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F5 J52 Corne " Univers "y Library 
T hiSiiSimii Bos,on JP°st road, 


3 1924 030 933 703 

Cornell University 

The original of this book is in 
the Cornell University Library. 

There are no known copyright restrictions in 
the United States on the use of the text. 


The Greatest Street in the World — Broadway 
The Story of The Bronx 

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The Old Boston 
Post Road 


Stephen Jenkins 

Member of the Westchester County Historical Society 

Author of 

"The Greatest Street in the World" and "The Story of The Bronx" 

With 200 Illustrations and Maps 

G. P. Putnam's Sons 

New York and London 

Zbe "ffmfcfeerbocfcer press 


f 4 

A.30 57 7-3 

Copyright, 1913 



Ube fmfcfeetbocfter rprese, mew ffiotft 


This Book is Dedicated 

to THE 


in all public and historical association libraries on the route 
OF the great post road, including both termini, as a mark 



IN the year 1673, the first mail upon the continent of 
America was dispatched from New York to Boston 
by way of New Haven, Hartford, Springfield, Brook- 
field, Worcester, Cambridge, and a few intermediate 
places. It is hard for us of this day and generation to 
realize that at that time these present flourishing towns 
and cities were small groups of houses huddled together 
for mutual protection; mere pioneer hamlets upon the 
frontiers of advancing civilization. The depredations of 
Indian foes, and the harassing raids of French rivals for 
supremacy upon the continent could not stay the progress 
of the indomitable Anglo-Saxon spirit; and gradually the 
frontier advanced farther and farther westward. Stern 
and repressive were the Puritan fathers in their religious 
ideas, and the same characteristics affected them in their 
government of civil affairs. Notwithstanding the mis- 
fortunes and vicissitudes of the new settlements, there 
was no thought of letting go; and the General Courts 
issued and enforced mandates against the desertion of 
these plantations in the wilderness. 

Common dangers brought forth mutual appreciation 
and mutual help, then followed the Confederacy of the 
New England Colonies in 1643, the first step, practically, 
toward that greater union of the States which exists to- 
day. Though formed for military purposes, the Confed- 
eracy took a political cast, and the royal governors, for 

vi Preface 

half a century, were engaged in combating the pre- 
tensions and independence of a league of scattered colo- 
nies, individually weak, but collectively strong. The 
seed of united action was too firmly planted to be eradi- 
cated; and when the oppressions of the home government 
began in 1765 with the Stamp Act, we find it blossoming 
into full flower. The home government was forced to 
submit, though asserting lamely that it had power to do 
as it pleased with the colonies. 

Meanwhile, there had been material progress in agri- 
cultural lines. As long as the settlements were along the 
coast, communication and interchange of commodities 
were easy by means of vessels ; but the settlements began 
to grow inland, and roads became necessary to maintain 
communication; and roads are great factors in develop- 
ment and civilization. Several such roads were developed 
from the Indian trails leading from Boston, so that in 
time there came to be two well defined post roads from 
Boston to New York, and a third developed later in the 
days of the turnpikes. 

I have chosen for the subject of this volume the oldest 
and most northerly of these post roads: that over which 
the first post-rider went; that which echoed to the war- 
whoop of the savage; that which saw the passage of the 
soldiers to and from the seat of activities during the 
French wars ; that which beheld the flocking of the minute- 
men upon the Lexington Alarm, or the rallying of the 
militia to the standard of Gates; that which served 
several times for the journeys of Washington, and that 
which later became the pathway of countless thousands 
of emigrants on their way to the rich valleys of the 
Mohawk and the Genesee, or to the fertile prairies of the 
Middle West. 

I have tried to trace these pioneer settlements to their 



present positions as manufacturing towns and cities; and, 
above all, I have tried to emphasize the personalities of 
those men and women who have been chiefly instrumental 
in causing the progress of their towns and of the country 
in material wealth, or in literature, art, or education. 
This being a tale of a post road, it is natural that there will 
be a good deal about taverns and about means of trans- 
portation; for the former were of great importance in the 
early days, and the improvements in the latter culminat- 
ing in the railroads of to-day have been, probably, the 
chief factor in the opening up of new country and its 
resources and in advancing its settlement and prosperity. 

S. J. 

Mt. Vernon, N. Y., 
September, 1913. 

Acknowledgments are made for the use of copyrighted 
material, especially to Houghton Mifflin Co. for extracts 
from the Cambridge edition of the American Poets. 


Owing to the death of the author while this book was 
passing through the press, the proofs of the final chapters 
did not have the advantage of his personal supervision. 
These proofs, have, however, been read by representatives 
of the author who had familiarized themselves with the 
material. This volume must constitute the completion of 
the series which presents the result of investigations made 
by the scholarly author covering a long series of years. 



I. — The Era of the Post-Rider 
II. — The Era of the Stage Coach 
III.— Park Row .... 
IV.^The Bowery 

V.— The Boston Post Road 

VI. — Mainland to the Connecticut Boundary . 

VII. — Fairfield County, Connecticut. — Green- 
wich, Stamford, Noroton, Darien, and 


VIII. — Fairfield County, Connecticut. {Concluded) 
— Westport, Southport, Fairfield, 
Bridgeport, and Stratford . 

IX. — New HavenCounty, Connecticut. — Milford, 
New Haven, North Haven, Walling- 
ford, and meriden .... 

X. — Middlesex County, Connecticut. — Monto- 
wese, Northford, Durham, Middletown, 
Cromwell, Rocky Hill, and Wethers- 



















xii Contents 


XI.— Hartford County, Connecticut. — Berlin, 
Hartford, Windsor, Windsor Locks, and 
Suffield 259 

XII. — Hampden County, Massachusetts. — Agawam, 
West Springfield, Springfield, Wilbra- 
ham, and Palmer 287 

XIII. — Worcester County, Massachusetts. — West 
Warren, Warren, The Brookfields, 
Spencer, and Leicester . . . 310 

XIV. — Worcester County, Massachusetts (Con- 
cluded). — Worcester, Shrewsbury, and 
Northborough 330 

XV. — Middlesex County, Massachusetts. — Marl- 
borough, South Sudbury, Wayland, 
Weston, Waltham, Watertown, and 
Cambridge ...... 355 

XVI. — Newton, Brighton, Brookline, and Roxbury 385 

XVII. — Washington Street, Boston . . . 405 

Bibliography 427 

Index 435 



The New Municipal Building in New York City, show- 
ing the City Hall in the foreground, and the approach 
to the Brooklyn Bridge at the right . Frontispiece 

George Washington's State Coach .... 2 

Stage Coach (America) ...... 2 

Facsimile of an Old Stage coach Handbill 3 

Drawn by Capt. Basil Hall, R.N., by means of camera obscura. 

Stage Notice, Hartford ...... 3 

The original is now in the possession of Judge Sherman W. 

Route — New York to Boston 4 

Route — New York to Boston 5 

Route — New York to Boston 8 

Route — New York to Boston 9 

Route — New Yofk to Boston 12 

Route — New York to Boston 13 

Route — New York to Boston 16 

A Tavern Sign, Saybrook, Conn 17 

The Railroad Depot on Fourth Avenue, Corner of 27th 

Street 20 

From Valentine's Manual, i860. 

A Group of Old Cottages on the Old Boston Road, Cor- 
ner 46th Street and Third Avenue, i860 ... 20 
From Valentine's Manual, 1861. 


xiv Illustrations 


The Old Hazard House, N. Y., Corner 84th Street and 

Third Avenue, in 1835 2I 

From Valentine's Manual. 

Harlem Lane, from Central Park to Manhattanville . 21 
From Valentine's Manual. 

The Old Staats Zeitung Building, Park Row and Centre 

Street 2 4 

From a photo by Geo. P. Hall & Son. 

General Lafayette's Carriage . . . . • a 5 

The Park Theatre and Part of Park Row, 1831 . . 25 

From Valentine's Manual. 

The Empire City Skating Rink in New York . . 32 
"One Mile from City Hall," New York ... 33 

The Bible-House, Cooper Institute, and Tompkins 
Market 4 6 

From Valentine's Manual. 

The Firemen's Procession passing the Washington Monu- 
ment, Union Square, on the Evening of September 1, 
1858 46 

The Old Pear-Tree planted by Governor Stuyvesant at 
the Corner Third Avenue and 13th Street . . 47 
From Valentine's Manual. 

The Last of the Kissing Bridge on the Old Boston Road, 
i860. 50th Street and Second Avenue ... 47 

From Valentine's Manual. 

A General View of Chatham Street, looking down from 
Chatham Square, 1858 ...... 54 

From Valentine's Manual. 

Illustrations xv 


An Old View of the Present Junction of Pearl and 

Chatham Streets ....... 54 

From Valentine's Manual, 1861. 

Stuyvesant's House in the Bowery 55 

St. Paul's Church, Eastchester (1765). . . . 120 

Fay House (formerly Tavern) opposite St. Paul's 

Church, Eastchester ...... 120 

Bronxdale, on the Boston Road, 1903. The Houses are 
all since demolished . . . . . .121 

The Tom Paine Monument before Removal, New Ro- 

chelle ......... 132 

Tom Paine's House on Original Site, New Rochelle . . 133 

The Disbrow Chimney, Mamaroneok . . . .138 

The Jay Mansion on the Post Road, Mamaroneck . 139 

The De Lancey House on Heathcote Hill, Mamaroneck . 139 

"Havilands" Tavern, the Old Square House, now the 

Town Hall, Rye 150 

W. P. Watson's Hotel and Residence . . . .151 

Byram Bridge 151 

The Putnam Cottage. At the Time of the Revolution 

this was Captain John Hobby's House, Greenwich . 164 

The Residence of Mr. Weed, formerly the Weed Tavern, 

Greenwich ........ 165 

The "Old Washington House" 174 

Courtesy of Stamford Daily Advocate. 

xvi Illustrations 


The City Hall, Stamford 174 

The First Episcopal Church, erected 1748, Stratford . 175 
The Freeman Curtis House, built in 1713, Stratford . 175 

Gorham's Tide Mill, Noroton 176 

The Congregational Church, Darien . . . .177 
The Old Norwalk Hotel, Wall Street, 1850 . . .180 

The Norwalk Hotel, 1775 180 

The Town Hall, Norwalk 181 

The Nathan Hale Fountain, Norwalk .... 181 
The Bridge over the Saugatuck River at Westport . 184 
The Westport Hotel, Westport . . . . .184 

The Monument at the Scene of the Swamp Fight, West- 
port 185 

The Sun Tavern (Manual House), Fairfield . . 192 

The Protestant Episcopal Church, Fairfield. Originally 
begun as a New Jail ...... 193 

The Silliman Homestead, formerly Harpin's Tavern, 
Bridgeport (1700) ....... 198 

The Congress Street Bridge, Bridgeport . . .198 
The Oldest House in Bridgeport, built by Rev. M. Cook 

in I693 igg 

"Iranistan," the Residence of P. T. Barnum, in 1848, 
Bridgeport 199 

The First House built outside the Palisades, Milford. 
Residence of Mrs. Nathan G. Pond. Property of 
Charles W. Beardsley . . . . . .210 

Illustrations xvii 


The Regicides' House, Milford 210 

A Group of Elm Trees, Milford 211 

The First Congregationalist Church, Mill Pond, or Nep- 
paway River, Milford ...... 214 

The. Memorial Bridge, Milford 214 

Harbor View, Milford ...... 215 

Liberty Rock, Milford ...... 215 

From a photo by Ernest B. Hyatt. 

Yale College, New Haven, Old North Middle College — 
demolished. Old South Middle College — still standing, 218 
From a photo by the Bradley Studio. 

Old Yale Campus, New Haven, about 1865 . .218 

West Haven Green, West Haven . . . .219 

From a photo by Bradley Studio. 

East Rock, New Haven ...... 220 

The Pierpont House erected 1764-67, Elm Street, New 
Haven ... ... 220 

This house was pillaged and used as a British hospital, July 5, 
1779. Now the home of the Rev. Anson Phelps Stokes. [On 
its walls hang rare prints and other Yale memorabilia. East is 
the Jarvis house of 1767. West stood the house of the Rev. 
James Pierpont, a founder of Yale. 

The Old Home of Roger Sherman, " The Signer" and 
the First Mayor of New Haven . . . .221 

The house was built by him in 1789 and stands on Chapel Street, 
near High, remodelled into stores. 

United Church on the New Haven Green, erected 1815. 
The Law School of Yale University on Elm Street . 221 

xviii Illustrations 


Temple Street, New Haven 222 

West Rock, New Haven. "My Farm at Edgewood." 

The Home of Donald G. Mitchell—" Ik Marvel " . 223 

Phelps Hall, New Haven . . . ' _ . . . 224 

East Rock Park, New Haven 225 

The Judges' Cave, New Haven .... 228 

Osborn Hall, New Haven ...... 228 

The Oakdale Tavern, formerly Bishop's (1765?), Wal- 

lingford ........ 229 

The Styles, or Trumbull House, North Haven . . 229 

Mine Island and Castle Craig Tower, Hubbard Park, 

Meriden ........ 232 

Meriden, Connecticut, from Views Street . . . 232 

The Old Berkeley Tavern, Berlin .... 233 

The Austin House, Durham ..... 233 

Meeting-House Green, in 1835, Durham . . . 236 

Side View of Swatha House, Durham . . . 236 

High Street, Middletown ...... 237 

Wesleyan University — "College Row," Middletown . 240 

Sign of Tavern at West Cromwell . . . .241 

Berkeley Divinity School, Middletown . . .241 

The Chimney of the Silliman House, Wethersfield . 254 

The Burns (or May) Tavern, Wethersfield . . .254 

Illustrations xix 


"Hospitality Hall," Wethersfield. The Webb House, 
where Washington and Rochambeau were entertained 
at their first meeting in 1 78 1 ..... 255 

From the Connecticut River, Wethersfield is a view of 
delight ; her Christopher Wren spire nestles among the 
trees, and white stones of the old burying-ground, like 
a flock of sheep on the hillside, appear quite English 
and pastoral ....... 

The Connecticut State Capitol and Bushnell Park, Hart 

The Charter Oak, Hartford .... 

The Old Home of the Hon. John Webster, Fifth Governor 
of Connecticut, Hartford .... 

Main Street, Hartford ..... 

Soldiers' Memorial Arch, Hartford 

The Morgan Art Museum, Hartford . 

Dutch Point, Hartford. Near the Site of the Dutch 
"House of Hope". . ... 

Old State House, now City Hall, Hartford . 

A Typical Chain Ferry ..... 






Chief-Justice Ellsworth Mansion Windsor. Life-size 
Portrait of Chief -Justice Ellsworth and Abigail Wol- 
cott Ellsworth 278 

Entrance of the Enfield Canal at Windsor Locks . . 278 

Bissell's Ferry, Windsor. The Bell to call the Ferry- 
man • 279 

Giles Grange (First Postmaster-General of United 
States) House, Suffield 284 

xx Illustrations 


The Day House, West Springfield . . . .285 

Parsons Tavern as it appeared in 1886, Springfield . 288 

From an old wood cut. 

William Pynchon ....... 2 &9 

From an old engraving. 

Municipal Building, Springfield .... 292 

From a photo by Copeland & Dodge. 

Deacon Chapin Statue, Springfield .... 292 

The Springfield Home of George Bancroft . . . 293 

First Church, Springfield, erected 1645 . . . 293 

The Wait Guide Stone at Federal and State Sts., Spring- 
field 296 

Historical Tablet on Office Building, Corner of Main and 
Fort Sts., Springfield 297 

The Miles Morgan Statue, Court Square, Springfield . 298 
From a photo by Copeland & Dodge. 

A Connecticut Valley Tobacco Farm .... 299 

Court Square, Springfield, in the Forties . . . 302 

From an old print. 

Monument to Dead of Second Regiment of the Spanish 
War, Springfield ....... 303 

A Fourth of July Celebration, Springfield, in 191 1 . 303 

From a photo by Copeland & Dodge. 

The Old Bridge over the Chicopee River, Palmer. . 304 

The Washington Elm, Palmer ..... 305 

Illustrations xxi 


Kidd's Cave, Palmer 305 

The French Tavern, Palmer 308 

The Bear Tree, Palmer ...... 308 

The Sign of Brewer's Tavern at Wilbraham . . 309 

The Bliss Tavern, North Wilbraham .... 309 

The Unitarian Church, Weston ..... 312 

The Golden Ball Tavern, Weston .... 312 

"Stop Thief." Emblem of " The Thief Detecting 

Society," Warren ....... 313 

Weston Square and the Theodore Jones House, Weston . 313 

The Hitchcock Tavern, West Brookfield . . . 316 

The Old Foster House, West Brookfield (1712) . . 316 

The Merriam Publishing Company's Building, West 

Brookfield ........ 317 

Whitefield Rock, on Foster's Hill, West Brookfield. . 317 

The Monument to the Three Howes, Spencer . . 320 

Unveiling the Soldiers' Monument at Spencer . . 320 

The Howe Homestead, Spencer . . . . .321 

The Lopez House and Store, First Academy Building, 
1784-1806, Leicester . . . .321 

The Floating Bridge, Lake Quinsigamond, 1818-1860 . 330 

Mechanics' Hall, Worcester .... 330 
From the photo by E. B. Luce. 

The City Hall, Worcester . . . . . . 331 

From the photo by E. B. Luce. 




The American Antiquarian Society Building, Worcester . 334 

Salisbury Mansion on Lincoln Square (over a century 

old), Worcester ....... 334 

The Statue of George Frisbie Hoar, Worcester . . 335 
From the photo by E. B. Luce. 

Landing Place on Lake Quinsigamond, Worcester . 344 
From a photo by E. B. Luce. 

The Birthplace of George Bancroft, Worcester . . 345 

The Blaew Press of 1680, brought to Worcester by Isaiah 
Thomas in 1775, now in the Possession of the Ameri- 
can Antiquarian Society ...... 346 

The First Book Printed in Worcester .... 347 
From The Worcester Magazine, Oct., 1910. 

The Chaise belonging to Sheriff Ward of Worcester . 350 
From a photo by H. C. Hammond. 

The Peace Tavern, Shrewsbury ..... 350 

The General Artemas Ward House, Shrewsbury . . 351 

The Wadsworth Monument, South Sudbury . .351 

"The Wayside Inn," Sudbury 360 

The Interior of " The Wayside Inn," Sudbury . .361 

A Tavern Sign at Sudbury, " The Wayside Inn" . .361 

The Unitarian Church, Wayland (1814) . . . 368 

The Williams Tavern, Marlborough .... 368 
From a water-color painting by Ellen M. Carpenter. 

The Bridge over the Charles River, Watertown . . 369 



The Bird Tavern on the Road to Cambridge at Water- 
town ....... 

The Central House on Main Street, Waltham 

Coolidge's Tavern, Newton 

The Town Hall, Brookline 

The Gymnasium (Bath on left), Brookline . 

Christ Church, Cambridge 

The Bridge over the Charles River, connecting Cam- 
bridge and Brighton .... 
From the photo by F. A. Olson. 

The Wadsworth House, Cambridge 

"Old Massachusetts" in The Yard, erected 1720. Oc- 
cupied by the American Army, 1 775-1 776. Matthews 
Hall. In the Background are the Johnston Gate and 
First Parish Church— The "Sentinel" of Holmes's 
Poem .......... 

The Parting Stone, Roxbury ..... 

Harvard College Gate, Cambridge .... 

Washington Elm ....... 

The Old State House (1748), Boston, as restored in 188 1 . 
The Old Town House, Boston ..... 

Boylston Market, Washington Street, Boston 
The Old South Church, Boston (built in 1 729) 

An Old Time-Table 

"Old Corner Bookstore," Boston .... 








xxiv Illustrations 


Faneuil Hall, Boston, in the 18th Century . . . 412 

Trinity Church, Corner of Washington and Summer 
Streets, Boston ....... 413 

Looking North from Garner and Summer Streets, Boston 416 

The old Boylston Market, Corner of Washington and 
Boylston Streets, Boston ..... 416 

Copley Square, Boston. Trinity Church, built 1877; 
organized 1728; Richardson, architect. Institute 
of Technology. Spire of Arlington Street Church, 
organized 1727 ....... 417 

Corner of Winter, Washington, and Summer Streets, 
Boston. ..... 


Old Trinity Church, Corner of Summer and Washington 
Streets, Boston ....... 420 

Stephen Stow House, Wharf Street, Freelove Baldwin 
Stow Chapter, D. A. R., Milford .... 420 

The oldest dry-goods Store in Boston, Washington 
Corner Ruggles Street. Established 18 14 . .421 


The Town of Boston in New England by Captain John 
Bonner, 1722 . . . . ' . . .408 

Boston and Its Environs, in 1775 . . . .418 

Map of Boston ...... 422 

Sketch Map Showing the New York and Boston Post 
Road At End 

The Old Boston Post Road 

The Old Boston Post Road 



IN August, 1 668, the Honorable Francis Lovelace arrived 
in New York as successor to Colonel Nicolls in the 
governorship of New York. In accordance with his 
instructions to do all in his power to promote friendly 
intercourse with the other English colonies in America, 
and especially with those of New England, he and Colonel 
Nicolls visited Governor Winthrop of Connecticut. The 
establishment of a post was discussed between them, with 
the result that, in December, 1672, Lovelace wrote to 
Winthrop as follows: 

I here present you with two rarities, a pacquett of the latest 
intelligence I could meet withal, and a Post. By the first, 
you will see what has been acted on the stage of Europe; by 
the latter you will meet with a monthly fresh supply; so that 
if it receive but the same ardent inclinations from you as at 
first it hath from myself, by our monthly advisoes all publique 
occurrences may be transmitted between us, together with 
severall other great conveniencys of publique importance, 
consonant to the commands laid upon us by His sacred 
Majestie, who strictly injoins all his American subjects to 
enter into a close correspondency with each other. This I 

2 The Old Boston Post Road 

look upon as the most compendious means to beget a mutual 
understanding; and that it may receive all the countenance 
from you for its future duration, I shall acquaint you with 
the model I have proposed ; and if you please but to make an 
addition to it, or subtraction, or any other alteration, I shall be 
ready to comply with you. This person that has undertaken 
the imployment I conceaved most proper, being both active, 
stout and indefatigable. He is sworne as to his fidelity. I have 
affixt an annuall sallery on him, which, together with the ad- 
vantage of his letters and other small portable packes, may 
afford him a handsome livelyhood. Hartford is the first stage I 
have designed him to change his horse, where constantly I ex- 
pect he should have a fresh one lye. All the letters outward 
shall be delivered gratis, with a signification of Post Payd on the 
superscription ; and reciprocally, we expect all to us free. Each 
first Monday of the month he sets out from New York, and 
is to return within the month from Boston to us againe. The 
mail has divers baggs, according to the townes the letters are 
designed to, which are all sealed up till their arrivement, with 
the seale of the Secretarie's Office, whose care it is on Saturday 
night to seale them up. Only by-letters are in the open bag, to 
dispense by the wayes. Thus you see the scheme I have drawn 
to promote a happy correspondence. I shall only beg of you 
your furtherance to so universall a good work; that is to afford 
him directions where and to whom to make his application 
to upon his arrival in Boston ; as likewise to afford him what 
letters you can to establish him in that imployment there. 
It would be much advantageous to our designe, if in the inter- 
vall you discoursed with some of the most able woodmen, to 
make out the best and most facile way for a Post, which in 
process of tyme would be the King's best highway; as like- 
wise passages and accommodations at Rivers, fords, or other 
necessary places. 

In addition to being a sworn messenger, the post-rider 
was required to direct travellers, who might choose to 
accompany him, to the best roads and to the most com- 

George Washington's State Coach. 

Stage Coach (America). 
Drawn by Capt. Basil Hall, R.N., by means of camera obscura. 






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The Era of the Post-Rider 3 

modious stopping places, and was to select the most con- 
venient places for leaving letters and packets and for 
gathering up the same. It was designed by Governor 
Lovelace that the first mail should leave the fort at New 
York on January 1, 1673; but, owing to the failure off' 
some Albany dispatches to reach New York in time, the 
post-rider did not make his departure until the twenty- 

His route led him from the fort at the lower end of 
Broadway, north over that highway, through the land- 
gate in the palisades at Wall Street, and thence over the 
_.cow-path to the Fields, the present City Hall Park. , Here 
he turned east around the rectangular pasture land of the 
city into the Bowery Lane leading to the Bowery Village, 
and over the recently opened road to New Harlem. ' Per- 
haps he turned aside for a glass of beer for which the village 
was already famous, or, it may be, continued on to the ferry S 
at Spuyten Duyvil; and, after chaffing the ferryman, 
Johannes Verveelen, put up at his tavern for the night, 
after a day's ride of fifteen miles. The short winter's day 
would not permit him to go farther, and his horse must be 
conserved until he reached Hartford. 

Refreshed by his night's repose, he started on his ride 
across the country to Eastchester, following the old Indian 
trail to that place and crossing the Bronx River at Wil- ^ 
liamsbridge, not far from where the bridge has been for 
more than two centuries. At Eastchester, he pushed 
on over the Westchester Path,the ancient Indian trail by 
which the Mohicans of New York kept up communication .. 
with their kinsmen of the Connecticut valley, and over 
which" the Connecticut English had found their way to 
the Vriedelandt of the Dutch and had settled, in 1642, at 
Throgg's Neck and, in 1654, on the banks of Westchester 
Creek. He stopped, probably, at Horseneck for the night, 

4 The Old Boston Post Road 

. and the next day resumed his journey through the settle- 
/ ments along the shore of the Sound. Trails, slowly de- 
veloping into wagon roads, connected these villages; for 
the indefatigable colonizers of New England had been 
for years spreading their settlements ever westward, 
encroaching on the lands of the Dutch, and arousing 
disputes in regard to ownership and boundaries that came 
down almost to our own times. 

V^From New Haven to Hartford, his way was plain; and 
from the latter place to Springfield, it was plainer still. 
At Springfield, he crossed the Connecticut River and 
turned eastward over the Indian trail from Massachusetts 
Bay to the valley of the Connecticut, over which the first 
white men had found their way in 1633. Since then many 
thousands of feet had trodden the Old Bay and the Old 
Connecticut paths on their way to Springfield, Windsor, 
Holyoke, Hartford, Wethersfield, and other Connecticut 
River towns. Two weeks after his departure from New 
York, he rode through Roxbury into Boston over the 
narrow neck connecting the mainland with the tri-moun- 
tain peninsula, where he delivered his mails and received 
congratulations on the success of his journey. 
^ Two days of rest, perhaps, and then the return journey 
began; for he must be back within the month. His 
westward trip was easier, for he knew the way, the ordi- 
naries and houses at which to stop, and the distances 
between; nor had he to stop and blaze his way through the 
sometimes pathless forests — all this |had been done on his 
outward trip. It was the winter time, and he was not 
delayed by the smaller streams, for they were frozen over; 
the larger ones he crossed by ferries. Within the month 
he rode into the fort at New York and turned his mail bags 
over to the Secretary. Once more he was ready to start 
on his eastward trip with the contents of the "locked box. " 

From 2Vezs Ybrfc ( 1 ) la Stra,lfor<L 

Route — New York to Boston. 

f>em J&tsYork. ( 4 ) /* SiraffarO/ 

Mi/trs f, 

Route — New York to Boston. 

The Era of the Post-Rider 5 

kept in the Secretary's office. His newly arrived mail 
was displayed in the Secretary's office— later, at the 
Exchange — where people came and helped themselves to 
what belonged to them. 

Several trips were made by the post-riders, and all 
seemed going well, when a Dutch fleet appeared off New / 
York in August, 1673, and the city once more became 
Dutch. The newcomers did not desire communication 
with their eastern neighbors, and so the post-rider ceased 
his trips, When the fleet appeared; Governor Lovelace 
was in Hartford enjoying the hospitality of Governor 
Winthrop of that colony. Edward Palmes of New London 
sent word "post hast for his Majesties speciall service" 
to Governor Leverett of Massachusetts-Bay that "New 
Yorke was taken last Wednesday with the loss of one man 
on each side. " 

In November, 1674, the Dutch gave up the city, and 
Major Andros restored the English authority. The year 
following, 1675, King Philip's War broke out, and theV' 
southern and western settlements of Massachusetts were 
devastated. Under such circumstances, the post was not 
resumed. After a year, the war ended with the death of 
Philip ; but the post was not re-established until Governor 
Dongan revived it in 1685, setting up an office in New S 
York and fixing the charge at three pence for distances not 
exceeding one hundred miles. In 1687, when Edmund 
Randolph had been named deputy-postmaster for New 
England under the lord-treasurer of England, Dongan 
appointed for his own province a notary public named 
William Bogardus. These appear to have been the first 
officials of the kind in the colonies. The post was not 
seriously interrupted from this time until the Revolution^ 

In November, 1639, the General Court of Massachu- 
setts-Bay enacted: 

6 The Old Boston Post Road 

For the preventing the miscarriage of letters, it is ordered, 
that notice bee given that Richard Fairbanks, his house in 
Boston, is the place appointed for all letters, which are brought 
fi om beyond seas or to be sent thither, are to be brought unto 
him, and he is to take care that they bee delivered or sent 
according to their directions; provided that no man shall be 
compelled to bring his letters thither except hee please. 

This first post-office in the town of Boston was located 
on Washington Street, not far from the Merchants' 
Exchange near the head of State Street. On January 
6, 1673, under the title, "Messengers to be sent post," 
there was enacted a rate of wages as follows : 

3d per mile to the place to which he is sent, in money, as 
full sattisf action for the expence of man & horse; and no in- 
holder shall take of any such messenger or others travayling 
vpon public service more than two shillings p bushell for 
oates, and fower pence for hay, day & night. 

In June, 1677, it was stated that "many times letters 
are thrown upon the exchange, that who will may take 
them up"; and the Court thereupon appointed Mr. John 
Hay ward, the scrivener, "to take in and convey letters 
according to their direction. " Hay ward was reappointed 
three years later to the same position. Previous to this 
action, the inhabitants had come and selected their own 
mail, or taken and delivered that belonging to their 
, neighbors. 
</ It was not until 1691 that a proper postal service was 
established in the colonies. On February seventeenth 
of that year, Thomas Neale received a royal patent for 
twenty-one years to control the colonial post-offices. 
Neale never came to America, but, in connection with the 
royal postmaster-general in London, he appointed Andrew 

The Era of the Post-Rider 7 

Hamilton of Philadelphia his deputy in America. Hamil- ^ 
ton applied to each of the colonial legislatures 

to ascertain and establish such rates and sums payable for 
the conveyance of postal matter, as, affording him sufficient 
compensation, should tend to the quicker maintenance of 
mutual correspondence amongst all the neighboring Colonies 
and Plantations, and that trade and commerce might be the 
better preserved. 


In New York, under date of November n, 1692, there 
was passed ' ' An Act for the Encourageing a Post Office, ' ' re- 
citing that Andrew Hamilton of Philadelphia, having been 
appointed postmaster for all the colonies, is given power 
to appoint a postmaster in New York, who shall have the 
sole power "to prepare and provide horses and furniture 
to Let to hyre unto all through Posts' and Persons' Rideing 
in Post ... and for the Post of Every Single Letter from 
Boston to New York . . . nine pence currant money 
aforesaid, and Soe in proportion as aforesaid." No 
person or corporation shall carry letters for hire, or furnish 
horses or "furniture for the horses of any through Posts' 
or Persons' Rideing Post with a guide and horn as is usuall 
in their Majties Realme of England," under penalty of 
one hundred pounds current money for every offence. 
This act was renewed and extended at intervals of three 
years for many years thereafter. The Act of September 
18, 1708, fixes a rate of nine pence current money for one 
sheet from Boston to New York. * 

Duncan Campbell was appointed deputy postmaster- 
general in Boston. His receipts did not equal his outlay, 
so that the General Court made him an allowance of about 
£25 a year. He was so enterprising that he established 

1 This was before the days of envelopes. 

8 The Old Boston Post Road 

a post to carry letters once a fortnight during the three 
winter months betwen New York and Boston, his carrier 
to go "alternately from Boston to Saybrook and Hartford, 
to exchange the mail of letters with the New York rider." 
This mail was known as the "western post, " a name that 
it bore until the end of the staging days. 
/' On May I, 1693, Hamilton's scheme for the postal 
service went into effect with a weekly post from Ports- 
mouth, New Hampshire, to Boston, Saybrook, New York, 
Philadelphia, and Baltimore. Five riders were engaged 
to cover each of the five stages twice a week in summer, 
and in winter, fortnightly. This scheme was well adapted 
to colonial needs, but, as late as 1705, no post-rider went 
east of Boston or south of Baltimore. In addition to 
other help, the New England colonies gave the post-riders 
free ferriage over the streams where ferries were located. 
The great offices of the country were Boston, New York, 
and Philadelphia. Andrew Hamilton died in 1703, and 
hjs son John succeeded him. 

In 1706, a statute of Queen Anne placed the American 
postal service under the immediate control of the crown, 
which, in 1707, purchased the good will of the postal 
service from Neale and continued John Hamilton as 
postmaster-general. Two years before the expiration of 
Neale's patent, in 1710, the House of Commons fixed 
igher rates of postage — one shilling for a single letter 
from New York to Boston. From this time until the 
Revolution, the postal service was under the crown, but it 
was not a revenue-producing part of colonial administra- 
tion for many years. 

In 1704, Governor Lord Bellomont of New York informed 
the home government that "the post that goes through 
this place goes eastward as far as Boston; but westward, 
he goes no further than Philadelphia; and there is no 

FromlVeis ?br£ { 3 ) fo Stmtford 

Route — New York to Boston. 

From SLA/e^-^ar^ \ 4 ) t .^6ratfprtl>. 

Route — New York to Boston. 

The Era of the Post-Rider 9 

other post upon all this continent. " In 1708, Lord Corn- 
bury states: "From Boston there is a Post, by which we 
hear once a week in summer, and once a fortnight in 

In the code of laws of the Connecticutt Colony, printed 
in 1702, we find "An Act for Encouraging the Post-Office. " 

Whereas Their most Excellent Majesties King William, and 
Queen Mary, by their Letters, Pattents, have Granted a Post- 
Office to be Set up in these Parts of New-England for the receiving 
and dispatching of Letters and Pacguets from one place to another, 
for Their Majesties Special Service, and the benefits of Their 
Majesties Subjects in these Parts; and this Court being willing 
to promote so good a work. It is Declared, etc. 

Another act of 1702 speaks of the extravagant charges 
of "persons imployed by authority for conveyance of 
Letters and Pacquets of importance"; and a third act 
of 1702 fixes the post charges as follows: From May 15th 
to October 15th, for forty miles' travel out from home and 
back, eight shillings, and for a horse, five shillings; in 
all, thirteen shillings, and a proportional amount for 
lesser or greater journeys; from October 15th to May 15th, 
forty miles' travel from home and back for man and horse, 
fourteen shillings, and proportionate pay for greater or 
lesser distances. In May, 1712, an act was passed, "Be- 
cause complaints are made about post wages," that 
postmen should receive from April 1st to November 1st, 
three pence outward per mile in money, and no more; 
and from November 1st to May 1st, three pence half- 
penny money per mile outward, and no more. These 
wages are to include the post-rider's horse and the sub- 
sistence of both. 

Madam Sarah Knight of Charlestown, Massachusetts, 
made a trip from Boston to New York and return, in order 

io The Old Boston Post Road 

to attend to some business in which she was interested, 
and kept a journal of her experiences. She left Boston 
on Monday, October 2, 1704, at 3 p.m., and reached 
New Haven at 2 p.m. on Saturday, the sixth. She 
stayed in New Haven until December sixth, when she 
continued her journey to New York, arriving there on 
*"^he ninth. She returned home after five months' absence. 
Later, she conducted a school in Boston, of which Ben- 
jamin Franklin was a pupil during the last year she held 
it. On a pane of glass in the Kemble house in Charles- 
town — the house of her father, destroyed in the fire of 
June, 1775 — there were scratched these lines: 

Through many toils and many frights 
I have returned, poor Sarah Knights 
Over great rocks and many stones 
God has preserved from fractured bones. 

This journal is one of the most valuable of our early 
colonial documents; and, as Madam Knight had a keen 
sense of the ridiculous and was prone to break into poetry 
upon occasion, it is also at times intensely funny. Not- 
withstanding her many experiences and the many times 
she was in danger, her sense of humor prevails. She ac- 
companied the post-rider by way of Dedham, Providence, 
New London, and Saybrook to New Haven — the Pequot 
Path, as it was called from the fact that it had formerly 
been an Indian trail leading to the villages of that tribe 
in Connecticut. She, of course, rode horseback. A few 
extracts from the journal will give some idea of the dangers 
that threatened the travellers of that day: 

Tuesday, October y e third, about 8 in the morning, I with 
Post proceeded forward . . . and about 2, afternoon, arrived 
at the Post's second stage, where the western Post met him 

The Era of the Post-Rider n 

and exchanged letters . . . Having there discharged the 
Ordinary for self and guide, as I understood was the custom, 
about 3 afternoon, went on with my third guide, who rode 
very hard; and having crossed Providence fery, we come to a 
River w ch thay Generally Ride thro'. But I dare not ven- 
ture; so the Post got a Ladd and Cannoe to carry me to 
tother side, and hee rid thro' and Led my hors . . . Re- 
warded my sculler, again mounted and made the best of my 
way Forward . . . But the Post told me wee had near 14 
miles to ride to the next stage, where we were to Lodg. I 
asked him of the Rest of the Rode, foreseeing we must travel in 
the Night. Hee told me there was a bad River to Ride thro', 
w 1 * was so very firce a hors could sometimes hardly stem it. 
I cannot express the concern of mind this relation sett me in ; 
no thoughts but those of the dang'ros River could entertain 
my Imagination; and they were as formidable as varios, still 
Tormenting me with blackest Ideas of my Approching fate — 
Sometimes seeing myself drowning, otherwhiles drowned, and 
at the best like a holy Sister Just, come out of a Spiritual 
Bath in dripping Garments. 

She conducted me to a parlour in a little back Lento w ch 
was almost fill'd w th the bedstead, w ch was so high that I 
was forced to climb on a chair to gett up to ye wretched bed 
that lay on it; on w"* having Stretcht my tired Limbs, and 
lay'd my head on a Sad-coloured pillow, I began to think on 
the transactions of y e past day. 

Here we found great difficulty in Travailing, the way being 
very narrow, and on each side the Trees and bushes gave us 
very unpleasant welcomes w th their Branches and bow's. 

I on a suden was Rous'd from these pleasing Imaginations 
by the Post's sounding his horn, which assured me hee was 
arrived at the Stage, where we were to Lodg. 

I then betook me to my Apartment, w ch was a little Room 
parted from the Kitchen by a single bord partition . . . But 

12 The Old Boston Post Road 

I could get no sleepe, because of the Clamor of some of the 
Town tope-ers in next Room ... I heartily fretted, and 
wish't 'um tongue tyed ... I sett my Candle on a chair 
by my bed side, and setting up, fell to my old way of com- 
posing my Resentments, in the following manner: 

I ask thy Aid, Potent Rum! 

To Charm these wrangling Topers Dum. 

Thou hast their Giddy Brains possest — 

The man confounded w th the Beast — 

And I, poor I, can get no rest. 

Intoxicate them with thy fumes : 

still their Tongues till morning comes ! 

And I know not but my wishe took effect; for the dispute 
soon ended w th 'tother Dram ; and so Good night. 

About four in the morning we set out . . . with a french 
Doctor in our company. Hee and y e Post put on very furi- 
ously, so that I could not keep up with them, only as now 
and then they 'd stop till they see mee. 

From hence we hasted towards Rye, walking and Leading 
our Horses neer a mile together, up a prodigios high Hill; 
and so Riding till about nine at night and there arrived and 
took up our Lodgings at an Ordinary w ch a French family 
kept. Here being very hungry, I desired a fricasee, w 1 * the 
Frenchman undertaking managed so contrary to my notion 
of Cookery, that I hastned to Bed superless . . . neverthe- 
less being exceeding weary, down I laid my poor Carkes (never 
more tired) and found my Covering as scanty as my Bed was 
hard . . . and poor I made but one Grone, which was from 
the time I went to bed to the time I Riss, which was about three 
in the morning . . . and having discharged our ordinary w ch 
was as dear as if we had had Better Fare — wee took our leave of 
Monsier and about seven in the morn came to New Rochell 
a french town, where we had a good Breakfast And in the 
strength of that about an how'r before sunsett got to York. 

JFnom. JVetv tfcrrA [j\ ta Stratford 

Route — New York to Boston. 

JFhrm, Jtf2j72>r& \6) to Strvlfonl 

Route — New York to Boston. 

The Era of the Post-Rider 13 

In order to bind the different parts of the Province 
and also to bind it with the other colonies, the Provincial 
Assembly of New York, on June 19, 1703, passed: 

An Act for the better Laying out ascertaining and preserving 
the Publick Comon and General highways within this Colony 
. . . That there be laid out preserved and kept forever in 
good and sufficient Repair one Publick Comon & general 
highway to Extend from the now Scite of the City of New York 
thro' the City and County of New York and the County of 
West Chester of the breadth of four Rod English measure at 
the least, to be Continue and remain for ever the Publick 
Comon General Road and highway from the said City of 
New York to the adjacent Collony of Connecticoot. 

Other clauses provide for. the laying out of roads con- 
necting contiguous villages; for fining any one, other 
than a road commissioner, for cutting down a living tree 
of four or more inches in diameter ; for punishing encroach- 
ments on the public roads, and for the appointment of 
road commissioners with pay at the rate of six shillings 
a day. This act was revived over and over again, gener- 
ally at intervals of three years, with various additions 
and emendations. The Act of October 30, 1708, estab- 
lishes not more than six days' work on the roads by the 
inhabitants each year, or a payment of three shillings 
for each day neglected. Thus was established the system 
, of working the roads, which, in the course of two centuries, 
produced a lot of rural roads that were — and in many 
places are still — a disgrace to any community calling itself 

The village of Harlem had been established in 1658 "for 
the. promotion of agriculture and as a place of amusement 
for the citizens of New Amsterdam." Lovelace had 
established a ferry to the mainland in 1669 and encour- 

14 The Old Boston Post Road 

aged the building of a road to connect New York and 
Harlem; this was completed before his first postman 
started on his trip. An Act of October 23, 1713 reads: 

-y Whereas the High-ways and Post-Road through Manhat- 
tans Island leading from the City of New York to Kings- 
Bridge . . . are become very Ruinous, and almost impassible, 
very dangerous to all Persons that pass those Ways ... Be 
it Enacted . . . from the Limits of the Harlem Patent, to 
the Causeway of Kings-Bridge, shall be, from time to time 
hereafter, cleared, repaired and amended by the Inhabitants 
of Harlem Division, as hath been formerly done. 

i/This is the first mention of the road as a post road. An 
interesting Act was that of October 20, 1764, which, among 
other things, authorizes road surveyors "to plant Trees 
at proper Distances along the sides thereof, " and provides 
for the punishment of those who shall destroy or injure 
these trees, or any already planted in the streets of the 

v/ An Act of March 9, 1774, is entitled "An Act to prevent 
the breaking or defacing the Mile Stones now or hereafter 
to be erected in this Colony." The penalty for so doing 
was three pounds sterling; but if done by a slave, he is 
to be "Committed to the Common Gaol and to receive 
thirty nine lashes on the bare Back unless the said For- 
feiture of three Pounds be paid within six Days after such 
Conviction. " An Act of March 19, 1774, uses the expres- 
sion "from the King's Highway, or road, leading from 
New York to King's Bridge." 

■"""In the colonial laws of Connecticut, we find a highway 
act in the first printed code of the laws, that of 1673. It 
was practically the same in its tenor as that of New York, 
and it received extensions and revisions in the codes 
published in 1702 and 1715. We do not find, however, 

The Era of the Post- Rider 15 

that reference is made at any of these dates to a post road 
of any kind or description; though that there were post- 
riders will be seen from the Act of 1702, already given. 

In Massachusetts, in 1631, Endicott at Salem could not 
visit Winthrop at Boston because he was too feeble to do 
the wading; in the following year, Winthrop visited 
Plymouth, being carried over the streams on the backs of 
his Indian guides. In i63 4 / s , the only way of getting from 
place to place was by means of the "trodden paths," as 
the Indian trails were known. 

In 1639, the first general highways act was passed, 
which is of the same general tenor as that of New York, 
including the pernicious provision of working the roads. 
The Plymouth Path connecting Boston and Plymouth 
was laid out as a road, the same year, and ferries were also 
established. Shortly afterward, the Old Connecticut 
Path, which had doubtless existed for centuries as an 
Indian path, was established as a permanent thorough- 
fare by the General Court. Many of the settlements 
took the matter of highways and ferries into their own 
hands before the General Court acted; thus Watertown 
opened a road to Sudbury and Concord in 1638. This 
ordinance to lay out highways and rectify old ones marks 
the transition when the government of the white settlers 
subdues these wild paths and converts them into wheel- 
tracks and roads easy for their trained animals. * 

The ordinance creating highways did not enforce itself, 
so that the towns were fined for failure to do their duty. 
In 1 64 1, the control of ferries was remitted to the locali- 
ties in which they were situated. The bridges were, at 
first, horse bridges only, with a rail on one side. Cart 
bridges are sometimes mentioned as early as 1669; but, 
after King Philip's War, they are mentioned more often. 

1 Weeden's Social and Economic History of New England. 

1 6 The Old Boston Post Road 

The roads connecting the older settlements along the 
shore were in much better shape than the inland ones. 
The General Court was informed that the interior line 
between Boston and Connecticut was very dangerous and 
was encumbered with fallen trees and other obstructions, 
especially between Worcester and Brookfield. The post- 
riders were obliged to make their way by the old Pequot 
Path — later, the King's Highway, or the post road — 
through Providence and the Narragansett country on 
the south shore, the route of Madam Knight. The 
interior line was bettered after 1700. 
^ The trodden paths of the Indians, over which they went 
softly with moccasined feet, hardly leaving a trace of 
their passage, were followed by the whites until their 
heavy boots had cut into the soil and left well defined 
pathways. The earlier travellers carried packs upon their 
shoulders, but this method of carrying freight soon gave way 
to the pack-horse, and the trails'widened. Then came the 
cart, and true, though very bad and clumsy, roads began. 
That they were difficult of passage, even until a late day, 
V we shall see in the next chapter; but, as Weeden says: 

At last, a true economy of life, a solid social intercourse, was 
fairly instituted when roads were opened and smoothed, when 
bridges spanned the intervening torrents, and warm inns 
offered shelter by the way. The journeying travellers joined 
village to village, and enlightened the farms as they went. 
The comfort and genial hospitality of these little shelters in 
a partial wilderness, where man's ways are strange and nature 
is oppressive, must be felt to be comprehended. 'The road, 
bridge and inn denote a society where people of like desires 
and tastes live, travel, commingle, trade and cultivate that 
fellowship which must drive out savagery, and must bring in 
civilization. The inn was an institution, and not a mere inci- 
dent of travel and wayfare. t 

Front JV/vTorh £J) toStratfoni 

Route — New York to Boston. 

A Tavern Sign, Saybrook, Conn. 

The Era of the Post-Rider 17 

As early as 1650, an effort to improve transportation 
appears in the act of the Connecticut Colony in providing 
that twelve horses shall be kept in five towns for public 
use at fixed rates; and, in 1717, the exclusive privilege of 
running a wagon from Hartford to New Haven was 
granted to one of the citizens for a term of seven years. 
Throughout the colonies in general, express and regular 
messengers were employed, and horses were kept in readi- 
ness to start at a minute's notice. 

From this time forward, there was a gradual, though 
slow, improvement in the main roads and routes of travel. 
This is shown in 1775 by the quickness with which the 
militia and minute-men responded to the alarm at Lex- 
ington, which they could not have done had the roads 
been exceedingly bad. 

In 1737, William Bradford of Philadelphia, the printer, 
who was deputy postmaster-general under Colonel Spotts- 
wood of Virginia, was removed from office, and Benjamin 
Franklin was appointed in his stead. Through his efforts 
the postal service became a national and commercial 
feature of colonial life. But it was not until 1753, when 
Colonel Spottswood died and Franklin and Colonel Wil- 
liam Hunter of Virginia succeeded him in joint commis- 
sion from the English postmaster-general, that the postal 
service was developed to its best capacity. At this date, 
there was a line of posts from Boston to Charleston, 
South Carolina. The two incumbents of the office were 
to receive between them £600 a year, provided they could 
raise that sum from the net proceeds of the office, a sum 
that it had never paid before. 

In the summer of 1753, Franklin began visiting all the 
post-offices in the country, except that of Charleston; 
and, after four years of close attention, during which the 
two postmasters were out of pocket, his systematic work 

1 8 The Old Boston Post Road 

began to tell, and the returns from the service paid the 
postmasters' salaries and gave a revenue to the crown 
three times more than that paid by the Irish post-office. 
Among the improvements were: the delivery of letters 
by penny post; newspapers had to pay post, — before 
they had been carried free, — and each mail subscriber had 
to pay nine pence a year for fifty, and eighteen pence for 
one hundred, miles of postal carriage; the speed of the 
riders was increased; and, as the post was established 
^-weekly in winter between New York and Boston, a 
letter could leave Philadelphia on Monday morning and 
be delivered in Boston on Saturday night. The post 
roads were still, to a great extent, bridle paths; though 
this was not the case with the Boston Road. The posi- 
tions of the milestones that formerly marked the Post Road 
— a few of which are to be found along the route, even in 
New York City — were determined by Franklin himself 
by means of ah ingenious attachment to the wheel of his 
wagon, which showed each mile travelled. The spot was 
marked by a stake, and the stone post with its appropriate 
inscription was planted by the workmen. These mile- 
,/stones became favorite places for the location of taverns, 
and the tavern-keepers abreast of whose houses the mile- 
stones were placed considered themselves lucky. 

There is a story of two modern sons of the Emerald 
Isle running across one of these ancient milestones marked 
"35 Miles from Boston." The first one who noticed it 
reverently removed his hat and said to his companion: 
"Tread softly, Mike; the dead lies here. His name is 
Jtfiles, he 's thirty-five years old, and he 's from Boston. " 
Franklin was summarily dismissed from his position 
in 1774, and the revenues of the crown at once fell off to 
a deficit. We do not have to seek far for the reason of 
his removal when we consider his patriotic and earnest 

The Era of the Post-Rider 19 

efforts for the rights of America. In 1775, Congress 
made him postmaster-general, and he made his son-in-law, 
Richard Bache, his deputy, and he was equally kind to 
the other members of his family in the matter of postal 
appointments. Under the new administration, mail 
riders were appointed and stationed twenty-five miles 
apart, to deliver from one to the other and to return to 
their starting places, travelling both night and day. Dur- 
ing Franklin's absence abroad, after 1776, Bache acted 
in his place. 

In 1775, after Franklin's removal, an independent 
post-office was established in New York, with John Holt 
the printer as postmaster. It is believed the "Sons of 
Liberty" were back of this movement, as they at once 
began sending threatening letters to prominent Tories. 

All through colonial days, and even through the first V 
decade of the nineteenth century, the mail was carried by 
post-riders on all the main post roads; and it was still a 
number of years more before they ceased carrying it on the 
out-of-the-way roads. The pony express, a picture of whicn 
figures on many of the documents and papers of the post- 
office department of to-day, carried the mails over the 
western plains until 1870 or later. Most travellers who 
could do so travelled on horseback, sometimes accompany- 
ing the post-rider, as did Madam Knight. The roads 
generally were poor and unsuited for vehicles. Water v 
furnished the cheapest and readiest, though not always 
the quickest, means of transportation from place to place ; 
and there were regular lines of sloops connecting the more / 
important places. One such line ran from New York by 
way of Long Island Sound to Providence, where stages 
were taken for Boston — this seems to have been the ances- 
tor of the Sound lines to Boston. Other sloops sailed 
the Hudson to Albany, and to other places. Sometimes 

20 The Old Boston Post Road 

the trip could be made to Providence in three days; 
sometimes it would take three weeks. As there were no 
lighthouses, the vessels were obliged to anchor every night. 

1-' Light two-wheeled vehicles — chairs, gigs, chaises — 
were the usual means of getting about the difficult roads. 
^No one, either in this country or abroad, ever thought of 
carriage riding for pleasure; though the custom was first 
started here and was copied abroad by the English and 
French officers who were in this country at the time of the 
war. Some of the great merchants and landowners had 
coaches for town use and even for travelling; but even 
then they preferred horseback and saddlebags to the dis- 
comforts of the roads. The horses generally were good 
animals, and not expensive; and the colonies developed 
some fine breeds. A traveller could buy a horse in one 
town, make his journey, and sell the animal at his destina- 
tion for about what he had paid for it, his only expense 
being its upkeep on the road. 

The post-riders were hardy men, who not only carried 
the mails but who directed travellers who accompanied 
them to the most convenient taverns and routes. They 

<Jiad to be hardy, for they were abroad in all kinds of 
weathers and seasons ; yet that the life was a healthy one 
is shown in the careers of two of the riders, Deacon Peet 
of Stratford, who was post-rider for thirty-two years, 
and Ebenezer Hurd of the same place, who was post- 
rider from 1727 to 1775, a period of forty-eight years. It 
was the latter who carried to New York the news of the 

«4>attle of Lexington. They had to be honest and reliable, 
fpr they were often entrusted with valuable packages.^ 

''Courage was another necessity; for the roads were dan-: 
gerous, though, singularly enough, they Were not bothered' 

-by highwaymen, as were the English roads of this period;; 
yet, the Americans were not more virtuous — though we 


t . lirlr i iinrt'istlB **»<!♦*! 

The Railroad Depot on Fourth Avenue, Corner of 27th Street. 
From Valentine's Manual, i860 

A Group of Old Cottages on the Old Boston Road. Corner 46th Street and 
Third Avenue, i860. 
From Valentine's Manual, 1861. 

The Old Hazard House, N. Y., Corner 84th Street and Third Avenue, in 1835. 

From Valentine's Manual. 

Harlem Lane, from Central Park to Manhattanville. 

From Valentine's Manual. 

The Era of the Post-Rider 21 

like to believe they were — than their British relatives. 
One reason for this was the fact that in England travellers S 
carried with them sums of gold, silver, and bank-notes, 
while in America, the larger sums were carried in drafts 
or letters of credit. For a description of conditions of 
travel during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, 
the reader is referred to Chapter III of Macaulay's 
History of England. The whole chapter, but the latter 
half especially, is well worth reading; and, though the 
descriptions are of England, they apply with a great deal 
of truth to the colonies. 

The average day's journey of the post-riders was sup- V 
posed to be from thirty to fifty miles in summer and con- 
siderably less in winter. As a matter of fact, they took their 
time in going over their stage, and there is one case of a 
post-rider who used to while away the tedium of his trip S 
by knitting as he rode — this could hardly allow a very 
great speed. All postage collected between the terminals 
of their stage went into their own pockets ; it was only the 
sealed bags that went untouched. They used to do all 
sorts of trading on their routes, although the law restricted 
them to the carriage of the mail. Ebenezer Hurd, who S 
is mentioned above, carried on a money exchange to his 
own profit, and pocketed all way-postage. He was dis- 
covered by the English post-office surveyor, or inspector, . 
upon- one occasion, calmly waiting for a team of oxen that '" f 
he was going to transfer for a customer. The letters were 
delivered in some tavern or bar, where any one could 
look them over, and help himself to his or to any one's 
letters, if he chose. Is it any wonder that complaints 
were made of the slowness and uncertainty of the mails? 




N the New York Journal of June 25, 1 772, there appears 
the following advertisement: 

Stage Coach 


New York and Boston 

Which for the first time sets out this day from Mr. Fowler's 
Tavern (formerly kept by Mr. Stout) at Fresh Water in New 
York will continue to go the Course between Boston and New 
York so as to be at each of those places once a fortnight, 
coming in on Saturday evening and setting out to return by 
way of Hartford on Monday Morning. The price to Passen- 
gers will be 4d New York or 3d lawful Money per Mile and 
Baggage at a reasonable price. 

Gentlemen and Ladies who choose to encourage this useful, 
new and expensive Undertaking, may depend upon good Usage, 
and that the Coach will always put up at Houses on the Road 
where the best Entertainment is provided . . If on Trial, 
the Subscribers find Encouragement they will perform the 
Stage once a week, only altering the Day of setting out from 
New York and Boston to Thursday instead of Monday 

Jonathan and Nicholas Brown. 1 

1 Though private coaches and wagons had undoubtedly made the trip 
between the two cities, and post-chaises probably, I believe that this date, 

The Era of the Stage Coach 23 

That the subscribers found the "Encouragement" they 
desired is shown in the fact that within a short time 
two and three trips a week were made between the two 
cities, and a stage three times a week was established to 
Rye in Westchester County. The stage wagons were ^ 
boxes mounted on springs, usually containing four 
seats, which accommodated eleven passengers and the 
driver. Protection from the weather was furnished by a 
canvas or leather-covered top with side curtains which 
were let down in inclement and cold weather. There <S 
were no backs to the seats, and the rear seat of all was 
the one usually preferred on account of the passengers 
being able to lean against the back of the wagon. If there 
were women passengers, they were usually allowed to 
occupy this seat. There were no side entrances to the 
vehicle, so that any one getting in late had to climb over V' 
the passengers who had pre-empted the front seats. 

1772- marks the first trips of public passenger conveyances between the 
two places; though mails were not carried until later. The date 1732 is 
sometimes given for the establishment of this service. I believe that this 
is due to a mistake in regard to the meaning of the word "stage," which 
means "the distance on a road between two places of rest." One writer 
having made the error, others have followed. In the New York Gazette 
of November 15, 1731, notice is given that "the Boston and Philadelphia 
Posts will set out to perform their Stages once a fortnight." Similar 
notices may be found in subsequent years. On September 21, 1732, there 
is a long notice of the appointment of Spotteswood as postmaster-general 
and of the establishment of a southern post-route. The word "stage" is 
frequently used in this advertisement, but always in the sense of an assigned 
distance that the post-rider is to cover. The people of that day spoke of 
stage-coaches or stage-wagons, vehicles which covered certain distances, 
or "stages." We have abbreviated the name of the vehicle into stage, 
and the error has arisen from this. The first advertised stage- wagons from 
New York were to run to Philadelphia. The advertisement appears in 
the New York Gazette of October 13, 1750, and Daniel Obrien notifies the 
public of a stage-boat to Amboy every Wednesday, thence by "Stage 
Waggon" to Borden's Town, "where there is another Stage Boat ready to 
receive them, and proceed directly to Philadelphia. " 

24 The Old Boston Post Road 

Fourteen pounds of baggage were all that were allowed 
to the passenger to be carried free ; all over that had to pay 
the same price per mile as a traveller. The baggage was 
placed under the seats, and was generally left unguarded 
when the stage stopped at taverns for meals or for change 
s of horses. The roads were poor, the stage uncomfortable, 
and the whole journey was tiring and distressing; but 
we must remember that the people of those days were 
accustomed to inconveniences that we would not submit 
to now, though we have our own troubles in the way of 
strap-hanging in street cars and crowded conditions in 
subway and elevated trains. 

Stages were suspended during the Revolution, but were 
resumed after the return of peace. In Washington's 
administration, two stages and twelve horses sufficed 
to carry all the travellers and goods passing between New 
York and Boston, then the two great commercial centres 
of the country. Delays in land travel were due principally 
to the badness of the roads, in which the ruts were deep 
and the descents precipitous. On summer days, about 
forty miles were covered; in winter, rarely more than 
twenty-five. In summer, the traveller was oppressed by 
the heat and half choked with the dust; in cold weather, 
he nearly froze. 

Levi Pease, of whom we shall have more to say when 
we reach Shrewsbury in Massachusetts, started a line of 
coaches in 1783. Josiah Quincy went to New York in one 
of them in 1784 and gives a far from alluring picture of 
coaches in their earliest days. He says : 


I set out from Boston on the line of stage lately established 
by an enterprising Yankee, Pease by name, which at that day 
was considered a method of transportation of wonderful 
expedition. The journey to New York took up a week. The 


■mr» "O^ o r> o (TO <5 m m 







The Old Staats Zeitung Building, Park Row and 

Centre Street. 

From a photo by Geo. P. Hall and Son. 



General Lafayette's Carriage. 


^1 » \ 


.- — »«^s — ,>r ; ,1 

The Park Theatre and Part of Park Row, 1 831. 
From Valentine's Manual. 

The Era of the Stage Coach 25 

carriages were old and shackling and much of the harness 
was made of ropes. One pair of horses carried the stage 
eighteen miles. We generally reached our resting place for 
the night, if no accident intervened, at ten o'clock and after 
a frugal supper went to bed with a notice that we should be 
called at three the next morning, which generally proved to be 
half past two. Then, whether it snowed or rained, the travel- 
ler must rise and make ready by the help of a horn-lantern and 
a farthing candle, and proceed on his way over bad roads, 
sometimes with a driver showing no doubtful symptoms of 
drunkenness, which good-hearted passengers never fail to 
improve at every stopping place by urging upon him another 
glass of toddy. Thus we travelled eighteen miles a stage, 
sometimes obliged to get out and help the coachman lift the 
coach out of a quagmire or rut, and arrived at New York 
after a week's hard travelling, wondering at the ease as well 
as the expedition of our journey. 

Though passengers usually alighted and helped relieve 
the coach when it was stuck in a rut or mud-hole, they 
would rebel occasionally. There is a story of such a case 
of rebellion. It was impossible for the horses to pull the 
coach out, so the driver asked his passengers to alight; 
which they refused to do. They were astonished to see 
him sit down by the roadside and calmly light his pipe. 
They made anxious, and probably profane, remarks 
about his peculiar course of action, whereupon he replied: 
" Since them hosses can't pull thet kerrige out o' thet mud- 
hole, an' ye wo'nt help, / 'm a-goin' to wait till ih' mud- 
hole dries up." The passengers alighted at once and 

For freight transportation, the Conestoga wagon was 
used. This had been used as early as Braddock's dis- 
astrous campaign, and it gradually came to be the great 
freight carrier of the eighteenth and first half of the nine- 

26 The Old Boston Post Road 

teenth centuries. In this latter, it was .the prairie schooner 
of the western pioneer in which he found his way over the 
plains of the great West. There is a story of one of them 
that proudly bore the motto, "Pike's Peak, or Bust," as 
it rolled through Leavenworth, or one of the other out- 
posts of civilization. Several months later, it was found 
upon the prairie, a deserted wreck, with its bold motto 
changed to "Busted! by thunder!" The Union Pacific 
and other western railroads sealed the doom of the 

The wagon had its origin in Pennsylvania near the 
section from which it received its name. It was a great 
boat mounted on wheels, and it carried from four to six 
tons of freight, drawn by four or six horses. These came 
to be in time a magnificent breed; and the teams were 
made up of matched horses covered with fine harness to 
which bells were attached. After the construction of the 
National Road, or Cumberland Pike, it was no unusual 
thing to see a string of from fifteen to twenty of these 
wagons in one column, the horses of one team with their 
noses against the cover of the cart ahead. The wagons 
were covered with great canvas canopies, which protected 
the goods from the weather. While we associate the 
Conestoga wagon with the western roads, there is no 
doubt that it was also used upon our seaboard highways. 
It was too convenient and capable a freight carrier to 
escape the shrewd Yankee. 

After the British evacuated New York, letters were 
sent to Boston thrice a week in summer and twice a week 
in winter. Six days were passed on the road; but at 
New Year's, when the snow lay deep, the post-riders from 
New York seldom saw the spires Of Boston until the close 
•</ of the ninth day. It was many years before the bulk and 
weight of the mails exceeded the capacity of a pair of 

The Era of the Stage Coach 27 

saddle-bags. There was no security or protection for 
mails carried a long distance, as the post-riders opened 
and read all the letters; and there was no protection until 
the letters became too many to read. As a result, we^ 
find that many of our statesmen, Burr, Jefferson, Ran- 
dolph, and others, were obliged to use cipher codes in 
communicating with their political friends or with other 
government officials. Burr had enough to answer for; 
but some of his detractors have used this fact of code 
letters to show the secretiveness of his character. 

The average day's journey of the post-rider was from 
thirty to fifty miles; and it was not until Jefferson had 
been some time Secretary of State that, in a letter under 
date of March 28, 1792, he suggests seriously the possi- 
bility of sending letters one hundred miles a day. On the 
day when a post-rider was due in a village, a day that was 
not known by its calendar name but which was called^ 
"post-day," half of the inhabitants assembled at the ^ 
distribution of the mails at the village inn. The weather 
was no deterrent. There were few or no letters that were 
emptied from the mail-bag upon the bar; the mail con- 
sisted of newspapers and news-letters. The postman was 
then carried to some one's home for a meal ; where, amid "■" 
the silence of his auditors, he dispensed the latest news 
and gossip gathered along the way. 

The New York post-office was at first in the fort, where 
a locked box was kept for the deposit of mail matter; 
later, when postmasters were appointed, the mails closed 
on Saturday night so that they could be dispatched on 
Monday morning. After the Federal Government was 
established, President Washington appointed Sebastien 
Ballman postmaster, and the office was kept in his house, 
— which was also the house of the Postmaster-General, 
Theodorus Bailey, — at the corner of William and Garden 

28 The Old Boston Post Road 

streets. For a long time, it seems, it was customary for 
the postmaster to keep the post-office at his house ; for we 
run across advertisements calling attention to the fact, 
and the hours during which the office is open. When 
yellow fever visited New York on several occasions, the 
post-office was removed a safe distance from the danger 
zone. Thus, it occupied the Rotunda in City Hall Park 
after the great fire of 1835 and during an epidemic in 

On July 4, 1 81 7, the post-office was opened in the base- 
ment of the recently erected Merchants' Exchange in 
Wall Street. On January 1, 1845, the Middle Reformed 
Dutch Church, on Nassau Street between Cedar and 
Liberty, was opened by the United States with the New 
York post-office. The church had been erected in 1729 
and was used by the British during the Revolution for a 
riding-hall; the building was restored in 1790; rented 
for the post-office in 1845; sold in 1861 to the United 
States, and torn down in 1882, the post-office having been 
removed to the City Hall Park in 1875. 

In 1789, the first Congress under the Constitution estab- 
lished one main post road from Portland (Maine) to 
Savannah, Georgia, with certain cross, or divergent, lines 
as feeders to the main road, or as lines to the interior of 
the country away from the seaboard; and post-offices 
were established at the same time. According to Gaines's 
New York Pocket Almanac for that year, the post-offices 
on the Upper Post Road from Boston to New York were 
Hartford, New Haven, and Fairfield. 

The almanacs of those old days were almost encyclo- 
pedic in the information they gave. Besides an elaborate 
ephemeris and calendar for the year, they gave the sitting 
of the different courts, remedies for injuries, stanzas 
of poetry, anecdotes, extracts from classical writers, 

The Era of the Stage Coach 


curious happenings, bits of history, and, what is of import- 
ance to us, stage routes, taverns, and times of starting. 
It is from them that we glean a great deal of information 
concerning the old stage routes, of which there were three 
main lines between New York and Boston, which were 
called the Upper, the Middle, and the Lower — the Upper 
Road was also called the Western Road. 

From Low's Boston Almanac for 1800, we take the fol- *S 
lowing list of towns and taverns on the Upper Road. 
Those that are starred are the taverns at which the mail 
stages stopped, and the names in parentheses are supplied 
from later almanacs: 

Roads to the principal Towns on the Continent &c. from 
Boston; with the Names of thofe who keep Houfes of 


Watertown (Willington)* Wild 


Waltham Weffon 

Wefton *Lampe & Flagge 

E. Sudbury (Cutler)* Wolcott 


Weft Sudbury Howe 

Marlborough (Munro)* Howe 

" 'Williams 

Northboro' (Munro)* 



Leicester (Hobarts)* 

Spencer (Munro)* 

Wefton (Blair)* Powers 

Palmer (Bates)* Graves 

Wilbraham (Grosvenor)* Sikes 
Springfield Plain Ruffell 

Springfield (Williams)* Parfons 
Weft Springfield Blifs 


Suffield (Sikes)* 

Windfor (Allen) 

Hartford (Lee)* 




North Haven (B 

New Haven 


Stafford Ferry 



Green Farms 






New Rochel 



Harlem Heights 

New York 

Lovejoy 8 

Pickett 8 

Sill 3 

Bull or Avery 3 

Williams 10 

Grifwold 3 

*Johnfon 8 

*Canfield 6 

*Carrington 8 

irown)* Ives 6 

Brown 7 

Clarke 10 

Gillet 2 

*Lovejoy 2 

*Penfield 10 

Paffell 8 

*Reed 4 

*Webb 9 

*Knapp 6 








30 The Old Boston Post Road 

From various almanacs, we get the route of the Middle 
Road to be from Boston via the following: Roxbury, 
Dedham, Medfield, Medway, Bellingham (Hollister), 
Milford, Mendon, Uxbridge, Douglas (all in Massa- 
chusetts), Thompson, Pomfret, Ashford, Wilmington, 
Mansfield, Coventry, Bolton, East Hartford, Hartford, 
and then by the above route to New Haven and New 

From the same sources, we find the Lower Road (called 
the Old Post Road to Boston in Gaines's Almanac for 1773) 
to be from New York to New Haven as above, thence 
via Branford, Guilford, Killingworth, Saybrook, Chaplins, 
New London, Col. Williams's, Westerly (R. I.), Hill's, 
Tower Hill, Newport, Bristol, Warwick, Providence, 
Attleborough (Mass.), Wrentham, Dedham, Boston. This 
route would require the passage of the stage over the 
ferries to Jamestown and Newport. Another route was 
down the west side of Narrangansett Bay. This was the 
one taken by Madam Knight. The traveller could also 
take another route from Providence by way of Norwich, 
Connecticut, thence to New London and along the shore 
road to New Haven and New York. 

A reference to the map accompanying this chapter will 
show the three routes given above with the changes made 
between Harlem and New Rochelle, and those made 
between North Haven and Hartford. The taverns pa- 
tronized by those using the Lower Road were in some cases 
different from those given above between New Haven and 
New York. We find some spelling that is not the same 
as that we use to-day. Stratford Ferry appears as 
Stafford Ferry, on several lists; Kingsbridge appears as 
Kingsbury, Mamaroneck appears as Marrineck and Maro- 
neck; New Rochelle, as New Rochel. Harlem Heights 
is changed on one list to Halfway House, at the foot of 

The Era of the Stage Coach 31 

McGown's Pass in Central Park. Bridgeport does not 
appear at all. 

One will also notice on the list of the Upper Road that 
the same name occurs more than once among the tavern- 
keepers. Either the same party conducted taverns in 
different places, or the taverns were carried on by members 
of the same family. The latter is more apt to be the case, 
as in the olden days the landlord came into personal com- 
munication with his guest, whom he looked after and for 
whose comfort and well-being he felt himself responsible. 
In fact, the personality of the landlord had a great 
deal to do with the success of the tavern which he 

Whoe'er has travelled life's dull round, 

Where'er his stages may have been, 
May sigh to think that he has found 

His warmest welcome at an inn. 


There is sufficient evidence from English, French and 
American travellers of the colonial period to show that the 
landlord was a person of considerable importance in the 1^ 
community. He was often the captain of the train band 
of his village or town, and also frequently held other 
positions of importance, besides being the postmaster. 
The name tavern had a different signification in those days 
from what it does now, when we associate with it one idea 
only, that of selling liquor. In the earliest days of the 
colonies, each town was empowered to select a good 
responsible person for the keeping of an ordinary for the 
entertainment of travellers; and the colonial laws were 
very strict in regard to the conduct of the ordinary, even 
regulating the strength and price of the beer that was sold, 
and making it obligatory upon the landlord in some cases 

32 The Old Boston Post Road 

to report to the authorities any sojourner who stayed for 
more than a few days. 

w^The tavern was the most important place in town; it 
was the gathering place to learn the news, it was the busi- 
ness exchange for the neighborhood, the place where 

" bargains were made and prices learned and quoted. It 
was at once the town-hall and assembly room, the court- 
house and the show-room, the hotel and the exchange. 
Itinerant actors and showmen gave their exhibitions in its 
public room, strange animals and curiosities were dis- 
played at the tavern; here were the bulletin boards con- 
taining the lists of jurors, the notices of vendues, legal •. 
notices, rewards for runaway slaves or servants, for lost 
animals or other property, and the farmer's advertise- 
ments of what he had to sell or of what he wanted to buy. 
The taverns of New England were famous at the beginning 
of the nineteenth century for their neatness, cleanliness, 
and comfort, and for the excellence of the food; and this 
at a time, too, when all foreign travellers were commenting 
upon the carelessness, the crowded conditions, the filthi- 
ness, and discomfort of the taverns on the roads to the 
rapidly developing West. 

In 1773, the Thursday's post went by way of Hartford 
to Boston and the regular post stages went over the same 
route. During the Revolution, the stages were suspended. . 

v#i 1789, they left the stage office kept by Charles Beekman 
in Cortlandt Street, New York on Mondays, Wednesdays, 
and Fridays, and arrived there from Boston on the same 
days. That the post-riders still continued their work is 
shown by notice of the same year that the Eastern and 
Northern posts set out from New York, from November 
first to May first, on Wednesday evening at nine o'clock and 
on Sunday evening at eight o'clock, and return Wednes- 
day and Saturday evenings at six o'clock. Prom May 







"One Mile from City Hall," New York. 

The Era of the Stage Coach 33 

first to November first, they set out Tuesday and Thurs- 
day evenings at nine o'clock, and on Sunday at eight 
o'clock, and return on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday 
evenings at seven o'clock. 

In 1790, the Boston stage sets off from Mr. Isaac 
Norton's stage office, 160 Queen [Pearl] Street, every Mon- 
day and Wednesday morning at five o'clock, until May 
first, when the summer season begins, and the stages leave 
on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday mornings at four 

From the Boston end of the line, we get for 1800 
that the mail stage by way of Worcester and Hart- 
ford sets out from Pease's stage office in State Street 
every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, at ten a.m. 
during the summer season, and arrives in New York 
every Thursday, Saturday, and Tuesday at noon. It 
leaves New York the same days and hours that it does 
Boston. In the winter schedule, the stage arrives in 
Boston Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 10 a.m., 
"except when the travelling is good, it arrives in Boston 
Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings." There is 
also notice of the "Old Line Stage" leaving the 
same office on the intervening days, with the following 
postscript : 

N. B. The roads from Bofton to Newhaven, by way of 
Worcefter and Hartford, are the beft; and by late actual 
meafurement the diftance is 14 miles lefs than was formerly 
reckoned. The price of each paffenger in the Mail Stage is 
6 cents and a quarter for each mile, and 5 and a half cents in 
the Old Line. The whole paffage from Newhaven to Bofton, 
155 miles. The price in the Mails 9 dols. and 87 cents; in 
the Old Line 8 dols. 75 cents ; Toll Bridges and Turnpikes are 
paid by the proprietors. 

34 The Old Boston Post Road 

This meant that the fast stage carrying the mail went 
direct from Hartford to Worcester, without passing 
through Springfield. The New York stage via Providence, 
called the "southern line," left from Exchange Tavern 
in State Street. 

Samuel Breck of Boston and Philadelphia, writing of 
New York after his return from several years spent in 
France, says: 

The city of New York was in ruins in 1787 .... As a 
Colonial town it was a place of considerable trade, but having 
been in the hands of the enemy for seven years, and visited 
during that time by an extensive conflagration, we found it in 
a state of dilapidation, and not at all recovered from the effects 
of the war. In short, the city of New York . . . was in 
1787 a poor town with about twenty-three thousand people. 
. In those days there were two ways of getting to Boston : 
one was by a clumsy stage that travelled about forty miles a 
day, with the same horses the whole day; so that by rising 
at three or four o'clock, and prolonging the day's ride into the 
night, one made out to reach Boston in six days; the other 
route was by packet-sloops up the Sound to Providence, and 
thence by land to Boston. This was full of uncertainty, some- 
times being travelled in three, and sometimes in nine days. 

The roads at this period were little better than they 
had been half a century before, and the new federation had 
not yet recovered from the effects of the Revolution and of 
the critical period that intervened between the war and 
the establishment of constitutional government. Stage 
wagons had been introduced on the more important and 
frequented routes; but the post-riders still delivered news- 
papers along their stages and carried the mails until after 

In 1785-6, there was begun in Virginia the first piece 

The Era of the Stage Coach 35 

of turnpike road made in the United States. * It connected 
the rising city of Alexandria with the lower Shenandoah 
valley, and, when completed, was pronounced by Jefferson 
a great success. The construction of the Lancaster Road 
was begun in 1792, but it was so badly constructed that it 
proved a failure. Large boulders and rocks were dumped 
upon the roadbed and covered with earth. When heavy 
rains came, the earth washed away, and the passing horses, 
persons, and vehicles had a hard time of it slipping from 
one boulder to another or in between them; and it is 
reported that one man, at least, broke his legs in this way. 
An Englishman, who observed the badness of the road 
offered to rebuild it. With the experience he had had 
abroad, he broke up the stones and laid them more com. 
pactly in layers of decreasing size, and crowned the road 
so as to make the water drain off. When completed, it 
was the finest piece of road in the United States. In 1796, 
Francis Bailey wrote 2 : 

There is but one turnpike road on the continent, which is 
between Lancaster and Philadelphia, a distance of sixty- 
six miles, and it is a masterpiece of its kind ; it is paved with 
stone the whole way, and overlaid with gravel, so that it is 
never obstructed during the most severe season. 

On all these turnpike roads, the owners of wagons were 
encouraged to use broad tires for their wagon wheels by 
making less toll for those having such tires. 

The success of the Lancaster Turnpike and the great 

1 According to the Century Dictionary, a turnpike is a gate that turns. It 
was placed upon a roadway, for the purpose of preventing the passage of 
travellers and vehicles without the payment of tolls. The road thus 
became a turnpike road, and, by natural contraction, a turnpike, or pike. 

2 Journal of a Tour in Unsettled Parts of the United States in 1796 and 

36 The Old Boston Post Road 

movement which began about this time to the Genesee 
valley, the vicinity of Lake Champlain and the regions 
west of the Alleghanies, caused a general cry to go up 
for more and better roads. The States did all they could, 
but they were not able to stand the great outlay that was 
demanded. During the first decade of the nineteenth 
century, they raised money for road-building by means of 
lotteries, as well as by other means more legitimate in our 
modern eyes, and devoted the revenue to the building of 
roads along the frontiers and in the newly opened sections. 
The older parts where there were already roads which 
needed improvements were turned over to turnpike com- 
panies, which everywhere sprang up in New England and 
the States of New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. 
These were chartered by the several States, and the stock 
was eagerly bought up; they proved to be good to specu- 
late in, and they also proved good for investment; but, 
in any case, by 1816, the system of turnpike roads built 
by the Federal Government, — the National Road, — by 
the States, and by stock companies had revolutionized 
travel, and the dangers, inconveniences, and delays of 
twenty years before had gone forever. 

Besides the stone and gravel roads which were gradually 
introduced, swamps and soft places were crossed by means 
of corduroy roads, as they were called. These were made 
by laying logs transversely across the roadway, and filling 
in the interstices with earth. When this last washed out, 
the progress over the roadbed was shown by a continuous 
series of bumps; and a wagon that was not soon racked 
to pieces on one of these roads must have been pretty 
well built. Another makeshift of the time, which at 
least made smooth and comfortable riding until repairs 
were needed, was the plank road. The writer remembers 
riding on a road of this description in 1876, on his first 

The Era of the Stage Coach 37 

visit to Lake George, when he took stage coach — the 
old Concord — at Caldwell and drove nine miles to Glens 
Falls to get the train. Flora Temple, a famous trotting 
horse of the middle of the last century, made the wonderful 
time of "Two forty on a plank road." This phrase 
is put in quotation marks, because the expression was so 
often used to show the acme of speed. 

With the improved roads an improved stage wagon, V 
or coach, was evolved, which was egg-shaped and capable 
of holding six or seven passengers. 

In connection with the picture of the stage coach drawn 
by Captain Basil Hall, R. N., he says: 

The American Mail Stage in which we journeyed over so 
many wild as well as civilized regions, deserves a place at our 
hands. And if the sight of this sketch does not recall to per- 
sons who have travelled in America the idea of aching bones, 
they must be more or less than mortal! 

The springs, it will be observed are of leather, like those 
of the French Diligence — and everything about it is made of 
the strongest materials. There is only one door, by which the 
nine passengers enter the vehicle, three for each seat, the 
centre sufferers placing themselves on a movable bench, with 
a broad leather band to support their backs. Instead of panels 
the stages are fitted with leather curtains. The baggage is 
piled behind, or is thrust into the boot in front. They carry 
no outside passengers — and indeed it would try the nerves as 
well as the dexterity of the most expert harlequin that ever 
preserved his balance, not to be speedily pitched to the ground 
from the top of an American coach, on almost any road that 
I had the good fortune to travel over in that country. 

The baggage allowance was increased to twenty-eight 
pounds to be carried free, and it was no longer left un- 
guarded, so that the passenger was not in fear of losing 

38 The Old Boston Post Road 

it on the road or whenever a stop was made. These 
coaches travelled at a rate of six miles an hour over good, 
safe roads. No more would the driver be heard asking 
the passengers to lean to one side or the other so as to 
prevent the coach from toppling over when it struck a 
rut or mud-hole; no more did the passengers alight and 
help to lift the coach from a rut. Captain Hall went from 
-Boston in the stage coach. He says: 

In the course of the day we reached Providence, having 
averaged somewhat less than seven miles an hour, which I 
record as being considerably the quickest rate of travelling 
we met anywhere in America. 

At Providence, he tried to hire a conveyance to take him 
to Hartford at his own time and leisure, but he could not do 
so. He was offered a stage coach, and agreed to take it 
at the usual price of six passengers ; but the owner wanted 
pay for nine, and then would not let the coach stop at 
the convenience of the hirer, but insisted upon its going 
express. As a result, he took the regular coach, and 

The nominal hour of starting was five in the morning, but as 
everything in America comes sooner than one expects, a great 
tall man walked into the room at ten minutes before four to say 
it wanted half an hour of five; and presently we heard the 
rumbling of the stage coming to the door, upwards of thirty 
minutes before the time specified. 

This was in 1829. In 18 10, Mr. Breck hired a hackney- 
coach and four horses in Philadelphia to take himself and 
wife to Boston in a leisurely way by way of the Middle 
Road. His journal says: 

The Era of the Stage Coach 39 

July 24 -We left New York at noon; slept at Rye. 

July 25 -Dined remarkably well at Stamford; supped and 
slept at Stratford. 

July 26,-Dined eight miles beyond New Haven; slept at Berlin. 

July 27,-Breakfasted at Hartford; passed the new bridge 
over Connecticut River; slept at Clarke's on a new 
turnpike near Ashford. 

July 28 -Dined at Thompson's and slept at Merriam's. 

July 29-Dined at Dedham . . . The roads are turnpiked 
all the way, and of seven ferries that a traveller was 
obliged formerly to pass from Philadelphia to New 
York there remains now but that at Paulus Hook 
[Jersey City], which can never be bridged. The 
roads are not only extremely improved, but distances 
are shortened thirty-six miles between Philadelphia 
and Boston. A stage runs from Hartford to Boston 
every day on the new road, 102^ miles, from 4 
o'clock a. m. to 8 P. M. 

Mr. Breck mentions the shortening of the road by 
thirty-six miles between Philadelphia and Boston. Be- 
tween New York and Boston, in 1806, it was lowered from 
254 miles to 246; in 1812, from 246 to 243; in 1816, to 
235, and in 1821, to 210. Though Coles began his Harlem 
Bridge and new road to New Rochelle before 1800, we 
do not find any mention of the change in the course of the 
Boston Road until 1 8 16, when Kingsbridge and Harlem 
Heights are cut out, and West Farms (Downing's tavern) 
and Harlem Bridge (Madge's tavern) are substituted^ 
In 1817, Springfield is cut out of the itinerary of the New 
York stage coach. The coaches still started at very early 
hours, four or five o'clock, but they stopped at six o'clock 
in the evening. In 1808, the New York mail, by way of 
the Hartford Road, started from Lamphear's general stage 
office in Hanover Street, Boston, every morning, except 



40 The Old Boston Post Road 

Sunday, at five o'clock. In 1815, the fast mail left Boston 
on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday at 4 a.m., and the 
slow mail on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday at 9 a.m. 
In 1816, the mail coach travelled from Boston to New 
York, via Hartford and New Haven, in thirty-eight hours. 

In the year 1815, one Louis Downing, a carriage maker, 
moved to Concord, New Hampshire, and established his 
shop. In 1827, he gave to the world the Concord coach, 
which was, and is, the perfection of the stage coach. It 
has a strong, heavy body, carried on great leather straps, 
called thoroughbraces, a stout top capable of carrying a 
number of passengers, and a boot for the carriage of mails 
and luggage. It is the same coach that transported the 
mails and treasure across the western plains and mountains 
— the Wells-Fargo coach, — the same coach that figures 
in so many western romances, the same coach that we see 
attacked by Indians when we visit a Wild West show. In 
all parts of the world where the railroad is not, the Concord 
coach is still used. So convenient and comfortable was it 
that, when the first railroads were built, — both horse and 
steam propelled, — the passengers were still carried in the 
Concord coaches, whose wheels were altered in order that 
they should fit and stay on the rails. They were used 
formerly — and may still be used elsewhere, for all the 
writer knows — to transport passengers from the boats 
and stations to and from the New York hotels. It seems 
as if it were only yesterday that they disappeared from 
our city streets. 

The era of the stage coach, and of the glorious coaching 
days of which we read so much in Dickens, was from 1820 
.to 1840. The roads were hard, the bridges good, the 
relays of horses frequent, and the loads light; so that it 
was possible to cover the roads at a good speed, and it took 
only two days to go from New York to Boston. The 

The Era of the Stage Coach 41 

driver was expected to make ten miles an hour; and of the 
two unforgivable crimes for which he might be discharged 
— being behind time, and drunkenness — he was more 
liable to be discharged for the latter than for the former. 
The ancient coachman was always drunk, the driver of 
the Concord coach never, while on duty. Freight dids 
not have this advantage of speed, but was still carried by 
packet-boat or by lumbering wagon. 

By this latter date, the railway had become an estab^, 
lished and accepted fact, and — following the inevitable 
law, "The old giveth place to the new," — the old stage- 
coach was doomed. Just as in 1672, when there were 
only six coaches in all England, one Cresset was moved to 
publish a pamphlet against them, because they encouraged 
too much travel; so people objected to the new-fangled 
railway. One veteran of the road expressed himself as 
to possible accidents as follows: "You got upset in a/ 
coach — and there you were ! You get upset in a rail-car — 
and, damme, where are you?" Yet, in the old staging 
days, accidents involving danger to life and limb were so 
frequent that injuries to travellers were, in comparison 
with those of these railroad and steamboat days and with 
the number of passengers carried, far in excess of the 
present. Even Mr. Breck, with all his intelligence, is 
moved to write under date of December 21, 1839: 

After all, the old-fashioned way of five or six miles an hour, 
with one's own horses and carriage, with liberty to dine de- 
cently in a decent inn and be master of one's movements, with 
the delight of seeing the country and getting along rationally, 
is the mode to which I cling, and which will be adopted again 
by the generations of after times. 

Mr. Breck was too much of an aristocrat to believe in 
the herding together in a car of some fifty or more persons 

42 The Old Boston Post Road 

of all ranks. The railway carriage was too democratic for 
him. Yes, the stage-coach has been revived in our day, 
but not as a means of transportation within the reach of 
a man of ordinary means. What would Mr. Breck say now 
if he could see the automobile? 

In the following pages — though we live in the age of the 
railroad and of the automobile — we shall travel leisurely 
over the route of the first mail carrier of 1673, the same 
route that was followed by Washington in 1789, when he 
visited New England after his inauguration, the Upper 
Post Road to Boston. But before we start on our journey, 
let us say with the poet who saw the death of the National 

"We hear no more the clanging hoof 
And the stage coach rattling by; 
For the steam king rules the troubled world, 
And the old Pike 's left to die." 



IN the Dutch days, the Heere Straat, or Broadway, ended 
about where the present Ann Street is located, but a 
lane to which the Dutch gave the name of de Heere- 
wegh, or the Highway, was continued to the Collect Pond. 
This lane was on the south side of the nearly rectangular 
tract of land, which was called by the Dutch the Vlacte, 
or Flat, to which they drove their cows and other animals 
for pasture. In the latter part of the Dutch era, a number 
of bouweries, or farms, were opened up on the east side 
almost as far as the present Fourteenth Street, and the 
lane was continued to them. 

In 1654, the settlement at Harlem was made, and the 
settlers held communication with the fort by means of an 
old Indian trail which went through the woods for the 
greater part of the way, and which was at times impass- 
able. In 1669, Governor Lovelace held a court at Harlem 
to consider "the laying out of a wagon-road, which hath 
heretofore been ordered and appointed, but never as yet 
been prosecuted to effect," though "very necessary to 
the mutual commerce with one another." This road 
was laid out about 1671-72, and over it the post-rider 

"The post-rider of 1673 started from the fort at the foot of Broadway, 
on the site now occupied by the Custom House opposite the Bowling Green, 
and rode up Broadway. For a description of this part of his route, the 
reader is referred to the author's The Greatest Street in the World — Broadway. 


44 The Old Boston Post Road 

went on his way to Boston, as there was now a continuous 
road from the fort to Harlem. 

The pasture land of the Dutch became the Commons, 
or Fields, of the English. Governor Dongan directed 
that the Eastern Highway should be run diagonally 
across the Commons; as a result, there was cut off a tri- 
angular piece of about ten acres. Rather than see it go 
a-begging, with great magnanimity, he took it for himself. 
The tract, or a part of it, was known as the Governor's 
Garden, and later as the Vineyard; and for about three 
quarters of a century it was kept in the Dongan family. 
It was used as a public garden and pleasure resort for 
the greater part of this time, but, in 1762, it was sold to 
Mr. Thomas White, who divided it into building lots. 
The first one to be occupied was that at the corner of Ann 
Street, where Andrew Hopper erected a town residence 
and store in 1773. 

During all this period, the highway was called by the 
English the Eastern Post Road, or the High Road to 
Boston. In 1774, however, an ordinance was passed by 
the Common Council directing that "the street beginning 
at the house of Andrew Hopper, nearly opposite St. 
Paul's Church and leading to the fresh water," should be 
called Chatham Street. This was in honor of William 
Pitt, Earl of Chatham, who was so valiantly, but vainly, 
upholding in Parliament the cause of the American colo- 
nists against the king and his ministers. In December, 
1788, it was ordered that Chatham Street should be 
regulated from James Street to Division, and in July, 1789, 
that it should be paved. By 1825, the section abreast of 
the City Hall Park had become popularly known as Park 
Row. This became its official title in 1886, and the name 
was extended to cover the whole section as far as Chatham 

Park Row 45 

At Broadway and Ann Street, there was, in pre-Revolu- 
tionary days, the Spring Garden Tavern, which became 
the Hampden Hall and headquarters of the Sons of Liberty. 
In 1824, John Scudder caused a marble building to be 
erected here and moved his American Museum from the 
Old Almshouse at the north end of City Hall Park to his 
new building. In 1840, Phineas T. Barnum bought out 
Scudder and united with his collection of curiosities, the 
collection from Peale's New York Museum, continuing 
the combined shows as the American Museum until July 
13. 1865, when the building was destroyed by fire. James 
Gordon Bennett occupied the site with the New York 
Herald Building from April, 1867, until August, 1893. 
Shortly afterward the Herald Building was demolished, 
and the towering St. Paul Building was erected in its stead. 

On the first block of Park Row, our special interest is 
concerned with the building formerly occupying Numbers 
21, 23, and 25. Here, on May 5, 1795, was laid the 
corner-stone of the New Theatre, which, though unfinished, 
was opened on January 29, 1798, under the management of 
Hallam & Hodgkinson, with William Dunlap as stage 

It soon became known as the Park Theatre; and for 
fifty years it was the theatre of New York, around which 
are clustered more memories of things theatrical than are 
connected with any other building that has ever stood 
in the city. The roster of the actors and actresses who 
appeared upon the boards of the Park contains the names 
of all those who were great during the era of its existence 
as a playhouse. It was plain on the outside, but its 
interior was fitted up in a style unusual for that time. 

It is said that it cost $139,000, a great sum for those 
days. Not long after its completion and opening, it was 
sold at auction and was bought by John Jacob Astor and 

46 The Old Boston Post Road 

John Beekman for $60,000. On May 24, 1820,- the build- 
ing was destroyed by fire; but the walls stood, and in 
April, 1 82 1, the theatre was rebuilt almost on its former 
lines. For the opening of the rebuilt theatre on Septem- 
ber I, 1 82 1, an address was written by The Croakers, 
Halleck and Drake; of which the following is an extract: 

Enlightened as you are, you all must know 
Our playhouse was burnt down some time ago, 
Without insurance. 'T was a famous blaze, 
Fine fun for firemen, but dull sport for plays. 

But thanks to those who always have been known 
To love the public interest, when their own, 
Again our fireworn mansion is rebuilt, 
Inside and outside, neatly carved and gilt, 
With best of paint and canvas, lath and plaster, 
The Lord bless Beekman and John Jacob Astor!" 

On December 16, 1848, the theatre was destroyed by 
fire for the second time; and as the site was considered 
then too far down town for purposes of entertainment, the 
theatre was not rebuilt. Mr. Astor erected upon its site 
five handsome brown stone stores. The only memento 
of this famous theatre is a narrow passage-way connecting 
Ann and Beekman streets, and lying about midway 
between Nassau Street and Park Row. This was a rear 
entrance to the theatre, and was called at first the Mews; 
but since 1807 to the present, it has been called Theatre 
Alley. It now seems to be a catch-all for the rubbish of 
the neighborhood. 

This first block of Park Row between Ann and Beek- 
man streets was at one time called "Old Newspaper 
Row, " because there were so many publishing offices there. 
In 1893, there were located here the following papers: 

The Bible-House, Cooper Institute, and Tompkins Market. 
From Valentine's Manual. 

The Firemen's Procession passing the Washington Monument, Union Square 
on the Evening of September I, 1858. 

Park Row 47 

Recorder, Mail and Express (on the Park Theatre site), 
Advertiser and News. The first and last of these have 
gone out of existence, the Mail and Express has moved, and 
the Advertiser has combined with the Globe. A few years 
earlier the World office was on the same block. 

On Park Row, between Beekman, Nassau, and Spruce 
streets, was an almost triangular plot of ground, which was 
formerly included in the Commons. In 1766, the English 
Presbyterian Church corporation applied to the city 
authorities for a grant of city land for the erection of a 
larger church with a cemetery attached, as they had out- 
grown their quarters in Wall Street. The city fathers, 
wishing to advance the erection of imposing buildings and 
also to encourage the spread of religion, offered the church 
authorities a tract of land on the east side of Chatham 
street between Chambers and Pearl streets, contiguous to 
a tract recently given by them to the Reformed Dutch 
Church. The Presbyterians objected to this on various 
grounds, the principal of which was that the new church 
would be too far away from the population. They pushed 
their arguments for the triangular lot mentioned above, 
stating it would not be suitable for ordinary business pur- 
poses on account of its shape, and that it was at that time 
a public nuisance, being a dumping-ground for all the dirt 
and filth of the neighborhood. The city accepted the 
church offer of £40 a year quit-rent and granted the 
land forever for church purposes. The church plot con- 
tained about three fourths of an acre, or about eight city 
lots. It was sold in 1854 for $175,000 and a year later 
for $350,000. The church edifice was erected in 1767, 
and opened for services the following year. On account of 
the material of which it was made, it. was known as the 
Brick Presbyterian Church. During the Revolution, it 
was used as a hospital by the British. Services were dis- 

48 The Old Boston Post Road 

continued in 1856, at which time the church was demolished 
to make way for business buildings. 

In May, 1811, there occurred a fire, which was for 
many years known as "the great fire" — that is, until the 
fire of 1835 passed it in magnitude of the damages and 
losses. In the earlier fire, nearly a hundred large build- 
ings were destroyed; and it looked for a time as if the 
whole city would go, on account of a high northerly wind 
which blew the flames and sparks from the starting point 
of the fire on Chatham Street near Duane. During the 
fire, a burning brand caught on the steeple of the Brick 
Church, and it appeared as if the building were doomed, 
as no engines of that day could pump water to that height, 
nor were there ladders long enough to reach the steeple. 
A sailor in the crowd saw the danger and went through 
the church to the roof, whence he climbed by means of the 
lightning rod to the place where the steeple was on fire. 
By beating the fire with his hat, he succeeded in extinguish- 
ing it, while the watching crowd below cheered him 
lustily. Having accomplished his task, he descended to 
the ground and disappeared in the crowd before he could 
be identified, nor did the rewards subsequently advertised 
bring him forward. The new jail on the Common was 
saved by one of the prisoners in an almost similar manner, 
though there was not in this case a steeple to climb. 

The plot is now occupied by two large office buildings, 
which are numbered respectively 36 and 41 Park Row, 
though the former is also called the Potter Building. 
The Press, a Republican daily journal, established in 1887, 
had its offices in the Potter Building for some years, as 
did also the World. 

The other building at Number 41 is still popularly 
known as the Times Building, though it is no longer 
occupied by that paper. The old home of the Times was 

Park Row 49 

replaced in 1889 by the present structure on Park Row, 
which was erected without causing any cessation of work 
in the offices of the building that was being replaced. This 
was an architectural and engineering feat that attracted 
wide attention. 

In the year 1642, Go vert Loockermans received a grant 
of land extending north of Spruce Street, the George Street 
of colonial days. This descended to his step-daughter 
Elsie, who married a reputable merchant named Peter 
Cornelisen Vanderveen. After his death, she married 
Jacob Leisler, the wealthy and progressive German from 
Frankfort, who had come to this country in 1660, and 
who after the deposition of Nicholson was forced into the 
position of Lieutenant-Governor. Upon his marriage 
to Elsie, or Tymens, Vanderveen, Leisler bought out the 
other heirs and thus became possessed of the tract facing 
the Heerewegh, or Post Road; upon it, he had his farm 
and country-house. Frankfort Street was named after 
the place of Leisler's nativity. 

Some thirty years after his coming to the New World 
Leisler was, after a trial before a prejudiced court, con- 
demned on the charge of high treason. It was a cold, 
drizzling, spring morning in May when he and his son-in- 
law, Jacob Milborne, likewise condemned, were drawn to 
the place of execution opposite the residence of Leisler, 
and there first hanged and then beheaded. A large 
crowd saw the execution of the two whom they considered 
martyrs, and men wept and women fainted at the sight 
of this "revengeful sacrifice"; while pieces of Leisler's 
clothing and locks of his hair were carried away as sacred 
relics. The place of execution was on the site of the Sun 
building, and the place of burial at the junction of Spruce 
Street and Park Row, or in Printing House Square, both 
places on property belonging to Leisler. Four years later, 

50 The Old Boston Post Road 

through the efforts of young Leisler, his mother, and his 
sister, Mrs. Milborne, Parliament reversed the attainder 
of high treason, and the confiscated estates were restored 
to the proper heirs. In September 1698, the bodies of 
the two victims of political jealousy were exhumed and 
reburied with all honor in the cemetery back of the church 
on Garden Street, now Exchange Place; but for twenty- 
five years afterward the two political parties of the city 
were the Leislerians and the anti-Leislerians. Lord 
Bellomont, in a letter to the Lords of Trade ten years 
later says: 

that the execution of these men was as violent, cruell, and 
arbitrary a proceeding as ever was done upon the lives of men 
in any age under an English government. ... I do not 
wonder that Bayard, Nicolls, and the rest of the murderers of 
these men should be disturbed at the taking up of their bones ; 
it put them in mind ('t is likely) of their rising hereafter in 
judgment against them. 

The open space at the north end of Nassau Street, of 
which Spruce Street and Park Row are the other bound- 
aries, is popularly, though not officially, known as "Print- 
ing House Square, " from the number of publishing offices 
which have been and are located here. The two blocks 
from Spruce Street to the bridge are also called "News- 
paper Row" for the same reason. In 1886, there were 
the following papers above Beekman Street: World, 
Times, Tribune, Day-Book, and Sun. Two statues 
appropriately grace this small open space; that of Benja- 
min Franklin the printer, the work of E. Plassman, pre- 
sented to the city in 1872 by Captain Albert De Groot, an 
old New Yorker; and that of Horace Greeley, the famous 
editor, the work of J. Q. A. Ward, which was dedicated 

Park Row 51 

in 1890. This latter statue occupies a site on the window- 
front of the Tribune Building, and was paid for principally 
by the owners of that paper. 

The Tribune Building was erected in 1874, and several 
additional stories were added in 1883, and again in 1905-7. 
The building extends in a great L. to Frankfort Street, and 
is given over to offices. In 1893, it was stated that up- 
wards of six thousand southern and western journals were 
represented in this building. The Morning Journal was 
established as a one cent paper by Albert Pulitzer in 1882, 
and was, at first, printed on the presses of the Tribune, 
and had its offices in the Tribune Building. 

Adjoining the Tribune is the Sun, occupying the old, 
remodelled Tammany Hall, an insignificant-looking struc- 
ture by contrast with its great neighbors. The Sun was 
established by Benjamin H. Day in 1833 as a one cent 
paper. The newspaper plant was removed to its present 
location in 1868, at which time Charles A. Dana became 

The Tammany Hall above referred to was a hotel and 
headquarters of the Tammany Society, formed in New 
York on May 12, 1789, about two weeks after Washing- 
ton's inauguration, as a sort of successor of the "Sons of 
Liberty, " whose work had been crowned by the successful 
revolution which had secured the independence of the 
United States. In addition, it was a democratic protest 
against the Order of the Cincinnati, whose hereditary 
membership in accordance with the laws of primogeniture 
was considered too aristocratic an institution for a republic. 

John Trumbull, so it is said, was the first to suggest the 
name of " St. Tammany, " — a name that he had originated 
from the legends associated with a famous chief of the 
Delawares, whose wisdom, humanity, and many virtues 
had, by contrast with the actions of other Indian sachems, 

52 The Old Boston Post Road 

well earned for him the title of "Saint." This chieftain 
was Tamanende, or Tammany, an actual sachem of the 
Lenni-Lenape, who was probably present at Penn's first 
interview with the Indians at Shockamaxon. Tammany 
lived to a very advanced age, as the readers of The Last 
of the Mohicans may remember. 

The Society was formed at Bardin's, or the City tavern 
in lower Broadway, where it had its meetings until 1798, 
when it removed to the tavern of "Brom" Martling at 
the southeast corner of Little George (Spruce) and Nassau 

The Society was incorporated in 1805. In 1808, it 
performed a duty in conformity with the patriotic ideas 
upon which it was founded. This was the removal of the 
bones of the 11,500 Americans who had died upon the 
British prison-ships and whose bodies had been carelessly 
and irreverently buried in shallow graves upon the shores 
of the Wallabout, where the navy yard is located in 

By feeble hands, their shallow graves were made; 
No stone-memorial o'er their corpses laid. 
In barren sands, and far from home, they lie, 
No friend to shed a tear when passing by. 


Attempts were made in 1792 and in 1802 to erect a 
suitable hall for a meeting-place, but it was not until 
181 1 that sufficient funds were in hand to warrant the 
erection of the building. Upon May 13, 181 1, with 
appropriate parade and ceremonies, the corner-stone of 
the Hall was laid, at the corner of Frankfort and Nassau 
streets. The Wigwam was finished and occupied shortly 
after the breaking out of the war with Great Britain. 

Park Row 53 

During that struggle, the Society firmly supported the 
government and measures of Mr. Madison. The Tam- 
many Hall Hotel was run by Cozzens, who later became 
famous as the host of Cozzens's Hotel on the Hudson, 
below West Point. Good cheer could be found here by 
members of the Society, as Halleck tells us in 1819: 

There 's a barrel of porter at Tammany Hall 

And the bucktails are swigging it all the night long; 

In the time of my boyhood, 't was pleasant to call 
For a seat and cigar, 'mid the jovial throng. 

From that time to the present, Tammany has been, 
more or less — ostensibly, at least — the supporter of the 
Democratic party of the State and of the Nation ; though 
there have been frequent divisions and intestinal quarrels 
which have almost torn it asunder. One of these distur- 
bances occurred on October 29, 1835, when a meeting was 
called at the Wigwam to ratify the Democratic nomina- 
tions, to most of which there was strong opposition. The 
secessionists far outnumbered the regulars, and, amid 
scenes of great confusion, drove them from the Hall. 
Then some one turned off the gas, — which was not an infre- 
quent occurrence upon such occasions; — but the "antis, " 
in anticipation of such an event, were provided with 
candles and friction, or loco-foco, matches, then of recent 
invention. They lit their candles, and, in the semi-dark- 
ness of the room, organized their convention* and made 
their own nominations. The Courier and Enquirer of the 
next day dubbed them the " Loco-focos, " which nick- 
name was afterwards applied to the whole Democratic 
party by their Whig opponents. 

Heretofore, the leaders of the Democracy had been 
among the older and more respectable citizens of the city. 

54 The Old Boston Post Road 

In the spring of 1840, a registry law for voters went into 
effect, and the right of suffrage was widely enlarged. As 
a result, an organized political society such as met in 
Tammany Hall naturally attracted younger and more 
ambitious men, and the older men gradually withdrew. 

On the block above Frankfort Street, formerly stood 
French's Hotel. The site was secured by Joseph Pulitzer 
in 1888 and the corner-stone of the Pulitzer Building, the 
new home of the New York World, was laid on October?! 
10, 1889. The building was the pioneer of the skeleton I 
steel construction; it was doubled in size in 1908 to 
accommodate the requirements of the newspaper, and the 
demands for offices, and now covers Numbers 53 to 63 
Park Row. 

Adjacent to the Pulitzer Building is the entrance to the 
Brooklyn Bridge. A suspension bridge to connect New 
York and Brooklyn was suggested as early as 1819 by 
an engineer named Pope, and the idea was renewed in 
1829 and in 1849. In i860, John A. Roebling publicly 
outlined his plan; but the Civil War following almost 
immediately after, the idea was, of necessity, dropped. 
It was revived after the conclusion of that struggle, and 
there was incorporated the New York Bridge Company 
for the construction of a suspension bridge over the 
East River. The chief engineer was John A. Roebling, 
and his assistant was his son Washington A. The pre- 
liminary work had hardly been begun before the elder 
Roebling died, and the son succeeded him and directed the 
work to its successful conclusion. In 1874, tne Legislature 
took the work from the private company and authorized 
the cities of New York and Brooklyn to finish it, the 
former to pay one third and the latter two thirds of 
the cost. This cost, though originally estimated at 
$8,000,000, increased— as is always the case with 

.„„ , i vim 

!!(!!>! Wife 

A General View of Chatham Street, looking down from Chatham Square, 1858. 
From Valentine's Manual. 



An Old View of the Present Junction of Pearl and Chatham Streets. 
From Valentine's Manual, i86t. 








Park Row 55 

public work— to about $15,000,000. Washington A. 
Roebling was early incapacitated by blindness from 
attending the bridge building in person; but, from his 
sick-room on Brooklyn Heights, his faithful wife, by means 
of a telescope, kept him informed of the progress of the 
construction, so that he was able to direct the engineering 
part of the work until the bridge was opened. 

On the west side of the Boston Road was the Commons, 
or Fields; later, City Hall Park. Here was placed in 
the earliest times the common gallows upon which crimi- 
nals were executed; and, in 1728, a powder-house was 
built near its former site opposite the present Frankfort 
Street. The gallows was removed to a spot nearer the 
Fresh Water, "to the place where the negroes were burnt " 
during the negro plot scare of 1741. In 1734, a committee 
of the Common Council, which had been appointed to 
examine into the location of an almshouse, recommended, 
that there be forthwith built, erected, and made, at the 
charge of this Corporation, a workhouse, on the north 
side of the lands late of Colonel Dongan, commonly called 
the Vineyard. 

The site was that now occupied by the City Hall. The 
agreement with the contractor, Mr. John Burger, is 

For performing the above work £80 o o 

For 70 gallons of rum for the use of all the masons 

and laborers 8150 

For 70 pounds of sugar 1 50 

For small beer 2 10 o 

£92 10 o 
For hire of laborers 3« 00 

£ 122 10 o 

56 The Old Boston Post Road 

Close to Park Row, almost opposite the entrance to the 
Brooklyn Bridge, formerly stood the New Jail, erected in 
1757 and 1758. In front of it stood the public whipping- 
post, cage, stocks, and pillory. The jail was used during 
the Revolution as a prison for military officers and for 
civilians of importance. As it was under the immediate 
supervision of Provost-Marshal Cunningham, it was called 
the "Provost" prison. It became the Hall of Records in 
1834, and was demolished in 1904 during the building of 
the subway in this vicinity. North of the almshouse, the 
Corporation owned the lands as far as the Fresh Water; 
but the land appeared to be common, and charcoal burners 
used the timber, while clay was dug from pits. Brick- 
kilns and lime-kilns were erected and used until an or- 
dinance of 1 73 1 forbade the burning of lime south of 
the Fresh Water, or the cutting of wood or saplings 
on the common land. Brick-making continued almost 
to the Revolution, as there was good clay on Potter- 
hill, which sloped to the Fresh Water. In 1759, the 
land north of the jail was laid out in lots, and these 
were leased for a term of three years. Within a few- 
years afterwards, buildings were erected, and the leases 
were extended. 

Just after the Revolution, a State arsenal was erected 
at Chatham' Street and Tryon Row, on land forming part 
of the Commons. In 1805, the Free School Society was 
organized with De Witt Clinton as president. Their 
first free school was opened in Madison Street, and it was 
so successful that the society desired to extend its work. 
In order to aid the society, the City gave to it the arsenal 
building, on condition that the children of the almshouse 
be educated. The building was made over for a school 
and quarters were arranged in it for the accommodation 
of the teacher and his family. It was named Free School 

Park Row 57 

Number Two, and it was soon overcrowded with the 
children of the vicinity. 

In 1834, the Staats Zeitung, a German paper, was estab- 
lished by Oswald Ottendorfer. In 1893, the newspaper 
erected a fine granite building on Tryon Row at the junc- 
tion of Centre Street and Park Row upon the site formerly 
occupied by Storm's Hotel. Two of its prominent fea- 
tures were the statues of Gutenberg, the inventor of 
printing from movable type, and of Benjamin Franklin, 
the American printer. The building was razed in 1909 
to make way for the erection of the new Municipal 

For many years, especially since the formation of the 
greater city, the old City Hall has been inadequate for 
the business departments and offices of the municipality. 
These have been scattered about in several office buildings 
not, as a general thing, far removed from the City Hall, 
and. the rent for these offices has been a considerable item 
of expense. The necessity for a new city hall, or municipal 
building of some kind, forced itself upon the authorities, 
and steps were taken for the erection of such a building. 
The site selected was that occupied by the Staats Zeitung 
and the block north of it on Centre Street, giving a nearly 
triangular space about four hundred and fifty feet in 
extreme length and three hundred in extreme width. A 
competition among the architects was decided in favor 
of the plans of the firm of McKim, Mead & White, and 
work was begun in 1909, with the proviso that the building 
should be ready for occupancy within three years and a 
half. The south end of the building rests upon bed-rock 
one hundred and forty-five feet below the surface, but the 
north end rests upon the hard sand at the same depth, 
the supporting pedestals of concrete being one hundred 
and six in number. From the sidewalk to the tower 

58 The Old Boston Post Road 

there are twenty-five stories; but from the lowest base- 
ment to the top of the tower, there are forty. Provision 
had to be made in the basement for a six- track subway; 
and at the surface, Chambers Street passes through the 
building without interruption to traffic. 

The upper part of Park Row as far as Chatham Square 
has undergone many changes since the earliest times. 
Between Duane and Pearl streets, there formerly stood a 
considerable hill sloping to the Fresh Water and to the 
stream that was its outlet to the East River. So difficult 
was this hill for laden vehicles approaching the city that 
a detour was made along Pearl Street to the south around 
the base of the hill, rejoining the Post Road near Duane 
Street. 1 This hill was called Catimuts Hill, but whether 
the name is of Indian origin or a variant of catamount it 
is not now possible to determine. Watson in his Annals 
ascribes the name to a person he calls Katey Mutz, 
also called Aunt Katey, who kept a mead garden at this 
place. The hill was also called Windmill Hill from the 
presence of a windmill, of which mention is made as 
early as 1662, when it was erected by Jan De Witt. When 
the gallows was removed from the Fields to this point, 
the elevation received the name of Gallows Hill; and it 
is also spoken of as Fresh Water Hill from its contiguity 
to that pond. The hill was on the Janeway farm. 

On the top of the hill there was a public-house with a 
garden attached. In 1726, the owner seems to have been 
Francis Child; for in that year, there was an advertise- 
ment to the effect that those wishing to enter their horses 
for a subscription plate should give their names to him 
at Fresh Water Hill. The public garden, known as Cati- 
muts Garden, was in existence almost to the time of the 

'This is shown very plainly on the Montgomery map of 1728. 

Park Row 59 

In 1707, a committee was appointed by the Common 
Council to lay out roads in this vicinity. They laid out 
a road (probably a horse track only) from the Spring 
Garden Gate [Broadway] to run east by north to the 
Fresh Water, thence by a small turning in what is now 
Chatham Square, to run about north northeast along the 
Bowery Lane to the furthermost house in the same, and 
thence by a defined route to Harlem. 

In 1723, this section was surveyed, and the surveyors 
were cautioned to continue the street called Broadway 
the breadth it now is, showing that this road was expected 
to be a continuation of Broadway. In 1734, a road four 
rods wide was ordered to be laid out "from Spring Garden 
Gate to Fresh Water." In 1740, the Corporation gave 
permission to several gentlemen to cut the road through 
the hill at their own expense. This would be on the line 
of the old Indian trail and of the present highway and 
would obviate the detour spoken of above. The street 
was not paved until after the Revolution, notwithstanding 
the fact that it was the main travelled road from the city. 

In 1699, the old palisades erected by Stuyvesant in 
1654 along the line of Wall Street were demolished. In 
1745, upon the approach of danger from the French, a 
new line of palisades was established from river to river, 
a little north of the present Chambers Street. The pali- 
sades were made of cedar logs fourteen feet long, planted 
firmly in a trench, behind which was a breastwork four 
feet high and four feet wide. They were loopholed for 
musketry ; and abreast of Catimuts Hill, where they crossed 
the road to Boston, there was a large gateway. 

In 1766, upon request of the Reformed Dutch Church, 
the Corporation granted to it a tract of land in this vicinity. 
The same year, the English Presbyterians applied for land 
from the Common Council, who agreed to give it to them 

60 The Old Boston Post Road 

"opposite the old windmill spot"; but, upon the church 
authorities objecting for several reasons, the grant was 
made of the Brick Church site. 

Between the Revolution and the opening of the nine- 
teenth century, the west side as far as Duane Street was 
fully built up. One of the leading business houses was 
that of Peter and George Lorillard, tobacconists. Beyond 
Duane Street, there were still some vacant lots belonging 
to the Janeway estate; but many lots were occupied by 
small stores, and a few by fine residences. On the east 
side, as far as Pearl Street (the Great Queen Street of 
the English era), the blocks were covered with shops, some 
frame and others brick. It must be remembered that at 
this period and for many years afterward the merchants 
and mechanics lived over their shops and places of business. 
Though respectable enough, the inhabitant of Chatham 
Street was not considered quite so high in the social scale 
as the resident of Pearl Street, and here again there was 
inferiority to other streets, and all of them to aristocratic 
Broadway. In his poem of Fanny, Fitz-Greene Halleck 
gives us the story of a social climber of those early days 
who began as a small shopkeeper on Chatham Street, 
and took his first step upward by joining Tammany. 

" For when on Chatham Street, the good man dwelt, 
No one would give a sous for his opinion. 
And though his neighbors were extemely civil, 
Yet, on the whole, they thought him — a poor devil." 

At the corner of Queen Street, there stood a building 
of special interest, the Boston Stage-house and Livery 
Stables. The earliest proprietor after the Revolution was 
Benjamin Powell, and toward the close of the century, 
James Tyler. A late owner was a Quaker, whose quiet 

Park Row 61 

and sedate ways were rather different from those we 
usually associate with horses and livery stables. 

Pearl Street was one of the principal thoroughfares of 
the city, as it was also one of the most ancient, being a 
continuation of the Strand of the Dutch days. It was 
the main thoroughfare from the lower east side to the 
Boston Road and the farms and country beyond. When 
the powder magazine was erected on an island in the 
Collect Pond in 1721, the road extended to it was called 
Magazine Street ; but, as this was a continuation of Pearl 
Street, it became known as Pearl Street when the magazine 
was removed, and the pond filled up. 

The Collect, or Fresh Water, Pond occupied the section 
bounded by White, Bayard, Elm, Canal, and Pearl streets, 
and, in the earlier days, was a beautiful sheet of fresh water 
nestling among the hills and discharging its overflow into 
both the Hudson and the East rivers. In the primeval 
days, an Indian village was located near the pond, and the 
presence of great quantities of shells — the remains of 
Indian feasts, — prompted the Dutch to name it the Kolch- 
hoek, or Shell-point, Pond. It was fed by living springs 
and had a depth variously given as from thirty to seventy 
feet, and sometimes it was declared to be bottomless. 
The fishing was excellent. A law of 1734 forbids net 
fishing and permits fish to be taken only by angling. It 
was near here that the negroes were executed in 1741, and 
it was, for some time, the place of execution. Its amphi- 
theatre of hills furnished a fine outlook for spectators to 
view the winter skating, and here many people gathered 
upon a day in 1796 to see John Fitch try to propel a boat 
by steam, — which he succeeded in doing. Owing to the 
spread of population, by 1800, the hills were denuded of 
their trees, and the pond itself was becoming a cesspool 
for all the refuse and filth of the neighborhood. Its unsani- 

62 The Old Boston Post Road 

tary condition caused the Common Council in 1805 to 
order that it should be drained and filled with clean earth. 
This task took several years to accomplish. In 1838, the 
City Prison, or "Tombs," was erected over the Collect 
from stone taken from the old Bridewell in City Hall 
Park. The Criminal Courts Building also occupies part 
of the site, and the new County Court House will do 

The stream discharging into the East River crossed the 
Post Road between Pearl and Roosevelt streets, and 
practically followed the course of the 'latter street to the 
East River. It must have been of considerable volume, 
as, in 1657, the Dutch government granted a mill site on 
it to Abraham Pietersen, who erected here a water-power 
mill instead of the usual windmill. They called the stream 
the Versch Water Kittetje, "the little fresh- water brook," 
and the pond, the Kolch — hence Collect — or Fresh Water. 
The stream was also known to the English as the "Old 
Wreck Brook," by which name it appears in ancient 
records; this was contracted into "Ould Kill." The 
stream was not fordable at times, so that it was necessary 
to build a bridge. The records show this to have been 
done in 1699 at a cost of £1 10s. The bridge was called 
the "Kissing Bridge," and it appears under this title 
in the records of the city as the boundary of the city from 
1755 until after the Revolution. According to the Rev. 
Mr. Burnaby, who visited the colony about the middle of 
the eighteenth century, it was customary for parties of 
ladies and gentlemen to visit some resort beyond the 
bridge on pleasure trips, after riding two-wheeled chairs, 
or chaises. The reverend gentleman continues: 

"Just before you enter the town there is a little bridge, com- 
monly called the Kissing Bridge, where it is customary, before 

Park Row 63 

passing beyond, to salute the lady who is your companion, 
a custom, which," he naively remarks, "is curious, yet not 

On the west side of the highway at the intersection of 
Chatham and Pearl streets and close to the bridge, was a 
well-patronized spring, which was fed from the same 
sources as the Collect. In course of time, improvements 
obliterated the rural beauties of the spot; but the water 
was a necessity, so a well twenty feet deep and four feet 
across was dug and a pump installed. This was the famous 
Tea Water Pump, and from it were sometimes taken as 
much as thirty thousand gallons of water a day, yet it 
maintained its depth of three feet of water. According 
to the antiquarian Watson, the site of the pump was at 
No. 126 Chatham Street; for he found the old pump in 
a liquor store at that number several years after it had 
ceased to be used, though the proprietor did not know its 

In Dutch days, there were only two or three houses in 
this vicinity, as the section was too exposed to Indian at- 
tack. The earliest of these houses, built in 1648, was the 
tavern of Wolfert Webber, which was close to the tea- water 
spring. It was, for a long time, the outermost of the town 
on the road to the bouweries, and was, in consequence of 
its exposed position, the scene of many stirring incidents, 
having been frequently assaulted and robbed in times of 
Indian troubles. In one of these, Webber's daughter was 
taken captive; she returned from captivity in 1655. The 
tavern was conducted by Webber's descendants, and if 
became a favorite place of entertainment for pleasure- 
parties, as well as for travellers. Attached to it, was the 
Tea Water Garden, in which the early inhabitants of the 
city took their pleasure. It also prospered in the winter 

64 The Old Boston Post Road 

time from the patronage of the skaters on the Fresh Water 
and from the sleighing parties. 

In the English days, it seems that the development of 
this section was even earlier than in the vicinity of Beek- 
man Street, so much nearer the city; for upon a map of 
1757, made from actual surveys for military purposes, 
there are shown several houses on both Mulberry and 
Roosevelt streets, and the other streets of the vicinity are 
sketched out. In 1737, the highway from the Kissing 
Bridge to the Downes pasture at the head of Chatham 
Square was surveyed. Owing to the hill which occupied 
the site of the square, it was necessary for the highway 
to go around it in order to join the Bowery Lane. 

On the east side of the road the land passed from the 
hands of William Merritt into those of William Janeway, 
who bought a piece extending from the Fresh Water Brook 
one hundred and fifty rods along the highway. In 1731, 
it became the property of Christopher Banker and later 
was added to the farm of Anthony Rutgers. In 1747, the 
property was sold and occupied, so that a little settlement 
grew up which was, to a great extent, self-contained. 

On the west side of the highway, beyond the bridge, 
the property, consisting of between twelve and thirteen 
acres, was known as the Minthorne farm until 1751, when 
it was bought for nine hundred pounds by John Kingston, 
a blacksmith, and Jacob Read, a tailor. They began to 
sell at once, their first sale being of a lot of twenty-five feet 
by one hundred feet at the corner of Chatham Square and 
Mulberry Street for thirty-five pounds. About 1763, the 
regulating and improving of streets in this vicinity began, 
though the square itself was only partially paved when the 
nineteenth century commenced. At this time, a part of 
the square was fenced in and a fire engine-house erected 
upon it. In the Dutch days, there were only two or three 

Park Row 65 

residents in the neighborhood of Chatham Square; but 
a farm-house was early erected upon the hill, and a dwell- 
ing and distillery were constructed at the junction with the 
Bowery. These latter were removed in 1806, when they 
were declared to have been a century old. 

Besides the famous Park Theatre on the first block 
of Park Row, Scudder's American Museum had opened 
here in 1810 at Number 21. There was formerly, at Num- 
ber 28, a small hall given over to light entertainments. 
It was called the Cornucopia, and it was opened February 
16, 1843. The Virginia Minstrels occupied the place for 
a long time. In 1822, the Chatham Garden and Theatre 
were opened on the north side of the street between 
Duane and Pearl. Good plays were given and good 
actors appeared, Forrest, among others. The place was 
closed in 1831 and it became a Free Presbyterian Chapel. 
In 1811, near the Collect Pond, there was given the first 
circus performance in the city. 

On September 7, 1835, the Franklin Theatre was opened 
at Number 175 Chatham Street. It was a small place 
with a seating capacity of five hundred and fifty, but good 
plays were given with good actors. In 1848, it became the 
Franklin Museum, and it was conducted on the same lines 
as Barnum's American Museum. Its last performance 
was given on April 22, 1854, after which it became a furni- 
ture store. The Chatham Museum, just above Pearl 
Street, was opened in 1841, by P. T. Barnum, who ran 
it for some time before acquiring Scudder's Museum. 

The most important of the later theatres was the Chat- 
ham Theatre at Number 193, on the east side of the street 
between Roosevelt and James streets. It began in 1822 
as a small theatre fitted up for summer representations 
with an awning to cover the audience. In 1824, a new 
and larger brick building was erected in the interior of 

66 The Old Boston Post Road 

the block, and it became a regular theatre. The entrance 
from Chatham Street was through a long, narrow entry 
into an open garden ornamented with shrubbery and a 
fountain. A newer and larger building was erected on the 
street and it was opened on September n, 1839. It was 
very popular in its day and presented the best plays and 
actors of the city. It was here that Adah Isaacs Menken 
made her first New York appearance. In December, 1839, 
it was remodelled and called Purdy's National Theatre, a 
name by which it was known for twenty years. In 1859 it 
became a circus and was called the Chatham Amphitheatre 
and, later, the Union Theatre. It was torn down in 
October, 1862; but a portion of it still stands and is 
occupied by the furniture house of Cowperthwait & Sons, 
who — most remarkable fact for New York — have been 
in business near this same spot since 1807. 

The earliest literary associations of Park Row are with 
the Park Theatre, whose manager, William Dunlap, was 
the author of the History of the American Theatre and of 
other books. Another name, that of John Howard 
Payne, the writer of one deathless song, springs into mind 
at the mention of the Park Theatre. 

Next door to the Park Theatre was the printing-house 
of David Longworth — "Dusky Davie," they called him 
after a popular song of the time. Here he was visited by 
three young madcaps who had done him the honor to 
select him as their publisher, without which honor he 
would probably have remained unknown to fame. After 
many consultations and secret conferences there was 
issued on January 24, 1807, the first of the twenty numbers 
of Salmagundi, which its authors, Washington and William 
Irving and James Kirke Paulding, declared was "to 
instruct the young, reform the old, correct the town, and 
castigate the age. " 

Park Row 67 

A peculiar sadness attaches to the site of the house the 
second door from Beekman Street, in the heart of the 
later Newspaper Row; for here Joseph Rodman Drake 
had his pharmacy, here he lived and here he died. After 
starting in business on the Bowery and meeting with 
success, he removed to this busiest part of New York. It 
was here that Drake and Halleck planned the Croaker 
Papers, a series of satires printed in verse upon the public 
characters of the day, which appeared in the Evening 
Post. Here Halleck came to read his poem Fanny for 
the criticisms of his friend, and here Drake wrote his 
charming poem of The Culprit Fay, in answer to the 
remarks of Paulding, Cooper, and others that the rivers 
of America offered no such legendary or romantic associa- 
tions fitted for poetic treatment as those of Europe. It 
was here that, in 1820, Halleck watched by the bedside 
of his dying friend and saw the life light extinguished 

For others famous in literature who are, or were, con- 
nected with Park Row, we must go into the newspaper 
offices, either past or present, and we find, besides the 
names of the great editors — Mordecai M. Noah, Charles 
A. Dana, William L. Stone, Joseph Pulitzer, Horace 
Greeley, and a host of others, — such names as Jesse Lynch 
Williams, William Winter, Irving Bacheller, Edward W. 
Townsend, Richard Harding Davis, and Elizabeth Jordan. 



CHATHAM Square is the link that connects Paris 
Row with the Bowery. The widening of the 
highway at this point is due to the hill which 
stood here in ancient days. The square extends on the 
west side from Mott Street to Doyers Street and on the east 
side from Division Street to East Broadway. The prop- 
erty on the east constituted the large Rutgers farm which 
extended to the East River, near which stood the mansion 
of the owner, Colonel Rutgers. The shady lane that led to 
the house was about half a mile long, and it became a 
favorite strolling place for young couples, so that it was 
known for a long time as Lovers' Lane. Captain Harman 
Rutgers had his house on the south side of the square, 
which, before it became Chatham Square, was called 
Rutgers Park. Though enclosed by a fence at first, it 
was later thrown open, and it became a stand for the 
farmers with their loads of hay. In August, 1739, the 
Colonial Assembly met at the Harman Rutgers house, 
owing to the fact that small-pox was raging in the city 
and that this was considered as being at a safe distance 
from the scourge. When the streets were laid out in this 
vicinity, Lovers' Lane became Harman Street and the 
new street leading to the river was called Catherine Street 
in honor of Mrs. Rutgers. The name of Harman Street 
was changed later to East Broadway. The street north 


The Bowery 69 

of it, being on the line separating the DeLancey and Rut- 
gers farms, received the name of Division Street. There 
were three Rutgers brothers, Anthony, Jacobus, and Her- 
manus, descendants of Jan Rutgers, a brewer of Dutch 
days. They began their purchases of land in this vicinity 
in 1728. 

On the west side of the square, Mott, Doyers, and Pell 
streets constitute the principal Chinese quarter of New 
York. The distillery already spoken of stood on this 
block; and before its demolition in 1806, it belonged to a 
Mr. Doyers, after whom the crooked little street was 
named. On the east side of the square, at Numbers 15 
and 16, White, Van Glahn & Co., dealers in hardware, 
have been established in the same building and using the 
same shelves since 1816. There are some other business 
places in the neighborhood which have been on the same 
sites for nearly a century. 

The Bowery begins just above. Broadway is the 
greatest street in the world, but the Bowery is certainly 
in a class by itself. Though situated close to the most 
densely populated section of the globe, it is not by any 
means a "poor" street. Its shops are fair, and in former 
days were as good as any in the city; in fact, it was 
expected that business would follow the ancient post- 
rider and turn the corner of Ann Street into the High 
Road to Boston. So firm was this belief, that, at one 
time, it was not considered worth while to extend Broad- 
way beyond Duane Street. 

Shortly after the Dutch obtained possession of the is- 
land of Manhattan, the authorities laid out a number 
of farms, or bouweries, which were owned by the West 
India Company and leased to the inhabitants. There 
were six of these farms, three of which were along the 
Hudson and three, the most fertile and desirable, along 

70 The Old Boston Post Road 

the East Side, contiguous to the Bowery Lane, which 
received its name from the fact that it led to these farms. 
The three farms on the east side appear to have been 
increased to six, and were numbered from one to six, the 
first being the one farthest north near East Fourteenth 
Street. These bouweries were also known by the names of 
the occupants; as " Bylevelt's, " "The Sellout's," "Wol- 
fert's," "Van Corlaer's," " Leendert's, " and "Panne- 
packer's." Most of them lay east of the Bowery Lane 
toward the East River. During the disastrous Indian 
troubles of 1642-3, these farms were destroyed, and, after 
the restoration of peace, the authorities found great 
difficulty in re-leasing them unless many improvements 
were made. The Company, therefore, decided to sell 
them; and, in 1645, Bowery Number 5 was sold to 
Cornells Clasen Swits. In 1651, Bowery Number 1 was 
sold to Jan Damen, who was acting for Governor Stuy- 
vesant, to whom he afterwards transferred it. It became 
the Great Bowery of the Governor. Bowery Number 6 
was to the eastward of Chatham Square and was owned 
by Cornells Jacobsen Stille, who died about 1680, and 
who was succeeded by his son Jacob Cornelison. Nicholas 
Verlett, a trader, was also an owner in the neighborhood 
of the square. Early records give his name as a com- 
plainant against Wolfert Webber for injuring his cattle 
and pigs with dogs, because they had injured Webber's 
trees and garden. All of this section was included in the 
Out Ward of the city which was to contain the town of 
Harlem, with all the farms and settlements on the island 
north of the Fresh Water. These and the other farms 
passed through various hands and were added to, at 
last becoming the DeLancey and the Rutgers farms on 
the east side of the Bowery. The DeLanceys were loy- 
alists during the Revolution, and so lost their property 

The Bowery 71 

by confiscation. The purchase of Hans Kiersted extended 
across the lane to the west side, north of the present 
Broome Street. 

In 1644, the Dutch authorities granted to a number 
of superannuated slaves the land to the northward of the 
Fresh Water, in tracts of from eight to twenty acres. 
The grantees were Manuel de Groote, or the giant, and 
ten other negroes with their wives. They were themselves 
released from slavery, but their children were to remain 
slaves; in addition, they were to pay quit-rent in the 
shape of yearly contributions of fixed quantities of farm 
produce. This was not a disinterested and charitable 
act on the part of the government, for these negro out- 
posts of the town were to serve as "buffers" in the event 
of further Indian hostilities. At the same time, a cattle 
enclosure was established within the negro settlement, 
and this was cleared and fenced. It lay between the 
"Great Bowery" and the farm of Manuel de Groote, 
practically south of Houston Street. 

In 1651, the tract called Werpoes, containing about 
fifty acres and lying between the Fresh Water and the 
negro settlement, was granted to Augustine Heermans, 
who was the great land speculator of the Dutch era. 
This land lying west of the present Bowery is believed to 
have been occupied by the Indians, who had a village 
upon what became later Bayard's Mount, from which a 
lookout could be kept; — hence the name. The path used 
by these Indians became the line of Chatham Street and 
the Bowery. This was the first of Heermans's purchases 
in this locality. The Kiersted plantation later became 
his and also many smaller parcels obtained from the 
negroes and others. They were all consolidated into one 
farm, and he lived here for some years before his removal 
to Maryland. His farm was afterwards purchased by 

72 The Old Boston Post Road 

Nicholas Bayard, a Huguenot, member of the Council 
and implacable enemy to Leisler. Bayard also bought 
other tracts which had belonged to Steenwyck, Van 
Cortlandt, and others. About the middle of the eigh- 
teenth century, the Bayard farm extended along the 
Bowery from Canal Street to Bleecker, and as far west as 
McDougal. The part adjacent to the Bowery was 
divided up into city lots before the Revolution, and many 
of them were sold. The Bayard mansion was situated 
near the present Broadway and Grand Street, but the 
entrance was from the Bowery. 

In 1655, a stupid Dutchman shot an Indian squaw 
whom he caught robbing his peach orchard, and her people 
naturally started out for revenge. Before they had 
finished, about one hundred Dutchmen had been killed, 
thousands of cattle and other domestic animals had been 
destroyed, and the farms devastated. The bouweries 
in this section did not escape, a number of the occupants 
were killed, and the wives and children of some of them 
were carried into captivity. Among these were Cornells 
Clasen Swits, Tobias Tunison, Cornells Groesens and wife, 
Johannes Van Beeck, Peter Creen and wife, and Stoeffel 
Harmensen, all of whom were killed. So many children 
were left without parents, that it was necessary to estab- 
lish an orphan's court, — the same as that of a surrogate, — 
the first of its kind in the city. As a result of this Indian 
raid, the Governor and Council issued an order in 1660, 
directing the inhabitants to gather into towns after the 
English fashion, an order that was not at once obeyed 
except in the case of Esopus. 

The occupants of the farms beyond the Fresh Water 
sent a petition asking that their houses be permitted to 
remain, but that others might be encouraged to form a 
village in this vicinity. The Council granted the request, 

The Bowery 73 

and the site of the proposed village was to be either near 
the bowery of Mr. Heermans, near the present Chatham 
Square, or near the bowery of the Governor. The latter 
site was selected, and thus began the Bowery Village, or 
village of Stuyvesant, as it has been sometimes called, 
which consisted, in a short time, of a tavern, a blacksmith's 
shop, and a few other buildings. The tract was taken 
from Stuyvesant's farm, and he aided the enterprise by 
erecting a small church for the new hamlet. 

From a curious pamphlet entitled The Evolution of 
Stuyvesant Village, we learn that it extended from "Bleec- 
ker to Tenth Street, Broadway to Second Avenue, and 
Around There. " As to the condition of the road in 1660, 
we have the application of one Jansen, who asked to be 
released from his tenancy of land near the Bowery, "as 
he had two miles to ride through a dense forest. " Stuyve- 
sant erected a fine country-house on his farm, where he 
and his family passed the summer months. After the 
conquest by the English and his return from Holland, the 
doughty ex-Governor spent the rest of his life here on his 
bowery, and here he died in January, 1678. 

After Stuyvesant's occupation of his bowery, it seems 
that the road was improved, though it did not extend 
beyond his farm. Before 1660, the village of New Harlem 
had been started at the upper end of the island upon the 
most desirable meadow lands of Manhattan, and the road 
to it led mostly through the woods and was in such a 
dangerous condition that horsemen were cautioned when 
attempting to make the passage. In 1671, under the 
prodding of Governor Lovelace, a new road was mapped 
out and constructed; the part of it between Bowery 
Village and the Fresh Water was widened and improved 
under Stuyvesant's direction, and Jansen had no further 
cause to be released from his tenancy of the tavern at the 

74 The Old Boston Post Road 

Bowery, for it became popular with visitors, many of 
whom took the two-mile walk out from the town on pleas- 
ure trips. Besides Webber's, two or three other small 
taverns were between the two places. In 1690, during 
Leisler's incumbency of the lieutenant-governorship, he 
called a meeting of delegates from the several colonies 
to come to New York for the purpose of planning for 
combined action in the invasion of Canada. Small-pox 
was epidemic in the city, and the commissioners from 
New England refused to enter it, so Leisler recommended 
the tavern at the Bowery, "a good, neat house, about two 
miles from the city, and kept by Captain Arien Cornelis. " 
Madam Knight- writes of the New Yorkers of 1704: 

Their Diversion in Winter is Riding in Sleys about three 
or four miles out of the town where they have a House of 
Entertainment at a place called Bowery. ... I believe 
we met fifty or sixty Sleys that day; they fly with great 
swiftness, and some are as furious that they '11 turn out for 
none except a Loaden Cart. 

Speaking of the highway in 1776, William Dunlap says: 

The Bowery; that noble street, was then the Bowery Road, 
and the only avenue from the city to the country. On each 
side were meadows and orchards. 

Felix Oldboy, writing about 1885-90, says: 

But the Bowery has never been a place of sentiment or 
romance. Its life was largely passed out-doors; its people 
loved the street and its excitements. Those who are living 
and remember all about it, have told me of the crowd that 
daily gathered at No. 17 Bowery to see the Boston stage, carry- 
ing the United States mail, depart and arrive. It was a great 
event of the day. Those who travelled by coach down into 
the wilds of Massachusetts Bay were«considered as a species 

The Bowery 75 

of Argonauts, and indeed the journey by such mode would be a 
formidable one to-day. 

A later innkeeper was John Clapp, who, in 1697, 
published the first almanac issued in New York. The 
printer was Bradford. In his table of distances, he 
states that his tavern is about two miles from the post- 
office and that it is the usual baiting-place where gentle- 
men going on journeys took leave of their friends and 
drank with them a glass of wine, which, 

If well applied makes dull horses feel 

One spur in the head is worth two in the heel. 

In his chronological list he says under June: 

The 24th of this month is celebrated the feast of St. John 
the Baptist, in commemoration of which (and to keep up a 
happy union and lasting friendship by the sweet harmony of 
good society) a feast is held by the Johns of this city, at John 
Clapp's in the Bouwerie, where any gentleman whose name is 
John may find a hearty welcome to join in concert with his 

Tradition says that apparently the whole masculine 
portion of the community was named John, so many 
responded to the invitation. Clapp also states in his 
almanac that in the year previous he had supplied the 
first hackney coach used in the city for public accom- 

Let us return to Chatham Square and begin our journey 
over the thoroughfare. Originally called the Bowery 
Road, it became known later (about 1760) as the Bowery 
Lane; but since 1807 it has been known officially as the 
Bowery. A portion of it was called during Dutch days 
the "Boree." It extends to East Fourth Street, where 

76 The Old Boston Post Road 

Cooper Square connects it with Fourth Avenue on 
the west and with Third Avenue on the east, the 
two forks into which the Bowery divides. Before the 
days of Cooper Square, the Bowery ended at Fourth 
Street, where the Eastern Post-Road, or Highway to 
Boston, began, though Grand Street was an earlier 

In 1836, P. T. Barnum had a hall at the corner of the 
Bowery and Division Street, where he exhibited Joyce 
Heth, the first of the freaks for whose exhibition he 
afterwards became so famous. At Numbers 17 and 
19, on September 13, 1852, a theatre, called White's 
Varieties, was opened with a minstrel show, but it later 
became a regular dramatic house. In February, 1853, it 
was remodelled and called the St. Charles Theatre, and 
was given over to the legitimate drama. In 1854, it 
became a German theatre, but was closed on January 1, 
1855, and, a few months later, it was converted into stores. 

At Number 24, there stood until after the Revolu- 
tion a small, low, frame house, in which, according 
to tradition, Charlotte Temple, the unfortunate victim 
of Captain Montressor in Mrs. Rowson's harrowing 
story, lived the last of her blighted life. On the next 
block above, just below Canal Street, was the Bull's 
Head Tavern, which had been opened here before 1750. 
It was a great centre for the sporting residents of the 
town, who indulged in racing, prize-fighting, rat-baiting, 
cock-fighting, and other so-called sports of the period. It 
probably received its name and most of its patronage 
from the butchers of the neighborhood, for here were 
located the slaughter-houses of the city, though the first 
shambles had been on the site of the Bowling Green. The 
landlord in 1755 was George Brewerton; in 1763, a 
newspaper advertisement says: 

The Bowery jj 

The noted Inn and Tavern in the Bowery Lane, near the 
windmill, at the sign of the Bull's Head (where the slaughter- 
house is now kept) lately kept by Caleb Hyatt, is now occupied 
by Thomas Bayeux who is well provided with all conveniences 
for travellers. 

Caleb Hyatt afterwards became landlord of the Dyckman 
Tavern at Kingsbridge after the failure of its founder; 
and Hyatt's Tavern at this latter place is frequently 
mentioned in the annals of the pre-Revolutionary and 
Revolutionary periods. 

Richard Varian, a prosperous butcher and superintend- 
ent of the public slaughter-house, was the owner from 1770 
until the breaking out of the Revolution; he returned 
after the peace and found his wife running the inn, which 
she had done throughout the war. He later became the 
tenant of Heinrich Ashdor, or Astor, who came to this 
country with the British troops, and who practised the 
trade of butcher, in which he was ably assisted by his 
handsome and frugal wife. Astor remained after the 
Revolution, having a stall in the Fly Market. Instead 
of waiting for the drovers to bring their cattle into market, 
Astor was in the habit of going out the Bowery Lane to 
meet them and buy their cattle. As practically all the 
beeves that came to the city were driven in by this route, 
Ashdor was able to corner the market and oblige his fellow- 
butchers to pay him higher prices, a "pernicious practice, " 
as they called it in their complaints to the Common 
Council. However, Heinrich waxed rich; and, in 1796, 
he owned and occupied a handsome residence north of the 
Bull's Head. He had also become the owner of the old 
tavern and of the adjoining slaughter-yards. 

In 1783, a younger brother, John Jacob, arrived from 
London, where he had been for three years with another 

78 The Old Boston Post Road 

brother. Heinrich furnished the newcomer with his first 
stock in trade, a basket of trinkets, with which John 
Jacob went among the vessels along the docks, trading the 
trinkets for furs and other commodities which the sailors 
had brought with them from other sections of the globe. 
Thus began that business which was to make John Jacob 
Astor the wealthiest merchant and landowner in New 

It was down the Bowery Lane that there came on 
November 25, 1783, a body of tried and veteran troops 
escorting General Washington, Governor George Clinton, 
and General Henry Knox. They halted at the Bull's 
Head, while an advance guard marched down to Queen 
Street, through which they passed to Wall Street and to 
Broadway, following the retiring British who had been in 
the city for over seven years. There was a little delay 
while the British flag was being hauled down from the 
greased flag-pole at the Battery and the American flag 
was being put in its place; then the guard was formed at 
the tavern, and 

Beat of drum and thrill of fife 

Down the Bowery lane; 
Tramp of troops, in exile long, 

Marching home again. 
Battle-seasoned soldiers these, 

In their buff and blue : 
Victors in a wasteful war, 

Tried, triumphant, true. 

The Bull's Head remained the meeting-place of the 
butchers until 1826, when the old inn was pulled down; 
and, amid the plaudits of his fellow-citizens, Mayor 
Philip Hone laid with much ceremony the corner-stone of 
a new theatre, which was to rival the Park. This new 

The Bowery 79 

theatre was called at first the Bull's Head Theatre, then 
the New York Theatre, then for two years after 1831, the 
American, and finally, the name by which it is best known, 
the Old Bowery. It was a very fine structure, both inside 
and out, and it had a seating capacity for three thousand, 
with a stage large enough for presenting the most elegant 
spectacles. The corner-stone was laid in May, and the 
theatre was opened on October 23d, the audience being 
much pleased with the innovation of lighting the build- 
ing by gas, the first in the country to be so illuminated. 

It would be impossible to give a history of the actors 
who appeared here or the plays that were given ; but they 
included the best that appeared upon the boards of any 
New York theatre. Only a few incidents can be touched 
upon. On February 7, 1827, a French danseuse, Madame 
Hutin, gave the first exhibition in America of dancing in 
abbreviated skirts. The audience was horrified; and, 
while she was roundly hissed, the women in the audience 
hid their blushing faces. After the first performance, she 
appeared in Turkish trousers, and thus spared the tender 
susceptibilities of the spectators. On May 26, 1828, the 
theatre was destroyed by fire, but within twenty-four 
hours the ground was cleared and the erection of a new 
theatre begun; it opened ninety days later. The The- 
seum, the best preserved of all the Athenian temples, 
served as a model for the new theatre, which with its 
great columns and white exterior in imitation of marble, 
was considered at that time the finest specimen of Doric 
architecture in the United States. For a while, the 
Bowery was under the same management as the Park. 

On September 22, 1836, the building was again de- 
stroyed by fire, but rebuilding began at once so that it was 
reopened January 3, 1837. "Tom" Hamblin, a very 
capable actor and manager, was the proprietor at the 

80 The Old Boston Post Road 

time, and, as there was no insurance, his loss was nearly 
$100,000. The theatre was burnt' for the third time on 
February 18, 1838, and the fire was suspected of being of 
incendiary origin. It was a stock company theatre at 
the time. It was rebuilt and reopened on May 6, 1839, 
with Hamblin as manager. 

Hamblin, while a most successful and well-liked actor 
and manager, did not live a private life that would bear 
the closest inspection, and he was also a little slow at times 
in paying his debts. There is a story told of him, which, 
if my memory serves me, goes something like this: His 
tailor for several years was a man named Berry, who knew 
"Tom's" peccadilloes about money matters and did 
not bother him about payment. Berry died and was 
succeeded by his son, who was up-to-date and who pre- 
sented his bills on the first of each month. Upon receiving 
his bill, Hamblin wrote a letter which went something 
like this: 

I have received your bill, Berry, and I wish to say that it 
has irritated me as would a rasp, Berry. Your father, the 
elder Berry, would never have been such a goose, Berry, as to 
send me a bill before it was due, Berry. However, I do not 
care a straw, Berry; but if it should occur again, I shall be 
tempted to come over and kick you until you are black, Berry, 
and blue, Berry. 

The theatre became a circus for a while in 1841. On 
December 8, 1842, the prices were: boxes, twenty-five 
cents, pit, twelve and a half cents. April 25, 1845, fire 
destroyed the house for the fourth time; but, phcenix-like, 
it again rose from its ashes and was opened in the follow- 
ing August. In July, 1861, the theatre was in a dilapi- 
dated condition, owing to the fact that it had been used 
to house some of the troops that were on their way to the 

The Bowery 81 

front. The people who had free admission to the house 
at the time the soldiers were there made away with a good 
deal of the theatre's property and injured the rest. 

The population of the East Side had changed completely 
from the time that the house was built, so that in its 
latter days as an English-speaking house, it was given over 
to melodrama of the broadest type, where the working 
girl, or the working man, triumphs over all temptations 
and vicissitudes and the curtain falls on the last act with 
Love, Virtue, and Labor triumphant. 

Long before 1879, the East Side had become German, 
but it was not until that year that the theatre became the 
Thalia with German actors, and with such managers as 
Amberg and Conried. For ten years, the most famous 
actors and actresses of the German stage walked the boards 
of the theatre; but in May, 1889, it again opened with 
English and the prices at ten, twenty, thirty, and fifty 
cents. Melodrama, of course. In 1891, it' became Jewish 
for a while, but reopened in September with the Lilli- 
putians, and later, German again. The thin edge of the 
Yiddish wedge had been entered, and on March 30, 1892, 
it became again a Hebrew theatre where plays in Yiddish 
were given up to the time of closing in 1910, at which time 
it was known, in honor of the proprietor, as Adler's Theatre. 
Since that time, the front of the historic play-house has 
been labelled with signs that the property is "For sale or 
to let." 

Adjoining the theatre on the north is another place of 
amusement, which was, in its way, almost as famous as 
the theatre, but which was closed for many a day. This 
is the Atlantic Garden, which, in its prime, was a respect- 
able German beer garden to which any man could take 
his wife or sisters to have a meal and to listen to the music. 
In its latter days, it became a resort of thieves, Bowery . 

82 The Old Boston Post Road 

toughs of the worst kind, and of other members of the 
"underworld." It is now used as a sporting club, where 
boxing contests are given. Of the several sycamore 
trees which originally made this spot a real garden, only- 
one remains ; and, though this somewhat interferes with the 
view of the ring, the manager will not permit it to be cut 
down, as, he says, "A little something is due to sentiment." 

On the block opposite, on a part of the old DeLancey's 
West Farm, there were many places of amusement, but all 
of these, as well as stores and buildings of all kinds have 
been razed to make way for the plaza and approach of the 
new Manhattan Bridge. At Numbers 37 and 39, the 
Bowery Amphitheatre was opened in 1833 by the Zoologi- 
cal Institute, and was at first used as a menagerie and 
circus. In 1842, it was known as the Amphitheatre of 
the Republic; it was given over to minstrel shows for a 
while, and then returned to a menagerie. In 1865, Poole 
and Donnelly, then a famous theatrical firm, opened it 
under the name of the Varieties, and in October of that 
year it became Montpelier's Opera House. November 
20, 1865, it became the New National Circus, but it was 
closed six weeks later and finally became an armory. 

On September 6, 1864, at Numbers, 43, 45, and 47, on 
this same block, the Germans opened the New Stadt 
Theatre. It occupied the rear portion of a building five 
stories high, the front part of which was used as a hotel. 
It had a large auditorium with a seating capacity of three 
thousand five hundred. In August, 1867, melodrama in 
English was introduced, and during the year following, 
English and German alternated upon its stage. In the 
seasons of 1869 and 1870, regular German opera and 
opera bouffe were given. September 16, 1878, it opened 
for the season under the name of the City Theatre, but 
its name was changed to the Windsor in November, at 

The Bowery 83 

which time it became a combination house, and was con- 
ducted as such for several years. The first Windsor 
Theatre was burned November 29, 1883. The second 
structure was opened on February 8, 1886. The theatre 
became a Hebrew theatre on March 27, 1893. 

Adjoining the site of the Windsor, at Number 49, 
directly opposite the Old Bowery, there was opened on 
August 7, 1854, a theatre that was called White's Opera 
House. It was given over to comic performances, min- 
strels, and similar entertainments, until its destruction 
by fire on January 20, 1857. 

Until 1859, the Old Bowery had practically the entire 
East Side for its own, but, on September 5th of that 
year, the New Bowery Theatre was opened under the 
management of George L. Pox and James W. Lingard. 
It was situated two blocks north of the old theatre, 
between Canal and Hester streets, and extended from the 
Bowery through to Elizabeth Street. It had the largest 
auditorium in the country, with a seating and standing 
capacity of four thousand six hundred. The plays and 
actors here were of the same standard of excellence as 
those at the Old Bowery. The house was destroyed by 
fire December 18, 1866. On the same block, at Numbers 
104 and 106, there was for some time the Teatro Italiano, 
where plays in the Italian language were given. It was 
in this building that the first plays given in the city in 
Yiddish were performed in 1882. It was destroyed by 
fire April 9, 1898, but rebuilt, and is now called the 
People's Music Hall, where vaudeville is given in Yiddish. 
Adjoining it, at Number 102, is the office of the Jewish 
Morning Journal. 

On the east side of the street, at Number 227, is a 
building devoted to other purposes than those we have 
been describing. This is the Bowery Mission and Young 

84 The Old Boston Post Road 

Men's Home, which was founded in 1880 for the purpose 
of gathering and reclaiming the human wrecks that drift 
along this thoroughfare, and, if possible, starting them on 
the right course by getting work for them to do. There 
is a lodging-house attached and food is also furnished, but 
great care is exercised that the recipients of the Mission's 
bounty do not become pauperized, or imbued with the 
idea, so common on the East Side, that you can get some- 
thing for nothing. At 222 and 224, is the Young Men's 
Institute, founded here in 1885 as the Bowery Branch of 
the Young Men's Christian Association. There are 
other agencies for doing good — Salvation Army, Roman 
Catholic, Evangelical, and settlement workers; — and they 
have been of incalculable benefit to the poor, the unfor- 
tunate, the sinful, and the vicious, all of whom are to be 
found upon this famous thoroughfare. 

During the Revolution, a line of military works ex- 
tended across the island about on the line of Grand Street. 
These were partly of American construction, but mostly 
of British, many of whose troops were stationed along the 
line of the Bowery at various times, as this was the prin- 
cipal and, practically, the only entrance to the city. On 
account of the presence of these troops, a great many 
taverns and tap-rooms sprang up in their neighborhood. 
The principal fortification near the Bowery was on the 
Bayard farm near Grand Street; it was called by the 
Americans Bunker Hill. Lying at its feet were two ponds, 
one on each side of the road. In 1798, a Frenchman 
named Delacroix located the Vauxhall Garden in this 
place, renamed Mount Pleasant, but was compelled to 
move out eight years later on account of the northerly 
trend of population. In 1801, the Bowery was bordered 
by farm-houses as far north as Broome Street, with fields 
and orchards on either side extending from river to river. 

The Bowery 85 

These farms and country-seats were parts of the greater 
farms which have already been mentioned, Bayard's, 
DeLancey's, Stuyvesant's, and Rutgers's. Nearly oppo- 
site Bond Street was the residence of Andrew Morris, and 
on the corner of Third Street was the Minthorne man- 
sion; this would put the house about where the Dry Dock 
Savings Bank now stands. 

At the southwest corner of Broome Street is the Oc- 
cidental Hotel, occupying the site of the Civic and Mili- 
tary Hotel, the headquarters of the Loco-Foco party for 
a couple of years in 1835-37. 

At Number 169, on the east side between Broome 
and Delancey streets, is Thomashefsky's Royal Theatre, 
where plays are given in Yiddish. It was formerly 
Miner's Theatre, and it has been a variety house in the 
more than thirty years of its existence. Towards the 
end of its career as an English house, it was given over to 
melodrama. It has been a Hebrew theatre since August 
6, 1899. 

On August 5, 1858, Heym's Theatre was opened at 
Numbers 199 and 201 with ballet and vaudeville. It 
became Tony Pastor's Opera House in June, 1865, and 
he remained its owner for ten years. At the time of 
Pastor's death, every one — actors, actresses, managers, 
journalists — had something to say about his charity, 
kindness, and helpfulness, not only to people in his own 
calling, but also to outsiders. The writer heard him sing 
once, but not on the Bowery, and was reminded of Josh 
Billings, who used to say that he had made a fortune 
by bad spelling, for Pastor certainly had made several 
fortunes by bad singing. In 1875, the theatre opened with 
cheap prices under the management of Henry C. Miner, 
who tore down the old building in the summer of 1883 
and replaced it with the People's Theatre, which opened 

86 The Old Boston Post Road 

September 3, 1883, as a combination house, booking 
Broadway attractions at popular prices. 

At Delancey Street is the entrance to the approach 
of the Williamsburgh Bridge, which was opened for 
traffic December 19, 1903. A new street, called Kenmare 
Street, has been opened on the west side as an approach 
to the bridge. At Rivington Street, one block above, we 
find on the southeast corner a Raines law hotel with the 
name of the One Mile House, and on the west side opposite 
is the milestone which was placed many years ago, though 
probably not on this spot. On the southeast corner of 
Third Street is the Dry Dock Savings Institution, whose 
name is a reminder of the ship-building industry which 
flourished on the East Side in the first half of the nine- 
teenth century, and which gave to the city merchants some 
of the fast ships which helped to make New York a great 

During its several epochs, the Bowery has seen a variety 
of characters. Probably the most famous is that of the 
Bowery Boy, who lived before 1850, or before the immigra- 
tion had affected the population of the East Side, which 
was practically American or of Dutch descent. In his 
Reminiscences of an Octogenarian, Charles H. Haswell 
thus describes him : 

The Bowery Boy of that period was so distinctive a class in 
dress and conversation, that a description of him is well worthy 
of notice. He was not an idler and corner lounger, but was 
mostly an apprentice, generally to a butcher, and he "ran with 
a machine. " He was but little seen in the day, being engaged 
at his employment; but in the evenings, other than Saturdays 
(when the markets remained open all day and evening), and 
on Sundays and holidays, he appeared in propria persona, a 
very different character; his dress, a high beaver hat, with the 
nap divided and brushed in different directions, the hair on 

The Bowery 87 

the back of his head clipped close, while in front the temple 
locks were curled and greased ... a smooth face, a gaudy- 
silk neckcloth, black frock-coat, full pantaloons, turned up at 
the bottom over heavy boots designed for service in slaughter- 
houses and at fires; and when thus equipped, with his girl 
hanging on his arm, it would have been very injudicious to 
offer him any obstruction or to utter an offensive remark. 

At a later period, he is represented as wearing a fireman's 
red shirt, his coat over his arm, and a cigar projected 
from his mouth at an angle which pointed to the stars. 
He was usually referred to as Moze, and his girl was called 
Lize. Frank Chanfrau portrayed him on the stage for 
many years after the type had disappeared from his usual 
habitat. Thackeray was anxious to meet the Bowery 
Boy in his natural lair, and approached one of them who 
was keeping a lamp-post from falling down. "Can I," 
asked he, "go from here to Broadway?" The Boy took 
his cigar from his mouth, spat into the street, looked his 
enquirer over from head to foot, and replied: "You can, 
sonny, if you 're good. " When the Boy fought (and 
he was never too anxious to avoid a combat), he used the 
weapons which Nature had given to him, and stabbing or 
shooting affrays were almost unknown in this locality. 

So widespread was the knowledge of the Bowery that 
there is a story told of a Yankee skipper who visited the 
South Seas and was boarded by the king of one of the 
islands. "Can you speak English?" asked the captain. 
"I kills for Keyser, " was the surprising and inexplicable 
reply, until one of the crew came forward and informed 
the New Englander that Keyser was the owner of the 
principal slaughter-house on the Bowery, whose employees 
were proud of the fact that they worked for him. One of 
them had drifted down here and taught the cannibal 
chieftain all the English he knew. 

88 The Old Boston Post Road 

With the advent of the Irish, the Germans, and the 
Hungarians about 1850, and the substitution of the paid 
fire department for the volunteers about fifteen years later, 
the character of the Bowery Boy changed : from being a 
type, he became a tough. The dress of this later type was 
different from that of the Bowery Boy — a short coat instead 
of a frock one, tight-fitting lavender trousers with big bell 
bottoms, long-pointed shoes, and a derby hat instead of a 
high beaver. He was an idler, or at least he lived by his 
wits, and had no steady or regular occupation, — a ward 
heeler for some politician in whose saloon he made his 
headquarters, ready to rob some drink-befuddled man, or 
to rob the conductor and passengers on a street car should 
the occasion arise, not afraid of the police, for his ward 
leader would get him off if he were arrested. 

The best way to see the Bowery is to walk up from 
Chatham Square. You will find things in general rather 
dingy, a good many old houses, with hip roofs and dormer 
windows, though of a better quality above Canal Street, 
and many of them not unpicturesque. You will see 
no skyscrapers, but you will see lodging-houses without 
number, where the cost of a night's lodging is anywhere 
from ten cents to fifty, with a bath thrown ifc Among 
them, the Bowery Mission and other agencies do good 
work. On Sunday, many of the stores are open; you 
will see more policemen than in other parts of the city, 
and you will hear more languages spoken, though Italian 
and Yiddish prevail. A glance into the side streets will 
give you an idea of the congested tenements of the East 
Side. Also, you will see moving-picture places, pawnshops, 
dime or nickel museums with their freaks, and saloons 
galore. You will see one other sight that you will not 
see in any other city of the country — a street car still 
drawn by horses. 

The Bowery 89 

It may be that the dingy, dark, ill-smelling, kerosene- 
lighted car is run as an historic relic, and to remind people 
that it was on the Bowery that there were run the first 
street cars of any place in the world. This line belonged 
to the New York and Harlem Railway Company, which 
was chartered in 1831. The line, extending from Prince 
Street and the Bowery to Harlem Bridge via Fourth 
Avenue, was opened in 1832. The cars were like the 
Concord coaches, swung on leather thoroughbraces, 
divided into three compartments, with side doors. The 
driver sat on top and used his foot for working the car 
brake. The Third Avenue line was opened in 1853 from 
the City Hall to Harlem. Later, the Fourth Avenue line, 
via Madison Avenue, was extended so as to run from the 
Post-Office to Mott Haven. It was from this street-car 
line that the Harlem railroad sprang, now one of the di- 
visions of the New York Central and extending to Chat- 
ham, east of Albany. To-day, through the greater part of 
the Bowery, you will find four lines of car tracks; but, 
as the street is broad, there is not much interference with 
vehicular or foot traffic. 

Before the days of the street car, travel was by means 
of stages. In 1801, there were three lines wholly within 
the city, and two of these lines started from the Bull's 
Head, one line going to Harlem and the other to Man- 
hattan ville. In 18 16, the stage left Harlem at 125th 
Street and Third Avenue early in the morning for Park 
Row, leaving for the return trip in the afternoon. The 
fare was twenty-five cents. In August, 1820, the mail 
stage for West Farms was robbed in open day. In 1853, 
the Harlem, Yorkville, and Astoria stages left Number 23 
Chatham Street every half hour. The Bloomingdale and 
Manhattanville stages left Tryon Row, corner of Chatham 
Street, every forty minutes. At the same date, there were 

90 The Old Boston Post Road 

eleven omnibus lines, which used the Bowery or Park Row 
for some part of their route to the different sections of the 
city. In addition to the car lines mentioned above, the 
First and Second Avenue line also used part of the same 
thoroughfares, at this later date. 

As early as 1866, an experimental elevated railroad was 
constructed in Greenwich Street and Ninth Avenue from 
plans furnished by Dr. Rufus H. Gilbert. In the session 
of 1871-2, the Legislature authorized the chartering of 
two elevated roads, but litigation prevented anything from 
being accomplished. At last, in 1875, a commission was 
appointed to decide upon the necessity of rapid transit 
in New York, and then to determine the routes. Two 
companies were recommended, and routes were selected 
upon Ninth, Sixth, Third and Second Avenues. More 
litigation followed, but the Court of Appeals at last de- 
clared the charters of the two roads to be constitutional, 
and work was pressed by both. Cyrus W. Field secured 
a controlling interest in the roads, which became united 
in 1879 under the title of the Manhattan Railway Com- 
pany. He pushed them to completion with the same zeal 
he had displayed in laying the Atlantic Cable. The Third 
Avenue line ran from South Ferry via Pearl Street to 
Chatham Square, thence by way of the Bowery and Third 
Avenue to Harlem. On August 26, 1878, it was opened 
as far as Forty-second Street, and two years later, was 
completed to the Harlem River. The Second Avenue 
route joined the other at Chatham Square, coming through 
Division Street to the junction. In 1879, the spur, or 
branch, running to the City Hall and the Brooklyn 
Bridge, was completed along Park Row. The subway 
runs but a short distance under the ancient thoroughfare, 
from Centre Street to Broadway at Ann Street. The 
Brooklyn Bridge station, one of the most important on 

The Bowery 91 

the whole route, is the only one that is actually under the 
thoroughfare. The subway was officially opened to the 
public from Brooklyn Bridge to 145th Street on October 
27, 1904; and the extension under Park Row to Fulton 
Street and Broadway was opened on January 16, 1905. 
There is a loop under the Park to the City Hall station. 



THE village of New Harlem was started at the upper 
end of the island of Manhattan in 165 1, and Kieft 
•^promised the inhabitants a ferry and several 
other conveniences when the population had increased 
to twenty families. Governor Nicolls also promised them 
certain privileges if they would support an inn for travel- 
lers and establish a ferry to the mainland. On February 
22, 1669, Lovelace held a court at Harlem "to consider 
first and principally the laying out of a wagon-road, which 
hath heretofore been ordered and appointed, but never 
as yet was prosecuted to effect. " The result was the road 
over which the first postman passed in 1673. In 1707, 
the highway was laid out by commissioners on what is 
practically the line from Broadway and Ann Street, via 
Park Row, the Bowery, Fourth Avenue to Union Square, 
thence by way of Broadway (Bloomingdale Road) to 
Madison Square at Twenty-third Street, and thence — 

•/ From y e said last house y e road for Kingsbridge to run along 
y e fence upon y e Right hand and so as y e Road now lyes to 
Kips Runs. From thence N. N. E. to V s Bridge beyond y 6 
Hill, from thence by y e corner of Tutle Bay farm to y e top of 
y e next Hill about E. N. E. from thence to y e Sawkill Bridge 
N. E. a little northerly. From Sawkill Bridge along Mr. 
Codrington's Fence, taking some of y e corner thereof to y e 


The Boston Post Road 93 

Half Way House ab't N. E. From thence along y e laneto y° ti , 
next hollow about N., from thence to Meyers N. E., and thence 
to y e run by Barent Waldrons N. N. E. From thence along the 
Fence and so by John Kierses house on y e Right hand two 
corners of y e Fence on y e left being taken in and so along 
as y* Road now lyes to Hend'k Oblimus's and from thence along 
y e Road as it now lyes leaving y e Run of water on y e left 
hand until you come to y e Deep Bridge, from thence along y e 
foot of y e Hill which is to y* left about half a mile, then turning 
to y* 5 left and leaving y e Swamp on y e Right hand as y e Road 
now is unto Nagel & Dyckman's Run, from thence as y e way 
now lyes leaving y e Fence on y e left hand through y e ground 
of y 8 said Nagel and Deyckman by the house where y e said 
Deykman doth now live, and over his Bridge and so forward 
as y e Road now is unto Kingsbridge y" 5 main course being N. 
a little easterly. 

It will be seen from this that the road went to Kings- 
bridge, where it crossed to the mainland. In going over 
the road from Madison Square we shall identify some of 
the places mentioned above. Another clause in the 
report of the commissioners says : 

From y e Bridge by y e Half way house y" Road to turn to 
y* 5 Right hand and so over the creek to Harlem and from Har- 
lem by y" 5 Lane as it now lyes to Johannes Myers where it 
meets wi th y E main Road. 

This road to Harlem was really a branch road, which 
swung through the village and then back again to the 
Kingsbridge Road by means of what was called the Harlem 
Road, and which is mentioned in Harlem documents as 
the "Indian trail to Kingsbridge." «« 

In the year 1807, there was appointed by authority 
of the Legislature a commission of three members, Gouver- 
neur Morris, Simeon De Witt, and John Rutherford, to 


94 The Old Boston Post Road 

lay out a plan of streets for, the portion of the city of New 
York lying above Houston Street, to which thorough- 
fare, the city on the east side was already planned. ■ They 
chose as their chief engineer and surveyor, John Randel, 
Jr. He says: 

The Bowery was at that time (1809) the principal road 
leading out of the city to Harlem and Manhattanville, and 
thence to Boston and Albany, and was settled, in part, to 
near North (now Houston) street. At this street, the Com- 
missioners' Plan for the streets and avenues commenced; 
north of it we encountered in our surveys extensive ancient 
and neglected hawthorn hedge-fences, then grown to saplings, 
extending along the east side of the Bowery, in front of the 
Stuyvesant estate, that were impassable without the aid of 
an axe. . . . 

The map of the commissioners was completed and 
filed in 1 82 1. It has been called a checker-board plan, 
because the streets and avenues are at right angles to 
each other, making square-cornered blocks, which were 
claimed to be better and more convenient for building 
purposes than blocks cut on the slant or on a circle. This 
is probably true, but it has not made for the beauty of the 
city. This plan rearranged the plan of streets of the 
Stuyvesant property, and it laid out Third Avenue from 
Fifth Street northward; the portion of the Bowery from 
this point to Union Square was named Fourth Avenue. 

The Stuyvesant estate, originally the Schout's bouwerie, 
extended along the Bowery north of the DeLancey West 
Farm, from about Houston Street to Eighteenth, though 
its western boundary was rather irregular. Its eastern 
boundary, including the estates of Petersfield and that 
belonging to the Bowery House of Nicholas William 
Stuyvesant, was the East River; but there were entrances 

The Boston Post Road 95 

to all these from the Bowery Lane. There is considerable 
difference of opinion as to the location of the Governor's 
house, but it stood not very far from St. Mark's Church, 
probably in the neighborhood of Second Avenue and 
Seventh Street. It was accidentally destroyed by fire 
on the morning of October 24, 1778. The village was in 
the vicinity of the church, which had a small graveyard 
about it ; but the village cemetery was half a block east of 
it, on the other side of Second Avenue. 

The old church fell into decay, and, in 1795, the erection 
of the present edifice as an Episcopalian church was begun ; 
it was completed in 1799, and was named St. Mark's-in- 
the-Bowery. In accordance with the terms of Mrs. 
Stuyvesant's will, the church edifice was built over the 
tomb of her husband, in which also lie the remains of 
Governor Sloughter. In the Minthorne tomb is buried 
Daniel D. Tompkins, a governor of the State and formerly 
a resident of Bowery Village. Mayor Philip Hone is 
another of the distinguished dead; also Dr. Harris, the 
first rector of the church and an ex-president of Columbia 
College, and, in Chancellor Jones's vault, Thomas Addis 
Emmett, the collector of Americana. A. T. Stewart, the 
famous merchant, was buried here, but the body was 
stolen some time after the burial, and the theft caused 
something more than a nine days' wonder. Whether 
the body was recovered, and, if so, where reburied, have 
never been made public. 

The village spread loosely over a considerable territory, 
which, in these later days, is well built up. Confining 
ourselves to points near to the ancient highway, we find 
several names which are great in American literature. 
First, is that of Charlotte Temple, who, according to 
tradition, lived in a stone house just east of the Bowery 
on Art Street, which was the former name of Stuyvesant 

96 The Old Boston Post Road 

Place and of Astor Place. I put her in the ranks of litera- 
ture, not as a writer, but as a heroine. At Fourth Avenue 
and Tenth Street, Miss Annie Swift kept the "Deanery," 
and among her boarders were Richard Henry Stoddard and 
his wife, who did considerable of their work here. The 
Stoddards were very popular and had scores of visitors, 
among whom were Bayard Taylor, Edmund Clarence 
Stedman, and William Dean Howells. Later, they moved 
away, but not very far, to the vicinity ' of Stuyvesant 
Park. When Stoddard had callers, he usually gave them 
a bottle of beer and a snack of something to eat before 
they went home for the night. Upon one occasion, while 
in the pantry, opening a can of sardines, he succeeded in 
cutting himself, and at once gave way to some lurid and 
emphatic language. Mrs. Stoddard had retired, but the 
sounds awakened her, and her voice came down the stairs 
anxiously : 

"Richard, what is the matter?" 

"I cut myself opening a can of sardines. " 

"What did you use?" 

"A knife, of course. How did you suppose I was open- 
ing it?" 

"Well, my dear, from the language I heard, I didn't 
know but what you were opening it with prayer. " 

Richard Grant White also had his home in the village 
when he wrote The New Gospel of Peace, According to St. 
Benjamin, and Paul DuChaillu here wrote his The Land 
of the Midnight Sun. Within a stone's throw of the old 
Stuyvesant pear tree Stoddard and Bayard Taylor lived 
together in the sixties. Brander Matthews and H. C. 
Bunner are two others who were inhabitants of the tract 
occupied by the ancient village. 

After the opening of the new streets in accordance with 
the plan of the Commissioners of 1807, Third Avenue be- 

The Boston Post Road 97 

came an important thoroughfare for the market gardeners 
of the upper part of the island, and also a favorite trotting 
course for owners of horses. It was suggested as early 
as 1826 that a market-house be established at its junction 
with the Bowery; but it was not until two years later 
that the Common Council authorized the founding of a 
market at this site, and it was not until 1830 that the 
market was opened. In honor of Governor Daniel D. 
Tompkins, the market was named Tompkins Market; it 
stood on the spot formerly occupied by the school-house 
of Bowery Village. In 1836, the market-house was en- 
larged, the materials being taken from the old Essex 
Market which was torn down at that time. In December, 
1856, the Common Council advertised for plans for the 
erection of a three-story market building, the upper floors 
to be used for an armory for the Seventh Regiment. The 
new market building opened on August 6, i860. 

Tompkins Market was the scene of much patriotic 
excitement on the eighteenth and nineteenth of April, 1861, 
when, in answer to the call of President Lincoln for 75,000 
troops, the Seventh Regiment made ready and departed 
for the front. The regiment left the old market building 
again with bag and baggage in 1880 to occupy its new 
armory at Park Avenue and Sixty-seventh Street. After 
its departure from Tompkins Market, the building became 
the armory of the Sixty-ninth Regiment until October 
13, 1906, when this regiment occupied its new armory at 
Lexington Avenue and Twenty-sixth Street. While the 
Seventh Regiment was at the front in April, 1861, there 
was organized in its armory another regiment of infantry, 
the Twenty-second, which has held its organization through 
all the years since, but which became an engineer regiment 
in 1902. 

After the departure of the Sixty-ninth Regiment, the 

98 The Old Boston Post Road 

market building was vacant for some years, as the need of 
a market in this locality had ceased. In 1907, the Legisla- 
ture gave the city permission to sell or otherwise dispose 
of the building and site. As a result, the property was 
leased on July 25, 1907, to Cooper Union for a period of 
ninety-nine years at a nominal rental of one hundred dollars 
a year, with the right of renewal on the same terms. The 
old building was torn down, and the Union began the 
erection of the Abram S. Hewitt Memorial Annex. This 
is to be six stories in height with basement and it is to be 
of steel construction. It is to accommodate the scientific 
and technical branches of the institution. Two stories 
are completed; they were opened on September 25, 1912. 
Peter Cooper, merchant and philanthropist, had his 
store on the block bounded by Seventh and Eighth streets 
and by Third and Fourth avenues. In 1 853, he established 
an institute for free instruction in the arts and sciences to 
working men and women. For this purpose, the entire 
block on which his store stood was utilized for the con- 
struction of the necessary building, which was later enlarged 
by the addition of the present upper stories. In 1859, 
he deeded the building and land, which had cost him about 
$630,000, to a board of trustees, in order (to use the words 
of the act of the Legislature) that 

the above mentioned and described premises, together with 
appurtenances, and the rents, issues, incomes, and profits 
thereof, shall be forever devoted to the instruction and improve- 
ment of the inhabitants of the United States in practical 
science and art. 

At the same time, it took the name of Cooper Union, 
though it still is frequently spoken of as Cooper Institute. 
It was in this hall that Abraham Lincoln made his famous 
speech in New York in the presidential campaign of i860. 

The Boston Post Road 


The writer heard John B. Gough lecture here in 1871, 
never thinking, as he sat upon the platform a boy, that as 
a man he would himself address an audience of the Free 
Lecture Course which was to fill every available seat of 
the great auditorium. The hall has become a forum for 
the discussion of live topics of the day, and debates and 
lectures are encouraged by the trustees. Until 1900, the 
Union was unendowed, but in that year Mr. Andrew 
Carnegie established a foundation of $300,000, later 
increased by a like sum. Mr. J. Pierpont Morgan has 
also been a contributor to the Union, as have many others, 
but the principal benefactors have been the members of 
the Cooper family and of the family of Abram S. Hewitt, 
who was Mr. Cooper's son-in-law and partner. 

On the block above the Union is the Bible House, 
occupying the entire block. Peter Cooper's house stood 
on this block until 1820, when he personally supervised 
its removal to the corner of Fourth Avenue and Twenty- 
eighth Street. He says in his autobiography: 

I bought a twenty years' lease of two houses and six lots 
of ground where the "Bible House" now stands opposite the 
Cooper Union. I was engaged at this time in the grocery 
business, in which I continued for three years. 

There had been formed by June, 18 16, one hundred and 
twenty-eight Bible societies in twenty-one states and 
territories. These, necessarily, on account of their number, 
led to weakness ; and the idea of having a national society 
soon spread among them. At a meeting in New York 
on May 8, 1816, at which were present sixty delegates 
from societies already existing, there was formed the 
American Bible Society, with headquarters at New York; 
it was not incorporated until 1 841 . Since the formation of 
the society, there have been printed over ninety-four 

ioo The Old Boston Post Road 

million copies of the book, in 489 languages, of which 121 
are African; 52, American; 177, Asiatic; 60, Australian 
and Oceanic; and 57, European. In addition, many 
books are printed for the blind. The corner-stone of the 
Bible House was laid with impressive ceremonies on June 
24, 1852, and in May, 1853, the society took possession. 
In 1889, the building was renovated and enlarged by the 
addition of another story. A curious reminder of the 
former occupancy of the Vauxhall Garden by P. T. 
Barnum, just across the way from the Bible House, was 
the presence in the building for many years of a number 
of white rats, descendants of some that escaped from 
Barnum's show. 

Fourth Avenue above the Bible House still has a 
number of old, two-story houses among the larger buildings 
that have been erected. Among these are many second- 
hand book- and old print-shops, which seem to do a good 
business in this neighborhood. The street is quieter than 
below, owing to the fact that there is no elevated road 
thundering overhead ; and there are more wholesale shops. 
On Fourth Avenue, between Thirteenth and Fourteenth 
streets, formerly stood the stage and rear entrance of 
Wallack's Theatre, whose site is now occupied by a great 
office building. Just above it, is an alley way leading to 
the stage of Keith's Theatre, which was originally estab- 
lished as the Union Square Theatre by Sheridan Shook 
in September, 1871 ; a year later, the firm of Shook and 
Palmer was formed, and their famous stock company and 
their production of the best works of the French play- 
wrights effected great changes in the character of the 
American theatre. Shook became blind, and Palmer 
continued the management until 1883; on October 8, 1888, 
he took Wallack's Theatre at Broadway and Thirtieth 
Street, and it became Palmer's Theatre. The Union 

The Boston Post Road ioi 

Square Theatre was burnt in 1888, but was rebuilt and 
opened in March, 1889. For a time it was a combination 
house, but it has been a vaudeville house since September 
18, 1893, under the ownership of B. F. Keith. 

The land above Bayard's farm, on the west side of the 
Bowery, belonged to Richard Perro, who, in 1721, bought 
from one Hoppe a house and fifteen acres of ground for 
£250. Perro 's holdings increased until he owned practi- 
cally from Bleecker Street to West Tenth. His property 
was divided into two parts by the Greenwich Lane, a 
road connecting the Bowery with Greenwich Village on the 
Hudson. The present Astor Place is a part of the road, 
and Greenwich Avenue is another part, but the ancient 
road is closed between these two sections from Broadway 
to the westward. As there was a range of low sand-hills 
across the island at this point, the road was also called 
the Zantberg, or Sandhill, road. The section between the 
present Fourth Street and Astor Place came into the 
possession of Jacob Sperry, who came to this country 
from Switzerland in 1748. 

In 1803, a descendant, another Jacob Sperry, sold the 
property to John Jacob Astor for £9000. Five years 
later, Astor gave a twenty-one years' lease of the property 
to Delacroix, who moved his Vauxhall Garden from the 
Bayard farm to this place. About 1826, the area of the 
garden was curtailed by the cutting through of Lafayette 
Place, now Lafayette Street, under which the subway 
runs. The buildings on the property were finally de- 
molished by the Astor heirs in 1855, and the famous 
garden ceased to exist. It is upon this property, on La- 
fayette Place, that John Jacob Astor erected the Astor 
Library. Opposite the Library, in Lafayette Street, 
formerly stood a row of beautiful white marble build- 
ings called Colonnade Row. Only a few of them now 

102 The Old Boston Post Road 

remain to show the elegant architecture of about eighty 
years ago. 

In 1767, Perro's heirs sold a tract of some seven or eight 
acres along the Bowery to the Hon. Andrew Elliot, whose 
holdings on and near the Bowery later amounted to 
twenty-one acres. He called his estate Minto, and he 
erected a fine mansion and beautified his grounds. He was 
a loyalist, and left the city, of which he was governor, in 
1783. His property was confiscated and came into the 
hands of Baron Poelnitz, who sold it in 1790 to Robert 
R. Randall, a wealthy merchant and shipmaster of the 
city. By his will, he left it to the Sailors' Snug Harbor, an 
institution for the care of superannuated mariners. 

In 1862, the great dry-goods merchant, A. T. Stewart, 
established an uptown store on the northeast corner of 
Broadway and Tenth Street, which, in time, took up the 
whole block, with a frontage on Fourth Avenue. John 
Wanamaker, the present owner, has added to the original 
block the block bounded by Eighth and Ninth streets, 
Broadway and Fourth Avenue, and has erected here a 
great building, sixteen stories high, which ■ was opened in 

St. Anne's Roman Catholic Church stood upon this 
block, on the north side of Eighth Street; being suc- 
ceeded by Aberle's Eighth Street Theatre in May, 
1879. During its career as a place of amusement, 
the theatre was known as the Grand Central, John 
Thompson's Theatre, the Comedy Theatre, Harry Ken- 
nedy's Theatre, and lastly as the Germania, which name 
it bore from September, 1894, to the end of its career in 
April, 1902, when it was torn down. At the corner of 
Broadway and Eighth Street, formerly stood the Sinclair 
House, one of the last hotels on Broadway below Four- 
teenth Street. 

The Boston Post Road 103 

On the triangular block between Astor Place and 
Eighth Street, there was opened on November 22, 

1847, a beautiful building, the Astor Place Opera 
House, which was for some years the home of grand 
opera in New York. On the evening of May 10, 

1848, about a week after Macready's unfavorable re- 
ception at the theatre in the play of Macbeth, he was 
advertised to appear again in the same play, which 
his rival, Edwin Forrest, was playing at the Broadway 
Theatre. The city was not so cosmopolitan in those days 
as in these, and patriotic feelings ran high. Incendiary 
handbills were circulated, calling upon the workingmen 
and freemen to stand against British usurpation and to 
appear at the English aristocratic Opera House. The 
tenor of the notices was such that trouble was presaged, 
and three hundred policemen were sent to the theatre, 
and two regiments of militia were ordered to be in readi- 
ness. No one was admitted to the theatre who was known 
to be inimical to Macready; but some did get in, and, 
upon his appearance upon the heath, the demonstration 
began. The police expelled the agitators, but the crowd 
outside attacked the building with the paving stones that 
were piled up in readiness for paving the street. The 
police were powerless against the mob, and the Seventh 
Regiment was sent for. They were badly maltreated; 
but at last the order was given to fire over the heads of the 
rioters, with the usual result in such cases of further in- 
furiating and emboldening the mob, who jeered and 
derided the soldiers. A second volley was fired at the 
crowd, and the mob were dispersed; but they gathered 
again and attacked the regiment, when a third volley was 
fired. In this disgraceful riot, one hundred and forty-one 
members of the regiment were more or less badly wounded, 
and thirty-four of the mob were killed and many wounded. 

104 The Old Boston Post Road 

Macready was assisted from the theatre and was hidden 
in a private house for two days, when he went to Boston 
and sailed for England. 

The Opera House again became the home of Italian 
opera under the management of Max Maretzek until 1852, 
when it became the New York Theatre. Two years later, 
in April, 1854, the building became the home of the Mer- 
cantile Library, and was called Clinton Hall. In 1890, 
the books were withdrawn temporarily and the building 
razed, in order that a modern fire-proof structure should 
take its place. This was occupied in April, 1891. 

North of the Elliot estate was the farm of Elias Brevoort 
which extended to Eighteenth Street. The Brevoort house 
stood on the Bowery abreast of Eleventh Street; and 
though the city twice attempted to cut the street through 
— in 1836 and in 1849 — it could not overcome the Dutch 
obstinacy of Hendrick Brevoort, then the venerable owner 
of the farm. In 1845, this part of the farm came into the 
possession of Grace Protestant Episcopal Church, which 
removed from Rector Street and occupied its new edifice, 
corner of Tenth Street and Broadway, in 1846. The 
city was no more successful with the church corporation 
than it was with old Brevoort, and so Eleventh Street 
remains to this day unopened from Fourth Avenue to 
Broadway. On the former street, are located the offices, 
parish-house, and other activities of the church. 

By the plan of the Commission of 1807, Broadway was to 
be extended to meet the Bowery at the tulip tree abreast 
of the present Sixteenth Street ; but, as originally planned, 
there would have been a number of irregularly shaped 
blocks, to obviate which the Commission laid out an open 
square to which the name of Union Place was given. At 
the southeast corner of the square, there was unveiled 
and dedicated the first statue erected after New York 

The Boston Post Road 105 

became an American city. Two statues had been erected 
in English days, that of George III. in the Bowling Green 
and that of Wiliam Pitt, Earl of Chatham, in Wall Street. 
The first American statue was naturally that of Washing- 
ton. It is the work of Henry K. Brown, and it was dedi- 
cated with proper ceremonies on July 4, 1856. The spot 
selected for the statue is that upon which, on November 
25, 1783, — Evacuation Day, — the citizens' committee 
met Washington and his escort and welcomed them to the 
city. For a description of Union Square and the part of 
the Post Road from the square to Twenty-third Street, the 
reader is referred to The Greatest Street in the World — 

At what is now Twenty-third Street and Broadway, the 
Post Road swung off to the northeastward, and followed 
a rather irregular course up the eastern side of the island. 
Its course, as given in Post's Old Streets, Roads, Lanes, 
Piers, and Wharves of New York, was as follows : 

Northeasterly across Madison Square, crossing Fourth 
Avenue at Twenty-eighth Street, continuing northeasterly to 
Thirtieth Street, near Lexington Avenue, then northerly 
between Fourth and Lexington avenues to Thirty-fifth Street, 
then northype"sterly, crossing Lexington Avenue between 
Thirty-eighth and Thirty-ninth streets, Third Avenue at 
Forty-fifth Street and Second Avenue at Fifty-second Street, 
then continuing northeasterly to Fifty-fourth Street, then 
northwesterly, crossing Second Avenue at Sixty-second Street, 
Third Avenue at Seventy-second Street, Lexington Avenue 
at Seventy-second Street, then northerly and northeasterly, 
recrossing Lexington Avenue at Seventy-seventh Street, then 
northeasterly, northerly, and northwesterly crossing Fifth 
Avenue at Ninety-seventh Street and remaining in present 
Central Park, continuing northwesterly and northeasterly, 
crossing Fifth Avenue at 109th Street and Fourth Avenue at 

106 The Old Boston Post Road 

1 15th Street, then continuing northeasterly between Third and 
Fourth avenues to 130th Street and Third Avenue. 

Madison Square was crossed by a small stream, which 
spread out into a pond, called by the Dutch Crom Messie, 
or the crooked little knife, which has been changed to 
Gramercy, a name which still survives in Gramercy 
Park, a residential park laid out originally by Samuel B. 
Ruggles, a banker of the city. Between 1794 and 1797, 
this tract was used as a potter's field for the burial of the 
pauper dead and for those who died of small-pox and con- 
tagious diseases. It was occupied in the early years of 
the nineteenth century by a United States Arsenal, which 
later became the House of Refuge for Juvenile Delin- 
quents. The Commissioners planned here a great parade 
and drill ground extending as far north as Thirty-fourth 
Street, and as far.east as Third Avenue, but the space was 
contracted in 18 14, when it received the name of Madi- 
son Square. In 1845, the space was curtailed to its 
present size and the park was cleaned up by Mayor 

On the east was the farm of John Watts, and beyond 
this the "Rose Hill" Farm, extending to the East River. 
Near the stream was the Cruger mansion, which, after 
the Revolution, became the home of General Horatio 
Gates, the conqueror of Burgoyne at Saratoga. For many 
years, there was a weeping willow known by his name 
at the corner of Third Avenue and Twenty-second Street. 

After the destruction of the old Bull's Head Tavern in 
1826, the cattle yards and slaughter-houses were removed 
to this section, and a new Bull's Head Tavern was opened. 
A village grew up between Second and Fourth avenues 
and from Twenty-third to Twenty-seventh streets. It 
was called Bull's Head Village, and it was the principal 

The Boston Post Road 107 

cattle mart of the city for many years. In these latter 
days, it has become the principal horse market of the city. 
East of the Rose Hill Farm was the Kip's Bay Farm, the 
Quarry Hill Farm, and the Turtle Bay Farm, the last of 
which was owned by Francis Beekman Winthrop. The 
name of Kip's Bay, the ancient country-seat of the Kips, 
above Twenty-eighth Street, is kept alive to-day in the 
Kip's Bay Brewery, or malt-house, on the bank of the 
East River. About the year 1800, and after, there was 
a small village here. 

The next farm above Fiftieth Street was that known 
as the Beekman place. The mansion, located at Fifty- 
first Street and First Avenue, on the site of Public School 
No. 135, was one of the finest in the city in colonial days ; 
and, during the Revolution, it was used by nearly all the 
British commanders as their summer headquarters. Sir 
William Howe was so using it in September, 1776, when 
there was brought before him a handsome young fellow, 
who had been caught red-handed in the act of spying out 
the works of the British, and upon whom, when searched, 
there were found maps and sketches of the British fortifica- 
tions. He was disguised as a Dutch schoolmaster, but he 
admitted that he was a spy and that he was a captain in 
Knowlton's Rangers of the Continental Army, — his name 
Nathan Hale. He was ordered to be executed the next 
morning, Sunday, September 22d, and was consigned for 
the night to the green-house on the Beekman estate. His 
execution took place in the morning, on a spot in front of 
the artillery camp, about one block east of the Four Mile 
Stone, 1 near First Avenue. In accordance with custom, 
he was probably buried where he was executed. The 
Beekman mansion was erected in 1763 and demolished 

•The Four Mile Stone has been removed from its proper site to Third 
Avenue above Fifty -seventh Street, where it still stands. 

io8 The Old Boston Post Road 

in 1874, at which time it was a dilapidated tenement. It 
is said that Major Andre slept in the house the night before 
departing on his mission to meet Arnold. 

A small brook had its rise in Central Park and ran into 
the East River not far from Fifty-third Street. It was 
known as the Mill Stream, the Saw Kill, and also as De 
Voor's Mill Stream, from the original owner of the tract, 
David DeVoor, or Duffore, who received a grant from 
Governor Andros in 1677. The stream crossed the Post 
Road about Fifty-second Street and Second Avenue, and 
here was a " kissing-bridge, " the second so far on the route 
to Harlem. A third spanned a small stream at Seventy- 
seventh Street and Third Avenue, opposite Smith's 
Tavern, where the Street Commissioners had their office 
in 1809 and 1810. The number of them between New 
York and Harlem proclaims the Dutch as an amorous 
people. The DeVoor farm was known later at various 
times as the Odell, the Arden, and the Brevoort estate, 
according to its owner for the time being. 

Other farms followed until, between the present Sixty- 
second and Sixty-third streets, the road turned northwest, 
entering Third Avenue at the southeast corner of Hamil- 
ton Square, also called the Parade, which, in accordance 
with the plan of streets, was to extend from Third to Fifth 
Avenue, and from Sixty-sixth Street to Sixty-ninth. It 
was afterwards cut down in size, and finally done away 
with altogether. The Seventh Regiment Armory and the 
City Normal College are on blocks formerly included with- 
in the square. The Post Road followed Third Avenue 
to near Eighty-third Street, where a number of branch 
roads led to estates along the East River: Commodore 
Chauncey's, John Jacob Astor's — where Irving was a 
frequent guest and where he wrote Astoria, — Nathaniel 
Prime's, William Rhinelander's, Oliver Grade's, and 

The Boston Post Road 109 

others. Between Eighty-first and Eighty-second streets, 
the Harlem Commons line was crossed, and the road swung 
to the northwest, crossing and recrossing the Harlem line, 
until it reached the Middle Road, or Fifth Avenue, at 
Ninetieth Street. Here it crossed the corner of Observa- 
tory Place, a tract laid out for a reservoir between Fifth 
and Sixth avenues and Eighty-ninth and Ninety-fourth 
streets. When Central Park was laid out, Observatory 
Place was done away with. 

In crossing the blocks between Second and Third 
avenues, the road traversed the block between Sixty- 
third and Sixty-fourth streets, at one time used by the 
American Institute for its annual exhibitions, or fairs. 
Two blocks above, at Sixty-fifth and Sixty-sixth streets 
and Third Avenue, the road crossed the site of the Third 
Avenue car barns. 

Above Seventy-second Street, the road was bordered 
on the east by the farm of John Jones, which went as far 
as the East River. After the cutting through of the 
streets, a portion of the farm along the river bank was used 
for many years as a pleasure resort called Jones's Woods. 
The writer remembers going here several times as a boy 
to see the annual games and sports of the New York 
Caledonian Club. The farm was owned originally by the 
Provoost family, of which Bishop Samuel Provoost, the 
first American bishop of the Protestant Episcopal Church 
in New York, was a member. It became the property 
of the Jones family about 1803. In 1856, the Common 
Council ordered that it be bought for a public park, and 
a commission, of which Franklin Pierce was a member, 
examined the site for the city. They decided against it, 
one reason being that, on account of the high bluff over- 
looking the river and the swift current of the same, people 
could be thrown over after being murdered or robbed. In 

no The Old Boston Post Road 

consequence, the commission selected the present Central 
Park, and the order concerning Jones's Woods was repealed. 
A small part of the Woods is now John Jay Park. 

Returning to Madison Square, we find, on the west side 
of the thoroughfare, the Samler Farm, and, above that, a 
tract belonging to the city. After traversing the present 
park, the road crossed what is now the Madison Square 
Garden, upon whose site formerly stood the depot of the 
Harlem and the New Haven and Hartford railroads. Just 
across, on the north side of Twenty-seventh Street, in 
what would have been the middle of the Boston Road, were 
the carshops of John Stephenson. The highway crossed 
Fourth Avenue at Twenty-eighth Street, and here, on the 
southeast corner, stood the homestead of Peter Cooper, 
which he had moved under his own supervision from the 
Bible House site. After his death, the old frame house 
became a restaurant until 1909, when the old landmark 
was torn down to make way for the Peter Cooper Building 
now occupying the site. 

Above Twenty-eighth Street were farms belonging to 
James Quackenbush, Thomas Buchanan, Jacob Odell, 
Thomas A. Emmett, and Treadwell & Thorne. This 
carries the owners to Sixty-second Street. The estate 
of James Quackenbush, lying approximately between 
Twenty-eighth and Forty-first streets, was formerly the 
Murray Hill property, belonging to Robert Murray, the 
father of Lindley Murray, the grammarian. The home 
was called " Inclenburg " ; and there is a tradition that 
Mrs. Murray and her daughter were so entertaining to 
Sir William Howe and his officers on September 15, 1776, 
that the British lost two hours in crossing the island from 
their landing-place at Kip's Bay, with the result that 
Putnam and his division were able to slip through the gap 
thus left open and join the Chief. 

The Boston Post Road in 

Odellville was a small settlement in the neighborhood 
of Third Avenue and Forty-ninth Street, which got its 
name from the owner of the adjoining property, upon 
which he conducted a tavern. There was also a tavern 
near the Four-Mile Stone, which was near the junction 
of Third Avenue and Forty-fifth Street. The Five-Mile 
Stone was about where Second Avenue and Sixty-fifth 
Street now are. There was a tavern here, which, in 1789, 
was known as Griersen's; a short distance above was the 
Dove Tavern, which was used by the British artillery 
officers, as shown by advertisements in the New York 
papers of the Revolutionary period. At one time, the 
artillery park of the British was in this neighborhood, 
though probably after September 22, 1776, the date of 
Hale's capture. In 1789, this tavern was known as 

The Post Road was a favorite drive for gentlemen and 
others in the early days of the nineteenth century, the 
objective point being Cato's Tavern, which was a few 
rods east of the road in the vicinity of Fifty-fourth Street. 
For nearly half a century, this was the favorite road-house 
of the city, and Cato was renowned above all others for 
the dinners and suppers that he served. His tavern was 
connected by a short road with the Post Road. After 
1835, Third Avenue was cut through, and was macadam- 
ized from Twenty-eighth Street to Harlem, becoming the 
speedway for trotters and fast horses. In consequence, 
for many years, the Hazzard House at Third Avenue and 
Eighty -fourth Street was a popular resort, as it was the 
stopping place of the "Danbury Post-coaches," which 
were the only means of getting from the lower to the upper 
part of the city until about 1835, when a line of omnibuses 
was established to Harlem. Rival lines were established, 
and, at last, the street car. Up to about 1840, with the 

ii2 The Old Boston Post Road 

exception of the village of Yorkville between Eighty- 
fourth and Ninetieth streets, there was nothing above 
Fourteenth Street except country estates and farms. The 
lines of cars and 'buses brought many visitors into this 
section, and, as the property owners held out alluring 
inducements in the way of prices and terms, these visitors 
became settlers, and the upper part of the city began to 
build up. In consequence of this popularity of Third 
Avenue, and the development of this section on the East 
Side in accordance with the plan of the Commissioners, 
the Boston Road was closed as a highway in 1839. Its 
ancient line still shows in places, where we see houses on 
lots of irregular shape, due to the deviating course of the 
Post Road as it adapted itself to the hills and valleys of 
the surface. We can still see the contour of the land, 
notwithstanding the levelling, if we ride in the front car 
of a Third Avenue elevated train and keep a lookout 

The Middle Road branched off from the Post Road at 
Twenty-eighth Street and Fourth Avenue, and had a north- 
westerly course until it met the line of Fifth Avenue about 
Forty-second Street. It followed approximately the line 
of this avenue to the northward. The Post Road crossed 
it at Ninetieth Street and, after following in the same 
course for a couple of blocks, entered Central Park and 
passed through McGowan's Pass. There were two 
taverns located here in early days, the Black Horse, and 
McGowan's. During the Revolution, there were built 
extensive British fortifications across the northern end of 
what is now Central Park, and the easternmost of these, 
commanding the Harlem plains and river, were located 
here. During the scare that prevailed in the city towards 
the end of the War of 18 12, a barrier gate and several 
redoubts were erected here to control the Eastern Post 

The Boston Post Road 113 

Road, the main entrance to the city. These were called 
Fort Clinton, Fort Fish, and the Nutter Battery. Through 
the efforts of the City History Club, they have been 

The original tavern at McGowan's Pass was built by 
Jacob Dyckman, Jr., about 1750; but ten years later he 
sold it to Margaret McGowan, the widow of Captain 
Daniel McGowan, and she and her son Andrew conducted 
the tavern. The stone building was replaced by a frame 
structure about 1790. In 1847, the Sisters of Charity of 
St. Vincent de Paul secured the property, and the height 
was called Mount St. Vincent, a name which it bore until 
1891, when the original name of McGowan's Pass was 
restored by law. When Central Park was laid out after 
1853, the Sisters moved to what is now Riverdale, in the 
Borough of The Bronx (1858). Their vacated buildings 
were used during the Civil War as hospitals, and after 
that as a road-house and art museum ; but fire destroyed 
both buildings in 1881. The present tavern was erected 
in 1883, upon the site of the former building. 

After descending through the pass, the Post Road 
reached the Plains of Harlem, emerging from the park 
at about Sixth Avenue and 110th Street. Near the 
foot of the hill was the Half -Way House, so called because 
it was about half way between old Federal Hall in Wall 
Street and Kingsbridge, a distance of fifteen miles. It was 
also from this point that the road to Harlem branched off, 
crossing Harlem Creek about 109th Stfeet, and continu- 
ing on to the village, which lay between 11 6th and 125th 
streets. It was from about 121st Street and Third 
Avenue that a road, called Harlem Road, led to the north- 
west above Snake Hill, or Mt. Morris Park, and rejoined 
the Post Road at Myer's Corner. Above the crossing of 
the Middle Road at Ninetieth Street, the highway was 

ii4 The Old Boston Post Road 

called the Kingsbridge Road. This section of it above the 
park to Myer's Corner, near Eighth Avenue and 131st 
Street, was called Harlem Lane, which became a popular 
course for trotters. Harlem Lane has become St. Nicho- 
las Avenue from the park to 168th Street, where it joins 
Broadway and becomes Broadway for the remainder of its 
course to Kingsbridge. 1 It was along this road that the 
troops of Earl Percy advanced for their attack upon the 
American position at Fort Washington, and it was over 
this same road that nearly three thousand American 
prisoners marched on the afternoon of November 16, 1776, 
on their way to the prisons of the British in New York 
after their capture in that fortification. At about 125th 
Street and Eighth Avenue was Day's Tavern, at which 
Washington stopped at the time of his entrance into the 
city in 1783. Myer's Corner was a short distance below 
the Nine-Mile Stone, and received its name from the fact 
that the Harlem Road came into the Post Road at this 
point. Between 146th and 147th streets at Ninth Avenue 
was the junction with the Bloomingdale Road, now 
approximately Hamilton Place. At this point the Post 
Road ascended Bradhurst, or Breakneck, Hill, which is 
said to have been one of the most dangerous pieces of 
roadway in the city. 

St. Nicholas Avenue does not follow the route given 
above quite so closely as most modern roads follow old 
ones. At 124th Street, just below where the avenue 
crosses 125th Street, Hancock Square is located. It gets 
its name from the fact that here stands a bust statue of 
General Winfield Scott Hancock, of Civil War fame. From 
128th Street to 141st, is a narrow strip of park, called St. 

1 For a description of the highway above its junction with Broadway at 
1 68th Street, the reader is referred to The Greatest Street in the World- 

The Boston Post Road 115 

Nicholas Park, on the west side of the avenue and under 
the base of the steep hillside of Washington Heights. 

At the northern end of the park, occupying a command- 
ing position, are the buildings of the College of the City of 
New York, which was moved to this spot between 1905 
and 1907. The City College was founded in 1847 as 
the Free Academy and was located until 1905-07 at 
Twenty-third Street and Lexington Avenue. 

People going to Boston were more or less satisfied to ■ 
make the long trip to Kingsbridge in order to pass to the 
mainland; but it may be that the Philipses, who owned 
the toll bridge over Spuyten Duyvil Creek, were too 
powerful in the affairs of the Province for any one to 
think of changing the route. At last, however, on March 
19, 1774, there was passed by the Provincial Assembly: 

An Act to enable Lewis Morris and John Sickles to build a 
bridge across Harlem River. Whereas the laying out of 
Highways in such Manner as to shorten the Distance from the 
City of New York to any Part of this or the neighboring 
Colonies. ... And Whereas a Bridge over Harlem River, 
and a Road through Harlem Morrissania, and the Borough 
of West Chester will greatly conduce to both of the aforesaid 

Be it therefore Enacted . . . That Lewis Morris of the 
Manor of Morrissania Esquire and John Sickles of the Town- 
ship of Harlem be, and they hereby are impowered at any time 
within three Years from the passing of this Act to erect and 
build a Bridge over Harlem River . . . Provided . . . And 
the said Bridge when so built shall be and is hereby declared 
to be a free and public Highway for the Use Benefit and Behoof 
of all his Majesty's Subjects whatsoever. 

The fact that the Revolution began in the year follow- 
ing the passage of the act prevented anything from being 

u6 The Old Boston Post Road 

done, except, perhaps, in the way of preliminary surveys 
and estimates. It was not until 1790 that Lewis Morris 
obtained from the State Legislature a franchise to build 
his bridge over the Harlem. He transferred the right to 
John B. Coles, who opened his bridge and road in 1798, and 
thus saved over four miles between New York and New 
Rochelle, where the old road and the new road became one. 1 
The stage coaches changed their route as mentioned in 
Chapter II., making use of the road to Harlem from 108th 
Street, at the foot of McGowan's Hill, and branching off 
from the Kingsbridge Road at that point. Between 
106th and 108th streets, this road crossed Harlem Creek, 
of which Harlem Mere in the northeast corner of Central 
Park is all that is left, and passed through the village of 
Harlem, lying between 116th and 125th streets, to Harlem 

It was in the year 1636 that Dr. Montagne, with Ms 
family, landed at the mouth of a stream called by the 
Indians Rechawanes, and took up the land along its 
banks. In consequence, it became Montagne's Creek, 
then, from a later owner, Benson's Creek, and also Mill 
Creek and Harlem Creek. Montagne's bouwerie, which 
he called Vredendal, or Quiet Dale, was on the flat, adjoin- 
ing the Kingsbridge Road. After Montagne, other 
settlers came in, and the fertile plains of the north end of 
the island were divided up and cultivated. The murder 
of Smits brought on the Indian war of Kieft's administra- 
tion, and the settlement suffered badly; so that many 
of the inhabitants were killed and others had to seek 
refuge in the fort. The Indian war of 1655 also hurt 
Harlem, and some of the farms were devastated by the 
savages and the inhabitants killed or captured. But 

'See the chapter on " Perries and Bridges" in the Author's The Story of 
The Bronx. 

The Boston Post Road 117 

the settlement continued and was successful, and Harlem 
became a distinct municipality. Communication with^ 
New Amsterdam was, at first, principally by water, 
notwithstanding the terrors of Hell Gate. Communica- 
tion with the mainland was by the ferry of Johannes 
Verveelen after 1669, though travellers preferred the 
natural ford, or wading place over Spuyten Duyvil Creek; 
and so the ferry was moved to that point. Let us cross 
there and continue our journey. 



HAVING crossed Spuyten Duyvil Creek, the Post 
Road crosses to the east side of the valley and 
climbs the flank of Tetard's Hill, passing almost 
within a stone's throw of the site of the Fort Independence 
of the patriots. It bears the name of Boston Post Road 
to the top of the hill and then is lost against the side of the 
new Jerome Park reservoir. It is only by a case of 
' ' bluff ' ' that even this part of the old road remains. There 
is a story to the effect that during the administration of 
Mayor Gilroy it was planned to do away with the ancient 
thoroughfare. The board of street openings, or highway 
commission, or whatever is the legal title of the officials 
having the matter in charge, gave a public hearing, having 
first made up their minds — as is usual in such cases — 
to abolish the road. The hearing was only a sop to public 
opinion; but among those who appeared before the com- 
mittee was the late William Ogden Giles, whose former 
house is built upon the ramparts of Fort Independence. 
He noticed the apathy of the committee to the arguments 
advanced, and, presuming upon the lack of local historic 
knowledge of the city's rulers, put on an appearance of 
fine indignation and exclaimed: 

'For a fuller description of the Post Road through the Borough of the 
Bronx, the reader is referred to The Story of The Bronx. 


Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 119 

Gentlemen, you may destroy many historic landmarks in this 
city, and nothing will be said; but if you destroy this one, this 
ancient, historic road, be sure that the public shall hear of it; 
and, though that public may stand for many things, it will not 
stand for the abolition of that road made famous by the ride 
of Paul Revere. 

At this the committee "sat up and took notice," while 
recollections of " Now listen, my children, and you shall 
hear, etc.," flashed across their memories. They put 
their heads together and came to the conclusion that it 
would not do to brave the indignation of the public in such 
a matter, and so the road was saved. Mr. Giles had only 
exaggerated a little, for, while Paul Revere did not travel 
over the road on that occasion when he made his midnight 
ride, he had ridden over it several times in earlier days 
as the bearer of dispatches from the Committee of Corre- 
spondence of Massachusetts to the Committees in New 
York and Philadelphia at the time of the Stamp Act 
agitation and later. 

At Jerome Avenue on the eastern side of the reservoir 
we again pick up the ancient road under the name of Van 
Cortlandt Avenue. We pass the site of the Negro Fort 
and at Woodlawn Road the ancient Valentine house 
which, as an outpost of the British, was fired upon by the 
troops of Heath when they made their attack upon Fort 
Independence in January, 1777. The old road is lost at 
the Williamsbridge reservoir, but is merged in the Gun 
Hill Road, which crosses the Bronx River at Williams's 
bridge and ascends the hill to the White Plains Road, 
the junction of the two roads having been called formerly 
McTeague's Corners. From this point northward, the 
Boston Road and the White Plains Road were the same, 
though the present broad boulevard passes over the old 
road only in part. If, at 231st Street, we go one short 

120 The Old Boston Post Road 

block east, we shall there pick up a street called Bussing 
Avenue, which is the old road not much changed from 
its old bed. As we pass over it, we shall see in places some 
of the old signs, "Kingsbridge Road," — so-called because 
it led to Kingsbridge — and "Boston Road." It passes 
across Rattlesnake Brook near its source and swings in 
a great curve towards the eastward, crossing the city line 
into the city of Mount Vernon, where the signs at once 
become "Kingsbridge Road." As soon as it crosses the 
city line, the road is in the ancient county of Westchestf||| 
A rather steep and rough hill leads under the new New 
York, Westchester & Boston Railroad and by its station » 
at Eastchester. 

At the foot of the hill, the Post Road turns sharply 
to the northward into what is at present known in Mount 
Vernon as South Third Avenue and South Columbus 
Avenue. Beyond Third Avenue (Mt. Vernon), we are 
in the ancient town of Eastchester, the first settlement 
having been made here in 1664. A short distance to 
the south of where the Post Road turns, -is the Vincent- 
Halsey house, the oldest part of which is pre-Revolution- 
ary. It was owned toward the end of the eighteenth 
century by Major Smith, who was the husband of John 
Adams's only daughter Abigail. During Adams's presi- 
dency, the capital was in Philadelphia, and, in October 
and November, 1797, the President occupied the house 
as the executive mansion, as it was too unsafe to be in 
Philadelphia, on account of yellow fever. 

The school-plot, set aside for such purpose by the 
inhabitants as early as 1693, and occupied by a school- 
house up to the present generation, was at the corner. 
Almost adjoining it there stood until about 1895 an ancient 
building which was one of the famous taverns which lined 
the Post Road. This was Guion's tavern, and it was 

St. Paul's Church, Eastchester (1765). 

Fay House (formerly Tavern) opposite St. Paul's Church, Eastchester. 

Bronxdale, on the Boston Road, 1903. The Houses are all since demolished. 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 121 

particularly famous because Washington stopped here s/ 
upon one occasion for several days, during which he was 
ill. The landlady, Mrs. Guion, took such good care of 
him that, upon departing, he expressed a wish to reward 
her in some way; whereupon her husband said: "Your 
excellency, we shall be grateful to you if you will kiss my 
wife. " Washington bowed and gravely saluted the lady 
upon the cheek, and, though the lady no doubt performed 
her ablutions as ladies will, and should, she never, until 
the day of her death, washed the spot on her cheek 
which had been kissed by the great man. At least, so 
saith the legend. In the summer of 1783, in view of the 
prospective evacuation of the State by the British, Gover- 
nor George Clinton called the civil authorities to meet at 
Eastchester to make arrangements for superseding the 
military. The meeting place was Guion's tavern. ^s^" 

It is only within the last few years that Eastchester has 
begun to look any different from what it did in the days 
when Dr. Dwight was a chaplain in the Continental army, 
or when he revisited it in 18 14. He says at the later visit : 

A small, scattered village, composed of indifferent-looking 
houses, surrounds an Episcopal church, built of stone, about 
three fourths of a mile North of the present road [the Coles 
Boston Road]. I passed through this village in the year 
1774 ; and know not a place, possessed of so many advantages, 
which has altered so little within that period. The rest of the 
township is covered with plantations. 

Our eyes are attracted by a church steeple rising above 
the heavy masses of the trees and by the white gleams of 
tombstones, and we come upon one of the historic spots 
of the county of Westchester, St. Paul's Church. In front 
of it is the village green, upon which, in 1733, occurred the 
famous election in which Judge Lewis Morris was trium- 

122 The Old Boston Post Road 

phantly elected as the representative of the people over 
William Forster, the schoolmaster at Westchester, who 
was the nominee of the aristocratic party as represented 
by Chief- Justice James De Lancey, Colonel Frederick 
Philipse, and Governor William Cosby. Notwithstand- 
ing the fact that the Quakers were disfranchised by 
failing to swear in their votes, and the sheriff would not 
accept their affirmation, Morris had a handsome majority. 
On this same village green used to stand the stocks, the 
pillory, and the whipping-post. There are several fine 
locust and willow trees of a good old age, to one of which 
there was attached until about twenty years ago — when 
some vandal, or relic hunter stole it — a large ring to which 
recalcitrant slaves used to be tied up and lashed. I have 
no doubt that many a white man also here received his 
nine-and-thirty lashes. On the same green stood also 
the first church edifice erected by the Eastchester settlers, 
dating from 1700, though first proposed in 1692. 

In 1765, a sufficient sum of money having been sub- 
scribed, the erection of the present stone edifice was begun; 
it was completed just previous to the Revolution by the 
aid of a lottery. During that struggle, the Bible and the 
communion service presented by Queen Anne were 
buried for safe keeping upon the Vincent place and dug 
up after the war. The battle of Pell's Point occurred on 
October 18, 1776, and on the evening of the battle the 
church was occupied by the enemy as a hospital for the 
care of their wounded. From that time until the end of 
the war, Eastchester constituted one of the outposts of 
the British, though in the summer, they also occupied 
New Rochelle just beyond. The church building was 
used during the whole war for hospital and other pur- 
poses, and there are several hundred Hessian and British 
soldiers buried in the adjoining graveyard, where also 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 123 

lie a number of Continental officers and soldiers who 
lived in this vicinity after the war. During the British 
occupancy, the old building that stood on the green was 
used for firewood within the new, so that the floor of the 
present building covers the ashes of the old. 

At the end of the Revolution, the building was in a 
dilapidated condition; but it was finally repaired and it 
was used for some time as a court-house for the Court of 
Oyer and Terminer. A number of interesting relics are 
preserved in the church, among others the Bible presented 
by Queen Anne and a summons issued for Attorney 
Aaron Burr, who had a case before the court. 

When affairs had somewhat settled down after the 
return of peace, the State Legislature passed several acts 
for the relief of the various churches and especially for the 
relief of the Episcopal Church, which had been, in colonial 
days, the Established Church of the Province. Under 
these acts the Church was, in 1795, reorganized and incor- 
porated as St. Paul's Church, Eastchester. 

Upon the Fourth of July and other holidays, patriotic 
exercises are held here at the church or in the churchyard, 
generally under the auspices of Bronx Chapter, D. A. R., 
of Mount Vernon, or some other patriotic organization. 

Almost opposite the church edifice is a well-cared-for * 
building, which is known as the Fay homestead. It was 
in the year 1732 that some of the Fays came from Vermont 
and took up their residence in Eastchester, building this 
house about the same time. The building is the only one 
left of the early Eastchester houses, of which there were 
only four in this immediate vicinity, though not very close 
together. How long before the Revolution the house was 
used as an inn is not known; but during that struggle, the 
house was occupied as a tavern by "Billy" Crawford and 
it was a favorite resort of the British officers stationed in 

124 The old Boston Post Road 

the neighborhood. It is stated that upon one Occasion 
during the Revolution a British deserter was summarily 
hung upon the sign-post in front of the tavern door. The 
twentieth milestone was almost opposite the house. The 
Fays of that time moved to Bennington, Vermont, where 
they conducted the famous " Catamount" tavern. They 
were patriots, and it is said that Colonel Fay had five sons 
with Stark at the Battle of Bennington and that one of 
them was killed. Some of the family came back after the 
Revolution, and the house is now occupied by one of the 
Fays. During the author's boyhood days, the house was 
occupied for some time by Theodore Sedgwick Fay, who 
was for nearly a score of years minister to Switzerland. 

V It was no unusual thing for a tavern to be so near a 
church; on the contrary, especially in New England, the 
authorities required the town tavern to locate adjacent 
to the church, in order that the more than half frozen 
congregation would have a chance in the winter time to 
get thawed out between the forenoon and afternoon ser- 
vices, not only by means of the fires but also by the hot 
and stimulating drinks — not temperance ones — that were 
so readily and abundantly obtained. 

Another tavern was situated at the southern corner of 
the Post Road and the Mile Square Road (the present 
Third Avenue of Mount Vernon), which, in 1733, was 

Vkept by Joseph Fowler. After his death it passed to his 
son William, whose private residence it became. During 
the Revolutionary struggle, it was sometimes the quarters 
of Lieutenant-Colonel Emmerick, one of the dashing 
partisan leaders of the British, whose troops were most 
frequently encamped in the neighborhood of the old Dutch 
Church at Fordham, which they used for a hospital and 
v/ stable. After the war, the house was reopened as an inn 
by Philemon Fowler, grandson of the first inn-keeper, and 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 125 

it was a favorite stopping-place of travellers over the Post 
Road until it was changed to the eastward in 1797-98. 

A short distance above Eastchester Church, at the 
twenty-first milestone, the Post Road crosses the Hut- 
chinson River at what is now Sixth Street in the city of 
Mount Vernon. The old road can still be traced in its 
winding course down the hill to the stream. On the 
heights above — now called Vernon Heights — Colonel 
Glover and his brigade of patriots after fighting the British y/ 
all day on the 18th of October, 1776, in what is known as 
the Battle of Pell's Point, planted their artillery and kept 
up a desultory and ineffective fire upon the British on the 
other side of the stream. The enemy could not cross as 
the Americans had removed the planks of the bridge. 

Upon crossing the bridge the Post Road is in the ancient 
manor of Pelham. The sign reads " Old Boston Road. " 
The electric cars follow the road for one block and then 
turn off to the eastward. The old road continues its way 
up a hill along the edge of Pelham Heights with its beauti- 
ful detached mansions and villas, and then crosses the 
New Rochelle line, becoming a broad macadamized street 
named "King's Highway." It passes the Roman Catholic 
cemetery of New Rochelle, Holy Sepulchre, and then 
descends a hill under the tracks of the Suburban branch 
of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad, 
becoming one with the later, or Cole's, Boston Road, ; , 
which we shall now proceed to follow from Harlem Bridge 
to this point of amalgamation with the original road. 

Upon arriving upon the mainland, after crossing Har- 
lem Bridge, the Coles road followed the line of the present 
Third Avenue then called Fordham Avenue, to the neigh- 
borhood of East 163d Street, where it turned to the east- 
ward and followed approximately the line of the present 
Boston Avenue to West Farms. Here it crossed the 

126 The Old Boston Post Road 

Bronx River at Bolton's "Bleach, " passed through Bronx- 
dale and so on to Eastchester. 

The lower part of the road, Third Avenue, became the 
main thoroughfare of this section when it began to build 
up after 1840, and it is still the principal business street 
of the Borough of The Bronx. It is the route over which, 
for some distance at least, the surface lines of cars travel 
after crossing Harlem Bridge; and overhead, the elevated 
railroad travels from 145th Street northward to the end 
of Third Avenue at Fordham Road. 

The first surface car line north of the Harlem River was 
laid out along Third Avenue, and the first extension was to 
West Farms over the Boston Road. The most prominent 
building on this portion of the road is the imposing Morris 
High School at 166th Street, which is situated upon a hill 
and can thus be seen for many miles in all directions. At 
Franklin Avenue is the armory of the Second Battery, 
of the State National Guard; and beyond the high school 
is an important civic centre, McKinley Square, named in 
v/honor of the martyred president. Down a long hill the 
road descends into the valley of the Bronx River to the 
old settlement of West Farms, dating from 1663, which 
was also known in colonial days as DeLancey's Mills, from 
the fact that here were located the mansion and mills of 
one of the members of that important and powerful 
,^/Colonial family. The hamlet was of inconsiderable size 
until the building of the Coles road, when, on account of 
some peculiar and beneficial quality of the water of the 
Bronx River, a number of cloth mills were located here, 
and West Farms became the most important stopping 
place between the Harlem River and New Rochelle. In 
addition, several taverns were opened, the most important 
/of which was Johnson's, which was in Bronx Park above 
180th Street; it was a change-house for the Boston 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 127 

stage. During the Revolution, West Farms was the scene 
of several attacks and struggles, as the British maintained 
a block-house to command the passage of the Bronx River 
at this point. Its site was afterwards occupied by Mapes's ^ 
Temperance Hotel. The surrounding country became 
a section of farms, and, after 1840, of gentlemen's country 

Above 180th Street, the Post Road passes through 
Bronx Park, its western side being bounded by the Zoologi- 
cal Park, to which there is an entrance from the Post Road. 
At the bridge over the river, formerly was located the 
bleachery of the Boltons, who established mills here about 
1820, with the result that a village grew up, which was 
called Bronxdale. Its site is within the limits of the park, 
and all the houses were removed during 191 1. Just above 
the site of Bronxdale, the road crosses the Bronx and Pel- 
ham Bay Parkway, and from this point on it has been 
made a State road, work having been begun in the fall of 

From this point on to Eastchester, the Post Road passes ^ 
through a section of the city of New York which is still 
entirely rural. The road crosses Black Dog Brook, the 
ancient boundary line between the towns of Westchester 
and Eastchester, and just before reaching the city line 
it crosses Rattlesnake Brook, upon which there were 
several mills located shortly after the first settlement in 
1664. This part of the road was originally an Indian 
trail, called the Westchester Path, connecting the villages S ' 
of Westchester and Eastchester; it later developed into 
Eastchester Avenue, and the portion near the city line 
is now called Provost Avenue. 

The hotel on the new Post Road at the crossing of 
Rattlesnake Brook called, since 1900, Dickert's Old Point 
Comfort, was erected by Stephen Odell in 1876. It 

128 The Old Boston Post Road 

occupies the site of a house occupied by Dr. John G. 
Wright immediately after the Revolution, which was 

^atterwards converted into a tavern by one Vredenberg 
in the early part of the nineteenth century. From him 
it passed into the hands of James Armstrong, an English- 
man ; and after his death it was conducted by his widow 

l/until 1820, when it passed into the hands of David Smith. 
The Armstrongs had the reputation of setting the best 
table between New York and Boston; and so noted was 

^he house, that Lafayette was entertained here on his 
eastward trip in 1824. When the old building was de- 
molished to make way for the present one, a pass for an 
English soldier was found between two shingles. It is 
probable that the tavern was near the site of the ordinary 
of Moses Hoit, which was in this neighborhood, as on 
January 24, 1679, he was "chosen to keep ordenary and 
entertayn strangers for the year inshuing, for pay." In 
1673, when the Dutch secured possession of the Province 
again, the same John Hoit was appointed schepen, or con- 
stable, by Governor Colve, for this easternmost of the 
New York settlements, with orders "not to suffer any 
person or persons whatsoever to pass through Eastchester 
to or from New England; except they can produce a 
royal pass or license for the same. " The inhabitants had 
all sworn allegiance to the Dutch. 
z Another famous old tavern after the building of the 

v4urnpike was that kept by Hannah Fisher, who was herself 
the main attraction of her inn. She is represented as being 

t/a bearded woman of large frame and immense strength, 
and able to take up a barrel of cider and drink from the 
bunghole. Stories of Aunt Hannah and her strength, her 
good nature and her appearance, were told along the 
Post Road and brought many a traveller to her inn out of 
curiosity to see her. Her name is preserved to-day in 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 129 

Fisher's Lane, a short road of about an eighth of a mile 
parallel to Eastchester Creek and connecting the old and 
the new Post Roads. 

The road crosses Eastchester Creek on a drawbridge 
maintained by the city of New York, which, before annexa- 
tion, was called Lockwood's Bridge. This is necessary, 
as the creek was deepened several years ago by the Na- 
tional Government and it is navigable at high tide for 
heavily laden schooners, sloops, and coal barges which dis- 
charge their cargoes at the Mount Vernon. City Dock, 
the gas-works, or the docks of the coal and lumber dealers 
of the vicinity. 

A few yards above the bridge, the road crosses the New 
York City line and is in the township of Pelham. It 
ascends a steep hill, passing the "Split Rock" road to 
City Island, over which the Americans retreated before 
the British at the battle of Pell's Point, and a little farther 
along it passes Wolf's Lane, a cross-road to the old Post 
Road. This part of the township is the incorporated vil- 
lage of Pelham Manor, a highly restricted settlement with 
beautiful houses and grounds, occupied by people of 
wealth. Adjoining the village on the Sound is Travers 
Island, containing the club-house and athletic grounds of 
the New York Athletic Club. Adjoining Pelham Manor 
on the east is the city of New Rochelle. At Woodside, 
a suburban station of the New York, New Haven, and 
Hartford Railroad, the Coles road is joined by the ancient 
Post Road, as mentioned above; from this point eastward, 
there is only one road. Not far from this point on the 
railroad, is located the extensive plant of The Knicker- 
bocker Press. 

In the year 1654, Thomas Pell of Fairfield in Connecti- 
cut, bought from the Indians of this section a large tract 
of land which, after the settlement of boundary disputes 

130 The Old Boston Post Road 

with his neighbors, Westchester on the south and John 
Richbell on the east, proved to contain something over 
nine thousand acres. His title was confirmed by his home 
colony to lands which were claimed by and which were 
within the jurisdiction of the Dutch. 

In the year 1685, there occurred the revocation of the 
Edict of Nantes by Louis XIV, resulting in a renewal of the 
persecution of the Huguenots. Several hundred thousands 
of them left France. They sought refuge in England, 
Ireland, Scotland, Holland, parts of Germany, and other 
Protestant countries, where they carried their arts and 
manufactures, much to the industrial and financial 
betterment of those countries. Many thousands of 
them eventually found their way to America and be- 
came very important factors in the development of the 

In 1689, Jacob Leisler interested himself in the affairs of 
the persecuted Huguenots and got into correspondence 
with them. As a result, he bought from John Pell, the 
manor-lord of Pelham, who had succeeded his Uncle 

for and in consideration of the sum of sixteen hundred and 
seventy-five pounds and twenty-five shillings sterling current 
silver money of this province . all the tract of land being 

and lying within the said Manor of Pelham, containing six 
thousand acres of land and also one hundred acres of land 
more, which the said John Pell and Rachel, his wife, do freely 
give and grant to the French church, erected, or to be erected, 
by the inhabitants of the said tract of land, etc. . . To 
have and to hold . . unto the said Jacob Leisler . . . 
for ever yielding and paying unto the said John Pell, his heirs 
and assigns, lords of the said Manor of Pelham ... one fat 
calf on every four and twentieth day of June, yearly and every 
year forever — if demanded. 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 131 

The deed is dated September 20, 1689. 

It is probable that the first scattered Huguenot settlers 
came here in 1686 or 1687. They were followed by a con- 
siderable number in 1689, brought from the West Indies 
and landed, by an English vessel, according to well sus- 
tained tradition, at what is known as Bonnefoy's Neck, 
where a monument erected by the Westchester County 
Historical Society marks the spot. Within the rest of that 
year and 1690, Leisler gave to them as rapidly as possible 
the deeds to their lands ; the consequence was that none of 
this tract was confiscated when he was executed for high 
treason. Most of these expatriates came from the Pro- 
testant town of La Rochelle in France, and, in honor of 
their native place, they named their American home, 
New Rochelle. It is the most important and distinctively 
Huguenot settlement made in the English colonies. 
Though most of the French names occurring in the census 
of 1710 have disappeared, a half dozen or more still remain 
among the inhabitants. 

The first church edifice was of wood and was erected in 
1692, but it was frequently without a pastor at first. Its 
first regular pastor was the Rev. David De bon Repos. 
Communion Sundays occurred four times a year. When 
without a pastor, the whole population able to do so, 
of both sexes, walked to New York and attended the 
French Protestant Church in Pine Street, in order to partake 
of communion. As the people were poor and ill-supplied 
with shoes, in ordertosave them, it was customary for them 
to walk barefoot as far as the Fresh Water, where they 
bathed their feet, put on their shoes, and then walked 
respectably into the city. On the return journey, they 
removed their shoes at the Fresh Water and came back 
barefoot. The distance for the round trip was about 
forty miles. The church building stood on the Post Road ' 

132 The Old Boston Post Road 

not far from the present Presbyterian Church in the 
triangle at the intersection of the Post Road and Huguenot 
Street, which latter was laid out to escape the difficulties of 
a steep hill on the line of the Post Road. At the time that 
the Church of England became the Established Church, 
the pastor was the Rev. Mr. Boudet, who was ordained 
an Episcopal minister by the Bishop of London. Most of 
his congregation seceded with him and joined the Estab- 
lished Church, but a minority still upheld the rights of the 
French Church and later united with the Presbyterians in 
1808, and lost their identity completely in 1812, when the 
Church became Presbyterian in name as well as in fact. 

The Established Church erected an edifice not far from 
the present beautiful church ; this was built of stone, forty 
feet by thirty feet, and, like all the colonial churches, 
singularly unbeautiful and, from the descriptions of con- 
temporaries, equally uncomfortable. Other denominations 
have erected church edifices in the town, until about all are 
represented. The first Roman Catholic Church was 
erected mainly through the efforts of Father "Tom" Mc- 
Laughlin, who was for many years one of New Rochelle's 
"characters, " but withal a devout and capable priest. 

There are three names especially noted in connection 
with the city of New Rochelle, names which span from 
the seventeenth to the nineteenth centuries. The first 
is that of Jacob Leisler, of whom we have already' 
spoken. For the other two we shall have to go out North 
Street, a new street laid out in 1693 at right angles to 
Huguenot Street. Some distance out was the farm of one 
Benjamin Fannel, or Fanueil, whose name appears 
among the earliest settlers. He had a number of sons, 
among whom there appears the name of Peter, who was 
born in New Rochelle. Benjamin Fanueil had a brother 
Andrew in Boston, a bachelor and wealthy merchant, who 

The Tom Paine Monument before Removal, New Rochelle. 

Tom Paine's House on Original Site, New Rochelle. 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 133 

sent word that he would like one of his nephews to come 
and live with him, to learn his business and to become his 
heir, with the one proviso that he must remain single. 
Peter's elder brother went to Boston, but, being human, 
could not withstand the attractions of sex and disap- 
pointed his uncle by getting married. Then Peter was 
sent for, and he willingly agreed to comply with his uncle's 
bequest; and as he did so until the time of that uncle's 
death, he became his heir, and, in time, the wealthiest, 
the most powerful, and the most luxurious of all the Boston 
merchants. With his luxurious eating and mode of life, 
he came to be "fat and forty"; at which time, so it is 
stated, he fell a victim to feminine charms. He was 
unsucessful in his wooing, however, and so remained a 
bachelor until his death, which occurred in 1743 when he 
was forty-three years old. He died without a will, and 
his property was inherited by his brother, who had been 
disinherited by Uncle Andrew, and by four sisters. Peter 
had given a market place and hall to Boston in 1740, and 
so large was it that it took two years to build. The 
merchants were not all in favor of having it, and when it 
was put to a vote whether to accept the gift or not, there 
was only a small majority in favor 01 it. Fanueil Hall, 
the "Cradle of Liberty," is too well known to require 
description here. 

The third name connected with the history of New 
Rochelle is that of Thomas, or "Tom," Paine, the able 
and erratic politician, democrat, and writer, whose Crisis 
and Common Sense did so much to bring about the Declara- 
tion of Independence, and the formation of the Federal 
Government. In recognition of his distinguished services 
in the cause of American liberty, the State of New York 
presented to him in 1784 an estate of two hundred and 
twenty-seven acres situated on North Street, which had 

134 The Old Boston Post Road 

been confiscated by the people from Frederick Devoe, a 
convicted loyalist. In a letter to Jefferson from Paris, 
dated April 20th, third year of the Republic ( 1 793) , he says : 

P. S. I just now received a letter from General Lewis Morris, 
who tells me that the house and Barn on my farm at N. Rochelle 
are burnt down. I assure you I shall not bring money to 
build another. 

He returned to America after his tempestuous career as 
a member of the Directory, where his Rights of Man and 
Age of Reason had given him a great prominence, a 
prominence so great that Robespierre had him arrested 
and would have sent him to the guillotine had not his 
friends interfered. Notwithstanding his statement to 
Jefferson about not rebuilding, he must have done so; 
for he occupied his farm for several years before his death, 
which occurred in New York City on June 8, 1809, at the 
age of seventy-two. While living in New Rochelle in 
1805, an attempt was made to shoot him by a man named 
Derrick, who owed him some money. 

He had been born a Quaker, and his body was escorted 
from New York to New Rochelle by one of that denomina- 
tion, by Madame Bonneville, the wife of an intimate 
French friend, and her two children, and by two negroes 
— a race that should hold him in great esteem, for he 
early proclaimed their right to be free. Because of his 
agnostical ideas, no consecrated ground was permitted 
to receive his body, so he was buried on his own farm. 

William Cobbett, the famous English political econo- 
mist, was a great admirer of Paine, and in the year 1819 
Cobbett caused Paine's remains to be exhumed and carried 
to England. Where they are now no man knoweth. 
In 1839, a number of his admirers erected a monument 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 135 

over his grave, upon the sides of which are inscribed 
extracts from his several works. 

In 1903, North Street was widened, regraded, and re- 
paved, so that the monument was moved a few yards from 
its former site to the middle of the lane leading up to the 
house, which has been moved down to the street and 
converted into a museum of historic relics connected with 
the history of New Rochelle. On October 14, 1905, the 
monument was rededicated at its new site with appropriate 
ceremonies and addresses and a benediction pronounced 
by a Protestant clergyman. The procession was made 
up of United States troops, State artillery, which fired a 
salute of thirteen guns, several patriotic societies, and the 
school children of the city, who sang patriotic songs. A 
metal box, said to contain a portion of Paine's brain, 
contributed by Moncure D. Conway, Paine's biographer, 
was placed under the monument. 

Madame Knight in her diary of 1704, describes New 
Rochelle as follows : 

On the 22d of December we set out for New Rochelle, where 
being come, we had good entertainment, and recruited our- 
selves very well. This is a very pretty place, well compact, and 
good, handsome houses, clean, good and passable roads, and si- 
tuated on a navigable river, abundance of land, well, fenced and 
cleared all along as we passed, which caused in me a love to the 
place, which I could have been content to live in it. Here we 
rid over a bridge made of one entire stone, of such a breadth 
that a cart might pass with safety, and to spare . . . Here 
are three fine taverns within call of each other, and very good 
provision for travellers. 

Dr. Dwight, writing in 1818, is not of the same opinion. 
He says: 

The old French houses, long buildings of stone, of one story, 
with few and small windows, and high, steep roofs, are very 

136 The Old Boston Post Road 

ill-suited to the appearance of this fine ground. Nor is the 
church, built by the same people in the same style, at all more 
ornamental. There are, however, several good English houses. 

Under the Act of November, 1788, New Rochelle be- 
came one of the townships of Westchester County. It 
became an incorporated village, October 5, 1857, and a 
city, January 1, 1899. Since that time, it has increased 
very rapidly in population, as it is a great centre of electric 
car lines, and also the junction of the main and suburban 
lines of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford Railroad. 
There are more than a score of restricted, residential 
parks, so that the place is called the "Park City." Hudson 
Park, situated at the landing-place of the Huguenots, is a 
public park on Bonnefoy's Neck, much patronized for its 
bathing facilities. 

Another sort of landing took place at Bonnefoy's Neck 
on October 19, 1776, when seventy-two vessels, carrying 
the German mercenaries under Knyphausen, debarked 
their passengers. On the twenty-first, Howe's troops 
occupied the heights north of the village, a few days later 
taking up the march to White Plains. Knyphausen, with 
eight thousand Hessians and Waldeckers, marched up the 
Post Road to the present Larchmont Manor, where he 
encamped for several days protecting Howe's base and 
communications. After the Battle of White Plains on 
the twenty-eighth, they all withdrew for the capture of 
Fort Washington on Manhattan Island. From this time 
forth, New Rochelle was subject to the raids that took 
place in the famous Neutral Ground, on whose edge it may 
be said to have been, as it was usually occupied as an 
outpost by the enemy in the summer time; in the winter, 
the troops were withdrawn to the Harlem River. 

During the War of 18 12, several British vessels appeared 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 137 

off New Rochelle, having come here from the bombard- 
ment of Stonington in Connecticut, the home guard of 
militia retreating ingloriously before them. 

Dr. Dwight gives a vivid description of the Neutral 
Ground and of the Boston Road, a description which not 
only applies to this immediate section, but also to the 
part of the road we have already traversed. He says : 

Amid all this appearance of desolation, nothing struck my 
eye more forcibly than the sight of this great road, the passage 
from New York to Boston. Where I had heretofore seen a 
continual succession of horses and carriages, and life and bustle 
lent a sprightliness to all environing objects, not a single, 
solitary traveller was visible from week to week, or from month 
to month. . . . The very tracks of the carriages were grown 
over and obliterated; and where they were discernible, re- 
sembled the faint impressions of chariot wheels, said to be left 
on the pavements of Herculaneum. 

In June, 1913, under the auspices of the local Hugue- 
not society, there was held a celebration in honor of the 
two hundred and twenty -fifth anniversary of the purchase 
from Pell. Representatives were present from La Ro- 
chelle, France, and a statue of Leisler was unveiled. 

In the year 1648, John Richbell, a native of Hampshire 
in England, was a merchant in Charlestown, Massachu- 
setts, having an extensive trade with the mother country 
by way of Barbados. In 1657, he met at Barbados two 
English merchants, Thomas Modiford and William Sharpe, 
and the three put their heads together to devise ways to 
defeat the navigation laws so oppressive to colonial trade — 
in other words, they made an agreement for smuggling 
merchandise into the colonies. Richbell, who returned 
to the "American Plantations on the Maine, " was directed 
to make full inquiries of "sober understanding men" as to 

138 The Old Boston Post Road 

the land between " Connecticoot and the Dutch Collony," 
with special regard to the shore, the islands in the Sound, 
and the government of this land, whose it is and whether it 
be "strict or remisse. " He was to purchase a small plan- 
tation capable of expansion, and he was to "be sure not to 
fayle of these accommodations: 

I. That it be near some navigable Ryver, or at least some 
safe port or harbour, and that the waye to it be neither long 
nor difficult; 

II. That it be well watered by some running streame, or at 
least by some fresh ponds and springs near adjoining; 

III. That it be well wooded . . . That it be healthy, 
high ground, not boggs or fens, for the hopes of all consists in 
that consideration. 

He found the spot that accorded with his instructions, 
"a day's sail from .the Manhadoes, " at Mamaroneck on 
the southern shore of Westchester County, "the place 
where the fresh water falls into the salt," the Indian 
meaning according to Bolton, but probably a personal 
name. He bought the land from the Siwanoy Indians in 
September, 1661. The deed gave him three necks of 
land ; and almost at once, he was in dispute with a mer- 
chant named Revell, who claimed two of them under 
a previous Indian deed. Richbell disproved this claim; 
and, in 1662, received a grond brief, or patent, for his land 
signed by Stuyvesant himself. This title was afterwards 
confirmed by Governor Lovelace in 1668. It is probable 
that the interval between his purchase, 1662, and the 
English accession, 1664, was too short for him to establish 
his contraband trade. 

Disputes followed with Pell, who claimed the West 
Neck, and with Rye, which claimed the White Plains, also 
included in Richbell's patent. The dispute with Pell was 

The Disbrow Chimney, Mamaroneck. 

The Jay Mansion on the Post Road, Mamaroneck. 

The De Lancey House on Heathcote Hill, Mamaroneck. 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 139 

settled in 1 67 1, the neck being divided between them. In 
1668, the boundary line between the colonies of New York 
and Connecticut was the Mamaroneck River; but, in 1683, 
commissioners of the two colonies established it at the 
Byram River. 

Richbell died in 1684; an & in 1697 his widow, Mistress 
Ann Richbell, conveyed for the consideration of six 
hundred pounds, the entire East Neck to Colonel Caleb 
Heathcote, Mayor of the Borough-town of Westchester, 
and one of the wealthiest merchants and most influential 
men in the province. In March, 1701, he obtained from 
Governor John Nanfan a patent for the "Mannour of 
Scarsdale. " He built a fine mansion on a hill overlooking 
Mamaroneck harbor; but this manor-house was accident- 
ally destroyed by fire a few years before the Revolution. 
He left two daughters at his death, Mrs. DeLancey and 
Mrs. Johnston, between whom his estate was equally 
inherited. The first was the wife of the famous James 
DeLancey, Chief Judge of the Province and Lieutenant- 
Governor of the same. She inherited the Mamaroneck 
property, which, in consequence, became known as De- 
Lancey's Neck. 

The Middle Neck of Richbell's purchase was mortgaged 
to Cornelius Steenwyck, and went out of Richbell's 
possession by foreclosure. It went into the hands of vari- 
ous owners until near the close of the eighteenth century, 
when it came into the ownership of Peter J. Munro, and 
was called for many years subsequently "Munro's Neck." 
In 1845, the property passed into the hands of Edward K. 
Collins, whose Scotch gardener planted a group of larches 
to cut off the view of the house from the Post Road; in 
consequence, Mr. Collins called his estate "Larchmont." 
After 1880, a Mr. Flint bought the property and laid out 
a suburban village which he called "Larchmont Manor"; 

140 The Old Boston Post Road 

it lies between the Post Road and the Sound and is the 
next place above New Rochelle. It is a beautiful, 
restricted, residential park, which numbers among its 
inhabitants many actors and actresses whose names and 
persons are well known throughout the country. The 
Larchmont Yacht Club has a fine house and grounds, and 
the waters contiguous to the point have been a resting- 
place on more than one occasion for defenders of the 
America's Cup, — Vigilant, Defender, Columbia, and 

Weaver Street, one of the oldest highways in the United 
States, leads northward from the Post Road to the Quaker 
Ridge and White Plains. Over it, a portion of Howe's 
army advanced in the latter part of October, 1776, on 
their way to drive Washington out of his position at 
White Plains. At the same time, the Germans occupied 
this section at Larchmont until they started for Kings- 
bridge about November first. During Knyphausen's 
stay here, the houses of the inhabitants were plundered 
by his soldiery and especially by the German women 
who followed the camp. 

As we pass east along the Post Road and come within 
the limits of the village of Mamaroneck, our attention is 
attracted by the remains of a massive stone chimney, 
with great fireplaces and closets on both sides. This is 
the chimney of the ancient Disbrow house, destroyed by 
fire some twenty-five or more years ago. It is the oldest 
relic of historic interest in the county of Westchester, 
dating from 1677. A few years ago, an offer of some patri- 
otic ladies to enclose the old relic in glass was rejected by 
the then proprietor of the land upon which it stands, and 
since then the chimney is becoming daily more and more 
tumbledown; in a short time now, it will have dis- 
appeared. Harvey Birch, the hero of Cooper's The Spy, 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 141 

is said to have hidden from pursuit on one occasion in one 
of the large closets, but whether from Americans or 
English the legend does not state. 

Just beyond the old chimney is the road leading to the 
East Neck of Richbell's purchase, now called Orienta 
Point and containing some of the most beautiful houses 
and estates to be found in the county. At the entrance 
to the neck, some rocks were blasted a few years ago when 
the road was widened, and their rough and irregular sur- 
faces at a short distance present a likeness of the "Father 
of His Country" — a pure accident. 

On the north side of the Post Road is Heathcote Hill, 
upon which Richbell erected his house before 1665. The 
hill gets its name, however, from the fact that upon it 
Colonel Heathcote erected a fine, large, brick mansion, 
which was unfortunately destroyed by fire a few years 
before the Revolution. 

On October 21, 1776, the hill was the scene of a surprise 
attack by the Americans under Colonel Haslet of the 
Delaware Regiment upon the Queen's Rangers, a loyalist 
battalion at that time commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel 
Rogers, a renegade American. Owing to the cowardice 
of the guides, the attack was not completely successful, 
but the Rangers were roughly handled, and the Americans 
returned to White Plains with several prisoners and con- 
siderable spoil. The dead — all Americans — were buried 
in a common grave : 

"Rider and horse — friend and foe — in one red burial 

After the war, Captain John Peter DeLancey, a grand- 
son of Colonel Heathcote, and a former loyalist officer, 
succeeded to the property. He was the fourth son of 
Judge James DeLancey and was educated in England. 

142 The Old Boston Post Road 

In 1785, he married Elizabeth Floyd, daughter of 
Colonel Richard Floyd of Long Island, one of the Signers, 
resigned from the British army in 1789 and built a fine 
mansion on the site formerly occupied by the manor- 
house. Why his property was not confiscated is one of 
those curious questions in regard to the loyalists that we 
have some difficulty in answering. Two of Captain 
DeLancey's daughters married famous men: one, Susan 
Augusta, marrying James Fenimore Cooper, and the 
other, Anne Charlotte, marrying John Loudon MacAdam, 
the inventor of the road bearing his name. The house 
stood until April, 1902, when it was removed to the Post 
Road, where it has since served as a road-house. The 
hill has been cut up into building lots and streets and is 
now occupied by homes. From time to time, there have 
been found various remains in the way of Indian mounds, 
fortifications, and implements, some, probably, relics 
of the fight just described. A short distance above 
Heathcote Hill we come to the business section of the 

The township of Mamaroneck was formed in November, 
1788. It is separated from Rye by the Mamaroneck 
River, which is crossed by the Post Road, — the ancient 
"Westchester Path," — on a modern bridge. The river 
was decided upon by the commissioners appointed by 
Colonel Nicolls and the colony of Connecticut to be the 
eastern boundary of the possessions of the Duke of York. 
In this matter, Colonel Nicolls was hoodwinked by the 
Connecticut people; but the conditions upon which the 
settlement was made were such as to permit of the reopen- 
ing of the question by the New York authorities. We 
find that a very large part of the volumes devoted to the 
colonial affairs of both colonies is taken up with this 
question of boundary. The present township includes 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 143 

the villagesof Larchmont, incorporated 1891 , and Mamaro- 
neck, incorporated in 1895. 

The earliest settlers in Mamaroneck were drawn from 
the Connecticut Colony, and so were members of the Con- 
gregational Church. When the "Church of England was 
established, Mamaroneck was included within the parish 
of Rye, which also at first included Horseneck, or Green- 
wich, in Connecticut, the ministers taking the three 
places in rotation. The French ministers from New 
Rochelle also officiated occasionally. April 12, 1814, 
the parish of St. Thomas was organized, and the wooden 
church edifice was erected and consecrated in 1823. The 
present handsome stone church was erected in 1884 by 
James M. Constable and his children as a memorial to 
Mrs. Constable. 

The first place of worship was erected by the Quakers, 
whose society was. in existence as early as 1686. They 
worshipped at first in a private house, but, in 1704, they 
made application to the court for a regular, authorized 
place of meeting at the house of Samuel Palmer. Their 
first meeting-house probably stood near the Westchester 
Path in what is now Larchmont, as the Quaker burying- 
ground is located there. In 1768, the old meeting-house 
was taken apart and removed to Weaver Street on the 
Quaker Ridge. 

Except for the attack upon the Rangers on Heathcote 
Hill, there are few Revolutionary incidents connected with 
the town. Undoubtedly, the loyalists among the inhabit- 
ants ran supplies into New York at every opportunity, 
and the patriots went out on their buccaneering whale- 
boat expeditions. On the eighth and ninth of July, 1778, 
Governor Tryon marched through the town with a body 
of troops in his advance upon Horseneck and in his return 
from that place. Simcoe, in command of the Queen's 

144 The ° ld Boston Post Road 

Rangers, led the advance and covered the retreat. What 
must have been the feelings of these troops as they passed 
Heathcote Hill, where they had been so roughly handled 
two years before ! 

As soon as we cross the bridge over the Mamaroneck 
River we are in the township of Rye, as formed in Novem- 
ber, 1788. From this point to the Byram River is a 
distance of six and a half miles. This western part of 
Rye was called by the Indians, Apawamis, and by the 
English, Rye, ' or Budd's, Neck, the latter after the first 
English purchaser from the natives. Peningoe Neck is 
farther east. We pass by the Catholic and Methodist 
churches and many fine suburban residences. One of 
these on our left is the house in which James Fenimore 
Cooper lived for some time and in which he wrote some 
of his earlier novels. Some distance beyond is an old 
building which was used at one time as a toll-house on the 
turnpike. We cross Stony Brook and are then on Budd's 
Neck proper. From here on, the road is lined with mag- 
nificent country estates and residences, which are still 
somewhat secluded, as the electric cars do not run upon 
this part of the Post Road. 

The fine and imposing mansion of the Jay family is on 
our right, with its tall white columns rising to the roof, 
against a light yellowish background. Here John Jay, 
the most eminent of all the inhabitants of the county of 
Westchester, spent his boyhood, his father having bought 
the property in 1745, the year of John's birth. The 
original mansion was a long, low building, but one room 
deep and eighty feet long, having attained this size by 
repeated additions to meet the wants of a numerous family. 

1 An enterprising grocer of the place has combined the two names, the 
Indian and the English, into one and dispenses Apawamis Rye by the bottle 
or gallon. 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 145 

It occupied approximately the site of the present building. 
The founder of the Jay family was a Huguenot who came 
to America after the revocation of the Edict of Nantes. 
His name was Augustus, and his son John married Eva, 
the daughter of Jacobus Van Cortlandt; and through 
her, his mother, the Hon. John Jay came into possession 
of the Bedford estates. The burial ground of the Jay 
family is to the southeast of the mansion. 

There is a succession of necks and coves along this whole 
Sound shore from Throgg's Neck to Byram River, from 
which, in Revolutionary days, the patriots used to issue 
in their whale-boats or galleys to annoy the vessels passing 
with supplies for the British in New York or to prey upon 
the loyalists of Long Island by sudden descents across the 
Sound. In colonial days, these coves and bays were con- 
venient for the contraband trade; and there was, as a 
matter of fact, a great deal of smuggling carried on. 

The Post Road leading through Rye was originally laid 
out as a country road in 1672, following generally the old 
Westchester Path, or Indian trail. Under the act of the 
province relating to highways, the Boston, or "Stanford" 
[Stamford] road was laid out in 1703. Following the con- 
struction of the Harlem Bridge in 1 798 by Coles, there was 
incorporated, in 1800, the Westchester Turnpike Company 
which reconstructed the Post Road of 1703, straightening 
it and generally improving it, while several important 
changes in direction were made. 

The first white owners of this section were the Dutch, 
who bought from the Indians in 1640, and who claimed 
even to the shores of Cape Cod. There were constant 
disputes between them and Connecticut over the bound- 
ary line, which, in 1650, became a line about four miles 
this side of Stamford. It was into this debatable land 
that there came, in 1660 and 1661, some men from Green- 


146 The Old Boston Post Road 

wich, who bought lands from the Indians, and who settled 
here on Manussing Island, probably in the fall of 1660. 
These men were Robert Blomer, Hackaliah Browne, and 
Thomas Merritt, who bought together, and John Budd 
of Southold, Long Island, who bought separately. They 
named the settlement Hastings, so it is probable that some 
one at least of the pioneers came from that town in Sussex, 
England. The first record of this settlement is a declara- 
tion of allegiance to Charles II. under date of July 26, 
1662, following the receipt of the news of his restoration 
to the throne. It reads : 

that inhabitants of Minnussing Island . . . therefore doe 
proclayme Charles the Second ovr lawful lord and king; and 
doe voluntaryly submit ovr selves and all ovr lands that we 
have bought of the English and Indians, under his gratious 
protection; and doe expect according to his gratious declara- 
tion; vnto all his subjects which we are and desier to be sub- 
ject to his holsom laws that are jvst and Righteous according to 
God and ovr capableness to receive, where vnto we doe sub- 
scribe. . . . We doe agree that for ovr land bought on the 
mayn land, called in the Indian Peningoe, and in English 
the Biaram land, lying between the aforesaid Biaram river and 
the Blind Brook, bounded east and west with those two rivers, 
and on the north with Westchester path, and on the south with 
the sea, for a plantation, and the name of the towne to be 
called Hastings. . . . And now, lastly, we have joyntly 
agreed that he that will subscribe to these orders, here is land 
for him, and he that doth refuse to subscribe hereunto, we 
have no land for him. 

These earliest settlers had fears, no doubt, of being 
interfered with by the Dutch, upon whose lands, under 
the boundary decision of 1650, they were certainly 
encroaching. They were evidently reproached with 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 147 

settling in a "no man's land," for they took occasion to 
declare "vnto all the tru[th] we came not hither to live 
without government as pre[tended]. " Under the Con- 
necticut charter, they were directed to send a delegate 
to the General Court at Hartford; and later, they peti- 
tioned for permission to elect a magistrate and a constable, 
which the Court granted. 1 

In 1664, the English took possession of the Dutch lands, 
and the Hastings men, having lost their fear of being 
interfered with, took up their homesteads on the main- 
land, until, in 1671, Manussing Island was deserted except 
for Philip Garvin and a few others, who petitioned the 
General Court to restrain the inhabitants from leaving, 
a request that was refused, with the further advice to the 
petitioners to migrate also. Two of the newcomers on 
the mainland were Thomas and Hackaliah Browne from 
Rye in England; and the new village, "within the bounds 
of Hastings," soon became known as Rye, probably in 
their honor. The village gradually spread from its position 
along Milton Street, until farms were taken up along the 
Westchester Path. In 1665, the Connecticut Legislature 
directed that the two villages of Hastings and Rye should 
in future be one plantation under the name of Rye, and 
to constitute a part of Fairfield County. 

In 1683, Governor Dongan of New York reopened the 
boundary question with Connecticut, with the result that 
the Byram River was declared the dividing line between 
the two colonies — this, of course, put Rye within the 
jurisdiction of the Duke of York. Notwithstanding this 
fact, in 1696-97, the inhabitants of Rye, in disgust at the 
action of the New York courts in giving an adverse de- 

'The reader is referred to my The Story of The Bronx for the evils that 
befel the Connecticut men who settled on Westchester Creek without 
the permission of the Dutch. 

148 The Old Boston Post Road 

cision to their claim to Harrison's Purchase, proclaimed 
themselves Connecticut men and renewed the application 
for a patent, a request they had been making since 1686. 
As a result, they obtained the "Rie Pattent," which con- 
firmed to them all the lands they had purchased from the 
Indians and others. Colonel Fletcher, the New York 
governor, made an appeal against this act of Connecticut 
to His Majesty in Council ; and, in 1 700, the King's order 
in Council placed Rye "forever thereafter to be and remain 
under the government of the Province of New York. " 

As early as 1667, there appears on the town records 
mention of a "trayn band," and in the following year 
Joseph Horton is mentioned as lieutenant of the same. 
In 1673, the Rye men did not give their allegiance to 
Governor Colve, like their neighbors to the west. In the 
different colonial wars, the town furnished men to repre- 
sent it among those sent against the French in Canada. 
In later days, the drill ground for the militia and the general 
meeting-place of the inhabitants was near the middle of the 
township, probably on the green at the junction of Pur- 
chase Street and the Post Road. 

During the Revolution, the first appearance of the 
British was in October, 1776, when the Queen's Rangers 
passed through the town after their engagement with 
Colonel Haslet at Heathcote Hill. Until 1777, the Ameri- 
cans maintained a brigade of militia near the line, the 
headquarters being at the eastern end of the town; after 
their withdrawal, Rye became a part of the Neutral 
Ground and did not go without suffering. In July, 1779, 
General Tryon, the last British Governor of New York, 
with a force of two thousand men, marched through the 
town for the purpose of destroying the salt-works of the 
Americans at Greenwich. He met with some opposition; 
but the Americans fled across the Byram River, removing 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 149 

the planks from the bridge. Tryon crossed, however, and 
succeeded in his raid; but on his return he was much 
harassed by Colonel Aaron Burr, who gathered what force 
he could and annoyed the enemy so much that they had to 
relinquish most of their cattle and other plunder. 

The inhabitants, being Connecticut men, were Congrega- 
tionalists ; but it seems that at first they had considerable 
difficulty in getting preachers, The first meeting-house 
was erected on the Post Road in 1729, not far from 
the site of the present Presbyterian Church. New York 
declared the Church of England to be the Established 
Church of the Province in 1693; and in 1697 the county 
of Westchester was divided into two parishes, Westchester 
and Rye. This latter included Rye, Mamaroneck, and 
Bedford, to which were subsequently added Scarsdale, 
North Castle, White Plains, and Harrison. The first 
rector was Thomas Pritchard, who was inducted in 1702; 
and the first services were held in the town-hall. The 
inhabitants objected to being taxed for the support of the 
church, and they also showed considerable opposition to 
what many of them considered idolatrous forms of worship. 
By 1708, a stone edifice had been completed by the sub- 
scriptions of the inhabitants ; it was destroyed during the 
Revolution. From 1729, it was known as Grace Church, 
but it was not chartered as such until 1764. The parish 
was re-incorporated in 1796, under the laws of the State, 
as Christ's Church, Rye; but the ancient name is still 
kept in Grace Chapel in Milton and in Gracechurch Street. 

Under the laws of Massachusetts and Connecticut, 
provision was made for the maintenance of a school and 
schoolmaster whenever the population numbered fifty 
families; but Rye was so short a time under Connecticut 
authority that action was probably not taken, as we see 
"his mark" so frequently on all the ancient deeds and 

150 The Old Boston Post Road 

other legal papers that we must conclude the Rye men were 
an illiterate lot. When Rye became a part of New York, 
there was still less inclination to establish schools, as 
education was entirely a private matter or one under cog- 
nizance of the Church. Still, in 1706, a schoolmaster was 
sent by the Propagation Society, through the efforts of 
Colonel Heathcote, and in 171 1 a school-house was estab- 
lished near the Episcopal Church. In 1739, there was a 
school-house on the west side of the Post Road, west of 
the Jay mansion. In 1812, the State took charge of 
public instruction, and, two years later, Rye was divided 
into three school districts. 
y At the junction of the Post Road and Purchase Street, 
there stands one of the old inns which almost lined the 
Post Road throughout its course. It has been called at 
different times the "Square House," " Penfield's, " and 
"Haviland's Inn"; and it is at present labelled with the 
sign: "Village of Rye, Municipal Hall." The old house 
was a tavern as early as 1731, when it was kept by one 
Peter Brown. Later, it came into the possession^of 
Rector James Wetmore and his son Timothy until 1763. 
Seven years later, it became "Haviland's Inn," under the 
management of Dr. Ebenezer Haviland, who was a surgeon 
in the Continental army, and who was killed during the 
war. His widow, Dame Tamar Haviland, continued it 
as an inn after the war ; and it was in this house that the 
Episcopalian parish of Rye was re-organized in May, 1796. 
John Adams stopped here on his way to attend the Con- 
tinental Congress of 1774, and wrote in regard to Rye: 
"They have a school for writing and cyphering, but no 
J grammar school." After Washington's inauguration as 
President in I789,he made a trip through the New England 
States ; and on the way from and to New York stopped at 
Haviland's. From his diary, we quote: 

"Havilands" Tavern, The Old Square House, now the Town-hall, Rye. 

W. P. Watson's Hotel and Residence. 

Byram Bridge. 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 151 

Thursday, October 15, 1789 — After dinner, through frequent "^ 
light showers, we proceeded to a tavern kept by a Mrs. Havi- 
land, at Rye, who keeps a very neat and decent inn. The 
Road for the greater part, indeed the whole way was very rough 
and stoney. . The distance of this day's travel was 

31 miles, in which we passed through (after leaving the Bridge) 
East Chester, New Rochelle and Mamaroneck; but as these 
places (though they have houses of worship in them) are not 
regularly laid out, they are scarcely to be distinguished from 
the intermediate farms, which are very close together. 

On the twelfth of November, on his way back, he again 
stopped at the Widow Haviland's, "on account of lame 
horses, " he wrote in his diary. The widow was succeeded 
by Peter Quintard, whose name is given in the houses 
of entertainment in the almanac lists, who was landlord in 
1797. The next landlord was Peter Marrener, and in 
1801 the inn passed into the hands of Nathaniel Penfield, 
a man of courtly manners and unblemished character. 
After his death, in 18 10, the house was kept for several 
years by his son, Henry L. Penfield. It was the stopping 
place of the Boston stages. y 

In 1824, while Lafayette was on his way from New York " 
to Boston, he stopped here over night, occupying the 
same room that had been previously occupied by his 
beloved and illustrious commander. In 1903, the owner 
of the place, a local builder, was going to demolish the 
house; but three patriotic gentlemen of Rye bought it, 
with the intention of converting it into a museum of 
colonial and other historic relics. 

The eastern part of the township of Rye is the village of / 
Port Chester, which, previous to 1837, was called the Saw * 
Pit, because in very early times there was a saw-mill and 
boat-building shop on the Byram River near its mouth. 
The first use of the name "Saw Pitt landing" occurs in 

152 The Old Boston Post Road 

1732, and in 1741 "some small lots lately laid out in the 
Saw Pits, so-called," were divided up among the pro- 
prietors of Peningoe Neck. There was no settlement here 
to speak of until after the building of the railroad. In 
the beginning of the nineteenth century there were not 
more than a score of houses. In 1739, a ferry was estab- 
l/lished from Rye Port, as the place was called, to Oyster 
Bay, Long Island. The toll-rates are very thorough, but 
are too long to give here, even extending to empty barrels, 
frying- and warming-pans, flitches or gammons of bacon, 
pieces of smoked beef, and looking-glasses of one foot. 

Besides the railroad bridge, there are two other bridges 
crossing the Byram River into the State of Connecticut. 
In the settlement of the boundary line between the two 
colonies, there are constant references to the " Great Stone 
at the Wading-place. " This was a great boulder on the 
Connecticut side, about where the Indian trail forded 
the stream. Another ford was a little farther down the 
stream, where the railroad bridge crosses; this was called 
"the lower going over," contracted into "log all over." 

There is little of Revolutionary history in connection 
with the village. For several years in the earlier part of 
the war, a brigade of militia, usually from Connecticut, 
was quartered in this section, with headquarters of the 
commander at the Saw Pits. Upon Tryon's approach, 
on July 8, 1777, the militia retreated across Byram bridge 
and removed the planks, also making some slight and 
ineffective resistance. The community was abdut equally 
divided between patriot and Tory; in fact, the small popu- 
lation may be said to have been "trimmers." During 
^the war a trade was kept up with New York, though, like 
Rye, the American whale-boatmen helped to make things 
uncomfortable for passing vessels and for the Long Island 

Mainland to Connecticut Boundary 153 

In the early days, after the war, there was an important 
sloop trade with New York, and, later, several steamboats 
made regular trips until between 1850 and i860. The 
trade in earlier days consisted of fish, oysters, and clams, 
as well as farm products from the surrounding country; 
but for many years the freight leaving Port Chester has 
been varied, as there is such a diversity of manufactures 
in the place. 



Land of the forest and the rock — 

Of dark blue lake and mighty river — 
Of mountains rear'd aloft to mock ' 

The storm's career, the lightning's shock: 
My own green land forever. 

Oh ! never may a son of thine, 
Where'er his wandering steps incline, 
Forget the sky which bent above 
His childhood like a dream of love — 

Or hear, unmoved, the taunt of scorn 
Breathed o'er the brave New England born. 


WITH the crossing of the Byram River, we are 
in New England. Before following our route 
through its vales and hills, a few general re- 
marks may not be out of place. Every town and village 
has its soldiers' monument; and, unless they are different 
from the usual conventional affair of the kind, no mention 
will be made of them. The same is true of public libraries, 
generally beautiful and convenient buildings of stone or 
brick, erected as memorials, or simply as gifts to the towns 
by some son or daughter who wishes in this way to show 


Fairfield County, Connecticut 135 

the pride he or she feels in the place of his or her birth. 
Occasionally, as at Springfield, the name of Mr. Carnegie 
appears. The same rule will hold in regard to the support 
of the Revolution and of the Civil War, for every town and 
hamlet did its share in each. Another thing to which the 
stranger in New England should have his attention called 
is the town, or township, as the basis of the civil life of 
the colony, province, or State. Thomas Anburey, one of 
Burgoyne's captured officers, says: 

Most of the places you pafs through in Connecticut are 
called townfhips which are not regular towns as in England, 
but a number of houf es dif persed over a large tract of ground, 
belonging to one corporation, that fends members to the 
General Assembly of the States. About the centre of thefe 
townfhips ftands the meeting-houfe or church, with a few 
f unrounding houfes; fometimes the church ftands singly. It 
is no little mortification, when fatigued, after a long day's 
journey, on enquiring how far it is to fuch a town, to be in- 
formed you are there at present; but on enquiring for the 
church, or any particular tavern, you are informed it is seven 
or eight miles further. 

In the course of many generations, the route of the old 
road has changed so much and so often that no attempt 
will be made to identify it with modern streets or highways. 
Speaking generally, we may say that it began as an Indian 
trail, then it became a trodden path of the whites, and then 
a cart road. As the Indian went around obstacles, we 
may presume that the road was fairly level. Then fol- 
lowed the county roads, which became more irregular as 
the country became more settled up, and villages and 
hamlets began to appear. The turnpike came in after 
1800; and, from what I have seen of them, I believe that 
most of the engineers who laid them out worked on the 

156 The Old Boston Post Road 

principal that "a straight line is the shortest distance 
between two points"; for hills and valleys seem to have 
no terrors for the turnpike. I have heard the reason given 
on several occasions and in several states that the turn- 
pikes went to the top of the hills in order that the traveller 
could see into the valley ahead of him and see if there 
were evidences of lurking Indians. This is plausible, but 
it is an explanation that does not explain; for the fact is 
that after 1800, when the turnpikes were built, there 
were no unfriendly Indians in this part of the country. 
Last of all, comes the state road, a product of the last 
twenty years, which has been built by practical engineers 
and not by rural roadmasters. Yet, even here, the question 
is whether it will endure. There is no great depth to it, 
and the automobiles are tearing its surface to pieces. I 
believe that the state roads are so near to the course of the 
pre-Revolutionary post road that we can follow them and 
not be far off the track. 


'T is a rough land of earth, and stone and tree, 

Where breathes no castled lord or cabined slave; 

Where thoughts, and tongues, and hands are bold and free, 

And friends will find a welcome, foes a grave; 

And where none kneel, save when to Heaven they pray, 

Nor even then, unless in their own way. 

Fitz-Greene Halleck. 

The eastern boundary of the State of New York is the 
Byram River. Its adoption was the final decision of the 
almost interminable disputes between the two colonies 
and states. All of this section was thickly settled by the 
Siwanoy Indians, whose great chief was Ponus. He held 
sway from Peningoe (Rye) to the eastward of Stamford; 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 157 

and his name and those of his sons and brother appear in 
the earliest deeds given to the whites. After the Indian 
power was broken, a remnant of the tribe had a small 
village, called Huseco, on the east side of the river, which 
was then known as the Armonk. Here, so it is stated, 
these few Indians were accustomed to buy rum from the 
whites with pelts and other commodities, so that their 
village was called "Buy-rum," which, in the course of 
time became Byram. Upon crossing the bridge, we are in 
the township of Greenwich, this part of it being called 
East Port Chester, whose inhabitants are nearly all engaged 
in the mills and factories across the river in New York. 
The new state road and the old turnpike are still used in 
entering the village of Greenwich, though the latter is not 
kept up. 
In October, 1792, it was 

Resolved by the Assembly, That there may be erected and 
established ... on such place on the main County or stage 
road in the town of Greenwich . a gate or turnpike for 

the purpose of collecting a toll from persons travelling the said 

In consequence of the gate, the hill which the road 
ascends after crossing the river is known as Toll-gate Hill. 

In the summer of 1640, Captain Daniel Patrick and 
Robert Feaks, accompanied by several Dutch and English 
companions, landed at Greenwich Point. They found on 
the east side of the Mianus River, on a tract later called 
Strickland's Plain, a permanent, stockaded village of the 
Siwanoys, a village with one hundred houses within the 
palisades, and several more scattered without. This 
village was called Petuquapaen, and its population has 
been estimated at from three hundred to five hundred. 
After the Indian wars of Kieft's administration in New 

158 The Old Boston Post Road 

Netherland, many of the Weckquaesgeek and other Mohi- 
can Indians came here to escape the wrath of the Dutch, 
so that the population of the village became upwards 
of one thousand. This was exceptionally large for an 
Indian settlement. 

Patrick and Feaks were from Watertown, Massachu- 
setts, but they came here under authority of the New 
Haven Colony. On July 18, 1640, they bought from the 
Indians the land between the Asamuck and Potommuck 
rivers, and began a settlement on the east side of the 
Mianus River. This settlement they called Greenwich, 
after the town of that name in England. Patriek was a 
military adventurer who had been second in command 
during the, Pequot War. During the first year of the 
settlement, there came a still more redoubtable adven- 
turer, Captain John Underhill, of whom Whittier says: 

With Vane the younger, in counsel sweet 
He had sat at Anna Hutchinson's feet, 
And when the bolt of banishment fell 
On the head of his saintly oracle 
He shook from his feet as he rode away 
The dust of Massachusetts Bay. 

Patrick and his companions were not in accord with the 
Puritanical practices of the New Haven Colony, and so 
they readily admitted the Dutch claim to the land oc- 
cupied by them, signing an agreement with the Dutch and 
giving their allegiance to New Netherland on April 9, 1642. 
Their Indian neighbors were also alarming in their actions, 
and the settlers wanted the Dutch protection. At the 
same time, Greenwich was made a patroonship. 

In the Indian wars of Kieft's time, all the settlements 
along the Sound were disturbed and raided; and several 
English, of whom there were very few, as well as a number 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 159 

of Dutch, were killed. There is a legend that one of these 
settlers named Laddin was pursued by several Indians 
who were gradually overtaking him, though he was on 
horseback. He rode through the woods to a precipitous 
rock, and, preferring instant death to the prospects of 
Indian torture, made his horse leap into space. So close 
to him were his pursuers that their impetus carried them 
over the precipice, and pursued and pursuers went crashing 
together to the bottom, where all were killed. The preci- 
pice — a picturesque and awe-inspiring one — is there, and 
Laddin's Farm is a sort of park, whose owner keeps it in 
fine shape and admits the public to view its beauties. 

The Indians finally became so troublesome that, in 
January, 1644, a force of Dutch soldiers came from New 
Amsterdam for the purpose of punishing them. The 
Dutch commander was advised by Patrick, but he was too 
anxious to take by surprise the Indians at Petuquapaen, 
and so pushed into the woods with his tired men. They 
did not find the Indian village and became almost lost, 
finally extricating themselves, however, and encamping 
near Underbill's house. Here the disappointed and 
wrathy Dutch captain met Captain Patrick and accused 
him of intentionally misleading and misdirecting the 
Dutch. Patrick denied this, and the Dutchman called 
him a liar; whereupon the Celtic blood rose up and 
Patrick spat into the Dutchman's face and turned to walk 
away. The Dutch captain drew his pistol and shot 
Patrick through the head, and the expedition returned to 
New Amsterdam, where the captain was afterwards court- 
martialled for the murder; but nothing was done. 

Captain Underhill then went to New Amsterdam and 
offered his services to Kieft, having two objects in view; 
first, to protect his home and family at Greenwich, and, 
secondly, to show the Dutch that he had had nothing to 

160 The Old Boston Post Road 

do with the failure and disgrace of their expedition. He 
was given command of the company, and first defeated the 
Indians on Long Island. In February, 1644, m command 
of one hundred and thirty men, he landed at Greenwich 
Point with the intention of taking the Indian village by 
su prise. He was delayed, however, by a heavy snow- 
storm and did not arrive at Petuquapaen until eight 
o'clock the next morning. 

The Siwanoys had knowledge of Underbill's advance, 
and sent their old men, women, and children to a place 
farther inland. They then took position about a mile 
from their village and disputed Underbill's advance. The 
battle raged for several hours; but the arrow and the 
tomahawk were no match for gunpowder and the bullet, 
and the savages were forced to retire to their village, leav- 
ing about one hundred slain. They took refuge within 
their stockade and prepared to make a vigorous resistance. 
Underhill divided his party and attacked the fort so as 
to surround it; and soon the battle was on again. Re- 
membering the tactics followed at the Pequot fort, Under- 
hill shouted: "Burn 'em out!" The dry wood and bark 
of which the native huts were built readily lent themselves 
to the fire ; and the occupants had no choice between the 
fire in their rear and the bullets in their front. Their 
village was entirely destroyed ; and when the battle was 
over, between six hundred and one thousand — there are 
various estimates — Siwanoy braves lay dead. The victors 
slept upon the field, and the next day, heaped the dead 
bodies of the Indians together, covering them with the 
debris and rubbish of their destroyed village. These 
mounds were visible for many years, and from them have 
been taken many Indian relics in the way of arrows, 
tomahawks, javelins, etc. The place at Coscob, — which 
received its name from Chief Coscob, — is still called the 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 161 

Indian burying-ground. By this victory of Underbill's, 
the Indian power was completely broken; as only eight 
of the defenders escaped and twelve were taken prisoners 
at the first engagement. These twelve were sold into 

And the heart of Boston was glad to hear 
How he harried the foe on the long frontier, 
And heaped on the land against him barred 
The coals of his generous watch and ward. 
Frailest and bravest! the Bay State still 
Counts with her worthies John Underhill. 


Underhill returned to Greenwich and married Elizabeth, 
the widow of Robert Feaks, this being the second marriage 
of both. He removed to Flushing, Long Island, and 
later to Killingworth, Connecticut, where he died in 1672. 

The new settlement had boundary disputes with Stam- 
ford and with New Netherland; and these were settled 
by making the Potommuck, between Stamford and 
Greenwich, the eastern bounds of the latter, so that the 
stream thus became the western boundary of the New 
Haven Colony, which, however, still claimed jurisdiction 
over Greenwich; the inhabitants, especially Richard Cort, 
declared the General Court had no right to interfere, and 
they threatened resistance. This was in 1656; and the 
General Court followed the matter up by threatening 
punishment and by sending commissioners to Greenwich 
with warrants for the arrest of Cort and other recalcitrant 
inhabitants ; whereupon they all calmly submitted. 

The chief cause of the action of the General Court was 
that, in 1655, the people of Stamford had complained that 
Greenwich was too free and easy in its laws and manners, 
permitting itself to be a sort of Gretna Green for eloping 

162 The Old Boston Post Road 

couples, a refuge for fugitive children, slaves, and inden- 
tured servants, and also that drunkenness went unchecked 
among English, Dutch, and Indians. In the papers 
exchanged between Stuyvesant and the New Haven 
Colony, these matters appear, and an agreement was 
reached in regard to the mutual surrender of runaway 
slaves and servants, the Dutch surrendering their authority 
over Greenwich, which became part of the town of Stam- 
ford. In 1664, Colonel Nicolls settled the boundary line 
at the Mamaroneck River, and this put Rye and Green- 
wich within the Connecticut bounds. The latter has been 
under Connecticut jurisdiction ever since, and it became 
a separate town in 1665. 

After 1656, when New Haven exercised its control, many 
new settlers came in. Among these was John Mead of 
Hempstead, Long Island, who purchased a tract of land 
from Richard Cort, "Anno 1660, October 26 Daye." He 
had two sons, John and Joseph, the latter of whom died 
young. From the elder are descended all the Meads — and 
their name is legion — now living in Greenwich. 

In 1666, a schoolhouse was established ; but later, Daniel 
Patrick, the son of the original patroon and described as 
being of the same adventurous character, put in an 
appearance and claimed the property. He was bought 
off with a horse, a saddle, a bridle, and fifty pounds. 

In 1672, a number of settlers, who are known in the 
town's history as the "Twenty-seven Proprietors, " bought 
a tract of land on the western side of the Mianus, and 
began a settlement, of which they kept their own records 
and which they had under their own control. The 
Indian name of this section was Miossehosseky ; but, ow- 
ing to the fact that Field Point, a high peninsula on the 
west side of Greenwich harbor, was used as a pasture for 
horses, the new settlement became known as Horseneck, 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 163 

a name that it bore through colonial days and through 
those of the stage coach. It is now the borough town 
of Greenwich. 

The first Congregational Church was erected in 1666 at 
the old settlement at Greenwich Cove, or Sound Beach; 
and, in 1678, the Reverend Jeremiah Peck, one of the 
Twenty-seven Proprietors, became the first minister, his 
salary being "fifty pounds with firewood, or sixty pounds 
without. " On March 5, 1705, the two sides of the Mianus 
separated into two societies; and, in 17 13, a site was 
selected at Horseneck for a church edifice near the present 
one. In December, 1 7 1 6, there is a record of a town meet- 
ing being held in the new church edifice. The position of 
the present building on the Post Road, or Putnam Avenue, 
is a commanding one, and its steeple is so high that it 
dominates the view for miles around in every direction. 

In 1704, by the influence of Colonel Heathcote, the 
Reverend George Muirson was appointed rector of the 
Established Church at Rye. He opened missions at 
Stamford and at Horseneck, but there was no church 
building at this latter place until 1747. The present 
Christ Church with its beautiful stone parsonage and 
parish-house on the top of Putnam Hill is the lineal de- 
scendant of and occupies the same site as the original 

The Westchester Path is mentioned in a deed about 
1681. In 1685, a sawmill and a grist-mill were erected at 
Dumpling Pond, which received its name in accordance 
with the following legend: When the British raided the 
town in 1779, some of the soldiers found the miller's wife 
making dumplings, whereupon they said they would have 
some. She replied that they were not yet properly 
cooked, and they sat down to wait. Rather than let 
them have any, she took advantage of their inattention 

1 64 The Old Boston Post Road 

and threw the dumplings out of the window into the mill- 
pond, which, in consequence, has been ever since called 
"Dumpling Pond." 

In 1703, the town meetings began to be held in Horse- 
neck instead of in Greenwich old town; and, by 1715, the 
later settlement was becoming larger than the older one. 
At the beginning of the French and Indian War, several 
young men were seized by press-gangs for service; but, 
later, a volunteer company was formed which joined the 
Third Connecticut Regiment at Ticonderoga. Until 
1760, town meetings were held in the meeting-houses; but, 
in that year, the town agreed to build a town hall. 

The pre-Revolutionary action of the town was patriotic. 
In November, 1775, Captain Isaac ("King") Sears, one 
of the leaders of the Sons of Liberty in New York, raised 
a company of volunteers in Greenwich for the purpose of 
regulating the loyalists of Westchester County, seizing 
some of their leaders, and destroying the office and type 
of Rivington's Royal Gazetteer. In all of these, the raiders 
were successful, and they brought back to Greenwich as 
prisoners Mayor Lathrop and Rector Seabury of West- 
chester and Judge Jonathan Fowler of Eastchester,- "all 
of whom were kept at Greenwich for several months before 
being released. 

A number of the lawless inhabitants of the town, under 
the cloak of patriotism, took advantage of the unsettled 
condition of affairs in the adjoining Province of New York, 
and made raids on their own account through the Neutral 
Ground of Westchester County. Ostensibly they werefight- 
ing for the patriot cause, and they found refuge within the 
American lines ; but when the opportunity came for helping 
themselves, they Were equally impartial to both Tory and 
Whig. These bushwhacking gentry were called Skinners. 1 

1 See Cooper's novel, The Spy, a Tale of the Neutral Ground. 

The Putnam Cottage. At the Time of the Revolution, this was Captain 
John Hobby's House, Greenwich. 

The Residence of Mr. Weed, formerly the Weed Tavern, Greenwich. 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 165 

As Greenwich was on the border line, a body of troops 
was kept at Horseneck throughout the war, with pickets 
and outposts extending as far down toward New York 
as circumstances would allow. Sometimes, headquarters 
were at Stamford, and sometimes, in Horseneck. 

The principal event in the history of Greenwich is the 
raid made by Governor Tryon of New York in 1779; but 
there is so much romance and so many versions of the tale 
and the escape of General Putnam that it is difficult to 
arrive at the truth. The descendants of the Revolution- 
ary inhabitants do not, in general, have that idea of 
Putnam's heroic conduct that is most commonly enter- 
tained by those who live at a distance, or who have come 
here later, and have seized upon the incident and glorified it. 
The incident as here described is based upon the account 
given in Spencer P. Mead's recent history of the town. 

General Israel Putnam was in command of the district, 
with headquarters at the house of Captain John Hobby, 
who lived on the Post Road about opposite the present 
Sherwood Place. His house was a favorite stopping-place 
for the patriots. One story of the affair states that on the 
night of the raid, the general was away at a dance on King 
Street over the Byram, his companion being a Miss Bush 
of Coscob, who rode behind him on a pillion. After seeing 
her home, he stopped at the Knapp Tavern on the Post 
Road, and discovered the approach of the enemy while 
shaving, but this last is probably apochryphal. 

On February 25, 1779, a small force under command of 
Captain Titus Watson was reconnoitering in Westchester 
County, almost to New Rochelle. Between eight and 
nine o'clock in the evening, they came in touch with Sim- 
coe's Rangers, who were in the advance of Tryon's body 
of over two thousand troops. Watson was attacked and 
driven back from the Post Road after a number of his 

166 The Old Boston Post Road 

command had been killed. The remnant succeeded in 
crossing Byram Bridge, the planks of which they removed 
in order to delay the enemy. They were hotly pursued 
and fled through the pickets, giving the alarm. A body 
of troops gathered near the meeting-house in the early 
morning, and Putnam took command. Upon the approach 
of the British, a few shots were fired from some old field- 
pieces that were mounted there, and also from their 
muskets; but Putnam, seeing the overwhelming numbers 
of the British, and not wishing to have his small command 
cut off, gave the order for them to disperse, while he, him- 
self, started to ride toward Stamford to get reinforcements. 
When the enemy reached, the house of Captain Hobby, 
they recognized the fleeing mounted officer and at once 
gave chase. 

The hill near the Episcopal Church presents an entirely 
different appearance now from what it did then, as it 
has been greatly cut down and the road continued in its 
previous easterly course. At that time, before reaching 
the brink of the precipice, the road turned sharply to the 
north for about thirty yards, and then turned south along 
the face of the hill and joined the road below. Instead of 
following the road, Putnam was so closely pressed that he 
rode directly down the rocky steep, probably almost in the 
line of the present road, and made what one orator has 
called "his leap into fame. " The enemy had ridden far, 
their horses were tired, and probably the rugged descent 
frightened them, so they paused on the brink and fired 
guns and pistols at the fleeing Putnam. One shot passed 
through his hat, and he turned, shook his fist at them and 
shouted his favorite oath: "God cuss ye, I '11 hang ye to 
the next tree when I catch ye. " 

For the convenience of those coming to the church from 
the east, there was a flight of seventy-four stone steps 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 167 

leading up the face of the hill, but some distance to the 
south of the roadway. Romance pictures Israel dashing 
down these steps, and they have been made much of. 
They were removed before the Civil War. The brink 
of the hill to the north of the road has been made into a 
small public park, and there is a memorial boulder here. In 
1902, the town cut several stone steps from the road up to 
the little park ; but these are apt to be very misleading, as 
the original steps were some distance south of the roadway. 

The enemy spread themselves over the village and 
pillaged every house, while some went to Coscob and 
destroyed the salt works there, this being the principal 
object of the raid. The hard cider and the rum that were 
found in the houses and taverns made the soldiers drunk, 
and several of them were captured by inhabitants who 
prowled on the outskirts of the town. The Tories were 
not molested. Meanwhile, Putnam had gathered several 
hundred militia at Stamford, and came back to Greenwich, 
whence the enemy soon began their return march. Ham- 
pered by cattle and by the loot of the pillaged houses, as 
well as by the strong drink, their progress was so slow that 
Putnam was able to come up with them, and his militia 
were able to capture a number of stragglers; so that the 
retreat became a rout. 

After the raid, the town was in control of the Tories 
for a long time; but it became neutral ground and was 
plundered by both sides and by the Skinners. Ninety- 
two of the Tories joined the ranks of the enemy and took 
an active part in the warfare. The town became so poor 
that everything belonging to it was sold, and Colonel 
Mead bought the town house for seven pounds, lawful 
money, or eighty-four pounds Continental. Thepatriotsof 
the town during the war sent out their whaleboats to molest 
the Tories of Long Island and to stop passing vessels. 

168 The Old Boston Post Road 

In the War of 1812, the militia gathered on the shore at 
the approach of the British vessels ; but, like their brothers 
of New Rochelle, they gave proof that they were not 
filled with the warlike spirit which had filled the men of '76. 
In 1824, Lafayette passed through Greenwich on his way 
to Boston. When he arrived at Putnam's Hill, instead of 
riding down in his carriage, he alighted and walked down 
the stone steps which were used by the church people. 
At the same time, a salute of twenty-four guns was fired 
in his honor, one of the first of the many honors paid to 
him in New England. 

Opposite the Episcopal Church stands an old house which 
dates back to colonial days. In 1754, it was conducted 
as a tavern by Captain Israel Knapp, and it was still 
known as Knapp's in 1790. In 1906, the Putnam House 
Association, an offshoot of the Putnam Hill Chapter, 
Daughters of the American Revolution, dedicated it as 
the Putnam Cottage for a museum of colonial and Revolu- 
tionary relics. It is extremely doubtful, however, whether 
Putnam ever had anything to do with the place, except to 
get a drink there. 

In leaving Greenwich for Stamford in the olden days, 
the stage coach would have taken us out by way of Dump- 
ling Pond. The trolley car of to-day will take us more 
direct, as the various inlets from the Sound have been 
bridged, and distance has thus been saved. The entrance 
into Stamford would have been the same, and we would 
have found the road lined with beautiful shade trees, as 
it is to-day. 

We are within territory which was not in dispute 
between the two colonies, but which has always been under 
its present jurisdiction. Therefore, it may be well at 
this point to explain briefly that there were in early days 
two distinct and separate jurisdictions; that of the colony 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 169 

of New Haven, and that of the colony of Connecticut, and 
that each colony had its own legislature, or general court, 
until 1662, when, by the charter given by Charles II., 
New Haven found itself, much to its surprise and without 
its consent, annexed to the Connecticut Colony. This 
latter was composed of the towns of Hartford, Windsor, 
and Wethersfield. This ancient dual jurisdiction is shown 
in the fact that the State of Connecticut formerly had 
two capitals, New Haven and Hartford, at each of which 
the legislature met alternately. This awkward and cum- 
bersome relic of colonial days was abolished in 1873, when 
Hartford became the sole capital. 

Early in 1640, Captain Nathaniel Turner bought for the 
New Haven Colony the tract of land upon which Stamford 
is situated. The Indian deed is dated July first, and it bears 
the names of Ponus, his son Owenoke, and his brother 
Wescussee. Other Indian deeds were given in 1645; 
signed by Pianicke; in 1655, signed by Ponus and Onax, 
his eldest son; on January 7, 1667, signed by Taphance 
and Penahay; and in 1700, when a final deed confirming 
all previous grants was made. The patent for the town 
was granted by the General Court May 26, 1685. 

Stamford was an offshoot of the Wethersfield Colony, 
and was at first known as the Wethersfield Men's Planta- 
tion, as well as by its Indian name of Rippowams. It was 
called Stamford after the English town of the same name. 
By the end of the year 1641, there were some thirty or 
forty people settled here; and, in 1642, Captain John 
Underhill was granted a house lot of eight acres. Though 
its settlers came from the Connecticut Colony, they were 
under the jurisdiction of New Haven. There were dif- 
ferences between the settlers and New Haven in 1644 and 
again in 1653, when a number left Stamford and moved 
to Long Island under the Dutch. 

170 The Old Boston Post Road 

In studying the early history of all these New England 
towns, we find that the town records and the church 
records are invariably the same, as the civil government 
and the ecclesiastical establishment were based upon the 
same foundation, the Bible. The government was theo- 
cratic, and Church and State were, if not synonymous 
terms, at least interchangeable ones. In all new plantations, 
the grantees of lands or privileges to settle were bound to 
establish a minister as soon as there were a certain number 
— usually twenty — of families. It was also customary in 
any place having a church to select seven of the leading 
men, who were said to constitute the church and to be its 
pillars. Thus, of the seven members of the Wethersfield 
church, four of them accompanied the pioneers to Stam- 
ford, one of whom, the Reverend Richard Denton, became 
pastor of the Stamford church in 1641. The church was 
in all cases the Orthodox, or Congregational ; though the 
historian of the Stamford church calls it the "First Church 
of Christ." 

The people of Greenwich attended and supported the 
Stamford church until 1678. A new meeting-house had 
been erected six years earlier, and as there were many 
differences of opinion concerning the size and shape of the 
new edifice, the matter was decided by lot. 

One of the earliest laws of New Haven required that 
provision must be made for the education and instruction 
of the children by the erection of a schoolhouse and the 
employment of a schoolmaster. A town failing in this 
respect was subject to severe penalties, but the requirement 
did not extend to the instruction of girls, even at the time 
of the Revolution. Accordingly, we find in the town 
records of December 24, 1670: "ye towne hath agreede to 
hier Mr. Bellemy for a schoole master for this yeare." 
The first school building stood on the corner of Atlantic 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 171 

and Bank streets and was made of the wood of the old 

In 1657 and 1658, the town issued an order against "the 
cursed sect of heretics lately risen in the world which are 
commonly called quakers." During Davenport's minis- 
try, two Quakers, Roger Gill and Thomas Story, 

Came yt Evneing to a town Caled Stamford in Conacktecok 
Colny — it being a prety large bvt dark town ; not a frind living 
in all yt provence; — they being all Rigid prespetrions or inde- 
pendents . . . so we went to an Inn. I asked ye woman of 
ye hows if yt she woold be willing to sufer a meeting to be in 
her hows. She said yes, she would not deny no sivel Compnay 
from coming to her hows . . and therfor I sent those 
frinds yt war with us to go and invite ye peopel to come to our 
inn, for we ware of those people Caled qoekers, and we had 
somthing to say to them. 

They started their meeting, but the authorities got 
wind of it and broke it up; and the next day, the two 
Friends went on to Fairfield and Stratford, where their 
experiences were presumably similar. 

In 1675 and 1676, during King Philip's War, the settlers 
were much alarmed at the news that came to them, and 
fear and mistrust of even friendly Indians were prevailing 
sentiments in all places that were open to attack. Stam- 
ford made ready by stockading the town, storing food, and 
otherwise preparing for an attack; but the towns-people 
had no occasion to flee behind the palisades, and with the 
death of Philip, the war collapsed. In 1695, the wood of 
the stockade was sold. 

The differences in the customs laws of adjacent colonies 
were so many inducements to the avaricious to evade 
them. For the same reason that Richbell selected Ma- 
maroneck for a plantation, Major Selleck selected Stam- 
ford. Under date of 1700, we find Lord Bellomont, 

172 The Old Boston Post Road 

Governor of New York, informing the Lords of Trade 
of the illegal traffic of the major, 

who has a ware house close to the sea. . . . That man 
does us great mischief ... for he receives abundance of 
goods from our vessels and the merchants afterward take 
their opportunity of running them into this town. Major 
Selleck received at least £10,000 worth of treasure and East 
India goods brought by one Clark of this town, from Kid's 
sloop and lodged with Selleck. 1 

In a letter dated March 15, 1727/28, the Reverend 
Henry Caner writes to the Propagation Society in London 
that he had preached several times in Stamford during the 
preceding winter, in which place there are from seven to 
fifteen families professing the Church of England. In 
1728, he asks to be appointed a missionary preacher for 
the towns and villages between Fairfield and Byram River. 
Ten years later, the Episcopalians of Stamford petitioned 
to be exempted from paying taxes for the support of the 
Congregational Church. This could have been only on 
the' plea that they were to use the money for the support 
of their own church and minister. 

In 1757, during the French and Indian War, it was 
voted that if the "Lord of London [Lord Loudon] shall 
send regulars into this town, the town will bear the charge 
of accommodating them with what shall be necessary for 
them." There are entries on the town records to show 
that from November 30, 1757, to March 30, 1758, the town 
paid £369 135 \yid for furnishing bed, board, light, and 
fuel to two hundred and fifty officers and men of the 42d 
Highlanders (the Black Watch) and to seventeen women 
and nine children who were with them in their cantonment. 
The presence of these troops probably had its effect upon 

1 Captain William Kidd, the pirate. 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 173 

the town, for we find a number of inhabitants volunteered 
for service in Canada. 

In the Revolution, the sentiment of the people was by 
no means unanimous; for at least one fourth of the inhab- 
itants were active loyalists who took up arms for the king or 
who had letters of protection on account of their allegiance. 

In 1829, Stamford had between three thousand and four 
thousand inhabitants; and the same year, the Stamford 
Advocate was started. Steamboats had already begun to 
supplant the stage coaches ; and to go to New York, stage 
was taken to the Sawpits (Port Chester) , where the passen- 
ger went on board the steamboat for the rest of his journey. 
In 1830, Stamford was incorporated as a borough, and, 
in 1879, it became a city. Its beautiful city hall, erected 
in 1905, faces the open space in the centre of the town where 
there is a small park. 

It was in the fall of 1849 that the first train on the New 
York and New Haven Railroad passed through Stamford. 
The local paper says: 

The citizens of this village, as well as the horses, cattle, 
etc., were nearly frightened out of their propriety on Wednes- 
day afternoon last about five o'clock by such a horrible scream 
as was never heard to issue from any other than a metallic 
throat. Animals of every description went careering around 
the fields, snuffing at the air in their terror, and bipeds of 
every size, condition and color set off at a full run for the rail- 
road depot. In a few moments the cause of the commotion 
appeared in the shape of a locomotive, puffing its steam and 
screaming with its so-called whistle at a terrible rate. 

With the advent of the railroad, Stamford began to be 
the home of many business men of New York. The farms 
have given way to estates; and the Stamford of to-day, 
while a manufacturing city, still retains its beautiful 
houses and estates, and Strawberry Hill has more than a 

174 The Old Boston Post Road 

local reputation. Through the courtesy of Mr. Gillespie 
of the Advocate, I am enabled to give a picture of the 
Old Stage, or Washington House, at which the stages used 
to stop and where, so tradition asserts, Washington stopped 
on one or more occasions. He says in his diary: 

Friday the 16th, about 7 A. M., we left the widow Haviland's, 
and after passing Horse Neck, about six miles distant from 
Rye, the road which is hilly and immensely stoney and trying 
for wheels and carriages, we breakfasted at Stamford, at one 
Webb's, a tolerably good house, but not equal in appearance 
and reality to Mrs. Haviland's. 

It was demolished about twenty years ago. 

"Turnpike " seems to be the favorite term in this section 
to apply to the post road, which, after leaving Stamford, 
passes through many fine estates. At Noroton is the 
Wee Burn Country Club with its famous golf course. 
A detour of half a mile at this point takes us to the old 
Gorham Tide Mill near the shore. The old inhabitants 
will tell you of the time when this was a busy place, with 
stores, taverns, mill, and post-office; for here the farmers 
brought their grain to be ground, and their produce for 
shipment by vessel to New York. Now the farms are gen- 
tlemen's country estates, and nothing is shipped to New 
York or anywhere else, and the tide-mill runs no more. 

The Connecticut Soldiers' Home is located at Noroton, 
but it is not visible from the Post Road. A grim reminder 
of the fact that the veterans of the Civil War are rapidly 
passing away is seen in the Spring Grove Cemetery, which 
abuts on the turnpike. The tombstones of the old soldiers 
are simple and of uniform size and height, and as they are 
arranged in one part of the cemetery in an orderly and 
systematic manner, they at once attract the attention. J 1 

The turnpike leads into Darien, — frequently pronounced 

The "Old Washington House.' 
Courtesy of Stamford Daily Advocate. 

The City Hall, Stamford. 

The First Episcopal Church, erected 1748, Stratford. 

The Freeman Curtis House, built in 1713, Stratford. 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 175 

Dairy Ann — which was settled about the same time as 
Stamford, of which it was formerly a part. Except for 
the thunderous noise of passing trains, the place is as 
quiet and inactive as in the old coaching days, though 
there are several fine places within the town. Its first 
church was erected in 1744, with the Reverend Moses 
Mather as pastor, and it is with this church that the most 
important event in Darien's history is connected. 

During the Revolution, the whaleboatmen of the town 
became famous for their exploits upon the Sound in 
stopping vessels carrying supplies to New York, and in 
making raids upon the Tories of Long Island and of the 
shore towns. Darien, itself, harbored a large number of 
loyalists. On July 22, 1 781 , while the service was proceed- 
ing in the Congregational Church, a band of Tories 
surrounded the edifice and took fifty men as prisoners. A 
few of the men escaped, and two shots were fired after 
them, but the enemy were afraid to fire a third, as three 
shots was the signal of alarm for this part of the country. 
With the venerable Dr. Mather at their head, the prisoners 
were marched to waiting boats and taken to Lloyd's Neck, 
Long Island, whence they were sent into New York for 
confinement in the Provost prison, where some of them 
died. The same fate would have overtaken the aged 
pastor had it not been for Mrs. Irving, the mother of 
Washington Irving, who was permitted to supply him 
with food and other necessaries until his release at the 
end of the year. One of the prisoners, Peter St. John, 
who survived the brutalities of Cunningham, related the 
whole affair in doggeral verse. One stanza, describing 
the Provost prison reads as follows: 

I must conclude that in this place 
We found the worst of Adam's race; 

176 The Old Boston Post Road 

Thieves, murderers, and pickpockets, too, 
And everything that 's bad they 'd do : 
One of our men found, to his cost, 
Three pounds York money he had lost; 
His pockets picked, I guess before 
We had been there one single hour. 

Surely, in this counter raid of the loyalists, Darien had 
been "hoist with its own petard." The present stately 
brick structure in which the Congregationalists worship 
was erected in 1837. A tablet on its facade, describing 
the history of the church and the capture of its congrega- 
tion, was installed here in 1894 by the Colonial Dames of 
America and by the Sons of the Revolution of the State 
of Connecticut. 

It is about five miles over the turnpike to Norwalk, but 
there is nothing of special interest on the way. We pass 
a fine hospital and descend a steep hill to the lower level 
of the town. This portion of the Post Road is called 
West Avenue; after the bridge is crossed, it becomes East 

Right at the foot of the hill, we pass a beautiful drinking 
fountain, which bears these inscriptions on its two sides: 

In Memory of Children 

Nathan Hale. of the Town 

The Path of Duty of Norwalk 

Was the Way Have given 

to Glory. This Tablet 

Erected by the in Loving 

Norwalk Chapter Memory of Him Whose 

D. A. R. Last Words 

and Were 

Patriotic Friends. "I only Regret that 

I Have but One Life 
To Lose for My Country." 

Gorham 's Tide Mill, Noroton. 

The Congregational Church, Darien. 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 177 

Hale's connection with Norwalk was a brief one. When 
he started on his secret journey into the British lines in 
September, 1776, he came here in order to get a vessel to 
take him across the Sound. He bade good-bye to his 
companion, Sergeant John Hempstead of his own company 
of Knowlton's Rangers, and was taken across to Hunting- 
ton, Long Island, by Captain Pond in the sloop Schuyler. 
This was the last known of him until the afternoon of 
September 23d when Captain Montresor of the British 
army brought word under a flag of truce of Hale's execu- 
tion as a spy that morning. 

On February 26, 1640, the first purchase of land in this 
vicinity was made from the natives by Roger Ludlow. It 
included all the land between the Saugatuck and the 
Norwalk rivers. The purchase price was: 

8 fathom wampum, 6 coats, 10 hatchets, 10 hoes, 10 knives, 
10 seizers [scissors?], 10 juseharps, [who says the Indians are 
not musical?], 10 fathom tobacco, 3 kettles of six hands about, 
and 10 looking glasses [probably for the squaws]. 

On April 20, 1640, the central part of the town was bought 
by Captain Daniel Patrick of Greenwich. In giving the 
boundaries of the purchase, there is the following : 

fourthly all the land adjoyninge to the aforementioned, as 
farr up in the Country as an indian can goe in a day, from sun 
risinge to sun settinge. 

Prom this walk to the northward, it is often stated that 
the town derived its name of North Walk, or Norwalk. 
It is more likely, however, that the name is derived from 
Norawake, the Indian sachem who sold to Patrick, as in 
the early town records the name of the town appears as 
Norwake. The Norawokes were the Mohican tribe that 

\yS The Old Boston Post Road 

had several villages in this neighborhood as late as 1651. 
It was in this last-mentioned year that the first settlement 
was made, though it is probable that a few bold pioneers 
had come here soon after the purchases were made. On 
June 19, 1650, Roger Ludlow of Fairfield made an agree- 
ment with a number of people for the occupation of the 
land he had bought from the native owners, and the settle- 
ment followed in 1 65 1. On April 13, 1654, Ludlow 
assigned his remaining interests to the settlers. 

The first settlers, among whom were some Huguenots, 
selected the site for their plantation on the east side of 
the Norwalk River, on Fort Point, where the Indian fort 
had formerly stood. Here they reared their log-houses 
and built a blockhouse for protection from the natives. 
There were few of these, however, and they were of a 
mixed race. The inhabitants were alarmed at the time of 
King Philip's War, but, though the Indians were pilferers 
and otherwise troublesome, they were not warlike. In 
1690, there were no Indians in the town. The first comers 
occupied tracts along the Indian trails, which they fenced 
in; and later, these became the King's highways. 

The first church was organized in 1652, and on January 
3, 1659, it was voted to build a meeting-house. Church 
and town remained one until 1726. On January' 1, 1671, 
it was voted and agreed upon that there should be a bridge 
over Norwalk River; and, on February 9, 1671, "Christo- 
pher Comstock was chosen and approved of to keep an 
ordinary for the entertayning of strangers." On May 
29, 1678: 

it was voted and agreed to hier a scole master to teach all the 
childring in the towne to learn to Reade and write; & that 
Mr. Cornish shall be hierd for that service & the townsmen are 
to hier him upon as reasonable terms as they can. 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 179 

The bridge had not been built by 1680; for, on Decem- 
ber 28th, at town meeting, a committee of three was 
appointed to select the place for it, "whether at the great 
rock below the lower cart path; or Below the falls . . . 
a sufficient horse bridge." The bridge was the object 
which distinguished the town, and Norwalk was known as 
the "Bridge," while the settlement nearer the shore was 
known as "Old Well," from a well at which the vessels 
used to fill up their tanks before going on a cruise. With 
the advent of the railroad, this latter developed into South 
Norwalk and has become of larger size and of more import- 
ance than the town on the Post Road, though the ' ' Bridge ' ' 
is only two miles from the main line on a branch going to 
Danbury. On March 30, 1686, the General Court granted 
a patent to the town. 

At the town meeting of February 11, 1733/34, the 
Church of England was allowed a rood of land upon which 
to erect a church with a burying-ground attached; and 
on March 25, 1747, St. Paul's parish was organized. 

During the French and Indian War, there were several 
volunteers, and the town taxed itself to quarter a bat- 
talion of regulars during that struggle. 

Behold, like whelps of Britain's lion, 

Our warriors, Clinton, Vaughan and Tryon, 

March forth with patriotic joy 

To ravish, plunder and destroy. 

Great gen'rals, foremost in their nation, 

The journeymen of Desolation. 

M'Fingal, by Trumbull. 

On Saturday, July 10, 1779, a few days after the de- 
struction of Fairfield, General Tryon landed with a large 
force on the east side of the river mouth, and General 
Garth landed at South Norwalk. The next day battles 

180 The Old Boston Post Road 

took place between the invaders and the Continental 
troops and militia who were summoned to the defenceof 
the town, Washington had been informed of the British 
depredations and had sent General Parsons "to give con- 
fidence to the Militia and guide their movements." His 
force consisted of about four hundred, of whom one hundred 
and fifty we're regulars. The enemy under General Garth 
advanced with the intention of driving the Americans 
from Flax Hill; but the deserted houses were too potent 
an attraction for some of his troops and they made free 
with the rum and hard cider and became too drunk to 
fight. Tryon, himself, advanced toward Fitche's Point, 
the Americans retiring before him. At ten o'clock on 
that Sabbath morning, the battle of the rocks on France 
Street began, and the Americans held their own though 
the enemy had the town. 

After an hour's fighting to dislodge the Americans, 
Tryon started to return to his ships ; but before doing so, 
he fired the town, sparing six houses only which are 
believed to have belonged to loyalists. He reported that 
he had destroyed the salt-pans, burnt all vessels at the 
docks or in the harbor, and towed all whaleboats out to 
the fleet, and had burnt all told, two churches (Congrega- 
tional and Church of England), eighty dwellings, eighty- 
seven barns, seventeen shops, and four mills, entailing a 
total loss reckoned at $i 16,000. This was later made good 
to the town by grants of land in the Western Reserve of 
the Northwest Territory, and a number of the Norwalk 
people settled there. When Tryon returned to his ships, 
most of the resident Tories went with him; and among 
them was the Episcopal rector, Mr. Leamington, who had 
continued praying for the King and Parliament until 
his congregation forbade him and threatened him with 

The Old Norwalk Hotel, Wall Street, 1850. 

The Norwalk Hotel, 1775. 

The Town-hall, Norwalk. 

|V pr '^jHL ■_! 



K.c^t -> -i-VXl -: i*rtweSB»a»* 

JM0CtW^fl>Q ia 

The Nathan Hale Fountain, Norwalk. 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 181 

The Norwalk Hotel, dating, so it is said, from 1775, was 
a very important tavern in the coaching days, when it was 
known as the Connecticut House. 

Washington says: 

At Norwalk ... we made a halt to feed our Horses. At 
the lower end of this town Sea Vessels come, and at the other 
end are Mills, Stores, and an Episcopal and Presbiterian 
Church. From hence to Fairfield, where we dined and lodged, 
is twelve miles ; and part of it very rough Road, but not equal 
to that thro' Horse Neck. The superb Landscape, however, 
which is to be seen from the meeting-house of the latter is a 
rich regalia. The Destructive evidences of British cruelty 
are yet visible both in Norwalk and Fairfield. 

In May, 1800, the first newspaper in southwestern 
Connecticut was published here in Norwalk by a man 
named Picket; in 1818, he sold out to other parties, and 
from that date to the present, the Gazette has been pub- 
lished every week without a break. In 1824, steamboat 
connection with New York was established when the 
John Marshall (named in honor of the Chief Justice) 
began to make trips between the two places. 

The Borough of Norwalk was chartered in May, 1836, 
and the city was incorporated in 1894. Of l a * e years, 
manufacturing industries of all kinds have been estab- 
lished, though most of them are in South Norwalk. 

In passing out of the beautiful old town, we cross the 
bridge and go out East Avenue winding up a steep hill to 
the town green with its fine trees, its old residences, and 
its three old churches, the First Congregational, the First 
Baptist, and St. Paul's Protestant Episcopal. On the 
way up, we have passed a severely plain-looking brick 
building with a cupola. The presence of two doors sets us 
to wondering if it is a Friends' meeting-house, or whether 

1 82 The Old Boston Post Road 

it is one of those "little red schoolhouses on a hill" 
which have become historic as the places where so many 
of our famous men have received the rudiments of their 
educations. Closer inspection discloses the fact that it 
is the town hall, dating from 1835. 



AFTER passing out of the Norwalk town green, the 
Post Road makes a number of sharp and unex- 
pected turns on its way to the Saugatuck River. 
At one place it passes Peat Swamp, which bore an un- 
savory reputation in coaching days as the resort of bad 
characters, who would not hesitate, should opportunity 
offer, to pilfer from or rob the mails and passengers. About 
a mile and a half west of the Saugatuck, stood the tavern 
of Major Marvin, a Revolutionary officer. On his return 
from his Eastern trip in 1789, President Washington 
stopped here. His diary says under date of Wednesday, 
November nth: 

Baited at Fairfield and lodged at a Maj. Marvin's, 9 
miles farther; which is not a good house, though the people 
of it were disposed to do all they could to accommodate me. 

It will be noticed that on this trip, Washington stopped 
only at taverns and never at private houses, though these 
latter were placed at his disposal by their owners. The 
reason was that he was afraid that if he accepted the 
invitations of some and refused those of others, he would 
give offence; and further, he wished to show that he was 
president of a republic who paid his way, and not a king 
to whom all doors were open. 


1 84 The Old Boston Post Road 

Major Marvin's is in Westport, though up to 1835, it 
was a part of Fairfield. In that year, the present town- 
ship of Westport was formed from Fairfield, Norwalk, and 
Weston. Westport was first settled in 1645 by Thomas 
Newton, John Green, and three others, who located near 
the present Greens Farms station, the place being named 
after Green, who was an able farmer. Newton was a born 
litigant whose name appears a number of times in colonial 
records. He owned a sloop and traded with New Amster- 
dam without paying much attention to the revenue laws. 
In 1650, he was informed against by Goody Johnson, a 
woman of Fairfield, and he was arrested and put in jail. 
He managed to escape, but he never returned to the new 
plantation at Maximus, as the place was called, — a cor- 
ruption of the Indian name, Machamux. In 1672, Green 
was appointed by the General Court one of a committee 
of three "to view the township of Rye and consider what 
highway may be necessary for the use of the town and 
the colony. ' ' Peter Disbrow, the chimney of whose house 
we passed at Mamaroneck, was also among the first 
settlers here. Some of the same name conducted the 
Disbrow Tavern here in Westport, and Washington and 
his staff stopped there when they were on their way to 
Boston in 1775. The tavern occupied the site upon which 
the Memorial Church now stands. 

On the afternoon of April 25, 1777, a fleet was seen 
coming up the Sound, and at nightfall, it anchored off 
Saugatuck River, where, the next day, Tryon landed 
between two thousand and twenty-five hundred men for 
his march on Danbury to destroy the Continental stores 
there. The alarm at Westport brought together seven- 
teen militiamen, not one of whom had ever been in battle. 
There was no officer to command them, so, after meeting 
at Ogden's Tavern, they took post behind a stone wall, 

The Bridge over the Saugatuck River at Westport. 

The Westport Hotel, Westport. 

The Monument at the Scene of the Swamp Fight, Westport. 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 185 

fired one volley as the enemy approached, and then took 
to their heels. The town was invaded twice by loyalists 
from Long Island, and a third attempt was made; but 
the invaders were scared off by a farmer with a lusty voice 
who discovered their approach. He remained invisible, 
but moved from place to place, shouting orders to an 
imaginary force, which he was, apparently, disposing to 
the best advantage to capture the enemy. On July 8, 
1779, after Tryon's forces had left Fairfield, the houses in 
the lower part of the town were fired, but one or two were 
saved. The church, however, and much property of the 
inhabitants were destroyed. Between 1783 and 1789, 
the third church edifice was built from money obtained 
from the sale of fire lands in the Western Reserve, given as 
recompense for these losses. 

The Saugatuck River is navigable for a greater distance 
than any other stream in Fairfield County, and the lowest 
fordable place was about two and a half miles from its 
mouth. There were considerable difficulties in getting 
across, though a ferry was early established, and a boat 
maintained. When the stage-coach came, the road was 
obliged to go inland, as it does to-day, in order to avoid 
the difficult passage across the river. The bridge followed 
before 1803. 

In 1805, John Scribner set up and operated here the first 
carding machine in the town and probably in the country. 
The War of 1812 shut off the supply of many manufactured 
goods, and the Americans were obliged to start to making 
things for themselves. These industries, though a century 
old, are still infants and unable, so we are told, to do 
much for themselves without protection. Westport began 
making cotton goods at this time, and also began the 
making of hats; and there are still several manufacturing 
plants in the town. 

1 86 The Old Boston Post Road 

On the east side of the bridge is the Jesup-Sherwood 
Memorial Library, a gift to the town in 1906 by the late 
Morris K. Jesup, as a memorial to his two grandfathers, 
Ebenezer Jesup and Samuel B. Sherwood. For many 
years, Ebenezer Jesup conducted the bridge store, which 
used to stand on the site now occupied by the library 
building. Samuel B. Sherwood was a lawyer, who, like 
most country lawyers, was called "Judge. " 

In 1828, when the village was still in Fairfield, the pub- 
lication of the Saugatuck Journal was begun. The old 
stage tavern at Westport is more pretentious looking than 
many we find along the Post Road; it is probably about 
a century old. It is situated at the foot of a hill near the 
bridge and was a relay house in the coaching days. 

Near the village of Southport, called Sasqua by the 
Indians, with a clump of willows for a background, is a 
granite monument which can easily be missed if the travel- 
ler is passing at any speed. It bears the following inscrip- 
tion on the side toward the road : 

The Great Swamp Fight 

Here Ended 

The Pequot War 

July 13, 1637. 

on the back is: 

Erected by the 

Society of Colonial Wars 


The Pequot Indians were probably Mohicans, though 
they showed warlike traits which were like those of the 
Iroquois. By the murder of John Oldham, war was 
brought about with these savages, and they were almost 
annihilated by Captain John Mason, who fired their 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 187 

stockaded village and castle at Mistick, or Mystic, east 
of New London. The remnant of the tribe fled westward 
and took refuge with about two hundred Fairfield Indians 
in this place, which Mason calls in his account of the 
war, "a hideous swamp. " Mason lost no time in follow- 
ing up the fugitives and discovered their hiding-place by 
means of his Indian allies and by intimidating an Indian 
captive. Lieutenant Davenport attempted to rush the 
Indian camp, but he and his men came to grief in the mire 
and were almost scalped before being extricated by their 
companions. A sharp skirmish followed, which proved 
so disastrous to the savages that the Fairfield Indians 
asked for quarter, saying that they were there only by 
accident and that they had shed no English blood, — 
which was probably true. 

An interpreter, Thomas Stanton, went in to them at 
great risk and told them that any Indian who had not 
shed English blood could come out. The sachem of 
the Fairfield Indians then led out his tribesmen and the 
women and children, and the Pequots were left to fight it 
out alone. As Mason was determined upon the exter- 
mination of the Pequots, the swamp was then surrounded. 
During the night, a heavy mist fell, and the besieged took 
advantage of it to try to break through the English lines. 
They rushed Captain Patrick's quarters, and, had it not 
been for a party sent by Mason to relieve him, he would 
not have lived to settle Greenwich. A hand-to-hand 
conflict ensued, during which about sixty warriors man- 
aged to escape. They fled westward, and tradition says 
they were absorbed in the tribes beyond the Hudson. 
Of the rest, twenty were killed and one hundred and eighty 
taken prisoners. These last, with the women and children 
were divided up between Connecticut and Massachusetts- 
Bay and sold into slavery, many being sent to the West 

1 88 The Old Boston Post Road 

Indies. Thus vanished these warlike savages from the 

Here on this field the dusky savage felt 

The iron heel of Angle and of Celt; 

For English Mason and Irish Patrick came, 

And made the Pequot nothing but a name. 

In the almost three centuries since, the great swamp has 
undergone great changes; for it has been drained and 
cultivated, and the Post Road crosses it on a causeway. 
Southport, which lies just beyond, is a pleasant village 
whose history is practically that of Fairfield, of which it 
was originally a part, the church and town records being 
the same. On May 26, 1 83 1 , it became a separate borough. 

The First Congregationalist Church was founded in 
1639, and the Reverend John Jones was pastor from that 
date until 1664. In 1723, Dr. James Laborie, a mission- 
ary of the Society for the Propagation of the Faith, began 
conducting the services of the Church of England in his 
own house, and, in the following year, Trinity parish 
was formed. In 1738, the second edifice of the Orthodox 
Church was erected near the Old Fields-Gate. The 
church was destroyed by the British. 

In 1777, General Silliman was in command at Fairfield 
and its vicinity, and had his quarters in his own house at 
Southport. In May, 1779, nine Tories crossed in a whale- 
boat from Lloyd's Neck and landed on the Fairfield coast 
with the object of capturing General Silliman. One of the 
party was a carpenter who had formerly worked for the 
General, and who knew the premises well. Guided by 
him, the party broke into the General's house at midnight 
of a dark May night and seized the General and his son, 
who were hurried to the boat and taken to Oyster Bay, 
where they were put in the custody of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Simcoe of the Queen's Rangers. 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 189 

The Americans had no prisoners of equal rank to ex- 
change for General Silliman and his son; but they fixed 
upon Judge Thomas Jones of South Oyster Bay on the 
south side of Long Island as a victim. On November 4, 
1679, a party of twenty-five, in command of Captains 
Hawley, Lockwood, and Jones, crossed from Newfield 
(Bridgeport) to Long Island. They remained concealed in 
the woods one day, and at night proceeded to the Judge's 
mansion, where they found that an entertainment with 
music and dancing was in progress. No attention was 
paid to their knock at the door, whereupon the door was 
forced, and Judge Jones and a young man named Hewlett 
were seized and hurried off before an alarm could be given. 
Six of the party loitered behind and were captured, but 
the rest, with their two prisoners, reached Fairfield in 
safety. Here the Judge was kindly entertained by Mrs. 
Silliman until he was removed to Middletown for greater 
security. In May, 1780, there was an equal exchange of 
the four prisoners. 

Accompanying the expedition against the Pequots as 
agent of the Connecticut Colony was Deputy-Governor 
Roger Ludlow of Windsor, whose discerning eye saw the 
beauty and fertility of this section of the coast and the 
advantages it offered for settlement. The warwhoops of 
the savages had hardly ceased, before he left the com- 
forts of his home in Windsor and, with a few hardy 
pioneers, was following the Indian trail through the 
wilderness. They settled at a place called by the Indians 
Unquowa, and were later joined by men from Watertown, 
Massachusetts. From the richness and beauty of the 
comparatively level land, Ludlow called the new planta- 
tion Fairfield. 

On May 11, 1639, the first treaty of purchase was made 
with the Pequonnoncke Indians; on June 24, 1649, the 

190 The Old Boston Post Road 

second purchase was made; and, on February 11, 1661, 
the Sasco, or Sasqua, Indians gave a quit-claim for their 
lands. In all these treaties, the natives were allowed 
"the liberty of fishing, hunting and fowling in any river 
or stream within the town bounds, only they were not to 
set traps to the injury of the cattle. 

After 1650, there arose border troubles with the Indians 
and with the Dutch of New Netherland, and an appeal for 
protection was made by Fairfield to the New Haven 
Colony; but the protection was not furnished. The set- 
tlers, therefore, decided to raise troops and carry on a war 
independently of New Haven, but, in consequence, they 
were set upon by the General Court. Ludlow, who was 
the leading man in the plantation, felt that the reproof 
was aimed at him, and that his influence was gone. 
Aggrieved at this state of affairs, he went to New Haven, 
whence he embarked for Virginia with all his property on 
April 26, 1654. 

Salem was not alone in her delusion concerning witches, 
for in many New England towns, there are records of trials 
for witchcraft. Here in Fairfield, in 1653, Goody Knapp 
was accused, convicted, andhanged for practising the black 
art. In 1692, four persons were put on trial for being in 
collusion with his Satanic Majesty, but all were acquitted 
except Mercy Disbrow, who was sentenced to death. A 
petition from her neighbors, and the revulsion of feeling from 
thewholesaleexecutionsat Salem caused her to be pardoned. 

In 1666, the lands of the united colonies of Connecticut 
and New Haven were divided up into four counties; 
Fairfield, New Haven, Hartford, and New London. Fair- 
field became the shire town of this westernmost county, 
and, in 1685, its inhabitants received a patent from the 
General Court. In 1720, the court-house and jail were 
built here; and, in 1768, by action of the town, a new 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 191 

court-house and jail were erected on the town green. They 
were destroyed during Tryon's raid, but were rebuilt in 
1794 upon the old foundations, and so remained until 
the removal of the county-seat to Bridgeport in 1855. 
The lower story of the court-house was used as a town 
hall, and, at one time, as a school for little children. The 
jail was used also for a tavern with a public barroom, until 
prohibited by a State law of 1844. Confinement in the 
jail could not have been so bad, for an eye-witness of the 
fire which destroyed it in 1852 says: "The released pris- 
oners stood in a row under guard on the opposite side 
of the street, and with tearful eyes loudly lamented the 
destruction of the ' best home they ever had! ' " 

The principal historical event connected with Fairfield 
is the burning of the town by the British during the Revolu- 
tion. On Sunday, July 4, 1779, a British fleet, consisting 
of two large men-of-war and forty-eight row-galleys, 
tenders and transports, appeared off Fairfield under Sir 
George Collier. The land forces of about twenty-five 
hundred men were in command of General Tryon, with 
Brigadier-General Garth in special charge of the German 
mercenaries. On Monday and Tuesday, the British were 
at work in New Haven; but, about four o'clock in the 
morning of Wednesday, the seventh, their return was 
announced by the firing of a gun on Grover's Hill, where 
there was a small redoubt. The fleet appeared to be 
sailing for New York, but a thick fog came on and obscured 
the vessels from view. When the fog lifted between nine 
and ten o'clock, the fleet was anchored in the harbor off 
Kenzie's Point. 

About four o'clock in the afternoon, the enemy began 
to land, and there was some firing upon them from 
Grover's Hill. The Americans were taken completely 
by surprise, and the British and Germans occupied the 

192 The Old Boston Post Road 

town almost without resistance. General Tryon went 
to the court-house and issued, under a flag of truce, a 
proclamation to the inhabitants, in which he called upon 
them to return to their allegiance to the King and stated 
that: "whosoever shall be found and remain at peace at 
his usual place of residence, shall be shielded from any 
insults either to his property or person, except civil and 
military officers who must return to their allegiance and 
give proof of their penitence & voluntary submission." 
Even while the flag was advanced, the drunken and 
plundering soldiery had begun their work of destruction, 
and the houses had begun to go up in flames. 

Captain Whitney, who was in command of the few 
troops at Fairfield, answered: "Connecticut has nobly 
dared to take up arms against the cruel despotism of 
Britain, and, as the flames have preceded your flag, they 
will oppose to the utmost that power exerted against 
injured innocence. " 

An attempt to take the fort was successfully resisted^ 
and. the enemy extended his lines as far as Green's Farms; 
but he did not tarry long, for, since Concord and Lexing- 
ton, he had shown a wholesome fear of the stone walls, 
fences, and shrubbery that bordered the American roads. 
The torch was applied everywhere, and only five houses 
were saved, one of them being headquarters, a house 
belonging to Mrs. Buckley. These houses were saved 
chiefly through the exertions of women. Of all the plun- 
derers, who soon, under their potations of rum and hard 
cider, became a drunken mob, the German yagers were 
easily the worst in their wanton smashing of furniture and 
crockery, in their fiendish thefts or destruction of all 
property, and in their insults to and maltreatment of 
women. To them, Whigs and Tories were alike, and 
Tryon's protections were of no value. 

The Sun Tavern (Manual House), Fairfield. 

The Protestant Episcopal Church, Fairfield. Originally begun as a New Jail. 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 193 

When the British fleet withdrew to Huntington, Long 
Island, on the morning of Thursday, July eighth, they left 
behind the smoking ruins of two hundred and eighteen 
buildings of all kinds; a court-house and a jail, three 
churches, two schoolhouses, ninety-seven dwellings, 
sixty-seven barns, and forty-eight stores and shops. 
Quite a number of soldiers and citizens were killed on both 
sides during the sacking, and several Americans were taken 
prisoners, carried to New York, and placed on the prison- 
ship Jersey. On the Sunday following the attack, the 
British fleet recrossed the Sound and destroyed Norwalk. 
Tryon's apology for destroying a defenceless town was: 
"The village was burned to resent the fire of the rebels 
from their houses and to mask our retreat." A poor 
excuse when we consider that he had no business there 
anyhow, for there were no stores of ammunition, food, 
powder, etc., and the population was composed of non- 
combatants. The property destroyed was private, and 
not public ; it belonged to individuals, not to the State. 

When the inhabitants fled from their houses, many 
articles of value were thrown into wells or into other places 
where there was little likelihood of their being found, and 
from which they could be recovered. One looking-glass 
was hidden in an uncribbed rye field; and, a few days 
later, a black man cut the swath that revealed the mirror, 
which reflected his own image. He did not stop for 
investigation, but, believing it to be the Devil in proper 
person, — for whom he had a deadly fear, — he let out a wild 
yell, dropped his sickle, and took to his heels. A portion 
of the Western Reserve was set apart to pay the losses 
of these burnt and plundered towns, and was, in conse- 
quence, called the "burnt lands." Some of the Fairfield 
inhabitants migrated to these lands and became pioneers 
of the great West. 

194 The Old Boston Post Road 

Tryon, behold thy sanguine flames aspire, 

Clouds tinged with dyes intolerably bright : 
Behold, well pleased, the village wrapped in fire, 

Let one wide ruin glut thy ravish'd sight ! 
Ere fades the grateful scene, indulge thine eyes, 

See age and sickness, tremulously slow 
Creep from the flames. See babes in torture die, 

And mothers swoon in agonies of woe. 

These be thy triumphs, this thy boasted fame! / 
Daughters of mem'ry, raise the deathless song, 

Repeat through endless years his hated name, 
Embalm his crimes, and teach the world our wrong. 

David Humphreys. 

The Burr family is one of the oldest in Fairfield, and 
has been prominent in its history. Dr. Burr, president 
of Nassau Hall (Princeton College) and father of Aaron 
Burr, was a native of the place. At the time of the Revolu- 
tion, Dr. Burr's brother and his wife, Eunice Dennie Burr, 
extended a generous hospitality to many Boston friends 
who had been driven out on account of the siege by the 
Americans and the unbearable conduct of the British. 
Among these refugees in June, 1775, were Madam Lydia 
Hancock, the aunt of President John Hancock of the 
Continental Congress, and Miss Dorothy Quincy, who 
was engaged to John, who was some years older than his 
prospective bride. Who should come along but the nephew 
of the host, that fascinating and brilliant person, Aaron 
Burr, whom no woman could resist, if he once put forth 
his powers of fascination. There at once began a flirtation 
between the two young people, which might have become 
serious in its results if Madam Lydia had not become 
alarmed at seeing her nephew's fiancee being stolen from 
him and the probable upsetting of the plans of the Han- 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 195 

cock and Quincy families. Aaron was made to understand 
that his room was preferable to his company, and so left 
the field clear for the President of Congress, who came to 
Fairfield and was married on August 28, 1775. It was 
a great wedding, and after it, the newly wedded couple 
went to Philadelphia, where the bride was at once in the 
midst of affairs. Madam Dorothy Hancock played well 
the role of the wife of the great Boston merchant, and 
also that of the wife of the Governor of Massachusetts. 
When Hancock died in 1793, she was still in the prime of 
life and subsequently married a sea-captain named Scott 
and went to live at Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where 
she died at a good old age, leaving no descendants. 
Holmes's poem to "Dorothy Q. " was not written to 
this Dorothy, but to her cousin, who was Dr. Holmes's 
great-grandmother. The Burr house is pointed out as the 
one in which the marriage took place; but that house 
was burnt in Tryon's raid, and this present one is its 
successor. It is a lovely old place, however. 

Benson's Tavern still exists as it did in stage-coach days, 
though no longer as a place of public entertainment. 

In 1834, Bridgeport tried to get the county-seat away 
from Fairfield on the chief ground that good and suffi- 
cient food could not be readily obtained there ; whereupon 
a Fairfieldian produced before the legislative committee 
having the matter in charge a half dozen or so of men 
weighing from two hundred to three hundred pounds 
apiece. This ended the matter at that time, but other at- 
tempts were made in 1841 , 1850, 1852, and 1853. This last 
was successful, owing to the fact that the jail had been 
burned. It was partially rebuilt of brick; but, upon the 
removal of the county-seat, it became an Episcopal church. 

Another building of interest is the Sun Tavern, situated 
opposite the town green and now known as the Manuel 

196 The Old Boston Post Road 

house. There had been a Sun Tavern here in colonial 
days, and the Tories and Hessians made free with its 
beverages at the time of the raid, though that fact did 
not save it from destruction. Washington stopped here 
on his eastern journey in 1789, at which time it was 
known from its proprietor as Penfield's. It has also been 
a parsonage and a school. At one time, after 1818, it was 
the home of the Congregationalist minister, the Rev. 
Nathaniel Hewit, who was the pioneer of the temperance 
movement in New England. There are several other 
houses of interest, but none, owing to Tryon's raid, is 

The town hall is the old county court-house, which has 
been remodelled for the uses of the town. It bears the 
following inscription: "Built A.D. 1720: Destroyed by 
the British A.D. 1779: Rebuilt A.D. 1794: Remodeled 
A.D. 1870. " On the green in front is a large stone bearing 
the wheel and distaff of the Daughters of the American 
Revolution and the following legend : 

This boulder commemorates the settlement of Fairfield 
by Roger Ludlow in 1639 and the burning of the town by the 
British July 8, 1779. From the founding of the town the 
religious, military and the civic life of the people has centered 
around this green. Placed A.D. 1900 by the Eunice Dennie 
Burr Chapter, Daughters of the American Revolution. 

After leaving Fairfield, the old Post Road branches off 
from the present main highway and runs rather irregularly 
until it crosses the Pequonnock River at the head of tide- 
water, near the northern city line of Bridgeport, in which 
it is known as North Avenue. This detour followed the 
old Indian trail and was necessary because, in the early 
days, there was no bridge over the deep stream, and it 
was not fordable until this point, over two miles from the 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 197 

Sound, was reached. A short distance beyond the bridge 
at the head of tide- water the Post Road passes through Old 
Mill Green and becomes Boston Avenue, then Connecticut 
Avenue through East Bridgeport, and it enters Stratford 
under the name of Stratford Avenue. A reference to the 
Colles map will show just east of the Pequonnock bridge 
"two large trees, " and " one large tree. " I do not believe 
these trees of 1789 are still alive, but there are in this same 
neighborhood three trees which answer the description 
given on the map. Near the bridge, on the west side, was 
the store of Philip Nichols, which was established before 
the Revolution. 

The earliest history of Bridgeport is closely allied with 
that of Fairfield for the western side of the Pequonnock 
River, and with that of Stratford for the eastern side; 
for the present city was formed from these two towns. 

The first settlers west of the Pequonnock came here in 
1685, and the first document signed by the inhabitants was 
an application to the General Court to be freed from pay- 
ing taxes for the support of the school in Fairfield, four 
miles away, as they had set up one of their 1 own and had 
forty-seven children in attendance. This petition was 
from the Fairfield side of the Pequonnock only, but the 
inhabitants of the Stratford side were not far behind in 
establishing a school of their own. The schools in both 
Fairfield and Stratford were too far away; and, in all 
these shore towns, the children were afraid of the Indians, 
who were not any too trustworthy or reliable, and who 
were rather hazy in their ideas of property ownership 
when it came to a matter of differentiating between meum 
and teum. The Indians occupying this locality were the 
Peguset, or Golden Hill, Indians, who had a village of 
between one hundred and one hundred and fifty wigwams 
when the first settlers located themselves. 

198 The Old Boston Post Road 

In 1690, both sides united in asking to be relieved from 
paying the rates for churches and schools in Fairfield and 
Stratford. In 1691, their request was granted by their 
being authorised to settle an Orthodox minister. In con- 
sequence, they called the first minister, the Rev. Charles 
Chauncey, a grandson of President Chauncey of Harvard. 
He married Sarah, a daughter of Colonel John Burr of 
Pequonnock, and, in a corner of the Burr farm, near what 
has since been called Cooke's Lane (now Grove Street), a 
house was built for the young couple, who went there to live 
in 1693. The house is probably the oldest now standing in 
Bridgeport. The meeting-house was completed in 1695. 

In 1687, the King's highway, later called the county 
road, the Post Road, and North Avenue, was laid out on 
the line of the old Indian path. The width was fixed by 
Stratford, but the abutting property owners have en- 
croached upon it during the centuries, except at Old Mill 
Green, where it still retains a width of probably twenty 
rods or more. The green received its name from the fact 
that, in 1654, John Hand, Senior, and Thomas Sherwood, 
Senior, established a mill upon Mill Brook, which crosses 
the head of Old Green near Sand Hill. At the corner of 
East Main Street and Boston Avenue, there is standing 
an old, weather-beaten shingled house, built in 1700 by 
William Pixley. Six generations of the name occupied 
the house, which was used as a tavern in colonial days. In 
1789, it was known as Harpin's Tavern, and, about 1840, 
it came into the possession of the Rev. William Silliman, 
whose descendants still own and keep in repair the old 
landmark. It is stated on good authority that Washing- 
ton occupied the northwest upstairs room upon several 
occasions. The schoolhouse used to stand opposite the 
Seventy Mile Stone, which still occupies its ancient site 
on the green, now called Pembroke Park. 

The Silliman Homestead, formerly Harpin's Tavern, Bridgeport (1700). 


The Congress Street Bridge, Bridgeport. 

The Oldest House in Bridgeport, built by Rev. M. Cook in 1693. 

'Iranistan, " the Residence of P. T. Barnum, in 1848, Bridgeport. 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 199 

About 1700, the green became the aristocratic part of 
the old town of Stratford; and probably the principal 
reason for its retaining its width is that, on November 25, 
1743, Theophilus Nichols and several others deeded to the 
town a tract of about six acres "to be and lye a perpetual 
common to and for them and their successors throughout 
all generations to the end of time. " At the upper end of 
the green is the Roman Catholic Cemetery. 

On November 9, 1691, 

Samuel Sherwood and Robert Cline was chosen and ap- 
pointed by the town to view where it is most convenient for a 
highway to pass in y e Fairfield to Paquonnock harbor and to 
treat with y° persons through whose land said highway should 

State Street was laid out as a result. 

In May, 1694, the name of the settlement was changed 
from Pequonnock to Fairfield Village, and ten years later, 
it became Stratfield, a combination of Strat-iord and Fair- 
field, the two towns in which it was originally. At the 
time of the Revolution, there were not more than a dozen 
houses where the city of Bridgeport now stands, and the 
census of 1790 gives it a population of no, while that of 
1910 gives it 104,000. A few people had settled at the 
head of the harbor, nearer the Sound, — where the main 
business part of the city is now located — and the place 
was called Newfield. It maintained a harbor guard dur- 
ing the Revolution, and the people did some work with 
their whaleboats, but the place was too insignificant to 
invite British attack. After the return of peace, it began 
to grow. During the first century of the plantation's 
existence, the community was engaged in farming. 

In 1787, a ferry was authorized across Pequonnock River 
and, in May, 1791, the town voted its consent for the 

2O0 The Old Boston Post Road 

erection of a toll-bridge, and asked for a lottery to raise 
funds. It was not' until 1797-8 that the "Lottery" 
bridge was chartered and built. As a result, when the 
borough was incorporated in 1800, — and it was the first 
borough in the State — it was given the name of Bridge- 
port, and the place began its commercial and manufactur- 
ing career. Even then, it was some years before its name 
began to appear in the almanacs and stage journals as on 
a stage route. 

Bridgeport became a town in 1821 and a city in 1836. 
In 1853, it became the county-seat of Fairfield County, 
and its present court-house is proclaimed by Bridgeporters 
to be as good as any in the United States. This trait of 
"boosting" their own town by the inhabitants has been 
one of the prime factors, if not the principal one, in the 
wonderful development of the city. Where, in 1800, the 
only manufacturing plant consisted of the salt-works with 
their windmills for pumping the salt water from the Sound 
into the evaporating pans, we now find that Bridgeport 
makes hats, automobiles, sewing-machines, corsets, shirts, 
firearms, rubber goods, varnishes, cartridges, machinery, 
metal goods, and electrical appliances of all kinds — and this 
list hardly begins to tell them all. 

The first post-office for this section was in Stratford, 
but, in 180 1 , an office was opened in Bridgeport. Between 
1804 and 1810, the mail was brought from New York 
in a four-horse stage coach, which arrived between eight 
and ten in the evening according to the condition of the 
roads. Its arrival was announced by the long sounding 
of the guard's horn as the coach entered the village. 
There was only one newspaper subscribed for, — the 
Journal of Commerce, — which was permitted by its owner 
to be generally read. In 1824, passengers for New York 
were taken by stage to Norwalk, where a steamer was taken. 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 201 

But the doom of the stage coaches was sealed when rail- 
road-building began. In 1844, the New York and New 
Haven Railroad was chartered in Connecticut to build 
a railroad from New Haven to the western boundary of 
the State; and, in 1846, the New York Legislature granted 
permission to extend the line to Williamsbridge in West- 
chester County. The charter did not permit trains to be 
run in Connecticut on Sundays during the hours of divine 
service. Trains began running in 1848, but it was not 
until January 1, 1849, that they ran the full length of the 
line. In 1848, the Naugatuck Railroad was started from 

The first Episcopal Church was organized in 1748, and 
first opened for service in 1749. In October, 1751, the 
Stratfield Baptist Church was started as a result of the 
"New Lights" movement; but it was not organized into 
a society until 1757, by which action the members relieved 
themselves from paying rates for the Orthodox Church. 
The first Roman Catholic service was held in a private 
house in 1834 by Father McDermott. In 1842, the first 
Catholic edifice, St. James's Church, was erected. 

Among the earlier newspapers are the Republican 
Farmer, which was started at Danbury in 1790 and 
removed to Bridgeport in 18 10, where it is still published; 
the American Telegraph, published weekly in 1795; the 
Bridgeport Herald, about 1805; the Bridgeport Advertiser, 
in 1806; the Connecticut Courier, in 18 10; the Connecticut 
Patriot, in 1826; and the Spirit of the Times, in 1831, at 
the time of the Morgan affair, as the organ of the anti- 
Masonic party. Other newspapers and journals have been 
published since, and among them are several trade and 
technical journals. 

Though Bridgeport's manufacturing supremacy is due 
to such men and firms as Elias Howe and Wheeler & 

202 The Old Boston Post Road 

Wilson, there is one name which stands forth as the best 
known of all her citizens. That is the name of the world's 
greatest showman, Phineas T. Bamum, who made his 
home here, and who also made it the winter home of his 
great shows and the training place of his riders and acro- 
bats. It is still the winter quarters of the "Greatest Show 
on Earth." 

Bamum was born in 1810; and, until 1841, he was en- 
gaged in all sorts of businesses, — minstrel shows, itinerant 
seller of shoe-blacking, sugar, molasses, — and always ready- 
to turn his hand to anything that promised the return of a 
dollar. In 1841, he became proprietor of the American 
Museum in New York, and he soon became known as a 
theatrical manager, operatic impresario, concert manager, 
and as purveyor to the public of all kinds of curious per- 
sons and things. Among them was Tom Thumb, who was 
a native of Bridgeport. Barnum erected here a beautiful 
building completely furnished in the most ornate and 
gorgeous oriental style, to which he gave the name of 
"Iranistan. " This was his home in Bridgeport until 
December, 1857, when it was completely destroyed by 
fire. A later home, he called "Waldemere, " and his last, 
"Marina." He subscribed to the establishment of Sea- 
side Park and gave seven acres of its present domain as 
a gift to the city. 

On account of the number and acreage of its public 
parks, Bridgeport is sometimes called the "Park City." 
The principal ones are Seaside Park of one hundred acres, 
Beardsley Park of one hundred and twenty-five acres, 
and Old Mill Green (Pembroke Park), Washington Park, 
and the Parade Ground with several acres more. Beardsley 
Park is a gift to the city from the late James W. Beardsley, 
a wealthy and public-spirited citizen and manufacturer. 
The land now occupied by Seaside Park, which is on the 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 203 

Sound shore, was known in the early days as "Wolves' 
Pit Plain, " owing to the wolf pits which the colonists dug 

In passing east over the old road, one cannot help but 
be impressed by the change from the bustling, manufactur- 
ing activities of Bridgeport to the quiet, rural conditions 
of Stratford. The town originally extended from the 
Housatonic River to the Pequonnock, but Bridgeport was 
taken from it in 1 82 1, and the daughter has far outgrown 
the mother. The tract, ten miles square, was bought in 
1639 by seventeen proprietors from the Peguset, or 
Pequonnock, Indians, who called the place Cupheag. 
The eastern boundary was the Potatuck River, later 
called the Stratford, and now the Housatonic. Mr. 
Fairchild was the principal purchaser from the Indians, 
and John and William Eustice were the leading settlers. 
The first settlement was made at Sandy Hollow, and, in 
1643, the plantation was first called Stratford, presumably 
from the fact that some of the owners came from Shake- 
speare's birthplace. 

The ferry over the Housatonic was established at a very 
early date. In 1648, the General Court referred to the 
Fairfield Court a motion concerning the Stratford ferry. 
The first ferryman was Moses Wheeler, who is said to have 
been a man of extraordinary strength who lived to the 
century mark. In 18 13, the first bridge was built across 
the stream, and the ferry was discontinued. 

There are no town records before 1650; but from that 
date until 1 72 1, when they separated, the church records 
and the town records are the same. The first church — 
Congregational, of course, — was founded probably in 
1640, but certainly in 1644. The first pastor, Mr. Blake- 
man, was inducted in 165 1. In the same year, the witch- 
craft delusion claimed Goody Basset as a victim, for she 

204 The Old Boston Post Road 

was accused, tried, convicted, and hanged. In 1706, the 
first Episcopal services on the soil of Connecticut were 
held here by the Rev. Mr. Muirson of Rye. In 1722, the 
Rev. Dr. Pigott was rector of the Church of England in 
both Fairfield and Stratford parishes ; but it was not until 
1723 that the first church edifice was erected. Samuel 
Johnson, afterwards D.D., was rector of Christ Church 
from 1723 until 1754 when he resigned to become president 
of the newly established King's College, now Columbia 
University, in New York. 

His successor at the time of the Revolution was the 
Rev. Mr. Kneeland, who, on the Sunday after Lexington, 
prayed as usual for King George the Third; whereupon 
one of the congregation arose in his pew and declared 
that no such prayers should be said in Stratford, for 
George the Third was the worst enemy of every one in the 
colony. The rector listened to the end of the expostula- 
tion, and then shut his prayer-book, pronounced the 
benediction, and dismissed his congregation from the 
church, which was then closed until after the war was over. 

In 1649, Mr. Birdsey removed from Milford under the 
following circumstances: One Sunday, he kissed his wife 
in violation of the law, and, having been discovered in 
this shameful crime, he was tried on the Monday and 
sentenced to be lashed. He managed to escape from the 
town officers and ran to the river, into which he plunged 
and swam to the Stratford side. From that safe place 
he shook his fists at his pursuers. His wife followed him 
later, and they became the ancestors of a long line of 
Birdseys, whose pedigree forms "the central stem of all 
Stratford genealogies. " 

Stratford's most distinguished son is David Wooster, 
who was born here in 17 10. He was graduated from Yale 
in 1738, and, two years later, married the daughter of 

Fairfield County, Connecticut 205 

President Clapp of the college. He took part in the 
various colonial wars, and, at the outbreak of the Revolu- 
tion, was made a brigadier-general in the Continental 
army. For some time after Montgomery's death, he was 
commander-in-chief in Canada. ' Upon Tryon's raid to 
Danbury in 1777, Wooster gathered what troops he could 
to resist the invasion; and, in a fight with the British, 
he was mortally wounded and died a few days later. 

Two of the most famous post-riders were Stratford men, 
Andrew Hurd, who died at the age of eighty-nine, and 
Ebenezer Hurd, who was post-rider between New York 
and Saybrook for fifty-six years before the Revolution, 
making the round trip once a fortnight. Tradition says 
that as he approached the turnpikes, Andrew used to call 
out: "Open the gate for the King's Post!" 

For some reasons unknown, Tryon passed Stratford by 
in his destructive raids upon the Connecticut towns, 
though some of the inhabitants of the Old Mill section 
were robbed by stray bands of marauders. In 1812, a 
gallant home-guard of militia assembled to protect the 
town from the depredations of the enemy, one of whose 
vessels anchored off the town. Upon seeing this, their 
sergeant gave the order: "Scatter, men, scatter!" where- 
upon the soldiers took to their heels and "scattered" to 
the sixteen northerly points of the compass. 

Dr. Dwight, writing in 1798, says: "Stratford is better 
built than either Fairfield or Norwalk." It is, indeed, a 
beautiful place with its old houses, broad streets, and great 
elms. Its public library, erected in 1894, bears the follow- 
ing tablet: 

In Memory of Six Generations of Ancestors, Residents 
of Stratford, Posterity of Rev. Adam Blakeman, 1598- 
1665, Deacon John Birdseye, 1616-1690, This Ground 

206 The Old Boston Post Road 

was Dedicated and This House Built by Birdseye Blake- 
man, i 824-1 894. 

The old burying-ground near the library has at its 
entrance two stone gate-posts erected as memorials 
by Mary Silliman Chapter, Daughters of the American 

Several of the old houses have been modernized and 
still stand; among them are several Curtis houses and 
the Walker house, the home of General Walker of the 
Revolution. One of the Curtis houses was a tavern in 
1774, as John Adams mentions having stopped there on 
his way to the Continental Congress at Philadelphia. 
The Benjamin Tavern stood nearer the ferry, and it is 
famous as having entertained Washington and Lafayette 
at the same time, the former having met the Frenchmen 
here after the latter's return from France, where he had 
been to obtain help and supplies for the struggling patriots. 

Through Stratford, the Post Road is called Main Street; 
this changes into Elm Street, and that into Ferry Road, 
which leads to the bridge over the Housatonic. 



AFTER crossing the bridge, we are in New Haven 
County and the town of Milford, and we follow 
Broad Street into the centre of the town, which is 
about three miles from the Housatonic River. To the 
north of the road we pass a boulder with a flagstaff near by. 
The most important legend of the town is connected with 
this large rock. It is contained in the following ancient 

Once four young men upon ye rock 
Sate down at shuffle board one daye; 
When ye Deuill appearde in shape of a hogg, 
And frightened ym so they scampered awaye 
And left Olde Nick to finish ye playe. 

Upon the rear side of the rock is cut in capitals " LIB- 
ERTY— 1766." This was done by Peter Pierrott, Jr., 
the son of a Huguenot inhabitant of the town. On the 
face is carved: 

Liberty Men 

Minute Men 

Liberty Rock 

D. A. R. 
Sept. 7, 1897. 

208 The Old Boston Post Road 

The rock was known popularly as "Hog Rock" up to the 
time of the last date; but since the flagstaff was erected 
and the carving done, there is an attempt to have it called 
"Liberty Rock," a name which has no associations with 
the boulder, as there is no fact or legend connecting the 
patriots with the rock. 

The old Post Road bore more to the northward than the 
present one and came down at the First Congregational 
Church and crossed the stream higher up than the Memo- 
rial Bridge. The present road leads into Milford's mag- 
nificent broad green. There are some fine elms here in 
Milford. The one nearer the house in the picture shown 
has a girth of nineteen and a quarter feet about a yard 
above the ground. 

The first settlement at Milford was made in 1639 by a 
party of about two hundred from New Haven, headed by 
Sergeant Tibbals. On their march westward along the 
Sound shore, they halted at the Wepawaug River and 
were attracted by the beautiful stream and its surrounding 
fertile lands. Here were power for their mills and a fine 
harbor for their trade, and, having procured a deed from 
the Indians under date of February 12, 1639, they started 
their plantation. A later deed of 1661 gave more lands to 
Ensign Bryan, and a last deed of February 23, 1702, 
completed the Indian title to the patent of Milford. The 
leading native name on the first two deeds is Ansantaway, 
whose name and profile appear upon the tower of the 
Memorial Bridge. 

On March 9, 1640, an agreement was made with William 
Fowler by which he was to erect a grist-mill upon the 
Wepawaug River. This was the first grist-mill in this 
section, and it was operated for two and a half centuries, 
when it and the water privileges came into possession of 
the New Haven Water Company, and the wheels ceased 

New Haven County, Connecticut 209 

to turn. We find that all through the country many of 
these streams have been taken for the water supply of 
towns and cities, and their use for furnishing power has 
been prohibited. The Meeting-house Bridge, over which 
the ancient road used to cross was built in 1640. Fowler's 
Bridge, near the mill, was built in 1645. Its site is now 
occupied by the Memorial Bridge of 1889, which was 
erected to commemorate the two hundred and fiftieth 
anniversary of the settlement. The bridge spans the 
river just above Fox Hole, and it is the pride of the town. 

The first settlers lived in a communal house; but house 
lots of two or three acres were at once granted with the 
proviso that the planters erect houses within three years. 
Within that time, most of the grantees had erected "lean- 
tos." For fear of the Indians, a palisade from ten to 
twelve feet high was built on both sides of the river and 
covering about a mile square; but there is no record of 
any white person having been killed within the town, 
though, in 1648, there was a great battle between the 
local Indians and the Mohawks. 

The church and the town records begin in 1639. In 
1640, it was: "Voted, that the earth is the Lord's and the 
fulness thereof; Voted, that the earth is given to the 
Saints; Voted, that we are the Saints." This, I think, is 
the sublimity of egotism, but it is in keeping with the 
Puritan character. The First Church was the only meet- 
ing-house for over a century. The present edifice, the 
third belonging to the society, was erected in 1822. The 
Plymouth Congregational Society was incorporated in 
1760. The first Episcopal service of which there is any 
record was held in 1736, but St. George's Church was not 
organized until 1764, and the church edifice was not ready 
for occupancy and consecration until 1775. Dr. Samuel 
Johnson of Stratford was the first rector. The present 

2 to The Old Boston Post Road 

edifice was erected in 185 1, at which time the name of the 
church and of the parish was changed to St. Peter's. 
There is a tradition that the evangelist, George White- 
field, preached here in 1768 while on one of his New 
England journeys. In 1 789, Jesse Lee preached here every 
Sunday morning for some months; but, though several 
attempts were made to form a Methodist Episcopal 
society, none was successful until 1836. 

The early roads were rather irregular in direction, but 
they were of generous width; Broad Street, forty rods; 
New Haven Road, sixteen rods; and Wharf Street, ten 
rods. With the increase of houses and of population, the 
old roads were encroached upon. The harbor was an 
excellent one, and a considerable trade was carried on along 
the coast and with the West Indies. Ship-building was 
for many years one of the important industries of the town, 
but the rilling in and change of the harbor in the course of 
nearly three centuries has killed Milford's shipping trade. 
Oyster culture has also been an important industry from 
as early as 1752. 

There are several ancient houses, some of which have 
been baverns. Probably the oldest house is that known 
as the Stephen Stow house, which dates from 1689, or 
earlier. The house is of particular interest, however, on 
account of the patriotism and humanity of the owner 
by whose name it is known, and on account of his wife, 
Freelove Baldwin Stow, after whom the local chapter of 
the Daughters of the American Revolution is named. To 
get a succinct account of Stephen Stow's action, we should 
visit the ancient cemetery and view the monument 
erected by the State. It reads: 

In honor of forty-six American soldiers who sacrificed their 
lives in struggling for the Independence of their Country, this 

The first House built outside the Palisades, Milford. Residence of Mrs. 
Nathan G. Pond. Property of Charles W. Beardsley, 


The Regicides ' House, Milford. 

A Group of Elm Trees, Milford. 

New Haven County, Connecticut 211 

Monument was erected in 1852 by the joint liberality of the 
General Assembly, the People of Milford and their contribut- 
ing friends. 

"Who shall say that Republics are ungrateful?" 

In memory of Capt. Stephen Stow, who died Feb. 8, 1777, 
aged 51 years. 

Two hundred American Soldiers in a destitute, sickly and 
dying condition, were brought from a British Prison Ship, 
then lying near New York, and suddenly cast upon our shore, 
from a British cartel ship, on the first of January, 1777. 

The Inhabitants of Milford made the most charitable efforts 
for the relief of. these suffering strangers ; yet, notwithstanding 
all their kind ministrations, In one month, forty-six died, and 
were buried in one common grave. 

A simple record for Captain Stow, yet it was he who 
took charge of these poor wretches and nursed them 
through the smallpox and ship fever, who cared for and 
tended them, who clothed and fed them, and who heard 
their last messages and closed their dying eyes, and ended 
all by giving up his own life that so many of them should 
live. The names and the homes of the forty-six who died 
are inscribed on the monument. 

Milford is proud of its new Central School on River 
Street, erected in 1908; but the antiquarian is more 
interested in the land upon which it stands and in the 
houses which formerly occupied the site. In 1639, plot 
number fifteen was alloted to Micah Tompkins, and later, 
there stood here the house of Governor Low and the Tomp- 
kins house, in which latter were hidden the two regicides, 
Goffe and Whalley. The cellar was dug out of the solid 
rock, and in it the two fugitives hid ; modern tenants have 
used the place for a coal bin. Milford gave two colonial 
governors to the colony, Treat and Law. On February 24, 
1684, Colonel Thomas Dongan and Robert Treat, gover- 

212 The Old Boston Post Road 

nors of New York and Connecticut respectively, met here 
in Milford and confirmed the acts of the commissioners 
on the disputed boundary line between the two colonies. 
The first tavern of which there is record was kept by 
Henry Tomlinson in 1644. The house is still standing on 
the old Post Road, a few rods west of the First Church. 
It was here that Washington stopped on his Eastern trip 
of 1789. The following entry appears in his diary: 

In this place, there is but one church, or, in other words, 
but one steeple, and there are grist-mills and saw-mills and a 
handsome cascade over the tumbling dams. 

Milford Library, consisting of theological works, books 
of travel and voyages and a few volumes of history and 
philosophy, was established in 1745. Members of the 
library society were bonded in the sum of ten pounds in 
case of loss or damage to the books. In 1761, the Asso- 
ciated Library was founded by the members of the Second 
Church; but "such was the spirit of contention between 
the parties they could not read the same book." (Lam- 
bert.) In 1858, the Milford Lyceum was chartered, and 
for many years, it maintained lectures, reading-room, and 
library. In 1 893, the present free public library was incor- 
porated ; it is called the Taylor Library after the donor of 
the building. 

Wilcox Park comprises a tract of land that has many 
historic, romantic, and legendary interests. It was a 
gift to the town in August, 1909, from Clark Wilcox. 
Milford is a beautiful, quiet, and interesting old place with 
many historic associations. ' 

In May, 1802, the New Haven and Milford Turnpike 
Company was chartered with permission to have one 
toll-gate between the two places. The turnpike followed 
the old Milford Path and crossed the West River at the 

New Haven County, Connecticut 213 

old West Bridge, which had been in existence as a foot- 
bridge probably from 1639, and as a cart-bridge since 1642. 
The pike entered New Haven by way of West Lane, which 
has become in these days, Davenport Avenue. 

After leaving Milford, the road passes through the 
township of Orange, in that part of it called West Haven. 
This originally belonged to Milford and was called North 
Milford. The lands were surveyed and laid out before 
1687, but no settlement was made here until long after 
1700, though there were some scattered plantations. The 
town was founded in 1822, but it is virtually a suburb of 
New Haven. At Allingtown, named after the Allings, 
who were among the earliest settlers, there is the grave 
of Major Campbell, over which his enemies, in recognition 
of the humane spirit in which he performed an obnoxious 
duty, have raised a monument, upon which are inscribed 
under his name and the date of his death, the words 
" Blessed are the Merciful. " 

Just before reaching the wide marsh to the west of New 
Haven through which West River finds its way, the road 
passes over the summit of Milford Hill. The river is 
spanned by the West Bridge, about a mile and a half from 
the New Haven town green. Here on the morning of 
July 5, 1779, a conflict occurred between a small body of 
Americans and one division of Tryon's invading force under 
General Garth. Previous to the advance of the enemy, 
a small band of about twenty-five patriots removed the 
bridge, threw up slight entrenchments, and planted several 
cannon to guard the stream and road. There were several 
Yale students in the band. The number of the defenders 
was augmented until there were about one hundred and 
fifty offering resistance to the advance of the British. 
They were under the immediate command of Captain 
James Hillhouse, who directed their movements. One 

214 The Old Boston Post Road 

of his volunteer assistants was Colonel Aaron Burr, who, 
whatever his subsequent political career may have been, 
certainly performed his military duties during the Revolu- 
tion in a most commendable way, at all times and upon 
all occasions. So determined was this resistance that the 
enemy were obliged to make a detour to the Derby Road 
in order to enter the town. While they were makingithis 
movement, their flank was attacked at the Milford Road, 
and in the sharp skirmish that ensued, Major Campbell, 
the British adjutant, was killed. The British were guided 
by a young Tory named William Chandler. , 

Among the volunteers was Dr. Naphthali Daggett, late 
president of Yale. He was wounded and taken prisoner, 
and would have been bayonetted on the spot had it not 
been for the intervention of Chandler, who had been a 
student of the college. As it was, the reverend doctor was 
obliged to occompany his captors until they all arrived 
at the green in New Haven after a march of five miles. 
Dr. Daggett writes: 

They damned me, those that took me, because they spared 
my life. Thus, amid a thousand insults, my infernal drivers 
hastened me along, faster than my strength would the 
extreme heat of the day, weakened as I was by my wounds and 
the loss of blood. . . . And when I failed, in some degree, 
through faintness, he would strike me in the back with a heavy 
walking-stick, and kick me behind with his foot. At length, 
by the supporting power of God, 1 arrived at the Green, New 
Haven. But my life was almost spent, the world around me 
several times appearing as dark as midnight. 

In 1 614, during his explorations through Long Island 
Sound, Adrien Block, the Dutch navigator, visited the 
bay of New Haven. There are two hills here, now called 
the East and the West rocks, which, owing to the presence 

The First Congregationalist Church, Mill Pond or Neppaway River, Milford 

The Memorial Bridge, Milford. 

Harbor View, Milford. 

Liberty Rock, Milford. 
From a photo by Ernest B. Hyatt. 

New Haven County, Connecticut 215 

of iron, presented a reddish appearance; and so Block 
called the place Roodenberg, or Red Hill. 

In the summer of 1637, several wealthy English gentle- 
men arrived at Boston with the intention of founding a 
settlement. Though inducements were held out to these 
desirable colonists by several plantations already estab- 
lished, the newcomers sent several of their number to 
examine the land between Saybrook and the Saugatuck 
River, of which glowing accounts had been given by the 
conquerors of the Pequots. Upon report of this committee, 
an expedition sailed from Boston early in April, 1638, 
and landed on the plain at the mouth of the Quinnipiac 
River, where a site had been selected for the new planta- 
tion. The leaders of this migration were the Rev. John 
Davenport, Mr. Pruden, and Samuel and Theophilus 
Eaton. In accordance with custom, they bought the 
lands from the natives, entering into a plantation cove- 
nant with them through their sachem Maumaguin. 

In 1639, they adopted a written form of government, 
and Theophilus Eaton was chosen governor, a position 
which he held until 1658. A general court was ordered 
to meet annually in the last week of October, and the Bible 
was decreed to be the basic statute book of the civil 
administration, as well as of the ecclesiastical. The church 
was organized by the selection of seven prominent inhabit- 
ants, who were called the pillars of the church, and who 
entered into a solemn covenant for its formation. These 
"pillars" served as judges, and trial by jury was dispensed 
with, as no authority for it could be found in the Mosaic 
law. The power of the clergy reached its extreme point 
in New Haven, and none but members of the church could 
vote. In New Haven town itself, about one half of 
the inhabitants were disfranchised; in Milford, where 
there were more "saints," about one fifth. Ridiculous 

216 The Old Boston Post Road 

as were many of the New Haven laws, it now appears that 
the famous "Blue Laws" never really existed, except in 
the imagination of the Rev. Samuel Peters, a Tory refugee 
of 1 78 1, who entertained and horrified the people of 
London by various inventions of an imagination that 
rivalled that of Baron Munchausen. The members of 
the church elected the various officers, and, as no others 
had the right to vote, all power was in the church. Firmly- 
planted on this religious rock, the colony began its suc- 
cessful career. 

The Quinnipiac Colony soon changed its name to New 
Haven, after that port in England. It had hardly be- 
come established before it began to encourage and to send 
out settlers to form new plantations; so that it became a 
mother colony to many other towns within the State. 
In 1643, New Haven, Milford, Guilford, and Stamford 
formed themselves into the Republic of New Haven, to 
which Branford and Southold, Long Island, were added 
later. This union of independent towns resembled the 
union of towns forming the Connecticut Colony. In 
the same year, New Haven joined the New England Con- 
federacy, with Plymouth, Massachusetts-Bay, and Con- 
necticut as the other members. The confederacy was 
formed primarily for self -protection from Indian attacks, 
but, during the half century that followed, it gave united 
resistance to the acts of aggression of the royal governors, 
and was the object of bitter attacks from them. 

Upon the termination of the Commonwealth in England 
and the restoration of Charles II to the throne, steps were 
taken to punish those still living who had taken part in 
the trial and condemnation of Charles I. Ten of the 
regicides were executed, and others were imprisoned and 
fined, while those who could do so fled from the country. 
Two of them, Generals Goffe and Whalley, came to 

New Haven County, Connecticut 217 

America and stayed for a while at Cambridge ; but, feeling 
unsafe there, they migrated to New Haven, where their 
general bearing and piety gained the confidence of the 
people and of the Rev. Mr. Davenport. They had not 
been long in New Haven before officers came with warrants 
for their arrest. Notice of the fact was sent from Boston 
before the pursuers arrived, and the judges fled for refuge 
and safety to a cave on West Rock, where food and other 
necessities were secretly conveyed to them. Mr. Daven- 
port preached publicly from the text : 

Take counsel, execute judgment; make thy shadow as the 
night in the midst of the noon-day; hide the outcasts; betray 
not him that wandereth. Let mine outcasts dwell with thee, 
Moab, be thou a covert to them from the face of the spoilers. 
Isaiah xvi., 3, 4. 

The fugitives led a hunted and wandering life for some 
months, and then settled near Hadley, where, according 
to the legend, Goffe appeared suddenly during an Indian 
attack in King Philip's War, took charge of the frightened 
inhabitants, repelled the savages, and then disappeared as 
mysteriously as he had appeared, leaving those not in the 
secret of his identity with the belief that an angel in the 
form of an old man had been sent from Heaven for their 
deliverance. Colonel Dixwell was another of the judges. 
He came to New Haven in 1670, and lived here as a 
retired merchant under the name of James David; but 
he acknowledged his identity before his death in 1688. 
It is said that Andros once saw him in church and asked 
who he was, and upon being told he was a retired merchant 
replied that that was not so, for the gentleman showed by 
his manner that he had at some time held positions of 
responsibility. However, before Andros could follow the 
matter up, his attention was diverted to other matters. 

218 The Old Boston Post Road 

Goffe and Whalley died in Hadley, and it is supposed their 
bodies were secretly conveyed to New Haven, where all 
three are buried in the rear of the Center Church. 

In 1657, the New Haven General Court emphasized the 
regulation in regard to schools, as the towns had hereto- 
fore neglected the ordinance concerning their establish- 
ment and maintenance. In 1660, it was enacted: 

that the sonnes of all inhabitants within this jurisdiction shall 
be learned to write a leegible hand, so soone as they are capable 
of it. 

In 1662, Charles II gave a charter to the Connecticut 
Colony; and the independent New Haven Colony, with- 
out its knowledge and without its consent, found itself 
included. Encouraged by Massachusetts-Bay and Ply- 
mouth, New Haven stubbornly resisted this unwilling 
alliance with Connecticut, but was at last forced to sub- 
mit in 1664. In 1 70 1, it became a joint capital with Hart- 
ford; it was incorporated as a city in 1784. 

In the year 1700, ten of the principal ministers of the 
colony, — seven of them from towns on the Post Road, — 
met at Branford and proposed to form a college. Each 
brought a number of books and presented them to form 
a library in the new college, saying: "I give these books 
for the founding of a college in this colony." The college 
received many endowments from distinguished benefactors 
among whom were Sir Isaac Newton, Dean Berkeley, 
Bishop Burnet, and others; but the first and most munifi- 
cent gift was from Elihu Yale, and so the college was 
named in his honor. The first commencement was held 
in Saybrook in 1702, and it was not until 171 7 that the 
first building was erected at New Haven. Most of the 
ancient buildings have given way to more modern edifices, 
the gifts of wealthy benefactors and graduates of the 


Yale College, New Haven, Old North Middle College — demolished. Old 
South Middle College — still standing. 

From a photo by the Bradley Studio. 

Old Yale Campus, New Haven, about 1865. 

West Haven Green, West Haven. 

From the photo by Bradley Studio. 

New Haven County, Connecticut 219 

college, or university, as it became in 1887. The oldest 
now standing is a brick building known as the South 
Middle, which bears two tablets with the following 
inscriptions : 


Corner Stone Laid Was the Room of 

Restored by the Graduates Of the Class of 

1905- 1773- 

Dr. Daggett, the president in pre-Revolutionary days, 
instilled into his students strong ideas of liberty and patriot- 
ism; so that there were very few who became Tories. 
Many of the graduates became distinguished during the 
struggle, either in civil or military life, and one of them, 
Nathan Hale, has left a name which is the synonym for 
sublime patriotism. Dr. Timothy Dwight, afterwards 
president of the college, was a chaplain in one of the Con- 
necticut regiments during the Revolution. His Travels 
in New York and New England is an invaluable source for 
information concerning that struggle and also for matter 
relating to the life, conditions, industries, trade, population, 
etc., of this part of the country in the generation following 
the Revolution. 

1'The green at New Haven, comprising over twenty 
acres, has been the centre of the town's life from colonial 
days to the present. Here were located the market- 
place, the church, the court-house, the jail, the stocks, the 
whipping-post, and the pillory. Here the people assembled 
to discuss the Stamp Act in 1765 and to celebrate its repeal 
in 1766. Jared Ingersoll, the stamp agent for Connecticut, 
upon the arrival of the stamped papers, announced that 
he was ready to sell them ; whereupon New Haven broke 
out in open rebellion and so menaced the life of the stamp- 

220 The Old Boston Post Road 

master that he deserted his own town and went to Hartford. 
What happened to him later we shall see when we come 
to Wethersfield. It was upon the green that Captain 
Benedict Arnold mustered his company of Governor's 
Guards upon the news of the Lexington fight and started 
with forty of them for Cambridge, where they attracted 
great attention on account of their uniforms and discipline. 
Arnold kept a shop on Water Street where he sold drugs, 
stationery, and books for several years before the Revolu- 
tion, and he was also engaged in the West India trade. 
His house on Water Street, not far from his shop, stood 
until about ten years ago, when it was demolished. 

The green is still the centre of the town's activities, and 
if you will look at a map of New Haven, you will be re- 
minded of a spider's web, with the green in the centre and 
the streets radiating from it and winding around it. On the 
upper side of it are Trinity, Center, and United churches, 
and on the north side are the new Ives Memorial Library 
and the new court-house, while the college grounds also 
abut upon a portion of it; and on the lower side are the 
Library and the city hall. 

New Haven, like so many of the New England towns, 
had its trial for witchcraft, but this did not result fatally 
for the accused person. This was Elizabeth Godman, the 
town scold, whose tongue proved to be "an unruly 
member"; and as she had rows with her neighbors, after 
which peculiar things happened, she was arrested and 
tried. Though her judges were firm believers in witch- 
craft, she was acquitted, and wagged her tongue there- 
after without further molestation. 

On July 5, 1779, a force of about twenty-five hundred 
men under Generals Tryon and Garth landed from a 
British fleet for an attack upon the town. Garth's force 
landed about sunrise on the west side of the harbor and 



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East Rock, New Haven. 

The Pierpont House erected 1764-7, Elm Street, New Haven. 
This house was pillaged and used as a British Hospital,. July 5, 1779. Now 
the home of the Rev. Anson Phelps Stokes. On its walls hang rare prints and 
other Yale memorabilia. East is the Jarvis house of 1767. West stood the 
house of the Rev. James Pierpont, a founder of Yale. 

The old Home of Roger Sherman, "The Signer" and the 
first Mayor of New Haven. The House was built by him 
in 1789 and stands on Chapel Street, near High, remodelled 
into Stores. 

United Church on the New Haven Green, erected 1815. 
of Yale University on Elm Street. 

The Law School 


New Haven County, Connecticut 221 

was met at Milford Hill by a small American force, as has 
already been told. Tryon's force, composed principally 
of Hessians and Tories, landed at East Haven a little 
later and advanced upon the town with but little resistance ; 
so that by evening, the enemy held undisputed possession 
of the town, and most of them bivouacked on the green. 

They at once began plundering, robbing, and burning, 
insulting unprotected women, and even murdering several 
unarmed citizens. It was the intention of the invaders to 
have destroyed the town, but the gathering of large bodies 
of militia proved such a menace that they withdrew the 
next morning to their ships, but not without molesta- 
tion. Some vessels, buildings, and stores were burned at 
East Haven when they left, and about forty of the inhabit- 
ants were taken along as prisoners. Another reason for 
refraining to fire the town was that there were so many 
Tories in it that their houses and property would have 
been destroyed with that of others. Upon the withdrawal 
of the enemy, those who had taken refuge upon East 
Rock returned to their homes. 

New Haven has been the birthplace and the residence 
of many distinguished persons, but only a few can be 
mentioned. Roger Sherman, shoemaker, signer of the 
Declaration, first mayor of the city, and United States 
Senator, heads the list; his house is still standing. Another 
was Noah Webster, the great lexicographer, who com- 
manded a company that escorted Washington through 
the town at the time of his visit in 1789, and received the 
great man's commendation for the orderly way in which 
it was done. Among the fighters was Admiral Andrew 
Hull Poote, without whose active co-operation it is doubt- 
ful whether Grant could have taken Ports Henry and 
Donaldson, or retrieved the day at Shiloh, while Pope 
could not have taken Island No. 10, or the Mississippi 

222 The Old Boston Post Road 

been opened. He is best remembered among the old blue 
jackets of the navy, — but I am afraid there are none of 
them left, — as the man who was principally responsible 
for the stopping of the grog allowance. Colonel David 
Humphreys, aide to Washington, poet, and soldier, sleeps 
in the cemetery of the Center Church in a goodly company, 
among whom are Eli Whitney, Lyman Beecher, General 
Alfred H. Terry, of Fort Fisher fame, Theodore Winthrop, 
Benjamin Silliman, and several presidents of the college 
and governors of the colony and State. 

The green is to-day the active centre of the city, and 
here all the lines of trolleys congregate before taking 
passengers to all parts of the city and of the State. New 
Haven possesses over twelve hundred acres of parks, 
though there are so many trees and green places that it is 
itself like one immense park. From the great number of 
trees, the city has been called the "Elm City." These, 
alas, are being infected, a fate that has befallen trees in 
several of the places, already touched upon, and one of the 
saddest things to the lover of trees is to know that a num- 
ber of the elms within the college grounds have had to be 
cut down. East Rock is one of the public parks with an 
elevation above the Sound of three hundred and sixty 
feet, while West Rock has an elevation of four hundred. 
Both are reached by fine driveways, and upon the former 
is the soldiers' monument. 

Besides the college, there are a number of other educa- 
tional institutions, among which are the State Normal 
School, the Boardman Training School, and the Hopkins 
Grammar School, this last having been founded in 1660. 

The route from New Haven to Hartford was always a 
very important one, for we here strike inland and away 
from the coast. The inhabitants of the towns through 
which we have travelled were not so concerned about high- 

Temple Street, New Haven. 

New Haven County, Connecticut 223 

ways as those living in the interior; for the former had 
the Sound upon which to do their voyaging and conduct 
their trade. These inland roads, following the Indian 
trails, were laid out several hundred feet wide at first, 
for land was cheap ; and when one portion of the common 
thus given to a highway became too worn or heavy for 
traffic, the traveller simply changed to a new part of the 
highway. As more inhabitants came in, the highway was 
encroached upon until the towns were obliged to call the 
trespassers to account, and, in some cases, make them 
remove fences which they had placed across the highway. 
Thus, we read that a committee was appointed in 1759, 
to clear it and to straighten out "the various crooks and 
notable turns thereof. " 

On maps of this region, drawn in 1758, 1775, and 1780, 
I find that the route was west of East Rock and the Mill 
River; but, in 1795 and subsequent years, the road is 
shown as going up what is called the "Neck," the point 
of land between the Mill and the Quinnipiac rivers. There 
were in the course of time, three principal routes to Hart- 
ford; the first, by way of North Haven, Wallingford, 
Meriden, and Berlin; the second, as above to Wallingford, 
thence to Durham, Middletown, Rocky Hill, and Wethers- 
field; the third, by way of Montowese, Northford, and 
Durham, and, as in the second,- to Hartford. This last 
does not appear until after the construction of the New 
Haven, Durham, and Middletown Turnpike, chartered 
in 1813 and completed in 18 14. The turnpike crossed the 
Quinnipiac meadows on a long causeway and bridge which 
was known as Lewis's. The New Haven and Hartford 
Turnpike was chartered in 1798, and was nearly thirty- 
five miles long. It left New Haven by way of Mill Lane 
(now Orange Street) to Whitneyville, thence northeast 
toward the Quinnipiac, passing up the west side of that 

224 The Old Boston Post Road 

stream and leaving Wallingford well to the right, and 
going through Yalesville and Meriden Centre. It was a 
great stage route during the time of the coaches, and had 
four toll-gates between the two cities. The following were 
exempt from the payment of tolls ; church-goers ; funerals ; 
persons attending society, town, or freemen's meetings, 
or military trainings; persons going to and from grist- 
mills; and persons living within one mile of said gates 
and not passing them more than one mile to attend to their 
ordinary farming business. The road to Hartford through 
Meriden is mentioned as early as May, 1766; it left New 
Haven by way of Neck Lane (now the upper part of State 
Street). The road to Guilford also entered the city by 
way of Neck Lane, after it had crossed the Quinnipiac, 
first by a ferry, and later, by a bridge. There was also 
a westerly route to Hartford by way of New Britain ; for 
Washington speaks of taking the "middle road" by way 
of Berlin and Wallingford, but this westerly road was not 
a post road until after the completion of the New Haven 
and Hartford Railroad in December, 1839. 

Let us pass out State Street and follow the road to the 
northward. We cross Mill River on a modern bridge, 
a lineal successor of a cart-bridge erected here in 1642, 
under which the regicides, in 1660, hid while their pursuers 
rode with much clamor overhead. The bridge that stood 
here in the time of the Revolution was the gathering-place 
of the militia during Tryon's raid ; but their action was not 
required, for the enemy evacuated the city. On our left, 
East Rock towers overhead, and on our right are the mea- 
dows bordering the Quinnipiac River, up whose valley we 
pass on the level, and come into the township of North Haven, 
which extends for about eight miles from north to south. 

North Haven consists of two tracts bought from the 
Indians by John Davenport and Theophilus Eaton. The 

13,-1 ' 11 

Phelps Hall, New Haven. 



M -* 



New Haven County, Connecticut 225 

first was bought on November 24, 1638, from Maumaguin, 
sachem of the Quinnipiac Indians, and the second, on 
December 11, 1638, from Montowese, son of the sachem 
of the Mattabesett Indians at Middletown. At first, 
this section was called the " North Farms " of New Haven. 
About 1640, Governor Eaton placed upon the land one 
William Bradley, who is said to have been an officer in 
Cromwell's army. About 1660, Thomas and Nathaniel 
Yale took up some of the land, and, ten years later, Jona- 
than Tuttle began a settlement, composed chiefly of 
descendants of the first planters of New Haven. The 
settlement was slow; for it was not until 1716, that there 
were enough people in the plantation to form a church 
society of their own. In the meanwhile, the settlers went 
on foot to the church at New Haven, a distance of about 
nine miles. Frequently, the women would carry a child 
the whole distance. The church edifice was erected in 
1718, upon a tract of some eight or ten acres given for the 
purpose by the Rev. John Pierpont of New Haven. The 
first pastor was the Rev. Mr. Wetmore, who declared for 
episcopacy in 1722, and left the church. He went to 
England for holy orders, and settled in a parish at Rye, 
New York. A few of his congregation followed him from 
the church. 

The old churchyard occupies part of the land given by 
Mr. Pierpont. The first burial was made in 1720, and 
it is probable that before that date, the dead were carried 
to New Haven. The oldest epitaph is on a stone over 
Moses Clark, who "dyed Aug ye 21, 1736." 

Reder stop your space & stay 

& harken unto what I say, 

Our lives but cobwebs tho' near so gay, 

And death ye brome ye sweeps away. 


226 The Old Boston Post Road 

The first mill was built on Muddy River in 1700, and 
by 1761, there were seven mills on that stream. Small 
sea-going craft were built here between 1760 and 1800, 
to engage in the coasting and West Indian trade. 

The valley of the Quinnipiac, or East, River consists of 
great meadows upon which the hunting was very good. 
As a result, the meadows were favorite hunting-grounds 
of the Indians, and great numbers of them resorted here at 
times. They were a source of alarm to the women and 
children, but it does not appear that they were trouble- 
some. Underlying these meadows are great deposits of 
clay, and, about 1720, the manufacture of bricks was 
begun. This is now, and has been for many years, the 
principal industry of the town. The most famous tavern 
was the Andrews Tavern at the northwest corner of the 
old green. It was established in 1770, and was well pa- 
tronized in the coaching days until after 1835, when the 
railroad gave it its death blow. 

In 1720, the town was divided into four school districts, 
but there are no records of a schoolhouse or a schoolmaster 
until 1750, when a school committee was appointed. In 
October, 1786, after many attempts by the interested 
sections, the parishes of Mt.Carmel and North Haven were 
separated from the town of New Haven and made into a 
distinct and separate township. 

Continuing up the west side of the Quinnipiac, we come 
within the bounds of Wallingford, which was within the 
second purchase from Montowese, and originally thirteen 
miles long and ten wide. In 1667, it was proposed to 
establish a village here, and, two years later, a plantation 
was begun, to which the name of New Haven Village was 
given. Its site was selected "on the hill on the east of the 
great plain, commonly called New Haven plain." The 
committee having the matter in charge ordered two high- 

New Haven County, Connecticut 227 

ways to be laid out ; one along the hill running north and 
south, and the other across the hill running east and west. 
The former is Main Street and the latter, Centre Street. 
At the same time, the division of the land was ordered 
"on each side of itt [Main Street] to ranges of hous lotts 
of six acres to a lott. " In the spring of 1670, lots along 
South Main Street were assigned to settlers, who agreed 
to occupy and build within three years. On May 12, 1670, 
the Court at Hartford enacted that "the plantation on the 
playne, in the road to New Haven, be called Wallingford. " 
The name was taken from that of the place of the same 
name in England, from which some of the earliest settlers 
came. Main Street was part of the road connecting New 
Haven and Hartford, to which the name of the Old Colony 
Road has been given. In some places, it was forty rods 
wide; but it was gradually encroached upon, and town 
committees were appointed at various times to see that the 
road was cleared of such encroachments. 

Probably the first tavern was that kept by Nathaniel 
Merriman in 1673. During Revolutionary times, the 
principal tavern was kept by Amos Hall, and there were 
many other taverns in the village and on the plains. 
Bishop's Tavern, on the turnpike, two miles below Wal- 
lingford, now called the Oakdale Tavern, was erected in 
1769 by a man named Bishop who came from Virginia. 
It was conducted by him and his son until 1835, when 
the railroad interfered with the stages. It was the stage 
office in coaching days. 

Under date of Monday, Oct. 19, 1789, Washington says: 

Left New-haven at 6 o'clock, and arrived at Wallingford 
(13 miles) by half after 8 o'clock, where we breakfasted and 
took a walk through the Town. In coming to it we passed 
thro' East Haven about midway; after riding along the river 

228 The Old Boston Post Road 

of that name 6 miles, on which are extensive marshes now 
loaded with haystacks — the ride is very pleasant, but the Road 
is sandy, which it continues to be within a mile of the Tavern 
(Carringtons', which is but an ordinary house) at Wallingford. 
... At this place we see the white Mulberry growing 
raised from the seed, to feed the silkworm. We also saw 
samples of lustring (exceeding good) which had been manufac- 
tured from the Cocoon raised in this Town. This, except the 
weaving, is the work of private families, without interference 
with other business, and is likely to turn out a beneficial 

On November 10, 1789, on his return journey from New 
England, he writes: 

"Bated at Smith's on the plains of Wallingford, 13 miles 
from Fuller's, which is the distance Fuller's is from Hartford, 
and got into New Haven which is 13 miles more, about half 
an hour before sun- down." 

The most distinguished native of the town was Dr. 
Lyman Hall, who was graduated from Yale College in 
1747, and who was a student of theology and of medicine. 
He moved to Georgia and was sent as a delegate to the 
first Continental Congress, and he was also a signer of the 
Declaration and first governor of the State. Another son 
of Wallingford was the late General Henry B. Carrington, 
who was the author of Battles of the American Revolution 
and of other works, and who died in the autumn of 1912. 

The present town of Wallingford is a busy manufactur- 
ing place of varied industries, and its population is made 
up largely of Italians, Hungarians, and Polanders. If the 
traveller sticks to the old turnpike, he will see little of the 
town. It is better to follow the Old Colony Road and 
come into town on South Main Street, from which fine 
views may be obtained across and along the valley of the 

The Judges' Cave, New Haven. 

Osbom Hall, New Haven. 

The Oakdale Tavern, formerly Bishop's (1765?), Wallingford. 




Y\ ^ vti^B 

vr ^^ \ 

M Sv \ 


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fc^TC v raj 

£§«^isj*?£-.\.v- irAsftTS 

*"'*** J! 

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The Styles, or Trumbull House, North Haven. 

New Haven County, Connecticut 229 

river. Centre Street is part of the line of the old highway 
connecting Middletown with Danbury, over which the 
post-riders went east to Durham at one time as part of 
their route to Boston. 

At the second town meeting, April 21, 1671, the towns- 
men voted to lay rates to maintain a minister, but it was 
not until February, 1675, that the first church was organ- 
ized. About the middle of the nineteenth century, there 
was founded a society somewhat similar to the famous 
Oneida Community. This Wallingford Community, as it 
was called, occupied a tract of two hundred and forty acres 
on the west side of the turnpike, where they engaged in 
both manufacturing and farming. 

There is an elevated ridge forming the western boundary 
of the river valley, and as we pass up the road toward 
Yalesville, there are many pretty scenes. The site of 
Yalesville was originally called First Falls, on account of 
the falls of the Quinnipiac. The first mill was located here 
on the west side of the stream, but most of the farmers 
lived on the east side, so that it was necessary to provide a 
canoe to carry them and their bags across. In 1 694, a bridge 
was built across the stream, which was probably the first one 
across the river. In 1707, William Tyler made an arrange- 
ment with the town to run the mills, which in consequence, 
were known as Tyler's Mills during the century or more 
that they remained in the Tyler family. Charles Yale, 
who had made a fortune in making japanned and tin ware 
and selling it in the South, bought out the Tyler interests 
after 1800 and established a factory here where he made 
pewter and Britannia wares. He was one of the pioneers 
of these industries in this section. The place was named 
Yalesville in his honor, and other industries were sub- 
sequently established, the power of the river being used. 
The New Haven and Hartford Turnpike crossed the river 

230 The Old Boston Post Road 

here, and, when Yalesville became a borough in 1853, the 
turnpike is described as its western boundary. 

A short distance beyond, the road passes within the 
bounds of Meriden, and, before reaching the main part 
of the town, we pass Hanover Park, which is a popular 
pleasure resort in the summer time. In 1661, Connecti- 
cut made grants of land here to two parties; but no 
improvements were made until 1664, when Captain Andrew 
Belcher of Boston secured possession of 470 acres. He 
built a stone house on the Old Colony Road, about two 
miles north of the centre of the present city; and, in order 
to furnish refuge and protection from the Indians to the 
travellers on that road, the house was loop-holed and a 
supply of arms and ammunition was kept constantly on 
hand ; for which reason he and his successors were granted 
the right to keep "tavern forever." The house was en- 
larged in 1690 and remained a tavern for over a century. 
It was the half-way house on the Old Colony Road between 
New Haven and Hartford, and in its latter days was the 
scene of many convivial meetings, in consequence of which 
it was called the "Merry Den." The trip between the 
two towns took two days. 

The first settlement was made about a mile east of the 
present business centre, and the turnpike went through it. 
When, after 1830, the matter of building a railroad was 
agitated, the farmers strenuously opposed it, as they were 
wedded to the idea of the turnpike along which they were 
accustomed to travel. As a result, the railroad was built 
along the valley of Harbor Brook, and the business inter- 
ests gathered around the railroad station. 

In 1 66 1, in a letter from Clark, one of the original gran- 
tees, he refers to this section as "Pilgromes Harbour"; yet 
popular tradition ascribes the name to the fact that some 
time after October 13, 1664, the two regicides, Goffe and 

New Haven County, Connecticut 231 

Whalley, after their two years' hiding in Milford, stopped 
here for several days while on their way to Hadley, and 
found a safe harbor, or refuge, in the swampy woodland. 
The Harbor Brook passes through it, and, on account of 
the growth of trees suitable for making into hoops for the 
sugar barrels of the West India trade, the land was in 
great demand, and was allotted to Wallingford proprietors 
as early as 1677. The lower part of the swampy wood- 
land was called "Dog's Misery," because dogs in pur- 
suit of game often came to grief in the dense swamp and 

The plantation received the name of Meriden from the 
Warwickshire home of the Belchers. Though within the 
bounds of Connecticut, the early settlers were more in- 
clined toward Wallingford, and, upon petition, they were 
included within its society and church, being called the 
North Farms of Wallingford. On May 9, 1728, Meriden 
became a separate parish, and, in 1806, a separate town- 
ship; it was incorporated as a city in July, 1867. 

In 1784, stage-coach travel was resumed over the Old 
Colony Road. After the building of the turnpike, many 
taverns sprung up along its line, but, from all accounts, 
these were like our modern city taverns — they existed for 
the sole purpose of selling liquor. When the railroad was 
built through West Meriden about 1840, the old taverns 
were shut up, and a new era of hotels opened in the Pil- 
grims' Harbor section, which includes the main business 
part of the present city. 

Whitefield preached here, and also in Wallingford, about 
the middle of October, 1740. The earliest school record 
is of the date of April 23, 1814, when it was: "Voted, to 
appoint a committee of two from each school district to 
introduce kine pock innoculation. " So that it appears 
that the Meriden people were not slow in following up 

232 The Old Boston Post Road 

Jenner's discovery of vaccination. In 1852, the Con- 
necticut Reform School was established here upon a tract 
of 195 acres. 

The city of Meriden is situated principally in the valley 
of Harbor Brook, but it is in a region of hills. To the 
north and west are the famous Hanging Hills, which get 
their name from the fact that they rise abruptly from the 
valley, and, to the observer from below, they appear to 
hang over his head. To the north and east is Mount 
Lamentation, which gets its name from the fact that an 
early settler from the Middletown side was lost on the 
mountain, which caused the searchers to wail, or lament. 
The hill rises 995 feet above the waters of the Sound. 

A shoe shop is mentioned as early as 1765 ; but Meriden's 
manufacturing enterprises began in 1791, when Samuel 
Yale began making cut nails. In 1794, he added the 
making of pewter buttons, followed in a few years by the 
making of pewter and Britannia ware. Others embarked 
in the same line; and, in 1852, most of the firms combined 
into the Meriden Britannia Company. So much silver- 
plated ware is made by this company, by Rogers Brothers, 
and others, that Meriden is sometimes called the "Silver 
City. " Cutlery, hardware, and similar lines are among its 
chief manufactures, and the Bradley & Hubbard Manu- 
facturing Company is famous for its output of lamps and 
lamp goods. An active and progressive board of trade 
has helped very materially in the extension of Meriden's 
business enterprises and in the development of the city. 

Considering New England's part in the abolition of 
slavery, it is difficult for us now to believe that there ever 
was a time when the inhabitants resented the attempts of 
the anti-slavery orators to convert them; yet such was the 
case in this city in 1837, when there occurred what is 
called in the history of the abolition movement, the " Meri- 

Mine Island andCastle Craig Tower, Hubbard 
Park, Meriden. 

Meriden, Connecticut, from Views Street. 

The Old Berkeley Tavern, Berlin. 

The Austin House, Durham. 

New Haven County, Connecticut 233 

den riot." An anti-slavery speaker was scheduled to 
deliver an address on an entirely different subject, and 
announcement was made from the pulpit on Sunday. 
The place of meeting was to be the basement of the church. 
On the night of the meeting, the church was stoned by a 
mob, the meeting broken up, and a number of people 



BEFORE going on to Hartford, let us travel over the 
stage route as outlined in the above heading, 
though only Durham, Middletown, and Cromwell 
are in Middlesex County. There was a highway between 
New Haven and Middletown before the construction of 
the turnpike between the two places. The road led out 
by way of Neck Lane, but turned eastward over the 
Quinnipiac after passing through a part of North Haven. 
The bridge over the river was called Long Bridge, and it 
is mentioned as early as 1784, when New Haven was 
incorporated as a city and the bridge is given as one of its 
bounds. In 1814, it became the property of the turnpike 
company, and it is still in use as a free bridge. 

The Muddy River is a tributary of the Quinnipiac ; and, 
in 1670, a settlement was begun on the former stream. 
This hamlet is now called Montowese, and it is a station on 
the Air Line of the New York, New Haven, and Hartford 

The road passes into the township of North Branford, 
formerly a part of Branford, which was originally settled 
under New Haven auspices. Northford is the village 
through which the road passes, and it began originally as a 


Middlesex County, Connecticut 

summer encampment for the planters of Branford, ' 
came here in the spring, planted, and cultivated their c: 
and, after garnering it in the fall, returned to BranJ 
for the winter. This practice began about 1720, as 
1723, the squatters are referred to as the " North Farme 
It was about the same time that they began a permai 
plantation; and soon after the Revolution, this sec 
asked to be made a town separate from Branforc 
request that was not granted until 183 1. Northfon 
near the northerly line of the township, on the west 
of Totoket Mountain, from which it is separated by 
Farm River. Its Indian name was Paug. The Congn 
tional Church was organized in 1725, and the Episcopa 
1763. There were several taverns strung along the ti 
pike, of which the most popular was the Harrison Tav 
Northford's early industries were sawmills, fulling-m 
and tanneries; and the town has produced a numbe: 
inventors. Later manufactures include combs, woo 
articles, pins, and card printing. 

It is but a short distance from Northford to the Durl 
line, and we enter Middlesex County at the same ti 
Pistepaug Lake lies near the corner of the township, 
are still two or three miles away from the Air Line, so i 
Durham Centre and Durham both present a quiet asp 
They are separated from each other by Mill, or Ally 
brook, over which the Post Road passes on a bridge. 

The township was originally a sort of "no man's Ian 
for, after the surrounding towns were surveyed, tl 
remained considerable land between them, which was 
small for a distinct township. The legislature m 
grants of it to individuals who had served the Colon? 
some way; and, as early as 1662, grants were mad 
John Talcott and others; in 1669, to Samuel Talcott, £ 
in 1670, to soldiers of the Pequot War. If any man : 

236 The Old Boston Post Road 

shown bravery in battle, or had preached a satisfactory 
election sermon, he was rewarded by a grant of land in 
Coginchaug, as the Indians called it, or the "long swamp. " 
In this way, over five thousand acres of land became the 
property of individuals; and, before any settlement was 
made, the grantees were widely dispersed. 

The property belonged to the Mattabesett Indians of 
Middletown, though there is no evidence that they ever 
dwelt in Durham in considerable numbers. The land was 
secured by Indian title, for which Sir Edmund Andros had 
little respect, for he said: "The signature of an Indian is 
no better than the scratch of a bear's paw. " The Indians 
resorted to this section for hunting, and many Indian relics 
have been found, principally from the kitchen-middens 
and cave shelters of the locality. In 1905, a boy dug up 
twenty perfect arrow-heads in an old spring near the south 
end of the village. 

In 1698, David Seward of Guilford moved into the town, 
and his neighbors contemplated following him; so that in 
the following year, some thirty-one prospective settlers 
presented a petition asking for a plantation at Coginchaug, 
on the plea that it was so far from other settlements that 
its inhabitants could not conveniently attend church. 
The petition was granted, and a site for a church was 
selected on Meeting-house Hill ; but very few of the peti- 
tioners left Guilford, and no settlement was made until 
1704, when the legislature suggested that the grantees 
of lands should surrender one fourth of their grants for 
common lands. At the same time, the name was changed 
from Coginchaug to Durham, after the English city of that 
name. In the following years, additional settlers came 
in; and, in 1708, a patent was given by the legislature. 

On December 24, 1706, the first town meeting was held 
under the auspices of the Hartford General Court, and, 

Meeting-House Green, in 1835, Durham. 

Side View of Swathal House, Durham. 





Middlesex County, Connecticut 2 

among other things, the town expressed a desire to belc 
to New Haven County. Until 1804, Durham was 
ecclesiastical parish, but it became a town in that ye 
There has been little increase in the population, and it 1 
always remained a small town. In 1774, the populati 
was 1076; in 1810, it was 1101, and in 1910, 997. T 
decrease is due to the fact that the town has been chie 
agricultural, and that the natural increase has been cc 
stantly moving out ; so that you will find Durham peo] 
and their descendants in the great track of emigrati 
from New England through the Mohawk and Genes 
valleys and in the great Middle West. Though there ha 
been manufacturing industries in the past, they are n< 
reduced to one small shop. At one time, an extensi 
trade was carried on through Middletown and New Hav 
with the West Indies. Flax was at one time a princi] 
crop, but peaches and general farm products are now t 

There are still a number of old and interesting hous 
The Swathel Inn was half-way between Hartford and N 
Haven, and was a relay house in the staging days; a 
as six four-horse stages passed through the town dai 
it was an important stopping-place. The approach of t 
coach was announced by the blowing of the guard's he 
upon entering the village, and the passengers were call 
together by another blast. The Concord coaches were 
use as late as i860, but two horses were then consider 
enough, though an extra horse was used in bad weath 
When the trip was made between Boston and New Yo 
the first time within twenty-four hours, bells were ru 
and bon-fires blazed all along the route. On Pebrua 
21, 1822, there was a great flood in Allyn's Brook, and t 
coach driver was cautioned about crossing the bridj 
whose abutments were in apparent danger. He answer 

238 The Old Boston Post Road 

with bravado and started to drive across; but the bridge 
gave way, the coach tumbled in, and several persons were 

The Swathel Inn was built by Abiel Cole, and an old 
stone found in the cellar has carved on it the date, "June 
15, 1730. " That may or may not be the date of erection; 
but this is another of the inns at which Washington 
stopped. Great barns used to stand near the house, and 
the sign-post, a gilded ball, gave notice of its having been 
an inn long after it had ceased to be one, and the stages 
had stopped forever. The mail was carried by post- 
riders for a long time between New Haven and Hartford, 
via Durham and Middletown ; but after the re-establish- 
ment of the stage line in 1785, the mail was generally 
carried by stage. 

Eli Whitney boarded here in the village and was tutored 
previous to his entering Yale. Major-General Phineas 
Lyman, commander-in-chief of the Connecticut troops 
during the colonial wars, was a native of the place. 
Another distinguished son of Durham was James Wads- 
worth (1730-18 1 7), who served his town as clerk for thirty 
years. At the time of the Revolution, he was on the 
Committee of Safety, and was a major-general of militia 
in defence of Connecticut towns. He was also a member 
of the Continental Congress, and, after the peace, a judge 
in his native State. 

A native of Durham of even wider fame was Moses 
Austin, the first one to propose American colonization in 
Texas. He moved from here to Wythe County, Virginia, 
where his children were born. In 1799, he moved to 
Missouri, where he was for a long time very successful 
at his trade of sheet-lead worker; but, though he was 
known to be honest, reliable, straightforward, and intelli- 
gent, misfortunes overtook him, and his affairs became 

Middlesex County, Connecticut 239 

involved. In 1820, he went to San Antonio, Texas, at 
great risk and asked for a tract of land and permission 
to settle three hundred American families upon it. His 
application was approved, and he returned to Potosi, 
Missouri, only to die, having contracted disease on his 
hazardous journey. He designated his son, Stephen P., 
who had been liberally educated, as his successor in the 
colonization scheme in Texas. Stephen undertook the 
colonization, but, when the political troubles began, he 
did not desire independence from Mexico, but only wished 
to form a state of the Mexican union. This made him 
unpopular, and he was defeated for the presidency of the 
Lone Star Republic by the hero of San Jacinto, "Sam" 
Houston. The capital city of Texas, Austin, is named in 
his honor. 

The oldest public library in the colony of Connecticut 
was started here in Durham, October 30, 1733. It com- 
prised one hundred and fifty volumes, and the society 
was known as the Durham Book Company. It was re- 
organized in 1789, after the Revolution, with two hundred 
and ten volumes. In February, 1856, the society was 
disbanded, and the books were sold at public vendue. 
Durham now maintains a free public library. 

Just north of the Swathel Inn is Bare Rock, from which 
a fine view of the surrounding country may be obtained. 
The highway into Middletown is now a State road, and it 
passes through a well-cultivated and neat country. The 
road becomes Main Street as it enters Middletown, turn- 
ing an angle as it parallels the Connecticut River through 
the city, which is the county-seat of Middlesex County. 

The locality in which Middletown is situated was called 
by the Indians, Mattabesett, which means "a carrying 
place, or portage. " In Algonquin, Connecticut means the 
"long tidal stream," or the "river with the long tide," 

240 The Old Boston Post Road 

referring to the rise and fall of the river as far up as Hart- 
ford. This whole section was purchased by the Dutch 
before the coming of the English, and they called the 
stream the Versch, or Fresh, River. In 1646, the atten- 
tion of the Hartford General Court was called to the 
section of the river above the Wondunk, as the Indians 
called the great bend of the river at this point, where it 
passes through a gap in the Chatham Hills instead of 
following its previous southerly course to the Sound. The 
lands here were not so good as at other places along the 
river, but they were occupied by a numerous tribe, whose 
sachem was Sowheag. His castle stood on the higher 
land back from the river in the northern part of the town. 
He was suspected of being unfriendly to the whites, and 
some of his many warriors had aided the Pequots in their 
attack upon Wethersfield, but Sowheag refused to give up 
the murderers, and, if the whites became too insistent, he 
was apt to become troublesome. 

However, in 1650 and 1673, purchases were made from 
the native owners, the Indian signers of the deeds being 
Manacope and his son Sowheag, who gave to Governor 
Haynes of Connecticut six miles on each bank of the river. 
The aborigines were numerous in the northwestern part 
of the town long after the English occupancy, until they 
were restricted within a reservation on the west side of the 
river, to which the name of Newfield was given. There 
were Indian cemeteries on both sides of the river, and 
bones and other Indian relics have been frequently found. 
The plantation was begun in 1650, but there were few at 
first. Within a year, the place began to grow, and the 
General Court made it a town in 1651 ; in 1652, it sent a 
representative to Hartford, and, in November, 1653, its 
name was changed to Middletown, perhaps, because it 
was about half-way between Saybrook and Hartford, but 

Wesleyan University — " College Row," Middletown. 

Sign of Tavern at West Cromwell. 

Berkeley Divinity School, Middletown. 

Middlesex County, Connecticut 241 

more probably from the English home town of one or more 
of the principal settlers. 

The earliest town record bears date of February 1, 1652, 
at which time it was agreed to build upon the open green a 
meeting-house twenty feet square, and to surround it with 
palisades. The first comers located themselves along the 
present Main Street, north of Washington Street and near 
the meeting-house yard. They kept close together for 
mutual protection, and lived within their stockade. They 
came from England, from Eastern Massachusetts and 
from the earlier towns of the Connecticut valley. 

In the winter of 1669-70, the building of ships began; 
and this became an important industry of the place, there 
being several shipyards, ropewalks, and similar estab- 
lishments of a nautical nature. Middletown was a sea- 
port, and, before the Revolution, carried on an extensive 
and lucrative trade with the West Indies. After that 
conflict, a coasting trade with New York and other places 
was established; and this lasted until the shutting down 
of the brown-stone quarries at Portland, on the other side 
of the river and originally a part of Middletown. The 
Hartford and New York boat makes the old town one of 
its regular stops. Along the water front, the town pre- 
sents the appearance of a decayed seaport similar to 
Portsmouth, New Hampshire, Salem, and dozens of other 
places which were famous in the old days of spar and sail. 
Most of the earlier settlers came by way of the river, 
though a few came by the Indian trails. In 1740, a war 
vessel, called the Defense, was fitted out at Middletown 
and was authorized by the General Assembly to cruise 
against pirates and the Spanish. 

We can, perhaps, get a good idea of the importance of 
Middletown from the fact that, in 1756, it was the most 
populous of the sixty-eight towns then in Connecticut. 

242 The Old Boston Post Road 

So firm a reliance did the inhabitants have upon the 
ancient river highway that, when the Air Line Railroad 
was planned to connect New Haven with Boston, the 
inhabitants opposed its building with all the power at 
their command on the score of its noise, dust, and discom- 
fort. They did not realize their mistake until 1861, when 
they turned about and permitted and assisted in the 
building of the Air Line and its bridge across the river. 
Then followed the Civil War and the destruction of the 
maritime trade of the United States. Middletown's 
trade was gone, so the city has since paid its attention to 
manufactures, with the natural result of a large number of 
foreigners in its population. 

Among the earlier of these enterprises were a paper- 
mill and powder-mill, both established in 1793; while, in 
1813, a pistol factory and a sword factory, and in 1815, 
a rifle factory added to the warlike character of the place. 
Of the gentler arts, a woolen-mill was started in 1810, 
and a cotton-mill in 18 14. Other cloths were also manu- 
factured here, and the industries are becoming of that 
varied character so common in these Connecticut towns. 
The first printing-press was established here in 1785 by 
Woodward & Green, who began soon after to issue the 
Middlesex Gazette. From 1668 to 1786, Middletown was 
in Hartford County, but in the latter year, Middlesex 
County was formed, and Middletown was made the 
county-seat; it had been made a city in May, 1784. 
Until 1776, the centre of the town was north of Washington 
Street. In 1795, the first custom-house was established. 
In 1726, a ferry between Middletown and Portland was 
ordered by the town. Steamboating began early on the 
river; for, prior to 1819, the Fulton was on the river for a 
short time, followed by the Enterprise. In 1825, the 
Connecticut River Steamboat Company put on the 

Middlesex County, Connecticut 243 

Oliver Ellsworth, and, the next year, the McDonough, both 
named after distinguished inhabitants of the State. 

Upon the news of the Lexington alarm, the town sent 
two companies, one of infantry, and the other of light- 
horse. During the war, many Tories were sent to Con- 
necticut for safe keeping, and among them was Governor 
William Franklin of New Jersey, the Tory son of a patriot 
sire, to whom Governor Trumbull gave parole. Franklin 
wanted to go to Stratford, but was persuaded to goto 
Wallingford instead. His request to go to Middletown 
was granted; but his riotous conduct and that of his 
companions, especially on the Sabbath, shocked the 
sensibilities and religious convictions of his Puritan 
neighbors. In addition, he violated the spirit of his 
parole, if not its letter, by entreating people to return 
to their allegiance to the king, and by granting to them 
pardons in the names of Admiral Lord Howe and his 
brother, Sir William, the British commanders in America. 
His influence became so pernicious and his conduct so 
scandalous that the inhabitants requested Governor 
Trumbull to remove him from the town. The matter was 
referred to Congress, which ordered him into close con- 
finement and prohibited him the use of pen, ink, and paper; 
at the same time he was forbidden to see any visitors unless 
allowed to do so by proper authority. 

Another resident of the town was Commodore Thomas 
Macdonough, a native of Delaware, who became an 
inhabitant after his marriage with Miss Shaler, a daughter 
of one of the quarry owners. Macdonough owes his fame 
to his brilliant victory on Lake Champlain during the 
second war with Great Britain over a much superior force 
of the enemy, by reason of which Plattsburg and the 
northern part of New York were saved from British con- 
quest. As a young officer, he had previously taken part 

244 The Old Boston Post Road 

in that exploit termed by Lord Nelson the most brilliant 
in the annals of any navy, the cutting out and destruction 
by Decatur of the frigate Philadelphia in the harbor of 
Tripoli. The Middlesex Historical Society is housed in a 
mansion given for the purpose by Macdonough's grand- 

During the Revolution, a son of Middletown, Major 
Return Jonathan Meigs, was with Arnold on the Kennebec 
expedition and was taken prisoner with Daniel Morgan in 
the attack upon Quebec. In May, 1777, after his exchange, 
he made a successful raid across Long Island Sound under 
orders of General Parsons, who was in command of the 
coast towns. On May 23d, Meigs crossed the Sound in 
whaleboats from Guilford and advanced to within four 
miles of Sag Harbor without being discovered. He con- 
cealed his boats, and, leaving a guard with them, advanced 
with one hundred and thirty men against the town at 
two o'clock on the morning of the 25th. Notwithstanding 
a spirited defence, the Americans killed or captured the 
entire British garrison, burned twelve brigs and schooners, 
destroyed forage, provisions, and other supplies, and 
returned to Guilford with ninety prisoners and without the 
loss of a man. For this brilliant exploit, Congress gave 
him a vote of thanks and an elegant sword. He was also 
with Wayne in the daring attack upon and capture of 
Stony Point on July 15, 1779. In 1788, he settled in Ohio 
and was, for many years, agent to the Cherokees, who 
called him "the white path. " 

Major-General Samuel H. Parsons, a native of Lyme, 
was at Norwalk at the time of Tryon's raid. After the war, 
he settled in Middletown and practised law; but removed 
to the Northwest Territory, where he became first judge. 
He was drowned while on his way to make a treaty with 
the Indians. 

Middlesex County, Connecticut 245 

General Joseph King Fenno Mansfield was born in 
New Haven and was graduated from West Point in 1822. 
He was appointed to the Engineer Corps and saw service 
in the Mexican War. He married Mary, a daughter of 
Ephraim Fenno 1 of Middletown, and this became his 
residence. At the outbreak of the Civil War, and for 
some time after, he was in charge of the defences of Wash- 
ington, but was ordered to the command of a corps of the 
Army of the Potomac and was killed at the battle of An- 
tietam, September 18, 1862. 

That brilliant and entertaining writer, Professor John 
Fiske, though born at Hartford, passed his boyhood in 
Middletown. His father's name was Green, but, owing 
to his disreputable character, so it is stated, John took the 
name of his mother's family, an act which he afterwards 
regretted. He was a precocious boy, and in his manhood, 
became a college professor and writer on many subjects, 
but principally on history and philosophy. His various 
monographs on American history are delightful and 
instructive books. 

Among the old or famous buildings is the Burnham 
Tavern on Washington Street, said to be the oldest build- 
ing now standing in the city. It was built about 1720 by 
Samuel Gaylord, and, in 1756, St. John's Lodge of F. and 
A. Masons was organized at the tavern of Michael Burn- 
ham, which was its abiding-place for some years. A 
tavern on Main Street was opened in 1760 by Timothy 
Bigelow, and after his death, it was conducted by his 
widow. The Swathels had possession from 1818 to 1826, 
and for many years it was the stage-coach office on the 
route between New Haven and Hartford. It is now 
demolished. In 1825, Mrs. Harriet M. Swathel purchased 
a house on the corner of Main and Court streets and opened 

'The Fenno house, with the date 1765, still stands on the Main Street. 

246 The Old Boston Post Road 

the Central Hotel, which was conducted under the same 
name until 1851, when it was purchased by the Mac- 
donough Hotel Company. The old hotel and the out- 
buildings were removed and the new company erected a 
fine brick hotel named after the hero of Lake Champlain. 
In 1 8 12, the Washington Hotel Company bought the large 
house and lot formerly belonging to the first mayor of the 
city, Jabez Hamlin, and erected a fine brick building, in 
which Lafayette was entertained in 1825. In 1835,' it 
became a private house; and in i860, it became the 
property of the Berkeley Divinity School and the home 
of the Bishop of Connecticut. 

Middletown boasts of several educational establish- 
ments of a public and of a sectarian character. In the 
year 1825, Captain Partridge's American Literary, Scien- 
tific, and Military Academy was moved here from Norwich, 
Vermont, but its name was probably too heavy for it, 
for it was swamped in 1829. The owners of the defunct 
academy sold the land and buildings to the newly formed 
Wesleyan University, which was founded under Methodist 
auspices in 1831, but which is now non-sectarian. Co- 
education existed for some time, but it has ceased. The 
university buildings are situated upon some of the highest 
land in the city, and a fine view can be obtained from the 
towers. The view toward the southeast takes in the State 
Hospital for the Insane, established here in 1866. Another 
public institution is the State Reform School for Girls. 
The Berkeley Divinity School was organized by the 
Episcopalians in 1854; it occupies a block on Main Street. 

Passing through Enfield and Windsor, President John 
Adams wrote: "This is the finest ride in America, I 
believe. Nothing can exceed the beauty and fertility 
of the country." Reaching Middletown, he added: 
"Middletown, I think is the most beautiful of all;" and. 

Middlesex County, Connecticut 247 

after spending two days here, he writes: "The more I see 
of this town, the more I- admire it." It is, indeed, a 
beautiful town with its old houses, many of them with 
white columned fronts and roomy porticoes. Fiske says : r 
"In the very aspect of these broad, quiet streets, with 
their arching trees, their dignified and hospitable, some- 
times quaint homesteads, we see the sweet domesticity 
of the old New England unimpaired." Yet it is not the 
Puritanical New England of old; for the writer arrived 
here one Sunday night and was of the opinion, as he rode 
through the very broad Main Street, that all the shops 
were open, so brilliant was the illumination. Upon 
inquiry he found that the electric lighting company 
turned on the lights at dark, and switched them off at 
eleven o'clock, by which means the church-goers and 
loungers had a good opportunity to look over the bargains 
and displays in the shop windows. 

Taking our start from the post-office, which is also the 
starting-point of the electric cars, the Post Road leads 
north towards the Union station of the two railroads and 
by St. John's Protestant Episcopal Cathedral and the old 
burial ground, where 

The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep. 

Some distance above the railroad,' we pass over a great 
meadow, through which flows the Little River, which is 
also known as the Sebethe. About two miles north of 
the stream, a settlement was made shortly after the main 
one was made at Middletown. These outlying settlers 
trudged -in all kinds of weather across the great swampy 
meadow to attend church, and thus there was formed a 
path between the two places, which was extended to the 

'"The Story of a New England Town." Atlantic Monthly, December, 

248 The Old Boston Post Road 

northward to Wethersfield. In May, 1802, the Middle- 
sex Turnpike was chartered to build a road from Middle- 
town to Goffe's Brook in Wethersfield, and it followed the 
course of the ancient path. 

This upper plantation of Middletown was called the 
Upper Houses to distinguish it from the main settlement, 
which was called the Lower Houses. In 1703, the Upper 
Houses became a separate parish with their own rates and 
pastor, and a meeting-house was built. In 1851, Upper 
Houses became a township under the name of Cromwell. 
Near the station in Cromwell is a small triangular park, 
containing a fine memorial stone, which is not attractive 
on account of its surroundings. 

In 1759, a ferry was established across the river to the 
Portland side. The building of vessels was one of the 
earliest industries, and the Upper Houses were famous 
in this respect. At its height, there were two wharves 
and three shipyards, none of which now remains; but 
the river is still there to impress one with its beauty. 

The most prominent name in connection with Cromwell 
is that of William C. Redfield, a native of Middletown, 
whose youth was spent in Cromwell. Later, he became a 
marine engineer of note. It was he who, simultaneously 
with General Reid, R. E., made the discovery of the rotary 
and progressive motion of storms. 

Away from the station, the Post Road passes by many 
pretty homes and through a fertile country until it reaches 
Rocky Hill, which was formerly a part of Wethersfield, 
and which is in Hartford County. It is a picturesque 
village strung along the Connecticut River for about three 
and a quarter miles from north to south. It was incor- 
porated as the parish of Stepney in 1722; but the name 
was changed to Lexington in 1826, and that again to 
Rocky Hill, in order to prevent confusion with Lexington, 

Middlesex County, Connecticut 249 

Massachusetts. In 1843, Rocky Hill ceased to be a part 
of Wethersfield and became a separate township. 

The Post Road comes into Wethersfield through the 
wide and ancient green, and then finds its way through 
the long village by turning several corners until it passes 
out over the Hartford Road. Wethersfield is of particular 
interest as one of the oldest settlements in the present 
State of Connecticut. 

Various Mohegan tribes of Indians occupied the western 
part of the State. These were all more or less tributary 
to the Mohawks of the Five Nations in the neighborhood 
of Albany and more directly to the Pequots, who occupied 
the land near the Thames River. It is probable that 
the Pequots, also, were Mohegans, but they displayed 
warlike and governing characteristics which were more 
like those of the Iroquois. The valley of the Connecticut 
was occupied by several tribes who were called, in general, 
the River Indians, and they were in unwilling submission 
to the powerful and warlike Pequots. In order to relieve 
themselves from this burden, several sachems went, in 
1631, to Boston from "the river Quonchtacut, which lies 
West of Naraganset," for the purpose of forming an 
alliance with the English and inviting them to come to 
the valley of the great river and to settle there. One of 
these sagamores, Wahquinnicut, a sachem of the Podunk 
Indians, had been a servant of Sir Walter Raleigh. The 
English did not look with favor upon the invitation, and 
declined it; but the description of the beautiful, fertile 
country was remembered. 

In September, 1633, the adventurer, John Oldham, and 
three companions came overland to the Connecticut to 
trade and to examine the land. They were received 
kindly by the River Indians and entertained, receiving 
such presents as the natives could give them, and they 

250 The Old Boston Post Road 

returned to the Bay with good accounts of the country 
and its people. The settlements around Massachusetts- 
Bay were already seething with religious dissensions, and 
were becoming overcrowded — think of it! — and a plan of 
migration was in the air. The three towns which did not 
agree with the limitation of the suffrage to church members 
and with other ideas of the Bay Colony, were Dorchester, 
Watertown, and Newtown (Cambridge). At first, the 
General Court refused permission to the planters to leave, 
but some of them went without such permission. In 
1635, however, the three towns received permission to 
move to any place within the jurisdiction of Massachusetts- 
Bay. In the late summer of 1634, several families came 
here from Sir Richard Saltonstall's colony at Watertown; 
and, in the spring, the rest of the settlers came, some by 
land and some by sea. It is said they arrived several 
months before the Hooker party at Hartford. 

When these newcomers arrived here, they found the 
land under the dominion of Sowheag, chief of the Won- 
dunks, who took their name from the great bend of the 
river at Middletown. The deed of the first purchase was 
lost, and a second deed was obtained from Sowheag's 
successors in 1671. The Indian name of the place was 
Pyquag, which is variously given as meaning "the dancing 
place," or "place of games," and as "clean land," or 
"open country," from the alluvial meadow lands which 
surround the town, and which appear constantly in the 
early records as the "Great Meadow" and the "Little 
Plain. " In the nearly three centuries since the first settle- 
ment, the river itself has changed its course very materi- 
ally. From the place from which they came, the planters 
called their settlement Watertown; but on February 21, 
1637, the General Court named it " Wythersf eild, " 
probably after some place of the same name in England. 

Middlesex County, Connecticut 251 

The Wethersfield people were unlike those who settled 
at New Haven and Windsor in the fact that they had no 
organized church when they came into the wilderness, nor 
was a church organized until 1636. Most of them were 
members of Mr. Phillips's church at Watertown. There 
were several ministers in the plantation, but none was 
installed until 1641, when the Rev. Henry Smith became 
pastor. He had considerable trouble with a wealthy and 
fractious ruling elder, as well as with the other unplaced 
ministers, whose criticisms helped to cause the religious 
controversies that distracted the congregation, and which 
led to the settlement of other places under their guidance. 
In 1639, the Rev. Peter Pruden headed a considerable 
company which settled Milford; in 1640, the Rev. Richard 
Denton and about thirty others went to Rippowams and 
settled Stamford; and in 1639 and 1640, a smaller com- 
pany settled Stratford, then called Cupheag. The Rev. 
John Sherman went to Milford in 1639, but removed to 
Branford ; he was the ancestor of General William T. and 
Senator John Sherman. The last organized company left 
Wethersfield in 1659. The Rev. John Cotton appears as 
pastor from 1660 to 1663, and the rule, at first, seems to 
have been short pastorates. In 1 729, an attempt was made 
by Dr. Samuel Johnson to establish an Episcopal church, 
but no parish was organized until 1797, and then it did 
not last long. In 1740, George Whitefield, the famous 
evangelist, preached in Wethersfield. 

On account of its position, Wethersfield was more open 
to Indian attack than were Hartford or Windsor, as it was 
nearer the Pequot country. In April, 1637, a party of 
about two hundred Pequots fell upon the planters at the 
Great Meadow, killed six men and three women, twenty 
cows and a mare, and carried away two maids, daughters 
of William Swayne, gentleman. The two girls were taken 

252 The Old Boston Post Road 

to Pequot (New London) and were taken care of by Mo- 
nonotto, the next in rank to Sassacus, the Pequot ruler. 
A Dutch trader visited the Indian town in his vessel and 
rescued the girls from captivity, and they were later 
ransomed by Lieutenant Lyon Gardiner of Gardiner's 
Island and restored to their relatives. Mononotto's 
widow and children were taken captives at the Great 
Swamp fight at Southport, and would have been sold into 
slavery in the West Indies with the others; but she begged 
for clemency on the score of her having treated the Swayne 
girls with kindness; and, her story proving true upon 
investigation, her captors set her and her children free. 
In the Pequot War which followed the massacre, the town 
furnished twenty-six men. In 1640, a fort was built ; and, 
in 1675, owing to the fear of King Philip, a palisado was 
built around the village. In the following year, several 
houses were fortified as houses of refuge in the event of 
attack. In 1704, during one of the wars with the French, 
the Massachusetts Indians became hostile, and six houses 
were fortified. 

The first meeting-house was erected in March, 164$; and 
so fearful of Indian attack was the community that an 
armed guard attended during the services. The meetings 
were convoked, as was the case throughout all the New 
England settlements, sometimes by the beating of the 
drum and sometimes by the bellringer going through the 
streets and roads. The present church, with its beautiful 
: Wren spire, modelled after that of the Old South in Boston, 
— a spire whose beauty evoked the admiration of Wash- 
ington, — was erected in 176 1. It was famous for its choir 
more than a century ago, and Dr. Dwight speaks of the 
beautiful singing. Washington and John Adams attended 
services here before either became president, and many 
other distinguished men have worshipped within its walls. 

Middlesex County, Connecticut 253 

Ferries were established early, as the town lay on both 
sides of the river. In 1674, Richard Smith, Jr., was ferry- 
man and tavern-keeper. The first tavern was kept by 
John Saddler, probably as early as 1642, as his house on 
High Street was a tavern in 1648 and he had occupied it 
six years. During and after the Revolution, there were 
three or four taverns at a time. May's Hotel was the 
last of the old coaching taverns, but it is a curious thing 
that to-day there is not a tavern or hotel in the place, 
and only two or three stores. 

Omitting New Haven, Wethersfield furnished more 
proven cases of witchcraft than any other plantation in 
Connecticut. In 1648, Mary Johnson was, "by her owne 
confession, " found guilty of "familiarity with the Devil. " 
She was probably an old offender, for a Mary Johnson was 
whipped for theft in 1646. John Carrington and his wife 
Joanne were convicted in 1651, and he (and probably she) 
was executed. In 1670, John Harryson and his wife 
Catherine, residents of nineteen years' standing, were 
convicted, and the former was executed. The widow 
made an appeal to the General Court, which directed that 
she be retried without a jury. Upon her retrial, the court 
ordered her release, but advised her to leave the town. 
This she did, going to Westchester, in New York, where 
her advent caused considerable of a commotion, which 
resulted in her trial there. She was acquitted, however, 
but was returned to Wethersfield at the expense of West- 
chester. * 

Ship-building began as early as 1648, when the "Shipp 
Tryall" was completed. The fisheries for herring, shad, 
and salmon were also sources of considerable income, and 
there were a few manufactures of barrel staves and hoops ; 
but the main dependence was upon agriculture, and to- 

1 See the author's The Story of the Bronx. 

254 Tne Old Boston Post Road 

bacco, onions, and garlic were the principal crops. Brissot 
de Warville, the French traveller, speaks of the great 
fields of onions. In 1783, a public mart, or fair, was 
authorized. In 1797, Levi Dickinson made the first corn 
brooms in the country, and they soon became an import- 
ant addition to the packs of the Yankee peddlers. In 
1819 and 1820, Mrs. Sophia Woodhouse was awarded 
premiums for Leghorn hats, which she had plaited. She 
patented them the next year, and the industry spread, 
a good deal of the work being done in the homes of the 
inhabitants. The principal exports, besides the staves 
to the West Indies, were furs to Europe. Right after the 
Revolution, the manufacture of tinware and pewter ware 
was begun by Captain Thomas Danforth of Rocky Hill. 
One of his apprentices, Ashbel Griswold, went to Meriden 
in 1808 and began making block tin, which developed into 
the manufacture of Britannia ware. 

A passenger wagon-express was granted to Captain 
John Munson in 1717. His route between New Haven 
and Hartford was via Wethersfield and Beckley Quarter 
(Berlin), and he made one round trip a week in good 
weather. The Hartford and New Haven Turnpike was 
chartered in 1798, and the Middlesex in 1802; the latter 
passed through the western part of the town. Both had 
gates in Wethersfield, and they were discontinued about 
1850 and 1872 respectively. The mail stage route via 
Wethersfield, Rocky Hill, Middletown, and Durham 
existed until 1850, or later. It became a Hartford and 
Durham line, and then a Hartford and Middletown line 
until 1871. The Hartford and New Haven Turnpike was 
a mail route until the advent of the railroad. 

Wethersfield lost half of its territory in 1693, when the 
part east of the river was taken from it. In 1822, the 
village was incorporated. Five years later, it began to 

The Chimney of the Silliman House, Wethersfield. 

The Bums (or May) Tavern, Wethersfield. 

"Hospitality Hall," Wethersfield. 

The Webb House, where Washington and Rochambeau were entertained 

at their first meeting in 1781. 

From the Connecticut River Wethersfield is a view of delight; her Chris- 
topher Wren spire nestles among the trees, and white stones of the old bury- 
ing ground, like a flock of sheep on the hillside, appear quite English and 

Middlesex County, Connecticut 255 

grow famous for the same reason as Sing Sing in New York. 
In 1827, after an occupation of fifty-four years, the State's 
convicts were transferred from the Newgate in the caverns 
of the abandoned copper mines at Simsbury to the new 
prison on the banks of the Connecticut. 

When Sir Edmund Andros and his staff were on their 
way from Boston to Hartford to demand the surrender of 
the Connecticut charter, they crossed the ferry at Wethers- 
field and were met by a troop of horse which escorted them 
into Hartford. The town furnished men for all the Indian 
wars and also for those with the French. Two companies 
took part in the disastrous Havana campaign on 1762, 
but only a few men lived to return. 

It was in front of the house of Colonel John Chester on 
Broad Street that the Sons of Liberty, on September 19, 
1765, interrupted the journey of Stamp-Master Jared 
Ingersoll on his way to Hartford, and compelled him to 
sign and read a written resignation of his office, and to 
shout, "Liberty and property!" and to give three cheers. 
Upon reaching Hartford under escort, he read his resigna- 
tion upon the Common in the presence of the members of 
the Assembly and of a crowd of one thousand or more. 

When the agitations preceding the Revolution arose, 
the name of Silas Deane began to appear. He was a 
native of Groton, where he was born December 24, 1737. 
He was graduated from Yale and became a lawyer, 
settling in Wethersfield to practice his profession. Deane 
served several terms in the legislature of the colony and 
represented it in the first and second Continental Con- 
gresses of 1774 and 1775. He went as a commissioner with 
the expedition under Ethan Allen to capture Fort Ticon- 
deroga, an expedition that had been suggested, so it is 
said, by Benedict Arnold, and which had been planned 
in Hartford. When Congress decided to try to obtain 

256 The Old Boston Post Road 

the aid of France, Deane was sent as an agent to Paris, 
where he was soon joined by his colleagues, Franklin and 
Arthur Lee, with whom he was a joint signer of the treaty 
of commerce and alliance with France. He also personally 
engaged Steuben, De Kalb, and other European officers, 
but under such terms as to lead to his being accused of 
extravagance and dishonesty. He was recalled to Amer- 
ica to answer the charge, but had to return to France for 
certain papers necessary for his defence. Here he found 
that his letters had been intercepted and published, and 
his criticisms of the French government had rendered him 
persona non grata; for, in 1779, he had written that the 
Declaration was a mistake, and that it was better to have 
a reunion with Great Britain, who was a sincerer friend 
than France. 

Congress did not make good to him his outlays and 
expenses — an unfortunate way it had with those who 
lacked the necessary influence, — and Deane was so impov- 
erished that his property in Wethersfield and elsewhere 
was seized and sold for debt. He then went to Ghent in 
Belgium, where he became a naturalized citizen and 
embarked in business. In 1783, he went to England. He 
conceived the idea of connecting the St. Lawrence River 
and Lake Champlain by means of a canal, and was ready 
to sail for America in furtherance of the scheme, when he 
died suddenly at Deal, England, September 23, 1789, after 
he had gone on shipboard. Previous to this, he had 
appealed to Congress to redress his grievances, but his 
requests were ignored and he applied directly to Washing- 
ton. Deane's death stopped all action at that time ; but, in 
1842, after an investigation, Congress found that the blame 
rested on Arthur Lee, — who was also guilty of misrepre- 
senting Paul Jones, — and paid to Deane's heirs $37,000. 

Silas Deane was largely interested in the West India 

Middlesex County, Connecticut 257 

trade; and his brother Barnabas was actively engaged in 
fitting out privateers during the war, as were others in 
Wethersfield, where the long established ship-building 
industry had naturally produced a tendency towards all 
things nautical. Deane's house is still standing; and, 
though fitted with modern improvements, it remains the 
elegant mansion of colonial days, as its occupants are 
fully appreciative of its historical associations. The 
staircase is particularly fine, and its series of carved and 
twisted balusters reminds one of the cloistered walk of 
the Church of St. John Lateran in Rome. 

The Webb house, — long known as "Hospitality Hall," 
— adjoins that of Silas Deane. The property was bought 
from Major Samuel Wolcott in 1752, by Joseph Webb, 
who probably demolished the old house and built the 
present one. Webb died in 1761, and his widow married 
Silas Deane, who occupied the Webb house until he moved 
into the one he had built adjoining Webb's. Washington 
was entertained at both houses. His first visit was on June 
30, 1775, when he was on his way with General Charles Lee 
and others to take command of the army at Cambridge. 

Philip Skene, the loyalist, was also a visitor at Webb's, 
as he was furnished with letters of introduction by Deane. 
Major Christopher French, a British prisoner, wrote: 

Dined with General Putnam at Mr. Webb's, of Wethersfield. 
He is about five feet six inches high, well set, and about sixty- 
three years old; and seems a good-natured and merry man. 


The friendly Host, whose social hand 

Accosted strangers at the door, 
Has left at length his wonted stand, 
And greets the weary guest no more. 

Philip Freneau. 

258 The Old Boston Post Road 

Washington records in his diary, May 19, 1781, that 
he "lodged at the house of Mr. Joseph Webb. " Here he 
met on the twenty-second the Count de Rochambeau and 
his suite, and a military conference was held which 
arranged for the cooperation of the allied armies. The 
distinguished visitors parted on the twenty-third. At 
the May session of 1781, the General Assembly appro- 
priated £500 to defray the expense "to be incurred in 
quartering Gen. Washington, Gen. Knox, Gen. Duportail, 
Count de Rochambeau, Count de Barras, and the Cheva- 
lier de Chastellux, and their suites, in Wethersfield. 
There were also present at this meeting Governor Trum- 
bull, Colonel Wadsworth of Hartford and Colonel Samuel 
B. Webb of Wethersfield. 

The Webb family has always been one of distinction in 
the history of the town and of the country. There was a 
Lieutenant Webb on Washington's staff, but he was taken 
prisoner in 1777 and was not paroled until 1781. He was 
the father of General James Watson Webb, and the grand- 
father of General Alexander S. Webb, who distinguished 
himself at Gettysburg, and who was for many years the 
president of the New York City College. 

The Wethersfield of to-day is a quiet, shady suburb of 
Hartford, with which it is connected by trolley cars. A 
library, now occupying part of the town-hall, was estab- 
lished here in 1783. In front of the post-office is a single 
slab of stone nearly twenty-five feet long and a foot thick 
which was formerly the door-step of Deane's store. The 
picture of the Silliman chimney will give some idea of the 
size of that important part of a colonial house, with its 
numerous fireplaces on the several floors. There appear 
to be almost bricks enough to build a modem house. 



HAVING finished our detour by way of Middle- 
town and Wethersfield, we return to the line 
of the Middle Road and continue our journey 
through Berlin to Hartford and beyond. The railroad 
does not pass through Berlin, so that it remains a quiet, 
clean village strung along the old Post Road. 

In 1668, Sergeant Richard Beckley, a former resident 
of New Haven and then of Wethersfield, received from the 
General Court a grant of three hundred acres of land by 
Mattabesett River, and he also bought from the Indians 
part of their hunting grounds. In January, 1686, the 
General Court granted to Middletown, Farmington, and 
Wethersfield all the vacant lands lying between their 
bounds and the bounds of Wallingford. This grant cov- 
ered lands now in Berlin and in New Britain. About the 
same time, a number of settlers came and settled what is 
called Christian Lane. They had to walk eight miles to 
Farmington Church, carrying their children in their arms 
and having armed men before and. behind in case of 
Indian attack. In 1712, on account of the great distance 
the settlers had to walk, this section was set off as the 
Second Church Society and called Kensington, and the 


260 The Old Boston Post Road 

first minister was settled among the fourteen families 
forming the society. 

During the Revolution, Berlin was in three different 
towns, but the inhabitants responded to the calls for men. 
A lead mine in Kensington Parish was worked during the 
war, and the metal was run into bullets for the use of the 
Continental troops. In 1785, the town of Berlin was 
formed from the three mentioned above. It was divided 
into religious societies, or precincts, Kensington, Worth- 
ington, and Great Swamp. In 1850, the town was in 
danger of being swallowed up by the more important and 
progressive New Britain, and a request was made to the 
State Legislature asking for a separation, a petition that 
was granted. There is a portion of the township also 
known as Beckley Quarter, receiving its name from the 
first settler. A house belonging to one of the name was 
known as the Beckley Tavern, and it is said that Washing- 
ton stopped here and planted three trees, only two of 
which are now standing, as shown in the picture. His diary 
says under date of Tuesday, November 10, 1783: "Left 
Hartford about 7 o'clock and took the middle road . . . 
Breakfasted at Worthington, at the house of one Fuller. " 

About 1740, a Scotch-Irishman named William Pattison 
began the manufacture of tinware in Berlin and continued 
to do so until the Revolution. The manufactured articles 
were placed in baskets, or panniers, on each side of a horse 
and taken to all parts of the country, the peddlers taking 
in exchange anything that was usable and negotiable, as 
cash was a scarce commodity. The tinware peddlers were 
welcome guests in the sparsely settled sections, as they 
were the only purveyors of news and gossip, as well as of 
pots, kettles, and pans. As the war prevented the getting 
of sheet tin, the trade ceased during its continuance. 
The manufacture was resumed after the return of peace 

The Connecticut State Capitol and Bushnell Park, Hartford. 

The Charter Oak, Hartford. 

The Old Home of the Hon. John Webster, Fifth Governor of Connecticut, 


Hartford County, Connecticut 261 

by apprentices and workmen who had been employes of 
Pattison. The building of turnpikes and better roads 
permitted larger loads, and carts and wagons were used 
to carry the tinware to all parts of the United States. 
Dr. D wight says that, in 181 5, immediately after the 
cessation of the second war had permitted the resumption 
of imports of tin: "ten thousand boxes of tinned plates 
were manufactured into culinary vessels in the town of 
Berlin in one year. " Yet this poor infant industry needs 
fostering care! The Berlin Iron Bridge Company was the 
most important manufacturing industry of recent years 
until its acquisition by the trust, since which time its plant 
has been used for other purposes. Brickmaking is also 
an important industry. 

The famous educator, Emma Hart (Willard), was born 
in Worthington Society in 1787 and began her career as 
a teacher in her home town at the age of seventeen. She 
was also the author of that popular song, "Rocked in the 
Cradle of the Deep. " Her sister, who was married twice 
and appears as Mrs. Alvira Lincoln, and as Mrs. Alvira 
Phelps, was also a teacher and the author of several books, 
including a botany. James Gates Percival, geologist and 
poet, was born in Kensington Parish. In 1802, Berlin 
Academy was incorporated. The old building still stands 
as a monument of the architecture of those days. Almost 
in front of it is a Japanese varnish, or lacquer, tree, which 
is so called from the glossy appearance of the leaves. 
There are some fine views from the Post Road across the 
valley to the west. 

In the records of Worthington Society Church, under 
date of November 1, 1791, there is the following: 

Voted, that the thanks of this society be given to our friend, 
Mr. Jedidiah Norton, for so distinguished a mark of his good 

262 The Old Boston Post Road 

will in giving us an elegant organ and erecting it in the meeting- 
house at his expence. 

This was probably the first organ to be installed and 
used in a Congregational church in New England. The 
road from Berlin Centre to Hartford is not a macadamized 
road, so that it is difficult of passage in wet weather. 

In Documents Relating to the Colonial History of the State 
of New York, we find many pages given up to the volumi- 
nous correspondence between the Directors of New 
Netherland, the New England colonies, the English 
government, and the States-General in regard to the 
occupancy of the Connecticut Valley and the boundaries 
thereto. I quote from the letter of November 6, 1653 : 

In the year 1633, Wolter van Twiller, at the time Director 
in New Netherland, purchased the territory called Conitte- 
kock, situate on the Fresh River of New Netherland, long 
before any other Christian Nation had been there. Van 
Twiller, immediately after the sale, payment and conveyance, 
caused possession to be taken of that land, and there for the 
account of the Company had Fort Hope built, which is con- 
tinually to this date occupied by a garrison who also made a 
bouwerie there and cultivated the soil .... 

In the year 1635 one Mr. Pinsen established a trading 
house and plantation [Springfield] on said Fresh river above 
Fort Hope, against which Director Twiller protested . . . 
in the name of the Company. 

The English proceeding, notwithstanding have founded 
about a small gunshot from Fort Hope, the town called 
Hartfoort, and other settlements on the Company's purchased 
lands, contrary to previous protests. 

Let us hear the English side. In a letter read before 
the States-General, August 9, 1642, complaint was made by 
Lord Say and Sele, one of the original patentees of Con- 

Hartford County, Connecticut 263 

necticut, in which he objects to the claim of New Nether- 
land as far as Narragansett Bay and to Hudson River, and 
states the Dutch had 

entered many protests against the peaceable proceedings of 
the English, towards whom they have transgressed in various 
manners and ways, adding thereto sundry threats and haughty 
arguments. All of which the English bore, and though no 
more than five or six Dutch, at most, reside on the aforesaid 
river Conecticot, where there are exceeding two thousand Eng- 
lish, yet the latter have not used any violence toward them, 
but treated them with all kindness; yea, have they been the 
means, under God, of saving their lives. . . . Moreover, 
they live there without rule, in a godless manner, beseeming 
in no wise the Gospel of Christ. Their abode there will never 
be productive, of any effect than expense to their masters, 
and trouble to the English. 

On August 20, 1642, the States-General to the West 
Ihdia Company 

hereby request and require you to take care that no acts of 
hostility do arise [on any pretense] between the English and 
Dutch nations; but on the contrary, that good friendship 
and harmony be maintained with the English. 

In September, 1650, Stuyvesant, himself, repaired to 
New England for the settlement of the boundary, and four 
arbitrators were appointed, two by each side. Stuyvesant 
appointed two English inhabitants of New Netherland to 
act for him. They were William Willett, afterward the 
first English mayor of New York, and George Baxter; 
but the decision went against him. The English were more 
aggressive than the Dutch, and one complaint of the latter 
states that the English had beaten the garrison "with 
staves, laming them." 

264 The Old Boston Post Road 

The visit of the River Indians to the Bay and to Ply- 
mouth has been mentioned. Though the Bay did not pay 
much attention to the invitation, Plymouth decided to 
secure a foothold in the valley, and, in October, 1634, 
William Holmes sailed up the river and was halted by the 
Dutch commander at Fort Hope, at a bend of the river on 
the site of Hartford. Notwithstanding the threats of the 
Dutch that his vessel would be fired on, Holmes sailed by 
the fort and was not molested. The little company forti- 
fied themselves at the site of Windsor; and the next year, 
Van Twiller sent a company of seventy men to oust the 
intruders, but found them too well entrenched to make an 

The Indian name of the locality was Suckeag, and early 
in 1635 a few people had reached this site, and by Novem- 
ber, sixty are said to have arrived. The earliest comers 
formed the company known as the "Adventurers," and 
to them belonged the section known as '"Venturers' 
Field." More people came in the spring of 1636, and in 
June came the Rev. Thomas Hooker with about one 
hundred, including women and children. They had come 
overland, following the Indian trail and driving before them 
their cattle to the number of one hundred and sixty, but 
their furniture and other household gear were sent by sea. 
Mrs. Hooker was an invalid and was carried the whole 
distance in a litter. An Indian deed was given by the 
sachem Sequasson to the proprietors, ninety-seven in 
number, and, at first, the government was in the hands of a 
commission appointed by the Massachusetts authorities; 
for most of these settlers were from Newtowne (Cam- 
bridge), and their settlement was at first called New- 
towne, but, in 1637, they renamed it Hartford after 
the English birthplace of the Rev. Samuel Stone. 

Hertford (pronounced Harford) is on the river Lea in 


Soldiers' Memorial Arch, Hartford. 

The Morgan Art Museum, Hartford. 

Hartford County, Connecticut 265 

England. It means either a "red ford," or an "army- 
ford" ; but the coat of arms of the English town has been, 
since 1571, a hart fording a stream, and the American 
Hartford has adopted the same seal. 

A meeting-house was erected almost immediately after 
the settlement was founded, and a schoolhouse followed 
in 1642. The town was surrounded by a palisado almost 
from the beginning, but it was built before the town re- 
cords begin. 

The powerful Pequots looked upon the English as allies 
of the River Indians and were afraid that the English 
influence would be so great that the River Indians would 
refuse to pay tribute, by which act they would be humil- 
iated. This jealousy and fear of the English, together 
with the murder of John Oldham, were the causes of the 
Pequot War. The danger from Indian attack was so 
great that armed guards were necessary at the meeting- 
houses during services. After about thirty settlers had 
been killed, the General Court, composed of committees 
from the towns, on May 1, 1637, declared a war of extermi- 
nation against the Pequots. In 1642, a plot of the River 
Indians and the Narragansetts was discovered, and all 
Indians were forbidden to enter the town in a group or at 
night, and none was permitted to enter a house, except that 
of a magistrate, and then only a sachem and two others at 
a time. Many other limitations were put upon the natives, 
but, in the course of time, matters adjusted themselves. 

On January 14, 1639, the free planters of Hartford, 
Wethersfield, and Windsor met at Hartford and drew up 
a written form of government, the first in history, called 
by its makers, the "Fundamental Orders." This first 
written constitution was the work principally of Thomas 
Hooker; it was a federation of the three towns, who had 
equal representation, and it gave an almost unlimited 

266 The Old Boston Post Road 

suffrage, being different from Massachusetts and New 
Haven, where church membership was the first requisite. 
This action of the three towns has been called the begin- 
ning of American democracy. Another object they had in 
view was "to preserve the liberty and purity of the Gos- 
pell. " In 1642, a code of laws based upon the Scriptures 
was enacted, and the passage in the Bible for each law 
was quoted. There were fourteen capital crimes. Be- 
tween 1650 and 1664, there were disputes with the Dutch 
over rival boundary claims. In 1654, Connecticut re- 
ceived an order from Parliament to treat the Dutch as 
enemies, and their possessions at Hartford were seized. 

In 1640, hemp and flax were ordered to be raised, and 
the cultivation of tobacco was encouraged, though the 
act restricted its use to that raised within the colony. 
It also forbade its use to those under twenty-one, on the 
training-field, on the streets, or in other public places. 
From that time to the present, tobacco has been the 
principal crop of the valley, as the soil seems particularly 
well adapted to its cultivation. The kind raised is almost 
exclusively used for cigar wrappers. In 1642, £30 were 
set aside for a school, and, in 1650, each town of fifty 
householders was obliged to maintain a schoolmaster, 
and each town of one hundred householders, to maintain 
a grammar school to prepare students for Harvard College. 

In 1644, the General Court ordered that taverns be 
established for strangers and travellers; and the first 
tavern in Hartford, kept by Jeremy Adams, was licensed 
the same year. The building, which was a tavern for 
nearly two hundred years, formerly stood on the site of 
the building of the Travelers' Insurance Company, on the 
east side of Main Street. In 1687, when the charter was 
in jeopardy, the General Court met Governor Andros 
at this inn, and the precious document was laid upon the 

Hartford County, Connecticut 267 

table. Suddenly the candles were extinguished, and when 
they were relit, the charter had disappeared, not to appear 
again until James II had fallen and Andros had lost his 
authority. During the interval between its disappearance 
and reappearance, it lay hid in an oak tree, where it had 
been placed, according to tradition, by Captain Joseph 
Wadsworth. This charter had been given to Connecticut, 
including New Haven, in 1662, when John Winthrop went 
to London to see King Charles II, who in granting it saw, 
perhaps, an opportunity of getting the better of Massa- 
chusetts. As the charter had never been surrendered, 
like that of Massachusetts, the lawyers maintained after 
the accession of William and Mary that it was still in 
force. So satisfactory was it to the people of Connecticut, 
that, when the colony became a State in 1776, the charter 
became the constitution of the State and remained so 
until 1818, when a new constitution was adopted. The 
ancient charter is kept in a fire-proof safe in the Capitol. 

Zachary Sanf ord was landlord of the inn at the time of the 
charter incident. The law required that a sign should be 
placed upon a tavern so that strangers could see it upon 
entering town. Some of these signs were simple affairs, 
others were more elaborate. Many painters, — Benjamin 
West in America and Raeburn in Scotland are examples, — 
who later became famous, began their artistic careers as 
sign painters, or else were obliged to do this sort of work 
in order to live. 

The necessity of roads was early recognized, and, in 
1638, a road over the swamp, with bridges for horse and 
cart, was ordered to be made to Windsor. In 1760, 
owing to its constant use, Main Street was probably the 
worst road in the colony. A lottery was proposed for 
its repair; but, even though the scheme was backed by 
the ministers, it was rejected. Then, toward the end of 

268 The Old Boston Post Road 

the eighteenth century, came the era of the turnpikes. 
Gates were placed at intervals of about ten miles, and the 
tolls were twenty-five cents for stage-coach or carriage, 
six and a quarter cents for a one-horse wagon, and so on 
down to one cent each for animals driven along the road. 

In 1772, the Brown stage- wagons left Hartford every 
Monday, — one for Boston and one for New York, — 
reaching their destinations on Wednesday night. They 
started on their return on Thursday, reaching Hartford 
on Saturday night. As Hartford was about half-way 
between New York and Boston, it became a convenient 
stopping place for travellers in coaching days. The 
Connecticut Courant contains the names of many travellers. 
Thus, on June 30, 1768, Sir William Johnson; on July 
4, 1768, his Excellency, Lord Charles Greville, Governor 
of South Carolina and his lady. In later times appear 
the names of Paul Revere, John Hancock, Washington, 
Lafayette, John Paul Jones, and of other distinguished 
men. In 1802, there was a daily stage-coach between 
Boston and New York. It left Boston at 10 A. M. and 
reached Hartford at 8. p.m. the next day. The stopping 
places for the night were Worcester, Hartford, and Stam- 
ford, from each of which the start was made at 3 A.M. 
As late as 1842, there were forty-two stage lines from Hart- 
ford running to various places. 

In 1764, the first printing-press in Hartford was estab- 
lished by Thomas Green, and, on October 29th, the first 
copy of the Connecticut Courant was published ; the present 
Hartford Courant is its successor. 

Like the Common in New York, Boston, New Haven, 
and other towns, the Common of Hartford was the rally- 
ing place of popular movements. It was here that 
Ingersoll read his resignation as Stamp-Master in 1 765; 
it was here, upon the spot now occupied by the post-office, 




•tf^^Miilt, 1 l 



(■ i '" -S 

• f mil 1 




Bffllfil i 

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, % \ 


,>'^^^m^r /^BHI^I 

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Old State House, Hartford. Now City Hall. 

A Typical Chain Ferry. 

Hartford County, Connecticut 269 

that Washington and Rochambeau had their first meeting. 
One can imagine with what curiosity the trained French 
soldier must have gazed upon this American whose name 
was resounding through the world as the " modern Fabius." 
During the Revolutionary struggle, troops were passing 
through the town constantly, as it was on the main route 
between the East and the Hudson ; but it experienced no 
actual scenes of warfare. Being inland and safe, a great 
many prisoners were sent here. At first, they were looked 
upon with suspicion and distrust, but later, the paroled 
officers gave lessons in mathematics and other subjects. 
Several executions of spies and traitors took place. 

The Episcopal church was started at the end of 1761 
or beginning of 1762; though, as early as 1664 several 
of the inhabitants had complained that they were de- 
prived of the services of the Established Church of Eng- 
land and, therefore, should not pay the tax rates for the 
Congregational church, which was the State church. The 
Theological Institute of Connecticut (Congregational) 
was chartered in May, 1834. Trinity College (Episcopal) 
began in 1792 as an Episcopal Academy at Cheshire, 
often known as Seabury College ; but its supporters could 
not get a charter for it until the adoption of the State 
Constitution of 1 8 1 8 opened the way for it. It was thought 
that the new college would have been called Seabury 
College, after the Right. Rev. Samuel Seabury, formerly 
rector at Westchester, New York, chaplain of a Tory 
regiment during the Revolution, and first Bishop of 
Connecticut; but it was chartered under the name of 
Washington College, May 16, 1823, and this name was 
changed to Trinity in May, 1844. 

In May, 1778, the first dramatic performance was given 
in the court-house by the Junior Sophister class of Yale, 
much to the horror of the very good. In January, 1789, 

270 The Old Boston Post Road 

an "Attic Entertainment" was advertised to be given at 
Mr. Bull's long room. In March, 1793, there was a com- 
pany of players in town, but it was not until July 28th 
that the first advertisement of a regular theatre appears. 
In 1795, in view of the fact that a new theatre was to 
be built, it was proposed that in the entertainments to 
be given there, everything indecent or irreligious should be 
censored and excluded. 

Hartford has always been a literary centre, though the 
literary atmosphere has not been due entirely to its own 
natives. In colonial days, there was Dr. Thomas Hooker, 
the preacher, who was also a writer of religious books and 
sermons, and Roger Wolcott, poet, major-general, judge, 
and colonial governor. His grandson, Oliver Wolcott, 
was also a poet and was secretary of the treasury under 
Washington and Adams. The famous divine, Jonathan 
Edwards, was a native of East Windsor, but an inhabitant 
of Hartford for some time. The Golden Age of literature 
was after the Revolution, when the Hartford Wits, as they" 
were called, formed a club and held weekly meetings. 
Among them were John Trumbull, the artist (1781); 
Lemuel Hopkins (1784); Richard Alsop, Joel Barlow, 
Colonel David Humphreys (1786-1787), Dr. Elihu H. 
Smith and Theodore Dwight the elder. None of these 
was a native, nor long a resident, except Trumbull and 
Hopkins. In 181 1, Samuel Griswold Goodrich (Peter 
Parley) came to the city and joined a literary club includ- 
ing Bishop J. M. Wainwright, Hon. Isaac Toucey, and 
Colonel William L. Stone among others. 

Among the women residents have been Mrs. Emma 
Hart Willard and Mrs. Sigourney (nee Lydia Huntley) 
who were writers as well as teachers, Mrs. Harriet Beecher 
Stowe, and Rose Terry Cooke, the last of whom was a 
native. ' 

Hartford County, Connecticut 271 

Of a later date were Theodore Dwight the younger and 
George Davison Prentice, the first editor of the Louisville 
(Kentucky) Journal, who began his career in Hartford. 
Still later came Bishop Arthur Cleveland Coxe, Horace 
Bushnell, Charles Dudley Warner, Frederick Law Olm- 
sted, the landscape artist, and Mark Twain, while 
Edmund Clarence Stedman and John Fiske were natives, 
as was Henry Barnard, the first United States commis- 
sioner of education. 

Noah Webster, the lexicographer, was born in West 
Hartford, and he was a soldier during the Revolution. 
Later, he was editor of a paper in New York, which sup- 
ported Washington and his policies. He lived in New 
Haven at one time, as well as being a resident of Hartford. 
He was a great stickler for the use of the proper word to 
express the thought to be conveyed. Upon one occasion, 
so the story goes, he was admitted to his home by the 
maid, who happened to be young and pretty. Noah 
could not resist the temptation of kissing her, much to 
the horror of his wife, who, unknown to him, was looking 
over the banisters and who saw him do it. "Noah!" 
she cried, "I am surprised;" whereupon the lexicographer 
immediately put her in the wrong by saying: "No, my 
dear, you 're astonished; I 'm the one who is surprised." 1 

The colonial trade of Hartford was with England, the 
West Indies, and along the coast. The exports to the first 
were tar, pitch, turpentine, and furs ; to the second, pork, 
beef cattle, horses, hoops and barrel staves, and in return, 
rum, molasses, and cotton ; and to New York and Boston, 
grain, pork, beef, and cattle. Its present industries are 
principally manufacturing, and its output consists of 
Colt guns, typewriters, rubber goods — and especially 
tires, — electrical supplies, bicycles, automobiles, sewing 
machines, knit goods, etc. Besides its manufactures, 

272 The Old Boston Post Road 

Hartford is sometimes called the "Insurance" city, 
because of the fact there are so many insurance companies 
located here, or that have their head offices here. In 
this respect, it ranks third in the United States. 

In 1844, Horace Wells, a dentist, discovered anaesthesia 
in surgical operations by means of nitrous oxide, or laugh- 
ing gas, and extracted teeth by its means. A trial of a 
subject to be otherwise operated upon in a clinic was 
eminently successful; but ether's wonderful effects were 
discovered about the same time, and the laughing gas 
seems to have been relegated to the use of dentists. 

Daniel Wadsworth was one of the wealthy and influen- 
tial gentlemen of the town, at whose elegant mansion on 
Main Street were entertained, in 1781, Washington, 
Rochambeau and others. In 1841, he gave the property 
for the uses of an art gallery and for the Connecticut 
Historical Society. The Wadsworth Athenaeum is the 
result. It contains the Free Public Library, 90,000 vol- 
umes, formerly the Young Men's Institute; the library 
of the Historical Society, 25,000 volumes, organized in 
1825; and the Watkinson Reference Library, 59,000 
volumes, founded upon a bequest of $100,000 made in 
1857 by David Watkinson, who had long been connected 
with the Historical Society. The beautiful Art Museum 
next door on Main Street is a gift from the late J. Pier- 
pont Morgan, and it has just been completed. The State 
Library of 40,000 volumes and 50,000 manuscripts, is 
located in the Capitol. 

The War of 1812 was intensely unpopular in New Eng- 
land, and some of the states refused to furnish troops to 
be sent into Canada, so that we do not find the same 
patriotism that was displayed in the Revolution and in 
the Civil War. On December 15, 1814, in pursuance of 
a call, a convention of Federalist delegates met at Hartford 

Hartford County, Connecticut 273 

and remained in secret session until January 5, 1815, 
discussing the policy of the government in having entered 
into the war and the manner in which it had been con- 
ducted. Secession of New England from the Uruon was 
more than hinted at, and other ideas almost equally 
treasonable are alleged to have been advanced, though 
those who took part claim that they were misrepresented. 
Even while the convention was in session, war was con- 
cluded, so that no active results followed the meeting. 
The meetings were held in the old State House, now used 
by the city as a city hall. 

Hartford became a city in 1784. It was the capital of 
the colony from the reception of the charter in 1662 until 
1 70 1, when it shared that honor with New Haven until 
1873. Since 1875, it has been the sole capital. 

There are so many parks in the city and so many trees 
and fine residences that the visitor is apt to say that 
Hartford is the second most beautiful city in the United 
States, his home town being, of course, first. These parks 
have been opened at various times, and some of them are 
gifts to the city. They are Keney Park (663 acres), 
Goodwin (200), Elizabeth (90), Pope (73), and Riverside, 
Colt, and Charter Oak, with fair grounds and a trotting 
course. Bushnell Park is in the heart of the city on the 
Park River. Its main entrance is through the memorial 
arch to the soldiers and sailors of the Civil War who came 
from the old Nutmeg State. The imposing Capitol 
building, erected in 1880, is located on the highest point 
of the park, and a grand view can be obtained from the 
dome. In it are carefully preserved the priceless historic 
relics of the colony and State. There is also a statue of 
Connecticut's chief hero, Nathan Hale ; and in the grounds 
several statues, among which is the State's popular hero, 
Israel Putnam, 

274 Tne Old Boston Post Road 

In the summer of 1908, the new nine-arch bridge across 
the Connecticut was opened and dedicated with appro- 
priate ceremonies, the most interesting of which were the 
historic pageants covering the three days set apart for 
the purpose. 

The Post Road passes out Main Street on its way to 
Windsor, and we are fairly in the Connecticut valley with 
its background of hills and beautiful, rolling, cultivated 
country, the white towers and spires gleaming in the 
landscape. A succession of solid-looking brick houses 
lines the road from the city until we come to Windsor. 

When Holmes came in 1633 and sailed his vessel past 
the Dutch fort at Hartford, he had with him the frame of 
the house which he was to erect, and also as passengers 
Nattawanut and other sachems of the River tribes. He 
erected the house near the mouth of the Tunxis River, at 
a place which is still called Plymouth Meadow. The land 
was bought from the Indians he had with him, and con- 
troversies began at once with the Dutch in regard to the 
ownership of the land. It is true that the Dutch had the 
earlier deed, having bought from the Pequots; but the 
English did not recognize the validity of this document, 
as, according to them, the Pequots were usurping Indians 
and could not, therefore, give a lawful deed, while the 
River Indians were the legal, though dispossessed owners. 
In 1634, Director Van Twiller sent Commissary Van Curler 
to buy more lands, but he could not get the English to 
move. A band of seventy soldiers had no effect upon 
Holmes and his companions, and the Dutch did not use 
force, as they were anxious to avoid bloodshed. 

In 1630, the Rev. John Wareham, with several families, 
arrived from England, and established Dorchester, Massa- 
chusetts. They constituted a wealthier class than those 
who had preceded them. In 1635, some of their number 

Hartford County, Connecticut 275 

visited the valley, and, being pleased, began the journey 
with their families in December of the same year. Much 
of their household property was sent around by ship, 
but failed to arrive on account of the frozen river. The 
cattle perished and the colonists suffered from cold and 
famine. The party of sixty, among whom were several 
women and children, were gentlefolks and were not 
inured to the hardships of their winter journey. The 
consequence was that many of them who were weak- 
hearted started to return to Dorchester at once, and the 
others returned later. 

Holmes was much astonished to see these pioneers and 
the subsequent party attempt to settle on the lands near 
him; and, on behalf of Plymouth, he tried to dissuade 
them from so doing, but without avail, as another party 
came from Dorchester in the spring of 1636, and occupied 
the lands at Matianuck prepared for them by the pioneers. 
The disputes with Plymouth were settled in the spring of 
1637, when Thomas Prince, as agent for the Plymouth 
Colony, sold the land owned by that company to the 
Dorchester settlers. The company's ownership was 
based on the deed given to Holmes by Nattawanut and 
Sequasson in 1633; and the Windsor people, in order to 
secure their ownership still more, repurchased from the 
Indians in 1670. 

During the earlier years of the settlement, there were 
constant difficulties with the Indians, who proved trouble- 
some, and the planters always went armed and lived 
within the fortress, or palisado, whose former existence is 
still indicated by the Palisado Green north of the Tunxis 
River, where the first settlement was made. During the 
Pequot War, Windsor furnished thirty men. There were 
Indian alarms in 1643 and in 1653, when the English and 
the Dutch were at odds, and a stone fort was built for the 

276 The Old Boston Post Road 

protection of the people. There was also an alarm in 1675 
during King Philip's War, to which Windsor furnished 
one hundred and twenty-five men, one quarter of whom 
were constantly on guard night and day; and the workers 
went to the fields in armed bands with pickets to give 
notice of attack. 

During the first year, the colony was governed by the 
commission issued by the Bay Colony, but after April, 
1636, the courts at Hartford made the laws. In 1638, 
Roger Ludlow of Windsor unfolded a scheme of representa- 
tive government, and the Connecticut Colony with its 
written constitution was the result. One of the first acts 
of the General Court was to lay out a road between Hart- 
ford and Windsor. 

Windsor contributed her quota to the various French 
wars; also for the disastrous Cartagena and Havana cam- 
paigns, from which so few Colonials returned. During the 
Revolution, some of the Windsor men were with Arnold 
on his wonderful Kennebec expedition and were taken 
prisoners at Quebec with Morgan and others. In the War 
of 1 812, notwithstanding the indifference of the State 
authorities, the town raised a company of sixty-five men. 

Ancient Windsor lay on both sides of the river, and, in 
1641, a ferry was proposed; but it was not until 1648-9 
that the General Court made a contract with John Bissell, 
who "undertakes to keep and carefully attend the Ferry 
over the Great River at Windsor for the full term of seven 
years." He and his family renewed the lease until 1677, 
when the ferry became town property. Bissell's Ferry 
is still used, and a large scow attached to a cable is used 
to carry animals and vehicles from one side to the other 
when the depth of water permits. In the olden days, the 
ferryman was called by the blast of a horn, but now he 
is summoned by the ringing of a bell. In 1654, John 

Hartford County, Connecticut 277 

Bartlett contracted to keep the Rivulet Ferry over the 
Tunxis, or Farmington, river at £18 produce at ordinary- 
price. The Rivulet Ferry was continued until 1749, 
when the first free bridge was built across the stream. 
The bridge was rebuilt in 1762 by means of a lottery. 

The Palisado Green was the centre of Windsor's early 
life, for here were the church and the schoolhouse, of 
which John Brancker was appointed the first master in 
1656-7. Wareham was the pastor of the church, and it 
is said he was the first minister in New England to preach 
without notes. Captain John Mason was a companion 
of Mr. Wareham to Dorchester in 1630, and was among 
the first to come to Windsor. He was a trained soldier, so 
that his services in the Pequot War were invaluable to 
the colony. Another companion of Wareham was Henry 
Wolcott, whose descendant, Roger Wolcott, born in 
Windsor in 1679, rose from nothing to be governor, and 
major-general at the taking of Louisburg ; and, before his 
death, he had filled almost every civil position, from the 
lowest to the highest. Another of the settlers was Roger 
Ludlow, who came to America with Wareham, embarking 
at Plymouth, England, on March 20, 1630, and he was 
one of the founders of Dorchester. He was a deputy gov- 
ernor in Massachusetts, but by too much open criticism 
of the authorities, he made himself so obnoxious to them 
that he failed of reelection to the magistracy, and so joined 
the Wareham party at Windsor. He accompanied Mason 
in the pursuit of the fleeing Pequots and was present at 
the Swamp fight. He saw the advantages of the section 
about Fairfield, and, after living in Windsor for about five 
years, he went to Fairfield, which he was instrumental in 
founding. One Matthew Grant arrived in Dorchester 
in 1630 and in Windsor in 1635. One of his descendants 
was the most famous of all who came out of Windsor, 

278 The Old Boston Post Road 

General U. S. Grant, born in Ohio, but of Windsor 

The Palisado Green was also the centre of the colonial 
trade of Windsor; it was extensive with England and with 
the West Indies. Both sides of the river were in the 
township, and ship-building was early established. Be- 
fore the bridge was built over the river at Hartford, the 
Tunxis was alive with shipping, and half a dozen coasters 
and an occasional English or West India ship were to be 
seen there. Now, one sees many pleasure boats and 
motor craft belonging to the members of the local yacht 

The first recorded inns were kept by Simon Chapman 
and Eliakim Marshall in 1715, but an ordinary was, no 
doubt, kept at the ferry, as was the custom. Several of 
the old taverns still stand, or have stood until recent years, 
— the Loomis Tavern, the Heyden Tavern near an old oak, 
and Pickett's Tavern. The present town is practically one 
long street of about seven miles, the length of the township ; 
but the post-office, the town hall, and other business 
activities are on the southern side of the Tunxis, facing the 
Common in the middle of the broad highway. The Post 
Road, which was Windsor Avenue in Hartford, has become 
High Street below the Tunxis and Palisado Avenue above. 
It is some little distance from the Connecticut River, 
from which it is separated by a wide alluvial plain, de- 
scending in terraces from the higher level to the lower, 
these terraces marking the river banks of former days. 
The Tunxis is crossed by a bridge with a long causeway 
approach. On the Common is the usual historic boulder. 

On the east side of the river there was born on January 
21, 1743. John Fitch, who, many people think, is entitled to 
the honor of having invented the steamboat. It is 
stated on credible authority that Fulton and Livingston 

Chief- Justice Ellsworth Mansion, Windsor. 
Life-size Portrait of Chief-Justice Ellsworth and Abigail Wolcott Ellsworth. 

Entrance of the Enfield Canal at Windsor Locks. 

Bissell's Ferry, Windsor. The Bell to call the Ferryman. 

Hartford County, Connecticut 279 

both saw Fitch's steamboat plans in Paris. In 1787, Fitch 
ran a steam ferry on the Schuylkill until the boiler of his 
boat exploded. In 1796, he ran a small boat successfully 
on the Collect Pond, but he could get no one to back his 
enterprise. Overcome by despondency, he exclaimed to 
a friend: "Though I do not succeed, some one else will 
profit by my ideas and win fame and fortune. " He gave 
up the fight against ill-fortune, and killed himself in 

Windsor's most famous son is Oliver Ellsworth, who was 
born here on March 24, 1747. He was a judge, a member 
of the Continental Congress and of the Convention which 
framed the Federal Constitution, where he was instru- 
mental in reconciling the conflicting interests of the larger 
and the smaller states in the matter of representation in 
the proposed Congress. After the adoption of the Con- 
stitution, he was United States Senator; and, after Jay's 
resignation in 1796, Washington appointed Ellsworth 
Chief -Justice of the United States. In 1799, he was 
minister to France and made a treaty of commerce with 
that country. In 1800, he resigned his position of Chief- 
Justice of the United States to become Chief -Justice of 
his own state, the Federal position not being held in such 
honored reverence then as now. He died at Windsor, 
November 26, 1807. His house and land, which had been 
in possession of the Ellsworth family since 1665, was pre- 
sented, on October 8, 1903, to the local chapter of the 
Daughters of the American Revolution, who preserve here 
a collection of historical relics ; it is situated a short dis- 
tance above the road to Bissell's Ferry. Washington 
visited the house on his eastern trip, and there is a tradi- 
tion that he greatly amused the older children by dancing 
the younger ones on his crossed knee, while he sang the 
song of the wonderful "Darby Ram," 

280 The Old Boston Post Road 

" The horns upon this ram, sir, 
They grew up to the moon, 
A man went up in January 
And did n't come down till June. 
And if you don't believe 
Me and think I tell a lie, 
Why just go down to Darbytown 
And see the same as I." 

The Post Road continues north through a post-office 
village called Hayden's, and about five miles above the 
Windsor post-office, it comes to that at Windsor Locks. 
This was settled as a part of Windsor in 1663, but it was 
incorporated as a town in 1854. It was called originally 
Pinemeadow, but its name became Windsor Locks from 
the fact that the Enfield Falls Canal Company built a 
series of locks here in order to pass around Enfield Falls, 
which are in the river a short distance above. The town 
is devoted largely to manufacturing and it is connected 
with Warehouse Point on the east side of the river by a 
suspension bridge, which has replaced the old covered toll 
bridge which formerly connected the two sides of the 

Continuing north over the Post Road, we pass between 
lines of tobacco farms until we come to the Stony River, 
which is the southern line of Suffield. The old Windsor 
and Springfield "way" was on the line of High Street, but 
there is a road nearer the Connecticut River called Feather 
Street, a name that is probably derived from Ferther, or 
Farther Street, so called from the fact that it was farther 
away from the main street of the town. The township 
consists of a series of ridges parallel to the river upon which 
were the Indian trails. These ridges, or terraces, mark 
the banks of the river in former geologic ages when the river 
was wider than it is now. These terraces are found at 

Hartford County, Connecticut 281 

several places along the valley. At Suffield, the river 
banks are elevated and bold, and there are no alluvial 
plains, or meadows, as in the other river towns. 

All of these river settlements were made under grants 
from Massachusetts, and they were under her jurisdiction 
for some time after they were started. Suffield was longer 
under Massachusetts than the other plantations, as it was 
part of Hampden County until 1749. The General Court 
made grants here in 1660 to several proprietors, and an 
unsuccessful attempt at settlement was probably made. 
No Indian deed of the town has ever been found, though 
it is known that Major Pynchon paid the Indian pro- 
prietors £30, and that he sold later to the proprietors 
for £40. Disputes arose at once with Windsor over the 
boundary, as the southern town claimed to the Stony 
River and the new plantation claimed to the old line of 
Woodward and Saffrey, the Massachusetts surveyors of 
1642. In 1680, Connecticut proposed to Massachusetts 
that commissioners be appointed to view the line "with 
due care and good instruments, so that a final issue of the 
controversy may be had." Massachusetts did not re- 
spond, so, in 1694, Connecticut appointed a committee 
who became satisfied that the true line was several miles 
north of the Woodward and Saffrey line. An agreement 
was made between the two colonies in 1713, by which the 
Connecticut claim was admitted, and, at the same time, 
the Bay Colony received an equivalent amount of land 
farther west. 

The earliest plantation was known as Stony River, from 
the name of the principal stream. In 1670, several Spring- 
field men received a grant "to the contents of six miles 
square," and after this date, the settlement was called 
Southfield, both by the Province laws and by the inhabit- 
ants. In 1674, a petition was made to the General Court 

282 The Old Boston Post Road 

asking that the town be released from paying the county- 
rates for seven years, "as an encouragement to the planters, 
it being a woody place and difficult to winne. " At the 
same time, it was asked that the name be changed to 

it being the southernmost town that either at present is, or like 
to be in that Countrey, and neere adjoining to the south border 
of our Patent in those parts. 

The following year (1675), the grantees were ready to 
go ahead with their plans of settlement, but King Philip's 
War broke out, the whole scheme fell through, and the 
plantation was abandoned. Major Pynchon's sawmill 
at the mouth of Stony River was destroyed, as well as 
the houses of the settlers. In the spring of 1677, the 
committee having in charge the replanting of the town 
announced to the scattered settlers that they could have 
"forty days to declare their intendments, and full resolu- 
tions to settle there," and, "failing to settle within 
18 months, their allottments to be disposed of to such 
as will." In the same year, most of the former in- 
habitants returned, dug up their buried possessions, and 
began the resettlement of the plantation. 

The settlement of the boundary question in 17 13 was 
never satisfactory to the Suffield people, who realized they 
were within the bounds of the Connecticut patent. For 
a number of years after 1720, they tried to join Connecti- 
cut, and the authorities of Connecticut appointed two 
commissioners to meet two from Massachusetts to read- 
judicate the boundary line; but the latter, probably 
realizing the weakness of its contention, refused to appoint. 
At last, in 1749, the patience of the Suffield inhabitants 
was exhausted, and they revolted from the Bay Colony; 

Hartford County, Connecticut 283 

at the same time, by an act of the General Court, Con- 
necticut annexed Suffield. 

In the early days, before the river was polluted by the 
factories and towns upon its banks, the shad and salmon 
fisheries were a source of considerable revenue to the town. 
The town was also the place of origin and home of that 
famous itinerant, the Yankee peddler. The Suffield 
peddlers, with their packs of "Yankee notions" and bud- 
gets of news and gossip were known ' and welcomed 
throughout the other colonies. Tobacco for home use was 
grown from the beginning of the plantation, though the 
colony laws restricted its use to those of mature age and 
inflicted severe punishments upon those who used it 
contrary, to the wishes of their parents. Later, it became 
an object of outside trade, and, in 1727, it became a legal 
tender for purchases, for payment of debts, etc. Cigars 
were seldom seen in the country before 1800, and then 
only those imported from the West Indies. In 1810, a 
Cuban, or Spanish, tramp of intemperate habits drifted to 
Suffield and, under the employment of Simeon Viets, 
began to manufacture "genuine Spanish cigars," the first 
in Connecticut, and probably in New England. That 
expression of "genuine Spanish cigars" is somehow 
reminiscent of the wooden nutmegs manufactured in the 
same state. 

Phinehas Lyman has already been mentioned as having 
been born in Durham. He was a graduate of Yale and 
married a Suffield girl and took up his residence here. In 
: 749i principally through his exertions, the town was added 
to Connecticut. In March, 1755, he was made Major- 
General and Commander-in-Chief of the Connecticut 
forces, one thousand in number, that were sent against 
Crown Point, and he gave up the largest law practice in 
the colony in order to take the position. At the battle 

284 The Old Boston Post Road 

fought with the French on September 8, 1755, William 
Johnson was wounded early in the engagement, and the 
command devolved upon Lyman. It was he who de- 
feated Dieskau; yet his name was not even mentioned 
in the despatches of Johnson, who was made a baronet 
and given five thousand pounds for a victory he had not 

In the following year, Lyman was again in command of 
Connecticut's contingent of two thousand five hundred 
troops; and, in 1758, at the head of five thousand Con- 
necticut troops, he was in Abercrombie's defeat at Lake 
George. In 1759, with four thousand Connecticut troops, 
he helped Sir Geoffrey Amherst take Ticonderoga and 
Crown Point. In 1762, Lyman was ordered to Havana 
with two thousand, three hundred men and was placed in 
command of all the provincials during that deadly and 
disastrous campaign. After the war was over, he organ- 
ized the company of "Military Adventurers," composed 
chiefly of those who had taken part in the ate wars. He 
went to England and succeeded in getting a grant upon 
the Mississippi and Yazoo rivers for his company. In 
September, 1774, while making preliminary surveys and 
settlements, he died at Natchez, his health having been 
shattered during the Havana campaign. 

Dr. Sylvester Graham (1794-1851) was a native of the 
town and was a strong advocate of vegetarianism. He 
aroused the enmity of all the bakers in the country by his 
invention of a new kind of flour and bread which he claimed 
were of superior nutritive quality, and Graham flour serves 
to keep alive the name of this country doctor. 

Two other natives of Sufneld, more distinguished but 
not so well known as Graham, were Gideon and Francis 
Granger, father and son. The former was born July 19, 
1767. He was graduated from Yale and took up the 

Giles Grange (First Postmaster-General of United States) House, Suffield. 

286 The Old Boston Post Road 

dating back almost to 1670, are protected from injury 
by being placed between white silk covers, which allow 
the papers to be easily read; and they are stored in the 
town clerk's safe in the town hall. 



WITH our northward journey out of Suffield, we 
pass over the border line of Connecticut into 
Massachusetts and into the township of Aga- 
wam, incorporated as a separate town on May 17, 1885. 
The northern boundary of the town is the Agawam River, 
and the earliest settlers in going to church at Springfield 
were obliged to pass over this river as well as the Connecti- 
cut, until 1698, when the West Springfield church was 
established, and the distance was shortened. Agawam 
was originally a part of Springfield, and later, of West 
Springfield. From Suffield northward, the Post Road 
is bounded on the west by the southern end of the Holyoke 
range of hills. In 1638, it became lawful for every inhabit- 
ant of Springfield to put over the river until November 
first, for grazing purposes, his horses, cows, and younger 
cattle. As a result, these hills became known as the 
"Feeding Hills," a name which one still finds upon a line 
of electric cars from Springfield, and which is apt to arouse 
one's curiosity. It was not until 1670 that a permanent 
settlement was made here, and both the Pynchons, father 
and son, located mills upon its streams. Being near to 
the Indian village, these houses and mills were the first 
objects of destruction when the Indians went upon the 


288 The Old Boston Post Road 

war-path in 1675. Agriculture was the principal occupa- 
tion of the inhabitants, though, in the early nineteenth 
century, cotton and wool manufactures were introduced, 
and a little later, paper and wall-paper mills were estab- 
lished. A distillery for making gin, which is still working, 
was started here in 1780. The town is to-day practically 
a suburb of Springfield. 

Though the first site selected for a plantation was on the 
west side of the river, it was vacated for the dryer and 
safer east side. In 1653, allotments of land were made, 
but there were only a few, scattered settlers, as the Indian 
fort was near and the planters were so afraid of the natives 
that they lived on the east side of the Connecticut and 
crossed over to cultivate the rich meadow lands on the west 
side. It was not until the Indian village was broken up 
after King Philip's War that any number of settlers came 
to make a permanent plantation. In 1695, they out- 
numbered the settlement on the east side, and there were 
thirty-two families and two hundred souls. To escape 
from being controlled by the west siders, Springfield 
granted to them a separate parish in 1695, and they became 
a separate town in 1774. This superiority on the part of 
West Springfield continued to 18 10. It has been during 
its career, agricultural, manufacturing, and residential. 
Before the building of the bridge it appears on the itiner- 
ary of the old Post Road as Springfield Ferry. 

The most prominent man of colonial days was Major 
Benjamin Day, whose brick house, built in 1754, has been 
used by the Ramapague Historical Society since 1903 
to contain a very excellent collection of historical materi- 
als. One of the relics is the great iron camp kettle which 
was used by the captured Germans when passing through 
the town. A number of them deserted and settled here, 
and the German names still extant bear witness to the fact. 

Parsons Tavern as it appeared in 1886, Springfield. 
From an old wood -cut. 

290 The Old Boston Post Road 

William Pynchon, a gentleman of Springfield, in Essex, 
England, came to this country in 1630 on the same vessel 
that brought the Massachusetts charter. He settled at 
first at Dorchester, but he soon started a new plantation 
upon the rocks of Boston Neck, which was called Rocks- 
bury. He traded with the Indians and engaged in com- 
merce; but the Massachusetts authorities interfered with 
him too much, and he found the soil of Roxbury to be poor, 
so that for these reasons he decided to migrate. After 
some delay, the Bay authorities gave permission to re- 
move to the inhabitants of Roxbury, Dorchester, and 

The Bay authorities did not look with much favor on 
the invitation of the River Indians to occupy the Con- 
necticut valley, nor did they put much faith in the reports 
of the prospector, John Oldham; but it is certain that 
Pynchon did ; and it is believed that he and his sons-in-law, 
Henry Smith and John Burr, made a hasty trip to the 
valley in 1634 or 5 in order to look personally over the land 
and the opportunities there offered. As a result, John 
Cable and John Woodcock were sent forward in the spring 
of 1635 to build a house on the site selected by Pynchon on 
Agawam meadow. They remained during the summer 
and cultivated a patch of land, but returned to Roxbury 
in the autumn. 

The route taken by the Roxbury party of settlers was 
that known as the Old Connecticut Path, which led by 
way of Cambridge to Wayland (East Sudbury), where the 
Old Bay Path branched off, thence through Marlborough, 
Grafton, Oxford, Woodstock, and Springfield, and so on 
to Albany. It is practically on the present line of the 
Boston and Albany Railroad. The Old Bay Path ran 
through Worcester and rejoined the main path east of 
Springfield; before the Revolution, it was called the 

Hampden County, Massachusetts 291 

Boston Road. A parallel path, known as the New Con- 
necticut Path, started at Cambridge and ran through 
Northborough, Shrewsbury, Worcester, Leicester and 
Springfield to Albany. Of these three, the Bay Path is 
the best known. 1 The Old Connecticut Path was un- 
doubtedly centuries old when the General Court estab- 
lished it as a permanent thoroughfare, soon after the 
Plymouth Path between the capitals of the two colonies 
had been made a public highway in 1639. All of these 
paths from the Bay to the interior passed through the 
hilly country and gathered at Quaboag Fort at Brook- 
field, after which they separated again. The Old Con- 
necticut Path was the route of Oldham and of Hooker and 
Stone, and by the time of the latter hegira, it had devel- 
oped from the old Indian trail into a bridle path. The Bay 
Path was not opened until 1673, though it is mentioned 
in 1646. 

Pynchon was not satisfied to be on the river below the 
Connecticut settlements, so he ascended the river until 
he reached the Woronoco, or Agawam, where he bought 
land from the Indians. He thought that he was still 
within the jurisdiction of the Connecticut patents, and, 
in consequence, the new plantation paid a twofold alle- 
giance. The Agawam settlers drew up a plan of town 
government ; and, in July, 1636, the Indians gave a deed to 
close the verbal agreement of the previous year with 

The first pastor was the Rev. George Moxon, who was in- 
stalled in 1637 ! ^ y° u S° to Springfield to-day, you will find 
the pastor of one of the churches the Rev. George Moxon- 

William Pynchon was a trader from the start, and he 
was a rich man who shipped pelts and other commodities 

1 See J. G. Holland's The Bay Path, and Alice Morse Earle's Stage Coach 
and Tavern Days. 

292 The Old Boston Post Road 

up and down the river in his own boats; but Robert 
Fenwick, the proprietor of Saybrook, levied tolls upon 
vessels entering and leaving the river. Connecticut 
bought Fenwick out, and in turn established a tariff, 
which Pynchon refused to pay. There were other differ- 
ences between Hartford and Agawam, and, at last, the 
latter place discovered after a careful survey that it was 
not under the jurisdiction of the former. 

At the town meeting of April 16, 1640, the name of the 
town was changed to Springfield, after the native place 
of Pynchon in England. Immigration to the valley 
continued, and, among those who came, three are deserv- 
ing of special notice. One was Deacon Samuel Chapin, 
who was probably of Huguenot extraction, but who was 
the typical Puritan in speech, dress, manners and thoughts. 
His statue by St. Gaudens is on the grounds adjoining 
the City Library on State Street. A second comer was 
Elizur Holyoke, who married one of Pynchon's daughters, 
and who was the founder of the city which bears his name. 
His descendants have played an important part in New 
England history. The third immigrant was Miles Morgan 
who came to America from Bristol in 1636. On the pas- 
sage over, he met a Miss Gilbert, who settled with her 
family at Beverly. Morgan wooed her by proxy; and, 
in 1643, accompanied by two neighbors and an Indian, he 
made the journey to Beverly and was married to her. It 
is told that the bridal party walked all the way back to 
Springfield, the bride riding the only horse the party had. 
Morgan was a butcher, as well as a farmer, and, though he 
could not write, he held many important positions. One 
of his descendants is J. Pierpont Morgan. The statue of 
Miles Morgan, erected by one of the fifth generation in 
descent, stands in Court Square not far from the site of 
the old Parsons Tavern. 

Municipal Building, Springfield. 
From the photo by Copeland and Dodge. 

Deacon Chapin Statue, Springfield. 

j&NS fa 

Mrs y'v/. ''W T -£-■ '■■-•' \ \ 

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The Springfield Home of George Bancroft. 




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First Church, Springfield, erected 1645. 

Hampden County, Massachusetts 293 

In 165 1 , there occurred the first case of witchcraft, when 
Hugh Parsons was accused by his wife and neighbors. 
Dame Parsons was undoubtedly crazy, and finally accused 
herself, whereupon she was convicted and sentenced to 
be hanged; but she was far gone in consumption and died 
before the sentence could be carried out. Her husband 
was taken to Boston for trial, but the General Court 
refused to confirm the verdict of guilty and he was set 
free; he left Boston and Massachusetts. 

William Pynchon was the first magistrate, and he served 
from 1638 to 1 65 1. He wrote a theological work, The 
Meritorious Price of Man's Redemption, which met with 
disapproval from the theocratic authorities of the Bay, 
who ordered it burned and its author to retract. The 
controversy between him and the General Court finally 
led to his withdrawal from the colony and return to Eng- 
land, leaving worthy and able successors in his son John 
and his son-in-law Holyoke. That the young men were 
in charge was soon shown by the severity of the sentences 
which came from the judge's bench. Goodwife Hunter 
was gagged and made to stand half an hour in the stocks 
for sundry " exorbitancys of y e toung." (What would 
have happened to an English suffragette!!!) Several 
people were fined for failure to attend town meeting, a 
good example that should be followed in the case of those 
who to-day fail to register and vote. 

In November, 1646, "y e Bay path" is mentioned in the 
town records. In 1669, Miles Morgan and Jonathan 
Burt were stationed "up in y e gallery to give a check to 
disorders in youth & young men In tyme of God's worship. 
Anthony Dorchester to sit in y e guard seat for y e like end. " 
In 1 661, warrants arrived in Springfield from the Bay for 
the arrest of the regicides, Goffe and Whalley. 

About 1659, John Pynchon built his fortified residence 

294 The Old Boston Post Road 

on what is now Fort Street. The house was the finest in 
New England outside of Boston and stood well into the 
nineteenth century. Its site is marked by a tablet on the 
building at the corner of Main Street. 

In June, 1675, Philip plundered and partially burned 
Swanzey; and, on the third of August, the Nipmucks 
attacked a fortified house at Brookfield; but the Agawams 
were still trusted by the Springfield people, though, as a 
measure of precaution, hostages were required of them. 
These hostages were freed by their friends, and Philip 
persuaded the Agawams to join him in his war for the 
extermination of the whites. The destruction of Spring- 
field was decided upon; but timely notice came from Wind- 
sor, where the strange actions of Toto, an Indian who 
worked for a family there, aroused investigation, and the 
secret of the proposed attack was gotten from him. A 
messenger was at once despatched to arouse the Spring- 
field people. He rode post-haste and arrived in the town 
about midnight, and the frightened inhabitants were 
soon gathered within three of the houses that had been 
fortified. Very few men were left in the town, as most of 
them were away with Major Pynchon towards Hadley, 
where they were on the lookout for marauding Indians. 
This desertion of Springfield was due to the fact that the 
inhabitants had implicit faith and reliance in the honesty 
of the Agawams. Messengers were sent at once to notify 
Major Pynchon of the threatened attack. 

All was quiet during the remainder of the night, and 
the courage of the frightened inmates of the fortified 
houses returned with the daylight. Lieutenant Cooper 
even went so far as to say he believed the whole matter 
was a false alarm. He knew every Indian personally and 
proposed a visit to the Indian fort. He induced Thomas 
Miller to, accompany him. Half an hour later, his horse 

Hampden County, Massachusetts 295 

returned on the run, with his master's bloody body in 
the saddle. The horse ran to the house and stopped, and 
Cooper's dead body fell to the ground. Miller had been 
killed at the first volley of the savages, who followed 
closely upon the heels of the fleeing animal. Their yells 
and whoops gave no doubt of their intentions. They 
murdered Mrs. John Matthews, who was, for some reason, 
in her own house, and set fire to thirty-three houses and 
twenty-five barns, but the forts were too strong for the 
Indian method of attack. The whites were astonished 
to see at the head of the attacking band their old friend, 
the sachem Wequogan. 

The Indians secured much plunder but little blood on 
this dreadful fifth of October. They retreated to Indian 
Orchard, where they slept in security, with no fear of the 
return of Pynchon with his two hundred followers, who 
had ridden from Hadley at full speed at the news of the 
attack. The number and position of the savages were too 
strong for the whites to take the offensive, and so Pynchon 
returned to the desolated town. There were left but 
fifteen houses in the main settlement and about thirty on 
the outskirts, a total of forty-five to accommodate forty 
extra families and two hundred soldiers, so that, during the 
winter that followed, the inhabitants were sorely cramped 
for room. Springfield recovered slowly from the disaster, 
but skulking Indians kept the inhabitants in dread for 
several years after, and it was found necessary to send 
armed guards with the parties that went for forage and 
for firewood. The new meeting-house and several other 
buildings were fortified and protected by palisades. 

During the several French wars, Springfield was in 
alarm; and John Pynchon and his successors were busy 
in sending help in men, arms, and provisions to the towns 
and villages in the neighborhood which were threatened 

296 The Old Boston Post Road 

with attack. During all this period, however, Springfield 
was fostering settlements, Enfield, Suffield, Brookfield, and 
others. All the success and progress of Springfield in the 
latter part of the eighteenth century are due principally 
to John Pynchon. 

Near the top of the hill on State Street (the Boston 
Post Road) are situated the United States Arsenal and 
Armory. These were first established here in June, 1776, 
when the Continental Congress leased the grounds. The 
Federal government took deeds to the land in 1795 and 
1 801, in accordance with a law of 1794 to establish an 
armory here. The making of muskets was begun in 
1795, when 245 were turned out during the year; by 186 1, 
the daily output was one thousand, and during the Civil 
War, it was necessary to run the factories night and day 
to their full capacity. Washington inspected the Arsenal 
on his eastern trip in 1789, and Longfellow visited it 
while on his wedding trip in 1843. Mrs. Longfellow 
remarked that the tiers of arms reminded her of an organ, 
a simile that was followed up by the poet. 

" This is the Arsenal. From floor to ceiling, 
Like a huge organ, rise the burnished arms; 
But from their silent pipes no anthem pealing 
Startles the villagers with strange alarms." 

For many years, the Arsenal was the principal building 
of the town, and to be an armorer was to be a man of note. 
In 1824, the Armory was burned, and, in 1864, during the 
Civil War, an unsuccessful attempt was made to blow it 
up. In Benton Park, abreast of the Armory grounds on 
State Street, is the Boston Stone, erected by Joseph Wait, 
a merchant of Brookfield, who, tradition says, lost his way 
in a blinding snow-storm and wandered out of the travelled 

The Wait Guide Stone at Federal and State Sts., Springfield. 

Historical Tablet on Office Building, Corner of Main 
and Fort Sts., Springfield. 

Hampden County, Massachusetts 297 

path of the Boston Road. In order that other travellers 
should not have the same experience, he erected the stone 
in 1763. Directly opposite the stone is the Rockingham 
House, a brick hotel, or tavern, which was a great place 
of resort for the armorers and for the teamsters in the old 
coaching days. A few paces from the Boston Stone is a 
boulder inscribed as follows: 

This Tablet Marks the Battle Place 

of Shays' Rebellion, 

January 25, 1787 

Erected by the 

George Washington Chapter 

Sons of the American Revolution 

A.D. 1904. 

As this was the spot where the rebellion of Shays cul- 
minated, it may be well to state here what that rebellion 
was. After the close of the Revolution, matters were a 
long time in adjusting themselves. The men who had 
taken part in the struggle returned to their homes and 
attempted to resume the practices of civil life. In many 
cases, they found that they and their families were ham- 
pered by debts that had been incurred during that time of 
stress and peril ; nor was this distressful condition limited 
to those who had fought ; it also extended to those who had 
stayed at home. There was little, or no money, and the 
per capita share of the State debt was nearly two hundred 
dollars for every inhabitant, a sum that to the vast 
majority was more than their property was worth, or, in 
their opinion, ever would be worth. High prices ruled for 
what they had to buy, and low prices for what they had 
to sell. The middlemen and agents everywhere reaped 
harvests out of the necessities of the yeomanry. Imprison- 
ment for debt was the common procedure, and creditors 

298 The Old Boston Post Road 

took advantage of this to force their debtors into still 
worse straits by invoking the law against them. Then, 
as now, Law was a fetich that had more worshippers than 
Justice or Humanity; and the duty of the courts and 
authorities was to carry out the laws. 

As a result, the poor sufferers who were cast into jail 
for debt, or who lost their property by confiscation under 
the forms of law, came to have a most violent hatred for 
lawyers, sheriffs, judges and courts, and at last decided 
that such things should not be. Several leaders appeared, 
the most prominent of whom was Daniel Shays, an ex- 
officer of the Revolution. Under his direction and that of 
Luke Day, Adam Wheeler, Eli Parsons, and others, the 
disgruntled members of the community, almost entirely 
composed of the farmers and yeomanry, were, in the late 
fall of 1786, organized and drilled. Governor Bowdoin 
directed the authorities of the disaffected districts of 
Western and Central Massachusetts to employ the militia 
in putting down the incipient revolt ; but it was found that 
the militia, almost to a man, had joined the insurgents. 
General Benjamin Lincoln was placed in command of 
troops raised in the eastern counties who rendezvoused 
at Worcester. Knowing this, and wishing to arm his 
adherents with something better than flails and farm 
implements, Shays, who was at Palmer with eleven hun- 
dred noisy insurgents, decided to attack the Arsenal and 
help himself to guns before Lincoln was ready to advance 
against him. He sent word to Day at West Springfield 
to join him, but Day was not quite ready, so Shays took 
up the march to Springfield. 

General Shepherd was in command at Springfield, and 
both he and Lincoln were apprised of the intentions of 
Shays. The former arranged for the defence of the 
Arsenal, while the latter pushed his preparations for a 

The Miles Morgan Statue, Court Square, Springfield. 
From a photo by Gopeland and Dodge. 

Hampden County, Massachusetts 299 

forced march to assist Shepherd. On January 25, 1787, 
Shays, with about twelve hundred followers, appeared on 
the Boston Road coming from Palmer. General Shep- 
herd had placed his small force to protect the Armory, 
and he had several howitzers. As the insurgent column 
appeared, a howitzer shot was fired on each side of it, but 
the rebels were unterrified and kept on. Then the howit- 
zer was trained into the column and a shot was fired. 
Four men were killed; the column halted appalled; then 
a panic seized them; and, in a few minutes, twelve hun- 
dred thoroughly frightened men were racing away for 
dear life. They fled to Petersham, robbing houses and 
barns as they marched, and rested there in fancied security ; 
but Lincoln was making a forced march through the heavy 
drifts of a blinding snow-storm and came up with the 
rebels. One hundred and fifty men were captured, and 
the rest fled ; but the rebellion was not ended until Febru- 
ary, when the last of the insurgent bands was dispersed. 
The leaders were tried for high treason and sentenced to 
death, but none was executed or imprisoned for a long 
period, as they were pardoned by Governor Hancock, 
whose election against Governor Bowdoin was carried by 
the people who were assured of his clemency toward the 
convicted rebels, while they were doubtful of the action 
of Governor Bowdoin, should he be reelected. J 

The most famous tavern in Springfield in the coaching 
days was that kept by Zenos Parsons. It was located 
near the southeast corner of the present Court Square, 
where there is still a large elm which formerly stood in 
front of the tavern. It was here that Washington stopped, 
as did Monroe on his eastern trip in 1817. Captain Charles 
Colton's Tavern stood at the corner of State and Maple 

"See The Duke of Stockbridge, by Edward Bellamy, also The Critical 
Period of American History, by Professor John Fiske. 

300 The Old Boston Post Road 

streets. At the southwest corner of State and Main streets 
formerly stood the Bates Tavern, which was conducted by- 
Uncle Jerry and Aunt Phoebe Bates. Their reputation 
was so great that, so it is said, travellers arriving on this 
side of the Atlantic took stage at once for the famous 
Springfield resort, without spending any time in Boston 
or their port of debarkation. 

The Connecticut River was crossed at first by ferry, 
as there was no bridge until 1805. There were four ferries 
in all, the southern one being private. The first sug- 
gestions to build a bridge across the river were greeted 
with ridicule in 1786; but the idea gradually took root — 
probably helped by the completion, in 1793, of the bridge 
across the Charles River at Boston. A lottery was 
authorized to raise funds for a toll bridge, which was 
opened October 30, 1805. It was built on a series of 
arches, and the roadway, instead of being level, followed 
the curves of the arches. The freshets of the river soon 
demolished the bridge; but a second toll bridge — also 
erected by lottery — was opened October 1, 1816. It was 
partly carried away in 181 8, and was replaced in 1820 
by the old covered bridge which spans the river to-day. 
President James Monroe, while on his tour of New Eng- 
land in 1 81 7, crossed the second bridge. The tolls were 
abolished in 1872. 

Speaking of the Springfield of 1803, President Dwight 
of Yale says: 

At that time the roads in this valley were generally good 
throughout a great extent. Hence the inhabitants were al- 
lured to a much more extensive intercourse with each other 
than those in any other part of New England, except along the 
eastern coast. For the same reason a multitude of strangers 
have at all times been induced to make the valley the scene 
of their pleasurable travelling. The effect of this intercourse 

Hampden County, Massachusetts 301 

on the minds and manners of the inhabitants needs no explana- 

Professor Silliman, who came through the valley in 1819, 

says : 

We found the inns, almost without exception, so comfortable, 
quaint and agreeable that we had neither desire nor inclination 
to find fault. 

Captain Levi Pease started his Boston and Hartford 
stages on October 20, 1787. At the end of the coaching 
period, there were six lines and eighteen coaches between 
Boston and Springfield; yet, even after 1830, Springfield 
was a small cluster of houses straggling along a single street, 
the Post Road. It became a city in 1852, becoming in 
late years, the " Model City of the Connecticut Valley. " 

On December 21, 1841, trains passed from Boston to 
Albany over a route through the Berkshires that English 
visitors, travelling by coach, had proclaimed impossible 
of construction by American or any other engineers. 
Three years later, the Hartford and Springfield Railroad 
was opened, and this connected Springfield with New York 
by rail. With the completion of the Western Road, 
came the closing of the inns and the desertion of the 
turnpikes and highways. 

In the spring of 1843, Charles Dickens passed through 
Springfield, travelling up the river by steamboat. In 
April, 1852, Louis Kossuth, the famous Hungarian patriot, 
stopped with his party at the Massasoit House, then 
about ten years old and the most famous hostelry in 
Central Massachusetts. After his name on the hotel 
register, in the address column, he wrote "Homeless." 
He spoke from the balcony of the hotel to a great crowd of 
people. The famous old inn was closed in 191 1, and its 

302 The Old Boston Post Road 

site is occupied by a modern business building. From 
1846 to 1849, John Brown was a resident of Springfield, 
where he was engaged in the wool business, besides fighting 
slavery, and organizing societies to prevent the return of 
fugitive slaves. 

The first newspaper was established in 1782; it was the 
Massachusetts Gazette and General Advertiser. It went 
through various hands and its name was frequently 
changed. Other papers followed. In 1824, the oldest 
existing paper, the Springfield Republican, was started by 
Samuel Bowles, a printer. He, himself, was a descendant 
of John Eliot, the missionary to the Indians, and his wife 
was a descendant of Miles Standish. The paper was at 
first Democratic-Republican, then it became Whig, and 
when the new party was formed in 1853, it became Repub- 
lican. It was the first daily newspaper in the State, out- 
side of Boston. 

Other publishers known throughout the country are 
G. &. C. Merriam, the publishers of Webster's Dictionaries, 
and the Milton Bradley Company, who issue books and 
materials relating to kindergartens. Josiah Gilbert Hol- 
land began his literary and journalistic, career here. In 
1835, George Bancroft married Sarah D wight of Spring- 
field, and came to live at No. 39 Chestnut Street, in a house 
which was a gift from the bride's father. It was in the 
law office of Bosworth and Barrows that Bancroft wrote 
the second volume of his History of the United States. Mrs. 
Bancroft died in 1837, and the historian moved shortly 
after her death. Marian Harland, Edward Bellamy, Rose 
Terry Cooke and Clark W. Bryan are a few of the names 
that have helped to give Springfield the character of a 
literary centre. In art, also, the city has made its mark, 
among her sons being Robert Reid, the artist and illus- 



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.2 B 


Monument to Dead of Second Regiment of the Spanish War, Springfield. 

A Fourth of July Celebration, Springfield, in 191 1. 
From a photo by Copeland and Dodge. 

Hampden County, Massachusetts 303 

The first library was the Springfield Library Company, 
whose catalogue of 1796 gives three hundred and twenty 
titles. The City Library was established on November 
27> I 859. and there have been, and are, several others. 
The City Library how occupies a handsome marble build- 
ing on State Street; this. building was the gift of Andrew 
Carnegie and it was dedicated in January, 1912. 

In 1 8 12, the southerly part of the old county of Hamp- 
shire was named Hampden County, and Springfield 
became the county-seat. The first court-house was 
-erected in 1821. Court Square is the business centre of 
the city, and there has just been finished here a new munici- 
pal building which faces on the square and which is sur- 
mounted by a great central clock tower which is visible 
for many miles up. and down the river. All the electric 
car lines pass Court Square. 

At the beginning of the nineteenth century, Spring- 
field was smaller than West Springfield, and it did not 
begin really to grow until the advent of the railroad, 
since which time it has become one of the principal 
manufacturing cities of Massachusetts. Among its man- 
ufactures are railroad cars, skates, sporting goods, 
valves and hydrants, buttons, corsets, picture frames 
and art goods. 

The first horse show ever held in the country was held 
in Federal Square, on the Arsenal grounds, in 1855. 
There are five hundred acres of parks, the largest being 
Forest Hill Park, which has been left in many spots in a 
natural state. Here was unveiled in 1908 a memorial 
bust of President McKinley. It is situated on the Pe- 
cowsic slope of the park, opposite the Berry mausoleum, 
overlooking the Connecticut River. Near the Public 
Library are the Art Museum and the Science Building, 
and almost opposite the Library is the office building of the 

304 The Old Boston Post Road 

Springfield Fire and Marine Insurance Company, archi- 
tecturally very beautiful and impressive. One other 
monument in Springfield, besides those mentioned, is a 
soldiers' monument, dedicated, not to the soldiers of the 
Civil War, but to those of the Spanish War. 

After reaching the top of State Street, the Post Road 
continues on a plain until it reaches the Chicopee River 
near Indian Orchard and Ludlow, northeast of the main 
part of the city. This was called in the old days Spring- 
field Plain. 

Indian Orchard is near the Chicopee River, and it re- 
ceives its name from the fact that it was here that the 
six hundred Indians who attacked Springfield bivouacked 
for the night after the attack. The pursuing party found 
some plunder and the remains of twenty-four fires, show- 
ing that the encampment had been an extensive one. A 
canal company was organized in 1837 for the purpose of 
utilizing the power of the Chicopee, but the Indian Or- 
chard Company did not begin manufacturing until 1846. 
The road passes along the banks of the Chicopee River 
which presents many beautiful vistas. Washington says, 
under date of Thursday, November 22d : 

Set out at 7 o'clock, and for the first eight miles rid over an 
almost uninhabited Pine plain ; much mixed with sand. Then 
a little before the road descends to Chicopee river, it is hilly, 
rocky and steep, and continues so for several miles; the 
Country being Stony and Barren; with a mixture of Pine 
and Oak till we come to Palmer, at the House of one Scott, 
where we breakfasted; and where the land, though far from 
good, began to mend; to this is called 15 miles. . 

• Through this portion of Central Massachusetts, there 
are many thousands of acres of land which are uncultivated 




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The Old Bridge over the Chicopee River, Palmer. 

The Washington Elm, Palmer. 

Kidd's Cave, Palmer. 

Hampden County, Massachusetts 305 

and given over to a scrubby undergrowth of trees and 
bushes. In the opinion of the writer, this land could be 
cleared for pasturage, and both beef and dairy cattle 
raised; but it is doubtful if the beef interests of the West 
would permit the slaughtering of eastern cattle. The 
dairy side of the cattle industry would probably serve 
better at the start. Sheep were formerly raised here in 
large numbers and were a source of enormous profit to 
the Massachusetts farmers. The looseness of the soil 
would make the cultivation of tuberous plants profitable, 
and, were there sugar refineries convenient, the cultivation 
of the sugar-beet would pay. In these opinions the writer 
is confirmed by the State Board of Agriculture of Massa- 
chusetts, who also advise the planting of fruits, especially 
apples and peaches, as a source of income. Years ago 
this land was profitably cultivated; and with the improve- 
ments in modern agriculture, tools, and fertilizers, there 
is no reason why it should not be again. 

In the early days, the land was divided into three par- 
allel strips according to its distance from the Connecticut 
River; the alluvial meadows bordering the river were 
called the "plain lands;" the next strip was called the 
"inner commons," and the farthest from the river, the 
"outer commons." It is through a portion of the "outer 
commons" that the Post Road passes through North 
Wilbraham, adjacent to the Chicopee River. This 
section was at first considered too dangerous to settle 
upon on account of the fear of Indian depredations; in 
addition, the soil was poor, the land hilly, and the forests 
had been stripped by the former Indian occupants. 
Governor Andros found that the lands were still {circa 
1685-88) held as common lands, and threatened to con- 
fiscate them unless they were divided up by allotment. 
In consequence, three divisions were made, the last in 

306 The Old Boston Post Road 

1754, at which times the Pynchon interests managed to 
secure the most desirable tracts. 

The first pioneer came in the summer of 1730; this was 
Nathaniel Hitchcock, who came from Springfield, cleared 
about two acres, built a house, and returned to Springfield 
for the winter. The following spring, he came back with 
his bride, and Wilbraham was begun. During the three 
following years, only one settler came each year; but by 
J 739> there were enough to constitute a separate parish, 
and the Springfield town meeting gave to "the people 
of the mountains" the right to have their own preacher 
and to form the Fourth Precinct of the town. The old 
Centre, about two miles from the Chicopee, is the main 
settlement. Here at North Wilbraham are a few houses 
near the railroad station, and one of them, the Bliss 
Tavern, is of interest, for it was one of Washington's 
numerous stopping-places. In what formerly constituted 
the barroom may be seen upon the floor the marks of the 
musket butts of the Revolutionary soldiers who patronized 
the tavern. In stage-coach days, it was a famous inn, 
being a good place to stop after the fatiguing climb up from 
the Connecticut River. Peaches constitute the present 
crop of this section, and great quantities are shipped 
yearly at a good profit. 

About three miles beyond North Wilbraham, the Post 
Road enters Palmer, which is situated in the hilly country 
of Central Massachusetts, the highest point being Mt. 
Pottoquattock, which rises to an elevation of about one 
thousand feet. There are three streams in the town, 
which unite to form the Chicopee, giving to the place of 
their junction the name of Three Rivers. Just before 
crossing the Chicopee River on a modern steel and stone 
bridge, we pass a mighty elm tree, beneath which is a 
stone monument bearing the following inscription: 

Hampden County, Massachusetts 307 

Under This Elm, 


Passed June 30, 1775, 

and Again Oct. 22, 1789. 

On First Date, Tradition Says 

He Addressed the Citizens of 


Erected by the Palmer Historical Society 

June 30, 1906. 

Across the Chicopee, the road passes through Shearer's 
Corners, which are on the outskirts of the main part of 
the town, and where there are several manufacturing 
places. In the coaching days, there were several well- 
known taverns here; those belonging to Major Aaron 
Graves, to Scott (where Washington says he breakfasted) , 
and to Sedgwick. The last of them was burned about 

It is stated that when John King, the first pioneer, came 
in 1 716, there was only one Indian family in the place; 
but many Indian relics have been found, as there were three 
trails through the town, and the falls at Three Rivers 
made a favorite resort of the Indians for their fishing when 
the salmon were going up the river to spawn. It was 
several years before Bang was joined by other settlers, but 
by 1727, many others, chiefly Scotch-Irish Presbyterians, 
came in from the river towns and elsewhere. Of King's 
twelve children, eleven were born here. At first, on 
account of the numerous bends of the Chicopee River, 
the plantation was known as the "Elbows," but in 1748, 
in honor of the first settler, it was called Kingstown and 
sometimes, Kingsfield. It also bore the name of New 
Marlborough for some time. 

The land upon which the settlement was made was 
owned, supposedly, by the Joshua Lamb Company, which 

308 The Old Boston Post Road 

induced the settlers to come in. It was discovered, how- 
ever, that the Indian deed to the company did not cover 
Palmer, and this caused considerable worriment to the 
settlers, who, in 1732, prayed the General Court to help 
them out of their difficulties. A committee reported 
favorably and recommended the erection of a meeting- 
house. (What a cure for a doubtful title!) The first 
legal town meeting was held on August 7, 1733, and a com- 
mittee was appointed to lay out roads, which were, at 
first, simple bridle paths. In 1796, the first turnpike 
in Massachusetts was inaugurated, and it became the 
great stage route from Boston to Springfield and New 
York, and continued as such until the opening of the 
Western Railroad in 1839. It ran from Warren through 
Palmer Old Centre to North Wilbraham. The Old Centre 
was the only village for a century. In the same year, 
1796, the Frick Tavern was built, and it became one of the 
most famous taverns between Boston and Springfield. 
Other taverns along the turnpike near the Old Centre were 
Quintal's and Thompson's. The railroad killed the 
patronage of the taverns as it did the Old Centre itself, 
which is now a quiet hamlet. Walker's Tavern was the 
principal inn of colonial and Revolutionary days; it 
was destroyed by fire in the spring of 19 12. In the fall 
of 1777, Burgoyne's captured Hessians, to the number 
of 2431, passed through the town on their way to Cam- 
bridge. Baron Riedesel and his wife were entertained at 
the Walker Tavern, and one of the Hessians who died was 
buried near it. 

One of the sights of the town is an immense pine tree 
about one hundred feet high and with a girth of seventeen 
feet. It stands next to the Catholic parsonage and oppo- 
site the cemetery, and is called the "Bear" tree, getting 
its sobriquet from the following tradition. Over one 

The French Tavern. Palmer. 

The Bear Tree, Palmer. 

The Sign of Brewer's Tavern at Wilbraham. 

sk n 




The Bliss Tavern, North Wilbraham. 

Hampden County, Massachusetts 309 

hundred arid fifty years ago, Thomas King, a son of the 
first settler, while on his way to church one Sunday 
morning, espied a bear in the branches of this tree and 
shot it. There are two stories as to what happened further. 
One is that the church authorities learned of King's 
apparent desecration of the Sabbath and summoned him 
before them; but that they forgave him when he gave as a 
reason for his act that the bear was a menace to the flocks 
and families of the vicinity. The other story is that 
King's act was seen by a neighbor who threatened to 
report it to the church, but that King bought him off by 
giving him half of the bear. Either story is likely enough ; 
and the latter, if true, exemplifies the hypocrisy — or shall 
we say, human nature? — which many people believe lay 
at the back of the Puritan character. 

The industries of the people for many years were such 
as we find in primitive communities, agriculture, black- 
smithing, tanning, saw-mills and grist-mills. When man- 
ufacturing industries were introduced toward the begin- 
ning of the nineteenth century, the abundant water 
power of the Chicopee attracted factories, and the town 
began to move from the Old Centre to its present site. 
Then came the railroad, and the new town began to grow. 
Now it is the home of several factories and the possessor of 
four hotels of considerable size. 




ROM Washington's diary, under date of November 
22, 1789, we take the following: 

From Palmer to Brookfield, to one Hitchcock's is 15 miles; 
part of which is pretty good, and part (crossing the hills) very 
bad; but when over, the ground begins to get tolerably good 
and the Country better cultivated. A beautiful fresh water 
pond is in the plain of Brookland [Brookfield]. 

The traveller of to-day will find conditions pretty much 
the same, for the road passes into the hills from Palmer 
and into the valley of the Quaboag River, which it follows 
through West Warren, Warren, and Brookfield. 

In the year 1740, certain inhabitants of Brookfield, 
Brimfield, and Palmer, on account of the distances they 
had to go to their respective churches, asked the General 
Court to be incorporated as a distinct town and received 
permission, January 16, 174 Y^. Until 1834, tne name of 
the town was Western ; but in that year, on account of the 
postal confusion arising from the similarity of name to 
that of Weston in the same state, the name of the later 
settled town was changed to Warren. In the course of 
time, it was divided into Warren and West Warren, but 
they adjoin each other and have a common history and 
common characteristics. 


Worcester County, Massachusetts 311 

It was not long after the new town was formed that its 
peace was disturbed by the French wars. From 1756 to 
1763, it furnished a number of troops, some of whom were 
killed in the campaigns on and around Lakes George and 
Champlain. In 1759, Lord Amherst, with ten thousand 
men, encamped within the town while on his way to 
Crown Point. Situated as the town is, between Worcester 
and Springfield, it was much agitated during the time of 
the Shays' Rebellion. 

In the early schools, boys only were taught, not girls. 
In 1842, Quaboag Seminary was formed by a joint stock 
company on Furnace Hill, the site being a donation for 
the purposes of the school. Nathan Reed, a native of the 
town, was the first applicant for a patent under the Con- 
stitution, even before the patent laws had been passed. 
His invention was a machine for making nails, which, 
before this time, had all been made by hand. Reed was 
also among the first to apply steam to locomotives. 
Powder-mills were established here in 18 12, and they 
were run intermittently until 1826, when they blew up. 

The land of the town is generally very uneven, and the 
roads generally follow the valley of the Quaboag River, 
which is the principal stream. The Post Road parallels 
the stream for about two miles along the northern edge 
of the town, and does not pass through the centre of the 
old town or by the meeting-house. In 1793, the principal 
pursuit of the inhabitants was agriculture, but there was 
some work done in bog iron ore and in the culture of silk, 
for which purpose many mulberry trees were planted. 
The plough has turned up many Indian relics; for this 
section was a thickly settled one, as the river meadows 
were rich, fertile, and easily tilled, and the hills furnished 
protection to the Nipmucks from the Pequots and the 

312 The Old Boston Post Road 

The river presents many picturesque views, but it is 
not scenery that attracts the practical man ; he interprets 
the river as power, and along its banks he has established 
many large mills. The river presents a succession of 
dams, but the water does not furnish power as formerly, 
except that it may be converted into steam, and the mill- 
ponds serve as reservoirs. 

After the return of peace, at the end of the Revolution, 
everything was in a disturbed state, as the people had not 
had time to readjust themselves to the new social and 
political conditions. The many hundreds of returned 
soldiers could not readily adapt themselves to the ways of 
peace and, in consequence, there were many breaches of 
the peace with pilferings and robberies, while horse and 
cattle stealing flourished. To prevent this, there was 
formed a society of vigilantes, whose duty it was when the 
hue and cry were raised, to run down the trangressors and 
bring them to justice. The example of Warren was 
followed in other places with similar success. This 
Warren Thief-Catching Society is still in existence, but 
it has become a select social society, whose membership 
is limited to forty, who meet annually for a banquet and 
the election of officers. The last newly-elected member is 
invariably chosen president, and the older members 
proceed at once to have fun with him. 

The Post Road leads into West Brookfield, which, with 
Brookfield and East Brookfield, I shall treat of as one 
town, as they were originally. The Quaboag Indians 
were the aboriginal owners of the soil, which was well- 
watered, and, therefore, cultivated by them. They were 
an independent tribe, though probably a branch of the 
great Nipmuck family. When suffering from the hostility 
of other tribes, they appealed to Massasoit, chief of the 
Wampanoags, for assistance, and he came and dwelt 

The Unitarian Church, Weston. 

The Golden Ball Tavern, Weston. 

"Stop Thief." 
Emblem of " The Thief Detecting Society," Warren 

Weston Square, and the Theodore Jones House, Weston. 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 


among them as their sagamore, or ruler, until his death in 
1661. The Indians pronounced the name of the place, 
Squapauke, or Squabaug, which means the "red water 
place," in allusion to the reddish color of the numerous 
ponds with which this section abounds, and whose waters 
are carried by the many streams into the Chicopee River. 
The Indian villages and habitations lay along the trails 
which were used later by the whites. 

In 1647, the territory first came under the notice of the 
government when the Indian sachems made an appeal to 
the authorities of the Bay for assistance against the ma- 
rauding Indians of other tribes. John Eliot, the famous 
missionary, visited among and preached to the Quaboag 
Indians in 1649. He wrote that he went among them at 
the request of an aged sachem, but that he was delayed 
by troubles between the Narragansetts and Mohegans. 
Though furnished with an escort of twenty armed Indians, 
he thought it safer to have some Englishmen accompany 
him. He found the natives hungering for religious instruc- 
tion ; but constant rains prevented him from accomplishing 
much, as he and his escort were in much discomfort from 
being drenched to the skin for four days and nights. 

In 1660, some of the inhabitants of Ipswich petitioned 
the General Court for a grant of land, and they received 
a territory six miles square, 

or so much land as shall be contejened in such a Compasse in a 
place nere Quoboag ponds provided they have twenty f amilyes 
there resident within 3 yeares & they have an able minister 
settled there within the same terme. 

Three of the prospective settlers visited the tract about 
the time of the grant; but, owing to Indian troubles, no 
attempt was made at settlement until 1665. John Eliot 
received a grant of four thousand acres near Quaboag, 

3H The Old Boston Post Road 

and, in 1662, Hampshire County was formed, and Brook- 
field fell within its bounds. The three years' limit having 
expired, a petition was made for its extension, a request 
that was granted in 1667. At the same time, a commis- 
sion, of which Captain John Pynchon was a member, was 
appointed to attend to the government of the plantation 
and to supervise its affairs, to divide the lands up among 
the settlers and proprietors, and to regulate the admission 
of the planters. An Indian deed was also obtained by 
Ensign Thomas Cooper of Springfield, who assigned his 
interests to the Ipswich grantees. The town was fully 
organized and incorporated on October 15, 1673. 

For the first ten years after 1665, the whites lived in 
amity with their Indian neighbors, most of whom, owing 
to Eliot, were "praying," or Christianized, Indians; but in 
1675, the Quaboags came fully under the influence of 
Philip and joined him and the warlike Nipmucks in their 
attacks upon the whites. There were about twenty 
families in the plantation at the time of the breaking out 
of King Philip's War. On July 14, 1675, the Nipmucks 
killed some four or five persons at Mendon. As a result, 
the Governor and Council sent Captain Edward Hutchin- 
son, son of the famous Anne, to a great rendezvous of these 
Indians at Quaboag, with power to treat with their 
sachems. Hutchinson was accompanied by Captain 
Thomas Wheeler of Concord, with part of his troop, 
about twenty men. Word was sent to the Indians, asking 
for a conference, and three of the sachems promised to 
meet them the next day, August 2nd, at Wickabaug Pond. 

The two captains and three of the principal men of 
Brookfield, with a guard, rode forward to the conference 
at the designated place, but the Indians did not appear. 
The party then advanced some distance further, but fell 
into an ambush, and eight of them were shot down and 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 315 

Captain Hutchinson was mortally wounded. They es- 
caped back to the settlement, the Indians following them 
closely; but the inhabitants had received the alarm and 
had fled to the tavern of Sergeant John Ayers, which was 
on an eminence, now called Foster Hill, not far from the 
meeting-house, where preparations were made to meet 
the expected attack. We have Captain Wheeler's own 
account of the fight. 

The savages burnt about twenty dwelling houses and 
barns, and then surrounded the house and tried for two 
days and nights to either capture it or set fire to it, but 
they did not succeed. Ephraim Curtis, an expert woods- 
man familiar with the Indian tongues, was sent to bring 
aid, but he did not succeed in getting clear of the house 
until his second attempt, and finally reached Marlborough 
more dead than alive. Philip was at Brookfield in person, 
and among his forces were many of Eliot's "praying" 
Indians, and they evidently succeeded in imitating the 
nasal singing of their Puritan instructors. Burns had not 
yet written : 

"O! wad some power the giftie gie us 
To see oursels as ithers see us." 

or perhaps Wheeler might have recognized the Puritan 
psalm-singing. He says (the italics are mine) : 

The next day being August 3d, they continued shooting and 
shouting, and proceeded in their former wickedness, blasphem- 
ing the name of the Lord, and reproaching us, his afflicted 
servants, scoffing at our prayers as they were sending in shot 
upon all quarters of the house and many of them went to the 
town's meeting-house, (which was within twenty rods of the 
house in which we were) who mocked saying, come and pray 
and sing psalms, and in contempt made an hideous noise some- 
what resembling singing. 

316 The Old Boston Post Road 

On the evening of August 4th, the Indians filled a 
cart with hemp and other combustibles, fired it, and tried 
to thrust it against the house; but the rain wet the load 
and it would not burn. Previous attempts to fire the 
house by means of burning arrows had been frustrated by 
chopping holes through the roof to get at the burning 
brands. Meanwhile, Major Willard, while on another 
expedition, received news of the attack upon Brookfield 
from Curtis and made a forced march of thirty miles to 
the relief of the beleaguered garrison. Notwithstanding 
the Indian scouts, he and his party were able to join the 
defenders, as they took advantage of the terrific din the 
savages were making. The Indians gave up the attack, 
burned the rest of the buildings, including the meeting- 
house, killed horses and cattle, and withdrew with much 
plunder. They were in such overwhelming numbers 
that no pursuit was made; but the garrison took the first 
opportunity to find safety elsewhere. Later, the Indians 
returned and fired the one remaining house, so that the 
settlement was obliterated. Though Major Willard had 
saved the inhabitants of Brookfield by his timely aid, he 
was cashiered for his failure to obey orders and go where he 
was sent. 

The town lay in ashes for several years, and the inhabit- 
ants were dispersed. So were their Indian neighbors, 
for, with the end of the war, the remnants of the Quaboags 
left their old homes and went west of the Hudson, never 
to return. The town was abandoned, and its privileges 
were annulled by the act of May 28, 1679. Its resettle- 
ment began in 1686, and, in 1692, the former inhabitants 
asked for the appointment of a committee to manage 
their affairs. The horrors through which they had passed 
were too much for the original planters, and only one 
family, that of John Ayers, returned. The newcomers 

The Hitchcock Tavern, West Brookfield. 

The Old Foster House, West Brookfield (1712). 

The Merriam Publishing Company's Building, West Brookfield. 

Whitefield Rock on Foster's Hill, West Brookfield. 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 317 

were from Marlborough, Springfield, Suffield and Hadley, 
and a few from Essex County. Brookfield was a frontier 
settlement in the wilderness with no other towns near, and 
subject to attacks by the savages. In 1688, new Indian 
troubles began, and Gilbert's Fort, containing barracks, 
storehouses, etc., for soldiers and refugees, was erected for 
the protection of the inhabitants. Several Indian raids 
were made and people killed, but the General Court for- 
bade the abandonment of frontier towns without its 
permission, so that the settlement increased in numbers, 
but the colony struggled under great difficulties and hard- 
ships. The plantation was so poor that, in November, 
1698, the inhabitants were obliged to petition the General 
Court for money to support a minister, and it was not 
until 1 715 that the town could afford to build a new meet- 
ing-house to replace that burned forty years before. 
During Queen Anne's War, the town was again subjected 
to Indian raids, and a garrison was maintained. In 1710, 
six men making hay were surprised by the savages, and 
five of them were killed and the sixth taken prisoner. It 
was not until 1713 that the inhabitants were free of the 
Indian hostilities, which had lasted for nearly forty years. 
Probably the earliest tavern-keeper of Brookfield was 
Sergeant John Ayers, who, in 1674, refused to pay his 
share of Parson Younglove's support on the ground that 
he kept the ordinary and should be free of it. In the 
following year, when the Indians attacked the settlement, 
the inhabitants, to the number of eighty-two, took refuge 
in the tavern, but Ayers was killed in the ambush preced- 
ing the siege. Two women gave birth to twins during the 
siege, and Willard's reinforcement increased the number 
while it was decreased by several who were killed. One 
of the most important taverns in 1735 was that conducted 
by Colonel D wight on Poster's Hill. It stood until our 

318 The Old Boston Post Road 

own day, when it was acquired by the Quaboag Historical 
Society for the purpose of storing their books, pictures, 
and other relics. It had been long unoccupied, and steps 
were being taken to put it in shape, when it burned down, 
presumably by the carelessness of some tramps who were 
occupying the dilapidated building. The house appears 
upon the seal of the town of West Brookfield. 

At the head of this chapter, in the extract from Washing- 
ton, mention is made of Hitchcock's Tavern. "Ye 01 de 
Tavern," as it is labelled, was opened in 1765 by Mr. and 
Mrs. Daniel Hitchcock. It stands near the lower end of 
Quaboag Park, the common which was given to the town 
by the brothers Hitchcock. The pictures in oil of the first 
proprietors of the tavern are in the collection of the West 
Brookfield Historical Society in the library building. In 
the old bar book of the tavern for 1827, the writer found 
such entries as these: "To stage fare to Worcester, .80," 
"To stage fare to Albany, 3.50," "To stage fare to Boston, 
2.00," "To 1 glass of sling to minister who preached here 
yesterday, .06." This last was before the temperance 
movement had spread to the clergy, if, indeed, it had 
even begun among the laity. 

Probably the most famous name connected with Brook- 
field is that of Rufus Putnam, whose civil and military 
abilities far exceeded those of the more widely known 
Israel Putnam. Rufus Putnam was a wheelwright by 
trade; but, before reaching his majority in 1756, he 
enlisted in the army during the French and Indian War, 
and rose to the rank of ensign. After the war, he settled 
in Brookfield, where he worked at his trade, at the same 
time conducting a farm and doing surveying. In 1775, 
he entered the Continental Army as a lieutenant-colonel 
and early attracted the attention of Washington, who gave 
him engineering work to do in the construction of forts 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 319 

and redoubts. He had had no previous training in this 
line; but his natural abilities, aided by the reading of such 
works on military engineering as he could borrow from 
General Heath and others, raised him so high in the 
estimation of the Commander-in-Chief that Washington 
proclaimed him "the best engineer, either French or 
American, in the army," of which he rose to be chief 
engineer with the rank of brigadier-general. He built the 
redoubts on Dorchester Heights which compelled the 
evacuation of Boston, and later, planned some of the 
defences in the vicinity of New York, including Fort 
Washington on Manhattan Island and the West Point 

In 1 78 1, Putnam removed from Brookfield with his 
family and settled in Rutland, Vermont. In March, 1786, 
he became the mover and organizer of an association 
known as the "Ohio Company," and he was also the 
organizer of the Northwest Territory of 1787. He 
founded Marietta, the first settlement on the Ohio, and, 
in 1789, he was appointed by Washington judge of the 
territory. He died in 1824. 

In 1 741, some of the inhabitants joined with people 
from other towns to form the plantation of Western, or 
Warren. Brookfield furnished some men for the French 
and Indian War, and its militia marched to Cambridge 
on the Lexington alarm. The vast majority of the in- 
habitants were patriots, but there were a few who were 
loyal to King George. One of these, Joshua Upham, 
became a colonel of dragoons and was on the staff of Sir 
Guy Carleton. He was in the attack upon Norwalk and 
also with Arnold in the New London expedition. Another 
prominent loyalist was Daniel Murray, who became major 
of the King's American Dragoons. Both of these were 
graduates of Harvard College. 

320 The Old Boston Post Road 

After Brookfield ceased to be a frontier town, it in- 
creased so rapidly that a second parish was formed in 1750. 
By 1793, it was the third town in age and the first in 
wealth and population in the County of Worcester. Peter 
Whitney says: 1 

The great poft road from Bofton to New York, runs through 
it ; and the f ixty one mile f tone f tands near the eaf tern bound- 
ary, and the feventy mileftone near the weftern line. 

The land in this section was more fertile than that 
farther west. The Quaboag River winds through a 
succession of meadows, which fact gives the name of 
Brookfield. In the eastern part of the town is Quaboag 
Pond, which was called by the natives, Podunk; and in the 
west, is Wickabaug Pond, from which, in former days, 
great quantities of bog iron ore were taken. These and 
other smaller ponds and streams render this section one of 
great natural beauty. 

In the interval between the destruction of the planta- 
tion and its resettlement, nature had obliterated the relics 
of the first occupation, and the sites of the tavern, meeting- 
house, and other dwellings are doubtful, though it is now 
generally accepted that the village was located on Foster's 
Hill, between West Brookfield and Brookfield, over which 
the old Post Road passes, while the modern state road 
passes around the base of the hill. The greater part of 
the hill is occupied by Indian Rock Farm, so named from 
a great boulder behind which the Indians protected them- 
selves while attacking the fortified house. The owner of 
the farm, Mr. C. D. Richardson, maintains a game 
preserve, where one can find many of our native wild 
animals. A tablet in front of Mr. Richardson's house 
reads : 

'History of the County of Worcester, 1793. 







The Howe Homestead, Spencer. 

The Lopez House and Store, First Academy Building, 1 784-1 806, Leicester. 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 321 

Here Stood 

The Fortified House 

Besieged in King Philip's War 

Aug. 2-4, 1675. 

and a short distance away are tablets marking the well 
and the site of the two meeting-houses. In a field on the 
hill is another great boulder known as Whitefield Rock, 
because tradition says the famous evangelist preached 
from it. A little farther down the road are the foundations 
of the old Dwight Tavern. The view from the top of the 
hill is a very fine one, and the spectator is able to get a 
good idea of the beauty of the hills and ponds with the 
gleam of the white dwellings and the uplifted spires of the 
churches in the surrounding villages. 

One of these hills is Marks's Hill, upon which a fort was 
erected for the protection of the inhabitants from Indian 
attack. Upon one occasion, all of the garrison were away, 
when the place was threatened by a small band of Indians 
who were aware of the absence of the men. Mrs. Marks 
dressed herself in some of her husband's clothes and 
showed herself to the Indians, calling as if to other men 
within the house. This scared the savages, and they 
withdrew without making an attack. Coy's Hill is an- 
other of the eminences within the town. Lucy Stone 
Blackwell, one of the first women to advocate the right 
of suffrage for women, was born here. 

West Brookfield is a beautiful, shady village. Upon 
entering it the attention is drawn to the library building, 
which contains an interesting historical collection, and 
which is a gift to the town from George and Charles 
Merriam, the publishers of Webster's Dictionaries. On 
the opposite side of the street is the brick building erected 
by the father of the Merriams about a century ago, and 

322 The Old Boston Post Road 

used by him for printing and publishing. Several hundred 
thousand volumes were printed and issued here before 
the Merriam Brothers moved their plant to Springfield. 
A short distance farther are the town hall and, on the 
opposite side, the Hitchcock Tavern, beyond which is the 
house in which Professor Phelps, the father of Elizabeth 
Stuart Phelps Ward, used to live. Not far from the park 
is a memorial stone bearing the following: 

Here Stood 

Fort Gilbert 

Built About 1688 to Protect 

Second Settlement of 

Brookfield (Called Quaboag) 

From Indian Raids. 

Just before entering the village of Brookfield, we pass 
the Brookfield Inn, which dates back to colonial days. 
The common here was owned by Seth and Solomon 
Bannister, and the latter conveyed it to the town in 
October, 1773, so that it became the rallying place of the 
patriots. Other members of the same family have since 
presented to the town a handsome town hall and memorial 

The next town through which the Post Road passes is 
Spencer, which was included in the original grant of 
Leicester, of which it became the western parish in 1744. 
It was incorporated as a town, April 3, 1753, but remained 
a part of Leicester until 1775, and did not secure full 
rights as a town until 1 780. Its surface is very irregular 
and abrupt, but it is fertile. 

During the rebellion of Shays, many of the inhabitants, 
as well as the militia and their officers, took the side of the 
rebels, and the town magazine was broken open and the 
powder taken by the insurgents. Henry Gale of Spencer, 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 323 

one of the leaders of the revolt, was sentenced to death 
for high treason, but was reprieved on the gallows by- 
Governor Bowdoin and was pardoned by Governor 

The first post road was a travelled highway as early as 
1725; for, during that year, Leicester was presented to the 
Court of Quarter Sessions for having no bridge across 
Seven Mile River. A second presentment followed, and 
the bridge was erected in 1729. In 1800, the attorney- 
general of the Commonwealth made complaint of the 
"badness of the Great Post Road," and an attempt was 
made to convert it into a turnpike, but the town success- 
fully resisted the scheme. 

In the old coaching days, Spencer, with its three taverns, 
was a famous stopping-place and relay station, and it was 
no unusual thing to see fifteen coaches here at the noon 
hour, and as many as twenty-five on extra occasions. 
The three taverns were those kept by Isaac Jenks on the 
site of the present Massasoit House, the Mason House 
beneath the three big elms, and the Livermore House. 
The oldest of these was the Jenks Tavern, which dated 
from 1754, when John Flagg started it and kept it for 
seven years. In 1775, Isaac Jenks became the owner, and 
it became famous with the travelling public. A French 
visitor who stayed here one night in 1788, said: "The 
chambers were neat, the beds good, the sheets clean, the 
supper passable; cider, tea, punch and all for fourteen 
pence per head." I stopped here one night in 1912, but 
I am sorry to say that I cannot speak of the tavern's 
successor in as laudable terms. Washington spent the 
night of October 22, 1789, here, and complimented the 
hostess, Mrs. Jenks, at the breakfast table by saying: 
" Madam, your bread is very beautiful." Isaac Jenks and 
his son were postmasters from the establishment of the 

324 The Old Boston Post Road 

post-office in 1810 until 1825, when it was removed to 
the upper village by Charles Bemis. 

There are many beautiful shade trees in the town, but 
one's attention is attracted especially by three grand 
elms near the corner of Maple and Mechanic streets, 
which were set out on June 17, 1775. This is the date 
of the Battle of Bunker Hill, and tradition says that 
while the men were at work setting out the trees, they 
heard the booming of the British guns. As the milestone 
under the trees reads, "59 miles to Boston," either the 
men had very acute hearing, or sound travelled farther 
in those days than in these. 

In front of the town hall there is a fine monument to 
commemorate the fact that Spencer is the birthplace of 
three famous inventors, all of the name of Howe, and all 
born in the same house, William, Tyler, and Elias. William, 
born in 1803, was the inventor in 1840 of the wooden truss 
bridge which was the safest and most practicable in use 
then and for many years after. The truss frame was also 
used for supporting the roofs of buildings. Tyler Howe 
was the inventor in 1855 of the spring bed, which has 
replaced the old rope and sacking bottoms of the era 
before that date. 

The last on the list, Elias Howe, was born in 1 8 19 and 
was the nephew of the other two. He was a farmer's boy, 
but a chance remark made in a scoffing way about a 
machine to do sewing set him to thinking and his wits 
to work. After years of experimentation, poverty, and 
discouragement, he evolved the sewing machine in 1846, 
which was at first treated as a toy. It was uphill work 
for him to show that the machine was practicable and that 
it would not destroy the means of livelihood of seam- 
stresses, as the enemies of all labor-saving machines 
declared. Even after he had made a machine that would 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 325 

sew, it took years of litigation for him to establish the 
priority of his invention and his patent rights, and sev- 
eral years more before he reaped the financial success that 
was his due. 

Adjoining the Mason House in the valley below the 
town hall, the Post Road passes a large shoe shop, and we 
are reminded of the principal industry of this section, 
though woollen, cotton, and other leather goods are made 
here. Josiah Green was the pioneer maker of boots and 
shoes, which, as early as 1812, he used to peddle in Boston 
and the surrounding country; after the War of 1812, his 
business grew to large proportions. 

Though generally unpopular and unsupported in New 
England, that same War of 1812 was a blessing in disguise; 
for the supply of so many articles being cut off, the in- 
genuity of the New Englander was spurred to supply their 
places, and manufacturing began. One of the things of 
whose supply they were deprived was wire, and Windsor 
Hatch and Charles Watson began to draw wire, which the 
wool carders of Worcester had promised to use. 

On January 27, 1686, nine gentlemen of Roxbury bought 
from the heirs of the sachem Oraskaso, a tract of land 
called by the aborigines Tortaid, which was a part of the 
Nipmuck domain. The purchase price was £15 English 
money. In the central part of the tract was a hill upon 
which the first prospectors found many wild strawberries, 
so they termed their plantation Strawberry Hill. Twenty- 
seven years afterwards, in February, 1713, the number of 
proprietors had increased to twenty-two, and the General 
Court made a grant to Colonel Joshua Lamb and others of 
the above tract, which, on February fifteenth of the same 
year, was given the name of Leicester, after the English 
town of that name. The grant also included Spencer. 
None of the original grantees ever settled in Leicester, as 

326 The Old Boston Post Road 

it was a matter of simple land speculation on their part, 
nor was any attempt at settlement made until the date of 
the grant, 1713. Besides Congregationalists, there were 
a good many Quakers among the early planters, and a 
meeting-house was erected by them. By terms of the 
grant, the usual provisions were made in regard to re- 
serving land for church, minister, and school, and that 
within seven years twenty families should be located on 
the land and a meeting-house erected. 

The easterly part of the patent was first offered by the 
proprietors for settlement, and the land was laid off in 
fifty house lots of from thirty to fifty acres each, which 
were to be sold at one shilling an acre, with after rights of 
one hundred acres of farm lands for each ten acres of house 
lot, so that the purchaser could secure a farm of five 
hundred and fifty acres for fifty shillings. The purchasers 
selected their tracts by lot, and the deeds were passed 
January n, 1724 (0. S.). According to early tradition, 
the first comers found a hermit named William Carey 
living in a cave which he had dug out of the side of a hill 
which, in consequence, is still called Carey's Hill. He had 
lived in the wilderness in solitude for many years, with no 
companions except the wild animals with which the sec- 
tion abounded. 

The first town meeting was held in 1721/22, at which 
time a meeting-house had already been erected. Judge 
John Menzies was the earliest representative in the 
General Court. He served three terms and refused to 
accept any pay for his services. In 1724, when his 
successor was to be chosen, the town first voted that who- 
ever should be chosen "should be paid the same as Judge 
Menzies, and no other." Lieutenant Thomas Newhall 
was elected to serve on these rather unfair conditions. 
The first mail-carrier, according to tradition, was a dog 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 327 

named Hero belonging to David Henshaw. Hero used 
to go to Boston and return with any messages that were 
attached to him. In 17 17, the snow-storms were ex- 
ceptionally severe, and the post-riders were obliged to 
travel on snow-shoes instead of on horses. 

In early days, the principal road in the town was the 
Great Post Road — also called the County Road, — leading 
from Boston to Albany by way of Springfield. Its course 
through the town has been materially changed within the 
recollection of those who are not yet old. It was over 
this road that the volunteers travelled on their way to 
Lexington in response to the alarm, and the people of 
Leicester kept their houses lighted up and their doors open 
in order to encourage the patriots and to furnish them rest 
and refreshment. The stage line established by Pease 
and Sikes in October, 1783, traversed the town, and the 
first post-office was established here in 1798. 

One of Leicester's patriots was a man named Earle, 
whose gun was of home manufacture. It was greatly 
admired by Washington, so Earle made a new gun and 
travelled on foot with it to New York and presented it to 
the General. Another patriot who saw service in Canada, 
and who was afterwards surgeon at West Point, was Dr. 
Austin Flint, the ancestor of the two famous New York 
physicians of the same name. 

The chief object of interest in the town is Leicester 
Academy, with its associations of a century and a quarter. 
It was founded in 1784 by Colonels Ebenezer Crafts and 
Jacob Davis, both of whom had seen service in the Revolu- 
tion. They bought the property and store-building of 
Aaron Lopez, a Portuguese Jew, who, in 1777, with about 
seventy of his relations and friends, came here from New- 
port, Rhode Island, to escape the exactions of the British, 
who had rendered life and business unbearable. When the 

328 The Old Boston Post Road 

property was bought by Crafts and Davis, it was "with 
the intent and design to promote the public benefit in the 
education of youth," as they stated in their petition to the 
Legislature asking for incorporation on the same lines as 
had been granted to the academy at Andover. From the 
beginning, the word "youth" has included both sexes. 

The academy was incorporated March 3, 1784, and the 
first meeting of the trustees took place on the seventh of 
April. One of the founders, Colonel Crafts, was present, 
and there were many of the most distinguished men of 
Worcester County, including General Rufus Putnam, who 
gave £100 to the academy. A later benefactor was the 
printer, Isaiah Thomas of Worcester. While the acade- 
my has graduated many men and women who have become 
distinguished, including several governors of the State, 
probably the ablest students who did not stay for gradua- 
tion were Eli Whitney and William L. Marcy, the latter 
of whom rose to be United States Secretary of State, and 
who originated the political maxim that "to the victors 
belong the spoils," now, happily, an almost dead practice. 

One of the earliest principals was Ebenezer Adams, of 
whom it is told: 

He was uncommonly amiable in his deportment. . . Differ- 
ent from his temper and manners, his voice was harsh to such 
a degree that the master from whom he tried to learn to sing 
advised him to give up the attempt, "and keep his voice to 
saw wood with." 

The academy has virtually lost its position as an indepen- 
dent corporation, and it is now the town high school. 

The principal industry of Leicester, besides farming, 
was the making of steel clothing for cotton and wool cards. 
This industry was begun before 1800, and the clothing was 
used in the carding machines in the Worcester mills. The 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 329 

manufacture began in a small way in the houses of the 
inhabitants, and these expanded into factories'. This 
industry was the main reliance of the town, until the trust 
got possession of the factories, consolidation took place, 
and the Leicester factories were closed up. A few people 
got together afterwards, and, moved entirely by sentiment, 
attempted to continue the old-time industry with no ex- 
pectation of making a profit. The trust was too powerful 
for them, however, and they had no market for their goods 
at all. Under these circumstances they shut down alto- 

This absence of factories leaves Leicester one of those 
quiet, beautiful, residential places where "gentility" is 
written large over every house and person you see. Upon 
the summit of the hill, with a lovely park in front, are 
located the Congregational Church, the town hall and 
library, and the academy. Another attraction is a row 
of buttonwood trees, planted, so it is said, on Bunker Hill 
day. 1 

Among the famous sons or residents of Leicester have 
been the Rev. Dr. John Nelson, who was pastor of the 
church for fifty-nine years; the Hon. John E. Russell; the 
Rev. Samuel May, a well-known and dearly loved minister, 
and Pliny Earle, an inventor, whose inventions have 
helped to enrich the near-by city of Worcester. 

The road into Worcester passes through Cherry Valley 
and New Worcester, though the old Post Road used to 
climb up over a hill. At Cherry Valley was Jones's 
Tavern, well-known in the coaching days and still remem- 
bered by the older inhabitants. At the latter place, which 
is a suburb of the larger town, is the reservoir which 
supplies Worcester with water. We enter the city by 
way of Main Street, which is the line of the ancient Post 
Road as far as Lincoln Square. 



ON October 24, 1668, a tract of land eight miles 
square on the Nipmuck, or Blackstone, River, 
was granted by the General Court to Daniel 
Gookin, Daniel Henchman, Richard Beers, Thomas Pren- 
tice and others. The tract was called Quinsigamond, and 
Indian title was secured July 13, 1674, when Solomon, alias 
Woonaskochu, sagamore of Tataesit, and John, alias 
Hoorawannonit, sagamore of Packachaug, gave a deed to 
the lands. Captain Gookin, later major-general of the 
Bay forces, though not a settler himself, is often called the 
"father of Worcester." He was interested with Eliot in 
converting the Indians, and it is probable that the Solo- 
mon and John who gave the deeds were "praying Indians." 
Packachaug was the principal Nipmuck village in this 
section, containing about twenty houses and one hundred 
souls. It lay "about three miles south of the new road 
that leadeth from Boston to Connecticut." Other smaller 
hamlets occupied the hills to the west, which were origi- 
nally called Tataesset, now corrupted into Tatnuck. The 
main tract received its name from the long, narrow, 
beautiful Lake Quinsigamond, which is the source of the 
Blackstone River and a great place of resort for the Wor- 
cester people. It means "the fishing place for long noses ; " 
that is, for pickerel. 


The Floating Bridge, Lake Quinsigamond, 1818-1860. 

Mechanics' Hall, Worcester. 
From the photo by E. B. Luce. 

The City Hall, Worcester. 
From the photo by E. B. Luce. 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 331 

No attempt at settlement was made until 1674; and, 
in the following year, King Philip's War raged, and the 
destruction of Brookfield and Lancaster left Quinsigamond 
an exposed frontier post. The few settlers therefore 
abandoned the plantation, and the six or seven houses 
which formed the hamlet were burnt by the Indians on 
December 2, 1675. Owing to the dangerous and un- 
friendly attitude of the natives, it was not until 1684 that 
a resettlement was attempted; and, on October fifteenth 
of that year, the town was incorporated under the name 
of Worcester, in honor of the town of the same name in 
England. There are, however, no records extant of a 
town-meeting until September, 1722. Though threatened 
by a band of hostile Albany Indians in 1696, the settle- 
ment went on prosperously until 1702, when the town was 
abandoned on account of the danger of Indian attacks 
during the war then waging with Prance, often known as 
Queen Anne's War. Digory Sergeant refused to go with 
his neighbors, and he and his wife were slain by the savages 
and their three children — two sons and a daughter — were 
carried captives to Canada. There they became as 
savage as their captors and declined to return to civiliza- 
tion upon the return of peace, though they accompanied 
Miss Williams of Deerfield and her Indian husband on a 
visit to their English relatives in 1726. 

Peace was restored in 1 713; and, in October of that 
year, some of the proprietors petitioned the General Court 
for aid in re-establishing their plantation. The first 
settler to return was James Rice, who moved in with his 
family in 17 13 and lived without neighbors until the 
spring of 1715, when a considerable number joined him. 
In 1 718, there was an influx of Scotch-Irish from the North 
of Ireland. They were Presbyterians, and, shortly after 
their arrival, started to build a meeting-house on the 

332 The Old Boston Post Road 

Boston Road. The Congregationalist inhabitants could 
not permit such an innovation, and so gathered secretly in 
the night and destroyed the partly constructed building. 
Insults and religious persecutions finally proved too much 
for these new immigrants, and many of them left and 
settled in New Hampshire. Prom this time forward, the 
town grew steadily; and, in 1722, at which time it num- 
bered three hundred population, it was re-incorporated. 
Upon the formation of Worcester County, April 2, 1731, 
Worcester became the shire town, and, in 1848, it became 
a city. 

The first court-house of 1736, and all subsequent ones — 
five in all — have occupied the same site on Main Street 
not far from Lincoln Square. Two of them have been of 
wood, one of brick, and two of stone. The present fine 
and commanding building was opened in 1900. Worcester 
has given two attorney-generals to the United States, 
Levi Lincoln, 1801-1804, and Charles Devens, 1877-1881, 
and five governors to the Commonwealth. It is now the 
second largest city in Massachusetts, with a population of 
145,980, according to the census of 1910. Some one of its 
numerous admirers has dubbed it the "Heart of the 
Commonwealth," not so much on account of its geo- 
graphical position, but because it is supposed to represent 
Massachusetts feeling and sentiment more than any other 

After the Indians had been quieted, the people were 
pestered by wolves, reptiles, and other wild animals, and a 
determined war was waged against them. As late as 
1734, notwithstanding the bounties for their scalps, wolves 
were still so plentiful, that the people were deterred from 
raising sheep, whose wool was so necessary for their 
clothing. The occupations were chiefly agricultural until 
1825. By the census of 1820, the population of the town 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 333 

was 2900, of whom only 126 were engaged in manufactur- 
ing. From its position as county-seat, Worcester became 
a trade centre from which goods were distributed through- 
out the surrounding country, and it also had a considerable 
foreign and West India trade. In order to connect it 
directly with the sea by way of Blackstone River and 
Narragansett Bay, a canal was suggested in 1796. The 
idea was not well received at that time, but, in 1822, it was 
revived, with the result that the first boat navigated the 
canal on October 7, 1828. On June 23, 1831, the Boston 
and Worcester Railroad was formed for the purpose of 
building a railroad between the two cities ; and, on March 
15, 1833, the Western Railroad was formed for the purpose 
of building a road from Worcester to Springfield, and 
thence to Albany, Troy, and the Hudson River. About 
the same time, Worcester's manufacturing industries began 
to grow. These are general in their character at present, 
but the city is more famous, probably, for its looms and 
various kinds of wire than for any other products. 

In the olden times, Lincoln Square was the centre of 
trade, of fashion, and of political and religious life. It 
received its name from the Lincoln family, who were 
among Worcester's earliest and most prominent settlers. 
Lincoln Street, leading out ,of the square, was the old 
Post Road. Belmont Street is the line of the turnpike 
to Boston, which crosses Lake Quinsigamond on a cause- 
way and bridge about midway of its length, and which 
runs practically straight over everything between the 
two places. Branching from the square toward the west- 
ward is Salisbury Street, upon which are located Institute 
Park, one of the public parks of the city, and the buildings 
of the Worcester Society of Antiquity, the Art Museum, 
the Worcester Polytechnic Institute, the American Anti- 
quarian Society, and the Highland Military Academy. 

334 The old Boston Post Road 

The Salisbury mansion, over a century old, is a fine 
type of colonial, or early American, residence. It stands 
on Lincoln Square, and, a short distance above, on the 
site of the railroad depot, formerly stood the store of the 
Salisburys, The property is now owned by the Art 
Museum and is let to the public school teachers of Wor- 
cester for a club-house, which is occupied by the Levana 
Club. Just opposite the old mansion, a tablet, erected 
by Col. Timothy Bigelow Chapter, Daughters of the 
American Revolution, in 1904, marks the site of the house 
of Colonel Bigelow. who led the minute men to Concord 
on the alarm of April 19, 1775. 

In 1764, the Upper Post Road is advertised from Boston 
to New York, via Hartford and New Haven, but it had 
been in use since 1755. On June 24, 1772, the Brown 
stage-wagons started on their first trip from New York, 
and passed through Worcester a few days later. The 
Boston Evening Post of July 6, 1772, advertises the new 
line in a card from the owners who solicit the patronage of 
the public. 

The first tavern in Worcester was located on land which 
was bounded on three sides by Main, Mechanic, and Foster 
Streets, and on the fourth, by the ministerial lands. It was 
opened by Captain Moses Rice in 171 9. Later, it passed 
into the possession of Judge Chandler, whose residence it 
was until its confiscation by the State on account of the 
owner being a Tory. In 1785, it became the Sun Tavern 
of Captain Ephraim Mower, and it was here that during 
the Shays affair, Judge Ward held court. The United 
States Hotel was erected upon the same site, which it 
occupied until 1 854. 

The second tavern in Worcester occupied the site on 
Main Street upon which the Bay State House stands. 
The probable date of its opening was 1722, and the land- 

The American Antiquarian Society Building, Worcester. 

Salisbury Mansion on Lincoln Square (over a century old), Worcester. 

336 The Old Boston Post Road 

the Hancock Arms until the end of the century, when it 
became the Brown and Butman Tavern. It was head- 
quarters for the rebels during the Shays Rebellion. 

The United States Arms (the Exchange Hotel) was built 
in 1784 by Nathan Patch, and it was closely connected 
with Shays and his rebels. It became the best tavern 
in the town, and Washington stopped here on his eastern 
trip in 1789. It passed through several hands until 1807, 
when it became the property of Reuben Sikes, who ran it 
in connection with his stages. A part of the old edifice 
still stands. A tavern kept by John Curtis stood near 
the Shrewsbury line. 

In accordance with the Massachusetts statutes, pro- 
vision was early made for the establishment of schools and 
the education of the young. John Adams, after his 
graduation from Harvard, was a teacher in the Worcester 
Grammar School during the three most exciting years of 
the French and Indian War. In 1758, after the capture 
of Louisburg, Sir Geoffrey Amherst came through Wor- 
cester with his army of four thousand men who had been 
landed at Boston. Lord Loudon also passed through 
Worcester in the winter of 1757 on his way from New York 
to Boston. Adams says in his diary : 

The relations we had of his manners and conduct on the 
road gave us no great esteem of his lordship's qualifications to 
conduct the war, and excited gloomy apprehensions. The 
young Lord Howe, who passed from Boston to New York, 
was the very reverse, and spread everywhere the most sanguine 
hopes, which, however, were soon disappointed by his melan- 
choly but brave death. 

In r 755> eleven of the expatriated Acadians, called by 
the Colonials "French Neutrals," were assigned to Wor- 
cester, and a subsequent birth made the number twelve. 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 337 

They were kindly treated, and, in 1767, the remnant of 
the band were removed to Canada, and the town voted 
£7 to pay the expenses of returning Jean Lebeau to 

In June, 1775, a convention at Worcester passed the 
following resolution: 

That we abhor the enslaving of any of the human race, and 
particularly of the negroes of this country, and that whenever 
there should be a door opened, or opportunity present for 
anything to be done toward the emancipation of the negroes, 
we will use our influence and endeavor that such a thing be 
brought about. 

The town was always of the same way of thinking and 
took active part in the abolition and anti-slavery move- 
ments; and, when the slave hunter came to Worcester in 
1854, ms attempt, under the provisions of the Fugitive 
Slave Law, to return the poor runaway into slavery, was 
rendered futile by the action of the people. 

Worcester was in the storm centre of the Shays Re- 
bellion. In September, 1786, a party of eighty armed 
men under Captain Adam Wheeler took possession of the 
court-house with the determination of preventing the 
sitting of that term of the court. The judges, headed by 
the Chief- Justice of the State, Artemas Ward, took up 
their way to the court-house, where they were prevented 
from entering by an armed sentry. It happened, how- 
ever, that the sentry had formerly been in Ward's com- 
mand, and, when the judge ordered him to lower his gun, 
habit and respect were too much for him, and he came to 
a present. Wheeler was on the spot and prevented the 
judges from entering. Judge Ward harangued the mob, 
but without avail, and the members of the court were 

338 The Old Boston Post Road 

obliged to return to the United States Arms Tavern and 
adjourn for the day. It was useless to call upon the militia 
to uphold the authority of the court, as most of them were 
with the disaffected bands of Shays and others. The 
insurgents held the court-house and tried to compromise 
matters with the judges, but without success. 

The number of insurgents increased to about four 
hundred, half of whom were armed with guns, and the 
remainder with sticks. They marched through Main 
Street with sprigs of evergreen in their coats or hats as a 
distinctive sign of their insurgency and carried a pine tree 
as their standard of revolt, but there was no violence. The 
court at last adjourned all cases until the next term. In 
November, the insurgents rendezvoused at Shrewsbury, 
where Shays showed himself. Governor Bowdoin ordered 
out five regiments of militia to protect the court, but they 
could not be relied upon, so that the court met at the Sun 
Tavern and, by order of the governor, adjourned until 
January 23, 1787. For some days, Worcester was in 
control of about five hundred insurgents. On December 
6, 1787, Shays arrived in Worcester with about three 
hundred and fifty armed men and joined those already in 
the town, all making an imposing appearance. He then 
withdrew to Palmer and decided to attack the Arsenal at 
Springfield, with the result already given. After his 
departure from Worcester, many of the militia returned to 
their allegiance, and General Benjamin Lincoln was able 
to gather from the surrounding counties an army of 4400 
men. When the news came of the ignominious flight of 
Shays and his motley army, some poet expressed his 
opinions in the following verse: 

Says sober Will, well! Shays has fled, 
And peace returns to bless our days. 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 339 

Indeed ! cries Ned, I always said, 

He 'd prove at least a jail back Shays; 
And those turned over and undone, 
Call him a worthless Shays to run. x 

In 1789, Washington passed through the town on his 
way to Boston. The Worcester Spy gives an account of 
the reception to "Ms Highness," and states that he went 
through the town on horseback and breakfasted at the 
Sun Tavern. He had been met at the Leicester line by a 
party of citizens and soldiery and escorted into the town. 

Worcester claims Isaiah Thomas, a citizen eminent 
from a literary and educational standpoint, who was born 
in Boston, January 19, 1749. Together with Jonathan 
Fowle, to whom he had been apprenticed at one time, he 
began the publication of a small paper; but, after a few 
months, Mr. Thomas bought out his partner and, March 
7, 1771, began to issue a new weekly paper under the name 
of its predecessor, the Massachusetts Spy. It soon 
became the leading advocate of Whig principles, and as 
such, a thorn in the side of the government. 

The Whigs of Worcester requested him to establish a 
paper there, and he was making arrangements to do so when 
events crowded so fast that, fearing confiscation of his 
plant, a few days before the Lexington fight he secretly sent 
out of Boston his press, type, and paper, and had them 
conveyed to Worcester. He was in arms during the alarm 
at Lexington, but a day or so later, he went to Worcester 
to resume the publication of the Spy. Its first issue from 
its new office was on May 3, 1775, after an interval of 
about three weeks of non-publication. From this date, 
the paper was issued without interruption until 1904, 
when it suspended publication. In 1775, Thomas was 

1 The reader may understand the puns better if he is informed that at 
that time chaise and Shays had the same spelling. 

340 The Old Boston Post Road 

appointed postmaster by Franklin. The principal things 
carried in the mail were newspapers, and these Thomas 
was in the habit of opening and reading, thus cribbing the 
news from the papers in transit for the benefit of his own 
paper, which he managed to have delivered before the 
rival papers. 

The first book that he published was immediately after 
the Lexington fight and was a narrative of that affair 
with twenty-four sworn depositions. It was issued by 
order of the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts, and 
copies were sent to the king and his ministers as proof that 
Lexington was a battle of defence and not of offence, and 
other copies were sent to the different colonies in America. 
After the Revolution, Thomas re-established his business 
in Boston and became the leading printer, publisher, and 
bookseller in New England, having as many as sixteen 
presses at work at one time. He started several other 
journals in various places, and had branch stores in New 
York, Philadelphia, and as far south as Savannah. The 
first large quarto and folio Bibles published in America 
are among the early books issued from his press. In 1802, 
he turned his business over to his son and retired to enjoy 
his comfortable fortune. The almanacs issued by the 
Thomases are invaluable for Americana. In 18 10, Mr. 
Thomas published his own work, The History of Printing. 

Brissot de Warville, the distinguished French traveller, 
who visited Worcester in 1788, says: 

This town is elegant and well peopled. The printer, Isaiah 
Thomas, has rendered it famous throughout the continent of 
America. He has printed a large part of the works which ap- 
pear, and it is acknowledged that his editions are correct and 
well edited. Thomas is the Didot of the United States. 

In October, 1912, the American Antiquarian Society 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 341 

celebrated its first centenary, and President Taft was 
present to give the official approval of the Nation. The 
Society was founded by Mr. Thomas, and it remains 
to-day his greatest monument. It is national in its 
scope, and its members are in all sections of the country; 
but, of necessity, the principal officers are Worcester men, 
and they have been its principal benefactors. The 
beautiful library building on Salisbury Street bears the 
following inscription: " American Antiquarian Society 
Founded by Isaiah Thomas, 1812. This Building 
Erected with Funds from the Legacy of Stephen 
Salisbury 3D, 1909. " 

Space will not permit any enumeration of the priceless 
books, manuscripts, and prints that the library contains, 
nor of its collection of Americana. One object of interest 
is the old Blaew press of 1680, brought to Worcester by 
Isaiah Thomas in 1775, upon which his earliest publica- 
tions were printed. 

Give me the room whose every nook 
Is dedicated to a book. 

Frank Dempster Sherman. 

Another distinguished son of Worcester is George 
Bancroft, the historian. He was the son of the Rev. 
Aaron Bancroft, and was born in a house on Salisbury 
Street, not now standing, but whose site is marked by a 
suitable tablet. After his graduation from Harvard, he 
went to Europe in 181 8, and attended the University of 
Gottingen, where he took his degree of Ph.D. Upon his 
return, he tutored at Harvard in 1822 and 1823, and then 
opened a high school in Northampton. After his marriage 
he lived in Springfield, and, in 1834, issued his first volume 
of the History of the United States. Besides serving his 

342 The Old Boston Post Road 

country as a historian and a man of letters, he also served 
her in a diplomatic capacity. 

On Salisbury Street, near Lincoln Square, is the building 
of the Worcester Society of Antiquity, which was founded 
in 1875. Its library, which is open to the public, consists 
principally of town histories and genealogies. 

In 1829, the Worcester Republican was first issued; it is 
still published. On January 1, 1844, the Christian Citizen 
was commenced by Elihu Burritt as editor and publisher. 
While the paper is forgotten, the name of its editor is well 
remembered. At the age of thirty, he knew over fifty 
languages, ancient and modern. He was the organizer of 
the first international peace conference ever held, that at 
Brussels in 1848; and for four years he was United States 
consular agent at Birmingham, England. When he first 
came to Worcester in order to be near the Antiquarian 
Library, he worked at his trade of blacksmith, and it is as 
the "learned blacksmith" that he is best known. 

John B. Gough, though born in England, was a resident 
of Worcester. It was here that he reached the greatest 
depths of degradation, and it was here that his reforma- 
tion began. He was a drunken sot, whose wife and child 
died in poverty and squalor. Overcome by despair, he 
stupefied himself with laudanum and planned suicide by 
throwing himself on the railroad track. He was saved, 
however, and his moral regeneration was begun by a hotel 
waiter who interested himself in Gough. He signed the 
pledge in 1842, and then followed his wonderful career as 
an orator and lecturer, his lectures being devoted princi- 
pally to the cause of temperance. For many years, he 
was the best known and most popular speaker in the 
country upon the lyceum platform. 

The man whom Worcester delights most to honor is 
George Frisbie Hoar, 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 343 

Scholar and statesman, ever quick to plead 
The cause of Truth. 

Frank Roe Batchelder. 
He was not a native of the town, but came to it in 1847, 
at the age of twenty-one. In the following year, he took 
part in the Free-Soil Convention, held in his adopted city. 
He became a leading lawyer of the city and engaged in the 
anti-slavery movements, and, in 1869, he was elected to 
the lower house of Congress. In 1877, he became United 
States Senator, a position which he held practically until 
his death in September, 1904. 

Another native of Worcester is Mrs. Alice Morse Earle, 
whose charming books on old colonial ways, customs, and 
manners have been sources of pleasure and profit to so 
many thousands of readers. 

The musical world of America is familiar with the two 
musical societies of the town, the Worcester County 
Musical Association and the Worcester Choral Union ; but 
most famous of all the musical gatherings throughout the 
country is the annual Worcester Music Festival, which has 
been held in Mechanics Hall on State Street every year 
since 1858, when the first one took place from September 
28th to October 1st, both inclusive. 

In educational matters, Worcester has been well to the 
fore, for it was the first to originate the system of graded 
schools, now so generally adopted. As we come into the 
city from Leicester, not far from the post-office, we pass 
the unattractive buildings of Clark University, which was 
founded by Jonas G. Clark and incorporated in 1887. It 
opened two years later with G. Stanley Hall as President. 

Worcester Polytechnic Institute was founded by John 
Boynton who gave an endowment of $100,000 to establish 
a school, free to all residents of Worcester County, in 
which young men might learn some, or all, of the mechanic 

344 The Old Boston Post Road 

arts. Other people helped, and the institution was in- 
corporated in 1865 and opened in 1868 under the title 
of The Worcester County Free Institute of Industrial 
Science. This cumbersome name was later changed to the 
Worcester Polytechnic Institute. The "Tech," as it is 
popularly known, is housed in some fine buildings on 
Salisbury Street, opposite the public park which takes 
its name from the Institute. 

In 1848, Oread Collegiate Institute was opened by Eli 
Thayer as a seminary for young ladies. It was well 
patronized by the leading families of the county and bore 
a very important part in the social affairs of the city. It 
took its name from a line in the ^Eneid, which was appro- 
priate on account of the woody hill upon which the 
Institute was situated. It was closed as a school in 1884, 
but is now used for other purposes. Other educational 
institutions are the Worcester Academy, founded by the 
Baptists in 1832; College of the Holy Cross, a Jesuit 
college and seminary founded in 1842 upon Packachaug 
Hill, on the site of the ancient Indian village; and the 
State Normal School, established in June, 1871. 

In 1829, Horace Mann suggested that the insane should 
be taken care of by the Commonwealth ; and, in the follow- 
ing year, the authorities started to build the State Hospi- 
tal for the Insane, the first in the country to be erected 
and maintained by a state. The buildings, which are 
occupied principally by the criminal insane, are large and 
imposing, and the institution occupies a commanding 
position overlooking the valley of Lake Quinsigamond. 

Worcester was the first city in the United States to buy 
land for park purposes, and there are now about twelve 
hundred acres devoted to public parks. Besides the larger 
parks, Institute, Lake, Elm and Columbus, there are 
several smaller ones. Instead of going around Lake 

346 The Old Boston Post Road 

Tombolin was an eccentric character of the town who 
flourished about 1740. A good many rhymes and dog- 
gerel verses were made about him, of which the following 
will serve as an example : 

"Tombolin had no breeches to wear, 
So he got his mother to make him a pair, 
Flesh side out and wool side in, 
They 're warmer so, says Tombolin." 

The reference here is to the undressed leather breeches, 
which, with leather apron and homespun shirt, were the 
ordinary dress of the yeoman class of colonial days. 

Dr. Austin Flint, who has already been mentioned as 
having practiced in Leicester, was a native of Shrewsbury, 
who enlisted in the patriot army at the age of seventeen 
for service during Burgoyne's invasion. At the age of 
twenty-one, he re-entered the army, after an illness, as 
surgeon of Colonel Drury's regiment, and served at West 
Point. At the age of twenty-three, he settled at Leicester, 
and, in 1789, he was with General Lincoln in his march 
through the snow-drifts to repress the rebellion of Shays. 
The famous surgeons of New York bearing the same name 
are descendants of the Revolutionary physician. 

The Post Road, which passed directly through the town, 
was well supplied with taverns, and, in 1784, there were 
three noted inns; Farrar's, Baldwin's, and Howe's. 
Baldwin's was probably the oldest, for in it, on November 
27, 1727, Artemas Ward was born. He entered Harvard 
College, and, after his graduation, taught school for a 
while in Groton, Massachusetts. He married and settled 
in Shrewsbury, where he became a justice of the peace, 
and where he also kept store. He was an officer of the 
town militia; and, in the French and Indian War, he was 
lieutenant-colonel of the regiment of foot commanded by 

The Blaew Press of 1680, brought to Worcester by Isaiah Thomas in 1775, now 
in the Possession of the American Antiquarian Society. 







Under the Command of General Gage, 

On the nineteenth of April, X775. 



Taken by ORDER of CONGRESS, 

To fupport the Truth or itt 
Publilhed by AUTHORITY. 


WORCESTER, Printed by ISAIAH THOMAS, by taflR 

The First Book Printed in Worcester 
From The Worcester Magazine, Oct., 1910. 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 347 

Colonel Williams, the founder of Williams College. Ward 
took a leading part in the agitation preceding the Revolu- 
tion and aroused the displeasure of Governor Francis 
Bernard, who sent post-haste a dispatch relieving Ward of 
his commission as colonel. The people were all gathered 
to tear down the old meeting-house when the messenger 
arrived. Ward read the letter to them; then he turned to 
the messenger and said: "Give my compliments to the 
Governor and say to him . . . that I thank him for this, 
since the motive that dictated it is evidence that I am 
what he is not, a friend to my country." 

After the Lexington alarm, Ward was made commander- 
in-chief of the Massachusetts forces of about sixteen 
thousand men who had responded to the call for help. 
His commission did not authorize him to exercise command 
over the troops of the other colonies who were arriving 
rapidly, and so Washington was appointed by the Con- 
tinental Congress to command the Continental Army and 
Ward turned over the command to Washington upon his 
arrival. Ward's headquarters in Cambridge were in the 
house afterwards occupied by the genial Autocrat, Dr. 
Oliver Wendell Holmes. Under the Committee of Safety, 
before the arrival of Washington, Ward commanded 
the troops during the Bunker Hill fight, but he was 
much criticized for failing to send aid to Colonel Prescott. 

After Washington's assumption of the command, Ward 
was made the first major-general of the army under him, 
and was assigned to the right wing. At his suggestion, 
Dorchester Heights were fortified, — a work that he di- 
rected, — and, as a result, the British were forced to evacu- 
ate Boston. Ward commanded the city after the British 
left, and was also in command there when the Declaration 
of Independence was proclaimed. He resigned from the 
army at the close of 1776, and then held several civil 

348 The Old Boston Post Road. 

positions. In 1779, he was a member of Congress. After 
the Revolution, he was a judge in his native state, and his 
action during the Shays Rebellion is described elsewhere. 
He again returned to Congress, and then retired to civil 
life, dying October 2T, 1800. The house in which he 
lived and his farm are now owned by a descendant who 
keeps them both in good condition. 

Baldwin's Tavern was the most popular meeting-place 
of the town. During the Shays Rebellion, the town was 
appointed the rendezvous of the insurgents, and for some 
time, it wore the appearance of a military camp with men 
drilling and marching. Baldwin's was used as headquar- 
ters, and the drill ground was in front of it. The insur- 
gents helped themselves to the town's supply of ammuni- 
tion. The inhabitants were divided in their ideas on the 
revolt, and the rebellion was a matter of dispute and 
argument for several years thereafter. 

Farrar's Tavern is of more historic interest than any 
other building now standing in the quiet old town; for 
Washington stopped here in 1789, and the inhabitants, 
the school children especially, were much excited at his 
coming. Little Hannah Farrar, aged ten, the daughter 
of the landlord, was taken by the brilliant uniforms of the 
staff, and expected, of course, that this President Washing- 
ton of whom she had heard so much must be even more 
resplendent in appearance. When a tall gentleman in plain 
clothes alighted from the carriage, and she was told this 
was the President, she was so disgusted that she turned her 
back on him and exclaimed, "Why! he 's nothing but a 
man." Washington was much amused, and gave the 
young miss a silver coin which was long kept as an heir- 
loom in the family. 

After the death of John Farrar, Levi Pease bought his 
tavern in Shrewsbury and brought his family to live there. 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 349 

Levi Pease, more than any other, deserves the title of 
"Father of the Stage-Coach." Besides regular travellers, 
military companies and teamsters were entertained at the 
inn. There was a large shed behind the house for the 
wagons, and another for the teamsters. Holes were cut 
in the side of the house, one above the other to the second 
story, so that the teamsters could climb up and down 
from their sleeping-rooms without disturbing others in the 
household. The tavern was a regular meeting-place of 
the Free-Masons; and the dancing-room could be sepa- 
rated into two rooms by means of a partition which was 
swung up to the ceiling and fastened there with hooks 
when there was dancing. For many years, the old, time- 
worn, and weather-stained building was in a state of 
picturesque dilapidation. Now all this is changed, for it 
has been reshingled, the sides covered with clapboards, 
and, horror of horrors! the windows formerly containing 
twenty-four panes of glass have been replaced by sashes 
containing but two. The interior still remains as of old. 

Levi Pease, the most famous innkeeper and stage-driver 
and -owner of the coaching era, was born in Enfield, 
Connecticut, in 1740. He married and lived in Somers 
for a while, and then moved to Blandford, Massachusetts, 
where he was working as a blacksmith at the outbreak of 
the Revolution. He was in the army during the whole of 
the war, and was so tactful, shrewd, and reliable that he 
was frequently chosen as a bearer of despatches. He was 
in the Canadian campaign and nursed General Thomas 
during the attack of smallpox that caused his death. 
General Wadsworth gave Pease large sums of money to 
buy horses and stores; and, among other duties, he bought 
the horses to drag the French artillery from Newport, and 
later, he foraged for the allies. He was personally known 
to and esteemed by Lafayette. 

350 The Old Boston Post Road 

In 1783, at the end of the war, Pease went to Boston 
for the purpose of establishing a line of stage coaches 
between Boston and Hartford ; but, through lack of means, 
he found difficulty in getting help. He turned for assist- 
ance to his friend Reuben Sikes, who had previously 
driven a stage with him from Somers to Hartford. Sikes 
was fifteen years younger than Pease, and his father ob- 
jected to his embarking in this enterprise; but Reuben 
joined forces with Captain Pease, and, having secured 
"two convenient wagons," the two partners started at six 
o'clock on the morning of October 20, 1783, from Boston 
and Hartford respectively. Pease drove the west-bound 
stage and started from the Lamb Tavern, stopping over 
night at Martin's in Northborough, passing through 
Worcester the next day and stopping the second night at 
Rice's Tavern in Brookfield. The third day took him 
through Palmer to his home in Somers, and the fourth day, 
Hartford was reached. Empty coaches and no patronage 
was the rule at first. 

In the following May, Springfield was made a stopping- 
place, and the Connecticut River was crossed there or at 
Enfield. By this new arrangement, the stage left Boston 
from the Lion Inn in Marlborough (Washington) Street, 
halted at Parrar's in Shrewsbury the first night, and 
reached Spencer the next day. Here passengers were 
exchanged with Sikes, who conveyed them to Hartford. 
The fare was four pence a mile, or about ten dollars from 
Boston to Hartford. The business became successful and, 
two years later, Pease became the owner of an inn in 
Boston, located on the site of the present St. Paul's Church 
in Tremont Street. The partners extended the line to 
New York, Talmage Hall and Jacob Brown being the 
drivers between that city and Hartford. After November 
15. : 784> Worcester was reached in one day from Boston, 

The Chaise belonging to Sheriff Ward of Worcester. 

From a photo by H. C. Hammond. 

The Peace Tavern, Shrewsbury. 

The General Artemas Ward House, Shrewsbury 

The Wads worth Monument, South Sudbury. 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 351 

Hartford, at the end of the third day, and New York, three 
days later. The fare was reduced to three pence a mile 
and fourteen pounds of baggage were allowed to each 
passenger. The lines and connections were gradually 
extended until a traveller could go by coach from Ports- 
mouth, New Hampshire, to Savannah, Georgia. Pease 
and Sikes made the first contract for carrying the mails for 
the government after the return of peace, and the first 
mail passed through Worcester, January 7, 1786. 

Pease was not only the Father of the Stage Coach, but 
he was, as well, the Father of the Turnpike. The roads 
were very bad at the beginning of his coaching career, and 
he interested himself in their improvement. After long 
efforts, he succeeded in securing from the Commonwealth 
the first charter for a turnpike, which was laid out in 1808 
from Boston to Worcester via Shrewsbury. In 1668, it 
had been enacted by the General Court that the king's 
highways were to be "40 feet, at the least;" but the turn- 
pikes were given a width of four rods, or sixty-six feet, 
twenty-four of which were usually taken for the road-bed 
and the rest for furnishing materials for the middle parts. 
The old Post Road was the king's highway, afterwards the 
county road, and was originally laid out without bounds or 
compass, following the Indian trails, before there was any 
county of Worcester, and while the site of Shrewsbury was 
still within Middlesex. This new turnpike was built 
parallel to the great Post Road and about a mile from it in 
Shrewsbury, and, owing to the betterment of the road, 
notwithstanding the tolls, traffic and taverns increased. 
Pease drove a coach himself until he was too old and 
feeble to do so. His death occurred in 1824. 

A well-known character in Shrewsbury before the middle 
of the last century was Old Brazil (Basil Mann), an Indian, 
who in his younger days had been a pirate. Another 

352 The Old Boston Post Road 

character well-known in Shrewsbury, where he used to 
come to get drunk, was Richard Grimes of Hubbardstown, 
who has been immortalized in the verses of Albert G. 
Green, beginning: 

"Old Grimes is dead, that good old man, 
\ We ne'er shall see him more, 

He used to wear a long-tailed coat, 

All buttoned down before." 

If the whole poem is followed through, it will be found 
that in nearly every stanza, the first two lines refer to the 
character, and the latter two, to the dress of the old man. 

Town-meetings, concerts, singing-school, spelling-bees, 
and similar affairs were held for many years in the vestry 
room of the old church, which also became the Lyceum, 
when that species of entertainment and instruction became 
popular and universal. It was here that John B. Gough 
delivered his first temperance lecture, upon which occa- 
sion he met the young lady who was to become his second 
wife. In 1850, at the request of the inhabitants, George 
Frisbie Hoar, a young lawyer of Worcester, delivered from 
the same platform his first political speech, with the 
Fugitive Slave Law as the subject. The Shrewsbury of 
to-day is a quiet, pleasant place with a number of old 
houses among which is that of Peter Whitney, who wrote 
a history of Worcester County in 1793. There are many 
beautiful trees and a fine library building, and the people 
are justly proud of the historic associations of the town. 

After passing the Pease Tavern, the road leads on 
through Northborough, of which it is the main street. By 
the roadside is a tablet erected by the local historical 
society, pointing out the spot where Mary Goodenow lies 
buried. She was one of two women, who, on August 18, 
1707, were attacked by Indians as they were crossing the 

Worcester County, Massachusetts 353 

fields. One of them escaped, but Mary Goodenow was 
killed and scalped. Upon the alarm being given, the 
garrison followed the Indians and overtook them, where- 
upon a battle ensued in which the savages were defeated. 
They fled, leaving their plunder, among which was the 
fresh scalp of the young woman. A search revealed her 
mutilated body, which was buried; the spot was later 
identified and marked as stated. 

In May, 1656, the inhabitants of Sudbury petitioned 
the General Court for a grant of land to the westward of 
their plantation, and a commission was appointed to lay 
out a section six miles square, which included the pres- 
ent Marlborough, Westborough, Southborough, North- 
borough and Hudson. Until its incorporation in 1660, 
this new plantation was known as Whipsuppenicke. 
According to tradition, the first settler in Northborough 
was John Brigham, who came here in 1672 and located 
himself upon "Licor Meadow Plain," just north of Liquor 
Hill. Another early grantee was Samuel Goodenow, and 
toward the close of the seventeenth century, the tract was 
cut up into farms. The early settlers were farmers, as the 
land is well watered; but sawmills and grist-mills were 
established upon the principal stream of the township, the 
Assabet. An old mill, still run by water-power, stands 
at the point where the Post Road crosses the Assabet. 
Fulling mills for cloth were also established, and bog-iron 
and potash were two other commodities; later on, there 
were some traders in European and West India goods. A 
tan-yard was established in 1781, and a cotton factory in 
1 8 14. There are some manufactures in the town to-day, 
and these have brought into the town large numbers of 
French Canadians. 

Westborough, of which Northborough was originally a 
part, was set off from Marlborough in 1717; in 1744, 

354 The Old Boston Post Road 

Northborough became the second precinct of the new 
town; and, in 1766, it became itself a town, but not a full 
one until the time of the Revolution, when, by an act of 
the General Court, many incorporated districts became 
towns automatically. Before its separation from West- 
borough, Northborough was called for some time, 
Chauncey; it is the youngest of the four so-called 
' ' borough ' ' towns. 

About 1825 or 1826, a course of public lectures was 
begun by the ministers of the town, which ripened into a 
"lyceum" in 1828, one of the first in the country, in which, 
for more than thirty years, free lectures and debates were 
given and held once a week in winter. 



IN the year 1638, a number of proprietors received a 
grant of land, which, at first, was called Whipsuffer- 
adge Plantation. In the following year, it was 
formed into a town under the name of Sudbury. In 1656^ 
Sudbury petitioned to make a town about eight miles dis- 
tant; but before this, Eliot had secured a grant of land 
to the Indians who named their plantation Ockoocan- 
gansett. This was situated on a hill in Marlborough now 
occupied by the high school and the ancient burying- 
ground, and it was one of the villages of "praying," or 
converted, Indians established in several places by the 
missionary. It seems rather odd that the General Court 
should be granting lands to the Indians who were the 
original owners. 

In accordance with the general custom, the first meeting- 
house was built upon a hill, and the first minister was 
installed in 1660. One morning in March, 1676, while the 
inhabitants were at Sunday service, the town was attacked 
by Indians ; but all the inhabitants, except one, reached the 
garrison-house in safety. They saw the savages destroy 
the settlement, but they could do nothing to prevent it. 
After the Indians withdrew, the people left the town, but 
came back the next year when the war was over. After 


356 The Old Boston Post Road 

the destruction of Brookfield and Worcester during 
Philip's War, there were no inhabitants west of Marl- 
borough until one reached the settlements on the Connec- 
ticut. In June, 1684, the Indians gave a deed to the 
proprietors, and the town was named Marlborough after 
the English town, from which some of the settlers probably 
came. Bigelow, Warren, and Brigham are among the 
names most common among the early inhabitants who 
left their impress upon the town's history and progress. 
Fay is another name which appears, and these Fays are of 
the same family and origin as the Fays of Eastchester, 
who came originally from this Massachusetts town. 

On October 25, 1740 (N. S.), the Rev. George White- 
field preached in the meeting-house between the hours of 
four and six in the afternoon. Governor Belcher was 
present, and, after the services, he and the famous evange- 
list rode together into Worcester. From Washington's 
diary, we find that on Friday, October 23d, he passed 
through Worcester, and was 

Escorted to Marlborough (16 miles) where we dined, and 
thence to Weston (14 more where we lodged). . . The 
Country about Worcester and onwards toward Boston is 
better improved and the lands of better quality than we 
travelled through yesterday. 

The most famous tavern in the town is that of Lieuten- 
ant Williams, which was built in 1662 and burned by the 
savages in 1676. It was rebuilt and is still standing, 
though considerably changed and modernized. Captain 
Edward Hutchinson, who was mortally wounded by the 
Indians at Brookfield, was carried here after the fight 
and died here, being the first burial in the old churchyard. 
During the coaching era, it was a relay house where horses 
were changed and passengers ate their meals. The sign 

Middlesex County, Massachusetts 357 

"Williams's Tavern," swung to the breeze for over a 
century and a half. The French nobleman, the Due de la 
Rochefoucauld, stopped here during an attack of illness 
that lasted five days; in his writings, he pays tribute to the 
kindness and attention of his hosts, to whom he was the 
same as an ordinary traveller. On October 23, 1789, 
Washington was entertained here at dinner by the authori- 
ties of the town. 

The surface of the town of Marlborough is hilly, but 
there are many good and productive farms. The principal 
industry in the city is shoe manufacturing, and there are 
several good shops. On July 14, 1890, Marlborough 
became a city, and its post-office and city hall, as well as 
its public library, are buildings that would grace a city of 
fifty thousand population, or one three times its size. 

Hanging in front of the Grand Army of the Republic 
Hall is a bell underneath which there is the legend, " the 
john brown bell." Briefly, its story is as follows: 

At the beginning of the Civil War, in 1861; some of the 
Marlborough volunteers were stationed at Harper's Ferry, 
Virginia. Nearly everything portable that could be taken as 
souvenirs of John Brown had already been removed by other 
soldiers before the arrival of the Marlborough boys. There 
remained, however, the bell in the engine-house which had 
been Brown's quarters, where Brown had intended to ring it as 
a signal for the rising of the slaves when all was ready for the 
movement. Several of the venturesome soldiers climbed to 
the belfry and lowered the bell to their waiting companions. 
It proved to be a sort of white elephant on their hands, for they 
were too poor in pocket to ship it home and it was too heavy to 
be carried with them on their marches. It was, therefore, 
entrusted to the care of a man at one of the locks on the 
Chesapeake and Ohio Canal at Williamsport, and, in the course 
of the long war which followed, the bell was forgotten until 

358 The Old Boston Post Road 

1892, when the reunion of the Grand Army of the Republic 
took place in Washington. Some of the few remaining 
veterans of the Marlborough company visited the scenes of 
their earliest campaigning, and the incident of the bell was 
recalled to them when they visited Williamsport. A quiet 
search disclosed the widow of the original custodian of the bell, 
and the old soldiers found that neither she nor her husband 
had ever divulged its identity. They paid her for her guardian- 
ship, recovered the bell and carefully and secretly shipped it to 
Marlborough, fearing to breathe a word about it until it was 
hung in its present position. 

After leaving Marlborough, the road passes through a 
rather sparsely settled section, yet we pass one house which 
people come many miles to see. This is the famous 
Wayside Inn of Longfellow's Tales. It may well be called 
the aristocrat of all the New England inns, for it is so in its 
appearance and also in its associations. 

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. 

Besides the usual historic chambers occupied by Washing- 
ton, Lafayette, and other distinguished historic person- 
ages, the Wayside Inn at South Sudbury has the distinction 
of having been the temporary home on several occasions 
of the poet Longfellow. It has been the resting-place of 
valor, of statesmanship, and of genius; and the present 
proprietor seems to be fully alive to all its historic and 
literary associations, and has gathered a collection of old- 
time prints, books, furniture and kitchen utensils, as well 
as several manuscript poems by writers of celebrity. 
On a pane of glass formerly on the left side of the entrance, 

Middlesex County, Massachusetts 359 

but now carefully preserved under glass, are these lines 
scratched with a diamond by one of the madcap roysterers 
of old Boston town: 

What do you think 
Here is good drink 
Perhaps you may not know it; 
If not in haste do stop and taste 
' You merry folks will show it. 

Wm. Molineux, Jr. Esq. 
24TH June, 1774, Boston. 

It is, in fact, a literary shrine as well as an historic one. 

It was in 1700 or 1701 that David Howe received a 
grant of one hundred and thirty acres and began the erec- 
tion of a house, which was small enough at first. It is 
said that while the house was building, the workmen went 
every night to the Parmenter garrison house, about half 
a mile away. However that may be, the Howes made 
friends with the Indians and were never molested by them. 
It seems that the Howes, who came of good English stock, 
lost their fortunes and took to inn-keeping. The first 
Howe was succeeded by Colonel Ezekial in 1746, and his 
reign as landlord lasted just fifty years. During his 
ownership, the sign-post with its red horse was hung out, 
and Howe's Tavern became the Red Horse Tavern. 
Another Howe kept another Red Horse Tavern in Boston. 
Being on the main road from Boston to Albany, during 
the French and Indian War, it became a common halting- 
place for the troops who were continually passing to and 
from the front during the seven years of that struggle. 
It gradually increased in size from its small beginning 
until it became the imposing edifice of to-day. After the 
establishment of the stage coaches, it became still more 
famous and important. 

In 1796, the third Howe, Adam, became proprietor, and 

360 The Old Boston Post Road 

he conducted the tavern until 1836, when he was succeeded 
by the fourth and last Howe, Lyman, who died in i860, 
when the old house ceased to be a tavern after a record of 
one hundred and sixty years under four landlords all of 
the same family. It was the last Howe who was the 
landlord when Longfellow used to visit the inn, and whom 
he celebrates in the lines : 

But first the Landlord will I trace; 

Grave in his aspect and attire; 

A man of ancient pedigree, 

A Justice of the Peace was he, 

Known in all Sudbury as the "Squire." 

Proud was he of his name and race, 

Of old Sir William and Sir Hugh, 

And in the parlor, full in view, 

His coat-of-arms, well framed and glazed, 

Upon the wall in colors blazed. 

And over this, no longer bright, 
Though glimmering with a latent light, 
Was hung the sword his grandsire bore 
In the rebellious days of yore, 
Down there at Concord in the fight. 

The Howes were something more than ordinary tavern- 
keepers, for they were gentlemen in the English meaning 
of the word. From the time of the building of the railroad 
the tavern gradually lost trade ; and after the death of the 
last Howe in i860, it was not considered worth while to 
keep it open as a tavern. In December, 1896, it passed 
into the hands of the present proprietor, E. R. Lemon; and 
the building of the state highway and the number of au- 
tomobile tourists made it worth while once more to con- 
duct it as a tavern, or hotel. A short distance beyond the 
Inn, a tablet by the roadside is found with this inscription : 


The Interior of "The Wayside Inn, " Sudbury. 

A Tavern Sign at Sudbury, "The Wayside Inn. 1 

Middlesex County, Massachusetts 361 

Nearby Is the Site of 

The Parmenter Garrison, 

A Stone House Built 

Previous to 1686 and 

Used as a Place of Refuge 

From the Indians. Razed in 1858. 

Erected By 

Wayside Inn Chapter, D.A.R., 1906. 

This whole section was originally Sudbury, and settlers 
were drawn to it by the rich meadow lands along the 
streams. Most of these were Watertown people, and the 
first movement for a new plantation was made by them in 
1637 when they petitioned the General Court on account 
of their "straitness of accommodation, and want of 
meadow, they might have leave to remove." On Septem- 
ber 6, 1638, the petition was granted, and, two years later, 
the plantation received the name of Sudbury after the 
English town of that name from which several of the 
planters came. The land was bought from the sachem 
Cato for £5 ; it was five miles square, and at first included 
Marlborough and Wayland, in which latter place the first 
settlers took up their abodes. Among the one hundred 
and ten passengers who sailed from Southampton, Eng- 
land, on April 24, 1638, "intended for New England, in the 
good shipp, the Confidence of London, of CC tonnes, John 
Jobson M r and this by vertue of Lord Treas rs warr* of the 
xj th of Aprill, 1638," some twenty-eight came to Sudbury. 
Great prosperity followed the first settlement, and the 
town was chartered in 1639. In 1642, a cart-bridge was 
erected over the Sudbury River, and, in 1647, a highway 
was laid out to Watertown. The Wayside Inn and the 
scene of Captain Wadsworth's fight are on the Post Road 
in South Sudbury. 

The aboriginal name of Sudbury was Musketaquid, 

362 The Old Boston Post Road 

which probably means "ground grass," or, if applied to a 
stream, "meadow brook." Thiswould apply very well to 
the meadows covered with their luxuriant grasses. The 
plantation was made by Englishmen, most of whom came 
direct from England, though the settlement was planned 
in Watertown. The land was granted collectively to the 
inhabitants, and also partly to them as individuals. The 
natives and the whites were on friendly terms until the 
time of King Philip's War, and then the attacks were 
made by outside, or invading, Indians. Sudbury was a 
frontier town, and therefore peculiarly subject to attack. 
The first blow fell on March 10, 1676, when, as Mather 
says " Mischief was done and several lives cut off by the 
Indians." On March 27th, a band of savages on their 
way to surprise the inhabitants were themselves surprised 
by the English who came from the garrison-houses. Cap- 
tain Wadsworth was sent into the threatened section with 
a band of soldiers. 

Upon the approach of Captain Wadsworth, the natives 
gathered here in great force. Some say there were as 
many as fifteen hundred, but this is probably a good deal 
too many ; however, Philip commanded in person, and his 
presence and direction were worth a great deal to the 
savages. Most of the Indians concealed themselves, but 
a few showed themselves to the English, who pursued 
them. The savages fled, leading their pursuers into the 
trap which had been prepared for them. The fight began 
on Green Hill, not many feet distant from the site of the 
monument ; but the English were obliged to fall back to an 
adjoining hill, and, though suffering considerably them- 
selves, managed to inflict heavy losses upon the Indians. 
The latter set fire to the woods, and the flame and smoke 
drove the whites from their advantageous position. At 
the same time, an assault was made upon them from all 

Middlesex County, Massachusetts 363 

sides, and only about twenty of them managed to escape 
and to reach the mill, where they were rescued by Captain 
Prentice with about fifty horse and by Captain Mason 
with thirty men who were on their way to Brookfield. 

This fight of April 21st was a splendid fight on both 
sides, and especially so on the side of the English who 
conducted it against overwhelming numbers. A few of 
the whites were captured alive; but it would have been 
better for them to have perished with their comrades, for 
they were put to death that night with all the cruelty of 
which the savages are capable. The Indian losses were 
too great for them to attack the newcomers, who, on their 
part, on account of the disparity of numbers, were unable 
to attack the Indians. The day after the battle, Captain 
Mason went to the scene of the conflict and buried the 
scalped bodies of Wadsworth and his companions. This 
was Philip's last success; all of New England was now 
against him, and he was pursued relentlessly to his fate. 

The first monument, still standing within the iron fence 
was placed here in 1730 by President Wadsworth of Har- 
vard College, who was a son of Captain Samuel. On the 
two hundredth anniversary of the battle, April 18, 1876, the 
present monument was erected. It bears this inscription : 

This monument is erected by the Commonwealth of Massa- 
chusetts and the town of Sudbury, in grateful remembrance 
of the services and suffering of the founders of the State and 
especially in honor of 

Captain Samuel Wadsworth, of Milton 

Captain Brocklebank, of Rowley 

Lieutenant Sharp, of Brookline 
and twenty-six men of their command, who fell near this spot, 
on the 1 8th of April, 1676, while defending the frontier settle- 
ments against the allied Indian forces of Philip of Pokanoket. 


364 The Old Boston Post Road 

(The date now generally accepted for the fight is April 
2 1 st.) 

After the fight at South Sudbury, the savages destroyed 
and plundered the houses and property of the inhabitants 
and attacked the Haynes garrison house on the west side 
of the river. At first they tried to set fire to it with flam- 
ing arrows; but in order to do this they had to come too 
near to the guns of the besiegers, so they gave that up and 
sent a cart loaded with blazing flax against the fort, but 
the cart upset and the flax burnt itself out without damage. 
Twelve men coming from Concord to the relief of the 
garrison were decoyed by Indian squaws into an ambush, 
and all but one were captured. The Indians finally 
raised the siege. There were three of these garrison 
houses within the town, yet the Indian attacks continued 
for some time, and the inhabitants were in constant fear. 

In 1776, Sudbury was the most populous of the Middle- 
sex towns, and the Sudbury companies were in the Con- 
cord fight. Its most distinguished Revolutionary heroes 
were General John H. Nixon, and Colonel Ezekial Howe 
of the Red Horse Tavern. 

As soon as the road crosses the Sudbury River to the 
east side, it is in the town of Wayland, which was formerly 
a part of Sudbury, but which became East Sudbury in 
1780 and received its present name in 1835. Some of the 
earliest grants were made to men who took part in the 
Pequot War, and the first settlers came in the fall of 1638, 
settling on the east side of the river, where about two 
thirds of the original grants were made. East Street is 
the line of the ancient highway connecting with Water- 
town, though there were two others in the early days. 
It is interesting to note upon the state road the sign-boards 
directing to New York, a reminder of the olden days of the 
Post Road. Of these Mill Road was well built upon, and 

Middlesex County, Massachusetts 365 

the meeting-house and the Parmenter Tavern, the first in 
Wayland, 1653, were located upon it. The presence of so 
many houses on this street is due to the fact that, in 1635, 
the General Court had ordered that no dwelling should be 
above half a mile from the meeting-house in any new 
plantation; this was for mutual protection in case of 
Indian attack, to which the inhabitants were subjected 
forty years later, at the time of King Philip's War. In 
the spring of 1639, the first grist-mill was erected by 
Thomas Cakebread. 

One of the earliest schoolmasters was Samuel Paris, at 
whose house in Salem the witchcraft delusion had origin- 
ated. The first free public library in the State was founded 
in Wayland in 1848 and opened in August, 1850, though a 
circulating library association had been formed in 1796. 
One of the principal donors of the free library was Presi- 
dent Francis Wayland of Brown University, after whom 
the town was named in 1835. The most distinguished 
writer who lived in Wayland was Lydia Maria Child, who 
was a resident from 1852 until her death in 1880. 

The Boston and Maine Railroad has helped to make the 
town, whose principal industry is manufacturing shoes. 
This work, however, is carried on principally at Cochituate, 
one of the villages forming the township. The Unitarian 
Church, erected in 1815, is of interest, as it has been less 
modernized than such churches usually are; for it still 
retains its old bell with its great wheel, double windows, 
and enormous shoe scrapers upon its entrance porch, 
indicating that in wet weather, this must have been a land 
of mud. 

From Wayland, the road passes on through Weston, 
which was originally a part of Watertown and settled 
about the same time, as early, perhaps, as 1630, when 
Watertown received its name. Weston was known at 

366 The Old Boston Post Road 

first as the "Farms," or the "Farm Lands," and also, 
from the number of farms, the "Farmers' District." 
The southeast corner of the town, near the junction of 
Charles River and Stony Brook, was the site originally 
selected by Winthrop for the capital city of his colony, and 
a palisaded wall was begun three leagues up the river. 
Fearing attacks from the French, the work was stopped, 
and the present Boston was selected instead. In 1631, 
however, a palisaded post was established at the first site 
to command the Indian trading resort near-by. In 1638, 
it was divided by a commission into town lots, but the 
commissioners took the best for themselves, and the 
allotment of the remainder caused so much dissatisfaction 
that the tract was known as the "Land of Contention." 
In 1663, the lands were resurveyed by John Sherman; and, 
in 1692, the Watertown township was divided up into 
three military precincts; Watertown, Captain Bond's 
Company of Horse; Waltham, Captain Garfield's Com- 
pany; and Weston, Lieutenant Jones's Company. For 
sixty-eight years, Weston was joined to Watertown in 
ecclesiastical affairs, and for almost eighty-three, in those 
of a civil nature. 

In 1694, the inhabitants petitioned for a separate church, 
as the distance was so great to that at Watertown. The 
petition was granted, and work on the meeting-house was 
begun in 1695, and, though it was not completed at the 
time, preaching was begun in 1 700. In this connection, it is 
in order to say that, after perusing a great many of these 
old town histories, the writer has come to the conclusion 
that it took two, three, four, even five years to build these 
meeting-houses, which, to-day, would be erected in less 
than a month. Until 1698, the church and town records 
were the same; in 1712, the town was incorporated. 

The first military organization was formed in 1630; and, 

Middlesex County, Massachusetts 367 

at the time of the Pequot War, it became part of one of 
the regiments made up of companies from the different 
plantations. In 1643, the New England Confederacy was 
formed by the colonies of Massachusetts, Plymouth, Con- 
necticut, and New Haven for concerted action against the 
savages; and in the same year, the Massachusetts Colony 
was divided into four counties: Essex, Norfolk, Suffolk and 
Middlesex. When the news came of the Lexington fight, 
the minutemen gathered for the march to Cambridge, Par- 
son Samuel Woodward said a prayer, and then took a mus- 
ket and fell in in the company ranks. In 1777, a division 
of Burgoyne's captured army marched through the town 
under the guard of General John Glover of Marblehead. 

On the night of October 23, 1789, Washington stopped 
at Flagg's Tavern. He was in his own carriage and was 
accompanied by his secretaries, Mr. Lear and Major 
Jackson, and by six servants on horseback. Weston was 
on the great thoroughfare leading to Boston from Vermont, 
New Hampshire, and Connecticut, which fact gave it an 
importance it would not otherwise have had. Many 
stage lines and freight carriers converged here and passed 
through the town so that, at one time or another, all of 
the houses were taverns. 

One of the earliest of these taverns was one that was 
kept by Lieutenant Elisha Jones, whose accounts run 
back to 1745, though he was established before that. In 
1755, Colonel Ephraim Williams bought here his outfit 
and supplies for his Lake George expedition in which he 
was killed. Jones's house, before and after the Revolu- 
tion, was the Golden Ball Tavern. Here General Gage and 
the British officers came frequently for supper parties and 
convivial meetings. Jones was a great Tory and was in 
constant communication with the British until his death 
about three months before the Concord fight. 

368 The Old Boston Post Road 

It was at the Golden Ball that Sergeant John How, a 
spy for General Gage, received hospitality and entertain- 
ment. Early in April, 1775, disguised as a Yankee 
farmer, How applied for work at the tavern of Joel Smith 
at Weston ; but his manners and speech aroused suspicion, 
and a crowd gathered, which accused him of being a spy. 
The crowd became threatening, and How fled. His 
instructions were to find out the state of public feeling and 
to examine all fords and bridges. It was while doing this 
latter that Landlord Jones discovered him. To Jones's 
questions, How gave evasive replies, but he soon found 
out that Jones was a Tory, and then he disclosed himself. 
Jones took him to the Golden Ball, but How had hardly 
finished his dinner before word came that the Weston mob 
was on his track. The spy was hurried quickly from the 
inn to the house of a Mr. Wheaton, another loyalist, while 
the mob searched the tavern from attic to cellar. How 
went as far as Worcester, and returned by way of Concord, 
where he learned of the military stores that had been 
gathered there. He sent word of them to General Gage 
and at the same time informed him that if he attempted to 
send artillery over the Weston Road not a man of his com- 
mand would come back alive. How's experience with the 
mob at Weston may be considered as the cause of Gage's 
change of plan, which brought on the Concord fight. 

The present tavern building was built in 175 1 by Colonel 
Elisha Jones, who was succeeded by his son, who had his 
estate confiscated for his Toryism. He saved it, however, 
by taking the oath of allegiance, a vow that he kept, 
though Anburey speaks of him as being friendly to govern- 
ment. Paul Revere stopped here one night while on his 
way to meet the Saratoga prisoners with instructions for 
their guidance and quartering at Winter Hill. The house 
has been modernized to some extent, though its owners 

The Unitarian Church, Wayland (1814). 

The Williams Tavern, Marlborough. 

From a water-color painting by Ellen M. Carpenter.' 

The Bridge over the Charles River, Watertown. 


The Bird Tavern on the Road to Cambridge at Watertown. 

Middlesex County, Massachusetts 369 

try to keep it as ancient-looking as possible. The old 
Golden Ball, the tavern-sign, is still carefully preserved. 

The Hobbs tannery was established about 1730; and, 
in I7 6 5» Abraham Hens started a pottery which remained 
here until 1 87 1, when it was removed to North Cambridge 
for larger facilities. It was probably the first pottery in 
New England. Besides mills and farming, the principal 
industry was chair-making; and organs have been built 
at Kendall Green for over sixty years. With the running 
of the railroad trains in 1838, the importance of "Weston 
came to an end, and its industries were reduced to a 
grocery store, a blacksmith-shop and a grist-mill. It is 
now a quiet suburban village with many beautiful modern 
houses among those of older date. With the long evening 
light upon some of the swales filled with lush grasses, the 
pictures are beautiful in the extreme. 

One of Weston's distinguished residents was Francis 
Blake, the inventor, who married a Weston girl and came 
here to live. For a period of thirteen years, Blake was in 
the United States Coast Survey; he then resigned and 
devoted himself to electrical work, his best-known inven- 
tion being the Blake transmitter, which is used practically 
with all telephones. 

The tract of land upon which Waltham is situated was 
originally a part of Watertown and was known as "the 
lots on the Further Plain," or the "Great Plain." The 
first grant of five hundred acres was made to John Old- 
ham, the adventurer, who was a convivial sort of chap and 
one of the companions at "Merry Mount." In 1691, 
Watertown was divided into three military districts for 
protection against the Indians; the Waltham district was 
known as the Middle, or Captain Garfield's. Other divi- 
sions of the town occurred on ecclesiastical affairs in regard 
to the convenience, location, and distance of meeting- 

37° Tne old Boston Post Road 

houses. In 1692, there occurred a division over the loca- 
tion of a meeting-house, and two were established. Other 
differences arose over the location of schoolhouses, but a 
constant source of dispute was the maintenance of the 
bridge over the Charles River at Watertown. At last, on 
January 4, 173%, after several petitions, Waltham was set 
off as a separate town. It gets its name from the old 
town of Waltham, England, where one of the wealthiest 
and most famous of the Norman abbeys is located. 

As the road through Waltham was so heavily patronized 
by the travelling public, there grew up along it a string of 
taverns, there being as many as nine at one time in 1793. 
The Central House, formerly the Kimball Tavern, was 
built about 1798 and is the only tavern remaining and still 
used as an inn. Among others of the leading taverns were 
Green's, Cutting's, Bird's and Gleason's. The Massasoit 
House, on the site of the Cutting Tavern, was the most 
famous of the stage inns until its destruction by fire in 
1849. The Bemis Tavern was established about 1760, 
and later was succeeded by the Stratton ; this was burned 
in February, 1893, and nothing remains of it except the 

The usual industries were established during its career; 
and, in 1855, Dr. Francis F. Field invented a process of 
making school and other crayons, and the business became 
very extensive. It is from its watch-making industry, 
however, that Waltham is known throughout the civilized 
world. This work was started by Aaron L. Dennison and 
Edward Howard in Roxbury in 1850, but it was removed 
to Waltham in 1854, under the name of the Boston Watch 
Company. This company failed in 1 857, and the property 
was bought in for Appleton, Tracy & Company by Royal 
E. Robbins; and, in September, 1858, the American Watch 
Company was formed. It has been through a successful 

Middlesex County, Massachusetts 371 

and steady up-hill fight from the first, though for many 
years now, its only trouble seems to have been to keep a 
high tariff on imported watches. All the products of the 
American Watch Company are machine made, some 
screws being so small that it is almost impossible to see 
them with the naked eye. 

It is the Charles River which adds so much to the beauty 
of the town; as far as Waltham, it was called by the In- 
dians the Quinrobin. The first bridge over Beaver Brook 
was built in 1673, and it seems from the town records that 
a gallon of "liccor" was provided for the workmen who 
were engaged in constructing it. Perhaps that first mail 
carrier of Governor Lovelace's passed over the new bridge; 
if not on his first trip, at least on one of his later 

Main Street through Weston, Waltham, and Watertown 
to Mill Bridge over the Charles River was the ancient 
Post Road, originally called the County Road, and later 
the Sudbury Road. After crossing the Charles, it led 
through Brookline and Roxbury into Boston, and it was 
for a long time the principal road in the colonies, as over it 
passed all the traffic bound to and from the west and a 
great part of that to and from New York and the south- 
ward. But, just as outside of New York we had two roads 
to follow until they met at New Rochelle, so here outside of 
Boston, we shall have two roads to follow into the city, as 
the other one is by way of Cambridge. Ensign Anburey, 
writing in 1777, says that the captured officers of Bur- 
goyne's army were quartered in the towns of Cambridge, 
Mystic, and Watertown; and in a letter dated from the 
first-named place, says he considers it strange that a bridge 
is not built from Charlestown to Boston, "the direct 
entrance from the inland towns into Bofton. Unlefs you 
crofs the ferry, you have to make a circuit of feveral 

372 The Old Boston Post Road 

miles, over fwamps and moraffes, from this place to 
Bofton, which is only two miles in a direct line." 

Watertown is one of the oldest towns in Massachusetts, 
originally called by the Indian name of Pequasset. It is 
situated on the Charles River and there are many ponds in 
the township; hence its name. Agriculture was formerly 
its principal industry, and great quantities of lettuce are 
still grown; but, besides being a suburban settlement of 
Boston, its industries are now manufacturing ones. 

On June 12, 1630, the Arabella, one of the seventeen 
ships that left England that year for America, arrived at 
Salem, bearing Governor Winthrop, Deputy-Governor 
Dudley, Sir Richard Saltonstall, Rev. George Phillips and 
many other passengers. After looking over the shores of 
Massachusetts Bay, they at last decided upon the Charles- 
town peninsula as the site of their plantation; but the 
potable water proved poor in quality and scarce in 
quantity, so Sir Richard and some others began a settle- 
ment about four miles up the Charles River, the first of 
the inland plantations. At first, it was called Saltonstall's 
Plantation, but it received the name of Watertown on 
September 7, 1630; the land was not bought from the 
Indians until May, 1640. It contained originally about 
twenty-nine thousand acres, but it has been gradually 
shorn of its acreage to make four other townships until 
there are left but twenty-nine hundred acres. It is also 
famous as being a mother town for many other settlements, 
for its inhabitants planted Wethersfield, the oldest of the 
Connecticut towns, and were among the settlers of other 
Connecticut and New Haven plantations, and in Dedham, 
Sudbury, and Martha's Vineyard. 

Sir Richard Saltonstall returned to England in the 
spring of 1631 and became one of the patentees of the 
Connecticut Colony. In 1644, he was Ambassador to 

Middlesex County, Massachusetts 373 

Holland, and, in 1649 a member of the high court of 
justice. He died in 1658, leaving a posterity in America 
whose names have been famous in New England history. 
^ For fear of Indian attack, at their second meeting on 
September 7, 1630, the governor and his assistants 
engaged Captain Daniel Patrick of Watertown and 
Captain John Underhill of Boston to give instruction in the 
military art, the former to the inhabitants of the north 
side, and the latter to those on the south side of the 
Charles River, the inhabitants of adjoining towns training 

Within five years of its settlement, Watertown had 
become overcrowded; for, in August, 1635, it was 

agreed by the consent of the freemen (in consideration there 
be too many inhabitants in the town, and the town thereby in 
danger to be ruinated) that no forrainer coming into the town, 
or any family among ourselves shall have any benefit of com- 
monage or land undivided, except that they buy a man's right 
wholly in the town. 

John Oldham was an inhabitant of Watertown, who, 
while trading in his pinnace at Block Island, was killed by 
the Indians on July 20, 1636, and his crew taken prisoners. 
Immediately afterward, John Gallup in a slightly larger 
vessel came upon the scene and learned of Oldham's 
murder. He at once attacked the pinnace, ramming it 
three times with his own vessel and drowning or capturing 
all of the Indian captors, who were unable to manage so 
large a vessel, and recovering the two boys who had been 
with Oldham. Gallup's own crew consisted of but one 
man and two boys besides himself. This was the first 
American sea-fight on record, and it was one of the main 
causes that led up to the war with the Pequots. 

John Eliot began his missionary labors among the 

374 The Old Boston Post Road 

Watertown Indians, and it is probably due to his influence 
that they remained on such friendly terms with the whites. 
During King Philip's War, Watertown supplied her 
quota of men for the defence of the inland towns and for 
the extermination of Philip and his warriors. Captain 
Beeres of the town, while marching from Hadley to save 
the garrison at Northfield, was ambushed and killed with 
about twenty of his men on September 4, 1675. He was 
one of the original settlers of 1630 and had taken part in 
the Pequot War. Captain Hugh Mason was another 
Indian fighter from the town, who assisted the inhabitants 
of Sudbury in resisting the Indian attack of April 20, 
1676; but his command was too few in number to give 
help to Wadsworth's company. He saved some of them, 
however, and went over the following day to the scene of 
the fight and buried Wadsworth, Brocklebank, and the 
others who had been killed. Mason, who was seventy- 
six years old at this time is believed to have been a brother 
of the famous Captain John Mason. 

In 1633, Mr. Richard Browne was allowed "to keep a 
Ferry over Charles River against his house." In 1641, 
the earliest bridge over the river was built at the head of 
tide water, near the mill, and, in consequence, was fre- 
quently called the Mill Bridge. It was also known as the 
Great Bridge, and its maintenance was a cause of dispute 
with both Weston and Waltham. This first bridge was a 
foot-bridge; a horse-bridge was built in 1648, but it was 
not until 1720 that a cart-bridge was built. It was about 
1634 that the first mill was erected. For over a century, 
the fisheries of the river were important, and the income to 
the town was considerable from this source; but, since 
i860, the river has been so polluted that the fisheries are 

The Boston Gazette and County Journal, a leading organ 

The Central House on Main St., Waltham. 

376 The Old Boston Post Road 

Robbins Curtis, born November 4, 1809, who was an 
Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court at 
the time of the Dred Scott decision, and who dissented 
from the opinion of the court, an opinion that threw open 
to slavery all the free states. Curtis was also one of 
President Johnson's counsel at the time of his impeach- 
ment trial before the Senate. 

The Post Road was formerly the Sudbury Road, now 
called Main Street, which went over the Mill Bridge into 
Newton, Brighton, Brookline, Roxbury and Boston. 
Later, there were two turnpikes: one by way of North 
Beacon Street from Watertown Square to the famous Mill 
Dam Road built by the Roxbury Mill Corporation across 
the Charles River, the other from Watertown Square by 
way of Arsenal Street. Charlestown and Watertown were 
both settled before Cambridge, and there was a path 
connecting the two places, which became the county road 
or main highway. This followed Mt. Auburn Avenue 
from Watertown Square into Brattle Street and Mason 
Street, thence around the Washington Elm in Cambridge 
and out Kirkland Street and Washington Street in Charles- 
town to the ferry to the North End of Boston. Mt. 
Auburn Avenue runs into Brattle Street at the northwest 
corner of Mt. Auburn Cemetery; to the westward, the 
extension of Brattle Street is Belmont Avenue leading to 
Waltham; this was the line of the main turnpike leading 
from Boston to the westward. 

Mt. Auburn Cemetery was established in 1831, and it 
was the first rural cemetery in the country; before it was 
opened, the dead of Boston were buried in the old, over- 
crowded cemeteries within the city. The cemetery is 
naturally one of the most beautiful in the world, but the 
scientific landscape artist has aided Nature. The ceme- 
tery probably contains more distinguished dead than any 

Middlesex County, Massachusetts 377 

other in America; Among them are Longfellow, Motley, 
Lowell, Holmes, Sumner, Charles Bulfinch, the architect 
of the State House in Boston and the Capitol at Washing- 
ton, Agassiz, Phillips Brooks, Rufus Choate, Thomas 
Bailey Aldrich, Asa Gray, the botanist, Jared Sparks, 
Alvan Clark, the telescope-maker, Robert C. Winthrop, 
Edwin Booth and William Warren, actors, Charlotte 
Cushman, Margaret Puller, "Fanny Fern," the sister of 
Nathaniel P. Willis, and a countless number of men and 
women hardly less famous. 

On December 28, 1630, a small party of men gathered on 
the trail to Charlestown, and when they reached a point 
about a mile to the eastward of Watertown, they looked 
over the ground of the wilderness and decided to establish 
a plantation here. The party included Governor Winthrop, 
Deputy-Governor Dudley, John Endicott and the other 
assistants to the Governor, and an armed guard. They 
all agreed to build houses here by the following spring and 
to aid in locating a new town which was to be protected 
from French attack by means of a "pallysado," and which 
was to be the capital of the Colony. The work was under- 
taken and carried through successfully by the efforts of 
Dudley, and a palisade and ditch, about one and a half 
miles long, were built around an enclosed one thousand 
acres, the southerly bounds of which were the Charles 
River. The new town was designated as one of the four 
towns of the Colony in which the courts might sit. In 
1633, it is reported of the inhabitants that "most of them 
are very rich and have great store of cattle." The plan- 
tation was called Newtown, and by this latter date con- 
sisted of some sixty or seventy houses located on streets 
running at right angles to each other. 

But these old religious disputants could not get along 
with each other, and soon there was an exodus of the 

378 The Old Boston Post Road 

greater part of the population. Winthrop records that, 
on May 31, 1636: 

Mr. Hooker, pastor of the church at Newtown, and most of 
his parishioners went to Connecticut; his wife was carried in a 
horse litter, and they drove one hundred and sixty cattle and 
partook of their milk on the way. 

The Rev. Mr. Shepard had already arrived on the scene 
with some new colonists from England, and these new- 
comers bought the houses and gear of the emigrants. Mr. 
Shepard thus succeeded to the house and pastorate of Mr. 
Hooker, and a year later married Hooker's daughter. 

Though the Colony of Massachusetts-Bay could only 
find £60 to protect itself from the Indians, it could find 
£400 to protect itself from ignorance; for, on October 28, 
1636, the General Court gave that sum of money for the 
establishment of a college, one half of which was available 
the following year and the other half upon the completion 
of the college. In November, 1637, Newtown was selected 
as the site, and in the following May, the town gave two 
and two thirds acres for the use of the college ; at the same 
time, the name of the town was changed to Cambridge, 
in honor of the university town in England where so many 
of the Puritan divines and leaders had been educated. 
In September, 1638, John Harvard left £1500 by will, and 
in the following March, the General Court declared the 
new college should be called Harvard. The actual value 
of Harvard's legacy was £779 175. 2d. The college was 
incorporated in 1650, and was an appanage of the Com- 
monwealth until 1865. Beginning early in the nineteenth 
century, there were established schools of law, medicine, 
science, etc., and these were all united under Harvard 
University during the presidency of Charles Norton Eliot 

Middlesex County, Massachusetts 379 

(1 869-1909). Radcliffe College, for the higher education 
of women, was established at Cambridge in 1875, though 
not called by its present name until 1894; it is closely 
allied to the university, of which it is virtually a branch 
for women. 

In 1 65 1, Cambridge was a town about eighteen miles 
long and about one mile wide at the point of its original 
settlement; its eastern ends separated on both sides of the 
river somewhat like a pair of scissors. The original grant 
included the present town, as well as the following, which 
have been made from its territory: Brighton, Newton, 
Arlington, Lexington and Billerica. In November, 1656, 
it was voted to expend £200 to construct a bridge over the 
Charles River at the foot of the present Boylston Street, 
but the bridge was not completed until 1662. Previous 
to this time, communication with Boston had been by the 
ferry established in 1635 from the foot of Dunster Street, 
but the increase in traffic and the fact that in the winter 
time communication by ferry was often interrupted for 
days at a time led to the construction of the Great Bridge, 
as it was called because it was the largest in the Colony. 
In September, 1685, it was swept away by the river, but 
it was rebuilt five years later. 

It was over this bridge that Eail Percy and his troops 
crossed on their way to Lexington to cover the retreat of 
the British on the memorable nineteenth of April, 1775. 
Until 1786, when the first Charlestown bridge was built, 
this was the main route from Cambridge into Boston, the 
road joining the Watertown Road and passing through 
Brookline and Roxbury. In Harvard Square is an old 
milestone, somewhat removed from its original position, 
but which bears the legend "8 miles to Boston." To the 
present-day observer, who knows that it is about two 
miles into Boston, this is somewhat confusing, unless he is 

380 The Old Boston Post Road 

aware of the fact that the distance is by way of the bridge 
at Boylston Street. 

Brattle Street, by which we enter the town from Water- 
town, is the aristocratic street of Cambridge, for here, in 
pre-Revolutionary times, lived some of the most important 
people in the Colony, — the Brattles, the Vassalls, father 
and son, the Olivers, the Lechmeres, the Ruggleses, the 
Sewalls. They were nearly all Royalists, and so the street 
was nicknamed " Tory Row." The ancient mansions still 
stand, either on their original sites or removed a short 
distance, and every one is historic in every sense of the 
word. On this street, also, formerly stood the "village 
smithy," with the spreading chestnut tree; this latter was 
cut down during the widening of the street and the chil- 
dren of Cambridge had made from it a beautiful armchair 
which they gave to their friend Longfellow. The Richard 
Lechmere, or Jonathan Sewall, house, formerly on Brattle 
Street, was occupied by Baron Riedesel and his wife during 
the stay of Burgoyne's troops in this vicinity. Madam 
Riedesel says : 

Never had I chanced upon such an agreeable situation. 
Seven families, who were connected with each other partly by 
relationship and partly by affection, had here farms, gardens, 
and magnificent houses, and, not far off, plantations of fruit. 
The owners of these were in the habit of meeting each other 
in the afternoons, now at the house of one, now at another, and 
making themselves merry with music and the dance, living in 
prosperity, content and happy, until, alas! this ruinous war 
severed them, and left all their houses desolate except two, the 
proprietors of which were soon obliged to flee. 

During the siege of Boston, most of these houses were 
occupied by various American commanders. Mifflin had 
his headquarters in the Brattle house, built by William 

Middlesex County, Massachusetts 381 

Brattle, a mild Tory, who had been by turns, physician, 
preacher, and lawyer. In the old Governor Belcher house, 
then the property of Colonel John Vassall, Dr. Benjamin 
Church, the first traitor of the Revolution, was im- 
prisoned previous to his banishment from the Colony. 
The most famous of all these houses is that which is 
commonly known as the Craigie, or Longfellow, house. 
This was built about 1759 by Colonel John Vassall the 
younger, and at the first alarm after Lexington was 
occupied by that sturdy old patriot, Colonel John Glover, 
with his regiment of amphibious Marbleheaders. Wash- 
ington occupied it from the middle of July, 1775, until the 
evacuation of Boston, in March, 1776. Later occupants 
were Nathaniel Tracy, Thomas Russell, Andrew Craigie, 
Jared Sparks, Edward Everett, and Joseph E. Worcester, 
the lexicographer. Longfellow roomed here in 1837 and 
again in 1843, but he did not secure full possession until 
after Mrs. Craigie's death. Is there any other house in 
America that can show such a list of distinguished occu- 
pants as this? 

On Garden Street, opposite the Common, is Christ 
Church, Episcopal, built 1759-61. Generally speaking, in 
the North, Toryism and Episcopalianism went hand in 
hand, and it is natural to find a Church of England edifice 
so close to "Tory Row;" yet Washington attended service 
here on New Year's Eve, 1775, and the patriots made good 
use of the church, for they melted down the lead pipes of 
the organ into bullets. There are other famous houses 
not far from the line of the old Post Road; the Jonathan 
Hastings house opposite the Common, headquarters of 
old Artemas Ward and birthplace of the genial Autocrat, 
Oliver Wendell Holmes. James Russell Lowell was also a 
native of Cambridge. Another famous house, the head- 
quarters of Washington for a couple of weeks after first 

382 The Old Boston Post Road 

taking command of the army, is on the east side of Har- 
vard Square. It is known as the President's House, from 
the fact that it was occupied by the presidents of the 
college from 1726 until 1849. It is also known as the 
Wadsworth house, after the president of that name, whose 
father was killed in the Sudbury fight. Other residents of 
Cambridge were Elbridge Gerry the Signer, Justin Winsor, 
Margaret Fuller, Washington Allston, the artist, and 
Thomas Wentworth Higginson. 

On the east side of Harvard Square is a tablet marking 
the site of the house of Stephen Daye, the first printer in 
British America, who flourished between 1638 and 1668. 
He came out to this country at the solicitation of Josse 
Glover, who contributed a font of type and who helped 
procure a Dutch press for the would-be printer. Daye 
was the sole colonial printer for about forty years, and 
there were issued from the press here before 1700 about 
one hundred titles, among which is Eliot's Bible in the 
Indian tongue, of which only one word is now known, 
"mugwump," and even that is going out of use in these 
progressive days. Daye's crude press has been succeeded 
by the great establishments of the Riverside Press, the 
University Press, and the Athenaeum Press, so that Cam- 
bridge is more than holding its own as a publishing centre. 

An old oak on the east side of the Common was the 
scene of the colonial elections, and a very famous one took 
place here in 1637 when John Winthrop and Sir Harry 
Vane were the candidates for the governorship. The 
fight was a religious one over the question of "faith" or 
"works," and Sir Harry was defeated. The first meetings 
of the Massachusetts Provincial Congress took place here 
in Cambridge; and after the Declaration, upon several 
occasions of pestilence in Boston, the General Court met 

Middlesex County, Massachusetts 383 

For nearly a year at the outbreak of the Revolution, 
Cambridge was the scene of much military activity, and 
four redoubts, or forts, were erected within the town. In 
that first running fight from Lexington, twenty-six Ameri- 
cans were killed within the town limits, of whom six were 
Cambridge men. Then, on the third of July, 1775, 
Washington drew his sword, read his commission from 
Congress and took command of the Continental army, a 
command he was not to relinquish until 1783, when, at 
Annapolis, Maryland, he returned his commission into the 
hands of the body which had given it to him. 

Beneath our consecrated elm 
A century ago he stood, 

Famed vaguely for that old fight in the wood 
Whose red surge sought, but could not overwhelm 
The life foredoomed to wield our rough-hewn helm. 

James Russell Lowell. 

When Burgoyne's captured troops arrived in the vicinity 
of Boston, many of the officers occupied the deserted 
houses of the loyalists on "Tory Row," and the men were 
quartered in the college buildings, where the hooks upon 
which they swung their hammocks were to be seen for 
many years after. They were a dirty, weary, and dis- 
heartened lot when they arrived in Cambridge on Novem- 
ber 7, 1777, and one lady, Mercy Warren, who saw their 
entrance, wrote to a friend: "They were all smoking, and 
such an effluvia arose from them that we were afraid of 
being contaminated." 

Cambridge became a city in 1846, and ever since that 
time there has been a slow, but steady growth of what has 
been called the "Cambridge idea" in the administration 
of municipal affairs, the "idea " being that the municipality 
is a business corporation, whose affairs should be conducted 

384 The Old Boston Post Road 

on a non-partisan and business basis. Of course, Cam- 
bridge was particularly fortunate in having William E. 
Russell to inaugurate the idea and carry it into effect in 
the city as mayor, and in the Commonwealth as governor. 
Had his life and activities not been cut short by his un- 
timely death, there was a strong likelihood that his career 
would have been extended to the Nation. 



WE cross the bridge at Watertown just below the 
first dam of the Charles River. There are 
two tablets upon the bridge, one of which 
states that the river was discovered in 1 614 by Captain 
John Smith who called it the Massachusetts River, and 
that, two years later, it was called the Charles by Prince 
Charles of England. The second tablet reads: 

A Bridge Crossed near Here as Early as A. D. 1641. 

Here by the Mill Bridges Were Built 

A. D. 1647, 1667 and 1719. 

The present bridge of stone was built in 1907. 

Upon crossing the bridge we are in Galen Street, Newton. 
The first house on the left, now used as a tenement, was 
formerly the Coolidge Tavern, at which Washington 
stopped more than once. On the right hand, on the bank 
of the river, formerly stood a house known as the Paul 
Revere house, because it was occupied for some time by 
that patriot. 

Newton was originally a part of Cambridge and was 
first known under its Indian name of Nonantum, which 
means "rejoicing. " It was here that Eliot began his work 
of converting the natives and established the first village 
of civilized Indians, who may have called the place as 

25 385 

386 The Old Boston Post Road 

above in consequence. With its neighbor Brighton, New- 
ton was also referred to as Little Cambridge and as Cam- 
bridge Village. The road was the county road, also 
referred to as the " Roxbury path, " because it was used by 
the people of that place in going to and returning from the 
grist-mills near the bridge. Newton ceased to be a part of 
Cambridge on December 8, 1691. 

Galen Street passes into Centre Street, which becomes 
Washington Street in its passage through Brighton, where 
the street traverses Oak Square. This received its name 
from a gigantic white oak, whose circumference at the 
base was thirty feet. It was the largest oak in the State, 
but it was removed in May, 1855. An Indian village was 
located here under Chief Waban, but Eliot's efforts to 
convert him and his people were not altogether successful. 
In 1635, the first settlers came into this section, but the 
plantation did not increase rapidly in population, there 
being only twenty-five families in 1689. Brighton became 
a separate parish of Cambridge in April, 1779, and a town, 
February 24, 1807; on January 5, 1874, it became a part 
of the city of Boston. 

Brighton is famous for its cattle and slaughtering 
business, which was established by Jonathan Winship in 
order to supply Washington's army. Formerly, the 
cattle were driven long distances, and as many as five 
thousand were killed in a single week. Upon one occa- 
sion when Henry Clay visited the place, he recog- 
nized some of his own cattle which had been driven 
from Kentucky. Before the days of the railroads and 
Western beef, most of Brighton's beef was salted and 
barrelled. In 1870, a company of butchers for slaughter- 
ing was incorporated; and, in 1873, they erected an 
abattoir and began business. Naturally, the principal 
tavern would be called the Bull's Head. This was very 

Newton, Brighton, Brookline, Roxbury 387 

popular in coaching days and even up to forty years ago, 
when the stretch of road between Brighton and Brookline 
was a favorite bit for drivers of trotting and other fast 

Benjamin Faneuil had an estate in Brighton, and a por- 
tion of the district is called Faneuil in his honor. Colonel 
Thomas Gardner, who was mortally wounded at Bunker 
Hill, was also a resident ; and Richard H. Dana, the author 
of Two Years Before the Mast, was born here on August 1, 
1 8 1 5. After the recovery of his health, he became a lawyer, 
in which capacity he defended the fugitive slave Shadrach. 
Mrs. Eldredge (Sarah P. Willis), who is best known under 
her pen-name of "Fanny Fern,"livedherewithher husband 
for several years; but, after 1846, she was left a widow 
with three small children and little means. In 1856, she 
married James Parton, the historian and writer. Another 
native of the town, born in 1847, was Edward Everett 
Rice, a musical writer, who is best known by the most 
popular of his works, Evangeline. Mary Caroline Craw- 
ford, an interesting writer of colonial life and manners, is 
also a resident of Brighton. 

Washington Street enters the town of Brookline between 
Corey and Aspinwall hills and passes through Brookline 
Village. From the square here, three principal streets, or 
roads, radiate towards the west. These are Harvard 
Street, which is another route that the posts took by way 
of Cambridge; Washington Street, over which we have 
just come; and Boylston Street, which is the old Worcester 
Turnpike of 1808 by way of Wellesley and South Framing- 
ham, and the present route of the Worcester Air Line 

The town of Brookline was originally known as Muddy 
River from the stream which now flows through the Fens 
and separates Brookline from Boston (Roxbury). The 

388 The Old Boston Post Road 

first mention of the place is made in Winthrop's Journal, 
in which he says: 

Notice being given of ten Sagamores and many Indians 
assembled at Muddy River, the Governor sent Captain Under- 
bill with twenty musketeers to make discoveries; but, at 
Roxbury, they heard they were broken up. 

This land south of the Charles River was within the 
original Indian and royal grants to Massachusetts-Bay 
and belonged to the towns of Boston and Watertown. In 
1632, there were many additions to the settlement at New 
Town (Cambridge) ; and, two years later, Hooker and 
his followers requested permission from the General Court 
to move to the valley of the Connecticut, as there was not 
sufficient land in New Town for their cattle. The petition 
was refused, and Boston and Watertown offered lands in 
what is now Brighton, Brookline and Newton, with the 
proviso that if the New Town people were to forsake the 
lands, they were to revert to the original owners. Two 
years later, Hooker and his companions departed for New 
Haven, and the land at Muddy River reverted to Boston 
and the meadow land along the river, to Watertown. The 
land was used only for grazing purposes at that time and 
for some time later. It was sometimes called Boston 
Commons, because the inhabitants of Boston ranged their 
cattle and swine here, taking them into the town for the 

In 1634, Boston made the first allotments of land at 
Muddy River, but there was no settlement for several 
years. On January 8, 1638, eighty-six poor families, 
comprising three hundred and thirty-seven souls, were 
allowed four and five acres apiece; and, at the same time, 
grants of three hundred acres apiece were made to thirty 
of the principal people of Boston. Among these early 

The Town Hall, Brookline. 

The Gymnasium (Bath on left), Brookline. 

Newton, Brighton, Brookline, Roxbury 389 

grantees were the Rev. John Cotton, Governor Leverett, 
and Robert Hull, son of the mint master, whose farm passed 
into the ownership of his more famous brother-in-law, 
Judge Samuel Sewall. The Judge's farm was in the upper 
part of the town on Charles River, and its western bound- 
ary was Smelt Brook, in consequence of which the farm 
was called Brookline. Sewall's Point projected into the 
river; and in the same vicinity according to ancient maps 
were many swamps and morasses, one of which was called 
White Cedar Swamp. It is probable that this was the 
scene of Irving's story of The Devil and Tom Walker, 
which was laid in the "inlet of Charles's Bay. " 

A cart-bridge over Muddy River was ordered March 4, 
163%, which was to be paid for by Boston, Roxbury, Dor- 
chester, Watertown and Cambridge, as it was the only way 
that connected these towns with Boston. The bridge, 
apparently, was not constructed until 1640. The route 
connecting the towns was practically that given for the 
Post Road. The Muddy River Hamlet was under the care 
and jurisdiction of Boston until March, 1686, when the 
people asked for their own school and to be relieved from 
the payment of rates to Boston. This led to a virtual 
separation, though on March 16, i6fo, Boston: 

Voted, that Muddy River Inhabitants are not discharged 
from Bostone to be a hamlet by themselves, but stand related 
to Bostone as they were before the yeare 1686. 

Various requests were made for separation ; and, at last, 
notwithstanding the opposition of the parent town, on 
November 13, 1705, the General Court made Muddy 
River a township under the name of Brooklyn, — a name 
taken, so it is supposed, from Judge Sewall's farm. The 
name appears under various spellings, and the town 

39Q The Old Boston Post Road 

records show Brooklin; but, for many years, Brookline 
has been the legal name. Since 1 870, many attempts have 
been made to annex Brookline to Boston, but they have 
been unsuccessful. The town has an anomalous position, 
for it is bounded on all sides by the city of Boston ; but the 
highway and other improvements of Boston have been 
carried out by Brookline as if the two were one, as they 
no doubt will be when "the big fish gobbles up the little 

From the Town Records of Brookline, I take the follow- 
ing excerpt: 

May 17, 1714. Att a Town Meeting Legally Warned 
Voted, In that upon deliberation the Inhabitants declined 
sending a Representative upon the Acc't of their building a 
Meeting House and the great charges thereof for such a 
Poor Little Town, We, the Inhabitants, do desire and pray 
this Hon'd House will excuse us this year. 

As Brookline is to-day always referred to as "the richest 
town in the world, " it is hard to believe it ever was "such 
a Poor Little Town" that it could not stand the expense of 
a representative in the General Court. 

In colonial days, there stood on the Post Road, about 
where the Brookline Lyceum now stands, a tavern, which, 
from its sign, was called the Punch Bowl. A blacksmith 
shop and other buildings were located near it, and the 
hamlet was known for many years as Punch Bowl Village. 
This is now Brookline Village, or Square. This was the 
most popular tavern in Brookline, and it grew with the 
prosperity of its owners, who, from time to time, bought 
old houses in Boston, demolished them, and used the 
materials in building additions to the Punch Bowl. 

During the American investment of Boston, there were 
several redoubts and fortifications in the town, one of 

Newton, Brighton, Brookline, Roxbury 391 

which, erected on Sewall's Point to command the entrance 
to the Charles River, was of considerable strength. A 
Rhode Island regiment and that of Colonel Prescott were 
stationed here for a long time. 

Only a few of the famous names of natives or residents 
can be mentioned. The name of Aspinwall has been 
connected with the history of the town for over two and a 
half centuries. On the monument at South Sudbury we 
found the name of Lieutenant Sharp of Brookline. Miss 
Hannah Adams was one of the first women in America to 
take up literature as a profession, and issued her first book 
in 1784. Mrs. Thomas Lee was another literary woman 
whose work was commended by Carlyle; so it must have 
been good indeed to have met with the approval of the 
"Sage of Ecclefeccan. " Eliakim Littell, the founder of 
Littell's Living Age, though a native of New Jersey, was a 
resident of Brookline. Mrs. ' ' Jack ' ' Gardner, the famous 
collector of art objects, has a country place here. Others 
who have been or are residents are the Hon. Robert C. 
Winthrop; Charles Carleton Coffin, who moved into the 
town a short time before his death; Rear- Admiral Win- 
field Scott Schley, of Spanish War fame; Edward Atkinson, 
the statistician and political economist; Col. Theodore A. 
Dodge, writer on military matters; Percival Lowell, 
astronomer and traveller; Samuel Colman, first president 
of the Society of Painters in Water Colors; Henry Hobson 
Richardson, architect; B. F. Keith, founder of the contin- 
uous theatrical performance; James Jeffrey Roche; Dana 
Estes, and dozens of others. Frederick Law Olmsted, 
landscape architect, was a resident as early as 1850 and 
was a union of the gardener, the farmer, the civil engineer, 
and the artist. There is no doubt that the many beautiful 
estates are primarily due to his direction and example. 
In the angle between Washington and Harvard streets. 

392 The Old Boston Post Road 

there is a group of notable buildings, consisting of the 
library, a public school, the town hall, the police station, 
and a fire-engine house. Playgrounds are scattered 
through the town, and there are a famous high school, a 
public gymnasium, and a public bath established in 1896. 
The Brookline Country Club, which was the first country 
club started in the United States, has a fine property. 

Lafayette was entertained in Brookline on his visit of 
1825; and General Grant was entertained here after the 
Civil War by the Hon. Ginery Twichell, who was president 
of the Boston and Worcester Railroad during that conflict. 
An ancestor of President Twichell's was a post-rider in 
early days, so that the travel and traffic instinct must have 
been hereditary. 

The route just described from Watertown was the only 
way into Boston by land until 1662, when the "Great 
Bridge" was constructed over the Charles River, con- 
necting the present Boylston Street in Cambridge with 
North Harvard Street in Brighton. For one hundred and 
thirty years, — or until the opening of the West Boston- 
Cambridge Bridge,— the "Great Bridge" was the principal 
way for traffic across the river to the north and west. It 
was made a draw-bridge in 1838. At this writing (April, 
1 913), a new bridge is building to replace the present one. 
The view shows the present bridge and the line of the 
ancient Post Road extending beyond it toward Brookline. 

Upon crossing the bridge, we find on our right Soldiers' 
Field, a gift to the students of Harvard from Major Henry 
Higginson, for their use as an athletic field. A large 
stadium has also been erected in which, in 19 10, the popular 
actress, Maude Adams, gave an open air performance of a 
dramatic spectacle called Joan of Arc. 

North Harvard Street passes through Barry's Corner, 
where it crosses Western Avenue. A short distance 

Newton, Brighton, Brookline, Roxbury 393 

beyond, it passes through Franklin Square and becomes 
Harvard Avenue, passing through Allston and entering 
the township of Brookline, where it passes through Cool- 
idge's Corner, where it crosses Beacon Street. South of 
Coolidge's Corner, the avenue enters Brookline Square and 
merges itself in Washington Street. It was over this 
highway from Brookline Village to Cambridge that Lord 
Percy passed with one thousand men on the afternoon of 
April 19, 1775, to the relief of the harassed British regulars 
on their retreat from Lexington. There is a popular 
tradition that Percy inquired his way of a small boy, who 
answered: "You inquire the way there, but I '11 be d— d 
if you will ever need to know the way back. " 

Between Harvard Square in Cambridge and Brookline 
Village, we pass two of the ancient milestones. These 
are the seventh, marked "Boston 7 Miles, 1729 P. D.," 
in the yard of the primary school on North Harvard 
Street in Brighton, and the fifth, similarly marked to the 
other, which is in the grounds of the Harvard Church in 
Brookline. Originally, these stones were on opposite sides 
of the street; the sixth stone has disappeared. The 
"P. D." stands for Paul Dudley, Chief- Justice of the 
Province, who caused these stones to be set up. Another 
relic of old times which wepass is the Devotion house, which 
belonged to a family of that name. 

The earliest Boston legislation in regard to milestones 
was enacted on February 28, 1795, when the selectman 
ordered that they be set up. Before that date, individuals 
had set them up out of public spirit, except those which 
had been placed by Postmaster Franklin; and they fre- 
quently placed their own initials and the date upon the 
stones, as well as the distance from the old State House 
in Washington Street, Boston. Under date of July 14, 
1707, Chief -Justice Sewall enters in his diary that, with 

394 The ° ld Boston Post Road 

Mr. Antrim and assistants, he measured the distances of 
one mile and of two miles from the Boston Town house 
by means of a wheel, and drove stakes to mark the dis- 
tances. On August 7th, the stones were set up, as the 
beginning of the series to Cambridge, later completed by 
Dudley and Belcher. The first stone, according to 
Bonner's Map of 1722, was on Washington Street near 
Lucas; the second stone was probably near Willard 

In 1786, a bridge was opened between Charlestown and 
Boston, which was, at the time, the longest bridge in 
existence and a marvel of engineering construction ; but it 
did not affect very materially the travel by way of Brook- 
line and Roxbury. In 1793, however, the West Boston 
and Cambridge Bridge was opened, and considerable 
travel was diverted to the new bridge. The building and 
opening of this bridge were the principal factors in the up- 
building of Cambridgeport. 

In 1818, the Boston and Roxbury Mill Corporation, 
after several years of objection from the West Boston 
Bridge owners, was authorized to build a dam from the 
end of Beacon Street, at Charles Street, Boston (at the 
south end of the Common), to Sewall's Point in Brookline, 
and a cross dam from Gravelly Point in Roxbury to the 
main dam. The projector of the scheme was Uriah Cut- 
ting, and he and his company have been considered as the 
principal benefactors of Boston. The dam was completed 
and opened as a toll road in 1821. Beginning at the 
Common in Boston, it follows the present streets : Beacon 
Street, Commonwealth Avenue, Brighton Avenue to 
Union Square, and North Beacon Street. These were 
built on the swamps, morasses, and marshes bordering the 
Charles River, which the road crossed by means of a 
bridge, continuing through the grounds of the United 

Christ Church, Cambridge. 

The Bridge over the Charles River, connecting Cambridge and Brighton. 
From the photo by F. A. Olson. 

The Wadsworth House, Cambridge. 

Newton, Brighton, Brookline, Roxbury 395 

States Arsenal at Watertown to Watertown Square and 
retaining its name of North Beacon Street. 

In 1857, after several years of disputes among Roxbury, 
Boston, and the Mill Corporation in regard to riparian 
rights in the marshes and shallow waters of Charles River, 
the State authorized Boston to begin filling in this section. 
Work was begun the following year and completed after 
1880. The magnificent Back Bay District is the result. 
At the earlier date, Brookline ceded to Boston about seven 
hundred acres of these marshes, and tolls ceased to be 
collected on the turnpike. 

Leaving Brookline Square, the road continues over 
Washington Street until it reaches the long, narrow park- 
way connecting the Arnold Arboretum with the Back Bay 
Fens and the Charles River Embankment. This park, 
the Fenway, is the separating line between Brookline and 
Boston, and in it are Jamaica Pond, Leverett Pond, and 
several smaller ones. The stream connecting them and 
draining into the Charles River is practically the Muddy 
River of olden times. Upon crossing the park into Rox- 
bury, the road becomes Hungtingdon Avenue, upon which 
we pass the House of the Good Shepherd, in whose brick 
wall is incorporated a stone marked "Boston 4 Miles 
1729 P. D." This is the only milestone remaining be- 
tween Brookline and Boston. Just beyond the House of 
the Good Shepherd is one of Boston's public schools, 
which, instead of being numbered as are the New York 
schools, is named the Farragut School. Less than a block 
beyond the school is a group of notable buildings, con- 
stituting the Harvard Medical School and the Hunting- 
don Memorial Hospital. Opposite to them, the road 
turns to the eastward into Tremont Street, which it fol- 
lows to Roxbury Crossing, where it passes under the tracks 
of the New York, New Haven and Hartford Railroad, 

396 The Old Boston Post Road 

formerly the Boston and Providence. In 1832, Tremont 
Street was opened into Boston from Roxbury in order to 
relieve the crowded condition of Washington Street, which 
was widened in 1855. The site of Pierpont's Mills and 
Village was near the Roxbury station of the railroad. 
After passing the railroad, Tremont Street enters Hanley 
Square, and here the Post Road enters Roxbury Street 
and climbs up to Eliot Square and Meeting-house Hill. 
Roxbury street was called in olden times Town Street 
and also Cambridge Road. In 1824, it was paved and 
sidewalks were laid. 

Just before reaching Eliot Square, we pass the site of 
the ancient almshouse and that of the Roxbury Free Latin 
School, the first in the Colony and due chiefly to the inspi- 
ration and efforts of Eliot, the pastor of Roxbury Church. 

Eliot Square was named in honor of the Apostle. Here 
we find one of the most interesting relics in the vicinity 
of Boston, a square block of granite standing at the point 
where Roxbury Street leaves the Square toward the west 
and Centre Street leaves it toward the south. On the 
side facing the Square, the stone is inscribed "The Part- 
ing Stone 1744 P. Dudley;" on the south side there is 
carved "Dedham X Rhode Island," and on the north 
side, "Cambridge Watertown." It was called the 
"parting stone" because here the one road leading from 
Boston separated, or parted, into two, the left-hand one 
leading to Dedham and the Lower and Middle post roads, 
and the right-hand one leading to Cambridge and the route 
over which we have come. It is almost by accident that 
we have this stone located in, or near, its original position; 
for, a few years ago, while some building operations were 
going on here, a Mrs. Titus, a member of several patriotic 
societies, passed the spot and saw that the workmen were 
about to cart the stone away. She gave a man a dollar 





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398 The Old Boston Post Road 

Roxbury was settled as early as Boston by a number of 
those who came over with Winthrop. Their leader was 
William Pynchon, and they were men of substance and 
standing. They located here in the first week of July, 
1630, and, as the surface of the land was rocky and uneven, 
they called their settlement Rocksbury, or Rocksborough. 
There were quantities of the conglomerate rock known as 
"pudding stone," for which Oliver Wendell Holmes 
accounts as follows : In Dorchester there lived a giant who 
had a wife and three children, and, upon the occasion of 
an election, he locked them all up and strode away, leaving 
them to partake of an election pudding with which he had 
provided them. Naturally, they were very angry, and, 
instead of eating their pudding in quiet, 

They flung it over to Roxbury hills, 

They flung it over the plain, 
And all over Milton and Dorchester too 
Great lumps of pudding the giants threw; 

They tumbled as thick as rain. 

Giant and mammoth have passed away, 

For ages have floated by; 
The suet is hard as a marrow-bone, 
And every plum is turned to a stone, 

But there the puddings lie. 

The settlement at first was chiefly on the Neck, though 
their meeting-house was located on the hill at Eliot 
Square. However, in compliance with the law to protect 
themselves and assist each other in the event of Indian 
attack, their houses were within half a mile of the meeting- 
house. The pastor for nearly sixty years was the Apostle 

Outside of Boston, no town in New England can show 







Washington Elm. 

Newton, Brighton, Brookline, Roxbury 399 

a list of more distinguished names. Dudley was the most 
prominent family in Roxbury, and, among others, we 
find the names of Heath, Warren, Curtis, Pierpont, Wil- 
liams, Bowles, G'ore, Alcock (Alcott), Hewes, Grosvenor 
Guild and Eliot. Dr. Joseph Warren, Major-General 
William Heath, the author of the Memoirs, and Brigadier- 
General John Greaton,— all of Revolutionary fame- 
were natives of the town. Eleven governors of the Pro- 
vince or Commonwealth were natives or residents; and 
among others may be mentioned General Henry Dearborn, 
veteran of the Revolution and Commander of the American 
Army during the War of 1812; his son, General Henry A. 
Dearborn; Major-General W. H. Sumner, of the Civil 
War; Rear-Admiral John A. Winslow, of Kearsarge- 
Alabama fame; Gilbert Stuart, the artist, and Epes 
Sargent, the litterateur. 

In the agitations preceding the Revolution, Dr. Warren, 
William Heath, and Col. Joseph Williams were in constant 
communication with Samuel Adams and the other leaders 
in Boston. When the investment of Boston took place 
the American right under Artemas Ward occupied Dor- 
chester, Roxbury, and Brookline, and several fortifications 
were thrown up, the principal one being on Meeting-house 
Hill. As a measure of military necessity, Washington 
ordered the demolition of several houses on the Post Road ; 
and the town generally bore the brunt of the siege, as it 
was so close to the British lines. There were constant 
skirmishes and affrays between the advanced posts of the 
opposing sides. The inhabitants were not by any means 
unanimous for the patriot cause, for several of the best 
and wealthiest class were Tories. Among them were Sir 
William Pepperell, Isaac Winslow, and Commodore Loring 
of the Governor's Council. 

The land north of Dudley Square, about as far as the 

400 The Old Boston Post Road 

present Dover Street and lying between Stony and Smelt 
brooks, was called Boston Neck. The Neck was a low, 
marshy tract, which was a favorite place for sportsmen. 
In early days, however, travellers over the narrow pass 
often lost their way at night and came to grief in the 
adjacent marshes, while robberies were frequent. By 
1753, it had become so dangerous that the General Court 
ordered the Neck to be fenced in; and, in 1757, the same 
body authorized the raising of £2000 by means of a lottery 
in order to grade and pave the Neck, while, in 1758, 
another lottery was authorized to raise money to pave the 
highway from the Boston line to Meeting-house Hill in 
Roxbury. In 1800, there were not more than three houses 
between the site of the Catholic Cathedral at Maiden 
Street and Roxbury, all the others having been destroyed 
during the siege and not rebuilt. In 1855, Washington 
Street was widened from the burying-ground to Warren 

During the American investment of Boston in 1775 and 
1776, a line of strong entrenchments and redoubts ex- 
tended across the Neck from brook to brook near Clifton 
Place, just north of the boundary line between Boston 
and Roxbury. The advance line was about one hundred 
yards in front of these, a little south of Northampton 
Street and near the George Tavern. All of these redoubts 
and fortifications were planned and built by Rufus Put- 
nam, Henry Knox, and Josiah Waters. The British had 
an advanced post near the upper end of the Neck about 
on the line of Franklin and Blackstone parks, a distance 
of about a mile from Dudley Square. 

A few rods beyond the advanced fortifications of the 
Americans stood the George, or St. George, Tavern. It 
was outside the Boston town gate, and it stood in a field 
of eighteen acres. Many of the royal governors were 

Newton, Brighton, Brookline, Roxbury 401 

received here by the people. In 1721, the General Court 
met here on account of the prevalence of smallpox in the 
city. In 1769, Edward Bardin changed the name to the 
King's Arms, but the inn did not retain the name very 
long. Bardin seems to have been partial to this name, 
for he opened a tavern on lower Broadway, New York, 
near the Bowling Green, under the same sign. In 1775, 
the tavern was the centre of military operations, and 
Washington and his staff visited it frequently for observa- 
tion of the enemy's redoubts. As it was within easy 
musket shot of the British line, the distinguished party 
became objects for the marksmanship of the British. 
Fortunately, their aim was not good, and, though they 
hit the house, they did not hit any of the party of ob- 
servation on any occasion. 

Surgeon Thacher of Colonel Jackson's Regiment, after 
a forced march from Providence, wrote: 

A severe rain all night did not much impede our march, 
but the troops were broken down with fatigue. We reached 
Boston at sunrising, and near the entrance to the Neck is a 
tavern, having for its sign a representation of a globe, with a 
man in the act of struggling to get through it; his head and 
shoulders were out, his arms extended, and the rest of the 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- 
one of the soldiers, and one of them exclaimed: "'List, damn 
ye, 'list, and you '11 soon get through this world; our regiment 
will be through in an hour or two if we don't halt by the way. " 

This space between the lines was the scene of frequent 
raids, and in one of them by the British on the night of 
July 30, 1775, the tavern was burned. On March 17, 
1776, the day of the evacuation by the British, Washington 
entered the city from Roxbury. It was feared that the 

402 The Old Boston Post Road 

British were only making a feint of departure, and that the 
fleet would return ; so their fortifications were demolished 
to prevent them from being used again by the enemy in the 
event of the recapture of Boston. As smallpox was rag- 
ing in the town, Washington did not stay long. He re- 
viewed the troops on the Common and, with the Boston 
authorities, attended a service of thanksgiving at the Old 
Brick Church. 

In the spring of 1782, the French army came by easy 
marches from their cantonments in Virginia, by way of 
Peekskill to Boston, for the purpose of re-embarking for 
Prance. Though it was cold weather, they changed their 
travel-stained uniforms for their dress ones in the open 
fields; and then marched over the Neck into the town, with- 
out showing any signs of their long march from Virginia. 
Then followed a period of banquets, balls, receptions, and 
other entertainments until the French sailed away. 

In 1788, a tavern was re-opened near the site of the 
George, but it did not last long. On Saturday, October 
24, 1789, President Washington with his escort from 
Cambridge was received here by the authorities of the 
State ; but Governor John Hancock, who thought he was of 
more importance than the President and that Washington 
should call upon him first, made illness an excuse for failing 
to meet the President and escort him to his inn. On 
July 1, 1817, on the occasion of his eastern trip, President 
Monroe was received by the authorities on the Neck. He 
came by way of Dedham. Other distinguished visitors 
who were received here were Presidents Jackson, Tyler, 
and Fillmore, and Lafayette and Louis Kossuth. 

One of the oldest taverns in Roxbury was the Grey- 
hound, which existed in Eliot's day, for he lived alongside 
of it ; it stood on Washington Street opposite Vernon. In 
1734, the innkeeper was named Jarvis; in 1741, John 

Newton, Brighton, Brookline, Roxbury 403 

Greaton, the father of General Greaton, became the last 
landlord. Like all the taverns, it was a recruiting station 
during the French wars. 

The tavern was demolished as a measure of military 
necessity when the investment of Boston began. It is 
said that the chimneys displayed forty fireplaces after the 
walls were removed. 

Beyond Dudley Square Washington Street is a fairly 
broad and straight thoroughfare, lined with shops. At 
Eustis Street is an ancient burying-ground, in which the 
first burial was made in 1633. Upon the entrance gate is 
a bronze tablet inscribed as follows: 

Roxbury Burial Ground 

Here Were Buried 


Thomas Dudley 1653, Joseph Dudley 1720, 

Chief Justice Paul Dudley 1752, 

Col. William Dudley 1743; 


John Eliot, The Apostle to the Indians, 1690, 

Thomas Walter 1725, Nehemiah Walter 1750, 

Oliver Peabody 1752, Amos Adams 1775, 

Eliphalet Porter 1833, 


Benjamin Tompson, Schoolmaster and Physician, 17 14. 

On the triangular field of six acres lying between Wash- 
ington, Eustis, and Dudley streets the training field of 
early days was located; and here, on the first Tuesday 
of every month, Captain John Underhill used to put the 
Roxbury train band through its drill. Jesse Daggett, a 
train band captain, kept a tavern called the Ball and Pin 
close by at a later time. It was conveniently placed to 
satisfy the cravings of the militiamen after a hot and dusty 

404 The Old Boston Post Road 

drill upon the adjoining field; 3North of the; burying-) 
ground was Washington Hall, later HbteL which was at 
tavern as early as 1820. Washington House' "was a Ki±l& 
south of the George Tavern, and was for some yea¥s a 
young ladies' school; it was succeeded by Washingtear 
Market. ,:>. ' i ■:.: ' r '■■ ''•-"? 

Between Newton and Brookline streets,: on each sidd at 
Washington Street^ are respectively .Franklin and Black- 
stone parks, (occupying the'iite of. the advanced British} 
works. On ther.JcarnenrvofricBfookKne --Street, - J 6ppbsi±eT 
Franklin Parted the People's Palace,. built in 1906 as the* 
headquarters of the Salvation Army. r " 

On the northeast corner of Maiden Street the Roman 
Catholic Cathedral of the Holy Cross is situated. In the 
yard in front is a' statue of Christopher Columbus by 
Alois Buyens, a replica Of the statue at San Domingo. 

In i8^§^R° x bury became'a'city, and five years^'a'ter the 
idea of annexing it toTtostofVlwas first broached. This was 
not accomplished' until January, 67 1868, and then only 
after great opposition. on the. par^pf the Roxb^ury inhabit- 
ants. ,- - -,.. •- r „... -- • ., . .-. ~ 

From the two parks already -mentioned, as far as Beach 
Street, the Neck was so narrow that it often overflowed 
at high tides, and Roxbury and Boston were cut off from 
each other j ;"agvthere "was no bridge- over the Charles urftil 
1786. The narrowest part of the Neck was at Dover 
Street. In" Captain 'Nathaniel' 'Url'g's account of his visit 
to Boston 1111710, he says* "-- : ,~i 

The Neck-of. Land betwixt the cityjind country is, about 
forty yards, broad, and so low that the spring tide's sometimes. 
wash the road, which might, with little charge, tje made, "so 
strong as not to'-be^foTced^there' being no way oTcdrMrig'a!t 1 r£ 
[Boston] by land but over the Neck. 



A T Dover Street we are fairly within the ancient 
/% town of Boston, upon the highway referred to in 
l6 54 as "the Longe Streate in Boston Leadeing 
to Roxbury," and, in 1664, as "y high streete Leading 
to Roxberry." It was near here at Dover Street that 
fortifications were constructed in 1710 on each side of the 
roadway. They were made of stone, brick, and sod, and a 
number of cannon commanded the approach to the strong 
gates which gave entrance to the town. Outside the 
gates, on the east side of the roadway, the gallows were 
set up. On the west side, within the gates, a tavern is 
shown on Bonner's Map of 1722, which was probably the 
Rose and Crown. It was most conveniently located "to 
welcome the coming, and speed the parting guest. " 

At the time of the siege, the old fortification was made 
much stronger by the British; it was called the "Green 
Store Battery" from the fact that a warehouse of that 
color was then standing on the site afterwards occupied 
by Williams's Market on the corner of Dover Street. The 
advanced works of the British were on a line across the 
Neck between Dedham and Canton streets, and they were 
very strong, consisting of twenty guns of heavy calibre, 
six howitzers, and a mortar battery. 

On the site of the old fortification and near it are now 


406 The Old Boston Post Road 

standing the Grand Union Hotel, the Hub Theatre, and 
the Grand Opera House, and at No. 1151, on the west 
side, is a building occupied by Charles Russell Lowell and 
other posts of the Grand Army of the Republic. Williams's 
Market was established here in 1852. 

We take the following from a town order entitled : 

The Names of the Streets, Lanes & Alleys, Within the 
Town of Bofton in New England ... At a Meeting 
of the Selectmen of the Town Bofton, the 3d day of May, 
Anno Domini, 1708. 

1 The broad Street or Way from the Old Fortification 
on the Neck, leading into the Town as far as the late Deacon 

Eliot's corner, ©range Street. 1 

6 The Street from the corner of the Houfe now in the 
Tenure of Capt. Turfey, nigh Deacon Eliot's corner, leading 
Northerly as far as Dr. Oakes's corner. IRewburE Street. 2 

16 The Street leading from Penemans corner at the upper 
end of Summer Street, paffing by the South Meeting-houfe, 

to Mr. Haugtis corner. flDarlborougfo Street. 3 

34 The Street from the lower end of School Street, leading 
Northerly as far as Mr. Clarks the Pewterers Shop. Corn* 

bill. 4 

These various streets, Orange, Newbury, Marlborough 
and Cornhill, constituted one continuous thoroughfare, 
to which the name of Washington Street was given on July 
6, 1824. Beyond Dock Square, the highway was con- 

1 Orange Street, from Beach Street to Dover Street, 1663; from Essex 
Street to the fortifications near Dover Street, 1708. 

"Newbury Street, 1708; from Eliot's corner, Essex Street, to Oakes's 
corner, Summer Street. 

'Marlborough Street, 1708; from Summer Street to School Street. 

* Cornhill, 1708; from School Street to Dock Square (Colson's Store- 
house), 1708; line of street laid down and established November and 
December, 171 1, and February, 1712. 

These footnotes are all from the Annual Report of the Street Laying Out 
Department for the Year i8q6. 

The Old State House (1748). Boston, as restored in 1881. 

The Old Town House, Boston. 

Boylston Market, Washington Street, Boston. 

Washington Street, Boston 407 

tinued as North Street to Merry's Point. The street 
was extended to Haymarket Square in November, 1872, 
and this caused a renumbering of the houses and' stores 
along the street during the following year. The street 
is now called Washington Street North beyond Haymarket 
Square and over the former Charlestown Street to Charles 
River Bridge. From the very earliest times, the thorough- 
fare has been the main artery of Boston's travel and trade, 
though King (State) Street was a formidable rival at one 
time. In our consideration of the ancient highway, we 
shall not go beyond its first terminal at Dock Square. 

Before 1722, and for many years after, the highway 
wound along the eastern shore from the fortification to 
Kneeland Street, where it rejoined the line of the present 
street. At this date, both sides of the street were well 
built up for the greater part of the way to the fortification. 
Josiah Knapp's dwelling stood on the corner of Kneeland 
Street, and his wharf was so near to this part of Orange 
Street that the bowsprits of vessels loading and unloading 
at the wharf projected over the street and obstructed it 
to such an extent as to call forth the complaints of passers- 
by. The street still continues its narrow and winding 
character from Dover Street in. 

On October 2, 171 1, a great fire destroyed all the houses 
on both sides of Cornhill from School Street to Dock 
Square, and among these was the first town house and 
market on King Street. Another fire on March 18, 1760, 
destroyed two hundred and ninety-nine buildings, with a 
loss of a quarter of a million of dollars. The, first fire 
engine in Boston was made by Daniel Wheeler, a black- 
smith in Newbury Street. It was tried at a fire on August 
21, 1765, and was found to work well. Before that time, 
leather buckets were used. A third great fire occurred in 
1787, when both sides of Orange Street from Eliot to 

408 The Old Boston Post Road 

Common on the west, and from Beach to a point opposite 
Common on the east were laid in ruins, one hundred 
houses, of which sixty were dwellings, being destroyed. In 
the great fire of November, 1872, two blocks on the east 
side of Washington Street between Milk and Summer 
streets, were burned. The fire extended to the water's 
edge, inflicting a loss upon the city of $100,000,000. 

In the very early days of the settlement, after 1630, 
and before it had taken form, the peninsula was divided 
up into fields, which took their names from their owners. 
Thus, the highway from Dover Street to Essex passed 
through Coleborn's Field. In 1732, Governor Belcher's 
house stood on Orange Street. Near Lucas Street was the 
first milestone, which had been set up by Judge Sewall. 

At the southeast corner of Essex and Washington streets 
stood the famous Liberty Tree of the pre-Revolutionary 
agitations. The tree had been planted in 1646; and it 
was under the wide-spreading branches of this grand old 
elm that, in 1765, the Sons of Liberty were formed at the 
beginning of the Stamp Act troubles. The space beneath 
the tree was called Liberty Hall; and a flagstaff was at- 
tached to the tree, upon which a flag was hoisted as a 
signal to bring the "Sons" together. It was here that, 
on August 14, 1765, Andrew Oliver, the stamp distributor, 
was hanged in effigy by the Sons of Liberty, who, a few 
days later, burned the effigy in front of his house. Other 
obnoxious persons, — among whom were Lords Bute and 
Grenville, — were hanged in effigy upon the great elm, 
which, upon the repeal of the Stamp Act, was decorated 
with lanterns. During the siege, toward the end of 1775, 
a Tory party led by Job Williams felled the tree and cut it 
up into fourteen cords of wood. A British soldier was 
killed while trying to remove one of the limbs. After the 
return of the Americans, a pole was fastened to the stump, 


TheTOWN of 


■ V ' 4*~<. 

c Bostojv:n.e *«"««•• 

J^la/Tlted An.Bom.ify a..TtmfTvHoTJp- 

ATAe OldChurch..., — 1630 

K.ow/nm-th. iffjo 

C.OHJeiUh. 1SS0 

~£).Qnnaiaptift. t6fo 

Y..Chhof England. i(8S 

TSratth Jt Church. 

Gj^ah-rj. 1 J 10 

l&.0l«iv'tlorth -..:./ 7/* 

\. / llvwJbuth. ...::.tfiS 

R French fjlff 

1.7y>vn £riJ: i 7 il 

1 .Gowrrwum Uoujt 


d . Tlortk (/raTrioyr School . 

&. / }Vritiriq School . 

£ .TUritinxj School . 

$ CUnrui Jfoujt . 

Ji.J9rideTvell . 

StrteU ts^jme) jSClmtA' 
Ffoluet near 5000 . 
looOlBrick r^tTvmber 
Tlcar is 000 people . 

Second. 1676 

Third. '6t$ 

Fourth. 168} 

Fifth. i6go 

Sixth i6g 

Seventh. 1702 

JEifth... 1711 

EnaroAsm amd Printed Try Fro.: Dvrviny. Bo fton N £.17 22 • Sold by Cap*Jchn.jBo-rmcr OnJ. tViWT-Fricc ai/a-m/ty Ttmsiilfoufc 

Washington Street, Boston 409 

and was replaced by a second pole on July 2, 1 826. Lafay- 
ette paid homage to the site upon his visit in 1824. The 
tree had stood in front of a grocery store, but, in 1833, 
Liberty Tree Tavern occupied the site. 

March n, 1734, the town voted: "to choose a com- 
mittee to think of and assign three suitable places for erect- 
ing markets." One of the sites selected was on Orange 
Street over against the house and land of Thomas Dowie. 
The southeast corner was called "Shaving Corner," and 
it was occupied by Peggy Moore's Tavern, a favorite 
resort for the farmers who came in by way of the Neck 
after the Revolution. It was probably due to this fact 
that the site was selected for that of Boylston Market, 
which was opened in 1810 and was considered at that time 
to be far out of town. It belonged to a corporation of 
which John Quincy Adams was the first president. Boyl- 
ston Hall occupied the upper part, and here several 
churches were organized, and various musical, theatrical, 
and dancing entertainments were held. It was sometimes 
used as a summer theatre when the regular places of 
amusement were closed. It was called at one time Vaude- 
ville Hall, being given over to that class of entertainment. 
The Handel and Haydn Society leased it for several years, 
and it was also used for drill purposes and as an armory 
and as headquarters of the First Brigade. It ceased to be 
used as a market and was converted into stores and offices 
in 1888. North of Essex and Boylston streets, lies the 
great shopping district of Boston. 

In 1690, Bartholomew Green set up a printing-press, 
but he was burnt out shortly after. In 1 692 , he established 
near the corner of Avon Street the first permanent press 
in Boston. From this press he issued one number of 
Publick Occurrences; and later, in 1704, he became the 
proprietor and editor of the first newspaper established on 

410 The Old Boston Post Road 

the continent. This was the Boston News-Letter, which 
was founded and published by Campbell the postmaster, 
"by authority." The first number was for the week of 
Monday, April 17, to Monday, April 24, 1704; and the 
paper was issued until the British left Boston, when, being 
a paper that was loyal to the interests of the crown, it 
ceased to exist. 

The southeast corner of Summer Street was Bethune's 
Corner. On the opposite side of the street, at a much later 
date (1836), the Lowell Institute was established in Marl- 
borough Chapel, in the rear of Washington Street between 
Winter and Bromfield. 

Opposite the head of Milk Street, the Hewes house, 
dating from the early eighteenth century, stood until a 
few years ago. In its rear was the famous Province 
House, which was the seat of the Provincial government 
for many years, and the residence of the royal governors 
from 1717 to 1776. It was built originally as a residence 
for Peter Sergeant, a rich London merchant, who came to 
Boston in 1667. After the adoption of the State Constitu- 
tion, it became the official residence of the governors. It 
stood back from the street, from which it was separated by 
a lawn ornamented with shrubs and several trees; and 
from its spacious balcony, proclamations were read and 
the multitude harangued by those in authority. In 1857, 
it was given over to negro minstrels and was called Ordway 
Hall, and later, mention is made of "Morris Brothers' 
Minstrels at their cozy theatre on Washington Street nearly 
opposite Milk Street." The old Province House was 
destroyed by fire in October, 1864; and little is left now 
of the historic edifice except fragments of walls incorpor- 
ated into other buildings near-by. Province Street and 
Province Court, queer old byways, keep alive the memory 
of departed greatness. The site of the ancient building 

The Old South Church, Boston. (Built in 1729.) 


THB Passenger Cars will continue In run daily from the 
Drpot near Washington street, to Newton, at 6 and 
10 o'clock, A.M. and at 3J o'clock, P. M. and 

Returning, leave Newton at 7 and a quarter past II, A.M. 
and a quarter before 5, P.M. 

Tickets for the passage eiilier way may be bad at the 
Ticket Office, No.GI7, Washington street •, price 3?i ccnis 
each ; and lor the return passage, of the Master of the Car J, 

By order ofthe President and Directors. 

a 29 epistf F. A. WfLUAMS, Clerk. 

An Old Time-Table. 

" Old Corner Bookstore," Boston. 
Copyright by Daniel W. Colbath & Co., Boston, 1895. 

Washington Street, Boston 


can be found by passing through the narrow court leading 
from Washington Street to the Boston Tavern, and pass- 
ing to the rear of that hostelry. If one wishes to have the 
old building restored and its halls and chambers repeopled, 
he should read Hawthorne's Tales of the Province House. 
On the northeast corner of Milk Street is one of Boston's 
most cherished relics, the Old South Church, or Meeting 
House. The site upon which it stands was formerly a 
part of the garden of Governor John Winthrop, whose 
house was a few. yards north, opposite School Street. 
His house stood until the time of the siege, when the 
British soldiers destroyed it for fuel. In 1669, the Cedar 
Meeting House was erected on this site, but was so decayed 
that it was removed about 1728. Benjamin Franklin 
was born in a house on the south side of Milk Street, which 
stood opposite the south door of the present meeting-house, 
and he was baptized in the Cedar Meeting House and 
attended there as a boy and youth. In 1729, the Old 
South was erected in place of the first building. Almost 
equally with Faneuil Hall, it has the honor of being the 
"Cradle of Liberty," for it was the gathering place of 
the patriots, and Warren, Quincy, Samuel Adams, Otis, 
Hancock and others often addressed here the overflow 
meetings which could not find room in Faneuil Hall. In 
1770, the town meeting after the Boston Massacre was 
held here; and, in 1773, the first war-whoop of the "tea 
party" was heard in front of its doors, while they were on 
their way to the harbor to destroy the tea. During the 
Revolution, the British removed the pews and other 
fixtures and converted the building into a riding-school. 
It was restored and used as a church later. During the 
great fire of 1872, its brick walls withstood the action of 
the heat and flames and stayed the farther progress of the 
fire along Washington Street. It was then used as a post- 

412 The Old Boston Post Road 

office for some time, its congregation having moved to the 
New Old South at Copley Square and Boylston Street. 

Directly opposite the site of Governor Winthrop's house, 
on the northwest corner of School Street, stands the Old 
Corner Book Store, which was for so many years one of 
Boston's literary shrines. The land upon which it stands 
belonged originally to William Hutchinson, the husband 
of the famous Anne, who came to Boston in 1634, an d 
whose lot is described as being bounded by "the highway 
leading to Roxbury and the lane leading to Centry hill." 
His house stood back a short distance from Washington 
Street. The present edifice was erected after the fire 
of 171 1 by Dr. Thomas Crease, who bought the land from 
the heirs of Henry Shrimpton. The building is, therefore, 
older than any church edifice in town and thirty years 
older than the original Faneuil Hall. Just around the 
corner in School Street formerly stood the Cromwell's Head 
Inn, where Washington stopped in 1756 when he came 
from Virginia to consult Governor Shirley in regard to the 
war then waging with the French. 

The building was designed originally for a residence; 
but, in accordance with the custom of the time, the front 
room was used as an apothecary's shop by various owners 
until 1828, when Carter and Hendee opened a bookstore 
here. For over ninety years, it was so used by different 
firms that occupied it. The members of these firms — such 
men as Allen, Reed, Ticknor, Osgood, and Fields — were 
not mere salesmen of manufactured books, but they were 
possessed of a fine literary taste and were as well ac- 
quainted with the insides of their books as with the out- 
sides. This was especially so with James T. Fields, who 
was himself an author. The store became famous and 
numbered among its patrons such men as Hawthorne, 
Sprague, Willis, Whipple, Aldrich, Prescott, Motley, 








Trinity Church, Corner of Washington and Summer Streets, Boston. 

Washington Street, Boston 413 

Parsons, Emerson, Agassiz, Sumner, Whittier, Holmes, 
Lowell, Longfellow, and scores of others, who could be 
seen frequently browsing o^er the books here displayed or 
engaged in conversation with; each qther. Dickens and 
Thackeray were also honored guests upon their occasional 
visits to Boston. From 1865, when Ticknor-,& Fields with- 
drew, until 1903, the store was occupied by E. P, Dutton & 
Company and several other booksellers, the last bejng the 
Old Corner Bookstore Inc. It is a bookstore no longer, 
but has been one of the United Cigar Stores for some time. 
On the southeast corner of King Street (State) formerly 
stood the house of Robert Keayne, a prominent colonial 
merchant and first captain of the Ancient and Honorable 
Artillery 'Company of Boston. Almost directly opposite 
is the site of the first meeting-house erected in Boston. 
The third edifice of the First Church was erected in 17 13, 
and was a large and substantial building, which was known 
until its demolition as the Old Brick Church. Governor 
LeverettV house adjoined the first meeting-house on the 
north, at the corner? ofyCourt Street, on the site of the 
Sears Building and" opposite the State House. This 
section must have been pretty well built up, for complaint 
was made of the firslj-meetingjiipuse because it was so 
pvertopped by the chimneys qf-surrounding buildings that 
the ' ' ayre ' ' was cut off,. • r- . 

t&fwant of "the free ac#ss Il wi4reofVth be'n deeply found 
. . : ." making burdensome the ordinances 'to many, specially 
to weake hearers, by faynting their spirits in the summer- 
time 1 .' 

r -Still standing in the middle of State Street is the old 
State House, on the site of the quaint town house of 
1657, which was destroyed in the fire of 1711. This first 
town house was built from a legacy left for the purpose by 

414 The Old Boston Post Road 

Captain Robert Keayne, and by subscriptions in money, 
labor or produce made by the townspeople. The lower 
part was a market and a merchants' exchange, and the 
upper part was used for the courts; and here also was 
established the first library in America, provision for 
which had been made in Captain Keayne's will. The 
second town house was probably similar to the first, and 
it is described by Daniel Neal in 1719 as "a fine piece of 
building." The same visitor remarks upon the number 
of booksellers in the vicinity of the Exchange, and says 

the knowledge of letters nourishes more here than in all the 
other English plantations put together; for in the city of New 
York there is but one bookseller's shop, and in the Plantations 
of Virginia, Maryland, Carolina, Barbados, and the Islands, 
none at all. 

Until recent times, booksellers have been equally in 
evidence in this neighborhood, or in Franklin, Bromfield, 
and other streets near-by. In 1879, we find Little, Brown 
& Company at 254 Washington Street, as the lineal 
successors of a book-shop kept, in 1784, by E. Battelle, 
in the Marlborough Street of that day; Houghton, Os- 
good & Company (now the Houghton, Mifflin Company), 
successors of Allen, Reed, Ticknor, Fields and Osgood 
under various firm combinations, in Franklin Street; 
Lee and Shepard, a firm dear to the juvenile heart, also 
in Franklin Street; D. Lothrop & Company, in the same 
street; Estes and Lauriat, at No. 301 Washington Street, 
opposite the Old South, whose predecessor had been "Ye 
Antique Bookestore," a favorite resort for those in search 
of rare, unusual or ancient tomes; Lockwood, Brooks & 
Company, at No. 381 Washington Street; A. W. Lovering 
& Company, at No. 399 the same street; and the New 

Washington Street, Boston 415 

England News Company on Franklin Street. There were 
several others hardly less known in the same neighborhood. 
Many of the second-hand and antique book shops will 
be found now in the new Cornhill, or in neighborhoods 
where they can attract the wealthier class of customers 
and booklovers. 

In 1747, the second townhall was burned; and, in the 
two following years, the present structure of brick was in 
course of construction, incorporating the old walls of its 
wooden predecessor. Like those that preceded it, this 
third town house had an open lower story which was used 
as an exchange. The second story was given over to the 
courts, the Chamber of Representatives, and the council 
chamber of the royal governor and his assistants, while the 
third story was occupied by the town officers. The royal 
arms were prominent both inside and outside of the build- 
ing, and the arms of the Colony were over the door of the 
Representatives' Chamber. Later, a wooden cod fish, — 
now in the State House on Beacon Hill, — was suspended 
from the ceiling as an "emblem of the staple of commod- 
ities" of the Province. 

This old building is often spoken of as the "birthplace 
of American independence;" for, in 1761, James Otis 
made here before the highest court in the Province his 
famous, but ineffectual, address for commercial freedom 
of the colonies, and his plea against the issuance of Writs 
of Assistance to the customs officers as an invasion of the 
individual rights of the subject. From this time forward, 
the building played its part in the scenes preceding the 
opening of hostilities, and it was often the place where 
overflow meetings were addressed by the leading patriots. 
In its council chamber, on the morning of Bunker Hill, 
Gage, Howe, and Clinton had a council of war. Here, on 
July 18, 1776, was read the Declaration of Independence, 

416 The Old Boston Post Road 

and the officials present swore to uphold the new nation. 
From the east balcony, the same document was read to 
the assembled people; and, immediately after, the royal 
arms and other insignia were torn down wherever found. 
In 1783, the treaty of peace was read from the same bal- 
cony. Massachusetts had ceased to be a Province and 
had become a State; and in the historic building John 
Hancock was inaugurated as the first governor. The 
General Court of the Commonwealth met here until 1798, 
and thus the edifice became the State House. 

It was on Washington's last visit in 1789 that he was 
escorted from Roxbury to this building, and, from a bal- 
cony especially erected on the Washington Street side, 
reviewed the procession in his honor. In front, spanning 
the street, was an arch, on one side of which was inscribed: 
"To The Man Who Unites All Hearts," and on the 
other, "Columbia's Favorite Son." After the depart- 
ure of the Legislature, the building was given over to 
commercial purposes, being also used at one time as the 
city hall and at another, as the post-office. In recent 
years it has come under the control of the Bostonian 
Society, which occupies the whole building above the 
basement, and which maintains a fine museum and collec- 
tion of historic relics. The basement is given over to 
the entrance to the Washington Street tunnel, or subway. 

The section of the thoroughfare lying between School 
Street on one side and Milk Street on the other and Dock 
Square is often referred to as "Newspaper Row," be- 
cause so many newspapers have been, and are, published 
here. Besides several periodicals and trade journals, we 
find, at No. 242, the Boston Globe, which is one of the 
younger of the city's newspapers. On the other side of 
the way is the old building formerly occupied by the 
Herald, which is now located near the Adams House. The 

Looking North from Garner and Summer Streets, Boston. 

The old Boylston Market, Corner of Washington and Boylston Streets, Boston. 

Copley Square, Boston. Trinity Church, built 1877; organized 1728; Rich- 
ardson, architect. Institute of Techno logy. Spire of Arlington 
Street Church, organized 1727. 

Corner of Winter, Washington, and Summer Streets, Boston. 

Washington Street, Boston 417 

Herald was first issued as a one cent evening paper in 1846, 
but its success was so immediate that, in the following 
year, it was issued in daily, evening, and weekly editions. 
In the same year, the American Eagle was purchased, and, 
in 1857, the Daily Times. 

At No. 261 is the Post, first published in 1831. After 
1878, it was published in a building at No. 17 Milk Street, 
which was erected upon the site of the house in which 
Franklin was born. At No. 264 is the publication office 
of the Boston American, one of the chain of papers estab- 
lished throughout the country by William Randolph 

The publication office of the Journal, established about 
1833, is at No. 268. At No. 311, are published the 
Record and the Daily Advertiser. The latter is the oldest 
daily newspaper published in Boston, dating from 1813, 
and formerly occupied a building on Court Street which 
was upon the site of the printing-office in which Benjamin 
Franklin learned his trade as a printer. The Record is a 
publication of a much later date (1884). At No. 324 is 
the Evening Transcript, the oldest evening newspaper in 
New England, first issued in 1830. 

The first ordinary, or tavern, of which there is record, 
was that licensed in 1634. It was kept by Samuel Cole, 
and was located next to the Old Corner Bookstore on the 
northerly side and almost opposite to Governor Win- 
throp's residence. 

The Anchor and Fleet's Register, — also called the Blew 
Anchor, — was in Cornhill, just north of Spring Lane, on 
the site in Washington Street occupied, in 1886, by the 
Globe newspaper. In 1664, the tavern was kept by Robert 
Turner; a later innkeeper was George Monck. During 
Turner's incumbency, he furnished lodging and refresh- 
ments to the members of the government, to judges and 

418 The Old Boston Post Road 

juries, and to the clergy when summoned to meet in synod 
by the General Court. 

Inns popular with the British officers stationed in Boston 
were the British Coffee House at 66 State Street and the 
Blue Bell and Indian Queen, which latter stood on the site 
of the Parker Block, on both sides of the passage connect- 
ing Washington Street with Hawley Street. In 1673, the 
innkeeper of the Blue Bell was Nathaniel Bishop. Just 
before the Revolution, the landlady was a good Whig and 
a strong woman, who, upon one occasion, forcibly resented 
some disparaging remarks made by the British officers and 
drove them from the house. In 1800, the owner was 
Zadock Price, and, in 1820, the inn became the Washington 
Coffee House, which later became the starting-point of the 
hourly 'buses to Roxbury when they were established. 

The sign of the Lamb is mentioned as early as 1746; in 
1767, it became the starting-point of the Providence 
stages when they began their trips in that year; and, in 
1783, it was the first starting-point of the Pease stages. 
During the siege, its sign-board was struck by a shot from 
the American batteries. In 1808, the tavern was kept 
by Joel Crosby, who was succeeded by Laban Adams, who 
kept the tavern and hotel for more than fifty years. In 
1822, the main building was of wood, but an addition in 
the rear containing the dining-room was of brick. In 1845 
Adams pulled down the old building and erected the 
Adams House, which was opened in 1846. In September 
1883 the present hotel was opened at 551-571 Washington 
Street, on the site of the old Lamb Tavern and the original 
Adams House. 

The Lion Tavern was a short distance north of the 
Lamb, on the site now occupied by Keith's theatre at 
No. 543. In 1784, Levi Pease made it the starting-point 
of his coaches. In 1789, it was kept by Israel Hatch. 

Washington Street, Boston 419 

The New York Zoological Institute secured possession 
and opened it as the Lion Theatre on June 11, 1836, where 
equestrian displays were given; but the theatre was soon 
closed and was succeeded by the Melodeon. 

The White Horse Tavern stood a few rods south of the 
Lamb, on the west side of Newbury Street, just north of 
Frog's Lane (Boylston Street). In 1760, the landlord was 
Joseph Morton, who remained as landlord until 1772. 
In 1787, upon his arrival from Attleborough, Israel Hatch 
became the tavern-keeper. He had several taverns in 
Attleborough and elsewhere, and he is called by one local 
historian the "ubiquitous" Hatch. 

On Bonner's Map of 1722, there is shown a tavern on 
Boston Neck near the fortifications. This may have been 
the Rose and Crown, of which mention is made in local 

In 1846, there were the following hotels on Washington 
Street: Adams House at No. 371; Avon at No. 160; La 
Fayette at No. 392 ; Marlboro at No. 229 ; Old Province 
House, rear of No. 165; Pantheon at No. 439; Suffolk at 
No. 392; Washington Coffee House at No. 158; and 
Washington Hall at No. 833. In 1869, the Everett House 
was at Camden Street. These numbers are the old 
numbers. The Marlboro Hotel was close to the Lowell 
Institute, north of Winter Street. It was well patronized 
during stage-coach days, but was torn down in April, 

Among the hotels at present on Washington Street are 

the Adams House; the Boston Tavern at N0.347; Clark's, 

Nos. 575-581; the Savoy at No. 598; the Cecil and the 

Reynolds, and Young's near Court Street. While the 

Tavern and Young's are not directly on the street, there 

are entrances to them from Washington Street by means 

of alleys, or courts. 

420 The Old Boston Post Road 

In the early part of the year 1750, the first theatrical 
performance in Boston was given at the British Coffee 
House. The play was Otway's Unhappy Marriage. So 
shocked was the General Court that a law was passed 
forbidding theatrical performances. During the British 
occupation, the law was, of course, a dead letter, and the 
British officers used Faneuil Hall for their theatrical per- 
formances, one of them being Burgoyne's satire entitled 
The Blockade of Boston. There is a tradition that, during 
one performance, the Americans made a rather threaten- 
ing attack, and a sergeant was sent to notify the officers 
present that they must report at once to their posts. His 
announcement was taken as being part of the play and 
was greeted with great laughter, until the seriousness of 
his manner impressed some of the officers, the truth was 
realized, and there was a hurried exit by a large part of 
the audience. 

In 1784, the law against theatrical performances was 
re-enacted for fifteen years by the State Legislature, 
.notwithstanding which, in 1792, Joseph Harper, acting 
for Hallam and Henry of the Park Theatre in New York, 
gave a moral lecture in five parts at the New Exhibition 
Room. This was situated in Broad Alley near Hawley 
Street and was a theatre in everything but name. This 
lecture was actually a play in five acts; and Governor 
Hancock was so angered at this defiance of the law that 
Harper was arrested ; but his lawyer, Harrison Gray Otis, 
cleared him on a technicality. The law was repealed, 
and the Federal Street Theatre was opened on February 

4, 1794- 

Of the theatres on Washington Street, the earliest was 
probably the Lion Theatre on the site of the Lion Tavern, 
which was opened January 11, 1836. It was not very 
successful and was offered for sale. It then became a con- 

Old Trinity Church, Corner of Summer and Washington Streets, Boston. 

Stephen Stow House, Wharf Street, Freelove Baldwin Stow Chapter, 
D.A.R., Milford. 

..„ <%,, •?% M 


The oldest dry-goods Store in Boston, Washington Corner Ruggles Street. 
Established 1814. 

Washington Street, Boston 421 

cert and lecture hall known as Mechanics' Hall; and, 
in December, 1839, the name was changed to the Melo- 
deon, and the Handel and Haydn Society produced the 
Messiah. The hall was also used for religious services and 
for panoramic and other entertainments. The property 
came into possession of the Boston Theatre and New Opera 
House Company, and lessees of the hall were prevented 
from giving dramatic performances. After the Civil War, 
it became a billiard hall until October, 1878, when, the 
restrictions being removed, it became the Gaiety Theatre 
at No. 547 Washington Street. In 1886, it came into 
possession of B. F. Keith, who remodelled the theatre, 
making it the prettiest in Boston, and opened it as the 
first of the continuous performance houses in August. It 
has also been called the Bijou during the present owner- 
ship , but it is now known as Keith' s Theatre. The present 
Bijou Theatre is next door at No. 545, and the Pastime at 
No. 581. 

In 1852, an incorporated company built the Boston 
Theatre upon land formerly belonging to the Melodeon 
estate. It is the largest theatre in Boston, and, when 
opened, the highest priced seat was one dollar. Until 
the building of the new Grand Opera House on Hunting- 
don Avenue, the Boston Theatre was the place for the 
presentation of grand opera in Italian, German, or English. 
Besides such actors as the Booths, Davenport, and others, 
and the great artists and singers, the theatre has main- 
tained at times a stock company. Edwin Booth was 
playing here in April, 1865, when the news was flashed 
over the country that his brother, John Wilkes Booth, 
had assassinated President Lincoln. Edwin was pros- 
trated by the shock of the disgrace and did not play for 

some months. 

The Aquarial Gardens, on Central Court, off Washing- 

422 The Old Boston Post Road 

ton Street, were opened toward the end of i860; and, in 
June, 1862, P. T. Barnum opened with a dog show, fol- 
lowed by a baby show. In October, 1865, the theatre 
opened as the Theatre Comique; and, in 1869, it became 
the New Adelphi under the management of John Stetson. 
Various kinds of entertainments were given until February 
4, 1 87 1, when the theatre was burned. It was not rebuilt, 
but gave way to a business building. 

In October, 1867, Selwyn's Theatre was opened on the 
east side of Washington Street above Essex, at No. 686. 
The performances are said to have been "just as good as 
those given at Wallack's in New York. " If so, they must 
have been excellent indeed. In July, 1870, the theatre 
became the Globe under the management of Charles 
Fechter, the German tragedian. On May 30, 1873, the 
theatre was burned, but it was rebuilt and opened on 
December 3, 1874. It has been remodelled several times 
since. In September, 1877, it passed under the manage- 
ment of John Stetson, and became, for several years, the 
leading theatre of Boston. 

The Park Theatre is at No. 619 Washington Street, on 
the west side, north of Boylston, and adjoining the site of 
the White Horse Tavern. It was reconstructed from 
Beethoven Hall and was opened on April 17, 1879, by 
Lotta, under the management of Henry E. Abbey of the 
Park Theatre in New York. The seats were on sale for 
the opening week about a month ahead. The writer 
arrived in Boston from New York the day that the box- 
office opened, and rode along Washington Street in a 
street car. It was one of those Boston March days of 
east winds; yet so anxious were the people to get tickets 
that, from the street car, the writer could see a line of 
people extending from the theatre along Washington 
Street and away around the corner into Boylston, many 

Washington Street, Boston 423 

of whom, so it was stated, had held their places in line 
since the previous evening. 

As early as 1704 there was an irregular western post, 
but, in 1 71 1, mail routes were established to the east and 
to the west of Boston. For Connecticut and New York, 
the mails were to leave once in two weeks, and this arrange- 
ment was not changed for many years. In the same year, 
the post-office was located in Old Cornhill, opposite the 
head of State Street; in 1754, the post-office was again 
in Cornhill, and, in 1770, James Franklin, postmaster, 
still kept the post-office in Cornhill, between King Street 
and Dock Square. In 1771, Tuthill Hubbard was post- 
master; and between that date and 1788, the post-office 
was at the corner of Court and Washington streets, on 
the site of the Sears Building; in the latter year, it was 
moved to No. 44 Cornhill, where New Cornhill enters 
Washington Street. 

In 1772, the Browns started their stage wagons between 
Boston and New York, but these were suspended during 
the Revolution. From a copy of the New York Daily 
Advertiser of the year 1833, we get the following: 

About 1786, a great many of the passengers between Boston 
and New York took sloops at New Haven for New York, 
and vice versa. Along the shore of the Sound, a considerable 
part of the road between New Haven and New York was 
extremely rough, rocky and uncomfortable, and, in fact, in 
some places impassable for wheeled vehicles. Jacob Brown 
of Hartford began running stages in 1786, and a few years later, 
a man by the name of Hall petitioned the Legislature of Con- 
necticut for the exclusive privilege of running stage carriages 
on the road from New Haven through that state, to Byram 
River. . . . Not far from the same time an exclusive 
privilege of running stage carriages from Hartford to the 
Massachusetts line, on the great post road to Boston . . . 

424 The Old Boston Post Road 

was granted by the legislature of Connecticut to Reuben 
Sikes, who, for many years, in connection with Levi Pease of 
Shrewsbury in Massachusetts, and probably with others, 
kept up the line through to Boston. 

So numerous were the stage lines that there were regular 
journals giving descriptions of the routes and the times of 
arrival and departure of the various lines as well as their 
starting-places and other necessary information. Such a 
journal was Badger & Porter's Stage Register, which was 
published once in two months. In the issue of September 
6, 1825, we find: 

Boston and New- York Mail Coach, leaves Earl's 36 Hanover- 
st. Boston, daily at 1 p.m. arrives in Hartford next morning 
at 6, in New-Haven at 2 p.m. and in New- York at 6, second 

The route was by way of Worcester, Sturbridge, Staf- 
ford, Hartford, Middletown, New Haven, and along the 
Sound to New York, "distance 210 miles — fare $11." 
The route, part stage and part boat, from either Hartford 
or New Haven, is also given. Another route is given via 
Norwich with boat to or from New York. Subsequent 
Registers to 1833 give little change in the time, the distance, 
or the route. 

In 1826, Brooks Bowman started an hourly stage from 
Boston to Roxbury via Washington Street. Previous to 
this, the stage coaches on the several routes had been the 
only public means of conveyance, and the only notice 
that the prospective passenger had of the approach of 
a stage coach was the sound of its horn. In 1829, there 
were seventy-seven lines of stage coaches out of Boston; 
and, in 1832, there were one hundred and six. 

We have completed our journey over the ancient Post 

Washington Street, Boston 425 

Road and have arrived at our destination. At the begin- 
ning of our journey, the reader was invited to accompany 
the post-rider on his jogging way. We have ridden in the 
uncomfortable stage wagons of pre-Revolutionary times, 
and in the equally uncomfortable stage carriages of the 
period following; we have been jolted about on the rough 
and ill-made roads, and, perchance, have had several 
spills on the way. We have ridden in the old Concord 
with a greater degree of comfort and speed, over roads 
that began to deserve the name, and finally in the railway 
trains that have taken the place of the mail coaches, 
and have brought with them a new era of things. 


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Abbey, Henry E., 422 
Adams, Amos, 402 

Hannah, 391 

Jeremy, 266 

John, 150, 246, 336 

John Quincy, 409 

Laban, 418 

Maude, 392 

Samuel, 399 
Agassiz, Louis, 377 
Agawam, Township of, 287 
Aldrich, Thomas B., 377 
Allen, Ethan, 255 
Allingtown, 213 
Allston, Washington, 382 
Allyn's Bridge, 237 
Almanacs, 28, 30, 75 
Alsop, Richard, 270 
American Antiquarian Society. 333, 

American, the Boston, 417 
American Eagle, the, 417 
American Institute, the, 109 
American Museum, 45, 65 
American Watch Co., 370 
Amherst, Sir Geoffrey, 284, 311, 


Anburey, Ensign, 155, 371 
Ancient and Honorable Artillery 

Company, 413 
Andover Academy, 327 
Andros, Sir Edmund, 5, 236, 255, 

266, 305 
Ansantaway, 208 
"Antique Bookestore, Ye", 414 
Apawamis, 144 

Appleton, Tracy & Company, 370 
Aquarial Gardens, the, 421 
Arabella, the, 372 
Arabella, Lady, 345 
Arden Estate, the, 108 
Arlington, Mass., 379 
Armory, 7th Regiment, 108 

Arnold Arboretum, 395 

Arnold, Benedict, 220 

Artillery Park, 1 1 1 

Aspinwall Family, the, 391 

Astor, John Jacob, 45, 77, 101, 108 

Library, 101 
Astoria, by Irving, 108 
Athenaeum Press, the, 382 
Atkinson, Edward, 391 
Atlantic Garden, 81 
Austin, Moses, 238 
Austin, Stephen F., 239 
Ayers, Sergeant John, 314 

Bache, Richard, 19 
Bacheller, Irving, 67 
Back Bay District, 395 
Badger & Porter, 424 
Bailey, Francis, 35 
Ballman, Sebastian, 27 
Bancroft, Rev. Aaron, 341 

George, 302, 341 
Banker, Christopher, 64 
Bannister, Seth, 322 

Solomon, 322 
Bardin, Edward, 401 
Bare Rock, 239 
Barlow, Joel, 270 
Barnard, Henry, 271 
Barnum, P. T., 45, 65, 75, 100, 202, 

Barnum's Museum, 45 
Barry's Corner, 392 
Bartlett, John, 277 
Basset, Goody, 203 
Batchelder, Frank R., 343 
Bates, Jerry and Phoebe, 300 
Battelle, E., 414 
Battles of the American Revolution, 

Baxter, George, 263 
Bay State House, 334 
Bayard, Nicholas, 71, 84, 101 




Bayard's Mount, 71 
Beckley Quarter, 254, 260 
Beckley, Sergeant Richard, 259 
Beecher, Lyman, 222 
Beekman, Farm, 107 

John, 45 
Beethoven Hall, 422 
Belcher, Captain Andrew, 230 

Governor, 356, 381, 408 
Belcher House, 381 
Bellamy, Edward, 302 
Bellomont, Governor, 50 
Bemis, Charles, 324 
Bennett, James G., 45 
Berkeley, Dean, 218 
Berkeley Divinity School, 246 
Berlin, 254, 259 

Berlin Iron Bridge Company, 261 
Bernard, Governor Francis, 347 
Berry Mausoleum, 303 
Bible, House, 99 

Society, 99 
Bigelow Chapter, D.A.R., 334 
Bigelow House, 334 
Bigelow, Timothy, 245 
Billerica, Mass., 379 
Billings, Josh, 85 
Birdsey, Mr., 205 
Bishop, Nathaniel, 418 
Bissell, John, 276 
Black Dog Brook, 127 
Blackwell, Lucy S., 321 
Blaew Press, the, 341 
Blake, Francis, 369 
Blew Anchor, the, 417 
Block, Adrian, 214 
Blockade of Boston, the, 420 
Block Island, R. I., 373 
Blomer, Robert, 146 . 
Bloomingdale Road, 114 
"Blue Laws," the, 216 
Boardman Training School, 222 
Bogardus, William, 5 
Bolton's "Bleach," 126 
Bond's Company, Capt., 365 
Bonnefoy's Neck, 131, 136 
Bonner's Map of Boston, 394, 405, 

Booth, Edwin, 377, 421 

John Wilkes, 421 
Boston, Evacuation of, 401 

Fires in, 407 
Boston Evening Post, 334 
Boston Gazette and County Journal, 


Boston — Hotels : 

Grand Union, 406 

Adams House, 416 

La Fayette, 419 

Marlboro, 419 

Old Province, 419 

Pantheon, 419 

Suffolk, 419 

Everett, 419 

Boston Tavern, 419 

Savoy, 419 

Clark's, 419 

Cecil, 419 

Reynolds, 419 

Young's, 419 
Boston Massacre, 411 
Boston Neck, 290, 400 
Boston News-Letter, 410 
Boston & Albany R. R., 290 
Boston & Maine R. R., 365 
Boston & Providence R. R., 396 
Boston & Worcester R. R., 333, 

Boston, Siege of, 375, 380 
Boston Stage-house, 60 
Boston Stone, the, 296 
Boston, Mass., 392 

Old State House, 393 
Boston — Theatres : 

The Hub, 406 

Boyleston Hall, 409 

Vaudeville Hall, 409 

Ordway Hall, 410 

Keith's, 418 

Lion, 419 

Melodeon, 419 

Gaiety, 421 

Bijou, 421 

Boston, 421 

Grand Opera House, 421 

Comique, 422 

Selwyn's, 422 

Park, 422 
Boston Watch Co., 370 
Bowdoin Governor, 298, 323, 338 
Bowery, the, 94 
Bowery Boy, the, 86 
Bowery Mission, 83, 88 
Bowery Village, 73, 95 
Bowles, Samuel, 302 
Bowman, Brooks, 424 
Boyleston Market, 409 
Boynton, John, 343 
Bradford, William, 17, 75 
Bradhurst Hill, 1 14 



Bradley & Hubbard Company, 232 
Bradley Company, Milton, 302 
Bradley, William, 225 
Brancker, 277 
Branford, 216, 234 
Brattle, Family, the, 380 

House, 380 

William, 381 
Breakneck Hill, 114 
Breck, Samuel, 34, 38 
Brevoort, Elias, 104 

Hendrick, 104 
Brewerton, George, 76 
Brick-making, 56 
Bridewell Prison, 62 
Bridgeport, 197 

West Bridge, Milford, 213 

Lewis's, New Haven, 223 

Long, New Haven, 234 

Allyn's, New Haven, 237 

Mill, Watertown, 374 
Brigham, John, 345, 353 
Brighton, Mass., 376, 386 
Brimfield, 310 
British Coffee House, 420 
Brocklebank, Captain, 363 
Brookfield, 291, 310 
Brookline, Mass., 376, 390 
Brooklyn Bridge, 54, 90 
Brooklyn, Mass., 389 
Brooks, Rev. Phillips, 377 
Brown, Henry K., 105 

John, 302 

Luke, 335 
Browne, Hackeliah, 146 

Richard, 374 
Brown's Bell, 357 
Brown's Stages, 423 
Bryan, Clark W., 302 

Ensign, 208 
Buchanan, Thomas, no 
Budd, John, 146 
Bulfinch, Charles, 377 
Bull's Head Village, 106 
Bunker Hill, Battle of, 324 

Monument at, 335 
Bunner, H. C, 96 
Burger, John, 55 
Burgoyne, General, 308, 346, 371 
Burnaby, Mr., 62 
Burnet, Bishop, 218 
Burr, Aaron, 27, 194, 214 

John, 290 
Burritt, Elihu, 342 

Burt, Jonathan, 293 
Bushnell, Horace, 271 
Bussing Avenue, 120 
Bute, Lord, 408 
Byram River, 156 

Cable, John, 290 
Cakebread, Thomas, 365 
Caledonian Club, 109 
Cambridge, Mass., 378 
Campbell, Duncan, 7 

Major, 213 

Postmaster, 410 
Caner, Rev. Henry, 172 
Carey, William, 326 
Carleton, Sir Guy, 319 
Carnegie, Andrew, 303 
Carrington, Gen. Henry B., 228 

John, 253 
Carter and Hendee's Bookstore, 

Catimuts Garden, 58 
Cato, Sachem, 361 
Cedar Meeting House, 411 
Central Hotel, the, 335 
Central Park, no 
Chandler, Judge, 334 

William, 214 
Chanfrau, Frank, 87 
Chapin, Deacon Samuel, 292 
Chapman, Simon, 278 
Charles I., 216 
Charles II., 216, 267 
Charles River, 300, 407 
Charlestown, Mass., 377, 394 
Charter Oak, the, 267 
Chatham Hills, 240 
Chatham, Garden, 65 

Museum, 65 
Chauncey, 354 
Chauncey, Rev. Charles, 198 

Commodore, 108 
Cherry Valley, 329 
Chester, Col. John, 255 
Child, Lydia M., 365 
Choate, Rufus, 377 
Christ Church, Cambridge, 381 
Church, Dr. Benjamin, 289, 381 

Middle Reformed, 28 

Brick, 47 

Reformed, 59 

Free Presbyterian, 65 

St. Mark's, 95 

St. Anne's, 102 



Churches — Continued 

Grace, 104 

Center, New Haven, 217 

Trinity, New Haven, 220 

United, New Haven, 220 
Circus in New York, 65 
City, Hall, New York, 44, 55, 62 

College, 115 

History Club, 113 

Prison, 62 
Civic and Military Hotel, 85 
Clark, Alvan, 377 

Jonas G., 343 

Moses, 225 
Clark University, 343 
Clay, Henry, 386 
Clinton, Gov. De Witt., 285 
Clinton Hall, 104 
Cobbett, William, 134 
Cochituate, Mass., 365 
Coffin, Charles C, 391 
Coginchaug, 236 
Cole, Abiel, 238 
Cole, Samuel, 417 
Coleborn's Field, 408 
Coles, John B., 116, 145 
Coles Road, 39, 125, 129 
Collect Pond, 43, 62, 65 
College of City of New York, 115 
Collins, Edward K., 139 
Colman, Samuel, 391 
Colonnade Row, 101 
Colton, Capt. James, 299 
Commons, the, 44, 55 
Concord Coach, the, 37, 40, 89 
Concord Coaches, 237 
Conestoga Wagon, 25 
Connecticut Literary Academy, 285 
Connecticut Colony, 216 
Connecticut Courant, 268 
Connecticut Historical Society, 272 
Connecticut Theological Institute, 

Connecticut Reform School, 232 
Connecticut State Normal School, 

Connecticut River Steamboat Com- 
pany, 242 
Conway, Moncure D., 135 
Cooke, Rose Terry, 270, 302 
Cooper Institute, 98 
Cooper, Lieutenant, 294, 314 

Peter, 98, no 
Cornbury, Lord, 9 
Cornucopia, the, 65 

Cort, Richard, 161 
Cos Cob, Conn., 160 
Cotton, Rev. John, 251, 389 
County Court House, 62 
Cowperthwait & Sons, 66 
Coxe, Bishop Arthur C, 271 
Coy's Hill, 321 
Cozzen's Hall, 53 
Crafts, Colonel Ebenezer, 327 
Craigie, Andrew, 381 
Craigie House, the, 335, 381 
Crawford, Mary C, 387 
Crease, Dr. Thomas, 412 
Creen, Peter, 72 
Criminal Courts Building, 62 
Croakers, the, 46, 67 
Crom Messie, 106 
Cromwell, 248 
Crosby, John, 418 
Cruger Mansion, 106 
Cunningham, Marshall, 56 
Cupples & Hurd, 413 
Curtis, Benjamin R., 376 

Ephraim, 315 

John, 336 
Cushman, Charlotte, 377 
Cutler, Dr., 397 
Cutting, Uriah, 394 

Daggett, Jesse, 403 

Dr. Naphthali, 214, 219 
Daily Advertiser, the, 417 
Daily Advertiser, N. Y., 423 
Daily Times, the, 417 
Damen, Jan, 70 
Dana, Charles A., 51 

Richard H., 387 
"Danbury Post-coaches," in 
Danforth, Capt. Thomas, 254 
Darien, Conn., 174 
Daughters of the American devo- 
lution, 210 
Davenport, Rev. John, 215, 224 

Lieutenant, 187 
David, James, 217 
Davis, Jacob, 327 

Richard H., 67 
Day, Benjamin H., 51 

Major Benjamin, 288 

Luke, 289, 298 
Daye Press, the, 382 
Daye, Stephen, 382 
Deane, Barnabas, 257 

Silas, 255 
Dearborn, General Henry, 399 



Decatur, Admiral, 244 
Declaration of Independence, the, 

Dedham, Mass., 372, 396 
Defense, the, 241 
De Groot, Captain Albert, 71 
Delacroix, 84, 101 
De Lancey, Mrs. James, 139 

Captain John, 141 

Mills, 126 

Susan, 142 
De Lancey Farm, 69, 82 
Dennison, Aaron L., 370 
Denton, Rev. Richard, 251 
Derby Road, the, 213 
Devens, Charles, 322 
Devil and Tom Walker, The, 389 
De Voor, David, 108 
Devotion House, the, 393 
De Witt, Jan, 58 

Simeon, 93 
De Witt Clinton School, 56 
Dickens, Charles, 301, 413 
Dickinson, Levi, 254 
Disbrow, Mercy, 190 
Disbrow House, 140, 184 
Dixwell, Colonel, 217 
Documents of Colonial History, 262 
Dodge, Col. Theodore A., 391 
Donaldson, Fort, 221 
Dongan, Governor, 5, 44, 147 

Thomas, 211 
Dorchester, Anthony, 293 

Mass., 398 
Dowie, Thomas, 409 
Downes Pasture, 64 
Downing, Louis, 40 
Doyers, Mr., 69 
Drake, Joseph R., 46, 67 
Dred Scott Decision, 376 
Dry Dock Bank, 85 
Du Chaillu, Paul, 96 
Dudley, Deputy-Governor, 372, 

Dumpling Pond, Legend of, 163 
Dunlap, William, 45, 66, 74 
Durham, 234 

Dutch Fleet off New York, 5 
Dutton, E. P., & Company, 413 
Dwight, Dr., 121, 135, 205 

Sarah, 302 

Theodore, 270, 271 

Dr. Timothy, 219, 252, 261, 
Dyckman, Jacob, 113 

Earle, Alice Morse, 343 

Pliny, 329 
East Brookfield, 312 
Eastchester, election at, 121 

School in, 120 
East Haven, 221 
Eaton, Samuel, 215 

Theophilus, 215, 224 
Eldredge, Mrs., 387 
Eliot, Charles N., 378 

John, 302, 313, 330, 373, 385, 403 
Eliot Square, 396 
Eliot's Bible, 381 
Elliot, Hon. Andrew, 102 
Ellsworth, Oliver, 279 
Emmet, Thomas A., 95, no 
Endicott, Governor, 15 
Enfield, 296, 349 

Falls, 280 
Enterprise, the, 242 
Essex County, 317 

Market, 97 
Estes, Dana, 391 
Estes and Lauriat, 414 
Eustice, John, 203 
Evangeline, 387 
Evening Transcript, the, 41 7 
Everett, Edward, 371 

Fairbanks, Richard, 6 
Fairchild, Mr., 203 
Fairfield, Conn., 184, 188, 196 
Fanueil, Andrew, 132 

Benjamin, 132, 387 

Peter, 132 N 

Faneuil Hall, 133, 411 
Farmington, Conn., 259 
Farragut School, 395 
Farrar, Hannah, 348 

John, 348 
Fay Homestead, the, 123 

Family, the, 123, 356 
Fechter, Charles, 422 
Federal Hall, 113 
Fenno, Mary, 245 
Fenwick, Robert, 292 
Fern, Fanny, 377, 387 
Field, Cyrus W., 90 

Dr. Francis F., 370 
Fields, James T., 412 
First Falls, 229 
Fisher's Lane, 129 
Fiske, Prof. John, 245 
Fitch, John, 278 
Flagg, John, 323 



Fletcher, Governor, 148 
Flint, Dr. Austin, 327, 346 
Floyd, Elizabeth, 142 
Foote, General Andrew H., 221 
Forster, Edwin, 65, 103 

William, 122 
Fort Clinton, 113 

Hope, 264 

Independence, 118 
Foster Hill, 314 
Fowle, Jonathan, 339 
Fowler, Jude Jonathan, 164 

William, 208 
Fowler's Bridge, 209 
Fox, George L., 83 
Franklin, Benjamin, 17, 50, 57, 411, 

Franklin, Gov. William, 243 

Postmaster James, 340, 393, 423 
Franklin Museum, 65 
Free-Soil Convention, 343 
French, Major Christopher, 257 
French Neutrals, the, 336 
Freneau, Philip, 257 
Fugitive Slave Law, 337, 352 
Fuller, Margaret, 377, 382 
Fulton, the, 242 
Furnace Hill, 311 

Gage, General, 367 
Gale, Henry, 322 
Gallows, the, 55, 58 

Hill, 58 
Gallup, John, 373 
Gardner, Mrs. Jack, 391 

Colonel Thomas, 387 
Garfield's Company, Captain, 366, 

Garth, General, 213 
Gates, General Horatio, 106 
Gaylord, Samuel, 245 
George III., statue of, 105 
Gerry, Elbridge, 382 
Gilbert, Dr. Rufus, H., 90 
Gilbert, Miss, 292 
Gilbert's Fort, 317, 322 
Gill, Quaker Roger, 171 
Globe, the Boston, 416 
Glover, Colonel, at Pell's Point, 125 

General John, 367, 381 
Goffe, regicide, 211, 216, 230, 293 
Goodenow, Mary, 352 

Samuel, 353 
Goodrich, Samuel G., 270 
Gorham Tide Mill, 174 

Gough, John B., 99, 342, 352 
Governor's Garden, the, 44 
Gracie, estate of Oliver, 108 
Graham, Dr. Sylvester, 284 
Gramercy Park, 106 
Granger, Francis, 284 

Gideon, 284 
Grant, Matthew, 277 

General U. S., 221, 278, 392 
Graves, Major Aaron, 307 
Gray, Asa, 377 
Great Meadow, 251 
Greaton, General John, 399 
Greeley, Horace, 50, 67 
Green, Bartholomew, 409 

John, 184 

Josiah, 325 

Thomas, 268 
Green Store Battery, 405 
Greenwich, Lane, 101 

Village, 101, 157 
Greville, Lord Charles, 268 
Grimes, Richard, 352 
Griswold, Ashbel, 254 
Guilford, 216 
Gun Hill Road, 1 19 
Gutenberg, statue of, 57 

Hadley, 217 

Hale, Nathan, 219, 273 

Tablet to, 107, 176 
Hall, Amos, 227 

Captain Basil, 37 

Dr. Lyman, 228 

G. Stanley, 343 
Hall of Records, 56 
Hallam and Henry, 420 
Hallam & Hodgkinson, 45 
Halleck, Fitzgreen, on Park 

Theatre, 46; on Cozzen's Hotel, 


Fanny by, 60, 67 
Hamblin, Thomas, actor, 79 
Hamilton, Andrew, 6 

John, 8 
Hamilton, Square, 108 
Hamlin, Jabez, 246 
Hampden County, 281, 303 

Hall, 45 
Hampshire County, 314 
Hancock, John, 268, 375, 402 

Governor John, 299, 323, 416 

Mme. Lydia, 194 
Hancock Square, 1 14 
Hand, John, 198 



Handel and Haydn Society, 409 
Hanging Hills, the, 232 
Harbor Brook, the, 230 
Harland, Marian, 302 
Harlem, Bridge, 115, 116, 145 
Commons, 109 
Creek, 116 
Lane, 114 
Road, 113, 116 
Tillage of 13, 43, 59, 93 , Il6 
Harmensen, Stoeffel, 72 
Harper, Joseph, 420 

Mayor, 106 
Harper's Ferry, 357 
Harris, Dr., of Columbia, 95 
Harrison, Wm. Henry, 285 
Harrison's Purchase, 148 
Harryson, John, 253 
Hart, Emma, 261 
Hartford, Capital at, 218, 265 
Hartford Courant, 268 
Hartford General Court, 236, 240 
Harvard, John, 378 
Harvard Medical School, 395 
Harvard University, 378 
Haslet, Colonel, Attack by, 141 
Hastings House, Jonathan, 381 
Haswell, Charles, 86 
Hatch, Israel, 418 

Windsor, 325 
Haviland, Dame, 150 
Dr. Ebenezer, 150 
Hawthorne, Nathaniel, 411 
Hayden's, 280 
Haynes House, 364 
Hayward, John, 6 
Hearst, William R., 417 
Heath, William, 399 
Heathcote, Col. Caleb, at Scarsdale 

139; at Rye, 163 
Heathcote Hill, 141 
Heere Straat, or Broadway, 43 
Heerewagh, 43, 49 
Heermans, Augustine, 71 
Henry, Fort, 221 
Hens, Abraham, 369 
Henshaw, David, 327 
Hero, Dog, 327 
Hessians, the, 221 
Heth, Joyce, a Freak, 75 
Hewes House, the, 410 
Hewitt, Abram S., 99 
Rev. Nathaniel, 196 
Hewitt Memorial Annex, 98 
Heywood, Landlord, 335 

Higginson, Major Henry, 392 

Thomas W., 382 
Highland Military Institute, 333 
High Road to Boston, 44, 69, 76 
Hillhouse, James, Capt., 213 
Hitchcock, Daniel, 318 

Nathaniel, 306 
Hoar, George F., 342, 352 
■tiobbs Tannery, the, 360 
"Hog Rock," 208 
Hoit, John, Constable, 128 
Holland, Josiah G., 302 
Holmes, Dr. Oliver W., 347, 377, 
T 381,398 
William, 264, 274 
Holt, John, 19 

Holy Cross, College of the, 344 
Holy Cross Cathedral, 404 
Holy Name Cemetery, 125 
Holyoke, Elizur, 292 
Hooker, Mr., 378 

Thomas, Dr., 264, 270 
Hoorawannonit, Sachem, 330 
Hopkins, Lemuel, 270 
Hopkins Grammar School, 222 
Hopper, Andrew, 44 
Horse Market, the, 107 
Horseneck, Conn., 161, 164 
Horton, Joseph, of Rye, 148 
Hosmer, Harriet G., 375 
"Hospitality Hall," 257 
Houghton, Mifflin Co., 414 
Houghton, Osgood & Co., 414 
Housatonic River, 203, 207 
House of Refuge, the, 106 
House of the Good Shepherd, 395 
Houston, Sam, 239 
How, Sergeant John, 368 
Howard, Edward, 370 
Howe, Adam, 359 
David, 399 
Elias, 201, 324 
Ezekiel, 359, 364 
Admiral Lord, 243 
Lyman, 360 
Mayor Philip, 78, 95 
Sir William, no, 136, 243 
Tyler, 324 
William, 324 
Howells, William D., 96 
Hubbard, Tuthill, 423 
Huguenots in Pelham, the, 130 
Humphreys, David, Poetry of, 194 
Humphreys, Col. David, 222, 270 
Hunt, Hannah, 345 



Hunter, Col. William, 17 
Huntingdon Memorial Hospital, 395 
Hurd, Andrew, 205 

Ebenezer, 20, 205 
Hutchinson, Capt. Edward, 314, 356 

William, 412 
Hutchinson River, 125 
Hutin, Madame, Ballet Dancer, 79 
Hyatt, Caleb, 77 

Indian Orchard, 304 

Indian Trail to Kingsbridge, 93 

Indian Tribes: 

Mohawks, 213, 311 

Pequots, 215, 265, 311 

Mattabesett, 225, 236 

Mohegans, 249, 313 

Narragansetts, 265, 313 

Agawams, 294 

Nipmucks, 294, 311 

Wampanoags, 312 

Albany, 331 

Stockbridge, 375 
Indian War with Kieft, 116, 157 
Ingersoll, Jared, 219, 255 
Ipswich, 314 

Irving, Washington, 66, 108, 389 
Island Number 10, 221 

Jackson, Major, 367 
Janeway Farm, the, 58, 60 
Jansen's Tavern, 73 
Jarvis, Innkeeper, 402 
Jay, Augustus, 145 

John, 144 
Jay Mansion, the, 144 
Jefferson, Thos., 285 
Jenks, Isaac, 323 
Jerome Park Reservoir, 118 
Jesup-Sherwood Library, 186 
Jobson, John, 361 
John, Rev. John, 188 
John Fitch, Steamboat, 61 
Johnson, Isaac, 345 

Mary, 253 

Dr. Samuel, 204, 209, 251 

Sir William, 268, 284 
Jones, Lieut. Elisha, 367 

John Paul, 256, 268 

Noah, 335 
Jones's Company, Capt., 366 
Jones's Farm, John, no 
Jones's Wood, 109 
Jordan, Elizabeth, 67 
Journal, Boston, 417 

Keane, Robert, 413 
Kearsarge-Alabama Fight, 399 
Keith, B. F., 391 
Kendall Green, 369 
Kensington, 259 
Kent Chapter, D. A. R., 285 
Kent Memorial Library, 285 
Kieft, Governor, 92, 158 
Kiersted, Hans, 71 
King, John, 307 

Thomas, 308 
King Philip's War, 5, 171,217, 252, 

276, 282, 288, 294, 331, 356, 362, 

Kingsbridge Road, 92 
Kingsfield, 307 
King's Highway, 16 
Kingston, John, 64 
Kingstown, 307 
Kip's Bay, Brewery, 107 

Farm, 107 

Village, 107 
Kissing Bridge, 62, 108 
Knapp, Goody, 190 

Josiah, 407 
Kneeland, Rev. Mr., 204 
Knickerbocker Press, the, 129 
Knight, Mme., Sarah, journal of, 

10, 74, 129 
Knox, General Henry, 258, 400 
Kossuth, Louis, 301, 402 

Laborie, Dr. James, 188 
Lafayette, 168, 268, 392 
Lake Quinsigamond, 330, 333, 344 
Lamb, Joshua, Company, 307 
Lamb, Colonel Joshua, 325 
Lancaster, 331 

Road, 35 
Larchmont, New York, 140 

Yacht Club, 140 
Lathrop, Mayor, 164 

Rev. Dr., 289 
Law, Governor, 211 
Leamington, Mr., 180 
Lear, Mr., 367 
Lebeau, Jean, 337 
Lechmere family, the, 380 
Lee, Arthur, 256 

General Charles, 257, 289 

Jesse, 210 

Mrs. Thomas, 391 
Lee & Shepard, 414 
Leicester, 322, 343 

Academy, 327 



Leisler, Jacob, 49, 50, 74, 130, 137 
Lemon, E. R., 360 
Levan Club, the, 334 
Leverett, Governor, 5, 389, 413 
Lexington, Battle of, 220, 243, 379, 

Lexington, Mass., 379 
Liberty, Hall, 408 

Tree, 408 
Lincoln, Abraham, 97 

Earl of, 345 

General Benjamin, 298, 338 

Levi, 332 

Mrs. Alvira, 261 

President, 421 
Lincoln House, 335 
Lingard, James W., 83 
Littell, Eliakim, 391 
Littell's Living Age, 391 
Little, Brown & Co., 414 
Lockwood, Brooks & Co., 414 
Lockwood's Bridge, 129 
Loco-focos, 53, 85 
Longfellow, Henry W., 296,358,377 
Longworth, David, 66 
Loockermans, Govert, 49 
Lopez, Aaron, 327 
Lorillard, George, 60 

Peter, 60 
Lothrop & Co., D., 414 
"Lottery" bridge, 200 
Loudon, Lord, 336 
Louisburg, capture of, 336 
Louisville Journal, 271 
Lovelace, Governor, 1, 13, 43, 73, 

92. I3 8 
Lovering, A. W. & Co., 414 
Low (Governor) House, 211 
Lowell, James Russell, 381 

Percival, 391 

Post Charles Russell, 406 
Lowell Institute, the, 410 
Lower Road to Boston, 30 
Ludlow, 304 
Ludlow, Roger, Governor, 177, 189, 

Lyman, Maj.-Gen. Phineas, 238, 283 

McDonough, the, 243 
McGowan's Pass, 112 
McKinley, William, 303 
McKinley Square, 126 
McKim, Mead & White, 57 
McTeague's Comers, 1 19 
Macdonough, Thomas, 243 

Macdonough Hotel Company, 246 
Macready, Actor, 103 
Madison Square Garden, no 
Mamaroneck, New York, 138, 142 
Manacope, Sachem, 240 
Manhattan Bridge, 82 

Railway Co., 90 
Manhattanville, New York, 89, 94 
Mann, Basil, 351 

Horace, 344 
Mansfield, General Joseph, 245 
Manussing Island, 146 
Marcy, William L., 328 
Maretzek, Max, 104 
Marietta, 319 
Mark's Hill, 321 
Mark Twain, 271 
Marlborough, 315, 353, 355 

Chapel, 410 
Marshall, Eliakim, 278 
Martha's Vineyard, Mass., 372 
Mason, Captain Hugh, 374 

Captain John, 186, 277, 363 
Massachusetts Bay Colony, 218, 

Massachusetts Spy, the, 339 
Massasoit House, 301 

Sachem, 312 
Mather, Rev. Moses, 175 
Matianuck, 275 
Mattabesett Indians, 236 
Matthews, Brander, 96 

Mrs. John, 295 
Maumaguin, Sachem, 215, 225 
May, Rev. Samuel, 329 
Mead Family, of Greenwich, 162 
Meeting-house, Bridge, 209 

Hill, 236, 399 
Meigs, Jonathan, 244 
Memorial Bridge, Milford, 208 
Menken, Ada Isaacs, 66 
Menzies, Judge John, 326 
Mercantile Library, 104 
Merchant's Exchange, 28 
Meriden, 230 

Meriden Britannia Co., 232 
Meritorious Price of Man's Redemp- 
tion, 293 
Merriam, G. and C, 302, 321 
Merriman Nathaniel, 227 
Merritt, Thomas, 146 

William, 64 
" Merry Mount,'' 369 
Mews, the, 46 
Mianus River, 157 



Middle Road to Boston, the, 30, 38, 

109, 112 
Middlesex County, Conn., 234 
Middlesex County, Mass., 355 
Middlesex Gazette, the 242 
Middletown 234 
Milborne, Jacob, 49 
Mile Stones, Act on, 14, 18, 86 

Four Mile Stone, 1 1 1 

Five Mile Stone, 1 1 1 

Nine Mile Stone, 114 

Twenty Mile Stone, 124 

Seventy Mile Stone, 198 
Milford, Town of, 207 

Central School, 211 

First Congregational Church, 208 

Library of, 212 

Settlement of, 208 
Miller, Thomas, 294 
Minor, Henry C, 85 
Minthorne, Farm, 64 

Mansion, 85 

Tomb, 95 
Minto, Estate of Andrew Eliot, 102 
Molineux, William, 359 
Monck, George, 417 
Mononotto, Sachem, 252 
Monroe, James, 299 
Montague Creek, 116 
Montague, Dr., landing of 116 
Montowese, 234 
Morgan, Daniel, 244 

J. Pierpont, 99, 272, 292 

Miles, 292 
Morris, Andrew, 85 

Gouverneur, 93 

Lewis, 115, 121 
Morris Bros. Minstrels, 410 
Morris High School, 126 
Motley, John, 376 
Mount Auburn Cemetery, 376 
Mount, Carmel, 226 

Lamentation, 232 

Morris Park, 1 13 

Pleasant, 84 

St. Vincent, 113 
Mower, Captain Ephraim, 334 
Moxon, Rev. George, 291 
Muddy River, 387 
Muirson, Rev. Mr., 204 
Municipal Building in New York, 

Munro's Neck, 139 
Munson, Captain John, 254 
Murray, Daniel, 319 

Lindley, no 

Robert, no 
Musketaquid, 361 
Myer's Corner, 1 13 
Mystic, Conn., 371 

Narragansett Bay, 333 
National Guard, 126 
National Pike, 42 
National Road, 36 
Nattawznut, Sachem, 274 
Naugatuck R. R., 201 
Neal, Daniel, 414 
Neale, Thomas, 6 
Nelson, Rev. John, 329 
Neutral Ground, the, 164 
New Britain, 259 
New England Confederacy, 216 
New England News Co., 414 
New Haven, Colony of, 216, 237 
County of, 207 
Water Company, 208 
New Haven & Milford Turnpike 

Company, 212 
New Marlborough, 307 
New Rochelle, N. Y., 131, 136 
New Worcester, 329 
New York State Arsenal, 56 
New York & Harlem R. R., 89 
New York Bridge Co., 54 
New York Central R. R., 89 
New York, New Haven & Hartford 

R. R., 136, 173, 201 
Newfield, 199, 240 
Newhall, Lieut. Thomas, 326 
Newspaper Row, 50 

American Telegraph, 201 

Advertiser, 201 

Connecticut Courier, 201 

Connecticut Patriot, 201 

Herald, 201 

Journal of Commerce, 201 

Republican Farmer, 201 

Spirit of the Times, 201 
New York, 

Advertiser and News, 47 

Courier, 153 

Day-Book, 50 

Enquirer, 50 

Evening Post, 67 

Globe, 47 

Herald, 50 

Jewish Morning Journal, 83 



Newspapers — Continued 
Mail & Express, 47 
Morning Journal, 51 
Press, 48 
Recorder, 47 
Staats-Zeitung, 56 
Sun, 49 
Times, 48 
Tribune, 50 
WorM, 47, 50, 54 
Norwalk Gazette, 181 
Saugatuck Journal, 186 
Stamford Advocate, 173 
Newton, Sir Isaac, 218 

Thomas, 184 
Newton, Mass, 375, 385 
Newtown, Mass., 377 
Nicolls, Governor, 92, 142 
Nichols, Philip, 197 

Theophilus, 199 
Nixon, General John H., 364 
Nonantum, 385 

Norawake, Indian name for Nor- 
walk, 177 
Normal College, the city, 108 
Noroton, Conn., 174 
North, Branford, 234 
Haven, 224 
Wilbraham, 305 
Northborough, 353 
Northford, 234 
Norton, Isaac, 33 

Jedidiah, 261 
Norwalk, Conn., 176 
Bridge, 178 
School in, 178 

Observatory Place, 109 
Occidental Hotel, 85 
Odell, estate of, 108 
Jacob, no 
Stephen, 127 
Old, Bay Path, 290 
Brazil, 351 
Brick Church, 402 
Colony Road, 231 
Connecticut Path, 290 
Corner Book Store, 412 
Newspaper Row, 46 
South Church, 411 

New, 412 
State House, the, 413 
Wreck Brook, 62 
Oldboy, Felix, 74 

Oldham John, 186, 249, 265, 290, 

369, 373 
Oliver, Andrew, 408 

Family, the, 380 
Oliver Ellsworth, the, 243 
Olmsted, Frederick Law, 271, 391 
Oneida Community, 229 
Orange, Township of, 213 
Oraskaso, Sachem, 325 
Order of the Cincinnati, the, 51 
Oread Polytechnic Institute, 344 
Orienta Point, 141 
Orphan's Court, the, 72 
Otis, James, 415 

Harrison Gray, 420 
Ottendorfer, Oswald, 57 
Ould Kill, 43, 61 

Packachaug, 330, 344 
Paine, Tom, 133 
Palisades, the, 59 
Palisado Green, 275 
Palmer, 306, 338 

Old Centre, 308 
Palmes, Edward, 5 
Paris, Samuel, 365 
Park Row, 44, 54, 89 

Benton, 296 

Bushnell, Hartford, 273 

Charter Oak, Hartford, 273 

Colt, Hartford, 273 

Columbus, 344 

Elizabeth, Hartford, 273 

Elm, 344 

Fenway, 395 

Forest Hill, 303 

Goodwin, Hartford, 273 

Hanover, Meriden, 230 

Institute, 333 

Keney, Hartford, 273 

Lake, 344 

Riverside, Hartford, 273 

Wilcox, Milford, 212 
Parmenter House, 359 
Parsons, Eli, 298 

Hugh, 293 

Maj.-Gen. S. H., 244 

Zenos, 299 
Parton, James, 387 
Partridge, Captain, 246 
Pastor, Tony, 85 
Patch, Nathan, 336 
Patrick, Captain Daniel, 157, 159, 

177, 187, 373 



Pattison, William, 260 

Paulding, James K., 66 

Payne, John H., 66 

Peabody, Oliver, 403 

Peale's Museum, 45 

Pease, Capt. Levi, 24, 33, 301, 348, 

Pease and Sikes stages, 327 
Peat, Swany, 183 
Peck, Rev. Jeremiah, 163 
Peet, Deacon, 20 
Pelham, N. Y., 125, 129 
Pell's Point, Battle of, 125, 129 
Pembroke Park, 198 
People's Palace, 404 
Pepperell, William, 399 
Pequasset, 372 
Pequonnock River, 196 
Pequot Path, 16 

War, the, 186, 235,265, 275, 367, 

Percival, James G., 261 
Percy, Earl, 379, 393 
Perro, Richard, 101 
Peter Cooper Building, no 
Peters, Rev. Samuel, 216 
Petersfield Estate, 94 
Petersham, 299 
Phelps, Mrs. Alvira, 261 

Professor, 322 
Philadelphia, Frigate, 244 
Philipses, 115 
Phillips, Rev. George, 372 
Picket Editor, 181 
Pierce, Franklin, 109 
Pierpont, Rev. John, 225 

Village, 396 
Pierrott, Peter, Jr., 207 
Pietersen, Abraham, 62 
Pigott, Rev. Dr., 204 
Pillory, the, 56 
Pinemeadow, 280 
Pistepaug Lake, 235 
Pitt, William, 44, 105 
Plassman, E., 50 
Plymouth, Colony, 218 

Congregational Society, 209 

Meadow, 274 

Path, 15, 291 
Poelnitz, Baron, 102 
Pond, Captain, 177 
Poole and Donnelly, 82 
Pope, Engineer, 54 
Port Chester, N. Y., 151 
Porter, Eliphalet, 403 

Portland, 241 
Post, the Boston, 417 
Post-riders, 2, 19, 27, 34 
Post Road, to Harlem, 43 

To Portland, 28 

to Savannah, 28 
Post wages, 6, 9 
Potter Building, 48 
Potter-hill, 56 
Potter's field, 106 
Powell, Benjamin, 60 
Prentice, George D., 271, 363 
Prescott, Colonel 391 
Prevost, Bishop Samuel, 109 
Price, Zadock, 418 
Prime, Nathaniel, 108 
Printing, The History of, 340 
Printing House Square, 49 
Pritchard, Thomas, 149 
Province House, the, 410 
Provincial Assembly of New York, 

13. 115. 157 
Provincial Congress, 375, 382 
Provost Prison, 56 
Pruden, Mr., 215, 251 
Publick Occurrences, 409 
Pulitzer, Albert, 51 

Joseph, 54, 67 
Pulitzer Building, 54 
Putnam, Gen. Israel, 165, 318 

Rufus, 318, 400 
Pynchon, Major, 281 

John, 293 

William, 290, 293, 398 

Quaboag Fort, 291 

Seminary, 311 
Quackenbush, James, no 
Quakers, the, 143, 171 
Quarry Hill Farm, 107 
Queen Anne statute on post, 8 
Queen Anne's War, 317 
Quincy, Dorothy, 194 

Josiah, 24 
Quinnipiac Colony, 216 
Quinrobin, 371 

Radcliffe College, 379 
Ramapague Historical Society, 288 
Randall, Robert R., 102 
Randel, John, 94 
Randolph, Edmund, 5 
Rattlesnake Hill, 120, 127 
Read, Jacob, 64 



Record, the Boston, 417 

Records of New England towns, 

Redfield, William C, 248 
Reed, Nathan, 311 
Regicides, the, 211, 216, 231, 293 
Reid, General, 248 

Robert, 302 
Reminiscences of an Octogenarian, 

Republican, Springfield, 302 
Revere, Paul, 268, 368 
Rhinelander, William, estate of, 

Rice, Edward E., 387 

James, 332 

Captain Moses, 334 
Richardson, C. D., 320 

Edward, 375 

Henry H., 391 
Richbell, Mistress Ann, 141 

John Thomas, 137, 141 
Riedesel, General, 289, 308, 380 
Rippowams, 251 

West, 213 

Saugatuck, 215 

Quinnipiac, 215, 223, 234 

Mill, 223 

Muddy, 226, 234 

Farm, 235 

Versch or Fresh, 240 

Mattabesett, 259 

Tunxis, 274 

Stony, 280 

Agawam, 287, 291 

Woronoco, 291 

Connecticut, 300 

Charles, 300, 370 

Chicopee, 304 

Three Rivers, 306 

Quaboag, 310 

Seven Mile, 323 

Nipmuck, 330 

Blackstone, 330 

Assabet, 353 

Sudbury, 361 
Riverside Press, the, 382 
Rivulet Ferry, 277 
Robbins, Royal E., 370 
Rochambeau, Count de, 258, 269 
Roche, James J., 391 
Rochefoucauld, Due de la, 357 
Rockingham House, 297 
Rocksbury, 290 

Rocky Hill, 248 
RoebUng, John A., 54 
Rogers Brothers, 232 
Roodenberg, 215 
Rose Hill Farms, 106 
Roxbury, Mass., 370, 394 

Burial Ground, 402 

Free Latin School, 396 
Ruggl s, Samuel B., 106 
Ruggles Family, the, 380 
Russell, Hon. John E., 329 

Thomas, 381 

Wm. E., 384 
Rutgers, Anthony, 64 

Captain Harman, 68 

Hermanus, 69 

Jacobus, 69 

Jan, 6; 
Rutgers Farms, the, 68, 70, 85 
Rutherford, John, 93 
Rye, N. Y., 144, 225 

Schoolhouse in, 149 

Saddler, John, 253 
Sag Harbor, 244 
Sailors' Snug Harbor, 102 
Salisbury Mansion, 334 
Salmagundi Papers, 66 
Saltonstall, Sir Richard, 372 

Sir William, 250 
Saltonstall's Plantation, 372 
Salvation Army, the, 84 
Samler Farm, no 
San Antonio, Texas, 239 
Sandhill Road, 101 
Sargent, Epes, 399 
Sassacus, Sachem, 252 
Saugatuck River, the, 183 
Saw Kill, the, 108 
Say and Sele, Lord, 262 
Saybrook, 215 
Schley, Admiral W. S., 391 
Schout's bouwerie, 94 
Scribner, John, 185 
Scudder's Museum, 46, 65 
Seabury, Rev. Samuel, 164, 269 
Sears, Captain Isaac, 164 
Sears Building, the, 413 
Seaside Park, 202 
Second Avenue Elevated Railroad, 

Selleck, Major, 171 
Sergeant, Digory, 331 

Peter, 410 
Sewall, Judge Samuel, 345, 389 



Sewall Family, the, 380 
Sewall's, Hill, 345 

Pond, 345 
Seward, David, 236 
Shadrach slave, 387 
Shaler, Miss, 243 
Sharp, Lieutenant, 363, 391 
"Shaving Corner," 409 
Shays Rebellion, the, 289, 297, 311, 

322, 337 
Shearer's Corners, 307 
Shepard, Rev. Mr., 377 
Shepherd, General, 298 
Sherman, Frank D., 341 

Rev. John, 251 

Senator John, 251 

Roger, 221 

General Wm. T., 251 
Sherwood, Judge, 186 

Thomas, 198 
Shiloh, Battle of, 221 
Shirley, Governor, 412 
Shook, Sheridan, 100 
Shook & Palmer, 100 
Shrewsbury, 338, 345 
Shrimpton, Henry, 412 
Sigourney, Mrs., 270 
Sites, Reuben, 336, 350 
Silliman, Benjamin, 222, 301 

General, 188 
Silliman Chimney, 258 
Simsbury, 255 
Sisters of Charity, 1 13 
Siwanoy Indians, 156 
Skene, Philip, 257 
Sloughter, Governor, 95 
Smith, Dr. Elihu, 270 

Henry, 290 

Rev. Henry, 251 

Joel, 368 

Captain John, 385 

Major, 120 

Richard, Jr., 253 
Smuggling, 137, 145 
Snake Hill, 113 
Soldiers' Field, 392 
Sons of Liberty, the, 45, 51, 408 
South Norwalk, 179 
South Sudbury, 358 
Southfield, 281 
Southold, 216 
Southport, Conn., 186 
Sowheag, Sachem, 240, 250 
Sparks, Jared, 377, 381 
Spencer, 322 

Sperry, Jacob, 101 
Split Rock Road, 129 
Spottswood, Colonel, 17 
Springfield, 287, 292 
Spring Garden Gate, 59 
Spring Grove Cemetery, 174 
Springfield Fire Insurance Co., 


Spuyten Duyvil Creek, 115 

St. Gaudens, statue by, 292 

St. George's Church, Milford, 209 

St. John, Peter, 175 

St. John's Protestant Episcopal 

Cathedral, 247 
St. Paul Building, 45 
St. Peter's Church, Milford, 210 
St. Vincent de Paul, 113 
Staats Zeitung Building, 57 
Stage Register, the, 424 
Stamford, Conn., 169, 216, 251 

School in, 170 
Stamp Act, the 219 
Standish, Miles, 302 
"Stanford" Road, 145 
Stedman, Edmund C, 96, 271 
Stephenson, John, 1 10 
Stetson, John, 422 
Stewart, A. T., 95, 102 
Stille, Cornelius J., 6, 70 
Stocks, the, 56 

Stoddard, Richard Henry, 96 
Stone, Rev. Samuel, 264 

William L., editor, 67, 270 
Story, Thomas, 171 
Stow, Freelove, 210 

Captain Stephen, 211 
Stow House, Stephen, 210 
Stowe, Mrs. Harriet B., 270 
Stratfield, Conn., 199 
Stratford, Conn., 197, 203, 251 
Strickland's Plain, 157 
Stuart, Gilbert, 399 
Stuyvesant, John R., 138 

Nicholas W., 94 

Governor Peter, 95, 263 
Stuyvesant Village, 73 
Subway, the New York, 90 
Suckeag, 264 
Sudbury, 353 
Suffield, 280 
Sumner, Charles, 377 

General W. H., 399 
Sun Building, the, 49 
Swanzey, 294 
Swathel Inn, 237 



Swathel, Mrs. Harriet, 245 
Swayne, Win., 251 
Swift, Miss Annie, 96 
Swits, Cornelius, 70, 72 

Taft, Wm. H., 341 
Talcott, Captain, 375 

John, 235 

Samuel, 235 
Tales of the Province House, 411 
" Tamanende, " Sachem, 52 
Tammany Hall, 51 

Society, 52 

Theatre, 66 
Tataesset, 330 

Bardin's, 52 

Benson's, 195 

Bull's Head, 76 

Catamount, 124 

Child's, 58 

Clapp's, 75 

Comstock's, 178 

Connecticut, 181 

Cornelis's, 74 

Curtis, 206 

Disbrow, 184 

Dykman's, 77 

Exchange, 34 

Fisher, 128 

Fowler's 124 

Haviland's, 150 

Hoit's, 128 

Johnson's, 126 

Knapp's, 168 

Martling, 52 

Marvin's, 183 

Old Stage, 174 

Pixley's, 198 

Say, 123 

Spring Garden, 45 

Stage, 186 

Sun, 195 

Vredenberg's, 128 

Webber's, 63 

Tomlinson's, Milford, 212 

Andrews, North Haven, 226 

Merriman's Wallingford, 227 

Hall's, Wallingford, 227 

Bishop's, Wallingford, 227 

Oakdale, Wallingford, 227 

Belcher's, Meriden, 230 

Harrison, Northford, 235 

Burnham, Middletown, 245 

Swathel Inn, 237 

Bigelow, Middletown, 245 
Central Hotel, Middletown, 246 
Saddler, Wethersfield, 253 
Adams, Hartford, 266 
Chapman, Windsor, 278 
Marshall, Windsor, 278 
Parsons, Springfield, 292, 299 
Colton's Springfield, 299 
Bates, Springfield, 300 
Massasoit, Springfield, 301 
Frick, Palmer, 308 
Quinton's, Palmer, 308 
Thompson's, Palmer, 308 
Walker's, Palmer, 308 
Ayers, Brookfield, 315 
Dwight's, Brookfield, 317 
Hitchcock's, Brookfield, 318 
Brookfield, Brookfield, 322 
Mason House, Spencer, 323 
Livermore House, Spencer, 323 
Jenks, Spencer, 323 
Jones, Cherry Valley, 329 
Rice's, Worcester, 334 
Sun, Worcester, 334 
U. S. Hotel, Worcester, 334 
Heywood's, Worcester, 334 
Central, Worcester, 335 
Lincoln, Worcester, 335 
Jones's, Worcester, 335 
King's Arms, Worcester, 335 
Brown's, Worcester, 335 
Hancock Arms, Worcester, 336 
Butman's Worcester, 336 
Patch's, Worcester, 336 
Sikes, Worcester, 336 
Curtis, Worcester, 336 
Farrar's, Shrewsbury, 346 
Baldwin's, Shrewsbury, 346 
Howe's, Shrewsbury, 346 
Pease's, Shrewsbury, 348 
Lion, Marlborough, 350 
Williams, Marlborough, 356 
Wayside, Sudbury, 358 
Howe's, Sudbury, 359 
Lemon's, Sudbury, 360 
Red Horse Sudbury, 360 
Red Horse, Boston, 360 
Parmenter, Wayland, 365 
Flagg's, Weston, 367 
Jones, Weston, 367 
Golden Ball, Weston, 367 
Smith's, Weston, 368 
Central, Waltham, 370 
Kimball, Waltham, 370 
Green's, Waltham, 370 



Taverns — Continued 

Cutting's, Waltham, 370 

Bird's, Waltham, 370 

Gleason's, Waltham, 370 

Bemis, Waltham, 370 

Stratton, Waltham, 370 

Richardson, Watertown, 375 

Birds, Watertown, 375 

Bellows, Watertown, 375 

Coolidge Newton, 385 

Bull's Head, Brighton, 386 

Punch Bowl, Brookline, 390 

George, Boston, 400 

King's Arms, Boston, 401 

Greyhound, Boston, 402 

Ball and Pin, Boston, 403 

Washington Hall, 404 

Rose and Crown, Boston, 405 

Liberty Tree, Boston, 409 

Peggy Moore's, Boston, 409 

Boston, Boston, 410 

Cromwell's, Head, Boston, 412 

Cole's, Boston, 417 

British Coffee House, Boston, 418 

Blue Bell, Boston, 418 

Indian Queen, Boston, 418 

The Lamb, Boston, 418 

Lion, Boston, 418 

White Horse, 418 
Taylor, Bayard, 96 
Tea Water Pump, the, 63 
Temple, Charlotte, 76, 95 
Temple Horse, Flora, 37 
Terry, General Alfred H., 222 
Tetard's Hill, 118 
Thacher, Surgeon, 401 
Thackeray, William M., 413 
Theatre alley, 46 

Aberle's, 102 

Adler's, 81 

American, 79 

Astor Place, 103 

Bowery, 82 

Bull's Head, 79 

Chatham, 65 

City, 82 

Comedy, 102 

Day's, 114 

Franklin, 65 

Germania, 102 

Grand Central, 102 

Heym's, 85 

Kennedy's, 102 

Keith's, 100 

Montpelier's, 82 

New Bowery, 83 

New National, 82 

New, 45 

New Stadt, 82 

New York, 104 

Old Bowery, 79 

Palmer's, 100 

Park, 45 

Pastor's, 85 

People's, 85 

Purdy's, 66 

Royal, 85 

Teatro Italiano, 83 

Thompson's, 102 

Union, 66 

Union Square, 101 

Varieties, 82 

Wallacks, 100 

White's, 75 

White's Opera, 83 

Windsor, 82 
Thief-Catching Society, 312 
Thomas, General, 349 

Isaiah, 328, 339 
Three Rivers, 306 
Throgg's Neck settled, 3 
Tibbals, Sergeant, 208 
Times Building, the, 48 
Titus, Mrs., 396 

Toil-Gate Hill in Greenwich, 157 
Tombs, the, 62 
Tompkins, Governor Daniel D., 95 

Micah, 211 
Tompkins House, 211 

Market, 97 
Tompson, Benjamin, 403 
Tom Thumb, 202 
Tortaid, 325 
Totoket Mountain, 235 
Toucey, Hon. Isaac, 270 
Townsend, Edward W., 67 
Tracy, Nathaniel, 381 
Traveller's Insurance Co., 266 
Travels in New York and New Eng- 
land, 219 
Travers Island, 129 
Treadwell & Thome Farm, 1 10 
Treat, Governor, 211 
Tribune Building, the, 51 
Trinity College, 269 
Trumbull, Governor John, 51, 243, 

Tryon, Governor, 143, 148, 165, 

179, 191, 220, 244 



Tryon Row, 56 
Tunison, Tobias, 72 
Turner, Robert, 417 
Tuttle, Jonathan, 225 
Twichell, Ginery, 392 
Two Years Before the Mast/ 387 
Tyler, James, 60 
William, 229 

Underhill, Captain John, 158, 169, 

,.373. 403 

Unhappy Marriage, the, 420 

Union Square, 105 

United Cigar Stores, 413 

United Colonies of Connecticut, 

United States Arsenal, 106 
United States, History of the, 302, 

United States Hotel, the, 334 
University Press, the, 382 
Upham, Joshua, 319 
Upper Road, the, 29, 42 
Urig, Captain Nathaniel, 404 

Valentine House, the, 1 19 
Van Beeck, Johannes, 72 
Van Cortlandt, Eva, 145 
Van Curler, Commissary, 274 
Vanderveen, Elsie, 49 

Peter, 49 
Van Twiller, Wouter, 262, 274 
Vane, Sir Harry, 382 
Varian, Richard, 77 
Vassall, Colonel John, 381 
Vassall family, the, 380 
Vauxhall Garden, 84, 100 
Versh Water Killetje, the, 62 
Verveelen, Johannes, 3, 117 
Viets, Simon, 283 
Vincent-Halsey House, 120 
Virginia Minstrels, 65 
Vlaite, the, 43 

Waban, Chief, 386 
Wadsworth, Daniel, 272 

James, 238, 258 

Captain Joseph, 267, 362 

President, 363 
Wadsworth Athenaeum, 272 

House, 382 
Wahquinnicut, sachem, 249 
Wainwright Bishop J. M., 270 
Wait, Joseph, 296 
Walker House, General, 206 

Wallingford, 226 
Walter, Nehemiah, 403 

Thomas, 403 
Waltham, Mass., 369 
Ward, Elizabeth S. P., 322 

J. Q. A., sculptor, 50 

Judge Artemas, 334, 337, 346, 

„ r 381,399 

Wareham, Rev. John, 275 
Warehouse Point, 280 
Warner, Charles Dudley, 271 
Warren, 308 < 

Warren, Mercy, 383 

Dr. Joseph, 399 

Dr. William, 375, 377 
Washington, at Berlin, 260 

at Boston, 401 

at Cambridge, 381 

at Marlborough, 356 

at Milford, 212 

at New Haven, 221 

at Newton, 385 

at Norwalk, 181 

at Palmer, 307 

at Rye, 151 

at Shrewsbury, 348 

at Spencer, 323 

at Springfield, 296 

at Stamford, 174 

at Wallingford, 228 

at Weston, 367 

at Wethersfield, 257 

at Windsor, 279 

at Worcester, 335 
Washington Chapter, George, S. of 

A. R., 289, 297 
Washington College, 269 

Elm, the, 376 

Hotel, Co., 246 

Market, 204 

Park, 202 

Statue of, 105 
Washington Street, Boston, 405 
Washington, Martha, 335 
Warville, Brissot de, 254, 340 
Waters, Josiah, 400 
Watertown, 250, 361, 372 
Watertown to Sudbury, 15 
Watkinson, David, 272 
Watson, antiquarian, 63 
Watson, Charles, 325 
Watson's Annals, 58 
Watts, John, 106 
Wayland, Francis, 365 
Wayland, Mass., 364 



Wayside Inn, the, 358 

Chapter D. A. R., 361 
Webb House, the, 257 
Webb, General Alexander S., 258 

General James W., 258 

Joseph, 257 

Colonel Thomas B., 258 
Webber, Wolfert, 63, 70, 74 
Webster, Noah, 221, 271 
Wells, Horace, 272 
Wepawaug River, the, 208 
Wequogan, sachem, 295 
Werpoes Land, 71 
Wesleyan University, 246 
West, Benjamin, 267 
West Boston & Cambridge Bridge, 

West Brookfield, 312 
West Farms, 125 
West Haven, 213 
West Springfield, 287 
West Warren, 310 
Westborough, 353 
Westchester County, 149 

Path, 142 
Western, 310 
Western R. R., 333 
"Western post," 8 
Westport, Conn., 184 
Weston, Mass., 365 
Wethersfield, 248 
Wetmore, Rev. Mr., 225 
Whalley , Regicide, 211,216,231,293 
Wheaton, Mr., 368 
Wheeler, Captain Adam, 298, 337 

Daniel, 407 

Moses, 203 

Captain Thomas, 314 
Wheeler & Wilson, 201 
Whipping-post, the, 56 
Whipsuppenicke, 353 
Whitneyville, 223 
White Cedar Swamp, 389 
White Plains Road, 119 
White, Richard Grant, 96 

Thomas, 44 
Whitefield, George, 210, 231, 251, 

356, 397 
Whitefield Rock, 321 
Whitney, Eli, 222, 238, 328 

Peter, 320, 352 
Wickabang Pond, 314 
Wilcox, Clark, 212 
Willard, Emma H., 270 

Major, 316 

Willett, William, 262 
William and Mary, 267 
Williams, Colonel, 347, 3^7 

Col. Joseph, 399 

Jesse Lynch, 67 

Job, 408 

Lieutenant, 356 

Miss, 331 
Williams College, 347 
Williams's Market, 405 
Williamsburg Bridge, 85 

Reservoir, 119 
Willis, Nathaniel P., 377 

Sarah P., 387 
Windsor, 264, 274 
Windsor Locks, 280 
Winship, Jonathan, 386 
Winslow, Admiral John A., 399 

Isaac, 399 
Winsor, Justin, 382 
Winter, William, 67 
Winthrop, Francis B., 107 

Governor, 15,372,411 

Robert C, 377, 391 

Theodore, 222 
Winthrop 's Journal, 388 
Witchcraft, 190, 253, 293 

Henry, 277 

Major Samuel, 257 

Oliver, 270 

Roger, 270, 277 
Wolves' Pit Plain, 203 
Wondunk, the, 240 
Woodcock, John, 290 
Woodhouse, Mrs. Sophia, 254 
Woodlawn Road, 119 
Woodward & Green, 242 
Woodward, Parson Samuel, 367 
Woodward & Saffrey, 281 
Woonaskochu, sachem, 330 
Wooster, General David, 205 
Worcester, Joseph E., 381 
Worcester, 332 

County, 320 

Republican, the, 342 

Society of Antiquity, 333 

Polytechnic Institute, 333, 343 

Spy, the, 339 
Worthington Society, 261 
Wright, Dr. John G., 128 

Yale College, 218 

Charles, 229 


Yale — Continued 
Elihu, 218 
Nathaniel, 225 
Samuel, 232 
Thomas, 225 

Yalesville, 229 

Younglove, Parson, 317 
Young Men's, Institute, 84 
Christian Association, 84 
Yorkville, 112 

Zaatberg, Pond,iioi 


" Ji book every one should read" 
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The Greatest Street 
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The Stoiy of Broadway, Old and New, from 
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The Story of 

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