said he, ' that Anne Hutchinson is deluded 
by the devil." To an inquiry from Holland, whether those 
that differed from him in opinion, " } T et holding the same 
foundation in religion, as anabaptists, antinomians, seekers, 
and the like, might be permitted to live among you," he 
made this short answer: " God forbid our love to the truth 
should be grown so cold that we should tolerate errors." In 
his will he bears this testimony, u I have hated and doe hate 
every false way in religion, not onely the old Idolatry and 
Superstition of Popery, which is wearing awaj^, but much 
more (as being much worse) the more heresies, blasphamies 
and eiTor of late sprung upp in our native country of England 
and secretly received and fostered." Time brings his re- 
venges, and it is worth noting, that on the site of the dwelling 
of Thomas Dudley, one of the most intolerant of men, now 
stands a Universalist Church. After his death these lines 
were found in his pocket : 

" Let men of God in courts and churches watch 
O'er such as do a toleration hatch, 
Lest that ill egg bring forth a cockatrice 
To poison all with heresy and vice. 
If men be left and otherwise combine, 
My epitaph 'a, I dy'd no libertine." 

It was said that Dudley carried prudence in money matters 
to an extreme bordering on " close-fistedness," and that a 
too great eagerness for pecuniary gain was an obvious trait 
in his character. If so, it explains what Gov. Belcher is 
said to have written of him : 


" Here lies Thomas Dudley, that trusty old stud, 
A bargain 's a bargain, and must be made good." 

Sterner, more exclusive, and less conciliator}' in his manner 
than his contemporarj*, Winthrop, he doubtless suffered by 
the comparison. Such was his independence that he " with- 
stood magistrates and ministers when he thought them worthy 
of reproof," and would 3'ield to no popular opinion to gain 
honor and authority. A dispute he had about a mortgage of 
land with Edward Howe, of Watertown, " an occasion of 
grief to godly minds and of reproach to the Court," led to the 
wholesome law for recording all deeds of conveyance. 

It is amusing to read the account of the quarrel between 
two such patriarchs as Winthrop and Dudley. Winthrop is 
himself the relator. He had accused Dudley of extortion 
and usury, because he had sold seven and a half bushels of 
corn to receive ten for them after harvest. Dudley replied 
that he had done nothing illegal, and among other " hot words 
about it," told the governor that if he had thought that he 
had sent for him to his house to give him such usage, he would 
not have come there. He, in turn, complained that Winthrop 
had exercised too much authority, and demanded of him 
how he had derived such power, whether from the patent or 
otherwise. The governor smartly replied that he had not 
exceeded his authority, and ' k speaking somewhat apprehen- 
sively," as he himself says, the deputy began to be in a pas- 
sion, and told the governor that if he "were so round he 
would be round too." Then the governor "bade him be 
round if he would." So the deputy rose up in great fury and 
passion, and the governor grew very hot also, so as they both 
fell into bitterness, but by mediation of the mediators they 
were pacified. 

The differences that had long subsisted between them ter- 
minated, as it was most fit they should, at Concord. Win- 
throp's Journal, under date of April 24, 1638, presents us 
with this charming picture of mutual concession and fraternal 
love : 


" The governor and deputy went to Concord to view some land for 
farms, and going down the river about four miles they made choice 
of a place for one thousand acres for each of them. They offered 
each other the first choice, but because the deputy's was first granted 
and himself had store of land already, the governor yielded him the 
choice. So at the place where the deputy's land was to begin there 
were two great stones, which they called the ' Two Brothers,' in 
remembrance that they were brothers by their children's marriage, 
and did so brotherly agree, and for that a little creek near those 
stones was to part their lands." 

His daughter, Anne Dudley, who married Gov. Bradstreet, 
became quite celebrated as a poet. A volume from her pen, 
printed in 1650, is the first book of poetry published in 
America. Among her descendants, inheritors of her poetic 
genius, two names occur well known to American literature, 
Oliver Wendell Holmes and Richard H. Dana. In her 
elegy on her father are these lines : 

" One of the founders, him New England know, 
Who staid thy feeble sides when thou wast low, 
Who spent his state, his strength, and years with care 
That after comers in them might have share; 
True patriot of this little commonweal, 
Who is 't can tax thee aught but for thy zeal? 
Truth's friend thou wert, to error still a foe, 
Which caused apostates to malign thee so. 
Let malice bite and envy gnaw its fill, 
He was my father, and I '11 praise him still " 

This epitaph is also from her pen : 

"Within this tomb a patriot lies, 
That was both pious, just, and wise. 
To truth a shield, to right a wall, 
To sectaries a whip and maul; 
A magazine of history, 
A prizer of good company, 
In manners pleasant and severe, 
The good him loved, the bad did fear; 
And when his time with years was spent, 
If some rejoiced, more did lament." 


Joseph, son of Gov. Thomas Dudley, was born in Roxbury, 
July 23, 1647, after his father had attained the age of sev- 
enty. He was educated for the ministry, but soon turned his 
thoughts to civil affairs, early devoting himself to public 
business with distinguished ability and diligence. Possessing 
talents of a high order, he held many public offices. He was 
present at the battle with the Narragansetts in December, 
1G75, and as one of the commissioners, dictated the terms of 
a treat} 7 with that once-powerful tribe. He was a member of 
the General Court from 1673 to 1675 ; one of the commis- 
sioners for the United Colonies from 1677 to 1681 ; an 
assistant from 1676 to 1685 ; president of New England, by 
a commission from James II, dated 27th September, 1685, 
until December, 1686 ; president of the council and chief 
justice of -the Supreme Court in 1687-89; chief justice of 
New York in 1691-92 ; deputy governor of the Isle of Wight, 
England, from 1694 to 1702 ; member of the British Parlia- 
ment for Newton, England, in 1701 ; and finally closed his 
long official career as governor of Massachusetts from 1 702 
to 1715. 

Dudley then retired to his rural home in Roxbury, where 
he died on April 2, 1720. " He was buried," says the "Bos- 
ton News Letter," "on the eighth, in the sepulchre of his 
fathers, with all the honors and respect his country was 
capable of doing him. He was a man of rare endowments 
and shining accomplishments, a singular honor to his coun- 
try. He was early its darling, always its ornament, and in 
age its crown. The scholar, the divine, the philosopher, and 
the lawyer all met in him." Two regiments of infantry and 
two companies of cavalry took part in his funeral, minute- 
guns were fired from the Castle, and all the bells in Boston 
were tolled. This excessive eulogy and these public funeral 
honors, taken in connection with the intense hatred his earlier 
political conduct had excited, mark him out as an extraordi- 
nary man, and such, indeed, he was. 



When the final effort was made, in 1682, to save the charter 
of the colony, Joseph Dudley and John Richards were sent to 
England as its agents. "Necessity and not duty," wrote 
Randolph, the English commissioner, "hath obliged this 
government to send over two agents. They are like to the two 
consuls of Rome, Caesar and Bibulus. Major Dudley, if he 
finds things resolutely managed, will cringe and bow to any- 
thing." The agents found on arrival, that his Majesty was 
" greatly provoked " at the long delay of the colony in send- 
ing them, and as they were instructed not to give up the 
charter, could effect nothing. Dudley, whose advice for its 
surrender had cost him his popularity at home, remained, 
became a prominent candidate for the chief magistracj r , and 
returned with the coveted commission, which he retained 
until superseded by Andros, in December, 1686. As presi- 
dent of the council in the oppressive government then set up, 
and all the more as a native citizen upon whom the}' had 
heaped their honors, he incurred the extreme resentment of 
the people, and on its overthrow in April, 1689, Dudley, who 
as chief justice was upon the circuit of Narragansett, was 
seized at Providence, brought to Boston, thrust ' into jail, 
and treated with great severity. 

In his letters and petitions to the council for enlargement, 
Dudley makes no attempt to excuse his political conduct, but 
artfully appeals to their sympathies, urging his " unsteady 
health," and the " mine " to his affairs, having a great family 
to support, desires their Christian consideration of these 
things, and professes to have no other interest nor desire but 
such as should promote " the security of religion and liberty 
in the English nation." Those familiar with Dudley's 
character, and the men he addressed knew it well, must 
have received the latter assurance with no little incredulity. 
They, however, were willing to mitigate the hardships of 
which he complained, but the people would not consent, and, 
as we shall see, promptly and effectually reversed their action. 


Dudley's case was taken into consideration by the General 
Court, which resolved, on June 28th, " that Mr. Jo. Dudley 
is not baylable," but a little later arrived at this more lenient 
conclusion : 

" Upon the several motions of Mr. Joseph Dudley, and in consid- 
eration of his great indisposition of body. It 's ordered that he 
shall be forthwith removed from the prison and confined to his own 
house at Roxbury till further order, not to go out of his said house 
or precincts of his yard or backside adjoining, at any time except to 
the publique worship of God on the Sabbath and lecture days, and 
that under a sufficient gard to conduct him from his own house to 
y e said meeting and back again, which gard is to be ordered and 
appointed by the captain of the Foot company in Roxbury. And he 
the said Mr. Dudley to give bond to the value of 10,000 pounds with 
sufficient sureties, to be and remain a true prisoner according to the 
contents and true meaning of this order, until he shall be released by 
order of law, or otherwise disposed of by direction from the gov- 
ernment of the Mass, colony." 

Having given the required bond, his prison doors were 
opened and he hastened home, happy to exchange its gloomy 
walls for those of his comfortable mansion in Roxbury. His 
enjoyment, however, was of very brief duration, for, 

" About twelve o'clock at night, being Saturday night, about two 
hundred or three hundred of the rabble, Dearing and Soule ' heading 
of them,' went and broke open his house and brought him to town. 
The keeper of the jail would not receive him, and they took him 
to Mr. Paige's (whose wife was a sister of Dudley's). Monday 
night, the 15th, they broke into Mr. Paige's house, smashing his 
windows in the search for Dudley, who promised to go to prison 
again, and remain until the fury of the people should be allayed. 
The 16th inst. Mr. Dudley walked to the prison, accompanied with 
several gentlemen, there being no stilling the people otherwise." 

A letter of October 4 shows Dudley still dissatisfied with 
prison life and fearful for his health. He writes : 

"I have suffered neer six months' imprisonment to y e very great 
hurt of my health and occasions necessary for y e support of a great 


family. Above twelve weeks since, at y e direction of Mr. Adding- 
ton, and as he acquainted mee by order of yourselves, I gave a very 
extraordinary and unusual bond to obtain but the sight of my family 
and the benefit of so much air as was necessary to save me from 
perishing, which lasted me but three or four hours, when I received 
a very urgent letter from Mr. Bradstreet for my return to y" prison 
to save y" rage of y e people at that instant. I have since been 
often told that a very few days should bring me that ease and rest 
which I desire, but the time is passed hitherto and now the winter 
is approaching, the inconveniences whereof I am unable to bear. I 
entreat you at large to consider and resolve what may be agreeable 
to reason and justice and not to see my destruction and ruine, but to 
shew me the kindness of a brother, as God knoweth I am. I have 
no interests nor hopes but what is in common with my country, 
whose present sufferings I take my share of, and hope that nobody 
professing religion can take pleasure in these strange methods of 
late used towards mee." 

The boon he had so often prayed for was at last accorded, 
and on Jan. 7, 1690, after an imprisonment of nearly nine 
months, Dudley was permitted to go under guard to his family 
to settle his affairs, and on the 9th of February following, 
sailed with his fellow-prisoners for England. He was favor- 
ably received there, and the appointment of chief justice of 
New York was conferred upon him, but after holding it less 
than two years he was suspended from office on account of his 
continued residence in Roxbury. While occupying this posi- 
tion, the trial and condemnation of Jacob Leisler for proceed- 
ings similar to those by which the patriots of Massachusetts 
had rid themselves of Andros, occurred, increasing his un- 
popularity at home. Returning to England in 1693, he con- 
tinued his efforts to obtain the government of Massachusetts, 
renewing them on the death of Sir William Phips, and again, 
this time with success, on the decease of Lord Bellomont in 
1701. Dudley had been trying to reconcile his countrymen 
ever since the Revolution. His family interest was large. 
Stoughton, the lieutenant-governor, retained his friendship 
and secretly corresponded with him. By his superior sense 


and polished manners he acquired the notice and esteem of 
many considerable persons at Court. 

Sir Richard Steele, one of the famous coterie of wits of 
Queen Anne's reign, and the daily companion of Dudley dur- 
ing his last residence in London, acknowledged that "he 
owed an abundance of those fine thoughts and the manner of 
expressing them, which he has since presented to the world, 
to his happy acquaintance with Col. Dudley, and that he had 
one quality which he never knew any man possessed of but 
him, which was, that he could talk him down into tears when 
he had a mind to it by the command he had of fine thoughts 
and words adapted to move the affections." To the dissenters 
in England he recommended himself by a grave, serious de- 
portment, recovering also the favor of many of the New Eng- 
land ministers, and even had the address to reconcile himself 
to Rev. Cotton Mather, from whom he obtained a letter favor- 
ing his cause, which he made known to the king, and which 
removed his objection to Dudley on the score of his being so 
obnoxious to the people. His income was moderate, yet with 
economy he made a decent appearance in England, and edu- 
cated several of his children there. 

One of the last of the official acts of William III was to 
commission Joseph Dudlej* governor of the colon}^ of Mas- 
sachusetts Bay. " It was a proud day for Joseph Dudley," 
says the historian Palfrey, ' ' when, after ten j-ears of uneasy 
absence from home, he landed from the ' Centurion ' man-of- 
war, under a salute that shook the town, and went up King 
Street to the Province House to assume the government for 
Queen Anne." Though received with marks of respect, the 
prejudices against him were great, and for the first seven 
years he had no rest. So unpopular was he, even in his native 
town, that the people of Roxbury would not have Mr. John 
Barnard, afterwards so eminent as the minister of Marble- 
head, for their minister, because that excellent man had 
accepted some particular attentions from the governor. His 


policy of gaining over his enemies (for he was sure of his 
friends) at length brought him ease and quiet, so that the last 
days of his administration were his best days. 

Dudley paid an early visit to Rev. Cotton Mather. A let- 
ter-writer of the period tells us, " Mr. Dudley hath been with 
the j'oung pope, who hath absolved him of whatever hath 
been amiss, so that now he is a very good man." At this 
interview, Mather advised him not to come under the influ- 
ence of Byfield and Leverett. "The wretch," says Mather, 
in his diar}', " went unto these men and told them that I had 
advised him to be in no ways advised by them, and influenced 
them into an implacable rage against me." Mather had set 
his heart upon the presidency of Harvard College. After the 
choice of Leverett to fill that office, a choice that Dudley had 
promoted, there was war to the knife between Dudley and the 
Mathers, father and son. Both wrote him angry letters, 
charging him with unrighteousness ; with plotting against the 
liberties of the province ; with the " guilt of innocent blood " 
in the cases of Leisler and Milburn ; with " covetousness, 
the main channel of which has been the reign of bribery which 
you, sir, have set up in the land where it was hardly known 
till you brought it in fashion " ; and with spending his Sunday 
afternoons with some persons " reputed very ungodly." 

The governor replied in a calm and dignified manner, reprov- 
ing them for the spirit and temper of their letters in which he 
was treated with an air of superiorit}' and contempt, and for 
their great credulity in raking together whatever had been 
imputed to him ''these manj* years the bruit of the town," 
either through prejudice or mistake, as a foundation for such 
grave charges. " Why," asks he, " have you been so long 
silent, and suffered sin to lie upon me year after year ? It is 
vain to pretend Christian love and respect, or zeal for the 
honor of God, or public good, vain to pretend pressure of 
conscience just at this season. Every one can see through the 
pretence, and is able to account for the spring of these letters, 


and how they would have been prevented without easing any 
grievances you complain of. Your wrath against me is cruel, 
and will not be justified." He well knew what was the root 
of their bitterness, and closes his letter by thus exposing it : 
" The college must be disposed against the opinion of all the 
ministers in New England except yourselves, or the governor 
torn in pieces. This is the view I have of your inclination." 

Applying himself with great diligence to the public business, 
Gov. Dudley conducted the wars with the French and the 
eastern Indians, terminated in 1713 by the treaty of Utrecht, 
with good judgment ; but the death of the queen in 1714, and 
the accession of a new sovereign who knew not Joseph, paved 
the way for his retirement, which took place in November, 

No native of New England has ever experienced so many 
vicissitudes, and enjoyed so many public honors and offices, 
as Joseph Dudley. In private life he was amiable, affable, 
and polite, elegant in his manners, and courteous in his 
intercourse with all classes. Had he remained in this sphere 
he would have been justly esteemed. His person was large, 
and his countenance open, dignified, and intelligent. The 
"News Letter" of April 11, 1720, says, ''He was a very 
comely person, of a noble aspect and a graceful mien, hav- 
ing the gravit}^ of a judge and the goodness of a father. 
In a word, he was a finish't gentleman of a most polite 
address, and had uncommon elegancies and charms in his 
conversation." Ambition was his ruling passion, and in 
attaining his ends, means were a secondary consideration. 
His cringing to Randolph, when at heart he despised him, 
was a blot on his character, and his secret insinuations to the 
disadvantage of his country were a greater, both being for the 
sake of recommending himself to court favor. Grave and 
dignified on the bench, he managed the affairs of the prov- 
ince with success, and supported the dignity of a governor at 
the same time that he added largely to his patrimonial estate 


by his excellence as an economist. He was the first native 
of New England to sit in the British Parliament. " Of all the 
statesmen," says President Quincy, "who have been in- 
strumental in promoting the interests of Harvard College, 
Joseph Dudley was the most influential in giving to its con- 
stitution a permanent character." Besides his benefactions 
to the college, he gave 50 by will to the Roxbury school, for 
the support of a Latin master. 

Paul, son of Gov. Joseph Dudley, was born at the old 
homestead in 1675, and after graduating at Harvard College, 
in 1690, went to London and studied law at the Temple. 
When in 1702 his father was made governor, he accompa- 
nied him hither with the commission of attorney-general of 
the province. He was afterwards a member of the Legislature, 
and of the Executive Council, and Speaker of the House. In 
1718 he became a justice of the Supreme Court, and from 
1745 until his death, which took place on Jan. 25, 1751, was 
chief justice of Massachusetts. He was a thorough and 
accomplished lawyer, and on the bench displayed quick 
apprehension, uncommon strength of memory, and extensive 
knowledge. The manner of the celebrated jurist, Lord Mans- 
field, is said to have been like his. "When he spoke it was 
with such authority and peculiar energy of expression as 
never failed to command attention and deeply impress the 
minds of all who heard him. " Thus," says Chief-Justice 
Sewall, his successor, "while with pure hands and an upright 
heart he administered justice in his circuit through the 
province, he gained the general esteem and veneration of the 

Beginning his career with great zeal on the side of the 
Crown, and sustaining measures tending to abridge colonial 
privileges, he became unpopular, and shared with his father in 
the bitter animosity of the Mathers. His talents and inde- 
pendence in office gradually reinstated him in the favor of the 
people. To him may be traced many of the reforms Avhich 


obtained in the practice of the courts and the mode of admin- 
istering justice. That he was at times inclined to be arbi- 
trary is evident from a tradition, that having one day driven 
along as far as Increase Sumner's, on his way to Boston, he 
stopped and demanded of a laboring man who was passing, 
that he should go to his (the judge's) house and fetch a law- 
book he had left behind. The man seemed astonished at the 
demand, but asked, "Can one fetch it, sir?" "Oh, yes," 
said Dudley. " Then go yourself," was the reply. 

Paul Dudley was one of the few Americans who have been 
honored by an election to the Royal Society of London, to 
whose "Transactions" he contributed materials for the nat- 
ural history of New England. He was a benefactor of 
Harvard College, and in his will provided for the annual 
" Dudleian " lecture to be delivered before it. These lectures 
have of late been discontinued. One of the four subjects to 
be treated was, 

" The detecting and convicting and exposing the idolatry of the 
Romish Church, their tyrannous usurpations, damnable heresies, 
fatal errors, abominable superstitions, and other crying wicked- 
nesses in their high places, and finally that the Church of Eome is 
that mystical Babylon, that man of sin, that apostate church spoken 
of in the New Testament." 

At a town meeting held in March, 1720, the selectmen of 
Roxbury were desired to return thanks to the Hon. Paul 
Dudley for building the upper stone bridge over Smelt Brook 
in the town street, and that henceforth it be called by the 
name of "Dudley's Bridge." The flood of time has swept 
this memorial into oblivion. Other and more durable monu- 
ments of his beneficence still remain in the old milestones yet 
extant in Roxbury, marked with the initials "P. D." Judge 
Paul, and Col. William Dudley, his brother, were, with Col. 
Fitch, the original proprietors of what is now the town of 
Dudley, Mass., then a tract of land lying between Oxford 
and Woodstock, on the Connecticut line, fifty-five miles west 
of Boston. 



In 1703, soon after his return to his native country, he 
married Lucy, daughter of Col. John "\\ r ain wright, of Ips- 
wich. A specimen of the epistolary courtship of that day is 


preserved in a letter he addressed to Mrs. Davenport, the 
sister of his "divine mistress." As we peruse it in cold 
blood, it is easy to believe that the lady to whom it was ad- 



dressed ' ' smiled all along " as she read this ardent outpour- 
ing of his " most sincere, passionate, dutifull, and constant 
soul." Here it is : 

" DEAR MADAM, It is Impossible but that you must take notice 
of that most affectionate Respect and Dutiful Passion I Bear to your 
most charming and amiable Sister, and you as easily Guess at my 
Design in it, which I Blush at the thought of. But the just Honour 
and Regard I have and ought to have to Col Wainwright and His 
lady in this affair, forbids my pursuing it any further till I have 

mentioned it to them ; for 
Which Reason it is that 
I am now going Hither 
(Tlio' with a Trembling 
and heavy heart) and 
Carry with me a letter 
from the Govemour to 
your Father that he 
would please allow me to 
wait upon my Sweetest, 
fairest Dearest Lucy. 
But Unless My Dearest 
Dame will assist and 
make An Interest for me 
I Cant Hope for Success. 
I Confess I have no 
grounds To ask or Ex- 
pect such a favor from 

you, unless it Be by re- 
( /IT 
* minding you of The many 

obligations you have al- 
ready laid Me Under, and this is an argument that goes a great way 
with Noble and Generous minds, and I am sure if you did but know 
what I Undergoe Both Day and Night, You would Pity me at least. 
I must beg of You, therefore, If you have any Regard to my Health 
and happiness, I might say to my life, You would show your Com- 
passion and friendship To me in this matter ; and Hereby lay such 
an obligation upon me as shall not, cannot Ever Be forgotten.* I 
Beg a thousand Pardons of my Dame for this freedom ; And Pray 
her not to Expose my folly to any one, tho' If She thinks it proper, 
or that it will Doe me any Service, She may Read (to the mark 


above) to my Divine Mistress ; I know you have smiled all along, 
and By this time are weary of my Scrawle. I'll have Done, there- 
fore, when I have asked the favour of you to present, as on my 
knees, my most Sincere, passionate, Dutifull, and Constant Soul to 
My Charming Nymph, With whom I hope to find It upon My Re- 
turn, of which I shall be most Impatient. 

" Dear Madam, I once more beg pardon of You, and pray You to 
think me in Earnest in what I Write, for Every Word of it Comes 
from the Bottom of My Soul, and I Hope Before I have done to 
Convince My Dearest Lucy of the truth of it tho' as yet She Believes 
nothing that I say to her. Madam, I am, with all affection and 
Respect your most obliged tho' now Distressful Humble Servant, 


"You may show all of this letter if you think fit, Mrs. Daven- 

Mrs. Lucy Dudley died Oct. 24, 1756, aged seventy-two. 
In a funeral sermon preached by Rev. Amos Adams, this 
tribute is paid to her exalted character: " She, for abilities 
of mind, for wisdom, knowledge, prudence, discretion, a 
heavenly temper, pure morals, unaffected piety, shining 
graces, and an unsullied character, has been rarely equalled 
by any of her sex among us." 

The last occupant of the Dudley mansion was Isaac Win- 
slow, Esq., a gentleman highly esteemed for his benevolence 
and other virtues. He was third in descent from John, 
brother of Gov. Edward Winslow, graduated at Harvard 
College in 1727, then entered the counting-room of James 
Bowdoin, a principal merchant of Boston, and subsequently, 
with his brother Joshua, carried on an extensive and profita- 
ble business in that city. With the proceeds of consignments 
from Bristol, England, vessels were built in Boston and 
loaded with fish for Leghorn, or some other foreign port, 
return cargoes being taken for Bristol. They also became 
considerable shipowners, and had one ship constantly in the 
London trade. Joshua was one of the consignees of the 
famous tea destroyed in Boston Harbor in 1773. Isaac retired 


from business in 1753, when lie became a resident of Rox- 
bury, occupying at first a house on the north side of Roxbury 
Street, nearly opposite the Universalist Church, and after the 
death of Madam Lucy Dudley, the widow of Judge Paul, in 
1756, made Dudley house his home. In June, 1760, he 
received the thanks of the town for a gift of land near Meet- 
ing-House Hill. 

Winslow seems at first to have taken part with his country- 
men in their resistance to the mother country, for in 1772 he 
was made chairman of the Roxbury Committee of Correspond- 
ence. He was, however, too conservative to suit the temper 
of the times, and the committee's first report, says the old 
record, " made great uneasiness in the meeting, and numbers 
of the inhabitants withdrew." "We next find him a "man- 
damus councillor," one of a body of advisers of the governor, 
formerly chosen by the province, but now appointed by Gage, 
the royal governor. Andrews's diary, under date of Aug. 29, 
1774, sa}*s, "It is rumored this morning that a company or 
two has marched for Roxbury, as there is to be a town meet- 
ing this day." Next day he says, " They (the townspeople) 
met with no interruption in the business of their meeting, 
save that Isaac Winslow attended, and declared his entire 
willingness to resign his councillorship ; made an apology for 
his acceptance of it, and said it was more owing to the per- 
suasions of others than to his own inclination." 

Sa} r s the "Boston Gazette" of Sept. 5, 1774: "We are 
able to assure the public, upon good authorit}', that Isaac 
Winslow, Esq., one of the lately appointed councillors, waited 
on Gov. Gage last Monday, when he made an absolute and 
full resignation of his place at the board, since which, he has 
not appeared in council, but given the strongest assurances 
that he never will act in that station." 

Though a loyalist, his moderation and his character as a 
man made him far less obnoxious than his Tory townsmen, 
Auchmuty, Hallowell, Hutchinson, and Loring. His virtues, 


however, could not save him, and immediately after the Lexing- 
ton affair, he took refuge in Boston. The Committee of Safety 
voted on April 30, 1775, " That a permit be required for Mr. 
Isaac Winslow's effects to be carried into the town of Boston 
from Roxbury, to-morrow." Next day they order Col. Ger- 
rish to deliver permits for such as desire to enter Boston 
with their effects, at the house of Mr. John Greaton, Rox- 
bury. " All such, to be protected from any injury or insult 
whatever, in their removal." In March, 1776, with his family 
of ten persons, he accompanied the royal army to Halifax, 
and died in New York in the following year. His first wife, 
Lucy, daughter of Gen. Samuel "Waldo, died in Roxbury in 
1768, at the age of forty -three. A fine large oil painting, by 
Blackburn, representing the family in the garden of the Dud- 
ley house, is now in the possession of Mr. Samuel "VVinslow, 
a great-grandson of Isaac. 

1820-1 is a marked year in the history of religious opin- 
ions in this town, for it is the date of the formation of two 
parishes in Roxbury, the Baptist and the Universalist, both 
at that time considered heretical, and both largely made up 
of seceders from the First Church, then the only religious 
organization east of Jamaica Plain. The first Universalist 
sermon ever heard in Roxburj* was delivered in the First 
Church, with Dr. Porter's permission, by Elhanan "Winchester, 
in 1798. Twenty years later, Rev. Hosea Ballou began a 
course of Sunday-evening lectures in Roxbury, assisted on 
alternate weeks by Rev. Paul Dean. These, as well as the 
business meetings of the parish, were held in the Town Hall 
until the completion of the church edifice. 

The First Universalist Society in Roxbury was incorporated 
Feb. 24, 1820, on the petition of Samuel Parker, William 
Hannaford, W. J. Newman, Samuel S. Williams, and others. 
Purchasing its well-selected site for one thousand dollars, the 
present commodious building was completed in December, 
and on Jan. 4, 1821, Rev. Hosea Ballou preached the dedi- 



cation sermon, since which, tune services have been regularly 
held within its walls. "When the corner-stone was laid, the 
Rev. Dr. Porter participated in the sen-ices, and walked in 
the procession arm-in-arm with Father Ballou. At the instal- 
lation of its first pastor, Rev. Hosea Ballou, 2d, on July 26, 

1821, an original hymn, 
of considerable merit, was 
contributed by Mr. John 
Howe, of Roxbury. A 
church of twenty-two mem- 
bers having been gathered, 
it was publicly recognized 
on Jan. 4, 1822, and a ser- 
mon was preached on the 
occasion by Rev. Edward 
Turner. During Mr. Ry- 
der's administration one 
hundred and thirty - six 
members were added, and 
'the edifice was renovated 
and repaired. The high 
' pulpit was taken down, and 
the old square pews made 
way for the more graceful 
circular seats of to-day. 

In March, 1866, the chapel, erected in 1841, was greatly en- 
larged and improved. 

Intemperance was very prevalent in this section sixty years 
ago. " Roxbury Neck" was then, and for some time after, a 
general rendezvous for marketing. A portion of what is 
called the " Point" was especially riotous and drunken. Dr. 
Ballou found in a layman of the town, Edwin Lemist, a faith- 
ful co-worker in the warfare against intemperance and dis- 
order, and succeeded in impressing his views and feelings so 
thoroughly upon the entire parish that its work, both for tem- 



perance and religion, has ever since been well and faith- 
fully done. 

Rev. Mr. Patterson, in his historical discourse, from which 
many of these facts have been gathered, refers thus to the 
" manly man " who for many years collected and disbursed 
the revenues of the society. Says Mr. Patterson : 

" If ever there was a faithful official, Joseph W. Dudley was that 
official. It was one of the fundamental doctrines of his religion 
that the minister is a man needing food and raiment and shelter 
just like other men ; that the laborer is worthy of his hire, and that 
a failure to receive it at the appointed and expected time may em- 
barrass him, just as it would any other man. When we thanked 
him for a payment, as it was our pleasure to do, he would respond, 
' No thanks ; it 's yours ; you 've earned it ' ; often adding, ' I wish it 
was more,' and sometimes saying, with a bright twinkle in his eye, 
that when he ' hired a man and paid him promptly, he expected him 
to stay at home and do his own work, and not be running off and 
sending some bungler in his place.' " 


HOSEA BALLOU, 2d, D. D., 26 July, 1821, 28 April, 1838. 

ASHER MOORE, January, 1839, 1840. 

CYRUS H. FAY, January, 1841, 26 March, 1849. 

WM. H. RYDER, D. D., November, 1849, January, 1859. 

J. G. BARTHOLOMEW, D. D., 19 July 1860, 1 Jan., 1866. 
ADONIRAM J. PATTERSON, D. D. September, 1866. 

Col. Joseph Dudley, in 1810, gave a portion of his patrimo- 
nial estate as a site for a Town House. A two-story brick 
building was erected, and was so far completed in February, 
1811, that a town meeting was then held there. The use of the 
upper story was granted by the town in 1818 to the Norfolk 
Guards, for an armory. A grammar school was subse- 
quently kept there, and in 1826 its basement was leased to 
Nathaniel Dorr for a market. After 1846 it was known as 
the City Hall. Latterly it was used as a Court House, hav- 
ing cells for prisoners in its basement. Since its demolition, 
in 1873, to make room for the Dudley School building, the 



huge pineapple that formerly surmounted the edifice has 
adorned a paint shop on Bartlett Street. 

An entry in the town records in 1683 of money paid John 
Ruggles for " mending the Town Hous," implies that at that 
time such an edifice existed, though all knowledge of its 
location has long been forgotten. Town meetings were in 


the olden time usually held in the old meeting-house, parish 
and town affairs being transacted at the same time and 
place, no distinction being made between them. In the 
earliest days, "Brother John Johnson's house" was occa- 
sionally the place of meeting. While the First Church was 
rebuilding in 1803-4, meetings were held in the brick build- 
ing since known as Ionic Hall; and from March, 1805, until 
the completion of the Town Hall, the room over Nathaniel 
Ruggle's store, on Centre Street, served the purpose. The 
town meeting and the pulpit were in those days almost the 
sole agencies in the formation of public opinion. 

By the fire in Capt. John Johnson's house in April, 1645, 


all the records of the town were destroyed. The earliest 
existing volume begins with a memorandum respecting the 
garrison at the Castle, dated 1647. Then follows a note of 
the five men chosen to " order town affairs, " the appoint- 
ment of a committee to repair the church, and references to 
the fining of such as have no ladders to gain access to their 
house-tops in case of fire ; these are all previous to 1652, since 
when the records have been regularty kept. The Record of 
Houses and Lands contains this memorandum : 

" We whose names are underwritten being chosen by the towne 
upon the 29th of Jan. fifty four to examine the transcript which 
Edward Denisou was to write out according to the coppies deliv- 
ered to him, having examined the said transcript upon the 14th of 
Feb. fifty four, we find that he hath performed exactly according to 
the coppies committed to his charge what he was entrusted with to 
write for the towne so far as we are able to discerne. Witness our 


There is also an early volume containing the record of 
births, marriages, and deaths. The other original sources of 
information concerning the town are the records of the 
churches, more especially those of the First Parish and those 
of the old grammar school, and the colonial records. 

The institution of towns with their government of select- 
men had its origin in Massachusetts. They were established 
by the act of the General Court, granting a tract of land to a 
company of persons understood to be capable of supporting a 
minister. This land was held by them at first as proprietors 
in common. Each town had quite early a board of select- 
men, a clerk, a treasurer, one or more surveyors of highways, 
a constable, and one or more tithing-men. They transacted 
the joint business, to build the meeting-house, to choose 
and support the minister, admit new associates, distribute 


the lands among individuals, make the roads, preserve order, 
make by-laws, to assess and collect taxes for town expenses, 
to apprentice the children of pauper parents, and to regulate 
a variety of miscellaneous affairs. The constable's duties 
appear to have embraced those of treasurer, town crier, 
keeper of the peace, and sheriff. 

In 1649 the town voted that " Y e five men shall have for 
y e present yeere full power to make and execute such orders 
as they in their apprehension shall think to be conducing to 
the good of the town." They were also empowered " to 
order and dispose of all single persons and inmates within 
the town who lived an idle and dissolute life to sendee or 
otherwise," an admirable regulation, and one the re-enact- 
ment of which would be most salutary. These " selectmen" 
were for a long time the only town officers. In 1665 five 
pounds a year was allowed them towards their loss of time 
and expenses. Refusal or neglect to accept a town office was 
punished by a fine of forty shillings. BJ T the colonial law of 
1631, none but church members could become freemen or 
voters, a state of things that ceased with the abrogation of 
the old charter by Charles II. Subsequently, a single rate 
or tax on 20, besides poll tax, was required. In voting, 
each kernel of corn counted in the affirmative and each bean 
in the negative. Notices of town meetings and official proc- 
lamations were affixed to the meeting-house door as the most 
public place. Ballot stuffing or other "little irregularities" 
having crept in, the town in November, 1670, 

" Voated, that for the better regulating and maintaining order in 
our yearly elections for time to come, that none but the selectmen 
in being and the constables shall take in voates for election of town 
officers and they may examine the persons that bring in voats for 
others, and if they see Ne(e)d they may look over every mans per- 
tikuler voats that so no decaite may be used for corrupting our 
elections, and these only to be the men to looke over the voats from 
yeare to yeare." 


The instructions to the town watch, which was set at nine 
p. M. and dismissed at five A. M., have a little of the Dogber- 
rian flavor : 

"If after ten o'clock they see lights, to inquire if there be war- 
rantable cause ; and if they hear any noise or disorder, wisely to 
demand the reason ; if they are dancing and singing vainly, to ad- 
monish them to cease ; if they do not discontinue after moderate 
admonition, then the constable to take their names and acquaint 
the authorities therewith. 

"If they find young men and maidens not of known fidelity 
walking after ten o'clock modestly to demand the cause, and if they 
appear ill-minded to watch them narrowly, command them to go to 
their lodgings, and if they refuse, then to secure them till morning." 

All towns were required by law to be provided with stocks 
and a whipping - post. The 
stocks were a wooden frame of 
small timber that could be opened 
or shut, wherein persons disor- 
derly on Sabbath or town 
meetings were confined during 
meeting as a punishment for mis- 
behavior. This, as well as the 
"cage," or place of detention STOCKS. 

for persons arrested, was near the meeting-house. In 1692 
the watch-house was in the town street, and it was voted in 
town meeting that one should be built on Meeting-House Hill. 

A constantly recurring subject and a prolific source of con- 
tention at town meetings was the running at large of cattle, 
swine, etc. A vote against turkeys going at large was 
passed in 1656, though not without an earnest protest being 
recorded, it being ordered " that they shall be counted tres- 
passers in corne, as liable to pay damages as well as other 
cattle." Warnings by the constable to temporary visitors to 
depart the town are very frequent. According to the old 
English system brought over by our ancestors, of mutual 


security or frankpledge, dating back of the Norman Con- 
quest, no stranger might abide in any place save a borough, 
and only there for a single night, unless sureties were given 
for his good behavior, thus preventing tramps from becoming 
a burden to the town. To prevent forestalling, the town in 
1723 voted that " no person nor slave shall buy up any pro- 
visions going to Boston market, except for their own use, 
under penalty." In 1734 the town voted to fine any person 
who runs or gallops a horse in a calash, chaise, chair, cart, or 
sled in the town, or from Boston Line to Mr. Jarvis's (the 
Greyhound Tavern), or in the road to the lower county 
bridge by the mills, or round the Square and by Mr. Samuel 
Williams's. A centur} r ago the usual pleasure drive was 
"round the Square"; that is, through Roxbury Street, 
round the meeting-house, through the lane now Bartlett 
Street, and through Dudley and Eustis Streets to the Neck. 
The lower part of Warren Street was not then opened. In 
1768 the town voted " not to do anything to prevent people 
playing football in Roxbury Street." 

In 1666 the town for the first time chose a " clarke," who 
was to keep the town records, and have everything' exactly 
transcribed, " unlesse such things as either are ridiklus or 
inconvenient." Since the days of Edward Denison, the first 
town clerk, several eminent citizens have from time to time 
filled this post, prominent among whom for fidelit}' and 
length of service were Deacon Samuel Gridley, Dr. N. S. 
Prentiss, and Joseph W. Tucker, Esq. Among the able and 
faithful town treasurers we find the names of Col. Joseph 
Williams, Noah Perrin, and Joseph W. Dudley. 

On the 1st of March, 1826, Brooks Bowman commenced 
running an hourly stage-coach from the Town House to the 
Old South Church, Boston ; fare each way twelve and a half 
cents. Prior to this a two-horse stage-coach, leaving once in 
two hours and canying forty-five passengers per day both 
ways, was the only public conveyance between the two 


places. A post -horn was blown to notif} 1 passengers to be 
in readiness. The "Governor Brooks," of Bowman's line, 
built at Troy, N. Y., was the first omnibus seen in Boston. 
It was liberal!}' patronized, and the " Xorthender" was soon 
added to the line. With the growth of the town the hourlies 
gave place to the half-hourlies, and in 1856 these were in 
turn supplanted by horse railroads. 

The gun-house of the artiller}' company was located on 
land belonging to the First Parish, in the rear of the present 
Dudley School and fronting Roxbury Street, on what is now 
Putnam Place. The first, coeval with the organization, gave 
place to a new structure in 1836. All the meetings of the 
company were held here until its transformation to an infan- 
try company in 1857. 

The elevation beyond the Dudley estate has from time 
immemorial been known as "Meeting-House Hill." It was 
also called " Roxbury Hill," and just before the Revolution, 
from the fact of Isaac Winslow and other friends of the 
British government residing on or near it, it received the name 
of " Tory Hill." Putnam Street, its eastern limit, was given 
to the town by the First Church. Its western slope touched 
Stony River. Eliot Square was of course included, and this 
part of the hill, anciently called " Roxbmy Common," was 
the public square in which upon great occasions the people as- 
sembled. After the training-field was disposed of in 1762, this 
spot was for years devoted to militia trainings, musters, etc. 

Cotton Mather relates of John Eliot, who continued to 
preach while his strength lasted, that, going up this hill to 
his church in his old age, with much feebleness and weariness, 
he said to the one who led him, " This is very like the way 
to heaven, 'tis up hill ; the Lord, b}- his grace, fetch us up." 
Spying a bush near him, he instantly added, "And truly 
there are thorns and briers in the waj*, too." " Here," says 
Mather, ' ' is something for the good people of Roxbury to 
think upon when they are going up to the house of the Lord." 



No doubt rnanj* of them have spontaneously made similar re- 
flections while toiling up under a July sun, notwithstanding 
their pathway has been smoothed by the blasting and removal 
of rocks, and the clearing away of thorns and briers. As for 
gliding smoothly up the acclivity in a horse-car, the good Eliot 
would as soon have expected to be translated to heaven on the 
tail of a comet. Bears were uncommonly numerous in the win- 
ter of 1725. In one week in September, no less than twenty 
were killed within two miles of Boston. Paul Dudleyls inter- 
leaved almanac, under date of June 7, 1740, says, "A good 
fat bear was killed on our meeting-house hill, or near it." 

On the 14th of August, 1773, a scene of unusual interest 
was here presented. A large number of invitations, printed 
on the backs of pla}*ing-cards, had been sent to prominent 
citizens of Boston and vicinity. A copy of one of these, 
now in the possession of Mr. Jeremiah Colburn, is here 
given : 


TICKET admits the BEAKER to the 
-L FESTIVITY of the Sons of LIBERTY to 
be celebrated on Roxbury Common on SAT- 
URDAY the Fourteenth Instant. 

N. B. Dinner precisely Ten Minutes before 
One ; and the Company to break up exactly 
at Five 0' Clock. 
August 10, 1773. (6s.) 

A contemporary chronicler says : 

" On Saturday last, being the anniversary of the memorable 14th 
of August, 1765, when the primitive, free, and independent spirit 
of uncorrupted British subjects in America made a second successful 
effort against tyranny and oppression, the sons of Liberty, with their 
fathers and friends from this and the neighboring towns, convened 
on Eoxbury common to the number of four hundred. There was a 
superb tent erected, sufficiently capacious to contain the numerous 
guests. Early in the morning a number of the friends of Liberty 


assembled under a spacious elm (near Stony River), which they 
ornamented by hoisting a large union flag thereon, and named said 
Elm, LIBERTY TREE, by fixing an inscription on the trunk. 

"Unfortunately the forenoon was wet, which prevented a con- 
siderable number of gentlemen who had engaged their company 
from sharing in the festivity of the day. But at the hour of dinner 
it ceased to rain, and two ranges of tables were filled. During the 
entertainment a select band of music patrolled the tent and gladdened 
the hearts of the patriots with the celebrated song of the farmer. 
The banquet was worthy the occasion. 

"Mirth and decency shook hands during the whole festival; 
smiling joy animated every countenance; a determined resolution 
to oppose to death every attempt to rob or enslave them, gave a 
superlative dignity to the whole. Patriotic toasts were drunk, 
enlivened by a feu de joie from the cannon, and the soft sympathy 
of collected music. 

"At six o'clock the company retired, having by their deportment 
through the day established this sacred character, that the enemies 
to usurpation and oppression are the great examples of order and 

Upon this hill were encamped the patriot forces assembled 
on the Lexington alarm, and here was the main post of the 
right wing of the army during the siege of Boston. Its first 
commander was Gen. John Thomas, whose headquarters 
were in the parsonage house opposite. "When in July, Gen. 
Ward took command of the right wing at Roxbury, Thomas 
commanded a brigade under him, and continued so to do 
while the siege lasted. This excellent officer, a native of 
Marshfield, Mass., was bora in 1725. He attained distinc- 
tion as a medical practitioner, was surgeon of a regiment sent 
to Annapolis Royal in 1746, became colonel of a provincial 
regiment in 1759, and served under Amherst in the following 
campaigns, ending in the conquest of Canada. Made a pro- 
vincial brigadier, Feb. 9, 1775, he was appointed to the same 
rank by Congress, June 22, and to that of major-general, 
March 6, 1776. On the evening of March 4, 1776, he, with 
three thousand men, occupied and fortified Dorchester 


Heights, throwing up in a single night such formidable works 
as to compel the evacuation of Boston by the enemy, and 
terminating the siege. Intrusted soon afterward with the 
command in Canada, he joined the army before Quebec on 
May 1, 1776, but an attack of small-pox, then fearfull}* prev- 
alent and fatal in his arm}*, carried him off, near Chamblee, 
on the river Sorel, on the 3d of June. 

The siege of Boston, the most important event in her 
annals, opened here with the march of Lord Percy to Lexing- 
ton on the memorable 19th of April, 1775, and virtually 
closed with that of Gen. Thomas, from this point to Dor- 
chester Heights, on the night of March 4, 1776. It lasted 
nearly eleven months, during which, Roxbury, ban-ing the exit 
of the enemy from the beleaguered town by land, bore the brunt 
of the conflict, and suffered severely from the enemy's cannon, 
and also from the devastation caused by military occupation. 

It was estimated that on the 20th of April, at least ten 
thousand men had assembled in arms around Boston. The 
militia regiments of Prescott, Warner, Learned, and Heath 
were already on the ground. Major-Gen. Artemas "Ward, 
senior Massachusetts officer, took the chief command at 
Cambridge, and held it until the arrival of Washington on 
July 2. Aided by Generals Thomas, Heath, and Putnam, he 
strove to bring order out of confusion, and all had their 
hands full. After a few days' continuance before Boston, 
many of the minute-men, who had left home so hastily as to 
be wholly unprovided for a campaign, and who had in many 
cases left their families equally uncared for, returned home, 
leaving the land entrance to Boston almost unguarded. Col. 
Lemuel Robinson, of Dorchester, with only six or seven 
hundred men, held this important pass for several days. 
" For nine days and nights," says Gordon the historian, 
" the colonel never shifted his clothes nor lay down to sleep, 
as he had the whole duty upon him, even down to the adju- 
tant, as there was no officer of the day to assist. The offi- 


cers in general had left the camp in order to raise the required 
number of men. The colonel was obliged, therefore, for the 
time mentioned, to patrol the guards every night, which gave 
him a round of nine miles to traverse." 

Says the diary of a British officer in Boston, under date of 
May 9, "At Roxbury there must be between two and three 
thousand men. Upon the hill where the church is they have 
four guns ; they have plenty of others, but I don't find they 
have any batteries." 

Such was the weakness of the besiegers at the very key to 
their position that on the 4th of Ma} r , two weeks after the 
siege had begun, the Committee of Safety wrote to the gov- 
ernments of Connecticut and Rhode Island a pressing request 
for three or four thousand men "to secure a pass of the 
greatest importance to the common interest," and on the 
9th, strong fears being entertained of a sally from Boston, a 
council of war requested of the committee a force of two 
thousand men to reinforce the troops at Roxbury. The com- 
mittee at once ordered the commanding officer of the ten 
nearest towns to muster " immediately one half of the militia 
and all the minute-men and march forthwith to Roxburj r , 
so that the British troops might not come and possess them- 
selves of that post." Before it was properly strengthened 
General Gage entertained such a design. Gen. Thomas 
gained information of what was intended on the day it was 
to be executed. 

" His whole force," says Gordon, " consisted of only seven hun- 
dred men. The post included a large, broad, high hill. A road led 
to the top of it, visible in some parts to persons at the entrance into 
Boston. It passes over the hill and descends into a hollow, from 
whence you can turn off, and passing circuitously enter again upon 
the said road. [This is the hill upon which Mr. N. J. Bradlee's 
residence and observatory now stand.] The general took advan- 
tage of this circuit and continued marching round and round the 
hill, by which he multiplied their appearance to any one who was 
reconnoitring them at Boston. The dress of the militia was 


extremely various, and consisted of their common clothing, which 
prevented the discovery of a deception that might otherwise have 
been soon detected had they worn uniform and possessed regular 
ensigns. Breastworks were at once ordered to be erected at differ- 
ent places to prevent the enemy's passing into the country from 
Boston Neck." 

Let us glance for a moment at the American camp. 
Greene, on arriving at the Rhode Island camp, Jamaica 
Plain, two weeks before the Bunker's Hill battle, found it 
" in great commotion " ; the men " a factious set" ; the offi- 
cers unable to control them ; several companies with clubbed 
muskets upon the point of starting for home ; the commissa- 
ries beaten off; and "an excitement which in a few days 
more would have proved fatal to the campaign." Applying 
himself strenuously to the task of checking the confusion and 
in exercising and disciplining his brigade, his success was 
such, that on the 28th of June he was able to write, that 
"though raw, irregular, and undisciplined," his men were 
under much better government than any around Boston. 

The Southern riflemen furnished a picturesque element to 
the camp. They were dressed in white hunting-shirts orna- 
mented with a fringe, round hats, on which appeared the 
motto, " Libert}' or Death," buckskin breeches, Indian moc- 
casins and leggins, also ornamented with beads and brilliant!} 1 " 
dyed porcupine quills, and were tall, stout, and hardy men, 
inured to frontier life. They were armed with rifles, toma- 
hawks, and long knives, the latter worn in the wampum belt 
that confined the hunting-shirt to the waist. At a review, a 
company of them, at a quick advance, fired three balls into 
objects of seven inches diameter, at two hundred and fifty 
yards. "With them it was a disgrace to shoot their game any- 
where except in the head, and they inspired such terror in 
the British camp that they were there spoken of as " shirt- 
tail men, with their cursed twisted guns, the most fatal widow 
and orphan makers in the world." Daniel Morgan's com- 


pany marched from Winchester, Va. , to Cambridge, a dis- 
tance of six hundred miles, in twenty-one daj^s without losing 
a man by sickness or desertion on the route. Otho Holland 
Williams, afterwards Greene's able coadjutor at the South, 
was a lieutenant in one of these companies. 

The greatest obstacle to the establishment of good disci- 
pline was found in the officers rather than the men. The 
social equality and familiarity that had subsisted at home 
between the men and their officers was continued in the 
camp. An illustration of this is furnished by a visitor lo 
Roxbury, who overheard the following dialogue: "Bill," 
said a captain to one of his privates, "go and bring a pail 
of water for the mess." " I sha'n't," was the reply; "it's 
your turn now, captain ; I got the last." A more illustrious 
instance was that of Col. Rufus Putnam, the chief engineer 
of the army in Roxbuiy. " "What ! " says a person meeting 
him one day with a piece of meat in his hand," cariying home 
your rations yourself, colonel?" "Yes," says he, "and I 
do it to set the officers a good example." 

Washington, upon his arrival at camp, on July 3, 1775, 
found himself at the head of a force of about fifteen thousand 
men, "a rabble in arms" is the contemptuous phrase of a 
British officer, lax in discipline, impatient under the neces- 
sary restraints of military life, without much organization, 
destitute of powder, and without uniformity in dress, weap- 
ons, or equipment. Officers and men were scarcely distin- 
guishable by any outward insignia of rank. " Imagine such 
an army," sa} r s a writer, " without artillery or effective small 
arms, without magazines or discipline, and unable to execute 
the smallest tactical manoeuvre should their lines be forced at 
any point, laying siege to a town containing ten thousand 
troops, the finest in the world. It was, moreover, without a 
flag, or a commander having absolute authority, until Washing- 
ton came. Picture to yourself a grimy figure behind a rank of 
gabions, his head wrapped in an old bandana, a short pipe 


between his teeth, stripped of his upper garments, his lower 
limbs encased in leather breeches, yarn stockings, and hob- 
nailed shoes, industriously plying mattock or spade, and 
your provincial soldier of '75 stands before you." 

With all its deficiencies, there were some compensations in 
the American camp. A common feeling of patriotism gave 
it unity of action, and almost all were familiar with the use 
of fire-arms in hunting and fowling, and not a few had served 
in frontier campaigns against the French and Indians. The 
effect of "Washington's arrival, and of the energetic measures 
he at once adopted to transform these improvised forces into an 
army, is thus graphically described by Chaplain Emerson : 

" There is great overturning in the camp as to order and regu- 
larity. New lords, new laws. The strictest government is taking 
place, and great distinction is made between officers and soldiers. 
Every one is made to know his place and keep in it, or be tied up 
and receive thirty or forty lashes, according to his crime. Thou- 
sands are at work every day from four till eleven o'clock in the 
morning. It is surprising how much work has been done. It is 
very diverting to walk among the camps. They are as different in 
their form as the owners are in their dress, and every tent is a por- 
traiture of the temper and taste of the persons who encamp in it. 
Some are made of boards, and some of sail-cloth ; some partly of 
one and partly of the other. Again, others are made of stone and 
turf, brick or brush, some are thrown up in a hurry, others cun- 
ningly wrought with doors and windows, done with wreaths and 
withes in the manner of a basket. Some are your proper tents and 
marquees, looking like the regular camp of the enemy. In these 
are the Khode-Islanders, who are furnished with tent equipage and 
everything in the most exact English style. However, I think this 
great variety is rather a beauty than a blemish in the army." 

Meeting-House Hill Common was the grand parade of the 
arm} 7 . Here the guards for the advanced lines on the Neck, 
for the main guard in Eoxbury Street, for Lamb's Dam, Mill 
Creek, and for the other forts and redoubts, and the fatigue 
parties emploj-ed on the fortifications, were formed every 
morning and inspected by Thomas, Spencer, or Greene. The 


Rhode-Islanders were stationed at Jamaica Plain, the Con- 
necticut brigade was on Parker's Hill, the Massachusetts men 
at the lines, on Meeting-House Hill, and in its vicinity. The 
vacated estates of the loyalists, Loring, Auchmutj*, Hutchin- 
son, Bernard, and Hallowell, were all in military occupation. 

Of those who in the Roxbury camp were already known to 
fame, or were soon to achieve distinction, were Thomas, 
already mentioned ; Heath, a native of the town, sturdy, hon- 
est, and patriotic, and well read in military science ; Spencer, 
of Connecticut, a man past sixty, " a most respectable citi- 
zen, but, from inexperience, not qualified for councils of war" ; 
Greene, of Rhode Island, who, after Washington, was per- 
haps the best officer in the patriot army ; Knox, a native of 
Boston, young, ardent, and active, whose skill as an engineer, 
and whose enterprise and fertility of resource, signally dis- 
played in his feat of transporting heavy cannon and stores in 
the dead of winter from Ticonderoga to the camp, contributed 
materially to the success of the siege ; Morgan, afterwards 
the celebrated leader of the rifle corps, and the conqueror of 
the dreaded Col. Tarleton ; Greaton, another native of Rox- 
bury, whose faithful services were rewarded at the close of the 
war with the rank of brigadier-general, and who returned home 
only to lay his bones in the old bury ing-ground, literally worn 
out in the service ; and Crane, the commander of the Massa- 
chusetts artillery throughout the entire contest. 

The adjutant of Spencer's Connecticut regiment was John 
Trumbull, son of the patriotic governor of that State, after- 
ward celebrated as a painter, and whose historical pictures 
adorn the Rotunda of the Capitol at Washington. In his 
' ' Autobiography " he s&ys : 

" The regiment reached the vicinity of Boston early in May, and 
was stationed at Roxbury. The parade and alarm post was a field 
on the hill between the meeting-house and the then road, in fall 
view of the enemy's lines at the entrance of Boston. Our first occu- 
pation was to secure our own positions by constructing field works 


for defence. The enemy occasionally fired upon our working par- 
ties, and in order to familiarize our raw soldiers to this exposure, a 
small reward was offered in general orders for every ball fired by 
the enemy which should be picked up and brought to headquarters. 
This soon produced the intended effect, a fearless emulation among 
the men ; but it produced also a very unfortunate result, for when 
the soldiers saw a ball roll sluggishly along, they would attempt to 
stop it, by which means several brave lads had their feet badly 
crushed, whereupon the order was withdrawn. 

"From the upper windows of Thomas's headquarters, near the 
meeting-house, Charlestown was in full view, though at too great a 
distance for the naked eye to discern what was doing on the day of 
the Bunker's Hill battle. "When the firing became frequent and 
heavy, the troops in Eoxbury were ordered under arms and to theii 
posts. Gen. Spencer's regiment was drawn up on their parade ir 
full view of the enemy's lines, and it was not long before we attracted 
their attention and their fire. Several of their heavy shot passed 
over us, and we were soon ordered to fall back to the hill behind the 
meeting-house. It was my duty as an adjutant to bring up the rear 
and pick up stragglers. In crossing a stone fence, which the regi- 
ment in their retreat had nearly levelled, a soldier was on my right, 
not more than two feet distant, when I heard the rush of a heavy 
ball, and the poor fellow at my side fell, and cried out that he was 
killed. He was taken to the rear and soon died. There was no ex- 
ternal wound, but the body over the region of the heart was black 
from extravasated blood. The regiment fell back to the summit of 
the hill, and we there passed the night on our arms. Charlestown, 
which lay full in our view, was one extended line of fire. The 
British were apparently apprehensive that their obstinate enemy 
might rally and renew the action, and therefore kept up during 
the night a frequent fire of shot and shells in the direction of Cam- 
bridge. The roar of artillery, the bursting of shells (whose track 
like that of a comet was marked on the dark sky by a long train of 
light from the burning fuse), and the blazing ruins of the town, 
formed altogether a sublime scene of military magnificence and 
ruin. That night was a fearful breaking-in for young soldiers, who 
there for the first time were seeking repose on the summit of a bare 
rock surrounded by such a scene." 

"TVTiile the British were attacking Bunker's Hill," says Heath, 
" a furious cannonade and throwing of shells took place at the lines 
on the Neck against Roxbury, with intent to burn that town, but 


although several shells fell among the houses and some carcasses 
near them, and balls went through some, no other damage was sus- 
tained than the loss of one man killed by a shot driving a stone 
from a wall against him." 

The diaries of Gen. Heath, of Samuel Bixby of Col. 
Learned's regiment, of Samuel Hawes of Capt. Pond's 
Wrentham company, Ezekiel Price, and others, contain some 
incidents of interest respecting Roxbury's part in the siege. 
They are placed in chronological order : 

"May 5, 1775. Col. Learned's regiment pitch their tents in 
Roxbury, near the meeting-house. 

" 30. Capt. Pond's company moved to Commo. Loring's house. 

" June 5. A barge and four men belonging to a man of war, cap- 
tured and taken to Cambridge, was this day brought to Roxbury in a 
cart. Its sails were up, and three sailors in it with their oars, row- 
ing, made diversion for the country people. It was marched round 
the meeting-house, while the engineer fired the cannon for joy. 

"17. Battle of Bunker's Hill. 

"25. Sunday. Paraded at the burying-yard. Firing continued 
at Charlestown and Cambridge. The Rhode-Islanders laid out a 
piece of ground for an intrenchment, and went to work intrenching. 
Gen. Thomas ordered them to cease work, but they swore they 
would not, and he thought best to let them go on with it. 

" 19. Our men are ordered to another place to entrench. 

" 21. A fatigue party cut fascines for the fort. 

"22. We are still intrenching here. We have thrown up a 
strong work across the street, and also one across the road to 

"23. We are still building the fort. 

"24. A house near our intrenchment was ordered to be taken 
down, as it might be set on fire by a bombshell, and render the 
intrenchment too hot for us. A party soon began the work, and the 
British opened fire upon them with shot and shell. Our soldiers 
would go and take up a burning bomb, and take out the fuse. Two 
Americans, attempting to set Brown's barn on fire, were killed. In 
the evening two heavy cannon were brought to the work on Work- 
house Hill. Major Crane fired seven shots into the British works 
on the Neck, and drove the regulars from Brown's house precipi- 
tately. Two houses in Roxbury were set on fire by shells. 


" 26. A party of the British about daybreak advanced and fired 
on the American sentinels near the George Tavern. The picket 
guard turned out, and after sharp firing the British retreat. 

" 27. We are building defences on Dorchester Neck. 

" 30. Last night the Khode-Islanders, under Lieut. Drury, went 
down to the guard with a field-piece and fired nine times at the reg- 
ulars, who returned three shots. 

" July 1. We are fortifying on all sides, and making it strong as 
possible round the fort on the hill by the workhouse. We have two 
24-pound cannon, and forty balls to each. We have hauled apple- 
trees, with limbs trimmed and sharp, and pointing outward from the 
fort. We finished one platform, and placed the cannon on it just at 
night, and then fired two balls into Boston, that hit the barracks of 
the regulars. This night works are to be opened near Gates's bank, 
in Brookline. 

"2. In the morning, a brisk cannonade from the British lines, 
and some shells thrown. A carcase set fire to the house of Mr. 
Stephen Williams, the tinman, near Roxbury bury ing- place, which 
was burnt down. By the activity of the troops/ the flames were 
prevented from spreading, although they had to work in the face of 
a constant and heavy fire from the enemy. There is scarcely a house 
in the lower part of Roxbury that is not much injured by shot and 
bombs. Our people have lost only one man by them, which is very 
remarkable, as one hundred at least were fired into Roxbury during 
the week. 

" 5. Both of the new generals, Washington and Lee, came into 
Roxbury to-day. In the evening a regular, said to be a trumpeter 
in the Light Horse, with a flag, came from the intrenchments on 
Boston Neck, blowing his trumpet till he came to the American sen- 
tinels, whom he passed, and got through Roxbury Street as far as 
the foot of Roxbury Hill, where he was stopped, blindfolded, and 
then carried to headquarters. [He came out under pretence of Gen. 
Burgoyne's hearing that Gen. Lee had a letter for him.] 

" 8. Last night we planted two pieces of artillery within range 
of the enemy's outpost on the Neck. Brown's house burnt. 

" 9. The regulars, last night, made an advanced battery (a half- 
circle work) near Brown's, on the Neck, and moved a floating bat- 
tery up in the Bay so as to cover the right flank of their works on 
the Neck. Sunday we cut down and trimmed the limbs of some 
apple-trees, sharp, and built a sort of breastwork across the road 
(Roxbury Street), with their points toward Boston, to stop the 
Light Horse should they come to attack us. 


" 11. This morning a party of our men burnt Brown's store, 
yhich escaped the flames last week. The regulars, upon the ap- 
proach of our men, quitted their advanced work with precipitation. 
Part of a work this day traced out on Col. Williams's hill [where 
the Stand-Pipe is], and a strong abatis completing from the marsh 
land back of Capt. Davis's house across the road into Lamb's 

' ' 12. In the forenoon Col. Greaton with one hundred and twenty- 
six men went in whale-boats to Long Island, burnt the house on it, 
and the barns, with a large lot of hay intended for the British cav- 
alry. One armed schooner and several barges put off after the 
Americans, and some of the ships of war near the island cannonaded 
them, but though they narrowly escaped being taken, Col. Greaton 
and his daring band gained the shore. One man of the detachment 
on shore that came to the assistance of Greaton was killed. Thirty 
odd whale-boats were this day brought from Dorchester on men's 
shoulders. The bell on the meeting-house tower taken down this 
day and carried away by the parish committee. 

"13. Works in the meadow, near the George Tavern, go on 
briskly, although a heavy cannonade all the forenoon from the lines 
and the floating battery, and a number of shells thrown, but no 
damage done. Generals Washington and Lee visited the Roxbury 

" 14. This day a fortress was begun on Col. Williams's hill, 
back of the works on the hill near the workhouse. We were amused 
with a heavy fire of cannon and mortars from the lines of the regu- 
lars on the Neck, and from one of their floating batteries, against 
two hundred of our men, who were throwing up a breastwork in 
front of the George Tavern and within a few rods of the regulars' 
advanced guard. Our people kept at their work, and never returned 
a shot. Three bombs burst near them without injuring a man. 
Most of the cannon-shot were taken up and brought to the general. 

" 15. Last night two hundred men were ordered to march 
quietly down to George's Tavern, and throw up a breastwork on 
the marsh 

"18. In the evening a strong party took possession of an 
advanced post in Koxbury, and the next day there was an incessant 
cannonade kept up on the works. There was an appearance of a 
sortie by the British during this cannonade, but they disappointed 
Gen. Thomas, who made excellent dispositions to receive them. 

"31. Our guard near George's Tavern were drove in. Tavern 


and barn burnt, ' cannon roared like thunder ' in all directions. 
Shells fly into Roxbury, but generally went over us. 

" Aug. 1. The floating battery is brought up towards Brookline 
fort. Our men at Col. Eead's fort (Mill Creek) fired on her till 
they drove her back to her old place. The same day they fired 
from Roxbury Hill fort, and it was said that they fired through their 
barrack. Bixby says, we fired the twenty-four pounder in the great 
fort above the meeting-house three times. One ball went into Bos- 
ton, two struck their breastwork.' 

"2. Our men were to begin an intrenchment this night near 
Lamb's Dam, and it was expected that the regulars would oppose 

" 8. Morgan's riflemen arrived. 

"13. Being Sunday, we went to hear Mr. Willard, and after 
meeting, our men went to intrench down at the George Tavern, and 
about break of day they got home. Learned's men began to intrench 
' down by Roxbury burying-yard, on each side of the street, one in 
the orchard at the right hand, and one at the left hand, down towards 
George's Tavern.' Being fired upon ' we mind it not.' 

"15. The field-pieces placed near Lamb's Dam fired upon the 
intrenchments of the regulars on the Neck. They returned the fire, 
and wounded one man in the head slightly. Lieut.-Col. Putnam 
ordered to take down the fence that enclosed the George Tavern. 

"18. Behold their spite! This morning before sunrise the 
enemy fired on our working party on the Neck, this side the George 
Tavern. Our riflemen fired at them, and it is thought killed two of 
them. Notwithstanding all their firing of balls and bombs, yet 
there was not one man wounded on our side. 

" 19. Ordered, that as the general has lately been informed that 
the enemy contemplates erecting a battery somewhere near Brown's 
house and the George Tavern, a picket consisting of two hundred 
men be raised for the night, and continue till further orders, to 
drive them back whenever they may attempt to raise such a battery. 

"22. Col. D. Brewer ordered to remove his regiment to War- 
ren's grounds. 

"24. Three hundred men ordered to intrench at the lower end 
of Roxbury Street last night, and three hundred men stationed at 
Lamb's Dam to protect them. 

"27. Ordered that the alarm-post for Col. Danielson's regiment 
be the new works to the left of where the main guard is posted. 

"29. A company of riflemen arrive to-day. 


" 31. Six hundred men with canteens of water are ordered to 
parade in the orchard west of Blaney's store, to be employed as Col. 
Putnam may direct. 

" Sept. 2. This morning we spied the enemy intrenching at 
Brown's chimneys and fired at them from the lower fort, and with a 
field-piece went down to the right hand of the burying-place, and 
b ad not been there long before we were ordered off, and the cannon 
began to play upon the enemy from Roxbury fort on the hill and 
the field-pieces from the breastwork in the thicket. The occasion 
of our men's firing on them was this : They had advanced about 
thirty or forty rods this side their breastwork on the Neck and 
were intrenching there. They fired at us, but did no damage. At 
night a platform was carried down to the thicket in order to mount 
a cannon there. 

' ' 6. Our fatigue parties are at work on both sides below George's 
Tavern and at Lamb's Dam. Our men went down below the tavern 
as a safeguard for the sentries. The works advanced beyond the 
George Tavern without any molestation. 

" 7. The commanding officer of the main guard is not to permit 
any person to carry any boards, spars, or rails to the right and left 
of the burying-ground, as in case of bombardment or cannonading 
from the enemy, the troops would be greatly exposed thereby. 

" 8. Our fatigue party building a fort on the hill above Lamb's 
Dam fired on by the enemy. They fling six or seven balls and two 

" 9. At night our men carried several cannon down to the thicket 
to the breastwork there. The redoubt at Lamb's Dam nearly fin- 
ished, and mounted with four eighteen-pounders. 

" 12. Major Crane is directed to post a detachment of the train 
in the fort near Lamb's Dam, to guard, superintend, and conduct 
the ordnance in those works. Our men intrenching at Lamb's Dam 
not above half a mile from the enemy's breastwork. All the cattle and 
horses in and about Roxbury common, and on the lands unimproved 
by the owners, to be removed from thence, and the cattle and sheep 
lately come from Rhode Island, for the use of the army, to be pas- 
tured there. 

" 19. As there are six large boats now lying before Col. Fellows's 
quarters which are exposed to' great injury from the weather, the 
quartermaster-general is directed to order a sufficient number of 
teams to carry said boats from the above-named place to the Mill 
Creek, under the care of Col. Read. Enemy firing upon Roxbury 


daily, fire returned. Capt. Poulett, of the 59th British Regiment, 
had his leg shot off as he was sitting at breakfast at the lines. 

" 21. Prisoners confined at the main guard having been exposed 
to the enemy's fire, in future to be immediately removed to the 
guard at the meeting-house. 

"23. The enemy began to fire about nine o'clock. They fired 
above one hundred balls, but through the good hand of Divine 
Providence they did not kill one man. One or two men slightly 
wounded. Our men fired three cannon from our breastwork near 
Lamb's Dam. One of the balls went into Boston among the houses. 
' Last Saturday,' says Henry Knox, ' let it be remembered to the 
honor and skill of the British troops, that they fired one hundred 
and eight cannon-shot at our works, at not a greater distance than 
half point blank shot, and did what? Why, scratched a man's 
face with the splinters of a rail fence ! ' 

" Oct. 2. The regiment commanded by Col. Greaton turned out 
and was reviewed, made a fine appearance and performed their 
exercise well. One of the new boats was launched, several others 

" 5. Col. Eead to take charge of the ordnance and ordnance 
stores at Bead's battery until further orders. The creek guard to 
consist of thirty privates, which guard is to keep centries at Read's 
battery. This morning the enemy discharged nine cannon at our 
meeting-house where about two thousand men were collected, but 
'hurted ' not one man. 

"23. Went to Roxbury with the general officers, and the com- 
mittee from Congress [Dr. Franklin, Messrs. Lynch, Harrison, and 
others] to dine on turtle." Heath's Diary. 

"Nov. 24. Orders came last night from Washington to Gen. 
Thomas for every man to lie by his arms and with his clothes on, as 
an attack was expected from the enemy, who had given out word 
that they would take supper with us in Roxbury on Thanksgiving 

"25. Main guard will in future parade in the street from Howe's 
bakehouse to the guard-house. The drums and fifes to beat down 
the street from the colonel's quarters as far as his right every morn- 
ing at sunrise, and at one hour before sunset, to call the troops to 

" Dec. 6. Main guard to parade from Howe's bakehouse to Dr. 
Davies's great house. 

"1776, Jan. 3. Twenty men out of each regiment in Roxbury 
to cut fascines. ' I believe we have it bv and by.' 


" March 1, 2, 3. A. number of mortars moved to Roxbury. 
Screwed hay brought from Chelsea, and great preparations mak- 
ing. Heavy cannonade. Col. David Mason, chief engineer at 
Lamb's Dam, injured by the bursting of a ten-inch mortar. 

" 4. At one o'clock I was at Roxbury; it seemed as if it had 
been raining men for some time. The general had ordered over two 
regiments from Cambridge, and had called out five regiments of 
minute-men, and as many more almost had come in volunteers, well 
armed and ready to take part in the conflict. To the honor of the 
militia in the neighborhood, it was said they behaved nobly on this 
occasion ; for when those who had teams were called on for their 
assistance, not the least excuse was made, but one and all, with one 
voice, said, 'Yes, I am ready; I will go with my team,' and many 
more came than could be made use of. A little before sunset we 
marched off from Roxbury, but for more than half a mile before we 
came to Dorchester lines we overtook teams in great plenty, nor did 
we find any vacancy till we came to the lines. In some places they 
were so wedged in together we were obliged to leave the road to 
get forward. Reached the lines at seven o'clock, where we waited 
half an hour for orders, when a signal was given, and the cannonade 
began at Lamb's fort, and was immediately answered by a very 
warm fire from the enemy's lines. Our party, consisting of about 
two thousand four hundred men, with three hundred teams, were 
crossing the marsh on to the Neck, which, together with a fresh 
breeze at S. W., concealed us from the enemy until they could see 
our works by daylight. The division to which I was assigned, 
commanded by Col. Whitcomb, was ordered on to the northerly 
hill, where in one hour's time we had a fort enclosed with fascines 
placed in chandeliers, and we immediately employed as many men 
intrenching as could be advantageously used for that purpose. A 
larger party was assigned the high hill, where they erected a larger 
fort, built much in the same manner as ours. There were also four 
other smaller forts and batteries erected this night on other emi- 
nences on the Neck. 

" 5. Our party, under the immediate command of Gen. Thomas, 
were relieved by a detachment of three thousand men from Roxbury 
lines without the notice of the enemy. Our division marching off in 
the rear of the whole, crossed the marsh a little before sunrise, but 
yet we escaped the shot of the enemy and came to our quarters, sun 
about an hour high, weary and hungry. The excessive cannonade 
and bombardment of last night did no other damage than mortally 


wounding Lieut. Mayo, of Learned's regiment. He lately belonged 
to Roxbury ; his father, and friends now living in this town, were 
with him when he died. 

" 6. A little before noon we were alarmed by a signal at the 
meeting-house that the enemy were landing at Dorchester. The 
regiment turned out, and was kept in readiness throughout the day, 
but the alarm happened somehow through mistake. 

" 1 6. Nook's Hill fortified. 

"17. Sunday. Alarmed while at breakfast by the drum's beat- 
ing to arms, and the regiment immediately turned out. I went up 
to the north of Ruggles's fort, where I observed some very peculiar 
movements of the shipping. They continued falling down the har- 
bor, many of them surrounded with great numbers of boats, till 
about noon, when I hear the selectmen of Boston came out to Rox- 
bury and informed the general that the British troops had all em- 
barked and left the town. 

" 25. Went up to our upper fort, from which I saw a part of the 
British fleet under sail. 

" 1777, Aug. 14. This day a sixth part of the militia in Rox- 
bury were drafted to serve in the army until the last of November. 

"2775, Dec. 31. This day a duel was fought in a pasture near 
Roxbury meeting-house between Mr. Robert Gates, son of Major- 
Gen. Gates, and Mr. John Carter. Mr. Gates discharged his pistol 
at Mr. Carter, but not hitting him. Mr. Carter told him he could 
take his life, but would not do it, and did not fire." 

No more interesting spot can be found in Roxbury than 
Meeting-House Hill, upon which, in the summer of 1632, the 
first meeting-house was built. As it was one of the first 
cares of our pious ancestors to provide a place of worship in 
which to settle "an able orthodox minister," to have been 
destitute of one for the first two years of their settlement was, 
we may well imagine, no small privation. During this period 
they were assessed for the support of the Charlestown church, 
and joined themselves to that of Dorchester. Here the life of 
the old town centred, and for many years the church was the 
town, and the town the church. At first, in anticipation of 
Indian attacks, all persons were ordered to live within half a 
mile of the meeting-house, and the men, or a portion of them, 



were required to attend public worship completely armed. 
Town meetings were held here ; here for near a century all 
marriages, funerals, and baptisms were solemnized ; and here 
the apostle Eliot preached for nearly sixty years. It is this 
ministry, inseparably connecting her with the beneficent mis- 
sionary labors of the grand old apostle to the Indians, the 
fame of which extended throughout Christendom, this it is 
that constitutes the crowning glory of the Roxbury church. 
The present house, though by no means a beautiful structure, 
is conspicuous from its elevated site and venerable for its 
associations. The spacious, grassy slopes around it have 
Eliot Square upon the west, Roxbury Street upon the north, 
Dudley Street upon the south, and Putnam Street upon the 

This is the fifth church edifice erected here, the second 
having been built in 1674, the third in 1741, the fourth in 
1746, and the last in 1804, this having stood longer than 
either of its predecessors. The first was a rude and 
" unbeautified " structure with a thatched roof, destitute of 
shingles or plaster ; without gallery, pew, or spire, and prob- 
ably similar to that of 
Dedham in its dimensions, 
the latter being thirty-six 
feet long, twenty feet wide, 
and twelve feet high " in 
the stud." A meeting- 
house of the second archi- 
tectural period, such as 
may yet be seen at Hing- 
ham, had a roof of pyra- 
midal form covered with a 
belfry ; accordingly the bell-rope hung down to the centre of 
the floor, and the sexton stood half-way between the princi- 
pal door and the pulpit while summoning the worshippers 
together. The people sat on plain benches, the men and 


women on opposite sides of the house. In 1646 the first 
house was put in " safe repaire," and in 1656 the ends were 
clapboarded. It is lamentable to think how many must have 
owed their death to exposure during our rigorous New Eng- 
land winters in these unplastered, un warmed, and comfortless 
structures. The record says : 

"Jan. 12, 1658. It was agreed that the meeting-bowse be re- 
payred for the warmth and comfort of the people ; namely, that the 
bowse is to be shingled and also two galleries built, with three seats 
in a gallery, one at the one end of the bowse and the other at the 
other end. Also the bowse to be plastered within side with plaster 
and haire ; also for the seting out of the bowse, that some pinakle 
or other ornament be set upon each end of the bowse ; also the bell 
to be removed in some convenient place for the benefit of the town, 
and the charge to be borne by the several inhabitance by way of a 
rate. For which worke Lieut. John Remington is to have twenty- 
two pounds; more, if the worke deserveth more; lesse, if the worke 
deserveth lesse." 

Nothing could have been more abhorrent to our early Puri- 
tans than a step in the direction of popery, yet we find on 
record the following: "Jan. 28, 1666. It was voated for 
making more ' Rome ' in the meeting-house, that there should 
be another seate added to the men's gallery." The original 
house being constantly in need of repairs, on Dec. 10, 1672, 
it was, " after much debate with love and condescending one 
to another, concluded by voate to build a nue meeting-house 
as near the other as conveniently ma}' be" ; and on April 14, 
1674, " the selectmen and the committee met at Sergt. Rug- 
gles's, and there toke account of the number of hands that 
were hired to help 'rare' the nue meeting-house." To its 
construction the people of Brookline contributed 104 5s., 
and worshipped there until the erection of their own church 
in 1715, one fifth part of the church being allotted to them, 
they contributing in that proportion towards the parish ex- 
penses. The first meeting in the new house was on Nov. 15, 


1674, only four days before the death of Rev. Mr. Danforth, 
Eliot's colleague. In 1693 permission was given to build 
pews around the meeting-house, "except where the boys 
do sit, upon the charge of those who desire the same, 
and this only to be granted to meet persons." In 1721 it 
was voted that the bell belonging to the meeting-house may 
be rung for the town every night, "provided any person 
appear to pay for the same and the selectmen approve of the 

The third edifice, built in 1741, was destroyed by fire in 
March, 1744, and the use of foot-stoves, to which the confla- 
gration was attributed, was, on that account, thereafter pro- 
hibited. " So as not to intrude on the pews in the west gal- 
leries," a corner in them was allotted to the negroes to sit in. 
Towards the building of the fourth house, completed in 1746, 
upon the same plan as its predecessor, aid was received 
from the neighboring churches, and meetings were meanwhile 
held in the brick schooihouse. Judge Paul Dudley pro- 
vided a handsome porch, and Col. Joseph Heath gave a 
clock. In 1763 the three seats to the right of the clock in 
the centre of the gallery were appropriated for " those 
who may be inclined to sit together for the purpose of sing- 

The main entrance of this house, in front of which was a 
large, flat, circular stone, faced the south, and was in the cen- 
tre of the building. The tower and belfry were as at present, 
the gallery entrance being also there. The pulpit was then 
on the northerly side. The pews were square, and the 
seats so made as to fold up when the people stood up at 
prayer, at the close of which they would come down with a 
clatter, fun for the boys, who thus responded to the 
amen. Its high pews make one share the feelings of the 
little girl who, when taken to church for the first time, com- 
plained that she had been shut up in a closet, and made to 
sit upon a shelf. In front, the place of honor, were two body 



pews, so called, assigned to strangers and the poor of the 

Joseph Heath's plan of the interior of the proposed meet- 
ing-house, and the names of the occupants of pews in 1736 
are here given : 



3 i i 

s i 



~Y r \ 


a | 10 

11 i 


so I Si i ES : PULPIT'- i j a j 3 


1. The minister. 

2. Paul Dudley. 

3. Col. Lamb. 

4. Ralph Holbrook. 

5. Jona. Seaver. 

6. Jos. Warren. 

7. J. Williams, Sen. 

8. Ebenez. Cheney. 

9. Edw. Sumner. 

10. Lieut. Sam'l Williams. 

11. Capt. Sam'l Stevens. 

12. Ens. John Holbrook. 

13. Mr. Joseph Williams. 

14. Eben Davis. 

15. J. Ruggles. 

16. Capt. John Richardson. 

17. Jo. Ruggles. 

18. Eben. Craft. 

19. Mrs. Dorothy Williams. 

20. Lt. Samuel Heath. 

21. Eleazer Williams. 

22. Col. Joseph Heath. 

23. Noah Perrin. 

24. N. Williams. 

25. John Bowles. 

26. Stephen Williams. 

27. John Goddard. 

28. Lt. Isaac Curtis. 

29. John Williams. 

30. Jonathan Williams. 

31. Shed. 

32. Ens. Ebenezer May. 

33. Ebr. Pierpont. 

34. Dea. Ed. Ruggles. 

35. Caleb Stedman. 

36. Ebenezer Dorr. 

37. Ebenezer Warren. 

38. Ebenezer Seaver. 

39. James Mears. 

40. Samuel Griggs. 



B. Mrs. Win. Bosson. 9. Edward Dorr. 

6. Thomas Baker. 10. Mrs. Eaton. 

7. Jno. "Woods. 11. Samuel Gore. 

8. Dea. Samuel Gridley. 

No meetings could be held here while the siege lasted, 
and the building was used as a signal station for the army, 
the parsonage close by being the headquarters of Gen. 

From the church belfty were shown the signals that trans- 
mitted to the country the jo3*ful intelligence that the British 
troops were evacuating Boston, and that the long siege had 
been brought to a successful termination. The pews and the 
bell had been taken out by the parish committee, and the 
communion plate carried by Rev. Mr. Adams to Medfield. 
It is greatly to be regretted that this old communion plate 
could not have been kept as a sacred memento of the apostle 
Eliot and of the founders of the church. Having become 
much worn, it was sold in 1789, and a new piece purchased 
with the proceeds. A constant and conspicuous target for 
the British cannon, the church was pierced through in many 
places, one ball passing through the belfry. At the close of 
the siege, when the meetings were resumed, 200 were ex- 
pended in necessary repairs. 

The engraving of the old edifice and its surroundings 
(facing the title-page) is copied from an oil painting, by Pen- 
niman, the Roxburj' artist, now the property of Mr. Horace 
Hunt, of Boston. It is taken from the residence of Deacon 
Moses Davis, on Washington Street, which constitutes the 
foreground, and exhibits the church and the hill with the 
houses at that time (1790) upon it. Of those now standing, 
the Mears house on the left, the Lambert house next the 
church, and the parsonage are the most prominent. The 
old grocery store on Eliot Square is also seen, and a good 


idea can be formed of this part of the town at the beginning 
of this century. 

In 1802 the parish decided to erect a new building of wood 
upon the plan of the Newburyport meeting-house. During 
its construction, in the following year, services were held in a 
new unfinished brick building on Eoxbury Street, owned by 
Capt. Stoddard, since known as Ionic Hall. The plan of 
rebuilding encountered opposition. Heath's manuscript jour- 
nal, under date of April 18, 1803, says: "This day the meet- 
ing-house in the First Parish of this town was begun to be 
pulled down. It was not half worn out, and might have 
been repaired with a saving of $10,000 to the parish. It has 
been sold for $600. Whether every generation grows wiser 
or not, it is evident they grow more fashionable and extrava- 
gant." Our own generation has so far advanced in these 
directions that it can not only build more fashionably and 
extravagantly than its predecessors, but does so almost wholly 
upon borrowed capital. The present house was dedicated on 
June 7, and services were first held here on June 10, 1804. 
Underneath the west corner-stone of the building there was 
deposited with appropriate ceremonies a circular silver plate 
with the inscription : 



ROXBURY, MAY 2D 1803. 


Ten years later, and soon after a discourse by Rev. Dr. 
Porter, from Acts xviii, 17, this identical plate, which had 
been surreptitiously removed from its place, was handed by 
Mr. Ebenezer Brewer to Capt Jonathan Dorr, one of the 
parish committee. Upon the back of the plate when returned 



there was found written, " This Tallent which the slothful 
servant hid in the earth, mite have been sold for six shillings 
and seven pence, and given to the poor, ' but Gallic cared 
for none of these things.'" 

By vote of the parish in 1805, town meetings in the church 
were interdicted, and as a result a town house was built soon 
afterwards. In April, 1806, the new clock was set up in 
the tower by Mr. Simon Willard, its inventor and maker. 


The sale of pews in the new house left, after paying for the 
building, a surplus of $7,706.02. This sum, on the proposi- 
tion of Gen. Heath in town meeting, was divided among the 
tax-payers of the parish, pro rata. In 1857 four of these 
pew-holders were yet living, and also twenty-five of the 
descendants of the original founders of 1632. In that year 
the edifice was repaired, its interior greatly improved, and 
the horse-sheds, so long an eyesore to the neighborhood, 
removed. A handsome chapel has recently been erected on 
the Putnam Street side. 

This is one of the oldest as well as one of the largest and 
most influential religious societies in New England, being 


fifth in the order of time, those of Salem (1629), Dorchester 
(1630), Boston, and Watertown (1632) having alone pre- 
ceded it. It was gathered in July, 1632, George Alcock, 
"William Parke, William Pjnchon, John Johnson, Thomas 
Lamb, William Denison, Thomas Rawlings, Robert Cole. 
Samuel Wakeman, and William Chase being its principal 
founders. " Until such time as God should give them oppor- 
tunity to be a church among themselves, the people of Rocks- 
borough joyned to the church at Dorchester, and chose Alcock 
for their Deakon." 

When the opportunity came, through the large accessions 
made to their number in the summer of 1632, Mr. Thomas 
Welde was ordained teacher, and John Eliot, pastor of the 
church and society. Welde's engagement is thus quaintly 
described : " After many imparlances and days of humiliation 
by those of Roxbury to seek the Lord for Mr. Welde his dis- 
posing, and the advice of those of Ptymouth being taken, he 
resolved to sit down with them of Roxbury, the diligent peo- 
ple thereof early preventing their brethren of other churches 
by calling him to be their pastor." 

Of the manner of Eliot's settlement here, in pursuance of 
his agreement with his Nazing friends, he tells us in his 
church record : 

" Mr. John Eliot came to N. E. in the 9 month 1631. He left his 
intended wife in England to come the next year. He adjoyned to 
the church at Boston, and there exercised in the absence of Mr. 
Wilson the Pastor who was gone back to England for his wife and 
family. The next summer Mr. Wilson returned and by y* time the 
church at Boston was intended to call him to office, his friends were 
come over and settled at Roxborough to whom he was foreingaged 
yt if he were not called to office before they came he was to joyne 
with them, whereupon the church at Roxborough called him to be 
teacher in the end of the summer, & soon after he was ordained 
to y* office in the church. Also his wife came along with the rest of 
his friends the same time, & soon after their coming they were mar- 


From that day to this, uninterrupted harmony has prevailed, 
if we except the period of the so-called antinomian contro- 
versy in 1637. This struggle for intellectual freedom against 
the authority of the clergy was ably sustained by Mrs. Anne 
Hutchinson, backed by her brother, John Wheelwright, the 
young governor, Harry Vane, and by some among the schol- 
ars, magistrates, and members of the General Court. So 
great was the excitement occasioned by it that the pious 
John Wilson climbed into a tree to harangue the people, and 
it even interfered with the levy of troops for the Pequod war. 
The clerical party triumphed, Hutchinson and Wheelwright 
were exiled from the territory of Massachusetts as " unfit 
for the societ} 7 " " of its citizens, and their adherents were dis- 
armed, for having signed a petition stigmatized as "a 
seditious libel," wherein they had affirmed Mrs. Wheel- 
wright's innocence, and that the court had " condemned the 
truth of Christ." 

Mrs. Hutchinson, who is described by her bigoted oppo- 
nents as "a woman of a haughty and fierce carriage, of a 
nimble wit and active spirit, and a very voluble tongue," had 
submitted with impatience to the regulation debarring women 
from the privilege of joining in the debates at the private 
religious meetings of the brethren. She therefore set up a 
meeting of the sisters also, that was soon largely attended, 
and she was sustained and approved by the excellent John 
Cotton and Henry Vane. The jealousy of the clergy was 
soon excited against her, and at the first synod held in 
America, assembled in 1637 at Newtown, no less than eighty- 
two errors were enumerated and condemned, and she was, 
in the following November, sentenced by the court to banish- 
ment. To realize fully the magnitude of a schism that so 
nearly toppled over the framework of the Puritan church, it is 
only necessary to know that the " dangerous errors " taught 
by her and especially named were, first, " that the person of 
the Holy Ghost dwells in a justified person," and second, 


"that no sanctification can help to evidence to us our justifi- 
cation." While in the custody of Capt. Joseph Weld, at 
his house in Roxbury, as we learn from Winthrop, "divers 
of the elders and others resorted to her, and finding her to 
persist in maintaining those gross errors before mentioned 
and many others, to the number of thirty or thereabouts," 
she was called before the church at Boston, where, " though 
her errors were clearly confuted, yet she held her own so 
as the church agreed she should be admonished," and her 
excommunication was speedily pronounced. 

"The church at Roxbury," says Winthrop, "dealt with divers 
of their members there who had their names to the petition, and 
spent many days in public meetings to have brought them to see 
the sin in that as also in the corrupt opinions which they held, but 
could not prevail with them. So they pronounced to two or three, 
admonitions, and when all was in vain they cast them out of the 

The Roxbury men disarmed were William and Edward 
Denison, Richard Morris, Richard Bulgar, and Philip Sher- 
man. The reason of this extraordinary proceeding is thus 
set forth in the colonial records : 

"Whereas the opinions and revelations of Mr. Wheelwright and 
Mrs. Hutchinson have seduced and led into dangerous errors many 
of the people here in New England, insomuch as there is just cause 
of suspition that they, as others in Germany in former times, may 
upon some revelations make suddaine irruption upon those that dif- 
fer from them in judgment, for prevention whereof it is ordered," 

No wonder that in those days the saying was current in 
Connecticut that if a man was too bad to live with here in 
Massachusetts they sent him to Rhode Island, and when they 
found one a little too good they sent him to Connecticut, 
while the remainder, who were tolerable and of average 
orthodoxy and respectability, were allowed to remain. Of 
three citizens of Roxbury driven hence at this time, two, 


John Coggeshall and Henry Bull, were afterwards governors 
of Rhode Island ; while a third, Philip Sherman, became a 
distinguished citizen and founder of that colony. 

An interesting event was that which took place at the old 
church in Roxbury on the thirteenth of the fourth month, 
16o4. All the neighboring elders and fathers of the church 
had assembled, together with Eliot's Indian converts, who 
were to be examined with a view to the formation of an 
Indian church. The number examined was eight, " so many 
as might be first called forth to enter into church covenant, 
if the Lord gave opportunity." It was thought best, how- 
ever, to make haste slowly, and that Indian teachers should 
be trained up and instructed for the work, so that the first 
Indian church, that at Natick, was not formed until 1660. 

Great was the excitement when the celebrated Whitefield 
preached here. He was well received by the clergy of Bos- 
ton, with the single exception of Dr. Cutler, rector of Christ's 
Church, who met him one day on the street, and said to him, 
" I am sorry to see you here," and to whom Whitefield quietly 
remarked, " So is the devil." In his diary, under date of 
Friday, Sept. 26, 1740. he mentions preaching at Roxbury in 
the morning to " many thousands of people who flocked in 
from all parts of the country," and whom he must have ad- 
dressed frpm the open space in front of the church, after- 
wards dining with Judge Paul Dudley. 

Public services in the church were frequently suspended 
during the Revolution, the people having been very much 
scattered at the time of the siege. This, as well as the 
impoverishment occasioned by the war, prevented for some 
time a resettlement, and the pastoral office remained vacant 
until peace was declared. The pulpit was, however, usually 
supplied, Christian ordinances were administered, and various 
candidates for the ministry were heard on probation. 

Most of the primitive churches being destitute of bells, the 
people were summoned by beat of drum. Once a 3'ear a 


committee was chosen " to seat the meeting-house." Indi* 
viduals were not pew or seat owners, the house belonging to 
the town, and the committee in the discharge of their duty de- 
cided in what seats or pews certain persons should sit when at- 
tending public worship. They were seated according to their 
age and estate ; families were divided, men and women sitting 
apart on their respective sides of the house, while boys had a 
place separate from both, with a tithing-man to keep them in 
order. This was always some staid and vigilant person who 
made frequent rounds ; the badge of his office was a pole, with 
a knob at one end and a tuft of feathers at the other ; with 
the one he rapped the heads of the men, and with the other 
he brushed the women's faces when he caught them napping. 
As late as 1774, persons were fined for non-attendance at 
public worship. Excommunication was a common punish- 
ment for drunkenness and crime. 

A church fully furnished had a pastor and a teacher, the 
distinctive function of the former being private and public 
exhortation, and of the latter, doctrinal and scriptural expla- 
nation. This practice went gradually into disuse. Each 
church had also one or more " ruling elders" and deacons, 
who had the charge of prudential concerns and of providing 
for the poor. They, as well as the teaching elders, were 
consecrated to their trusts with religious solemnities. Several 
entries on the church records tell us how the ministers " dews 
shall be raj'sed." One would rather like to understand the 
distinction implied in this : " the deacons to have liberty for 
a quarter of a yeare to git in every man's sume, either in a 
church way (?) or a Christian way, as he seeth cause." 

Sermons were usually of an hour's length, measured by an 
hour-glass that stood upon the pulpit. Preaching with notes 
or reading sermons was very little practised in the first cen- 
tury. The reading of the Bible in the public worship, with- 
out exposition, was generally disapproved and stigmatized by 
the term " dumb reading." The singing was without instru- 


mental accompaniment. As a most efficient means of pro- 
moting the religious education of their children and in the 
building up of the church, the Sunday school, commonly sup- 
posed to be a modern institution, was by no means overlooked 
by the pious founders of New England. ' ' This daj-," say 
the church records (Dec. 6, 1679), " we restored our primitive 
practice for the training up our youth. First, our male 
youth, in fitting season after the evening services in the pub- 
lic meeting-house, where the elders will examine their remem- 
brance that day, and any fit point of catechism ; second, that 
our female youth should meet in one place, where the elders 
may examine their remembrance of yesterday, and about 
catechize or what else may be convenient." 

Early in this century the Congregational churches were in 
a quasi-conservative state, few besides aged persons appear- 
ing at the communion-table, conversions among the 3*oung 
being rare and very noticeable when they occurred. Says an 
eminent authority, "Moderate Calvinism was professed by 
many of the clergy, and very moderate it certainly was." 
Our own Revolution and that of France, with the general 
shaking up and overturn of old ideas and established usages, 
contributed largely to this result. The change of the First 
Church from the Calvinistic to the Unitarian faith took place 
about the commencement of this century. " The interest in 
religion had so far declined," wrote an observer in 1820, 
' ' that although there are in the First Parish in Roxbury com- 
pleted and building three churches within the compass of a 
few rods, those who prefer to spend their Sabbath in regular 
worship to lounging about taverns and pilfering in the fields, 
but half fill a single one." It was at this very time that two 
young men, to close a drunken nocturnal frolic, broke into 
Rev. Dr. Porter's church, tore the cushions in pieces, de- 
stroyed the Bible, removed the hearse from the graveyard, and 
performed other acts equally disgraceful. A radical change 
in our religious system was effected in 1833, when an amend- 


inent to the Bill of Rights provided that the support of religion 
should no longer be a matter of obligation, but should be 
entirely voluntary. A member of any religious society or 
parish can now withdraw at will, and cease to be liable for 
society or parish expenses. 

The first book printed in the English colonies, the New- 
England version of the Psalms, generally known as " The 
Bay Psalm Book," was the joint production of Eliot and 
"Welde, of this church, and Richard Mather, minister of Dor- 
chester. It was printed in 1 639, taking the place of Ains- 
worth's version and that of Sternhold and Hopkins, contin- 
uing in use down to the period of the Revolution. When on 
Sunday, July 9, 1758, this version gave place to that of Tate 
and Brady, "some people," says the church record, "were 
much offended at the same." 

" Welde, Eliot, and Mather mounted the restive steed 
Pegasus," says Rev. Elias Nason, " Hebrew psalter in hand, 
and trotted in hot haste over the rough road of Shemitic roots 
and metrical psalmody. Other divines rode behind, and after 
cutting and slashing, mending and patching, twisting and 
turning, finally produced what must ever remain the most 
unique specimen of poetical tinkering in our literature." Its 
type was unusally poor, and its punctuation such as to remind 
one of Lord Timothy Dexter's pepper-box. An edition was 
printed with a few tunes, the first music engraved in this 
country, in 1696. The music was in two parts, treble and 
bass, and a few directions were given for setting these tunes 
within the compass of the voice, so that the people could sing 
them " without squeaking above or grumbling below." 

This book is of such rarity that an original copy brought a 
thousand dollars at a recent auction sale. Many editions of 
it were printed in Edinburgh, and it enjoys the distinction of 
being, in booksellers' parlance, the first book " pirated " from 
America. Rev. Thomas Shepard, of Cambridge, who thus 
criticises the poetical efforts of his brethren, does not exhibit 


a very marked superiority over them in his verses upon the 
occasion : 

"Ye Roxbury poets, keep clear of the crime 
Of missing to give us very good rhyme; 
And you of Dorchester, your verses lengthen, 
But with the text's own words you will them strengthen." 

The early settlers of New England alwaj's sung congrega- 
tionally. The whole number of tunes known to them did not 
exceed ten, and few congregations could go beyond five. 
Rising in their seats, they stood facing the pastor, and sang 
in unison each line as it was " lined out," or " deaconed off." 
The rule was to sing a note of " Old Hundred" to a beat of 
the pulse, which was at least one third quicker than we now 
render it. Rev. Thomas Walter, the pastor of this church, 
in his " Grounds and Rules of Musick Explained," complains 
that " for a want of a standard to appeal to in all our sing- 
ing, our tunes are left to the mercy of every unskilful throat 
to chop and alter, twist and change, according to their suffi- 
ciently diverse and no less odd humors and fancies." As for 
the singing of the congregation, " it sounded like five hundred 
different tunes roared out at the same time," and so little 
attention was paid to time that they were often one or two 
words apart, producing noises "so hideous and disorder!}-, 
as is bad beyond expression." The manner of singing, also, 
had become so tedious and drawling that he himself had 
paused to take breath twice in one note. 

Ebenezer Fox, a Roxbury lad, has furnished this reminis- 
cence of the music of this old church in 1775: "Deacon 
Crafts, grandfather of Mr. Eben Crafts, used to read aloud 
one verse at a time of the psalm or hymn, which the choir 
would sing, and then wait till he had read another. Hymn- 
books were not in general use ; they were, some time after, in 
the pews of the wealthy. At a subsequent period fuguing 
tunes were introduced, and they produced a literally fuguing 
effect upon the elder people, the greater part of whom went 


out of church as soon as the first verse was sung." Our pious 
forefathers would not tolerate musical instruments in the 
sanctuary, not even a pitch-pipe being permitted in the early 
times. It was almost as hard sometimes to set the psalm as 
to raise the meeting-house. The tuner was assisted in his 
official duties by a comical instrument constructed something 
like a mouse-trap, called a pitch-pipe. It was introduced into 
the churches stealthily, kept out of sight, and passed along 
from lip to lip as slyly as a bottle of brandy in a stage-coach. 
The bass-viol, or the " Lord's fiddle," as they called it, 
came in later and incurred far more serious opposition. Dr. 
Emmons left his church and refused to preach because the 
singers persisted in its use. " I very well remember," says 
Fox, " the first Sabbath that the bass-viol was used as an 
accompaniment to the singing. The old, pious people were 
horror-struck at what they considered a sacrilegious innova- 
tion, and went out of meeting in high dudgeon. One old 
church-member, I recollect, stood at the church door and 
showed his contempt for the music by making a sort of 
caterwauling noise, which he called ' mocking the banjo.' " 

The first volume of the records of the First Church, chiefly 
in Eliot's handwriting, contains "a recorde of such as ad- 
joyned themselves unto the fellowship of this church of Christ 
at Roxborough ; as also of such children as they had when 
they joj'ned, & of such as were borne vnto them vnder the 
holy covenant of this church who are most properly the seede 
of this church." In it are many curious and interesting partic- 
ulars respecting the early inhabitants of the town. A few 
only of the more quaint or characteristic of these notices can 
be here given. The first name in it is that of the principal 
founder of the church and town : 

"Mr. William Pinchon came in the first company in 1630. He 
was one of the first foundation of the church at Roxborough ; was 
chosen an assistant yearly so long as he lived among us. His wife 
dyed soon after he landed in New England. He brought four chil- 


dren to New England, Ann, Mary, John, Margaret. After some 
years he married Mris. Frances Sanford, a grave matron of the 
church at Dorchester. When so many removed from these parts 
to plant Connecticut River, he also with other company went 
thither and planted at a place called Agawam, and was recom- 
mended to the church at Windsor in Connecticut until such time as 
it should please God to provide y* they might enter into church 
estate among themselves. . . . Afterwards he wrote a dialogue 
concerning justification, which was printed anno 1650, stiled ' The 
Meritorious Price,' a book full of errors and weakness and some 
heresies, which the General Court of y e Massachusetts condemned 
to be burnt, and appointed Mr. John Norton, the teacher at Ipswich, 
to refute y e errors contained therein. 

" Mrs. Mary Dummer, the wife of Mr. Richard Dummer. She was 
a godly woman, but by the seduction of some of her acquaintances 
she was led away into the new opinions in Mrs. Hutchinson's time, 
and her husband removing to Newbury, she there openly declared 
herself & did also (together with others indeavor) seduce her hus- 
band & persuaded him to return to Boston, where she being going 
with child and ill, Mr Clark (one of the same opinions) unskilfully 
gave her a vomit, which did in such manner torture and torment 
her, yt she dyed in a most uncomfortable manner. But we believe 
God tooke her away from worse evil which she was falling unto, 
and we doubt not but she is gone to heaven." 

"Richard Lyman, came to N. E. in the 9th month 1631. He 
brought children Phillis, Richard, Sarah, John. He was an ancient 
Christian but weake, yet after some time of tryal & quickening 
he joyned to the church. When the great removall was made to 
Connecticut he also went and underwent much affliction, for, going 
toward winter, his catle were lost in driving & some never found 
again, and the winter being could & ill provided, he was sick & mel- 
ancholy yet after, he had some revivings through God's mercy & 
dyed in the year 1640. 

"John Moody came to the land in the yeare 1633. He had two 
men servants y* were ungodly, especially one of them who in his 
passion would wish himself in hell & many desperate words, yet had 
a good measure of knowledge. These two servants would goe to 
the oister bank in a boat & did against the counsel of their governor, 
where they lay all night & in the morning early when the tide was 
out, they gathering oisters did unskilfully leave their boat afloat in 
the verge of the channel, & quickly the tide carried it away so far 


into the channel y* they would not come neare it which maide them 
cry out and hollow, but being very early and remote were not heard 
till the water had risen very high upon them to the armpits as its 
thought, and then a man from Rocksborough meeting house heard 
them cry and call & he cryed and ran with all speed, & seeing their 
boat swam to it & helped to them, but they were both so drowned 
before anybody could possibly come, a dreadful example of God's 
displeasure against obstinate servants. 

"Phillip Sherman came into the land in 1633, a single man and 
after married Sarah Odding, the daughter of the wife of John Por- 
ter by a former husband. This man was of a melancholy temper. 
He lived honestly and comfortably among us several years. Upon 
a just calling went for England & returned again with a blessing. 
But after his father in law John Porter was so carryd away with 
the opinions of familism & seism, he followed them & removed 
with them to the (Rhode) Island. He behaved himself sinfully in 
these matters (as may appear in the story), & was cast out of the 

"Elizabeth Stow the wife of John Stow. She was a very godly 
matron attending not only to her family but to all the church, & when 
she had led a Christian conversation a few years among us, she dyed 
and left a good savor behind her. 

" Henry Bull, a man servant came to the land in 1635. He lived 
honestly for a good season, but on a sudaine (being weake & affec- 
tionate), he was taken and transported with the opinions of Fami- 
lism, & running in that scisme he fell into many and grosse sins of 
lying (as may be seen in the story) , for which he was excomunicated, 
after which he removed to Rhode Island." (Afterward governor 
of Rhode Island.) 

" William Frankling, in whom we had good satisfaction in his 
godlynesse, yet it pleased God to leave him to some acts of rigor 
and cruelty to a boy his servant who dyed under his hand. But 
sundry sins he was guilty of and the scandal so great y* he was ex- 
comunicated yt day month, the 21st of the 2d mo. 1644 & shortly 
after executed." (Wlnthrop's Journal tells us that "the church in 
compassion to his soul after his condemnation, procured license for 
him to come to Roxbury, intending to receive him in again before 
he died, if they might find him truly penitent. But though presently 
after his condemnation he judged himself and justified God and the 
Court, yet then he quarrelled with the witnesses and justified him- 
self, and so continued even to his execution, professing assurance 


of salvation and that God would never lay the boy's death to his 
charge, but the guilt of his blood would be upon the 6ountry.") 

" Mris. Barker, a gentlewoman that came from Barbadoes hither 
for the gospel's sake. We found her not so well acquainted with 
her own heart & the ways and workings of God's spirit in con- 
verting a sinner unto God, yet full of sweet affection, and we feared 
a little too confident. We received her not without feare and 

" Sister Cleaves (alias Stebbins), was publicly admonished for 
unseasonably entertaining & corrupting other folks' servants & 
children, & hath corrupted Mr. Lamb's negro, who in a discontent 
set her master's house on fire in the dead of night, and also Mr. 
Swan's. One girl was burned and all the rest had much ado to 
escape with their lives." (This occurred on the night of July 12, 
1681, and on Sept. 22d the incendiary, a woman, was burnt to death 
publicly in Boston, the first to suffer such a death in New 

" Webb, the wife of William Webb. She followed baking, 

& through her covetouse mind she made light weight. After 
many admonitions & after sundry rebukes of a court & officers in 
the market, & after her speciall promise to the contrary, yet was 
again scandalously discovered in the open market as also for a habit 
of lying & shifting, after much admonition & also for a gross ly in 
public flatly denying yt after she had weighed her dough she never 
nimed off bitts from each loaf, which yet was by four witnesses tes- 
tified, and after appeared to be a common if not a constant practice, 
for all wh. gross sins she was excommunicated Oct. 23, 1642, her 
ways having long been a grief of heart to her godly neighbors. But 
afterward she was reunited to y" church & lived chrystianly & dyed 

" Stebbins, the wife of Martin Stebbins. She was so vyo- 

lent in her passion that she offered vyolence to her husband, which 
being divulged was of such infamy y* she was cast out of church, 
but soone after she humbled herself & was received in again." 

It is noteworthy that the term of service of four of the 
pastors, Eliot, Nehemiah Walter, Porter, and Putnam, extends 
over a space of two hundred and nineteen years, covering the 
entire period of its history from the foundation to the present 
time, with the exception of twenty-seven years. It is little 


less remarkable in these days of change that, -with the excep- 
tion of Welde, who went back to England, and the present 
pastor, all have begun and ended here their ministerial career, 
spending their lives in the service of this church. The suc- 
cession of its pastors follows : 

THOMAS WELDE, July, 1632, d. England, Mar. 23, 1661 

JOHN ELIOT, Nov. 5, 1632, " Boxbury, May 20, 1690 

SAMUEL DANFORTH, Sept. 24, 1650, " " Nov. 10, 1674 

NEHEMIAH WALTER, Oct. 17, 1688, " " Sept. 17, 1750 

THOMAS WALTER, Oct. 19, 1718, " " Jan. 10, 1725 

OLIVER PEABODY, Nov. 7, 1750, " " May 29, 1752 

AMOS ADAMS, Sept. 12, 1753, " " Oct. 5, 1775 

ELIPHALET PORTER, Oct. 2, 1782, " " Dec. 7, 1833 

GEORGE PUTNAM, July 7, 1830, " " Apr. 11, 1878 
JOHN GRAHAM BROOKS, Qct. 10, 1875. 




Smelt Brook. Roxbury Street. Revolutionary Incident. Gilbert Stu- 
art. Cabot Street. Deacon Gridley. Dr. Prentiss. Laban S. 
Beecher. Thomas Lamb. Ionic Hall. Parsonage. Rev. Amos 
Adams. Rev. Dr. Porter. Old Grocery Store. Lexington Alarm. 
Burrill's Tavern. Waitt's Mill. Gore Homestead. Grosvenor. 
Tide Mill. Pierpont. Brinley Place. "Ward's Headquarters. Gen. 
Dearborn. Craft's Homestead. Mill Dam. Dr. Downer. Punch- 
Bowl Tavern. 

JOHN DANE, afterwards-of Ipswich, came here in 1638. 
Among other matters related by him in the " Remarka- 
ble Providences " in his life is this : ' ' My first cuining was to 
Roxburey. There I toke a pese of ground to plant of a frind, 
and I went to plant and having cept (kept) long in the shep 
(ship), the weather being hot I spent myself, and was veary 
wearey and thurstey. I cam by a spring in Roxbury Street, 
and went to it and drunk and drunk againe and againe manie 
times, and I never drank wine in my life that more refresht 
me, nor was more pleasant to me, as I then absolutely 

This delicious spring was undoubtedly Smelt Brook, which 
crossed the street in front of the Universalist Church, and 
which has long since disappeared. The old Cambridge Road 
here bends sharply to the west, and at this point the brook 
was formerly crossed by a bridge. Near the junction of 
Dudley and Washington Streets, in the rear of Institute Hall, 
there was also, in the early days, a spring of excellent water. 
Another noted spring was located not far from the northwest 
corner of Williams Street and Shawmut Avenue. This avenue, 


from Boston to the Universalist Church, was constructed dur 
ing Mayor Ritchie's administration. Roxbury Street, from 
this point, laid out in 1652, was in 16G3 described as "the 
highway from the upper end of the lane towards the meeting- 
house, and so down by the old mill, and so forward to 
Muddy River." It was also called the highway to Dedham, 
as far as the road now known as Centre Street, then as the 
Cambridge Road, afterwards as the Worcester Turnpike, and 
later as "Washington and Tremont Streets. 

Many persons will recollect the old house that stood oppo- 
site the Highland Railway station on Shawmut Avenue, and 
which was taken down in 1875, and a car-house erected on its 
site. It formerly stood where the brick block now is, oppo- 
site the green in front of the church, and was removed in 
1851. Built in 1751 by an Englishman named Bell, a con- 
tractor for supplies to the king's troops in North America, it 
passed through various hands, Gardiner Greene, of Boston, 
having once owned it, and was in 1825 purchased by Edward 
Sumner, who, however, never lived there. The land, origi- 
nally Elder Isaac Heath's, afterwards the property of his son- 
in-law, John Bowles, came into the possession of Edward 
Bromfield, whose heirs sold it to Bell. A Revolutionary inci- 
dent connected with this house is related by Mr. Edward 
Sumner, of Dedham : 

" The road to Boston, until 1808, passed close to the eastern side 
of the house which was its front. Opposite the door there stood, 
in 1776, a large pear-tree. A shot from the South Battery in Boston 
took off a limb of the tree, and, glancing, killed Lieut. John Mayo, 
who was getting his men in readiness to march to Dorchester 
Heights, on the ground .where the church stands, then occupied by 
the Americans, and covered with breastworks. This was the only 
casualty attending that important movement. In the autumn of 
1840 an old, gray-haired man was seen examining this tree. He told 
a& occupant of the house that he was a soldier in Mayo's company, 
and that he had never until now had an opportunity of revisiting 
a scene which had so deeply impressed him." 


Just beyond Shawmut Avenue is a large, square house, 
built about the beginning of the century by Dr. John Bart- 
lett, and subsequently owned and occupied by Dr. P. G. 
Bobbins, father of Rev. Chandler Bobbins. Gilbert Stuart, 
the greatest of American portrait-painters, the latter part of 
whose life was passed in Boston and Roxbury, resided here 
during the war of 1812, and while here painted full lengths 
of Commodores Hull and Bainbridge, now in the City Hall, 
New York. Portraits by him are found in many of the man 
sions of this vicinity, his skill being in constant requisition. 
Among them are those of Gen. Henry Dearborn, and his son, 
Gen. H. A. S. Dearborn, Gov. Eustis, Mr. and Mrs. Sted- 
man Williams, Capt. Aaron Davis, Dr. John Bartlett and 
wife, Benjamin Bussey, and Elisha Whitney. 

In person, Stuart was rather large, and his movements in 
the latter part of his life were slow and heavy, but not un- 
graceful. His features were bold and leonine, and a stranger 
would, on passing, mentally exclaim, " That is no ordinary 
man." His manner was of the old school and exceedingly 
well-bred, and his conversational powers remarkable. He 
possessed great conviviality and wit, and " every kind of 
sense but common-sense." He was a pupil of Benjamin 
West, whose portrait, painted by Stuart, is in the National 
Gallery at London. West introduced him to the celebrated 
Dr. Johnson as a young American from whom he might derive 
some information. After some conversation, the doctor ob- 
served to West that the young man spoke very good English, 
and turning to Stuart rudely asked him where he had learned 
it. Stuart promptly replied, " Sir, I can better tell you where 
I did not learn it, it was not from your dictionary." John- 
son seemed aware of his own abruptness, and was not offended. 
During Stuart's London life he was dissipated, and was more 
than once taken from a sponging-house by his friend Water- 
house, who paid the debts for which he was confined. 

Stuart generally produced a likeness before painting in the 


eyes. On one occasion, when a pert coxcomb had been sit- 
ting to him, the painter gave notice that the sitting was 
ended, and the dandy exclaimed on looking at the canvas, 
"Why, it has no eyes!" Stuart replied, "It is not nine 
days old yet." Said a sitter to Sir Joshua Rej'nolds, " Whom, 
Sir Joshua, excepting yourself, do you regard as the best 
portrait-painter in England?" He replied, "There is a 
3'oung American artist here, named Gilbert Stuart, who is the 
best head painter in the world, not excepting Sir Joshua 

Beyond tie Bartlett mansion are several houses dating 
back to the commencement of the century, the first, now 
greatly dilapidated, having been occupied successively by 
Dr. Lemuel LeBaron and Humphrey Bicknell, a mason by 
trade and captain of the artillery company. Next comes the 
house of Joseph Seaver, afterwards occupied by Major Alex- 
ander H. Gibbs, founder and first captain of the Norfolk 
Guards and commander of the Ancient and Honorable Artil- 
lery Company in 1823, a man of remarkably fine appearance 
and soldierly bearing. Jacob Allen's house is at the corner 
of Allen Place. The estate opposite, upon which the brick 
building known as the Washington Schoolhouse stands, was 
bought by the town in 1840. The house was finished in 
December of that year, and was the first grammar-school 
building erected for the purpose in Roxbury, always except- 
ing the old Free School. 

Cabot and Ruggles Streets formed the old town wa} r that 
led to Gravelly Point. This way was laid out in 1663 between 
the lands of Rev. Samuel Danforth, formerly Capt. Joseph 
Weld's, and the heirs of Samuel Hagborn, over what was 
sometimes called " Hagborn' s Neck." The Point ran out 
into the bay towards Cambridge, from where the old stone 
mill stood on Parker Street, at the mouth of Stony River. 
Where Sumner Place enters Cabot Street a battery was 
erected in the early days of the siege, upon rising ground 


overlooking the marshes. It was connected by an abatis con- 
structed of young apple-trees from Edward Sumner's orchard 
close by, with the American lines of defence, whose right 
extended across the Neck to Lamb's Dam. The Roxbury 
shore, wherever a boat-landing was practicable, was similarly 
protected, at the expense of the orchards and shade trees of 
the neighborhood. Edward Sumner owned the twelve acres 
of upland between Roxbury and Ruggles Streets, extending 
from Washington to Cabot. " Ned's Hill," the site of the 
" House of the Angel Guardian," was a part of his land, and 
fifty years ago was used as a training-field. 

The house on the west corner of Linden Park and Cabot 
Streets has been the home of two well-known residents of the 
town, Deacon Samuel Gridley and Dr. N. S. Prentiss. It 
has been greatly altered in our day, but its frame is nearl}- a 
century and a half old. The estate of three acres was bought 
in 1727 of Timothy Parker, by Samuel Gridley, " cord- 
wainer," of Pomfret, Conn., who was of the same family as 
Gen. Richard Gridley, the engineer, so conspicuous at Louis- 
burg, Quebec, and Bunker's Hill. The name of Deacon 
Samuel Gridley, many years town clerk and selectman, is 
frequently met with in the records of the town, and is 
appended to many of the patriotic acts and resolves of Rox- 
bury of the ante-revolutionary period. He filled this post 
until the year before his death, when " on account of old age 
and decay of nature," he requested the town by letter to find 
some one to take his place. The soul of this honest man 
and sterling patriot took its flight amid the roar of the cannon 
that covered the successful occupation of Dorchester Heights. 
When the siege was over, the old house, which had been occu- 
pied by the troops, had to be cleared, and the fences and 
walls rebuilt, so that the widow could live in it. His son, 
William Gridley, afterwards improved it for a tavern. 

Dr. Nathaniel Shepherd Prentiss, who taught the old 
grammar school in 1801-7, was a selectman five years, a 


representative three years, and town clerk thirty years, 
being re-elected yearly by an almost unanimous vote, and 
died Nov. 5, 1853, aged eight} r -seven. His first residence 
was on Warren Street, where Munroe, the painter, lives. 
While teaching the grammar school he usually had about one 
hundred scholars, who stood very much in awe of him. One 
of his pupils was the Rev. Samuel Newell, a pioneer mission- 
ary to India. He taught a private school at his last resi- 
dence, and in October, 1825 opened a school for education 
in the higher branches, on Dudley Street. For more than 
forty years, as teacher and officer, he labored with zeal and 
energy in the local affairs of Roxbmy, where he was uni- 
versally respected for his wisdom, integrity, prudence, and 
patriotism. In later life his tall, robust, and noble presence, 
locks white as snow, and open, pleasing countenance, always 
attracted the attention of strangers. His name stands first 
on the list of founders of the Eliot Church. 

A story is told that illustrates the tact and good judgment 
of the Doctor. It was long the custom to elect newly mar- 
ried men to the useful but onerous office of hog-reeve. As 
a practical joke on the master, who had recently committed 
matrimony, and who in accordance with the time-honored 
custom had been elected to that dignity, some of the boys 
placed the carcass of a hog against the schoolroom door, 
where it was found when school opened. After the school 
exercises were over, the Doctor inquired who were the perpe- 
trators of the deed. No one spoke, and he then declared 
that he would punish all unless the guilty ones came forward, 
at the same time appealing to their sense of justice by asking 
if they would allow those who were innocent to be punished. 
This had the desired effect. The culprits came forward. A 
procession was formed. Each delinquent was required to 
take hold of a leg or other part of the deceased porker and 
assist in carrying the remains to a distant field, where, under 
the supervision of a committee of the boys, they were finally 


Laban S. Beecher, who resided on Linden Park, was the 
artist who carved the bust of Gen. Jackson as a figure-head 
for " Old Ironsides," the frigate " Constitution." Anything 
more obnoxious to the political opponents of the President in 
Boston could hardly be imagined, and after various means 
had been fruitlessly emploj'ed to stop the work and the bust 
had been placed on the ship, it was sawed off one stormy 
night, at the risk of his life, by Capt. Dewey, a Boston ship- 
master. Beecher also carved busts of Hull, Bainbridge, and 
Stewart to ornament the frigate's stern. Gilbert Stuart New- 
ton, the painter, at that time the pupil of his uncle, Gilbert 
Stuart, resided here in 1815. He was an excellent colorist, 
possessing humor, genius, and pathos. He painted portraits 
of John Adams and "Washington Irving. "The Dull Lec- 
ture " is one of his best known works. Luther Richardson, 
Esq., a prominent lawj'er, who in the year 1800 delivered the 
Fourth of July oration before the town authorities, resided 
here at the beginning of the century. 

Thomas Lamb came with the first settlers to Roxbury in 
1630, bringing with him his wife Elizabeth, and two chil- 
dren. By a second wife, Dorothy Harbittle, he had several 
children. His homestead of eighteen acres lay between Meet- 
ing-House Hill and Stony River, west of the home lots of 
Isaac Heath and John Johnson. His son Joshua, an enter- 
prising and wealthy citizen of Roxbury, died in 1690. His 
wife was Mary, daughter of Dr. John Alcock. Lamb, with 
others of Roxbury, was at one time a proprietor of Lambs- 
town, now Hardwick, Mass., purchased of the Indians in 
December, 1686, for 20. Leicester was in 1713 granted by 
the Genera] Court to Col. Joshua Lamb, grandson of Thomas. 
Lamb's Dam, near the present line of Northampton Street, 
and noted in the annals of the siege, was erected by Col. 
Joshua Lamb as a protection to his marsh land and works at 
the "Salt Pans." 

Ionic Hall, one of the earliest of the brick mansions of 



Roxbury, was built about the year 1800 by a Capt. Stoddard, 
of Hingham, for his daughter, Mrs. Hammond. It has since 
been put to a variety of uses, having been temporarily occu- 
pied by the First Religious Society while their present house 
was building in 1804, and is now known as St. Luke's Home 
for Consumptives. It was at one time the residence of Judge 
Leland, and was formerly of two stories only, additions hav- 
ing been made to it by Mr. Theodore Otis. William Lee, 
Esq., long United States Consul at Bordeaux, was once its 

On the north side of Eliot Square, fronting the church and 
well back from the road, with some fine old trees before it, is 

the parsonage built by 
Rev. Oliver Peabody, a 
preacher of acknowledged 
ability, the successor of 
Nehemiah "Walter, and 
whose brief life and min- 
istry closed in 1752. It 
was subsequently , for 
about eighty years, ten- 
anted by his successors, 
Rev. Amos Adams and Rev. Dr. Porter. It is in excellent 
preservation, and is now owned and occupied by Charles K. 
Dillaway, Esq. The parsonage, together with much other 
land north and west of it, belonged to Col. Joseph Heath. 

Here, without doubt, was the headquarters of Gen. John 
Thomas. " The exigency of the times," that compelled the 
removal of Rev. Mr. Adams and his family at the commence- 
ment of the siege, was the occupancy of the hill for the main 
post of the army. The headquarters having, as we know, 
been on Meeting-House Hill, this would naturally be a most 
eligible situation, as from its rear windows Boston, the British 
works on the Neck, and even the heights of Charlestown were 
in full view. The battle of Bunker's Hill and the conflasrra- 



tlon of Charlestown were witnessed from its upper windows by 
the general and his officers. Here, too, we find, a little later, 
our old friend Enoch Brown, whose house and shop on the 
Neck having been destroyed, had removed his wares and 
business to Cambridge, and who, now that the siege was over, 
having " 3 r et left on hand a few valuable articles," sought here 
another opportunit}" for business. Benjamin Duick, victualler, 
and family, from Brookline or Cambridge, moved in in 1786. 

Rev. Amos Adams, the sixth minister of the First Church, 
a native of Medfield, Mass., graduated at Harvard College 
in 1752, and was ordained here Sept. 12, 1753. His wife was 
Sarah, daughter of the eminent Dr. Charles Chauncy, of the 
First Church in Boston. Mr. Adams was a very energetic 
preacher, his voice was uncommonlj- sonorous and plaintive, 
and though some were disgusted with his plainness of speech 
and the length of his sermons, yet he was popular in the 
pulpit and had great influence over his people. He was an 
ardent patriot from the first, earnestly co-operating in the 
efforts of the people to stop importation from the mother 
country and to encourage domestic manufactures. An in- 
stance of the spirit that pervaded all 
classes at that time is found in the 
fact that one day in September, 1768, 
nearl} r sixty j'oung women of Rox- 
bury met together at the minister's 
house, and gave Mrs. Adams the 
materials for and the spinning of 
about one hundred score of linen 
3 - arn. '" Such an unusual and beau- 
tiful appearance," says the chronicler, SPINNING-WHEEL. 
' ' drew a great number of spectators from town and country, 
who expressed the highest satisfaction at such an example of 
industry." Mr. Adams was scribe of the convention of min- 
isters at "Water town, which, in May, 1775, recommended to 
the people to take up arms. Assiduous in his labors, he not 


only visited Ms own scattered parishioners, but also the sol- 
diers stationed among them. It is said that after preaching 
all day to his own people, he addressed a regiment in the open 
air, and that his death, which speedily ensued at Dorchester, 
on Oct. 5, 1775, was occasioned by a fever brought on by this 
extra exertion and exposure. Dr. Eliot, the biographer, sa} - s 
he fell a victim to the then prevalent camp dysentery, which 
spread more than twenty miles in the environs of Boston. An 
obituary notice of Mr. Adams in the " Boston Gazette " says : 

" He spent his time and strength with pleasure in the service of 
a grateful people, till, by the distress of the times, they were dis- 
persed, and he himself obliged to leave his habitation and pulpit, 
from which time his labors were increased, but through an affection 
to the people of his charge, he went through them with cheerfulness, 
attending the small remainder of his flock every Sunday, though his 
family was removed to a distance among his friends At the time 
he was seized with his last sickness he was engaged as chaplain to a 
regiment in the Continental army, who paid the funeral honors to 
his remains on the following Saturday." 

Rev. Eliphalet Porter, D. D., was the son of a clerg}'man 
in North Bridgewater, who prepared him for the ministry. 
He was ordained Oct. 2, 1782, and died here Dec. 7, 1833, 
after a pastorate of fifty-one years. In October, 1801, he 
married Martha, the only child of Major Nathaniel Ruggles. 
At the time he began his ministry there had been a vacancy 
of seven years in consequence of the destruction and distress 
occasioned by the war ; } r et under his labors the church pros- 
pered, and he lived to witness the growth of what was then a 
small and scattered village into a populous and thriving town. 

He was a sound, instructive, and practical, rather than a 
popular preacher, generally saying the right thing in the 
right manner and at the right time. Judge Lowell, who wa3 
long one of his constant hearers, remarked that of all the 
preachers he was accustomed to hear, there was no one who 
furnished more food to his intellect than his own pastor. As 



a citizen he was influential, and was frequently called upon 
to assist in town affairs and in the support and management 
of charitable and other institutions, filling various offices of 
trust with wisdom, prudence, and fidelity. 

Perhaps the most prominent event in Dr. Porter's life was 
his preaching the annual sermon at the convention of the 
Congregational ministers of Massachusetts, in 1810. This 
sei'mon was a surprise 
both to the Orthodox 
and the Unitarians, as 
it contained a bold 
and earnest defence of 
liberal principles, the 
doctor having grad- 
ually abandoned the 
Calvinistic ideas in 
which he had been 
educated. It pro- 
duced great excite- 
ment at the time, and 
has been accounted 
the ablest of his print- 
ed productions. On 
the 7th of October, 
1832, he preached a half-century discourse, containing some 
historical sketches of his parish and a review of his own min- 
isterial labors. 

Dr. Porter; who is remembered by many persons now liv- 
ing, was of common stature, erect and well proportioned in 
figure, and grave and dignified in manner. The movements 
of both his mind and bod}' were marked by great deliberation. 
Though usually taciturn, he was, among his intimate friends, 
a cheerful and agreeable companion, and though he looked 
so sedate and grave, had a good deal of dry wit or humor, 
and great shrewdness and adroitness in parrying a pleasant 



thrust. Eev. Charles Lowell, who when a child attended 
his ministrations, was one day talking with him about the 
Medical Faculty, concerning whom the doctor's praise was 
somewhat stinted. "Honor a physician," etc., was quoted. 
" Oh ! " said he, " that is in the Apocrj-pha. I do not 
remember just now anj'thing the Bible has said about them, 
except in reference to the woman who was vexed with many 
ph} 7 sicians and grew nothing better, but rather worse." 

In those days party politics ran high, but once a year the 
leading men of both political parties would take a fishing 
excursion down the harbor, when all disturbing topics were 
dropped, and all " went in for a good time," the customary 
purse being made up for the first successful angler. Like 
most of the clergy of that period Dr. Porter was a warm 
Federalist, while Hon. Ebenezer Seaver, " the Squire," as he 
was called, was the leading Democrat of the town, and repre- 
sented the district in Congress. After angling unsuccessfully 
for a long time, the latter hauled in the first fish. Skinning, 
beheading, and disembowelling his prize, he carried it, dan- 
gling at the end of a string, to where the doctor was diligent^ 
pursuing the apostolic avocation, and holding it up before 
him exclaimed triumphantly, " There, doctor, there's a good 
honest Democrat for you! What do you think of that?" 
"Think?" said the doctor, with his usual deliberation and 
with the most imperturbable gravit}*, ' ' whj*, I think it served 
him about right." The Squire, amid the roars of laughter 
from all sides that this remark elicited, disappeared into the 
cabin, and was dumb for the remainder of the day. 

The old store, now Faunce & Putnam's, just beyond the 
parsonage, has always been a grocery store or a tavern, and 
has had a variety of owners. Before the Revolution it was 
kept by Blaney & Baker. Sharp practice in trade is not an ex- 
clusively modern invention, and the partners soon found that 
some envious competitor had been endeavoring to injure them. 
The "Gazette " of May 24, 1773, has this advertisement : 


" Blaney & Baker offer their stock of Liverpool ware, West India 
goods, etc. at their usual low rate, notwithstanding the false and 
malicious report of some ill-natured person that they had been mis- 
taken in the cost of their goods, and had lately discovered their 
error and advanced the prices." 

Here, during the siege, was the commissary store of Aaron 
Blaney, an assistant commissary of issues to the army. 
About the beginning of the century it was the store of Joseph 
and Nathaniel, nephews of Major Nathaniel Ruggles, who 
did a very large business here. Overhead was a large room, 
sometimes used as a hall, and in which town meetings were 
held between 1804 and 1811, the interval between the demoli- 
tion of the old meeting-house and the completion of the Town 
Hall. The old store was enlarged in 1853. 

Descending the hill and leaving on our left the Parting 
Stone, a mute witness of the stirring scenes of the Revolu- 
tion, we now follow the Old Cambridge highway over which 
rode Lord Percy upon his white horse on the eventful morning 
of the 19th of April, 1775. With his brigade of twelve hun- 
dred men he had marched out of Boston over the Neck and 
through Roxbury to the assistance of Col. Smith, with whom 
the "embattled farmers" were at that moment exchanging 
shots at Concord Bridge, the opening of the great Revolu- 
tionary drama. To his astonishment and alarm, Percy found 
the houses on the road deserted, and met no one who could 
give hmi tidings of Col. Smith's part}', and until his junction 
with him remained in ignorance of all that had transpired. 
In derision of the Americans the brigade marched through 
Roxbury to the tune of "Yankee Doodle," at that time a 
favorite with the soldiers of King George. "A smart boy 
observing it," saj's Dr. Gordon, the historian, " made him- 
self extremely merry with the circumstance, jumping and 
laughing so as to attract the notice of his lordship, who, it is 
said, asked him at what he was laughing so heartily, and was 
answered, 4 To think how you will dance by and by to " Chevy 



Chace." ' It is added that the repartee stuck by his lordship 

the whole day." 

It is impossible for us, in these peaceful daj-s, adequately 

to picture to ourselves the excitement in Roxbury and those 

towns in the line of their 
march, when the news 
came that the dreaded 
' ' regulars " had come 
out, and that they had 
slaughtered the peaceful 
inhabitants of Lexing- 
ton. Minute-men seize 
their arms and, tearing 
themselves away from 
their distracted families, 
hurry to the scene of con- 
flict ; women and chil- 
dren, terror-stricken for 
fear that the father, hus- 
band, or son in the pa- 
triot ranks would fall a 
victim to the merciless 
soldiery, hastily flying 
into the interior, taking 
only what they could 
readily carry with them ; 
minute-men from the re- 
moter towns hastening 
to the scene of action ; 
while Rumor, with her 


thousand tongues, mag- 
nifies the wild reports of fire and slaughter, all this made 
a scene of confusion and terror sadly at variance with the 
usual quiet and peaceful condition of the town. 

Samuel Hawes, of the Wrentham minute company, notes 


in his diary that thej* got the alarm about ten o'clock on the 
morning of the 19th, and marched from there, " sun about 
half an hour high," towards Roxbury. He says : 

"We met Col. Greaton returning from the engagement, and he 
said that he would be with us immediately. Then we marched to 
Jamaica Plain, and heard the regulars were a coming over the Neck. 
Then we strip't off our coats and marched with good courage to 
Col. (Joseph) Williams's, and there we heard to the contrary. We 
stood there some time and refreshed ourselves, and then marched to 
Roxbury, and there we had as much liquor as we wanted, and every 
man drawed three biscuit, which were taken from the regulars the 
day before (19th), which were hard enough for flints. We lay on 
our arms until towards night, and then we repaired to Mr. Slack's 
house, and at night six men were draughted for the main guard." 

In an old stone house that once stood at the corner of what 
is now Pynchon Street, lived Benjamin "Waitt, a noted wag, 
the brother of Samuel. He kept a small grocery store near 
his house, and had plenty of leisure to play his tricks upon 
travellers. One of them will bear repeating : 

" Three or four countrymen, in search of employment, stopped at 
Ben's store, told their errand, and were gravely informed by him 
that a man 'up Brighton way' was fitting out a whaler, and was 
especially anxious to obtain a good diver. One of the applicants 
remarking that he would like that chance, Ben asked him if he 
thought he could stay long under water and keep alive, and received 
an affirmative reply. ' Suppose I try you,' said Ben, ' you holding 
your head under the water in that half hogshead standing by the 
pump in the yard.' The man readily assented, and plunged his 
head into the water, while Ben, watch in hand, awaited the result. 
When the poor fellow, nearly dead, pulled his head out, he was 
assured by his tormentor that if he could have held on one minute 
more he could have had the place. ' However,' said he, ' I will give 
you a recommendation ' ; and, giving a fictitious name and direction, 
the men departed upon a fruitless quest, only to discover that they 
had been badly victimized." 

Opposite Prang's lithographic establishment there was a 
tavern kept nearly a century ago by Lemuel Burrill, who 


subsequent!}' kept the Punch-Bowl Tavern. His widow kept 
the " Half-way House," since known as Taft's, on the Ded- 
ham Turnpike, during the war of 1812. The building was a 
very old one, with a long pitched roof, and had a stable and 
ten-pin alley in the rear. It was well patronized in the days 
when this was the only route for teams coming from Cambridge, 
and the roads leading west and north, and a long string of 
them could usually be seen extending along the roadside. 
The building of the Mill-dam diverted most of this source of 
income, and the tavern ceased to paj\ It was a much-fre- 
quented place for public festivities upon patriotic and civic 
occasions, upon some one of which, saj's tradition, the exhil- 
aration proper to the occasion became so inextricably mixed 
up with the punch, that even good Parson Porter went 
home tipsy. Such a circumstance may have transpired at 
the celebration of July 4, 1808, when, the procession having 
formed at the house of Mrs. Burrill, at twelve o'clock, under 
direction of Major Bosson, marshal of the day, marched under 
the escort of Capt. Humphrey- Bicknell's company of artillery 
to Rev. Dr. Porter's meeting-house, where an oration was 
delivered by Nathaniel Euggles Smith, Esq. 

At a later day the house was kept by a Mr. Gurney. 
Upon one side of its sign was painted a man on horseback 
setting out upon a journey, both man and horse in excellent 
condition, with the legend, " I 'm going to Ohio," emigration 
to that territory being then quite active. On the reverse side 
were seen the same steed and rider, both sadly crestfallen, 
and exhibiting unmistakable evidences of having seen hard 
times, and underneath, this significant motto, "I've been to 
Ohio." It is pleasing to reflect that emigration to the terri- 
tory that now forms the great State of Ohio did not entirely 
cease in consequence of this pictorial satire, which was prob- 
ably the work of the Roxbury artist, Penniman. 

Deacon " Billy" Davis lived in the large wooden building 
nearly opposite, and kept a West India goods store in the 


lower part of it. He was peculiar in his personal appearance, 
being very short in stature, but was a good citizen and much 
beloved. One day, after a fit of despondency, he suddenly 
disappeared, leaving a note in which he stated that, of all 
deaths, he preferred that by drowning. Upon this hint his 
friends drained the mill-pond near by, and explored in the 
vicinity of the tide-mill, all to no purpose, when to their 
great relief and that of his famil}-, in a letter from Albany, he 
informed them that he was alive and well. 

Near the corner of Tremont and Roxbury Streets, and mak- 
ing it quite a centre of business, there was from the earliest 
days a grist-mill, the water from Ston}* Brook, which was 
dammed, furnishing the power. Here, in 
1633, the first mill was built in Roxburj- by 
Richard Dummer, the same who afterward, 
in consequence of unorthodox religious views, 
was obliged to quit Roxbury and settle in 
Newbury. For more than a century the 
Pierpont family were its proprietors, and as 
quite a settlement grew up around it, the 

. .., i ,, , , . , ., OJLD WIVD-MILL. 

locality acquired the name by which it was 
long known, of " Pierpont's Village." Early in this cen- 
tury it was known as " "Waitt's Mill," the owner being 
Samuel "Waitt, who also occupied an adjoining building for 
the manufacture of leather breeches, a kind of apparel not 
now in vogue, but considered quite the thing in those days 
of horseback riding and republican simplicity. In this busi- 
ness, Waitt's tact and shrewdness found constant exer- 
cise. If a customer expressed doubt as to whether the 
article shown was sufficiently large for him, his fears were 
quieted by the positive assurance, made use of on all occa- 
sions, " Lord love your soul, they will stretch and set like a 
glove " ; and if, on the other hand, some spindle-shank put 
aside deprecatingly a pair of decidedly baggy aspect, "Waitt 
was equally read}' with his, " Lord love your soul, they will 


shrink and set like a glove " ; and his ready wit stood him in 
such stead that he rarely lost a customer. 

Waitt passed off the stage in 1826, and was succeeded by 
Aaron Gay, father of the well-known stationer, who used the 
mill for woollen manufacturing, leather breeches being no 
longer in st}'le. Later, it was a morocco factory, presided 
over by the fat and genial Guy Carleton, whose size was such 
that it was usual, when a standard of comparison was re- 
quired, to say, " As big as Guy Carleton or Stephen Badlam," 
the latter being a well-known great man of Dorchester. These 
old buildings, together with the dam, were removed in 1870. 
The old mill-pond is dried up, the waters of Stony River now 
flow through the sewer, and the Boston and Providence Rail- 
road Company has so completely obliterated the noble estates 
of John Lowell and "Watson Gore that the changes wrought 
by these various agencies in the old mill village are of the 
most radical description. Near the mill-pond, at the south- 
erly corner of Roxbury and Pynchon (formerly Lowell) 
Streets, is the house once the residence of Ralph Smith, who 
was an active and enterprising citizen early in the present 
century. Smith's Pond, where the dam was, formed a part 
of his estate, Pynchon Street being then nonexistent. The 
large square mansion, with horse-chestnut trees in front, near 
the crossing, was the residence of Mr. Samuel Waitt, before 
mentioned. He was a man of strict integrity, and died leav- 
ing considerable property*, being the owner of the grist-mill 
at the corner of Washington and Tremont Streets, the tide- 
mill on Parker Street, and the large farm, formerly Scarbor- 
oughs', near Forest Hills. 

Tremont Street was opened from its Boston terminus, near 
ducket-ing's piano-forte factoiy, to this point, Sept. 10, 1832, 
shortening the distance over half a mile, its extent from the 
Misses Byles's residence to Waitt's mill being two miles and 
six rods. So much opposition was manifested to this enter- 
prise b}' citizens doing business on the "Neck," which it 



must be borne in mind was then the only free thoroughfare 
connecting Boston with the country, toll being taken on the 
Mill-dam, that the Roxbury end of the Tremont Road could 
only be completed through private subscriptions. These 
were procured through the energetic efforts of Watson Gore 
and Guy Carleton, aided by John Parker and a few other 
wealth}' men. The opening of this new road was of great 
benefit, and relieved Washington Street, which up to that 
period had been overcrowded with country teams. A project 
to extend this road to Jamaica Plain across Heath Street, 
which would have been of practical benefit to the town, was 
defeated by Mr. Lowell, through whose beautiful grounds it 
must necessarily have passed. A few years' respite only 
was gained by his opposition, for in a very few years the 
track of the Boston and Providence Railroad was laid through 
its entire extent. 

The old Gore homestead, described in the book of " Houses 
and Lands " as containing four acres west of Stony River, 


bounded on the way leading to the Landing-Place and Tide- 
Mill, was on the southwest side of Tremont Street, just 
beyond the railroad crossing, and extended to Parker Street. 
Mr. Watson Gore, the last of the name to occupy the home- 
stead, enlarged it and added a piazza. The old tan-pits and 
the hollow adjacent were filled up, and in their place were 


laid out an elegant fish-pond and a charming garden and 
grounds. A brick block now covers the site of the Gore house , 
which was taken down in 1876. The name is perpetuated by 
Gore Avenue, which traverses a part of the old estate. 

John Gore, the founder of this family in New England, 
came over in 1635, and settled in Roxburj*, where he was for 
many years clerk of the writs, and died on June 2, 1657. 
Rhoda, his widow, afterwards married Lieut. John Reming- 
ton, of " Remington's Paradise." John, his eldest sou, was at 
Harvard College from 1651 to 1654.. He was a skilful sur- 
veyor, was a selectman, and from 1688 to his death on June 
26, 1705, was town clerk. About 1674 he leased the Bell 
homestead for twenty-one years, agreeing either to teach the 
free school, procure a substitute, or pay 12 pounds a year 
in corn or cattle. Samuel, the younger son of the emigrant, 
was a carpenter by trade, and was a selectman at the time 
of his death in 1692. Christopher Gore, governor of Massa- 
chusetts in 1809, was his great-grandson. The first two 
generations of this family lived wholly in Roxbur}*, but their 
descendants are now found in all parts of the Union. A fam- 
ily tradition, which, unlike the generality of such, seems to 
accord with the records, is as follows : 

" A wealthy lady in England, named Rebekah Crook, settled in 
Roxbury, and married a Mr. Gardiner. One day, as Mr. John Gore 
was at Mrs. Gardiner's house, the lady advised him to get married. 
Her infant daughter lay in the cradle which Mrs. Gardiner was rock- 
ing. He replied, ' Perhaps I '11 wait for your daughter ' ; and it actu- 
ally happened that when about fifty years of age he was married to 
Sarah Gardiner, the infant he had rocked in the cradle." 

From Miss "Wood's "Historical Sketches of Brookline" 
we take an anecdote of a person who must be well remem- 
bered by many of our citizens : 

"Miss Prudence Heath, or 'Prudy,' as she was called, was a curi- 
osity worth seeing, with her immense black Leghorn bonnet and a 
great green silk umbrella which she usually carried. Though neither 


witty nor facetious, her quaint speeches were sometimes very amus- 
ing. "When the Providence Railroad was opened through Roxbury 
at the crossing of Tremont Street, it passed through the farm of her 
nephew, Mr. John Heath, and necessitated the removal of his house. 
The mind of Miss Prudy was greatly exercised, for she considered 
railways as modern innovations productive of unmixed evil. She 
visited in Roxbury at the old Gore place by the crossing, and after 
examining the track went home convinced of its dangerous ten- 
dency. ' Would you,' she asked of her friends, again and again, 
* would you ride in one o' them ravin' stages ? ' We may be quite 
sure she never did. 

Remington's Paradise was so named in 1653 from its 
owner, Lieut. John Remington, who lived just beyond Parker 
Street. The Comins School is on a part of this estate. Its 
name, Paradise, still clings traditionally to the locality, 
although there is now absolutely nothing to suggest its appro- 
priateness. Tradition says that the wife of John Gore, the 
emigrant, afterwards Mrs. Remington, was, on her arrival, 
carried over Boston Neck, the ground being swampy, upon 
the shoulders of two men. The}' stopped at a hill, and Mrs. 
Gore, being much fatigued, and delighted with the prospect, 
exclaimed, "This is Paradise!" and the place was after- 
wards called " Paradise Hill." 

North of Tremont and between it and Parker Street, on 
both sides of Stony Brook, lay the Heath farm of fifty-four 
acres. John Heath was the last proprietor of the homestead, 
which stood until recently near where C. B. Faunce's grocery 
store now stands, on Tremont Street. Forty years ago there 
was no other house on the estate. Capt. Joseph Heath's res- 
idence was on the northwesterly corner of Parker and Tre- 
mont Streets, from which place Jonathan Champney's house 
has lately been removed. Capt. Heath was in the colonial 
service at the eastward, commanding Fort Richmond in York 
County, Maine, in 1724-30. He was a grandson of William, 
the emigrant, and died in 1744. 

John Grosvenor's dwelling-house and four acres of orchard 


and pasture were on the northeasterly corner of these streets. 
In 1678 the town granted his petition for a small parcel of 
land between the old meeting-house and the bridge, to make 
pits for liming his leather and for accommodating him for his 
trade. This grant " at the bridge and old mill was for liming 
leather in fee, and not to sell but for such use, and to be for- 
feit if it damage the water for cattle or man." Only two 
years before, the ancestor of the present Duke of Westminster, 
Sir Thomas Grosvenor, was married in the Church of St. 
Clement Danes, in the Strand, London, to Miss Mary Davies, 
the humble heiress of the farm now occupied by Grosvenor 
Square and its surroundings, which has brought such enor- 
mous wealth to his family. Our John Grosvenor's coat of 
arms, which we have seen on his tombstone in the old bury- 
ing-ground, shows him to have belonged to the same family. 
He was one of the proprietors of Pomfret, Conn., whither in 
the year 1700 his widow and children removed. His dwell- 
ing-house was afterwards owned by Edward Sumner. 

Parker Street, " The Way to the Landing-Place and the 
Tide-Mill," was described, when laid open in 1730, as begin- 
ning "before the old dwelling-house formerly Robert Pier- 
pont's, now Edward Sumner's, between said Sumner's and 
Capt. Joseph Heath's, and so over the bank where the old 
malt-house stood." The landing-place was bought by the 
town in 1663 of the heirs of John Johnson. A military work 
erected here during the siege for the protection of the landing- 
place, known as Read's Battery, was held by a portion of 
the regiment of Col. Joseph Read, of Uxbridge, whose men 
were quartered in the immediate vicinity. In 1792 there were 
at this point several establishments, one of them owned by 
Ralph Smith, for the packing of provisions, the manufacture 
of soap and candles, etc., and vessels were laden with these 
articles here. Where Arlington Street now is, the channel 
of approach was then, having nine feet of water in it at low 
tide, and the Back Bay was at that time an expansive anc 
beautiful sheet of water. 


The tide-mill at the landing was, in 1650, known as Bak- 
er's Mill. It was sold in 1684 for 15. In 1655, liberty 
was granted to John Pierpont and others to " sett down a 
Brest Mill or Vndershott in or near the place where the old 
mill stood, neare Hugh Clarke's barn." In 1657, Pierpont 
bought the estate of fifty acres belonging to Capt. Hugh 
Prichard, lying west of Stony River and east of the highway 
to Muddy River ; and in 1658, he was allowed to erect a full- 
ing-mill on the river. A few old foundation timbers at the 
westerly end of Daj"'s cordage factory indicate the spot where 
the old tide-mill formerly stood. Prichard's Island was at the 
mouth of Stony River. An old deed says, " It is an island 
now by reason of the Creeke that hath been digged before 
the same and the land of John Johnson's." Capt. Prichard, 
who was one of the founders of the free school, and who suc- 
ceeded Capt. Joseph Weld in the command of the military 
company of Roxbury, returned shortly afterward to Wales, 
his native country. 

John Pierpont probably came to Roxbury about 1648, when 
he bought John Stowe's place on Meeting-House Hill. Dur- 
ing Philip's war, in 1675-6, he fortified his place where were 
"malting and mills for grinding and fulling, God having 
blessed him with a considerable estate." He died in 1682, at 
the age of sixty -four. His son James, " a student in y* 
liberall arts," graduated at Harvard College in 1681, and was 
minister of New Haven at the time of his death in 1714. 
His brother Benjamin led a company from Roxbury in 1691 
to found an independent church in South Carolina, and died 
in the ministerial office in Charleston in 1698. He gave his 
lands and mill interests in Roxbury to his brother James. 

This is another of the principal families of Roxbury that, 
after being conspicuous for more than a century, has wholly 
died out here. From it have sprung the Connecticut Pier- 
ponts, John Pierpont, poet and clergyman, and Edwards Pierre- 
pont, minister to England. Sarah Pierpont, daughter of Rev. 



James and grand-daughter of John, became the wife of the 
eminent Jonathan Edwards. The only person of the name to 
throw discredit upon it was an adopted son of Hannah, widow 
of Robert Pierpont, on whose petition to the General Court 
his name was changed from John Murdock to Robert Pier- 
pont. The facts were these : 

"Pierpont, the owner, and Storey, mas- 
ter of the brig ' Hannah,' having procured 
a heavy insurance on their cargo for a 
voyage to the "West Indies, the vessel was 
sunk in Boston Harbor, Nov. 22, 1801, and a 
large part of the insurance collected. Fraud 
being proved both as to the lading and loss 
of the brig, the court decreed that Pierpont 
and Storey be set in the pillory in State 
Street two several times, one hour each 
time, and imprisoned two years and pay 
the costs of prosecution. The sentence was 
duly executed, the pillory being placed near 
Hi 'Change Avenue. This, it is believed, was 
the last time this punishment was ever in- 
flicted in Boston." 

Of "Joe" Pierpont, a "small-sized man of Roxbury," 
nicknamed the " Duke of Kingston " (whose family name was 
Pierpont), the story is told that he fought with the Hon. 
Capt. William Montague, commonly called "Mad Montague," 
brother of the Earl of Sandwich, and " drubbed him within 
an inch of his life." To his credit, Montague, who was notori- 
ous for his drunken sprees and nightly window-breaking in 
Boston, highly regarded the man for the rest of his daj's. 
Upon one of these occasions he, with a party from his ship, 
indulged in a regular sailor's lark on shore, and committed 
some depredations on the schoolhouse in what is now Scollay 
Square, for which warrants were issued against some of the 

Passing the new cathedral of the Redemptorists, we come 



upon a fragment of what once was one of the grandest houses 
in Roxbury. Built about the year 1723, by Col. Francis 
Brinley, upon the estate of eighty acres formerly Palsgrave 
Alcock's, it was styled by its owner "Datchet House," hav- 
ing been modelled after the family seat of the Brinleys, at 
Datchet, England. This name recalls Datchet Mead, near 


by, the scene of FalstaflTs memorable experience in the 
buck-basket of which he, with indignant pathos, exclaims : 

"There was the rankest compound of villanous smells that ever 
offended nostril." 

In a somewhat fanciful description of Datchet house by 
Mrs. Emily Pierpont Lesdernier, it is spoken of as of 
"remarkable magnificence," and as having been known a 
century ago as " Pierpont Castle." This lady's great-grand- 
father, Robert Pierpont, a merchant, a member of the Boston 
Committee of Correspondence, and a commissary of prisoners 
during the war, bought the property of Col. Brinle} r> s heirs 
in 1773. I quote from a little volume from her pen, entitled 
"Fannie St. John": 

"It was situated in the midst of a large domain of park and 
wooded hills, and presented a picture of grandeur and stateliness 


not common in the New World. There were colonnades and a vesti- 
bule whose massive mahogany doors, studded with silver, opened 
into a wide hall, whose tessellated floors sparkled under the light of a 
lofty dome of richly painted glass. Underneath the dome two cherubs 
carved in wood extended their wings, and so formed the centre from 
which an immense chandelier of cut glass depended. Upon the floor 
beneath the dome there stood a marble column, and around it ran 
a divan formed of cushions, covered with satin of Damascas, of gor- 
geous coloring. Large mirrors with ebony frames filled the spaces 
between the grand staircases at either side of the hall of entrance. 
All the panelling and woodwork consisted of elaborate carving done 
abroad, and made to fit every part of the mansion where such orna- 
mentation was required. Exquisite combinations of painted birds 
and fruit and flowers abounded everywhere, in rich contrast with the 
delicate blue tint that prevailed upon the lofty walls. The state- 
rooms were covered with Persian carpets, and hung with tapestries 
of gold and silver arranged after some graceful artistic foreign 
fashion. The old place has suffered many changes at the hands of its 
various owners, who, in attempting modernizing, have destroyed 
almost every vestige of former magnificence." 

So true is this, that it is difficult for the visitor of to-day, 
who looks upon its bare walls and curtailed proportions, to 
realize that it could ever have been the seat of such splendors 
as are here described. Tradition, however, tells us of an 
apartment hung with blue damask, and known as the " Blue 
Chamber." On coming to Roxbury, and until the parsonage 
at Jamaica Plain was prepared for him, Rev. William Gordon 
resided here. 

To the right of the large hall in the centre of the building, 
fourty-four feet in length and twenty-two in depth, and which 
occupied the entire space between the two -wings, was the re- 
ception-room. During the siege of Boston the' mansion was 
the headquarters of Gen. Ward, who commanded the right 
wing of the American arm}' ; and in this room, shown in the 
lower right-hand corner of the engraving, were held the coun- 
cils of officers, at which Washington presided, and where 
the details of the occupation of Dorchester Heights were 


arranged. Under date of Oct. 10, 1775, Rev. Dr. Belknap 
records in his diary, that he " lodged at Mr. Robert Pier- 
pont's, where Gen. Ward resides. In Conversation with Mr. 
Joshua Ward, his aide-de-camp, I found," says Belknap, 
" that the plan of independence was become a favorite point 
with the army, and that it was offensive to pray for the king. 
Ward appears to be a calm, cool, thoughtful man." This is 
one of the earliest indications of a public sentiment favorable 
to throwing off allegiance to the British crown, and shows 
that the people were upon this important question far in ad- 
vance of their leaders. On the 17th of November, Washing- 
ton writes to Ward as follows : 

" Sir, As the season is fast approaching when the bay between 
us and Boston will in all probability be close shut up, thereby ren- 
dering any movement upon the ice as easy as if no water was there, 
and as it is more than probable that Gen. Howe when he gets the 
expected reinforcement will endeavor to relieve himself from the 
disgraceful confinement in which the ministerial troops have been 
all this summer, common prudence dictates the necessity of guard- 
ing our camps wherever they are most assailable. For this purpose 
I wish you, Gen. Thomas, Gen. Spencer, and Col. Putnam to meet 
me at your quarters to-morrow at ten o'clock, that we may examine 
the ground between your work at the Mill aiid Sewall's Point, and 
direct such batteries as shall appear necessary for the security of 
your camp on this side, to be thrown up without loss of time." 

Measures were immediately taken to strengthen this part 
of the lines, and several batteries and redoubts were erected 
at available points on the shore. A redoubt with three em- 
brasures, on the southerly side of Muddy River, was in 
good condition fifty years ago. At a council of war held at 
Gen. Ward's headquarters, on March 13, 1776, it was deter- 
mined that if Boston were not evacuated the next day, Nook's 
Hill in South Boston should be fortified the next night. This 
was accordingly done on the following Saturday night, and 
on Sunday Howe hastily evacuated the town. The details of 
the occupation of Dorchester Heights, on the night of March 


4th, were left wholly to Ward, Thomas, and Spencer, who 
commanded in this quarter. They had been for some time 
collecting fascines, gabions, etc., unknown to Gen. Washing- 
ton, expecting they would soon be wanted for this purpose. 
But for their foresight it is doubtful whether they could have 
been in sufficient forwardness when the operation began. 

Major-Gen. Artemas Ward, the first commander of the 
American forces, on the arrival of Washington, took com- 
mand of the right wing at Roxbury. He was a native of 
Shrewsbury, Mass., and a veteran of the seven years' war, 
having served as a lieutenant-colonel under Abercrombie. He 
had likewise been a member of the legislative bodies of the 
province, but was too old and infirm to discipline and control 
the motley assemblage around him, being unable even to 
appear in the saddle. 

The first entry in Gen. Ward's order book is dated the day 
after the Lexington battle, and is as follows : 


" Ordered that Col. Gardiner repair immediately to Roxbury, and 
bring all the bread that can be obtained." 

To provide for the wants of the multitude of hungry min- 
ute-men then assembling around Boston, this order was issued 
by Gen. Heath, who was aware that there was a quantity of 
ship-bread belonging to the British navy then stored at 
Roxbury. Some other items of interest are here presented 
from the same source : 

"April 21. Cols. Prescott, Warner, and Learned to march their 
regiments immediately to Roxbury to join Gen. Thomas. 

"June 30. That all profane swearing and cursing, all indecent 
language and behavior, will not be tolerated in camp. That all possi- 
ble care be taken that no lewd women come into camp, that such as 
do may be brought to condign punishment, and rid the camp of all 
such nuisances. 

" July 4. Firing of cannons and small arms from any of the lines 
or elsewhere, except for defence or by special orders, is prohibited. 


" 12. No trumpeter or flag of truce allowed to pass the guard. 

" 14. Pikes to be greased twice a week. 

" Feb. 26, 1776. Playing at cards or other games of chance at 
this time of public distress particularly forbidden. Men may have 
enough to do in the service of their God and their country, without 
abandoning themselves to vice and immorality. 

" March 8. His Excellency returns his thanks to the militia of 
the surrounding districts, for their spirited and alert march to Ros- 
bury last Saturday and Sunday, and for the noble ardor they discov- 
ered in defence of the camp of liberty and their country. 

" 23. Col. Gridley is to apply to Gen. "Ward for such men as are 
necessary for the demolishing the lines on Boston Neck, who are to 
see the work executed as fast as possible. Such parts of these works 
as may be of service for our defence are to be preserved." 

Gen. Henry Dearborn became the owner of Brinley Place 
in 1809, and at his decease, June 6, 1829, was buried 
just in front of the new cathedral. His son, Gen. H. A. S. 
Dearborn, resided here until his removal to Hawthorne Cot- 
tage, on Bartlett Street. In the summer of 1821, Gen. Dear- 
born received a visit from the West Point cadets, who 
marched the entire distance from West Point to Boston. They 
numbered two hundred and fifty, and were commanded by 
Col. William J. Worth, afterwards a general, and distinguished 
in Mexico. They were met on arrival at the old Punch-Bowl 
Tavern by many citizens, and by the Norfolk Guards, of 
Roxbury, who escorted them to their camping ground on the 
hill opposite the general's residence. A day or two after they 
arrived, they, with a large number of other invited guests, 
partook of a sumptuous repast in the garden in the rear of 
the Dearborn mansion. On the following day they were 
escorted to Boston, where they remained some days in camp 
on the Common. 

A sub-cellar, cut in the rock and used as a wine cellar, was 
accidentally discovered during the occupancy of Mr. John 
Bumstead b}' a workman, whose crow-bar, penetrating the 
wooden trap-door leading to it, slipped from his grasp and 


disappeared. A search disclosed the apartment, whose ex- 
istence had been unknown since Col. Brinley's day, and 
revealed the remains of wine casks and the aroma of choice 
spirits long since departed. Apropos of this wine cellar, 
there is a story that Col. Brinlej*, fancying that his choice 
wines disappeared remarkably fast, secreted himself here one 
evening, when his neighbor "Whitney's colored servant, Pom- 
pey, was making a visit to Sambo, the servant of the colonel. 
Soon the pair entered, and Sambo, filling his goblet, pro- 
ceeded to take in its contents, exclaiming, " Better times, 
Pomp!" "Better times!" was the response, as Pompey, 
nothing loath, imitated his friend's example. Just then a new 
actor appeared on the scene, and the enraged colonel laid his 
cane in no scanty measure over the heads of the culprits. 
"'Better times,' you black rascals! 'better times,' do you 
say, drinking wine that cost me a guinea a bottle ? I '11 give 
you ' better times,' you infernal black scoundrels ! " And the 
colonel, so runs the story, swore as terribly as they ever did 
in Flanders. 

The Ursuline Sisters, after their cruel expulsion from Mount 
Benedict, on the night of Aug. 11, 1834, when the torch was 
applied to the residence of a few women and children by a 
cowardly mob impelled by fanaticism, these devoted women 
occupied Brittle}- House for about a year, but their school had 
been so rudely broken up that it was some time before it re- 
covered from the shock. So great was the excitement in the 
town as the news spread that the nuns had taken refuge here, 
that an outbreak seemed imminent. Fortunatelj* the impend- 
ing danger and disgrace to the town were averted by the vig- 
orous and determined efforts of John J. Clarke, Ebenezer 
Seaver, and other prominent and influential citizens. Capt. 
Spooner's company guarded the premises ; and his orders, 
which were, when the proper moment arrived, to fire ball- 
cartridges onl}*, having been made public, the would-be rioters 
were completely overawed. 


After passing through several hands, the estate was bought 
in September, 1869, by the Reclemptorist fathers, who, on 
Sunday, May 28, 1876, laid the corner-stone of their cathe- 
dral a little to the east of the old house. That same night a 
fire so injured the old building that the eastern portion of it 
had to be taken down. Other changes have been made. 
Additions have been built in the rear, and the chapel has 
been moved close up to the remaining half of the house, 
the upper portion of which has been taken away. The 
large garden back of the house, once so lovely and filled 
with rare trees and beautiful shrubbery, has gone to decay, 
and lost all its old-time attractiveness. This once charming 
locality has completely lost its identity, and the region from 
the Parker Hill quarries to "Grab Village" is now largely 
occupied by natives of the Emerald Isle and their numerous 

Col. Francis Brinley, the original proprietor of this, one 
of the oldest of the historic mansions remaining in Roxbury, 
was a native of London,- and was educated at Eton. He 
came to Newport, R. I., in 1710, at the invitation of his 
grandfather, Francis Brinley, who made him his heir. In 
1718 he married Deborah Lyde, of Boston. Both lived in 
Roxbury to a good old age, and were buried in King's Chapel, 
of which he was one of the founders. He wag colonel of 
the Roxbury regiment, and deputy surveyor-general of the 
province, and was distinguished for his manly virtues and 
personal worth. His death took place on Nov. 27, 1765, at 
the age of seventy-five. 

Notwithstanding the alacrity shown in volunteering for the 
Louisburg expedition, the governor was compelled, by the 
exigency, to employ force in order to man the vessels that 
were to accompany it. Col. Brinley was, in the execution 
of his orders, rendered unpopular, and in explanation of his 
conduct wrote the following letter to the selectmen of Rox- 
bury : 


" GENTLEMEN, I have been an inhabitant of this town fifteen or 
sixteen years. When Gov. Belcher came to the chair I might have 
sustained the command I now do in the militia. When Shirley came 
in, by much importunity I was prevailed on by Col. William Dudley 
to be his lieutenant-colonel; at his death, the representations of 
the officers caused me to accept what I had twice refused. On the 
8th of March last, I received His Excellency's express commands at 
midnight to impress twenty men out of the town of Eoxbury for the 
sea service, which I looked upon as too heavy a burden on us after 
the duty already done, and accordingly by five o'clock next morning 
sent my son with a letter to His Excellency, praying for relief by 
affording me the assistance needful out of some neighboring (towns, 
whose answer was verbal by my son, saying he was sorry he could 
not oblige me for it was not his doing, being stated by the General 
Court in each town respectively, etc. 

"May 6, 1745." 

Henry Dearborn was a young medical practitioner at Not- 
tingham Square, New Hampshire, when he received the 
appointment of captain in Stark' s regiment. Joining it at 
Medford, on May 15, 1775, with a, full company raised by 
himself, he participated in its memorable service on the 17th 
of June, on Bunker's Hill, at the rail fence to which a cover- 
ing of new-mown hay gave the appearance of a breastwork, 
though in fact it afforded no real protection to the men. 

A volunteer in Arnold's expedition through the wilderness 
to Quebec, he was reduced by hunger to the extremity of 
dividing his favorite dog among his starving men. A violent 
fever nearly carried him off, but he recovered, and in Arnold's 
attack on the citadel was wounded and made a prisoner. 
Exchanged in March, 1777, and appointed major of Scam- 
mell's regiment, he distinguished himself in both the battles 

o o 

at Saratoga. Transferred to Gild's regiment, its steadiness 
and gallantry at Monmouth attracted the notice of the com- 
mander-in-chief, who inquired of Dearborn, " "What troops 
are those?" " Full-blooded Yankees, from New Hampshire, 
sir," was the reply. "Washington expressed his commenda- 



tion of them in general orders next day. At the close of the 
Yorktown campaign Dearborn was colonel of the First New 
Hampshire Regiment. He was a member of Congress for sev- 
eral years ; was Secretary of War under Jefferson from 1801 
to 1809 ; collector of Boston from 1809 to 1812 ; general-in- 
chief on the Canadian frontier in 1812-13, conducting the 
expedition that captured York, now Toronto ; and finally 
minister to Portugal, in 1822-24. 

Dearborn was a man of imposing presence, being full six 
feet in height and weighing over two hundred pounds. Active 
and athletic, he was 
in his j-outh a famous 
wrestler, and was well 
fitted for the toils and 
fatigues of war. Sarah 
Bowdoin, a niece of 
Gov. James Bowdoin, 
to whom he was mar- 
ried in 1813, and who 
accompanied him in 
his mission to Portu- 
gal, was noted for be- 
nevolence, sweetness 
of temper, and good- 
ness of heart. Her 
father, "William Bowdoin, a merchant, resided in Roxbury 
until his decease in 1773, and was a member of several 
important committees of the town during the agitation that 
preceded the Revolutionary war. The marriage of Mrs. Bow- 
doin and the general, though occurring late in life, had quite 
a romantic origin in their early days. Among the mementos 
preserved in the family of the general is the following order, 

whereby hangs a tale : 

"MEDFORD, Juiie 8, 1775. 

"CAPT. HENRY DEARBORN, You are required to go with one 
sergeant aiid twenty men to relieve the guards at "Winter Hill and 



Temple's to-morrow morning at nine o'clock, and there to take their 
place and orders, but first to parade before New Hampshire Cham- 
bers (Billings's Tavern). 


Upon the back of the order is this indorsement in Dear- 
born's handwriting : 

"First time I ever mounted guard." 

Robert Temple, above named, whose brother, Sir John, 
married Elizabeth, daughter of Gov. Bowdoin, was the pro- 
prietor of Ten Hills Farm, at Medford, originally the prop- 
ert}* of Gov. "Winthrop. He had a daughter Margaret, who 
was frequently visited at Ten Hills by her cousin, Sarah Bow- 
doin. Capt. Dearborn's orders required him to have an eye 
upon Temple, who was suspected of a correspondence with 
the enemy in Boston. After posting his guards, Dearborn, 
somewhat fatigued, threw himself upon a settee, and wrap- 
ping his tall, manly form in his cloak, took a nap. Soon Miss 
Bowdoin, who had been walking in the garden with her friend, 
entered the house, and saw him as he lay there asleep. The} 7 
immediately withdrew ; but alas ! too late. In that brief 
moment Miss Bowdoin had lost her heart to the "splendid 
young rebel officer," as she called him, and told her friend 
that she must make his acquaintance. Mr. Temple was pre- 
vailed upon to open the affair to Capt. Dearborn, who told 
him that, though only twenty-four years old, unfortunate!} 7 
for the hopes of the young lady, he was married and had two 
children. She afterwards married her cousin, James Bow- 
doin, minister to Spain, who left her a widow in 1811. Two 
3*ears later she was married to the object of her girlish 

The general's grandson, Henry G. R. Dearborn, has in his 
possession the motto " Liberty," cut from the flag of the 
Third New Hampshire Regiment, which floated at Saratoga, 
Monmouth, and Yorktown. He also has the general's por- 



trait, painted by Stuart in 1812, and pronounced one of the 
artist's happiest efforts. Dearborn having been hastily sum- 
moned to the chief command on the northern frontier, the 
head was sketched in three sittings of an hour each. 

The second General Dearborn, named for his father and his 
father's old colonel, Alexander Scammell, filled a large space 
in the public eye for nearly fort}' }-ears. Born in Exeter, 
N. H., in 1783, he was educated at the College of William 
and Mary, and then studied law. Among other public em- 
ployments he held the office of collector of the port of Boston 
in 1812-29 ; representative from Roxbury and member of the 
Executive Council 
in 1829 ; senator 
from Norfolk in 
1830 ; member of 
Congress in 1 83 1-3 ; 
adjutant-general of 
Massachusetts from 
1833 until removed 
for loaning the State 
arms to aid in sup- 
pressing the Dorr 
Rebellion in Rhode 
Island in 1843 ; and 
mayor of Roxbury 
from 1847 to his de- 
cease, July 29, 1851. 

Prominent in many useful and benevolent enterprises, he 
was one of the chief promoters of the rural cemetery at 
Mount Auburn, the first of its kind in the country, and to 
him belongs much of the credit for the architectural and rural 
taste there manifested. Roxbury is under peculiar obligation 
to him as the originator of Forest Hills Cemetery. Tall and 
commanding in person, like his father, and with flowing curly 
hair, he was remarkable for his manly beauty and lofty bearing. 



He usually drove to the Custom House in a stately carriage, 
drawn by a double span of horses, with postilions, and his 
elegant turnout was the envy of all who saw him. In his 
day, the fine old mansion was the constant scene of courtly 
manners and aristocratic display. His doors were open, his 
hospitality unlimited, and his associations brought numbers 
of the highest and most honored of the land to his house. 
Among his guests and visitors was the gallant Bainbridge, 
who, while commandant of the Navy Yard, frequently came 
in his barge manned by the blue jackets, lauding at the 
creek which flowed up into the rear of his grounds. His 
industry was remarkable, and as a public officer he estab- 
lished a high reputation for patriotism, integrity, and fidelity. 
" He sleeps," says Hon. Marshall P. Wilder, " in the conse- 
crated ground which his genius planned and which his taste 
adorned, beneath the flowers his own hand planted. Truly 
he rests from his labors and his works do follow him." 

On Faxon's Hill, so called, opposite Brinley Place, and in 
front of the quarries, is the first stone building erected in 
Roxbury. Originally of one story, it was built many years 
ago by Eleb Faxon, who, from 1802 to 1820, had a black- 
smith's shop here. Mr. Faxon cast cannon that were in use 
during the war of 1812 at the old chocolate mill near the 
Punch-Bowl Tavern. Part of an old dam and flume are still 
visible at the outlet to "Willow Pond, then receiving in far 
greater quantity than now the surplus from Jamaica Pond, 
which here formerly ran a chocolate mill, and later, a forge 
and trip hammer. Mr. Faxon, who was quite successful as a 
manufacturer of axes, lived in a large wooden house, yet 
standing, opposite his shop. Just beyond the shop was a 
small schoolhouse, kept sixty 3 r ears ago by a Mr. Walker, 
to accommodate the Punch-Bowl district. 

Col. Joseph Dudley owned and occupied the estate next 
beyond Brinley Place. That portion of it that included the 
mansion house came into the possession of the wealthy 


Ebenezer Francis, and is still owned by his heirs. Col. Dud- 
ley, a farmer, a man of strict honesty and integrity, inherited 
the large landed estate of the Dudle3 r s, which, after remain- 
ing for nearly two centuries in the family, was alienated by 
him in this wise : Fancying himself rich in consequence of 
some sales of land made for him by H. G. Otis and others, he 
indulged in a style of living far beyond his means, and that 
soon reduced him from affluence to comparative poverty. 
Col. Dudley's gift to the town has already been mentioned, 
and such was the open-handed generosity of the man that, 
had his means permitted, there would not have been a poor 
person in Roxbury. In 1820 he was persuaded to lay claim 
to a Dudle} 1 " peerage then dormant, and sent an agent to Eng- 
land armed with the family papers and other proofs in support 
of his title, which his legal adviser assured him was perfectly 
good. Nothing came of it, however, and the papers are sup- 
posed to have been lost. 

Until within a few years, a square redoubt, the most north- 
erly of the fortifications erected in Roxbury by the Americans 
during the siege, and completely commanding Muddy River, 
was visible on this estate near Appleton Place, at the extreme 
point of the upland, to the west of and very near Brookline 

Beyond is the estate which has for more than two centuries 
been in the possession of the Davis family. Ebenezer, its 
founder, came from "Wales, and acquired by his trade of a 
blacksmith a considerable estate. Isaac Davis, its last male 
representative, a worthy farmer, and a man of old-fashioned 
honesty and integrity, was for thirty years treasurer of the 
town and for seventeen years its representative. His widow, 
a daughter of Aaron White, of Mount Pleasant, at the age 
of ninety-three, resides here with her son-in-law, Mr. John 
L. DeWolf. 

The old Crafts house, which is yet standing in excellent 
preservation on Tremont Street, near the foot of Parker Hill 



Avenue, was built by Ebenezer, son of Lieut. Samuel and 
grandson of Griffin Craft, a cordwainer by trade, and ensign 
of the Roxbury military company. The land on which it 
stands, originally Robert Seaver's, " passed by agreement" in 
1705 from John Ruggles, the grandson of Griffin Craft, 
who inherited and dwelt upon it, to his cousin, Ebenezer 
Craft, who erected the house thereon in 1709, as appears by 
the date on the chimney. About the year 1796 the back part 
of the house, being of one story at the eaves, was taken down, 
and a new part built one and a half stories high, with its 
long rafters extending up to the dated chimney. Six genera- 
tions of the de- 
scendants of Griffin 
Craft have occu- 
pied this old house, 
viz., Ensign Eben- 
ezer, his grandson ; 
Deacon Ebenezer, 
son of the ensign ; 
his son. Daniel ; 
Major Ebenezer, 
son of Daniel; Wil- 
liam A. Crafts and 
Susan H. Gallup, 
children of the ma- 
jor ; and their chil- 
dren. In November, 1871, it was sold, together with a por- 
tion of the farm, to Stillman B. Allen, of Boston, having 
never before been conveyed by deed. 

Before the bridge from Boston to Cambridge was built, 
and when holidays were of rare occurrence and were appre- 
ciated accordingly, all the riding between the two places 
passed over this road. Here the family and their friends and 
neighbors would gather on Commencement Day at Harvard 
College, then a most attractive celebration, to witness the 



gay equipages, and the stream of animated life in holiday 
attire, flowing through Roxbury to attend and participate in 
the literary festival. 

Griffin Craft, the founder of this family in New England, 
was perhaps the first white settler in Roxbury, the birth of 
his son John, on July 10, 1630, being the first entry in the 
records of the town. As this event was coincident with 
Pynchon's settlement in Roxbury, Craft probably came over 
to New England in the company of Winthrop. His home- 
stead and farm were situated near Muddy River, the present 
boundary line between Roxbury and Brookline. Besides 
holding many town offices and other public trusts, he was a 
deputy to the General Court in 1638, also from 1663 to 1667, 
a member of the artillery company in 1668, and lieutenant 
of the military company of Roxbury from 1653 to 1676. In 
1650 he was one of the five men to " order the town affairs." 
In 1653 he was one of the committee to make " a record of 
houses and lands "in Roxbury; and in 1658 he with four 
others was selected to settle the boundary dispute with Ded- 
ham. From this Roxbury patriarch, who died old and blind 
on Oct. 4, 1689, nearly all of the name in New England are 
descended. John, his son, lived near Gamblin's End (School 
Street), on the west side of Stony River, and adjoining Wil- 
liam Curtis. 

Lieut. Samuel, second son of Griffin, whose estate he 
inherited, and whom he outlived but a single year, was 
equally prominent with his father in the affairs of the town. 
Like him, he was lieutenant of its military company and 
frequently selectman, and in 1689 was one of those chosen 
to take a list of all the real and personal estate of each 
of the male inhabitants of Roxbury. He was one of twelve 
to whom the " Mashamoquet purchase" at Pomfret, Conn., 
was granted in 1687, and on which his grandson Joseph set- 
tled in 1725. His widow, Elizabeth, daughter of Robert 
Seaver, lived to the age of eighty-eight. Their daughter, 


Alice, was remarkable not only for her numerous marriages, 
she having borne successively the names of Levering, Lyon, 
Greenwood, Shedd, and "Winchester, but also for her longev- 
ity, as she died in 1783, at the ripe age of one hundred and 
one. Her brother Nathaniel was a tanner or miller in Rox- 
bury on the banks of Stony River, perhaps on the land of his 
uncle John. Nathaniel's son, Jonathan, has numerous de- 
scendants in Roxbury, and would doubtless have attained to 
great age, had he not in 1801, at the premature age of ninety- 
three, fallen from an apple-tree. He married Susannah Gore, 
and their six children all married, allying themselves with the 
Williams, Davis, Hurd, and other prominent families, and all 
living in Roxbury, with the exception of Capt. Abner Crafts, 
of Watertown. 

Elizabeth, youngest daughter of Deacon Ebenezer Craft and 
Susannah White, married Caleb White, of Brookline, and died 
in the old house in 1839 at the age of ninety-two. Her grand- 
mother, "Madam" Ann White, an energetic woman of the old 
school, habitually made her Sunday-morning toilet over a pail 
of water for want of a looking-glass, and then walked to 
the Roxbury meeting-house, some five miles, to attend a long 
day's service. Elizabeth, or " Aunt White," as she was 
affectionately called in her latter years, was a woman of supe- 
rior culture. She was a great reader, had an excellent mem- 
ory, and wrote well both in prose and verse. 

Slaves were held for domestic service by the more wealthy 
Roxbury families prior to the Revolution, and there is extant 
a bill of sale in 1739 of a slave owned by Richard Champion, of 
Boston, schoolmaster, for 100, "unto Ebenezer Craft, of 
Roxbury, a negro girl named Dina, about eleven years old, 
together with all her wearing apparell." Dina proved a good 
investment, and for sixty years rendered faithful service, 
dying in 1803 at the age of seventy-five. The ensign's pre- 
vious transaction in wool had not turned out happily. He 
had paid 105 for a negro girl named Flora to Ebenezer 
Dorr, who soon afterwards wrote him as follows : 


" Sir, lam sorry you did not Lett me see you yesterday. I 
perseve you still meet with treble with the negro which I am ex- 
ceeding sorry to hear, as I told you at your house I intended you 
no harm but good. I did bye you as I would be done by, & I still 
intend to do by you as I would be done by if I were in your case 
but, however you must think as to the sale of the negro it is by 
means of selling her to you for it is all over town that youre dis- 
curege and wold give ten pound to have me take her againe I 
apprehend I had better given you twenty pounds, than ever you 
had been consarned with her. I would not a thanked any body to 
have given me 100 for her that morning before you carried her away, 
but however, seeing it is as it is, we must do as well as we can. I 
wold have you consult with the Justes and consider my case allso 
and do by me allso as you wold be done by. If I had your money 
as the Justeses bond I should be under the same consarn that I am 
now. Pray Lett me see you if you please and if we can accommo- 
date the matter to both our satisfaction I shall be very free in the 
matter that is if I hear no Reflecsions, for I do declare I was sin- 
sere in the whole matter. 

"From yours to serve 

"January the 6, 1735-6." 

Ebenezer Craft, a prominent and well-to-do citizen, who, 
like his father before him, was a ' ' cordwainer " and a deacon 
of the First Church, added to the family possessions by the 
purchase of twenty-seven acres of land on Parker Hill of Paul 
Dudley in 1722. The smaller of the two large elms still 
standing in front of the house was planted by the deacon, 
who in his old age and blindness was in the habit of feeling 
them to ascertain their growth. The larger was a good-sized 
tree when the house was built. Here Deacon Craft died 
Sept. 1, 1791, aged eighty-six. 

The deacon's grandson, Major Ebenezer Crafts, inherited 
all his land on both sides the Brookline Road, stretching back 
northerly from the old house to Muddy River and including 
the northwestern slope and the summit of Parker Hill, 
extending nearly to Heath Street, and on Muddy River west- 
erly. The hill had a fine large peach orchard on the summit, 


and orchards on its sides. The large mansion, admirably 
located on the northerly slope of the hill, and nearly opposite 
the old house, was built by him at the time of his marriage in 
1806. It was designed by Peter Banner, an English archi- 
tect, also the designer of Park Street Church, Boston, and 
was greatly admired for its classic style, its fine proportions, 
its rich and massive front elevation, its fluted Corinthian 
columns in pairs, and reaching to the height of two stories, 
and its general purity of style. The interior was also elabo- 
rately finished and profusely ornamented, but was still taste- 
ful and classic. Major Crafts lived here forty years, when he 
sold the house and the hill east of Heath Street, and moved 
back to the old house in which he was born, and where he 
died in 1864, at the age of eighty-five. This mansion, in 
which, after its change of owners, Mr. George Howe lived 
for twenty j r ears, is at present owned by T. Quincy Browne. 

The remainder of Major Crafts's estate, including the niod- 
ern house built in 1846, a few rods easterly of the old home- 
stead, is now in the possession of William A. Crafts, who occu- 
pies it with his family. This last Ebenezer was the first of the 
famil}' to change the ancient name from Craft to Crafts. His 
son, William A. Crafts, has been a member of the Legislature, 
and was clerk of the House in 1862-69, since when, he has 
been secretary of the State Board of Railroad Commissioners. 
He established the "Norfolk County Journal," now the " Home 
Journal," editing it in 1849-50, and has published several 
books, the best of which, " Pioneers in the Settlement of 
America," appeared in 1877. To his son William F. Crafts, 
who has made extensive collections for a history of this fam- 
ily, the author is indebted for materials made use of in pre- 
paring the present notice. 

Among those of Griffin Craft's descendants who have 
attained distinction are Col. Thomas Crafts, prominent in 
the Revolutionary annals of Boston ; Col. Ebenezer Crafts, a 
cavalry officer of the war for independence, founder of Crafts- 


bury, Vt. ; his son, Samuel C. Crafts, judge, United States 
senator, and governor of that State ; and William Crafts, a cele- 
brated orator, lawj-er, and man of letters, of Charleston, S. C. 
Its Roxbury alliances are numerous, and include the well- 
known names of Griggs, Heath, Gore, "Williams, Seaver, 
Ruggles, and Weld. 

The Mill-dam, or Western Avenue, the first of the arti- 
ficial roads connecting the peninsula of Boston with the main- 
land, and the greatest undertaking Boston had up to that 
time ever engaged in, is one and a half miles in length, and 
was built by the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation, char- 
tered June 14, 1814. Uriah Cotting, its principal projector, 
did not live to see its completion, nor did he, with all his 
sagacity, foresee that it was the first step towards converting 
the Back Bay into terra firma. This work, for which for the 
first time Irish laborers were expressly imported into the 
country, was begun in 1818, and the stone used was princi- 
pally taken from the Parker Hill quarry. It was opened 
July 2, 1821, with a public parade, the opening of another 
avenue to Boston being considered a great event. A caval- 
cade of citizens, Gen. William H. Sumner acting as chief 
marshal, crossed from the Roxbury shore, and were received 
by the inhabitants on the Boston side. 

The whole territory flowed in consequence of the construc- 
tion of this dam had formerly been valuable only for a trifling 
quantity of salt grass, and could have been purchased for a 
few hundred dollars. It was supposed that an immense water 
power could be thus obtained of almost fabulous value, and 
that all kinds of manufacturing and mechanical business 
would be established and carried on there by its means, and 
that thus the individual owners of the land flowed, and of the 
surrounding region, would be enriched and benefited. When 
brought to a practical test, it was discovered that an egregious 
error had been made in calculating the amount of the water 
power, and that the small result obtained was out of all pro- 


portion to its cost and of little value. Meanwhile, grist-mills 
and iron works had been erected, machine shops, manufac- 
tories, and rope-walks had been built, and the various dams 
applied to different economical purposes ; but many men of 
substance were, owing to this miscalculation, made bankrupt. 
All the plans devised to give value to the property failed until 
in 1859 the Boston Water Power Company, by legislative 
enactment, obtained leave to convert it into dry land. Within 
a few years, Beacon Street has extended itself over the Mill- 
dam, which is now lined with handsome dwellings, and a 
beautiful boulevard has taken the place of the former dusty 
and unattractive highway. 

Punch- Bowl Village in Brookline and the part of Rox- 
bury adjacent, including Parker Hill and Heath Street, was 
once known as "Roxbury Precinct." In this area were the 
homesteads of Crafts, Heath, Griggs, Wyman, Downer, and 
Brewer, some of whom had lands in both Roxbury and Brook- 
line. The old boundarj' line was a small brook that ran into 
Muddy River, then the river itself, east to the channel. Pearl 
Street now marks the ancient northeastern limit of Roxbury, 
and the old stone post that once stood on its southeast corner 
is now erected on the other side, a little below. About half 
of Punch-Bowl Village, tying between the brook, which was 
the old boundary, and Muddy River, was annexed to Brook- 
line in 1844. 

In the rear of the gas works, at the corner of Brookline 
Avenue, stood an old house, which after many years' neglect 
was blown down, probably by the great gale of September, 
1816. This, with all the land adjoining on both sides of 
Muddy River, was formerly the property of the Griggs fam- 
ily, early settlers in Roxbury. George Griggs, of Launden, 
Buckinghamshire, England, came over in the "Hopewell" 
with Alyce, his wife, and five children, in 1635. Dr. George 
Griggs, early in the last century, built the old house now for 
many } T ears a tenement house, and known sometimes as the 


"Tontine," but usually called the "Long House." The 
west half, with the ornamented portico over the front door, 
was afterwards added by Dr. Downer. Dr. Griggs's daugh- 
ter Mary, who was very beautiful and quite an heiress, mar- 
ried, in opposition to her parents' wishes, Capt. William 
Wyman, with whom she lived most unhappily. The house 
and land now occupied by the gas company, with much other 
real estate in the vicinity, was long known as the Wyman 
property. It was by marriage with the daughter of Capt. 
Wyman that Dr. Downer became connected with the family 
and its possessions. After the former's death, the old house 
was kept as a tavern for several years, with the sign of the 
punch-bowl, but it had little patronage, and was soon given 
up. The houses of Capt. Wyman and Dr. Downer both 
originally set back farther from the street than at present, as 
the widenings that have taken place from time to time have cut 
off the yards. The Downer or " Long House" had a broad, 
green yard shaded by tall buttonwoods and two Lombard} 7 
poplars, while between the two houses stood a beautiful elm. 
Dr. Downer, who was active in town affairs, as appears by 
the Roxbury records, and who was the grandfather of Sam- 
uel Downer, Esq., of Boston, left his house early on the 
morning of the battle of Lexington, and repairing to the 
front, soon came in sight of the retreating Britons, and sud- 
denly encountered one of their flankers, who had stopped to 
pillage a house. Both levelled their guns at the same instant, 
and both missed. Closing in deadly struggle, they crossed 
bayonets, but Downer soon found he was no match for his 
adversary in the dexterous use of that weapon. The main 
body was every moment coming nearer. Gathering himself 
for a desperate effort, Downer, with incredible quickness, 
reversed his firelock, and dealt his foe a terrific stroke with the 
but, which brought him to the ground. The blow, which had 
shattered the breech of his gun, only disabled his enemy, and 
he finished him with eight inches of cold steel ; then possess- 


ing himself of the soldier's arms as the spoil of victory, he 
hastily withdrew. When the battle was over he found his 
forehead had been grazed by a musket-ball. 

He was subsequently a surgeon on board the privateer 
sloop "Yankee," and was taken prisoner and carried to Eng- 
land, whence he escaped to France. On the passage home 
he had again the ill luck to be captured, and was severely 
wounded. After a long confinement in Portsea prison, where 
he and his companions were cruelly treated, he escaped by 
excavating under the wall and street adjacent, was aided by 
friends, and after three years' absence made his way to Bos- 
ton. Dr. Downer afterwards served as surgeon-general of 
the Penobscot expedition, that most melancholy of failures. 
He was a skilful surgeon, though a hard, rough man. 

That famous old hostelry, the Punch-Bowl Tavern, built 
early in the last century, stood just beyond Pearl Street, 
where Lyceum Hall now is. It was a two-story, hipped-roof 
house, and its enlargement from time to tune, by the purchase 
and removal hither of old houses from Boston and vicinity, 
resulted in aggregating a curious medley of rooms of all sorts 
and sizes, and producing a new architectural order, appropri- 
ately named " conglomerate." 

With its outbuildings, it occupied all the space on the street 
from the provision store of Brown Brothers to the brick black- 
smith's shop of J. Madore. It was of a yellowish color, and 
had a seat running along the front under an overhanging pro- 
jection of a part of the second story, where loungers congre- 
gated to discuss the news of the day. In front and near each 
end were large elm-trees. Under the westerly one stood a 
pump, which remained until recently. The ancient sign, sus- 
pended from a high red post, had for its design a huge bowl 
and ladle, overhung by a lemon-tree laden with fruit, some of 
which, having fallen to the ground, lay around the bowl. 
This sign, known throughout New England, gave its name to 
the tarern and village. 


Before the days of railroads, there was a great amount of 
heavy teaming in this direction, and the Punch-Bowl, with 
its hospitable entertainmant, was a necessity of the times. 
It was a common thing for a row of teams to occupy the side 
of the street above and below the tavern, from what is now 
Harrison Place to the gas works, in a continuous line, while 
man and beast were fed and rested. Connected with it was a 
large dancing-hall, and it was a famous place of resort for 
gay parties from the surrounding towns, and even from Bos- 
ton, and it was much frequented by the British officers before 
the Revolution. The Mill-dam and the bridges at last diverted 
so much of its business that, its occupation gone, the old 
Punch-Bowl, no longer a source of income to owner or lessee, 
was torn down about 1833. 




The Dedham Turnpike. Auchmuty House. Gov. Sumner. The Fel- 
lowes Athenaeum Bartlett Street. Noah Perrin. Lambert. Rox- 
bury Charitable Society. Norfolk House. Ruggles Homestead. 
Eliot Church. Octagon Hall. Chandler. Dane. Hears. Mac- 
carty Farm. Old Forts. Standpipe. 

IN 1803 the Norfolk and Bristol Turnpike, from Boston to 
Pawtucket, known later as the Dedham Turnpike, was 
incorporated. Its course in Roxbury was : 

" From Dedham Court House to a high rock east of Widow Mary 
Draper's, thence near and by the house of John Davis, deceased ; also 
near and by Chenery's wheelwright's shop ; also near and by the barn 
of Thomas Weld through laud of Capt. Joseph Williams ; south of 
his dwelling-house to the end of Mears Lane, so called, near the 
house of the late Gov. Sumner ; thence to the southerly side of the 
pavement near to the brick schoolhouse." 

Before this road was built an irregular cart-path, known as 
the " way to Maccarty's farm," u the highway from Roxbury 
town street to John Watson's," and also as " the highway to 
the orchard of William Tay, and so to Gamblin's End," fur- 
nished a means of communication between the eastern and 
western portions of the town, to the east of the old Dedham 
Road, now Centre Street. The course of this path from 
"Eliot's Corner" was east of the present road, which it 
crossed at Oakland Street, then following the line of Thorn- 
ton to Ellis Street, passing to the west of the Ellis (formerly 
the Maccarty) mansion, east of the line of Hawthorne Street, 
across Marcella towards Amory Street, and then following 


the direction of School Street, until just beyond Capt. Joseph 
Williams's, now Mrs. Adams's, it diverged to the south and 
there struck what is now known as Forest Hill Street, for- 
merly Back Street, and still earlier Rocky Swamp Lane. 

On our left as we follow the old turnpike, we have the 
estate originally Isaac Morrill's, and his son-in-law, Tobias 
Davis's, owned at the beginning of the last century by the 
Stevens family, a portion of which was afterwards the prop- 
erty of the elder Judge Auchmuty. It included much of the 
tract bounded by Dudley, Warren, St. James, and Washing- 
ton Streets. A part of Morrill's estate, called "The Fox- 
holes," containing twenty-six acres "upon Abraham Newell 
and Edward Bugby south ; a rocky highway west ; Pine Hill, 
north ; and a highway leading to Great Lotts, east," seems 
identical with the territory on both sides of Circuit Street, 
embracing the " Tommy's Rock " region. 

The fine old mansion, a relic of colonial tunes, now stand- 
ing on Washington Street at the corner of Cliff, was built 
about 1761 by the younger Judge Auchmuty, who resided here 
until the breaking out of the Revolution in 1775. Confiscated 
as the property of a Tory by the act of April 13, 1779, it, to- 
gether with seven acres of land adjoining, was purchased of 
the State by Increase Sumner, afterwards governor of Mas- 
sachusetts, who resided here until his death. It is now owned 
and occupied by Mr. Charles F. Bradford. In appearance it 
is not unlike many of the better class of residences belong- 
ing to the later colonial period, and it has undergone few 
alterations. It is some distance from the street, and the 
broad, well-worn pavement by which it is approached pre- 
pares you for the solid, substantial old house itself. The 
grounds are shaded by handsome trees, and the house and its 
surroundings are so suggestive of taste and comfort that the 
visitor cannot help feeling some touch of pity for the loyal 
owner, who was compelled, almost without warning, to abandon 
BO pleasant a home. On the right as you enter is the spacious 



room formerly used as the dining-hall ; in the room opposite 
were held, in the autumn of 1817, during Mr. Beza Tucker's 
occupancy* of the premises, a series of religious meetings that 
resulted in the formation of the First Baptist Society, now 
worshipping in the church on Dudley Street. 

Here, as a convenient halting-place between the Province 
House and the governor's country seat at Jamaica Plain and 
the lieutenant-governor's residence at Milton, met the secret 
conclave of crown officers who plotted the overthrow of colo- 
nial liberty. Here, Bernard, Hutchinson, Auchmuty, Hallo- 
well, Hulton, Burch, 
and Paxton discussed 
the proposed altera- 
tions in the charter and 
the bringing over of 
British soldiers to over- 
awe the people. Hith- 
er Gov. Bernard sum- 
moned the council on 
account of the wonder- 
ful discovery of a tar- 
barrel in the beacon 
on Beacon Hill, which it was understood was to be fired as 
soon as the ships containing the British troops should make 
their appearance in the bay. "Matters now," so he wrote 
Lord Hillsboro, the English Secretary of State, " exceed all 
former exceedings," and he construed this occurrence as a 
great insult to himself. The tar-barrel question was debated 
here, " and," he continues, " it was resolved that the select- 
men should be desired to take it down, but they would not 
do it." It must be admitted that the selectmen of Boston 
were a contumacious set, and that in the matter of tar-barrels 
and tea-chests they evinced an utter disregard of the gov- 
ernor's feelings. 

During the siege the officers of Col. Learned's regiment 



were quartered here. A corn-house belonging to the estate, 
improved by some of that regiment as a shoemaker's shop, 
was removed, and did duty at Lamb's Dam Fort as a maga- 
zine. From the gambrel roof of the mansion, which is sur- 
mounted by a railing, the various encampments of the besieg- 
ing forces on Meeting-House Hill and the vicinity were in 
full view, and the magnificent but exasperating spectacle of 
Charlestown in flames, on the day of Bunker's Hill, must have 
been distinctly visible. After the close of the siege the prop- 
erty was leased by the selectmen, who had charge of the con- 
fiscated estates, to Joseph Ruggles. 

The younger Robert Auchmuty, a native of Boston, died 
in London, an exile from his native land, in November, 1788. 
His great natural parts and industry enabled him to dispense 
with a college education, and he became an eloquent and suc- 
cessful advocate, the associate at the bar of Otis, Thatcher, 
Gridley, Prat, Trowbridge, Quincy, and Adams. In con- 
junction with the two last named, he successfully defended 
Capt. Preston and the British soldiers on trial for participa- 
tion in the affray known as the " Boston Massacre," his plea 
in this case being greatly admired. Appointed a judge iv 
17G7, he continued upon the bench until 1776, when, the 
authority of the crown being no longer recognized, and being 
a zealous loyalist, he went to England, where he was for a 
time in very distressed circumstances. Some of his letters 
to persons in England were, with those of Hutchinson, sent 
to America by Franklin in 1773. The misrepresentation of 
their conduct and motives, which was thus laid bare, stimu- 
lated the people to a high pitch of resentment. John Adams 
thus disparages him in describing a meeting of the Boston 
bar about 1766: 

"Gridley told some stories, Auchmuty told more, and scolded 
and railed about the lowness of the fees. This is A.'s commonplace 
topic. He is employed in sessions and everywhere. The same dull, 
Insipid way of arguing everywhere, as many repetitions as a Pres- 



byterian preacher in his prayer, volubility, voluble repetition and 
repeated volubility, fluent reiteration and reiterating fluency, such 
nauseous eloquence always puts my patience to the torture. In 
what is this man conspicuous? In reasoning, in imagination, in 
painting, in the pathetic, or what? In confidence, in dogmatism, 
etc. His wit is flat, his humor is affected and dull. To have this 
man represented as the first at the bar is a libel upon it, a reproach 
and disgrace to it." And in another place he says, "Auchmuty main- 
tains the air of reserve, design, and cunning." 

There is spite or envy in this tirade, for in addressing a 
jury Auchmuty was, according to contemporary accounts, in- 
teresting and agreeable, and generally successful. 

When appealed to by Hutchinson to say whether, if neces- 
sary, he would order the troops to fire upon a mob who were 
committing violence and refused to disperse, Auchmuty de- 
clared he would not, as the laws, not of this province but of 
England, now stood, and as the people in both were disposed, 
for he was sure of being brought to the bar as Justice Gillain 
was, and he would have less chance with a jury here than 
Gillam had in England. The latter had a short time before 
ordered the soldiers to fire on a mob at Hexam, where forty 
persons were killed. 

Another distinguished occupant of this mansion was Increase 
Sumner, a native of Roxbury, whose birthplace we have 
already visited. The future governor attended the Roxbury 
grammar school, then kept by William Gushing, afterwards 
a justice of the Supreme Court of the United States, and by 
his successor, Joseph Warren, the distinguished patriot, and 
himself took charge of that institution after his graduation at 
Harvard College, in 1767. While thus engaged he studied 
law, which he subsequently practised in his native town. 
Intelligent and trustworthy, his business soon became lucra- 
tive, and besides filling numerous town offices he was succes- 
sively chosen to the responsible posts of representative, 
senator, judge, and finally, governor of the Commonwealth. 



In all these positions he exhibited sterling qualities and gained 
honorable distinction. 

Judge Sumner was a member of the State Convention which 
in 1789 ratified the Federal Constitution, in which body he 
made several impressive speeches. The unsettled condition 
of affairs, and the doubts in the minds of thoughtful and intel- 
ligent men as to the probable fate of this instrument, are 


exhibited in a conversation between the judge at his OWR 
gate, in Roxbury, where he was dealing with a marketman, and 
Fisher Ames, who, on his way from Dedham, frequently 
stopped to have a chat with the judge : 

"'What's the news in Boston this morning, judge?' said he. 
Just then Mr. Hears, a neighbor, and attached to the Tory party, as 
he walked by the cart inquired of the judge what he gave a pound 
for butter, who answered, ' Ninepence.' ' Ninepeuce a pound for 
butter ! Ninepence a pound for butter ! It did not use to be so in 
King George's day. Niuepence for sixpence ! This is your new gov- 


ernment, is it? Ninepeuce a pound for butter I It won't last ' ; and 
repeating his words, ' Ninepence a pound,' jogged on and left the 
judge and Mr. Ames together. The latter observed, ' I am some- 
what of that man's mind. It won't last. What do you think of it, 
judge? I say it won't last, at least I fear it won't.' The judge, who 
always saw the bright side of things, answered, ' I do not fear it. 
The machinery is complex, but it is new. Let us see how it works, 
let us give it a fair trial, Mr. Ames.' 

" Some time afterwards Mr. Ames stopped again, and the follow- 
ing conversation occurred : ' Well, judge, what do you think of it 
now? ' ' Why, has anything taken place? ' ' Have you not heard of 
the doings of the Roxbury town meeting yesterday? It is in the 
morning papers.' 'I have not seen the papers,' said the judge. 
'What did they do?' 'It is your own town, and surely you don't 
want a Dedham man to tell you what was done in a Roxbury town 
meeting. You will be sorry to learn, judge, that your Constitution 
has given way in the point of your greatest security. After a long 
debate^ not unpremeditatedly, the town decided that a man has an 
estate of the value of 60 if he is able to earn that sum within the 
year.' ' What,' answered the judge, ' without having a freehold es- 
tate, or having in possession personal property of that value? ' ' No 
property at all as I understand it, judge. A carpenter who owned 
his tools, but nothing else, and who was able to work for his living, 
they admitted to vote for a representative to the General Court, and 
Gen. Heath led the majority. You see how it works. What do you 
think of it now, judge? ' ' Why,' says the judge, ' that construction 
never entered into any man's mind. It amounts almost to universal 
suffrage. It never will prevail, but if it does, brother Ames, I must 
say that my confidence is very much diminished.' " 

Elected governor in April, 1797, Sumner was qualified on 
the 2d of June following. A cavalcade of between two hun- 
dred and three hundred citizens of Boston, Roxbury, and adja- 
cent towns, accompanied by several distinguished gentlemen, 
including Generals Lincoln and Knox, in carriages, escorted 
a long procession from Roxbury to the State House, from the 
eastern balcony of which, in State Street, he was proclaimed 
governor, as was then the custom. The new State House 
was first occupied in the following year. At this time he was 


in the vigor of life, and in this respect formed a contrast to 
his immediate predecessors. Hancock was so infirm from 
gout that his servants made an arm-chair and carried him 
from his carriage up the stairs to the council chamber when 
he met the Legislature, and Adams was stricken in years and 
somewhat bent, as was apparent when he walked in the State 
processions. But when his successor marched at the head of 
the legislative body on its return from hearing the election 
sermon at the Old South, as he passed in at the door of the 
old State House, where an old apple-woman sat, she was 
heard to exclaim, " Thank God we have got a governor that 
can walk, at last ! " The governor was on his death-bed when, 
upon his last re-election, it became necessary to administer 
the official oath. This impressive scene, which has been 
described by one of the actors in it, took place in the east 
upper room, now used as the library. Gov. Sumner died on 
the 7th of June, 1799, and was buried in the Granary Bury- 
ing-Ground, in Boston, near the Athenaeum, where stands a 
monument to his memory. The funeral service was first per- 
formed at his house, and a "most excellent and pathetic 
prayer" was offered by Rev. Dr. Porter. John Adams, then 
President, attended the funeral, and was announced as he 
entered the house by Sheriff Cutler, of Norfolk. On the day 
of the funeral, said at the time to have been the most solemn 
and imposing ever witnessed in the State, business was sus- 
pended, the shops were closed, and the expression of sorrow 
and mourning was everywhere visible. 

In person, Sumner was attractive and commanding, his 
stature elevated and well proportioned. Polite and unassum- 
ing, his manners were yet dignified and manly. He was hos- 
pitable, and could afford a manner of living suited to his 
generous and social qualities and his elevated position. He 
drove a coach and four on all public occasions, and liberally 
entertained all public characters and strangers of distinction. 
A substantial, practical farmer, he attended personally to the 


cultivation of the soil, and set an example of good husbandry 
to his neighbors. 

The governor's widow passed the whole of her married life 
here, until her removal to Boston in 1806. Opposite the 
mansion was an estate of fourteen acres, which his father-in- 
law, Mr. Hyslop, purchased for him, and in the cultivation 
of which, after he had ploughed clown the breastworks thrown 
up during the siege, and made it an open field, he took great 
pleasure. This estate was recovered of his heirs by Joseph 
Dudley, as tenant in tail, by suit in 1806. The following 
reminiscence was furnished by Mr. Moses Williams to Gen. 
William H. Sumner, the governor's son : 

" The first school I attended was Ma'am Johnson's. Her house 
was next to your father's, and as I passed his premises in going to 
school I frequently saw him, with his huge cocked hat and blue cloak 
trimmed with scarlet velvet, walking for exercise in his beautiful 
front yard, always as neat as a good wife's parlor floor and shaded 
by beautiful walnut-trees. One day, seeing your father thus walking, 
and noticing that a few ripe walnuts had fallen, I walked into the 
yard and asked if he would give them to me. He did not know me, 
but he gave his permission with so kind a reply, that though nearly 
sixty years have passed, and I was then only five or six years old, 
I have never forgotten it." 

A large house, and one and a half acres of land adjoining 
the Auchmuty estate, were the property and residence, before 
the Revolution, of Capt. Xathaniel Williams. He com 
mancled a Roxbury company at the siege of Louisburg, and 
was the son of John and Dorothy (Brewer) Williams and 
great-grandson of Robert, the emigrant. 

At the right, as you enter Bartlett Street, is the house in 
which Caleb Fellowes, founder of the Fellowes Athenaeum, 
now the Roxbury branch of the Boston Public Library, lived 
for many years, and which, after 1836, was the home of Dr. 
Henry Bartlett. Caleb, son of Cornelius Fellowes, was a 
native of Gloucester, Mass., his mother being Sarah Wil- 


Hams, of Roxbury. In his youth he followed the sea, but 
acquiring by trade a competency in Calcutta, he settled in 
Roxbury in 1816, and at his decease, on Nov. 8, 1852, left a 
large part of his accumulations for the founding of the library 
which bears his name. 

Mr. Fellowes's last years were passed in Philadelphia, and 
it was by the advice of a friend with whom he had lived in 
Roxbuiy in the most intimate relations, Supply Clapp Thwing, 
whose long and beneficent earthly career has but recently 
terminated, that he resolved upon this step. "My friend," 
said Mr. Thwing, "your mother was born in Roxbury, and 
there, you say yourself, you passed some of the happiest 
years of your life. "We want an Athenaeum, and you could 
not leave your property, outside of your own family, to a 
better object." The appeal was successful, but the disinter- 
estedness of the advice is seen in the fact that a large part of 
the sum thus appropriated was, by Mr. Fellowes's first will, 
bequeathed to Mr. Thwing, and that it was at his urgent 
request, when this became known to him, that his friend can- 
celled the legacy and increased by so much his public bequest. 

By the terms of the will, forty thousand dollars were to be 
laid out for a suitable lot of ground within half a mile of Rev. 
Mr. Putnam's meeting-house, and in erecting thereon an edi- 
fice similar in plan to the Philadelphia Athenaeum ; the residue 
to be safely invested, and the income to be devoted to the 
purchase of books and periodicals. In 1866 the Fellowes 
Athenaeum was incorporated, and in 1872, the fund then 
amounting to fifty-four thousand dollars, the building on 
Millmont Street was begun. It was formally dedicated on 
July 9, and opened for public use on July 16, 1873. 

Bartlett Street was in 1760 given to the town by Isaac 
Winslow, Thomas Dudlej*, and Noah Perrin. It led from 
the highway near the meeting-house, by Mr. Noah Perrin's, 
into the town way leading to Maccarty's farm. Long known 
as Perrin's Lane, it formed the southwestern boundary of 


the Dudley estate, and now connects Dudley and Washington 
Streets. It formerly opened opposite the Auchmuty house, 
and its lower easterly side was all a quagmire. Back of 
Perrin's house, between the estates of Messrs. Osgood and 
Blanchard, is an elevation known as Pigeon Hill. 

Noah Perrin, who was for many j-ears treasurer of the 
town, lived in a house, torn down a few years since, in which 
his son-in-law, Stephen, son of Col. Joseph Williams, long 
resided. It was one of the oldest houses then remaining in 
the town, and may have been the house of Chandler or 
Dane, early settlers in Roxbury. It bore honorable scars of 
Revolutionary service in the shape of shot-holes from the 
British cannon, and was made use of as a barrack. The 
first Noah Perrin, who was by trade a tailor, bought in 1725, 
of Benjamin Thompson's widow, the lot at the southerly 
corner of the street. He died here in 1788, leaving to his 
son-in-law Williams his dwelling-house, tan-yard, bark-house, 
and three acres of land. This Benjamin Thompson is the 
same whose tombstone in the old burying-ground indicates 
the final resting-place of the ' ' learned schoolmaster and phy- 
sician and y* renowned poet of New England." He taught 
the old grammar school from 1700 to 1703. A two-story 
house now occupies the site of the old building. 

Just beyond is the residence of Dr. John Bartlett, a skilful 
physician and a philanthropic man. It is of three stories, 
and faces the Dudley School for Girls. This house was built 
for Noah Perrin Williams by Stephen, his father, who resided 
here until his decease in 1811, after which it was the home 
of the Doctor. In Hawthorne Cottage, opposite, the residence 
of the Dearborn famil}*, is a portrait of the first Gen. Dear- 
born, an excellent specimen of Stuart's best manner, and 
another of his son, Gen. H. A. S. Dearborn, when quite 
a young man. Many interesting mementos of both these dis- 
tinguished men are here carefully preserved. The manuscript 
memoirs and other writings of the latter, in forty-five quarto 


volumes, also among the family possessions, attest the re- 
markable industry and versatility of the second Gen. Dear- 
born, and are doubtless storehouses of valuable information 
upon a great variety of subjects. 

Beyond is the stone building, bought in 1829 by William H. 
Spear of the proprietors of " The Roxbury Female School," 
and purchased of Spear, who occupied it awhile for the same 
purpose, by the town of Roxbury in April, 1840, now known 
as the Roxbury High School. 

On the corner of Blanchard Street is the mansion built by 
Major John Jones Spooner, soon after the close of the Revo- 
lution, and subsequently the property of Capt. William Lam- 
bert, a merchant of Boston. A street and avenue traverse 
Lambert's thirteen-acre lot, and bear his name. Major 
Spooner, who was the first commander of the Roxbury 
Artillery, in 1784, and who graduated at Harvard College 
in 1775, married the only daughter of Gen. Heath, went to 
Hampton, Va., in 1789, and died there in 1799. 

Lambert, who was a native of Boston, died here in 1823, 
at the age of eighty. While engaged in business in Halifax 
in 1775-78, he acted as agent for the American prisoners 
confined there, supplying their necessary wants. Suspected 
of too much friendliness to the rebel cause, he was obliged to 
hastily abandon his business and property there, and escap- 
ing to Boston, again established himself in that town and 
became a successful merchant. In 1788 he came to Roxbury, 
hiring at one hundred and twenty dollars per annum the 
estate he purchased in December of that j'ear, and which he 
says he found " a complete wilderness." By many years of 
labor in removing all the stone walls, digging and blasting 
rocks for a road leading up to the hill, uprooting barberry and 
other bushes, indigo-roots, etc., he at length brought it into a 
highly attractive condition. In 1794 the west dwelling-house, 
on the hill, the site of Mr. Hollingsworth's residence, was fin- 
ished with a composition roof, the first seen in New England, 


but which Mr. Lambert had often seen in Halifax. Mrs. 
Blanchard, a daughter of Mr. Lambert, resides on the estate 
with her son, Mr. William Blanchard. 

The Roxbury Charitable Society, the oldest institution of 
the kind in the town, originated at a meeting held at Mr- 
Lambert's in September, 1794, principally from members of 
the Roxbury Fire Society. It soon numbered seventy-three 
members, among them many of the most influential citizens 
of the town, and was incorporated in 1799. Judge John 
Lowell was its first president. Among its prominent pro- 
moters were Gov. Sumner, Hon. John Lowell, Hon. John 
Read, "William Lambert, Rev. Dr. Porter, Hon. Sherman 
Leland, and Charles Davis. By the failure of the Norfolk 
Bank, the funds of the society were greatly reduced and its 
usefulness seriously impaired, but in 1850 it was revived, and 
has ever since been an active and beneficent association. 
Imposing ceremonies in times past attended its anniversaries, 
such as a meeting at the Town House, a procession with mil- 
itary escort, and a discourse at the First Church, at which a 
collection in aid of its funds was usually taken. Among the 
anniversary orators were Judge Lowell, Rev. Horace Holley, 
Edward Everett, Rev. Henry Ware, Dr. John Bartlett, and 
Rev. E. D. Griffin. Deacon William Davis, at that tune its 
secretary, thus describes the anniversary of 1819 : 

"The procession was then formed at the Town House, and pro- 
ceeded down Dudley Street, passing straight on until it came to the 
street which leads to the main street between the stores of Mr. 
Chenery Clark and Elijah Lewis ; thence up the main street to the 
Rev. Dr. Porter's meeting-house. The escort duty was performed 
by the Norfolk Guards, Capt. Samuel Doggett. Select music was 
performed at the meeting-house by a number of gentlemen, assisted 
by the band attached to the escort. The address of the Eev. John 
Pierpont was an independent production, delivered with much 
energy, and in his best style of oratory." 

The cottage on the left as we approach the Norfolk House, 
now the residence of Dr. Benjamin E. Cotting, was a century 


ago the dwelling of Simeon Pratt, and is one of the half- 
dozen houses of that period still remaining in the vicinity. 
In it died Gen. John Greaton, only a few months after his 
return home at the close of the war of the Revolution, a 
victim to its hardships and exposure. Pratt had a tannery 
where the stone building now stands, on Eliot Square, be- 
yond the old grocery store. 

On the south side of Bartlett Street, near Lambert, was 
situated George Alcock's homestead of five acres, having 
Thomas Dudley on the north, John Dane on the south, a 
highway on the east, and the meeting-house common on the 
west. This estate afterwards belonged to the heirs of 
Joshua Lamb, who married Mary Alcock. The church 
record says of George Alcock : 

"He was with the first company in 1630; he left his only son in 
England ; his wife dyed soon after he came to this land. When the 
people of Rocksborough joyned to the church at Dorchester (until 
such time as God should give them opportunity to be a church 
among themselves) he was by the church chosen to be a Deakon 
especially to regard the brethren at Rocksborough. And after he 
adjoyned himself to this church at Roxborough, he was ordained a 
Deakon of this church. He made two voyages to England upon 
just calling thereunto, wherein he had much experience of Gods 
preservation and blessing. He brought over his son John, and also 
a wife, by whom he had his second son Samuel. He lived in a good 
and godly sort, and dyed in the end of the 10th month 1640, and left 
a good savor behind him, the poor of the church much bewailing 
his loss." 

His first wife was a sister of Rev. Thomas Hooker. Dea- 
con Alcock was a phj'sician, and a member of the first Gen- 
eral Court in 1634. His brother Thomas, of Dedham, a 
surveyor, died in 1657. John Alcock, son of Deacon George, 
also a physician, graduated at Harvard College in 1646, and 
died March 29, 1667, leaving issue by his wife Sarah, daugh- 
ter of Richard Palsgrave. He had a valuable estate at Marl- 
borough, and owned the whole of Block Island. To the 



Church of Christ in Roxbury he left 3 by will, "to buy 
them a good wine-bowl." The family name, which has been 
changed to Alcott, is at present worthily represented by the 
philosopher, A. Bronson Alcott, and his talented daughter, 
Louisa Ma}' Alcott, who, through her mother, also claims 
descent from the Roxbury families of Williams and May. 
Many of the descendants of Alcock are to be found in Wol- 
cott, Conn. 

Where the Norfolk House stands, Iaw3 r er Joseph Ruggles 
built himself a handsome residence in 1781. This gentle- 


man, who was a nephew of Major Nathaniel Ruggles, mar- 
ried in 1778 Joanna, sister of Dr. Thomas Williams. After 
his decease it was the residence of Hon. David A. Simmons, 
who sold it to the Norfolk House Company in 1825. It was 
first opened as a public house in the following year, a large 
brick addition having been built, containing a hall for public 
assemblies, known at first as Highland Hall, subsequently as 
Norfolk Hall. This addition was in 1853 moved to the rear, 


giving place to the present sightly structure, with which it is 
connected. The old mansion-house is now on Norfolk Street, 
doing duty as a tenement house. It was greatly enlarged at 
the time of its purchase by the hotel company. In the accom- 
panying engraving the old Norfolk House and the Hourly 
Office are seen on the right. 

John Ruggles, shoemaker, with his wife and two children, 
came over in the "Hopewell" in 1635. He lived on the 
Brookline road near the Crafts place, and died in 1664, aged 
seventy -three. Eliot's record says, " He was a lively Chris- 
tian, known to many of the Church in Old England, where 
they injoyed socially together"; and of his wife Barbara, 
who died in 1636, he says, " The power of the grace of 
Christ did much shine in her life and death." 

Thomas, elder brother of John, came here in 1637. He 
and John Graves died in 1644. "These two," says Eliot, 
"brake the knot first of the Nazing Christians. I mean 
these first dyed of all y e Christians y' came from that town 
in England. Both Thomas and John were children of a 
godly father, Thomas being as well known as his brother." 
The homestead of Thomas and his descendants was on the 
south side of the First Church, and included the hill where 
the lower Roxbury fort stood. An old stone wall, the origi- 
nal boundary between the Ruggles and "Williams estates, yet 
remains on what is now the estate of Mr. George A. Sim- 
mons. The property extended from Dudle} 7 Street beyond 
Cedar on the south, and from the Norfolk House to Centre 
Street on the west. 

John Ruggles, the son of Thomas, came over in the "Hope- 
well" with his uncle John, and in 1658 married Abigail, 
daughter of Griffin Craft. Samuel, his brother, was many 
years selectman, representative, and captain of the Roxbury 
company, and was actively engaged in the overthrow of Gov. 
Andros in 1689. He kept, not far from where the Norfolk 
House stands, the " Flower de Luce" tavern, where in 1698 



a meeting was held " to settle about the Muddy River people 
worshipping at their house." His son Samuel succeeded his 
father in the several offices named. Brigadier Timotlvv Rug- 
gles, of Hardwick, a noted loyalist, was a grandson of this 
Samuel. His son Joseph, innholder, who died here in August, 
1765, was the father of Capt. Joseph and Major Nathaniel 
Ruggles. This family, now nearly or quite extinct in Rox- 
bury, formerly played no inconsiderable part in its history. 
For a century and a half it was rarely without a representa- 
tive either in the General Court or the board of selectmen, 
holding some position of responsibilty or trust either in church 
or State. Capt. John Ruggles commanded a company from 
Roxbury in the Louisburg expedition in 1745. 

At the corner of Eliot Square and Highland Street is the 
old house once the residence of Major Nathaniel Ruggles, who 


died in 1780. Old Dutch tiles still adorn the fireplace of the 
principal room, the building itself being quite ordinary. Dur- 
ing the siege it furnished quarters for some American officers. 
Major Ruggles was a man of solid judgment and great benev- 
olence, and filled many important public stations with con- 
spicuous integrity and ability. He was especially serviceable 
to the cause of liberty b}- his attention to the wants of the 
soldiers of Roxbury. In September, 1772, he was connnis- 


sioned major of the Suffolk regiment. His daughter Martha 
became the wife of Rev. Dr. Porter. 

Old residents of Roxbury -will remember "Aunt Major," 
as his widow was called, and " Sister Nann}-," who lived 
here many years, and who from this eligible post of observa- 
tion kept themselves well informed of whatever was going on 
in the vicinity, especially among the j'oung bloods. One day 

Mr. R , who was quite a wag and fond of practical jokes, 

well knowing the old ladies' eagerness for news of a personal 
character, rode up in haste and beckoned them out, exclaim- 
ing, "Come quick! I'm in a great hurry; can't stop." 
Whereupon they hastened on tiptoe with expectation to the 
fence, only to be told by him that if they had no objection, 
he was going with a party to the Punch-Bowl Tavern to have 
a bird supper, smoke and drink, and perhaps play cards. 
" So," he continued, " knowing your anxiety about me, I 
thought I 'd let you know." What Aunt Major said to the 
impudent fellow has not been recorded. 

Kenilworth Street, a part of the Dudley estate, and so 
named from the celebrated seat of the Dudleys in England, 
forms the segment of a circle which, according to the original 
plan, embraced a corresponding half-circle on the north side 
of Dudley Street. Upon it stands the Eliot Congregational 
Church, an offshoot of the old First Church, which is also the 
parent of Emmanuel Church in Moreland Street and of the 
Walnut Avenue Religious Society. It was organized Sept. 
18, 1834, at a meeting held for that purpose in Spear's 
school building on Bartlett Street. Until the present edifice 
was finished and dedicated on Nov. 25, 1835, services were 
held at the Town Hall, Rev. Jacob Abbott officiating. This 
gentleman was a prolific writer of books for children, the 
" Rollo Series" having been extremely popular with them. 
His brother, Rev. John S. C. Abbott, widely known by his 
excessively eulogistic biographies of the First and Second 
Napoleon, was then installed first pastor. On Jan. 13, 1841, 


Mr. Abbott was dismissed, and was succeeded, on July 27, 
1842, b} r Rev. Augustus C. Thompson, present pastor of the 
church. Rev. B. F. Hamilton was settled as junior pastor 
Nov. 9, 1871. The name of Dr. Nathaniel S. Prentiss stands 
first on the list of the founders of the Eliot Church, and four 
of the apostle's descendants have been connected with it. 
Where the church stands there was formerly quite an ele- 

In the stone building called " Octagon Hall," built by Capt. 
Nathaniel Dorr, on the corner of Kenilworth and Dudley 
Streets, now the office of the gas compan}^ was established 
on May 10, 1826, the Norfolk Bank, the first institution of 
the kind in Roxbury. This, like many other similar enter- 
prises, came to grief through mismanagement, and was short- 
lived. In 1834 the bank was robbed of a large sum of money, 
but the thieves, among whom was the notorious "Bristol 
Bill," were all successfully tracked and punished. The money 
was found secreted near Grove Hall. Two groups of statu- 
ary, representing "Charity," that once ornamented the old 
Boston Almshouse, were for a time transferred to the front 
of this building. The lack of appropriateness of this emblem 
came at length to be generally recognized, possibly in conse- 
quence of the enhanced price of gas, and it was removed to 
the grounds of Mr. James Guild, its present location. 

Two centuries ago, John, son of William Chandler, owned 
ten acres of land at what is now the southerly corner of Bart- 
lett and Washington Streets, and which included the home- 
stead and residence of the family. John Dane, who in 1643 
married William Chandler's widow, afterwards owned and 
occupied a part of this estate, now Guild's, and on which the 
brick stable of the Metropolitan Railroad Company stands. 
In 1649 the General Court settled the house and land that 
was William Chandler's upon John Dane, "y said Dayn 
having paid more debts of Chandler's than y e house and land 
was worth, and also brot up y e children of Chandler which 


have been chargeable to him." Turning to Eliot's record we 
find that 

"William Chandler came to New England about 1637. He 
brought four small children, Thomas, Hanna, John, William. 
Sarah was born here. He lived a very religious and godly life 
among us and fell into a consumption to which he had been long 
inclined. He lay neare a yeare sick, in all which time his faith, 
patience, godlynesse, and contention so shined that God was much 
glorified in him. He was a man of weake parts but excellent 
faith and holyness ; he was poore, but God so opened the hearts of 
his naybors to him y* he never wanted y* which was (at least in his 
esteem) very plentiful and comfortable to him. He dyed Jan. 26, 
1641-2, and left a sweet memory and savor behind him." 

John, son of the John Dane above mentioned, ancestor of 
Hon. Nathan Dane, founder of the Dane professorship at 
Harvard, and whose testimony as to the excellence of the 
water of Smelt Brook is given on a previous page, has among 
other " Remarkable Providences" left on record the way and 
manner of his coming to New England. John's parents were 
" serious pepell," who attended Rev. John Norton's preach- 
ing. He himself was brought up to the tailor's trade at the 
shop-board of his father, who as he tells us, on one occasion, 
" toke a stick and basted me for attending a dancing school." 
Dane says : 

" My father and mother showed themselves unwilling. I sat 
close by a tabell where there lay a bibell. I hastily toke up the 
bybell and tould my father if where I opened the bibell thare I met 
with anie thing eyther to incuredg or discouredg that should settel 
me. I oping of it, not knowing no more than the child in the womb, 
the first I cast my eys on was, ' Come out from among them, touch 
no unclene thing, and I will be your God and you shall be my pepell.' 
My father and mother never more oposed me, but furdered me in 
the thing, and hasted after me as sone as they could." 

Next came the homestead of John Watson, afterwards 
Peter Gardner's, containing twelve acres, subsequently a part 
of the Mears estate, which extended from Bartlett nearly to 


Cedar Street. Between Bartlett and Guild Streets, in the 
rear of the new stable of the Metropolitan Railway Compairv, 
is the old house in which James Mears, Jr., lived. When he 
moved into it from the house of his grandfather, on Washington 
Street, near Eustis, tradition sa}*s, he was considered insane 
to think of going into such an " out of the way lonety wilder- 
ness." Mr. Samuel Guild, the father of Mr. James Guild, 
who now owns and occupies the estate formerly Mears's, car- 
ried on the Mears tannerj*, and having in 1806 married 
Sarah, his only daughter, inherited a portion of his father-in- 
law's property which was valuable, and which included the 
Guild Row estate. Here Mr. Guild resided fifty-five }"ears, 
and until his death. Four generations of the Mears family 
were tanners. The sightl} 7 mansion and grounds of Mr. 
James Guild are on the southerly corner of Washington and 
Guild Streets. 

Edward Porter and Abraham Newell, who came to Rox- 
bury in 1634 and in 1636 respectively, were the original pro- 
prietors of the homesteads and orchards afterwards known as 
the " Maccarty Farm." This tract contained sixty acres, and 
lay between Hawthorne Street and Walnut Avenue, on both 
sides of Washington Street, extending from Cedar on the 
north to Marcella Street on the south. The homestead of 
Palsgrave Alcock, grandson of George and son of Dr. John 
Alcock, also included in the Maccarty farm, stood near the 
corner of Ellis and Hawthorne Streets, on the site of the Ellis 
mansion. The present house, while retaining some of its 
original features, has been greatly altered since it was the 
home of Florence Maccarty, who bought it in 1710. He was 
a provision dealer and contractor in Boston, and in 1693 
bought land here, subsequently adding to it other tracts for 
the purposes of a stock farm. 

Cedar Street extends through what was once known as 
" Baker's Valley," a very forbidding district, but now filled 
with handsome dwellings and attractive grounds. In 1851 


Deacon Alvah Kittredge gave to the town the piece of land 
on the north side of the street known as " Cedar Square." 
Near the northeast corner of Cedar and Highland Streets, 
between the lands of Alcock, Newell, and Ruggles, lay an 
estate of eleven and a half acres belonging, in 1654, to John 
Pierpont, which "he enjoyeth," says the record of houses 
and lands, " as heir to John Stow, his father-in-law, lately 
deceased." This John Stow was probably the first teacher 
of the grammar school. 

Highland Street was laid out in 1826 through the Ruggles 
and Joseph "Williams estates. Many fine residences adorn it, 
and it is or has been the home of man}' eminent citizens. 
William Lloyd Garrison, Edward Everett Hale, and Samuel 
C. Cobb are yet resident here, and among its former inhabit- 
ants may be named Rev. George Putnam, Supply C. Thwing, 
Benjamin F. Copeland, David A. Simmons, and Samuel H. 
Walley. The recent decease of Rev. Dr. Putnam has bereft 
the community of one of its most valued leaders of public 
opinion ; a man of eminent wisdom and judgment as a coun- 
sellor, and a most thoughtful, interesting, and eloquent 
preacher. He was pastor of the First Church for nearly half 
a century, and was for more than twenty years a Fellow of 
Harvard College. He rendered efficient service also to the 
schools of Roxbury, having long been a trustee of the Latin 
School, and was one of the original trustees of the Fellowes 
Athenaeum. He also represented Roxbury in the State Legis- 
lature and in the State Constitutional Convention. 

Some slight traces of the first regular work constructed by 
the Americans when they nearly circumvallated Boston may 
yet be seen upon the estate of Mr. Nathaniel J. Bradlee, at the 
corner of Highland and Cedar Streets, in the rear of his resi- 
dence, and on which stands his observatory. This estate 
was long known as Dr. Porter's cow pasture, the Doctor hav- 
ing inherited it through his wife, who was a daughter of 
Major Nathaniel Ruggles. The work was irregular in its 



outlines, following the natural configuration of the rock, ex- 
cept on its northern side ; its eastern base now forms a ter- 
race. It extended about four hundred feet from north to 
south, with an average width of about two hundred and fifty 
feet. The northeast and southwest sides of the rock were 


very steep. The walls of the fort were twelve feet thick and 
five feet high, and each angle was bastioned. The main gate 
or entrance was on the side opposite the almshouse. Two 
heavy cannon were mounted here on the evening of June 
24, and on Julyl, a twenty -four-pounder also, which, says 
Heath, "was fired twice; the second shot grazed the ene- 
my's parapet, then struck in the parade, and occasioned some 


confusion." By its elevation, this fort completely commanded 
the avenue to Boston over the Neck. 

In 1824 this "lower fort," so called to distinguish it from 
the one built to the south of it, was thus described: " Its 
interior occupies about two acres of ground, and as the hill 
is bare of soil the places may still be seen where the earth 
was taken to form the ramparts. This fortification has not 
been at all injured, and the embrasures may still be noticed 
where the cannon were placed which fired upon the advanced 
lines of the enemy." The sketch here presented is taken 
from an enlarged plan of the fort, copied for Mr. Augustus 
Parker, of Roxbury, from an engraving on a powder-horn, 
once the property of Josiah Benton, one of its garrison. It 
is dated " Oct. 1775," and exhibits a number of spears lean- 
ing against the inner sides of the parapet. Gen. "Ward's opin- 
ion that the redoubt at Bunker's Hill might have been held 
if a sufficient number of these weapons had been at hand, 
caused the Provincial Congress to provide them, and on July 
1, two hundred and fifteen were delivered to Gen. Thomas. 
They were kept well greased to prevent their being effectu- 
ally grasped by the enem}', but were soon discarded. Here 
are the instructions respecting them : " Every colonel or com- 
manding officer of a regiment shall appoint thirty men that 
are active, bold, and resolute to use the spears in defence of 
the lines instead of guns ; to form in the centre of the rear 
of the regiment, to stand ready to push the enemy off the 
breastwork if they should attempt to get over the parapet 
into the lines. Let those be appointed that are the worst off 
for arms and those that have none at all, provided their size, 
strength, and activity are agreeable to the purpose of their 
appointment. To be commanded by a subaltern and ser- 

A former owner of the estate, Mr. Alvah Kittredge, found 
on building the dwelling-house in 1836 that the breastwork 
greatly obstructed its light on the west side, and had it re- 


moved. He related the following incident connected with 
the siege : 

" Before the work was taken away, Mr. Aaron Willard, the well- 
known clock-maker, then very aged, visited me, and told me that 
when he was sixteen years old he came to Roxbury as flfer of a com- 
pany of minute-men from Grafton, his native town, and that they 
with many others were set at work immediately to throw up the 
redoubt here. After a hard day's work they threw themselves upon 
the ground behind it and slept soundly, wrapped in their blankets. 
Just as the sun rose next morning, they were roused from their 
slumbers by a twenty-four-pound shot, which ploughed through the 
breastwork, and scattering the soil on him and others finally buried 
itself in the earth. Without waiting for further compliments of the 
same nature, they speedily withdrew, standing not upon the order 
of their going, and regardless of bruises, tumbled over each other 
in their hasty descent of the steep rock at its rear. He pointed out 
the spot where he judged the ball must have lodged, and there it 
was found when I afterwards took the work down. This interesting 
relic, slightly corroded by time and rust, is preserved by Mr. Kit- 
tredge's family." 

The earliest reference to this fort occurs in a letter from 
Henry Knox, afterward Gen. Knox, to his wife, dated " Rox- 
bury (Lemuel Childs's) , July 6, 1 775. Yesterday as I was go- 
ing to Cambridge, I met the generals [Washington and Lee] , 
who begged me to return to Roxbury, which I did. When 
they had viewed the works the}* expressed the greatest pleas- 
ure and surprise at their situation and apparent utility, to say 
nothing of the plan, which did not escape their praise." The 
young engineer may well be pardoned for taking pride in his 
first military effort, and in receiving the praise of Washington. 
Less than three weeks had elapsed since he was a fugitive 
from Boston, since when he had been actively employed in 
planning and executing works for the besieging forces. 
Washington wrote to the President of Congress on July 10, 
that Gen. Thomas had thrown up a strong work on the hill 
about two hundred yards above the meeting-house, which, 
with the brokenness of the ground, had made that pass very 


The semi-centennial anniversary of the Declaration of 
Independence was everywhere celebrated with great eclat. 
At Roxbury it was duly honored by an oration from Hon. 
Timothy Walker, a dinner at the Town House Hall, and in . 
the evening by a fine display of fire-works at the old fort. 


Regarded as classic ground, this was long the chosen spot for 
salutes of honor, alike over the solemn obsequies of Wash- 
ington and the joyous welcome of Lafayette. 

Fort Avenue, from Highland to Centre Street, takes us to 
another patriot stronghold, whence the provincial soldiers 
hurled defiance at the royal arm}" in Boston. Here, upon the 
highest land in East Roxbury, except Parker Hill, the 



Cochituate Stand-pipe rears aloft its circular white tower with 
its graceful outline, a conspicuous and not unpleasing object 
to the eye. Here " on the strong rock}* hill (Col. Williams's) 
to the southwest of the lower fort, on a higher eminence of 
the same hill," Gen. Heath tells us, " part of a work was 
traced out on the llth, and on the 14th of July a fortress 
was begun," which he tells us was one of the strongest that 
was erected. The works upon this and the neighboring hill 
are everywhere spoken of as exceedingly strong and wel\ 
planned. They not only commanded the Neck, but also the 

road to Dedham, the depot of army 
supplies. Samuel Adams thus refers 
to them in a letter to Elbridge Gerry. He says, "Until ] 
visited headquarters at Cambridge, I had never heard of the 
valor of Prescott at Bunker's Hill, [Adams was then a dele- 
gate to Congress at Philadelphia,] nor the ingenuity of Knox 
and "Waters in planning the celebrated works at Roxbury." 

The Upper, or "High Fort," as it has sometimes been 
called, regarded by Washington as the best and most eligibly 
situated of all the works then in course of construction, was 
quadrangular in form, about twelve rods square, with bastions 
at each angle. Near the magazine, which was on the south- 
west side, was a covered way and sally-port. The Stand- 
pipe is about in the centre of the work, and some two feet 


above the original level of the ground. The view here given 
was made from the southwest angle of the fort in 1850, by 
Mr. Lossing, who thus describes it : 

"In the foreground a portion of the ramparts is seen; on the 
right is the house of Benjamin Perkins, on Highland Street ; and 
extending across the picture towards the left is the side of the fort 
towards Boston, exhibiting prominent traces of the embrasures for 
the cannon. The eminence on which it stands is composed of huge 
bowlders of pudding-stone, having upon three sides natural revet- 
ments difficult for an enemy to scale. The embankments are from 
eight to fifteen feet in height, and within, the terre-plein in which 
the garrison was placed is quite perfect." 

In 1825 the "Fort Lot" of twenty-eight acres, including 
the old earthwork itself, then in excellent preservation, was 
bought of the heirs of Col. Joseph Williams by S. C. Thwing, 
B. F. Copeland, David A. and Thomas Simmons, and Charles 
Hickling. The old fort, excluded from division, was to be 
owned in common, and ornamented and kept in repair at their 
joint expense. About 1830 the tract was offered to the town 
for three thousand five hundred dollars for a public square, 
but the proposal was frowned down both by the authorities 
and by the economical portion of the people, who seemed, in 
this instance, to have acted on the narrow and niggardly 
policy that " we should do nothing for posterity as posterity 
had never done an}*thing for us." The value of this eminence 
for a reservoir was however understood by the city fathers 
of JJoxbury, who ultimately bought it for that purpose. 

It is greatly to be regretted that the old fort could not 
have been allowed to remain ; but when the Stand-pipe was 
erected, the fiat of the Board of Water Commissioners, in 
whose eyes it was only so much dirt, went forth, and it dis- 
appeared. Thus was the best preserved and one of the most 
interesting, as well as one of the only remaining monuments 
of the siege completely obliterated. Instead of the pictur- 
esque old relic itself, which the imagination could have peopled 



with the provincial soldiers, in their homespun garb, a simple 
tablet has been erected by the city, the shaft of which, six 
and one half feet high, two feet thick, and three and one half 
feet broad, is of Concord granite, and the base of Quincy 
granite. On its sides are two cannon in relief, similar to 
those at the top of Bunker Hill Monument, and which were 

used at the Roxbury lines. The 
cannon, the faces of the shaft, 
and the moulded work at the 
base are highly polished, and 
the monument is finished at the 
top by four cannon-balls. 

The Stand-pipe, erected in 
1869 for the high service sup- 
ply only, answered its purpose 
admirably, sufficing for the 
wants of the city until the an- 
nexation of Dorchester, Brigh- 
ton, and West Eoxbury ren- 
dered it necessary to construct 
the large Reservoir on Parker Hill. The base of the shaft is 
one hundred and fifty-eight feet above tide-marsh level. The 
interior pipe is a cylinder of boiler iron eighty feet long, and 
around this pipe, but within the exterior wall of brick, is a 
winding staircase leading to a lookout at the top. The total 
cost of the structure, and the pumping- works connected with 
it, was about one hundred thousand dollars. 






The Parting Stone. Riley's Store. Washington Lodge. Workhouse. 

Col. Joseph Williams. Hog Bridge. Tanner Heath. Gen. 
William Heath. Capt. John Gyles. Parker Hill. Philip Eliot. 

Capt. Isaac Johnson. The Lowell Estate. Judge Lowell. 
John Lowell, Jr. Gamblin's End. Thomas Bell. Curtis Home- 

THE highway from Elder Heath's Lane (that part of 
Roxbury Street north of the meeting-house) towards 
the Great Pond leading to Dedham, was afterwards called 
the Dedham Road, and since 1825 Centre Street. It is nearly 
seven miles in length from Eliot Square to 
the Dedham line, and was formerly the great 
artery connecting the northern and southern 
portions of the town, so continuing until the 
Dedham Turnpike was constructed. 

Among the old landmarks yet remaining 
in Roxbury, one of the most interesting is 
a large stone at the corner of this street, 
known as the 'Parting Stone." At the 
time this drawing was made, an iron shaft 
was inserted in it, having a fork at the upper 
end for the support of a street-lamp. On 
its northerly side it directs to Cambridge 
and "Watertown, and on its souther!} 7 side to 
Dedham and Rhode Island. Lord Percy's soldiers read its 
inscription as they passed it by on their way to Lexington, 
one hot April forenoon, and it has afforded rest and informa- 


tion to the tired wayfarer for many a long year. This is a 
durable and visible memorial of a good man, whose benefac- 
tions to the church, to the school, and to the town were 
frequent, and were gratefully acknowledged. 

The strip of land between Centre and Roxbury,Streets, and 
extending to Gardiner Street, was once the property of the 
town. At its northerly end is the old building, now the resi- 
dence of Mr. Gardiner, occupied during the siege as a commis- 
sary's store, and more recently known as Riley's. Originally 
it was a square, two-story house, with a very large piazza, on 
its Roxbury Street side, on which were seats that were in con- 
stant requisition, as this was a popular place of resort. Half 
a century ago, and before temperance societies were thought 
of, a bar was a component part of every grocery store, three 
cents being then the price of a full drink, six and a quarter 
cents the charge for a glass of punch, while the " two-cent 
club," as they were called, contented themselves with a 
modicum of gin. In the afternoon and evening Riley's store 
would be thronged, some making purchases, some drinking, 
others gossiping or talking politics, and others playing check- 
ers. One of its noted habitues was " Johnny" Seaver, who, 
notwithstanding his vocation was that of sexton and parish 
undertaker, was a jolly fellow, always mirthful and ready for 
a joke. Another of its frequenters named Saunders, nick- 
named " Deacon," and a celebrated wit, resided near Hog 
Bridge. The upper story of the building was a hall, frequently 
used as a place of meeting for military companies. 

On the left is the old Turner house (see cut on page 366), 
built and originally occupied b}- one of the Ruggleses and 
used as a barrack during the siege. Opposite was the resi- 
dence of Thomas Clarke, a leather-dresser and tanner, also 
town clerk and representative, and a man of note in his day. 
He began an evening school here on Jan. 1, 1795, but 
removed not long after to Boston. Beyond the Turner house 
on the left is a three-story house with brick ends, once the 


residence of Nathaniel, son of Capt. Joseph Ruggles, a grad- 
uate of Harvard College in 1781, and a member of Congress 
from 1813 to 1819. A lawyer by profession, he was for 
many years prominent in town and county affairs. Hon. 
David A. Simmons and Hon. B. F. Copeland married daugh- 
ters of Mr. Ruggles. 

Lemuel Pierce's house and wheelwright's shop were near 
where Engine House No. 14 stands. The engine house is 
the site of the stone pound of a century ago, and also of an 
oldschoolhouse. Pierce's 
Hall, in the upper part 
of his dwelling-house, 
was the first place of 
meeting of Washington 
Lodge of Freemasons, in- 
stituted March 14, 1796. 


Its founders, Simeon 

Pratt, John Ward, Moses Harriman, Ebenezer Seaver, 
Timothy Heely, Joseph Ruggles, Stephen Davis, and James 
Howe, met on the previous evening at the house of Mr. 
Harriman, still standing on Tremont Street, the third 
house north of Parker Street, and chose Ebenezer Seaver, 
Worshipful Master, Simeon Pratt, Senior Deacon, and John 
Ward, Junior Deacon. This was the thirteenth lodge char- 
tered in Massachusetts. On October 16 the officers were 
publicly installed by the Grand Master, Paul Revere, the 
lodge was consecrated, and public services held in the First 
Church, closing with a procession and a banquet at the 
Masonic Hall. Three years later the lodge was removed to 
the upper part of Mr. Harriman's house, which he had fitted 
up for the purpose. From 1807 to 1816 its meetings were 
held at Sumner Hall, on Sumner Street; and from 1816 to 
1841 in the building on the corner of Washington Street and 
Shawmut Avenue. Since 1865 the fine hall in the third story 
of Guild's Building has been the home of the lodge, which is 


in a highly prosperous condition. Among its Past Masters 
were Ebenezer Seaver, Simeon Pratt, Nathaniel Ruggles, 
Nathaniel S. Prentiss, Samuel Bany, Samuel J. Gardiner, 
John Howe, Charles Wild, and George Frost. 

The corner-stone of the First Baptist Church on Dudlej r 
Street was laid on May 12, and that of the Universalist 
Church on July 28, 1820, by Washington Lodge. Its twenty- 
fifth anniversary was celebrated March 14, 1821, by the deliv- 
ery of an historical address by Worshipful Master John Howe. 
Masonry has alwaj's found a congenial home in Roxbun*. 
St. John's Lodge of Boston, the first Masonic body organ- 
ized in North America, frequently held its anniversar}' meet- 
ings in the old Greyhound Tavern on Roxbury Street be- 
tween the years 1752 and 1775, and her heroic son, Joseph 
Warren, was, from 1769 to the day of Bunker's Hill, Grand 
Master of the order in Boston. Since Washington Lodge 
was founded two other Masonic bodies, the Mount Vernon 
Royal Arch Chapter, and Lafayette Lodge, have been organ- 
ized in Roxbury. 

One of the institutions of the town, rendered necessary by 
the progress of civilization, though unknown here for con- 
siderably more than a century after its settlement, was the 
old workhouse, that stood a few feet west of the engine 
house. Upon the land adjoining stands the residence of Mr. 
Prang, proprietor of the famous chromolithographic works on 
Roxbury Street. In March, 1766, the town ordered a work- 
house to be built of brick on Meeting-House Hill, between 
John Slack's barn and the school land, which was finished 
early in 1768. During the siege, the inmates having been 
removed, a company of American soldiers was quartered 
here. In 1830, the population having tripled since it was 
built, the old house was voted " inadequate and unfit," and 
ten acres were purchased from David Dudley, situated on 
Highland near Marcella Street, adjoining the estates of Wil- 
liams, Maccarty, and Thomas Brewer, and bounded also by 


Stony River and the chemical works. Here, in 1831, a brick 
almshouse was built, at a cost of eleven thousand dollars. 

To keep out undesirable and shiftless persons and stran- 
gers, and to prevent their becoming a charge upon the town, it 
was very early enacted that " if any person admit or receive 
such into his house and keep them over one week without 
leave of the selectmen, he shall be fined twenty shillings." 
The preservation of religious and social harmony was another 
and not less potent reason for such a regulation, and it was 
even extended to the entertainment of one's friends from 
other parts, this also being restricted to a limited time. 
Warnings under this rule were frequent, occurring as late as 
the close of the last century. Straggling Indians and " crazy " 
persons were in the early days often driven from the town. 

Probably the most fruitful theme for town-meeting elo- 
quence, with the possible exception of permitting the swine 
to go at large, was the subject of the town paupers and the 
cost of their support. It was gravely said on one occasion 
that the expense per capita would board them comfortably at 
the Tremont House. At one of the town meetings, a resi- 
dent of the upper part of the town made this complaint. 
Said he, " You furnish most of the paupers from your part 
of the town (the easterly or lower portion) , and we help sup- 
port them ; but you get their work, and we get nothing." 
The quizzical reply, and it effectually nonplussed the speaker, 
was, "Well, if we furnish all the poor, why shouldn't we 
have the benefit of their labor ? " 

Passing the residence of Mr. Prang we come to that of Mr. 
Roessle, the site of Nathaniel Ruggles's store, and later the 
residence of Lawyer Joseph Harrington, the father of George 
Harrington, late assistant treasurer of the United States and 
minister to Switzerland. On the corner of Centre Place, where 
the block of brick dwelling-houses stands, resided Capt. Jona- 
than Dorr, who was quite a prominent citizen. At the time of 
President Jackson's visit, it devolved upon him, as chairman of 


the board of selectmen, to welcome the chief magistrate to Rox- 
bury. When in the course of his remarks he uttered the sen- 
timent, "May the arm be enervated that would strike down 
our glorious Constitution ! " Jackson's spontaneous and charac- 
teristic response was, " ~By the Eternal, it shall be ! " Capt. 
Dorr's house was removed to Ruggles Street, where it is now 

In front of Mrs. David Dudley's barn and near the street 
we next come to the site of Col. Joseph Williams's house. 
It was very old and large, two and a half stories high, had a 
double-pitched roof, and stood fronting Hog Bridge, with its 
end to the street. Its upper story projected some eighteen 

inches over the lower one, as 
in the garrison houses, de- 
signed for defence from Indian 
attacks. It was taken down at 
the time Mr. Dudley's house 
was built, some fifty years 
since, having stood more than 
GAKRISON HOUSB. a cen tury and a half. The old 

well remains. Col. Williams was perhaps the largest land- 
owner of Roxbury in his day, his estate comprising about one 
hundred and fifty acres. It included the homestead estate on 
both sides of Centre Street, extending from Cedar Street to 
Hog Bridge, and including the hill opposite his house, where 
the old forts stood, and much of the land south of it to School, 
now Amory Street. In front of the house of Col. Williams, 
who was a magistrate, the whipping-post formerly stood. 

Joseph, great-grandson of Robert Williams, the emigrant, 
resided here until his death in 1798, at the age of ninety. 
No name occurs oftener in the town records than that of Col. 
Joseph Williams. He was many years a selectman ; was fre- 
quently moderator of town meetings and active in town 
affairs ; was often a member of the General Court ; had been 
a colonel in the French war, serving at Lake George and in 



the Mohawk region ; and was prominent and active in the 
pre-revolutionary movements of the day. A journal kept by 
him during the French war was, till lately, in possession of 
the family. For nearly half a century, and until he attained 
the age of eighty, he had been clerk of the First Parish. Col. 
Williams had fifteen children. Those by his first wife, Martha 
Howell, were remarkable for their great size and physical 
power, the sons averaging nearly three hundred pounds each. 
His daughter Martha, who 
married William Williams, of 
Pomfret, was a woman of pro- 
digious strength and great 
powers of mind. 

On our right, nearly parallel 
with the course of Stony 
Brook and the track of the 
Providence Railroad, which 
lies to the west of it, is Pyn- 
chon Street, laid out in 1834 
from Carleton's, on Tremont 
Street, to Heath Street, and 
named in honor of the founder 
of Roxbury. The once beautiful estates of Gore, Lowell, and 
Heath have been ruthlessly invaded and " improved," until a 
greater contrast than that of the past and present of this ter- 
ritory could hardly be imagined. 

Central or Hog Bridge, as it has long been popularly 
called, where Stony Brook now runs under the street, is said 
to derive its name from the following incident : Col. Joseph 
Williams had a daughter Patt}*, remarkable, like all the fam- 
ily, for great physical strength, and who afterwards removed 
to Pomfret, Conn. One of her yet remembered feats was the 
loading, unaided, of two barrels of cider upon a country- 
man's wagon that had overset near the house, in response to 
his appeal for assistance. On the occasion above referred to, 



and when she was a 3*oung girl of eighteen, the narrow pas- 
sage over the bridge she was about to cross was impeded by 
a drove of hogs, the driver of which manifested no disposi- 
tion to allow her to pass. To the request that he would make 
way for her, he returned an insulting reply. Whereupon she 
siezed one of the hogs and threw him into the stream, then 
sent her insulter to keep him company, and finished the job 
neatly by throwing another hog atop of him. A young 
woman of spirit was Patty "Williams. Fancj r a girl of the 
period confronted by a similar emergency ! 

Gen. Heath's brother Samuel, " Tanner" Heath as he was 
called, pursued his vocation on Stony Brook near the bridge 
until his decease in 1817. He lived in the old "Gary" home- 
stead, next east of Fenner's meal store, which came into the 
possession of his grandfather, William Heath, in 1713. It 
is related of the tanner, whose temper was more pacific than 
that of the general, his brother, that having broken his prom- 
ise to his neighbors, 'Jonathan Parker, Jeremiah Williams, 
and other ' ' high Whigs " to assist in throwing the tea over- 
board, they went to his house one evening shortly after that 
event, fully determined to break down his door. The uplifted 
club, wielded by the vigorous arms of Parker, was about to 
descend upon it, when it suddenly opened, and their hostile 
purpose j r ielded to the pleasant invitation of Mrs. Heath to 
enter and partake of some refreshments, and excusing her 
husband's failure to keep his appointment on the plea of ill- 
ness. Heath built and latterly occupied the Gardiner Brewer 
mansion, a little bej'ond on the other side of the street, un- 
roofed in the great September gale. One of the prominent 
landmarks of this region, recentl}* removed, was the tall chim- 
ney, with its seven times repeated echo, connected with the 
chemical works, erected in 1846. 

The easterly corner of Heath Street and Bickford Avenue, 
at the base of Parker Hill, is the site of the old homestead, 
taken down in 1843. in which lived William Heath, a major- 


general in the Revolutionary army. The Heath estate lay 
on both sides of Heath Street, adjoining that of John Parker 
on the north, reaching beyond Day Street on the west, and to 
Centre Street on the south, where it extended from the Lowell 
estate to a point nearly opposite Wyman Street. The Peleg 
Heath estate lay west of Day Street, extending beyond the 
Brookline boundary. 

William Heath, the emigrant, was from Nazing, and came 
over in the " Lion" in 1632 with his wife Mary and five chil- 
dren, and settled in Roxbury in 1636. In his "Memoirs," 
written in 1798, General Heath says of himself: 

"He is of the fifth generation of the family who have inherited 
the same real estate (taken up in a state of nature), not large but 
fertile and pleasantly situated. He was brought up a farmer, of 
which profession he is yet passionately fond. He is of middling 
stature, light complexion, very corpulent, and bald-headed. From 
his childhood he was remarkably fond of military exercises, which 
passion grew up with him, and led him to procure and attentively 
to study every military treatise in the English language which was 

Joining the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company at 
the age of seventeen, he was its captain in 1770, at which 
time he wrote for the " Boston Gazette " some essays signed 
" A Military Countryman," urging the importance of military 
discipline and skill in the use of arms ; " for," said he pro- 
phetically, "it is more than probable that the salvation of this 
country, under Heaven, will sooner or later depend upon a 
well-regulated militia." It was partly through his efforts that 
the organization of the minute-men, which placed New Eng- 
land at once upon a war footing, was effected. He had pre- 
viously been commissioned a captain in the Suffolk regiment 
by Gov. Bernard. Hutchinson superseded him in his com- 
mand, but when in 1774 the people selected their own officers, 
Heath was unanimously chosen captain of the first company 
of Roxbury, and the same year colonel of the Suffolk regiment. 



He was frequently moderator of town meetings, and a 
member of the General Court. Engaging with zeal in the 
Revolutionary contest, he was the trusty coadjutor of Samuel 
Adams and Joseph Warren ; was a delegate to the Provincial 
Congresses of 1774 and 1775 ; and was an active member of 
the Committees of Correspondence and of Safety, the latter 
body virtually governing the province until superseded bj* 
the State government in 1780. Made a provincial major- 
general in June, 1775, he re- 
ceived the same rank from the 
Continental Congress in August 

Heath, who was the only 
general officer on the ground on 
the memorable 19th of April, 
1775, organized and directed 
the armed husbandmen who 
that day put the far - famed 
British regulars to flight. This 
was the only actual conflict 
in which he was engaged 
throughout the war. In his 
"Memoirs" he criticises the Lexington company, "whose 
standing so near the road was but a too much braving of 
danger, as they were sure to meet with insult or injury which 
the} 5 " could not repel." Here the question naturally arises 
whether, if the British troops had passed through Lexington 
without bloodshed, the people would have rushed to arms and 
fired at Concord bridge, " the shot heard round the world." 
Certain it is that the}' believed the regulars were the aggress- 
ors, and that they were greatly excited by the slaughter of 
their brethren. Of the retreat he says, " I was several times 
greatly exposed while the British were descending from the 
high grounds in Menotomy to the plain. Soon after, the 
right flank of the British was exposed to the fire of a body of 



militia which had come from Roxbury, Brookline, and Dor- 
chester. For a few minutes the fire was brisk on both 
sides, and the British here had recourse to their field- 
pieces again." 

The siege of Boston began when, at the close of that day, 
guards were posted at Charlestown Neck by Heath. It was 
the singular fortune of this officer to perform a similar duty 
eight years later at West Point, when the army was finally 
disbanded, his being the last division in the service. He 
commanded a division during the siege, was at the head of 
the eastern department in 1777, with the care of the Saratoga 
Convention prisoners, and subsequently had charge of the 
posts on the Hudson. Upon the discovery of Arnold's 
treason, Heath was the trusted officer to whom Washington 
confided the command at West Point. Returning to his 
farm at the close of the war, he was chosen a delegate to 
the Convention that adopted the Federal Constitution in 1 788 ; 
was a State senator in 1791-92 ; and was judge of probate for 
Norfolk County from 1793 until his decease, Jan. 24, 1814, 
at the age of seventy-six. In 1806 he was chosen lieutenant- 
governor of Massachusetts, but declined the office. 

Heath's faithful service throughout the Revolutionary strug- 
gle is attested by an earnest and spontaneous private testi- 
monial from his great chief, Washington, when, at its close, 
the officers were returning to their several homes. He was 
justly proud of this tribute, and valued it as a patent of 
nobility superior to any that monarch ever issued. " This 
letter," said he to Brissot de Warville, who paid him a visit 
at his farm in 1788, " is a jewel which in my eyes surpasses 
all the eagles and all the ribbons in the world." " With what 
joy," continues Brissot, " did this respectable man show me 
all parts of his farm ! What happiness he enjoys on it ! He 
is a true farmer. A glass of cider which he presented to me, 
with frankness and good-humor painted on his countenance, 
appeared to me superior to the most exquisite wines. With 


this simplicity men are worthy of liberty, and they are sure of 
enjoying it for a long time." 

Late in life Heath was corpulent and unwieldy in person, 
and while judge of probate was in the habit of making the 
journey from his house to Declham in his chaise, which he 
completely filled, accompanied b}' his son on horseback, who 
was responsible for his safe transit. The republican simpli- 
city of his manners may be inferred from the tradition that 
he occasionally drove to church in his ox-team, perhaps 
intended as a hint to his more aristocratic neighbors, whose 
carriages were of a showy and stylish description. Honest, 
upright, and patriotic, Heath as a general was over-cautious. 
His pomposity of manner made him unpopular with his 
brother officers, one of whom gave him. while at "West Point, 
the title of " Duke of Roxbury." Chastellux describes his 
countenance as noble and open, giving him a striking resem- 
blance to Lord Granby. His remains were removed some 
years ago from the family tomb opposite the old homestead, 
to Forest Hills, but the pilgrim will seek in vain for a monu- 
mental tablet or inscription of any kind, commemorating 
this sterling patriot and upright man. 

William Heath, grandfather of the general, who, on Sept. 
3, 1703, was commissioned by Gov. Dudley, " captain of a 
foot company consisting of sixty soldiers," on March 3, 
1739-40, bequeathed 50 to the town for a poor fund. The 
records leave us in ignorance as to what became of this 

A near neighbor of Heath was Capt. John Gyles, who, in 
1689, when a lad, was taken by the Indians at Pemaquid, 
Me., and remained a prisoner until 1698. He was for some 
years employed as an Indian interpreter, was in 1706 com- 
missioned a captain by Gov. Dudley, and commanded at 
Fort George (Brunswick, Me.) and St. George's River 
(Thomaston) . Though retaining the command at the latter 
place until 1742, William Heath being his first lieutenant, 


and Ebenezer Seaver ensign, he retired in 1737, after thirty 
years of active and arduous frontier service, to Roxbury, 
where in 172L he had married his second wife, Hannah Heath, 
aunt of the general, and died there in 1755, at the age of sev- 
enty-seven. Gyles's " Memoirs of Odd Adventures, Strange 
Deliverances, etc.," was published in Boston in 1736, at the 
earnest request, as he says, of his second consort. To disarm 
adverse criticism he prefaces his work with the remark of 
Sir Roger L'Estrange: "Though I made this composition 
principally for my family, yet if any man has a mind to take 
part with me, he has free leave and is welcome, but let him 
carrj- this consideration along with him, that he is a very 
unmannerly guest who forces himself upon another man's 
table, and then quarrels with his dinner." 

There is no place in the vicinity of Boston from which a 
finer prospect may be obtained than from Parker Hill, or the 
"Great Hill," as it was formerly called. The view extends 
from the blue waters of the bay on one side to the undulating 
line of distant hills on the other. Roxbury lies beneath, and 
beyond, the great city stretches away to Somerville, the State 
House with its gilded dome and Bunker Hill Monument form- 
ing prominent points of view. Beyond Charles River lies the 
quiet-looking city of Cambridge, with its sightly University 
buildings. Nearer, in the west, is the town of Brookline, 
whose rural beauties are unsurpassed, and whose numerous 
elegant residences are seen scattered among the woods and 
hills, shaded by noble trees. On the south is the equally 
attractive scenery of West Roxbury, and glistening among 
the trees a glimpse may be caught of its beautiful pond ; and 
in the southeast the vision is bounded by the Blue Hills of 
Milton. On all sides are seen distant villages, while numer- 
ous church spires rising above the groves mark the places 
where villages nestle unseen. Some twenty towns are em- 
braced in IJie view from this spot. A large reservoir has 
lately been built here by the city. The Connecticut regi- 


meuts of Spencer, Huntington, and Parsons were encamped 
here during the siege. 

On the summit of this hill once stood the elegant residence 
of John Parker, a wealthy and successful merchant. He 
began life as an apprentice to James Howe, the baker, and 
kept for a while in the old grocery store on Eliot Square. 
Very early in life he lost his father, Mr. Peter Parker, who 
was crushed to death by the fall of a barrel of cider he was 
unloading from a cart at his own door. Mr. Parker would 
never take more than six per cent interest, believing that no 
man could afford to paj r more. He was tall and commanding 
in appearance, and " it was quite a treat," says one who 
knew him well, " to see him on a pleasant Sunday afternoon 
alight from his carriage at the old church, in a blue dress-coat 
with brass buttons, drab tights, white stockings, shoes with 
buckles, and powdered wig." Mr. Parker was a remarkably 
early riser, and was a good and kind neighbor. 

On the south side of Parker Hill, not far from the corner 
of Parker and Heath Streets, was the mansion and estate of 
six acres belonging to Ezekiel Goldthwait, register of deeds 
for (the county of Suffolk, before the Revolution. Here were 
quartered the field and staff of Huntington's Connecticut regi- 
ment in 1775. Goldthwait, at first, inclined to the popular 
side, but was an addresser of Hutchinson when that unpopu- 
lar governor sailed for England in 1774, and yet adroitly 
managed to escape proscription as a loj'alist and to retain his 
valuable property when the ro3*al power was overthrown. 

The list of casualties on the 19th of April, 1775, contains 
but one Roxbury name, Elijah Seaver, famous for possessing 
a stentorian voice, and who at the close of the eventful day 
was among the missing. He had been taken prisoner, and 
was one of those first exchanged on the 6th of June follow- 
ing. Seaver lived on the northwest corner of Day and Heath 
Streets, in a house which is yet standing. John Perry's home- 
stead of two acres was on the corner opposite, having John 


Graves on the south. The apostle Eliot calls him " Cosiu 

West of Stony Brook and south of Heath Street, a district 
since included in the Lowell and Heath estates, originally 
contained the homesteads of Philip Eliot, James Astwood, 
Isaac Johnson, Eobert Pepper, John Graves, Arthur Gary, 
John Perry, and William Heath. The most northerly of 
these, "his house, barn, and house-lot of three acres on 
Stony River, east," was Philip Eliot, brother of the apostle, 
" a right godly and dilligent person, who useth to accompany 
him to the Indians," and of whom Eliot leaves this record : 

" He dyed about the 22d of the 8th mo. 1657. He was a man of 
power and very faithful. He was many yeares in the office of a 
Deakon which he discharged faithfully. In his latter years he was 
very lively, usefull and active for God and his cause. The Lord 
gave him so much acceptance in the hearts of the people that he 
died under many of the offices of trust that are usually put upon 
men of his rank, for besides his office of Deakon he was a deputy 
of the Gen. Court, a Commissioner for the gov't of the town, one 
of the five men to order the prudential affairs of the town, and was 
chosen to be Feoffee of the Schoole in Roxbury." 

Opposite Amory Street, where Centre Street bends to the 
west " butting upon the highway east and south," was the 
house, barn, and two acres of Capt. Isaac Johnson. He was 
the son of John Johnson, whose sounding title of " surve3'or- 
generall of all y e armyes " must have inspired the savage foe 
with wholesome terror. The father was undoubtedly an old 
soldier, and his son certainly was a brave one. He was 
made a freeman in 1635, and was a representative and cap- 
tain of the artillery company. In 1653 he was chosen cap- 
tain of the Roxbury company, Sergt. Craft was chosen 
"lieutenant, and Sergt. Bowles ensign. Capt. Johnson was 
killed in the famous Narragansett " fort fight," Dec. 19, 
1675. The only entrance to the Indian stronghold was by 
means of a felled tree bridging the swamp, over which but 


one man could pass at a time, and this narrow pathway was 
protected by a block house. The brave Roxbury captain was 
shot dead on this bridge, over which he was leading his men. 
West of Johnson was the homestead of Robert Pepper, who 
in 1642 married his sister Elizabeth. A Robert Pepper was 
captured "by Indians while on his way to Northfield, in 
1675. The house, barn, and four acres of James Astwood 
lay between Johnson and Eliot. 

The Lowell estate, formerly Thomas Gunter's, lay between 
the south side of old Heath and Centre Streets, extending 
northerly to a point nearly opposite the Heath mansion, and 
on Centre Street, where it had a frontage of five hundred feet, 
to a point beyond Bickford Street. Bought in 1785 by Judge 
John Lowell, who resided here until his decease, May 6, 
1802, it was afterward the home of his son, John Lowell, Jr., 
who built upon it a stone castle from a model sketched by 
himself of an old one in Europe. Early in the present cen- 
tury it was the residence of another eminent lawyer, Samuel 
Dexter, whose sons Franklin, also distinguished at the bar, 
and Samuel W., both graduated from the old Roxbury gram- 
mar school in 1808. The Lowell mansion, long since removed 
from its old site, is now standing on Bickford Street, its 
appearance spoiled by a modern French roof. In its day 
this was an attractive New England home, furnished without 
ostentation, but on a generous scale, and with tokens of cul- 
ture and refinement everywhere visible. 

One of Mr. Lowell's daughters still resides on the portion 
of the estate on Centre Street next south of the railroad 
crossing. The garden belonging to this estate had five green- 
houses upon it, and was the finest in the State. Among the 
many and extraordinary changes wrought by time in the old 
town, none is more striking than that presented here, as the 
result of laying through this elegant property the track of the 
Boston and Providence Railroad. 

Born at Newbury in 1743, John Lowell, at the beginning 


of the Revolution, was already an eminent lawyer in full 
practice. He was a delegate to the old Congress, and chief 
justice of the United States Circuit Court in 1801-2. While 
a member of the committee to draught the Constitution of 
Massachusetts he inserted in the Bill of Rights the clause 
declaring that "all men are born free and equal," for the 
avowed purpose of abolishing slavery in the State. He was 
one of the confidential advisers of the measures by which that 
formidable outbreak, Shays's Insurrection, was suppressed, 
and was appointed by Washington one of the judges of the 
United States District Court on its institution in 1789. At 
the bar he was the frequent competitor and formidable rival 
of Theophilus Parsons. He was active in establishing the 
Academy of Arts and Sciences, before which he delivered an 
oration on the death of President Bowdoin on Jan. 26, 1795. 
Harrison Gray Otis, a law student in his office, thus de- 
scribes him : 

" He was about five feet ten inches in height, and inclined to corpu- 
lence. His gait was rapid and hurried, his conversation rapid and 
ardent. He was the very mirror of benevolence, which beamed in and 
made attractive a countenance not remarkable for symmetry of feature 
or beauty ; and his companionable talents, though never displayed at 
the expense of dignity, made him the delight of the society in which 
he moved, and which he always put at ease. He was one of the most 
amiable, pure, and honorable of men, and his honesty and moderation 
were proverbial. In a satirical and very personal farce got up by a 
witty desperado, and which had a great run, he was dubbed by the 
author, no friend of his, 'Lawyer Candor,' a most appropriate so- 
briquet, which the world unanimously applied to him. His consulta- 
tions with clients were principally at his own house in Eoxbury, and 
in short interviews. He generally amused himself in his garden 
until it was time to hurry into court, where he never arrived too 
early, and then plunging in media res in causes with the points and 
merits of which he had been superficially informed, yet on the spot, 
when he came as elder counsel to sum up, he appeared entirely 
familiar with the Gordian knot. He soon warmed and moved on 
with impassioned eloquence and vehement gesture, taking up the 
jury in his balloon and landing them where he pleased." 


During the period of his Roxbury residence Judge Lowell 
had withdrawn from active office business. He took a leading 
part in town affairs, and as a trustee of the grammar school 
contributed greatly to its financial prosperity by his policy of 
leasing its lands for a long term of years. He left three sons, 
all of whom became eminent, John, Francis Cabot, founder 
of the city of spindles, and Rev. Charles, an esteemed clergy- 
man of Boston, father of James Russell Lowell. 

John Lowell, Jr. , a distinguished writer upon politics and 
agriculture, was in person a great contrast to his father, being 
very short and slender. Graduating at Harvard in 1786, he 
was admitted to the bar in 1789, and practised law with re- 
pute until 1803, when he visited Europe. After his father's 
death, and until his own decease in 1840, he occupied the pa- 
ternal estate in Roxbury, entering with all his heart into the 
study and pursuits of agriculture, in which he delighted. 
Over the signature of " A Roxbury Farmer," he exerted great 
influence upon the agricultural community, and was often 
quoted as authority upon the subject. 

After the decease of Mr. Ames in 1808, Mr. Lowell pos- 
sessed a greater ascendency than any other person in New 
England over the minds of those who were opposed to the 
national administration. His articles in the ' ' Centinel," 
signed " A Boston Rebel," and his pamphlet on " Madison's 
"War," were most powerful attacks on the party in power, and 
aroused by their piquant style and inflammatory nature a 
strong opposition to it. In those exciting times a rumor was 
circulated, that some of those who had been exasperated by 
his political attacks had threatened to burn his house in Rox- 
bury to the ground. This rumor was so far credited, that 
some of his friends went out from Boston to offer themselves 
as the guard of his person and property for the night. Mr. 
Lowell expressed his belief that his fellow-townsmen were 
incapable of such an act, and declined their offers of assist- 
ance. Indeed, no aid beyond the limits of the town would 


in any case have been required, for several of the most re- 
spectable inhabitants of Roxbury itself, and of both political 
parties, volunteered to stand ready to defend it to the last 
extremity. It was not long after this that by his services in 
town affairs, on school committees, and in private counsels, 
he had won the love and respect of the people, " and there 
was not an inhabitant of Roxbury of any sense or heart," 
says Dr. Greenwood, "who would not have defended that 
once obnoxious house at the risk of his own life." 

" The highway from Elder Heath's pasture lot by Stony 
River to Gamblin's End, to the pasture lot of goodman Gam- 
blin to the Rocky Bottom," afterwards called School Street, 
is now Amory Street as far as its junction with Boylston. 
Despite its name, there is nothing tragic about "Gamblin's 
End." For aught we know it was eminently peaceful ; but 
one looks here in vain for a natural boundary such as the 
name suggests, the only noticeable topographical feature 
being a sudden falling off of the land west of School Street, 
near Mrs. Adams's, the beginning of the level plateau of 
Jamaica Plain. Mrs. Adams's residence, on the west side of 
School Street, was built in 1782,byCapt. Joseph, son of Col. 
Joseph Williams, and was for many 3'ears the residence of 
Mr. Xehemiah D. "Williams. Robert Gamblin came over in 
1632 in the same ship with Edward Winslow, and with him 
William Perkins and John Levins, who settled in Roxbury. 
This family afterwards went to Portsmouth, N. H. Gam- 
blin's homestead was north of Bell's, and between that and 
Stony Brook. Of his son Robert, Jr., Eliot says : 

"He brought only one child, who was the son of his wife by a 
former husband. His name is John Mayo. He was but a child. Mary, 
a maide servant, daughter of Eobert Gamlin the elder, came with 
her father in the yeare 1632. She was a very gracious maiden. She 
dyed in Mr. Pinchon's family of the small-pox in the year 1633." 

On the corner of Amory Street, near the railroad bridge, 
is the John Curtis house, an old, gambrel-roof dwelling of the 



last century. Back of it runs Ston} r Brook, lined with huge 
willows. This old house was bought in 1742 by Jeremiah 
"Williams, blacksmith, brother of Col. Joseph and the father 
of Major Edward Payson Williams. An old mansion, once 
the residence of Mr. John Amor}', now a public house, and 
styled the " Amor}' Hotel," is on our left as we approach 
" Gamblin's End," while on our right a new brick brewery 
seems sadly out of place in this sylvan retreat. Somewhere 
in this immediate vicinity was the house and fourteen rods of 
ground belonging to John May, or Maj'es, as it was then 
written, the ancestor of the well-known family of that name. 
The book of "Houses and Lands" describes it as "a triangle 
abutting on R. Gamblin east, the highway northwest, and 
Thomas Bell's orchard southwest." May, who had been 
master of a vessel called the " James," sailing as early as 
1635 between London and New England, came to Roxbury 
in 1640, and died on April 23, 1670. 

The fine old mansion near the corner of Amory and Boj'l- 
ston Streets, now the residence of Gen. W. Raymond Lee, was 


built in 1766 on the land given by Thomas Bell in 1672 to the 
Roxbury Free School, of which he was the most liberal bene- 
factor. Near it stood, until its demolition in 1765, Mr. Bell's 


homestead, afterwards that of Capt. Ebenezer Gore, the 
sound portion of the old materials being made use of in the 
new structure. The homestead came about 1810 into the 
possession of Thomas Amory, " London Tom," whose daugh- 
ter Mr. Lee married. At the bend of the road is a large 
English elm. and on the grounds in front of the house are 
many fine specimens of elms, English and American, so dis- 
posed as to add greatly to the picturesque effect produced by 
the low, irregular outlines of the residence itself. The old por- 
tion of the house is central, the wings are modern additions. 

Mr. Bell bequeathed all his real estate in Roxbury in trust 
for " the maintenance of a schoolmaster and free schoole for 
the teaching and instructing of poore men's children in the 
town." This gift, a very large one for the time, with its 
accumulations, renders the school one of the most richly 
endowed in the country. His lands extended from Stony 
River, taking in this homestead, across School Street and the 
turnpike up to Walnut Avenue. The beautiful, smooth field 
of eighteen acres at the right of Washington Street, on the 
brow of the hill, on the corner of School Street as you come 
north, and the great orchard opposite, are embraced in this 
portion of the princely bequest of Thomas Bell, a merchant, 
who resided here from 1635 until his return in 1654 to 
England, where he died in 1672. The apostle Eliot's influ- 
ence was no doubt exerted to procure this gift for the school, 
whose establishment he had done so much to promote ; and 
we also find Mr. Bell further sustaining that good man's en- 
deavors by becoming one of the corporators in England of 
the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel in New Eng- 
land. The memory of Thomas Bell should be fondly cher- 
ished by the people of Roxbury. 

A short distance west of the Bell homestead stands the old 
Curtis house. In 1639 William Curtis built on the margin of 
Stony Brook a substantial dwelling, supposed to be the one 
now standing. It is in excellent preservation, and is inhab- 



ited by the widow and children of the fifth Isaac Curtis who 
has occupied it, and who was the seventh in descent from 
William, the emigrant. The instances of the continuous 
occupation of the homestead by the same family for a period 
of two hundred and forty years, are very rare in New Eng- 
land. The neighborhood was originally a forest, abounding 
in wild animals, and a pair of antlers can now be seen in the 
old house, taken from a buck that was shot from within it, 
probably while drinking from the brook. In 1659 twenty 


shillings was paid by the town to Philip Curtis, for killing a 
wolf here. "William Curtis's homestead of ten acres was 
bounded south on Stony Eiver, north on Robert Pepper, west 
on John Ruggles and John Totman, and east on George 
Brand," says the ancient Transcript of Lands. 

The house a good specimen of the second period of New 
England architecture stands on Lamartine Street, near the 
Boylston station of the Boston and Providence Railroad, 
over which a hundred trains run by it dail}- , and is probably 
one of the oldest inhabited dwellings in the United States. 
Near it, shaded by the magnificent elm seen in the picture, 
is the spring that doubtless determined the locality of the 


dwelling. Tradition says this tree was transplanted a hun- 
dred years ago, by one of the family, from a meadow in 
"Rocky Swamp," a tract lying between Washington Street 
and Forest Hills Street, then owned by the Curtises. With 
care it will probably last another century. A large, healthy, 
fruit-bearing currant-bush grows from a knot-hole on its 
eastern side. 

The timbers of the Curtis house are of unseasoned white 
oak, doubtless cut from the farm. The nails were all wrought, 
there being then no machines for cutting them. The building 
is of two stories, with eight rooms, a garret above, and a 
small square entry on the lower floor, separating two of the 
main rooms. It has a pitched roof, sloping down at the rear 
to within a few feet of the ground, and in the centre stands 
the enormous square chimney. The windows are small. 
Originally the glass was diamond- shaped, and set in leaden 
sashes, but about the beginning of this century these gave 
place to the small panes of glass they now have, and the lead 
was converted into spoons. Square blocks of oak, about ten 
inches across, serve as cellar stairs, and show unmistakable 
signs of wear from the tread of the generations that have 
passed over them. Much of the old furniture, handed down 
for generations, yet remains. Perhaps the apostle Eliot sat 
at that quaint old table, Winthrop or Thomas Dudley in that 
antique chair. A company of Rhode Island soldiers were 
quartered here during the siege of Boston. 

William Curtis, a native of the parish of Nazing, was mar- 
ried there to Sarah, daughter of Bennett Eliot and the sister 
of the apostle, in 1618. They came over with other Roxbury 
settlers in the " Lion," in 1632, bringing four children. An- 
other passenger was Ann Mountfort, the affianced of Eliot, 
to whom she was married a month after her arrival. There 
can be little doubt that the influence of his brother-in-law, 
Curtis, was potent in drawing Eliot from Boston, where he 
was so earnestly " labored with " to induce him to remain. 


Most of the persons bearing the name of Curtis in the United 
States are descended from William. They seem to be a pro- 
lific and a long-lived race. Forty families of this stock from 
1632 to 1850 had an average of over five children each, and 
thirty-seven lived to the average term of sixty-six years. 
One of his descendants, in 1721, bought a horse and negro 
and set up market-gardening, and was the first man who 
carried vegetables to town in a cart instead of in panniers. 
Philip, son of William Curtis, was lieutenant of Capt. Hench- 
man's companj'-, that left Boston on Nov. 1, 1675, to rescue 
two youths whom the savages had captured at Marlborough. 
The rescue was effected, but Curtis and several of his com- 
panions were killed. Of William, another son, Eliot says, 
' ' He was a hopeful scholler, but God took him in the end 
of 1634." 

Just beyond the railroad bridge, on the east side of Centre 
Street, was the Wyman farm of about sixty acres, now in- 
cluding Lamartine Street, and a part of which many years 
ago was a training-field. The Went worth house opposite 
was in those days a tavern, kept by Phineas Withington, 
and upon all occasions of parade and festivity it was well pa- 
tronized. After a review, the performances would close on 
Huckleberry Hill, now known as Cedar Hill, with a " sham 
fight," generally ending with some bloody noses. On the 
left, before coming to Boylston Street, is the locality still 
known as " Totman's Rocks," named from John Totman, an 
early settler, whose dwelling and nine acres of land were 
located between Day and Boylston Streets. Next comes the 
Paul Gore estate, formerl}' the site of Thomas Baker's house 
and wheelwright shop. In 1720 Timothy Parker bought of 
John Ruggles the house, barn, and three acres of land 
on the easterly corner of Boylston and Centre Streets. On 
Parker's Hill adjoining, and where Mr. George S. Curtis 
lives, the company of Capt. Trowbridge, of Farmington, 
Conn., was encamped in 1775. Where Mr. Charles F. 


Curtis now resides, the old house of Ebenezer Newell for- 
merly stood'. 

In 1712, Samuel, the grandson of William Curtis, bought 
of Joshua Bowen, twenty acres bordering on Jamaica Pond, 
and built in 1722 the house in which his son and grandson 
Joseph lived, and in which Miss Catharine P. Curtis, his 
granddaughter, resided, until her decease in July last. To 
the antiquarian taste and research of Miss Curtis, the public 
is indebted for the collection and preservation of much that is 
interesting in the past history of the town. He afterwards 
bought the Perkins farm of fourteen acres of the heirs. The 
street leading from this point to Brookline, north of the pond, 
known in the early days as Connecticut Lane, was named for 
William Perkins, who came to Roxbury in 1632. Nathaniel 
Winchester had an estate of fifty acres on this street. 

Joseph, the son of Samuel Curtis, in 1771 married Catha- 
rine Parker, who kept a shop of British goods on Boylston 
Street. Dflring three months of the siege of Boston he gave 
up his house, reserving only his wife's shop and one chamber, 
to a company from Connecticut, composed of young men of 
good station. One night, upon a sudden alarm that the 
British were coming out from Boston, each man brought his 
watch and purse and deposited them with Mrs. Curtis. 
" Why, what shall I do with them?" she asked. "If we 
come back," they replied, " we will know our own, and if we 
never return we would rather you should have them than the 
British." After the war, Joseph Curtis presented a claim 
against the State for " barracking" men from the companies 
of Major Thompson, Capt. Noadiah Hooker, and Capt. 
Aldrich, of Connecticut, Capt. Eaton, of Haverhill, and Capt. 
Barnes, of Methuen. His son Joseph died in 1858, after a 
career of great usefulness, he having served the town long 
and faithfully, as school committeeman, selectman, and 




Jamaica Pond. The Aqueduct. Social Aspects. Hallowell House. 
Ward Nicholas Boylston. Linden Hall. Warren's Country Seat. 
Loring House. Capt. Sears. Third Church. Parsonage. Eev. 
William Gordon. Rev. Thomas Gray. Eliot School. Soldiers' 
Monument. Moses Williams. John Hancock's Country Seat. 
Lemuel Hayward. Nathaniel Curtis. Sir Francis Bernard. Pep- 
perell. Whitney. Childs. Peacock Tavern. Samuel Adams. 

JAMAICA PLAIN is one of the loveliest spots in New 
England. It abounds in springs and brooks, and its 
soil, light and gravelly, is easily cultivated. Environed as it 
is by beautifully sloping hills, forming a complete basin, the 
place is almost entirely sheltered from east winds, and on 
account of its peculiar salubriousness, has been called the 
" American Montpelier." For fifty years its death-rate aver- 
aged but one to one hundred. Its inhabitants were in the 
olden time principally well-to-do farmers, and until recently 
it was a market-garden for the supply of vegetables for Bos- 
ton. Many elegant country seats are delightfully situated on 
the banks of the lake and elsewhere, and the Plain is dotted 
with the tasteful cottages of business men, who retire every 
evening from their avocations in the city to this charming 
spot. For more than a century it has been an attractive 
summer resort for Bostonians. 

Originally called the "Pond Plain," it had as early as 
1667 received its present designation, as appears by Hugh 
Thomas's conveyance of his property here for the benefit of a 
school, " to the people at the Jamaica end of the town of 



Roxbury." It is un- 
doubtedly a slander 
upon the good people 
of this locality to as- 
sert that it derives its 
name from their fond- 
ness for ' ' Jamaica " 
rum, and that the}* 
preferred it " plain." 
However this may be, 
the fact that the island 
of Jamaica had not 
long before been taken 
by Cromwell from the 
Spaniards, and that 
its rum, sugar, and 
other products had 
already found their 
way to the adjacent 
port of Boston, is 
certainly suggestive. 
The nomenclature in 
question may, not- 
withstanding ingen- 
ious theorizing, be 
safely referred to the 
desire to commemo- 
rate Cromwell's val- 
uable acquisition. 

The beautiful sheet 
of water known as 
"Jamaica Pond." 
covers au area of 
nearly seventy acres, 
with a depth in some 
places of sixty to 
seventy feet ; and 


until the introduction of Cochituate water into Boston in 1848, 
supplied that city by means of an aqueduct with excellent 
water. It now provides that metropolis with ice of the best 
quality. The right to draw water from the pond for mill 
purposes, granted to certain citizens in 1698, conditionally, 
was the frequent cause of litigation till 1851, when the Bos- 
ton Water Board bought the right for forty-five thousand 
dollars, and in 1856 the city sold it for thirty-five thousand dol- 
lars to the present corporation, on condition that they should 
not bring water into the city proper. The Aqueduct Com- 
pany was incorporated in 1795. About forty-five miles of 
pipes, made of logs, were laid ; the trenches were only three 
to three and a half feet in depth, which did not prevent 
freezing in severe weather, while the smallness of the pipes, 
four-inch mains, limited the supply. 

Speaking of the social and other aspects of the place, the 
Rev. Thomas Gray, in his half-century discourse, delivered 
in 1842, said : 

"When I first came among you this was a quiet, retired, rural 
little village, and there was not a single allurement either to physi- 
cal, moral, or religious intemperance or excess to be found within 
its limits. Its simplicity of manners reminded one of Goldsmith's 

Sweet Auburn I loveliest village of the plain, 
Where health and plenty cheered the laboring swain.' 

"Fashionable manners were unknown here then. The good 
dame's visits were made at an early hour in the afternoon, each 
with her knitting work still going on while engaged in social con- 
verse, and at dusk rolling up their work and returning home, re- 
freshed from their social intercourse, to their domestic enjoyments 
and duties, which they wisely and justly considered as paramount 
to all others. There was more of true happiness in those humble 
dwellings than all the modern refinement of art, of wealth, or fash- 
ion combined can now boast or ever impart. 

1 These were thy charms, sweet village. Joys like these, 
With sweet succession, taught e'en toil to please; 
These round thy bowers their cheerful influence shed.* 


"There seemed also perfect union of purpose and action in 
almost every person and every thing. Whenever a new dwelling 
was contemplated the whole neighborhood volunteered its services, 
prepared and stoned the cellar and well, and gave often days of 
labor to aid and speed on the object. There existed also at that 
time but one religious sentiment and feeling, and until a very recent 
period all met and worshipped together in this place. In this whole 
town there were only three churches and three ministers, all as per- 
fectly known, loved, and understood by each other as though they 
had been brothers. Now (1842), there are eleven churches and min- 
isters, besides fifteen other clergymen, making twenty-six in all, and 
of about as many varying creeds, most of them scarcely known to 
each other even by name, though residing so near, much less by 
neighborly or social and friendly intercourse as formerly." 

In the summer of 1775 the Rhode Island troops under 
Gen. Greene were stationed at the Plain, and were quartered 
in different houses upon the inhabitants. Some were at Dea- 
con Nathaniel "Weld's and others at Joseph Curtis's, on Cen- 
tre Street. Troops from Connecticut were also stationed on 
the plain. The soldiers were in general said to be very impu- 
dent to the inhabitants, especially a company from the town 
of Methuen. 

At the corner of Centre and Boylston Streets stands a 
quaint but picturesque dwelling, whose irregular proportions 
strike the eye agreeably. It was built about the year 1738. 
Early in April, 1775, it was hastily vacated by Capt. Benja- 
min Hallowell, its loyalist owner, who sought refuge in Bos- 
ton, and it was used during the siege by the patriot forces as 
a hospital for the camp at Roxbury. Soldiers were buried 
from it near the road, about forty rods from the house, in the 
direction of the Boylston Street Station. After the siege it 
was leased by the selectmen to Jonathan Mason, Esq. 

The property, consisting of the dwelling-house and other 
buildings and about seven acres of land, was confiscated by 
the State, and was bought in 1791 by Dr. Lewis Leprilete ; 
but after the death of Capt. Hallowell, his son, Ward Nicholas, 



claimed the property in the right of his mother, assumed her 
name of Boylston, and obtained the estate by process of law 
in 1801. The remains of the doctor and those of his son 
etill occupy the estate, of which while living they were dis- 


possessed, and the spot of their interment is marked by a 
stone with this Latin inscription : 

"In memoria Doctoris Ludovici Leprilete, Mass. Med. Soc. 

Socll, Nati Nante in Gallia, Oct. 10, Anno Domini MDCCL. 

Obit Julii die 29, MDCCCIV ^Etat suaj LIV. 

Celeberrimus in chirugia. 

Hie etiam, ejus filius solus Ludovicus Leprilete sepultus est, 

Natus Jan. 12 Anno Domini MDCCLXXXV. 

Obiit Oct. 30, MDCCXCII. 

^Etat suae octavo anno." 

Near the house, on the corner of the lane in front, Dr. 
Leprilete built an English goods shop, kept by himself for 
some time, afterwards by Luke Baker, of Boston. In 1803 
Mr. Boylston removed it to the hill directly opposite Boylston 


Hermitage, so called, on Boj'lston Street, and converted it into 
a dwelling-house, yet standing. The Hermitage was originally 
a brush-maker's shop, which was built in Burroughs Street, 
near Jamaica Pond, by a Mr. Knowlton. Mr. Boylston 
bought and removed it to its present location in 1807, con- 
verting it into a dwelling-house as it now stands. It has 
since been removed to the corner of Lamartine Street. He 
entered it in December, 1809. The present owner of the old 
Hallowell mansion, Dr. Wing, has made additions to the 
original structure, and has had it thoroughly repaired. The 
engraving represents the old house as it formerly was. 

Hallowell in early life was captain of a small vessel, and 
during the war ending in the conquest of Canada com- 
manded the province twenty -gun ship " King George," ren- 
dering essential service, notabl}* at the retaking of Newfound- 
land. As a commissioner of His Majesty's customs he was 
extremely obnoxious, and his acceptance also of the office of 
mandamus councillor made him a special object of public 
detestation. How intense was the popular excitement at this 
time is seen in the following occurrences : 

" A few nights ago," wrote Gov. Hutchinson to a friend, in June, 
1770, " Mr. Hul ton's bouse (in Brookline) was attacked. You will 
easily judge the distress of Mrs. Hulton, Mrs. Burch, and daughter. 
Burch, who has lately moved to Tom Oliver's house at Dorchester, 
lay upon his arms the next night, and kept his scouts out, but the 
women being so distrest, both Hulton and he went the day after to 
the castle with their friend Porter, and several of the officers lodged 
upon Jamaica Plain. Lady Bernard told me yesterday, at Cam- 
bridge, that all the gentlemen upon the Plain left their houses the 
night before, upon intimation that they were in danger, and that a 
search for officers was intended." 

On Sept. 2, 1774, while the people were assembled on 
Cambridge Common to receive the resignations of Danforth, 
Lee, and Oliver, as mandamus councillors, Hallowell passed 
on his way to Roxbury. The sight of him so inflamed the 


people that one hundred and sixt} T horsemen were soon in 
pursuit at full gallop. Some of the leaders, however, pru- 
dently dissuaded them from proceeding, and they returned 
and dismounted, except one man, who followed Hallowell to 
Roxbury, where he overtook and stopped him in his chaise. 
Hallowell snapped his pistols at him, but could not disengage 
himself from him till he quitted the chaise and mounted his 
servant's horse, on which he rode into Boston at full speed, 
till, the horse falling within the gate, he ran on foot to the 
camp, through which he spread consternation, telling them he 
was pursued by some thousands, who would be in town at his 
heels, and destroy all friends of the government before them. 
It was this alarm that aroused the country, and started hun- 
dreds of armed men on the road to Boston. 

His combativeness was irrepressible, and was not confined 
to rebels, for the newspapers of August, 1775, give the 
details of a street fight between him and Admiral Graves. 
Hallowell was one of those excepted from pardon by the 
Provincial Congress, on the 16th of June, 1775, in retalia- 
tion for Gage's proclamation, excepting Hancock and Samuel 
Adams. With his family of six persons he accompanied the 
British army to Halifax in March, 1776, and in July sailed for 
England. While in Halifax he frequently but vainly offered 
his services to the commander-in-chief in subduing the rebel- 
lion. On visiting Boston in 1796, he was kindly received 
and hospitably entertained. He died at York (Toronto), 
Upper Canada, March 28, 1799, aged seventy-five. This 
pen-and-ink sketch is from John Adams's Diary : 

" Jan. 16, 1766. Dined at Mr. Nick Boylston's with the two 
Mr. Boylstons, two Mr. Smiths, Mr. Hallowell, and their ladies. 
The conversation of the two B.'s and Hallowell is a curiosity. Hot- 
spurs all. H. tells stories about Otis and Sam. Adams. Otis, he says, 
told him that the Parliament had a right to tax the colonies, and 
he was a d d fool who denied it, and that the people never would 
be quiet till we had a council from home, till our charter was taken 


away, and till we had regular troops quartered upon us. He says 
he saw Adams under the tree of Liberty when the effigies hung 
there, and asked him who they were and what. He said he did not 
know, he could not tell he wanted to inquire." 

His son Benjamin was one of seven Boston boys who sub- 
sequently attained high rank in the British service, Admirals 
Sir Isaac Coffin and Sir Benjamin Hallowell (Carew), and 
Gens. Sir John and Sir Aston Coffin, Hugh Mackay Gordon, 
Sir David Ochterlony, and Sir Roger Hale Sheafle. Enter- 
ing the royal navy during the American war, he was at the 
time of his death, in 1834, an admiral of the Blue. He 
was a lieutenant under Rodney in his memorable fight with 
DeGrasse, and in command of the " Swiftsure," '74, con- 
tributed essentially to Nelson's victory of the Nile. From 
a piece of the mainmast of " L'Orient," picked up by the 
" Swiftsure," Hallowell had a coffin made which he sent to 
Nelson. The hero, who cherished a warm friendship for 
Hallowell, received it in the spirit in which it was sent, 
ordered it to be placed upright in his cabin, and to be 
reserved for the purpose for which its brave and worthy donor 
designed it. Succeeding to the estates of the Carews of 
Beddington, Hallowell assumed the name and arms of that 

The other son, Ward Nicholas, who took the name of 
Boylston, and inherited his father's estate, had made in early 
life the tour of Europe, Asia, and Africa. He returned to his 
native place in the year 1800, and died at his seat in Rox- 
bmy, Jan 7, 1828. Mr. Boylston, who was a gentlemen of 
education, took an active interest in the Roxbury schools, and 
made valuable donations to Harvard College. His liberality 
is commemorated by a school, a market, and a street named 
for him in his native place. 

The large house on the corner of Pond Street, now Mrs. 
John Williams's, was built in 1755 by John Gould, for his 
son-in-law. Rev. John Troutbeck, assistant rector of King's 


Chapel, where he officiated for twenty years. Troutbeck, 
with other loyalists, left Boston in 1776. He was in London 
in 1777, in which year Benjamin Hallowell wrote his son 
Ward, "Poor Parson Troutbeck, going round to Newcastle 
in a collier, is taken by one of the pirates that is cruising in 
the North Sea." Possibly by Paul Jones, who was then 
making captures in that latitude, and who was thus stigmatized 
by the enemies of America. Of Troutbeck, who was a dis- 
tiller as well as a clergyman, a Boston rhymester sings : 

" John of small merit, who deals in spirit, 

As next in course I sing; 
Fain would I treat , as is most meet, 

This chaplain of the king. 
His Sunday aim is to reclaim 

Those that in vice are sunk, 
When Monday 's come he selleth rum 

And gets them plaguy drunk." 

"Linden Hall," as it was formerly called, became the 
property of a Mr. Greene, who added another story to the 
edifice, and fitted young men for college there. On the oppo- 
site corner of Pond Street is an old mansion, once owned by 
Benjamin May, blacksmith, who purchased four acres here of 
Nathaniel Brewer, in 1732. This was afterwards the house 
of John Parker, who married Benjamin May's daughter. 
Benjamin was the great-grandson of John May, Sen. 

A two-story cottage with dormer-windows, long known as 
Dr. John C. Warren's country seat, now the residence of 
Calvin Young, stands near the northerly corner of Green and 
Centre Streets. In 1740 Eleazer May sold this estate, in- 
cluding the house in which he dwelt, to Benjamin, nephew of 
Peter Faneuil, of whom it was bought in 1760 by his brother- 
in-law, Benjamin Pemberton. It original!}- contained seven 
acres, and extended back to the river. Mr. Pemberton, in a 
note to the assessors in 1783, speaks of the property as 
" now greatly out of repair, and much damaged by provincial 


When Dr. "VVarren bought the estate, about the year 1800, 
he found the dwelling-house constructed after the West India 
fashion of one story in front, with an addition of two stories in 
the rear. A large front door opened directly into a spacious 
hall. This door and the one opposite were perfect!}' plain on 
the inside, indicating that they were alwa3's to stand open. 
Facing you as you entered was the door at the other end of 
the hall, leading through a porch into a large carriage-yard. 


The two large windows in front were furnished with blinds 
of half-inch board, leaving spaces half a foot wide between 
them. On the right side of the hall were two doors, leading to 
bedrooms. Opposite there were windows made to shut down 
upon doors opening into a piazza, which led into a small gar- 
den adjoining the house. These windows formed each of 
them a good-sized door, the lower part of which seemed as 
if a piece of the panelling or wainscot had been cut out and 
placed on hinges. The hall floor was painted, and in its cen- 
tre was the picture of a dog, admirably executed and life- 
like. Three noble elms stood upon the road, one of which 
still remains at the westerly corner of the house, while within 


were lindens, and beyond these two rows of fine horse-chest- 
nut trees. 

Many changes have been made in the old house. One of 
the original features of the mansion, the elegant panelled 
wainscoting in the large room on the left as you enter, has 
been retained, but the windows no longer extend to the floor, 
admitting of free ingress and egress to the piazza ; and the 
immense chimney that once buttressed its northerly side has 
been removed. During his residence here, Dr. Warren im- 
ported many trees and plants from Europe, and paid great 
attention to agriculture. He was the son of Dr. John and a 
nephew of Gen. Joseph "Warren, and was one of the most 
distinguished surgeons this country has produced. Mr. and 
Mrs. Young have resided here since 1837. The latter is a 
sister of the well-known historical writers, John 8. and Wil- 
liam Barry. 

Burroughs Street, from Centre to Pond Street, the gift of 
William Burroughs, was accepted by the town in 1787. 
Thomas Street was named for Hugh Thomas, an early set- 
tler. On the corner stood a house, dating from 1716, known 
as the Sally Brewer house, now moved back to the end of the 
street. It was formerly the Brewer mansion, Stephen Brewer 
residing in it, and was on the Eliot land, leased by the gram- 
mar school trustees for ninety-nine years. The Eliot and 
Thomas estates, given to the school, extended from Thomas 
to Orchard Streets, and from Centre to Pond. Eliot Street 
was opened through to Pond in 1800. At its corner stands 
one of Paul Dudley's milestones dated 1735, inscribed, "Five 
miles to Boston town-house." 

Opposite the intersection of Centre and South Streets, well 
back from the thoroughfare, stands the Greenough mansion, 
& large, square, old-fashioned, roomy edifice, in which lived 
the Tory, Commodore Joshua Loring. It is said to have been 
framed in England, and occupies the site of a dwelling pur- 
chased of Loring by Mr. Pemberton, who gave it to the 



parish for a parsonage, and who removed it to the spot where 
Dr. Weld resided, near the .Unitarian Church. The estate, 
formerly John Policy's, was bought by Loring, in 1752, of the 
heirs of Joshua Cheever, of Charlestown. In May, 1775, the 
house was the headquai'ters of Gen. Nathaniel Greene. In 
June it was occupied for a short time by Capt. Pond's com- 
pany from "Wrerithain, but was soon converted into a hospital 
for the Roxbury camp. After the siege it was leased by the 
selectmen to Hon. "William Phillips. Just back of the house 


a number of American soldiers who died of disease were 
buried. Their remains were in 1867 removed to the cemetery 
in the westerly part of the town . 

In accordance with the act of the General Court of April 
30, 1779, to confiscate the estates of "notorious conspira- 
tors," Loring's " large mansion house, convenient out-houses, 
gardens planted with fruit trees, together with about sixty- 
five acres of mowing land," were sold at the Bunch of Grapes 
Tavern, in King Street, in June, the purchaser being the 
noted Col. Isaac Sears. From Sears it passed to the "Widow 
Ann Doane, who in 1784 married David Stoddard Green- 
ough, son of Thomas Greenough, a member of the Revolu- 
tionary Committee of Correspondence, whose sessions had at 


one time been held in the Loring house. It is still owned 
and occupied oy the Greenough family, and taken in connec- 
tion with its surroundings, is, in spite of its age, hardly sur- 
passed by any of its more modern neighbors. Col. David 
Henle}', who had charge of Burgoyne's captive army while at 
Cambridge, occupied the house about that time. The hand- 
some Town Hall stands upon a portion of this estate. It was 
dedicated in August, 1868, on which occasion an interest- 
ing historical address was delivered by Hon. Arthur W. 

The Loring family has the distinction of having been the 
only one of any prominence, among the natives of Roxbury, 
that adhered to the royal cause during the Revolutionary 
struggle. Joshua, who built this house in 1760, learned the 
tanner's trade with James Mears on Roxbury Street, but 
when of age went to sea, rose to the command of a priva- 
teer, and having been taken by the French in August, 1744, 
was for some months a prisoner in Louisburg. On Dec. 19, 
1757, he was commissioned a captain in the British navy, 
was commodore of the naval forces on Lakes Champlain and 
Ontario, and participated in the capture of Quebec under 
"Wolfe, and in the conquest of Canada in the succeeding cam- 
paigns of Amherst. He was severely wounded in the leg 
while in command on Lake Ontario, and at the close of the 
war retired on half pay, at which time he settled down at 
Jamaica Plain. 

When the charter of Massachusetts was altered, and the 
right to choose members of the governor's council was taken 
from the people and vested in the crown, Gen. Gage, by a 
writ of mandamus, appointed Loring to the office, and on 
Aug. 17, 1774, he was sworn in as one of Gage's select coun- 
cil. Gage's appointees were immediately subjected to the 
strictest surveillance, and the greatest pressure brought to 
bear upon them to induce them to throw up the obnoxious 
office. A diarist, under date of Aug. 29, speaking of a Rox- 


bury town meeting recently held, says : " Late in the evening 
a member waited upon Commodore Loring, and in a friendly 
way advised him to follow the example of his townsman, 
Isaac "Winslow (who had already resigned). He desired 
time to consider of it. They granted it, but acquainted him 
if he did not comply he must expect to be waited on by a 
larger number, actuated by a different spirit. His principal 
apprehension was that he should lose his half pay." This 
fear seems to have determined him, for on March 30, 1775, 
the Provincial Congress denounced Joshua Loring and other 
" irreconcilables " as implacable enemies to their country, and 
every town was ordered to enter their names as such upon its 

On the morning of the Lexington battle, after passing 
most of the previous night in consultation with Deacon 
Joseph Brewer, his neighbor and intimate friend, upon the 
step he was about to take, he mounted his horse, left his 
house and everything belonging to it, and pistol in hand 
rode at full speed to Boston, stopping on the way only to 
answer an old friend, who asked, " Are you going, commo- 
dore?" " Yes," he replied, " I have alwaj's eaten the king's 
bread, and always intend to." The sacrifice must have been 
especially painful to him, as he is said to have deemed the 
cause of his countrymen just, but did not believe they could 

He received a pension from the crown until his decease at 
Highgate, England, in October, 1781, at the age of sixty-five. 
Mary, his widow, the daughter of Samuel Curtis, of Roxbury, 
also died in England, at the age of eighty. Their son, 
Joshua, Jr., in 1769 married, at the house of Col Hatch in 
Dorchester, Miss Elizabeth Lloyd, of Boston. This is the 
man who, as deputy commissary of prisoners at New York, 
made himself so detested by his brutal indifference to the 
comfort of his unfortunate countrymen who were prisoners. 
In August, 177H, he wrote to Col. Hatch that he expected to 


spend the winter in Roxbury, and should clean up his house 
there for his place of residence. To the very last, the loyal- 
ists seem to have deluded themselves with the idea that the 
rebellion was a failure, and that they should soon reap the 
reward of all their loyal sacrifices. His son, Sir John TVent- 
worth Loring, born in Roxbury, became an admiral in the 
British navy, and another, Henry, died archdeacon of Cal- 
cutta in 1832. 

Col. Sears, who succeeded Loring, like him had com- 
manded a privateer in the French war, and was afterwards a 
successful merchant in New York. He was one of the most 
active and zealous of the Sons of Libert3 T , so much so that 
he was popularly called " King" Sears, and was at one time 
a member of the Provincial Congress. Active throughout 
the contest, at its close his business and his property had dis- 
appeared. In 1785 he sailed with a venture for Canton, as 
supercargo, but was taken ill with fever, and died there in 
October, 1786, at the age of fifty-six. 

The Third, or Jamaica Plain, Parish Church, opposite the 
Soldiers' Monument, owes its origin to Mrs. Susanna, wife of 
Benjamin Pemberton, who occupied the mansion now Mr. 
Calvin Young's. Her husband engaged heartily in the proj- 
ect, and had the edifice erected principally at his own 
expense. It was raised, in September, 1769, upon land 
bequeathed to the town by the apostle Eliot, and on the 31st 
of the following December, the first sermon was preached 
in the unfinished structure by the Rev. Joseph Jackson, of 
Brookline. The present handsome building, which stands on 
the corner of Centre and Eliot Streets, occupies the site of the 
first, which contained thirty-four square pews, and three long 
seats for the poor on each side the broad aisle next the pul- 
pit, and a gallery. The original building was sold by the 
parish to Mr. S. M. Weld, who removed it to the opposite 
side of Eliot Street, the spot now occupied by Eliot Hall. 
Remodelled as a stable, it was nearly ready for occupancy 



when, on May 24, 1853, it was destroyed by fire. The house 
was first warmed in January, 1805, by the introduction of an 
iron stove placed at the head of the broad aisle. In 1832 the 
first organ-music was heard here, the instrument having been 
made by Mr. William Goodrich, of Cambridge. 

In 1820 the house was enlarged and repaired, thirty pews 
being added on the lower floor, and ten in the galleries. Sir 
William Pepperell presented a Bible for the use of the pul- 


pit in 1772, at which time he resided in the mansion of Gov. 
Bernard. In 1783, John Hancock purchased the bell which 
had been recently taken down from the New Brick Church, 
Boston, and gave it to this church. This, the first bell placed 
in its steeple, was removed in 1821 upon the purchase of a 
new and larger one. The first bore this inscription : " Thomas 
Lester, of Londen, made me, 1742." Its weight was three 
hundred and forty-two pounds, its cost three hundred thirty- 
three dollars and thirty-three cents. Hancock proposed 
at this time to send to England for a larger and better bell, 
but the parish thought best to secure " the bird in the hand," 
and it was well they did. 

The Third Parish or precinct, comprising thirty-five persons 
with their estates, thirteen members, was organized on 


Dec. 11, 1760 ; was incorporated in 1772 ; and on July 6th of 
that year, Rev. William Gordon, after having preached to 
the society one year, was installed as " pasture," so says the 
record. In May, 1773, nine persons with their estates, Mr. 
Pemberton at their head, all belonging to the First of lower 
Parish, were, by an Act of the General Court, separated from 
that and united to the Third Parish, an act which was opposed 
by that parish, as appears by a printed memorial presented 
to the General Court. Before this time, it had formed part 
of the Second or upper Parish, then under Rev. Nathaniel 
Walter, the limits of which did not extend above eighty rods 
below the spot the church now occupies. During the siege, 
the First Parish meeting-house being occupied by the Amer- 
ican troops, town meetings were held here. The sessions of 
the General Court were also held here in the spring of 1778, 
on account of the prevalence of small-pox in Boston, Dr. 
Gordon officiating as chaplain. When, in the later years of 
the war, the currency became so alarmingly depreciated, the 
Doctor got the consent of his people to pay him his salary, 
nominally 15,000, in produce at peace prices, a great 
relief to him, and no disadvantage to his parishioners. 

After Dr. Gordon's return to England in 1786, the pas- 
torate was vacant for seven years, and until the settlement of 
Rev. Thomas Gray. The war had impoverished the people, 
and the parish, small as it then was, felt the burden so 
severely that the pulpit was only occasionally supplied. The 
great patron of the parish, Mr. Pemberton, having upon a 
trivial account become offended with Dr. Gordon, had, by 
will, left his entire property, including the church itself and 
most of the pews in it, in trust for the benefit of the poor of 
the town of Boston. He had previously promised that he 
would bequeath it to the parish for the sole support of its 
future ministers. It was pressed also by Dr. Gordon for 
arrears of salary due him. Under the long and successful 
pastorate of Dr. Gray, all existing difficulties were overcome, 
and prosperity and harmony were established. 


The succession of pastors of this church has been : 

WILLIAM GORDON, D. D. Ord. 6 July, 1772. Dis. 17 March, 1786. 
THOMAS GRAY, D. D. 27 Mar., 1793. Died 1 June 1847. 

GEORGE WHITNEY. 10 Feb., 1836. " 2 April, 1842. 

JOSEPH H.ALLEN. 18 Oct., 1843. Dis. 21 Feb., 1847. 

GRINDALL REYNOLDS. 1848. " 1858. 



The parsonage house was purchased by Mr. Pemberton in 
1760 of Commodore Loring, and removed from the site since 
occupied by the Greenough mansion, to the corner of Centre 
and Monument Streets, the recent residence of Dr. C. M. 
Weld. After Dr. Gray's family left the old house in 1851 it 
was sold and moved to South Street, adorned for the sacrifice 
with a coat of yellow paint, and it became the habitation of 
Irish families. A few years later its gentility was lowered 
still another peg, and it again took up the line of march, this 
time towards the gas-house, where it still remains on the west 
side of Keyes Street, but bearing no resemblance to its former 

Rev. William Gordon, a native of Hitchin, England, had, 
prior to coming to Boston, been settled over a large indepen- 
dent society in Ipswich, England, and more recently at Old 
Gravel Lane, Wapping. His partiality to the cause of Amer- 
ican liberty induced him to emigrate in 1770, and two years 
later he settled in Jamaica Plain as its first pastor. This 
connection was, after fourteen years of harmony and union, 
dissolved, and Gordon left for England on March 17, 1786, 
that he might publish his history of the American Revolution 
on more favorable terms than in this country. 

The materials for this work, which he published in London 
in 1788, were gathered from the papers of Washington, 
Greene, Knox, and other prominent actors in the war for 
independence. He began their collection in 1776, and his 
narrative is minute, and in general faithful. Its value was 
impaired, so it is said, by the expurgation of such passages 

422 DE. GORDON. 

as it was supposed might endanger prosecution in England. 
Dr. Gordon was a warm partisan of the Revolution, and took 
an active part in public measures. Made chaplain to the 
Provincial Congress, May 4, 1775, that body voted him a 
good horse for the service, also free access to all prisoners of 
war, and commissioned him to obtain Gov. Hutchinson's let- 
ter books, then in the hands of Capt. McLane, of Milton. 
" The alacrity with which," says Mr. J. S. Loring, " Gordon 
ambled on his gentle bay horse for this purpose, in his short 
breeches and buckled shoes, his reverend wig and three-cor- 
nered hat, was worthy the spirit of a native-born patriot." 

Gordon's manners were rude and blunt. His warmth of 
temper and lack of prudence and judgment embroiled him 
with Mr. Pemberton, the patron of the society, with whom 
he had a silly squabble, and also with Gov. Hancock, which 
led to the latter's removal from Roxbury. While chaplain 
to Congress, he preached a Fast sermon strongly express- 
ing his political sentiments. He attacked, in a most pungent 
manner, Article V of the proposed Constitution of Massa- 
chusetts, a matter that, as a foreigner, it would have been 
more prudent for him to have let alone. This article, 
published on April 2, 1778, was immediately followed by 
his summary dismissal from his office of chaplain to both 
houses of the Legislature. This dismissal gave great um- 
brage to the Doctor, and the more so as many of his particu- 
lar friends, and some even who were boarders with him, voted 
for the measure. The closing years of his life were passed 
at Ipswich, England, where he died in extreme poverty on 
Oct. 19, 1807, aged seventy-seven. Though not particularly 
interesting as a preacher, he was popular, and was facetious 
and social in disposition. 

He was the zealous champion of the negro race, and in 
numerous vigorously written newspaper articles called atten- 
tion to the absurdity as well as injustice of holding them in 
slavery while carrying on the struggle for liberty. In one 


of these, after quoting from the Virginia " Declaration of 
Rights," "All men are born free and independent," he says, 
" If these are our genuine sentiments, and we are not pro- 
voking the Deity by acting hypocritically to serve a turn, let 
us apply earnestly and heartily to the extirpation of slavery 
from among ourselves." In another paper he asks this perti- 
nent question : ' ' "Was Boston the first port on the continent 
that begun the slave-trade, and are they not the first shut up 
by an oppressive act ? " 

John Adams expresses his opinion of Gordon thus : "He 
is an eternal talker and somewhat vain, and not accurate nor 
judicious ; very zealous in the cause, and a well-meaning 
man, but incautious ; fond of being thought a man of influ- 
ence at headquarters ; he is a good man, but wants a guide." 
The Doctor, calling one morning on Mr. Pemberton, fastened 
his horse to the front fence, which had been newly painted. 
The latter requested him to remove him to a tree near by, 
which the Doctor declined doing. Mr. Pemberton then called 
his servant and ordered him to do it. Dr. Gordon peremp- 
torily forbade him, and, on Mr. Pemberton's repeating his 
order, left the house. Mr. Pemberton refused during his last 
illness to converse with or to see the Doctor. 

Joseph Curtis used to relate that the Doctor had a ready 
hand in applying the birch to the young catechists, of whom 
he was one. After punishing several of them one severe 
winter's day, his feet slipped from under him as he stepped 
from the icy threshold of the school, and he fell at full length, 
his hat and wig rolling off his head. Thereupon, says Curtis, 
" we shouted in high glee, and gave three cheers." This was 
the Doctor's last appearance in that character. 

Rev. Thomas Gray, second pastor, was born in Boston, 
March 16, 1772, and graduated at Harvard College in 1790. 
He married a daughter of Rev. Samuel Stillman, of Boston, 
by whom he was prepared for the ministry, and began to 
preach here on April 22, 1792. The parish, then small and 


poor, contained only fifty-four families. For seven }-ears it 
had been without a minister, and even without the regular 
observance of ordinances, and the leading member of it, 
from some trifling cause, had withdrawn his support. For 
more than half a century he labored here, and left the society 
prosperous and united. 

" Fifty years since," says Dr. Gray, in his half-century discourse, 
'I preached my first sermon to this society. The fulfilment of pre- 
vious engagements alone prevented my remaining then, as requested. 
The small-pox had broken out in the mean time, and in the general 
alarm the doors of the church were closed till November 11, when I 
resumed my ministry here, and accepted a call on the twenty-fourth 
day of the next month to settle down in this place with a small 
handful of people, a people of exhausted means but of noble hearts, 
and here I have ever since continued." 

Social and full of anecdote, Dr. Gray was greatly beloved 
by his parishioners. As a preacher he was practical, agreea- 
ble, and often effective. But it was as a pastor, in the faith- 
ful and affectionate oversight of his flock, that his chief ex- 
cellence lay. Two of his valuable historical discourses have 
been printed : a " Half-Century Sermon," 1842 ; " Notice of 
Rev. John Bradford, and ske tch of Eoxbury Churches." 1825. 

Upon the triangular piece of ground in front of the Uni- 
tarian Church, the gift of John Ruggles, where the Soldiers' 
Monument stands, the first schoolhouse in Jamaica Plain was 
erected in 1676. The present house on Eliot Street is the 
fourth school building, and was dedicated on Jan. 17, 1832. 
The principal benefactors of the school were Hugh Thomas, 
who, in 1676, gave to the town for this purpose all his real 
estate besides other property, and Rev. John Eliot, who, in 
1689, gave it seventy-five acres of land. The Eliot School, 
named from the latter donor, was not incorporated until 1804. 
The monument erected in 1871 is of Quincy granite in the 
Gothic style, and is surmounted by the figure of a soldier. 
Upon a marble tablet within the arches at its base are the 


Erected by the Town of West Roxbury, A.D. 1871. 


names of the men of West Roxbury who fell in the war for the 
Union. At a meeting in West Roxbury in 1862, it was pro- 
posed to lay out a new road ; but on motion of John C. Pratt, 
it was resolved " that the only road desirable to be laid out 
at the present time is the road to Richmond," and the town 
gave eighty-six thousand dollars for war purposes, to which 
private subscriptions added twenty-two thousand dollars. 

In the rear of the church, on a part of the original parish 
lot, is the cemetery, established in 1785. It was laid out in 
spite of Dr. Gordon's efforts to prevent it, as injurious to the 
public health, the Doctor also insisting that the parish had no 
legal right to use the land for that purpose. Within its area 
are twenty-four tombs. Comparatively few interments have 
been made here since the consecration of Forest Hills Cem- 
etery. One of the gravestones is thus inscribed : " In memory 
of Capt. Lemuel May, died Nov. 19, 1805, se sixty-seven." 
This patriot, who was a lieutenant of Roxbury minute-men at 
the Lexington battle, resided on May Street, and was the son 
of Benjamin May, who lived on the corner of Pond Street. 

On the right, just above the Monument on Centre Street, 
is a large square mansion having ample grounds around it, 
with fine shade trees in its front, the residence of Mr. Moses 
Williams. This gentleman, who enjoys the distinction of 
being the oldest living male native of Roxbury, is still hale 
and vigorous, and preserves his memory and other faculties 
in a remarkable degree. The house, which is on a part of 
the Eliot School land, was built by Stephen Grorham. About 
the year 1807, Mr. John Andrews bought it and resided here 
until his death in 1821. Mr. Andrews, who was a merchant 
and a selectman of Boston, was quite an object of interest to 
the boys and girls of the neighborhood, as on every 'lection 
daj- it was his custom to bring out a huge bag of copper 
cents for them to scramble for. He has a still better claim 
to our regard as the author of the diary recently given to the 
public, and containing a most interesting and lifelike picture 


of Boston and its inhabitants a little more than a century 
ago. " As an evidence," saj's Mr. Williams, " that real 
estate does not always rise in value, Mr. Gorham bought 
this lot in 1804, containing eight acres, for three thousand 
three hundred and thirty-three dollars. The house and 
stable, built in 1805, costing him fourteen thousand dollars, 
I bought for six thousand, in 1833. So dull were estates 
and hard to rent at that time, that the house was shut 
up, and without a tenant for two years previous to my mov- 
ing in in 18.32." 

Next to Mr. Williams's was the country seat of John Han- 
cock after he resigned the presidency of Congress, more 
recently the estate of the late Nathaniel Curtis, and now the 
home of Mr. Curtis's widow. It was bought by Hancock of 
Dr. Lemuel Hayward, who received for it seven or eight 
shares in Long Wharf, then valued at only fifty dollars a share, 
but which at the doctor's decease were appraised at one hun- 
dred thousand dollars. The present house was built in the 
year 1800, by Thomas Hancock, nephew of the governor, 
whose cottage of one story and a half occupied the ground 
in front of it. One who saw Gov. Hancock in June, 1782, 
while a resident of Jamaica Plain, relates that : 

"Though only forty-five, he had the appearance of advanced 
age. He had been repeatedly and severely afflicted with the gout, 
probably owing in part to the custom of drinking punch, a common 
practice in high circles in those days. He was nearly six feet in 
height and of thin person, stooping a little, and apparently enfee- 
bled by disease. His manners were very gracious, of the old style 
of dignified complaisance. His face had been very handsome. 
Dress was then adapted quite as much to be ornamental as useful. 
Gentlemen wore wigs when abroad, and commonly caps when at 
home. At this time, about noon, Hancock was dressed in a red 
velvet cap, within which was one of fine linen. The latter was 
turned up over the lower edge of the velvet one two or three inches. 
He wore a blue damask gown lined with silk, a white stock, white 
satin embroidered waistcoat, black satin small-clothes, white silk 
stockings, and red morocco slippers. 


" It was a general practice in genteel families to have a tankard 
of punch made in the morning, and placed in a cooler when the sea- 
son required it. At this visit, Hancock took from the cooler stand- 
ing on the. hearth a full tankard, and drank first himself, and then 
offered it to those present. His equipage was splendid, and such as 
is not customary at this day. His apparel was handsomely embroi- 
dered with gold and silver lace and other decorations fashionable 
amongst men of fortune at that period, and he rode, especially upon 
public occasions, with six beautiful bay horses, attended by servants 
in livery. He wore a scarlet coat with ruffles on his sleeves, which 
soon became the prevailing fashion ; and it is related of Dr. Nathan 
Jacques, of West Newbury, the famous pedestrian, that he walked 
all the way to Boston in one day to procure cloth for a coat like 
that of Hancock, and returned with it under his arm and on foot." 

Hancock's removal from Jamaica Plain to Boston was occa- 
sioned by a quarrel with Rev. Dr. Gordon, which arose in 
this wise. He had been treasurer of Harvard College from 
1773 to 1777, and had neglected to adjust his account, greatly 
to the detriment of the institution. At a meeting of the over- 
seers, of whom Dr. Gordon was one, that gentleman spoke 
his mind upon the singular neglect of the treasurer so plainly 
and in so gross a manner as to mortally offend Hancock, who 
ceased all intercourse with him, and at once removed to 

Dr. Lemuel Hayward, of whom Hancock bought the place, 
a native of Braintree, studied medicine under Dr. Joseph 
Warren, and establishing himself in practice at Jamaica 
Plain, continued there until his removal to Boston in 1783. 
Appointed in June, 1775. a surgeon in the General Hospital, 
occupying the Loring house for this purpose, he served in 
that capacity until the British troops evacuated Boston. He 
then, in partnership with Dr. Jonathan Davies, of Roxbury, 
began the practice of inoculation for the small-pox. He 
retired from the profession, in which he acquired a high repu- 
tation, in 1798, and died in Boston on March 20, 1821. 

Nathaniel Curtis, an eminent merchant of Boston, a man 


of strict integrity and sound judgment, resided here from 
1819 until his death, April 7, 1857, aged eighty-three. He 
was fifth in descent from William, of Roxbury, and in the ma- 
ternal line descended from William. Mullins, one of the "May- 
flower " Pilgrims. He represented the town in the Legislature 
for four years, and in the State Constitutional Convention 
of 1820, and was for many 3 r ears treasurer of the Third 
Church and a trustee of the Eliot School. On the estate 
bej'ond, is the house built in 1774, in the West Indian style, 
of only one story, by Capt. Timothy Penney, of Jamaica, 
who occupied it until his return to that island about the year 
1789. It was raised and enlarged by subsequent owners. 
Long the property of George Hallet, and afterwards of Capt. 
Crowell Hatch, it is now occupied by Mrs. Walker's school. 

At the corner of May Street, formerly Lowder's Lane, is 
the estate of Mr. T. W. Seaverns, formerly the Bridge estate. 
Edward Bridge was one of the first settlers of the town, and 
a very old house is yet standing on the place. West of it, 
on May Street, is the farm bought in 1771 by Capt. Lemuel 
May. The old farm-house upon it had been used for bar- 
racks, and was, when he bought it, greatly in need of repair. 
His grandson, Benjamin Maj r , now occupies and tills the 
farm which formerly included a portion of the hill south of 
May Street, upon which Messrs. Dixwell, Bowditch, Parsons, 
and others have built elegant residences. Capt. Charles 
Brewer, whose mother was a daughter of Capt. May, resides 
on a part of the estate fronting on Pond Street. The eleva- 
tion to the west was known a century ago as Dana's Hill. 

On the southwest side of Jamaica Pond, fronting also on 
Pond Street, were situated the mansion and estate of sixty 
acres belonging to Sir Francis Bernard, the royal governor 
of Massachusetts from 1760 to 1769, a period of surpassing 
historical interest. This was and still is a most lovely spot, 
and here, but for the gathering clouds which darkened the 
political horizon, the remaining years of this scholarly and 


able representative of King George might have passed in the 
enjoj'ment of all that seems most desirable in life, a delight- 
ful home, set in a lovely landscape, and the esteem and regard 
of the people he had governed. His extensive and beautiful 
grounds were filled with choice fruit trees, plants, and shrubs, 
including one hundred orange and lemon trees, besides fig, 
cork, cinnamon, and other rare exotics. After Bernard, the 
second Sir William Pepperell occupied the premises until he 
too quitted the country for political reasons. This advertise- 
ment shortly afterward appeared in the "Boston Gazette" of 
March 10, 1775, but the times were not propitious for a sale, 
and the property soon changed hands without that formality : 

" To be leased, a farm in Roxbury, lately occupied by Sir William 
Pepperell, on Jamaica Pond. It contains sixty acres of land, a 
dwelling-house of three floors, with four rooms to each, a building 
containing an elegant hall twenty-four by fifty, a green-house, stables, 
coach, and other out-houses." 

Then came the siege and the occupation of loyalist dwell- 
ings by the patriot troops, Bernard's being the quarters of 
Col. Miller, of Rhode Island, in the summer of 1775. After- 
ward it was used as a hospital for the camp at Roxbury. The 
soldiers who died here were buried near a small fish-pond, on 
elevated ground some distance back from the buildings. This 
was obliterated by the plough many years since. To make it 
all the hotter for the enemy, the governor's hot-house was 
taken by Major Crane and converted into a magazine for the 
artillery. Confiscated by the State in 1779, the property was 
bought by Martin Brimmer, a Boston merchant, who died 
here in 1804. Capt. John Prince, who purchased it in 1806, 
in 1809 took down and removed the old house, a part of which 
had stood one hundred and forty-one years, and in which, no 
doubt, many a bumper of good wine had been drunk to the 
health of the seven sovereigns of Great Britain who had 
reigned during that period. Capt. Prince made a road through 
the property from Pond Street to Perkins Street, afterwards 


dividing the whole into good-sized building lots, on many of 
which elegant residences have since been erected. In front 
of the mansion house, now owned by Mr. J. S. Robinson, are 
some fine, large English elms probably planted by Gov. Ber- 
nard. One of these measures twenty-five feet in circum- 

A native of England and a graduate of Oxford, Francis 
Bernard chose the law for a profession, and after having for 
two years satisfactorily governed New Jersey was, at the age 
of forty-six, appointed governor of the colon}' of Massachu- 
setts Bay, and arrived in Boston on Aug. 3, 1760. The 
zealous champion of British authority, his administration was 
marked by the measures that initiated the Revolution. The 
writs of assistance in support of stringent revenue laws ; the 

Stamp Act, which, however, he opposed ; the introduction of 
troops to overawe the town of Boston, these and other 
like measures caused the people to hold Bernard in detesta- 
tion, and greatly weakened their attachment to the mother 
country. Evidences of his duplicity were not wanting. While 
professing himself a friend to the province, he was endeavor- 
ing to undermine its constitution, and was constantly impor- 
tuning the ministry to send troops hither, while giving the 
strongest assurances to the contrary. When in August, 1765, 
the Stamp Act riots occurred, Bernard, deserting his post, 
"hurried trembling to the castle," says the historian Ban- 
croft, " but could not, even within its strong walls, get rid 
of his fears, and a few days later gave wa} r to the popular 
demands without dignity or courage." 

The seizure of John Hancock's sloop ' ' Liberty," for 
alleged infraction of the revenue laws, was the occasion of a 
town meeting at the " Old South" on the 14th of June, 1768, 
at which an address to the governor was agreed on, and 


twenty-one men appointed to deliver it. Late in the after- 
noon of the 15th of June, the day succeeding the meeting, 
the quiet counts-seat of the governor at Jamaica Plain was 
invaded, not indeed b}' a noisy mob of rioters intent upon 
blood and rapine, but by a peaceful procession, consisting of 
eleven chaises, "Mr. Hancock with the moderator, Royal 
Tyler, Esq. , leading the van in his phaeton, making a splen- 
did appearance." Among the "highly respectable" com- 
mittee of twenty-one who alighted at the governor's door 
were Hancock, Otis, Warren, Samuel Adams, and Josiah 

" I received them," says Bernard, " with all possible civil- 
ity, and having heard their petition I talked very freely with 
them, but postponed giving a formal answer till the next day, 
as it should be in writing. I then had wine handed round, 
and they left me, highly pleased with their reception, espe- 
cially that part of them," he significantly adds, " which had 
not been used to an interview with me." In his answer, Ber- 
nard promised to stop impressment ; but his very next move 
was to have British regiments ordered to Boston. The arri- 
val and landing of these troops when, as Dr. Byles punningly 
put it, " our grievances were red dressed," is described in a 
letter from Col. Dalrymple, their commanding officer, to Com- 
modore Hood, dated at Boston in October, 1768. This offi- 
cer's estimate of Bernard's character corresponds exactly with 
that of his ' rebel" opponents. 

"The governor prudentially retired to the country," says Dal- 
rymple, "and left me to take the whole on myself. I encamped the 
Twenty-Ninth Regiment immediately ; the Fourteenth remained with- 
out cover. By tolerable management I got possession of Faneuil 
Hall, the school of liberty, from the sons thereof, without force, 
and thereby secured all their arms ; and I am much in fashion, vis- 
ited by Otis, Hancock, Rowe, etc., who cry peccavif and offer exer- 
tions for the public service, in hopes by this means to ruin the 
governor by exposing his want of spirit and zeal for the public 


Of Bernard he says : 

"It is beyond the power of my pen to paint anything so abject. 
Far from being elated that the hands of government were rendered 
so respectable, he deplored the arrival of letters that made his set- 
ting out improper, and with earnest looks he followed a ship that 
he had hired for his conveyance, and in which he declared his fixed 
intention of going the moment the troops arrived. His actions 
were entirely of a piece with his words, for on a requisition for 
quarters he declared himself without power or authority in his 

"By what I have related," says Commodore Hood, in a letter to 
Mr. Grenville containing the above extracts, "you will plainly see 
how matters stand, and how little is to be expected from Gov. Ber- 
nard. I have long and often lamented his timid conduct, and yet 
would not willingly bring on him more contempt than he must of 
course feel when the duplicity of his behavior is brought to light. 
Mr. Bernard is without doubt a sensible man, but he has a vast deal 
of low cunning which he has played off upon all degrees of people 
to his own disgrace. His doubles and turnings have been so many 
that he has altogether lost his road and brought himself into great 
contempt. I am sorry it was not in my power to comply with his 
request for a ship to convey him to England, for most certainly the 
sooner he is out of America the better." 

His recall to England came unexpectedly. True to his 
character he remained, vainly trying to get an appropriation 
for a year's salary. He left his seat in Roxbury on July 31, 
1769, and embarked the next day from the castle, taking with 
him his third son, Thomas, thus making a timely escape from 
impending troubles. As he departed the bells were rung, 
cannon were fired from the wharves, Liberty Tree was gay with 
flags, and at night A great bonfire was kindled upon Fort 
Hill. He remained nominal governor two years longer, but 
though rewarded for his services with a baronetcy, he was 
never again employed, and died in June, 1779. Lady Ber- 
nard did not leave Jamaica Plain until December, 1770. 

Though upright, and of courteous address, Bernard left few 
friends in the place where he passed ten years of his life. 


He had too little command of his temper, and lacked those 
mollifying arts which the ferment of the times required. 
Those of his own household were of the number who afforded 
amusement by furnishing the most ridiculous representations 
of his parsimony and domestic meanness. He seldom rode 
to Boston on Sunday, but commonly attended service at 
Brookline, where the preacher was, as he said, shorter in his 
services than most Puritanical divines, and in particular, than 
the Roxbury minister (Adams). He had fine conversational 
talents, an extensive knowledge of books, and a memory so 
tenacious that he boasted that he could repeat the whole of 
the plays of Shakespeare. He was a friend to literature, and 
gave to Harvard College a large part of his private library. 
This passage from his favorite author must in his latter days 
often have occurred to him : 

" My way of life 

Is fallen into the sear, the yellow leaf, 
And that which should accompany old age, 
As honor, love, ohedience, troops of friends, 
I must not look to have, but in their stead 
Curses not loud, but deep." 

One evening at a period when mob law had become some- 
what prevalent, the governor heard, not far from his house, 
riotous noises, and against the remonstrances of his wife, 
went out to use his good offices, but meeting with some rude 
rebuffs he returned home, and was thus accosted by his wife : 
"Husband, have they beat your brains out?" "No, my 
dear, if I had had any I should have taken your advice and 
stayed at home." At the king's levee, his Majesty ques- 
tioned Bernard about the climate of New England. He 
replied that it was much in extremes, but in general healthy. 
" I suppose, Sir Francis," said the king, "you found it very 
warm during your residence there ? " 

The second Sir William Pepperell, grandson and heir of 
the distinguished captor of Louisburg, resided here between 


1772 and 1775. He graduated at Harvard Universit} 7 in 
1766, became a member of the council, and in 1774 was 
continued in that body under the mandamus of the king, and 
incurred the odium visited upon those who were thus 
appointed contrary to the charter, four of whom, Pepperell, 
Hallowell, Winslow, and Loring, were residents of Roxbury. 
He went to England in 1775, and as president of the Amer- 
ican Board of Loyalists is the prominent figure in West's 
picture of the reception of these gentlemen, by Great Britain, 
in 1783. He is here represented in a voluminous wig, a 
flowing gown, in advance of the other figures, with one hand 
extended, and nearly touching the crown which lies on a vel- 
vet cushion on a table, and holding in the other hand, at his 
side, a scroll or manuscript, half unrolled. His vast estates 
having been confiscated, he was allowed 500 per annum 
by the British government until his death, which occurred 
in London in 1816. 

Next to Gov. Bernard's estate, on the right as you go up 
Pond Street, was the Whitney estate of nine acres. A hand- 
some stone mansion of the Elizabethan style, the residence 
of Mrs. Abel Adams, stands on the elevated plain at the rear 
of the lot. The Whitney house, which stood about a quar- 
ter of a mile this side the Brookline line, disappeared nearly 
a century ago, and on the removal of the family, the property 
was purchased by the Childs family, whose premises it joined. 
In the rear of the spot where the old house stood, the ground 
slopes gradually downward for several rods to a narrow strip 
of meadow, through which runs a pleasant little brook. Be- 
yond the meadow the ground rises abruptly to an elevation 
many feet higher than the front of the lot, and still rises 
gradually, forming a slope of considerable dimensions, and 
extending westerly to Brookline. West of the brook is a fine 
grove of forest trees. The name of John, the grandson of 
John Whitney, the first settler, appears in the list of mem- 
bers of the Second Church when gathered in 1712. Eli 


Whitney, the famous inventor of the cotton-gin, Rev. George, 
pastor of the Second and Third Churches of Roxbury, and 
Prof. William Dwight Whitney, the distinguished Oriental 
scholar, all belong to this branch of the Whitney family. 
Benjamin Child, the common ancestor of most of the name 
in Roxbury, Brookline, Boston, and Woodstock, Conn., set- 
tled on the estate between Whitney's and the Brookline 
boundary, owned until recently by his descendants, and died 
in 1678. Besides his house and barn, he had eighty acres 
" conveniently adjoining to y e s d housing." 

A century ago Capt. Lemuel Child kept the Peacock Tav- 
ern, a somewhat noted resort at the westerly corner of Centre 
and Allandale Streets, near the famous mineral springs of 
that name. When the British officers were in Boston they 
frequently made up skating parties for the suppers, and 
after exercising at the pond would ride over and partake 
of the good cheer of the Peacock. Upon one of these occa- 
sions, so eaya tradition, the pretty " maid of the inn, " after- 
wards Mrs. William Williams, a niece of the innkeeper, was 
followed by one of these gay young bloods into the cellar, 
whither she had gone for supplies for the table. Being 
familiar with the premises, she blew out the lighted candle she 
held in her hand and made her escape, not forgetting to 
fasten the cellar door behind her. After thumping his head 
against the rafters in the vain effort to follow her, her perse- 
cutor was finally obliged to alarm the house before he could 
be released from his awkward predicament. Washington, 
Knox, and other distinguished officers were frequent visitors 
during the siege, the former stopping here on his way to New 
York after the evacuation of Boston. Capt. Michael Cresap, 
of the Virginia riflemen, immortalized in the celebrated speech 
of Logan, the Indian chief, lay here sick in September, 1775. 
Child led the minute company of the Third Parish in the Lex- 
ington battle. In the wall opposite is another of Paul Dud- 
ley's milestones, " 6 miles to Boston. P. Dudley, 1735." 


The son of Samuel Adams bequeathed to him his claims 
for services as surgeon during the Revolutionary war, and in 
May, 1794, the patriot expended a considerable portion of 
the amount in the purchase of the Peacock Tavern estate and 
forty acres of land with the buildings thereon, "late the 
property of Lemuel Child." Here the aged patriot resided 
during his gubernatorial term, and for the brief remainder of 
his days made it a summer residence. It was commonly said 
that had not the death of an only son relieved his latter-day 
poverty, Samuel Adams would have been obliged to claim a 
burial at the hand of charity or at the public expense. 

Samuel Adams, the author of the scheme that organized 
the Revolution, the committees of correspondence, was of 
common size, with a muscular form, light blue eyes, light 
complexion, and was erect in person. He wore a tie wig, 
cocked hat, and red cloak. His manner was very serious. 
At the close of his life and probably from his early days he 
had a tremulous motion of the head, which probably added 
to the solemnity of his eloquence, as this was in some meas- 
ure associated with his voice. Duponceau, the eminent jurist, 
who, while at Boston as secretary to Baron Steuben, made 
the acquaintance of many distinguished persons, relates this 
anecdote. " I shall never forget," he says, " the compliment 
paid me by Samuel Adams on his discovering my republican 
principles. ' Where,' said he ' did 3~ou learn all that? ' ' In 
France,' 1 replied. ' In France ? that is impossible.' Then 
recovering himself, he added, ' Well, because a man was born 
in a stable it is no reason why he should be a horse.' ' I 
thought to myself,' adds the polite Frenchman, 'that in 
matters of compliment they ordered these things better in 
France.' " 




Localities. South Street. S. M. Weld. Weld Farm. Benjamin Bus- 
sey. Taft's. Capt. Joseph Mayo. Walter Street. Rev. Nathaniel 
Walter. Col. Henley. Central Burying- Ground. Col. William 
Dudley's Residence. Second Church. Draper. Westerly Burying- 
Ground. Theodore Parker's Residence. Aaron D. Weld Farm. 
Brook Farm. Residents in 1820-5. 

"VT7EST ROXBURY seems to have been originally known 
T Y as "Jamaica End and Spring Street," a territory 
afterwards embraced in the Second Parish and lying west of 
a line extending from Walk Hill Street to Brookline, and 
intersecting the southwestern extremity of Jamaica Pond. 
The several localities embraced within its limits are in the 
northeast, Jamaica Plain and Pond, bordering upon Brook- 
line, a region abounding in lovely landscapes and charming 
villas ; the Bussey Farm, a large tract lying between South 
and Centre Streets, upon which the Agricultural Institution 
stands ; Canterbury to the south, adjoining Dorchester, with 
its beautiful cemeteries of Forest Hills and Mount Hope ; 
Roslindale and Clarendon Hills, centrally situated, also pic- 
turesque and attractive, and already dotted with suburban 
residences ; while in the west, bordering upon Dedham, are 
Muddy Pond, with its aboriginal woods, "West Roxbury 
Village, and Spring Street, so named for its springy char- 
acteristics ; Cow Island, a territory partly overflowed by 
Charles River ; and Brook Farm, once the scene of the most 
famous of American socialist experiments. Muddy Pond Hill, 
the highest elevation in Roxbury, has lately been rechristened 


" Mount Bellevue." Upon its summit the city of Boston has 
erected an observatory, whence may be obtained an extensive 
view of the harbor and of the surrounding country. 

Notwithstanding oft-repeated attempts at emancipation, 
West Roxbury was long subjected to the political and ecclesi- 
astical domination of the easterly parish, by which it was 
largely outvoted in town meeting. In June, 1777, the Second 
Parish voted unanimously to join with the Third in a petition 
to the General Court that the two might be set off as a dis- 
trict to be called " "Washington." No action was taken upon 
this petition. A final and successful effort resulted in its 
incorporation as a separate municipality in May, 1851, mainly 
through the exertions of Hon. Arthur W. Austin and a few 
other influential citizens, backed by the persuasive eloquence 
of Rufus Choate. This event, so interesting to its people, 
was, on the evening of June 3, 1851, joyfully celebrated amid 
the firing of cannon, the display of fire- works, and the blaze 
of bonfires. 

South Street was described in 1663, as " that highway lead- 
ing out of Dedham highway by John Policy's home lott, and 
so along by John "Weld's farm, and so leading to Bear 
Marsh," the latter being the name given to the territory em- 
bracing the meadows upon the head waters of Stony Brook. 
It is most irregular in form, running first due south, and then 
northwest, its circuitous windings beginning at the Third 
Church, and terminating opposite the Second. Its southerly 
bend, at Roslindale, makes a part of "Washington Street. 

Before coming to John Weld's farm, the old homesteads of 
John May, Jr., William Davis, William Lion, and Henry 
Bo wen lay on our right, and on Centre Street, west of Ma}', 
was that of William Linkhorne. These were subsequently 
the property of Nathaniel Brewer, whose descendants lived 
here until 1790, when the estate was sold by Joseph Brewer 
to John Godclard. John May, Jr., son of John the emi- 
grant, in 1656 married Sarah, the sister of Nathaniel Brewer, 


and died in 1671. About the year 1832, Stephen M. Weld 
bought a large square house, built by "William Levering, of 
Boston, at the triangle formed by the junction of Centre and 
South Streets. It was burned down some twenty years after- 
ward, and Mr. "Weld built upon its site the present dwelling- 
house, now owned and occupied by his surviving family. This 
triangle two centuries ago was opposite the "home lott" of 
John Policy, and embraced the homesteads above mentioned. 

Hon. Stephen Minot "Weld, grandson of Col. Eleazer Weld, 
was born in Boston in 1806, graduated at Harvard in 1826, 
and for thirty years taught a boarding-school, which he estab- 
lished at the Plain in 1827. In this vocation he was remark- 
ably successful, his pupils coming from all parts of the United 
States and from Mexico, Cuba, Yucatan, and even from 
Smyrna. Mr. Weld was shrewd and sagacious in investing 
his money, buying large lots of land in Jamaica Plain, which 
were then of little value, realizing a handsome profit by sales 
from time to time, and at the time of his death in December, 
1867, owned considerable real estate and other property in 
the town. Though he would never be a candidate for any 
place to be filled by a popular election, he held many respon- 
sible public trusts, and was remarkably energetic and con- 
spicuous in all efforts to aid in the successful prosecution of 
the war against secession. 

The Weld estate, given by the province to Capt. Joseph 
Weld for important services, was bequeathed by him to his 
son John, and, after being occupied by seven generations of 
that family, passed into other hands about the beginning of 
this century. It lay between Centre and South Streets ; Saw- 
Mill Brook crossed it, and emptied into Stony River near 
Forest Hills station, about where the toll-house stood. Bus- 
sey Street divides the estate into two nearly equal parts, 
taking you past the locality known as " Bussey's Woods," 
the scene of the murder of the two children some years ago. 
A very old farm-house stands near the corner, close to the 


railroad crossing, in which it is said Deacon Ezra Davis once 

John Weld held the rank of captain, and served in the 
Pequod war. Just before the 19th of April, 1775, Col. Elea- 
zer Weld, a graduate of Harvard in 1756, and a judge, left 
the old homestead and settled in Dedham. Early in March, 
1776, Weld, with his regiment, was ordered to Roxbury to 
man the lines in the absence of Thomas's detachment, engaged 
in the occupation of Dorchester Heights. Weld's Hill, a very 
conspicuous eminence on this estate, was selected by Wash- 
ington as a rallying point for the patriot army to fall back 
upon in case of disaster. " Wales Hill," as this eminence 
has been erroneously called by Mr. Sparks and others, was 
an exceedingly eligible position of great natural strength, and 
its occupation would have effectually protected the road to 
Dedham, the depot of army supplies. It has been thought 
strange that the British commanders in Boston should have 
made no attempt to drive the enemy from their doors. This 
extract from a letter from Gen. Burgoyne to Lord Rochfort 
explains the cause of their unwillingness : 

" Look, my Lord, upon the country near Boston ; it is all fortifi- 
cation. Driven from one hill, you will see the enemy continually 
retrenched upon the next, and every step we move must be the slow 
step of a siege. Could we at last penetrate ten miles perhaps 
we should not obtain a single sheep or an ounce of flour by our 
laborious progress, for they remove every article of provisions as 
they go." 

The estate was bought by Benjamin Bussey in 1806, and 
in 1815 he erected here the fine mansion which he occupied 
until his death in 1842, since that time the residence of Mr. 
Thomas Motley. He bequeathed this valuable property, then 
containing some three hundred acres, to Harvard University, 
for the establishment of a seminary for ' ' instruction in prac- 
tical agriculture, useful and ornamental gardening, botany, 
and such other branches of natural science as ma} r tend to 


promote a knowledge of practical agriculture and the various 
arts subservient thereto and connected therewith." Courses 
of lectures were also to be given. One half the net income 
is to be applied to maintain the institution, the residue to be 
equally divided between the Divinity and Law Schools of the 
University. The Bussey Institute went into operation in 
1871. It is built of Roxbury stone, with sandstone trim- 
mings, and in the modern Gothic style. 

Mr. Bussey's history affords another illustration of the 
success almost certain to result from industry and thrift. A 
native of Stoughton, he learned the trade of a tailor, but at the 
age of eighteen joined the Dedham company of minute-men, 
under Capt. Stone. His first service was to aid in the seizure 
and carrying off of the sheep and cattle from the islands in 
Boston Harbor, for the use of the patriots. After serving in 
the Ticonderoga and Saratoga campaigns, he returned home 
and began the business of a silversmith, in Dedham, with a 
capital of ten dollars. Industry and strict honesty brought 
prosperity, and removing in 1792 to Boston, he soon became 

Having reached the terminus of the Bussey estate we come 
to the old tavern known till quite recently as " Taft's," and 
now called the Union Hotel, at the southernmost point of 
South Street where it touches "Washington, near Roslindale. 
It was built about 1805, the period of the construction of the 
Dedham Turnpike, when it was kept by Sharp and Dunster, 
and was long famous for good dinners. The widow of Lemuel 
Burr ill kept here during the war of 1812. 

On the right, beyond the tavern, was the Mayo farm of 
eighty or ninety acres. The Roxbury Mayos are descended 
from John, a young child brought over in" 1633 by Robert 
Gamblin, Jr., and who was the son of his wife by a former 
husband. He married in 1654 Hannah, daughter of John 
Graves, and died in 1688. Capt. Joseph Mayo, born in 1721, 
was his grandson. " Capt. Joseph Mayo, one of your Rox- 


bury neighbors," so writes Gov. Hutchinson to Sir Francis 
Bernard, who had returned to England, " was foreman of the 
jury at the trial of the soldiers. I am much inclined to make 
him a major." This he accordingly did, and in 1771 Mayo 
was appointed to be major of the First Suffolk Regiment. 
Notwithstanding this and the conservatism he afterwards 
displayed in the town meeting before referred to, there is no 
doubt but that he was a good and patriotic citizen. He died 
early in 1776. April 10, 1775. the records say, "Constable 
John Davis is ordered in His Majesty's name to warn the 
Widow Elizabeth Checkley and her daughter, Nancy Check- 
ley, at Major Joseph Mayo's, to depart the town of Roxbury 
within fourteen da}*s, or give a bond of indemnity. The 
Checkleys came from Boston last July." As Mrs. Checkley 
was the widow of Rev. Samuel, a Boston divine, and the 
mother-in-law of Samuel Adams, we may see that in Roxbury 
the law was no respecter of persons. An extract from a 
letter of John Andrews, written in July, 1774, refers -to the 
Checklej'S : 

"I forgot formerly to acquaint you that Euthy (Mrs. Andrews) 
and I were at Betsey Checkley's wedding, at which we were enter- 
tained with a very pretty collation, consisting of cold ham, cold 
roast beef, cake, cheese, etc. It's about three weeks since her 
mother and grandmother have retired to the upper end of Roxbury 
with their families, together with that amiable maiden their cousin, 
Sally Hatch, and the family with which she resided, so that (includ- 
ing the Roxbury people resident with them) they compose an agree- 
able, social family of about twenty-five females, with the master of 
the house, a worthy deacon of the parish." 

"Walter Street, named for Rev. Nathaniel Walter, formed a 
part of the original county road to Dedham. On it were 
located the old church, the burial-ground, and the parsonage. 
The burial-place is still to be found, but the church which 
adjoined it on the south, and the parsonage at the easterly 
corner of Walter and South Streets, are among the things 


that were. For many years the latter locality was known as 
" Cookson's Corner." Rev. Ebeuezer Thayer, the first min- 
ister of West Roxbury, resided here until his death, when 
the parsonage, and two acres of land belonging to it, were 
purchased by his successor. 

Rev. Nathaniel Walter, minister of the Second Parish, was 
the son of Rev. Nehemiah Walter, Eliot's successor, by Sara, 
daughter of Rev. Increase Mather. He was born Aug. 15, 
1711, and graduated at Harvard College in 1729. His wife, 
Rebecca Abbott, of Brookline, to whom he was married in 
1735, died in 1790, with the character of an " uncommonly 
pious woman." When Dr. Bo3*lston introduced the practice of 
inoculation for small-pox into Boston, Rev. Cotton Mather, 
who was its powerful advocate, was violently assailed. " His 
nephew, Mr. Walter," says a writer of the day, "one of 
the ministers of Roxbury, having been privately inoculated 
in the doctor's house, in Boston, a villain, about three o'clock 
in the morning, set fire to the fuse of a grenade shell 
filled with combustibles, and threw it into the chamber where 
he was lying. The fuse was fortunately displaced by the 
passing of the shell through the window, and the wildfire 
spent itself upon the floor. It was generally supposed that 
the bursting of the shell was by that means prevented." Mr. 
Walter officiated as chaplain to Col. Richmond's regiment 
in the Lonisburg expedition, and also acted as interpreter for 
Gen. Pepperell. 

His son, Rev. William Walter, a native of Roxbury, was 
minister of Christ Church, Boston. It was to his house in 
Charter Street, formerly the Gov. Phips mansion, then unoc- 
cupied, that the wounded British Major Pitcairn was brought 
from Bunker's Hill, and here he shortly afterward expired. 
Mr. Walter's daughter, who was an eye-witness of this fact, 
related it to her grandson, S. F. McCleary, city clerk of 

His daughter Sarah married Sir Robert Hesilrige, bart., 


of Leicestershire, England, great-grandnephew of Sir Ar- 
thur, the noted parliamentarian and friend of Cromwell. 
This gentleman, having engaged in mercantile affairs in Bos- 
ton, had taken up his residence in Roxbury. Their daughter 
Sarah was married March 12, 1782, to Col. David Henley, of 
the Continental army ; " An event," says the local chronicler, 
" which occasioned much satisfaction to friends, and was 
productive of much mutual felicity to the parties united." 
This may be the more readily believed since the course of 
their true love did not " run smooth" according to the story 
told by Col. William Tudor, who defended Henley when tried 
at the instance of Gen. Burgoyne, for alleged severities to the 
Saratoga prisoners then under his charge. Tudor says : 

" A day or two after the trial, the judge advocate and Col. Henley 
met at Koxbury in making a visit to a family where a lady resided 
to whom Henley was paying his addresses. He fancied himself 
coldly received, and was in rather a melancholy humor as they rode 
into town together. In coming over the Neck he abruptly said to 
his companion, ' Col. Tudor, I will thank you to shoot me.' ' Why, 
what is the matter now? ' ' You have ruined me.' ' I thought I had 
rendered you some service in the trial.' ' You said I was a man of 
a passionate, impetuous temper. This has destroyed me in the 
estimation of the woman I love. You see she received me coldly. 
You have destroyed my happiness. You may now do me a favor to 
shoot me.' Mr. Tudor was vexed for a moment at this sort of return 
for the service he had rendered ; but these feelings were transient 
on both sides, and they continued friends." 

The earliest date to be found in the Central or Peter's Hill 
Burying-Ground on Walter Street is 1722. The principal 
names are those of Child, Mayo, Weld, Baker, Davis, and 
Chamberlain. Among the inscriptions are : 

Benjamin Child, Jan. 24, 1723-4, aged 66. 
Thomas Bishop, June 29, 1727, aged 82. 
John Baker, Nov. 7, 1732, aged 88. 

Capt. Jonathan Hale, of Glastonbury, Conn., March 7, 1776, in y 
56th year of his age. 



Joshua Child, Jan. 18, 1729-30, ss. 73. 

Sarah, wife of Jacob Chamberlain, Oct. 14, 1745, 83. 84. 

Elizabeth, wife of Joshua Chield, March 6, 1752, aged 87. 

Deacon. Ichabod Davis, March 16, 1754, 33. 78. 

Lieut. Daniel Weld, Jan: 20, 1761, as. 64. 

Bethiah, wife of Ichabod Davis, April 23, 1768, 83. 92. 

Deacon Ezra Davis, .March 4, 1784, 83. 74. 

Sarah, relict of Deacon Ezra Davis, Feb. 14, 1789, as. 75. 

Between South and Centre Streets, west of Walter, lay the 
estate formerly Col. "William Dudley's. At its southeasterly 


corner, now the estate of Mr. Henry Dudley, stands a very an- 
cient house, in which Deacon Ephraim Murdock, Mr. Dudley's 
grandfather, resided more than a century ago. Here, in what 
was then a very retired spot, Col. Dudley settled, about the 
time of his marriage in 1721, built an elegant mansion, which 
after successive alterations by its subsequent owners, was 
finally torn down, and cultivated his extensive farm. The 
old farm-house is yet standing. In January, 1775, both his 
sons having deceased, this property, described as " a mansion- 
house and thirty acres of land both sides of the road to Ded- 
ham, seven miles from Boston Town House," was sold. In 



1789 Rev. Mr. Bradford bought the house and ten and a half 
acres for a parsonage. The present dwelling-house is on the 
site of the old mansion represented in the picture, and is the 
residence of Mrs. S. D. Bradford. . 

William, the youngest son of Gov. Joseph Dudley, was 
born in 1686, graduated at Cambridge in 1704, and though he 

never practised the law 
as a profession is said 
to have been the first 
educated lawyer of na- 
tive birth who sat upon 
the bench of the Court 
of C o m m o n Pleas. 
Brought early into pub- 
lic life he filled a large 
space in the political 
aifairsof his time. Sent 
to Canada when only 
twenty years of age to 
negotiate an exchange 
of prisoners, he suc- 
ceeded in redeeming 
among other captives 
the Rev. John Williams, 
of Deerfield. In 1710 he acquired considerable reputation as 
an officer in the expedition against Port Royal (Annapolis) , 
and was colonel of the Suffolk County regiment from that j'ear 
until Ms death, Aug. 10, 1743. He also represented Rox- 
bun' in the General Court, and was for several years Speaker 
of the House of Representatives, and a member of the gov- 
ernor's council. By his wife Elizabeth, daughter of Addington 
Davenport, he had two sons, Thomas and Joseph. Col. Dud- 
ley, like his father and grandfather before him, possessed 
talents of a high order, and was exceedingly popular. With 
strong intellectual powers, a brilliant fancy, and a ready 




elocution, he excelled in debate, and thereby exercised a com- 
manding influence in the public assemblies of which he was a 

On Centre Street, near South, is the meeting-house of the 
Second Parish, erected in 1773 on land purchased of Lieut. 
William Draper. This house, which was enlarged and re- 
paired not many years ago, was the scene of Theodore Par- 


ker's early ministerial labors. The first building occupied by 
the societ} 7 stood on Walter Street, and adjoined the old 
burial-ground on the south. Upon the formation of the Third, 
or Jamaica Plain parish, from this in 1769, the new societ} 7 , 
by previous agreement, contributed to the old the sum of 
666 7s. 8d. to aid it in rebuilding on its present site, a mile 
or more farther from the Plain. Such of the materials of the 
old building as were fit for use were employed in the new, and 
the old sounding-board was painted and transferred to its 


present abiding-place. The second, which was a square 
structure, stood broadside to the road, and had no steeple. 
In 1821 it was given its present form, and was largely rebuilt. 
In 1706 Joseph Weld and forty-four others " at the west 
end of Roxbury towards Dedham," commonly called "Ja- 
maica End" and " Spring Street," on account of their great 
distance from the meeting-house, and the " great travail and 
time in going and returning," prayed the General Court to be 
made a separate precinct, to be freed from taxes for the old 
parish, and for aid in building a house. Nothing came of 
this petition, but it seems that without waiting for leave, they 
set to work and built a church and formed a congregation, as 
appears from their petition in the town records. In April, 
1711, thej 7 sent a " humble address" praying for pardon, to 
their "fathers and elder brothers" in town meeting assem- 
bled, " with a sincere design to give Christian satisfaction for 
any wrong, disorderly steps in our late proceedings ... for 
we humbly acknowledge it to be offensive for us to presume 
so precipitately and rashl}' to enterprise and prosecute such 
an important affair without the consent of the General Court, 
the approbation of our reverend and dear pastor, and the con- 
currence of our ancient and honorable mother the church, and 
the Town Assembly." They again humbty request a dismis- 
sion, to be a distinct precinct, the line to be on the western 
side of the river, "to run close by the schoolhouse near the 
dwelling of our neighbor, John Polle}', from the southeast to 
the northwest, to include all of our Christian neighbors that 
desire it, and have therefore been at charges hitherto with us, 
and who are dwellers amongst us." Several excellent reasons 
are assigned for this request, not the least cogent of which 
is this : 

"As for the season and opportunity we took for our aboves'd 
mismanaged enterprise whether this was the time agreeable to the 
approving will of God, we dare not assert, but the event proves it 
to be his permissive and determinate will, else it had not been so 



far effected : And blessed be God in Christ altho' we have morally 
erred as to our hasty time and manner thereof: yet having obtained 
his help, notwithstanding our unworthiness we have been carryed 
through and continue to this day. 

" We subscribe at the western end of Roxbury, Feb. 7th, 1710-1. 

" Nath. Holmes. 

Jonathan Curtice. 

Timothy Whitney. 

Isaac Bowen. 

Daniel Whitney. 

James Griggs. 

Thomas Mory. 

Samuel Holdridge. 

Eliphalet Lyon. 

Ebenezer Lyon. 

Thomas Bugbee. 

Ichabod Davis. 

Joseph "Weld. 

John Case. 

John Weld. 

John Fuller. 

Thomas Mayo. 

Ephraim Beacon. 

John Whitney. 

Thomas Lyon. 

John Curtiss. 

John Griggs. 

Samuel Lyon. 

John Parry. 

Ephraim Lyon. 

Peter Hanchet. 

Samuel Lyon, Jr. 

Joseph Lyon. 

Nath. Draper. 

Joseph Parry. 

Thomas Parry. 

William Lyon. 

"In answer to the petition it was clearly voted, that their pre- 
cinct line should begin at the line between Dorchester and Roxbury, 
where the headline between the first and second division strikes upon 
the afores'd line, so running down to the river, and then the river 
to be the bounds untill it comes to the place where the road crosseth 
it by Isaac Bowen's, running as the way goes to the school house 
and so to the line between the school land and the land of Josiah 
Holland and so cross the south end of the great pond to Brookline. 
And that the petitioners together with all such as dwell on the 
south side of the afores'd line who are willing to joyne with them, 
and do embody so as to maintain an able learned Orthodox minister 
amongst them, shall be freed from any charge to the minister of the 
east end of the town, and allso from charge to the repairing and 
sweeping the meeting house so long as they do maintain a minister 
among them as afores'd and no longer." 

This precinct line was probably coincident with a line which 
should include "Walkhill, South, Eliot, and Prince Streets. 
Having accomplished their purpose, the Second Church, con- 
sisting of eighteen members formerly belonging to the First, 
was gathered on Nov. 2, 1712, and on the 26th, Rev. Eben- 
ezer Thayer, of Boston, was settled over them as their first 
minister. In 1733 the town refused its assistance in main- 
taining a minister or repairing the meeting-house in the upper 



or westerly part of the town, or even to repair two pews that 
were damaged. A curious regulation was at this time made, 
that those who sat by the windows should mend all the broken 

The first record extant in the parish book bears date Nov. 
28, 1733, when Rev. Mr. Thayer having deceased, a call 
was extended to Rev. Nathaniel Walter, son of the minister 
of the First Parish. Notwithstanding the rigidity of manners 
of that daj 7 , various entries show that youth was quite as 
irrepressible then as now. Four men were at first chosen 
" to take care of disorderly boys and girls and others at 
the meeting-house on the Lord's day" ; afterwards six were 
appointed. Mr. Bradford's salar}*, about the year 1798, was 
three hundred and thirty -three dollars and thirty-three cents. 
The pastors of the Second Parish had originally a small salary, 
twenty cords of fii'ewood and all "onmarked" money in 
the contribution-box, and in some cases were entitled to two 
annual contributions, and sometime's the pastor is to have the 
" usual contributions." 

Pastors of the Second Parish : 


Just beyond the church is the residence of Miss Betsey 
Draper, a portion of which is said to be two hundred years 
old. Miss Draper, who, at the age of eighty-six, is still 
active and vigorous, is the granddaughter of Capt. William 
Draper, who commanded the second company of Roxbury 

rd. 26 Nov., 1712. 

Died 6 March, 1733. 

10 July, 1734. 

" 11 March, 1776. 

29 Sept., 1773. 

Dis. 10 March, 1783. 

30 May, 1785. 

Died 27 Jan., 1825. 

2 Feb., 1825. 

" 14 March, 1831. 

15 June, 1831. 

Dis. Feb., 1836. 

21 June, 1837. 

" 8 Feb., 1846. 

20 Dec. 1848. 

" 23 Nov., 1851. 

18 July, 1852. 

" May, 1859. 

Uuly, 1863. 

" 8 May, 186a 

22 May, 1870. 


minute-men at Lexington, and who died in the service while 
at Ticonderoga in 1776. William, her father, was drummer 
in his father's company. Moses Draper was a lieutenant in 
"Whiting's company at Lexington ; a captain in Gardiner's 
regiment at Bunker's Hill ; captain of a Roxbury compan} 7 in 
the suppression of Shays's Insurrection ; and was elected 
colonel of the first Suffolk regiment in 1788. He kept a 
tavern in 1786 near Dedham. 

In 1683 the town voted, "That our brethren at Jamaco 
have liberty to provide a convenient place for a berring place, 
and y e towne in generall will bare the charge provided the 
selectmen doe judge the place convenant, and the aforesaid 
berring place if so provided shall be for any of the towne to 
bury their dead in if they please." Pursuant to this vote, the 
westerly bur} r ing-ground on Centre Street, near La Grange, 
was established soon afterward. In it are found the names 
of Draper, Lyon, Whiting, Healey, Newell, Eichards, Her- 
ring, and others of the fathers of the town. Among the 
earlier inscriptions are : 

Mr. James Draper, aged about 73. Dec d July, 1691. 

Mrs. Marriam Draper, wife to Mr. James Draper, aged about 77. 

Deed j an<> isgi. 

John Lyon, aged 55 years, died Jan. y e 15, 1702. 
Abigail Lyon, wife to John Lyon, aged 48 years, died Jan. y e 15, 1702. 

[The same day as her husband.] 
James Herring, dec d March, 1732, 39. 76. 
John Colburn, died June y e 7, 1732, ae. 57. 
Nath'l Healy, died June ye 2, 1734, ss. 76. 
Robert Newel, died Feb. 17, 1741, ae. 68. 
Mehitabel, wife of Robert Newel, Nov. 4, 1739, aged about 70. 

In the house at the corner of Cottage Street, built about 
1800 by John Whiting, lived Theodore Parker during his min- 
istry here. It was in 1818 purchased by " The Rain Water 
Doctor," who signed himself " I, Sylvan, Enemy of Human 
Diseases," and whose stay was necessarily brief in a commu- 



nity not tolerant of quacks. It is now the residence of Mr. 
James Tilden. Says Mr. Parker's biographer, Mr. John 
Weiss : 

" The pleasant white house about a mile from the church stood 
close to the straggling village street, but the study looked out 
through trees upon flowers, vines, and garden beds. Two fine tulip- 
trees stood before the windows. The land adjoined the beautiful 

grounds of Mr. George R. 
Russell, his parishioner and 
friend, with whom and 
whose family he found such 
refreshment and delight ; 
and next, going up the hill, 
came the grounds of another 
good and faithful friend, Mr. 
Francis G. Shaw. Mr. Par- 
ker had a right of way over 
the pleasantly settled hill- 
side. The hedges defined 
but did not divide the re- 
spective places of his 
friends. When jaded with 
the old folios he never failed 
to find some one at his gar- 
den limit in whose attach- 
ment his heart recovered 
strength and joy. The Rus- 
sells used to have famous visitors. . . . They used to hold ' Olym- 
pics,' over which Theodore jovially presided. Sometimes the 
celestial council met in a barn, where the fresh, fragrant hay, which 
he had just helped toss and gather, served for the divan. Here 
Goethe, Fourier, the 'Latest Form of Infidelity,' Emerson's last 
lecture, and all cosmic questions were discussed." 

To a friend Mr. Parker writes soon after his settlement : 

" Well, cleverly am I settled. Our neighbors are pleasant. About 
fifty or sixty families in the parish ; one hundred to one hundred and 
fifty worshippers. Sunday-school teachers' meeting at the house of 
the pastor once a fortnight, pastoral visits made, schools attended, 



calls received, baptisms, funerals, such are my out-of-door mat- 
ters. . . . We have a very pleasant house and garden, men servants 
and maidens,' a cow, horse, and pig. I 'm as practical as Stebbins ; 
buy and sell, dig, lend, and borrow. ' To this complexion must we 
come at last.' ... I am very pleasantly situated. The people good, 
quiet, sober, church-going, capital listeners. I preach abundant 
heresies, and they all go down, for the listeners don't know how 
heretical they are. I preach the worst of all things, transcenden- 
talism, none calling me to account therefor, but men's faces looking 
like fires new stirred thereat." 

In his volume of " Experiences" Mr. Parker thus refers to 
this period of his life : 

" On the longest day of 1837 I was ordained minister of the Uni- 
tarian Church and congregation at West Roxbury, one of the small- 
est societies in New England, where I found men and women whose 
friendship is still dear and instructive. For the first year or two the 
congregation did not exceed seventy persons, including the children. 
I soon became well acquainted with all in the little parish, where I 
found some men of rare enlightenment, some truly generous and 
noble souls. I knew the characters of all, and the thoughts of such 
as had them. I took great pains with the composition of my ser- 
mons ; they were never out of my mind, but I was a learner quite 
as much as a teacher, and was feeling my way forward and upward 
with one hand, while I tried to lead men with the other. . . . At- 
tempts were secretly made to alienate my little congregation and 
expel me from my obscure station at West Roxbury ; but the little 
society came generously to my support and defence, giving me 
the heartiest sympathy, and offered me all the indulgence in their 

Allusion is here made to the ill-judged efforts of the Uni- 
tarian body to ostracize Mr. Parker, whose theological views 
had gradually but widely diverged from their own, an attempt 
which, as is well known, resulted in transferring him from an 
obscure field of action to one that placed him prominently 
before the world and largely increased his opportunities of 
usefulness. While the principle of association was on trial 
at Brook Farm, Mr. Parker would sometimes walk over there 



to visit his friends Ripley, 'Charming, and others, and as Mr. 
Weiss tells us, " was occasionally rather sly over some of the 
details, and had a humorous eye for the little weaknesses of 
the recruits." The motive called forth his unbounded respect, 
but he never could be made to see the availability of any of 
the plans. 

For several years after his removal to Boston in May, 1846, 
he spent his summer vacations in the house at West Roxbury, 

to which he returned 
every spring with 
childlike delight. He 
was fond of flowers, 
and knew the names 
of most of those found 
in New England, and 
took frequent rambles 
through the woods. 
One of his favorite 
walks took him 
through the Whiting 
farm to a grove now 


on the land of Mr. 

C. S. Perham, where his favorite tree, known far and wide as 
"Theodore Parker's Oak," still lives and flourishes, though 
venerable with age and showing symptoms of decay. In his 
journal he thus refers to it : 

"May, 1851. At West Roxbury in the afternoon. The Polygalla 
pauciflora just opening ; laid some at the foot of my favorite tree in 
memory of old times, the great oak." 

One of the finest farms in Roxbury is that of Mr. Aaron 

D. Weld, lying on both sides of Weld Street, a part of it in 
Brookline, and containing nearly thi-ee hundred acres. Some 
of this land belonged originally to the family, but a portion 
of it was bought by Deacon David, great-grandson of Lieut. 


John Weld, of the heirs of Capt. John Baker, in 1786. 
Deacon David "Weld's maternal grandfather was Col. Aaron 
Davis, whose name was borne by his son, and is continued 
by his son, the present owner of the estate. The old farm- 
house formerly stood on the west side of the street, near 
Church Street, half a mile from the new mansion house, and 
near where a large barn now stands. 

Brook Farm, a tract of two hundred acres in the north- 
west corner of the town, between Baker Street and Charles 
River, formerly a part of Newton, was purchased in 1841 by 
George Ripley and others, who associated themselves together 
as ' ' The Brook Farm Institute of Education and Agricul- 
ture," and who were afterwards incorporated under the name 
of " The Brook Farm Phalanx." After occupying it for five 
or six years they sold it to the city of Roxbury in 1849 for a 
Poor Farm. In 1861, while the propeily of Rev. James Free- 
man Clarke, who gave the use of it to the State, the Second 
Massachusetts Regiment was recruited here, " the best 
crop," says Mr. Clarke, " that I ever raised." It is now the 
"Martin Luther Orphans' Home." In the original farm- 
house, afterwards called the Hive, most of the domestic occu- 
pations of the association were performed, and it was also 
the eating-house and cooking-establishment. It was nearest 
the entrance, and usually received the new-comers. This 
building afterwards received many additions to accommodate 
the increase of members. There was a small, terraced flower- 
garden near it, that led to the brook that gave the name to 
the place. A long ridge, crowned with a pleasant grove, 
looked down upon it, and a large elm shaded it agreeably. 
Eliot's Pulpit, one of the natural features of the farm, is so 
named from a tradition that the apostle had preached there 
to an Indian auditory. It rose some twenty or thirty feet, a 
shattered granite bowlder or heap of bowlders, with an irregu- 
lar outline and many fissures, out of which sprang shrubs, 
bushes, and even trees. At its base the broken bowlders 


inclined towards each other, so as to form a shallow cave. 
At the summit the rock was overhung by the canopy of a 
birch-tree, which served as a sounding-board to the pulpit. 

Applicants for admission to the association were received on 
probation, after which, a two-thirds vote entitled them to mem- 
bership. Its income was principally derived from the pupils 
sent them, most of whom had their rooms in the Aerie, the 
first house built on the place after it became the property of 
the association. Mr. and Mrs. Ripley also occupied it. Mr. 
Ripley was the founder of the association, and strained every 
nerve to promote its success, in which endeavor he was 
ably seconded by his wife. Miss Eliza Ostinelli, afterwards 
Madame Biscacianti, the famous vocalist, was for some 
months an inmate of Brook Farm. Thence she went with 
her father to Europe, to complete her musical education. 
When singing in the open air in the evening, her voice could 
be distinctly heard in Spring Street, three fourths of a mile 

The Brook Farm experiment, though a failure, must be 
regarded as a noble aspiration, a prophecy of the good time 
coming, when by just methods labor, skill, and capital are to 
meet in practical co-operation. Its history forms an inter- 
esting chapter in the annals of socialism. It numbered 
among its members and inmates many persons of culture, 
since celebrated in literature, among them Ripley, Thoreau, 
Curtis, Dana, Mrs. Diaz, W. H. Channing, W. F. Dwight, 
and Hawthorne, who has written entertainingly of it in his 
"Blithedale Romance," the heroine of which has been erro- 
neously supposed to be Margaret Fuller. 

This remarkable woman resided near Forest Hills station 
from 1839 until her removal to New York in 1844. Bussey's 
"Woods was her favorite retreat, where she thought and 
read or talked with intimate friends, chief among whom was 
Rev. George Ripley, who, with Rev. Theodore Parker and 
Cranch, the artist and poet, were frequent visitors at her 


house. While at heart in sympathy with the Brook Farm 
movement, she judged it premature. She, however, visited 
her friends there often, aiding them with encouragement and 
counsel. An extract or two from her journal gives her im- 
pressions of Brook Farm : 

" The first day or two here is desolate. You seem to belong to 
nobody, to have a right to speak to nobody; but very soon you 
learn to take care of yourself, and then the freedom of the place 
is delightful. . . . Mrs. Eipley and I had a talk. I said, ' My posi- 
tion would be uncertain here ; I could not work.' "We talked of the 
principles of the community. I said, ' I had not a right to come, 
because all the confidence I had in it was as an experiment worth 
trying, and that it was a part of the great wave of inspired thought.' 
... In the evening a husking in the barn, men, women, and chil- 
dren all engaged. It was a most picturesque scene, only not quite 
light enough to bring it out fully. I stayed and helped about half an 
hour, then took a long walk beneath the stars. There are too many 
young people in proportion to the others. . . . Here I have passed 
a very pleasant week. The tone of the society is much sweeter 
than when I was here a year ago. There is a pervading spirit of 
mutual tolerance and gentleness with great sincerity. There is 
no longer a passion for grotesque freaks of liberty, but a disposi- 
tion rather to study and enjoy the liberty of law. The great devel- 
opment of mind and character, observable in several instances, per- 
suades me that the state of things affords a fine studio for the soul 
sculptor . . . and one might have for a few months' residence here 
enough of the human drama to feed thought for a long time." 

In the "Blithedale Romance," Hawthorne speaks of Brook 
Farm, his old and affectionately remembered home, as being 
certainly the most romantic episode of his own life, essen. 
tially a day-dream and yet a fact. He expresses a most 
earnest wish that some one of the many cultivated minds 
which took an interest in that enterprise might now give 
the world its history: " Ripley, Curtis, Dana, Dwight, 
Channing, Burton, Parker, among these is the ability." Some 
amusing passages, describing the fraternity and how it was 
regarded by its neighbors, are here given : 


" They were mostly individuals who had gone through such an 
experience as to disgust them with ordinary pursuits. Thought- 
ful, strongly lined faces were among them. We had very young peo- 
ple with us, but these had chiefly been sent hither for education' 
which it was one of the objects and methods of our institution to 
supply. Then we had boarders from town and elsewhere, who lived 
with us in a familiar way, sympathized more or less in our theories, 
and sometimes shared in our labors. On the whole, it was a society 
such as has seldom met together, nor perhaps could it reasonably 
be expected to hold together long. Persons of marked individuality 
crooked sticks, as some of us might be called are not exactly 
the easiest to bind up into a fagot. We were of all creeds and opin- 
ions, generally tolerant of all, on every imaginable subject. 

" Arcadians though we were, our costume bore no resemblance to 
that of the pastoral people of poetry and the stage. In actual show 
I humbly conceive we looked rather like a gang of beggars or ban- 
ditti, than either a company of honest laboring men or a conclave of 
philosophers. Whatever might be our points of difference, we all of 
us seemed to have come to Blithedale with the one thrifty and laud- 
able idea of wearing out our old clothes. Such garments as had an 
airing whenever we strode afield ! Coats with high collars and with 
no collars, broad-skirted or swallow-tailed, and with the waist at 
every point between the hip and armpit, pantaloons of a dozen suc- 
cessive epochs, and greatly defaced at the knees by the humiliations 
of the wearer before his lady love, in short we were a living 
epitome of defunct fashions. We might have been sworn comrades 
in Falstaft's ragged regiment. Little skill as we boasted in other 
points of husbandry, every mother's son of us would have served 
admirably to stick up for a scarecrow. So we gradually flung them 
all aside and took to honest homespun and linsey-woolsey. 

" After a reasonable training the yeoman life throve reasonably 
well with us. Our faces took the sunburn kindly, our chests gained 
compass, and our shoulders in breadth and squareness. The plough, 
the hoe, the scythe, and the hayfork grew familiar to our grasp. 
The oxen responded to our voices. We could do a fair day's work, 
sleep dreamlessly after it, and awake at daybreak with only a little 
stiffness in the joints, which was usually quite gone by breakfast- 
time. To be sure, our next neighbors pretended to be incredu- 
lous as to our real proficiency in the business which we had taken in 
hand. They told slanderous fables about our inability to yoke our 
own oxen, or to drive them afield when yoked, or to release the poor 


brutes from their conjugal bond at nightfall. They had the face to 
say, too, that the cows laughed at our awkwardness at milking time, 
and invariably kicked over the pails, partly in consequence of our 
putting the stool on the wrong side, and partly because, taking 
offence at the whisking of their tails, we were in the habit of hold- 
ing these natural fly-flappers with one hand and milking with the 
other. They further averred that we hoed up whole acres of Indian 
corn and other crops, and drew the earth carefully about the weeds ; 
and that we raised five hundred tufts of burdock, mistaking them 
for cabbages ; and that by dint of unskilful planting few of our seeds 
ever came up at all, or if they did come up it was stern foremost ; 
and that we spent the better part of the month of June in reversing 
a field of beans which had thrust themselves out of the ground in 
this unseemly way. They quoted it as nothing more than an ordi- 
nary occurrence for one or other of us to crop off two or three fin- 
gers of a morning, by our clumsy use of the hay-cutter. Finally, and 
as an ultimate catastrophe, these mendacious rogues circulated a 
report that we communitarians were exterminated to the last man 
by severing ourselves asunder with the sweep of our own scythes ! 
and that the world had lost nothing by this little accident." 

His personal experiences are thus referred to in his note- 
book : 

"I have not yet been two hundred yards from our house and 
barn, but I begin to perceive that this is a beautiful place. The 
scenery is of a mild and placid character, with nothing bold in its 
aspect ; but I think its beauties will grow upon us and make us love it 
the more the longer we live here. There is a brook so near the house 
that we shall be able to hear its ripple summer evenings. ... I could 
not have believed that there was such seclusion at so short a dis- 
tance from a great city. Many spots seem hardly to have been vis- 
ited for ages, not since John Eliot preached to the Indians here. 
If we were to travel one thousand miles we could not escape the 
world more completely than we can here. 

" Sept. 27. A ride to Brighton yesterday morning, it being the 
day of the weekly cattle fair. William Allen and myself went in a 
wagon, carrying a calf to be sold at the fair. The calf had not had 
his breakfast, as his mother had preceded him to Brighton, and he 
kept expressing his hunger and discomfort by loud, sonorous bass, 
especially when we passed any cattle in the fields or in the road. 


... At a picnic party in the woods, Mr. Emerson and Miss Fuller, 
who had just arrived, came into the little glade where we were 
assembled. Here followed much talk." 

Hawthorne goes on to say that they had pleased themselves 
with delectable visions of the spiritualization of labor, " but the 
clods of the earth, which we so constantly belabored and 
turned over and over, were never etherealized into thought. 
Our thoughts, on the contrary, were fast becoming cloddish. 
Our labor symbolized nothing, and left us mentally sluggish 
in the dusk of the evening. Is it a praiseworthy matter," 
so he writes in his diary, ' ' that I have spent five golden 
months in providing food for cows and horses? It is not so." 
He left the association in November, 1841, and did not 

" Often, however, in these years that are darkening around me, I 
remember our beautiful scheme of a noble and unselfish life, and 
how fair in that first summer appeared the prospect that it might 
endure for generations, and be perfected, as the ages rolled away, 
into the system of a people and a world 1 Were my former asso- 
ciates now there, were there only three or four of those true-hearted 
men still laboring in the sun, I sometimes fancy that I should direct 
my world-weary footsteps thitherward, and entreat them to receive 
me for old friendship's sake. More and more I feel that we had 
struck upon what ought to be a truth. Posterity may dig it up and 
profit by it. The experiment, so far as its original projectors were 
concerned, proved long ago a failure, first lapsing into Fourierism, 
and dying as it well deserved for this infidelity to its own higher 
spirit. Where once we toiled with our whole hopeful hearts, the 
town paupers, aged, nerveless, and disconsolate, creep sluggishly 
afield. Alas, what faith is requisite to bear up against such results 
of generous effort ! " 

The names and locations of the principal residents of West 
Roxbury from 1820 to 1825 have been kindly furnished by 
Mr. John D. Colburn, whose recollection of the people and 
places with which he was familiar in his boyhood seems very 
distinct. The residences starred are no longer standing. 

RESIDENTS IN 1820-25. 461 

The right-hand names are those of the present owners or 
occupants of the estates. The initial letter on the right indi- 
cates the side of the street : 

WASHINGTON STREET, beginning at the Dedham line. 

Mott Johnson, now occupied by his daughter, W. 
*William Bullard, toll-gate house, Muddy Pond Hill. 
Read Taft's Tavern, now Union Hotel, "W. 
Lemuel Richards, now Lindall, nearly opposite Tafts, E. 
Capt. Dunster, now John Smith, W. 
Michael Whittemore, now John Smith, W. 
Eben Dudley, wheelwright, near Taft's, W. 

CENTRE STREET, beginning at the Dedham line. 

*David and Moses Draper, E. 

Benjamin Draper, son of Moses, now Benj. J. G. Draper's heirs, W. 

John Mayo's old tavern, now E. Stone and W. Colburn, W. 

Mrs. Jones or Herring, now G. B. Mason, near Summer Street, E. 

Henshaw, now I. Joyce, E. 

Benjamin Davis, shoemaker, now John D. Colburn, very old 
house, E. 

Henry Smith, corner Spring Street, E. 
* James Griggs, corner of Cottage Street, E. 

Rain Water Doctor, now Tilden, E. 

James Reed, now I. G. Whitney, E. 
"Seth Whiting, W. 

Whiting Tavern, now Dr. G. Hay, W. 

Luke Baker, now Mrs. Abner Guild, E. 

Lemuel Billings, hatter, now R. Hewins, W. 

Benjamin Billings, " leather dresser and breeches maker," E. 

S. Peck, formerly "Merchant" Davis, now Benjamin Guild, W. 

Aaron ("Merchant") Davis's store, W. 

Henry Smith, house and store, now Newhall, corner La Grange, W. 

J. Dugan, now Chapin, next the burying-ground, W. 

Amasa Davis, now Gowing, very old house, W. 

Nathaniel Richards's tavern, very old, opposite the church, E. 

Old schoolhouse, next the church, W. 

William Draper Sol. Richards, now C. Bird, W. 

Capt. Richards, now Edward Richards, N. 

Talbot, blacksmith, now Hartshorn, N. 

462 RESIDENTS IN 1820-25. 

*Benjamin Corey, westerly corner Corey Street, N. 

*Moses Griggs, later, Keith estate, easterly corner Corey Street, N. 

Col. Mann, now G. W. Mann, near Highland station, S. 
*Capt. Palmer, now Albert Whittemore, near Beech Street, S. 

Betty Kichards, now Woodward heirs, corner Beech Street, S. 

Broad's tannery, now " " S. 

William Draper, now Betsey Draper, near Willow Street, N. 

Egbert Draper, now Mrs. Benjamin Brown, next the church, N. 

Rev. Mr. Bradford's church, N. 

Tileston, now Davidson, corner South Street, S. 


Hatch, now owned by Mrs. S. D. Bradford, N. 

Rev. John Bradford, " " " " N. 

* Wheeler Hazelwood (burnt), N. 

Dea. Murdock, now owned by Henry Dudley, N. 
*Rev. N. Walter Allen, now E. Skinner, N. 

Scott Alden, now Mrs. Baste, N. 

David Corey, now Joseph Williams, near Koslindale station, S. 

Dandridge Taft, later, Davis Lyon, N. 

Capt. Joseph Mayo, N. 
*Elisha Whitney, now part of Bussey Farm, opp. stone house, N. 


*Schoolhouse, corner Florence Street, E. 
Dea. Joseph Arnold, now T. Orrall, E. 
R. McDaniels, now Goldsmith, opposite Clarendon Park, E. 
"Chamberlain homestead, built by Payson Chamberlain, great- 
grandfather of Daniel Chamberlain, nearly opposite Dea. Noah 
Davis's, W. 

*Sylvanus Lindall, corner Hilburn Street, W. 

*Dea. Noah Davis (son of Col. Aaron), corner Metropolitan Street. 
From this elevated site, formerly known as Clapboard, or Flax 
Hill, there is a magnificent view of Hyde Park and the Blue 
Hills, E. 

Stephen Chamberlain, now Daniel Chamberlain, W. 
Michael Whittemore, Sen., now Wedger, Hyde Park Avenue, W. 


Daniels, now Mrs. Wiggin, W. 

Dea. Benjamin Farrington, now Dyer, corner Annawan, W. 

RESIDENTS IN 1820-25. 463 


Bart. White, now Dwinell, E. 

Deacon Weld house, occupied by Caleb Parker, removed, W. 

Davis Weld, now Aaron D. Weld, W. 

BELLEVUE, formerly Lyon Street. 

Col. Jeremiah Eichards, now Willcutt, between Bellevue and Park 

Streets, E. 

Isaiah Richards William Whittemore, now Attwood, E. 
'Lyon homestead, southwest of Attwood, E. 
Benjamin Lyon, now George Richards, W. 


Henry Smith Tidd, now George Morse, N. 
Capt. Amasa Gay, now Otis Gay, next house, N. 

, now Cain, beyond railroad crossing, N. 

Benjamin Billings, now , near railroad crossing, N. 

Capt. Leonard Whiting, now Cotter, N. 

Henry Whiting, now owned by Gardner, corner Gardner Street, N. 

John Baker Dervin, next railroad crossing, E. 


Abbott, John S. C., 367; Jacob, 367; 

Thomas, 450. 
Adams, Samuel, 25, 436; Bey. Amos, 

30, 101, 302, 310; John, 84, 357; 

Joseph, residence, 208; Mrs. Sarah, 

397; Rev. William, 98; Zabdiel, 

150; Dr. Z. B., 150. 
Alarm at Rocksbury, 9. 
Albany Street, 110, 115. 
Alcock, George, 50, 87, 290, 363; Dr. 

John, 102, 309, 363; Palsgrave, 

327, 370. 

Alden, Capt. Judah, 81. 
Alexander, Giles, 123. 
Alger, Rev. "William R., 114. 
Allen and Watts, 87; Allen's furni- 
ture store, 142; Jacob, 306; Rev. 

James, 122; Rev. Joseph H., 421; 

Stillman B., 340. 
Amory, R. G., 221; John, 398; 

Thomas, 399; Gen. T. J. C., 110; 

Street, 397. [50. 

Anderson, Rev. T. D., 113; Gawin, 
Andrews, John, 73, 256, 425, 442. 
Andros, Gov., overthrown, 18, 245. 
Annals, 14-16, 275-2. 
Anselme, 83. 

Antinomian controversy, 291. 
Apprentices, 63. 
Arms and armor, 105. 
Arnold, Dea. Joseph, 462. 
Artillery practice, 79. 
Astwood, James, 50; homestead, 394. 
Athenaeum, 154. 
Auchmuty, Robert, 208; estate, 207, 

351; Robert, Jr., 351, 353; house, 


Aunt White, 342. 
Austin, Hon. Arthur W., 416, 438. 

Bacon, Jeremiah, 32; Bacon's Block, 


Back Street, 225, 351. 
Bailey, Joseph, 32. 

Bainbridge, Com., 84, 338. 

Baker, David, 32; Capt. John, 444, 
454,463; Luke, 408, 461 ; Thomas, 
17, 60, 287, 402; Street, 463. 

Baker's Mill, 325; Baker's Valley, 
370. [Street, 89. 

Ball and Pin Tavern, 87 ; Ball 

Ballou, Rev. Hosea, 257-9. 

Baptist Church, First, 111-13. 

Bardin, Edward, 85. 

Barker, Mrs., 301. 

Barnard, Rev. John, 248. 

Barnes, Capt., 205. 

Bartholomew, Rev. J. G., 259. 

Bartlett, Enoch, 119; Dr. Henry, 
358; Dr. John, 305, 360; Bartlett 
pear, 119; Bartlett Street, 359. 

Barry, Samuel, 168, 382. 

Barton, Sally, 85. 

Bass Point, the west point of Brook- 
line Creek, where it empties into 
the full basin. 

Bay Psalm Book, 296. 

Beacon, Ephraim, 449. 

Beach Street, 462. 

Bear Marsh, 438. 

Bell, Thomas, 49, 398-9. 

Beecher, Laban S., 309. 

Bernard, Sir Francis, 352, 428-33. 

Berthier, 83. 

Bicknell, Capt. Humphrey, 306, 318. 

Billings, Benjamin, 461-3; Lemuel, 

Bishop, Thomas, 444. 

Biscaccianti, Madame, 456. 

Bixby, Samuel, 275. 

Black Neck, a woody knoll at the 
mouth of Dorchester Brook, for- 
merly covered with a grove of 
black oaks. 

Blaney, Aaron, 87, 315; William, 
168, 175. 

Blaney's store, 279, 315. 

Blue Store, 206. 

Books condemned, 14. 

Book of Houses and Lands, 48. 

Borrodaile, Anne, 91. 

Bosson, Major William, 154, 318; 
William, Jr., 32, 167. 



Boston & Providence R. R., 51, 323; 

Neck, 65-94; Massacre, 23; Tea 

Party, 27, 79, 386; boundary, 48. 
Bowdoin, Gov. James, 69; Sarah, 

336; William, 21-26, 335. 
Bowen, George, 16; Henry, 17, 438; 

Isaac, 449; Joshua, 403; William, 


Bowles, John, 18, 19, 49, 160, 286. 
Bowman, Brooks, 264; Mrs. Lucy, 

154, 200; William, 82, 154; Sam- 

uel, 32. 

Boyle, Hon. Eobert, 182. 
Boylston, Ward Nicholas, 407, 411 ; 

Street, 398-410; hermitage, 409. 
Bradlee, N. J., residence, 371. 
Bradstreet, Ann, 243. 
Bradford, Charles F., 351; Rev. 

John, 446. 

Braintree Road, 199, 210. 
Brewer, Daniel, 49; Col. David, 212, 

278; Ebenezer, 205, 288; Deacon 

Joseph, 33, 417, 438; Nathaniel, 

60,438; Sally, 414; Stephen, 414; 

Capt. Thomas, 119. 
Bridge, Edward, 18, 49, 428. 
Brimmer, Martin, 429. 
Brinley, Col. Francis, 211, 333; Brin- 

ley Place, 327. 
Brintnall, Jonathan, 32. 
Brissot, 389. 
Broad's Tannery, 462. 
Broglie, Prince de, 83. 
Bromfield, Edward, 304. 
Brook Farm, 453, 455-60. 
Brookline boundary, 48, 346. 
Brooks, Gov. John, 131 ; Rev. John 

G., 302. 
Brown, Daniel, 29; Enoch, 78, 311; 

Enoch, house and shop burnt, 78. 
Bugbee, Ebenezer, 222; Edward, 

49, 50, 221; Daniel, 128, 222, 226; 

Thomas, 449. 
Bulgar, Richard, 292. 
Bull, Henry, 293, 300. 
Bunker's Hill battle, 34, 93, 217, 


Burchly, John, 50. 
Burial-grounds, Eustis Street, 95; 

Central, 444- Westerly, 451; Bur- 
ial-ground redoubt, 93. 
Burial customs, 98. 
Burrill, James, Jr., 32; Lemuel, 317. 
Burr, Jehu, 12. 
Burroughs, George, 149; William, 

414; Burroughs Street, 414. 
Bussey, Benjamin, 440; Institute, 

440; Woods, 439. 
Buswell, John, 49. 


Cabot Street, 76, 306. 

Caldicott, Rev. T. F., 113. 

Calef, Robert, 102, 140, 142-9. 

Calves' Pasture, on the Dorchester 

Canada soldiers, 108. 

Canal, 103; Canal House, 104. 

Cannon secreted in Roxbury, 73. 

Canterbury, 47, 437; Street, 235. 

Carleton, Guy, 320. 

Case, John, 449. 

Cazneau, Andrew, 119. 

Cedar Street, 370. 

Cemeteries, Forest Hills, 231; Mt. 
Hope, 235; Warren, 211: Jamaica 
Plain, 425. 

Centre Street, 379. 

Chamberlain, Payson, Sarah, Ste- 
phen, 462; homestead, 462. 

Champney, Jonathan, 323; J. W., 

Chandler, John, 368; William, 49, 

Channing, William H., 456. 

Chapin, Samuel, 49. 

Charles Josiah, 5. 

Charter abrogated, 18. 

Chase, William, 290. 

Checkley, Widow Elizabeth, 442. 

Cheever, Joshua, 415. 

Chenery's wheelwright shop, 350. 

Cheney, Ebenezer, 286; Thomas, 17: 
William, 49, 95, 113. 

Chickatabut, 4; death of, 14. 

Child, Elijah, 33; John, 23, 33; 
Joshua, 445; Capt. Lemuel, 31, 
435 ; Benjamin, 435, 444. 

Chipman, Judge Ward, 194, 196. 

Church, Baptist, 111; St. James's, 
210; St. Joseph's, 225; Walnut 
Avenue, 226; Universalist, 230, 
257; Unitarian, 114; Methodist, 
218; First, 282; Second, 447 ; Third, 
418; Eliot, 367; Swedenborgian, 
218; church customs, 294; music, 
174, 285, 297. 

City Hall, 259; City Hotel, 169. 

Clapboard Hill, 462. 

Clapp, Dexter, 450; Stephen, 32. 

Clarke, Rev. James Freeman, 455; 
John J., 41, 332; Thomas, 37, 380. 

Cleaves, William, 17; Sister, 301. 

Clewly's Corner, 225. 

Coggeshall, John, 293. 

Colburn, John, 451; John D., 460. 

Cole, Robert, 162. 290. 

Comins, Linus B., 41. 



Committee of Correspondence, 27. 

Confiscated estates, 35, 123, 351, 407, 
415, 429. [40. 

Connecticut Lane, 403; emigrants, 

Consumptives' Home, 222. 

Copeland, B. F., 371, 381. 

Corbin, John, 17. 

Corey, Benjamin, 33, 462; David, 
462; Ebenezer, 32. 

Cookson's Corner, 443. 

Cow Island, 437. 

Crafts, Daniel, 340; Ebenezer, 286, 
297, 340, 343; Griffin, 49, 50, 341; 
John, 5, 341 ; Jonathan, 342; Mo- 
ses, 18; Nathaniel, 342; Lieut. 
Samuel, 341; William A., 344; 
"William F., 344. 

Crafts homestead, 340. 

Cranch, T. P., 456. 

Crane, Col. John, 78, 273, 275. 

Crehore, Joseph, 168; Timothy, 33. 

Cresap, Capt. Michael, 435. 

Currency, 37, 62. 

Curtis, George S., 402; Isaac, 18, 102, 
286; John, 49, 397,449; Jonathan, 
449; George William, 456; Joseph, 
403; Catherine P., 403; Nathan- 
iel, 427; Obadiah, 55; Philip, 401; 
Samuel, 403 ; William, 49, 401 ; 
homestead, 399. 

Gushing, Judge William, 196. 

Custine, 83. 

Customs, 59-61. 

Cutshamokin, 4, 5, 180. 


Dale Street, 226. 

Dana, Charles A., 456; Dana's Hill, 

Dane, John, 303, 368-9. 

Danforth, John, 142; Rev. Samuel, 
140, 142, 159, 302; William, 17. 

Datchet House, 327. 

Davenport, Joseph, 168. 

Davis, Col. Aaron, 23-30, 36, 82, 89; 
Capt. Aaron, 89; Aaron, 89, 92, 
110, 461; Aaron and Charles, 103, 
110, 142; Deacon Billy, 197, 318; 
Charles, 207; Deacon Ezra, 33, 440, 
445; Ebenezer, 286, 339; Isaac, 168, 
339; Lieut. Jacob, 31 ; Lieut. John, 
31, 102, 350; Deacon Moses, 29,32, 
90,287; Noah, 32,462; Nehemiah, 
32; Nathaniel, 33; Stephen, 381; 
Tobias, 111, 351 ; William, 89, 438; 
Ichabod,445; Bethiab.,445; Sarah, 
445; Amasa, 461. 

Davis Street, 110. 

Dawes, Col. Thomas, 122; Wil- 
liam, 74. 

Davies. Dr. Jonathan, 36, 82, 207, 

Day Street, 387. 

Dearborn, Gen. Henry, 40, 131, 334; 
Gen. H. A. S., 41, 234, 337. 

Dedham Eoad, 379; Turnpike, 65, 
350; boundary, 48. 

Denison, Daniel, 91; Edward, 50, 91, 
292; George, 91, 107; William, 50, 
90, 102, 290, 292. 

Denison's Bottom Lane, 133. 

Dennis Street, 132. 

Dexter, Franklin, 394; Samuel, 85, 

Deuxponts, Count, 83. 

Diaz, Mrs., 456. 

Dinsdell, John, 32; William, 32. 

Dillaway, Charles K., 191, 310. 

Doggett, Elizabeth S., 88; Capt. 
Jesse, 87, 168; John, 92-3; Sam- 
uel, 93, 207. 

Domestic life, 59. 

Dorchester Tooundary line, 95 , 
Brook, 122; Heights, 281, 330; 
Eoad, 95, 111, 199. 

Dorr, Ebenezer, 27, 29, 60, 82, 149, 
286, 343; Edward, 75, 140, 149, 154, 
287; Capt. Jonathan, 31, 149, 288, 
383; Joseph, 149; Nathaniel, 149, 
259, 368; William, 32, 167, 227. 

Dove, John, 208. 

Downer, Dr. Eliphalet, 347. 

Dowse, John, Jr., 32. 

Draper, Aaron, 33; Betsey, 450; 
Jonathan, 32; Ichabod, 33; Mary, 
350; Nathaniel, 32, 449; Capt. 
Moses, 31, 38, 451; James, 451; 
Marriam,45l; Paul, 32; Capt. Wil- 
liam, 31, 447, 451; Egbert, 462. 

Dress, 53. 

Dresser, John, 17. 

Drunkenness punished, 162. 

Dubuque, M., 124. 

Dudley, David, 382; Mrs. David, 90; 
Gov. Joseph, 187, 244-51; Major 
Joseph, 82; Col. Joseph, 84, 259, 
339; Joseph W., 259; Joseph, 239; 
Judge Paul, 33, 251-5, 286; Gov. 
Thomas, 6-9, 50, 99, 107, 237, 241-3; 
Thomas, 33, 238; William, 239; 
Mrs. Lucy, 253; Col. William, 82, 
108,239,445-6; Dudley tomb, 99; 
Schoolhouse, 259; School for Girls, 
361; homestead, 236-65; Street, 
111 ; town of, 252. 

Duick, Benjamin, 311. 



Dumas, Count Matthieu, 83. 
Dummer, Richard, 319; Mary, 299. 
Dunster, Capt., 205, 46L 
Dunton, John, 107, 185. 
Dwellings, 57. 
Dwight, W. F., 456. 


Earthquakes, 15, 16. 

East Street, 118. 

Eaton, Amherst, 87. 

Eayres, John, 32. 

Eliot, John, 18, 49, 100, 174-90, 265, 
290; Eliot's Corner, 350; Pulpit, 
455; Pasture, 226; Square, 310; 
Mrs. Eliot, 189; Rev. John, 196; 
Philip, 50, 393; Jacob, 67; Eliot 
Hills, 233; Street, 414; School, 424; 
Church, 367. 

EUiot, Rev. Joseph, 113, 189. 

Elm Hill, 221. 

Epidemic, 15. 

Episcopal Church, 210. 

Epitaphs, 99-102, 444-5,451. 

Estaing, Count d', 135. 

Estates and persons in Roxbury, 49. 

Eustis, Gov. William, 95, 124; Mrs. 
Eustis, 132; house, 120-32; Street, 
95-138; Burial-ground, 95. 

Ewell, Perez, 120. 


Fairland Street, 114. 

Faneuil, Benjamin, 412. 

Farrington, Dea. Benjamin, 462. 

Fashions, 55, 56. 

Faunce's grocery store, 314. 

Fay, Rev. Cyrus H., 259. 

Faxon, Eleb, 338; Faxon's Hill, 338. 

Fellowes, Caleb, 358; Fellowes's 
Athenaeum, 358. 

Felton, Nathaniel, 27, 30, 82, 154; 
Ensign Joshua, 29, 30, 154, 167. 

Finch, Samuel, 49. 

Fire engines, 167; firemen, 167-8. 

First newspaper, 87; church, 282- 
302 ; horse railroad, 265 ; child 
born, 5; library, 153; omnibus, 
265; pews, 285; choir, 285; school, 

Fitzpatrick, Madame, 123. 

Flag, Colonial, 105; Union, 81. 

Flagg, llev. John, 450. 

Flower de Luce Tavern, 365. 

Food, 56. 

Forbush, Rev. T. B., 450. 
Forest Street, 115. 
Forest Hills, 231 ; Street, 231. 
Fort Avenue, 375; Monument, 378. 
Fortifications, 69, 76, 93, 110, 275-81, 

306, 329, 339, 371; British, 70-2, 


Foster, Capt. Samuel, 31, 32. 
Fowler House, 235. 
Fox, Ebenezer, 150-1, 297. 
Foxholes, 351. 
Francis, Ebenezer, 339. 
Frankland, Sir Charles, 67. 
Franklin, Dr. 121, 126-7, 280. 
Frankling, William, 300. 
Freeman, Thomas, 50. 
Freemasons, 164, 205, 381-2. 
French, Samuel, 32. 
French troops in Roxbury, 83. 
.French's Woods, 221. 
Fresh meadow, 226. 
Frost, George, 382. 
Fugitives from Boston, 75. 
Furniture, 58. 
Fuller, John, 449; Margaret, 456. 


Gage, Gov. Thomas, 70. 

Gale, Major Isaac, 84. 

Gallows, on the Neck, 68. 

Gamblin's End, 397; Robert, 49, 

Gardiner, Samuel, 17; Samuel J., 
208, 382; Capt. Andrew, 108; Pe- 
ter, 210, 369; Sarah, 322. 

Gardiner's Green, 210 

Gardiner's Canada, 108. 

Gary, Samuel, 32; Arthur, 49, 393. 

Gas introduced, 51. 

Gaston, William, 42. 

Gates, Gen. Horatio, 85 ; Robert, 
duel with John Carter, 282. 

Gay, Capt. Amasa, 463; Aaron, 320. 

Gen. Arnold, privateer, 124. 

George Tavern, 76, 84, 278. 

Geyer, George, 32. 

Gibbs, Capt. A. H., 109, 306. 

Giles Payson's Corner, 133. 

Giles, Thomas, 32. 

Gleanings, 14-16. 

Goad, Joseph, 17. 

Goddard, John, 222, 286, 438. 

Goggen, James, 32. 

Goldthwait, Ezekiel, 392. 

Gookin, Gen. Daniel, 190. 

Goodrich, S. G., 231. 

Gordon, Dr. William, 37, 420-3. 



Gore, Joseph, 32; homestead, 321; 

Samuel, 322; Christopher, 322; 

Ebenezer, 60, 108, 399; Lieut. 

Samuel, 108, 287; John, 19, 32, 50, 

322; Paul, 402, Watson, 131, 321; 

Jeremiah, 168. 
Gorton, John, 164, 219. 
Gould, William, 33; John, 411. 
Gravelly Point, 306. 
Graves, John, 11, 49, 393. 
Gray, Rev. Thomas, 406, 420-4. 
Gray, Dr. Thomas, 41. 
Greene, Gen. Nathaniel, 270, 415. 
Greenough, David S., 415. 
Great Lotts, 226. 
Greyhound Tavern, 140, 160-7. 
Greenville Street, 114. 
Greaton, Gen. John, 29, 30, 34, 156, 

277, 317, 363; R. H. , 157, 168; Ann, 

157; John, 162; Rev. James, 162. 
Gridley, Deacon Samuel, 20, 25, 287, 

307; William, 307. 
Griggs, Joseph, 18; James, Jr., 32; 

Moses. 32, 462; James, 202, 449, 

461; George, 346; Samuel, 286; 

Thomas, 49; John, 449. 
Grove Hall, 222. 
Grosvenor, John, 102, 323. 
Guild, Samuel, 370; James, 370. 
Gun-house, 109, 265. 
Gunter, Thomas, 394. 
Gyles, Capt. John, 390. 

Hagborne, Samuel, 49, 139, 192; 
Hagborne's Neck, 139, 306. 

Hall, John, 49; Hall's Block, 155. 

Hallet, George, 428. 

Hallowell, Capt. Benjamin, 409 ; 
Admiral Benjamin, 411. 

Hampden Street, 118. 

Hanchet, Peter, 449. 

Hancock, Gov. John, 135, 426; Capt. 
Belcher, 168; Thomas, 426. 

Hansford, Joseph, 194. 

Hannaford, William, 257. 

Hardwick, 309. 

Harriman, Moses, 381. ^ 

Harrington, Joseph, George, 383. 

Harrison Avenue, 110. 

Harris, Horatio, estate, 227. 

Haskell, Rev. A. M., 450. 

Hastings, John, 93. 

Hatch, Col. Estes, 108, 134; Nathan- 
iel, 134; Capt. Crowell, 428. 

Hawes, Samuel, 219, 275, 316; Ben- 
jamin, 219; John H., 220. 

Hawley, Thomas, Sen., 17. 

Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 456-60. 

Hayward, Caleb, 29. 

Hayward, Dr. Lemuel, 426-7. 

Hazlitt's Tavern, 154, 160. 

Heath, William, 11, 387; Capt. Jo- 
seph, 30, 286, 323; Isaac, 50, 160, 
193; Peleg, 50, 387; Miss Prudy, 
323; John, 323; Samuel, 386; 
Lieut. Samuel, 286; Gen. William, 
20-30, 128, 273, 386-90; Capt. Wil- 
liam, 390; Heath's Lane, 379; 
Street, 387. 

Healy, Nathaniel, 451. 

Heely, Timothy, 381. 

Hemmenway, Ralph, 49. 

Henley, Col. David, 416, 444. 

Henshaw, John, 32, 461. 

Herring, James, 32, 451. 

Hewes, Joshua, 50, 68, 97, 162. 

Hesilrige, Sir Robert, 443. 

Highland Street, 371. 

Hill's Dam, 110. 

Hog Bridge, 90, 385. 

Holbrook, John, 60, 114, 220, 286; 
Ralph, 286; Daniel, 114, 133, 220. 

Holland, Josiah, 449. 

Holmes, Nathaniel, 19, 449; George, 

Holdridge, Samuel, 449. 

Homesteads in 1654, 48. 

Honeysuckle Hill, 226. 

Hopkins, Thomas, 17. 

Horse railroads, 265. 

Hourlies, 51, 264. 

Howe, Abraham, 49; James, 92, 206, 
381 ; John, 92, 197, 258, 382 ; David, 
32: Howe's bakehouse, 280. 

Huckleberry Hill, 402. 

Huckins, Mrs. James, 129. 

Hubbard, John, 17. 

Hunneman, J. H., 92; William C., 
168; Street, 87. 

Huntington, Col., 76. 

Hutchins. Abel, 167. 

Hutchinson, Anne, 91, 158, 170-1, 

Hutchinson, Gov., 24; Eliakim, 123. 

Hunt, Joseph, 32. 

Hyde, Thaddeus, 32. 

Iggulden, Widow, 49. 

Indians, 3; language, 177; courts, 

181 ; conversion of, 176 ; Bible, 

Ionic Hall, 309. 




Jackson, Major William, 85; Ger- 
shom, 32; President, 84; Gen. 
Henry, 85, 138; Lieut. Ephraim, 

Jamaica Plain, 404; Schoolhonse, 
424; Pond, 405; Aqueduct Co., 40(3. 

Jarvis, James, 60, 108. 

Jefferson, President, 152. 

Jeffries, Deacon, 75. 

Johnson, Capt. Isaac, 17, 49, 50, 393; 
John, 49, 50, 88, 97, 290; house 
burnt, 88. 

Jones, John Cluly, 32 ; Thomas 
Kilby, 222; Lewis, 32. 

Joseph Warren Monument Associa- 
tion, 218. 

Josiah, son of Chickatabut, 4. 

Jubes Lane, 230. 

Kean, Edmund, 160. 

Kearsarge Avenue, 211. 

Keith, James, 33. 

Kenilworth Street, 367. 

Kennedy, Donald, 219. 

Kent's Tavern, 223. 

Kenney, Josiah, 32. 

King, Rev. H. M., 113. 

King Philip, 180. 

Kingsbury estate, 227. 

Kittredge, Dea. Alvah, 371, 373. 

Kneeland, John, 32. 

Knower, Benjamin, 32. 

Knox, Gen. Henry, 77, 132, 273, 374. 

Kossuth, Louis, 84, 218. 


Lafayette's visit, 130-2. 

Lamb, Abiel, 17; Col. Joshua, 87, 

97, 286, 309; Thomas, 49, 54, 290, 

309; Lamb's Dam, 76, 80, 110, 279; 

Lamb's Meadow, 103. 
Lambstown (Hardwick), 309. 
Lambert, William, 361; house, 287, 


Lameth, Alexander de, 83. 
Land apportioned, 48. 
Landing-Place, 110, 324. 
Langerpn, Count de, 83. 
Lauchlin, Samuel, 33. 
Laukman, Leonard, 211. 
Lanzun, Duke de, 83. 
Laval, Montmorenci, Count de, 83. 

Lear, Col. Tobias, 86. 

Learned, Col. Ebenezer, 81, 93, 154, 


Le Barron, Dr. Lemuel, 305. 
Leicester, 309. 
Leland, Judge, 310. 
Lee, William, 310; W. Raymond, 


Lemist, Edwin, 258; John, 154. 
Leprilete, Dr. Lewis, 407. 
Leverett, Rev. William, 113. 
Levins, John, 49, 210, 212. 
Lewis, Elijah, 88, 207; George, 42, 

88; James,32; John, 221; Joshua, 

232; Samuel, 33; Timothy, 33. 
Lewis and Brewer's store, 206. 
Lexington battle, 31, 157, 217, 315, 


Liberty Tree, 266 ; Liberty Song, 166. 
Lincolne, William, 17. 
Linden Hall, 412. 
Linkhorne, William, 438. 
Liquor laws, 163. 
Little Woods, 134. 
Long, Crouch, 223. 
Loring, Com. Joshua, 142, 416; 

house, 414. 

Louisburg expedition, 108, 122, 125. 
Lowder, John, 33; Lowder's Lane, 

Lowell, John, 394-6; John, Jr., 396; 

estate, 393; mansion, 394. 
Lyman, Richard, 299. 
Lynch, Isidore de, 83. 
Lyon, Abigail, 451 ; Daniel, 32 ; 

Ebenezer, 449; Eliphalet, 449; 

Ephraim, 449; John, 451; Joseph, 

449; Samuel, 449; Thomas, 449; 

William, 18, 438, 449; homestead, 

463; Street, 463. 


Maccarty, Florence, 370; farm, 227, 

357, 370. 
Mclntosh, Jeremiah, 32; Stephen, 


McCurtin's Diary, 116. 
Magazine Street, 119. 
Magee, Capt. James, 124. 
Mall Street, 110. 
Manners and customs, 63. 
Mann, Col., 462. 
Manufactures, 68, 93. 
Maps of Roxbury, 52. 
Masher, Jeremiah, Jr., 32. 
Mather, Cotton, 144-7, 249; Increase, 

148; John, 32. 



Mathew, John, 49. 

Maximilian I, of Bavaria, 83. 

May, Benjamin, 41 2 ; Ebenezer, 286 ; 
Eleazer, 412: John, 398; John, 
Jr. , 438; Lemuel, 31, 108, 425, 428 ; 
Samuel, 18; May's Pond, 22(3; 
May's Woods, 220; Street, 428. 

Mayo, John, 102, 397, 441; Lieut. 
John, 282, 304; Joseph, 22-5, 36, 
441; Samuel, 32; Thomas, 31,108, 
449 ; Mayo farm, 441 ; Mayo's 
Tavern, 184, 461. 

Mayors of Roxbury, 41. 

Mead, William, 193, 218; house, 219; 
orchard, 218. 

Mears, James, 142, 286; James, Jr., 
370; Samuel, 85; house, 287; tan- 
nery, 142; Lane, 350; estate, 369. 

Meeting-House Hill, 67, 236, 265, 287. 

Mellish, Lieut. Samuel, 31, 168. 

Miantonomoh, 237. 

Mifflin, Gen. Thomas, 85. 

Military history, 17, 29, 76, 104. 

Miller, Gen. James, 84; John, 49. 

Mills, Stephen, 32. 

Mill-Dam, 345. 

Minot, George, 73. 

Minute-men, 29, 31-3, 316. 

Monroe, President, 84, 158. 

Montague, Hon. Capt. William, 326. 

Montesquieu, Marquis, 83. 

Montresor, Major John, 70. 

Moody, John, 299; Parson, 125. 

Moore, Ashur, 259; W. C., 93. 

Morgan, Gen. Daniel, 80, 270, 273. 

Moreland Street, 114. 

Morrice, Isaac, 17. 

Morrill, Isaac, 50, 111, 105, 207, 351. 

Morris, Lieut. Richard, 106, 292; 
Com. Charles, 106. 

Morton, Perez, 134; Mrs., 134. 

Mory, Thomas, 449. 

Mount Hope Cemetery, 235. 

Mount Pleasant, 114. 

Muddy River, 329, 341-6; Pond Hill, 
437; Pond, 437. 

Munroe, Jedediah, 32; Deacon Ne- 
hemiah, 112, 159, 221, 227; Solo- 
mon, 32; Daniel, 167; farm, 227. 

Murdock, Deacon Ephraim, 445. 

Karragansett Fort fight, 17, 393. 
Nazing, 10, 11. 

Neck, 65-94; fortified, 28, 70; paved, 
67; houses on, 67; its dangers, 66. 
Ned's Hill, 105, 307. 

Nesutan, Job, 177. 

Newell, John, 17; Ebenezer, 21,403; 
Lieut. Ebenezer, 108; Abraham, 
49, 351, 370; Robert, 451; Mehita- 
bel, 451; Samuel, 108. 

New Lane, 199. 

Newton, part of, annexed, 48. 

Newton, John, provision store, 154; 
Gilbert Stuart, 309. 

Newman, Andrew, 207; W. J., 257. 

Noailles, Vicomte de, 83. 

Non-importation Resolves, 21. 

Norfolk Gazette, 87; Norfolk County 
Journal, 344; Norfolk Guards, 109, 
130, 259, 331; Norfolk and Bristol 
Turnpike, 350; Norfolk House, 
364; Bank, 368; Street, 159. 

Northampton Street, 76, 103, 110. 


Octagon Hall, 368. 

Oddiug, Sarah, 300. 

Old Red Tavern, 158; Old Grocery 

Store, 287, 314. 
Orr, James, 159. 
Otis, Theodore, 42, 310. 


Palmer, Gen. Joseph, 69; Palmer 
Street, 200. 

Paradise Hill, 323. 

Parish boundaries, 47; tomb, 110. 

Parke, William, 49, 95, 102, 105, 113, 

Parker, Augustus, 224; Caleb, 155; 
Catharine, 403; Jacob, 32; John, 
32, 392; John Wells, 158; Jona- 
than, 73; Jeremiah, 29; Noah, 32; 
Samuel, 196, 257; Theodore, 447, 
452-4; Thomas, 33; Timothy, 307, 
402; Peter, 392; Parker Hill, 391; 
Parker Street, 324. 

Parry, Thomas, 449; Joseph, 449. 

Parsonage, First Church, 310; Third 
Church, 421. 

Parting Stone, 315, 379. 

Patten, Nathaniel, 25-7, 92. 

Patterson, Rev. A. J., 259. 

Paupers, 383. 

Payson, Edward, 49, 95; Giles, 49, 
95, 114; Samuel, 222; Stephen. 33. 

Peabody, Rev. Oliver, 101, 302, 310. 

Peacocke, Richard, 49, 60, 169. 

Peacock Tavern, 435. 

Peck, Stephen, 102. 



Pemberton, Benjamin, 412, 423 ; Mrs. 
Susannah, 418. 

Penniman, John Ritts, 150, 287. 

Penny, Capt. Timothy, 428. 

Pepper, Joseph, 17; Richard, 49; 
Robert, 18, 164,394. 

Pepperell, Col. William, 125; Sir 
William, 429, 433. 

Perkins, Benjamin, house, 377; "Wil- 
liam, 49, 403; Street, 403. 

Pen-in, Noah, 25, 60, 264, 286, 360; 
Augustus, 220; Perrin'a Lane, 359. 

Perry, John, 49, 183, 392; Nathan- 
iel, 32. 

Persons and estates in 1640, 49. 

Peter's Hill Burial-ground, 444. 

Petit, John, 49. 

Philip's war, 16, 183. 

Phillips, Hon. William, 415. 

Pichegru, 83. 

Pierce, James, 168; Martin, 158; 
Lemuel, 381. 

Pierpont, Benjamin, 325; Ebenezer, 
286; James, 325; Joe, 326; John, 
58, 102, 325, 371; Robert, 29, 30, 82, 
324,326-7; Castle, 327; Mill, 325; 
village, 319. 

Pigeon Hill, 360. 

Pigge, Thomas, 50. 

Piggery, Rand and Seaver's, 118. 

Pilgrims' departure from Holland, 5. 

Pillory, 326. 

Pine Hill, 351 ; Island, 119, 129 ; 
pine-tree money, 62. 

Pitcairn, Major John, 75, 443. 

Plymouth Street, 39. 

Polley, John, 415, 438. 

Pond, Joshua, 32; Street, 411. 

Poplar Street, 462. 

Population, 52. 

Porter, Edward, 49, 370; Eliphalet, 
101, 205, 302, 312; John, 300. 

Pound, 381. 

Powder -House Lane, 119; maga- 
zine, 129. 

Pratt, Benjamin, 209; Simeon, 363, 

Prentiss, Dr. Nathaniel S., 219, 307. 

Price, Ezekiel, 275. 

Prices, 62. 

Prichard, Capt. Hugh, 107, 325; 
Prichard's Island, 325. 

Prince, Capt. John, 429. 

Province tax abated, 35. 

Prudden, John, 195. 

Pue, Jonathan, 211. 

Punch-Bowl Tavern, 348; village, 

Puritans, character of, 2, 3. 

Putnam, Allen, 119; Rev. George, 
302, 371 ; Col. Rufus, 77, 271. 

Pynchon, William, 12, 298; Street, 
320, 385. 


Quakers whipped, 15. 


Rain -Water Doctor, 451. 

Rawlings, Thomas, 290. 

Rawlines, Jasper, 68. 

Read, Hon. John, 38, 123, 128: John, 
128, 367; George, 129; Col. Joseph, 
85, 324; Read's battery, 280, 324; 
Read's Lane, 132. 

Remington, Lieut. John, 284, 322; 
Remington's Paradise, 323. 

Revolution of 1689, 18. 

Revolutionary incident, 304, 374. 

Reynolds, Rev. Grindall, 421. 

Richards, David, 32; Joseph, 32; 
Samuel, 32 ; Ensign, 81 ; Capt. 
Jeremiah, Jr., 108; Col. Jeremiah, 
463; Isaiah, 463; Nathaniel, 461; 
homestead, 461, 463. 

Richardson, Moses, 32; Luther, 309; 
Joseph, 167: Capt. John, 286. 

Rigges, Edward, 49, 95, 113. 

Riley's store, 380. 

Ripley, Rev. George, 455. 

Ritchie, James, 42. 

Robbins, Dr. P. G., 305; Robbing 
Rock Lane, Day Street. 

Robinson, Col. Lemuel, 73, 268. 

Roberts, John, Jr., 17, 50. 

Rochambeau's army, 82. 

Rock Hill, 230. 

Rocking Stone, 221. 

Rocky Pasture, 225; Rocky Bottom, 
230; Rocky Swamp Lane, 351; 
Swamp, 401. 

Roebuck Inn, 154. 

Rogers, Simon, 85. 

Rowson, Susanna, school, 86. 

Round the Square, 264. 

Roxbury, settled, 5, 11 ; colonists, 9; 
incorporated, 11; soldiers, 17; pe- 
titions General Court, 18, 25; re- 
solves, 19-28; recommends corre- 
spondence between the provincial 
assemblies, 22; Committee of Cor- 
respondence, 25; couriers stationed 
at, 31; adopts the Articles of Con- 
federation, 36; supports Declara- 
tion of Independence, 36; fore- 



stallers denounced, 37 ; instructions 
to its representatives, 37; celebrates 
the ratification of the Constitu- 
tion, 39; its 200th anniversary, 41 ; 
of Nov. 22, 1876, 41 ; towns settled 
by her citizens, 40 ; annexation, 41 ; 
mayors, 41; physical characteris- 
tics, 43 ; puddingstone, 22, 43; 
early descriptions, 45; boundaries, 
joined to Norfolk County, 48 ; lands 
apportioned, 48; purchases Indian 
title, 48; homesteads in 1654, 49; 
persons and estates in 1G38, 49; 
population, 52 ; slave-owners in 
1739, 60; sufferers by the siege, 82; 
minute-men, 29-31 ; soldiers, 107-8. 

Roxbury Artillery Association, 109. 

Roxbury boundary line, 47, 48, 76, 
87, 103, 346. 

Roxbury camp, 268-81. 

Roxbury, Canada, 108. 

Roxbury Canal, 103. 

Roxbury Charitable Society, 362. 

Roxbury City Guard, 109. 

Roxbury Common, 229, 231, 265. 

Roxbury forts, 277, 372-8. 

Roxbury Free School, 139, 187, 191-8. 

Roxbury Gas-Light Company, 51. 

Roxbury gate, 67, 87. 

Roxbury Hill, 265. 

Roxbury Land Company, 219, 227. 

Roxbury lines, 77, 91. 

Roxbury precinct, 47, 346. 

Roxbury Street, paved and lighted, 
51 ; laid out, 304 ; houses removed 
from, 89; in the siege, 80. 

Ruggles, Samuel, struck by light- 
ning, 15, 18, 108, 365; Lieut. Sam- 
uel, 19; Nathaniel, 381; Capt. 
John, 108, 366; Major Nathaniel, 
23, 25, 27, 29, 36, 366 ; John, 50, 286, 
34i i, 365; Thomas, 50, 365; Ed- 
ward, 60; Joseph, 286, 366; Dea- 
con Edward, 286; Lawyer Joseph, 
364, 381; Aunt Major, 367; Street, 
306; store, 315. 

Rumrill, Thomas, 92, 206. 

Ryder, Rev. "William H., 259. 


St. Maime, Count de, 83. 

St. James Church, 210; Park, 218. 

Salem witchcraft, 143-9. 

Salt manufacture, 69; Pans, 309. 

Salter, William, 32. 

Sassamon, John, 16. 

Saw-mill Brook, 439. 

Sargent, Epes, 114; Horace B., 41; 
Lucius M., 230; Col. L. M., 110. 

Scarborough. Samuel, 18; Deacon 
Samuel, 102, 229; Joseph, 207. 

Schools, 191-8, 201-4. 

School Street, 397. 

Scott, E. G., 93; John, 17; Nathan- 
iel, 9; Scott's carriage factory, 207. 

Sears, Col. Isaac, 418. 

Seaver, Jonathan, 30, 286 ; Ebenezer, 
286; Joseph, 305; Elijah, 392; Hon. 
Ebenezer, 223, 314, 332, 381; Rob- 
ert, 49, 223, 340: Nathaniel, 17, 61 ; 
Shubael, 102; Peter, 208; Abijah, 
226; Benjamin, 226; Street, 223. 

Seaverns, T. W., 428; farm, 231. 

Second Church, 447. 

Segur, Count, 83. 

Selectmen, 262. 

Settlement of New England, Causes 
of, 2; of Massachusetts Bay, 5-9. 

Sharpe, John, 17; Capt. Robert, 108. 

Shawmut Avenue, 65, 303. 

Shays's Insurrection, 38. 

Sheafe, , 50. 

Sheffield, Edward, 50. 

Sherman, Philip, 292-3, 300. 

Shirley, Gov. William, 120-7; Shir- 
ley Place, 120-32; Street, 125. 

Siege of Boston, 33, 74, 268, 329. 

Simmons, David A., 371; George 
A., 365. 

Slaves, 60. 342. 

Sleeper, John S., 42, 114-15. 

Smelt Brook, 47, 236, 303. 

Smith, Joseph, 32; Michael, 32; 
Ralph, 52, 103, 320, 324; Francis, 
49,95,113; Richard, 211; Nathan- 
iel Ruggles, 318; Amos, 167; 
Smith's carriage shop, 154. 

Social Library, 154; usages, 60-3. 

Soldiers' monuments, 234, 424. 

South Street, 433, 462. 

Southern riflemen, 270. 

Spencer, Gen. Joseph, 273. 

Spooner, John Jones, 38, 108, 361; 
William H., 109, 332. 

Spring Street, 437, 463. 

Springfield settled, 12. 

Squirrels' Delight, on Perkins Street, 
near Brookline. 

Stamp Act, 20, 68, 165. 

Stand-pipe, 375, 378. 

Stanley, Onesiphorous, 17. 

Stannard, John, 49. 

Star, Samuel, 33. 

Stebbins, John, 102 ; Martin, 49 
Mrs. Martin, 301. 



Stedman, Caleb, 286. 

Stevens, Timothy, 20, 108; Dr. Sam- 
uel, 149, 213; Capt. Samuel, 99, 
111, 207, 276; Col. Ebenezer, 79. 

Stony Brook, 47, 385, 438- 

Storming of Narragansett Fort, 17. 

Stow, John, 49, 50, 194, 325, 371; 
Elizabeth, 300. 

Streets and highways, 50, 67. 

Stuart, Gilbert, 230, 305. 

Sturtevant, Isaac, 33. 

Sumner, Gov. Increase, 351-4; birth- 
place 155; Samuel, 47, 156, 198, 
227-9; Increase, 36, 82, 155; Ed- 
ward, 76, 117, 155, 158, 200, 286, 
324; Gen. William H., 233, 345; 
Sumner Hall, 201, 204; Sumner 
Place, 76; Street, 200. 

Sunday regulations, 61; Sunday 
schools, 295. 

Swan, Col. James, 135-8 ; house, 
134; Swan's Woods, 134. 

Swift, John, 167: David, 167. 


Taber, Elnathan, 207. 

Taft's Tavern, 441. 

Talbot, Nathaniel, 32; Eben, 32. 

Tanneries, 46, 51. 

Tarring and feathering, 123. 

Tay's Orchard, 350. 

Tea Party, 137, 386. 

Temple, Robert, 336. 

Thayer, Rev. Ebenezer, 449-50. 

The Free School, 191. 

The Square, 264. 

The Short Story, 171 . [Hugh, 414. 

Thomas, Gen. John, 85, 267, 310; 

Thompson, Bridget, 91 ; Major Wil- 
liam, 23; Benjamin, epitaph, 101, 
196, 360; Rev. A. C., 368; Rev. 
James W., 421. 

Thoreau, H. D., 456. 

Thousand acres, next to Dedham. 

Thwing, S.C.,359, 371. 

Tide Mill, 324-5. 

Tommy's Rocks, 225, 351. 

Torrent Engine, 168. 

Torrey, Philip, 18. 

Tory Hill, 265. 

Town Lane, 159; Town House, 259; 
town records, 261; meetings, 260; 
government, 262 ; watch, 263 ; 
stocks, 263; officers, 264. 

Townsend, J. P., 221. 

Totman, John, 49, 402; Totman's 
Rocks, 402. 

Trainband, 105. 
Training-Field, 104-8. 
Trask, Capt. Samuel, 104. 
Tremont Street, 320. 
Troutbeck, Rev. John, 411. 
Trumble, John, 49. 
Trumbull, Col. John, 72, 273. 
Tucker, Beza, 111; Joseph W., 264 
Tupper, Col. Benjamin, 78, 80, 304. 
Turell, Mrs. Mary, 75. 
Turner House, 380. 
Tyler, President, 84; Col. J. S., 85. 


Underbill, Capt. John, 105. 
Union Street, 207. 
Ursuline Sisters, 332. 


Vassal, Lewis, 211. 
Vernon Street, 159. 
Viome'nil, Marquis, 82. 
Voters, qualifications of, 262. 


Waauban, 178, 180. 

Waitt, Samuel, 229; Benjamin, 317 j 

Waitt's Mill, 319. 
Wakeman, Samuel, 290. 
Waldo, Gen. Samuel, 122. 
Walk Hill Street, 235. 
Walker, Hon. Samuel, 42, 134. 
Walley, Samuel H., 371. ' 
Walnut Avenue, 199, 225. 
Walter, Nathaniel, 443; Nehemiah, 

101. 171; Thomas, 98, 101, 173, 297; 

William, 443; Walter Street, 442. 
Ward, Gen. Artemas, 330; Col. 

Joshua, 329; headquarters, 328; 

orderly book, 330; John, 168, 381. 
Warner, Capt. Jonathan, 85. 
Warren, Gen. Joseph, 34, 68, 218; 

Dr. John, 214; Dr. John C., 213; 

country seat, 213; Samuel, 212; 

Ebenezer, 212, 286; William, 32; 

Joseph, 212, 286; homestead, 213; 

estate, 212; cemetery, 211; Warren 

Street, 199. 

War of the Rebellion, 109, 425. 
Warwick, 108. 
Washington, George, 77, 85, 127, 205, 

329; market, 86; house, 86; hotel, 

87; park, 226; Lodge, 205, 381; 



Street, 65; school, 305; "Washing- 
ton's funeral, 205. 

Waterman, Thomas, 49. 50. 

Waters, Josiah, 74, 77, 376. 

Water Street, now Ruggles. 

Watson, John, 17. 49, 102, 169, 369. 

Webb, William, 49; Mrs. William 
Webb, 301. 

Webster Hall, 142, 150. 

Weld, Aaron D., 454; Benjamin, 32, 
81; David. 25,27,36,454; Lieut. 
Daniel, 445; Ebenezer, 33; Col. 
Eleazer, 21, 23, 29, 36, 60, 440; Eli- 
jah, 33, 167; Job, 33; John, 50, 
439, 449, 455; Capt. Joseph, 33, 
82, 105, 158, 292; William, 32; Dea- 
con Nathaniel, 407; Stephen M., 
439; Edmund, 114; Samuel, 114; 
Weld estate, 114,454; Weld's Hill, 
77, 440; Weld Street, 454, 463. 

Welde, Eev. Thomas, 50, 102, 114, 
169-71, 290; Daniel, 169, 195. 

West Point Cadets' visit, 331. 

West Roxbury Town Hall, 416; lo- 
calities, 437; incorporated, 438; 
precinct line, 449. 

Whipping-post, 384. 

White, Aaron. 114, 221; David, 33; 
John, 221; Moses, 114; Samuel, 

Whit'eneld, Rev. George, 125, 173, 

Whitcomb, Col. Asa, 123, 281. 

Whitewash Hall, 111, 198. 

Whiting, Ebenezer, 27, 29; Tavern, 
461; Henry, 463; Leouard, 463; 
Moses, 31; Rufus, 33; Seth, 461. 

Whitney, Daniel, 449; Ebenezer, 32; 
Elisha,462; Rev. George, 42 1,450; 
Isaac, 32; Jacob, 32; John, 434, 
449 ; t Stephen, 32; Timothy, 449. 

Whittemore, Jacob, 32; Lawrence, 
4!), 193; Michael, 461-2. 

Wigs, Eliot's aversion to, 188. 

Wild, Charles, 382. 

Wilder, Marshall P., 223. 

Wilson, Nathaniel, 17. 

Willson, Rev. E. B., 450. 

Willard, Aaron, 153, 167, 374; Ben- 
jamin, 152: Simon, 152. 

Williams, Col. Joseph, 20-30, 34, 58, 
60, 108, 384-3; Capt. Eleazer, 21, 
116, 286; Elizabeth, 102; Henry, 
22; Theoda, 114; Rev. John, 175; 

Dudley, 93; Samuel Sprague, 93, 
257; Lawyer Tom, 93, 115; Dr. 
Thomas, 76, 82, JOS, 116; Moses, 
228, 358, 425; Samuel, 18, 37, 64, 
95, 175, 286; Stephen, tanner, 29, 
82, 116, 134, 227, 286, 360; Capt. 
Joseph, 30, 383, 397; Lieut. Isaac, 
31, 235; Henry Howell, 34; Major 
Edward Payson, 31, 398; Lieut. 
Robert, 31,197; Thomas, 32; Rob- 
ert. 49, 95, 115, 117; John, 60, 119, 
133; John, Jr., 23, 29, 167, 286; 
Capt. Nathaniel, 102, 108, 286, 358; 
Aaron D., 228, 235; homestead, 
227; John D. W., 221; Stedman, 
228, 230; Capt. John, 228; Benja- 
min Payson, 235; Stephen, tin- 
man, 276; Mrs. Dorothy, 286; 
Jonathan, 286; Noah Pen-in, 360; 
Patty, 38t>; Jeremiah, 398; Otho 
Holland, 271 ; Williams Street, 92. 

Winchester, Elhanan, 257; Nathan- 
iel, 403. 

Windship, Dr. C. M., 208, 225; 
George B., 208. 

Winslow, John A., 211; Isaac, 25, 
26, 255-7; Samuel, 257. 

Winthrop Street, 114. 

Witchcraft, 143. 

Withington, Phineas, 402. 

Wolf Trap, 219. 

Wonders of the Invisible World, 147. 

Wood, Francis, 32; John, 87; Wil- 
liam, 33. 

Woodbridge, Joshua Lamb, 82, 87. 

Woodstock settled, 40. 

Woodward, W. Elliot, 115. 

Woody, John, 97, 179; Richard, 164. 

Worcester Turnpike, 65, 304. 

Workhouse, 382. 

Wynian farm, 402; Capt. William, 
31, 347. 


Young, Calvin, 414; Mrs. Calvin, 
414; Mrs. Lot, 158. 


Zeigler, George, 169, 207-8; Zeiglei 
Street, 169, 207. 


Boston Records- 
town of