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Full text of "Good old Dorchester : a narrative history of the town, 1630-1893"










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Good Old Dorchester 

a jSarratibe l^fetori) of tl)e Cotou 




We may build more splendid habitations, 

Fill our rooms with paintings and with sculptures, 

But we cannot 
Buy with gold the old associations. 

Longfellow: Golden 3filestone. 






Copyright, 1891 
By William Dana Orcutt 


Ea ilHg jFatfter, 

TO]^00e Hife in& hzzn an Inspiring ISiampIe, 



jHE ancient town of Dorchester, Massachu- 
setts, offers a fruitful field for the his- 
torical student. It is not possible for one 
to examine the events which have occurred during 
the two hundred and sixty-three years of its exist- 
ence without becoming filled with a desire to become 
better acquainted with the men whose actions shaped 
the town as it grew from its small beginning, and who 
established the noble institutions which will always 
keep alive the beloved name of " Dorchester." 

The author of this volume was impressed with the 
fact that, in spite of the existence of rich traditions 
and associations, a large portion of the inhabi- 
tants of the town had but little knowledge of them. 
The only complete history of Dorchester, published 
in 1859 by the Dorchester Antiquarian and His- 
torical Society, has for some years been out of print. 
Blake's "Annals," printed in 1846, found a place in 
the libraries of those especially interested in the 
early records, but was not popularly known among 
the citizens. Dr. Harris's " Chronological and Topo- 
graphical Account" of the town, published in 1804, 
covered but a small portion of the history, as he 
intended later to issue a comprehensive volume on 


the subject. The Record Commissioners of Boston, 
in 1879, printed the first volume of the Town Records 
of Dorchester, — accomplishing an invaluable ser- 
vice in preserving for posterity these historical doc- 
uments ; and in 1892 the Rev. Samuel J. Barrows 
and Mr. William B. Trask performed a like service, 
in editing the Records of the First Church. To all 
these earlier publications the author acknowledges 
his indebtedness. 

A narrative history of the town, however, has 
never before been published. The author has 
attempted to gather together the most important 
part of the material existing on the subject, and to 
combine it in such a manner as to make it of in- 
terest not only to those familiar with the facts, but 
also to those who know little of the story, and who 
are desirous of learning something of the historic 
spots which surround them. To accomplish this, it 
has been necessary to omit all genealogies ; as these, 
while of inestimable value to an exhaustive work, 
are not of interest to the general reader, and do 
not properly belong to the narration. Mention has 
been made, however, of the more important of the 
inhabitants of the town, with a view to show- 
ing the influence they wielded, and the effect of 
their labors. 

Every effort has been made to prevent errors of 
fact or date from appearing in these pages ; but the 
author cannot hope to escape the fate of all those 


who venture to tread in historical paths. In all 
cases possible, however, the authorities which have 
been consulted have been verified by comparison. 
When the history appeared in serial form in the 
" Dorchester Beacon/' criticism and additions were 
invited, with a view to avoid, if possible, misstate- 
ments or omissions. 

The author begs to take this opportunity grate- 
fully to acknowledge the uniform kindness and 
courtesy with which his requests for information 
have been received. Without the co-operation of 
many citizens of the town, the publication of this 
volume would have been almost impossible. Ac- 
knowledgment should especially be made to Mr. 
William B. Trask, who has carefully examined 'the 
proof-sheets, making invaluable corrections and sug- 
gestions ; to Mr. John Wilson, whose advice has 
been of great value, and to whom the typographical 
appearance of the book is due; to Dr. Benjamin 
Gushing, Mr. William C. Codman, and Mrs. Mary 
F. Freeman, for untiring efforts in the interests of 
the work ; and also to others who have generously 
contributed their time and labor. Thanks are also 
due to the House Art Company, to the "New Eng- 
land Magazine," and to Ticknor & Company, for 
kind permission to reproduce certain illustrations. 

With these few words the author presents this 
volume to his readers. If he has succeeded in 


making the story of Good Old Dorchester more 

familiar to those interested in her prosperity, his 

labors have not been in vain. 

November, 1893. 


TT7HEN this volume was first issued, fifteen years 
ago, the author could not have foreseen that 
the demand should continue for so long a time. The 
gratification experienced by the cordiality of its origi- 
nal reception has been intensified by this further 
evidence that it has filled its place. In addition to 
its adoption by the history department of Harvard 
University, and by the Boston School Committee as 
a standard work, it is also used in the Dorchester 
public schools. It has now been out of print for 
several years, during which time a new generation 
of citizens and school children have created a further 
demand which can no longer be denied, and this 
present edition is in response to this. 

No attempt has been made to bring the work 
down to the present time, as the events which have 
occurred since 1893 have been the expression of 
Dorchester as a part of a great city, rather than 
of Dorchester as a great town in itself. 


April, 1908. 





Colonial Times. 1630-1688 19 


Provincial Times. 1689-1783 . .• 87 


From the Revolution to the Rebellion. 1784-1860 . 145 

Dorchester Churches 215 

Dorchester Schools 289 

Early Dorchester Homes 355 


Modern Times. 1861-1893 418 

INDEX 483 



View from Mount Bowdoin Frontispiece 

Half-tone, from an old water-color in the possession of Dr. W. C. B. 

The Swan House 25 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

Richard Mather 37 

Wood-cut, following a photograph taken from the original picture 
in the collection of the American Antiquarian Society, at 
Worcester, Mass. 

The Tuttle House 53 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

The Blake House 63 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

The Minot House 75 

Wood-cut, from an old engraving. 

John Eliot 93 

Wood-cut, from a photograph of a portrait. 

William Stoughton 103 

Wood-cut, following a portrait now hanging in Memorial Hall, at 

Old Church, built in 1743 117 

Half-tone, from an old engraving in the possession of the Clapp family. 

Washington at Dorchester Heights 127 

Wood-cut, from a portrait by Stuart, painted in nine days, in 1806. 

The Barnard Capen House 137 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 


Captain John Percival 155 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

The Pierce House 165 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

The Codman House 175 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

The Everett House 185 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

The Neponset River, above Mattapan 197 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

Edward Everett 205 

Wood-cut, following a portrait by G. Stuart Newton. 

First Parish Church 225 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

Thaddeus Mason Harris 243 

Wood-cut, from a miniature likeness in possession of his daughter. 

John Codman 261 

Half-tone, from a photograph, following original picture now hanging 
in Second Parish Church. 

Nathaniel Hall 273 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

Signatures to School Document in 1641 294 

Process-cut, from a photograph of the original document. 

The Mather School-House 337 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

The Henry L. Pierce School-House 355 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

"A Puritan Family," showing the Minot Cradle . . 367 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

The Ball Hughes House 387 

Half-tone, from a water-color. 

The Taylor House 407 

Half tone, from a photograph. 

Second Parish Church 423 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

Ebenezer Eaton 441 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 



Ebenezer Clapp 459 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

Lucy Stone 473 

Half-tone, from a photograph. 

Cext Cute* 

Ship of the XVIIth Century, of the class to which 
THE ^'Mary and John " belonged 86 

Process-cut, from a map in Dudley's " Arcauo del Mare," 1647. 

Eliot's Chair 95 

Process-cut, from a drawing. 

Tombstone of Clement Topliff 288 

Process-cut, from a photograph. 

Title-page of First Book Printed in Boston . . , 312 

Process-cut, from a photograph. 

A View of the Watering-Place at Tinian . . . . 412 

Process-cut, from a copper-plate illustration. 

Lock of Dining-Room Door, Taylor House .... 417 

Process-cut, from a drawing. 

Dorchester Town Seal 429 

Wood-cut, from a drawing. 


John Smith. . . 

. 23 

Humphrey Atherton . 


George Minot 

. 27 

Hopestill Foster . 


Israel Stoughton 

. 27 

Roger Clap . . . 


Nathaniel Duncan 

. 34 

Richard Mather . 


Thomas Hawkins . 

. . 66 

John Foster . . . 


John Phillips . . 

. 57 





COLONIAL TIMES. 1630-1688. 

HE Puritan movement dates back to the 
Elizabethan era. Queen Mary had sav- 
agely persecuted the Reforming element 
in the Church of England, sending to the 
stake Archbishop Cranmer, Bishops Ridley 
and Latimer, and nearly three hundred 
others, in her endeavor to crush out the rising spirit of 
free thought. The welcome death of the Bloody Queen, 
in 1558, had raised a hope in the hearts of the people ; 
but a new danger now presented itself. The English 
exiles, during their sojourn abroad, had adopted a type 
of Reformed religion which differed from that used by 
their own Church, and this they endeavored to force 
upon the Church of England. Queen Elizabeth favored 
ceremonial ; while the foreign Reformers put themselves 
in opposition to everytliing in the ritual wliich suggested 
the Roman Catholic religion. The latter, who came to be 
known as " Puritans," from the fact that they professed 
to follow the pure word of God, in opposition to all tra- 
ditions and human constitutions, thus found little sym- 
pathy from those in authority. 



At this time the Prayer-book was reviewed, and the 
changes then made tended to increase rather than to lessen 
the ceremonial. Tliis the queen ordered to be vigorously 
enforced, and the Puritans were compelled to take decisive 
steps. Some immediately separated from the Church 
(1566) ; while others sought to devise plans for evading 
the laws, and still keeping their benefices. 

By degrees Elizabeth removed the ministers who were 
known to favor the Puritan movement, until, in 1583, she 
was surrounded by those on whom she could depend to 
carry out her wishes. Archbishoj) Whitgift, the primate 
who succeeded Grindal, was a severe disciplinarian, and 
he applied the subscription list with much more thorough- 
ness than any of his predecessors. This increased the 
number of dissenters, but produced conformity in the 

When it became evident to the Puritans that legislative 
relief was impossible, they, unwisely, began to write libels 
against the bishops and the clergy, until, in 1593, an act 
was passed which made Puritanism an offence against 
the statute law. It was from this date that the emigra- 
tion of the Puritans began. " The fundatio perficiens^ — 
the real foundations of Plymouth and Massachusetts," — 
says Edward Everett, " are to be sought, not in the patent 
of James or the charter of Charles, with their grant of 
zones of territory from the Atlantic to the Pacific, but in 
the stern text of this act of 1593." 

The accession of James I. to the throne caused the 
Puritans to entertain expectations of relief. On the con- 
trary, however, they received no more consideration from 
him than from his predecessor, and found that they must 
expect harsh treatment unless they conformed to the 

The Puritans of Massachusetts, while opposed to the 
ceremonial of the ancient Church, did not belong to the 
violent school of the " Separatists," as the more radical of 


the Reformers were called. They regarded the established 
Church of England as a true Church, but found it a 
burden upon their consciences not to be allowed to worship 
"after their own light." Soon after Charles I. ascended 
the throne, they determined to execute the plan which 
they had meditated for some years. In the New World, 
they thought, they could, without a formal separation from 
the Church of England, enjoy the more simple and unos- 
tentatious forms of worship which were forbidden them 
in the land of their birth. It was for this purpose, 
therefore, that in the year 1630 a goodly company of 
determined men and women, chiefly from the counties 
of Devon, Dorset, and Somerset, gathered together at 
Old Plymouth, making preparations to sail with their 
families and possessions to a land of which they knew 
so little, and yet from which they hoped so much. Chief 
among the company, besides the ministers, were Messrs. 
Clap, Rossiter, Ludlow, Glover, Johnson, Terry, Smith, 
Gallope, Hull, Stoughton, Cogan, Hill, Southcote, Lovell, 
Duncan, Pinney, Richards, Way, Williams, and Tilly. 

Thus quaintly does the ancient chronicler record the 
beginning of the movement which cost England so many 
of her best yeomen : — 

"When many most Godly and Religious People that Dis- 
sented from y® way of Worship then Established by Law in 
y® Realm of England, in y^ Reign of King Charles y® first, 
being denied y® free exercise of Religion after y^ manner they 
professed according to y^ light of God's Word and their own 
consciences, did under y® Incouragement of a Charter Granted 
by y® S*^ King, Charles, in y^ Fourth Year of his Reign, A. D. 
1628, Remoue themselues & their Families into y® Colony of 
y® Massachusetts Bay in New-England, that they might Wor- 
ship God according to y® light of their own Consciences, 
without any burthensome Impositions, which was y® very 
motive & cause of their coming ; Then it was, that the Fhst 
Inhabitants of Dorchester came ouer, & were y® first Company 


or Church Society that arriued here, next to y^ Town of Salem 
who was one year before them." ^ 

A common purpose made these people, who were 
almost unknown to each other, the closest friends. The 
Rev. John White, of Trinity Parish, Dorchester, in Dorset, 
had been the means of persuading them to make this 
strike for liberty and happiness ; and we can imagine him 
moving among them, with a word of encouragement for 
the faint-hearted ones, a bright smile and a firm hand- 
shake for the stout-hearted, and with a confidence and 
firmness in his manner which inspired all with faith and 

This was not the first proof of Mr. White's sympathy 
with the emigration movement. He had given his assistance 
and money to the settlers at Plymouth, and had encour- 
aged the Old Dorchester fishermen in their voyages 
to American waters. The failure of a settlement he at- 
tempted at Cape Ann in 1624, under Roger Conant, in 
order to furnish ^ trading-post for the fishermen on the 
coast, only stimulated him to greater efforts ; and he 
threw his whole heart and soul into this new enterprise. 

Rev. John White has been termed "the Patriarch of 
Dorchester " by his contemporaries, and " the father of the 
Massachusetts Colony " by later writers. He sympathized 
with the Puritans ; but, as he did not regard the ceremonial 
to be of vital importance, he did not separate from the 
Church. His moderation, however, made him unpopular 
with the authorities, and the cavalry of Prince Rupert 
destroyed his house and carried away his library, forcing 
him to go to London. He is said to have been a man who 
was "grave, yet without moroseness, who would willingly 
contribute his shot of facetiousness on any just occasion." 
He " had an excellent faculty in the clear and solid interpre- 
tation of the scriptures," and "had a patriarchal influence 
both in Old and New England." He was rector of Trinity 
1 Blake's Annals of the Town of Dorcliester, p. 7 (1846). 

1630.] COLONIAL TIMES. 23 

Parish for over forty years, yet New Dorchester, within 
whose boundaries the venerable old man never set foot, 
probably remembers him better than does Old Dorchester, 
in whose behalf he labored so long; for no stone marks 
his burial-place. What better monument than that which 
his own exertions raised for him in the New World ! 

Feeling that the bond of union must be made as strong 
as possible, the emigrants met together in the new hospi- 
tal in Plymouth, and associated themselves into church 
fellowship, choosing Mr. John Maverick and Mr. John 
Warham, two well-known preachers, to be their ministers 
and leaders. The early part of the day was occupied 
by a farewell sermon by Mr. White, and the latter part 
in completing arrangements for the voyage. They set 
sail from Pl3Tiiouth on the 20th day of March, 1630, 
in the "Mary and John," a ship of four hundred tons' 
burden, commanded by Captain Squeb. 

While the voyagers are patiently waiting for the sight of 
their new home, let us take a glance at the coast toward 
which they are steering. No one knows who was the dis- 
coverer of Boston Harbor ; but the first record of it was 
made in 1614, by Captain John -^ 

Smith, who sailed that year to 
America from England, on a voyage 
of discovery. It was he wdio gave 
the coast the name of "New England," sailing up and 
down with a crew of eight men, exploring the bays and 
harbors from the Penobscot River to Cape Cod. While 
on these trips he traded with the Indians, and gave names 
to the different localities he visited. When he returned 
to England, he drew a map of the " New England coast," 
on which there is a bay, with eight small islands in it, and 
into which a river, named by him the " Charles," flowed. 
There is little doubt that this was the Boston Harbor of 
to-day, including Dorchester Bay ; but the map seems to 

-fcr IS^^' 


show that Smith never entered the Charles River, his 
knowledge of it, as shown in his writings, having been 
acquired from Winslow and others who possessed more 
accurate information.^ 

It is unfortunate that we cannot tell who Captain 
Smith's predecessors were. There is no doubt that the 
French were in this vicinity before him ; for Smith writes 
in his account that the French had defeated one of the 
principal objects of his voyage, by buying furs of the 
Indians. Then, again. Governor Winthrop says in his 
Journal that Deputy-Governor Ludlow found two pieces 
of French money, coined in 1596, when digging a cellar 
in Dorchester in 1631. 

While Captain Smith was the first to mention Boston 
Harbor, we are indebted to Captain Miles Standish for the 
earliest accurate description of it. One of the first excur- 
sions made by this militant Pilgrim, together with ten of 
his sturdy "army," was to explore this harbor; and he 
brought back such a favorable report that the Pilgrim 
fathers regretted that they had not settled somewhere on 
its shores. 

The Rev. John White, encouraged by the reported suc- 
cesses of the first colonists, interested prominent persons 
in London in projecting a new settlement in Massachusetts 
Bay, and obtained a patent from the king. By the terms 
of this patent the Colony was to be governed by a court 
composed of a governor, deputy-governor, and eighteen 
assistants, whose jurisdiction was to extend from three 
miles south of the Charles River to three miles north of 
the Merrimac, and from the Atlantic Ocean to the South 
Sea. Preparations were made to gather emigrants for a 
great colony, and a fleet of fourteen vessels was the result. 
The " Mary and John " was the first of the fleet to arrive, 
having on board one hundred and forty souls.^ Among 
the passengers was Captain Roger Clap, to whom we are 

1 Prince's Annals, p. 128. 2 Savage's Winthrop, p. 368 (1825). 

1680.] COLONIAL TIMES. 27 

indebted for an interesting and accurate account of what 
happened to the party.^ 

Every effort was made to have this company composed 
of the elements necessary for the formation of a strong 
community. The two ministers, Maverick and Warham, 
were selected, not only to take charge of the spiritual 
welfare of the Plantation, but also to preach the gospel 
to the Indians. Rosseter ^ ^. 

and Ludlow, acting in the j^(^^r^p): uy^:l^(^ 
capacity of Assistants, or 

Directors, of the stockholders, were men of such character 
and education as might give strength and stability to the 
Colony. Men such as Henry Wolcott, Thomas Ford, 
George Dyer, William Gaylord, William Rockwell, and 
William Phelps had good standing as the older members 
of the party. Captains John Mason and Richard South- 
cote, and Quartermaster John Smith possessed military 

experience, and could direct 
/\p J <J. A^^ ^ , the defences against the In- 

C^*<«^P/^^,^ dians. The largest portion of 

the company naturally con- 
sisted of young men, such as Israel Stoughton, Roger 
Clap, George Minot, George Hall, Richard Collicot, and 
Nathaniel Duncan, — an active, well-trained element, 
wliich did much in effecting the permanent settlement. 

The voyage, though a long one, was not uncomfortable, 
and the ship reached " Nantasket Point," the present Hull, 
on the 30th of May (O. S.), 1630. The landing showed 
the calm spirit which had taken possession of these emi- 
grants. One by one they left the '' Mary and Jolin ; " and 
as their feet touched the soil of the New World, each 
offered a silent prayer of thanksgiving. Then, after all 
had assembled, they are said^ to have joined in the fol- 
lowing hymn : — 

1 Memoirs of Roger Clap (1630). 

2 Programme of the Celebration of the Two Hundred and Fiftieth 
Anniversary of the First Parish of Dorchester. 



Thou Lord hast beene our sure defence, 

Our place of ease and rest ; 
In all times past, yea, so long since, 

As cannot be exprest. 
Refresh us with thy mercy soone, 

And then our joy shall be : 
All times so long as time shall last 

In heart re Joyce shall we. 

O let thy worke and power appeare, 

And on thy servants light : 
And shew unto thy children deare. 

Thy glory and thy might. 
Lord let thy grace and mercy stand 

On us thy sei'vants thus : 
Confirme the workes we take in hand, 

Lord, prosper them to us. 

It had been understood that the voyagers were to be 
brought to the Charles River ; but owing either to a misun- 
derstanding or to perversity on the part of Captain Squeb, 
they were put ashore on the Point, — "a forlorn wilderness, 
destitute of any habitation and most other comforts of 
life." The following description of the entrance to the 
harbor, by William Wood, in 1634, justifies Captain Squeb 
in his unwillingness to enter a channel of which he was 
totally ignorant : — 

"It is a fafe and pleafant Harbour within, having but one 
common and fafe entrance, and that not very broad, there 
fcarce being roome for 3. Ships to come in board and board at a 
time, but being once within, there is roome for the anchorage 
of 500. Ships. 

" This Harbour is made by a great company of Hands, 
whofe high Cliffes fhoulder out the boiftrous Seas, yet may 
eafily deceiue any unfkilf ull Pilote ; prefenting many faire 
openings and broad founds, which afford too f hallow waters for 

1630.] COLONIAL TIMES. 29 

any Ships, though navigable for Boates and fmall pinnaces. 
The entrance into the great Haven is called Nantafhot ; which 
is two leagues from Bofton ; this place of it selfe is a very good 
Haven, where Ships commonly caft Anchor, untill Winde and 
Tyde ferve them for other places ; from hence they may fayle 
to the River of Wejjagufcus, Naponfet^ Charles River, and 
Mifiicke River, on which Rivers bee feated many Townes." ^ 

A party of ten, under the command of Captain 
Southcote, procured a boat, and started up the harbor 
and Charles River to find a suitable place for a settlement. 
They fu'st landed on the peninsula wliich is now known as 
Charlestown, where they found some Indians, in wigwams, 
and an Englishman named Thomas Walford, who was 
living in a thatched house. He accompanied them when 
they continued their expedition up the river to the site of 
the present Watertown. Here they had a friendly inter- 
view with the Indians, the old trader acting as interpreter ; 
and it was decided to make the settlement on this spot. 

In the mean time those who were left behind had not 
been idle. AVord was received by the exploring party at 
Watertown that a neck of land had been found, joining 
a place called by the Indians " Mattapan," which offered a 
suitable place for the cattle to feed. The settlement was 
made at Mattapan, therefore, about the first of June (O. S.), 
1630. The site selected was near Avhat is now Pleasant 
and Cottage Streets, on Allen's Plain and Rock Hill, the 
present Savin Hill. 

Many of the emigrants were trading men, and at first 
intended to make Dorchester a place of trade. With this 
in mind, a fort was built upon Rock Hill, and several 
pieces of ordnance were placed in position near the water. 
The channel, however, proved poor, and the landing 
difficult; so the idea was given up, and Boston and 
Charlestown became the ports for trade instead. 

1 New P^ngland's Prospect, p. 2 (1635). 


A month after the settlement of the Dorchester colo- 
nists, the rest of the fleet, with Governor Winthrop's 
'' Arbella " at the head, arrived at Salem, and decided to 
settle on a point of land which was called " Charlestown," 
in honor of Charles I. They remained here but a short 
time, however, moving across the river to Shawmut (which 
means "near the neck"), as the present Boston was then 

Thus Dorchester was the first settlement in what is now 
Suffolk County; but it was not until four months later 
that it received the name by which it is now known. An 
entry on the Massachusetts Records shows that at "A 
Court of Assistants holden att Charlton, the 7th of Sep- 
tember, 1630," it was ordered, that " Trimountaine shalbe 
called Boston; Mattapan, Dorchester, & the towne vpon 
Charles Ryver, Waterton." ^ Blake tells us that he never 
heard why the name " Dorchester " was chosen, " but there 
was some of Dorset Shire and some of y® Town of Dor- 
chester that settled here ; and it is very likely it might be 
in Honour of y® aforesaid Revd. Mr. White of Dorchester." ^ 
With this probable derivation, it is interesting to see where 
Old Dorchester obtained its name. In very remote ages 
the region thereabouts was inhabited by a clan called 
" Durotriges." This people was later reduced to the 
dominion of the Romans by Vespasian, and the spot 
which was afterwards called Dorchester was known as 
" Durnovaria," — a name derived from two Celtic words, 
Dwr^ or Dwyr^ and Far, which signify "water" and 
"way." Thus the name meant " water-way," or channel. 
Later, Vespasian made the town the seat of government 
for that part of the country, and its name was changed to 

1 Shawmut, afterwards called Blaxton's Ned; and since Boston, was 
not settled till the spring after by Governor Winthrop and his people. — 
Fbrdinando Gorges: Description of New England (1659). 

2 Records of Massachusetts, vol. i. p. 75 (1853). 

8 Blake's Annals of the Town of Dorchester, p. 8 (1846). 

1630.] COLONIAL TIMES. 31 

" Dorchester." ^ Here the Romans built fortifications, and 
near by they erected the largest Roman amphitheatre in 
England, the circuit of which still remains. In the times 
of the Saxon kings, the town was a stronghold ; later, it 
was stormed by the Danes ; and, under a violent Norman 
governor, one hundred of its one hundred and eighty 
houses were destroyed. It is now a prosperous city, 
" whose most honored memorial, in after times," says an 
American statesman, " will be that it gave origin to this, 
its American namesake, and impulse to one of the noblest 
enterprises of transatlantic colonization." 

The only European whose name has come down to us as 
a resident of Dorchester, before the arrival of the " Mary 
and John," is David Thompson. He settled on the island 
which still bears his name, and there carried on his 
trade, dealing in furs and fish. Thompson probably left 
Dorchester soon after the arrival of the first settlers, as 
no mention is made of him after that date. It is thought 
that William Trevour preceded Thompson, but nothing 
authentic is known in regard to his movements. 

The land which the early settlers had chosen for their 
abode belonged to the tribe of Indians known as the 
"Massachusetts," whose chief was Chickataubut. In 
1621 he had signed a treaty with the English at Plymouth, 
and in 1630 further showed his good-will toward the new- 
comers by consenting to the occupancy of Dorchester. 
We do not know just what the Indian chief received in 
return, but it is certain that the transaction was completed 
on satisfactory terms. 

It is a severe portrait which the first two years of the 
Colony present to us. The NeAV England of two hundred 
and sixty-three years ago did not offer a kindly settlement 
to the brave emigrants who sought to break into its 
austerity. The ground had to be cleared before even the 

1 History of Dorchester, in the County of Dorset, pp. 61-66. 


rude huts could be reared, and the trees felled before a 
space could be found to plant the seeds necessary to pre- 
vent starvation. 

On the coast the settlers found nothing to break their 
desolation. Wet meadows and oozy creeks prevented 
them from going in one direction, while unfordable tide- 
water rivers interfered with their progress in another. 
Utterly ignorant of the character of the country, it is not 
strange that imagination added to the real terrors which 
surrounded them, and made them feel that safety was not 
to be found anywhere. " Unearthly cries were sometimes 
heard in the crackling woods," said Edward Everett in 
his Fourth of July oration in Dorchester in 1855 ; 
"glimpses were caught, at dusk, of animals for which 
natural history had no names ; and strange foot-marks, 
which men did not like to speak of, were occasionally seen 
in the snow." Added to this was the terror of rattle- 
snakes, with which the country swarmxcd, and of dangerous 
animals which prowled about by night. The Indians, too, 
whose disposition toward the white men was entirely 
unknown, were a source of anxiety night and day. 

Rufus Choate strikingly described the early sufferings 
of the Puritans when he said, — 

''Do you not think that whoso could, by adequate descrip- 
tion, bring before you that winter of the Pilgrims, its brief 
sunshine, the nights of storm, slow waning, the damp and icy 
breath, felt to the pillow of the dying ; its destitutions ; its 
contrast with all their former experience in life ; its utter 
insulation and loneliness ; its death-beds and burials ; its 
memories ; its apprehensions ; its hopes ; the counsels of the 
prudent ; the prayers of the pious ; the occasional cheerful 
hymn, in which the strong heart threw off its burthen, and 
asserting its unvanquished nature, went up like a bird of dawn 
to the skies, — do ye not think that whoso could describe them 
calmly waiting in that defile, lonelier and darker than Thermo- 
pylae, for a morning that might never dawn, or might show 

1631.] COLONIAL TIMES. 33 

them, when it did, a mightier arm than the Persian raised as in 
act to strike, would he not sketch a scene of more difficult and 
rarer heroism? A scene, as Wordsworth has said, ' Melancholy, 
yea dismal, yet consolatory and full of joy ; ' a scene even 
better fitted to succor, to exalt, to lead the forlorn hopes of all 
great causes, till time shall be no more ! " ^ 

Captain Clap also gives us a vivid picture of the priva- 
tions and suffering that the people went through : — 

''Oh y^ Hunger that many suffered, and saw no hope in an 
Eye of Reason to be supplyed, only by Clams, & Muscles, and 
Fish ; and Bread was so very Scarce, that sometimes y^ very 
crusts of my Father's Table would have been very Swxet unto 
me : And when I could have Meal & Water & Salt^ boiled 
together, it was so good, who could wish better? And it was 
not accounted a strange thing in those Days to Drink water, 
and to eat Samp or Homine without Butter or Milk. Indeed it 
would have been a strange thing to see a piece of Roast Beef, 
Mutton or Veal; tho' it was not long before there was Roast 
Goat:' 2 

Again writing of the hardships, Captain Clap says, — 

"And in those days, in our Straits, though I cannot say 
God sent a Raven to feed us, as He did the Prophet Elijah^ 
yet this I can say to the Praise of God's Glory, that He sent 
not only poor, ravenous Indians^ which came with their Baskets 
of Corn, on their Backs to trade with us, which was a good 
Supply unto many ; but also sent Ships from Holland and from 
Ireland with Provisions, and Indian Corn from Virginia^ to 
supply the Wants of his dear Servants in this Wilderness, both 
for Food and Rayment."^ 

It would not have been remarkable if these unexpected 
privations had made some of the colonists wonder if they 
had improved their lot ; but Captain Clap again writes : 

^ Speech on "Spartan and Puritan Heroism." 

2 Blake's Annals of the Town of Dorchester, p. 11 (1846). 

8 Memoirs of Captain Roger Clap, p. 30 (1846). 


" I do not remember that ever I did wish in my Heart that I 
had not come into this Country, or wish myself back agaui to 
my Father's House : Yea I was so far from that, that I wished 
and advised some of my dear Brethren to come hither also; 
which accordingly one of my Brothers and those two that mar- 
ried my two Sisters, sold their Means and came thither."^ 

Hubbard, in his " General Histor}^ of New England," 
p. 198 (1815), makes early reference to Dorchester. He 
records the following occurrence in the year 1632: — 

" One Henry Wey [Way] of Dorchester, who had gone in a 
shallop to trade with the eastern Indians the winter before, and 
was long missing, this summer (1632) it was found that himself 
and his company were all treacherously killed by the Indians. 
Another shallop of his, being sent out in the spring to seek 
after that, was cast away at Agamenticus, and two of the men 
that were in her were drowned." 

The year 1633 marked an important epoch in the 
progress of the Colony; for at this time '4t set the ex- 
ample of that municipal organization which has prevailed 
throughout New England, and has proved one of the chief 
sources of its progress." ^ As James Blake quaintly 
describes it, — 

"This Year this Plantation began y^ Practice of Choosing 
men, that we now call Selectmen or Townsmen. They Chose 
12 this year to order y® Affairs of y® Plantation, who were to 
have their Monthly Meetings, and their orders being Con- 
firmed by y® Plantation were of full force and binding to 
y® Inhabitants." 

•» ^.^ The chronicler does not 

SxiS^y^^'^^jLUZCCUC* ^^^^ ^^^® names of those 

who served in the capac- 
ity of selectmen this year, but for 1634 records those of 
" Mr. Newbury, Mr. Stoughton, Mr. Woolcott, Mr. Duncan, 

1 Memoirs of Captain Roger Clap, p. 20 (1846). 

2 Edward Everett's Fourth of July Oration, at Dorcl. ester, 1855. 

1633.] COLONIAL TIMES. 35 

Goodman Phelps, Mr. Hatliorne, Mr. Williams, Go. Minot, 
Go. Gibbes, & Mr. Smith." i 

The important order which established this first special 
town government in New England is dated October 8, 
1633, and reads as follows : — 

'' Imprimis it is ordered that, For the geuerall good and well 
ordering of the affayres of the Plantation then* shall be every 
Mooneday before the Court by eight of the Clocke in the morn- 
ing, and p^sently upon the beating of the drum, a generall 
meeting of the inhabitants of the Plantation att the meeteing- 
house, there to settle (and sett downe) such orders as may tend 
to the generall good as aforesayd : and every man to be bound 
thereby without gaynesaying or resistance. It is also agreed 
that there shall be twelve men selected out of the Company 
that may or the greatest p't of them meete as aforesayd to 
determine as aforesayd, yet so as is deshed that the most of 
the Plantation will keepe the meeteing constantly and all that 
are there although none of the Twelve shall have a free voyce 
as any of the 12 and that the greate[r] vote both of the 12 and 
the other shall be of force and efficasy as aforesayd. And it 
is likewise ordered that all things concluded as aforesayd shall 
stand in force and be obeyed untill the next monethly meete- 
ing and afterwardes if it be not contradicted and other wise 
ordered upon the sayd monethly meete [ing] by the greatest 
p'te of those that are p^sent as aforesayd." ^ 

Previous to this action, every order was voted upon by 
the freemen, and there was a committee to sign land- 
grants, consisting of two clergymen and deacons. 

On July 24 a second shipload of eighty passengers 
arrived from Weymouth, England,^ and settled in Dor- 
chester, adding much to the strength of the Colony. 

The assessments made by the Court in October of this 
year show that Dorchester was the largest or wealthiest 
town in Massachusetts. While Boston, Roxbury, Newton, 

1 Blake's Annals of the Town of Dorchester, p. 13 (1846). 

2 Dorchester Town Records, p. 3 (1879). 
8 Governor Winthrop's Journal, p. 51. 


Watertown, and Charles town were each taxed £48, and 
Salem £28, Dorchester was assessed for £80. "In all 
military musters, or ci\dl assemblies where dignity is 
regarded," says Prince, "Dorchester used to have the 
precedence." ^ 

In September, Captain John Oldliam, — who was after- 
wards killed by the Pequot Indians, — with Samuel Hall 
and two others, travelled tlirough the wilderness to Con- 
necticut, to view the country and to trade with the 
Indians. The flattering accounts which they gave of the 
country, and also a lack of harmony wliich unfortunately 
existed between certain portions of the settlers, influenced 
many of the inhabitants of Dorchester and Newtown, the 
present Cambridge, to plan an emigration. The policy of 
this action was one of the earliest matters to come before 
the newly created magistrates, and the debate upon the 
subject was very heated. A majority of the General 
Court opposed the removal on various grounds, the " pro- 
catarctical" reason, as Hubbard asserts, being the danger of 
losing so large a proportion of the people. The arrival 
of Rev. Richard Mather, the following year, with a goodly 
following of one hundred persons, who were prepared to 
take the places of those who desired to leave, influenced 
the Court to grant permission. In the summer of 1635, 
therefore, the company departed. They settled in a place 
called by the Indians " Mattaneang," or " Ouschanka- 
mang," which they called " Windsor." ^ 

The emigrating party consisted of about one hundred 
men, women, and children, including the junior pastor, 
Mr. Warham, mostly from Dorchester, but a few from 
Newtown and Watertown. They were fourteen days 
performing the tedious journey tlii'ough the wilderness, 
and on their arrival they settled on the west side of the 
Connecticut, near the mouth of the Scantic River. Here 

1 Prince's Annals, p. 208. 2 Hubbard's Hist, of N. E. (1815). 


1633.] COLONIAL TIMES. 39 

the emigrants were put to great straits : the provisions 
were nearly exhausted when they arrived ; the crops they 
raised were small, as most of their time was spent in clear- 
ing the ground and building rude huts ; the winter came 
early, and was very severe. The families were reduced to 
extremity, and they were obliged to live upon " acorns and 
malt and grains." Their cattle, also, suffered much, and 
the greater part died.^ 

Owing to the fact that the Massachusetts Charter was 
drafted for a trading company instead of an independent 
government, it provided only for the stockholders ; and 
Edward Rosseter, Roger Ludlow, and John Glover were 
the only known representatives of this board in the 
Dorchester Company. It is possible that Henry Wolcott 
and Thomas Newbery were also stockholders. Thus the 
great part of the early settlers had no political rights under 
the charter ; but the Court took immediate steps to extend 
the privileges of freemanship to all suitable persons. 
When the first application for this right was made, on 
October 19, 1630, twenty-four out of the one hundi^ed and 
eight persons belonged to Dorchester. These twenty-four 
fost Dorchester freemen were : — 

John Greenoway William Phelps. John Woolridge. 

[Grenaway]. George Dyer. Bigot [Bagot] Eggleston. 

Christopher Gibson. John Hoskins. Mr. Ralph Glover. 

John Benham. Thomas Ford. John Phillips. 

Mr. Thomas Southeote. Nicolas Upsall. William Gay lord 

Mr. Richard Southcote. Stephen Terry. [Gallard]. 

Mr. John Maverick. Roger Williams. William Rockwell. 

Mr. John Warhara. Thomas Lumbert. William Hubbert 

Henry Wolcott. Thomas Stoughton. [Hulbert]. 

The following list contains the names of others who 
were made freemen previous to the date of the Church 
Records, August 23, 1636 : 2 — 

^ Governor Winthrop's Journal, p. 98. 
2 Records of First Church, p. v (1891). 




Mr. John Branker. 
Barnard Capen. 
John Capen. 
Joshua Carter. 
Roger Clap. 
Joseph Clarke. 
Augustine Clement. 
Mr. John Cogan. 
Richard Collacott 

Aaron Cooke. 
Robert Deeble. 
Nicholas Denslow. 
Thomas Dewey. 
Thomas Dimmock 

Nathaniel Duncan. 
John Eales [Eeles]. 
Henry Feakes [Fookes]. 
Walter Filer. 
Stephen French. 
Giles Gibbs. 
Jonathan Gillet. 

Matthew Grant. 
Thomas Gunn. 
Edmund Hart. 
Thomas Hatch. 
William Hathorne. 
John Hayden. 
Thomas Holcomb. 
William Hosford 

Simon Hoyt. 
George Hull. 
John Hull. 
Thomas Jeffrey. 
John Leavitt. 
Thomas Marshall. 
Captain John Mason. 
Moses Maverick. 
George Minot. 
John Moore. 
Mr. Thomas Newbery. 
John Newton. 
James Parker. 
Elias Parkman. 

John Pierce. 
George Phillips. 
Eltweed Pomeroy, 
John Pope. 
Philip Randall. 
Thomas Rawlins. 
William Read. 
Bray Rossiter. 
Matthias [Matthew] 

John Smith. 
Henry Smith. 
Mr. Israel Stoughton. 
George Strange. 
Thomas Swift. 
Thomas Thornton. 
John Tilley. 
Joseph Twitchell. 
Bray Wilkins. 
David Wilton. 
John Witchfield 

Henry Wright. 

Besides the right of suffrage, the freemen enjoyed ad- 
vantages in the division of the lands, and were members of 
the General Court until the representative system began. 

Some of the Dorchester settlers returned to England,^ 
the Southcotes among others ; but the numerous arrivals 
from Europe caused the population of the town to take 
rapid strides. Great pains were taken to examine into 
the character and morals of all those who offered them- 
selves as emigrants to Massachusetts from England, and 
no one was received who arrived without the proper 

Dorchester attracted the attention of authors as early as 
1633 ; for Wood, writing at that date, says, in his " New 
England's Prospect," — 

1 Prince's Annals, p. 246. 2 Governor Winthrop's Journal, p. 5J8. 

1635.] COLONIAL TIMES. 41 

" Sixe miles further to the North, lieth Dorchefter : which 
is the greateft Towne in New England; well woodded and 
watered ; very good arable grounds, and Hay-ground, faire 
Corne-fields, and pleafant Gardens, with Kitchin-gardens : In 
this plantation is a great many Cattle, as Kine, Goats, and 
Swine. This plantation hath a reasonable Harbour for fhips : 
here is no Alewife-river, which is a great inconvenience. The 
Inhabitants of this towne, were the firft that fet upon the trade of 
filTiing in the Bay, who received fo much fruite of their labours, 
that they encouraged others to the fame undertakings." ^ 

In 1654 Johnson writes, — 

"The forme of this Towne is almoft like a Serpent, turning 
her head to the North-ward ; over againft Tompfons Ifland, 
and the Caftle her body and wings being chiefly built on, are 
filled fomewhat thick of Houfes, onely that one of her Wings is 
dipt, her Tayle being of fuch a large extent that iliee can hardly 
draw it after her ; Her Houfes for dwelling are about one hun- 
dred and forty. Orchards and Gardens fall of Fruit-trees, 
plenty of Corne-Land, although much of it hath been long in 
tillage, yet hath it ordinarily good crops, the number of Trees 
are neare upon 1500. Cowes and other Cattell of that kinde 
about 450. "2 

Nine years later, Josselyn, making his second voyage to 
Nevr England, confirms the statements of the other writers 
when he says, — 

*' Six miles beyond Braintree^ lyeth Dorchefter^ a frontire Town 
pleafantly feated, and of large extent into the main land, well 
watered with two fmall Rivers, her body and wings filled fome- 
w^hat thick with houfes to the number of two hundred and more, 
beautified with fair Orchards and Gardens, having alfo plenty 
of Corn-land, and ftore of Cattle, counted the greateft Town 
heretofore in New- England^ but now gives way to Bofton^ it 
hath a Harbour to the North for Ships."* 

^ New England's Prospect, p. 41 (1635), 

2 Wonder-working Providence, 1st ed., 4to, p. 41. 

8 The present Quincy. 

* Two Voyages to New-England, p. 160 (1675). 


The year 1636 was unusually eventful. After the de- 
parture of the Windsor company, Governor Winthrop says : 

"There was an essay towards gathering a new church in 
Dorchester (April 1), but as the messengers of the churches 
convened for the purpose were not satisfied concerning some 
that were intended members of that foundation, the work was 
deferred until August 23, when a church was constituted accord- 
ing to the order of the Gospel, by confession and profession of 
faith, and Rev. Mr. Richard Mather was chosen teacher." 

Writing of Dorchester events for this year, Winthrop 
also records the fact that — 

" At a court hoklen at Dorchester this year, it was ordered 
that every town should keep a watch and be well supplied with 
ammunition. The constables were directed to warn the watches 
in their turns, and to make it their care that they should be 
kept according to the direction of the court. They also were 
required to take care that the inhabitants were well furnished 
with arms and ammunition, and kept in a constant state of 
defence. As these infant settlements were filled and sur- 
rounded with numerous savages, the people conceived them- 
selves in danger when they lay down and when they rose up, 
when they went out and when they came in Their circum- 
stances were such, that it was judged necessary for every man 
to be a soldier." ^ 

The Pequot Indians had never been friendly with the 
settlers, and affairs came to a crisis during this year, 
when Captain Oldham was murdered by the savages on 
Block Island. In order to prevent further atrocities, four 
companies were raised, commanded by Captain John 
Underbill, Captain Nathaniel Turner, Ensign William 
Jennison, and Ensign Richard Davenport. Governor 
Endicott was commander-in-chief of the expedition. This 
was the first serious warfare that occurred after the settle- 
ment of the Colony, and Dorchester was deeply interested 

I Governor Winthrop's Journal, p. 56. 

1636.] COLONIAL TIMES. 48 

in the event. The Pequots were scattered, and much of 
their property destroyed, but little good was accomplished. 
The records for this year show that a military com- 
pany was permanently organized, with Israel Stoughton in 
command, Nathaniel Duncan and John Holman serving as 
lieutenant and ensign, respectively. 

It is impossible to read the story of this people with- 
out being impressed Avith the great amount of common- 
sense and practical wisdom they displayed in laying the 
foundation of the Colony, not only adapting it to their 
immediate needs, but also, looking far ahead with remark- 
able foresight, building for succeeding generations. One 
of the best examples of this is the work of those to 
whom the duty of keeping the Town Records was in- 
trusted. The Record Book is not only valuable bectiuse 
of its interest as an authentic account of those early days, 
but it has been often referred to in order to settle 
questions concerning appropriations of land, laying out 
the town and country roads, original grants, mill privileges, 
assignments, and especially in regard to the boundaries 
of the town. In 1879, ten years after becoming a part of 
Boston, the city government, in response to a petition 
signed by several of Dorchester's most prominent citizens, 
authorized the Record Commissioners to print the first 
volume of the '' Dorchester Town Records," — thus pre- 
serving for posterity these most valuable documents. 

This Record Book begins January 16, 1632, and is the 
first of any town records in Massachusetts. It contains 
accounts of the transactions of the plantation and town 
down to 1720, covering some six hundred and thirty-six 
pages, of which four are missing. These probably traced 
the proceedings from the beginning of the settlement. 
Most of this book is devoted to regulations required for 
the laying out of the town, and there is little of general 
historical interest. Entries previous to the year 1636 



were probably made by one of the clergymen or deacons, 
but in that year Nathaniel Duncan, one of the twelve 
selectmen, was voted ten shillings for copjdng the orders 
of the town ; and it is likely that lie continued to do 
this until his removal to Boston in 1645. From this time, 
until 1656, the entries were i)robably made by Robert 
Howard, Deacon John Wis wall, and Edward Breck, 
selectmen of the town. William Blake was chosen 
recorder, or town clerk, in 1656 ; and from that time a 
person was employed especially to keep the Town 
Records. It is said that a book once existed which con- 
tained a plot of the town, with lots and the names of 
grantees from the beginning ; but no trace of it can now 
be found. 

It is from the Town Records, also, that we obtain the 
names of the grantees of Dorchester lands. The follow- 
ing list includes all the first settlers whose names are 
found on the Records previous to January, 1636, except 
those which may have been on the two missing pages. 
Those mentioned in preceding lists are omitted : — 

John Allen. 
Thomas Andrews. 
Thomas Bascomb. 
John Bursley. 
Bray Clarke. 
Robert Elwell. 
Richard Fry. 
Joseph Flood. 
Humphrey Gallop. 
John Gilbert. 
John Glover. 
John Goite [Goyt]. 
Nathaniel Hall. 
AVilliam Hannum. 
John Hayden. 
Mr. Jno. Hill. 
John Holland. 
Joseph HoUey. 

John Hoi man. 
Mr. Johnson. 
Richard Jones. 
Thomas Jones. 
Thomas Kinnersly 

John Knight. 
Capt. William Lovoll. 
Roger Ludlow. 
Thomas Makepeace. 
Thomas Marshfield. 
Alexander Miller. 
John Miller. 
Edmund Munnings. 
John Niles. 
George Phelps. 
Williams Phelps. 
Mr. Pincheon. 

Humphrey Pinney. 
Andrew Pitcher. 
William Preston. 
David Price. 
George Procter. 
Widow Purchase. 
Edward Raynsford. 
Thomas Richards. 
Richard Rocket. 
Hugh Rosseter. 
Thomas Sanford. 
William Sumner. 
Thomas Tileston. 
Francis Tnthill. 
Joshua Tuthill. 
Henry Way. 

1636.] COLONIAL TIMES. 45 

It is not definitely known by what method the lands 
were distributed among the first settlers of the town, but 
it is probable that the private means and the size of the 
families were taken into consideration. Several of the 
largest landholders were those who held stock in England 
under the patent. Each stockholder to the amount of 
fifty pounds was entitled to an immediate dividend of 
two hundred acres, a '' home lot " in America, and fifty 
acres for each member of his family. Those who did not 
possess stock could claim fifty acres for the head of the 
family, and as much more as the governor and council 
might award. Fifty acres were to be given to the master 
for every servant transported to the Colony. 

Before sailing for America the colonists had determined 
that for purposes of mutual protection they must build 
closely together, and this decision was wisely adhered to. 
A certain amount of territory was laid out into four, six, 
and eight acre house lots, and larger grants were made 
elsewhere for farming purposes. 

The following list of grantees of meadow lands in 
Dorchester, copied from vol. i. p. 31, of the original 
Dorchester Records, gives the reader a good idea of the 
system employed : — 

The Map of the Meddows beyond the Naponset riuer and how y* is 
allotted out. 

1 Squantoms , 15 M"" eTohnson 6 a. 

2 Mr. Hill 6 D. ' 16 J: Eales 4 a. 

3 Jo Phil [ips?] 17 Nich Vpshal 8 a. 

4 M"" Duncan 4 acres. M' Newbury v hows 

5 Marshfeild 5 a 18 Gaping 6 a. 
[6] George Way 8 acr. 19 Swift 4 a. 

[7] Hall 4 a. 20 J. Gaping 2 a. 

[8] J. Knill 2 a. 21 J. Walcot [?] 2 a. 

[9] R. Galicot 8 a. 22 Jo: Pierce 4 a. 

10 M-- Purchas 2 a. 23 M' Waru 6 a. 

11 M' Richards 12 a. 24 M"" Maverick 

12 J. Barber 2 a. fMata- 25 Jos: Holy 4 a. 

13 Stev. ffrench 4 a. ^ chuset 26 Tho Jefreys 3 a. 

14 M' Hill 5 a. (Rock. 27 Roger Clap 3 a, 




28 M' Smith 4 a. 

M' AVay had marsh out other 

29 C. Gibson 2 a. 

sides of that M"" Tery. 

30 War. ffiler 6 a. 

60 J. Wichfeild 4 a. 

31 G. Gibbs 4 a. 

61 M' Hosford 2 a. 

32 J. 

62 M' Sention 2 a. 

33 N. gillet 4 a. 

63 J. Hull 6 a. 

34 Holland 3 a. 

64 T. Dewis 4 a. 

35 M' Hull 4 a. 

65 T. Holcora 3 a. 

3G T. J. more 4 a. 

66 G. Phillips 5 a. 

37 6 a. 

67 Mr Hulbert 6 a. 

[3]8 G. Dyer 4 a. 

68 J. Heyden 3 a. 

39 Eales, 2 a. 

69 Mathews 3 a. 

40 W. Philps 6 a. 

70 Grenway 3 a. 

41 Hanna 2 a. 

71 M^ Holman 

42 M-^ Piney 10 a. 

72 M^ Parker 4 a. 

43 Denslow 3 a. 

73 Ca[pt.] Mason 6 a. 

44 Wilton 5 a. 

74 R. Elwel 3 

45 Meinot 4 a. 

75 W. Rockwel 4 a. 

46 Pope 4 a. 

-|- aboue M' Roseiter ioyning to 

47 M'Hathorne 

him M'- wolcot 14 a. next m' 

48 Picher 4 [a] 


49 Rocket 4 a. 

76 w. Gaylor 6 a. 

[50] Rositer 

77 T. Hach 2 a. 

51 Lumbert 6 a 

78 Henery Fooks 8 a. 

52 M"- Egleston 4 a 

79 T. Tilestone 3 a. 

53 Hart 4 a 

80 Nuton 2 a. 

54 M"^ Branker. 

81 ancient Stoughton 6 a. 

55 T [?] Hull 6 [a] 

this runs vp between the highe 

56 venner [V] 6 [a] 

land & m"" Roseiter 

57 Brins[mead] 

82 John Hill 4 a. 

58 H way 

83 M Tillie 4 a. 

59 M^Tery 12 [aj 

84 Elias Parkman 4 a. 

the next wilbe out of order 

85 El: Pomery 6 a. 

^ a rock poynting to the 

place M Stoughton 16 a. 

All the undivided and unallotted land extending from 
the Blue Hills to the Plymouth line was given in 1637 to 
the town of Dorchester, the grant being confirmed by the 
General Court in 1720. This contained over forty thousand 
acres of land, and was commonly called by the English the 
land " beyond the Blue Hills," and after 1707 was known 
as the " New Grant." 


The association known as the " Dorchester Proprietors " 
were the owners of the wild lands in that territory now 
comprising the towns of Stoughton, Sharon, and Canton, 
with the exception of the Ponkapoag Plantation. A later 
historian says, — 

" Until late in the seventeenth century these lands were unin- 
habited ; and to whomsoever they were assigned or sokl, such 
persons became the lawful owners. Thus was estabUshed a 
system of small freeholds, which was to be a distinguishing 
feature in the landed history of our country. The occupants 
of these farms paid no annual tribute, as did their ancestors in 
Old England, to some great proprietor, — some ' Earl of Pun- 
capog,' as the Rev. Thomas Prince facetiously called himself 
when a boy, — but were independent. Thus was created a love 
of freedom, and a capacity of self-government developed, which 
was in after years to bear a rich and abundant fruit. Massa- 
poag Brook, or the ' East Branch of the Neponset,' running 
through the centre of South Canton Village, was the dividing 
line between the Ponkapoag Plantation and the land of the Dor- 
chester proprietors. The place w^here Washington Street crosses 
this stream is nearly identical with the spot where the old road 
from Milton line to BiUings' tavern, in Sharon, crossed it, 
probably as early as 1650. At any rate, this road was in 
existence long before any lands were laid out in the Dorchester 
South Precinct, or any person had received his estate in 
severalty." ^ 

It will be remembered that Dorchester was chosen by 
the early settlers on account of the abundant pasturage 
Great Neck (South Boston) afforded for their cattle. 
This was for many ^^ears the common pasture for the cows 
of the Colony, and persons were appointed to drive them 
back and forth each morning and night. New settlers 
brought cows with them, and at length the Great Neck 
became too small; so other arrangements had to be made 
for pasturage. In 1637, therefore, it was ordered that — 

1 History of Canton, p. 6 (1893). 


"All that have Cowes shall put them to the Keepers to be 
kept in the ordinary Cow pasture,^ and none to be put away at 
the Necke of land or keepe them otherwise about the Towne or 
from the heard, one payue of IO5. for [such] offending." ^ 

The General Court passed a law in 1638 concerning 
tobacco, which caused no little excitement. This law read 
as follows : — 

''This Court, finding that since the repealing of the former 
laws against tobacco, the same is more abused than before, it 
hath therefore ordered that no man shall take any tobacco in 
the feilds, except in his iourney, or at meale times, vpon pain 
of 12d for every offence; nor shall take any tobacco in (or so 
near) any dweliug house, barne, corne or hay rick, as may likely 
indanger the fireing thereof, vpon paine of x' for every offence ; 
nor shall take any tobacco in any inne or comon victualing 
house, except in a private roome there, so as neither the master 
of the same house nor any other guests there, shall take offence 
thereat; w*"** if they do, then such ^son is fourthw**^ to for- 
beare, vj^on paine of 2^ 6^ for every offence." ^ 

During the summer of this year, Winthrop tells us, 
" There come over twenty ships, and at least three thou- 
sand persons, so as they were forced to look out new 
plantations." . 

The Church was called upon to exercise its correcting 
power this year. " Mr. Ambrose Martin, for calling the 
Church Covenant a stinking carrion, and a human inven- 
tion, and saying, he wondered at God's patience, feared 
it Avould end in the sharp, and said the ministers did 
dethrone Christ and set up themselves ; he was fined £10, 
and counselled to go to Mr. Mather to be instructed." A 
vote was also passed informing Mr. Thomas Makepeace 
that " because of his novel disposition, we were weary of 
him unless he re forme." 

1 A large tract of undivided land lying in the vicinity of tlie Upper Mills. 

2 Dorchester Town Records, p. 22 (1879). 

3 Records of Massachusetts, vol. i. p. 241 (1853.) 


Before long Thompson's Island proved to be an object 
of conflict between Dorchester and Boston. This was 
supposed to have been first occupied by David Thompson, 
a Scotchman, who was sent over with others to Piscataqua 
(now Portsmouth) by Gorges and Mason, the year before, 
to establish a factory at that place ; but later evidence goes 
to prove that William Trevour preceded him. Thompson 
had become acquainted with this island during a trip to 
Plymouth, and, leaving Piscataqua, he took up his abode 
upon it six years before the Bay was settled. After the 
Colony became fully established, he procured a confirma- 
tion of his title to the island from the General Court. 
Among the archives of Salem is found the following 
curious deposition concerning the island : — 

I, Saggamore of Aggawam, testify that in the yeare 1619 or 
thereabouts as I remember, I went in my owne person with Mr. 
David Thompson, and then he took possession of the Hand 
before Dorchester, he likeing no other but that because of the 
smale Riuer, and then no Indians upon it or any Wigwam or 
plantiiig, nor hath been by any Endians inhabitted or claymed 
since, but two years agoe by Harmbeu, an old Endian of 
Dorchester. Witness my hand, this 13th of July, before Mr. 
Greenleafe, 1620/50. 

Witness, Edmund Greenleafe. 

Sagamore— '—^—-— of Aggawam. 

In 1635 the General Court granted this island to the 
inhabitants of the town of Dorchester, and four years 
later the town voted to lay a tax of £20 upon the propri- 
etors of this island "for the maintenance of a school in 
Dorchester." Those who paid rent numbered one hundred 
and twenty persons, including the principal part of the 
adult male inhabitants. This, as far as can be ascertained, 
was the first public provision made for a free school in 
America by a direct tax or assessment on the inhabitants 
of the town.i 

1 See p. 290. 


When John Thompson, the son of the original occupant, 
became of age, he sent in a petition to the General Court, 
asking that the island be granted to him, on the ground of 
inheritance. This petition was granted, and the property 
passed out of the hands of Dorchester. The people felt 
that they had not received justice in the matter, so they in 
turn sent a petition to the General Court, asking that 
another island be granted to them to assist in maintaining 
the free school. The result of this was that a grant of 
one thousand acres of wild land was given to make up for 
the loss of the island. 

In 1639, also, an order was given by the Court to mount 
guns on Rock Hill. This was undoubtedly what is now 
called Savin Hill, although some authorities have des- 
ignated Meeting-House Hill as the site. Savin Hill, 
however, is much better suited for a fortification, as it 
commands the mouth of the Neponset, the bay, and the 
passage to the hill by land. The southerly point of Savin 
Hill, on the flat rock, would have been an excellent place 
to locate the artillery. 

A law passed by the Court this year concerning super- 
fluities, caused great excitement among the settlers, and 
soon became famous. It is interesting enough to quote 
the text : — 

"Whereas there is much complaint of the excessive wearing 
of lace, & other superfluities tending to little vse or benefit, but 
to the nourishing of pride & exhausting of mens estates, & 
also of evile example to others, it is therefore ordered by this 
Court, & decreed, that henceforward no person whatsoever 
shall psume to sell or buy w^'^in this iurisdiction, any manner of 
lace to bee worne or vsed w^^in o'" limits. And that no tayP, 
or any other person whatsoever, shall hereafter set any lace, or 
points vpon any garments, either linnen, woUen, or any other 
wearing cloathes whatsoever, & that no ^son hearafter shall be 
imployed in making of any manner of lace, but such as they 
shall sell to such persons as shall & will transport the same out 

1639.] COLONIAL TIMES. 51 

of this iurisdiction, who, in such case, shall have liberty to buy 
the same : And that hearafter no garment shalbee made w*^ 
short sleeves, whereby the nakedness of the arme may bee 
discovered in the wearing thereof ; & such as have garments 
already made w'^ short sleeves shall not hearafter wear the 
same, vnless they cover their armes to the wrist, w^^ linnen, or 
otherwise : And that hearafter no person whatsoever shall make 
any garment for weomen, or any of ther sex, w*^ sleeves more 
than halfe an elle wide in the widest place thereof, & so propor- 
tionable for biger or smaller persons. 

"And for psent reformation of iinoderate great sleeves, & 
some other superfluities, w<^^ ma}^ easily bee redressed w^^out 
much piudice, or the spoile of garments, as ifiioderate great 
breches, knots of ryban, broad shoulder bands, & rayles, silk 
rases, double ruffes, & cuffes, etc." ^ 

The centre of the town was first laid out in the vicinity 
of Pond and Cottage Streets. The first road in the town 
was that which ran from the meeting-house, on the corner 
of Cottage, Pleasant, and Pond Streets, to Rock Hill. A 
part of this road now exists as Pleasant Street, and the 
remainder as Savin Hill Avenue. Another began at 
the same place, and ran west to the Five Corners, and east 
to the Calves' Pasture, now known as Pond Street and 
Crescent Avenue. This ran northeast from the Five 
Corners, in the direction of the Great Neck, and had a gate 
at its entrance ; it is now known as Boston Street. From 
Pond Street a road curved around by the houses of 
William T. Ancbews and Richard Clapp, which the town 
voted to discontinue in 1858. It was called Chestnut 
Street, and on it lived the Rev. Richard Mather, Roger 
Williams, and others. The present Cottage Street, leading 
from the meeting-house to the Five Corners, Humphreys 
Street, and Dudley Street, over which the Dorchester 
settlers travelled to Roxbury and Boston, were also laid 
out. The present Stoughton, Hancock, and Pleasant 

* Records of Massachusetts, vol. i. p. 274 (1853). 


Streets were formerly a road laid out around Jones's Hill, 
from which a road led to Stoughton Mill. This is now 
Adams Street. From this street a road led to the Penny 
Ferry, and this is now known as Marsh Street. 

This arrangement kept the inhabitants closely together, 
and gave a road around several comparatively small pieces 
of land. Care was taken to keep the right of way to the 
sea and to the marshes, so that hay could be easily 
obtained. A grant made July 5, 1636, concerning this, 
is important, because it is of earlier date than that 
which declared of what the riparian rights should consist. 
The record reads as follows : — 

" It is graunted to M'". Ludlow, M^ Hill, and the neighbours 
that haue lotts with them, that [they] may run a pale downe 
into the sea at the Corner by M^ Ludlowes, and an other 
betweeue M'". Hill and John Eales, for the securiug the Corne, 
and saving of much fensiug, p'vided they leave stiles and gates 
for p'sons and cattle, when p'sons are disposed to travell or 
drive Cattle or swine that way to Clamming." ^ 

Our present laws on this subject depend on the order 
passed in 1641. 

Rock Hill, referred to above, was known as " Rocky 
Hill " during the first hundred years of the settlement, 
and later it was called ^' Old Hill," because it was here 
that the first inhabitants settled. Joseph Tuttle gave it 
the modern name of '' Savin Hill," when he came into 
possession of the old Wiswell estate in 1822. This he 
made into a seaside or country hotel, which was the first 
hotel of this kind in the vicinity of Boston. The name 
" Savin " is the scientific name of the red cedar with 
which this locality was covered. 

Many of the most distinguished of the early settlers 
selected Rock Hill, or Savin Hill, as we may now call it, 
for the location of their residences. One of the most 
prominent of these was Roger Ludlow, the brother-in-law 

1 Dorchester Town Records, p. 19 (1879). 

1639.] COLONIAX. TIMES. 55 

of Governor Endicott, and "assistant" of the Massachu- 
setts Company, who was chosen Deputy-Governor in 1634. 
When Ludlow arrived in the new country, coming from 
Old Dorchester, in Dorsetshire, he had already reached 
middle age, and, as a stockholder in the Massachusetts 
Company, was possessed of some property. He was 
chosen "assistant," or director, in London, before the little 
company of emigrants set sail, and he embarked from 
Devon on the "Mary and John" with the others. He 
was a member of the colonial government, and while his 
extensive duties prevented him from taking active part in 
the affairs of the Dorchester plantation, he had great 
influence with the early settlers. His name appears in the 
Dorchester Records only as a grantee of land. 

In his religious views, Ludlow belonged to the Puritan 
school, but was unfortunate in the possession of two char- 
acteristics which destroyed whatever popularity he might 
have attained, — a violent temper, and an inordinate ambi- 
tion. His great disappointment in not being elected 
governor in 1635 caused him to protest the election of 
Winthrop ; and this so offended the freemen that they left 
him entirely out of the magistracy. This was more than 
his proud nature could endure, so he joined the party 
which emigrated to Windsor, Connecticut, not long after- 
ward. Here Ludlow at once took a leading part in the 
affairs, presiding at the first court of magistrates, which 
was held at Hartford, April 26, 1636. He also served as 
Deputy-Governor until 1639, when he removed to Fairfield, 
in the New Haven Colony. Some years later he had a 
dispute with the government of the Colony concerning the 
affairs of the Dutch war, and as a result he left New 
England forever. He is said to have died in Virginia. 

Ludlow's Dorchester house was built on the south 
side of the hill on Savin Hill Avenue, at the corner of 
Bath Avenue, and it was one of the most substantial 
in the town, — standing until 1780. When the testy 

o maj ^4- £a7V- /lyni 


Deputy-Governor left Dorchester, he sold his estate to 
Captain Thomas Hawkins, who from this time seems 

to have taken a 
prominent posi- 
tion in the town. 
He was one of 
the freemen of Dorchester, and a member of the artillery 
company. Captain Hawkins was a ship-builder and navi- 
gator by profession, and a large landholder in Dorchester. 
The southerly part of Harrison Square once bore the title 
of " Captain's Neck," or " Hawkins' Neck ; " and a small 
stream, Avhich crossed the present Columbia Street, was 
named " Hawkins' Brook," in his honor. After his death, 
in 1648, Mrs. Hawkins sold the property to John Cornell ; 
and thus the Ludlow estate again changed hands. After 
passing through the possession of the Masons and the 
Wiswells, it finally fell by inheritance to the childi-en of 
William Worthington. 

John Eeles ow^ned property on the north side of the 
hill. He was one of the first settlers, and also one of the 
first grantees of the land on Rock Hill. When he removed 
to Hingham, his land was purchased by Nathaniel Patten, 
another prominent man among the first inhabitants. His 
property was on the border of the cove between Savin 
Hill and Calves' Pasture, and was known as Patten's 
Cove for many years after his death. As Patten died 
without children, the land came later into the possession 
of the Robinson family. 

Another early grantee of land at Rock Hill was Richard 
Baker. His property was situated on the west side of the 
hill, and he built his house on the site of the Tuttle house, 
reference to which has already been made. The estate 
passed through the hands of the Wiswells into those of 
the Tuttles. 

Colonel Israel Stoughton's house was situated at the 
northeast corner of Savin Hill Avenue and Pleasant 

1641.] COLONIAL TIMES. 57 

Street. He had the distinction of building the first mill 
in New England to grind corn by water. It stood in the 
Neponset River, where Milton now is. Colonel Stoughton 
gained liis title from his command of the Massachusetts 
forces during the Pequot War, and was one of the most 
prominent of the early inhabitants of Dorchester. He 
served as representative in 1634, and was the Governor's 
Assistant for many years. 

Among other land-owners on Rock Hill the records give 
the names of John Hill, Tho- ^ p 
mas Millett, John Phillips, John H^UfL S^n^iMyJOS 
Wilson, Richard Leeds, Michael ' 

Willis, Richard Curtice, John Pierce, George Weeks, and 
John Greenaway.^ 

The old residents have lost none of their pride for their 
historical inheritance. Edward Everett made reference to 
the hill in his Fourth of July Oration, delivered at 
Dorchester in 1855. He said, — 

'''Old Hill,' as we called it in the days of my boyhood, 
more than fifty years ago, (it has lost that venerable name in 
the progress of refinement, though it has become a half 
century older. ) Notwithstanding the tasteful villas which adorn 
its base, it exhibits substantially the same grouping of cedars 
and the same magnificent rocks, and commands the same fine 
view of the harbor which it did before a single house was 
built within its precincts. Venerable trees which seemed big to 
me in my childhood seem but little bigger now, though I can 
trace the storms of fifty winters on some of then- well- 
recollected branches . " 

About the year 1641 Mr. Jonathan Burr was invited to 
settle in Dorchester as Mr. Mather's assistant in the mini- 
stry. During the preliminaries a heated controversy 
broke out, similar to one which had previously occurred in 
Boston, Mr. Burr being on the liberal side. The whole 

1 Article on " Old Dorchester," by James H. Stark, Boston Transcript, 
April 2, 1887. 


58 GOOD OLD DOllCHESTEll. [1642. 

*own was deeply interested in the affair, which was finally 
settled by the decision of the Church " that both sides had 
cause to be humbled for their failings, for which they were 
advised to set a day apart for reconciliation." 

The trouble and controversy wliich had arisen about 
wages was finally settled by an order of the Court passed 
March 15, 1642. This stipulated that common laborers 
should not receive more than 28d a day, and that from 
August 25 to October 1 the Avages should not exceed 15d 
a day. Further reduction was made between October 1 and 
December 1, as the order made it unlawful to receive more 
than 12d a day. Wages rose again to 15d, between 
December 1 and January 25. 

This year was also eventful, owing to the fact that 
during it the Dorchester settlers built their first ship. 

The records of 1643 give us a picture of our forefathers 
which we should be glad to forget. Their actions, though 
doubtless meant for the welfare of the Colony, appear 
indefensible at this modern day, and the people seem to 
have practised the very traits of cruelty and injustice from 
which they had previously suffered. Miantonimo, one of 
the most high-minded and honorable of Indian chiefs, fell 
into the hands of Uncas, the chief of the Mohegans, and 
through the influence of the Government of the Massachu- 
setts Colony was killed in cold blood. Samuel Gorton, of 
Rhode Island, also suffered by the decrees of the fathers. 
It is difficult to ascertain the nature of his crimes, but they 
appear to have been those of independence and liberality. 
He was imprisoned at Charlestown ; and his seven '-'• con- 
federates " were confined in seven different towns, with 
irons on their legs. Francis Weston was the prisoner 
entrusted to Dorchester for safe keeping. 

While we find much in the acts of our ancestors with 
which we cannot sympathize, we can but admit that they 
displayed a remarkable amount of wisdom and intelligence. 
This was probably the only country ever colonized which 

1643.] COLONIAL TIMES. 59 

did not have conquest and greed for its primary object. 
The methods employed may be stigmatized as cruel and 
unwarranted, but they were aimed at the malicious and 
idle, which were always to be found in a new colony. The 
forefathers themselves may be set down as bigots, fanatics, 
and persecutors, but Ave must not judge them by the stan- 
dards of to-day. Toleration was a word not recognized in 
those early days ; and when we see the tremendous changes 
the last hundi'ed years have brought, we can see that the 
judgment of two hundred and fifty years ago could not 
consistently be the same as the judgment of to-day. 

Castle Island, on which fortifications had been erected, 
became a burden to the town, and in 1643 a vote was 
passed to give it up, '' being weary of the charge of main- 
taining " it. As this island was nearer Dorchester than the 
other towns, South Boston then being within its limits, it 
was natural that the town should pay more for its mainte- 
nance than Roxbury, Cambridge, and Watertown, which 
united with Dorchester in fortifying it. The island was 
fu^st fortified in 1633 with mud walls. Captain Roger Clap 
tells us that these " stood divers Years." Captain Clap then 
continues : " First, Capt. Simpklns was Commander thereof, 
and after him Lieut. Monish^ for a little space. When 
the Mud Walls failed, it was built again of Pine Trees and 
Earth ; and Capt. Davenport was Commander. When that 
decayed, which was within a little Time, there was a small 
Castle built with Brick Walls, and had three Rooms in it ; 
a dwelling Room below, a lodging Room over it, the Gun 
Room over that, wherein stood Six very good Saher Guns^ 
and over it upon the Top Three lesser Guns.'' ^ 

Hubbard relates a curious incident which happened this 
year. He says : — 

"On the 18th of January, there were strange sights seen 
about Castle Island, and the Governour's Island over against it, 

1 Memoirs of Captain Roger Clap, p. 38 (1844). 


in form like a man, that would sometimes cast flames and sparkles 
of fire. This was seen about eight of the clock in the evening 
by many. About the same time a voice was heard between 
Boston and Dorchester upon the water in a dreadful manner, 
crying out ' boy, boy, come away, come away ; ' and then it 
shifted suddenly from one place to another, a great distance, 
about twenty times. About fourteen days after, the same 
voice was heard in the like dreadful manner; divers sober 
persons were ear witnesses hereof, at both times, on the other 
side of the town, towards Noddle's Island." 

This account seems extraordinary, when the well-known 
sobriety and veracity of our forefathers are called to mind. 

The year 1645 marks another important era in the 
early history of the colonists. Six years previously the 
town had established the first school supported by the 
people, and now it took another step forward in appoint- 
ing a special school committee, '' which evidently had no 
precedent in America, but which has been fruitful of 
results wide-spread and of great importance." * 

These "wardens or oiiseers of the Schoole," as they 
were called, consisted of three persons, Mr. Howard, Dea- 
con Wiswall, and Mr. Atherton being the first to serve in 
this capacity. 

In 1645, also, an instrument was adopted called the 
" Directory." This contained many regulations which the 
inhabitants bound themselves to observe in conducting 
their town meetings. Some of these regulations, as Blake 
tells us, were that, — 

" Althings should be aforehand prepared by y® Selectmen, 
that all Votes of Importance should be first drawn in writing 
and have 2 or 3 distinct Readings, before y^ Vote was called 
for. That every man should haue libertie to speak his mind 
meekly and without noise ; that no man should speak when 
another was speaking; that all men would Countenance & 

1 William A. Mowry, Ph. D. : Historical Address at Dorcliester Celebra- 
tion, 1889. 


Encourage all y® Town Officers in y^ due Execution of 
their Offices, and not fault or Revile them for doing their 
Duty, &c."i 

This Directory was read at the opening at each town 
meeting, and the regulations were carefully observed. An 
order was also passed that at all town meetings the select- 
men were to appoint one of themselves to be moderator. 

During the same year the sum of £250 was raised to 
build a new meeting-house to take the place of the rude, 
thatched first meeting-house, which was found insufficient 
for the growing demands of the Plantation. 

The settlers are accused not only of indifference in 
regard to the nefarious slave-trade, but even of aiding 
and abetting the traffic. While this may be true of indi- 
viduals, it was certainly not true of the community, as the 
following extract from the records of the Colony for 1646 
will show : — 

" The Gen''all Co''te, conceiving themselues bound by y^ first 
opportunity to bear witnes against y® haynos & crying sinn of 
man stealing, as also to pscribe such timely redresse for what 
is past, & such a law for y® future as may sufficiently deterr 
all oth''s belonging to us to have to do in such vile & most 
odious courses, iustly abhored of all good & iust men, do order 
yt ye negro interpreter, w*^ oth^* unlawfully taken, be by y^ first 
oportunity (at y® charge of y® country for psent), sent to his 
native country of Ginny, & a letter w*^ him of y« indignation 
of y® Co^'te thereabouts, & iustice hereof, desireing o'" honored 
Gov^n"" would please put to this order in execution." ^ 

Rev. John Wilson, Jr., was settled as " coadjutor to Rev. 
Richard Mather," in 1649. 

As might be expected from its size and importance, the 
town of Dorchester is frequently mentioned in the old 
colonial records. Most of these references relate to the 

J Blake's Annals of the Town of Dorchester, p. 18 (1846). 
2 Records of Massachusetts, vol. ii. p. 168 (1863). 


appointment of officers, the mending of roads, the settle- 
ment of boundaries, and the adjustment of disputes ; but 
there are some orders of the court which are of special 
interest. In 1630, March 1, the following entry is found : 
"M"" Tho: Stoughton, constable of Dorchester, is ifyned 
v^ for takeing vpon him to marry Clem* Briggs and Joane 
Allen, & to be imprisoned till hee hath pd his ifyne." 

The claim that intemperance and poverty are connected 
was evidently believed by the " Court holden att Boston, 
August 7th, 1632," at which session this order was passed : 
"It is ordered that the remaind'" of M'' Aliens stronge 
water, being estimated aboute 2 gallands, shalbe deliiied 
into the hands of the deacons of Dorchesf, for the benefitt 
of the poore there, for his selling of it dyv" tymes to such 
as were drunke w*^ it, hee knowing thereof." 

On the 7th of November, 1632, the inhabitants of 
Boston were granted liberty to take wood from Dorchester 
Neck for twenty years, but the land was still to remain in 
the possession of Dorchester. Another entry proved the 
military importance of the town, for in 1634 it was ordered 
that " Dorchesf shall haue three peeces of ordinances, to 
ffortifie themselues Avithall, one drake & two other peeces, 
to be hadd from Charlton." During the same year per- 
mission was granted to the Deputy-Governor '' to haue his 
Indean trayned with the rest of the company at Dorchester, 
& to shoote at fowle." 

The Indians living within the limits of the town caused 
many vexed questions to arise as to the manner in which 
they should be treated. It is a pleasant duty, however, 
to record the fact that, with the exception of a few 
isolated cases, the Dorchester settlers always showed them 
consideration and kindness. John Eliot, " the Apostle of 
the Indians," did much to create friendly relations, and 
he was universally loved and respected. This is evinced 
by the following letter, which relates to the laying out of 
the land about Ponkapoag Pond : — 












1646.] COLONIAL TIMES. 65 

To his much honored and respected friend, Major Atherton, 
at his house in Dorchester, these p^sent 
Much honored and beloved in the Lord: Though our poore 
Indians are much molested in most places in their meetings in 
way of civilities, yet the Lord hath put it into your hearts to 
suffer us to meet quietly at Ponkipog, for w^ I thank God, and 
am grateful to yourselfe and all the good people of Dorchester. 
And now that our meetings may be the more comfortable and 
pvarable, my request is, y* you would please to further these 
two motions : first, y' you would please to make an order in 
your towne, and record it in your Towne record, that you 
approve and allow y^ Indians of Ponkipog there to sit downe 
and make a towne and to inioy such accommodations as may 
be competent to maintain God's ordinances among them another 
day. My second request is, y* you would appoint fitting men, 
who may in a fitt season bound and lay out the same, and 
record y^ alsoe. And thus commending you to the Lord, I 

Yours to serve in the service of Jesus Christ, 

John Eliot.^ 

In the winter the Indians lived in the woods bordering 
the Neponset River at the head of navigation, where the 
fresh and salt water begin to mingle. This place they 
called Unquety ; and the falls, which furnished them with 
a great abundance of fish, they named Uncataquissett. 
The location was that of the present Milton Lower Falls. 
The Indians undoubtedly depended upon their canoes for 
transportation to and from their trapping and hunting 
grounds, which would necessitate but a short carriage 
around the falls. 

The Indians remained at Unquety until prevailed upon 
by the apostle Eliot to settle upon the tract of land at 
Ponkapoag Pond, which the town of Dorchester so kindly 
set aside for their use. This grant, already alluded to, 
included the present towns of Canton and S tough ton. 

1 History of Dorchester, p. 187 (1859). 


When once settled in their new home, the Indians named 
themselves the " Ponkapoag " tribe. From year to year 
their numbers became less and less, until the whole tribe 
gradually disappeared, leaving the land again in the pos- 
session of the town. A pilgrimage was made each year to 
the homes and graves of their ancestors so long as a single 
pure-blooded Indian remained at Ponkapoag.^ 

Few are aware that it is from a small hill in Dorchester 
that the name " Massachusetts " is derived. Hutchinson 
gives us the following interesting information : — 

"In 1630 the sachem who governed the country around 
Boston had his seat on a hill near Squantmn. It lies in the 
shape of an Indian arrow-head, which was called in their lan- 
guage ' Mos.' A hill ill the Indian tongue is ' Wachusett.' 
Hence the great sachem seat was called ' Mos wachusett,' from 
whence the province received the name of ' Massachusetts.' " ^ 

This hill is on the road leading to S quantum, and bor- 
dering on Quincy Bay, on the opposite side of the river 
from Neponset. It is covered with savins, or cedar trees, 
and is a landmark which may be seen for many miles, in 
all directions. If looked at from the south, near the mouth 
of Sachem's Brook, which flows through the planting- 
ground of Chickataubut, otherwise known as Billings' 
Plain, or the Massachusetts Fields, it clearly has the 
appearance of an arrow-head, the shaft of which is formed 
by the long, narrow strip of marsh which connects it with 
the mainland. Edmund Quincy and W. Coddington pur- 
chased this land in 1629, and it was included in a grant of 
over one thousand acres made to them in 1635 by the town 
of Boston. It was here that the Indians passed the 
summer season. 

1 Article on "Old Dorchester," by James H. Stark, Boston Transcript, 
April 2, 1887. 

2 History of Massachusetts, vol. i. p. 402. 

1652.] COLONIAL TOIES. 67 

There is another theory, advanced by Mr. Sylvester 
Baxter, that it is to the Blue Hills of Milton that the 
Commonwealth of Massachusetts owes its name. The 
country about the bay was called by the Indians living 
hereabout " Massachusetts," a word which, in the Algon- 
quin tongue, literally means "the great hills place." 
Thus it was, Mr. Baxter claims, that Massachusetts Bay 
received its name ; thence the Colony and the Province of 
Massachusetts Bay, and finally the Commonwealth of 

The beloved minister, Richard Mather, was given a 
proof of the regard in which the people held him by a 
grant, made in 1652, of XlOO salary, to be raised by a town 
rate. While this does not seem a munificent sum to-day, 
it was a liberal compensation in those times. The 
generosity of the people did not stop with Mr. Mather's 
salary, but the same year they took a collection "for y® 
maintenance of y® President, Fellows, and poor Scholars of 
Harvard College." 

A road was laid out from Braintree, the present Quincy, 
to Roxbury, in 1655, under the direction of Nicholas Clap 
and William Clarke of Dorchester, and Moses Paine and 
Gregory Belcher of Braintree. The conditions were as 
follows : — 

" First that the Waye shall be fowre Rodd Wide from Brantre 
bounds to Roxbury bounds : secondly beginning neere Hinrye 
Crane's house, the Way to Lye one the Sowthest side of it in the 
old Beaten roede waye : and so to a Lowe White oake marked on 
the same side of the waye and so by the marked trees to the 
brooke : so from the Brooke the way being Lade in the Winter 
we agreed to take about a roode wide into Anthony Golliford's 
lott wheare the fence Jnterrupts the waye : and so to a marked 
post to wards John Gill's howse : and from thence to an other 
marked post against John Gills howse : from thence to a stake 
in Elder Kingslys yearde and from thence to the mille in the 


olde beaten roede waye : and from the mille to tow grete rockes 
one the Lower side of the waye att Robert Spares and Henry 
Merifields howses end : and from thence to the new feild by the 
marked trees in the olde roode waye : and so through the new 
feld wheare the waye formerly was and from thence by the 
marked trees one the Left hand to Roxbury bounds :^ 

of Dorchester Nicholas Clape. 

William Clarke. 

of Brantree Moses Paine. 

Gregory Bellcher." 

The modem road-builder might be a little amused at the 
labored plans of the committee in charge of the work ; but, 
at all events, the desired end was accomplished, and the 
road came to a successful completion. As nearly as can be 
estimated, this must have been the road which now runs 
over Milton Hill, from Quincy, to the Lower Mills, and 
then over Washington Street, in Dorchester, to Roxbury. 

The General Court established the boundaries between 
Dorchester and Dedham during the next year. 

In 1657 the town suffered a great loss in the destruction 
of the records of births and deaths which had occurred 
previous to this time. It is said to have been caused by 
fire, in the burning of Thomas Millet's house. 

Many of the old laws of the Colony seem utterly absurd 
and unreasonable to us of this later date. For instance, 
an attempt to enforce such a law as that passed in 1659, 
concerning '' strangers," would be apt to call forth at least 
the accusation of inhospitality. This law began by defin- 
ing what strangers should reside within the jurisdiction, 
and how they should be licensed, and then went on to 
state that if any of the townspeople should entertain any 
sojourner or inmate in his house more than one week with- 
out first obtaining a license from the selectmen, he would 
be liable to a fine. It is shown by the records that this 
law was strictly enforced. 

1 Dorchester Town Records, p. 70 (1879). 

1659.] COLONIAL TIMES. 69 

In 1659, also, the proprietors gave two hundred acres of 
land, for the use and maintenance of the ministry, " to y® 
inhabitants of Dorchester on y® northwest side of y® river 
Neponset, and two hundred to the inhabitants that live on 
the southeast side of the river." On March 1, 1706, they 
made another grant of seventy-five acres, to be laid out for 
the use of those ministers who should be ordained in the 
land belonging to Dorchester, beyond the Blue Hills ; and 
another grant of seventy-five acres to the first minister who 
should settle and remain with the inhabitants for ten con- 
secutive years. 

During this same year the colonists were caused no little 
anxiety by the " trouble in the country and Parliament, 
rents and divisions in many of the churches, especially in 
Hartford ; the hand of God against us in the unseasonable 
wet and rain of last spring ; and the sad face of things in 
regard of the rising generation." This was indeed trouble 
enough. The trouble in Parliament did not affect them 
directly ; the differences in the church at Hartford were 
soon settled with the assistance of Mr. Mather, and the 
damage done the crops by the continued inclemency of the 
weather was in time repaired ; but " the sad face of things 
in regard of the rising generation " continued to be a thorn 
in the flesh of the good people for a long time to come. It 
is a question whether they would consider the state of 
affairs to-day so vastly ahead of their time if they could 
look in upon the modern civilization ! 

The 22d of February, 1660, was observed as a day of 
humiliation throughout the Colony, because England was 
" at this time in such an unsettled way of Government, 
being without Protection and without Parliament, only the 
power remaining with the army, and they also being 
divided." ^ 

The death of Major-General Humphrey Atherton, by 
accident, in 1661, deprived the Colony of one of its prin- 
1 History of Dorchester, p. 189 (1859). 


cipal men. Energetic and firm in character, he proved 
very useful to his fellow-colonists. An incident illus- 
trating his great courage and presence of mind is that 
which occurred when he was sent to Pessacus, an Indian 
sachem, with twenty men, for the purpose of demanding 
thi-ee hundi;ed fathom of w^ampum, arrears due to the 
Colony. For some time Pessacus refused to allow him to 

come into his presence, putting him 

f'jii/My/^Mtj off with evasive answers. Finally, 

AJ'iO^'f/ryf however, Atherton led his men 

to the door of the wigwam, and 
leaving them outside, entered, pistol in hand. He then 
seized Pessacus by the hair, and dragged him out from 
among a large number of his attendants, threatening to 
kill the first one who attempted to interfere. 

The accident referred to was a most unexpected and 
distressing one. Blake tells us that "he was killed by 
a fall from his Horse at y® S° end of Boston as he was 
coming homewards (I think in y® evening) his Horse 
either Running over, or starting at a Cow that lay down 
in Y way." The following inscription is to be found 
upon his tomb : — 

" Here lies our Captain, & Majr. of Svffolk was withall; 

A Godly Magestrate was he, & Major Generall. 

Two Troops of Horses with him here came, such worth his loue 

did crave ; 
Ten Companies of foot also mourning march'd to his Graue. 
Let all that Read be sure to keep y® Faith as he hath done. 
With Chi'ist he hues now Crown'd, his name was Humphrey 


He Died y« 16th of Sepr. 1661." 

During the next year, 1662, Milton was set off from 
Dorchester, and incorporated as a township ; but Dorchester 
still retained the land south of the township. The Indian 
name of Milton, '^ Unquety," clung to it for many years 


after it became a town. The fact of the setting off is 
thus recorded in the town records : — 

*' It was voted whether there should be a Committee chosen 
to consider what may be best to be done both for the Towne of 
Dorchester and our neighbours at Unquetie^ in reference to a 
township amongst themselves, and the vote was affirmative. 
At the same time there was chosen for the Committee, Willip4im 
Sumner, John Capen and John Minott." * 

The execution of Sir Henry Vane in England, on June 
14, caused a great deal of mourning among his old friends 
and acquaintances in Dorchester and Boston. He was 
greatly beloved, and was highly respected in the Colony. 
His punishment, when no proof could be found to sustain 
the charges brought against him, had considerable Aveight 
in preparing the minds of the colonists to resent the in- 
justice which they suffered later, and wliich came nearer 
home. It has been intimated that this may have been the 
first time that they felt how much they had bettered their 
condition by removing from the immediate action of cruel 
and unjust laws. 

It was in 1664 that the first step was taken that showed 
how the onward march of events was leading the colonists, 
and which finally led to the outbreak which brought about 
the separation from the mother country. During the 
troubled times in England the colonists had greatly 
sympathized with Cromwell's party, but were sorely dis- 
appointed when Charles ascended the throne. These feel- 
ings, increased no doubt by the fear that the restoration of 
the Stuart family to the throne might curtail many of the 
rights and privileges which they had formerly enjoyed, led 
the people of Dorchester to draw up a petition to the 
General Court which was very significant. It was 
undoubtedly di-awn up by the Rev. Richard Mather, and 
is quoted here in part : — 

' Dorchester Town Records, vol. ii. p. 48. 


** The Petition off the Inhabitants of Dorchester : Humbly 
sheweth : 

"- Fust of all That wee doe acknowledge it with all Thankfull- 
ness to God & to yourselues, as a great mercy, that the Lord 
was pleased to put it into yor harts, in your late session to 
expresse & declare. That it is your resolution (god assisting) 
to beare faith & true Alegiance vnto his majesteye, And to 
adhere vnto our Patent the dutyes and priuilidges thereof, soe 
dearly obtained & soe long enjoyed by vndoubted right in the 
sight of god & men ; * * * * * * it is our humble 
request v^nto this Honrd Court, That as you haue expressed & 
declared your resolution to adhere to ye patent & ye priuilidges 
thereof, for there may be a constancy therein & noe declining 
from the same, ffor you know how vncomfortable & dishon- 
rable it would be first to expresse such a resolution as affore 
mentioned, and afterward to act contrary, wch wee hope is 
farre from your intention, And wee pray god that such a thing 
may never bee. It is well known how his Royall majesty by 
letters to this coUony doth confirme the said patent & charter, 
& promiseth that wee shall Injoy all the libertyes & priuilidges 
granted in & by the same, wch may be a further & great 
incouragmt to yorselues to adhere to your professed resolution, 
& to take courage by your authority & wisdome, that all the 
people within this jurisdiction may also doe the same. * * * 
It is our Humble request that the liberty of or churches & 
faithfull ministry in this collony may bee still continued, with- 
out the imposition of any such Injunction not ordained of god, 
wch consciences truly tender would be troubled withall, but 
that as hitherto our churches & ministers haue bine freed from 
such human inuentions & impositions, soe they may bee still, it 
being well knowne to the world that to be freed therefrom was 
one spetiall cause that moued many to remoue from then- deare 
natiue country Into this wilderness, & how lamentable & 
grieuous it would bee to be here burdened & encombered againe 
with such matters is easy for any to Judge. ***** 
We humbly Intreat that the Inhabitants of this collony may 
not bee vrged & compelled to make any other paymts but 
what is by patent exspressed ; * * * to impose further 

1665.] COLONIAL TIMES. 73 

taxes & paiments on the country wch the patent requu-eth not 
but freeth vs from, seemeth to bee difficult vnreesonable if not 
impossible to bee borne, & therfor we humbly desire it may be 
preuented." ^ 

This petition was signed by over one hundred of the 
inhabitants of Dorchester, and shows that much public 
spirit was manifested by the people. It is an interesting 
point to notice that in this document, as in every opposi- 
tion to the Crown's actions, almost down to the breaking 
out of the Revolution, the suggestion of separation from 
the mother country did not enter. England was still 
" our deare natiue country ; " and all opposition to its 
laws, oppressive as they were, was prompted by a desire 
for justice, with no idea of retaliation. 

That the colonists had great confidence in themselves 
is shown by the sermon preached by Mr. Mather about 
tliis time, on the significant text from Haggai ii. 4 : " Yet 
now be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the Lord, 
and work, for I am with you, saith the Lord of hosts." 

In 1665 Dorchester became fearful from rumors of an 
invasion by the Dutch. As Captain Clap writes : — 

"At that time our Works were very weak, and Intelligence 
came to us that Darother^^ a Dutch Commander of a Squadron 
of Ships, was in the West-Indies^ and did intend to \isit us ; 
whereupon our Battery also was repahed, wherein are Seven 
good Guns. But in the very Time of this Report in July 1665, 
God was pleased to send a grievous Storm of Thunder and 
Lightning, which did some hurt in Boston^ and struck dead here 
at the Castle- Island., that worthy, renowned Captain Richard 
Davenport ; upon which the General Court in Aug. 10th follow- 
ing, appointed another Captain in the Room of him that was 
slain. But behold God wrought for us ; for although Durother 
intended to come here, yet God by contrary Winds kept him 
out; so he went to Newfoundland^ and did great spoil there."* 

1 N. E. Hist. Gen. Register, vol. v. p. 393. 

'^ Probably De Ruither, a famous Dutch admiral. 

8 Captain Clap's Memoirs, p. 32 (1844). 


Tbe ^cidMst capbun^ lefuTed to was Captain Clip hi]n> 
self; and this ^^lointment compelled him to resign his 
eonnection with the town hosln^s, in which he had heen 
oonsideiahbr engaged. 

The e^aet boondanes of the town weie not fixed for 
some time after the settlement. Tbe :di^ inference we find 
is upon the cooit leocsds of l^iL In Maiv^h. ldS4-S5 
Dorehester had scone diffieoltr with Boston about the 
hounds of Mount WdJastxm; and Lieutenant Feakes^ Mr. 
Tdcott, Mr. John Wooliidge, Ensign G^hbens, and 
William Phelps, had die matter refeiTed to them.^ In 
1686 the committee made a lepoit^ which was accepted, 
estaHishing the sc^oth line of die town cai the seau at some 
point in QnincT Bar ^onth of Sqnantum. This gave a 
large pntion of upland and all the salt marsh cai the soath 
hank of the Neponset« indnding neailT die whole south- 
wKt side of the haifaor. — an eiLtent of ten miles of shore. 
The text €l the lepoit is as follows : — 

**Tlie boinids of IkxcfaesIF is to nm frcnn the outside oi 
M^ BoesaleK fiimne^ nexte the sea, to the flbote ci t* gieate 
hiD, tram, a mked tree to a second mked tree^ in a strai^t Ivne 
to Ae tr^p €ji the Bine HHk. nexte Xaponaett, sontfae west & 
bj west halfe a pojnte west^, & all tihe marshe groond from 
the sooth east syde of M^ Xewb^rys howse, akaogie Xapv. l<-:- 
Byver. to M^ Stoi^tODS mjll, to fye to Doichest'. 
resT of tbe vfdand & marahe tmm MF Boesiteis ffier 
dea. & 9oe to the monthe <tf the ryr' bejonde l[ 
BvTer, nmii^ into A eoimtrie southward & to —r vc^ . 
w Ije to BoetOD, oodr exoeptii^ soch land as they hsre right 
to bj gnimt <^ the Comt fomily.* Bobte Ftke ^ 

Jony TAir.'TT) 

In 1686 the Cooit granted Dorchester all tlr 1 i^.i south 
of yepons^t to the Blue Hills, inclnding the territorr of 
Unquetx. the present tOTm of Milton- Twenty-one years 

ToL L p. 1S9 (1^3). 3 Had. p. 162. 

,; ,, 

']". ->^^^^^ 

^^' .' 


1666.] COLONIAL TIMES. 77 

later, as we have seen, the town set apart six thousand 
acres of land at Ponkapoag, at the request of John Eliot, 
for an Indian reservation; and the territory of the town 
was diminished six thousand acres more thi'ough mistakes 
of the surveyors. 

On October 6, 1666, Kitchamakin, the sachem of the 
Massachusetts Indians, conveyed to the settlers all the land 
"beyond Neponsit Mill, to the utmost." Some twenty 
years before, Josias Cliickataubut, the predecessor of 
Kitchamakin, had yielded Iris power to be subordinate to 
the English, and the conveyance of the land was a contin- 
uation of the policy then begun. Dorchester originally 
extended only to the top of the Blue Hill, but these 
grants greatly enlarged its boundaries. 

So long as old Josias Chickataubut had lived there had 
waged a bitter controversy between liim and King Philip, 
of Mount Hope, concerning the boundaries of their respec- 
tive jurisdictions, and there was danger of more serious 
trouble than merely words. Josias, however, died before 
any outbreak occurred ; and the former difficulties were 
peacefully settled by King Philip and Squamaug, sachem 
of Ponkapoag, a brother of Josias, the meeting taking 
place at the house of Captain Hudson, near Wading River. 

The settlers were not altogether satisfied that the deed 
given to them by Kitchamakin was full enough ; so they 
obtained a promise from Wampatuck, his successor, that 
he would give them a grant of all the land in Dorchester 
beyond the Blue Hills, with the exception of the Ponka- 
poag plantation. Within three years he was to give them 
a complete title. His death prevented this; but Job 
Ahauton, who had been appointed his attorney, together 
with Squamaug, carried out the plans of the dead chief, 
and on December 10, 1666, the deed was consummated. 
This was the "New Grant," and a rate of £28 was levied 
on the proprietors to pay for it. It included all the land, 
not previously granted, lying between the Old Colony line 


and a grant made to Dedham, and covered the territory of 
the present towns of Canton, Stoughton, Sharon, Foxboro', 
and a part of Wrentham, — a site tliirty-five miles long, 
and running to within one hundi'ed and sixty rods of the 
Rhode Island line. 

The town was formerly bounded by Boston, Roxbury, 
Dedham, Wrentham, Taunton, Bridgewater, and Braintree. 
It extended from Dorchester Point, as South Boston was 
tlien called, out as far as Fort Independence, which was 
then known as the " Castle," to witliin one hundi^ed and 
sixty rods of the Rhode Island line. Soon, however, the 
mother town was called upon to contribute some of her 
territory to her offsprings, and thus gradually lost its dis- 
tinction of being the largest town in New England. 
Milton was set off from Dorchester in 1662; a part of 
Wrentham in 1724; Stoughton two years later; a part of 
Dedliam in 1739; Sharon in 1765; Foxboro' in 1778; 
Canton in 1797 ; Dorchester Heights in 1804 ; Washington 
Village in 1855 ; and Hyde Park in 1868. The climax 
was reached, however, when Dorchester itself was swal- 
lowed up by Boston in 1870, merging its identity into the 
commonplace " Sixteenth," afterwards " Twenty-fourth," 

In 1668 the people met together and drew lots for the 
" Twelve Divisions." In 1695 a committee was chosen to 
lay out the lands unto each proprietor according to a 
former grant which had been agreed upon by a vote of the 
proprietors in 1671. Twelve times as much land was 
proportioned to each proprietor as was already prefixed to 
each man in a list of a single division left by Captain 
Breck, and at that time in the keeping of the town clerk ; 
but it was not until 1698 that the laying out of the land 
was finished. Although some of these proprietors may 
have settled upon the land laid out to them, the owners 
must not be confounded with the actual settlers of the 
town. In some cases their childi*en moved here and 

1669.] COLONIAL TIMES. 79 

occupied the land, but it is often doubtful whether the 
"proprietor" ever set foot on his possessions in the "New 
Grant." i 

On the 22d of April, 1669, the town lost one of its 
most prominent citizens in the death of Rev. Richard 
Mather.2 In 1671 Rev. Josiah Flint Avas ordained pastor 
of the church, to fill the vacancy caused by his death. 

The friendly relations which had existed between the 
Dorchester settlers and King Philip is shown by the fol- 
lowing letter, which is dated at Mount Hope, May 15, 
1672. The letter is also interesting as it shows that Philip 
at this time dressed after the English fasliion : — 

Philip sachem of mount hope 

To Capt. Hopestill Foster of Dorchester 
Sendeth Greeting 

S' You may please to remember that when I last 
saw You att Wading riuer You promised me six pounds in 
goods ; now my request is that you would send me [by] this 
Indian fiue yards of White light cohered serge to make me a 
coat and a good hoUand shirt redy made ; and a pr of good 
Indian briches all which I have present need of, therefoer I 
pray S"* faile not to send them by my Indian and with them the 
seurall prices of them; and silke & buttens & 7 yards Gal- 
lownes for trimming : not else att present to trouble you w*^ 
onley the subscription of King Philip 

Mount hope his Majesty P P 

y« 15*^ of May 

The war with King Philip in 1675 is said to have been 
brought about tlrrough the killing of a Dorchester Indian 
named Sassamon. This Sassamon, or Wassausmon as his 
name really was, had served as private secretary to King 
Philip, and probably di^ew up the letter quoted above. He 
became Christianized, and left Philip in order to preach, 

1 History of Canton, p. 3 (1893). 2 gee p. 230. 


divulging, as some of Philip's followers asserted, many of 
the king's plans. He was seized by Philip's men on this 
account and murdered, and his body was tlirown into 
Assawomset Pond. 

The three Indians who had committed this deed were 
seized and tried by a jury, half of whom were their own 
countrymen. The verdict was against them, and they 
were hanged. They claimed in their own justification that 
they had a right to execute justice on a traitor in accord- 
ance with their own customs, and that the English had 
nothing to do with it. 

This was the spark which caused the flames to break out 
at last, but the fire had been smouldering for a long while. 
The Indians said that '' if twenty of their honest Indians 
proved that an Englishman had wronged them, it was 
nothing; while if one of their worst Indians testified 
against any of them, it was sufficient." The Indians 
further claimed that the English made the Indians drunk, 
and then cheated them ; and that the English cattle and 
horses had so increased that they could not keep their corn 
from injury, never having been accustomed to build fences. 
The settlers, on the other hand, claimed that everything 
which had been taken from the Indians had been fairly 
purchased, and that laws had been framed to protect their 

The war was about over by the close of 1676 ; but the 
struggle had been a fearful one, and few families had 
escaped without the loss of at least one member. Now, 
however, another affliction seemed imminent. The families 
in the country had fled to Boston and its vicinity for pro- 
tection, and left their farms uncultivated. This caused a 
great scarcity of food, and starvation seemed to stare the 
people in the face. 

Early the next year, however, money and provisions were 
sent to the aid of the helpless settlers from London and 
Dublin, and this kindly act bridged over the trouble until 

1677.] COLONIAL TIMES. 81 

the people regained their former position. Drake says, 
" In this extremity, Dr. Increase Mather did, by his letters, 
procure a whole shipload of provisions from the charity of 
his friends in Dublin, and a considerable sum of money, 
and much clothing, from the like charity of his friends 
in London, greatly to the relief of the poor people here." ^ 
Proof that this generous deed was appreciated was shown 
in 1849, when the descendants of these early settlers sent 
the U. S. S. " Jamestown " to Ireland, bearing provisions 
and assistance. That is ,^,^ ^ ^ 

the kind of reciprocity ZrrOj)t3h'St ^ fro { t t -r- 
which finds universal fa- 
vor. During this year death deprived the town of Captain 
Hopestill Foster. 

The next few years were tranquil ones, the regular 
routine of the life of the people being broken only by 
occasional reprimands administered to a few transgressors. 
Among these were Robert Spur, who was called before the 
Church in 1677, accused of the offence " of giving enter- 
tainment in his house to loose and vain persons ; " Samuel 
Rigby, who had to answer for "the sin of cursing, 
excessive diinking, and the neglect of attendance on the 
public ordinances ; " and John Merrifield, who was sum- 
moned for committing the sin " of di^unkenness, and also for 
contempt and slighting the power of Clirist in his Church." 
In 1678 John Brown and John Hoppin were ordered to 
leave the town, "having no settled place of abode," and 
in 1679 Robert Stiles had to give an account of the 
"manner in which he spent his time." 

During the year 1678 the town paid for killing seven 
wolves, and voted to dispose of the old meeting-house. 
A church was formed in Milton, it being "done in our 
meeting-house in Dorchester, because of some opposition 
that did appear." On June 6 a contribution was made for 
the relief of the captives which were taken from Hatfield, 

1 History of Boston. 


amounting to £8 5s 2d. The new meeting-house was 
used for the first time on November 17, and on the 1st of 
December Mr. Flint proposed to the Church a day of 

The chronicles show that the year 1679 was remarkable 
chiefly for the activity of the Church in investigating and 
" making settlement with its members for long-standing 

In 1680 the town was brought into a state of great ex- 
citement by the report that Elizabeth, wife of William 
Morse of Newbury, was a witch. The case was brought 
before the Court, and the woman pronounced guilty by the 
jury, but later she was reprieved. John Capen and Jacob 
Hewins represented Dorchester on the jury. 

Blake does not refer to the witchcraft trials in his 
''Annals;" so we may judge that, while Dorchester was 
undoubtedly deeply concerned in the events of the time, 
the town took no direct part in the persecutions. In 
furnishing the implacable chief justice, William Stoughton, 
however, Dorchester certainly must have felt that some of 
the responsibility fell upon their famous townsman. A 
book published in 1697 by the Rev. John Hale, entitled 
"A Modest Enquiry into the Nature of Witchcraft," con- 
tains the following allusion to Dorchester : — 

"Another that suffered on that account sometime after was 
a Dorchester woman. Upon the day of her execution, Mr. 
Thompson, minister at Brantry, and J. P., her former master, 
took pains with her to bring her to repentance. She utterly 
denied her guilt of witchcraft, yet justified God for bringing 
her to that punishment." 

On the 16th of September, 1680, Rev. Mr. Flint,i the 
pastor of the Church, died, after serving his people faith- 
fully for nine years. John Foster,^ the popular school- 
master, one of the most valued of the townsj^eople, died 
September 9th, the next 3^ear. 

1 See p. 234. ^ gee p. 312. 


Measures were on foot in 1682 to provide means where- 
with to build a fence around the burying ground. A 
committee was appointed to visit the most influential of 
the inhabitants, and to solicit financial aid, so that the 
town rate might be lightened. The result of their 
endeavors was that Thomas Modsley was appointed " to 
make and mainetaine a sufficient fence against the burieng 
place for seuen yeares, and to keepe it vp all the tyme, and 
then to leaue a sufficient fence at the end of the terme." ^ 

An important event of this same year was the adoption 
by the town of a set of standard weights. " Weights are 
p'uided by Constable Elisha Foster," writes the ancient 
chronicler, " for to be a standard for the towne according 
as the law requireth ; by which all other weights are to be 
sized and sealed ; diuers of which are bell fashioned viz : 
one 56 : one 28 : one 14 : one 7 : one 4 : one 2 : the rest 
are flat weights and are one pound : one halfe pound : one 
quarter : one eighth parte : one ounce : as allso one halfe 
ounce : one quarter of an ounce : one eighth : one 16 part 
of an ounce." 

These years just before the dividing line between colo- 
nial and provincial times were busy ones for the people, 
and a large amount of property changed hands. It is 
the record of these transfers which swells the town records 
during this period, and evidently kept the " town dark " 
well employed. 

In 1685 James II. became king of England, and this 
was the most severe blow the colonists had yet received. 
His character was too well known in New England to 
leave any doubt as to the course he would pursue. His 
choice of advisers from men infamous for their crimes con- 
firmed their convictions, especially when the villanous Percy 
Kirke was appointed governor. It Avould not have been 
remarkable if a serious break had occurred at this point 
between the Colony and the mother country, for there 

1 Dorchester Town Records, p. 265 (1879). 


was certainly provocation enough. The great diplomacy 
which they displayed, however, combined with an unusual 
amount of common-sense, carried them safely over the 
troubled times which so threatened them with disaster. 

The town Avas deprived of one of its most valuable 
inhabitants, the next year, by the death of Elder James 
Humfrey. Early in February he had '' moved the Church 
that they would look out and provide themselves another 
Elder, because he had long been lame, and did look at 
himself near his departure out of this world." Much to 
the regret of the people, his last request to be buried in 
the same tomb with liis early companion and friend, the 
Rev. Richard Mather, could not be complied with, as it 
was too small, and had been stoned up, so that it was not 
practicable to open it again. However, the body of the 
beloved Elder was reverently laid at rest near Mr. Mather's 
tomb, with a stone bearing the following inscription to 
mark the place: — 

"Here lyes Interred y^ Body of Mr. James Humfrey, one of 
y® Ruling Eklers of Dorchester, who departed this life May 
12th, 1686, in y^ 78th year of his age. 

I nclosed within tliis shrine is precious Dust 
A nd only waits for th' rising of y® Just, 
Most useful! while he liu'd, adorn'd his Station. 
Euen to old age he Seru'd his Generation, 
S ince his Decease tho't of with Veneration. 

H ow great a Blessing this Ruling Elder he 
Unto this Church & Town ; & Pastors Three. 
Mather he first did by him help Receiue; 
F lint did he next his burthen much Relieue ; 
Renowned Danforth he did assist with skill, j 
E steemcd high by all ; Bear fruit untill > 

Yielding to Death his Glorious seat did fill." j 

Deacon James Blake was chosen ruling elder in Mr. 
Humfrey's place, in spite of his plea that he was 'Hoc 
thick of hearing" to accept the position. 

1687.] COLONIAL TIMES. 85 

The year 1687 brings us nearly to the close of Colonial 
Times, which we find overshadowed by clouds of doubt and 
uncertainty. Sir Edniond Andros was in power, and the 
town chose no representative to the General Couit. The 
people were discontented under the new government, 
and did not carry out the ordei^ of the governor and his 
council ^dth their accustomed obedience and regularity. 
The prevailing lack of sympathy is shown by the following 
entry on the Chui'ch Records : — 

" The 3 of May 88 ther was fast iu o'' towne it is said a pub- 
lik fast but few towns had notice of it nor had wee but by 
M*^ Stoughtons enforming y* y® Counsell had determined it ther 
was none at Rocksbery nor Cambridg nor watertown nor at 
boston but at y^ first Chm-ch ther y^ Saboth before they say 
was apointed a thanksgiving day for y® queens being w^^ child : 
oui' Saboth was kept as at other times being Sacrament day." ^ 

The fifty-eight years, whose events have been recorded 
in the preceding pages, have brought forth a wonderful 
development in the early settlers. These sturdy emigrants 
have succeeded in planting a colony in the wilderness, and 
in creating order out of chaos. All around them other 
colonies are started: but it is to Dorchester that they 
look for leadership. It is Dorchester that institutes 
the first special town meeting; the succeeding year the 
other settlements follow her example. It is Dorchester 
that founds the fii'st free public school, and elects the fii*st 
school committee : from this originated the great system 
of public education wliich has ever made Massachusetts 

These events alone entitle Dorchester to a foremost 
position as a pioneer of good citizenship. The descendants 
of the early colonists, who displayed so much wisdom in 
spite of their restricted opportunities, have reason to feel 

1 Records of the First Church of Dorclicster, p. 128. 




proud that the same worthy blood flows through their 
veins as that which animated their ancestors, more than 
two hundred and fifty years ago, to establish such valuable 

Thus we find the people prepared, by their struggles 
during the half-centuiy just passed, to take part in the 
second period of the existence of the town. The Colony 
is about to become a Province, and the colonists are almost 
ready to assmne the title of provincials. We shall find 
the transition j^eriod full of interest and importance, bring- 
ing out more forcibly the sterling worth and indomitable 
courage, perseverance, and intelligence of the people to 
whom Dorchester owes lier foundation. 

Ship of the XVIIth Century, of the class to which the " Mary and John " 



>TT?s I ^ 

T is to the Town Records that the historical 
student must turn to find the evidence of 
the important change which has come 
over the people. It has been silently and 
unconsciously accomplished, without the 
actual knowledge even of the people 
themselves. Under the date of May, 1689, is the follow- 
ing entry, which has been called ^ ''the bridge from the 
Colonial to the Provincial period ": — 

"According to the order of the councill for safety of the 
people and conservation of the peace, may the 2**, 1689, 
directed to the Captain and select men of the town of 
dorchester, — the inhabitants of the town being warned, met 
together on the 7^^ instant, may, and made choice of Samuel 
Clap and Timothy Tilston to convene at boston upon thursday, 
the ninth instant, at two o'clock afternoon, fully impowrd, then 
and there, to consult, advise, joyn, and give then assistance 
with the councill now sitting." 

The events which called forth the appointment of these 
representatives were momentous. In April, 1689, a rumor 
came from Virginia that the Prince of Orange had landed 
in England the November previous, and this raised the 
hopes of the inhabitants of Boston to the highest j)itch. 

1 Eev. Samuel J. Barrows: " Dorcliester in the Provincial Period." — 
Memorial History of Boston, vol. ii. p. 357. 


Soon the excitement was beyond control. Tar-barrels were 
lighted on Beacon Hill, and flags were raised to take their 
place by day. The people from the country around Boston 
came flocking to the town, and every one seemed to realize 
that a great crisis was at hand. A company of Boston 
soldiery escorted several of the former magistrates through 
the principal streets, finally stopping at the Town House 
on King Street, the present State Street. The former 
magistrates appeared on the balcony, and read a '' Declara- 
tion of the Gentlemen, Merchants and Inhabitants of 
Boston and the Country adjacent " to the excited crowd in 
the street. This document is sup]30sed to have been drawn 
up by Cotton Mather, and rehearsed the oppressive acts of 
Andros's administration, the illegal appointment of the 
Dudley Commission, and the wrongful suppression of the 
Charter. It further hailed with delight the accession of 
the Prince of Orange to the throne of England, and 
justified the arrest and imprisonment of " those few ill men 
which have been (next to our sins) the grand authors of 
all our miseries." 

Numerous arrests were made, including Captain George 
of the frigate "Rose," and Randolph and Chief Justice 
Dudley. The fort surrendered, and it was agreed that the 
" Rose " should strike her topmasts and send her sails 
ashore, thus lying helpless in the stream, under the guns 
of the fort. The overthrow of the Andros government 
was accomplished without the loss of a di'op of blood. 
A provisional government was at once organized under the 
name of a '' Council for the Safety of the People and 
Conservation of the Peace." The venerable and beloved 
Simon Bradstreet was appointed president, and a number 
of the old assistants were called to his aid as a council. It 
was to this council that Messrs. Clap and Tiles ton were 
chosen, as the Dorchester representatives. 

Fifty-four towns of Massachusetts were represented in 
the assembly which met after the overthrow of Andros ; 


but, although it was clearly the sentiment of the delegates 
that the ancient Charter might be resumed, all action was 
suspended under it until it was restored. On May 29, the 
news reached Boston that William and Mary had been 
invested with the crown. 

In the declaration of the prince to the people of England, 
he announced that he came in order that " all magistrates 
who have been unjustly turned out, shall forthwith reas- 
sume their former Imployments, and the English corpora- 
tions return to their ancient prescriptions and charters." 
It was upon this clause that the colonists confidently 
relied ; but they had been deceived in their expectations. 
The ministers of the king explained that the clause 
referred to the English charters, which had been taken 
away by James, and not to those of the colonies, which 
violated the Navigation Acts, and threatened the interests 
of English trade and manufactures. The new regency 
was not disposed to continue the policy of the late king, 
but evidently had no idea of allowing the opportunity to 
slip by for putting a restraint upon colonial independence. 
Thus the Massachusetts deputies were only able to obtain 
permission to use the old Charter until a new one could be 

William made a concession, however, which somewhat 
lessened the bitterness of the disappointment : the appoint- 
ment of a governor who would be acceptable to the people 
was left to the agents of the Colony. One of these agents. 
Increase Mather, had been sent to England during the 
critical affairs of the Colony. He had not been successful 
in procuring a new charter satisfactory to the people, nor 
in saving the old one ; but his influence was enough to 
secure the appointment of Sir William Phips as governor 
of New England. Dorchester was honored in having 
William Stoughton, one of her most prominent citizens, 
chosen lieutenant-governor. When Phips was recalled, 
and there was a delay in the arrival of Bellomont, his 


successor, the conduct of affairs largely devolved upon 
S tough ton. 

Dr. George E. Ellis, w^riting of the effect of the changes 
of this period on Massachusetts, says : — 

*' It might seem as if the transition between the old and the 
new regime in Massachusetts had been made under such favor- 
able circumstances, through the familiar personalities of Phips 
and Stoughton, that the people would have hardly been con- 
scious of the change in their form of government. In fact, the 
change had been so facilitated in this respect that it was very 
much relieved of a revolutionary or startling character. There 
was a cheerful effort, in the renewal of the old routine in the 
towns, to gather up the fragments, and to find the ever excellent 
solace and security of an excited people in industry. But none 
the less must the strong and stiff old Stoughton have felt the 
difference between standing among the foremost, as he had done 
in the colonial period, in sensitiveness to any reminder of 
accountability across the water, and being the reluctant repre- 
sentative here of that foreign dictation and surveillance." ^ 

The excitement incident to the events already recorded 
in this chapter had hardly subsided when Dorchester was 
called upon to furnish a company of soldiers to assist in 
the English attack on Canada. In response to this demand 
the town organized a company of seventy-four men, under 
command of Captain John Withington. A question has 
been raised as to whether it was possible for so small a 
town to raise and support so large a company of men. 
The names here given include volunteers from the 
present towns of Milton and Stoughton, then within 
Dorchester's limits ; but even with tliis in mind, the num- 
ber is much larger than could have been expected. It is 
but another proof of the wonderful fortitude of the early 
settlers, who suffered any sacrifice to support what they 
considered to be a worthy cause. All doubt as to the 

1 The Royal Governors of Massacliusetts : Memorial History of Boston, 
vol. ii. p. 39. 




actual fact has been removed by the discovery of a com- 
plete list of the names of the soldiers among the papers 
of Ebenezer Clap, the son of Nathaniel, who took an 
active part in town affairs at the time the company was 
raised. The following list is published in the ''History of 
Dorchester " (1859) : — 


A list of (he name^ of the soldiers under the command of Captain 
John Withington, Oct. 3, 1690. 

Capt. Joh. Withington. Sargt. Ammiel Weeks. Corp. John Poope. 
Left. George Minott. Sargt. Richard Butt. Corp. Joseph Curtis. 
Insine Samuel Sumner. Sargt. Samuel Sumner. Corp. George Holmes. 
Joseph Weeks, Clarke. Joseph Trescott, Drummer. 

Ebenezer Sumner. 
Henry Lyon. 
Eliab Lyon. 
Uright Modsley. 
William Cheney. 
Peter Calley. 
Ebenezer Poope. 
WiUiam Sumner. 
Eleazer Walles. 
William Cooke. 
Joseph Long. 
Thomas Weeks. 
Thomas Andrews. 
William Sumner. 
Samuel Sandras. 

Edward Wiatte. 
Benieman Hewens. 
James Swift. 
Hopstill Sandras. 
Solomon Clarke. 
John Lord. 
Consider Atherton. 
Jezeniah Sumner. 
Adam Barr. 
James Robinson. 
Cornelius Tilestone. 
Richard Euins, 
Samuel Hicks. 
John Tolman. 
John Jones. 

These on lord Capt. B y. 

Ebenezer Crane. 
Samuel Chandler. 
William Fowst. 
William Belshar. 
David Stevenson. 
Henry Jackson. 
Thomas Bird. 
Augusten Clements. 
William Swift. 
Moses Chaplin. 
Joshua Shoot. 
John Anderson. 
John Leeds. 
Isaac Caps. 
John Crewhore. 

Corp. Daniel Hensha. Thomas Kelton. 

William Blake. 
John Gulliver. 
William George. 
Joseph Atherton. 
Samuel Triscott. 

John Morrill. 
James Morey. 
Edward Clap, 
Jehossephat Crabtree. 
John Briant. 

Robert Husay. 
Charles Readman. 
William Baker. 
Mathew ^lapley. 
John .Tones. 
Elias Moonke. 

Forty-six members of this company never returned from 
the ill-fated expedition, most of wdiom are supposed to 
have lost their lives at sea. In 1735 the General Court of 


Massachusetts granted the survivors of the expedition, 
and tlie heirs of those who lost their lives, a township of 
land in Worcester County, which was called Dorchester- 
Canada. Later, this was incorporated into a town under 
the name of Ashburnham. 

The year 1690-91 proved to be the most disastrous 
Dorchester had experienced, so far as deaths are concerned. 
BUike says that thirty-three persons died of small-pox, and 
twenty-four of fever, besides the forty-six who lost their 
lives in the Canadian expedition.^ Among the number 

was Captain Roger Clap, to 
/ Poj^ttV/^ (O^QJ^j^ whom reference has often been 
^ made in preceding pages. He 

was of the ultra Puritan school, and opposed to the inno- 
vations attempted by the Antinomians and Quakers. He 
resigned his position at the Castle when the first charter 
was dissolved in 1686, as he was unwilling to lend his 
assistance to the tyrannical schemes of Governor Andros. 
He removed to Boston soon after his resignation, where he 
died in 1691. Blake says of him : — 

** Ab to his natural Temper^ it is said, He was of a chearful 
& pleasant Disposition, courteous and kind in his Behaviour, 
free and familiar in his Conversation, yet attended with a 
proper Reservedness ; he had a Gravity & Presence that com- 
manded Respect from others. He departed this life, Feb. 2, 
1690-91, in the 82d Year of his Age. He was buried in the 
old Burying Place in Boston ; the Military Officers going before 
the Corps ; and next to the Relations, the Govemour and the 
whole General Court following after; and the Guns firing at 
the Castle at the same time." ^ 

Another death during this year, while not occurring 
within the town limits, was felt by the people to be a great 
loss. John Eliot, " the Apostle to the Indians," died in 
Roxbury, leaving a vacancy which no one else could fill. 

1 Annals of the Town of Dorcliester, p. 33 (1846). 

2 Memoirs of Roger Clap, p. 59 (1844). 





He was born at Nasing, in Essex, England, in 1604, and was 
educated at Jesus College, Cambridge. Wliile here Eliot 
displayed his wonderful love of philology, which he after- 
wards demonstrated in learning the language of the native 
Indians. After taking his degree Eliot devoted himself 

eliot's chair.^ 

to teaching, acting in the capacity of usher in the school 
of Rev. Thomas Hooker. During liis residence with Mr. 
Hooker's family, he resolved to devote liimself to the work 
of the Christian ministry. At this time there was no field 
for non-conformist preachers in England, so Eliot deter- 

1 This antique chair, having been preserved in a Koxbury family, was 
given to Rev. Dr. Harris, and is at present in the First Church in Dorchester. 
It bears this inscription: "This cliair once belonged to the Rev. John Eliot, 
commonly called the ' Ajjostle to the Indians,' and was used in his study. 
It was placed under the pulpit of this meeting-house (built in 1816 by the 
first parish in Dorchester) by Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, D.D., for forty- 
three years its pastor, as a venerated memorial." 


96 GOOD OLD DOllCHESTER. [1695. 

mined to emigrate to America, where he arrived November 
3, 1631. He officiated for a year in the First Church in 
Boston, at the end of wliich time he was appointed pastor 
of the Church in Koxbury, where he remained until his 

Eliot soon began the mission work among the Indians 
by which he became so well known. There were about 
twenty tribes of natives within the bounds of the planta- 
tion of Massachusetts Bay, and he devoted himself for a 
long period to a study of their language. He obtained 
the assistance of a young Indian who had been taken 
prisoner during the Pequot War, and who had been put 
out to service with a Dorchester planter. With his aid, 
Eliot translated the Commandments, the Lord's Prayer, 
and many Scripture texts, and at length was able to preach 
to the Indians without the help of an interpreter. His 
most famous work was the translation of the Bible into 
the Indian language. 

Eliot's mission work extended to all the early settle- 
ments in the vicinity ; but nowhere did he accomplish more 
than among the Dorchester Indians, for whom he obtained 
the Ponkapoag Plantation. 

Captain John Capen, a valuable citizen, died in 1692. 
He was one of the deacons of the Church, and had been 
selectman and recorder, serving in the former capacity for 
sixteen years, and in the latter for thirteen years. Blake 
says of him, " He wrote more in the Books than any one 
man by far ; keeping y® Books in good order. He wrote 
about 246 Pages in both Books." 

Early in December, 1695, Rev. Joseph Lord and a small 
but determined band of followers left Dorchester for the 
purpose of spreading the gospel. The 22d of the previous 
October, the usual lecture day at the church at Dorchester, 
was devoted to the ordination of Mr. Lord ; and all the 
neighboring towns sent representatives to the ceremony. 


From that time until December the zealous minister was 
hard at work winning followers to go with him into the 
wilderness of South Carolina. 

The enterprise promised well ; and it was an enthusiastic 
party of nine which embarked after listening to a sermon 
from Rev. John Danforth. After bidding their friends 
farewell, they knelt down, *' mingling their supplications 
with every expression of Christian tenderness." 

The following entries on the Church Records in refer- 
ence to this undertaking are of special interest : — 

" Decemb'" 5^^ 1695. The Church for CaroUna set saile from 
Boston Dec. 14^^ at night the skiff was neer run uud"^ Water y® 
Stormy wind being so boisterous. They kept a day of pray"* 
on board : & safely Landed at Carolina Decemb'' y® 20^, y® oth'" 
vessells had a Moneths Passage, this but about 14 days 

" Febr: 2^: There was y^ first Sacrament of y® Lords Supper 
that ever was Celebrated in CaroUna, Eight persons received 
besides Such as were of y^ Church by vhtue of Comuuion of 
Churches, and there was Great Joy among y® Good People of 
Carolina & many Thanksgivings to y^ Lord." 

The account of their journey was well given by Prof. 
John B. Mallard in his centennial address before the people 
of Midway, Georgia, on December 6, 1852. He said : — 

" The Macedonian cry of the pious in Carolina was heard in 
New England, and the religious sentiment of the Dorchester 
settlers was awakened. They had planted the first church in 
Connecticut, and now they were ready to gather another to 
send to the far distant borders of the South. . . . On 
the 5th of December, the first missionaries that ever left the 
shores of New England were offering up their evening prayers 
from the decks of two small vessels on the bosom of the 
Atlantic. What an interesting company did those two frail 
barks contain ! Infancy, not knowing whither it went ; youth 
with all its joyousness ; middle age with its conscious weight 
of responsibility : the old and the young ; the strong and the 
weak ; the protector and the protected. 

"Landing on the shores of Carolina, they threaded their 


way to the Ashley River; aud twenty miles from the abode 
of civilized man, — in the midst of an unbroken forest, 
where wild beasts prowled, — they fixed their habitation ; and, 
February 2d, 169G, under the boughs of a weather-beaten 
oak (still standing and stretching its branches over the resting 
places of the dead), they took the sacrament of the Lord's 
Supper, renewed then* vows, and gave public thanks to that 
Being who had led them on in safety." 

The people built themselves temporary shelter until 
they could devote more time to the erection of dwelling- 
houses, the fii-st care being to provide themselves with a 
suitable church. This was established under the Congre- 
gational order of church government, a form which flour- 
ished with them for many years. True to the town of 
their birth, the new habitation was called " Dorchester," 
and the people did what they could, in a rude way, to 
make the town resemble its New England parent. 

It was not long before the discovery was made that the 
neighborhood did not extend widely enough to answer the 
needs of the ever-increasing inhabitants. More than this, 
the location had not proved as healthful as had been 
expected; so, fifty years after the first settlement, three 
persons were appointed to explore the adjoining country, 
with a view to finding a more favorable site for the town. 
The report was that a suitable location had been found in 
the adjoining colony of Georgia, and the exploring com- 
mittee advised an immediate removal. 

A majority were in favor of accepting the advice of the 
committee, but a few were so unwilling to leave their 
homes, which seemed hardly more than just established, 
that there was a division, and some went, and some 
remained behind. The separation did not last long, how- 
ever, for the reluctant ones decided to follow their more 
adventurous brothers, and the settlement was again united. 

The new location was situated just half way between the 
Altamaha and the Ogechee Rivers, and the town was there- 


fore named " Midway." The number of inhabitants was 
eight hundred and sixteen. That they still possessed the 
characteristic Dorchester traits is shown by the words of 
the secretary of the Georgia Colony in a letter to Mr. 
Benjamin Martyn in England. He says, among other 
complimentary expressions, "I really look upon these 
people moving here, to be one of the most favorable 
circumstances that could befall the colony." A further 
proof, if one were needed, of the position which these 
people held, is the fact that from this settlement Georgia 
has selected two governors, and many of the most able 
judges, professors, ministers, and bishops of the State have 
claimed Midway as their home. 

Mr. Lord, the minister, originally ordained to pursue 
missionary work in South Carolina, did not remain long 
with the hamlet he had helped to institute, as he returned 
to Massachusetts, and settled in Chatham. Rev. Hugh 
Fisher was his successor ; and in 1735 Rev. Jolin Osgood 
was ordained. When he died, in 1773, different mini- 
sters officiated for four years, until Mr. Moses Allen, of 
Northampton, was settled. A year later he was taken 
prisoner by the British, and for several months was con- 
fined in one of their prison ships. He chafed under the 
loss of his liberty, however, being anxious to be where he 
could be of assistance to his fellow-patriots, and tried to 
escape by throwing himself into the water. In the 
attempt to swim to land he was di'owned. On this same 
occasion many of the buildings in Midway, including the 
church, were burned by the British under General Provost. 
Among the names associated with the religious life at 
Midway are those of Rev. Abiel Holmes, Rev. C. Gilder- 
sleeve, Rev. Murdoch Murphy, Rev. Robert Quarterman, 
Rev. I. S. K. Axson, Rev. D. L. Buttolph, and Rev. 
John F. Baker. 

The part taken by the Midway patriots previous to the 
war of the Revolution made them famous. They exerted 


every effort to bring Georgia up to their standpoint, and 
to induce the Colony to send delegates to the Continental 
Congress, but to no avail. When the case proved hopeless, 
they bravely dissented from their neighbors, and chose Dr. 
Lyman Hall to represent them at Philadelphia, where he 
took an active part in affairs of the convention, and was 
one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. 
Thus we see that Dorchester, in Massachusetts, exerted 
no little influence on the Dorchester in South Carolina, 
and Midway, Georgia, and in this way was doubly prom- 
inent in the early strike for liberty. 

Dr. John Codman, pastor of the Second Church, while 
travelling in the South in 1824, paid a visit to the settle- 
ment at Midway. He gives the following interesting 
account of it : — 

' ' Soon after breakfast we prepared ourselves to attend 
church, about nine miles distant from Colonel Law's. On our 
way, which was principally through a thick wood, we passed 
many negroes, neatly attired, walking to the house of God in 
company. As we approached the church, a great number of 
carriages were coming in every direction to this sacred spot, 
which is far from the habitations of men, and surrounded only 
by the graveyard and a few little houses and arbors, erected for 
the convenience of the congregation, who come from such a dis- 
tance that, in some instances, they take their whole families 
with them. There is an intermission of about half an hour, and 
this interval is spent by the whites in the buildings and arbors 
around the church. The blacks, meanwhile, retire with then 
leader or watchman, to the woods, where they are reminded of 
the truths to which they have been attending, by one of their 
own number, whom they call an ' exhorter.' I preached morn- 
ing and afternoon to a very attentive audience. The singing 
was performed in the old-fashioned style, and without any 
select choir. The members of the church retain the primitive 
faith which their ancestors embraced, and are extremely fearful 
of innovations. There are about six hundred communicants, 
including the blacks, and the ordinance is administered once in 
three months. The blacks have watchmen, as they are called, 


whose duty it is to see that they walk circumspectly ; and in 
case of deviation, to report the same to the Church, which has 
ever maintained a wholesome discipline. Thus has passed this 
interesting Sabbath, which may truly be called a ' Peep at the 
Pilgrims,' and carries one back in feeling to the early settlement 
of our country, when the church was indeed in the wilderness, 
and the disciples of Christ a distinct and peculiar people." 

A committee was appointed in 1699, consisting of John 
Bird, Daniel Preston, Jr., and Charles Davenport, to lay 
out the thousand acres of land wliich had been appropri- 
ated by the town for the maintenance of a free school. 
This "school farm," as it was called, was near the 
Plymouth Colony line, by the Bridgewater Road, half way 
between Boston and Taunton. It was made uj) of several 
different lots in the same vicinity, but which did not 
connect with each other. 

William Brimsmead, a son of Dorchester who gained a 
reputation for himself away from his native town, died in 
1701. He was one of the students at Harvard College 
who rebelled when the course was lengthened from three 
to four years, and left without obtaining his degree. This 
was about 1657. The field of the greater part of his 
labors was Marlborough, where he accomplished much good 
by preaching the gospel, although many a time he was 
forced to leave his sermon half-finished, and run with his 
congregation to the fort near by, to obtain protection 
against the Indians. A proof of his good work is the 
" Brimsmead Covenant," which was used by the Marlbo- 
rough Church with but a few verbal changes until 1837. 
One of Mr. Brimsmead's eccentricities was that he 
refused baptism to all children born on Sunday. He died 
on July 3, and is characterized as a "well-accomplished 
servant of Christ." 

William Stoughton, the most prominent citizen Dor- 
chester had yet produced, died on July 7th of the same 
year. He was the son of Israel Stoughton, and was born 


September 30, 1631, whether in England or Dorchester is 
not definitely known. He received his education at Har- 
vard College, graduating in 1650, and he then went to 
New College, at Oxford, to extend his course. In 1662 
he lost his fellowship through the restoration of Charles 
II., and returned to New England, where he assisted Mr. 
Mather in the public services. He was distinguished as a 
preacher, and when Mr. Mather died he was six times 
invited to become his successor. For ''reasons within 
himself " he persistently declined, but preached the election 
sermon in 1668, which is said to have been one of the 
most powerful and impressive discourses ever delivered 
before the General Court. 

Stoughton was well known from his connection with 
politics, but it was his position as chief justice of the court 
before which the witchcraft trials were held which gave 
him notoriety and made him so unpopular with many. 
His colleague, Judge Sewall, made a public recantation in 
the Old South Church for the part he had taken in these 
trials, but Governor Stoughton refused to do the same, 
saying that he had acted up to the enlightenment he had 
at the time, although he had since been convinced that he 
had been in the wrong. A writer in "Putnam's Maga- 
zine " for September, 1853, says, " Chief Justice Stoughton, 
after the delusion was over, sent a note to the pulpit on 
Sunday desiring prayers for his pardon, if in any way he 
had sinned by his course in the trials ; and as it was read 
he stood up in his pew, showing by his quivering lip the 
strong feeling within." 

Whether this is true or not, it is certain that Stoughton 
was greatly influenced by the superstition of the age, and 
undoubtedly acted sincerely, but without the enlighten- 
ment one would expect to find in a man of his standing. 

Governor Stoughton was a large land-owner, and was 
one of Dorchester's wealthiest citizens. His home, on the 
corner of Pleasant Street and Savin Hill Avenue, was 



marked by two large elms for many years after his decease ; 
but now these have given way to the changes of time, and 
the spots where the sturdy old governor discussed politics 
and the witchcraft trials are now the witnesses of other 

Governor Stoughton was a friend to education, and 
thi'ee years before his death he gave XIOOO of Massachu- 
setts currency to Harvard College, with which to erect a 
dormitory. The original building was torn down in 1780, 
but the present Stoughton Hall was erected to take its 
place. A further bequest of land was made in his will, to 
" Harvard College at Cambridge, the place of my first pub- 
lic education (which nursery of good learning hath been of 
inestimable blessing to the Church and peo^^le of God in 
this wilderness, and may ever continue to be so, if the 
people continue in the favor of God)." The income of 
this was to go toward the support of needy students. The 
Rev. Samuel Willard of the Old South Church preached 
Stoughton's funeral sermon on July 17, 1701, and he was 
called " the last of the original Puritans." 

The estimates of Stoughton's character vary. The elabo- 
rate Latin inscription upon his tomb, which is supposed 
to have been written by Cotton Mather, and modelled 
after that of Blaise Pascal, the famous French phil- 
osopher, eulogizes liim in a manner which has not 
found a response in the writings of that day or since. 
Palfrey, for instance, refers to him as a " rich, atrabilious 
bachelor, one of those men to whom it seems to be a 
necessity of nature to favor oppressive and insolent 
pretentions, to resent every movement for freedom and 
humanity as an impertinence and affront." The same 
writer speaks of him again as "hard, obstinate, narrow- 
minded," having a "bull-dog stubbornness that might in 
other times have made him a St. Dominic." Palfrey 
admits, however, that he was " not unconscientious after 
his own dreary way." Quincy describes Governor 


Stoughton, in his "' History of Harvard University," as 
'' having more of the willow than the oak in his constitu- 
tion ; " '' one of these politicians who change their 
principles with times, and shift their sails so as to catch 
every favorable breeze." Another writer calls liim 
*' pudding-faced, sanctimonious, and unfeeling." No one, 
however, seems to question the excellence of liis admini- 
stration as governor. The English version of the 
inscription referred to on his tomb is as follows : — 

Here lies 


Lieutenant, afterwards Governor, 

Of the Province of Massachusetts in New England, 


Chief Judge of the Superior Court in the same Province. 

A man of wedlock unknown, 

Devout in Religion, 

Renowned for Virtue, 

Famous for Erudition, 

Acute in Judgment, 

Equally Illustrious by Kindred and Spirit, 

A Lover of Equity, 

A Defender of the Laws, 

Founder of Stoughton Hall, 

A most Distinguished Patron of Letters and Literary Men. 

A most strenuous Opponent of Impiety and Vice. 

Rhetoricians delight in Him as Eloquent, 

Writers are acquainted with Him as Elegant, 

Philosophers seek Him as Wise, 

Doctors honor Him as a Theologian, 

The Devout revere Him as Grave, 

All admire Him ; unknown by All 

Yet known to All. 

What need of more, Traveller? Whom have we lost — 

Stoughton ! 

Alas ! 

I have said sufficient. Tears press, 

I keep silence. 

He lived Seventy Years ; 

On the Seventh of July, in the Year of Safety 1701 

He Died. 

Alas! Alas! What Grief! 

During the early years of the centur}^ the town was 
more concerned with events having but an indirect result 


upon its welfare. The following entries on the Church 
Records show that the people were very conversant of 
what was taking place about them : — 

''Febr. 1703 Captivated from Deerfield, the Re\^ m' John 
Williams; & 06 more but killed by y® French & Indians 52 
w^of m" Williams one & some of y"" Children & Eleven Soul- 
diers some y* were sent to y"^ Garison oth" (viz 5) y^ came in 
upon y® Alarum & 14 men more Diverse houses burnt about 50 
french & Indians kill'd." 

"■ April, 8, 1703. A publ: Generall Thanksgiving for Her 
Majestys Successes by Sea & Land against y® French & Span- 
iards in Europe & America, many Ships, much Treasure & 
many Towns being taken. M™ John Earl of Marlborough is 
Capt. General of y® Land forces James Duke of Ormond 
is General of y^ Fleet forces & S^ George Rook is Admu'al of 
y^ Fleet ; und"^ o^ Soveraign Queen Anne who came to y® Throne 
March. 8. 1702. But before y« Late King William y« 3^ of 
Glorious Memory died. There were Sundry Societys Sett up for 
Reformation of Manner's, & behold y® Smiles of Heaven, upon 
y® Same, o^ Nation being on a Suddain filld with plenty of 
Grain & plenty of Silver, (y® Plate Fleet being taken,) & 
plenty of Hono'" & Victory, So That y® Queen has Invited Her 
Subjects in y® plantations in America to Rejoyce with Her & so 
Return Thanks to God." 

''May 18 1704 A Province Fast by Proclamation & there 
was a slaughter & Captivation of People at Northampton six 
days before." 

For several years previous to 1704 it had been the 
practice of the Church to pay the salary of the minister 
by voluntary contributions. The amount of these, how- 
ever, was found to be insufficient ; and ^Ir. Danforth, this 
year, was guaranteed a stated sum, to be raised by a special 
tax if the contributions still proved inadequate. 

The proprietors of the undivided lands made several 
generous gifts in 1706. During this year Rev. John 
Danforth, and Rev. Mr. Thacher of Milton, were admitted 
as proprietors, being granted two hundi-ed and one hundred 


acres respectively. Seventy-five acres were granted to the 
ministry for those " beyond the blue hills," and one hun- 
di'ed and fifty acres to Milton, on condition that a grammar 
school should be maintained there for fifteen years. 

The town voted, the next year, to call all the land 
belonging to Dorchester Avhich lay beyond the Blue Hill, 
the '' New Grant." 

In 1708 three Ponkapoag Indians, William Ahaton, 
Samuel INIamantaug, and Amos Ahaton, by name, ap- 
peared in behalf of their tribe to thank the town for the 
interest and justice shown in settling the boundaries 
betAveen them and the white settlers. They also stated 
that they regretted having offended the town by " leasing 
their land to the English," and promised to lease no more. 
They gave up their right to the land about the Ponk- 
apoag meeting-house, which contained some three acres, 
in order that it might be used as a burying place and 
training field. Tliis is one instance, at least, where 
the Indians showed themselves appreciative of kind treat- 
ment, and willing to come half way in straightening out 
difficulties between themselves and their neighbors. 

A vote was passed, in 1710, to grant the rights to them- 
selves and their heirs forever to any persons who should 
build a wharf at Wales's Creek. Two years later Stand- 
fast Foster, Ebenezer Davenport, Joseph Hall, Preserved 
Capen, Nathan Bradley, Francis Price, Remember Preston, 
Jonathan Clap, Ebenezer Moseley, and Humphrey Atherton 
accepted the conditions. The town then laid out a " way 
for the use and benefit of the inhabitants of the town of 
Dorchester," which in later years became Creek Street, 
running east from Pleasant Street, opposite the house of 
Samuel Downer. 

During the next year (1713), the Dorchester proprietors 
were incorporated into a body distinct from the town, and 
were thereafter to be known as the " Proprietors of the 
Undivided Lands." The organization continued to exist 
for nearly forty years. 


There had been difficulties in regard to Dorchester's 
boundaiy lines for many years, owing to the fact that the 
town extended so far into what was then regarded as 
the wilderness. During this year, however, agents were 
appointed by the different tow^ns to meet in Attleboro', to 
search for the boundaries w^hich had been determined in 
1664. With the assistance of some of the old inhabitants, 
the ancient " angle-tree " was found, and from this point a 
line was run to Accord Pond. This line was accepted by 
all except the agents of Attleboro' and Norton, who refused 
to acknowledge the so-called " angle-tree " as the original 
boundary line ; but the rest of the towns were satisfied, 
and the matter w^as settled. 

The first lighthouse in Boston Harbor was built in 1715, 
on the southerly part of the Great Brewster, on the location 
of the present Boston Lighthouse. Fishermen and the 
masters of coasting vessels had sorely felt the need of a 
warning light; and the service rendered by this first 
lighthouse can hardly be estimated. 

Elder Hopestill Clap died in 1719. He was a brother of 
Elder Samuel Clap, and was an influential pillar of the 
Church. The appreciation in wliich he was held is shown 
in the following inscription on his gravestone, wliich was 
written by the Rev. Jolin Danf ortli : — 

"Here lies Interred y^ Body of Mr. Hopestill Clap, who 
Deceased Sepr. 2d, 1719, aged 72 years. 
His Dust waits 'till y® lubily 
Shall then Shine brighter than y® Sky ; 
Shall meet & join to part no more, 
His Soul that 's Glorified before. 
Pastors and Churches happy be 
With Ruling Elders such as he : 
Present Useful, Absent Wanted, 
Liv'd Desired, Died Lamented." 

Dorchester did not escape the small-pox pestilence which 
visited Boston in 1721. Eighty-two persons were afflicted 
with the disease, thirteen of whom died. It was during 


this period that inoculation was introduced into the vicinity 
of Boston by Dr. Zabdiel Boylston. The process had not 
been previously tried in any of the other colonies, and it 
occasioned great excitement. The physicians and most of 
the clergy were bitterly opposed to the innovation, but, 
strange to say. Cotton Mather had faith in its efficacy from 
the start. After a few months, the selectmen of Boston 
forbade inoculation to be practised ; but its utility became 
evident from the cases already tried, only six patients dying 
out of the two hundred and eighty-six cases treated. It 
was therefore used until vaccination was introduced by 
Dr. Jenner. 

Elder Samuel Topliff, who died December 10, 1722, was 
born in Dorchester, May 7, 1646. He was the only son of 
Clement Topliff, who came to Dorchester and settled in 
Bowdoin Street about 1636. Elder Samuel was prominent 
in church and town affairs. He was elected elder in 
1692, and presiding elder in 1701, — which latter office he 
retained until his death. He filled every town office from 
constable to selectman, including that of town clerk. He 
was one of the "twenty proprietors" "incorporated into 
a distinct body, with power to lay out and fell land," etc., 
in the grant known as the " Ponkapoag Plantation." The 
records of the First Church bear ample evidence of his 
activity and zeal. 

Increase Mather, son of Rev. Richard Mather, died 
August 23, 1723 ; he was born in Dorchester, June 21, 
1639. In 1689 he was sent to England as agent of the 
Massachusetts Colony, and was very zealous in his endeav- 
ors to protect the interests of his fellow-citizens. As is 
often the case with men occupying high positions, he was 
not universally popular ; but his words had great influence 
on affairs of importance, and all admired his great abilities 
and power in the pulpit. He had the distinction of being 
the first person to receive the degree of Doctor of Divinity 
from Harvard College. 


During the next year a part of Wrentham was set 
off, the petition asking for it being based on the com- 
plaint from the people of that locality that "they lye 
thirty miles from the old meeting house, and fifteen from 
the southern meeting-house at Ponkapoag, so that they are 
under great disadvantage for attending the public worship 

The principal event of the year 1726 was the setting off 
of Ponkapoag as a separate township. This is recorded 
by Blake as follows : — 

"This year Punkapaog or y® South Precinct with y® Lands 
beyond it in y^ Township of Dorchester were sett off a Town- 
ship by themselues, by y^ Name of Stoughtou, leaving 
Dorchester but a Small Town, being narrow, and but about 
9 or 10 Miles in length, y® upper part being wood land & unset- 
tled ; which before was about 35 miles in length & in some 
places 6 or 8 miles wide ; the length being Reckoned from 
Dorchester-neck to Angle-Tree, as y® Road goeth."^ 

The good people of Dorchester came very near believing 
that the year 1727 was the one set for the millennium. 
Late in the night of October 29 a violent earthquake did 
considerable damage to buildings and fences, and rumbling 
noises w^ere heard for several months. The people were 
terrified, and gathered together in great numbers in the 
large towns. In Boston the churches were crowded with 
excited people, who depended on their ministers to post- 
pone the di^eaded day. In Dorchester, Rev. Mr. Danforth 
preached a sermon to meet the occasion, beginning his 
discourse with the words, " For an introduction to our 
following discourse, it may not be improper to say. Rejoice 
not for joy, O New England ! as other people ; the Lord 
has known and owned thee above all the families of the 
earth ; and therefore he will punish thee for thine iniqui- 
ties." The Rev. Mr. Danforth was a man of very mild tem- 

1 Blake's Annals of tlie Town of Dorchester, p. 45 (1846). 


perament, so that an outburst of this kind shows the excite- 
ment under which the people labored. The minds of the 
people had hardly become quieted when a violent storm 
again raised their fears ; but when nothing more serious 
happened than the destruction of some old trees, things 
again settled down into the old routine. 

In 1729 the Rev. Jonathan Bowman was ordained as 
colleague with Mr. Danforth, who was becoming somewhat 
aged. The death of the beloved pastor occurred a year 
later. Mr. Danforth was born in 1660, and was graduated 
from Harvard College at the age of seventeen. During 
his long service to the town he proved himself to be a 
man of great fidelity and worth. Blake makes the fol- 
lowing record of his death : — 

"He was S^ to be a man of great Learning, he understood 
y^ Mathematicks beyond most men of his Function. He was 
exceeding Charitable, & of a very peacefull temper. He took 
much pains to Eternize y^ Names of many of y® good Chris- 
tians of his own Flock ; And yet y® World is so ungrate full that 
he has not a Line Written to preserue his memory, no not so 
much as upon his Tomb; he being buried in Lt. Govr. 
Stoughton's Tomb that was covered with writing before."^ 

All wdio recall the remarkable epitaph of the worthy 
governor will be able to see the touch of irony in the 
annalist's closing remark. Stoughton's soul would un- 
doubtedly have rested just as quietly had room been left 
for a simple inscription for the gentle minister. 

The custom of ringing the bell at nine o'clock at night 
was inaugurated in 1734. The Boston bell had been regu- 
larly tolled at that hour for nearly a hundred years, and 
when its strokes were heard every one was supposed to 
return home and extinguish the lights. The Common in 
those days was a very popular place in which to stroll 
about during the summer evenings ; but when the bell was 

1 Blake's Annals of the Town of Dorchester, p. 47 (1846). 


heard the people quietly and obediently turned their steps 
homeward, and the streets were practically deserted. The 
custom of ringing the bell continued for nearly another 
hundi'ed years, and many good citizens to-day remember 
the time when it was in vogue. 

The town found great difficulty in appointing constables. 
The two qualities considered most necessary for the office 
were discretion and reliability, — characteristics wliich 
unfortunately are not always apparent even in the succes- 
sors of these worthy officials. The position was a much 
avoided one, and it was found necessary to decree a penalty 
against those who refused to serve. Many, however, paid 
their fines rather than accept the position, so that at last 
the General Court gave the town the right to increase the 
fine to £5. In Boston the penalty was <£10. 

Under the date of 1734 Blake makes an interesting 
statement in regard to the growth of the town. He shows 
that from 1657 to this year there had been 2,416 births and 
921 deaths, proving, he says, — 

' ' That many of y^ People that were Born in y^ Town moved 
out & Died not here. And y® number of Bhths in a year for 
40 or 50 years past were not many less than they are now 
(except when Stoughton also belonged to this Town), which 
shows y® People are not much more numerous (if any thing) 
now than they were then. And in Capt. John Capen's time, 
there is left a list of Persons Seated in y® meeting-house that 
now is, and y^ number of men then Seated were 171, and y® 
number of women were 180; which seems to be as many as 
can sit there now." ^ 

The slow rate of increase in the toAvn's population 
between the dates mentioned above continued down to 
1800. The wars were responsible to a certain degree for 
this state of affairs, but the chief cause was the induce- 
ments offered by other settlements. Many of the most 

1 Blake's Aiinals of the Town of Dorchester, p. 49 (1846). 

114 GOOD OLD DOllCHESTER. [1736. 

influential men who claimed Dorchester for a birthplace 
had moved into neighboring colonies, and this, while 
extending the usefulness of the town, was prejudicial to 
its best interests. 

The death of Elijah Danforth, M. D., son of Rev. John 
Danforth, on October 8, 1736, brings to our notice the 
fact that there is no record of any resident physician at 
Dorchester at a very early date, in spite of the fact that 
much sickness prevailed here during the first two years of 
the settlement. Dr. Samuel Fuller, of Plymouth, writing 
to Governor Bradford under date of June 28, 1630, says : 
*' I have been to Mattapan at the request of Mr. Warham, 
and let some twenty of these people blood." Dr. Danforth 
was one of the earliest physicians of the town, having his 
residence near the old burying ground. He was graduated 
from Harvard College in 1703. Blake says that he was 
" a good and safe Physician, and had been one of y^ Justices 
of y® Peace for y® County of Suffolk for many years 

In 1737 the town introduced an innovation by voting to 
supply the school with wood. Up to this time it had been 
the custom for the parents or guardians to furnish it, at 
the rate of two feet for each pupil. 

We have seen that the upland was laid out by the pro- 
prietors into divisions, by parallel lines running from north 
to south, being known as the " Twelve Divisions." The 
swamps and low, poor lands were excluded. On the 
9th of May, 1737, a rule of proportion was made to four 
hundred and eighty proprietors, and every inhabitant of 
the town had each his proportion according to the rule. 
An order was made, January 16, 1738, that all the land in 
Dorchester should be divided according to said rule ; and 
the undivided land was sold to pay the expenses of sur- 
veying and laying out. 

Robert Spur, Esq., a prominent man in the town, died 
in January, 1738. He had filled the position of selectman 


for eight years, and had been representative for four 
years ; he was also a lieutenant-colonel, — in all of which 
capacities he acquitted himself well. He was exceedingly 
popular with the townspeople, but the church authorities 
frequently came in opposition to him on account of his 
liberal religious views. 

Dorchester lost another strip of land in 1739, ''several 
of the inhabitants having petitioned to be set off to 

The year 1740 was an unusually important one. It was 
at this time that Rev. George Whitefield came from Eng- 
land, whose preaching produced such a sensation in the 
churches of Boston and its vicinity. The effect of his labors 
on the Dorchester Church is referred to in a later chapter. 

The winter of this year was the most severe one which 
the people had experienced for over forty years. The fall 
of snow was unusually heavy, and the cold was so bitter 
that even Dorchester Bay was solidly frozen. This made 
it possible for a track to be laid across the ice to Castle 
William, which was much used for pleasure driving. 
Sledges, loaded with hay, came up from Spectacle Island. 

An effort was made about this time to introduce the 
Manufactory, or Land Bank bills. The scheme, however, 
was abandoned a year or so later, occasioning much incon- 
venience to those who had been induced to accept the bills. 

The early frosts of 1740 were largely responsible for the 
scarcity of grain during the succeeding year. Says Blake, 
" Wheat sold for 30^ per bushel, Rye, 22^ & Indian Corn 
for 20* per bushel paper Currency; which is about one 
fourth of y® Value of Proclamation Money." This short- 
age in the supply, together with the increased demands of 
the ever-growing population, caused no little suffering 
among the people. 

On June 29 and 30, 1743, the people rejoiced over the 
raising of a new meeting-house, which was by far the best 
structure the Church had yet erected. It cost about 


$17,000, old tenor, which was a most liberal allowance for 
a church building at that time. The occasion was marred 
by a sad accident to one of the young men who was assist- 
ing at the raising, Ephraim Wales by name, who fell from 
one of the cross-beams, and died from the result of his 

A second earthquake shock visited Dorchester in 1744. 
It was not so severe as that of 1727 ; but it was enough to 
shake the meeting-house from top to bottom, and to cause 
a wall near by to fall. Several chimneys in Boston were 
also thrown down. 

Thomas Tileston, Esq., died during the following year. 
He was a prominent man in the town, serving in many 
responsible positions. He was selectman for twenty-four 
years, representative for ten years, and also held the posts 
of justice of the peace and lieutenant-colonel. 

It was during this year (1745) that the famous expedi- 
tion against the French settlements at Cape Breton was 
made by the Province of Massachusetts Bay. Blake gives 
an excellent account of it : — 

"This year y^ Province of y^ Massachusetts-Bay having y® 
winter before Projected an Expedition against the French Set- 
tlements at y® Island of Cape Britton, and Raised about 3000 
men, with several Vessels of War, Transports, and all sorts of 
Warlike Stores, with y^ assistance of about 1000 men more 
from New Hampshire, Connecticut, Rhode Island &c. ; ours set 
sail from Boston y^ 24:th of March, 1744-5, & after waiting at 
Canso for y® Removal of y^ Ice arrived at Cape Britton y® first 
day of May, where meeting with Commodore Warren with about 
7 or 8 Men of War that were Ordered there from Several parts, 
they besieged the City and Forts of Lovisburgh ; the Men of 
War blocking up y® Harbour, and taking many Vessels bound 
there, some of them from y® East Indies & y® South Sea ex- 
ceeding Rich, and among y^ Rest one of y® French Kings Ships 
of War of 64 Guns & 500 men, called y® Vigilant; a fine new 
Ship : and y® land army at y^ same time Cannonading & Bom- 
barding y® Town, which held out till y® 17th of June, 1745, and 
then Capitulated, delivering all but their Personal Estates into 



the hands of y® English, and were themselves transported home 
to France. There were but very few of om* Men slain in Battle 
Considering y® great Strength of the place & y® desperateness 
of y® adventui*e ; but after our men had taken Possession of 
y® City & Island, a mortal Fever Seized them, and Continued 
all y® Summer and most part of y® Winter following, that car- 
ried off multitudes ; most that went from hereabouts that I 
knew either died there, or in then- passage home, or soon after 
they came home ; 'tis said there died of our New England 
Forces about 1500 men. 

" Our Forces kept the place until May following and then 
were Relieved by Forces from England, except those that Listed 
there. Wm. Peperil Esqr. was General of oui* Land Forces, 
who for his good service was made a Baronet, and both he & 
Govr. Shirley were made Colonels of the two Regiments that 
were to be raised in America, & Joyned with y^ old English 
Forces, for y® Garrisoning & defending the place. A more full 
Account (and I suppose y® best Extant) may be seen in Mr. 
Pi'ince's Printed Sermon, Preached on y® Thanksgi%ing Day for 
that Victory, Thursday, July 18, 1745." 

The French attempted to turn the tables on the colonists 
during the next year. Excitement was rife in Boston and 
vicinity, and an attack seemed imminent. It is from the 
words of the annalist that we may gain the best idea of 
the thi'eatened danger, and the miraculous escape : — 

" This Summer & Fall proved very troublesome, not only by 
y« Indians (oftentimes led on by y® French) coming in many 
small parties, & sometimes in Considerable numbers of Several 
Hundreds, & falling upon our frontier Plantations, from East 
to West, and Surprizing, & in a Barbarous manner (many 
times^ Butchering, killing & leading Captive a Considerable 
number of Men, Women and Children, (tho' not without some 
loss to themselves) ; but also by a strong French Fleet coming 
from France against us, consisting of about 30 Men of War, & 
67 Transports, besides Land Forces, Forty thousand Arms, 25 
Mortars, 50 Brass Field Pieces &c. ; many, & I suppose y« 
greatest part of them, anived at .Jebucta in Nova Scotia about 


y® middle of September, having set sail from Rochel or Rochford 
June y*^ 11th. There being also about 2000 French & Indians 
assembled at Menis. Fourteen of y^ Men of War were Ships 
of y^ Line from 50 to 74 Guns. They had on Board about 8000 
Disciplined Troops, besides those assembled at Menis, and 
many more of y® French in Nova Scotia would have Joyned 
them. This Powerful Armament spread its Terror in all y® 
English Northern Colonies, & especially in y® Massachusetts & 
New Hampshire. Great preparations were made to Receive 
them ; as Repairing y® Batteries at Boston & at Castle William ; 
and the work was Judged so necessary that it was prosecuted 
even on the Sabbath Days : Hulks were prepared to stop up 
y^ Channel by sinking them therein : And y^ Militia in y^ Coun- 
try (I suppose generally about one half of y® Regiments) drawn 
into Boston and y® lower Towns. Great Expectation there was 
of Admiral Lesstock with a large Fleet from England, to follow 
y^ Enemy and Relieve us, but by means of contrary winds that 
great Expectation & our high-raised Hopes failed us. But tho' 
outward means failed us, yet God in his Providence was pleased 
to work wonderfully for our Preservation, and defeat y^ well 
concerted designs of our Enemies, and to turn their wise Coun- 
sels into foolishness. He sent sickness among them that 
carried off many of their men, & their Chief Commander & (I 
think) y^ Second also died : He also sent Terrible Storms both 
before their Arrival, & after their Sailing again out of y® Har- 
bour of Jebucta, that Cast away some of their Ships & disabled 
others, so that being dispirited they Returned to France without 
striking one blow, or doing anything of Consequence (Except 
taking some Merchant Vessels upon their Passage) and that in a 
poor shattered condition ; many of their Vessels as well as Men 
coming short home. For which deliverance God's name be 
praised. The best Account of this Affair that I know of is in 
a Thanksgiving Sermon Preached by Mr. Prince, Novr. 27, 
1746, and afterwards Printed, to which I Refer. This year an 
Expedition was formed against Canada, & many Soldiers in 
this & other Provinces Listed for y^ Kings Service, but y® Fleet 
in England designed for that service being Imployed other 
ways, the Expedition was laid aside, & y® men dismissed in y® 
fall 1747." 

1749.] PROVINCIAI. TIMES. 121 

Two years later a cessation of arms was published, and 
Dorchester manifested a generous spirit in sending grain 
to the French plantations. The liberality of the colonists 
exceeded their wisdom, however; for grain became very 
scarce in the Province, and prices rose accordingly. 

Political factions were not unknown even in those early 
days. At the town meeting held in 1749, a combination 
was formed by wliich James Blake, who had served the 
town faithfully for twenty-four years as clerk, and for even 
a longer period in other capacities, was left entirely out of 
the elections, and Noah Clap, A. M., was chosen to fill his 
place. It was not strange that Blake should feel aggrieved 
at this lack of gratitude on the part of the town, in whose 
interests he had labored so hard and so long. During his 
connection with the office, he wrote two hundred and 
eighty-three pages in the second Record Book, and one 
hundred and nineteen pages in the third volume. Besides 
this, he drew out laborious tables, which have proved of 
inestimable value to later historical students. It is to his 
writings more than to those of any other one man that 
a Dorchester historian must turn. In spite of his dis- 
appointment, Blake records the following vivid picture of 
the severe drought of this same year, which was felt so 
keenly by the people : — 

" This Summer was the Severest Drought in this Country, as 
has ever been known in y^ Memory of y^ oldest Persons among 
us. It was a dry Spring, and by y® latter end of May the grass 
was burnt up so that y® ground looked white ; and it was y® 6th 
Day of July before any Rain (to speak of) came. The Earth 
was dried like Powder to a great depth, and many Wells, 
Springs, Brooks & small Rivers were dried up, that were never 
known to fail before. And the Fish in some of y® Rivers died. 
The Pastures were so scorched that there was nothing green to 
be seen, and the Cattle waxed poor, & by their lowing seemed 
to call upon then Owners for Relief, who could not help them. 
Although the dry Grass was Eaten so close as that there was 


but a few thin spires to be seen, yet several Pastures took fire, 
and burnt fiercely. My Pasture took fire near y® Barn (by a 
Boys droping a Coal of fire, as he was carrying fire to y^ water- 
side) and tho' there seemed to be so little Grass, yet what there 
was, and y^ ground, was so dry that it blazed and flushed like 
Gun-Powder, and run very fast along y® ground, and in one 
place burnt some fence ; and we were forced to work hard to 
keep it from y® Barn, & to extinguish it ; having y^ help of 
sundry men that happened to be here. It spread over about 
half an Acre of Ground before we could stop it ; and where 
there was lumps of Cow-dung it would burn till y*^ whole lump 
was Consumed, & burn a hole in y^ ground ; and we were 
force to use much water to quench it. There was a great 
scarcity of Hay, being but a very little cut, of y^ first Crop ; & 
salt marsh failed near as much as the English Meadow. English 
Hay was then sold for £3 & £3 10 old tenor per Hundred. 
Barley & Oats were so Pinched that many had not much more 
than their seed again, & many cut down their S^ Grain before 
it was ripe for Fodder. Flax almost wholly failed, as also 
Herbs of all sorts ; and Indian Corn Rolled up & wilted ; and 
there was a melancholly prospect of the greatest Dearth that 
ever was known in this Land. In the time of our fears & 
Distress, the Government ordered a Day of Public Fasting & 
Prayer ; and God was graciously pleased to hear & Answer our 
Prayers, even in a very remarkable manner : for about y® 6th of 
July the course of y® weather altered ; and there came such 
plentiful & seasonable Rains, as quite altered y® face of y® 
Earth ; and that Grass which we generally concluded was 
wholly dead, and could not come again under several Years, 
was revived, and there was a good second Crop of Mowing ; it 
looking more like y^ Spring than that season of y^ year : and y® 
Indian Corn recovered, & there was a very good Harvest. And 
whereas it was thought in y^ fall of the Year that a multitude 
of Cattle must Die for want of Meat, insomuch as they sent & 
fetched Hay from England ; yet God in his Providence Ordered 
us a moderate Winter, and we were carried comfortably through 
it; and I did not hear of many, if any. Cattle that died. But 
by reason of so many Cattle being killed off last fall, Beef, 


Mutton & Butter are now in May, 1750, very dear: Butter is 
7s. 6d. old tenor per Pound. Upon y^ Coming of y® Rains & 
Renewing of y® Earth last fall, the Government appointed a 
Day of Publick Thanksgiving. 

" This Summer June 18th was said to be y*^ Hottest Day that 
was ever known in ye Northerly part of America." 

The famous annalist passed away on December 4th the 
following year. He had been in poor health for some 
time ; but the unfortunate events recorded on a preceding 
page caused him such disappointment that they probably 
hastened his death. His ''Annals of the Town of Dor- 
chester " have preserved liis name to posterity, and he will 
be remembered long after those who cast this slight upon 
him are forgotten. 

An entry under date of 1751 is of especial interest, 
and explains several apparent inconsistencies in regard to 
dates : — 

"This Year there was an Act of Parliament for altering y® 
Style from old to new, and that y® 1st Day of January should 
be y^ first Day of y^ Year. The 1 1 Days odds were taken from 
Sepr. 1752." 

Previous to this time March 25th had been considered 
as the first day of the year. This explains the confusing 
double dates which are often found in resrard to these two 

Sickness again visited the town in 1752, an epidemic of 
pleurisy and nervous fever prevailing. In less than two 
months fifteen Dorchester people fell victims to these 
diseases, besides those who died from other causes. Boston 
also suffered greatly from the epidemic, having a mor- 
tality of 624 in a population of 15,734. 

An effort was made at this time by the people of Attle- 
boro', Norton, and Easton to have the boundary line of the 
town altered. A petition was sent to the General Court, 


which was opposed by Dorchester, Stoughton, and Wren- 
tham. Owing to the opposition, the petition was dismissed. 
If it had been granted, it would have cost Stoughton and 
Wrentham several thousand acres. 

On June 18th a new belP was hung in the meeting- 
house. It was a gift from the Dorchester Proprietors to 
the town, and was made in Bristol, England. This bell is 
still in use in the belfry of the First Parish Church, 
though altered by having again passed through the fire, 
recasting being made necessary by a crack which appeared 
in it a few years ago. 

The period from 1753 until 1761 was a tranquil one for 
the town, being broken only by the earthquake shock 
of 1755, which caused some damage in Boston and its 
vicinity. This quiet was the calm before the storm. The 
fuel of independence had already been gathered, but the 
spark was yet to be applied. 

Dorchester was not behind Boston in the part she took 
in the struggle of the Revolution, which began with the 
passage of the Stamp Act. In 1765 Colonel John Robinson, 
Dorchester's representative, was instructed "to use the 
utmost of his endeavors, with the great and general court, 
to obtain the repeal of the late parliamentary act (always 
earnestly asserting our rights as free-born Englishmen), 
and his best skill in preventing the use of stamped paper 
in this government." Even at this late day, we may 
say, the thought of an actual rupture with England had 
not occurred to the Province ; for further instructions to 
the Dorchester representative advised him to manifest, on 
the part of the people, their '' utter abhorrence of all 
routs, riots, tumults, and unlawful assemblies ; and if the 
laws now in being are not sufficient to suppress such high 
misdemeanors, that you use your skill and interest in 
making such laws as would answer such a salutary pur- 
pose." 2 

1 See page 240. ^ Dorchester Town Records, vol, iii. p. 293. 


In 1768 the popular John Hancock was charged with 
smuggling wine ; but as it was evident that the people 
would resist the arrest, it was postponed until the arrival 
of the troops. The Marshal of the Court of Admiralty, 
Arodi Thayer by name, was then called upon to perform 
the act. Thayer tried to escape from performing the dis- 
agreeable duty, as he was on good terms with the residents 
of the town ; but he was obliged to obey the command of 
his superior. He was well known to Dorchester people, 
as he was a resident of the town for many years before 
his death, and was an object of much curiosity on account 
of his quaint language and dress. His commission, and a 
silver oar, his badge of office, were deposited with the 
Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society. 

When the General Court was dissolved, this same year, 
and Boston recommended a convention of the Province, 
Dorchester voted '^ to choose one person to act as a com- 
mittee in convention, with such committee as may be sent 
from other towns in the province, in order that such meas- 
ures may be consulted and advised as his majesty's service 
and the peace and safety of his subjects in this province 
may require." ^ 

The next year (1769) an association was formed which 
was called "the Union and Association of the Sons of 
Liberty in this Province." A meeting was held at the 
Liberty Tree in Boston, and the body then proceeded to 
Robinson's Tavern in Dorchester to dine. A huge tent 
was set in the field, underneath which over three hundi^ed 
men seated themselves to a sumptuous repast of barbecued 
pig. Toast followed toast, each one being more patriotic 
than the preceding ; but the climax was reached when one 
of the " Sons of Liberty " proposed " strong halters, firm 
blocks and sharp axes to all such as deserve either." The 
English of the expression is a trifle doubtful, but the 
meaning was extremely clear. 

^ Dorchester Town Records, vol. iii. p. 333. 


When the feasting was over, a procession was formed, 
headed by John Hancock in his chariot. The affair was 
carried through with perfect decorum, and in spite of the 
huge number of fifty-nine toasts which were drank, we 
are informed that " not one person was intoxicated, or 
near it." ^ 

In 1770 resolutions were passed by Dorchester to the 
effect that no articles were to be purchased of those traders 
in Boston who had violated the non-importation agreement. 
The people also resolved that " Whereas a duty has been 
laid on foreign tea, we will not make use of it in our 
families, except in case of sickness, till the duty is 
repealed." ^ 

Tlu'ee years later, on January 4, the town responded 
to the exposition of the rights of America, which was 
drawn up by a committee consisting of twenty-one of the 
citizens of Boston. Nine resolutions were adopted by 
Dorchester, which instructed the town's representatives 
" to join in any motion or motions in a constitutional way, 
to obtain not only redress of the aforementioned griev- 
ances, but of all others, and that they in no wise consent 
to give up any of our rights, whether from nature or by 
compact." 3 

As the year came to a close, affairs approached nearer to 
the crisis. The difficulties arising from obnoxious taxation 
came to a practical issue when a duty was placed upon tea. 
Lord North had said to those who remonstrated with him, 
" It is of no use making objections, for the king will have 
it so. The king means to try the question." ■* When it 
was learned in Boston that two or three cargoes of tea 
were soon to arrive, a committee called upon the con- 
signees, and requested them to refuse to accept the goods ; 

1 John Adams's Diary. 

2 Dorchester Town Records, vol. iii. p. 352. 

3 Ibid. p. 380. 

4 Bancroft's History, vol. vi. p. 466. 



but the proposition was not kindly received. Further 
action was left to the discretion of a Committee of Corres- 
pondence appointed by the people. On November 22, 
the committees which represented Dorchester, Roxbury, 
Brookline, and Cambridge met the Boston committee in 
the selectmen's room at Faneuil Hall, and voted unani- 
mously to prevent the landing and sale of the tea. 

Six days after tliis important meeting, the '' Dartmouth," 
the fu'st of the tea ships, arrived. Samuel Adams imme- 
diately called the committees together again, to meet the 
citizens of Boston in Faneuil Hall. This was the famous 
gathering which was adjourned to meet in the Old South 
Church, at wliich a decisive vote was passed, supporting 
the committees in their proposed action. On November 
30, a meeting was held in Dorchester, resolutions being 
passed to the effect that ''should this country be so 
unhappy, as to see a day of trial for the recovery of its 
rights, by a last and solemn appeal to Him who gave them, 
we should not be behind the bravest of our patriotic 
brethren, and that we will at all times be ready to assist 
our neighbors and friends, when they shall need us, though 
in the greatest danger." ^ A few days later, two more tea 
ships arrived ; and the committees already mentioned, 
together with one which now represented Charlestown, 
held frequent meetings. The tea question became compli- 
cated. The committee again urged the consignees to return 
the obnoxious article; the Collector refused to clear the 
ships until they had discharged the tea; the Governor 
would not allow them to pass the Castle until they were 
cleared. There seemed to be no peaceable settlement of 
the difficulty, so the committee took the matter into its 
own hands. It was then that the famous Boston Tea 
Party occurred. 

A day or two after this event, a number of the " Cape 
or Narragansett Indians " visited the house of Captain 
1 Dorchester Town Records, vol. iii. p. 407. 


Ebenezer Withington, which stood on the lower road from 
Boston to Milton, and thoroughly searched the premises 
for a chest of tea which was reported to be secreted about 
the place. No tea was forthcoming, however, so the party 
adjourned to the house of old Ebenezer Withington, at 
Sodom, a place below the Dorchester meeting-house, where 
part of a half-chest was found. This, the old man claimed, 
had been cast up by the tide on Dorchester Point. While 
his explanation somewhat modified the excitement of the 
" Indians," it did not save the tea, wliich was taken to 
Boston Common, and devoted to the flames. The offender 
afterwards made a public apology before the town meeting. 

Dorchester soon took further measures to establish its 
position. In 1774 a number of carpenters were employed 
to build barracks for the British soldiers in Boston. 
Among them were several workmen from Dorchester, and 
these men were urged by the town to desist from their 
work, or else incur the displeasure of the people. The 
suggestion was sufficient, and from that time any barracks 
erected for British occupants were the work of other than 
Dorchester carpenters. 

Final steps were taken this year when delegates were 
chosen by Dorchester to attend the meeting, at Dedham, 
of representatives of all the towns in Suffolk County. A 
few weeks later. Captain Lemuel Robinson was appointed 
to act as the representative of Dorchester in the General 
Court, to be held at Salem. He was authorized to meet 
the other representatives, "to act upon such matters as 
might come before that body, in such a manner as may 
appear to him conducive to the true interest of this town 
and province, and most likely to preserve the liberties of 
all America." ^ 

At this meeting it was voted that " the members afore- 
said do now resolve themselves into a Provincial Congress." 
The formation of this body followed the meeting of the 

1 Dorchester Town Records, vol. iii. p. 435. 


Continental Congress at Philadelphia about a month, and 
it was the first regularly organized body assembled in any 
of the States, which assumed legislative powers of a 
revolutionary character. ^ 

In 1774, also, a meeting was held in Dorchester, at 
which a committee was appointed to prepare a list, to be 
posted up, of all those who sold or made use of East India 
tea. At this meeting Dorchester voted to pay its Province 
tax to Henry Gardner, of Stow, one of the Sons of Lib- 
erty, instead of to Harrison Gray, the treasurer under the 
crown. Tliis was a decided step for the town to take, as 
it placed itself in direct defiance to the orders of the king. 

On March 10, 1775, the town passed a vote requiring 
every inhabitant capable of performing military duty to 
assemble on a certain day with arms and ammunition, in 
order to have a body of men to be called upon at a mo- 
ment's notice. This composed the body known as '' minute 

The following order was sent out by the Committee of 
Safety. It will be noticed that this is dated on the day of 
the Battle of Bunker Hill, and it explains the reason why 
the Dorchester company did not take part in that memo- 
rable event : — 

Cambridge, June 17, 1775. 
To the Commanding Officer of the Militia in the Towne of 

Sir, — As the Troops under General Gage are moving from 
Bojlon into the Country, you are, on the Receipt of this, im- 
mediately to muster the Men under yom* Command, fee them 
properly equipt, and march them forthwith to Roxbury. 
By Order of the Committee of Safety. 

Benja. White, Chairman. 

This was at the time when the fortifications on Dorches- 
ter Neck were about being completed. The location, 
which is now a part of South Boston, had attracted the 

1 Edward Everett's Fourth of July Oration at Dorchester, 1855. 


attention of the British officers from the first ; but to erect 
fortifications there with safety required a larger force than 
they then had at their command. While they were wait- 
ing for reinforcements, General Washington recognized the 
value of the position, and work was begun immediately. 
This foresight on the part of Washington undoubtedly 
saved Boston from destruction. 

Washington went to Dorchester to map out the work, 
and selected the farm of Captain John Homans from 
wliich to obtain the bundles of white birch fagots, to 
be used in building the fort. This material was chosen 
as the ground was frozen, and any attempt to erect 
earthworks would have attracted the attention of the 
British. More than this, it was of utmost importance 
that operations should be pushed with the greatest pos- 
sible speed. 

A detachment of a lieutenant and thirty men was 
detailed to cut the fagots and make them into bundles, 
while the citizens of Dorchester and neighboring towns 
assisted by carting the bundles to the Heights. It is said 
that no less than three hundred teams were used that night 
under the direction of James Boies of Dorchester and Mr. 
Goddard of Brookline. Strict orders were given that no 
word should be spoken above a whisper ; and the attention 
of the British was directed to Cambridge and Roxbury, 
where a constant cannonading was going on. It seems 
almost incredible that the fortifications should have been 
completed in so short a time. General Washington was so 
sure that the act would bring on a battle that he had two 
thousand bandages prepared. When the morning broke, 
and the British saw what the brave patriots had effected, 
admiration for their pluck and energy made them forget 
for a moment that it was the work of the enemy. " The 
rebels have done more in one night," said General Howe, 
"than my army would have done in a whole month." 
Again, in a letter to Lord Dartmouth, he said, " It must 


have been the employment of at least twelve thousand 

The location of Nook's Hill, an elevation about half a 
mile from the Heights, was an important one for a battery, 
because of its proximity to Boston. It rose more than 
fifty feet above the sea, and attracted the attention of both 
the British General Howe and General Wasliington. The 
Continental Army made the fu'st move, however, and, on 
March 9, 1776, General Washington sent a detaclmient to 
begin operations. 

It was a bitterly cold night, and after working for a 
few hours the soldiers had almost perished. Their suffering 
made them forget for a moment the utmost importance of 
pursuing their work secretly, and they rashly started a fii'e, 
around which they endeavored to thaw out their benumbed 
limbs. The smoke and the fire immediately disclosed their 
position to the British in Boston, and a severe cannonading 
was the result. It was from the British battery located 
near what is now the corner of Washington and Dover 
Streets that the principal fire was directed; and four 
soldiers, besides a surgeon named Dole, paid for their 
imprudence with their lives. 

The next day a council of Avar was held in Roxbury, at 
the headquarters of General Ward ; and after thoroughly 
discussing the perils of the work it was decided that 
" Nook's Hill must and shall be fortified at all hazards." 
As a result of this. General Thomas was sent from 
Roxbury with twenty-five hundi^ed men, to take possession 
of Dorchester Heights. It was moonlight, and the men 
Avorked all night without discovery. By morning an 
excellent cover had been thrown up, and the fortifications 
were complete. As soon as this was discovered, Howe 
determined to attack the Heights by a front and flank 
movement. Washington reinforced Thomas, and at the 
same time arranged to move on Boston by boats across the 
Back Bay. The British, on their part, di-opped down on 



transports to the Castle ; but, fortunately for the Ameri- 
cans, a storm delayed their projected attack, and gave 
time to increase the defences. 

General Howe now saw that occupation of the Heights 
by the British was out of the question, and also that to 
remain in Boston was perilous when the Continental Army 
had entire command of Boston Neck and the south end of 
the town ; he therefore decided to evacuate Boston. Gen- 
eral Burgoyne had suggested the occupation of the Heights 
by the British very soon after the battle of Bunker Hill, 
and told Gage and Howe in June, 1775, that if the Royal 
Army was ever forced to evacuate Boston, it would be 
owing to the possession of Dorchester Heights by the 
"rebel" army. 

The selectmen of Boston had agreed to allow Howe to 
leave the town unmolested, provided he did no injury him- 
self ; and he was now in a position to accept these terms. 
Washington had not agreed to them, but acquiesced 
silently. The American general, however, wished him 
to leave immediately, so pushed his batteries nearer 
Boston from the Dorchester side, at Nook's Hill. This 
was sufficient to show Howe the need of being expeditious. 
At daybreak, on the 17th of March, he began to embark 
his troops, and by nine o'clock the last vessel was filled. 
The number on board these ships included about eleven 
thousand able-bodied seamen, and nearly a thousand 

The advance guards of the Continental Army at once 
entered the British works on the several sides, but the 
ships were allowed to sail down the harbor unmolested. 
That night the British blew up Castle William ; and the 
vessels gathered together in Nantasket Roads, remain- 
ing there ten days, and causing Washington no little 
anxiety. He wrote to Quincy, at Braintree, to have 
all the roads from the landing patrolled, lest the British 
should send spies into the country. By the 27th all 


but a few armed vessels, which remained to see that no 
assistance should be rendered the Americans by any foreign 
power, had sailed to Halifax. There Avas little need of 
leaving beliind as many vessels as they did, as one or two 
would have been entirely sufficient to prevent any mischief 
of this kind; but, as a writer has since said, "A fatality, a 
kind of absurdity, or rather stupidity, marked every action 
of the British commanders-in-chief during the whole of the 
American war." 

Had the attack been made, Washington relied upon 
Thomas to hold the Heights, while he himself would have 
made an assault on the western side. He had two divisions 
of troops ready at the mouth of the Charles River, which 
comprised four thousand men under the command of 
Greene and Sullivan. Greene's division was to have 
landed near where the Massachusetts General Hospital 
now stands, and Sullivan's farther south, at the powder- 
house, and to seize the hill on the Common. If these 
divisions were successful, they were to unite, march upon 
the English works at the Neck, and let in the troops from 
Roxbury. Three floating batteries were to precede them, 
and clear the way in advance. 

^ A great town meeting was held in Dorchester, on May 
23, 1776, to decide what stand should be taken in support- 
ing the actions of the Continental Congress. This was at 
best a mere formality, as Dorchester had made it evident 
that any measure which tended toward liberty would 
receive its unqualified support. However, the sentiment 
of the meeting, " that if the Continental Congress should 
think it best to declare an independency with Great 
Britain, we will support them with our lives and fortunes," 
settled any doubts which might have existed. When the 
Declaration of Independence was made six weeks later, it 
was transcribed in full on the Town Records. 

This was by no means the only meeting held by the 
town during the stirring times of the Revolution. Most 


of them, however, were for the single purpose of urging 
men to enlist in the army. Dorchester was asked to fur- 
nish men to go to New York, Canada, Rhode Island, Long 
Island, Peekskill, West Point, and on other expeditions ; 
and the town exerted itself to its utmost to answer the 
calls. In 1777 a bounty of one hundred dollars was 
offered by the town to every man who would enlist for 
three years, in addition to the regular wages paid by the 
colonies. Large bounties Avere also offered those who 
enlisted for shorter periods. To meet these expenses, it 
was found necessary to authorize the treasurer to borrow 
money, and many of the townspeople assisted by giving 
from their personal estates. Some of them went so far, 
indeed, that they actually suffered from their liberality, 
not being able to obtain even the necessities of life. All 
this was borne with the characteristic fortitude and cour- 
age which the Dorchester people had displayed from the 
first. The part taken by the wives and daughters in 
encouraging the efforts of the men, urging them to stand 
by the cause of liberty and right in spite of everything, is 
worthy of more than passing mention, as it had no little 
bearing on the determined attitude assumed. 

In 1777 a third of the men above sixteen years of age 
were enrolled in the army, and the proportion was largely 
increased as hostilities became more open. It is estimated 
that not less than three hundi^ed and fifty served in some 
capacity during the war, and several of the townspeople 
took an important part in the struggle. 

The following list contains the names of the members 
of the Dorchester company, which assembled on April 19, 
1775, the day of the battle of Lexington. This list, and 
the succeeding ones, are taken from the '' History of Dor- 
chester " (1359) : — 

Captain Oliver Billings. Sergeant Timothy Baker. 

Lieutenant Lemuel Clap. Sergeant Henry Humphreys. 

2nd Lieutenant Edward Glover. Corporal John Billings. 

Ensign Ebenezer Glover. Corporal Thomas Bird. 
















Ebenezer Atherton. 
John Atherton. 
James Baker, Jr. 
Samuel Belcher. 
John Billings. 
Lemuel Billings. 
Eben Bird. 
Elijah Bird. 
Jacob Bird. 
Jonathan Bird. 
Samuel Bird. 
Samuel Blackman. 
Samuel Champney. 
Elisha Clap. 
Ezra Clap. 
Jonathan Clap, Jr. 

Nathaniel Clap. 
Lemuel Collin. 
Samuel Cox. 
Samuel Crosby. 
Isaac Davenport. 
Joseph Davenport. 
Paul Davis. 
Francis De Luce. 
Daniel Fairn. 
Jesse Fenno. 
Jonathan Fessenden. 
Alexander Glover. 
Ezra Glover. 
Elisha Glover. 
Josiah Glover. 
Paul Hall. 
John Hawse. 

Asa Horton. 
Jeremiah Hunt. 
James Kilton. 
Ebenezer Maxfield. 
Elijah Pope. 
Elijah Pope, Jr. 
Ralph Pope. 
Noah Torrey. 
John Vaughn. 
Joshua Williams. 
Thomas Williams. 
Ichabod Wiswall. 
Elijah AYithington. 
Joseph Withington. 
Joseph Withington, Jr. 
James Wood. 

In addition to the names given above, the following 
persons from Dorchester served in the war in some 
capacity : — 

John Ackleag. 
William Adams- 
Isaac Allen. 
Samuel Allen. 
Samuel Allen, Jr. 
Ebenezer Atherton. 
John Atherton. 
Thomas Baker. 
Israel Beals. 
Lemuel BiUings. 
Daniel Bird. 
Edward Bird. 
Henry Bird. 
Henry Bird, Jr. 
Jacob Bird. 
Jonathan Bird, Jr. 
Joseph Bird. 
Thomas Bird. 
John Blackman. 
Samuel Blackman. 
James Blake. 

Jonathan Blake. 
Lemuel Blake. 
Kathaniel Blake. 
Samuel Blake. 
William Blake. 
Jonathan Bradley. 
Nathan Bradley. 
Bernard Capen. 
Ephraim Capen. 
John Capen, Jr. 
Samuel Champney. 
Abner Clap. 
David Clap, Jr. 
Ebenezer Clap. 
Ebenezer Clap, Jr. 
Ezra Clap. 
Jonathan Clap, Jr. 
Nathaniel Clap. 
William Cole. 
Samuel Coolidge. 
David Crane. 

Seth Crane. 
Samuel Crehore. 
Benajah Davenport. 
George Davenport. 
Isaac Shaw Davenport. 
Joseph Davenport. 
Josiah Davenport. 
Samuel Davenport. 
Ebenezer Davis. 
Pearson Eaton. 
Joseph Ellis. 
AMlliam Farris. 
Enoch Fenno. 
John Fling. 
John Foster. 
John Foster, Jr. 
Stephen Fowler. 
Stephen Fowler, tertius. 
John Garasby. 
Alexander Glover. 
Edward Glover. 




James Gooley. 
James Green. 
Rufus Gulliver. 
Peletiah Hall. 
William Harris. 
William Hayden. 
Thomas Holman. 
Samuel Homans. 
Lemuel Horton. 
Andrew Hughs. 
James Humphrey. 
I^athaniel Humphrey. 
William Humphrey. 
Joseph Hunt. 
Oliver Jackson. 
John Jenkins. 
Ezekiel Johnson. 
John Johnson. 
Thomas Jones. 
Ebenezer Kilton, Jr. 
James Kilton. 
John Kilton. 
Samuel Kilton. 
Lemuel King. 
Edward Stow Leeds. 
Josiah Leeds. 
Nathan Leeds. 
James Lewis. 
Benjamin Lyon. 
Lemuel Lyon. 
Ebenezer Maxfield. 

James M'Clary. 
John Mellish 
Hezekiah Read Miller. 
Hezekiah R. Miller, Jr. 
Jeremiah M'Intosh. 
Bartholomew Moor. 
Jonathan Nash. 
Peter Niles. 
Jonathan Packard. 
Thomas Phillips. 
John Phips. 
Lemuel Pierce. 
Napthali Pierce. 
Elijah Pope. 
Benjamin Pratt. 
Samuel Preston. 
Jacob Randall. 
Samuel Randall. 
John Richmond. 
Capt. John Robinson. 
Jonathan Sever. 
James Sherman. 
Lemuel Spur. 
Daniel Stoddard. 
Clement Sumner. 
Rufus Sumner. 
INIicha Symonds. 
George Taylor. 
Jazaniah Thayer. 
Samuel Thayer. 
William Thompson. 

Ezekiel Tileston. 
Elijah Tolman. 
Thomas Tolman 
Nathaniel Topliff. 
Reuben Tory. 
"William Trescott. 
John Trescott. 
Benjamin Trott. 
Andrew Turner. 
Joseph Turner. 
John Vaughan. 
George Yose. 
AVilliam Vose. 
Ebenezer AVales. 
John Wales. 
Nathaniel Wales. 
John Waters. 
Joseph Whiston. 
Noah Whitcomb. 
Noah Whitcomb, Jr. 
Moses White. 
Thomas White. 
Joseph Williams. 
Thomas Williams. 
Abraham Wilson. ; 
John Wiswall. 
Edward Withington. 
Capt. John W^ithington. 
Lemuel Withington. 
Samuel Withington. 

When the town called for volunteers to enlist for the 
reinforcement of the Continental Army, on July 4, 1780, 
offering them X250 per month, in the depreciated currency, 
these additional names were enrolled : — 

Samuel Babcock. 
Prince Darby. 
Ezra Kimbel. 
Charles King. 
Thomas Smith. 
Elisha Spur. 

James Spur. 
Cesar Thacher. 
James Tileston. 
Timothy Wales, — in 

Col. Cram's reg. of 


Samuel White. 
Thomas White. 
William White. 
John AViswall, Jr. 




Among those who enlisted in Captain Lemuel Clap's 
company are the following. The preceding lists contain 
the names of many others who served in this company ; 

Samuel Andrews. 
William Badcock. 
David Baker. 
George Baker. 
Redmon Barry. 
Alpheus Bates. 
Elisha Bates. 
Elisha Bates, Jr. 
Seth Beals. 
Edward Berry. 
Lemuel Billings, Jr. 
Aaron Bird. 
Comfort Bird. 
Edward Bird, Jr. 
Isaac Bird. 
Jonathan Bird. 
Joseph Bird, Jr. 
Lemuel Bird. 
Moses Blackman. 
Samuel Blackman. 
William Blaney. 
Zechariah Bostwick. 
Christopher Capen. 
John Capen. 
Thomas Carriel. 
David Clap. 
Edward Clap. 
Ezekiel Clap. 
John Clap. 
Jonathan Clap. 
Lemuel Clap. 
Lemuel Clap, Jr. 
Nathaniel Clap. 
Samuel Clap. 

Supply Clap. 
Thomas Clap. 

Lemuel Collyer. 
Zebulon Crane. 
William Crouch. 
Isaac Davenport. 
Nehemiah Davis. 
Francis De Luce. 
Benjamin Dickerman. 
Paul Draper. 
John English. 
Daniel Fairn. 
Edward Felt. 
William Foster. 
Samuel Giles. 
Enoch Glover. 
Enoch Glover, Jr. 
Nathaniel Glover. 
John Goff. 
John Hawes. 
Jacob Hayward. 
Nathaniel Healey. 
Thomas Hewitt. 
Jonas Humphrey. 
Gershom Jackson. 
Ebenezer Kilton. 
Thomas Leeds. 
Joshua Lovell. 
David Lyon. 
Eliphalet Lyon. 
Joseph M'Lellan. 
Ephraim Mann. 
William Mann. 
John Maxfield. 

John Meraw. 
Samuel Meraw. 
William Meraw. 
Ebenezer Mosley. 
Samuel Mosley. 
Thomas Mosley. 
Silas Niles. 
Joseph Payson. 
Samuel Payson. 
Ebenezer Pierce. 
Samuel Pierce. 
Joshua Pond. 
David Pratt. 
David Richards. 
Elisha Seaver. 
William Sharp. 
Thomas Shed. 
Benjamin Stratton. 
Timothy Tileston. 
Edward Tucker. 
John Wales. 
Jonathan Wales. 
Josiah Ward. 
Joseph Webb. 
James White. 
John Wighen. 
John Williams. 
Ephraim Wilson. 
Ichabod AViswall. 
Oliver Wiswall. 
Ebenezer Withington. 
James Withington. 
Joseph Withington. 
Joseph Withington, Jr. 

The town held a meeting July 12, 1779, and voted to 
support the measures advocated at a meeting held in 
Boston a month before. This was for the purpose of fix- 


ing prices on the principal articles of trade, and to prevent 
the depreciation of the Continental currency. All efforts 
to prevent the latter catastrophe were to no avail. 

In 1780 the town could enlist no more volunteers, and 
drafting had to be resorted to in order to raise the 4,726 
men required by a law passed June 22. If any man 
was drafted who was unable to serve, or who did not 
pass muster, he was to hire some able-bodied man to take 
his place, or else pay a fine of $150. This fine was 
not excessive when the depreciation of the Continental 
currency is taken into consideration. On December 26 
it was voted to raise .£40,000 to purchase beef for the 
army. The treasurer's reports show the following remark- 
able entry, which further shows the depreciation : " There 
being due the treasurer the sum of £8,218 2s. 4d., or 
<£109 lis. 6d. in specie." 

In spite of the terrible hardships incident to the war, 
there was a bright side to the conflict. We are apt to 
think of these early patriots as looking entirely on the 
serious side of things ; so important was the part they 
played, and so severe the difficulties which opposed them. 
As a matter of fact, however, these very things bound 
them closer together, and gained them friendships which 
were as enduring as they were delightful. Particularly is 
this true of the men who stood side by side in the battles 
of the Revolution. The following anecdote shows that 
in one instance at least these friendships had also a hu- 
morous side. Two Dorchester soldiers, John Blackman 
and Joseph Whiston, fought together at West Point, and 
at the close of the war were discharged together. They 
had a long journey to take on foot before they could 
reach home, and little ready money at their disposal. 
After much deliberation they purchased together one 
canteen full of rum, and started for Dorchester. As 
Blackman was the youngest, he claimed that he felt it his 
duty to carry the canteen. He soon outwalked his fellow- 


traveller, who, seeing him upon a hill in advance, called 
to him, and suggested that he wait a iew moments, so 
they could have a diink together. Blackman replied that 
he would stop at the next house, Avhere he could obtain 
water. When the house was reached Whiston found the 
water, but no rum, as his comrade had not waited for him. 
He hurried on after him, and occasionally came witliin 
hailing distance of Blackman, but always received the 
same reply, that he would stop at the next house. It is 
needless to say that he never kept liis word, and the dis- 
tance between West Point and Dorchester was covered in 
this novel manner. Blackman kept out of his angry com- 
rade's way as long as possible ; but one day they met in 
Roxbury, and Whiston asked him to explain his conduct, 
and deliver over half the rum. Blackman replied that 
there was no rum left, as he had drank it all, and more 
than that, there had not been half enough as it was. 
Whiston then asked him if he would not pay him for his 
share ; but the reply was, " No, I think I earned it by 
carrying it." 

At the close of the war, together with their other dis- 
charged comrades, the Dorchester soldiers returned to 
their homes. Many of them were in poor health, and 
more were almost penniless ; but their efforts had been 
rewarded by victory, and they cared little for their imme- 
diate condition, so long as liberty had been obtained. 

The exciting incidents of the years immediately preced- 
ing and during the Revolution are likely to make us forget 
that other events had been taking place in Dorchester, 
which, while not as important as those which have recently 
claimed our attention, still have no small bearing upon the 
history of the town. While we are waiting for Dorchester 
to settle down after the terrible strain it had just passed 
through, let us take a brief look backwards. 

In 1773 the Church became involved in a controversy 
with its pastor, Rev. Mr. Bowman, which resulted in his 


dismissal after a ministry of nearly forty-four years, and 
Rev. Moses Everett was chosen his successor. In 1776 a 
census was taken of the town, which showed that there 
were 291 families and 1550 persons within the limits. A 
year later, in the midst of the troubled times of the Revo- 
lution, the town ordered a general inoculation to prevent 
small-pox. Certain houses of the inhabitants were selected 
for hospitals, and all persons who desired to be inoculated 
were to present themselves at one of the places designated. 
Dr. Phineas Holden was in charge of the patients. Dr. 
Holden was a son of Dr. William Holden, who began 
business in Dorchester soon after the death of Dr. Elijah 
Danforth. He continued his practice in the town until 
his death in 1819. 

The second period of the history of the town closes 
with the records of one hundred and fifty years. If the 
events of the first period were important in laying the 
foundation of the Colony, of what greater importance 
were the transactions of the second period, which made it 
possible for the people to enjoy the noble labors of their 
ancestors. The town was now a part of a Common- 
wealth, which, in turn, was a section of a great Republic, 
whose principles were founded upon liberty and indepen- 
dence. A change more mighty than any preceding one 
had come over the people, blending their characteristics 
into a powerful force, which made them a new race : — 

" Behold ! in Liberty's unclouded blaze 
We lift our heads, a race of other days." 




HE third period of this narrative history 
brings the records of the town within the 
memory of the present generation. The 
early years are unimportant from an exter- 
nal standpoint, but from within can be seen 
the immediate struggle to recover from 
the unprecedented strain the people had passed through. 
The early hardships had been almost too great to be 
endured ; the French and Indian wars had made the set- 
tlers feel anxious and depressed; sickness and pestilence 
had stricken down many of the most valuable citizens ; 
but never before in its history had the resources of the 
town been drawn upon so heavily for supplies and men as 
during the War of the Revolution. The recovery was 
naturally slow and tedious. The loss of so large a pro- 
portion of the male population seriously crippled the 
industries, and made it necessary to make extra exertions 
to support the widows and children of those who had 
fallen during the war. 

Scarcely had the town made an appreciable gain in 
repairing the damages of the momentous struggle when it 
was called upon to do its part in putting down Shays's 
Rebellion, which in 1787 threatened serious consequences. 
The response was prompt, and a large number of men 
were sent to the front. The following are the names of 




the soldiers in the company of artillery commanded by 
Captain-Lieutenant Thomas Williams, which served under 
the orders of Hon. Major-General Lincoln. These lists 
are taken from the " History of Dorchester " (1859) : — 

Capt. Lt. Thomas Williams. 
2d Lieut. John Swift. 
2d Lieut. Aaron Bird. 
Serg't Nathaniel Winship. 
Sers't David Pratt. 

Serg't James Lewis. 
Bombardier Daniel Stoddard. 

Bombardier Samuel Griggs. 
Bombardier Elisha Crane. 
Bombardier Edward Clap. 
Fifer Thomas Hereman. 

Drummer Organ. 

Mattross Royal Shepherd. 
Mattross Ebenezer Davis. 

Edmund Baker. 
Eliakim Blackman. 
Edward Bodge. 
John Brewer. 
Thaddeus Brewer. 
John Clap. 
Elisha Crane. 
Stephen Davis. 
John Dove. 
Isaac Fenno. 


Edward Glover 
Samuel Glover. 
John Goffe, Jr. 
Solomon Hall. 
Samuel Holden, Jr. 
Edward S. Leeds. 
William Maurough. 
Thomas Mayo. 
John Mears, Jr. 
William Mellen. 

Samuel Mosley. 
Samuel INlurdock. 
Daniel Russel. 
Ebenezer Scott. 
Richard Trow. 
David Waitt, Jr. 
Joseph Whittemore. 
Daniel Wiswall. 
William Withinscton. 

A still larger number of Dorchester soldiers enlisted in 
Captain James Robinson's company, which belonged to the 
regiment commanded by Ezra Badlam, Esq. The list is 
as follows : — 

Capt. James Robinson. 
Lieut. Thomas Mosley. 
Lieut. Jacob Gill.* 
Serg't Maj. Nathan Leeds. 
Q. M. S. James Davenport. 
Serg't John Trescott. 
Serg't Nath'l Keyes.* 

Serg't Isaac Thornton.* 
Serg't Wm. Chambers. 
Corp. George Manning. 
Corp. John Withington. 
Corp. Daniel Withington. 
Corp. John Atherington. 
Coll. Clerk Richard Trow. 

Samuel Badcock.* 
James Baker. 
Moses Belcher.* 
Shepherd Bent.* 
John Bird. 
Lemuel Blackman. 
Samuel Capen. 

Ebenezer Clap. 
John Clap. 
Lemuel Collier. 
Samuel Clap, Jr. 
Luther Crane.* 
Vose Crane.* 
Zibe Crane.* 

John Cox. 
Edward Cyson. 
Ebenezer Daniels. 
Joseph Fenno.* 
Michael Field. 
John Garch.* 
Alexander Glover. 


John Hall. William Morris. Eleazer Thayer. 

William Harding. Samuel Payson. Josiah Thompson. 

Abel Hersey. Abraham Pierce. Joseph Turner. 

James Holden. James Richards. Alexander Vose.* 

Silas Hoten (Stoughton). Samuel Richards.* Jotliam Wheelwright. 

John Rouse Huehings. Thomas Robinson. John White. 

David Johnson. James Spur. Robert White. 

James Jones. Jesse Sumner.* Samuel Williams.* 
Peter McElroy. 

Those marked with an asterisk (*) are supposed to have been from Milton. 

After the war affairs again settled down into the old 
routine. Nothing of great moment occurred until in 1793, 
when the Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris became pastor of 
the Church. This was the beginning of a long and 
important service to the town.^ 

In 1794 Dorchester voted an allowance of <£12 toward 
purchasing a house for the fire engine, which had been ob- 
tained a short time before. This act marks the beginning 
of the Dorchester fire department. An appropriation was 
also made for an almshouse, which, with some additions, 
was used until the town was annexed to Boston. As will 
be seen later, when this important event took place the 
almshouse was without a single inmate. 

The death of Noah Clap, A. M., April 10, 1799, removed 
a man who had been closely connected with the interests 
of Dorchester for nearly fifty years. He was one of the 
early schoolmasters, and it is to the chapter on Dorchester 
schools that his biography properly belongs .^ 

The only duel ever fought within the limits of the town 
occurred in June, 1801. Two friends. Miller and Rand by 
name, were walking together one day, when the conversa- 
tion suddenly turned upon a young lady who was a mutual 
friend. Miller jokingly accused Rand of being in love, 
who became very serious about the matter, and hot words 
followed. A challenge was issued by Rand the next morn- 
1 See p. 241. 2 See p. 318. 


ing, wliich was reluctantly accepted by Miller, who pro- 
tested that Rand had no right to make so serious a matter 
of what had been said in jest. 

It was a pleasant Sunday morning when the two young 
men met, with their seconds, at Dorchester Point. Another 
appeal was made to Rand by Miller and his second to settle 
the trouble in some other way, but all to no avail. The 
distance was paced off, and a coin tossed for the advantage ; 
Rand won, and chose first shot. At the signal Rand took 
a quick aim and fired, but Miller escaped injury. Even at 
this late time Miller made a last appeal to his opponent, 
not wishing to fire himself ; but Rand made an insulting 
reply, and insisted that the conditions of the duel be fol- 
lowed out. Miller then took careful aim at Rand's right 
arm ; but as the pistol rang out Rand swayed to the right, 
and received the bullet through the heart. 

The survivors made all haste to leave the place ; and 
when they reached the Five Corners they reported that 
there was a man at Dorchester Neck who was in distress, 
and who wanted some water. In spite of the strangeness 
of the request, the earnestness of the men induced several 
persons to go to the Point, and there the facts were dis- 
covered. There was great excitement over the event ; but 
as the blame seemed to rest mostly on Rand's shoulders, 
Miller was never called to account for his deed. 

In 1803 Messrs. H. G. Otis, Jonathan Mason, William 
Tudor, Gardiner Greene, and several other prominent citi- 
zens of Boston began to urge the annexation of Dorchester 
Neck to the city. This was the first step of the many 
which were afterwards taken, resulting finally in the annex- 
ation of the entire Dorchester limits. As is often the case, 
the project was opposed by both sides ; the Boston people 
passing a vote that if " Dorchester Neck shall be annexed 
to Boston, the Boston aldermen shall be empowered to lay 
out such streets, public squares, and market-places as they 
shall judge necessary, without compensation to the owners 


of the land." The land-holders on the Neck favored the 
annexation, as it was foreseen that such a step would raise 
the value of land ; but all the rest of the Dorchester people 
were not in favor of the proposed step. 

On January 23, 1804, a committee, consisting of Messrs. 
Ebenezer Wales, Stephen Badlam, John Howe, Samuel 
Withington, James Robinson, Ebenezer Tolman, Lemuel 
Crane, Thomas Moseley, and Edward W. Baxter, was 
chosen by the town to remonstrate with the General Court; 
but it was voted that there was no objection to the con- 
struction of a bridge. Offers as high as twenty thousand 
dollars were made by the land-holders and petitioners if 
the Dorchester people would withdraw their opposition; 
but they were then determined in their opposition. Thus, 
when the bill passed the Legislature, March 6, 1804, those 
who had held out not only had to give up the land, but 
also lost the money wliich they might have received. 

Almost at once the effect of the annexation was felt by 
those who held property. Land kept rising until it reached 
a value hitherto unknown in the town ; and when the 
bridge from the Neck to Boston became assured, the price 
of land was nearly ten times as much as before the annex- 
ation. This bridge, also, brought forth a most violent con- 
troversy in regard to its location ; but in 1805, in spite of 
this, it was completed at an expense of fifty-six thousand 
dollars. It was afterwards known as the South Bridge. 

It was not long after the bridge was built between 
Dorchester Neck and Boston that a new project was set on 
foot which pi:oved no small undertaking for the time when 
it was carried through. It was seen that if a turnpike was 
built between Milton Lower Mills and the easterly end of 
the bridge it Avould be of great value in shortening the 
distance. Several gentlemen of means joined together, and 
the turnpike was successfully completed. The expense, 
however, proved more than was anticipated ; and it was 
found necessary to charge a larger toll than was ori- 


ginally intended, and this at once made the new road 
unpopular. For years the majority of people preferred to 
travel the extra distance through Roxbury rather than 
submit to any payment for passing over the " turnpike." 
The shares fell tremendously in their value, and the stock- 
holders were glad to dispose of their interests for almost 
nothing. Those who had courage enough to invest in the 
shares at their reduced price received large returns, as the 
value was much increased when the turnpike was finally 
made free by private subscription in 1854. In 1856-57 a 
track for horse-cars was laid on this street. It was later 
accepted as a public highway by the town, and is the 
present Dorchester Avenue. 

Until 1806 all Dorchester had worshijDped in the same 
church ; as emigration, disease, engagements with the 
Indians, and other causes had kept the number of inhabi- 
tants so reduced that one " meeting-house " was sufficient. 
A year previous to this date, however, the people realized 
that the population required better accommodations, and 
preparations were made to establish another church. This 
resulted in the formation of the present Second Church.^ 

The War of 1812 has left few reminders to call the atten- 
tion of the rising generation to the fact that at that time 
the good people of Dorchester really feared the English 
men-of-war might enter Dorchester Bay. A company was 
formed, and fortifications were hastily thrown up on the 
Savin-Hill side of the harbor, commanding the channel for 
quite a distance. 

Little by little this embankment, which fortunately was 
never called into use, has been levelled as buildings have 
been erected along Savin Hill Avenue, either from indif- 
ference or ignorance on the part of the builders. But one 
piece of it now remains, which may be seen from the road, 
almost at the extremity of Savin Hill Avenue. It is 

1 See p. 249. 


grown over with grass, and looks peaceable enough ; but 
who knows what scenes of heroism and patriotism might 
have been enacted there, had the English had the temerity 
to enter the channel of our harbor ! 

The war found many bitter opponents in Dorchester, 
and there were often occasions when strong party feeling 
was displayed. For a while, a regiment from the western 
part of the State was stationed at Commercial Point. 

In 1813 the people of the town were thrown into a state 
of excitement by the report that the " Chesapeake " and the 
" Shannon," one of the British blockaders of the Halifax 
squadi'on, were engaged in battle just outside of Boston 
light. Captain Lawrence, of the " Chesapeake," had just 
been promoted for his valor, and was now to take part in 
his last engagement. The '^ Shannon " was commanded 
by Captain Blake. 

Captain Lawrence did not have time to put his men in 
good training, and, moreover, the " Chesapeake " had 
gained a reputation among the superstitious sailors of 
being an unlucky vessel. Worse than all, some of his 
men were mutinous ; but in spite of this, Captain Law- 
rence accepted Captain Blake's challenge, and the ves- 
sels came into position to pour their broadsides into each 

The "Chesapeake" was soon dismasted, and fell foul of 
the " Shannon's " forechains. In fifteen minutes from the 
time the first shot was fired. Captain Lawrence was 
mortally wounded, and Captain Blake was in possession 
of the vessel. The American flag was torn down, and the 
British ensign run up in its place ; and the " Shannon " 
sailed away for Halifax with its prize, having the dying 
Captain Lawrence on board. There is some discrepancy 
as to the exact location where this combat actually took 
place ; some claiming that it was off Hingham, and others, 
that the scene was further up toAvard the harbor. The 
late Mrs. Roswell Gleason, however, ah^-aj^s claimed that 


all at her house, on Washington Street, near School 
Street, saw the smoke distinctly. 

Some ten years ago, an old veteran by the name of 
Benjamin Trefethen issued the following circular, which 
gives an account of the affair as it appeared to a partici- 
pant : — 

"Boston, Oct. 22, 1881. 

*' I, Benjamin Trefethen, of Boston, in the County of Suffolk, 
and Commonwealth of Massachusetts, born on Newcastle Island, 
Portsmouth, N. H., January 18th, 1790, and since 1828, I have 
resided in Boston, Mass. In the year 1812 I shipped to serve 
on board the frigate ' Chesapeake,' then lying in Nantasket 
Roads, in the harbor of Boston, and went on board December 
9, 1812. 

" The ' Chesapeake ' was at that time commanded by Captain 
Samuel Evans. I shipped, with five others, in Portsmouth, 
by Lieutenant Budd, and came immediately to Boston. The 
last of May, 1813, the frigate ' Shannon,' commanded by 
Captain Brooke, made her appearance off Boston Harbor. 

"On the first day of June, the 'Chesapeake,' commanded 
by Captain James Lawrence, who succeeded Captain Evans, 
got under way and proceeded down the harbor under full sail, 
to meet the 'Shannon,' then standing in. The 'Shannon' 
very soon tacked and stood off. When in the offing near 
Marblehead, between two and three o'clock, p.m., as near as 
I can recollect, the action commenced. The ' Chesapeake ' had 
the weather gage, and engaged the ' Shannon,' the guns on our 
larboard side bearing upon the starboard side of the ' Shannon.' 
We were so near that I cannot say which fired the first gun. 
As we passed the ' Shannon ' we fired two broadsides. I 
belonged to the third gun on the spar deck, and while looking 
to see the effect of the shots, a cannon-ball from the ' Shannon ' 
passed over my head and took off the head of John White, our 
sailing master. The engagement lasted about three-quarters 
of an hour. 

' ' A colored man in the act of hauling down our signal on the 
mizzen peak, was shot by our mariners, but a white man 
succeeded in hauling it down. 


" One of our lieutenants called out to the bugleman, a colored 
man by the name of William Brown, ' Blow the bugle ; alarm 
the boarders on the gun deck,' but unfortunately he had for- 
gotten the proper signal, and threw his bugle on the deck, and 
hid himself under one of the launches or boats. 

" One of the lieutenants, I think Lieutenant Ludlow, a little 
before called to the boatswain, ' Board the fore tack, and haul 
down the head sheets immediately, and pay the ship off.' The 
boatswain answered, ' I can't do it immediately, they are shot 

"The 'Shannon' at the close of the ensjasjement was in a 
sinking condition, having three and a half feet of water in 
her hold, and I always believed that those who boarded the 
' Chesapeake,' did so to save then- lives, as I afterwards 
counted seven plugs in the starboard side of the ' Shannon.' 

' ' When we were sailing past Boston lights to meet the 
' Shannon,' I was taking dinner with others, between the guns, 
when Captain Lawrence came along, and looking at us ear- 
nestly, said, ' Bear a hand, boys, and get your dinner ; you 
will have blood for supper.' I heard it, and if I had been 
commander I should not have used such an expression as that. 
Captain Lawrence was a com*ageous man. I was very sorry 
when I heard Lieutenant Ludlow was dead. He was one of 
our best lieutenants. He was a noble man. 

"Attest: Benjamin Trefethen." 

It will be seen that tliis account differs in some respects 
from the one preceding it, which is in substance taken 
from Schouler's '' History of the United States." 

The most striking character in the War of 1812 with 
whom Dorchester claimed relationship, was not an own 
son, but one who became a well-known citizen. Captain 
John Percival, or "Mad Jack," as he was popularly 
known, was a native of Barnstable. He went to sea 
when but a boy, and later entered the merchant service. 
While still young he was impressed on board the British 
vessel '' Epervier," but managed to escape by placing his 
pistol at the sentry's head. 


During the War of 1812 Captain Percival became the 
sailing-master of the " Peacock," and, by a strange coin- 
cidence, had an engagement with the " Epervier," on 
board of Avhich he had been impressed. His services 
during the war were so valuable that he was promoted 
to the line officers, and became lieutenant and afterwards 
captain. Congress gave a further proof of the esteem in 
which he was held by his country by presenting him with 
a handsome sword. 

After the war he was sent in the United States sloop 
" Cyane " to the West Indies, to destroy the pirates, who 
were at that time committing many indignities to those 
who came within their reach; and Captain Percival's 
efforts were so effective that, before he left the scene of 
so many depredations, he had broken their force, and they 
were no longer to be feared. Few men had led such 
eventful lives as that which fell to his lot. Hairbreadth 
escapes followed one another, and on many occasions it 
seemed as if death was staring him in the face ; but he 
passed through all in safety, and died a peaceful death at 
his home in Dorchester. 

A single anecdote may be related to show what dangers 
he survived. On one occasion he set sail on a sloop from 
Africa with only a boy and an old man on board for crew. 
When they were hardly out of sight of port. Captain 
Percival and the old man were taken down with African 
fever, and the boy alone was left to man the sloop. It 
was not long before the boy was washed overboard, and 
the vessel left entirely at the mercy of the waves. 
Captain Percival was able to summon strength enough to 
lash the helm, and then went below again, caring little, in 
his wretched condition, what might befall the vessel. The 
sloop sailed in the trade winds, and in time arrived at a 
port, when Captain Percival came on deck, and inquired 
where his course lay. Much to his astonishment, he found 
that without guidance the vessel had continued in her 



course, and that a better voyage could not have been made 
had she been manned by an entire crew. 

Captain Percival and the "Constitution" took their 
last trip around the world together, the captain dying in 
1862. His Dorchester home was the site on which the 
Catholic church now stands at Meeting-House Hill, on the 
corner of the street now called by his name. The house 
was originally built by Dr. Harris for his son, before it 
came into Captain Percival's possession. This house was 
moved back at the time of the erection of the church, and 
still stands on " Percival " Avenue. The life of Captain 
Percival was so eventful that it has been made the subject 
of a romance, entitled " The Cruise of the Juniata." The 
captain is not called by his real name in the story ; but as 
" Captain Percy " he has become in fiction the hero that 
he proved himself to be in life. 

The war had created a great demand for broadcloths and 
satinets, and to meet this, Walter Baker erected a stone 
building for the combined purposes of a woollen and choc- 
olate mill. The manufacture of the broadcloths and 
satinets continued until the news of the peace came, in 
1815, and with the decrease in the demand, the woollen 
part of the mill was shut down. 

In 1815 there was a great gale which destroyed the arch 
of the bridge over the Neponset River. This arch was 
erected over the bridge at the dividing line of the towns, 
in 1798, to commemorate the ratification of Jay's Treaty. 
The inscription on it, in letters of gold, read, " We unite 
in the defence of our country and its laws. — 1798." 
This bridge had been built by the towns of Dorchester 
and Milton in 1765 ; the former town building the two 
northern sluices, covering them with stone, and the latter 
town the southern sluice. The expense of building the 
two large ones and the wooden bridge was equally shared 
by the two towns. The same gale caused such damage to 


the meeting-house of the First Parish that it was finally 
demolished, and the present structure was erected to take 
its place. 

General Stephen Badlam, a prominent ligure in the 
town, died in 1815. He was a surveyor by profession, 
making plans of Dorchester and neighboring towns ; but 
he was active in all that concerned the interests of his 
fellow-citizens. In 1775 he joined the American army, 
and soon received a commission as second lieutenant of 
artillery, from which he was promoted to the positions of 
first lieutenant and captain. His success in filling these 
offices of responsibility brought it about that when ordered 
to Canada he was in the possession of a major's commission. 
Sickness compelled him to leave the army; so he again 
entered private life, being no less prominent than when in 
his public capacity. He became a justice of the peace, 
and later general of the first brigade of the first division 
of the Massachusetts militia. 

In 1808 General Badlam was chosen senior deacon of 
the Second Church, — a position which he held till his 
death. He was especially prominent during the contro- 
versy between the church and Dr. Codman, being a stanch 
supporter of the latter. On the occasion of his death 
Dr. Codman preached his funeral sermon, in which he 
said : " As a citizen and a magistrate he was highly and 
justly esteemed ; and his loss Avill be long and sensibly felt 
in his immediate neighborhood, in this town, and through- 
out the country. ... As a member and officer of the 
Church of Christ he was eminently useful and highly 

During this same year the death of Lieutenant-Colonel 
Samuel Pierce occurred. He belonged to the sturdy family 
which had sprung from Robert Pierce, and who built that 
still well-preserved relic of the early days, the Pierce 
House. '' Colonel Samuel," as he was familiarly called, 
served in the army during the greater part of the War 


of the Revolution, and was appointed lieutenant-colonel 
February 14, 1776. He was at Morristown in 1777, and 
several letters written home from there are still in the 
possession of the family. He was one of those who forti- 
fied Dorchester Heights, and in 1779 was in Rhode Island 
in command of a regiment. 

Colonel Pierce did a great service to the present genera- 
tion by leaving behind him a carefully kept diary. This 
contains an excellent record of the stirring times of the 
Revolution, and is of special interest because of its allu- 
sions to events referred to in preceding pages. The 
following extracts are taken from the diary : — 

1764, Jan. 18. Boston people move out their goods very 
fast, for fear of the small pox. 

March 20. Mr. Bowman deshed to have them sing twice in 
the forenoon. 

1765, Jan. 16. Mr. Samuel How was stopt by a rober upon 
Boston neck. 

March 24. Snowed and stormed very bad. Mr. Boman put 
by the meeting in the afternoon for the storm, and it w^as a very 
high tide and did much damage at Boston. 

Sept. 25. Training at the Castle. The same day is to be 
the great hors rase on the neck. 

Nov. 10. Was the first that we sang tate & brady's spalms 
in Dorchester meeting. Som people much offended at the same. 

June 25. We had the spinning match at our house. 

July 25. The soldiers go from Boston, some of them. 

Aug. 1. Gov. Barnard goes from Boston. 

Aug. 14. Was a very grand entertainment at Mr. Lemuel 
Robinson's. All the Sons of Liberty met; there was 124 
carriages there. 

1770, Jan. 25. The merchants in Boston all vote against tea. 

Feb. 22. A boy was shot at Boston by an informer. 

March 6. Four men killed in Boston by the soldiers. 

March 12. The soldiers go from Boston to the Castle. 

Aug. 11. Mr. Whitfield came to Boston. 

Sept. 10. Castle WiUiam is resined to Col. Dalrymple. 


Oct. 20. "Was a violent storm as ever was known in these 
parts, and did a vast deal of damage. 

1771, March 13. Thomas Hutchinson was made Governor 
in chief. 

April 3. I set a Post and an elm tree at the meeting house. 
[This elm is still standing, about ten rods west of the present 
First Parish Church.] 

1772, May 20. Town meeting. Esq. Holden offered to go 
representative for nothing, but they would not choose him. 

Aug. 28. Mr. Ebenezer Clap made captain of the loar 

Oct. 21. Capt. Clap call'd his company together and made 
a treat. 

Nov. 15. The Pirates came on this coast and rob'd one 

Nov. 22. The Pirates take a scooner and killed the hands. 

December 29. Had a town meeting to exclaim against the 
Duty being laid upon us, and the judges having their salaries 
paid from England, &c. 

1773, Feb. 1. Began to kep school, £3 5s. per week. 
March 14. Mr. Boman refused to baptize Paul Halls child, 

altho he demanded it in public. 

Nov. 19. Had councils four days this week; cost £150 a 

Dec. 1. A great time of talk about the tee. 

Dec. 3. The council set 4 days this week, and have not 

Dec. 11. Boston is full of trouble about the tee being 

Dec. 14. Was a church meeting, and the council dismissed 
Mr. Jona. Boman from this Church this da}^ We have had 
eight months controversy with Mr. Boman, but got rid of him 
at last by paying him £450 old tenor per year to go away. 

Dec. 15. There was the destruction of the Tee ; they sup- 
posed there to be about 340 chests destroyed, all thrown into 
the dock in one Nite. 

Dec. 30. There was a number of men came from Boston in 
disguise, about 40 ; they came to Mr. Eben Withington's down 


in town, and demanded his Tee from him which he had taken 
up, and carried it off and burnt it at Boston. 

1774, Jan. 3. Was town meeting. We pass a vote against 
buying or drinking any Bohea Tee. S. P. 

May 16. Gov. Gages Commission was Red in Boston. 

May 18. Mr. Lemuel Robinson was chosen to represent the 

May 31. We had our Training and Treeting, &c. ; the 
Company was all here, about 100 ; we had 188 people here to 

June 13. The soldiers land at Boston. 

June 17. The Cort was dissolved at Salem by Gage. 

July 2. Eight or nine Men a War arived with forces, and 
Boston is in a most deplorable condition. 

Sept. 1 . There was an alaram ; there was about 8 or 9 
thousand men met at Cambridge. 

Sept. 12. The greate gun was Removed from Preston's 

Sept. 19. We began to exercise this season. 

Oct. 4. AYe had our trainings in Dorchester. 

Nov. 9. Had a meeting of all the training soldiers, and 
gave up our commissions and were rechosen. 

Nov. 17. The officers of this regiment met at Stouton to 
choose their field officers. Chosen for the same, Lemuel 
Robinson, Deacon Gill and Joseph Voce. 

Nov. 28. The fortification all built on Boston Neck. 

Dec. 27. Town meeting. Capt. Withington was chosen to 
represent the town in the Congress. 

1755, Feb. 27. The officers met, and the field officers 

March 7. They met again and were rechosen. Capt. Clap 
was chosen Lieut. Colonel. 

April 19. This day there was a terrible battle at Lexington 
and Concord between our people and the soldiers which marcht 
out of Boston ; the soldiers fired on our people, and then the 
battle began, and there was about 40 of our people kild and 
190 of the soldiers, as near as could be recollected. 

April 20. The alarm was very general, and a great number 


of People collected ; it may be there was 30 or 40 Thousand in 
Roxbury and Cambridge. 

May 1 . There is very great confusion among us at this day, 
some people moving out of Boston, and some of the Tory's 
moving their goods in to town. 

May 5. There was something of an alarm here in Dorches- 
ter ; a schooner came into the River, but it proved to be from 
Boston with som of our frinds from Boston in it. 

May 9. An express came to me from the General, and I 
got the Company together and marcht of, but we met with 
interruption that night. 

May 11. Was a fast kept and very strictly too. 

May 17. More soldiers arrive at Boston from England. 

May 21. The soldiers go to Weymouth with four vessels for 
hay at Strawbery hill, but our people drive them of and burnt 
the barn ; twas thot to have had near 80 tuns of hay in it. 

May 27. The soldiers make another attack on Noddle's 
Island, but our soldiers get the better of them and took a small 
vessel from them and burnt it. 

May 29. The people burn a great quantity of hay at 
Noddles Island, and at night the house at tompsons Island. 

June 14. A great number of transports arive in Boston 
with more soldiers, some say 1500. 

June 17. They got over to Chaiiestown and set it on fire, 
and burn the whole town down. 

June 18. There was a terrible battle font at Chaiiestown ; 
the Regulars get the better of our troops, and we lost about 70 
men and many wounded. 

June 20. It was said that there was 1000 of the Regular 
soldiers kild. 

June 24. This day two of our men went to set Browns 
house on the Neck afire, and were both kild ; one was old Share 
of Milton. 

June 26. This day our People began to entrench below 
Capt. Clap's, near the great Casway. 

June 27. Our people went down to Dorchester Neck to 
work, but were shot at from Boston very much. 

July 2. Much firing from the Regulars this morning at our 


people at Roxbury. Mr. Williams' house was set on fire, but 
no lives lost. 

July 6. Our soldiers had a scurmig this morning with their 
arard, and drove them from it and set Brown's house afire on 
the Neck. 

July 10. Our People go to Long Island and fetch of all the 
cretors, and took 13 mereens prisoners. 

July 11. This day many of the ships goes out of the harbor, 
but upon what expedition we cannot tell at preasant. 

July 12. This day we have our town meeting to choose 
representatives according to the advice of the Continental 

July 13. Our people began to entrench near the George 
tavern on Boston Neck, and the soldiers fired at them and kild 
one man. 

July 20. The Light-house was sot afire, and oui' people 
went to Nantasket to git of the barley and hay. 

July 30. There was something of a scirmige with the Regu- 
lars ; the Regulars set the George tavern afire on the Neck. 

Aug. 25. This day four barges came up to the farm bar; 
om- people fired at them, but did them no damage. 

Sept. 18. There was 108 shot fii'ed at our people this day, 
but not one man killd. 

Sept. 26. Our people went on an expedition over the bay, 
and set the house on fire on Governor's Island. 

Oct. 8. The Men a War goes from Boston to Bristol road- 
iland, and then fired on the town and did much damage. 

Oct. 10. Governor Gage sailed for England. 

Oct. 12. Mr. Edward Preston's barn and Chocolate mill 
were both burnt to ashes. 

Oct. 16. Our people went down in Cambridge bay with two 
floating Batery's to fire upon Boston, and one of them split 
their cannon by not raming their shot down ; it kild one and 
wounded 6. 

Oct. 20. The ships set fire to the town at Casco bay, and 
burn about three quarters of the town to ashes. 

Dec. 15. Our Priva tears take a fine prize laden with ammu- 
nition and stors, and a fine mortar. 


1776. Our People goes to Bunker hill and sot several houses 
afire. The regulars fired very much at our people, but nobody 

Jan. 18. TVe heard of our people haveing a defeat at 
Quebeck by trying to scale the walls. 

Jan. 29. We called our Company's together, and then 
enlisted 25 men for the army for 2 months. 

Feb. 5. This day we had 38 soldiers come into our 

Feb. 13. The regulars came out of Boston and from the 
Castle, and drove our Gard of the Neck and burnt the housen. 

March 4. Oui* people went on to Dorchester Neck and built 
two forts in the same night, and there was 380 teems and about 
5000 men — the most work don that ever was don in one night 
in New England. 

March 5. There was a very heavy cannonading all the night, 
but there was but one man kild on our side. Our regiment 
marcht to Roxbury, but nobody was hurt. 

March 9. There was an exceeding heavy firing from the 
ministerial troops towards Nuke hill, and one shot kild 4 men 
instantly, and there was more than one thousand shot fired from 
the regulars, and no man hurt except the 4 first, a most remark- 
hand of Providence in this. 

March 14. Part of our regiment was called to gard the 
shore ; one third part were kept on duty. 

March 17. There was a heavy firing from our enemy, but no 
hurt don, and this morning the Regulars were out of Boston, 
Destroying as they went of like so many frited sheep, but some 
of the toryes were left behind in town. 

March 18. Our people take possession of Boston. 

March 19. The Regulars set fire to the Barracks at the 
Castle, and our people began a brest work on Mr. Blake's 

March 20. Something of firing from one of the ships this 

March 22. This night Castle William was all burnt to ashes 
and all destroyed. 

March 23. Our people go into Boston all freely. 


March 30. The ships mostly goes out of the harbor; they 
sailed for Halifax. 

April 4. Four of our regiments move for to go to Roade- 
iland, and sum to New York. 

April 18. The Court sot in our meeting-house to try the 

April 25. The officers of Col. Gill's regiment met at Doties 
at Stoughton, and were all sworn. 

May 17. There was a valuable prise taken by our Privitears 
of the harbor. 

June 8. There was one of our Privitears taken by our 
enemies ; she was called the Yankee hero. 

June 14. Our people goes on with an expedition down on 
the Islands, and drove out the ships out of the harbor; they 
built a fort on Long Isld, and another on Nantasket. Our 
enemy Blowed up the Light-house ; myself was a spectator at 
the time. 

June 17. There was two ships came into our harbor with 
Scotch soldiers, and our Privatiers took them both; they 
had 200. 

July 28. America declared Independency from Great 

1777, April 19. There was 5 tories carted out of Boston, 
and were tipt up in Roxbury, and were ordered never to return 
to Boston again upon Peril of Death ; there seems Now to be 
some resolution in the people. 

Sept. 22. Had orders to draught 50 men from our regiment 
for a secret expedition. 

Oct. 10. We had good news from our Northern army of 
Burgoine's being taken. 

Oct. 17. General Gates took Burgoine with about 5000 
troops of our enemy. 

Oct. 30. Our soldiers return from the expedition to Rhode 
Island without doing anything. 

Nov. 2. Lieut. Ezekl Tolman came home from towards 
Ticonderoga not well. 

1778, May 14. Mr. John Minot Enoculated his family with 
the small pox much against the minds of his neighbours. 


May 19. We bad a town meeting in order to see what 
method the town would take to re-inforce the Continental army. 

May 31. There was near a hundred prayed for this day 
under the operation of the small pox in Dorchester. 

May 10. I was appointed to go to Tiverton to take com- 
mand of the regiment their. 

1780, May 19. A day much to be remembered, so dark 
between twelve and one o'clock, that people could not see to 
work. We were obliged to have a candle to eat dinner by ; it 
lookt very melloncaly indeed, there was but a little rain, and 
the evening w^as as remarkabl}^ dark. 

1782, Aug. 10. Thirteen large French ships came into 
Boston harbor. 

In 1817 Dorchester lost two well-known physicians by 
suicide, — Dr. Eleazer Clapp, and Dr. Thomas Danforth. 
Dr. Clapp was graduated from Harvard in 1807, and 
studied medicine with Dr. J. Warren. He opened an office 
in Boston, and seemed to have the prospects of a successful 
career before him. Having a predisposition to insanity, 
however, he soon became melancholy, and returned to his 
native town. Here, in a fit of mental depression, he des- 
troyed himself on the 27th of August. 

It has been suggested that the suicide, a month previ- 
ously, of Dr. Danforth, son of the celebrated Dr. Samuel 
Danforth, of Boston, may have suggested this mode of 
death to Dr. Clapp. Dr. Danforth received a good educa- 
tion, but, having rich relatives, he was not specially 
devoted to the interests of his profession. He lived in 
Dorchester for about two years ; and, though not engaging 
in medical pursuits, he sometimes prescribed for his 
neighbors. A sudden cold produced excitement of the 
brain, and on July 13 he took his life. 

An interesting event of the year 1830 was a visit made 
to Hull by one hundred inhabitants of Dorchester, to cele- 
brate the two hundredth anniversary of the landing of the 
first settlers. This company, most of whom were from the 


Second Parish, met at the Lower Mills, around " Badlam's 
pump," at the junction of the Upper Road and the lane, 
the present River Street. 

There were twenty-eight carriages, of every descrip- 
tion, in wliich, besides the occupants, were stowed away the 
necessary edibles to assist in making the celebration a 
success. By slow degrees this procession proceeded on its 
journey, finally arriving at a place near the present Jeru- 
salem Road. Here the party was met by twenty-three 
other Dorchester people, Avho had made the trip by water, 
on a yacht commanded by Captain William M. Rogers. 
At this time the only houses in the vicinity were a few 
scattered fishermen's huts. The Rev. John Codman, pas- 
tor of the Second Church, delivered an address and offered 
a prayer, and two original hymns were sung. 

On June 17 of this year Dorchester observed its two 
hundredth anniversary with appropriate exercises. Rev. 
John Pierce, D.D., delivered an historical discourse ; and 
Dr. Thaddeus Mason Harris, pastor of the First Parish, 
and Dr. John Codman, pastor of the Second Parish, also 
took part. Much to the regret of all, the Rev. Dr. 
Richmond was unable to be present on account of illness. 

In July the second centennial of the town was cele- 
brated by the Church. The services consisted of singing 
the 90th and the 107th Psalms from the old versions of 
the early settlers, line by line being read, after the ancient 
practice of the Church, and an anniversary sermon by 
the Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris. This contained a brief 
account of the experiences of those who came over in the 
" Mary and John " from the time they left England down 
to the middle of the eighteenth century. Referring to the 
time in which he spoke. Dr. Harris said, "We have 
arrived at a period when such a retrospect of the days of 
old and the years of ancient times seems peculiarly proper. 
The completion of the second century since the arrival of 
our forefathers to begin a settlement here has a claim 


upon our special notice and pious commemoration. On 
this new era in history, '• which is for us a memorial,' we 
may consider ourselves as having reached an elevation 
whence, like Moses upon Pisgah, we may take an admiring 
view of the pleasant places and goodly heritage of those 
whom the Lord has blessed." 

The transportation facilities of the town were increased 
in 1830 by the addition of a new line of stage-coaches 
to Boston, which was started in opposition to those driven 
by Charles and Archibald Dunmore. The coaches started 
near the site of the present railroad station on Washington 
Street near Norfolk ; but the Dunmore brothers had so 
firm a hold on the patronage of the town that the new line 
was short-lived. 

The coach line of the Dunmore brothers made hourly 
trips from the Lower Mills to the city proper. There were 
two coaches daily, one starting in the early morning, and 
the other at noon. On the return trips the coaches left 
Wilde's Tavern in Boston. A slate was hung in the office, 
on which were the names of would-be passengers ; and 
often the extreme ends of the city had to be visited before 
the journey to Dorchester was fairly begun. 

The road over which the coaches ran passed over the 
Neck, which at one time was a favorite haunt for highway- 
men, and many exciting episodes occurred there. Dr. 
Holbrook, of Milton, used to relate an adventure he once 
had when returning home after a visit to a patient in 
Boston. When on the Neck, the bridle of his horse was 
suddenly seized by a robber, while a confederate "cut 
behind " the sulky. As it happened, the rear part of the 
carriage had been covered with sharp-pointed nails, to pre- 
vent mischievous boys from stealing rides. The doctor 
heard a cry from behind, and at once whipped up his horse. 
This was so unexpected that the highwayman at the horse's 
head relinquished his grasp, and had plenty of time to 


assist his comrade in nursing his wounded fingers, while 
the doctor drove home. 

The fare on the coaches was thirty-seven and a half cents 
each way. When the new line started in 1830, the fare 
was reduced to twenty-five cents. A little later. Captain 
Goodspeed, the commander of the Dorchester artillery, 
started a coach which ran from Captain Eaton's store, on 
Meeting-House Hill, charging only twelve and a half cents 
each way. In 1834 William Hollis and his brother Joseph 
had the first line of omnibuses, which also started from 
Captain Eaton's store. The fare Avas twenty-five cents, 
but somewhat cheaper if tickets were purchased. These 
omnibuses were cumbersome affairs, which were drawn by 
four horses. They made their headquarters in Boston in 
front of the Washington Coffee House, on Wasliington 
Street near Milk Street. Later, William Hendry placed 
some smaller omnibuses upon this same route, which left 
Franklin Street, near Washington Street, every half-hour. 
These omnibuses were the immediate predecessors of the 
horse-cars and the present electric cars. 

Mr. George Fowler, an old resident of Dorchester, gives 
the following interesting account oi the training and 
muster days, which were important institutions at this 
time. He says : — 

"There were two days in the year, in the olden time, much 
cherished by the boys : these were May training and the annual 
muster. The military force of Dorchester consisted of a rifle 
company and an artillery company. All the boys believed that 
the former possessed the finest snare drummer, and the most 
ear-splitting fifer, in the whole world. The artillery company 
owned a bass drummer by the name of Jordan, always called 
* Jerdon,' who was supposed to be hors concours. He was a 
portly man, with a red face, who flourished his drumsticks in 
such an artistic manner, and produced such deafening sounds, 
that it was really wonderful; it was not advertised as a 



* recital.' The single drum of the artillery band, as the snare 
drum was then called, was operated on by a gentleman by the 
name of Henley, who, I think, was in the masonic and white- 
wash business. The artillery band also embraced a Kent bugle 
and a fife, four pieces against the rifles' two. Jordan had been 
in the service of the rifle company, but had deserted to the 

"The uniforms of the two companies were of similar cut, 
— the rifles being grey, the artillery blue. The caps were the 
leather, bell-crowned caps of the English foot-guards ; and the 
plumes suggested magnified admiration marks, being jet black, 
and about twenty-six inches in length. When the troops 
marched, these plumes bowed solemnly at every step. They 
made the soldiers out to be eight feet high, every man of them. 
The brass six-pounders of the artillery company had been 
captured from the Spaniards by the French, from the French 
by the English, and from the English by the Americans, — at 
least so asserted the boys with all the force of conviction.^ 

"The muster, which always occurred in the fall, was on 
Captain Harrod's ground, called Bowdoin Hill ; now, I believe, 
promoted to a mountain. The troops marched up Harrod's 
yard and through the cow-yard to the tented field. There were 
booths on two sides of the ground, where refreshments could 
be obtained, — the liquid part being varied and extensive, the 
solid consisting principally of ginger-bread and custard-pie, 
with raw oysters at six cents a plate. There was always a 
sham fight, in which the ununiformed militia participated, and 
were always beaten by the rifles and the artillery. The general 
commanding wore very tight, brimstone-colored knee-breeches, 
top-boots, spurs, and a blue coat, the breast of which lay back 
in enormous lappels. A three-cornered hat covered his head. 
He was very deferential to his horse, and it always seemed 
to me that he hailed the approaching sunset with inaudible 

^ Tlie connection of the Frencli and the Spaniards with these cannon is 
to be questioned. They were, however, cay)tured from the English during 
tlie War of the Revolution, and were said to he two of the finest specimens 
of their class. They were afterwards taken to the arsenal at Springfield 
and melted. 


The reader should pause here for a moment, and think 
what a difference the two centuries just passed had made 
in the condition of the town and people ; and yet what 
vaster changes were destined to be accomplished during 
the next fifty years ! The early thatch-roofed houses had 
given way to the more pretentious homes of the modern 
civilization ; the one simple " meeting-house," where all 
the town had worshipped, was replaced by three parishes 
(together with Dorchester Neck, which had been annexed 
to Boston), and eleven distinct societies of worshippers ; 
the little schoolhouse, which had well answered the de- 
mands of those early days, now boasted several offsprings, 
capable of guiding a larger number of the youtlis and 
maidens in the paths of wisdom, perhaps, but hardly more 
comfortable. How many of the good people of Dor- 
chester remember those "modern" schoolhouses of the 
early part of this century, where a roaring fire roasted 
the detachment of children serving their turn at the stove, 
while the ink froze on the master's desk ! 

The second century certainly showed a marvellous 
advance ; but how can it be compared with the few brief 
years which have passed since then ? The steam railroad, 
the telegraph, the telephone, the electric lights and cars, — 
all were unknown and even undreamed of by those who at 
the time of the second centennial considered themselves 
so far ahead of their fathers and grandfathers. 

The principal characters in the later history of the town, 
we shall find, are not all descendants of the old Dorchester 
fathers ; but as the modern civilization mingled together 
families, who knew the town's past only as a matter of 
record, with those to whom it was a strong reality, it was 
natural that there should be some departure from the ruts 
in which events had travelled from the earlier times. 

It is necessary to remark that the changes of this last 
century are rather in the people themselves than in the 


town. Everything was becoming more progressive ; and, 
in order to keep pace with the times, the Dorchester 
people found it necessary to throw off some of their 

Dorchester was called upon in 1831 to assist the people 
of Neponset Village in the establishment of a public 
school. The village at this time contained twenty-four 
families, and there were thirty-four children who were of 
the proper age to attend school. The nearest school-build- 
ing was a mile and a half distant, so that it was impossible 
for them to attend regularly, especially during the winter 
months. In the light of these facts, therefore, Dorchester 
voted to grant the request of Neponset, and appropriated 
one hundred and fifty dollars a year " for the establishment 
and maintenance of a town school." 

The town did not enjoy the luxury of a bank until 1832, 
when the ''Dorchester and Milton Bank " was incorporated, 
with Moses Whitney, Esq., for its first president. In 1850 
the name of the bank was changed to the " Blue Hill 
Bank," owing to the loss of some 132,000 by theft. Other 
banks have since been incorporated; but the Blue Hill 
Bank, as it is still called, deserves mention as the pioneer 
institution of its kind in Dorchester. Its present officers 
are : President, Samuel Gannett ; cashier, S. J. Willis ; 
directors, Samuel Gannett, Laban Pratt, A. L. Hollings- 
worth, Joseph E. Hall, Horace E. Ware, and J. Frank 

Dorchester once contained the only powder-mill, the 
only paper-mill, the only cracker manufactory, the only 
chocolate-mill, and the only playing-card manufactory in 
the whole country. Hay ward's '' Gazetteer," early in the 
thirties, mentions Dorchester as " an agricultural and man- 
ufacturing town of about 3,500 inhabitants, large farms 
covering broad acres, card factories (Thomas Crehore's 
being the first in any part of the country to manufacture 
playing cards), cotton, chocolate, and starch mills." 


Commerce has never received its proper position among 
the industries of the town. About the year 1832 it began 
to be an important element in the life of the town, adding 
wealth and population. Its prominence was of short 
duration, but much activity was manifested for a few 

In 1832 a syndicate was formed for the prosecution of 
the whale and cod fisheries at Commercial Point. This 
syndicate was composed of Messrs. Nathaniel Thayer, a 
brother of John E. Thayer, the founder of the house of 
the well-known firm of Kidder, Peabody, & Co. ; Mr. Elisha 
Preston, of Dorchester, who Avas the senior partner of the 
fu'm of Preston & Thayer; Mr. Josiah Stickney, a well- 
known Boston merchant; and Mr. Charles O. Whitmore, 
of the firm of Lombard & Whitmore, whose residence was 
near the Point, and who acted as " ship's-husband " for the 
vessels composing the fleet. This syndicate equipped four 
vessels for the whale fishery, and twenty schooners, of 
which two — the " Belle " and the " Preston " — w^ere built 
at the Point. They purchased not only the wharf, but 
quite a tract of land in its immediate vicinity, where they 
put up flakes for the drying of their codfish. They also 
built some cooper-shops and a store for the supply of 
sailors' outfits and ship chandlery. The store was built 
from the material used in the construction of the granary 
which formerly occupied the site of the present Park 
Street Church in the city proper. A small and antiquated 
schooner, called the " Superior," was employed in convey- 
ing the ''catch" to Boston. The names of the whalers 
were the ships " Charles Carroll " (of three hundred and 
eighty-six tons), the " Herald," the " Courier," and the 
barque " Lewis." 

The " Charles Carroll " was a famous ship in her day. 
She was built in 1828, and first came from Newburyport, 
later being taken from the merchant service to be used in 
the Dorchester whaling fleet. On October 31, 1833, the 


"Charles Carroll " sailed for the Pacific Ocean, making a 
voyage which lasted nearly four years. She returned to 
Commercial Point with a cargo of two thousand barrels of 
sperm oil and also a large quantity of whalebone. This 
vessel had the reputation of being one of the fastest of her 
day ; and when a whale was once sighted, his chances were 
very small of escaping his speedy pursuer. In 1852 the 
" Charles Carroll " made her last trip, being lost while on 
a voyage to Europe. Fortunately the crew was saved. 
Previous to this the vessel had been sold to Messrs. John 
H. Pearson & Co. for their line of Southern packets. It 
is said that Anthony Burns, the fugitive slave, came to 
Boston from New Orleans on the " Charles Carroll." 

Mr. William C. Codman, from whom the above inter- 
esting facts were obtained, describes the arrival of the 
" Charles Carroll " as follows : — 

*' I well remember the arrival of the ' Charles Carroll.' The 
wharf at the Point was lined with carriages coming from great 
distances, containing relatives or friends of the Jack Tars. 
When every sail had been furled, they were allowed to go 
ashore. Anxious parents, brothers, and sisters awaited them. 
The Jacks climbed over the side to rush into their relatives' 
embraces. The scene will never be effaced from my memory. 
' Tom, dear Tom,' said one, ' this is your sister whom you 
have never seen.' It was a little girl of three. The bronzed 
and sunburnt sailor took her up in his arms and gave her a 
smack which echoed back from Dorchester Heights. An 
elderly couple hugged and squeezed their son until there was 
not enough breath to blow out a dog vane. The fiancee of 
another sailor was not so demonstrative at first, but when 
they had got to a secluded part of the wharf, full vent was 
given, and it is unnecessary to state how many kisses were 
exchanged and how much billy-cooing was done by the parties 
interested. But it was sad to see many of the sailors who had 
no relatives or sweethearts to welcome then- return. An hour 
sufficed to clear the wharf, and Commercial Point resumed its 
every-day appearance, with the exception that the ' Charles 


Carroll ' lay at the end of the pier with a valuable cargo, which 
was to add something of pecuniary importance to the coffers 
of the syndicate, as well as to ' the lay ' of the crew." 

The " Courier " made voyages from Dorchester in 1834 
and 1836, with varying success. The " Herald " also made 
voyages at about the same time, but with better success. 
Robert P. Tolman and C. Sumner shipped on her, as boys, 
from Dorchester, and returned in her, never to venture 
again on the pursuit of whales. The '' Lewis " was for- 
merly a ship, but was converted into a barque after she 
was purchased by the syndicate. She proved unsuccessful, 
and was a victim of the war, being one of the "stone fleet" 
which was sunk off Charleston during the Rebellion. 

By 1840 the last of the ships was sold, and the syndicate 
was dissolved. " It was not because the business was 
unremunerative," writes Mr. Codman, "but because Mr. 
Whitmore's interest in his firm required his attention in 
the city proper. For many years afterward Commercial 
Point remained desolate. Quoting from an old merchant, 
* The rats ran about the wharf with tears in their eyes.' 
At present there are a few schooners landing occasionally 
a cargo of coal at the wharf, but those stately ships are no 
more forever." 

The Neponset River was used for navigation as early as 
1820. Four years later a lumber wharf was built near the 
head of tide-water by Joseph Porter; and in 1826 the 
Granite Railway Company ran a railroad from Quincy to 
the tide-water at Gulliver's Creek, bringing the granite 
from the quarries to the flat-bottomed barges at the creek 
in large cars. It must be remembered that this was before 
the time of steam transportation, and these cars were 
drawn by horses. In 1827 William Hobart started his 
grain business near the head of tide-water, and employed 
two schooners between New York and Dorqhester, the 
cargo to Dorchester being grain, and to New York granite. 
Four years later the first hard coal was placed on sale at 


Dorchester, being brought up the Neponset. Previous to 
this several cargoes of hard coal had been unloaded in 
Dorchester, but they were for the exclusive use of some 
manufacturing companies. 

The navigation of the river attained its maximum height 
in 1833, when seventy-four vessels, aggregating six thou- 
sand tons, unloaded their cargoes at Neponset Village, at 
the head of navigation, besides many vessels which sailed 
up the river empty to be loaded with granite to be trans- 
ported elsewhere. The navigation was practically ruined 
when the Granite Bridge was erected in 1837. 

Several firms have started business of one kind or 
another at different times along the river, but most of 
them have not been long-lived. In 1839 a grain store 
was built at Neponset Bridge by Micah Humphrey. He 
brought his grain from New York, and took back leached 
ashes, which were sold at Long Island to be used for 
enriching the land. Whatever trade has remained has 
gradually been shifted from the head of tide-water to 
Neponset itself, so that many people have forgotten that 
the head of tide-water was once the scene of busy 

Commercial Point, formerly known as " Tinian," was 
opened as a place of business early in this century, being 
purchased by Messrs. Newell & Niles. A company was 
formed to erect a dam from the Point across Mill Creek 
to Leeds' Point, which, it was expected, would furnish a 
sufficient supply of water to run several mills and manu- 
factories. The owners of the old Tileston mill made 
serious objections to the plan, and caused it to be aban- 
doned. A bridge was built instead of the dam ; but owing 
to its exposed position it could not be kept in repair, and 
finally became dilapidated. Newell & Niles were unfortu- 
nate in their undertakings, and went out of business. Soon 
the Point was neglected, and no business was transacted 
there until the sudden burst of enthusiasm in 1832. 


The Point is located at the mouth of the Neponset River, 
and is favorably situated for a large business. The activity 
of 1832-40, however, does not seem likely to be repeated ; 
and the future prosperity of the town seems destined to be 
derived from other industries. Unfortunately, the antici- 
pations expressed in the following lines, written by Mr. 
Samuel Davis, of Plymouth, Mass., will probably never 
be fulfilled : — 

" Where Dorchester her kicid bosom swells, 
Courts her young navies, and the town repels ; 
High on the Mount, amid the fragrant air, 
Hope stood sublime, and waved her auburn hair ; 
Calmed with her rosy smile the tossing deep, 
And with sweet accents charmed the woods to sleep. 
To southern plains she stretched her snowy hand, 
High-waving woods and sea-encircled strand — 
' Hear me ' (she cried) ' ye rising realms record 
Time's opening scenes, and Truth's unerring word. 
There shall broad streets their stately walls extend, 
The Circus widen and the Crescent bend ; 
There, from famed cities, o'er the cultured land 
Shall bright canals and solid roads expand — 
There the proud arch, colossus-like, bestride 
Yon circling bay, and bound the chasing tide ; 
Embellished villas crown the landscape scene. 
Farms wave with gold, and orchards blush between. 
There shall tall spires and dome-capped towers ascend, 
And piers and quays their massive structures blend — 
While with each breeze approaching vessels glide. 
And eastern treasures waft on every tide.' 
Then ceased the nymph, — tumultuous echoes roar. 
And Joy's loud voice was heard from shore to shore. 
Her graceful steps, descending, pressed the plain, 
And Peace, and Art, and Labor joined her train." 

The Dorchester Anti-Slavery Society was organized 
April 24, 1835. Dr. Samuel Mulliken, a well-known 
physician in the town, was elected president, and the Rev. 
David Sanford, the pastor of the Village Church at the 
Lower Mills, was chosen corresponding secretary. The 


object of the society is indicated by its name ; but a funda- 
mental principle, as laid down in the constitution, was 
" never to countenance the oppressed in vindicating their 
rights by resorting to physical force." One of the first 
acts of this newly organized society was to make arrange- 
ments for the coming Fourth of July; and the result was 
pronounced by members of the society to be "the most 
Christian, and, for the times, the most appropriate celebra- 
tion of the day that ever took place in Dorchester." 

The celebration was held in the Second Church, four 
clergymen of different denominations taking part in the 
exercises of the day. Among these was Rev. E. M. P. 
Wells, in whose memory the Wells Memorial Building in 
Boston was erected. Nathaniel Hall, Jr., who afterwards 
was pastor of the First Parish Church for forty years, was 
present, and took an active part. It is more than probable 
that Mr. Hall was influenced greatly by the oration deliv- 
ered on this occasion by William Lloyd Garrison, for he 
was very decided in his stand against slavery from that 
time. On the occasion of Mr. HalFs fortieth anniversary 
of his connection with the First Parish, the "Christian 
Register" said: "No other pulpit in America was more 
earnestly or more powerfully outspoken in behalf of 
human freedom in the most critical day of the anti-slavery 

In 1835 the Rev. Nathaniel Hall, Jr., was ordained 
colleague with Rev. Dr. Harris ; and upon the latter's 
resignation, a year later, Mr. Hall assumed entire charge 
of the First Parish. 

It will be remembered that in 1803 Dorchester lost its 
first slice by annexation, when Boston took Dorchester 
Neck, or South Boston, to relieve its crowded limits. The 
next movement in the same direction was in 1836, when 
the inhabitants of Little Neck, Washington Village, asked 
to be annexed to Boston. They urged that they were four 
miles from the town house, and more than a mile from any 


school. Occasionally they were unable to enjoy any school 
advantages at all, owing to the fact that the tide-water was 
allowed to overflow the public road. It was natural that 
the mother town should be unwilling to lose more of its 
territory. As we have seen, Milton, Stoughton, Canton, 
and several other towns had been previously set off, taking 
away from the extent of old Dorchester, leaving a stretch 
of land but ten miles in length, and containing only about 
seven thousand acres of land. The loss of Dorchester 
Neck curtailed the town still further, and the town felt 
that it would take little more to cause its identity to be 
destroyed. The opposition to the annexation was effective 
in postponing the event, the matter being delayed until 
May 21, 1855, when Washington Village finally became a 
part of the city of Boston. 

On January 30, 1836, Dorchester lost one of its fore- 
most manufacturers. Mr. William Sumner was the last 
one of his name to be connected with the paper industry, 
which had been conducted by his family since 1781. The 
" Sumner Mill " was well known to all the inhabitants of 
the town ; but with the decease of Mr. Sumner, as recorded 
above, the business passed into other hands. 

This mill was originally built by George Clark of 
Milton. In 1773 the town deeded to him fourteen acres 
of land, on condition that the mill be built on the 
north side of the river, thus coming under the taxable 
property of Dorchester. In return for this property Mr. 
Clark paid the town something over five hundred dollars. 

A paper mill was at once erected, and Mr. Clark began 
business. Owing to various causes, the enterprise did not 
prove as lucrative as had been expected, and in 1786 the 
property was bought by William Sumner and Patrick 
Connor. After continuing the business together for a short 
time, Mr. Connor transferred part of his share to Richard 
Clark, and in 1794 Connor made over a life estate in his 
remaining share to George Clark, and the reversionary 


interest to Jeremiah Tucker Clark. When Richard Clark 
died, in 1796, Mr. Sumner bought out the shares of the 
Clark family, assuming entire control of the business. 

In 1839 Lyceum Hall was built at Meeting-House Hill. 
Mr. Henry A. Clapp, writing of it, says, '' Few buildings 
of its sort in New England have been allied in more inti- 
mate and diverse fashion to the life of a community during 
a half-century of what we may call aularian existence." 
This building was erected upon land at Meeting-House 
Hill which the town of Dorchester had deeded for that 
purpose in accordance with a vote passed in town meeting 
that same year. A building committee was chosen, con- 
sisting of Colonel Walter Baker, president; Samuel P. 
Loud, treasurer; John H. Robinson, collector; and Messrs. 
Thomas Tremlett, William Swan, Moses Draper, and 
Oliver Hall. 

Before the committee had been chosen, the promoters of 
the enterprise had issued an " Address to our Fellow Citi- 
zens," in which the arguments in favor of building such a 
hall were clearly laid down. Dorchester, this circular 
informed its readers, was " distinguished from almost 
every considerable village in New England in being with- 
out a suitable place for public meetings, — a distinction 
not certainly commendable, since as a consequence we are 
deprived of much intellectual and moral benefit." Atten- 
tion was particularly called to the fact that " our location 
with regard to Boston and Cambridge affords us peculiar 
facilities for the obtaining of agreeable and accomplished 
lecturers." Moreover, " another end to be served was the 
important one of affording a place for free and public 
discussions on subjects of common interest, and for mutual 
improvement in debate, declamation, or other valuable 
accomplishments. ' ' 

These were the public interests which the promoters 
thought the hall would subserve ; but there was further 
usefulness which was of hardly less importance. It might 

* . .- f 

y\- ->.; 



if:^s^ T. 


be used by the First Parish as a room in which the choir 
could rehearse more frequently and conveniently, enabling 
the singers to improve in their "sweet and sacred art," as 
the wording of the circular expressed it. There would 
also be an opportunity for the First Parish to hold its 
Sunday-school in this building, thus saving the childi^en 
from " spending the intermission in a manner calculated to 
efface the good impression which may have been received," 
the temptation being afforded by the necessity of dis- 
missing the childi'en at an early hour, when the regular 
service of the Church began. There is nothing to show 
that the First Church ever availed itself of the oppor- 
tunities suggested by the circular ; but, without that, there 
was ample need of better accommodations. 

Lyceum Hall was finished in February, 1840, having 
anterooms and a gallery in front. On the 27th of the 
month extensive preparations were made for the dedication 
of the building. Governor Edward Everett being invited 
to deliver the oration. He found it inconvenient, however, 
to be present; so Hon. Horace Mann was the orator of 
the occasion. Colonel Baker presided, and Rev. John 
Pierpont composed a hymn, also offering prayer. Mr. 
Samuel Swan lent his piano for the occasion, acting him- 
self as accompanist to the singers. Two tickets were sent 
to each minister and one to each schoolmaster in the 
town, and five hundred were distributed in all. The Dor- 
chester ladies contributed $125 towards the purchase of 
a chandelier. 

It was proposed at first to name the hall after the popular 
president of the committee. Colonel Walter Baker ; but he 
stoutly declined the honor, and the name of '' Lyceum 
Hall " was decided upon. 

In 1866 the stock passed into new hands, and the hall 
was partially rebuilt. The anterooms and gallery were 
removed, and additions and entrances were made on the 
sides and in the rear. "Almost from the moment of its 


completion," says Mr. Clapp, " Lyceum Hall began through 
its engagements to furnish an abstract and brief chronicle 
of the intellectual and social life of Dorchester, and in no 
small degree of the larger life of the commonwealth and 
the nation." 

The idea of having popular lectures was just receiving 
recognition at this time, and thus Lyceum Hall became a 
potent factor in educating the minds of the community, 
and influencing their political opinion. Dr. Jerome Van 
Crowninsliield Smith, afterwards mayor of Boston, lectured 
on Geology ; Mr. Purdett talked on Plii'enology ; Mr. W. 
Phillips, Mr. William Lloyd Garrison, Rev. John Pierpont, 
and Theodore Parker caused much excitement in advocate 
ing the abolition of slavery. 

In 1847 St. Mary's Episcopal Church began to hold its 
services here. A writer, referring to these services, says : 

' ' I well remember my small-boyish recognition of a certain 
piquancy imparted to such church-going by the secular flavor 
of the room, two of the corners of which were always stiffly 
occupied by life-sized plaster statues of two of the more repu- 
table goddesses of the Ancient Roman persuasion. Bewilder- 
ing traces of the concert or negro minstrelsy to which the hall 
had been devoted on Saturday night had not always alto- 
gether disappeared on Sunday morning, and an unfailing 
interest attached to the mystical sets of concentric circles, 
painted in permanent white at regular intervals upon the floor, 
the meaning of which is not clear to me now, although I recall 
that my eager inquiry was stifled, not met, by the information 
that they were used in dancing." 

The Dorchester Whigs at once made Lyceum Hall their 
headquarters. In Mr. Samuel Swan's diary, under the 
date of July 3, 1840, is the following interesting entry : 

*'The Whigs spent the day rigging up a vessel in front of 
the hall, to be drawn in procession to a grand rally in Dedham 
the next day. All night the young Whigs kept lively watch 


at the readiug-room to prevent the Loeofocos from destroying 
the vessel before she should start on her first voyage. The 
Democrats, in the old gun house near by also held vigil that 
the Whigs should not be able to spike the cannon with which 
they proposed to celebrate the opening of the coming Fom-th." 

During the war the hall was used as a recruiting place, 
and for receptions to companies of volunteers on their 
departure or arrival. In 1851, on the occasion of the great 
" railroad jubilee," President Fillmore stepped off the train 
at Harrison Square, and was escorted into Boston by the 
Lancers, between rows of Dorchester school-children, the 
procession starting in front of the hall. 

It is not possible to allude to all the important events 
which took place underneath the roof of Lyceum Hall. 
When the town was annexed to Boston the building lost 
some of its historical fame, being brought into competition 
with Faneuil Hall and other celebrated antiquities ; but it 
will always remain the same to the old residents of the 
town. It was with deep regret to many that the building 
finally passed into the hands of the city of Boston, as its 
associations clearly belonged to the individuality of Good 
Old Dorchester. At the present time Lyceum Hall is used 
for a primary school, having been purchased by the city in 
1891, and remodelled for this purpose. 

The presidential campaign of 1840 was entered into 
with much enthusiasm, especially by the young men of the 
town. Mr. William C. Codman was one of the partici- 
pants, and he gives us an interesting account of the pro- 
ceedings. He says : — 

''We — that is, the Whigs of Dorchester — were accustomed 
during this campaign to march to the number of some hundreds 
to a barn (the wigwams or log cabins not being sufficiently ca- 
pacious) , and there listen to the campaign orators. By the bye, 
it was generally conceded that a barn nearest resembled a log 
cabin. We ignored public halls, meeting and town houses, out 


of respect to our Buckeye candidate. Major Capen had a 
mammoth barn on River Street, at the Lower Mills, which was 
our principal rendezvous. On each side of the doors a barrel 
of hard cider was "on tap." From these we stimulated when 
we went in, also at intervals during the speeches, and then we 
stimulated when we went out. I have heard that hard cider is 
supposed to make one cross, but I am positive it had the 
contrary effect on us. We were intensely amiable. In this 
campaign our war cry was 'Tippecanoe and Tyler too.' 

"Among the speakers at one of these gatherings was Mr. 
Goodrich, better known as ' Peter Parley.' A capital anec- 
dote told by him, which brought down the house (barn, if you 
please), I well remember, though forty-three years have passed 
since it was narrated : ' Not far from the spot where we are 
now assembled lives a well-to-do farmer. He does not dabble 
much in politics, but his weekly newspaper keeps him fairly 
posted on the great issues of the day. I think he had not quite 
made up his mind on which side to vote ; but the matter was 
soon settled when his wife rushed into the corn barn, where he 
was husking, saying, " Joe, I know now who is going to be the 
next President." "Nonsense," said Joe ; "who told you?" 
' ' The pigeons did ; for when I went to feed them they cooed 
out ' Tip-e-canoe-oo-oo — Tippecanoe,' and you 'd better vote for 
him if you want to save your reputation for shrewdness.'" 

"On the morning of the 10th of September, there gathered 
in front of the town hall exactly one hundred Whigs. It was a 
motley company, both as to men, horses, and equipments. My 
memory reverts to the old farm horse on which I was mounted, 
and I laugh, while I write, at the ludicrous appearance of the 
horse — and its rider. My two brothers and myself had drawn 
lots for the three horses from our father's stable, which resulted 
in my getting 'old Black,' while my more fortunate brothers 
each had a spirited and handsome bob-tail bay. Accustomed 
as my steed had been for fourteen years to the fields, it is easy 
to imagine the effect of martial music on his unaccustomed ear. 
When we were ordered to fall in, and at the very first sound of 
drum and fife, ' Old Black ' was in a high state of nervous 
excitement, and at once forged ahead of the whole cavalcade, 
so that I might easily have been taken for one of James's 


'solitary horsemen,' — and then, after considerable cavorting, 
he would drop as far astern as he had ranged ahead ; but, with 
backing and filling, I finally succeeded in averaging it around, 
so that when we had reached the 'Neck,' where we were 
received by an escort from Boston, I was in my proper place. 
Additions to our numbers were then made by the cavalcades 
from Roxbury, Brookliue, and Brighton, and, as a whole, we 
presented a formidable array of stalwart Harrisonites, and must 
have impressed the Democrats, or Locofocos, — for we called 
them by both names, — that the victory was ours. The pro- 
cession moved on to Beacon Street, where we rested at the old 
frame building, — then a tavern, and, I believe, still standing 
on the corner of Parker and Beacon streets. 

"A glorious day up to this time, but the gathering clouds 
were ominous. The word of command was again given, and 
the whole procession — immense, overpowering procession, we 
thought — proceeded on towards Charlestown. We made a 
detour at Winter Street, so as to pass the Old South Meeting- 
House ; it would have been unpatriotic not to have done so. 
How ingloriously we passed that relic of ' ye olden time ' any 
one of our cavalcade will well remember; for, when we had 
turned from Winter into Washington Street, it began to rain in 
torrents, completely deluging us. Without waiting for orders, 
squad after squad left the ranks for shelter, going to Taft's, the 
New England Coffee House, or the ' Stackpole,' on Milk Street, 
while comparatively few went on to Charlestown, where they 
listened to the 'great expounder.' 

"After the exercises were over, and the procession had 
reached the head of State Street, the deserters again joined the 
cavalcade, and we returned to Dorchester. On reaching 
Meeting House Hill, we were jeered at by a number of Demo- 
crats, and not very complimentary allusions were made to oui* 
bespattered condition. In front of Captain Ebenezer Eaton's 
store, suspended to an old elm, was hung out (fortunately very 
low) a red flannel petticoat, typifing our candidate as an ' old 
granny' ! We had been obliged, during the day, to pass under 
a great many of these petticoats, particularly on the Neck, 
where there were then many trees, but few houses. This was 
more exasperating than the jeers ; but we had an heroic sea 



captain among us. Rushing out from the ranks at a full 
gallop, he tore the petticoat from the branches, and, amid the 
anathemas and howls of the Locofocos, bore it in triumph 
back to the cavalcade, which had resumed its march to the 
Town Hall, where, after singing a campaign song, we were 

It will undoubtedly be something of a surprise to many 
of Dorchester's present inhabitants to learn that the town 
was conservative enough in 1842 to make a strong objec- 
tion to the " modern " invention of railroads. When a 
petition was brought before the Legislature, asking permis- 
sion to build a railroad from Boston to Quincy by any one 
of three routes passing through Dorchester, the town was 
bitter in its oppjosition. A legal meeting of the citizens 
of the town was held February 2, with Col. Walter Baker 
presiding as moderator. At this meeting the following 
resolutions were passed: — 

Resolved^ That, in the opinion of the inhabitants, the railroad 
petitioned for by Thomas Greenleaf and others, if located upon 
either of the lines designated upon their plan, will be of incal- 
culable injury to the town generally, in addition to the immense 
sacrifice of private property which will also be involved. A 
great portion of the road will lead through thickly settled and 
populous parts of the town, crossing and running contiguous to 
public highways, and thereby making a permanent obstruction 
to a free intercourse of our citizens from one part of the town to 
another, and creating great and enduring danger and hazard to 
all travel upon the common roads. 

Resolved^ That if, in the opinion of the legislature, there can 
be shown sufficient evidence of public utility to justify the 
taking of private property at all, for the construction of this 
projected railroad, it should be located upon the marshes, and 
over creeks bordering the harbor and Neponset River, and as 
remote as possible from all other roads ; and by which a less 

1 The Presidential Campaign of 1840. — Boston Saturday Evening Gazette, 
Oct. 7, 1883. 


sacrifice will be made of private property, and a much less 
injury occasioned to the town and the public generally. 

Resolved^ That our representatives be instructed to use their 
utmost endeavors to prevent, if possible, so great a calamity to 
oui- town as must be the location of any raili'oad through it ; 
and if that cannot be prevented, to diminish this calamity, as 
far as possible, by confining the location to the route herein 

A true copy from the Dorchester records. 
Attest : 

(Signed) Thomas J. Tolman, 
Dorchester, Feb. 3, 1842. Town Clerk. 

A committee was appointed and legal counsel obtained 
to oppose the measure before the Legislature. The repre- 
sentatives of the town in that body were instructed to 
use their utmost power to prevent the location of so dread 
an evil within the Dorchester limits. The town urged 
that " the property and the comfort, and perhaps the lives, 
of their fellow-citizens were deeply interested in the result 
of their remonstrance, and that the expenses of the ablest 
counsel were not to be considered when such interests 
were at stake." 

For two years the " calamity " which threatened the 
town was warded off ; but in 1844, when a petition was 
presented for the formation of the Old Colony road from 
Boston to Plymouth, the subject of the Quincy road was 
again revived. Again the measure met the most violent 
op]30sition ; but the success of the Boston and Albany 
road's " through line to the West," terminating at Albany, 
had so steeled the hearts of the legislators that all opposi- 
tion was in vain. Two steam railroads, with branch tracks, 
were built in Dorchester; and the town has suffered the 
misfortune of having steam transportation ever since ! 

At the time the railroad was built there were only two 
small houses at Savin Hill, easterly from the track ; there 
were only a few at what was afterwards called Harrison 


Square ; and at Neponset there were no houses east of the 
Neponset Turnpike. ^ Soon after the road was built, 
several active business men moved to Dorchester, and did 
much to build up the easterly part of the town, including 
Harrison Square and Neponset. Among these may be 
mentioned Messrs. Edward King, Franklin King, Nathan 
Carruth (first president of the Old Colony Railroad), A. 
T. Stearns, Manoah Leavitt, David B. Bartlett, A. S. 
Mansfield, Laban Pratt, and S. S. Putnam. 

On April 3, 1842, Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris died^ 
in Boston. He was buried from the First Parish Church, 
where he had labored so long and faithfully ; Rev. Nathaniel 
Hall delivered the funeral address. 

On Jan. 27, 1843, several Dorchester gentlemen, who were 
impressed with the importance of collecting and preserving 
the materials relating to the early history of the town and 
colony, from which one million people are said to have 
descended, met together to adopt measures to accomplish 
this end. This was the beginning of the Dorchester 
Antiquarian and Historical Society. 

The Hon. Edmund P. Tileston was elected the first 
president of the society ; Ebenezer Clapp, Jr., was chosen 
to hold the office of corresponding secretary; Edward 
Holden was the librarian, and Edmund J. Baker, William 
D. SAvan, and Henry M. Leeds the curators. 

The society adopted a constitution, and proclaimed 
itself as organized for the " collection and preservation of 
books, pamphlets, manuscripts, and curiosities, bearing on 
the biography and history of men and things in the United 
States from the earliest times." The plan was closely 
followed; and a large library of books, pamphlets, and 
manuscripts, bearing more particularly on the history of 
the town, was collected. But two members of this society 
are now alive, — Messrs. Henry G. Denny and William B. 

• H, W. Blanchard : Opposition to the Old Colony Railroad. 
2 See page 241. 


It was clue to the exertions of this society that the last 
" History of Dorchester " was given to the public. Early 
in its history the society appointed a special committee, 
consisting of Messrs. James M. Robbins, Edmund J. 
Baker, Ebenezer Clapp, Jr., William D. Swan, Edward 
Holden, Edmund P. Tileston, and William B. Trask, for 
the purpose of collecting the materials for a general 
history of the town. This work was issued in numbers 
published at irregular intervals, which were finally brought 
together in one volume in 1859. Diligent search of the 
Probate Records, and faithful work in examining manu- 
scripts in the State archives, as well as personal facts 
gleaned from old inhabitants themselves, make this 
volume of inestimable value to all interested in the 
history of the town. 

The Antiquarian Society also published the Memoirs of 
Roger Clap, James Blake's ^'Annals of Dorchester," and 
Richard Mather's Journal. The original copy of Mr. 
Mather's Journal, in the handwriting of the author, was 
found among some documents formerly in the possession 
of Mr. Blake. 

Dr. Samuel MuUiken, a prominent physician of the 
town, died Feb. 20, 1813. He was graduated from 
Harvard College in 1819, and settled as a physician in 
Dorchester soon after. For some time his practice was 
limited ; but when he removed to Centre Street his busi- 
ness increased, and he acquired a good reputation. Dr. 
MuUiken was a native of Lexington. 

In the year 1848 several mill owners on the Neponset 
River joined together, and formed a corporation known as 
the Neponset Reservoir Company. It had been found that 
in dry weather the natural water supply sometimes proved 
inadequate, and this company was formed in order to 
provide for the deficiency. A dam was built in Foxboro', 
which held back the waters of the different brooks, and 
thus formed a reservoir covering three hundred and fifty 


acres, and varjdng from seven to ten feet in depth. This 
proved a valuable supply of water from which to draw as 
circumstances demanded. 

It is from the western side of this reservoir that the 
Neponset River takes its rise. It flows through the town 
of Walpole, here being enforced by the waters of Diamond 
and Mill Brooks. Its course then continues through 
Sharon and Dedham, receiving, just beyond the last-named 
town, the little stream known as Bubbling Brook. After 
separating the towns of Sharon and Dedham, the river 
continues its mark of division by forming the boundary 
line of Dedham and Canton. The course thus described 
completes the western branch of the river. 

The eastern branch has had much happen upon its banks 
to make it famous. It takes its rise in Sharon, starting 
with the surplus water of Massapoag Pond. Early in the 
century this stream, enlarged by uniting with York Brook 
at Canton, had a dam built across it by the Neponset 
Woollen Manufacturing Company, and a large reservoir 
was thus formed, extending over tliree hundred acres of 
territory. When this company failed the property came 
into possession of the Revere Copper Company. 

A powder mill was early built upon the banks by 
Benjamin Everett ; in 1789 Jonathan Leonard and Adam 
Kinsley had their celebrated forges there ; James Beau- 
mont, in 1800, started a cotton mill, and a year later Paul 
Revere established the first copper works in America. 

The eastern and western branches are hardly united 
w^hen they receive the surplus water of Ponkapoag Pond. 
Two miles farther on, the river separates the towns of 
Dedham and Milton. Gradually its waters are increased, 
the mother brook pouring in her contributions just 
before Dorchester and Milton each claim it as its boun- 
dary line. While acting in this capacity it receives a 
stream originally known as " Robert Babcock's River," but 
later called "Aunt Sarah's Brook." The story told in 


regard to the change of name is, that about a mile south 
of Milton Bridge, the brook approaches the old Taunton 
Road, in Milton, and there forms a public watering place. 
Directly opposite the brook was situated the house of 
Elijah Vose. After his death, and during the Revolution- 
ary War, his widow Sarah lived in the house, and when- 
ever the weather was sufficiently favorable, she would sit 
in the door, and call out to every one who passed, " What 's 
the news from the war? I have four sons gone to the 
war, — what's the news from the war?" Whether 
the anxious mother ever received the tidings she desired, 
the story does not state ; but her name was given to the 
brook in remembrance of her fidelity. 

Dorchester is also separated from Quincy by this self- 
same Neponset River, which, just after performing this 
service, loses its identity in Dorchester Bay. 

In April, 1851, the tide between the mouth of the river 
and the head of tidewater reached the remarkable height 
of sixteen feet, eight and a half inches. To commemorate 
this, the Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society 
placed an iron bolt in a rock just below the bridge at the 
Lower Falls. 

Rev. John Codman, D.D., the first pastor of the Second 
Parish, died December 23, 1847, bringing to a close a most 
useful life.i His funeral occurred from the church in 
which he had ministered so long. Rev. Richard S. Storrs, 
D.D., of Braintree, preaching the sermon. The Rev. James 
H. Means, Dr. Codman's successor, was ordained July 13, 
the following year. 

In 1852 Dorchester suffered a loss in the death of Dr. 
Robert Thaxter. He was born in Hingham October 21, 
1776, and graduated from Harvard College in 1798. He 
studied medicine with his father. Dr. Thomas Thaxter, and 
for a time he was associated with him in business in Hing- 

' See page 252. 


ham. In 1809 lie began practice in Dorchester, and from 
that time until his death from ship fever, February 9, he 
enjoyed a large medical and surgical practice, and won an 
enviable reputation as a physician and citizen. For more 
than thirty years he was not detained from his business a 
single day by sickness. He was a man of noble, self- 
sacrificing spirit. It was only necessary for him to know 
that his services were needed ; he did not inquire Avhether 
the sufferer was a native citizen or a foreigner ; whether he 
had ability to make any pecuniary compensation or not ; 
A\'hether his disease was mild or malignant, — at first sum- 
mons, by night or by day, he hastened to his relief. '' His 
profession was his life,'' said Dr. Thaxter's pastor, Rev. 
Nathaniel Hall, in a tribute to his memory the Sunday 
after his death ; " may it not have been kindly ordered — 
kindly for liim — that the mortal arrow by which he fell 
should have been received in the conscientious discharge of 
its functions? His last sickness was contracted by faithful 
attendance on the family of a poor emigrant."-^ 

In 1853 the citizens of Dorchester invited Hon. Edward 
Everett to deliver an oration in honor of the Declaration 
of Independence, on July 4 of the folloAving year. Con- 
gressional duties, however, made it necessary for the invi- 
tation to be extended to July 4, 1855. It was then 
determined to make arrangements to celebrate at the same 
time the two hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the 
settlement of the town. "Actuated by motives of public 
good," wrote the committee to Mr. Everett, '' and believing 
in the salutary teachings of national events when contem- 
plated with an inquiring spirit and enlightened judgment, 
the undersigned, citizens of Dorchester, without distinction 
of party, are desirous of celebrating the 4th of July, 1854, 
in a manner that shall prove creditable to that ancient 
town, instructive to the young, renovating to the aged, and 
morally profitable to the nation." The committee further 

1 Eben. Alden, M.D.: Early Hist, of Med. Profession (1859). 


continued, " The humble but ancient town of Dorchester, 
though once the chief of New England, affords but a slen- 
der stock of materials for the scrutinizing historian. Still, 
its annals are not entirely void of national interest. Its 
early example of town organization, and the zeal of her 
sons to extend the domain of truth, and give form to the 
colonizing spirit in distant sections of the continent, were 
characteristic indications of its fii'st settlers. Its heights 
were made to frown upon an invading foe, and its brave 
citizens Avere among the first to resist the acts of British 
oppression. Its hills were honored by a Bowdoin, and its 
plains by a Stoughton and an Everett." 

Mr. Everett accepted the invitation, saying in his letter, 
" I cannot but feel grateful and honored by an invitation 
proceeding from so large a number of the most respected 
citizens of the town where I was born and passed my 
childhood, and at whose schools I received the rudiments 
of my education." 

Hon. Marshall P. Wilder was elected president of the 
day, while the various committees were filled by representa- 
tive men from all parts of the town. 

The day proved to be one of the most favorable of the 
season, the perfect weather adding in no small degree to 
the enjoyment and satisfaction of the occasion. Salutes of 
cannon were fired at sunrise, noon, and sunset, from Mount 
Bowdoin and Commercial Point, by the Boston Light 
Artillery. Church bells were rung, and the good people of 
Dorchester found it hard to believe that their anniversary 
was a whit behind the great event being celebrated all 
over the country. 

Surrounding towns sent large delegations to witness the 
celebration ; and every house in Dorchester opened its 
hospitable doors to receive the visitors. The invited 
guests were entertained by William T. Adams, Esq. 
(Oliver Optic), at his residence. 

The procession began to form at nine o'clock on Pleas- 


ant Street, under the direction of Major Moses S. Cobb, 
Chief Marshal; while Messrs. C. C. Holbrook, Frank 
Tileston, George F. Pierce, Thomas W. Tuttle, C. M. 
Thompson, and A. W. Spencer, officiated in the capacity 
of aids. The formation of the procession is best shown 
by the order of arrangement : — 


Independent Company of Cadets. 

Conimittee of Arrangements. 

Vice Presidents. 

The President of the Day and the Orator. 

The Reader of the Declaration of Independence and the Chaplain. 

His Excellency the Governor and Staff. 

United States Senators and Representatives. 

Lieutenant Governor and Executive Council. 

Officers of the Massachusetts Legislature. 

President and Ex-Presidents of Harvard University. 

Judges of the Courts in the State. 

Officers of the War of 1812. 

United States Officers, Civil and Military. 

Descendants of Dorchester resident elsewhere. 

Clergy and distinguished Guests. 

Boat on Wheels, the " Everett Barge." 

Fire Department. 

Order of United Americans. 

Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society. 

Town Officers of Dorchester. 

School Committee. 

Representatives to the General Court. 

Subscribers to the Dinner. 


A little after eleven the procession moved, being joined 
by Mr. Everett at the house in which he was born, at the 
corner of Pond and Boston streets. An idea of the occa- 
sion may be gained from the following quotation : — 

"As the procession passed through Bellevue Street, the 
scene was beautiful beyond description. The public schools 
had been formed in a line on either side of the street, with 


distinctive and appropriate banners. The boys were dressed 
in white pants and dark jackets, and the girls in white, their 
hats and bonnets being tastefully trimmed with wreaths and 
flowers. The various schools were distinguished by gay 
rosettes and sashes of different colors, and the children carried 
beautiful bouquets of flowers, which were scattered with liberal 
profuseness ; the orator, president of the day, the chief mar- 
shal, and distinguished friends from abroad being the happy 
recipients. Never was there a more pleasing sight. The 
animated and intelligent faces of these children, their large 
numbers, stretching a considerable distance along the way, 
made a beautiful show, and they seemed indeed the jewels of 
Dorchester. They greeted the distinguished orator and invited 
guests with the most enthusiastic cheers." 

After the procession passed, the children fell in behind 
in the order of their schools. The route along which it 
passed was beautifully decorated, appropriate inscriptions 
being suspended from the windows of the principal resi- 
dences. At the entrance to the tent, where the oration 
was delivered, an arch was stretched across bearing the 
inscription, — 

"Dorchester Settled ix 1630;" 

and on the pillars were written the names of the earliest 
settlers. On the reverse was the motto, — 

Dorchester and her Children. 





South Boston. 


Under the enormous tent, referred to above, no less 
than five thousand ladies and gentlemen sat down to 
lunch, after which occurred the exercises of the day. 

The exercises of the Festival were opened with a prayer 
by the Rev. Nathaniel Hall of Dorchester. An original 
hymn, composed by Rev. S. G. Bulfinch of Dorchester, 
was sung, and Mr. John B. Tileston read the Declaration 


of Independence. Hon. Edward Everett was then intro- 
duced as the orator of the day by President Marshall P. 
Wilder. The following selections from the oration have 
a permanent place in the history of Dorchester : — 

'' Some fifty-six or fifty-seven years have passed, since as a 
school-boy I climbed, summer and winter, what then seemed 
to me the steep acclivity of Meeting-House Hill. The old 
schoolhouse (it was then the new schoolhouse, but I recol- 
lect that which preceded it) has disappeared. The ancient 
church in which I was baptized is no longer standing. The 
venerable pastor (Rev. Dr. Harris), whose affectionate smile 
still lives in the memory of so many who listen to me, has 
ceased from his labors. The entire generation, to whom I 
looked up as to aged or even grown men, are departed. 

" There are few places within my knowledge which within 
fifty years have undergone greater changes than Dorchester. 
The population in 1800 was 2,347 ; in 1850, it was a little 
short of eight thousand. What was then called ' the Neck,' 
the most secluded portion of the old town, although the part 
which led to its being first pitched upon as a place of settle- 
ment, was in 1804 annexed to Boston ; and, being united with 
the city by two bridges, has long since exchanged the retire- 
ment of a village for the life and movement of the metropolis. 
The pickaxe is making sad ravages upon one of the venerable 
heights of Dorchester; the entrenchments of the other, no 
longer masking the deadly enginery of war, are filled with the 
refreshing waters of Cochituate Lake. New roads have been 
opened in every part of our ancient town, and two railways 
traverse it from north to south. The ancient houses, built 
before the Revolution, have not all disappeared ; but they are 
almost lost in the multitude of modern dwellings. A half- 
century ago there was but one church in the town, that which 
stood on yonder hill ; and the schoolhouse which stood by its 
side was, till 1802, the only one dignified by the name of a 
Town School. You have now ten churches and seven school- 
houses of the first class ; and all the establishments of an 
eminently prosperous town, situated in the vicinity of a great 
commercial metropolis, have multiplied in equal proportions. 



" But all is not changed. The great natural featui'es of the 
scene, and nowhere are they more attractive, are of course 
unaltered, — the same fine sweep of the shore with its project- 
ing headlands, the same extensive plain at the north part of 
the town, the same gentle undulations and gradual ascent to 
the south, the same beautiful elevations. I cauglit, a few days 
ago, from the top of Jones's Hill the same noble prospect (and 
I know not a finer on the coast of Massachusetts) which used 
to attract my boyish gaze more than fifty years ago." 

Rufus Clioate paid the following tribute to the orator of 
the day tlirough the columns of the "Boston Courier" : — 

*'The newspapers will have, before this time, placed Mr. 
Everett's admirable discourse in the hands of the whole public ; 
but one of his audience may still be permitted to speak of the 
impression it made on him in the actual delivery. It is little 
to say that it had brilliant success. Certainly it had. Some 
five or six thousand persons, — but, however, a vast multitude, 
— ladies and gentlemen, children in green chaplets, from 
school, and old age with his staff shaking in both his hands, 
of all varieties of culture and of opinion, by silence, by tears, 
by laughter, by hearty and frequent applause, for more than 
two hours of not very comfortable weather, confessed the spell 
of the spoken eloquence of written thoughts and thoughts not 
written ; and when he ended, sat still fixed to hear, as if the 
spell would not be broken." 

Mr. Everett's oration occupied two hours and twenty 
minutes, during which time the orator did not have a 
single occasion to refer to his notes. 

After the oration, the following original ode was sung, 
written by Rev. N. L. Frothingham, D. D., of Boston : — 


Old Dorchester has fame to wear, 

Won from the days of Faith and Strife, — 

The faith that winged the Pilgrim's prayer, 
The war that breathed a Nation's life. 

208 GOOD OLD DOllCHESTER. [1855. 

In front she stood when first arose 

The church upon the red man's shore ; 

In front — to meet the shock of foes, 
When opened Freedom's cannon roar. 

Her heights have felt the foot and eye 

Of him who led our victories on : 
Her plains run seaward, as to vie 

With some yet future Marathon. 

Old Dorchester is glad to-day ; 

Her sacred bells ring feast and mirth ; 
Her gunner's trains and war array 

But shoot their joy to sky and earth. 

Old Dorchester is proud to-day ! 

Through her own lips its trump is blown ; 
And he who speaks what she would say, 

By two-fold title is her own. 

O God of Faith and Armies ! now 
Make pure our thanks, lift high our vow ; 
Thy Spirit be thy people's might, 
And valor guard their free birth-right. 

Another ode, written by Miss Anne S. Tileston, of Dor- 
chester, was also read ; and the exercises came to an end 
by the Rev. James H. Means of Dorchester offering prayer 
and pronouncing the benediction. The procession then 
reformed, and marched to a pavilion on Meeting-House 
Hill, where seats were provided for nearly two thousand 
guests, at bountifully loaded tables. 

The postprandial exercises were of a most interesting 
character, the speakers being President of the Day Wilder, 
Gov. Henry J. Gardner, Hon. Edward Everett, Rev. 
Edward Everett Hale, Rev. James Walker, D. D., presi- 
dent of Harvard University, Col. Enoch Train, Hon. 
Charles Francis Adams, Dr. Barnas Sears, Col. Thomas 
Aspinwall, Rev. Lyman Whiting, Hon. Peter Cooper, 
Ebenezer Clapp, Jr., Esq., Hon. Edward L. Pierce, Col. 
Thomas C. Amory, and Major Moses G. Cobb. 

The festivities of the celebration were closed by a mag- 


nificent display of fireworks in the evening on Mount 
Bowdoin, and by a levee at the house of Governor Gardner. 
The letters received from distinguished individuals, who 
were unable to be present at the anniversary, show the 
position wliich Good Old Dorchester has ever held. Selec- 
tions from these letters are of great interest, as supplemen- 
tary to the gratifying expressions made by the speakers at 
the Festival. The Hon. Robert C. Wintlii'op said: — 

"I cannot altogether forget that I have some claim to be 
among you, apart from the complimentary invitation with 
which I have been honored. In your good old town have 
lived, in years past, not a few of those with whom I have 
been connected by the nearest ties, both of affection and of 
blood. The vote of Dorchester in favor of the adoption of 
the constitution of the United States — the most unportant 
vote she was ever caUed upon to cast — was given by the 
hand of my near maternal relative, James Bowdoin, whose 
name has been fitly assigned to one of the beautiful hills 
within youi' borders. Not a few of the pleasantest hom*s of 
my boyhood were passed upon that hill ; and, certainly, there 
is no prospect which I have ever seen since, either at home or 
abroad, which has left a more vi\dd impression on my mind 
for variety and beauty than that of my native city, with its 
charming environs and lovely harbor, as viewed from the old 
summer house which has but recently disappeared from Mount 

Hon. David Sears : — 

"Boston can never forget the day when her citizens looked 
with an anxious eye to the heights of Dorchester for relief ; nor 
can she cease to remember that by the gallant array of freemen 
assembled there for action on the night of the 4th of March, 
1776, she was saved from disgrace, and enabled to resume that 
high position which it has ever since been her endeavor to 
maintain. The influence of Dorchester extends far beyond her 
limits. Her children are well-known and esteemed, and every- 
where show evidence of the soundness of their principles, and 
the excellence of their education." 


The Rev. W. A. Stearns, D. D., of Amherst College : 

*'The town of 'Dorchester has always been vividly asso- 
ciated in my mind with the noble struggles and triumphs of 
oui' fathers for Uberty. ' Dorchester Heights ' is among the 
magic words which quicken the blood of every American 
when he reads the history of his native land." 

Judge Charles A. Dewey : — 

"I am happy to be remembered by you as one of the 
descendants of the ancient town of Dorchester, that having 
been the residence of Thomas Dewey, my first ancestor from 
England, at the early period of 1634, and from whom I am the 
fifth generation in descent. I shall ever delight to recognize 
my relation to old Dorchester, honored as she is by being 
probably the earliest place in Massachusetts entered upon by 
civilized men, rich as she is in her incidents and memorials 
appertaining to the days of our revolutionary struggles, 
and blessed W' ith a present generation who know how to appre- 
ciate the blessings of civil and religious liberty." 

Mayor J. V. C. Smith, of Boston : — 

"From the intimate relationship existing between Dor- 
chester and Boston, — their historical associations, their united 
efforts in the first settlement of New England and in the revo- 
lutionary stmggle through which they passed, — there is no 
reason for supposing that a friendship thus established will 
ever decline, while business intercourse and the refinements of 
social life are the accompaniments of Christian civilization." 

In reply to a communication addressed to the Midway 
Society, in Georgia, by the committee, an interesting letter 
was received, which is quoted here in part : — 

RiCEBORO, Liberty Co., Ga., June 4, 1855. 

Gentlemen, — Your letter dated Dorchester, Mass., May 11, 
1855, has been received by the Midway Society. You mention 
that in the year 1695, Oct. 22, "a church was formed in this 
town, which went to South Carolina and settled in a place 
which they called ' Dorchester,' and subsequently they re- 


moved to Midway in Georgia ; " and you also inquire " whetlier 
any of the descendants of those who went off from this town 
are now living." In reply, we would state that your com- 
munication was received with much pleasure. It recalled to 
our minds the ties of consanguinity, and those traditional asso- 
ciations which have ever endeared in our memories the home 
of our ancestors. We are happy to inform you that, accord- 
ing to our records, the church organized in Dorchester, Mass., 
in the year 1695, A.D., of which the Rev. Joseph Lord was 
pastor, settled in Dorchester and Beach Hill, S. C, dui'ing the 
same year, and continued there until the year 1752, — a period 
of fifty-seven years, when the society, being in want of lands 
for the settlement of their children, began to remove to Mid- 
way, in Georgia, and located there upon the 6th of December, 
1752, where most of then- descendants remain until the present 
time. About one half of the present population of Liberty 
County are related to these settlers. Others have followed the 
westward tide of emigration. During the infancy of the 
church at Midway, our society was much afflicted with disease, 
annoyed by the predatory incursions of Indians, and racked by 
the rapacious British during our struggle for independence. 
During the continuance of the war our society was much 
scattered, but with the news of peace a brighter day dawned. 
Our church and society was then settled upon a sm*e and solid 
basis, and, we hope, has proved a blessing to very many of our 
race. . . , 

We feared that some changes of time had obliterated us 
from the memory of our Northern relatives and friends ; but 
now that you have sought us out, to renew oui- acquaintance, 
your kindness will render you doubly dear to us. ... We 
are pleased to infer, from your invitation to unite with you in 
the celebration of the ensuing 4th of July, that a sentiment of 
nationality still pervades our ancestral town. 

In your letter you say, " We give you our fraternal greeting, 
and through you, your Society, wishing you peace, prosperity, 
and every Christian grace." Most willingly do we accept these 
proffers of love and friendship, and tender you our reciprocity 
of sentiment. The names of Dorchester and Plymouth are dear 



to US. The Paritaiis of New England have impressed their 
character upon America. Our ancestors at Midway, bringing 
with them a love of religion, liberty, and law, were the first in 
Georgia to declare in favor of independence, and the name of 
Liberty County has been given to our former parish in testi- 
mony of the fact. The descendants of the original settlers 
of Midway have spread themselves over Georgia, and the South- 
ern States, as the pioneers of religion, education, and jurispru- 
dence. Our society at present occupies a commanding position 
upon the seaboard of Georgia. Considerable progress has 
been made in civil and religious development, agricultural 
science, wealth, and population. We beg leave to refer you, 
for further particulars, to White's " Historical Collections of 
Georgia, " as containing a full and authentic statement of our 
society, which might interest some of om- Northern friends. 
We will mention also that within about seven miles of Mid- 
way Church, we have a near village, called " Dorchester," in 
honor of our ancestral town, whose citizens are noted for their 
intelligence and hospitality. Our present pastors are the Rev. 
D. L. Buttolph, of New York, and the Rev. John F. Baker, 
of Wilkesbarre, Pa. . . 

Please accept our thanks for your hospitable invitation, fra- 
ternal feelings, and cordial greetings. 

May we be ever in the bonds of patriotism and Christian love, 
and be mutually remembered at a throne of grace. 
Yours most truly, 

W. S. Norman, 

S. M. Varnadoe, 

A. Winn, !► Cor, Com, 

W. S. Baker, 

John B. Barnard, 

In anticipation of the celebration recorded in the preced- 
ing pages, the committee in charge of the event sent a 
very friendly letter to the mayor of Dorchester, England. 
This letter gave a brief review of the history of the town, 
and requested information in regard to the early history 
of the families from which the early settlers of New 


Dorchester had sprung. In reply to this communication 
the following letter was received : — ■ 

To the Members of the Dorchester Antiquarian and Historical Society ^ 
Dorchester, Massachusetts, U. S. A. 

South Street, Dorchester, Dorset, 
June 16, 1855. 

Gentlemen and Friends, — Your letter, which as Mayor, it 
fell to my lot to receive, has created a feeling of interest 
amongst us, and we welcome with great cordiality the commun- 
ication from those whom we may style kinsfolli. I have caused 
your letter to be printed, and have circulated it amongst such 
persons especially as are likely to assist us in oui' inquiries on 
the subject of it. 

I myself, and I believe many others, would gladly pay you a 
visit, but that we cannot spare the time requhed to do so. We 
feel that we cannot furnish you with an account of our town 
and neighborhood in such a manner as we would wish, in time 
for yoiu' anniversar}^, but we hope to be enabled to collect a 
portfolio for you, which, if you wish, we shall gladly forward to 
you. I have already a nucleus of the collection.^ 

Mr. White's name is still known in the Borough, and there 
are still names amongst us which are enumerated by you. The 
town itself does not probably exceed, by much, the limits it had 
when our common ancestors left it. 

Being surrounded by the lands of the Duchy of Cornwall, 
which are held in common, there has been a constant check 
upon increasing our bounds. We are, however, we ti'ust, 
increasing oui* station amongst other towns, and we hope ere 
long that the obstacle to our extension may be removed. The 
county gaol and other public buildings being situated here, and 
the Assizes and Quarter Sessions being held here, add to our 
importance. The subm-b of Fordington now forms a part of 
om- Borough. We have five churches, and several chapels for 
those whose doctrines differ from the Church of England. Of 
these churches, two are in Fordington and three in Dorchester. 
The Holy Trinity Church was rebuilt in 1824-25, the Church of 

1 This portfolio was never received. 


All Saints about five or six years ago. The Church of St. 
Peter's is the oldest church in the town. There is now a scheme 
on foot for restoring and repairing this church, and for giving 
greater accommodation to our poorer brethren. When completed 
we shall give them upwards of 200 free sittings, and the build- 
ing will then be a handsome specimen of architecture. At 
present the committee are stayed by want of sufficient funds. 

Two important railways, the London and South Western 
and the Great Western approach us, whilst at eight miles dis- 
tance we have the Port of Weymouth, and the Island of Port- 
land with the quarries, whereon the government have estab- 
lished convict prisons, and by convict labor in great part they 
are forming a breakwater. 

Our design is to furnish you, if acceptable, with a full des- 
cription of the town and neighborhood, accompanied by such 
views as we may be able to procure or furnish to illustrate our 
account. We do not think we can do this with justice to the 
subject before next summer, but if you will then accept it as a 
pledge of good feeling and good fellowship, it is humbly at 
your service. You will perhaps let me know how these matters 
should be sent to you; and with every good wish for your 
welfare, I remain yours very faithfully, 

Thos. Coombs, Mayor, 

The celebration of 1855 v^^as the last great event to take 
place within the tovi^n limits before the breaking out of 
the War of the Rebellion. The position taken by Dor- 
chester in previous events of national importance leaves 
no doubt 'in the mind of the reader as to the stand of 
the people in this conflict between liberty and oppres- 
sion. The records of this period must be postponed, 
however, until we have made a more detailed examination 
of those institutions which have played so large a part 
in giving Dorchester her prominence, — the Church and 
the School. 







^ V^ f^l ^V h^^^ 

w'^'fVi/^AJO) \ 

i^U^'o Jf^ V 












COMPARISON of the religious history 
of the early settlers of Massachusetts 
with their civil records shows that the 
tAvo are almost identical. The Church 
was the corner-stone of the community, 
and in it all other interests centred. 
We have seen that the first act of the company about to 
set sail on the " Mary and John " from Old Pljnnouth was 
to associate themselves into church fellowship ; and the 
prominent place given to religion at this early date is long 
manifested in the lives of the people. 

For several years after the settlement of the Plantation 
the business affairs appear to have been largely in the 
hands of the ministers and two deacons ^ of the Church, 
who together made all deeds of land. The Church decreed 
it unlawful to build a house more than half a mile from 
the '' meeting-house." It regulated the style of dress ; it 
examined into and restricted even the private life of the 
people ; in short, as a writer has said, " the Church was 
the government, and religion was the law." This author- 

1 It is to be said here that while we have every reason to suppose that 
there were deacons in the Dorcliester Churcli, we liave no evidence to tliat 
effect, John Moore, John Gaylord, and William Rockwell have been given 
the title of "deacon " in different publications ; but William B. Trask (New 
Eng. Hist. Gen. Reg., vol. xlvi. p. 183) calls attention to the fact that this 
seems to be based entirely upon supposition. 


ity which the Church assumed was democratic rather than 
ecclesiastical. The people were free and independent, and 
they voluntarily placed the Church in command because 
they believed that religion was the chief concern of life. 

The ministers were looked upon as the leaders in the 
daily life of the town no less than in events which con- 
cerned its spiritual Avelfare. They were prominent in 
every important crisis in civil affairs, and commanded 
respect for their views in shaping the policy of the General 
Court.i The people who had been jealous of the rule of 
a landed aristocracy submitted without an objection to the 
rule of the minister or pastor, which was as '' firm as that 
of a feudal baron." 

The " meeting-house " was an institution which appealed 
strongly to the hearts of the people. The modern name 
of "church" was not in popular use. Cotton Mather 
expressed the sentiment of the people when he said that 
he "found no just ground in Scripture to apply such a 
trope as ' church ' to a house for public assembly." Here 
the people gathered each week to listen to the words of the 
beloved pastor, and to gain a spiritual strength from which 
to draw during the intervening days ; here the town- 
meeting met and passed the local laws and restrictions 
which shaped the growth and action of the community. 
Thus the best interests of the town were clustered around 
this rude shrine, which represented not only the personality 
but the life of the people. 

The colonists assembled for the first service of the Sab- 
bath at about nine o'clock in the morning, being called 
together by a drum, a horn, or a conch-shell. At the first 
summons the people issued from their houses, we are told, 
" in decent order," the husband and wife leading the pro- 
cession, with the children in the rear. On arriving at the 
church, the members of the congregation either awaited 
the coming of the minister outside the building or, in 

1 Winthrop, vol. i. p. 178. 


some communities, took their seats within, rising respect- 
fully when the parson entered. 

Church-going in the early days was a very serious affair. 
Even in times of peace, for many years after the settlement 
of New England, the Puritans went armed to meeting; 
but they were forbidden by law to fire off their charges on 
that day except at an "Indian or a wolf." As late as 
1640 the male attendants at church were ordered to carry 
weapons of defence with them; and it was not till two 
years later that six men with muskets, powder, and shot 
were thought sufficient for protection for each church. In 
some parts of the colonies a portion of the trained bands 
was detailed to attend church service ; and the sentinels 
were ordered to keep "their matches constantly lighted 
for use in their match-locks." The soldiers sat on either 
side of the main door; and such other restrictions were 
put upon the worshippers that the church was said to have 
resembled a garrison rather than a place of worship.^ 

The services were quite different from the form of wor- 
ship now in vogue in our churches. They began with a 
short, devout invocation, after which the congregation 
joined in singing. One of the deacons of the Church read 
one line of the hymn at a time, in which all joined with 
the full power of their lungs. When the singing was 
ended the prayer was begun, during which it was the 
custom for the congregation to stand. Tliis prayer had 
much to do in determining the reputation of a minister. 
The people did not dislike long preaching and prayers, 
and would have felt much grieved if the minister had 
not given full return for the salary paid liim. Thus it 
was that the prayers of the early preachers were often 
much longer than modern sermons ; and it was a common 
thing for a pause to be made to allow the aged and infirm 
to resume their seats and take a welcome rest, while those 

1 Alice Morse Earle, " The Sabbath in Puritan New England," p. 19 
et seq. (1893). 


blessed with sound health were expected to remain stand- 
ing till the end. 

Miss Earle relates the following interesting records of 
the length of the prayers in the early days. She says : — 

''On a Fast Day in 1696 the Rev. Samuel Torrey, of Wey- 
mouth, prayed two hours without stopping, and it is recorded 
that his hearers wished the prayer had been longer. In 1735 one 
minister of great praying power visited a ' praying ' Indian's 
home wherein lay a sick papoose over whom a ' pow-wow ' was 
being held by a medicine-man at the request of the squaw-mother, 
who was still a heathen. The Christian warrior determined to 
fight the Indian witch-doctor on his own grounds, and while the 
medicine-man was screaming and yelling and dancing in order 
to cast the devil out of the child, the parson began to pray 
with equal vigor and power of lungs to cast out the devil of a 
medicine-man. As the prayer and pow-wow proceeded, the 
neighboring Indians gathered around, and soon became seri- 
ously alarmed for the success of their prophet. The battle 
raged for three hours, when the pow-wow ended, and the dis- 
gusted and exhausted Indian ran out of the wigwam and 
jumped into the Housatonic River to cool his heated blood, 
leaving the Puritan minister triumphant in the belief, and 
indeed with positive proof, that he could pray down any man 
or devil." ^ 

At the conclusion of the prayer the minister began his 
sermon. Tliis varied in length, but was seldom as long as 
the prayer. Judge Sewall, however, relates in his diary 
that he once addressed a church in Plymouth, and found 
afterwards that he had talked for two hours and a half, 
having forgotten to turn the hour-glass by which the 
length of the services was regulated. A prayer brought 
the worship to a close. 

Oftentimes the services were extended beyond that 
already described, as is shown in the following quotation 
from Calamy's '' Life of Howe." The author says : — 

1 The Sabbath in Puritan New England, p. 82 (1893). 


" He told me it was, upon those occasions, his common way 
to begin about nine in the morning, with a prayer for about a 
quarter of an hour, in which he begged a blessing on the work 
of the day ; and afterwards read and expounded a chapter or 
psalm, in which he spent about three-quarters ; then prayed for 
an hour, preached for another hour, and prayed for about half 
an hour. After this he retired and took some little refreshment 
for about a quarter of an hour or more (the people singing all 
the while), and then came again into the pulpit and prayed for 
another hour, and gave another sermon of about an hour's 
length ; and so concluded the service of the day, at about four 
of the clock in the evening, with about half an hour or more in 

The seating of the congregation was done with a certain 
deference to rank and influence. In a little enclosure 
under the pulpit sat the elders and deacons of the Church, 
and in the first seat on the right sat the selectmen. In 
the other seats, according to age and rank, came the other 
town officials, and after them the farmers and tradesmen. 
Near the door the young men and the boys were seated. 
The women were seated on the opposite side of the church 
from the men, the rank being observed in like manner, 
the elder widows being at the head, and the wives of the 
officials and others in regular order. On this side the 
young women and girls sat near the door; and this 
younger portion of the audience in the rear of the build- 
ing taxed to the utmost the tithing-men, who sought with 
their long poles and attached fox-tails to keep the unruly 
suppressed and the sleepy ones awake. After the benedic- 
tion was pronounced, the minister was the first to depart, 
the congregation following in regular order, beginning with 
those in the first seat. 

" The arrangement attained by such careful method and 
regulated with great difficulty," says Weeden,i ''went 
beyond the immediate operations of the meeting-house. 

1 Economic and Social History of New England, vol. i. p. 74 ( 1890). 


This 'meeting' was the central life and activity of the 
neighborhood. The terrors of judgment, the torments of 
hell, the delights of heaven, shone forth from this severe 
and simple altar, and held both penitent and impenitent 
in a weird, fascinating thraldom. In the intervals of reli- 
gious service there was always an actual meeting in the 
god-sib^ where gossip, social and political, masculine and 
feminine, ecumenical even, illumined the rugged faces of 
our forefathers, lighted the dark shadows of their hard life, 
and sent them home renewed, uplifted, and inflamed with 
new social desires born of this warm intercourse." 

The music employed in the early worship of the Church 
was bad beyond belief ; but it went through a complete 
evolution. The Puritans had brought with them to the 
New World in 1620 a manual of j^salmody known as 
" Ainsworth's Version of the Psalms." This was followed 
in 1639 by the " Bay Psalm-Book," which was composed 
by the Rev. Richard Mather, of the Dorchester Church, 
and Thomas Welde and John Eliot, of Roxbury. This 
was intended to adhere more closely to Scripture than the 
original, and contained only psalms. It was the first book 
of any kind printed in the colonies, and was in use for 
more than a hundred years. A later edition, printed in 
1680, was somewhat modified by President Dunster, of 
Harvard College, and others. These books contained only 
versions of the Hebrew psalms, slightly changed in form 
to adapt them to singing. A stanza from the Twenty- 
Third Psalm will illustrate the method : — 

" 1 The Lord to me a Shepherd is, 
AVant therefore shall not I ; 
2 He in the folds of tender grass 
Doth cause me down to lie." 

The " Bay Psalm-Book " could hardly be called an im- 
provement on its predecessor. The latter undoubtedly had 
many imperfections ; but those who undertook to translate 
the original Hebrew into English verse were better trans- 


lators than poets. The following selection, which will 
be recognized as part of the One Hundred and Seventh 
Psalm, will illustrate the point : — 

"So let the Lord's redeem'd say; whom 
hee freed from th' enemies hands : 
and gathered them from East & West, 
from South & Northerne lands. 

" I'th desart in a desart way 

they wandered : no towne finde, 
to dwell in. Hungry and thirsty : 
their souls within them pined." 

The preface to the edition published in 1680 said that 
the poems were translated with " special eye both to the 
gravity of the phrase of Sacred Writ, and the sweetness of 
the verse." 

Questions arose in the churches also as to the methods 
of singing. " Some believed," says Mr. George Hood,^ 
"that Christians should not sing at all, but only praise 
God with the heart." Others believed it right to sing, but 
considered it sinful to sing the psalms of David. Some 
believed it wrong for any but Christians to sing; and 
others thought one only should sing, wliile the assembly 
should join in silence, and respond " Amen." The people 
rarely had psalm-books. The clerk or a deacon read the 
psalm one line at a time, and when the congregation had 
sung that line, the second one was read. Dr. Isaac Watts 
was one of the leaders in the reformation which, after 
much discussion and opposition, resulted in the abandon- 
ment of this " lining-out." It was not finally discarded, 
however, without serious church quarrels. Instances are 
narrated in which the conservative clerk or deacon insisted, 
in spite of the vote of the Church, in lining out the Ii^tqu 
according to the old way, and ceased only when liis voice 
was drowned out by the choir, who refused to wait for the 
reading of the second line. 

1 History of Music in New England, 


For many years the singing was done wholly by rote. 
Certain tunes became traditions in the churches, and were 
handed down from generation to generation ; and it was 
not until the introduction of choirs had begun to take the 
place of the practice of lining-out, in the latter part of the 
eighteenth century, that there was much demand for tune- 
books. " With the choir came the singing-school, which 
in the New England village became the standard evening 
recreation, and with the singing-school a constantly widen- 
ing circle of men and women who could sing more or less 
accurately and effectively from note." 

The church orchestra retained a strong hold on the 
people, but organs Avere used in Boston as early as 1711. 
The Second Parish in Dorchester had one soon after its 
incorporation ; but the First Parish refused to accept the 
innovation until 1841. 

In the early colonial days the churches had no stoves ; 
and the pious worshippers were compelled to sit through 
these long services with nothing more comfortable than 
foot-warmers, which were brought from home. In the 
First Parish, these foot-warmers were given into the 
charge of " Uncle Daniel " Davenport, the sexton. It was 
a familiar sight for many years to see Uncle Daniel and 
his son enter the church on Sunday mornings, and dis- 
tribute the foot-warmers in the various pews. Judge 
Sewall records in his diary instances when the congrega- 
tion must have suffered greatly from the frigid atmosphere. 
" The communion bread was frozen pretty hard," he says, 
"and rattled sadly into the plates." Again he writes: 
"Extraordinary cold storm of wind and snow. Bread 
frozen at the Lord's table, yet was very comfortable at 
meeting." He refers to an exceedingly cold Sunday, when 
there was " great coughing " in meeting, in spite of which 
a new-born baby was brought into the icy church to be 
baptized, — it being the custom to carry the children to the 
meeting-house for baptism the first Sunday after they were 


born. He also alludes to the baptism of his own fourteen 
childi-en, not one of whom cried out, even in the coldest 
weather, being '' true examples of pure Puritan fortitude." 
Stoves were not introduced into Dorchester churches 
until about 1820, and the innovation met with a strong 
opposition from many. In the First Church, William 
Bird was, perhaps, the strongest opponent of the innova- 
tion. "In the old meeting-house," he said, "snow used 
to come up to my pew, and I never had any trouble. It 's 
all nonsense to put in stoves." Captain John Codman 
relates the following humorous account of the controversy 
on this subject which occujTed in the Second Church. 
He says : — 

"At last the stove party was victorious. Old 'Uncle Ned 
Foster ' was foremost in the opposition. He thi-eatened to sign 
off, but finally he concluded to remain loyal, and sit it out ; so 
on the first Sunday after the stoves had been introduced, the 
old gentleman occupied his pew as usual, the stove-pipe being 
directly over him. There he sat with no very saint-like expres- 
sion throughout the sermon, a red bandanna handkerchief 
spread over his head, and his face corresponding to it in color. 
A general smile chculated through the house, the minister him- 
self catching the infection; for almost everybody excepting 
Uncle Ned was aware that, the day being rather warm, no fires 
had been lighted." 

The church customs of Dorchester did not differ greatly 
from the customs of early New England as sketched in the 
preceding pages. After this cursory glance we are ready 
to turn our attention to the events which are concerned 
with the religious life of the town. 

The first meeting-house was built in 1631, and was 
situated near the corner of Pleasant and East Cottage 
streets, on Allen's Plain, at the north end of the town. 
It was a low building, consisting of one story about twelve 
feet in height, and was constructed of logs and thatch. 
Palisadoes surrounded it, and military stores were de- 


posited in it. Guns were mounted on the roof, and a 
sentinel kept on guard, so that it served as a place of 
refuge and defence against the Indians. The first day of 
the week the Colony held its meetings as a Church, and 
the second day of the week as a Town. The inhabitants 
conveyed thither their plate and most valuable articles 
every evening to be preserved in safety. 

The use of the meeting-house as an arsenal came very 
near causing its destruction, as on one occasion, when Mr. 
Maverick, the venerated minister, was drying powder 
there, he set off a keg near by, singed liis clothes, and 
destroyed the thatch with which the roof was covered. 
For the first year of its existence this meeting-house was 
used by the inhabitants of Roxbury as well as Dorchester, 
as the former were at this time without a place of worship. 
On November 3, 1634, an order was passed " to build stairs 
on the outside, and the loft to be laid, and a window in 
the loft." 

When the Dorchester emigrants associated in church 
fellowship at Plymouth, before setting sail for America, 
they chose, as we have seen in an earlier chapter, the 
Rev. John Maverick and the Rev. John Warham to be 
their ministers. Mr. Maverick, Winthrop tells us, was " a 
man of a very humble spirit, faithful in furthering the 
work of the Lord here, both in the Church and in the civil 
State." Mr. Warham is said to have been the minister 
who introduced into England the practice of preaching 
with notes. Both these ministers were active in helping 
to lay the foundations of the town. Their labors were not 
confined altogether to spiritual teaching, but they made 
strenuous efforts to strengthen the beginnings of the infant 
colony. The name of Mr. Maverick has been more closely 
connected with the history of the town than that of Mr. 
Warham, as the latter left Dorchester in 1635 with that 
part of the Church which went to Windsor,^ Connecticut, 

1 Ante, p. 36. 



remaining there as its pastor for thirty-four years. We 
can learn but little of him except that he was a pious man, 
that he preached with notes, and that, while he adminis- 
tered the Lord's Supper to others, for many years from 
religious scruples he declined to partake himself.^ He 
died at Windsor, April 1, 1670.2 

The migration to Connecticut has caused the question 
to be raised as to whether the Church in Dorchester, or the 
First Church in Windsor, Conn., is the proper heir to the 
Church gathered in Old Plymouth. As both churches were 
essentially derived from the same historical root, both seem 
to have the right to claim the distinction. The questions 
which must be decided are, whether the Windsor move- 
ment was an official act as a church organization, what 
proportion of the church membership went, and what is 
meant by a " new church " in Dorchester. 

These three questions are discussed at length in the 
Introduction to the " Records of the First Church ; " ^ and 
the following conclusions are deduced from the examination 
of the subject : — 

''1. That the whole chm-ch membership did not go to Wind- 
sor, but only a part of it. This is supported by the testimony 
of Winthrop, Blake, Hubbard, and a careful study of early 
records as to the number of those who left and those who 

"2. Whether the Windsor party went as a church organiza- 
tion or simply as a colony of fellow church members is not 
known. Both views have been maintained : the decisive evi- 
dence is lacking. The editor of the Boston Recorder truly says : 
' The difficulty about all the documents relating to this subject 
is that the writers seem to have treated the question as to the 
preservation of the original organization as a matter of little 
consequence, while they state the fact of the removal, and so 
use expressions which may be construed either wa3\' 

1 Cotton Mather's " Magnalia," p. 120. 

2 New England's Memorial, p. 116. 

3 Recorfis of the First Church at Dorchester. Boston, Mass.: George H. 
Ellis (1890). 


"3. The new church iu Dorchester was an amalgamation of 
old and new elements, partly due to the departure of early 
members, and partly to the arrival of new material. The prob- 
ability is that the Church was much broken up by the ebb and 
flow of emigration. This transition period was so serious that 
reorganization was desirable. 

"4. The question of continuity does not affect the continuity 
of the parish. According to Massachusetts law,^ the First 
Church and Parish of Dorchester has a clear title for two hun- 
dred and sixty years. 

"5. The historic connection of the Dorchester Church with 
the Chui'ch formed at Plymouth, England, is direct and unbroken. 
It is maintained by genetic lines of membership. Some streams 
of blood from the heart of the Plymouth (England) Church 
still flow in the membership of the Church at Dorchester. The 
present Church owes its existence to that immigration ; not 
merely through a parish continuity, but through a continuity of 
membership and Sabbath meetings and Christian life and work ; 
that is to say, through its life as a church. 

"6. The churches at Dorchester and Windsor are thus both 
heirs of the same parentage." 

The portion of the Church which remained behind under 
Mr. Maverick joined with the Rev. Richard Mather and 
his followers, who had recently arrived from England, 
making one church with two pastors at its head. The two 
parties entered into the following covenant : — 

Dorchester, the 23"' day of the > 
6"" moneth. Addo. 1636. ) 

Wee whose names are subscribed being called of God to 
joyne o^selves together in Church Comunion, from o'" hearts 

1 A legal decision by Judge Shaw (Stebbins v. Jennings, 10 Pickering, 
p. 172) is to the effect that departing members of a church are to be 
regarded as seceders, no matter how many go ; while those who remain, 
however few, are still the Church. In the case of the First Church, over 
twenty members of tlie Ciiurch remained in Dorchester. Hence (according 
to Judge Shaw) the Church never removed, though many individuals left. 
The early records, if any ever existed, are lost. 


acknowledging o'^ owue unwortliines of such a priviledge or of 
the least of Gods mercyes, & likewise acknowledging o"^ disa- 
bility to keepe coven*' w^^ God or to p'fourme any spirituall duty 
w'^^ hee calleth us unto, unlesse the Lord Jesus do enable us 
thereunto by his spirit dwelling in us, Doe in the name of Cht 
Jesus o^ Lord and in trust and confidence of his free grace 
assisting us freely Coven* & bind ourselves solemnely in the 
presence of God himselfe, his holy Angells and all his sen^ants 
here present that wee will by his grace assisting us endevour 
constantly to walke togeather as a right ordered Congregacon 
of Cht. according to all the holy rules of a church-body rightly 
established, so farre as wee do already know it to bee o'" duty 
or shall further und^'stand it out of Gods holy word : Promising 
first & above all to cleave unto him as o"* chief e & onley good, 
and to o'" Lord Jesus Cht as o"" onely spirituall husband and 
Lord, & o"^ onely high priest & Prophet and King. And for 
the furthering of us to keepe this blessed Comunion w*^ God 
and w*^ his sonne Jesus Cht and to grow up more fully therein, 
wee do likewise promise by his grace assisting us, to endevour 
the establishing amongst o^ selves of all his holy ordinances 
w^^ hee hath appointed for his churches here on earth, and to 
observe all and every of them in such sort as shall bee most 
agreeable to his will ; opposing to the utmost of o^ power, what- 
soever is contrary thereunto, & bewa^^ling fro o^ hearts o'" owne 
neglect thereof in former tyme, and our polluting o^selves 
therein w**^ any sinfull inventions of men. 

And lastly wee do hereby Coven* & p'mise to further to 
o*" utmost power, the best spirituall good of each other, and of 
all and every one that may become members of this Congre- 
gacon, by mutuall Instruction reprehension, exhortacon, con- 
solacon,and spirituall watchfulnes over one another for good; 
and to bee subject in and for the Lord to all the Administracons 
and Censures of the Congregacon, so farre as the same shall 
bee guided according to the rules of Gods most holy word. 

Of the integrity of o'" heartes herein wee call God the 
searcher of all hearts to witnesse ; beseeching him so to blesse 
us in this and all o'' Enterprises, as wee shall sincerely endevour 
by the assistance of his grace to observe this holy Coven* and 



all the braunches of it inviolably for ever ; and where wee shall 
fayle there to wayte upon the Lord Jesus for pardon and for 
acceptance and healing for his names sake. 

Richard Mather: 
Nath : Duncan : 
George minot : 
Henry withington 
Thomas Jones 
John Pope 
John Kingesley.^ 

Mr. Maverick died during the same year that this cove- 
nant was cLrawn up, and is supposed to have been buried 
in the &st burying-ground, near the first meeting-house. 
His services to the town were so eminent that the grati- 
tude and love of the first settlers was almost as great as 
that felt for the Rev. John White, the promoter of the 

When Mr. Maverick died Mr. Mather was left at the 
head of religious affairs in Dorchester, and from this time 
until his death he was a leader in all affairs of importance 
in the town. He was born 

at Lawton, in the parish of •^t^to/^^ T)T^&Jyl£^ 
Winwick, county of Lan- 
caster, England. He was a great scholar from an early age, 
and when but fifteen years old he was master in a school at 
Toxteth Park, near Liverpool. Later, he entered Brazenose 
College, Oxford, received ordination, and preached at 
Toxteth for sixteen years, until suspended, in 1633, for 
non-conformity; but he was restored again through the 
intercession of friends. Under the severe visitations of 
the Archbishop of York, however, he was again suspended 
in 1634. This resulted in persuading him to remove to 
New England; so, travelling to Bristol in disguise, he 
sailed for America, and after a terrible voyage reached 
Boston Harbor on the 17th of August, 1635. He was at 
once recognized as a man of rare ability and scholarship, 
1 Records of the First Church at Dorchester, pp. 1, 2. 


and soon became a prominent leader in all ecclesiastical 
affairs. His theological works in print and manuscript 
are numerous, and give abundant evidence of his ability 
and zeal. He immediately received invitations to settle 
in Plymouth, Roxbury, and other towns ; but, acting upon 
the advice of Messrs. Cotton, Hooker, and other friends, 
he accepted the call to Dorchester, and remained there 
until his death. 

Mr. Mather died April 22, 1669. On the Church Records 
is found the f olloAving anagram : — 

" Third in Xew England's Dorchester, 
Was this ordained minister, 
Second to none in fruitfulness, 
Abilities, and usefulness. 

" Divine his charms, years seven times seven, 
Wise to win souls from earth to heaven, 
Prophet's reward he gains above, 
But great 's our loss by his remove." 

An epitaph upon the Church Records differs from that 
upon his tombstone : — 

" Sacred to God his servant Richard Mather. 
Sons like him, good and great, did call him father, 
Hard to discern a difference in degree, 
'Twixt his bright learning and high piety. 
Short time his sleeping dust lies covered down, 
So can't his soul or his deserved renown 
From *s birth six lustres and a jubilee 
To his repose ; but laboured hard in thee, 
O Dorchester ! four more than thirty years. 
His sacred dust with thee thine honour rears." 

" He was a man of an exemplary life and conversation," 
says Neal,i " a good scholar, and a plain, solid, practical 
preacher. He wrote several treatises, wliich were well 
accepted in those times, and w^as generally consulted in all 
difficulties relating to church government." He left four 
sons in the ministry, — Eleazer, Samuel, Nathaniel, and 

1 History of New England, vol. i. p. 386. 


The Rev. Jonathan Burr was born at Redgrave, in 
Suffolk, and was graduated from Corpus Christi College 
in 1623. He preached for a while in England, but being 
silenced for his non-conformity, came to Dorchester with 
his family. He signed the church covenant in 1639 ; and, 
as it was the early custom to have two ministers, one 
officiating as pastor and the other as "teacher," he was 
called to assist Mr. Mather as his colleague. These two 
gentlemen differed, however, upon some points ; and a 
council of ten ministers and two magistrates was called in 
February, 1640, to adjust the difficulties. After a session 
of four days it was decided " that both sides had cause to 
be humbled for their failings, for which they were advised 
to set a day apart for reconciliation." The Rev. Nathaniel 
Hall, Jr., in a sermon preached before the First Parish 
June 19, 1870, paid the following tribute to Mr. Burr : 
" For a time associated with Richard Mather was Jonathan 
Burr, also silenced for non-conformity, and bearing with 
him a repute for learning and piety. He died, after a 
ministry of less than three years, in the thirty-seventh 
year of his age. Testimonies have reached us to the re- 
markable loveliness of his character and the pathetic 
eloquence of his speech; and the picture which through 
these I bear of him has always drawn me to him as to no 
other of my predecessors." Soon after Mr. Burr's arrival 
in this country he was taken down with the small-pox ; 
and this so weakened his health that he died August 9, 

The Rev. John Wilson, Jr., was chosen to fill the 
vacancy caused by Mr. Burr's death; but he remained 
only two years, moving away to accept a parish in Med- 
field, where he preached for forty years. He died August 
23, 1691. Mr. William Stoughton, afterwards lieutenant- 
governor and commander-in-chief, preached occasionally, 
but he was never ordained. The Church tried to persuade 
him to become pastor when Mr. Mather died, but he firmly 


refused; and later events proved that his services were 
needed in larger fields. 

The rude first meeting-house had proved sufficient for 
the needs of the people for fourteen years ; but in 1645 
the growing wants of the Plantation demanded better 
accommodations ; so it was decided that '' for peace and 
love's sake there shall be a new meeting-house." For 
this an appropriation of £250 was made. The church 
was built near or on the spot of the first meeting-house, 
at the northerly end of Pleasant Street ; but twenty-five 
years later the building was removed to Meeting-House 
Hill, standing on the east side of Winter Street, near the 
site of the later residence of Dr. Robert Thaxter. 

Some five years previous to the removal of the structure 
to Meeting-House Hill, three of the good citizens of the 
town came very near getting into difficulty because of the 
erection of a new gallery in the meeting-house without 
permission from the proper authorities. It seems that the 
selectmen had been consulted individually, and the pro- 
motors of the enterprise felt assured of their support. 
When, however, the addition was completed, a storm arose 
which threatened serious results. The selectmen declared 
that the gallery had been built entirely without their 
sanction, and said that it was prejudicial to the light. 
Furthermore, those who were concerned in its construction 
were forbidden to sit in it until the mind of the towns- 
people could be ascertained. At a meeting held for the 
settlement of the aifair, it was decided that the gallery 
might stand ; but it could not be disposed of to any per- 
sons except those of whom the town approved. It was 
also voted that the offending parties should acknowledge 
that they had acted with too much forwardness. This 
called forth the following document : — 

We whose names are undei-written, do acknowledge that it 
was om* weakness that we were so inconsiderate as to make a 


small seat in the meeting-house, without more clear and full 
approbation of the town and selectmen thereof, though we 
thought upon the conference we had with some of the selectmen 
apart, and elders, we had satisfying ground for our proceeding 
therein ; wch we now see was not sufficient ; therefore we desire 
that our failing therein may be passed by ; and if the town will 
grant our seat that we have been at so much cost in setting up, 
we thankfully acknowledge your love unto us therein, and we 
do hereupon fmther engage ourselves that we will not give up 
nor sell any of our places in that seat to any person or persons 
but whom the elders shall approve of, or such as shall have 
power to place men in seats in the assembly. 

Increase Atherton. 
Samuel Proctor. 
Thomas Bird. 

It was about this time that Mr. Mather's Catechism was 
distributed to each family in the town, the expense being 
paid out of the town rate. 

A step in the direction of liberal church government 
was made at this period, when it was proposed to receive 
members of the sterner sex into the Church, on the con- 
fession of their faith in writing, or in pjrivate conference ; 
the only condition being that, when it was declared pub- 
licly at church, they should '' stand forth and acknowl- 
edge it." 

The Rev. Josiah Flint, the successor of the Rev. John 
Wilson, Jr., was born August 24, 1645, and was graduated 
from Harvard College in 1664. His ordination occurred 
December 27, 1671 ; and his ministry showed unusual zeal 
and perseverance, but unfortunately it was interrupted by 
ill-health. He died September 15, 1680, and the follow- 
ing epitaph was placed upon the monument erected to 
his memory : — 


" Here lies Interred y" Corps of Mr. Josiah Flint, late Pastor to 

y* Churcli in Dorchester, Aged 35 years. 

Deceased Septr. 15th, 1680. 

A Man of God he was so great, so good, 

His highest worth was hardly understood : 

So much of God & Christ in him did Dwell, 

In Grace and Holiness he did excell. 

An Honour & an ornament thereby. 

Both to y' Churches & the Ministry. 

Most zealous in ye work of Reformation, 

To save this self destroying Generation. 

With Courage Stroue 'gainst all this peoples sin ; 

He spent his Strength, his Life, his Soul therein. 

Consum'd with holy zeal of God, for whom 

He liu'd, and dy'd a kind of Martyrdom. 

If men will not lament, their Hearts not break, 

No wonder this lamenting Stone doth Speak, 

His Tomb-stone cries Repent, and Souls to saue 

Doth Preach Repentance from his very Graue. 

'Gainst Sinners doth a lasting Record lye 

This Monument to his bless'd Memory." 

It was during Mr. Flint's ministry that the new meet- 
ing-house was built to take the place of the smaller one 
which was moved to Meeting-House Hill in 1670. This 
building was erected on the northwest corner of Church 
and Winter Streets. It was square in shape, and was two 
stories high, with a tower in the centre containing a 
beU. The first assembly in this structure was held No- 
vember 17, 1678. 

The Rev. John Danforth was ordained June 8, 1682. 
He was born in 1652, and was graduated from Harvard 
College in 1677. He gained the distinction of serving 
the longest pastorate in the history of the Church ; but 
during this period of forty-eight years nothing of great 
consequence occurred. He died May 26, 1730. Dr. 
Thaddeus Mason Harris, in his '' Chronological and 
Topographical Account of Dorchester" (1804), refers 
to Mr. Danforth's poetical ability. He says: — 


* ' I have seen several elegiac pieces of his in English hexameter 
verse. Those which possess the most poetical merit are, ' Two 
vast enjoyments commemorated and two great bereavements 
lamented, in two excellent persons, viz. Rev. Peter Thacher 
pastor of the church of Christ in Milton, who was born into 
this world July 18, 1651, and ascended to a better world, Dec. 
17, 1727, ^t. 77, and in the 47th of his pastorate: and Rev. 
Samuel Danforth^ pastor of the church of Christ in Taunton, 
whose nativity was Dec. 18, 1666, and his translation to the 
heavenly paradise Nov. 14, 1727, fifteen days after the first 
shock of the great earthquake in New-England.' The other 
poem is ' on the death of Mrs. Anne Eliot^ the virtuous consort 
of Rev. John Eliot, first minister of Roxbury, who exchanged 
worlds March 24, 1687, in the 84th year of her age.' To 
which are added ' verses to the memory of Mr. John Eliot^ 
teacher to the church of Christ in Roxbury, and a propagator 
of the Gospel among the Indians in New-England. Who rested 
from his labours May 20, 1690, Mi. d>^: The following 
version of Mr. Eliot's hints respecting the best methods of 
gospelizing the Indians may serve as a specimen of the poetry : 

' Address, I pray, your senate for good orders 
To civilize the heathen in our borders. 
Virtue must turn into necessity, 
Or this brave work will in its urn still lie. 
'Till agriculture and cohabitation 
Come under full restraint and regulation, 
Much you ivould do you '11 find impracticable 
And much you do will prove unprofitable. 
In common lands that lie unfenc'd you know. 
The husbandman in vain doth plow and sow ; 
We hope in vain the plant of grace will thrive 
In forests where civility can't live.' " 

On November 5, 1729, a few months before the death of 
the Rev. John Danfortli, the Rev. Jonathan Bowman was 
ordained pastor of the Church. He was born January 
23, 1703, and was graduated from Harvard College in 
1724. He served acceptably for forty-three years, but was 
dismissed at the end of that period because of an unfortu- 


nate controversy brought on incidentally by the trespasses 
of the good pastor's hens. It seems that Mr. Paul Hall, 
who suffered from these trespasses, instead of complaining 
to Mr. Bowman, took matters into his own hands, and 
executed the culprits without judge or jury. When Mr. 
Hall later brought a child to the church for baptism, Mr. 
Bowman refused to perform the ceremony ; and thereupon 
the first trouble between pastor and people in the 
Dorchester Church began. The direct charges brought 
against Mr. Bowman were, that he preached too short 
sermons, "frequently not exceeding fifteen to eighteen 
minutes ; " that he too frequently preached old sermons ; 
and that he did not insist enough on the doctrines of 
original sin, regeneration, and self-denial. 

When Mr. Bowman, early in 1772, preached a sermon 
from the text, ''He that despiseth you, despiseth me," 
making a personal attack on certain members of his 
congregation, it was thought to be time to take decisive 
action; and a council was called to seek a satisfactory 
adjustment of the difficulties. The result was that Mr. 
Bowman was dismissed. 

Just before the council convened, the Church made an 
effort to obtain their records which were in Mr. Bowman's 
possession ; but the book containing the record of deaths 
during his ministry was all they could recover. The 
others were never obtained, — a serious loss to the town. 
Mr. Bowman died March 30, 1775. 

Dorchester was not the only town affected by the arrival 
of the Rev. George Whitefield from England, but un- 
doubtedly received as much benefit from his visit as any. 
Mr. Whitefield was a graduate of Oxford, and after tak- 
ing orders became an itinerant minister. His visit to 
America, in 1734, was for the purpose of establishing an 
orphan house in Georgia ; and he came to Massachusetts 
to solicit financial aid for this enterprise. The effect of 


his arrival was at once felt. His first sermon was de- 
livered at the Brattle-Street Church, in Boston, before an 
audience of three thousand people. The whole neighbor- 
hood around Boston was at once excited into great reli- 
gious enthusiasm, and the morning congregations in all 
churches were very small, except the one where Mr. 
Whitefield preached. 

The places chosen for delivering the sermons were very 
varied. Sometimes Mr. Whitefield preached in churches, 
and sometimes in fields, just as the opportunity presented 
itself. When he preached his farewell sermon it was on 
Boston Common, and over twenty-five thousand persons 
are said to have been present. When it is remembered 
that this is more than twice the number of inhabitants 
old Boston claimed in those days, it will be seen that the 
neighboring towns must have been heavily drawn from. 
It is said that persons living on Jones's Hill, in Dorchester, 
heard Mr. Whitefield's voice distinctly on that memorable 
day. The eminent divine undoubtedly possessed a clear 
and sonorous voice ; but the story seems rather more tradi- 
tional than authentic. 

Mr. Whitefield had great influence over his hearers. 
Franklin in his autobiography tells the following anec- 
dote in connection with a sermon he heard Whitefield 
preach, after which there was to be a collection taken 
up: ''I had in my pocket a handful of copper money, 
three or four silver dollars, and five pistoles in gold. 
As Whitefield proceeded, I began to soften, and con- 
cluded to give the copper. Another stroke of his ora- 
tory made me ashamed of that, and determined me to 
give the silver; and he finished so admirably that I 
emptied my pocket wholly into the collector's dish, gold 
and all." Whitefield, however, became so careless and 
reckless in some of his statements that before long there 
were many who opposed him. Among the most energetic 
of these opponents, curiously enough, were the officials of 


Harvard and Yale colleges. Whether they feared that the 
youth under their protection might be unduly influenced, 
or suffer some other evil, is not accurately known ; but it 
is certain that the opposition was pushed with great zeal. 
It is said that Dr. Chauncy, of the First Church, disliked 
Whiteiield very much, and said to him, " Mr. Whitefield, 
I am sorry to see you have come back again." " So is the 
devil," said Whitefield. No minister probably ever created 
so great a sensation as Mr. Whitefield. Churches divided 
after his departure, and dissensions arose on every side. 

In 1743 the third meeting-house of the town was biiilt,^ 
its location being a little south of the one that preceded 
it. The Soldier's Monument is about on the spot of the 
eastern entrance ; an elm tree, given years ago by William 
Swan for the purpose, marks the spot where the pulpit 
was located. It is about twenty or thirty feet north from 
the monument. This building Avas sixty-eight feet long, 
forty-six feet wide ; a tower fourteen feet square, and a 
steeple one hundred and four feet high to the vane. It 
cost £3,567, 10s., lie?., old tenor. At the raising of this 
meeting-house, as we have seen in a preceding chapter, 
Ephraim Wales fell from one of the beams, and died 
the same night, — an accident which cast a gloom over 
the otherwise happy event. These church-raisings were 
always great events in the town. The law required that 
each citizen should take part in or contribute to "rasing 
the Meeting-hows." 

Deacon Edward Pierce enlarged this house, in 1795, by 
dividing it along the ridge-pole, moving one-half of it 
fourteen feet, and the tower and steeple seven feet, and 
uniting the two parts by new materials. The steeple was 
on the west end, with two or three doors to enter on that 
side ; and there was a platform on the south, with a 
door and aisle which led to the pulpit, located on the 
south side. There was also a poi'ch at the east, with an 

1 See illustration on p. 117. 


aisle which went to the west entrance ; and there were 
several other aisles leading from these. 

In 1751 the Dorchester proprietors presented the Church 
with a bell, which was cast in England to be sent to the 
New England town. It is probable that this bell has had 
but one predecessor. The town records for 1668 contain 
an entry stating '' that Nicholas Bolton did agree to tend 
the meeting-house, to keep it in decent order, and to ring 
the bell for the year ensuing." In 1732, at a town meet- 
ing, <£ 3,10s. was voted "toward the ringing of the bell 
evenings at nine o'clock the year ensuing." 

The new bell was hung June 18, 1752, and immediately 
entered upon a long career of usefulness. It called the 
people to the Sabbath services ; it summoned them to 
town meetings ; it gave its warning note in time of fire ; 
it tolled the knell of departed souls ; it summoned the 
citizens to the defence of their country in 1775 ; and in 
1861 proclaimed the war against human slavery. In all 
events, civil and religious, the old bell has played its part. 

After a long service of over one hundred years, the bell 
showed its age by a large crack. It was carefully taken 
down therefore, and recast, after which it was again hung 
in the First Church steeple, where it is to-day. 

The late Deacon Ebenezer Clapp gives the following 
reminiscence of one of his early visits to this church. He 
says : — 

" On entering the inner door of the meeting-house, and turn- 
ing directly to the left, I went about twenty feet, then turned 
to the right and went a few feet and was led into the second 
pew on the left; the pews were square, seats all round, flag 
bottomed chairs in the centre, rungs to the pews, where the 
children could peep out, like lambs from a sheep pen. At 
prayer time I was placed in one of those aforesaid flag bot- 
tomed chairs, there to stand through that service, (and from 
which I had a good view out of a south and an east window) ; 
for all stood through that performance, and they were deemed 
lazy Christians who being able-bodied did not comply." 


The Rev. Moses Everett, who was ordained Sept. 28, 
1774, was a native of Dedliam. His pastorate of eighteen 
years was eminently successful, but poor health made it 
necessary for him to resign. As has been said of him, he 
was "too feeble to fulfil, and too conscientious to neg- 
lect" the duties which devolved upon him as pastor of 
the Church. The year after his resignation he was elected 
a representative in the Legislature, and in 1808 he was 
appointed a special justice of the Court of Common Pleas. 
In these positions he displayed the same sterling qualities 
which he had shown in the pulpit. He died March 25, 
1813. Edward Everett was his nephew. 

With the name of the Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris 
the history of the First Church becomes modern. He 
was born July 7, 1768, and was graduated from Harvard 
College in 1787. He was called to the pulpit at Dor- 
chester Avhen but twenty-five years of age, being ordained 
October 23, 1793 ; and he remained pastor of the church 
for forty-three years. During this period his strict ad- 
herence to duty, his sympathetic nature, his eloquent 
sermons, and his saintly life, endeared him to all. A 
prominent divine has said of him that in the whole line 
of ministers no one stands out so prominently for varied 
scholarship, literary industry, and multifarious occupa- 
tion as Dr. Harris ; and also, '' He was a fountain of 
tender and poetic sensibility, of keen wit and genial 

In 1835 Dr. Harris, feeling that the duties of his position 
as pastor were too severe for his declining years, asked his 
people to appoint a fellow-laborer; and as a result the 
Rev. Nathaniel Hall, Jr., was appointed his assistant. Dr. 
Harris, however, remained Avith the Church but one year 
after this, resigning October 23, 1836. He was closely 
allied to the interests of the parish, in spite of his resigna- 
tion, until his death, which occurred April 3, 1842, in the 
seventy-fourth year of his age. Dr. Harris was an early 


member of the Massachusetts Historical Society, and after 
his retirement from the ministry he became its librarian. 
He was especially interested in the history of Dorchester, 
and in 1804 he published a " Topographical and Chrono- 
logical Account " of the town in which so large a portion 
of his life had been spent. If he had lived, he would have 
published a more complete history of Dorchester, on which 
he was working at the time of his death. 

There are many anecdotes related which illustrate the 
excellent characteristics of Dr. Harris. The Rev. Na- 
thaniel Hall, Jr., in the address preached at Dr. Harris's 
funeral, says, that while a student in Harvard College he 
was exceedingly straitened for support, and was one day 
walking into Boston, giving way to many moody thoughts 
concerning his hard luck. Suddenly he perceived on the 
end of his walking-stick a metallic ring, which proved on 
examination to be of gold. He took it to a jeweller, who 
not only purchased it for a liberal price, but pointed out 
the motto upon it : '' God speed thee, friend." The young 
man burst into tears. Providence seemed to be rebuking 
him for his despondency, and he never forgot the lesson." 
" That motto," he used to say, '' has ever been the support 
of my faith when it was feeble, and the strength of my 
heart when it was faint." 

The late Rev. A. P. Peabody, D.D., relates also this 
anecdote of him: "While still a young man he went 
abroad, and happened at one time to be in the company 
of a number of others of liis own age. It was remarked 
how many nationalities were represented, and some one 
proposed that each one sing the national song of his 
country. All did so in turn until it came to Mr. Harris, 
when, not knowing what was our national song, and not 
willing to acknowledge the fact, he sang his favorite 
hymn, — 

' There is a land of pure delight, 
Where saints immortal reign.' 



It was received with applause ; and he never afterwards 
doubted that that was the national song of America." 

The violent storm of September 23, 1815, referred to in 
a preceding chapter, so injured the old meeting-house of 
the First Parish that it was considered expedient to erect 
a ncAV building. A committee was chosen for this purpose, 
consisting of Deacon James Humphreys, Deacon Ebenezer 
Clapp, Capt. Moses Inglee, Dr. Henry Gardner, Maj. 
Edward Robinson, Mr. Daniel Withington, Capt. Samuel 
H. Everett, Mr. Benjamin Jacobs, Mr. Samuel Clapp, 
Thomas Moseley, Esq., Samuel P. Loud, Esq., Mr. 
William Pope, Capt. Nathaniel Minot, and Mr. Lewis 

On May 16, 1816, the corner-stone was laid with impres- 
sive ceremonies. A large number of people assembled; 
and a procession was formed of the parish committee, the 
artificers, and the operative masons. The Rev. Dr. Harris 
began the services with prayer, an ode composed for the 
occasion was sung, and the stone was then laid. After 
the address by the pastor, Deacon James Humphreys 
delivered the tools to the workmen with the following 
charge : — 

" Gentlemen: In behalf of the parish committee I congratu- 
late you on this occasion. The corner-stone for the foundation 
of the sacred edifice here to be erected is now laid, and I 
deliver over to you the implements of the artificers by which 
the work is to be constructed. We intrust you, the master 
workmen, with the superintendence and direction of the build- 
ing. Let it be prepared, formed, and finished in a masterly 
manner, as becomes a temple for the worship and honor of God. 
And let me charge 3^ou, and the laborers that you shall employ, 
not only to be diligent and faithful, but discreet; and to 
remember that you are not only working for us, but in a peculiar 
sense for God, in building a house for Him. Let there be, 
therefore, no unworthy contention and no unsuitable indulgence 
among you ; but all the conduct of all the workmen be such that 


God may approve them, and the work in which they are 
engaged ; and may He bless us, and we ascribe to Him the 
glory. Amen." 

An especially interesting feature of the occasion was 
the presence of Deacon Edward Pierce, the day being his 
eighty-first birthday. He had been present at the raising 
of the former meeting-house, and had been employed in 
repairing and enlarging it. 

The building Avas finally completed, and met with great 
general approbation. One of the daily papers of that 
time referred to it as follows : " The edifice is finished in 
a masterly manner, and is an honor to the town. The 
steeple, in particular, is considered a most beautiful speci- 
men of architecture, makes a graceful appearance, and, 
from its elevated situation, as well as its towering height, 
is seen to advantage from the neighboring towns, and is 
a kind of pharos to the harbor, so that the most conspicu- 
ous object which meets the eyes of the sailors as they enter 
the port is one which recalls to them the services of reli- 
gion, and mingles the thoughts of piety with the gladness 
of arrival." 

The last meeting in the old church was on December 1, 
1816. The morning sermon was preached from Rev. iii. 3 : 
" Remember how thou hast received and heard, and 
hold fast and repent ; " and that of the afternoon from 
Ex. xxxiii. 15 : " If thy presence go not with me, carry 
us not up hence." On the following day the new building 
was dedicated, the occasion being the anniversary of the 
dedication of the old meeting-house. The Rev. John 
Codman, of the Second Church, delivered the introductory 
prayer; while the others who took part in the services 
were Rev. Thomas Gray, of the Second Church, Roxbury; 
Mr. Nathaniel Topliff ; Rev. Eliphalet Porter, D.D., of the 
First Church, Roxbury ; and Rev. John Pierce, D. D., of 
Brookline. The Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, the pastor, 
delivered the sermon. 


The ministry of the Rev. Nathaniel Hall, Jr., who was 
ordained July 16, 1835, lasted for forty years, and was 
remarkable for the wonderful hold which the pastor had 
upon his people. Of no minister could it be more truly 
said that he — 

" Allured to brighter worlds, and led the way." 

Many of those living to-day who listened to his sermons 
can testify to the influence he had on all with whom he 
came in contact. It has been said of him that " fervent 
piety must be regarded as the forming element of his char- 
acter, the inspiration of his life-work, the prime factor of 
his usefulness." Mr, Hall died October 21, 1875. 

The Rev. Samuel J. Barrows, who succeeded Mr. Hall, 
was ordained in 1876, and preached for five years. In 
1881 he resigned to accept the position of editor of the 
"Christian Register," where his field of usefulness has 
been largely extended. Mr. Barrows has won a well- 
earned reputation by his literary work. His connection 
with the First Church was by no means severed when he 
resigned his pastorate, for as a layman he rendered invalu- 
able services to the people and to his immediate successor. 
The Rev. Christopher R. Eliot was ordained February 2, 
1882, and resigned April 6, 1893. Mr. Eliot's successor 
has not yet been chosen. 

The religious unity in Dorchester has been remarkable. 
From 1636 to the present time, a period of two hundi-ed 
and fifty-seven years, the First Parish has had but eleven 
ministers, — an average pastorate of twenty-four years. 
A summary of the ministers of the First Parish from the 
first settlement until the present time is as follows : — 

Rev. John Warham > j ^ ^i 

r» T 1- AT .1 C served together. 
Rev. John Maverick > 

Rev. Richard Mather, ordained August 2.3. 1636, died April 22, 1669. 
Rev. Jonathan Burr, ordained February, 1640, died August 9, 1641. 
Rev. John Wilson, Jr. ordained — 1649, resigned — 1651. 



Rev. Josiah Flint, ordained December 27, 1671, died September 15, 1680. 

Rev. John Danforth, ordained June 8, 1682, died May 26, 1730. 

Rev. Jonathan Bowman, ordained November 5, 1729, resigned December 
14, 1773. 

Rev. Moses Everett, ordained September 28, 1774, resigned January 
14, 1793. 

Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, ordained October 23, 1793, resigned 
October 23, 1836. 

Rev. Nathaniel Hall, Jr., ordained July 16, 1835, died October 21, 1875. 

Rev. Samuel J. Barrows, ordained November 2, 1876, resigned Decem- 
ber 31, 1881. 

Rev. Christopher R. Eliot, ordained February 2, 1882, resigned April 6, 

Curiously enough, the same long term of service which 
characterized the pastors of the First Church is found also 
in regard to its elders and deacons. Henry Withington, 
who was appointed a ruling elder when the church was 
reorganized in 1636, served for thirty years ; Deacon 
Edward Clap, one of the early officers of the church, died 
after twenty-six years of service ; Abijah White served 
forty-eight years ; Samuel Topliff, forty-five ; Edward 
Pierce, forty-one ; James Humphreys, forty-six ; Ebenezer 
Clapp, twenty-five years ; and Henry Humphreys, one of 
the present deacons, has served sixty-one years. The dea- 
cons served two or three together, some of them also acting 
in the capacity of ruling elder until that office was finally 
abolished. The Clapp family has been represented in the 
deaconship since 1638, and the Humphreys since 1666. 

On Easter Sunday, March 28, 1880, a celebration was 
^ held to commemorate the two hundred and fiftieth anni- 
versary of the gathering of the Church in England, and its 
departure for America. The weather was unpropitious, 
a snow-storm, mingled with rain, marring but not inter- 
rupting the exercises. In spite of the storm, however, 
the attendance at the exercises was large ; the regular 
attendants of the First Church being joined by many from 
the other churches of Dorchester, and from Roxbury, 
Cambridge, Milton, Newton, and other adjacent towns. 


The exercises included an anniversary sermon by the 
pastor, the Rev. Samuel J. Barrows, on '' The Genesis and 
Exodus of the First Church of Dorchester." The speak- 
ers of the occasion were the Rev. Edmund Quincy Sewall 
Osgood, the Rev. Arthur M. Knapp, the Rev. John G. 
Brooks, E. B. Reynolds, Esq., the Rev. E. N. Packard, 
and the Rev. John H. Morison, D. D. 

We have seen that until 1806 all Dorchester worshipped 
in the same church, as the engagements with the Indians, 
emigration, and other causes, had so kept the number of 
inhabitants down, that one meeting-house had proved suffi- 
cient. In 1805, however, as recorded in a preceding 
chapter, it was seen that the congregation had outgrown its' 
accommodations ; so it was proposed to divide the parish, 
and erect another building. The communications between 
the two parties on this subject show that the most con- 
genial relations existed at that time between the mother 
Church and her offspring. The letters are as follows : — 

To the Members of the Church of Christ in Dorchester ": 

Your brethren, about to form a Second Church in this town, 
take the liberty of adding a few observations to the request they 
have laid before you for a dissolution of their relation as joint 
members in Church fellowship with you. 

In making this application, we experience a variety of affect- 
ing sentiments. We recollect that at our admission into the 
Church we promised to watch over each other with a spirit of 
love and tenderness, and to counsel and assist each other as 
occasion might require, and opportunity be offered. 

These Christian regards on our part we wish always to cher- 
ish, and we hope from you a reciprocal return of affection and 

In a view of our covenant vows and engagements to God 
and each other, we now profess that our arrangements hitherto 
have been guided with reference to the better accommodation of 
ourselves and others, in this large and growing town, in the 


service of public worship, and the more convenient attendance 
upon the ordinances. 

AVe have, in every stage of this important business, expressed 
our reluctance in complete separation. That it is now to take 
place is a painful consideration ; but we yield to it upon prin- 
ciples of accordance, and with sincere desires that we may be 
one in brotherly love and charity, though separated in place of 
public worship, in the celebration of the ordinances, and in 
Church establishment and discipline ; and we entreat you not to 
consider division as implying alienation, for that we would 
never feel. 

The large and respectable committee chosen by the Church, 
whose report you have accepted, have stated the principles on 
which we now found our request that our relation may be dis- 
solved, and that we may be formed into a Second Church in 
the town of Dorchester. In carrying your vote of acceptance 
into effect, we assure ourselves of your readiness to yield us 
cheerfully the privileges and advantages there granted; and 
we now make the additional request that you would entertain 
toward us the pleasant intercourse which belongs to the commu- 
nion of churches. 

Brethren, the period of our separation has arrived. It is 
solemn and affecting. Bear us on your devout petitions to 
God, that he would endow us with wisdom profitable to direct 
us, that he would build us up, and succeed and prosper our 
designs for the furtherance of gospel order. 

We are engaged in a great and arduous undertaking. We 
must now look forward to the settlement of a pastor, for we are 
as sheep removed from the fold. Intreat, we beseech you, the 
Great Head of the Church that he would send us a spiritual 
guide, who shall lead us in the way everlasting. 

God forbid that we should sin against the Lord in ceasing to 
pray for you and your spiritual instructor, whom we bear on 
our hearts with the highest esteem, and separate from with the 
deepest regret. 

Finally, brethren, farewell. Grant us now and always your 
goodwill, your Christian communion, and your prayers ; for 
these are requested by those who always felt happy in Christian 


fellowship with you, though now subscribers for the purpose of 
forming a Second Church, and who will still unite with j^ou in 
fervent prayer that we may all have our transgressions forgiven, 
and be renewed and sanctified by redeeming grace ; and that we 
may be preserved from sin and every evil while we live in this 
world, and be prepared for that more important state of exist- 
ence to which we are all hastening. 

Stephen Badlam, \ 
Samuel Withington, > Committee. 
Joseph Clap, ) 

Dorchester, Dec. 13, 1807. 

In reply, the following affectionate letter was received : 

Brethren and Sisters, — In yielding to your request for a dis- 
solution of your immediate relation to us, we reciprocate the 
tender and affecting sentiments with which that application was 
accompanied, and assure you of our good-will and cordial 
affection, which many considerations have served to strengthen. 
As inhabitants of the same town, as neighbors, friends, and 
relatives; as those who have gone with us to the house of God 
in company ; as joint worshippers and attendants upon religious 
services; as bound by the same covenant engagements, and 
partakers together at the same table of the Lord, — we have 
ties peculiarly strong and affectionate, and we would be far from 
considering that the kind regards which these have produced are 
alienated or even diminished by the separation which now takes 
place. Although circumstances have made it expedient that j^ou 
should form a new Chui-ch, and your membership with us should 
be dissolved, yet we cannot be indifferent to your welfare. We 
pray that you may enjoy the divine guidance, may be formed 
into Church estate in gospel order and agreeably to the ecclesi- 
astical platform, and that you may soon be settled under a 
pastor in whose care and instruction your spu'itual improvement 
may be promoted and your prosperity advanced. 

It will be pleasing to us that, whenever you have inclination 
and opportunity, you should come to our communion table, and 
that where we pledged our vows of Christian fellowship we may 
occasionally meet those with whom we first partook the sacred 



Finally, brethren and sisters, accept the benediction we pro- 
nounce, with pious application to heaven in your behalf ; and 
may the God of grace, who hath called us to his eternal king- 
dom and glory by Jesus Christ, assist, stablish, and settle you ; 
and, in whatever respects we be separate on earth, may you and 
we be joint members of the Church of the first-born, whose 
names are written in heaven. 

Thaddeus M. Harris, 

Moses Everett, 

Edward Pierce, 

James Humphreys, 

Ebenezer Wales, 

ezekiel tolman, 

When it was finally decided to make the separation, 
steps were taken at once to make a successful beginning 
in the formation of the parish, and the erection of a 
church. One hundred and thirteen shares were sub- 
scribed, and nearly an acre of land was purchased at the 
corner of Washington and Centre streets. The work was 
practically begun on August 7, 1805, and the building 
was dedicated October 30, 1806. It is interesting to note 
that the bell of the new structure was cast by Paul Revere. 
The dedication sermon was preached by the Rev. Thaddeus 
Mason Harris, the pastor of the First Church, as the origi- 
nal one was now called. His text on this occasion was 
from Acts ii. 42: "And they continued steadfastly in 
the apostles' doctrine and fellowship and in breaking of 
bread, and in prayers." 

On September 9, 1808, the Church met to elect a pastor, 
the Rev. Dr. Harris acting as moderator and clerk. The 
vote was taken by A\rritten ballot, and, strangely enough, 
it was found that every vote was cast for Mr. John Codman. 
Eleven days later the selection of the Church was ratified 
by the parish, and Mr. Codman was ordained on the 
seventh day of the following December. The Rev. 
William E. Channing was the officiating minister on 
this occasion. 


'' The name of John Codman," says the Rev. Dr. Joshua 
Bates, " belongs to the ecclesiastical history of New Eng- 
land, and will, unquestionably, occupy a prominent place 
in that history when, at some future period, it shall be 
written by a faithful hand, and be made to embrace in its 
records all the leading events and distinguished men con- 
nected with the organization of churches in this land and 
their progress to this time." 

Mr. Codman is a conspicuous figure in the liistory of 
Dorchester. He was born in Boston August 3, 1782, of a 
family whose members were always remarkable in New 
England for their integrity, and who enjoyed a large and 
valuable influence, both in social and civil relations. He 
was graduated from Harvard College in 1802, at the early 
age of twenty. As a scholar, he was not especially con- 
spicuous; yet, when the literary honors were bestowed 
Mr. Codman's name was included, showing that he was 
held in high esteem by the governors and instructors of 
the college. Immediately upon graduation Mr. Codman 
entered upon the study of law ; but at the dying request 
of his father, he changed his profession, and fitted himself 
for the ministry. 

In 1805 Mr. Codman went to Edinburgh to pursue his 
theological studies, and on his return, three years later, 
he showed himself to be an interesting and impressive 
preacher. On the twentieth of September, 1808, he re- ^ 
ceived a unanimous call to be pastor of the newly settled 
Second Parish. Before he accepted the call, however, he 
set his religious sentiments clearly before the people, and 
asked them to reconsider their choice. He did this as it 
was understood that the parish was made up of persons 
of different religious ideas, and he wished to guard against 
future trouble. When the call was repeated Mr. Codman 
hesitated no longer. He entered upon his parish work 
with characteristic zeal, and for a short time all went 


We can better understand the turn affairs took if we 
take into account the fact that it was at this time that the 
lines were beginning to be drawn distinctly between the 
' rigid and the liberal portions of the churches. Unitarian- 
ism existed as a faith, but not as a denomination. All 
liberal ministers and churches Avere yet of the Congrega- 
tional body; and differences, however great, were only 
personal, not denominational. Dr. Harris and the First 
Parish belonged to the liberal order, and the new or Second 
Church was composed of those who were in sympathy with 
him and his views. As the Second Church was organized 
as a natural offspring of the First Church, and as Dr. 
Harris preached the sermon of dedication and Dr. Chan- 
ning the sermon at the ordination of Mr. Codman, it was a 
natural supposition that it would be a liberal, or Unita- 
rian, body. The new minister, however, possessed strong 
Orthodox views. In those days exchanges were very 
common ; and it was the custom of members of the Boston 
Association, to which the Congregational ministers of 
Boston belonged, to exchange with all the other members 
of the association in turn. This had been Dr. Harris's 
custom at the First Church, and the congregation expected 
the same to be done at the Second ; but Mr. Codman de- 
parted from this precedent, and exchanged only with those 
of pronounced Orthodox views. This called forth inquiry 
and then remonstrances from a certain proportion of the 
congregation ; and a long and bitter controversy followed. 

On the tenth of November, 1809, Messrs. Edmund 
Baker, Benjamin Fuller, Thomas Crehore, and thirty-seven 
others sent a paper to Mr. Codman expressing their regret 
that his exchanges did not include some of the ministers 
who composed the Boston Association. This paper, while 
drawn up in a polite and courteous manner, called forth a 
reply from Mr. Codman which at once opened the war. In 
August, 1810, thirty-eight pews in the meeting-house were 
offered for sale in the " Columbian Centinel," and on the 


first day of the following December sixty-nine more were 
advertised in the '' Centinel and Chronicle." This paper, 
moreover, contained an article which was turned directly 
against Mr. Codman, and created no little excitement. 

Letters were written to the eight clergymen with whom 
Mr. Codman liad been in the habit of exchanging, request- 
ing them not to preach in his pulpit again ; and further 
steps were taken to require a resignation from the pastor. 
A council was called, without opposition on the part of 
Mr. Codman, composed of ministers and delegates from 
twelve churches, before which the charges against the 
pastor were brought up. After the question was thor- 
oughly discussed by both parties, what is known in the 
Church history as "the first council " came to an end with 
the following advice : — 

' ' This council, at the conclusion of om- result, feel it to be 
our duty to declare that we have, as we trust, attended with 
patience and impartiality to the statements, evidence, and pleas 
which have been presented to us by the parties in this contro- 
versy, and, though unable to decide on the last question which 
came before us (that the Church had just cause for complaint 
against Mr. Codman) , yet we deeply sympathize with the pastor. 
Church, and congregation, under their present unhappy divisions ; 
and unitedly recommend to them ' the things which make for 
peace, and things wherewith one may edify another.' " 

It was hoped that the controversy would end here, but 
such was unhappily not the case. A second council was 
called May 12, 1812, the Rev. Dr. Lathrop acting as mod- 
erator. After a session of two days the members were 
equally divided upon the question that " in the opinion of 
this council, under existing circumstances, it is expedient 
that the ministerial and pastoral relations between the 
Rev. Mr. Codman and the Second Parish in Dorchester be 
dissolved." It then fell upon Dr. Lathrop to decide the 
question ; and he voted in the negative, adding a recom- 
mendation to Mr. Codman to "open a more free and 


liberal intercourse with his ministerial brethren." Mr. 
Codman acquiesced in the decision of the council, and 
declared his determination to follow the advice of Dr. 
Lathi'op as far as he conscientiously could. 

Those who had worked so hard to secure Mr. Codman's 
dismissal were by no means satisfied with the results of 
the councils ; and two months later the trouble broke out 
again. A letter was addi-essed to Mr. Codman by the 
parish committee requiring a categorical answer to the 
question whether or not he intended to exchange indis- 
criminately with twelve ministers of the Boston Associa- 
tion whom they named, and with whom he had never 
exchanged. To this demand Mr. Codman replied " that he 
should endeavor to comply with the true spirit and mean- 
ing of the result of the last council; that the right of 
regulating his exchanges was admitted to be in him ; that 
the council could not have intended by admitting the 
advice of the moderator as a part of their result that he 
should bind himself by any pledge as to exchanging with 
individuals ; that he should endeavor to preach at home 
as much as possible ; and that when he did exchange he 
should consult the feelings and wishes of his people in 

Carrying out his promise, Mr. Codman during the next 
few weeks exchanged with two of the twelve ministers 
named by the parish committee ; but this failed to satisfy 
the opposition, whose persistence would seem to confirm 
the statement that the matter of exchanges was not the 
real basis of the trouble. A second letter was addressed 
to Mr. Codman, repeating the demand for indiscriminate 
exchanges, and complaining of the infrequency. "Are 
one or two stars," they asked, " though of the first mag- 
nitude, to content us for the light which might be derived 
from all the planets of our system, revolving in order?" 
The crisis came on November 24, 1812, when by a slight 
majority Mr. Codman was declared dismissed. The mi- 



nority was so strong, however, that they refused to yield ; 
and on the following Sunday the congregation was pre- 
sided over by two clergymen. 

The following excellent account of the remarkable per- 
formances of this Sunday is quoted in full from an article 
published at that time : — 

"When he (Mr. Codman) entered, he found eight sturdy 
men posted on the pulpit stairs, four on each side of the pulpit, 
in such a manner as to obstruct the passage enthely. Mr. 
Codman was determined to do all in his power to maintain his 
rights. He advanced, therefore, on his way to the pulpit, till 
he crowded hard against the bodies of the rioters, and, in find- 
ing in them no disposition to yield, he turned into the seat 
under the pulpit, and soon after began public worship. In the 
meantime, he had expressly demanded admission into the 
pulpit; and one of his friends, senior deacon of the Church, 
and a magistrate of the county, made a suitable declaration, 
and ordered the rioters to desist from their unlawful purposes. 
All this had no effect, and the agitation of the assembly was 
now considerable. When Mr. Codman began public worship, 
all became quiet, and the exercises were unusually solemn and 
affecting. In the midst of the first prayer, the redoubtable 
preacher for the parish committee (Mr. Warren Pierce) made 
his appearance, and his guard of honor opened and gave him 
entrance into the pulpit. There he stayed during the remainder 
of the services, and, strange as it may seem, he made no fur- 
ther disturbance till Mr. Codman had pronounced the blessing ; 
unless it be that he discovered sundry symptoms of uneasiness, 
and appeared anxious, as the audience absurdly imagined, to 
find some gap or break into which he might thrust the com- 
mencement of his services. But no such gap or break was he 
able to find, and he made no noise or other disturbance. 

" When Mr. Codman had dismissed the assembly, he stepped 
forward into the middle of the house, addressed the said 
preacher by name, expressed surprise at such an intrusion, and 
forbade his preaching in that place. The magistrate to whom 
we have alluded confirmed the statement of Mr. Codman, and 


declared such an intrusion to be a violation of all law, order, 
and propriety. Several others urged the same thing. 

" The preacher replied, in substance, that he did not wish to 
do anything contrary to the peace of the parish, but he must 
proceed. The magistrate then made proclamation that all the 
friends of law, order, and decency, would be expected to retire. 
They retired accordingly, and the preacher was left to address 
a comparatively empty house. He went through with his exer- 
cises, had a very short intermission, and was nearly through his 
second sermon, when Mr. Codman and his friends assembled 
for worship in the afternoon. It seems that the redoubtable 
preacher was quite a legal character ; he could tell at first flush 
how the Supreme Court would decide Mr. Codman's controversy, 
and, being such a legal character, he well knew that possession 
was a great point in the law. He therefore wisely determined 
to keep possession of the pulpit during his short intermission. 
The refreshment which was afforded him, he took without leav- 
ing the house. After the completion of his services he and his 
hearers retired, and Mr. Codman ascended the pulpit, and 
preached as usual. The preacher of the parish committee had 
forty-eight hearers on the lower floor of the house, at his after- 
noon service ; Mr. Codman had two hundred and twenty. The 
proportion in the gallery was probably not very different. Mr. 
Codman preached in the forenoon from these words : ' Casting 
all your care upon him ; for he careth for you ; ' and in the 
afternoon from : ' Father, forgive them ; for they know not what 
they do.' Though his sermons had no allusion, not the slightest, 
to the parish trouble, they were thought to apply admirably." 

These methods used by the opponents of Mr. Codman 
proved too violent, and many of the opposition party went 
over to their pastor's side. The malcontents soon agreed 
to sell their pews, and to retire from the parish. This left 
Mr. Codman perfectly free on the subject of exchanges, 
as the parish now voted that, — 

*' As it is the important privilege of the Christian minister to 
regulate his exchanges with his brethren according to the unbi- 
assed dictates of his own mind and conscience, we think it 


expedient that the parish should agree that Mr. Codman should 
not be confined in his exchanges, the advice of any council or 
member thereof notwithstanding ; as the advice that was given 
was upon the expectation that the disaffected were to continue 
active members of the parish, which is not now the case, and 
that the exercises of this privilege shall not again be made the 
subject of complaint before an ecclesiastical council in this 
parish. " 

Mr. Codman and his friends purchased the pews of all 
who wished to sell them, on the condition that the owners 
would agree to withdraw from the parish, promising not to 
interfere Avith its proceedings thereafter. Thus the contro- 
versy came to an end. The seceders, in 1813, built a new 
meeting-house, and became a distinct Unitarian parish, <^ 
under the name of the '^ Third Religious Society." The 
subsequent years of the Second Parish were marked by 
remarkable harmony and prosperity. In 1827 fifty-four, 
in 1840 thirty-three, and in 1842 thirty-five were added to 
the Church upon profession of faith. In 1829 twenty-one 
members were dismissed, and formed into a new church in 
the south part of the town, which took the name of the 
Village Church. 

On the 23d of December, 1847, Dr. Codman died, after 
an illness of a few weeks, in the sixty-sixth year of his 
age and the fortieth of his ministry. Of those who were 
connected with the Church at his ordination only eleven 
remained at the time of his death Rev. Dr. Storrs, of 
Braintree, a life-long friend of Mr. Codman, preached the 
funeral sermon, in which he gives the following delinea- 
tion of his character. After speaking of the wisdom and 
heroism manifested during the ecclesiastical controversy 
at the outset of his ministry, he says : — 

"Through the whole of his remaining days his course exhi- 
bited a bright pattern of pastoral fidelity in the services of the 
pulpit, the lecture room, the prayer meeting, at the bedside of 
the sick and dying, in the cottage of the poor, and the man- 


sion of the opulent. ... On the broader fields of ministe- 
rial labor, his calls were nmltiplied almost beyond a parallel ; 
few ecclesiastical councils have been concerned, within a wide 
region around, of which he was not a chosen member, and com- 
monly the presiding otticer. His uniform urbanity of manners, 
the well-known tenderness of his heart, his quick discernment of 
the right and the wrong, the promptness with which he accepted, 
and the facility with which he performed, every duty assigned 
him, inspired universal confidence. Few men have so rarely 
erred in judgment, and fewer still have found their decisions so 
justly appreciated ; while to none has been so freely accorded, 
at all times, the high praise of just and unprejudiced attention 
to the business before him. 

"His warm devotion to the prosperity of Zion, and his 
known liberality in the use of his ample means for extending 
her boundaries, brought him, of course, into close communion 
with the various benevolent associations of our age and coun- 
try. What enterprise of benevolence has ever urged a just 
claim on the advocacy and pecuniary support of the Church 
that met not a cordial response from him? What association 
of unquestionable character enrolls not his name among its bene- 
factors and its elected or honorary members? And where is 
the man who has poured forth more freely and acceptably the 
strains of eloquence and faith and prayer in the annual convo- 
cations of those who labor for the world's conversion? Of his 
private charities, no account is kept in human records, for even 
his right hand knew not what his left hand did ; but that they 
were abundant and free, ten thousand witnesses on earth can 
testify, and the opened books of heaven will hereafter declare." 

The story is told that one day, while Dr. Codman's con- 
troversy with the Church was at its height, and he was 
almost undecided whether to withstand the opposition or 
to resign, it was announced to him that a large number of 
little children were slowly and silently approaching his 
house in procession. Not knowing what had brought them 
there, and not suspecting with what intent they had come, 
he rose and hastily met them at the door in a kind and 



happy manner. Dr. Codman was, however, completely 
overcome when one after another, and finally all with 
united voices, declared that they had come to entreat their 
dear and beloved pastor not to leave them, the lambs of 
the flock, and their afflicted parents as sheep without a 

'' Though I at once supposed," said Dr. Codman, as he 
related this incident on one occasion, " that they had been 
sent by their parents, I could not help referring the whole 
to the providence of God. Nothing could have operated 
more powerfully to cheer my drooping spirits and animate 
my hopes of final success than tliis simple incident." 

The Second Parish also enjoyed long pastorates. Before 
his last illness Dr. Codman had secured the assistance of 
the Rev. James H. Means, who entered upon his duties on 
the last Sabbath in which Dr. Codman preached, and was 
ordained and installed as the second pastor of the Church 
July 13, 1848. His pastorate continued for over thirty 
years of uninterrupted prosperity ; so that the Church has 
the remarkable record of ha\'ing had but two pastors in 
seventy years. In 1864, exhausted with labor, Dr. Means 
endeavored to lay down his work ; but the people gener- 
ously insisted upon his taking an extended vacation, 
during which, for twelve months, they enjoyed the ser- 
vices of the Rev. James G. Vose, D.D., now of Providence. 
In the autumn of 1878 Dr. Means was constrained, by"^' 
impaired health, to tender his resignation, which was 
accepted with great reluctance and abundant expressions 
of affection and confidence. Dr. Means is now living, on 
Washington Street, near the scene of his labors, the con- 
stant recipient of tokens of love and appreciation from the 
people he served so faithfully for so long a time. 

During the Civil War, from the congregation at large 
thirty-six enlisted in the army, of whom seven were church- 
members; and ten were killed, or died as the result of 




The successor of Dr. Means was the Rev. Edward N. 
Packard, of Evanston, 111. He was installed as pastor on 
the eighth of April, 1879, and resigned in 1887 to accept 
a call to the Plymouth Church, Syracuse, N. Y. The Rev. 
Arthur Little, D.D., the present pastor, was installed Jan- 
uary 30, 1889. 

The deacons of the Church have been as follows : — 

Stephen Badlam . . 


Josiah C. Vinton . . 


Ebenezer Witliington 


Joseph Clapp . . 


Joseph Clap . . . 


James C. Sharp . 


William Hitchings . 


Elbridge Torrey . 


Samuel Capen . . . 


Ellis Houghton . 

. 1875- 

Isaac Howe . . . 


Elijah Cutler . . 


Charles Howe . . . 


Laurin A. Bumpus 


Edward Sharp . . . 


John W. Field . 


Rufus Howe . . . 


On January 6, 1878, the Second Church celebrated its 
seventieth anniversary. The pastor. Dr. James H. Means, 
preached an able historical sermon, which has since 
been published in pamphlet form. The feature of the 
occasion was the presentation by the First Church of two 
ancient Communion cups, showing the delightful relations 
which have ever existed between the two societies. The 
correspondence in connection with the event is as follows : 

At a meeting of the First Church in Dorchester, held No- 
vember 4th, 1877, the following resolution was unanimously 
passed, viz. ; 

" Resolved, That this church present to the Second Church in Dor- 
chester, on the first day of January next, the seventieth anniversary 
of its gathering, two Communion cups, as a token of our regard; and 
that they be accompanied by a letter, signed by the pastor and deacons, 
in the name of the Church." 

In conformity to the above resolutions, we present, with 
this letter, two of our most ancient Communion cups, — not for 
their intrinsic metallic value, but for the history they represent ; 
the ancient and tender fellowship they suggest, and the fraternal 
spirit which they convey. 


The founders of your Church, and generations before them, 
partook from these sacred vessels. They were familiar to their 
sight, and dear to their memory, and, we feel confident, will not 
be less dear to the sight and memory of their children ; and, 
that your association with them may be as intimate as our own, 
we subjoin such facts as we have been able to gather in regard 
to the cups and their original donors. 

One of these vessels, lettered "For the Church, M. T.," is 
so ancient that its origin cannot now be traced ; neither could 
it be by the eminent church historian of a hundred years ago. 
This fact suggests the thought that it may have been brought 
by the Church on its embarkation from England, and possibly 
was the cup, and the only one used in its first communion ser- 
vice after " that great ship, the ' Mary and John,' had laid its 
precious charge within the rude lap of these Western shores." ^ 
The other vessel was the gift of Mrs. Elizabeth Clement, widow 
of Augustus Clement. They sailed .from Southampton to New 
England in the ship " James," of London, in April, 1635 ; they 
joined the Church in Dorchester in 1636 ; removed to Boston in 
1652, but subsequently returned to Dorchester, where Mr. 
Clement died October 1, 1674. His widow, Elizabeth, pre- 
sented the cup to the church in 1678, two centuries ago. 

The separation from the First Church to establish a second 
did not arise from any alienation, but was a matter of necessity, ^ 
the congregation having outgrown its meeting-house. Your 
own church edifice, as you are aware, was dedicated on Thurs- 
day, October 30, 1806, Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, the pas- 
tor of the First Church, and then the only minister in the town, 
preaching the dedication sermon from Acts ii. 42 : ' They con- 

1 Since this time it has been shown (William B. Trask : New Eng. Hist. 
Gen. Reg., vol. xl. p. 258) that this cup was given to the First Church by 
Mrs. Margaret Thacher, the letters, " M. T.," standing for her initials. The 
following entries on the Church Records refer to it: "April 6, 1709. The 
church hath Nine Pieces of Plate for y* sacram' (2 Given by s^ m' Stoughton 
2 by m' Thomas Lake, one by m" Thacher, one by m' Isaac Jones, one by 
m" Patten, one by m' John Gingen, one by Anoth' hand, all of Silver." 

"6 of January 1679, Also M" Thecher of Boston gaue y* Church for- 
merly a Silver Cup with two ears." 

Mrs. Thacher was the wife of the Rev. Thomas Tliaclier, first minister 
of the Old South Church, in Boston. 



tinued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, and 
in breaking of bread and in prayers.' The whole Church met 
together for their last communion service on the following Sun- 
day, November 2. Dr. Harris preached from 1 Cor. x. 17: 
" We, being many, are one bread and one body ; for we are all 
partakers of that one bread." It was a communion of mingled 
joy and sadness, — sad, that they had met together for the last 
time in that old house of their worship, their reverence, and 
their love, to them the " very house of God, and gate of 
heaven ; " joy, that another house, beautiful and comfortable, 
awaited their coming. 

On that occasion Dr. Harris concluded as follows : — 

" Finally, Christians, we are now to commune together at the table 
of the Lord, and to repeat there our vows of fidelity to Him, and of love 
to each other. May we thus acquire some pleasing conceptions of that 
heaven of love and peace and glory, where one temple will contain the 
large assembly; one love engage all their affections; and one anthem 
of praise tune all their voices." 

In the afternoon of the same day he preached in your 
meeting-house the first sermon after its dedication, from Ephe- 
sians ii. 17, 18, and closed as follows: ''Be perfect, be of 
good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace ; and may the God 
of love and peace be with you." 

Although the whole Church assembled together for the last 
time on November 2, 1806, it was the latter part of 1807 
before dismission was asked to form a second. It was granted 
December 21, 1807, when sixty-four took their leave, with an 
affectionate parting address, which was answered by one equally 
kind and courteous; and your Church was gathered January 1, 
1808. Of all who left the First Church, and of those that 
remained, and of ministers and delegates who took part in your 
church-gathering, but one survives ; the Great Shepherd has 
gathered them, pastors and people, into His all-embracing fold. 
Many of both churches have reached the age of three-score 
years and ten, and, with the surviving sister by whose hand we 

send this letter, 

" Walk thoughtful 
On the silent, solemn shore 
Of that vast ocean 
We must sail so soon." 


" Grace, mercy and peace," and abundant prosperity to 
pastor, brethren, and sisters of the Second Church. We reit- 
erate, in the name of the First Church, its parting address 
at your own church-gathering, which closed as follows : — 

" Finally, brethren and sisters, accept the benediction we pronounce 
with pious application to Heaven in your behalf ; and may the God of 
Grace, who hath called us into His eternal kingdom and glory by Jesus 
Christ, assist, establish, and settle you ; and in whatever respect we may 
be separate on earth, may you and we be joint members of the church 
of the first born, whose names are written in heaven." 

S. J. Barrows, Pastor of First Church. 

Henry Humphreys, ) r\ 

> Deacons. 
Ebenr. Clapp, ) 

Respectfully communicated to the Second Church of Dor- 
chester, by the pastor, deacons, and Sister Abigail Upham, of 
the First Church. 

Dorchester, December 17, 1877. 

To this the following answer was returned : — 

January 4, 1878. 
To the First Church in Dorchester — Greeting: 

It gives great pleasure to communicate to you the following 
votes, unanimously adopted by the Second Church, at their 
meeting this day : — 

" Whereas^ The First Church in Dorchester has most kindly 
presented two ancient Communion cups to this Church, on the 
occasion of the seventieth anniversary of its formation ; there- 
fore, — 

" Voted^ That the Second Church gratefully receive this valu- 
able gift ; that the cups be suitably inscribed ; and that the 
letter of the pastor and deacons of the First Church accom- 
panying them be entered on the records of this Church. 

'* Voted, That the following communication, with the vote 
recorded above, be sent to the donors, in the name of the Sec- 
ond Church, signed by its officers : — 

" The Second Church in Dorchester has received with much pleasure 
and gratitude, the Communion cups presented by the First Church, in 
token of their regard and good-will. These articles, valuable in them- 


selves, are still more so for the hallowed associations connected with 
them, and the kind feelings with which they are tendered. From this 
time they will be constantly used by us. 

* ' We desire to cherish all the sacred memories of the past ; to 
remember that we sprang, not by dissent, but by friendly separation, 
from a Church ancient and honored ; and to express in the act of receiv- 
ing these cups, our hope that the kind feelings now existing between the 
churches may long continue." 

It was very gratifyiug that this gift was transmitted 
thi'ough the bauds of our venerable sister, Mrs. Upham, the 
sole survivor of those who were banded together in Christ, 
sevent}^ years ago. 

Cordially reciprocating all expressions of good-will, and 
wishing you grace, mercy, and peace, we are in behalf of the 
Secoud Church, j ^ ^^^^^^^ p^^^^^_ 

Joseph Clapp, ^ 
James C. Sharp, 
Elbridge Torrey, V Deacons. 
Ellis Houghton, 
Elijah Cutler, 

As we have seen on a preceding page, the formation of 
the Third Religious Society was the result of the rupture 
between a portion of the congregation of the Second 
Church and their pastor, the Rev. Dr. Codman. When 
the separation had been finally determined upon, steps 
were taken for the formation of a new society and the 
erection of a church edifice. The first recorded meeting, 
at Avhich action was taken, was held on May 6, 1813, in 
what was known as the "Dorchester Reading-Room." 
This was a back room in a building in the front of which 
was a barber-shop. It had been furnished as a reading- 
room, and was kept as a place of resort and reading for 
the people of this vicinity, being situated near the end 
of Dorchester Avenue. At this meeting the plan of the 
new organization was decided upon ; and forty-five shares 
were offered for sale, which were subscribed for by those 


present, each subscriber agreeing to take one pew. A 
committee was appointed to engage a builder to erect the 

Deacon James C. Sharp, of the Second Church, relates 
the following anecdote in reference to the fitting up of 
the church ; — 

'' When the Second Church was built, the ladies wished to 
place a curtain over the window behind the pulpit. In planning 
for one that would be suitable, they remembered to have heard 
that a Mr. Welles, in the neighborhood, had in his possession a 
rich silk damask dress, which had been the property of one of 
his ancestors, and had seldom been worn. It was very large, 
the skirt being two yards in diameter, and having a train so 
long and heavy as to require a colored boy to accompany the 
wearer and carry it when she wore it. This skirt they asked 
for and obtained, and with it made a most beautiful drapery for 
the back of the pulpit. When the Third Church was built (Dr. 
Richmond's) the ladies of this parish also wanted a curtain for 
a similar purpose ; and, remembering that the damask dress had 
not all been used before, asked for and obtained what was left 
for their pulpit curtain. Thus the pulpits of the two churches, 
which had lately separated in strife, were adorned by the same 
rich dress. This story is questioned by some, since it is 
affirmed that the Third Church pulpit was adorned by a curtain 
much less elegant. But I like to think of it as true ; and I like 
to think that when both churches were through with their cur- 
tains the two parts of the garment were reunited, and made intod 
a mantle of charity, to hide, not our differences of opinion, — 
we should never wish to hide them, — but all personal differ- 
ences and hardness of feeling, and bind us more closely into 
one family of God." 

At a second meeting, held on August 23, 1813, the 
members of the new society called themselves '' The Pro- 
prietors of the New South Meeting-House." The Second 
Church was known as '^ The South Meeting-House," and 
the Third was noAV called ''The New South." On the 
cover of the Parish Record Book is printed, '' Dorchester 


New South Meeting-House ; " and on the Church Record 
Book is the label, " Dorchester South Church/' The new 
enterprise received several other names at various times, 
being called by one or another indifferently, which indi- 
cates that the founders were much more intent upon the 
formation of the church than upon choosing a name. The 
final and legal names settled upon are, " The Third Reli- 
gious Society in Dorchester," and " The Third Church in 

The church building was pushed forward rapidly. The 
meeting at which it was resolved to build was held, as has 
been said, on the 6th of May. On the 1st of June the 
ground was broken, and work began ; on Monday, the 
28th of June, the timbers were raised to their places ; and 
on Wednesday, October 6, just five months from the first 
meeting, the church was completed, and dedicated under 
the auspices of the Boston Association of Ministers, Dr. 
Lathrop preaching the sermon. 

The formation of this new society caused a complicated 
question to arise as to the division of the income derived 
from certain sources. It will be remembered that when 
first organized by the early settlers, the Church was con- 
sidered to be a part of the town government, and the 
pastor's salary and other church expenses were paid out 
of the treasury of the town. In order to make the sup- 
port of the Church more certain, lands were set apart 
whose income was to belong to it. This property was at 
first of little value; but together with the additions re- 
sulting from bequests left the town for the purpose, and 
the natural appreciation of property, at the time of the 
formation of the Third Religious Society the income was 

Until 1806 there had been no difficulty in appropriating 
this income, as there had been but one church. After the 
formation of the Second Church, however, the proceeds of 
the rent lands and the income from invested funds were 


divided annually by the town between the First and 
Second churches, according to their membership ; and 
when the Third Religious Society was formed, it was 
divided among the three Churches in the same manner. 
Thus the town was the custodian of the parish property. 
As times changed, and the relation between Church and 
State became less close, the possession of this property 
became less agreeable to the town. It seemed best to all 
concerned that it should be made over to the Churches, 
for whose benefit it was given ; but the question arose to 
what church or churches it belonged. It could only be 
given legally to that organization for which it was origi- 
nally intended, — namely, the First Church. It was theirs 
by technical right, but they did not consider that it be- 
longed to them by moral right. The First Church there- 
fore asked for a joint committee, to be formed by delegates 
from the First, Second, and Tliird churches, to divide 
this property as equitably as possible among the three 
societies. The committee Avas formed in 1824, and de- 
cided to divide the whole ministerial property into four 
equal parts, giving two parts to the First Parish, on 
Meeting-House Hill, one part to the Second Church, Dr. 
Codman's, and one to the Third Parish. The income from 
the property put apart by the early settlers is still enjoyed 
by these churches. 

The first pastor of the Third Church was the Rev. Dr. 
Edward Richmond, who was installed on June 25, 1817. 
He was born June 29, 1767, and was graduated from 
Brown University in 1789. Previous to his call to the 
Dorchester Church he had served a pastorate of twenty- 
three years in Stoughton. 

He is described by one who knew him as "a finished 
gentleman,'' and by another as " a staid, dignified gentle- 
man of the old school." Dr. Ezra S. Gannett, in his 
" Memories of the Early Ministers," speaks of " Dr. Rich- 
mond, gentle, urbane, modest." His studious habits, his 


thoughtful and dignified manner, and his sense of the im- 
portance of his mission among men, gave to some the 
impression of a severe, reserved, and even ungenial man. 
He was an able sermon-writer, but he was not good at 
extemporaneous speech ; and even his prayers are said to 
have been stereotyped. It is related that on one occasion, 
when there was danger of cholera, he inserted a petition 
"that we be spared from this terrible scourge." The 
congregation, amazed at the fresh sentence, lifted their 
bowed heads and saw that he read it from a written 
record ! 

The relations between Dr. Richmond and Dr. Codman 
were naturally somewhat strained at first, owing to the 
recent unpleasant incidents ; but it was not long before 
they became friends. It is said that a very slight incident 
served to bring them together. Dr. Codman failed to re- 
ceive his paper one morning, and being very dependent 
upon it, sent his son to Dr. Richmond to borrow his copy 
after he had read it. Dr. Richmond responded so quickly 
and pleasantly that the ice was broken between them, and 
they continued on the best of terms. 

In 1833 declining health made it necessary for Dr. 
Richmond to resign. Soon after he removed his residence 
to Weymouth, where he died April 10, 1842. 

For nearly a year after Dr. Richmond's resignation, the 
parish had no settled minister. In 1834, however, the 
Rev. Francis Cunningham was chosen. He was born 
March 9, 1804, and was graduated from Harvard Col- 
lege in 1825. It was during his ministry that the 
present church structure of the society was erected. Mr. 
Cunningham resigned June 1, 1842, passing much of 
his later life in travel. He died September 7, 1867. 
The parish, in accepting his resignation, declared that 
they would ever remember his " talents, learning, and 
virtues, and bear testimony to the fidelity with which 
he discharged his duties." He is also spoken of as "a 



thoughtful scholar., a kind neighbor, a courteous Christian 

The Rev. Richard Pike was Mr. Cunningham's suc- 
cessor. He was born June 6, 1813, was graduated from 
Bowdoin College in 1836, and was ordained pastor of the 
Dorchester Church on February 8, 1842. His pastorate 
extended over twenty years, during which period he en- 
deared himself to his people by his tireless labors in their 
behalf. He taxed his limited strength too much, however, 
not only in his parish duties, but in town affairs, being 
especially interested in the schools, and serving upon the 
school committee for many years. Gradually his health 
failed, until in 1863 he died, sincerely mourned by his 

The Rev. Nathaniel Hall, Jr., of the First Church, 
preached Mr. Pike's funeral sermon, in which he said : — 

' ' His pubhc ministrations were impressive through the evi- 
dence they bore that his heart was in them. His discourses 
may have lacked the attractions of a studied rhetoric, for which 
he had no taste, if he had the gift, which he was too much in 
earnest to seek or care for ; but they were scholarly in style and 
spiritual in tone. His mind was naturally of a metaphysical 
cast, leading him to an appreciative interest in the deeper theo- 
logical discussions of the day; and although this did not 
appear with any prominence in his discourses, it may have 
given them, as a whole, a less practical character than the 
many would desire." 

On March 2, 1864, the Rev. Thomas J. Mumford was 
installed. He was a man of unusual abilities, filling with 
equal satisfaction the positions of writer, citizen, editor, 
and pastor. His pastorate lasted for eight years, when he 
resigned to take charge of the " Christian Register." Mr. 
Mumford occupied an important place in even wider circles 
than the community ; and liis loss was severely felt when 
he died, August 29, 1877. 

The next pastor of the Third Church was the Rev. Henry 


G. Spaulding, who was installed October 2, 1873. He 
resigned after a short ministry of less than four years, and 
later became the Secretary of the Unitarian Sunday-School 
Society, — a position Avhich he has since relinquished. 

Of the successors of Mr. Spaulding, the Rev. George M. 
Bodge was ordained September 26, 1878, and resigned 
October 31, 1884; and the Rev. W. I. Lawrance was 
installed October 1, 1885, resigned in 1891. During his 
ministry, on May 6 and 7, 1888, the seventy-fifth anni- 
versary of the society was celebrated; and it is from 
sermons preached by Mr. Lawrance on this occasion that 
much of the preceding matter is taken. The present 
pastor is the Rev. Frederick B. Mott, who was installed 
February 7, 1892. 

The Dorchester Methodist Episcopal Church, which is 
known in the history of the town as the Fourth Parish, 
was organized in 1816. Previous to this time several 
people had met at the house of Anthony Otherman ; and 
the interest manifested at these meetings resulted in the 
permanent establishment of the society. During this 
period the preaching was usually on week-day evenings. 

The grow^th of the society was slow, and it was kept 
together chiefly through the exertions of Mr. Otherman. 
He is still remembered by some of the oldest residents of 
the town, being one of the last to put aside the old- 
fashioned dress, consisting of the cocked hat and short 
clothes. The first house of worship was a carpenter shop, 
which was remodelled in 1818, Bishop Hedding preaching 
the dedication sermon. This building was situated on 
Washington Street, about a quarter of a mile north from 
Milton Bridge, and was twenty by twenty-seven feet, 
having a door opening directly into the audience-room. 
Opposite the door was a small circular door, and a centre 
aisle had benches on either side. A gallery ran around 
three sides of the house. 


The first minister to take charge of this little flock was 
William Granville, who divided his time between his 
occupation of glass-blowing and preaching; but he later 
devoted his entire time to the ministry. At the close of 
the year 1818 the Church numbered nineteen members, v 
who held their meetings under difficulties, and in spite of 
discouraging opposition. 

By 1829, however, the society had gained a strong foot- 
hold, and the increased number of members made it neces- 
sary to erect a larger edifice. This building was used until 
1875, when the present commodious structure replaced it. 
In striking contrast to other Dorchester churches, this 
society, following the Methodist custom, has been served 
by a large number of ministers. The parish is now in a 
flourishing condition, and is under the charge of the Rev. < 
G. A. Phinney. In 1892 the society celebrated its seventy- 
fifth anniversary with appropriate and interesting exercises. 

On June 7, 1837, the First Baptist Society in Dorchester 
was constituted in Neponset Hall, Joshua Gushing and 
Deacon Jacob Flynn being the pillars of the new church 
during its early days. During the following year the first 
meeting-house of the society was erected on Chickatawbut 
Street, which was afterwards enlarged to meet the require- 
ments of the increased number of worshippers. 

The pastors and deacons of the church have been as 
follows : — 

Rev. Bradley Miner, ordained August, 1837, resigned January, 1846. 
Rev. Humphrey Richards, ordained July, 1846, resigned September, 

Rev. Brainard W. Barrows, ordained May, 1855, resigned January, 

Rev. James F. Morton, ordained March, 1873, resigned August, 1874. 
Rev. Joseph Banvard, D. D., ordained January, 1876, resigned April* 

Rev. Nathan Bailey, ordained January, 1889, resigned December, 1891. 
Rev. John Brainerd Wilson, ordained Juh', 1892. 


Pastoral Supplies, 188Jf-18s9. 

Rev. Adam Chambers, 5 months. Prof, E. C. Mitchell, D. D., 15 mos. 
Rev. J. H. Johnstone, 10 months. Rev. H. M. Dean, 15 months. 

Jacob Flynn. *David Fales. Eliaphaz W, Arnold. 

William Hammond. Jesse Lyon. Z. E. Coffin. 

Daniel Pierce. Ira Foster. J. W. MacGregor. 

Charles E. Fales. *James T. Murphy. 

* Deceased. 

On Sunday, July 16, 1843, about fifty persons assembled 
in the Town Hall, Dorchester, and listened to an impres- 
sive sermon and service conducted by the Rev. John P. 
Robinson, the rector of Christ Church, Quincy. This 
public service was in response to an invitation extended to 
Mr. Robinson by several active Episcopalians to form an 
Episcopal church. The interest in this service proved so 
general that it was decided to hold Evening Prayer at the 
Town Hall every two weeks. This was the first occasion 
on which the Book of Common Prayer was publicly used 
in Dorchester, and was the starting-point of St. Mary's 

At the first meeting of the vestry the clerk stated that 
"Evening Prayer was conducted in the Town Hall in 
Dorchester eight times by the Rev. J. P. Robinson and 
once by the Rev. Darius R. Brewer in 1843, and three 
times by the Rev. J. P. Robinson in 1844, during which 
time it was thought inexpedient to organize a parish." 

From that date (1844) until June, 1847, it is supposed 
that no church services were held. At any rate, no records 
have been preserved. Among some loose papers relating 
to parish affairs, the following, written on a leaf torn from 
a pocket blank-book, has been found : — 

Having learned that the erection of a church is contem- 
plated, on a lot of land in Roxbury, near Dorchester, presented 
by Mr. Ralph Haskins, I hereby signify my entire approval of 
the object, and hope that it will be carried vigorously into 
effect. [Signed] Manton Eastburn. 

Boston, May 23, 1846. 


In spite of the fact that several of the wealthy Episco- 
palians offered to donate land on which to erect a church, 
the matter was delayed until August 23, 1847, when a 
meeting was held in Lyceum Hall to consider the subject 
of organization. On August 11, 1847, a petition for war- 
rant was addi-essed to the Hon. S. P. Loud, J. P., repre- 
senting that "the signers have associated themselves for 
the support and enjoyment of public worship, under the 
name of the parish of St. Mary's Church in Dorchester," 
and requesting that a warrant be issued directing one of 
their number to notify " the qualified voters of said parish 
to meet at such time and place as may be therein specified 
for the purpose of legal organization, according to Chapter 

, Statute , Commonwealth of Massachusetts." 

The petition was signed by William Withington, Joseph 
Hooper, Robert Richardson, Thomas Hill, Edward Holden, 
and A. W. Hayter. 

At that meeting a compact, or constitution and by-laws, 
was adopted. Two wardens (Hooper and Withington), 
five vestrymen, and a treasurer were also chosen ; and the 
Rev. G. W. Porter was unanimously elected rector. Morn- 
ing Prayer was held for the first time on September 26, 
1847, seventeenth Sunday after Trinity, on which occasion 
Rev. Dr. Robinson appeared in full canonicals, this being 
the first use of the surplice in Dorchester. Owing to 
unfavorable weather, only twenty persons were present in 
the morning and thirty-two in the afternoon. The average 
attendance upon both morning and evening service during 
the first two months was about seventy-three. The parish . 
was admitted into union with the Diocesan Convention of 
Massachusetts June 14, 1848. 

It was from Mrs. Catherine Dodge that the land was 
received on which the church was finally erected. Sub- 
scription books were opened at once, and the necessary 
funds were soon obtained. The corner-stone was laid on 
April 5, 1849, by the Rt. Rev. Manton Eastburn, D. D., 


the bishop of the diocese. The consecration of the build- 
ing occurred the following September. 

" It cost about 15,000," wrote the Rev. G. W. Porter, 
" exclusive of organ and furniture. When I first thought 
of establishing the church in Dorchester there was not 
much to encourage me ; but friends to the enterprise unex- 
pectedly appeared." 

During Mr. Mill's rectorship the church Avas enriched 
by the gift of three handsome stained-glass windows, the 
usual chancel furniture, and books for use at altar and 
lectern. Owing to his exertions the mission, now the 
parish, of All Saints was established at Milton Lower 
Mills, and remained for many years dependent upon his 
personal interest and exertions. 

Owing to the unexpected social results of the annexa- 
tion of Dorchester to Boston, the centralization of all 
interest in the city proper, the removal of many wealthy 
residents from the town to the city, and the effects of the 
;» financial crisis following the great fire in 1872, St. Mary's 
was compelled to pass through severe trials. 

The mission of St. Anne's on Cottage Street, near Dud- 
- ley, was begun in April, 1876, by the rector, the Rev. Mr. 
Silvester. The land and il,000 were given by Mrs. Anne 
Phillips, a communicant of St. Mary's, and an aunt of the 
late Bishop Brooks. In 1879 the mission was placed under 
the control of the parish of St. James, Roxbury, and is 
now organized as a separate parish. On June 14, 1887, 
the church building on Bowdoin Street was destroyed by 
fire. The First Parish Church on Meeting-House Hill 
offered the use of their church, and St. Mary's gratefully 
accepted the use of the vestry of that church for some 
meetings. The Stoughton Street Baptist Church invited 
' St. Mary's to worship there on Sunday afternoons, but the 
parish accepted the liberal offer of Henry G. Allbright, 
who gave the free use of Winthrop Hall for the Sunday 
services for a period of six months, and after that for 


another year, at a very low rental, until the new church 
was built. Land was bought on Jones's Hill, between 
Stoughton Street and Gushing Avenue, on which, in 1888, 
the present church building of stone was built. The rapid 
increase of the congregation in the new church, however, 
necessitated its enlargement; and in 1892 two transepts 
and a chancel were added on the Stoughton Street end of 
the building, increasing the seating capacity to over five 
hundred sittings, at an additional cost of 116,100, — mak- 
ing the total cost to this time ^148,000. 

In July, 1887, a proposition was made for the union of 
St. Mary's and St. Anne's parishes into one parish, the 
intention being to build a large church; but the latter 
voted that such a consolidation was inexpedient. In No- 
vember, 1887, a Sunday-school was started, on the Upper 
Road, out of which has come the present Episcopal Mission 
at Grove Hall, under the charge of the rector of St. Mary's 

The present rector. Rev. W. E. G. Smith, is a graduate 
of Harvard GoUege and of the Episcopal Theological 
School at Gambridge. For five years he served as 
assistant to the Rector of Emmanuel Ghurch, Boston, and 
was the minister in charge of the mission of that church, 
known as the Ghapel of the Ascension, on Washington 
Street, where he was eminently successful in gathering 
a large congregation. 

The successive officers of the church from 1847 to 
1893, have been as follows : — 


Rev. G. W. Porter, installed September 1, 1847, resigned November 1, 

Rev. E. L. Drown, installed July 1, 1853, resigned September 1, 1860. 
Rev. W. H. Mills, installed September 1, 1860, resigned April 5, 1874. 
Rev. W. W. Silvester, installed June 9, 1874, resigned March 3, 1878. 
Rev. L. W. Saltonstall, installed May 12, 1878, resigned November 25, 

Rev. W. E. C. Smith, installed February 14, 1892, — . 



Joseph Hooper, Senior, 2 years. Martin L. Bradford, Junior, 10 
Robert Richardson, Junior, 2 years. years; Senior, 5 years. 

John P. Clapp, Junior, 1 year, 1848; William W. Page, Junior, 6 years. 

Senior, 36 years. Daniel B. Stedman, Jr., Junior, 
John H. Welch, Junior, 3 years. 13 years ; Senior, 1 year. 

Charles Stimpson, Junior, 1 year. Lucius P. Leonard, Junior, 1 year. 

James Jenkins, Junior, 3 years. Charles Emery, Senior, 2 years. 
Albert A. Chittenden, Junior, 7 years. 


Edward Holden, 4 years. George Noyes, 1 year. 

Mark W. Sheafe, 3 years. Samuel R. Phillips, 1 year. 

Edward W. Howe, 4 years. William F. Jones, 3 years. 

Charles E. Stedman, M. D,, 2 years. James A. Tyng, 1 year. 

Daniel Sharp, 2 years. George H. L. Sharp, 3 years. 

Daniel B. Stedman, Jr., 5 years. William A. Blanchard, 4 years. 

Henry A. Clapp, 5 years. Joseph H. Beale, Jr., 2 years. 

Andrew J. Smallage, 3 years. George G. Bradford, 4 years. 

The clerks have also been treasurers, except Henry A. 
Clapp, William A. Blanchard, James A. Tyng, George 
G. Bradford, and George H. L. Sharp, who were not 
treasurers, and the following who were treasurers but not 
clerks : Charles Emery, two years ; Albert A. Chittenden, 
five years ; G. Herbert Ide, one year ; Henry W. Edwards, 
three years. 

It is interesting to note that Dorchester gave to Mas- 
sachusetts her first bishop, the Rt. Rev. Edward Bass, 
S.T.D. The late Bishop Phillips Brooks was confirmed 
in St. Mary's Church, July 27, 1857, by Bishop Eastburn ; 
and the first public service performed by him was in read- 
ing the morning service there. Here, too, he administered 
the apostolic rite of confirmation only a few days before 
his death. 

The Catholic Society, the Parish of St. Peter, was 
formed in 1872, with Father Peter Ronan, the present 
pastor, at the head of the undertaking. The land, on 


which the fine stone edifice stands, was purchased from 
Mr. Williams at an expense of about twelve thousand 
dollars, and was the location of Captain John Percival's 
house, after Avhom Percival Avenue was named. The 
building itself is of the Gothic style of architecture. It 
was erected at an expense of one hundred and tliirty 
thousand dollars, but is now entirely free from debt. It 
has a rich panel ceiling of wood, handsomely decorated, 
and the church contains three marble altars of beautiful 
design. There is a seating capacity of tAventy-five hun- 
dred; and the parish comprises some fifty-five hundred 
souls. An interesting fact is that the stone of which the 
church is built was taken from the lot on which the edi- 
fice now stands. In 1885 a large lot of land was pur- 
chased from the late Nahum Capen of Mt. Ida, on which 
the present large brick parochial house was erected, at an 
expense of about twenty-five thousand dollars. 

Father Ronan was ordained at St. Joseph's Seminary, 
in Troy, N. Y., in 1868, and preached in New Bedford for 
nearly five years. He then came to Dorchester, where he 
has been a very earnest and successful pastor since the 
church was established. The other clergymen associated 
with him at present are the Revs. Charles F. Glennen 
and Thomas C. McGoldrick. 

In connection with the church history of the town it is 
of interest to glance at the '' Old Burying-Ground," in 
which reposes the dust of- the early fathers. It is situated 
at the corner of Boston and Stoughton Streets, and was 
first laid out in 1634, five rods square. This was not the 
first burying-ground, the supposition being that an earlier 
one existed around the first meeting-house, near the corner 
of the present Pleasant and Cottage Streets. It is, how- 
ever, one of the oldest and most interesting in the United 
States, yielding only to Jamestown, Va., in antiquity of 
inscriptions. Its gravestones have frequently been con- 



suited by antiquarians for historical and biographical 
notices, and by the lovers of the curious because of the 
quaint inscriptions to be found thereon. Several of the 
earliest stones Avere placed flat upon the ground, to pre- 
vent the Avolves from devouring the bodies which lay 

About 1835 Samuel Downer devoted much time and 
taste to improving the dilapidated condition of the monu- 
ments, and to cultivating ornamental shrubs and trees. 
'' The subscription to defray the expense of such improve- 
ments," says a writer in 1838, '' in the condition of this 
place of graves, though applied to ' garnish the sepulchres 
of the righteous,' extended not to ' build again the tombs 
of the prophets ; ' as it was known that of the nine minis- 
ters who, with their flocks, had ' gone down to the con- 
gregation of the dead,' there were only two for whom 
monumental memorials had been raised, — namely, Rev. 
Richard Mather, in 1669, and Rev. Josiah Flint, in 1680. 
Several months ago, however, the descendants of the 
Honorable Moses Everett caused a tablet to be set up, 
inscribed with his name and those of the deceased mem- 
bers of his family, on which is mentioned his death in 
1813, and that he was in the ministry from 1774 to 1793. 
It is also an affecting consideration that no minister of 
the town has died in office within one hundred and seven 
years."" Since this was written, the Rev. Nathaniel Hall, 
Jr., the Rev. John Codman, and the Rev. Richard Pike 
have died in office. 

The author of the little volume from which the above 
lines are quoted was a prominent figure to those who wor- 
shipped at the First Parish Church. Daniel Davenport 
began his service as sexton in 1799, and during his term 
of office officiated at no less than fifteen hundred and 
ninety-three funerals. In 1826 he published the " Sexton's 
Monitor and Dorchester Cemetery Memorial," which he 
dedicated to his pastor, the Rev. Dr. Harris, with the wish 


" that it may be many years before you or your family may 
need my services in this solemn vocation." This little 
book went through three editions. 

Three years before the resignation of Dr. Harris, " Uncle 
Daniel," as he is still remembered by many of Dorchester's 
citizens, asked him to write an epitaph; and the worthy 
sexton dug a grave for himself, and placed a stone over it. 
This action did not hasten his departure, however, for he 
lived thirty- three years longer, dying December 24, 1860, 
in his eighty-eighth year. It was always a matter of 
great regret to Uncle Daniel that he had not been able to 
serve in his official capacity one year longer, as he would 
then have been sexton for fifty years. "I wanted to 
celebrate my jubilee," he used to say. ''Dr. Pierce had 
his jubilee ; why would n't they let me have mine ? " 

From the collection of inscriptions on the tombs of the 
Old Burying-Ground contained in this masterpiece of 
Uncle Daniel, the following are taken, together with the 
quaint notes made by the compiler : — 

[ " Ou two children lying in one grave, covered with a flat 
stone, but so broken that the upper part, which probably bore 
the name of the parents, was gone."] 

Abel, his offering accepted is ; 
His body to the grave, his soul to bliss. 
In October twenty, and no more, 
In the year sixteen hundred 44. 

Submit submitted to her heavenly king. 
Being a flower of the eternal spring ; 
Near 3 years old she died in heaven to wait, 
The year was sixteen hundred 48. 

[ " On Deacon James Blake. Note. — He languished about 
seven years with an ulcerous leg, very painful, but at last died 
with an epidemic cold, which carried off many aged people."] 

Seven years strong pain do end at last, 

His weary days and nights are past. 

The way was rough, the end is peace ; 

Short pain gives way to endless ease. 


[ '' Taken from a stone which had been broken into forty-five 


Plere lies three clerks, their accounts are even, 
Entered on earth, carried up to heaven. 

['^NoTE. This is a very ingenious reference to Mercantile 
affau's, and the business of a clerk to enter accounts in the rf«y- 
hook^ and carry them up to the Ledger ; it is casting up the reck- 
oning for Time, and striking the balance for Eternity."] 

Submit submitted down to dust, 
Her soul ascends up to the just; 

At near old she did resign, 

Her soul 's gone to Christ, year '59. 

["On an ancient School Master in Dorchester, who died 
Feb. 24, 1674, aged 81. Written by himself."] 


Ho Passenger! its v^orth thy pains to stay, 
And take a dead man's lesson by the way. 
I was what now thou art, and thou shalt be 
What I am now, what odds 'twixt me and thee. 
Now go thy way, but stay, take one word more. 
Thy staff, for aught thou knowst, stands next the door. 
Death is the door, the door of heaven or hell : — 
Be warned, be arm'd, believe, repent, Farewell ! 

" In memory of Mr. James Baker, who died Nov. 18, 1776, 

aged 64." 

Preserve O grave inviolate thy trust. 
Till life divine reanimates this dust. 

" Capt. Abraham Wheeler, died June 20, 1778, aged 43." 

How loved, how valued once, avails thee not 
To whom related, or by whom begot. 

*' Mr. Isaac Fenuo, aged 32, died 1796." 

O life, frail offspring of a day, 
'T is puff'd with one short gasp away. 
Swift as the short-lived flower it flies. 
It springs, it blooms, it fades, it dies. 


[ ' ' Taken from the grave stone of a child of Mr. Solomon 
and Mrs. Rachel Hall, aged 10 months, died 1803."] 

Parents of children take a last adieu, 
And so must children of their parents too. 

["Taken from the grave stone of William Wilcox, (South 
Burying ground) who died in 1820, aged 39."] 

In business diligence and care he join'd, 
In spirit fervor with his hope combin'd, 
With sacred truth his life did well accord, 
He serv'd the public while he serv'd the Lord. 

This last epitaph has more than passing interest. It 
seems that Mr. Wilcox kept a tavern which was situated 
opposite the Second Church, where on Sundays before and 
after the services he sold rum to his fellow church-mem- 
bers. In spite of his calling, however, he was a devout 
worshipper, and believed that he was fully justified in 
combining his business with his religion. When he died, 
his pastor, the Rev. John Codman, wrote the above lines 
for his epitaph, which contain a hidden meaning not alto- 
gether clear without this explanation. 

The Hon. Edward Everett made the following beautiful 
allusion to the Old Burying-Ground in his oration at the 
two hundred and twenty-fifth anniversary of the settlement 
of the town : — 

"The ancient burial-ground hard by, with which there are 
few of us who have not some tender associations, upon whose 
early graves may yet be seen the mossy unknown stones placed 
there by the first settlers for protection against the wolves, still 
attracts the antiquary with its quaint and learned inscriptions, 
and preserves the memory, not merely of ' the rade forefathers 
of the hamlet,' but of some of the most honored names in the 
history of Massachusetts." 

It has been possible only in this chapter to give the 
history of the first church society in each denomination. 
As the increasing number of inhabitants has reauired it, 




churches have been built, so that Dorchester has no reason 
to complain of a lack of opportunity for worship, contain- 
ing within the town limits some thirty distinct organiza- 
tions. If the early settlers could look in upon the town 
to-day, and see the different churches and the different 
creeds, they would wonder how they managed to get along 
in the olden days with a single roof to shelter all beliefs 
and doctrines ! 

The church history of Dorchester, as we have seen it in 
the preceding pages, shows that the descendants of the 
early fathers have reason to feel a thrill of pride that their 
ancestors belonged to the sturdy company which laid the 
early foundations of the town. They were sometimes 
intolerant, they were sometimes unwise in their interpreta- 
tion of the Scriptures ; but they were manly, courageous 
men and women, who governed their lives according to 
their best enlightenment. It is from their religious life 
rather than from any other characteristic that we may 
draw the truest picture of the first settlers of Good Old 



E have seen in the preceding chapter that 
the Church held the first place in the 
affections of the early settlers; but the 
institution of next importance was the 
school. As soon as the people had pro- 
vided shelter for themselves and their 
families, and had established a form of government, civil 
and ecclesiastical, their next care was to provide for the 
education of the young, — "all being inspired with a 
common purpose, namely, that in the establishment of a 
' State without a king,' the people, in Avhom was to rest 
the sovereign will, should receive the first principles of 
an education sufficient to enable them to rule and to 
govern." ^ 

The history of the schools of Dorchester has special 
interest owing to the fact that the town claims precedence 
in the establishment of the first free public school, sup- 
ported by a direct tax upon the people. Several other 
towns have also claimed this distinction, notably Charles 
City, Manhattan, Boston, Charlestown, Salem, and New- 
bury, and it is interesting to draw conclusions on the 
subject by examination of the records. 

1 Hon. Charles T. Gallagher. 


A school was established in Charles City, Virginia, as 
early as 1621 ; but no doubt now exists that this was purely 
a private school, which was sustained by subscription. 
Twelve years later, a Dutch school was started at Manhat- 
tan, but this was also a private school. The Boston Latin 
School was begun in 1635 ; but there is no evidence to 
show that it received the support of the town before 1641. 
Charles town passed a vote in 1636 to pay William With- 
erell <£40 a year for keeping the school ; but evidence is 
lacking to prove that this sum was raised by taxation, — 
the first entry to this effect being dated some years later 
than 1640. The Rev. John Fiske organized a school at 
Salem in 1637 ; but the first recognition of it by the town, 
as shown by the records, is under date of January, 1640. 
Newbury granted land to Anthony Somerby in 1639 " for 
his encouragement to keep school one year," but it was not 
until 1652 that the town actually voted to sustain it. 

We thus see that all who lay claim to the distinction of 
having established the first free public school, supported 
by direct taxation, with the exception of Dorchester, are 
singularly lacking in evidence to prove their assertions. 
In striking contrast, however, the Dorchester Town Rec- 
ords state definitely that on May 20 (O. S.), 1639, it was 
ordered that — 

"There shalbe a rent of 20^® yeerely foreu'" imposed \T3on 
Tomsons Hand to bee payd p ei"iy p'son that hath p'prtie in the 
said Hand according to the p'portion that any such p'son shall 
fro tyme to tyme inioy and posesse there, and this towards the 
mayntenance of a schoole in Dorchest^ this rent of 20^^ yeerly 
to bee payd to such a schoolemaster as shall undertake to teach 
english latin and othe^ tongues, and also writing the sayd school- 
maste to bee chosen fro tyme to tyme p the freemen and that is 
left to the discretion of elders and the 7 men for the tyme bee- 
ing whether maydes shalbe taught with the boyes or not. For 
the levying this 20^^ yeerely fro the p'ticuler p'sons that ought 
to pay that according to this order. It is farther ordered that 


somme man shalbe apoyntecl p the 7 men for the tyme beeing 
to Receiue that and refusall to levye that p distresse, and not 
fynding distresse such p'son as so ref useth payment shall forfeit 
the land he hath in p'prietie in the sayd Island." 

The Hon. Joseph White, in the Fortieth Annual Report 
of the Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, 
referring to this subject, says : — 

" This notable law, giving voice, as it did, to the convictions 
and experience of the people, was everywhere cheerfully obeyed. 
On every side, as the ancient forests gave way before the hardy 
pioneers, in their slow but sure advance from the seaboard into 
the interior, the meeting-house and the schoolhouse rose side 
by side with the log huts of the settlers, thus converting the 
desolate places of the wilderness into the homes of a Christian 
people, — the ' seed-plots ' of a higher and pui'er life for ages 
yet to come. 

' ' No grander spectacle is presented in the history of any 
people than that of these ancient men, thus struggling for a 
scanty subsistence amid the privations and dangers of border 
life, and often for itself against the attacks of a stealthy and 
relentless foe, and yet, as if with a prophetic prevision of the 
future, sparing no effort in their deep poverty, shrinking from 
no sacrifice of time and money needful to plant the pillars of 
the new Commonwealth — theh beloved 'New England,' as 
they were wont to call it — on the everlasting foundations of 
universal intelligence and vii'tue." 

The first schoolmaster of Dorchester was the Rev. 
Thomas Waterhouse.^ He was a graduate of Cambridge 
University, England, and came to America when the Eng- 
lish civil war broke out. He taught for a short time in the 
first schoolhouse built by the town, after which he returned 
to England, where he died in 1680. He is said to have 
been " a very useful man, of a blameless conversation, and 
very firm in his non-conformity." ^ Under date of October 

1 Dr. Harris supposed that a Mr. Conant might have preceded Mr. 
Waterhouse, but evidence is lacking to establish the fact. 

2 Palmer; Non-Conformists' Memorial, vol. ii. p. 408. 


31, 1639, the Town Records contain the following entry in 
regard to Mr. Waterhouse : — 

"It is ordered that M*" Waterhouse shall be dispensed with 
concerning that Clause of the order in the Charge of Twenty 
pounds yeerly, rent to be payd for Tomsons Hand towards the 
skoolc : where he is bound to teach to write it shalbe left to his 
liberty in that poynt of teaching to write, only to doe what he 
can conveniently therein." 

In 1641 Thompson's Island was directly conveyed to the 
town, for the support and establishment of the free school. 
There had been much difficulty in collecting the rents due 
from the proprietors of the island, and the transfer of the 
property was intended to make the income more certain. 
The document by which the property was given over 
to the town was signed by seventy-one of the most promi- 
nent inhabitants, whose signatures are given on the 
accompanying pages. 

The plans for the school matured slowly ; but in 1645 
wardens were appointed " to take care & manage y® affairs 
of y® School ; they were to see that both y® Master & Schol- 
ler performed their Duty, & to Judge of & End any differ- 
ence that might arise between Master & Scholler, or their 
Parents, according to Sundry Rules & Directions there set 
down." 1 

These " rules and directions " are given in full in the 
Town Records, and are valuable as giving an accurate view 
of the education of the early fathers. They read as 
follows : — 

' ' Upon a generall and lawf ull warning of all the Inhabitants 
the 14**^ of the 1^* moneth 1645 these rules and orders p^sented 
to the Towne concerning the Schoole of Dorchester are Con- 
firmed by the maior p'te of the Inhabitants then p®sent. 

"First It is ordered that three able, and sufficient men of 
the Plantation shalbe Chosen to bee wardens or ouseers of the 

1 Blake's Annals of the Town of Dorchester, p. 17 (1846). 






%» .i<c<r> 






^^ I. I 

I ? ^"^ 


' ' "Htm 

iii ^> 


3 |k-5 




ri V. 

2 «^ 



Schoole aboue mentioned who shall haue the charge ousight and 
ordering thereof and of all things concerneing the same in such 
manner as is hereafter expressed and shall Continue in their 
office and place for terme of their Hues respectiuely, vnlesse by 
reason of any of them Remouing his habitation out of the 
Towne, or for any other weightie reason the Inhabitants shall 
see cause to Elect or Chuse others in their roome in which cases 
and vpon the death of any of the sayd wardens the Inhabitants 
shall make a new Election and choice of others. 

"And M"". Howard, Deacon Wiswall, M^ Atherton are 
elected to bee the first wardens or ouseers. 

" Secondly, the said Wardens shall haue full power to dis- 
pose of the Schoole stock whither the same bee in land or 
otherwyse, both such as is already in beeing and such as may 
by any good meanes heereafter be added : and shall Collect and 
receiue the Rents, Issues and p'fitts arising and growing of and 
from the sayd stock. And the sayd rents Issues and b'fits shall 
imploy and lay out only for the best behoof, and advantadge of 
the sayd Schoole ; and the furtherance of learning thereby, 
and shall giue a faythfull and true accoumpt of there receipts 
and disbursements so often as they shalbee thervnto required 
by the Inhabitants or the maior p'te of them. 

"Thirdly the said Wardens shall take care, and doe there 
vtmost and best endeavor that the sayd Schoole may fro t3niie 
to tyme bee supplied with an able and sufficient Schoolemaster 
who neiithelesse is not to be admitted into the place of Schoole- 
master without the Genarall cosent of the Inhabitants or the 
maior p'te of them. 

" Fowerthly so often as the said Schoole shalbee supplied 
with a Schoolem'" — so p'vided and admitted, as aforesa3^d 
the wardens shall fro tyme to tyme pay or cause to be payd vnto 
the sayd Schoolem'* such wages out of the Rents, Issues and 
p'fitts of the Schocle stocke as shall of right come due to be 

' ' Fiuethly the sayd wardens shall from tyme to tyme see that 
the Schoole howse bee kept in good, and sufficient repayre, the 
chargs of which reparacion shalbe defrayed and payd out of 
such Rents, Issues and p'fitts of the Schoole stock, if there be 


sufficient, or else of such rents as shall arise and grow in the 
time of the vacancy of the schoolem'" — if ther bee any such 
and in defect of such vacancy the wardens shall repayre to the 
7 men of the Towne for the tyme beeing who shall haue power 
to taxe the Towne with such some, or sommes as shal be requi- 
site for the repayring of the Schoole howse as aforesayd. 

*' Sixthly the sayd Wardens shall take Care that euy yeere at 
or before the end of the 9*^^ moneth their bee brought to the 
Schoolhowse 12 sufficient Cart, or wayne loads of wood for 
fewell, to be for the vse of the Schoole master and the SchoUers 
in winter the Cost and Chargs of which sayd wood to be borne 
by the Schollers for the tyme beeing who shalbe taxed for the 
purpose at the discretion of the sayd Wardens. 

' ' Lastly the sayd Wardens shall take care that the Schoolem'" 
for the tyme beeing doe faythfully p'forme his dutye in his 
place, as schoolem^^ ought to doe as well as in other things as in 
these which are hereafter expressed, viz. 

" First that the Schoolem'' shall diligently attend his Schoole 
and doe his vtmost indeavor for Benefitting his Schollers accor- 
ding to his best discretion without vnnecessaryly absenting him- 
self to the p^iudice of his schollers, and hindering there 

' ' 2^y that from the begiiiing of the first moneth vntill the end 
of the 7*^ he shall euy day begin to teach at seaven of the 
Clock in the morning and dismisse his schollers at fyue in the 
afternoone. And for the other fyue moneths that is from 
the beginning of the 8*^ moneth vntill the end of the 12*^ moth 
it shall euy day beginn at 8*^ of the Clock in the morning and 
[end] at 4 in the afternoon. 

" 3'y etiy day in the yeere the vsuall tyme of dismissing at 
noone shalbe at 11 and to beginn agayne at one except that 

" 4^^ euery second day in the weeke he shall call his schollers 
togeither betweene 12 and one of the Clock to examin them 
what they haue learned on the saboath day p^ceding at which 
tyme also he shall take notice of any misdemeanor or disorder 
that any of his skollers shall haue Committed on the saboath 
to the end that at somme convenient tyme due Admonition, and 
Correction may bee admistred by him according as the nature, 


and qualitie of the offence shall require at which sayd examina- 
tion any of the elders or other Inhabitants that please may bee 
p^'sent to behold his religious care herein and to giue theii' Coun- 
tenance, and ap'pbation of the same. 

"5*^ hee shall equally and impartially receiue, and instruct 
such as shalbe sent and Comitted to him for that end whither 
their parents bee poore or rich not refusing any who haue Right 
and Interest in the Schoole. 

" 6^y such as shalbe Comitted to him he shall diligently in- 
struct as they shalbe able to learne both in humane learning, 
and good literature, and likew^yse in poynt of good manners, 
and dutifull behavior towards all specially their sup'iors as they 
shall haue ocasion to bee in their p^sence whither by meeting 
them in the streete or otherwyse. 

' ' Vy euy 6 day of the weeke at 2 of the Clock in the af ter- 
noone hee shall chatechise his schollers in the principles of 
Christian religion, either in some Chatechism which the 
Wardens shall pVide, and p^sent or in defect thereof in some 

' ' 8^y And because all mans indeavors without the blessing 
of God must needs bee fruitlesse and vnsuccessfull theirfore It 
is to be a cheif p'te of the schoolem^^ religious care to Comend 
his schollers and his labours amongst them vnto God by prayer, 
morning and euening, taking Care that his schollers doe reuendly 
attend during the same. 

" 9^y And because the Rodd of Correction is an ordinance 
of God necessary sometymes to bee dispensed vnto children 
but such as may easily be abused by oumuch seuitie and rigour 
on the one hand, or by oti much indulgence and lenitye on the 
other. It is therefore ordered and agreed that the schoolemas- 
ter for the tyme beeing shall haue full power to minister Correc- 
tion to all or any of his schollers without respect of p'sons 
according as the nature and qualitie of the offence shall requu-e 
wherto, all his schollers must bee duely subiect and no parent or 
other of the Inhabitants shall hinder or goe about to hinder the 
master therein. Neiithelesse if any parent or others shall think 
their is iust cause of Complaint agaynst the master for to 
much seuitye, such shall haue liberty freindly and louingly to 


expostulate with the master about the same, and if they shall 
not attayne to satisfaction the matter is then to bee referred to 
the wardens who shall imp'tially Judge betwixt the master and 
such Complaynants. And if it shall appeare to them that any 
parent shall make causelesse Complaynts agaynst the m'". in this 
behalf and shall p'sist and Continue so doeing in such case the 
Wardens shall haue power to discharge the m^ of the care, and 
charge of the children of such parents. But if the thing Com- 
playued of bee true and that the m"". haue indeed bene guiltie of 
ministring excessme Correction, and shall appere to them to 
Continue therein, notwithstanding that they haue advised him 
otherwise, in such case as also in the case of to much lenity e ; 
or any other great neglect of dutye in his place, p'sisted in It 
shalbe in the power of the Wardens to call the Inhabitants to- 
gether to Consider whither it were not meet to discharge the 
m'" of his place that so somme other more desirable may be 

' ' And because it is difficult if not impossible to giue p'ticular 
rules that shall reach all cases which may fall out, therefore for 
a Conclusion It is ordered, and agreed, in Generall, that where 
p'ticular rules are wanting there It shalbe a p'te of the office and 
dutye of the Wardens to order and dispose of all things that 
Concerne the schoole, in such sort as in their wisedome and dis- 
cretion they shall Judge most Conducible for the glory of God, 
and the trayning vp of the Children of the Towne in religion, 
learning and Civilitie. And these orders to be Continued till 
the maior p'te of the Towne shall see cause to alter any p'te 

''Upon a generall and lawfull warning of all the inhabitants 

the 14*^ of the first m? 1645 the rules and orders aboue written 

p^sented to the Towne Concerning the schoole of Dorchester 

are Confirmed p the maior p'te of the Inhabitants. 

Deacon Wiswol — ) , , 

I chosen wardens 
Humphrey Atherton — > - , , , 
,, „ I for the schoole. 

My. Howard — ) -^ 

The importance of these regulations can hardly be over- 
estimated. " The fathers builded better than they knew," 
said Mr. Mowry at the Dorchester Celebration in 1889; 


" primarily they had in mind the proper nurturing of their 
own cliildren, but they were laying important foundations 
on which future ages should build a temple, at once large 
and grand and beautiful." 

By this act, passed in 1645, Robert Howard, Deacon 
John Wiswall, and Humphrey Atherton were appointed 
members of the first school committee in America. Mr. 
Howard was a prominent man in the town, having served 
as selectman for many years. He came to Dorchester with 
the second immigration, in 1635, and received three years 
later a section of land in the first division. He was made 
a freeman in 1643. Deacon Wiswall also came to Dor- 
chester in 1635, and was one of the earliest selectmen. 
We know little of him, except that he was one of a com- 
mittee appointed by the town to treat with the Indians. 
Humphrey Atherton has already been referred to at length 
in a preceding chapter. 

The school wardens were elected for life, although the 
town reserved the right to remove anyone of them "for 
weighty reasons." They had charge of everything which 
pertained to the school, and were expected to see that the 
regulations of the town were adhered to. Their specific 
duties are fully explained in the extracts from the records, 
quoted on the preceding page. 

The use of the word " free " as applied to this first 
public school is apt to be misleading. A " free school " in 
the early days was not an institution in which the pupils 
were exempted from paying tuition, but one which was 
free to all classes. This same distinction should be made 
in the use of the w^ord " public ; " for the present system 
of '' free public schools," where education is given without 
expense to the parents, is of a much later date. ^ 

The first schoolhouse was situated on what has been 
known as '' Settlers' Street," near the corner of the present 

1 William A. Mowry, Ph. D. : Historical Address at Dorchester Cele- 
bration, 1889. 


Pleasant and Cottage Streets, and consisted of a single 
room, formed by four walls poorly constructed, and a roof 
which barely did its duty. In 1674 we find an entry giving 
Ensign Richard Hall the power to see " that the school- 
house be repaired either by Clabording or Shingleing the 
Roofe." A year later Daniel Preston and Richard With- 
ington were ordered to provide the room with seats, and to 
fit a lock and key on the door. 

It was natural that controversy should have arisen as to 
the fitness of the building ; but it was used until 1694, 
when steps were taken to provide more suitable accommo- 
dations. A contract was made with John Trescot to build 
a house twenty feet long and nineteen feet wide, with a 
ground floor and a chamber above, a flight of stairs, and a 
chimney. The contract required the building to be boarded 
and clapboarded ; to be filled up between the studs ; to be 
fully covered with boards and shingles ; and to be completed 
before September 29, 1694. As a recompense for his work, 
Trescot was to receive the glass, lock and key, hooks and 
hinges of the old schoolhouse, and <£22 in current New 
England money. The site of this building, it is supposed, 
was on the hill near the meeting-house, on what is now 
known as Winter Street. A large, perpendicular rock 
made the principal part of one end, and formed the back 
of the fire-place. 

The parents of each child were expected to provide the 
school with " two feet of wood, or two shillings and six- 
pence money, to be delivered to the School Master within 
one month after the 29th of September, annually, or their 
children to have no privilege of the fire." Similar rules 
were passed down to 1732, when the school was provided 
with wood at the expense of the town. 

We have seen in a preceding chapter ^ that Dorchester 
was forced to relinquish Thompson's Island in 1648 to 
John Thompson, the son of David Thompson, from whom 

1 Ante, p. 50. 


the island received its name. The town never felt that 
justice had been done in the matter, and on March 8, 1659, 
appointed a committee to present their grievances, Roger 
Clap and Hopestill Foster being chosen. Those represen- 
tatives presented the following petition to the Court : — 

To the Hon'"*^ Generall Court Now assembled at Boston, the 
petition of the inhabitants of Dorchester 
Humbly sheweth, 

That wheras there was many years since granted by this 
court, as appears by record, a sertaine Hand called Thomsons 
Hand w^^ we the said Inhabitants possest diuers years and 
hopefull to haue euer enjoyd the same for the benefit of o"" selues 
and posterity (the same being giueu to and for the maintenance 
of a free scoole In Dorchester) but the s<^ Hand hath bin taken 
from vs and setled on others to the almost if not totall ouer- 
throw of o"" free scoole w^^ was soe hopefull for posterity, both 
our owne and neihbors also who had or might haue reaped ben- 
ifit thereb}^ 

" Our Humble Request to this hon^"^ Court is, that j^ou would 
be "pleased to reneiue yo'^ former grant of the said Hand, and 
confirme the same vnto vs, we conceiuing we had Just title ther 
vnto, or Elc, that you would bee pleased to grant vnto vs one 
thousand ackors of land In some conuenient place or places (for 
the end afo^sd, namly, the maintenance of o"" dijng scoole) 
where we shall find it, and in the courts power to grant the 
same, and y^"" petition^^ shall pray, &c. 

Dor : 18 : 8. [October,] Roger Clap, ) 

1659: Hopestill Foster^" ^ ^ 

name and by order from 
y^ towne." 

As a result of this petition, the Court granted the town 
a tract of one thousand acres of land, the income from 
w^hich was to be appropriated towards maintaining the 
school. It was not, however, until nearly sixty years later 
that this land was selected and laid out ; the tract being 
located in 1718, in what later became Lunenburg, in 
Worcester County. 


The town wisely decided not to wait for the land appro- 
priated by the Court to be laid out, but in 1657 appropriated 
another one thousand acres, from which the school might 
derive a more speedy benefit. In 1662 Roger Clap, 
Hopestill Foster, William Sumner, and John Minot were 
appointed to select the land for this purpose. They chose 
three hundred acres, " beginning at that place where 
Dedham and Dorchester line doe meet with Neponset 
River, and so to come down, as far as 300 acres will 
extend, both in length and breadth, as the conveniency 
of the land will afford when it is layd out by measure." 
The balance of the land was not laid out until forty years 
later. In 1668 it was voted that this land should never 
be " alienated to any other use, nor sold, nor any jDart of 
it, but be reserved for the maintenance of a Free School 
in Dorchester forever." In spite of this injunction, how- 
ever, the land was later disposed of, the sums realized 
thereby being devoted to its proper use. 

The early settlers took great personal interest and pride 
in their school, and gave liberally to its support. The 
earliest gift was a legacy from John Clap in 1655. This 
land, situated at South Boston Point, was sold in 1835 
for $13,590.62.1 Another bequest, made by Christopher 
Gibson in 1674, now amounts to more than twenty thou- 
sand dollars, yielding a yearly income of fourteen hundred 
dollars, and mucli of the land is still held in trust for the 
benefit of the schools. The sum of one hundred and fifty 
pounds, which Lieutenant-Governor Stoughton contributed 
towards the support of the schoolmaster, has now grown to 
be more than five thousand dollars. John Gomel, Hope- 
still Foster, and Governor James Bowdoin also contributed 
to the support of the school. 

We have learned in a preceding chapter of Governor 
Stoughton ; and now let us glance at Christopher Gibson, 
who did so much to encourage the early establishment of 

1 Suffolk Deeds, lib. 392, fol. 170. 


learning. He came to Dorchester in 1630, and applied for 
freemansliip in October of that year, remaining in Dor- 
chester until about 1646, when he removed to Boston, and 
became one of the founders of the North Church. He 
was a soap-boiler by trade, and appears to have been a man 
of distinction in the settlement. He was a selectman in 
1636, 1638, and 1642, and filled various other offices at 
different times. In his will, which was written in 1674, 
he directed that, if anything remained after the settlement 
of his estate, his executors should purchase some estate for 
the '^ promoting of learning in the town of Dorchester." 
In obedience to these directions, Daniel Preston, the sur- 
viving executor, purchased twenty-six acres of land, at 
Smelt Brook, for one hundred and four pounds, and 
deeded the same to the selectmen of Dorchester, February 
6, 1693, in the following terms : namel}^ '' To Enoch Wis- 
well, Samuel Robinson, John Tolman, James Bird, and 
Increase Sumner, as trustees aforesaid, for the time being, 
and to their successors and assigns forever in the same 
place, trust, and office, to and for the only sole use and 
purpose, benefit, and behoof of the schools of learning in 
the town of Dorchester, and to and for no other use, intent, 
or purpose Avhatsoever, absolutely without any manner or 
condition, redemption or revocation in any wise." 

When Dorchester was annexed to Boston these funds 
were given over to the city ; but the income from the 
Gibson fund is appropriated to supply the Dorchester 
schools with library books and apparatus such as are not 
supplied by Boston, and the interest on the Stoughton 
fund is credited annually to the appropriation for salaries 
of school instructors. 

While the Gibson land was in the possession of the town 
of Dorchester it seems that the trust was faithfully cared 
for ; as when, some forty years ago, the office of the town 
treasurer was broken into, and a bond to the value of one 
thousand dollars belonging to the Gibson fund was stolen, 


the town promptly made good the loss. It has been felt 
by many, however, that the city of Boston has not made 
the most of this land. Mr. Amos R. Storer, in an address 
before the Dorchester Improvement Association, expressed 
this feeling when he said : — 

''The Gibson field is used by Norfolk, Suffolk, and Middle- 
sex counties for base ball, foot ball, fruit stealing, and general 
profanity, — a kind of learning which Christopher Gibson never 
contemplated. There never was a more flagrant violation of a 
most sacred trust than in the use which has been made of this 
land for the last twenty years. It should have yielded, and 
might have yielded, fifteen hundred dollars to the schools of 

A record of the town, dated May 3, 1692, reads as 
follows : " Samuel Clap, Samuel Topliff, and Hopestill 
Clap, select men, received of Joseph Capin a Latin Book 
which doth belong to the town, and delivered said book to 
Mr. Joseph Lord, schoolmaster, to be improved for the 
benefit of the school, and said Lord is to deliver it to some 
of the select men when he leaves the school in Dorchester." 
This " Latin Book " was a copy of Cooper's " Thesaurus 
Romanse et Britannicse," and was presented to the Dorches- 
ter school by the Rev. Richard Mather in 1669, as is proved 
by a memorandum on the margin of one of its leaves. 
This book is remarkable in many ways besides its anti- 
quity. No less than eight or nine successive generations of 
children have received instruction from this identical vol- 
ume. The author says : " A studious young man, with 
small paines, by the helpe of this booke may gather to 
himself good furniture both of words and approved phrases 
and fashions of speaking for anything, that he shall eyther 
write or speake of, and so make unto his use, as it were, a 
common place booke for such a purpose, so that those who 
wish may by their owns labour, without instruction or 
helpe of maisters, traveyle to attain the knowledge of the 
Latine tongue." The title-page is all that is missing in 


this famous copy of the book, and this was replaced by a 
fac-simile made by William B. Trask from the copy in the 
Boston Athenaeum. In it are written many of the names 
of the early teachers in the Dorchester schools, the earliest 
entries being in the handwriting of the Rev. Dr. Harris. 
For more than two hundred years it remained in the pos- 
session of the Mather School, the direct descendant of 
the first school; but from that point no trace of it can 
be found. Another copy of the book is in the Boston 
Athenaeum, bearing the date of 1578 ; and a third, in the 
library of the Massachusetts Historical Society, printed 
two years later, contains autographs of Adam Winthrop, 
— father of the elder Governor Winthrop, — Governor 
Winthrop himself, and also that of his son, John Win- 
throp, who afterwards became Governor of Connecticut. 

In 1726 the inhabitants of the south precinct petitioned 
the town to continue a reading and writing school among 
them. Five years later tw^o schools were asked for, but 
the request was not granted. 

It is impossible to ascertain just when the second school- 
house was built ; but the first reference we find to it is in 
1759. It was situated on the present Hancock Street, and 
was a low building with a pitched roof. The room itself 
was square, having on three sides seats for the boys with 
desks opposite. On the other side of these desks was an 
additional row of seats, so that the pupils studied facing 
each other. The master stationed himself at a large table 
in the centre of the room. As a proof that good order 
was preserved, we have the testimony of Deacon James 
Humphreys, who says : " I once stood on the place where 
the boys were writing, having my book on the shelf, and 
read through the general Epistle of Saint James without 
being interrupted by the Master, and not much by the 

In 1771 a new schoolhouse was built on Meeting-House 
Hill, which was afterwards removed, and made over into a 


dwelling-house, which is still standing. Within the next 
few years schools were established at Squantum, Dorches- 
ter Neck, on the " upper country road," on the lower road, 
and in the '' south end of the town." 

In these modern days we are a^^t to forget the inferior 
position formerly held by women ; yet it is a fact that 
until 1784 girls were not considered worthy the same 
privileges allowed the boys as regards education. In that 
year the town voted "that such Girls as can read in a 
Psalter be allowed to go to the Gi-ammar School from the 
first Day of June to the first Day of October." Before 
this time the girls had received what education their 
parents considered necessary for them at home, the princi- 
pal part of which was from the Assembly's Catechism. 
On one afternoon each year girls were admitted to the 
public school at the general catechising, and they were 
expected to answer at least two questions. It is said that 
the master took pains to propound the most difficult ques- 
tions to the girls, in order that the benefits the boys 
received from his instruction might be more apparent. 
There had been what were known as "dame schools," where 
the girls were taught reading and spelling, sewing and 
embroidering, and taught to make samplers ; but writing, 
arithmetic, grammar, and geography were branches of 
learning wdiich were considered entirely superfluous to the 
female mind. 

In 1792 we find the first entry on the Town Records in 
regard to the number of children in the town under fifteen 
years of age. A committee was appointed to consider the 
expediency of dividing the town into wards, in order to 
make better provision for schools. They reported that 
there were " 177 children north of the meeting-house, 
including Dorchester neck ; from said meeting-house to 
Mr. Jonathan Pierce's on the lower road, including said 
Pierce's, 92 ; from Mr. Thomas Leed's to Mr. John Capen, 
junr., & to Mr. John Dolbeare's, inclusive. 111 ; from Mr. 


Abraham Pierce's to Roxbury line, on the upper road and 
other parts adjacent, 172; total, 552 children." 

The town Avas divided the May following into four 
school wards, X30 being appropriated towards maintaining 
the school in each ward. In 1793 it was ordered that two 
of these four schools should be grammar schools, one of 
which was to be situated " near the meeting-house," and 
also that "the grammar schools be open for girls six 
months in the summer." On reconsidering these votes, 
however, it was decided " to have 1 grammar school near 
the meeting-house, and that no girls be allowed to go 
to it." 

In 1797 the town established an annual school "near 
the meeting-house," and another >' at the house used as a 
school house in the upper road." Four schools for girls 
were also established to be kept during the summer season, 
and the pupils were to "go to the two schools that are to 
be kept during the year at different hours, as the Selectmen 
shall determine." During the next year the " new brick 
schoolhouse " was built, " near the meeting-house." This 
afterwards became the present Mather School. 

Let us pause at the beginning of this nineteenth century, 
and take a look backward at the early teachers ^ in the 
Dorchester schools, — at the worthy successors of the Rev. 
Thomas Waterhouse. The second schoolmaster of the 
town was Henry Butler, who taught as early as 1648. He 
received his master's degree from Cambridge University, 
and came to this country because of his non-conformity. 
He afterwards returned to England, where he entered upon 
the ministry ; but he suffered much from persecution and 
fines, because of his non-conformist ideas. He died, in 
1696, at the age of seventy-two. 

^ The facts in regard to the early sclioolmasters are chiefly taken from 
Savage's Genealogical Dictionary; the Mass. Hist. Coll., vol. ix. ; and from 
the chapter on tlie subject in the History of Dorchester (1859) written by 
William B. Trask. 


The successor of Mr. Butler was Ichabod Wiswall, who 
was born in Dorchester in 1637. He entered Harvard 
College in 1654, just at the time when the number of 
years' residence required for a degree was lengthened from 
tlii-ee to four years. Mr. Wiswall, together with several 
other members of his class, left college at the end of three 
years, thus losing his degree. He seems to have taught in 
the Dorchester school while at college, for under date of 
February 8, 1655, is found the following contract between 
him and the selectmen : — 

"First, that Ichabod, w*^ the Consent of his Father, shall 
from the 7th of March next Eusuinge, vnto the end of three 
full 3^ears from thence be compleate and ended, instructe and 
teach in a free Schoole in Dorchester all such Cheldren as by 
the Inhabitants shall be Committed vnto his Care, in English, 
Latiue and Greeke as from time to time the Cheldren shall be 
Capable, and allso instruct them in vrritinge as hee shall be 
able; w^^ is to be vnderstood such Cheldren as are so fare 
enf^^ all redie to knowe there Leters and to spell some what ; 
and also prouided the schoole howse from time to time be kept 
in good order and comfortable for a man to abide in, both in 
somer and in Winter, by prouidiug Fire seasonably, so that it 
may neather be preiudiciall to master nor Scholar — and in cause 
of palpable neglect and matter of Complaint, and not reformed, 
it shall not binde the m'" to Endanger his health. 

" Secondly, that the Selectmen of Dorchester shall, from 
yeare to yeare, every yeare paye or cause to be paid vnto 
Icabod or his Father by his Assignment the full somme of 
Twentie Five Pounds, two thirdes in wheate, pease, or barley, 
marchantable, and one thirde in Indian, att or before the first 
of March, dueringe the three yeares, yearl}^, at price Currant, 
w*'^ is to be vnderstoode the price w^^ the generall Court shall 
from time to time appoint." 

Mr. Wiswall probably taught school in Dorchester for 
three or four years, at the end of which time he moved to 
Duxbury, occupying at the same time the positions of 
minister and schoolmaster in that town. In 1689 he went 


to England as agent for the Plymouth Colony; but he 
resumed his ministerial duties on his return. He died 
at Duxbury, July 23, 1700. 

William Pole was the fourth schoolmaster of the town. 
He came to Dorchester in 1630, and afterwards went 
to Taunton. He returned to Dorchester, however, and 
taught school from 1659 until 1668. Besides his service 
to the town as an instructor of the young, Mr. Pole occu- 
pied the position of '^ Clerk of y® Writs & Register of 
Births, Deaths, and Marriages in Dorchester about 10 
years." He died February 25, 1674. 

The next master of the Dorchester school, Hope Ather- 
ton, was graduated at Harvard College when nineteen 
years of age. He taught in Dorchester during the years 
1668-69, resigning his position to accept a call to the 
ministry at Hatfield. In 1676 the Rev. Mr. Atherton 
served as chaplain under Captain Turner in his expedi- 
tion against the Indians, near Greenfield. It was during 
this service that Mr. Atherton passed tlirough the most 
peculiar incidents and exposures which finally caused his 
death. After the famous " Falls Fight " he was separated 
from the army during the confusion of retreat. All night 
Mr. Atherton Avandered up and down among the enemies' 
tents ; yet, much to his surprise, his presence did not 
appear to be discovered. 

On the next day captivity seemed better than starva- 
tion, so he boldly offered himself to the Indians as a 
prisoner. Much to his bewilderment, they made no 
answer to his proposal, and when he moved towards 
them, they fled in great fear. With affairs in this strange 
condition, Mr. Atherton started down the river ; and after 
suffering much from fatigue and hunger he reached Hat- 
field, where he died in 1677. The only explanation of 
the Indians' strange conduct in avoiding him is that it 
was due to their religious superstitions, believing him to 
be the colonists' God. 



John Foster, who succeeded Mr. Atherton, besides being 
one of the most popular schoolmasters, was a prominent 
man in the affairs of the town. He was the son of Cap- 

Tbe Wicked mans 'Ponlm. 



(Preached at the LeClure in Bojlon \r\ Ktsv-F.r.gUnd ihc 
i8cb day ofche » Moncth r674, when two. nen 
' were e):(cuifd. who had murthtrtd 
thtit Maftcr.) 

Wfaercin is Ibcwed 

Thi^excejfe in mckfdnefs doth bring 
mtime/y Death. 

Z^lNCREASE M AT HE R^ leachee 

of a Cburch of Cbrift. 

Prov. 10.17. ^f" f"^ o/'^' ^*^^ frottn^eth dajts^ tut the Jt4ri 
•{tht wicl^d/f>iUI it/h«rtned. 

Eph. 6. 2, ^. Honour ihj Fathtr and thy Mtthrr (which i tkt ft -Jf 
CommtndmeKtveitb pr$mif() thtt it maj htwtS »itk tbre, 
tnithoaviajjl livt long catht E^f^* 

Pxnaad paucos^ mecus sd onines. 

S O S T O N, 

Printed* fcy foba Fo/frr. 167$ 


tain Hopestill Foster, and was graduated from Harvard 
College in 1667. He taught in the Dorchester school, 
it is thought, during the years 1669-74. In 1675 Mr. 
Foster opened a printing office, which was the first in 


Boston. The first book was issued from this press in 
1676, and the last in 1680, the enterprise being checked 
by his untimely death. While at college and in later 
life, Mr. Foster was famous for the knowledge he acquired 
in astronomy ; and he employed a large part of his time in 
making, calculating, and imh- 
lishing almanacs. In the 

3xed an ^^-X ^-^ 

one he published, which was ^<^^ x^^ i^'^^i^ / J'UO i/f^A 

the year 1681, " he annexed 
ingenious dissertation on comets seen at Boston in Novem- 
ber and December, 1680." This year, according to a more 
recent writer, was a remarkable one for comets ; the trail 
of one of them reaching from near the horizon to the 
zenith, causing the good people of the town no small 
amount of anxiety. 

Mr. Foster was further famous, according to Blake, as 
being the one " that made the then Seal or Arms of y® 
Colony, namely an Indian with a Bow & Arrow, &c." 
There seems, however, to be a difference of opinion on this 
point, as Dr. Pierce gives John Hull, the mint master, 
the credit for the design. It is probable that Blake con- 
founded the engraving o£ the seal for printing with the 
actual design. However that may be, the original silver 
seal of the Massachusetts Company in England was sent 
over to Governor Endicott in 1629. This was used until 
Andros became governor, in 1686, which was about five 
years after the death of Mr. Foster. It is probable that 
the seal was restored in 1689, after Governor Andros was 
deposed, and put aside again in 1692 when the second 
charter substituted the province seal. The colony seal 
was adopted in 1775, and five years later the present State 
seal. A writer on this subject designates these five seals 
as the "first charter," "usurpation," "second charter," 
" revolution," and " constitution " seals. From this it 
would seem probable that neither Foster nor Hull drew 
the first design, but simply reproduced in wood or metal. 


A handsome gravestone carries out the last desire of 
the accomplished schoolmaster, and proclaims to posterity 
the virtues and achievements of the deceased. The foot- 
stone bears the expressive quotation from Ovid : " Ars illi 
sua Census Erat," — '' Skill was his cash." His death 
occurred September 9, 1681. 

It seems strange in these days, when there are ten ap- 
plicants for every vacancy in a school, that the selectmen 
of Dorchester should have had quite a difficult task to 
find a single candidate for Mr. Foster's position. William 
Sumner and Deacon Blake were appointed to make in- 
quiries to that end ; but, in spite of a faithful performance 
of their duties, no schoolmaster was found. The records 
show that later '' Ensigne Hall was desiered and appointed 
to enquier after a Schole Master." A word of encourage- 
ment is also added to this entry, that " some say ther may 
be one at bridg water." 

As a result of the endeavors of the committee, in 1680 
James Minot was procured to teach the school; but his 
stay was brief. The next year William Denison succeeded 
him. Both these men were graduates of Harvard College, 
and both were members of well-known families ; the latter, 
however, residing within the Roxbury limits. 

John Williams was another school-teacher who, while 
living in Roxbur}^, closely identified himself with Dor- 
chester aifairs. He was graduated at Harvard College 
in 1683. His services as teacher in the public school 
extended over the years 1684 and 1685, until he was 
ordained in 1686 as the first minister of Deerfield. It will 
be noticed that it was no unusual thing for a schoolmaster 
to desert his scholars to enter the wider field of preaching. 
This is not remarkable when it is remembered that these 
two classes of men were those who commonly received a 
liberal education, and were thus qualified to adopt either 
preaching or teaching as they preferred. Mr. Williams at 
his new post of duty passed through a most terrible ex- 


perience at the taking of Deerfield by the French and 
Indians. He was taken prisoner with his entire family, 
and carried to Canada. There he was kept in captivity 
for nearly two years, during which period every effort was 
made to convert himself and his family to Catholicism. 
With the exception of his little daughter Eunice, who 
was but ten years old, all stubbornly resisted ; and when 
they were redeemed in 1706, they were proud in their 
strength. The little Eunice, however, had been won over 
by the French fathers, and no sum of money would be 
accepted for her ransom. She remained in Canada, there- 
fore, forgetting her native language and her people, and 
finally married one of the Indians among whom she con- 
stantly was. Mr. Williams died in 1729. 

Jonathan Pierpont, the next teacher, took his degree at 
Harvard when twenty years of age. He began teaching 
immediately, but a year later followed in the footsteps of 
his predecessors, and entered the ministry. After twenty 
years' preaching at Reading, Mr. Pierpont died in 1709. 

Edward Mills, Mr. Pierpont's successor, was a classmate 
of his at Harvard College. He taught the school until 
1692, resigning his position in Dorchester to continue his 
teaching in Boston. His wife Avas a daughter of the 
famous Captain Richard Davenport, who was the standard- 
bearer of the company of which Endicott was the com- 
mander at the time when he cut the red cross from the 
flag as a relic of Popish superstition. Mrs. Mills's given 
name was Truecross, which would seem to indicate that 
Captain Davenport sided with his testy commander. 

After the resignation of Mr. Mills another Harvard 
graduate, this time of the class of 1691, was invited to 
fill the vacant schoolmaster' s-shoes. Joseph Lord was but 
nineteen years old at the time ; but he gave great satisfac- 
tion during the three years he served. It is probable that 
he would have remained at the head of the school longer, 
had he not been called away for more arduous labor. It 


was just at this time that the church was gathering in 
Dorchester to move to South Carolina ; and Mr. Lord was 
ordained as their pastor. Here he remained for more than 
twenty years, when he moved to Chatham, dying there 
after a long pastorate of twenty-eight years. 

John Robinson, who was born in Dorchester in 1675, 
then took charge of the school for one year. His term as 
a teacher was very brief ; but he served a long and faithful 
period as minister at Duxbury, and married a daughter of 
the old schoolmaster, Ichabod Wiswall. He was succeeded 
by John Swift, who also taught but a short time. 

Richard Billings was graduated at Harvard College in 
1698. He took charge of the school immediately after 
his graduation, and continued teaching for two years. In 
1704 Mr Billings was ordained minister at Little Comp- 
ton, R. I., where he became one of the most popular 
clergymen of his time. He was extremely courteous and 
gracious in his bearing toward every one, and rendered 
himself as agreeable as he was useful. His knowledge of 
medicine was of much value to his parishioners, who had 
great confidence in their beloved minister's powers to 
minister to their physical as well as spiritual welfare. 
The town of Little Compton was the rendezvous of many 
Sogkonate Indians, who became so attached to Mr. Bill- 
ings that at his suggestion they organized a church of their 
own, and assembled in an orderly manner once a month to 
listen to Mr. Billings's teachings. It is even said that their 
squaw sachem, Awashonks, expressed a strong desire to 
have Mr. Billings become the sachem-consort of the tribe, 
and was much surprised and mortified to learn that he 
preferred the position he then held. Mr. Billings died 
in 1748. 

The next teacher in the '^ free schoole " was Samuel 
Wiswall, who was graduated at Harvard College in 1691. 
Mr. Wiswall was a close student and an earnest worker, 
occasionally preaching in addition to his regular duties as 


schoolmaster. In 1705 he embarked on a ship in the 
capacity of chaplain, and together with all on board was 
taken captive by the Spaniards, and carried to Martinico. 
Here he passed tln-ough a terrible sickness, finally recover • 
ing enough to return to America. He then officiated as 
pastor in Nantucket, and later in Edgartown, until his 
unexpected death December 23, 1716. 

The following item in the accounts of the town for 
1706 is the only proof we have that Elijah Danforth 
tauffht the Dorchester school for a time : '' Paid to Mr. 
Danforth, schoolmaster, £15." He was also a physician 
of no little reputation, being the official medical adviser 
at Castle William, the present Fort Independence. Mr. 
Danforth left the First Church his great silver tankard 
for use at communion, and this vessel is still in the pos- 
session of the Church. Mr. Danforth was graduated at 
Harvard College in 1703, and died in 1736. 

Peter Thacher, of Milton, taught the school for the 
period of 1706-7, being followed by Ebenezer Devotion. 
After a short service, the latter resigned, and Samuel 
Fiske took his place, remaining during 1710-11. Eben- 
ezer White then assumed the position, being the village 
schoolmaster for four years. All of these men were 
graduates of Harvard College, and all relinquished the 
profession of teacliing to become ministers. 

Samuel Danforth, brother of Elijah, already mentioned, 
was nearly thirteen years his junior. He also was gradu- 
ated at Harvard Collegfe, beino- a member of the class of 
1715. He taught school soon after graduation, holding 
the position until he was made president of His Majest3^'s 
Council for the Province of Massachusetts Bay, in Ncav 
England, — an office which he held for several years. He 
was a judge of the Probate Court and of the Court of 
Common Pleas for Middlesex County, and in 1774 was 
elected a Mandamus Counsellor. He took oath to perform 
the offices of this latter position, but, together with Judge 


Lee and Thomas Oliver, who had also been elected to the 
same office, he was compelled by popular opinion publicly 
to resign it from the steps of the old court-house in Cam- 
bridge. It is said that the whole town was present on 
this occasion to receive the recantation. Mr. Danforth, 
however, did not give up his position as judge, serving 
his townspeople in that capacity for thirty-four years. He 
died October 27, 1777. 

Daniel Witham wielded the rod about 1724. He was 
graduated at Harvard College in 1718, and taught for a 
while at Gloucester. He returned to the latter town 
after a brief stay, where he held numerous positions of 
trust.' — Isaac Billings, of Milton, filled the place left 
vacant by Mr. Witham's departure, but resigned the next 
year, being succeeded by Phillips Payson. The exact 
time of the latter's service is uncertain, but it was prob- 
ably from 1724 until 1729, when Samuel Moseley took the 
position. — Supply Clap was the next incumbent, teach- 
ing at about 1731. After teaching school for a short time 
he began preaching, and was admitted to the church in 
Dorchester in August, 1733. It was a coincidence that he 
should have preached his first sermon at Castle William, 
where Roger Clap, his great-grandfather once was the 
commander. These last four teachers were all graduates 
of Harvard College. 

Noah Clap was one of the most important characters of 
the town during his day. His father was Deacon Jona- 
than Clap ; his grandfather was Nathaniel Clap, whom 
Blake has called ''a choice man," and his great grand- 
father, Nicholas Clap, was one of the earliest settlers in 
Dorchester. After his graduation at Harvard College in 
1735, at the age of seventeen, Mr. Clap studied for the 
ministry, and preached for a short period ; but the con- 
finement finally proved too great for his delicate health. 
" Master Noah " was the well-known title by which Mr. 
Clap was recognized as master of the Dorchester grammar 


school at various times, for nearly twenty years, and as 
" Master Noah " he has come down to posterity. Mr. 
Clap was assessor for over thirty years, and town clerk 
for nearly forty-seven. While serving in this capacity 
his wonderful memory proved of great assistance ; for on 
one occasion, when his house was destroyed by fire, and a 
part of the town records destroyed, he replaced in great 
measure the missing leaves. His death occurred April 
10, 1799. 

The sermon preached on this occasion by the Rev. Dr. 
Harris contains an excellent summing up of his char- 
acter. Dr. Harris said: — 

*' I never knew a person farther removed from every appear- 
ance of duplicity, or more singularly remarkable for a cautious- 
ness in speech and inviolable veracity. He was not fond of 
affirmations, and hesitated even as to the accuracy of his own 
judgment and the certainty of his own information. This 
singular cautiousness was the result of the most inflexible re- 
verence for truth. It was accompanied by a meek, humble, 
diffident, and modest spirit, and a plain, undisguised, un- 
affected artlessness of manner. ... A very obsei-vable and 
lovely trait in his character was his candor and charitableness 
in judging of others. Of this he gave the most pleasing proofs 
in his unwillingness even to hear anything to the disadvantage 
of persons. He would never patiently listen to the reports 
which might be in circulation of the misconduct of any ; and 
when they were mentioned in his presence, he was always 
ready to palliate or excuse what he could not commend, 
and seemed averse to believe ill news, flying rumors, and petty 
scandal. . . . His guarded declarations had all the fidelity 
and certainty of printed documents." 

Josiah Pierce, a classmate of Mr. Clap's at Harvard 
College, became master of the school in 1738. He later 
moved to Hadley, where he also taught school, and some- 
times preached. It is said that he was " a good penman, 
accurate in his accounts, and left several interleaved 
almanacks." He died February 10, 1788. 


Philip Curtis had the distinction of being the first of his 
name to enter Harvard College, graduating in 1738. After 
his graduation Mr. Curtis taught the Dorchester school for 
two years, at the same time studying theology with the 
Rev. Mr. Bowman at Dorchester. His first appearance in 
the pulpit was in Stoughtonham, the present town of 
Sharon ; and a year later, in 1742, he was ordained minister 
in that place. As Mr. Curtis's family grew up he educated 
them himself, and finally opened a school, where he in- 
structed the children of liis parishioners gratuitously. He 
was exceedingly generous in all his actions, contributing 
land and money to the church in spite of the difficulty he 
had in finding the means to support his family. He died 
November 22, 1797. Thomas Jones, who succeeded Mr. 
Curtis, was graduated at Harvard College in 1741, and 
directed the youth in the paths of learning during this 
year, and again in 1742. He also entered the ministry. 

Edward Bass entered Harvard College when but thirteen 
years of age, and was graduated with the class of 1744. 
He decided to enter the ministry, but taught school while 
in preparation for his profession. For four years Mr. Bass 
resided at Harvard College, studying theology, and increas- 
ing his general knowledge ; and in 1751 he was ordained 
assistant minister of St. Paul's (Episcopal) Church at 
Newburyport. In 1752 he went to England, where he was 
ordained by the bishop of London, Dr. Thomas Sherlock. 
In September of this year he returned to New England, 
and became the minister of the church at Newbury. In 
1754 Mr. Bass received the honorary degree of Doctor of 
Divinity from the University of Pennsylvania. In 1796 
he was chosen the first bishop of Massachusetts, being con- 
secrated the following year in Philadelphia ; and the Epis- 
copal churches of Rhode Island and New Hampshire also 
chose him for their bishop. He died September 10, 1803, 
after a short illness. Mr. Bass was famous for his learn- 
ing, accomplishments, high character, and wit. As an 


illustration of his sense of humor, he is said to have replied 
facetiously to the inquiry as to the reason he did not settle 
in his native town, that the waters of Dorchester were not 
deep enough for a bass to swim in, and therefore he went 
to the Merrimac. 

James Humphi-ey taught the school in 1748. Later, Mr. 
Humphrey took charge of the church at Pequoiag, the 
present town of Athol, and in this position passed through 
many exciting incidents. Pequoiag was a frontier town, 
and was thus an easy mark for the attacks of the Indians. 
To quote from Mr. Humphrey himself, " It was necessary 
to station sentinels at the entrance of the church on the 
Sabbath, to avoid a surprise from our devouring enemy, 
w^hilst others were worshipping God within." For three 
years Mr. Humphrey was obliged to carry his gun with 
him to the pulpit, and preach with it by his side. He died 
May 8, 1T96. Pelatiah Glover, the next schoolmaster of 
whom we have record, officiated during the year 1756. 
He died April 3, 1770. 

James Baker was born September 5, 1739, and owing to 
the gentleness of his disposition, his parents were induced 
to fit him for the ministry. With this in view he went 
through Harvard College, graduating in 1760, and then 
began to study theology with the Rev. Jonathan Bowman, 
the minister of Dorchester, whose son-in-law he afterwards 
became. While fitting for his profession, Mr. Baker taught 
school, and tliis delayed him in getting started in the mini- 
stry. It soon became apparent that his extreme diffidence 
would prevent him from performing the duties of a mini- 
ster; so he voluntarily gave up the idea, and began to 
study medicine, teaching school at intervals during tliis 
period. The profession of medicine, however, proved dis- 
tasteful to him ; and he laid in a stock of merchandise, and 
opened a store. In 1780, he saw that there were great 
possibilities in the chocolate business ; so he closed his store, 
and began to manufacture chocolate. The success of this 


undertaking was remarkable, and " Baker's Chocolate " 
has been manufactured ever since, now being known in all 
parts of the world. By careful attention to his business, 
and fortunate investments, Mr. Baker became a rich man, 
and retired on his wealth. The latter part of his life was 
devoted to reading and study in his library. He died Jan- 
uary 2, 1825. 

Daniel Leeds, known during liis connection with the 
school as " Master Leeds," taught for about fifteen years, 
most of the time on Meeting-House Hill. He died June 
7, 1790. — William Bowman, the son of the Rev. Jonathan 
Bowman, was in charge of the school in 1765. 

Among the best known of the early schoolmasters was 
Samuel Coolidge, who was graduated at Harvard College 
at the early age of eighteen. He began teaching in Dor- 
chester at once, and continued in the capacity of school- 
master, at different times, down to 1789, the year before 
he died. From 1780 to 1789 Mr. Coolidge served on the 
board of selectmen and assessors, being chairman of the 
board for the last four years. He was also town treasurer 
for 1787-89. He was famous for his high attainments as 
a scholar and teacher, and for his beautiful penmanship. 
Mr. Coolidge died February 28, 1790. For many years 
his widow taught a school for small children in the town, 
and subsequently married her deceased husband's brother. 
Colonel Moses Coolidge, a prominent citizen of Watertown. 

Samuel Pierce, better known among his contemporaries 
as "Colonel Samuel," has already been mentioned^ in con- 
nection with the important services he did his native town 
in other pursuits than that of school-teaching. We learn 
from his diary, however, that on February 1, 1773, he 
began to teach school at "X3, Ss. per week." 

Onesiphorus Tileston has left but scanty records behind 
him. We only know that he was graduated at Harvard 
College in 1774, and taught school in Dorchester during 
the following year. He died October 6, 1809. 
1 Ante, p. 158. 


Edward Hutchinson Robbins was graduated from Har- 
vard College in 1775, and it is supposed that he taught for 
a brief period immediately after his graduation. He was 
a descendant, on his mother's side, of the famous Mrs. Ann 
Hutchinson. Mr. Robbins decided to enter the law for his 
profession, and after his graduation he studied with one of 
the most celebrated attorneys of his time, Oakes Angier, 
Esq. In 1781 he was elected to represent Milton in the 
Massachusetts House of Representatives, and in 1793 he 
was chosen speaker, a position which he held for nine suc- 
cessive years. In 1802 greater honors came to Mr. Robbins, 
being elected Lieutenant-Governor of the State. He was 
afterwards Commissioner of the Land Office, a member of 
the Committee of Defence, and Judge of Probate for Nor- 
folk County, the latter being a position which he held until 
his death, December 29, 1829. Mr. Robbins was espe- 
cially prominent for his integrity and benevolence. 

Oliver Everett was graduated from Harvard College 
twenty-seven years later, teaching in the Dorchester school 
while in college. Later he became pastor of the New South 
Church in Boston, but was obliged to resign his position 
after ten years' service because of ill health. In 1799 Mr. 
Everett was chosen Judge of the Court of Common Pleas 
in Norfolk County, holding this office until his death, 
which occurred December 19, 1802. He acquired a high 
reputation for the extraordinary powers of his mind, a 
characteristic which he bequeathed to his son, the Hon. 
Edward Everett. 

Aaron Smith was graduated from Harvard College in 
1777, and taught school in Dorchester immediately after. 
He afterwards studied divinity, and some time later de- 
parted for the West Indies. This was the last that was 
heard of him; but as he declared that he would not 
return until he had filled his stocking with gold, we 
may surmise that he was unsuccessful in his search after 


Philip Draper taught one of the Dorchester schools soon 
after his graduation from Harvard College in 1780. He 
held his position for some years, but then adopted the prac- 
tice of medicine for his profession. He died March 21, 

Samuel Shuttlesworth was one of the early school- 
masters of the town, and taught probably soon after his 
graduation from Harvard College in 1777. He entered 
the ministry, and later took up the practice of law. His 
death occurred in October, 1834. 

Samuel Cheney, who was graduated from Harvard Col- 
lege in 1767, taught school in Dorchester for some time. 
He afterwards went to the Eliot School, Boston. He died 
November, 1820. — Jonathan Bird began teaching about 
1782, the year of his graduation from Harvard College, in 
a dwelling-house on the corner of what are now Sumner 
and Cottage Streets. For some years he was justice of the 
peace for the county of Suffolk. He died November 24, 

It is not definitely known how long Theophilus Capen 
served as master of the school, but he began teaching there 
soon after his graduation at Harvard College in 1782. His 
father. Deacon Jonathan Capen, Jr., was born in Dorches- 
ter, but moved to Stoughton. Deacon Capen, who at this 
time was a large land-owner in Stoughton, and agent 
under the colonial government for the Ponkapoag Indians, 
intended to fit his son for the ministry ; soon after his 
graduation, therefore, Theophilus began the study of the- 
ology with the Rev. Mr. Adams, of Stoughton. He spent 
much time in preparation, and wrote many valuable and 
forcible sermons, but was compelled to give up his chosen 
profession because of the weakness of his voice. He 
entered business for a short time ; but in 1811 he again 
took up teaching, and continued at this for several years. 
The latter part of his life Mr. Capen devoted to farming ; 
he died in 1842. He inherited the many excellent qual- 


ities which had marked the earlier members of his family, 
and was a worthy citizen of the town. 

Daniel Leeds, Jr., was the first teacher in the school- 
house built in the Lower Mills village in 1802. He was 
graduated at Harvard College in 1783, and died August 
19, 1811. We have the following excellent description of 
the Lower Mills schoolhouse : — 

'' It was perhaps 20 feet by 30, — a half-moon entry, a dig- 
nified desk, boys one side (the right going in), girls the other, 
old-fashioned seats for one or two each, a cast-hon wood stove 
midway the aisle, in winter ; a trap door with a ring to lift, to 
go down cellar for wood, abundance of smoke sometimes, but 
none too much fire, open front yard down to the road, with 
rocks, apple-trees, and pathways, as one might say, in primitive 
state. Here was fun, play, and plenty of exercise, and in the 
house, no doubt, some good teaching and scholarship." 

Moses Everett, Jr., taught on the '' upper road," in what 
is now the Gibson School district. He afterwards 
moved to Ohio, where he died November 30, 1814. — Eben- 
ezer Everett, brother to Moses, was graduated at Harvard 
College in 1806, and taught the school in the second dis- 
trict. This, during the cold season, was kept on the 
" lower road," now Adams Street, and the rest of the year 
in the brick schoolhouse on Mee ting-House Hill. 

Lemuel Crane was born in Milton. His parents re- 
moved to Canton when he was a child; and he spent 
nearly seven years in the family of the Rev. Samuel 
Dunbar, the minister of the town. In 1776 he returned 
to Dorchester, and enlisted in the militia, being a member 
of the company detailed to guard Burgoyne's troops, 
which were at that time prisoners of war at Cambridge. 
After the war Mr. Crane spent much of his time in farm- 
ing, being especially interested in the cultivation of 
apples. He taught the first winter school which was 
established in his neighborhood from 1790 to 1797, and 
besides this, instructed the apprentices in the paper mills. 


and such other boys as were so inclined, in an evening 
school. He also conducted a singing school, being blessed 
with a "sweet, tuneful voice." Mr. Crane held many 
offices in the town, being at different times collector of 
the taxes, selectman and assessor, representative to the 
General Court, surveyor of the highways, and a member 
of the district school committee. He died November 10, 
1817, at the age of sixty-one, — an unusually short life 
when compared with other members of his family. At 
one time he had living two grandmothers, two great-grand- 
mothers, and one great-great-grandmother. Mr. Crane is 
described as '' modest and unassuming in his deportment, 
firm in his opinions, industrious and enterprising in busi- 
ness, conscientious, tolerant, and liberal in his religious 
views, republican in politics, a pleasant friend, and an 
honest man." 

Francis Perry taught in the ""south school," in Dor- 
chester, some time previous to June 11, 1791. In a letter 
Mr. Perry states that his salary was £45, of which he 
had to pay X 19,10s. for board, and X12 for clothing, leav- 
ing him but ISs.lOd. for his other expenses. Little can be 
learned of Mr. Perry's life and death. — Joseph Gardner 
Ancb^ews was graduated from Harvard College in 1785. 
He was a physician, but also taught in the school until his 
appointment in the Federal army. The date of his death 
is uncertain. 

Samuel Topliff, a member of one of Dorchester's oldest 
and most respected families, had charge of one of the 
town schools about 1793. He was later a merchant in 
Eastport, Maine, and afterwards moved to the . West, 
where he died September 5, 1845. Mr. Topliff was 
graduated from Harvard College in 1795. 

James Blake Howe Avas the first teacher in the new 
brick schoolhouse which was built on Meeting-House 
Hill in 1796. He was graduated at Harvard College 
in 1794, and began teaching soon after in the old woo.dex» 


building on the west side of the hill. He moved into the 
brick house with his pupils, on its completion, but later 
became an Episcopal clergyman. He died September 17, 

It was under the care of Mr. Howe, and Mr. Allen 
(a later teacher) that the Hon. Edward Everett received 
his early education. While in one of these schools, as a 
boy, Mr. Everett recited a poem which was written for 
him by the Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris. Whether the 
youthful orator showed promise at this time of his future 
greatness is not stated ; but certain it is that his recita- 
tion of this poem produced a most favorable effect upon 
his hearers. The expression "little roan" refers to the 
color of the speaker's hair. The poem is as follows : — 

Pray, how should I, a little lad, 

In speaking make a figure ? 
You 're only joking, I 'm afraid, — 

Do wait till I am bigger. 
But since you wish to hear my part, 

And urge me to begin it, 
I '11 strive for praise, with all my heart, 

Though small the hope to win it. 
I '11 tell a tale how Farmer John 

A little roan-colt bred, sir. 
And every night and every morn 

He watered and he fed, sir. 
Said Neighbor Joe to Farmer John, 

" Are n't you a silly dolt, sir ? " 
Said Farmer John to Neighbor Joe, 

*' I '11 bring my little roan up, 
Not for the good he now can do, 

But will when he 's grown up." 
The moral you can well espy. 

To keep the tale from spoiling : 
The little colt, you think, is I, — 

I know it by your smiling. 
And now, my friends, please to excuse 

My lisping and my stammers ; 
I, for this once, have done n.y best. 

And so — I '11 make my manners.^ 

i.-Lorixjg's Hundred Orators. 


Samuel Veazie succeeded Mr. Howe in the brick school- 
house. He was a graduate of Harvard in the class of 
1800. After teaching school for a short period he de- 
cided to enter the ministry. It was not long after this 
that Mr. Veazie's health began to decline rapidly, and it 
was soon apparent that consumption had seized hold upon 
him. While very Aveak, and at the point of death, the 
house in wliich he was confined caught fire ; and it was 
with great difficulty that he was removed to a neighboring 
house, being exposed in one of the most severe snow- 
storms of the season. The exertion and exposure some- 
what hastened his death, which occurred the next day, 
February 6, 1809. 

Edward Holden first taught in Milton ; but he later 
moved to the Lower Mills, where he had charge of a 
school, about 1799, in the house of General Stephen 
Badlam, which was situated at the corner of the present 
Washington and River Streets. He subsequently entered 
business. His death occurred November 16, 1823. — Ben- 
jamin Vinton was master for a brief term. He was grad- 
uated at Harvard College in 1795, and made medicine his 
profession, being a surgeon during the so-called war with 
France in 1799. He died May 11, 1813. — Samuel Gould, 
who taught about this time, moved to West Roxbury when 
quite young, and later became a doctor, practising in Need- 
ham. After the death of his father Dr. Gould returned to 
the family homestead, and divided his time between ad- 
ministering to the minds and to the bodies. He was a 
thoroughly intelligent man, and was devoted to literature. 
It became a common saying among his neighbors, that to 
be " as polite as Dr. Gould " was to approach perfection 
in that branch of education. His death occurred No- 
vember 13, 1845. 

Benjamin Heaton, a graduate of Brown University, 
taught in the Butler School during the winters of 1798- 
99, and, owing to his extreme near-sightedness, was th^ 


victim of many school-boy pranks. While never actually 
ordained as a minister, Mr. Heaton often preached as a sub- 
stitute for absent pastors. His brother Nathaniel is said 
to have published a spelling book which bears his name. 
Mr. Heaton died June 8, 1800. A Mr. Peck succeeded 
Mr. Heaton. 

William Montague was graduated at Dartmouth College 
in 1784, and taught in what later became the Butler School 
in 1800-1. Mr. Montague later became rector of Christ 
Church, in Boston, in 1787, and soon after paid a visit to 
England, being the first Episcopal clergyman ordained in 
America who preached in an English pulpit. He died 
July 22, 1833. 

William Chandler taught in the second district in 1802. 
Mr. Chandler was another of the many graduates of Har- 
vard College, and was one of the most careful scholars 
who served as masters of the Dorchester schools. He was 
especially successful as a strict disci|)linarian, in spite of 
the fact that he had a very weak constitution. He died 
in 1850. 

Pearley Lyon taught in the Butler School in 1801-3, 
and died February 11, 1841. "He was liberal and public- 
spirited, and much esteemed by his fellow-citizens." — Lloyd 
Bowers Hall Avas graduated at Brown University in 1794, 
and taught the new school at the Lower Mills Village in 
1803. His death occurred in 1835. — Wilkes Allen was 
the first teacher in the brick schoolhouse in the first dis- 
trict, in 1802. Later he moved to Chelmsford, where he 
preached for thirty years. He wrote a history of that 
town, which is now a rare book. He received his degree 
from Harvard College in 1801, and died December 2, 
1845. — Abner Gardner deserves brief mention as a 
teacher in the Dorchester schools. He was a Harvard 
graduate ; and after spending several years of his life as 
a schoolmaster, he became a merchant. He died March 
29, 1818. 


Enoch Pratt was graduated at Brown University in 1808, 
and taught in the brick schoolhouse near the Old Burying- 
Ground in 1804, while studying for the ministry. Mr. 
Pratt was also a writer of no little merit. 

Griffin Child taught in the Butler School from 1803 to 
1806, being the last teacher who officiated in the old school- 
house. He received thirteen dollars a month and board for 
the six winter months, the town paying two dollars a week 
for the board. He afterwards taught the school at the 
Lower Mills, and later at Jamaica Plain. Hon. Ebenezer 
Everett says that, at the examination of the schools in 
Dorchester in the spring of 1807, " Mr. Child, who was 
quite an amateur instructor, bore away the palm from all 
of us." 

These brief biographies of the early schoolmasters of 
Dorchester give us a deep insight into the intelligence and 
enterprise of the inhabitants of the town from its begin- 
ning, and show how highly they estimated the value of 
learning. More than half of the teachers were natives of 
Dorchester; nearly all of them were college graduates, 
mostly from Harvard ; twenty-nine of them became clergy- 
men, several were afterAvards physicians, others were law- 
yers, and one became a famous judge, and another held 
the high position of lieutenant-governor of the colony. 
In the number of young men sent to college, Dorchester 
also ranks high ; and we may say with just pride that, in 
the liberality and broadness of her educational system, she 
has ever taken a prominent position among her sister 

The names of the women teachers have unfortunately 
not come down to us, except in a few instances. It is to 
be regretted that this is so; for their work was no less 
faithful and important than that of the men. 

Two centuries have almost passed away since a worthy 
schoolmistress .was laid at rest in .the .ancient Dorchester 


burying-ground. Over her body a quaint epitaph reads as 
follows : — 

formerly wife to Mr. John Smith 
who died October 19, 1706. 
An ancient School Mistress. 
A woman well beloved of all 
Her neighbors for her care of small 
Folks education, their numbers being great, 
That when she died she scarcely left her mate. 
So wise, discreet was her behaviours 
That she was well esteemed by neighbors. 
She lived in love with all to die, 
So let her rest to eternity. 

Nearly a hundred years have passed away since some 
kindly soul erected a stone in the same spot bearing the 
following simple inscription : — 

Here lies the body of 


who died the 16th of November, 1798, 

in the 75th year of her age. 

Poor " Ma'am Mima ! " This is all that remains to tell 
posterity of th^ faithful, honest, simple woman who strove 
to impart her limited learning to the pupils intrusted to 
her care. Each scholar brought her a weekly stipend of 
twelve and a half cents. Those among them who felt 
kindly disposed generously brought her pieces of wood for 
her fire, and simple food to eat ; for the poor woman " could 
not afford," as she said herself, " to have a dinner but once 
a week." As long as a single one of her pupils remained 
her memory occupied a cherished place in their hearts ; for 
her kindly offices were many, and her love and sympathy 
as unlimited as her resources were meagre. 

The town in 1803 was deemed insufficiently supplied 
with public schools. There were at this time, it will be 
remembered, but two annual schools, — the brick school- 
house on Meeting-House Hill, and the one on the present 


Washington Street, about a mile from the bridge at the 
Lower Mills. There were a few other schools, mostly of 
a private character, however, where young children were 
taught ; but the small number of public schools made it 
difficult for pupils to attend from the various districts. 
During this year, therefore. General Stephen Badlam, Dr. 
James Baker, John Howe, and Moses Everett were chosen 
a committee to erect four schoolhouses, having twelve 
hundred dollars appropriated to them for this purpose. It 
is not to be wondered at that the committee found this 
sum too small for the task given them ; and we can imag- 
ine that the generous donation of land by John Capen, Jr., 
was received by them with hearty thanks. Mr. Capen 
lived on what is now River Street. The land contained 
about five thousand feet 5 and it was given on the condition 
that a schoolhouse be erected upon it within a year, which 
should never be used for any other than its original pur- 
pose. When it ceased to be available for that purpose it 
was to revert to him or to his heirs. 

Another schoolhouse was built in the second district, on 
what is now known as Adams Street ; and the next year a 
third building was erected, on land given by Mr. Lemuel 
Crane, in what now became the fifth school district, extend- 
ing from the Dedham line to Boies's Mill. This new 
schoolhouse was so built as to accommodate sixty pupils, 
and contained a stove, — the only one in use for more than 
thirty years, — which was given to the school by William 
Sumner. This afterwards became the Butler School. It 
was originally a one-story building, neither plastered nor 
clapboarded, and thus was unfitted for use excej)t in sum- 
mer. It measured fourteen feet by twelve, having four 
glass windows, and one, without glass, closed with a wooden 

On August 26, 1805, the town passed certain regulations 
which were to be observed by the teachers in the public 


schools of Dorchester. Five years later, on June 27, 1810, 
these were modified and amended. These rules are given 
below in full, as they contain the last traces of the old 
requirements : — 



I. It is recommended that the several Instructors daily lead 
in a devotional exercise ; and it is expected that suitable atten- 
tion be paid by them to the morals of those under their charge, 
that they be instructed in the principles of Religion, as well as 
the various branches of human literature, suitably adapted to 
their age and standing. 

II. As the Scholars are divided into Classes, it is recom- 
mended that the following books be made a part of their 
studies, viz. 

For the Jfth Class — Child's First Book, and Mrs. Barbauld's 

For the 3d Class — Temple's Child's Assistant, Perry's Spell- 
ing book (new edition), Bingham's Young Lady's Accidence, 
the New Testament, and Bingham's Geographical Catechism. 

For the 2d Class — Bingham's Columbian Orator, Morse's 
Abridgement of Geography, and the Bible. 

For the 1st Class — Temple's Arithmetic, Miss Hannah Adams* 
History of New England, and the Bible. Also, the American 
Preceptor ; and the book dhected by the General Court to be 
used in Schools. For the more advanced, Pike's or Walsh's 
Arithmetic, or President Webber's Mathematics. 

III. Should it be found desirable that any other book or 
books than those above named should be introduced, the assent 
of the School Committee shall first be obtained. 

IV. A part of Saturdays shall be spent in the recitation of 
the Catechism ; and the Master shall hear the Children in that 
Catechism which they shall severally bring with a written re- 
quest from their Parents ; and they shall repeat, also, Hymns, 
or other lessons tending to promote Religion and Virtue, at the 
discretion of the Master. 


V. As to School hours, there shall be spent three hours at 
least, in the school, each half day ; and the several School 
Masters in the town, are allowed the afternoon of all town 
meeting days for the choice of public officers ; the afternoons 
of Saturday and Sacramental Lecture days, and those in which 
there is a public Catechizing ; the two Election days, the Fourth 
of July, Commencement day ; and if either of the Masters 
have any Scholar to offer to the College at Cambridge, he shall 
have liberty to attend to that business. 

VI. Children are not to be admitted to the Schools till they 
are able to stand up, and read words of two syllables, and keep 
then- places. 

VII. To prevent misconceptions between the School Masters 
and the School Committee, it is agreed that if dissatisfaction 
should arise in either party, or if the Instructor from other 
motives wishes to retire, three weeks' notice shall be given by 
either party for the discontinuance of the School. 

VIII. The teacher, for the stipulated sum agreed on, is to 
make out his bill quarterly for payment. 

IX. In case of vacancy in the instruction of either of the 
Schools, it shall be the duty of that one of the Committee, and 
of the Minister, in whose ward it shall happen, to provide a 
new Preceptor. 

X. It is recommended to the Town, that in future, the 
School Committee be chosen by written votes. 

[First passed August 26^ 1805; and with amendments and 
additions, June 21 ^ 1810.~\ 

During the period from 1807 to 1816, the sum of three 
hundred dollars per annum was allowed the district ; but 
in that year an annual school was established, alternating 
between the school in the " Lower Mills " and the new 
one in the " Upper Mills " district, in proportion to the 
number of children living east and west of " Capen's 
Brook." This new school became the Norfolk School. 
The system of alternating was continued until the district 
was divided, when the westerly part became the seventh 


school district, continuing as such until the districts were 
finally abolished by the town. 

Whenever the expense of building the schoolhouses 
exceeded three hundred dollars, the excess had to be 
met by the individuals directly affected. Thus, in a 
measure, the schoolhouses were owned by the inhabitants 
of the district; but their rights were finally surren- 
dered, and the buildings became the sole property of the 
town, on the agreement of the latter to maintain them 

In 1812 it was voted by the town to keep the annual 
school in the "brick schoolhouse by the north meeting- 
house." Before this time this school had alternated with 
what was later the Adams School, on the lower road, the 
brick building being used in summer, and the one on 
the loAver road in winter. This school, in direct line from 
the first one established, was later called the Mather School, 
in honor of the Mather family, and deserves particular 
attention. In it, the elder Deacon Humphreys tells us, 
there were three classes, the lowest being known as " the 
Psalter class," the intermediate as " the Testament class," 
and the highest as "the Bible class." Those who made 
up this last division had the distinction of being allowed 
to read two chapters at the beginning and close of the 
school day, but were made to pay for this privilege by 
being obliged to spell all the words contained in these 
two chapters, and to write and cipher. 

It is not inappropriate at this point to glance at the 
text-books which were at this time used in the Dorchester 
schools. Among the earliest was the old-fashioned " New- 
England Primer," not yet forgotten by many Dorchester 
inhabitants whose memory extends back to those early 
school days. This mention will undoubtedly recall the 
blue-covered book which was considered almost as much 
a part of the school as the teacher himself. As a writer 
truthfully says, " It stood as the undisputed standard of 



orthodoxy in the days of our fathers." Another "aid 
to learning" — more simple, indeed, but who can say less 
useful? — was the old ''horn book," which was used to 
introduce the youthful mind to the intricacies of the 
alj^habet. It consisted of a single leaf of coarse paper, 
on which the alphabet and the Lord's Prayer were printed. 
This was firmly glued on a thin piece of board, and 
covered over with horn to prevent its becoming soiled. 
It was from this cover that its name was derived. One 
of the requirements for admission to the grammar school 
was that the child should be able to read in the Primer. 

No other books were used in the school until about 
1765, when Dilworth's Spelling Book and Hodder's Arith- 
metic were introduced. Noah Webster's famous spelling- 
book came into use about 1783. It is said that two-thirds 
of the inhabitants of the United States at that time re- 
ceived the rudiments of their education from this book ; 
and the good people in Dorchester proudly stood on the 
side of the majority. Among the other books from which 
the early fathers learned the lessons of their childhood 
were Colburn's and Daboll's Arithmetic, Woodbridge's 
Geography and Atlas, Worcester's Friend of Youth, 
Wilkins' Astronomy, Lee's Spelling Book, Cummings's 
Pronouncing Spelling Book, Leavitt's Reading Lessons, 
Murray's English Reader, Whelpley's Compend of His- 
tory, Pierpont's Readers, and Walker's Dictionary. Such 
were the books used down to 1832, when a new selection 
was made by the school committee. 

Mr. John Kneeland, of the Boston Board of Supervisors, 
was a master in the Mather School, and on the occasion 
of the Dorchester Celebration in 1889 he referred to the 
school as follows : — 

" When I was given charge of the Mather School, in 1852, I 
thought that I had been lifted up into Paradise. I thought then, 
as I think noAv, that there is hardly a more beautiful spot on 
the earth for a school than Meeting-House Hill. The present 


Mather building is but a few years old.^ Its immediate prede- 
cessor, now used for primary classes, was dedicated September 
4, 1856. The building in which I served preceded that; it 
was two-story, having one school-room, with an anteroom on 
each floor. The lower room was occupied by the primary 
pupils, and the upper by the grammar. There were three 
teachers in all, and about one hundred and thirty pupils. Now 
there are in the Mather district nineteen teachers, and but few 
less than a thousand pupils." 

The Report of the School Committee for 1892-93 shows 
thcat there are twenty-four regular instructors, and 1,180 
pupils in this district. Edward Southworth is the present 
master of the school. 

In 1818 it was voted to put " the schoolhouse in District 
No. 2," the present Harris School District, " on the same 
footing as the other schoolhouses in the town." The 
annual appropriation for schools from 1820 to 1824 in- 
clusive, was twenty-three hundred dollars. The records 
give us an interesting glance at the estimated expenses 
for 1821: — 

Six Schoolmasters' salaries at $400 $2400 

Wood for six Schools, carting and sawing 96 

School at Squantum 43 

Ordinary repairs of Schoolhouses 65 

School Committee expenses 30 

Deduct school income 25 7 

To be raised by taxation $2,377 

An important step was taken when the committee to 
whom the subject of a high school had been referred 
reported in 1827 that it was "expedient to establish a 
high school ; otherwise the town exposes itself to heavy 
penalties." This report showed that those best acquainted 
with the educational needs of the town felt that the time 

1 It was built in 1872. 


had come to offer better advantages than could be found 
in the district schools ; but unfortunately the wise men 
were in the minority, and the report was not accepted. 

Mention should be made of an institution which existed 
about 1830, known as " Stoughton Hall." This building 
stood where the so-called '' Athenaeum " now is, at the 
junction of Pleasant, Pond, and Cottage Streets, and is 
well remembered by a few of Dorchester's present citizens 
as the place of learning where they acquired a portion, 
at least, of their early education. Perhaps the most 
famous of these scholars was George Bond, the astronomer. 
Governor Gardner also attended the school, and so did 
William Bond, Dr. Benjamin Gushing, and Zebedee Cook. 
The hall was also used for lectures and addresses of the 
upper classes of that day. Among those who attended 
these were the Hon. Perez Morton, Francis Everett, Dea- 
con Edward Sharp, Robert Richardson, William H. Rich- 
ardson, Deacon James Humphreys, and his son the present 
Deacon Henry Humphreys, Dr. William A. Alcott, Sam- 
uel Whitcomb, and William Harris. 

The lecturers included some of the most noted men of 
the day. Mr. Tischmacher spoke on the subject of Geol- 
ogy, Professor Webster, of Cambridge, on Chemistry, and 
Dr. William T. Harris on Entomology ; and among others 
who spoke on various topics were Dr. Oliver Wendell 
Holmes, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Professor Farrar, and 
Lucius M. Sargent. 

The Dorchester Academy was established in 1831, with 
a board of trustees comjDOsed of Rev. John Codman, D. D., 
president ; James Penniman, treasurer ; Joseph Leeds, sec- 
retary; James Leach, and Thomas Tremlett. The first 
principal was the Rev. Dr. Riggs, the now venerable mis- 
sionary at Constantinople. The school was begun in the 
house of James Penniman, on Washington Street, the 
present Walter Baker Mansion, until suitable quarters 
could be obtained. It proved very popular, and in 1832 it 


had 103 pupils enrolled. In the catalogue for that year 
are the names of many of Dorchester's most respected men 
and women during the last half-century ; and there are 
many living to-day whose thoughts go back to the old 
academy days with affectionate remembrances. The trus- 
tees spared no pains to make the academy a model in every 
way, their attention being equally divided upon the 
branches of study and deportment. "The principles of 
government," the early catalogue states, "are not tyran- 
nical and arbitrary. No principle is developed before there 
is occasion for its immediate use. Then the pupil under- 
stands that it is one which his own highest interest, and 
the highest interest of the whole, actually requires, — one 
which springs immediately from the relations which he 
sustains. Consequently the motive to obedience becomes 
strong and powerful. It is the same that will urge him to 
a faithful performance of duty in future life. It is that 
which will add to such a performance of duty the richest 
of earthly enjoyments, a consciousness of liaving done right. 
In case of disobedience, this happiness will be set in strik- 
ing contrast with the misery consequent upon a neglect of 
duty, and a violation of moral obligation. If the pupil's 
own mind is made to dwell suitably upon this contrast in 
the hour of private retirement and meditation, he will 
generally be sufficiently corrected, — not indeed by the rod 
of his teacher, but by that which is still more intolerable, 
the lashes of his own conscience." 

In spite of the tolerance of the above statement, extreme 
measures were occasionally employed. It is related that 
while the school sessions were still held in the Penniman 
House, the principal had a long attack of illness. The 
vacancy was filled by John Codman (who has since become 
so well known as the " Captain ") who was at that time at 
home on a vacation from Amherst College. The new prin- 
cipal celebrated his election to the honored position by 
administering a whipping to every boy in the school, with 


one exception. This exception, it is said, was made owing 
to the probability that the boy would reverse the order of 
exercises if an attempt had been made to apply the ferule. 
Never were more fervent prayers uttered than those for 
the recovery of the principal, Dr. Riggs ; but Mr. Codman 
was never accused of not preserving order in his school. 

At the end of some six or eight months the building for 
the Dorchester Academy was ready for occupancy ; and the 
school was removed from the Penniman House, which had 
been given up so generously for its use. The new build- 
ing was located on Washington Street, near the Second 
Church, and it still remains standing, after passing through 
the changes necessary to make it into a dwelling-house. 

The aggregate number of children in the public schools of 
the town in 1834 was 647, and the private schools cared for 
the instruction of 233. Five primary schools were estab- 
lished this year, to which children under seven years of age 
could be sent, at an expense of three dollars and twenty- 
five cents a week. 

In 1836 the several school districts of the town were 
renumbered ; the former lines, however, being retained. 
Before the establishment of the first annual schools the 
town created certain limits which were known as school 
districts. In 1801 these were more systematically arranged 
in four districts, another district being added soon after. 
In 1815 the lines Avere slightly altered so as to make six 
districts instead of five, and the seventh was added not 
long after. It was expected that parents would send their 
children to the school in the district where they lived ; but 
as a matter of fact the rule was never strictly enforced, 
and the children went to the nearest school, or to the one 
which for one reason or another was the most popular with 
the parents. The numbering of the schools this year, 
however, was very specific. No. 1 was known as the 
^' North Burying-Place ; " No. 2, ^'Rev. N. Hall's Meeting- 
House ; " No. 3, " Lower Road ; " No. 4, " Upper Road ; " 


No. 5, " Lower Mills ; " No. 6, '' Upper Mills ; " No. 7, 
" Southwest Part of the Town ; " No. 8, '' Neponset Vil- 
lage ; " No. 9, " Commercial Point ; " and, later, No. 10, 
*' Little Neck," and No. 11, '' Mount Bowdoin." 

The years 1836 and 1837 were important ones for the 
schools, no less than six new buildings being erected during 
that period. These were distributed one in each grammar 
school district, the total expense being covered by the sale 
of the land in South Boston donated to the town in 1655 
by John Clap, together with the apportionment to the town 
of the State surplus fund, which amounted to almost nine 
thousand dollars. Thus the burden of building these 
schoolhouses did not fall on the people, and left them free 
to appropriate the sum of four thousand dollars to go 
towards the support of the schools. 

The salaries of the school teachers then in service were 
increased to four hundi-ed and fifty dollars per year for 
instructors, and four dollars per week for the teachers be- 
longing to the gentler sex. This rise did not apply to any 
teachers who might be added to the schools, their salaries 
being left entirely to the discretion of the school commitee. 

In 181-1 the town granted the schools Wednesday after- 
noons from the middle of May to the middle of September. 
Six years previous to this, nine of the teachers had signed 
a petition asking to be excused from keeping school on 
these afternoons, and the town had granted their request. 
It was found necessary, however, for them to reconsider 
their vote, as more than three hundred persons signed a 
petition opposing the idea of allowing the schools this 
weekly half-holiday. 

In connection with this it will be interesting to see what 
holidays the teachers and childi-en were allowed during 
the second quarter of a centur3\ Saturday afternoon was 
regularly granted ; and special holidays were made of the 
afternoon of all tOAvn-meeting days, when public officers 
were elected. The last Wednesday in May and the first 


Monday in June were election days ; and no school was 
held on these occasions. The Fourth of July was also 
observed by the youthful patriots, and there Avas no school 
on Harvard Commencement Day. The sacramental lectr 
ures gave another opportunity for the youths and maidens, 
as well as the teachers themselves, to get a little relaxation 
from their work. The children were allowed to attend 
these lectures without losing their standing in the class, if 
such action was at the request of the parents. If the 
teacher wished to attend, he could dismiss the school 
earlier in the day. Twice a year the general " visitation " 
of the schools took place ; and at these times the com- 
mittee allowed the children a holiday either before or after 
the visitation, at the discretion of the teacher. The task 
of passing through these semi-annual examinations was 
such, however, that the teacher almost invariably chose the 
succeeding day for the holiday. During the early part of 
the century the teacher gained an extra day when the min- 
isters took the children in hand for the catechising. All 
school exercises were suspended on these occasions. If 
the teacher had a pupil whom he was fitting for college, 
he was allowed time to see that he took his examinations 
properly. The children of to-day would hardly change 
their school days for those which their parents and grand- 
parents enjoyed. 

It is interesting to note that in 1846 there were 1,354 
pupils who attended the sixteen schools which the town 
supported, the average attendance for the year being seven 
hundred and fifteen. 

In connection with the public schools of the town the 
fact should be mentioned that at this time there existed 
no less than ten private institutions of learning, which 
included one hundi^ed and sixty-eight scholars. The ex- 
pense for this instruction exceeded four thousand dollars, 
which Avas more than twice as much as the town appro- 
priated for the support of its sixteen schools. This is 


undoubtedly the largest number of private schools which 
have existed in Dorchester at any one time, as the wise 
action of the school committee, soon after this time, in 
improving the public opportunities for instruction has been 
continued with steady gain, and with this improvement 
there has been less demand for private teachers. 

The first step of the school committee in this direction 
was the establishing of intermediate schools in the first six 
districts and in the school at Little Neck, — afterwards 
called Washington Village, — whenever the aggregate aver- 
age attendance of children reached one hundred and thirty- 
five. The sum of twelve hundred dollars was a^Dpropriated 
by the town to enable the committee to accomplish its 
purpose. It was also voted to allow the committee to 
establish intermediate schools in Neponset village and in 
other districts at their discretion, whenever these schools 
contained at least twenty-five pupils who were too advanced 
for the primary classes. 

" The year 1848," the committee asserts, " is an im- 
portant and memorable one in the history of the Dor- 
chester schools, having been one in which more has been 
attempted, and it is believed more accomplished, than in 
any previous year." The appropriation for school pur- 
poses this year was certainly largely in excess of previous 
sums, amounting to thirty-one thousand dollars. With 
this almost all the schoolhouses were repaired or enlarged, 
and many important changes were made in the interest of 
the comfort of the pupils. A new building was erected 
at Little Neck, and another on Commercial Point and 
Harrison Square. This building was first used in 1849, 
when the primary school was removed to it from the house 
on the Point, and an intermediate school formed to meet 
the needs of the more advanced children. These two 
schools were later combined under the name of the i\Iav- 
erick School. Many improvements were also made tliis 
same year in the school arrangements for Neponset. 


During the next year the committee continued its good 
work by assigning to each school a name, instead of the 
numbers by which they had been designated. This change 
was not only intended to give the schools more individ- 
uality, but also to bring them " into association with some 
of the great and good men who have lived among us." 

In 1850 the subject of a liigh school was again agitated, 
— this time with more success. One hundred and eighty- 
three tax-payers of the town signed a petition asking the 
school committee '' to recommend to the town the immedi- 
ate establishment of a high school." This petition was 
discussed and reflected upon for two years, when action 
was finally taken. The sum of six thousand dollars was 
appropriated with which to erect a building, the location 
selected being on the School Pasture property, on the 
westerly side of South Boston and Dorchester turnpike, 
a little north of Centre Street. This spot was selected 
as being the most central position. 

The school was organized in December, 1852, with a 
membership of fifty-nine pupils of both sexes, represent- 
ing the Everett, Mather, Adams, Gibson, Winthrop, Nor- 
folk, and private schools. The first principal was William 
J. Rolfe, the present Shakespearian authority, who held 
the position for four years. Mr. Rolfe's successor was 
Jonathan Kimball, who remained for nine years. Elbridge 
Smith, the third master, was in charge of the school for 
the long period of twenty-four years, during which time 
he established a reputation which was second to that of 
no other Dorchester teacher. The present incumbent is 
Charles J. Lincoln, who was Mr. Smith's immediate 

Early in May 1858, a new primary school was opened 
in the vestry of the Methodist Meeting-House, at Port 
Norfolk, which was called the " Stoughton School." Two 
5^ears later the town erected a new building on River 
Street, and the Stoughton and Neponset schools were 


united under the name of the "Washington School." 
This school is now known by its original name, in honor of 
Gov. AVilliam Stoughton who was so prominent during the 
latter half of the seventeenth century. The late E. B. 
Robinson recalled the fact that there was an earlier school 
on River Street, wliich perhaps might be considered the 
predecessor of the Stoughton School. " I attended this 
school," said Mr. Robinson, " when but five years of age, 
it being kept at this time by Master Fairbanks. Three 
years later, in 1828, Davis Capen was in charge of the 
school, and his successors were Thomas P. Ryder and 
Dr. Dugan from Quincy. I well remember this latter 
teacher, who once gave me a severe flogging in mistake 
for one of the same name." There are now eleven regu- 
lar instructors and four hundred and fifty-six pupils in 
the Stoughton district, Edward M. Lancaster being the 

The new building for the Everett School was ready for 
occupancy February 25, 1856. The Hon. Edward Everett, 
for whom the school was named, was one of the speakers 
on this occasion, and in the course of his remarks he 
said : — 

" I hold, sir, that to read the English language well, that is, 
with intelligence, feeling, spmt, and effect, — to write with 
despatch a neat, handsome, legible hand (for it is, after all, a 
great object in writing to have others able to read what you 
write) , and to be master of the four niles of arithmetic, so as 
to dispose at once with accuracy of every question of figures 
which comes up in practical life, — I say, I call this a good 
education ; and if you add the ability to write grammatical 
English, with the help of a very few hard words, I regard it as 
an excellent education. These are the tools; you can do 
much with them, but you are helpless without them. They are 
the foundation ; and unless you begin with these, all your flashy 
attainments, a little philosophy, a little physiology, and a little 
geology, and all the other ologies and osophies^ are but ostenta- 
tious rubbish." 


This wooden building was located on Sumner Street, 
and was superseded in 1876 by the more commodious 
structure now known as the "Edward Everett School." 
The district now has twenty-one regular instructors and 
twelve hundred and seventy-two pupils. Henry B. Miner 
is the present principal. 

The Gibson Schoolhouse, on School Street, so called in 
honor of the early donor of the schools, Christopher 
Gibson, was built in 1857, a portion of the expense being 
met by generous gifts from the Hon. Edmund P. Tileston 
and Roswell Gleason. E. B. Robinson, mentioned on 
a preceding page, was also a pupil in a school in this 
vicinity which preceded the Gibson School. He says : " I 
attended Master Robert Vose's school in a lane opposite 
Roswell Gleason's store, near the 'Four Corners.' Vose 
was an expert at rod swinging, but was a good school- 
master. His son, Robert Vose, Jr., afterwards kept the 
same school for many years. Charles P. Kimball suc- 
ceeded the elder Vose ; and after him came Jeremiah 
Plympton, William K. Vail, and Amasa Davenport." In 
1881 the Gibson School was moved to the Atherton Build- 
ing, on Columbia Street, the building thus vacated being 
used for less advanced classes. The force of instructors 
in the Gibson district now numbers fourteen, who have 
six hundred and seventy-seven pupils under their charge. 
William E. Endicott is the principal. 

In 1860 the amount of money appropriated by the town 
for public education was thirteen dollars and eighteen 
cents for each child between the ages of five and eighteen. 
At this time Nahant and Brookline were the only towns in 
the Commonwealth which appropriated larger amounts of 
money per child for public school purposes. 

In 1861 another school building was erected, being situ- 
ated on Adams Street, and named the "Harris School," in 
honor of the Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, D.D., who was 
the pastor of the First Parish for many years. There are 


now fourteen instructors in this district, and six hundred 
and sixty pupils. N. Hosea Whittemore is at the head of 
the school. 

The Tileston School, located on Norfolk Street, Matta- 
pan, was named for the Hon. Edmund P. Tileston, for 
many years a foremost paper manufacturer in Dorchester. 
The building for this school was erected in 1868. Mr. 
Tileston presented the school with a clock, and at his 
decease he bequeathed to it his valuable library. There 
are five instructors and two hundred and seventeen pupils 
at present in this district. Hiram M. George is the 

When Dorchester was annexed to Boston, in 1870, the 
schools of the town came under the control of the city, 
and gained the benefit of the system there established; 
but in proportion to the number of pupils in the schools 
before annexation, as compared with the present number, 
ihe appropriations made by the city have been no more gen- 
erous than those of the town. Many Dorchester residents, 
indeed, feel that the union benefited the Boston schools 
quite as much as their own, and are proud to know that 
the excellent advantages noAV offered to the youth are due 
to the past efforts of the town itself no less than to the 
system which has made Boston the " Athens of America." 

In 1886 a new schoolhouse was built on Neponset Ave- 
nue for the Minot School, which had formerly occupied a 
building on Walnut Street, Neponset. The name of the 
school was chosen to perpetuate the memory of the Minot 
family. The corps of teachers in the district numbers 
eleven, and there are five hundred and thirty-nine pupils. 
The principal is Joseph T. Ward, Jr. 

On June 22, 1889, the two hundred and fiftieth anniver- 
sary was celebrated of the establishment of the Mather 
School, — the first free public school in America, sup- 
ported by a direct tax on the people. The exercises were 


held in a large tent, located on Meeting-House Hill, and 
were under the immediate direction of a special committee 
appointed for the purpose, consisting of Hon. Charles T. 
Gallagher, Mrs. Emily A. Fifield, Mr. Richard C. Hum- 
phreys, William A. Mowry, Ph.D., Liberty D. Packard, 
M.D., and Mr. Richard J. Walsh. 

At two o'clock a procession composed of the graduates 
of the Dorchester schools marched into the tent, each class 
being preceded by a banner bearing the name of the school. 
The girls seated themselves at the right of the stage and 
the boys at the left, leaving the centre of the platform to 
be occupied by the high-school graduates. 

The Rev. Arthur Little, D.D., pastor of the Second 
Church of Dorchester, offered prayer; after which the 
graduates joined in singing the unison chorus from 
Mendelssohn's " Fest Gesang " : — 

*' Learning dawned, its light arose; 
Thus the truth assailed its foes." 

Hon. Charles T. Gallagher, president of the school 
board, then delivered the address of welcome. After his 
remarks the Rev. Samuel J. Barrows, editor of the 
" Christian Register," was introduced. In the course of 
his address Mr. Barrows said: — 

' ' Dorchester has been generous in her gifts to the common- 
wealth. She began by giving herself away. She gave liberally 
of her soil, — a large slice to Stoughton, another slice to Milton. 
Afterwards she gave South Boston and Washington Village to 
the city of Boston ; and at last gave away all she had ; so that 
the city of Boston has 5000 acres of land which once belonged 
to this ancient town. She has been generous not only with her 
soil, but with its fruits. There have been reared in her garden 
some flowers which never before blossomed on this planet ; some 
fruits which never before regaled human lips. She has given to 
the country the still richer fruit of her own life-blood, as yonder 
monument will testify; but of all other contibutions to city, 
State, or nation, it seems to me none has such far-reaching and 


permanent significance as this contribution of a great idea em- 
bodied in a great institution, — the first free public school In the 
United States." 

William A. Mowiy, Ph.D., delivered the liistorical ad- 
dress. After briefly sketching the early history of the 
Dorchester schools, he said : — 

''If the Boston of to-day can justly claim (1) the establish- 
ment of the first New England town-meeting, and (2) can point 
to her Latin School as the first public school established for 
secondary education, and to the Mather School as the first school 
for which the people of a town were taxed, and if she shall 
receive from the future historian (3) the credit of her school 
committee, from Dorchester district, being the first school com- 
mittee of this broad land then appointed to oversee the first 
publicly supported school, — then, surely, we are warranted in 
considering this occasion as commemorating the planting of that 
seed which has germinated and grown to a great tree, which 
now furnishes a delightful and refreshing shade for the whole 

It had been expected that Governor Ames would be 
present at the celebration, but poor health forced him to 
decline ; and the chairman read his letter of regret, 
together with similar letters from Hon. J. W. Dickinson, 
Secretary of the Massachusetts Board of Education, and 
from Rev. Henry M. Dexter, D.D. Mr. Dickinson said in 
his letter : — 

"One of the most memorable events in the history of the 
Commonwealth is the establishment for the first time in the 
world of free public schools supported by a general tax. The 
early colonists seem to have had an intuitive idea that a free 
State and free public schools hold the relation of dependence 
on each other. They had no sooner come to the laud which 
they had chosen for their new home, and had provided for their 
immediate physical wants, and had erected their simple places 
of worship, than they established schools for the free education 
of all the children. Ever since that day the public school and 


the church have contributed each its peculiar educating power in 
promoting the welfare of a free people. Dorchester may well 
feel proud of having organized the first free common school 
supported by a common tax, and of having chosen Mr. Howard 
and Deacon Wiswall and Mr. Atherton to be the first town com- 
mon school committee known in the history of the race." 

Hon. Thomas N. Hart, mayor of Boston, made a few 
remarks, expressing his sympathy with everything which 
tended to benefit the schools. Edwin P. Seaver, A.M., 
Superintendent of the Schools of Boston, touched on the 
advantages Boston enjoyed in regard to schools, and the 
proportion of the city's population wliich was in daily 
attendance. Rev. Father Peter Ronan, of St. Peter's 
Church, Meeting-House Hill, followed Mr. Seaver. 

The chairman next introduced Mr. John Kneeland, a 
member of the Boston Board of Supervisors, who said : — 

' ' I have always remembered with pleasure the admhable 
manner in which the schools of Dorchester were managed by the 
school committee. The board consisted of business men and 
scholarly men, and the work was divided among them according 
to their particular taste and ability. Nothing was neglected. 
One member examined all the schools in reading twice a year ; 
another member, in grammar ; another, in arithmetic, and so in 
other studies. I have not known, in my experience, schools 
more thoroughly examined. I cannot refrain from mentioning 
some of these men to whom Dorchester owes so much, because 
of theu" advancement of its educational interests : Rev. Na- 
thaniel Hall, for some years chairman of the board ; Rev. 
Thomas B. Fox, and Rev. James H. Means, active members; 
Increase S. Smith, former preceptor of Derby Academy, in 
Hingham ; Ebenezer Clapp, ^ to whom much is due for those 
records quoted to-day ; Dr. John P. Spooner, who for many 

1 The chapters in the History of Dorchester (1859) from which the main 
facts referred to on this occasion were taken, were written by William B. 
Trask, and not by Mr. Clapp. It is proper to say here that the town is 
under great obligations to Mr. Trask for his labors in gathering together 
the records which refer to the schools. 


years looked out for the material interests of the schools ; 
William D. Swan, for many years a noted Boston master, and 
very influential in town affairs. Though not on the school com- 
mittee, Dr. Edward Jarvis and Samuel Downer, Jr., should not 
be forgotten." 

The exercises Avere continued by remarks made by 
William T. Adams, Esq., better known as " Oliver Optic; " 
Mr. George B. Hyde, a former master in the Everett 
School ; Mr. Charles Carleton Coffin, the famous war 
correspondent and journalist; Mr. Richard C. Humphreys, 
of the Boston school committee ; and Mrs. Emily A. Fifield, 
the chairman of the Dorchester Division committee. 

Among the Dorchester schoolmasters of the last fifty 
years the name of William D. Swan is especially prom- 
inent. He began life as a mechanic ; but while yet a 
young man he began to teach, — first in Dorchester, and 
later in Charlestown and Boston. He then entered the 
book business, and as one of the firm of Hickling, 
Swan, and Brewer, was one of the prime movers in pub- 
lishing Worcester's Dictionary. He published many 
school-books, among which were Hilliard's Readers, of 
which Dr. Benjamin Cushing relates the following anec- 
dote : " When I was at the South, during the war," writes 
Dr. Cushing, "as I was walking from Fortress Monroe 
to the hospital, on Hampton Beach, where I was stationed, 
I saw an old negro, one of the contrabands, sitting by the 
wayside intently looking over a book. I was curious to 
see what interested him so much, and looking at it I found 
it to be ' First Primary Reader, Hilliard's Series.' " 

Mr. Swan was a man of great energy, wit, and humor : 
and he was loved by his friends and hated by his enemies : 

" Lofty and sour to them that loved him not, 
But to those men that sought him sweet as summer." 

He met with reverses late in life, and his last years were 
passed in retirement. He once said that he wanted no 
better epitaph than this: "He taught childi-en." 



The building for the Henry L. Pierce School, the latest 
and most elegant of the school structures in the Dorchester 
limits, was dedicated May 19, 1892. The pupils in this 
district had formerly occupied a building on Thetford 
Street, two dwelling-houses on Armandine Street, and the 
vestries of the chapel on Stanton Street, — all of which 
accommodations were totally inadequate. The building is 
situated on Washington Street, on the location of the colo- 
nial mansion where General Henry Knox lived in 1784, 
and which Daniel Webster occupied about 1822. Portraits 
of General Knox, Mr. Webster, and Hon. Henry L. Pierce, 
for whom the school was named, are hung in the exhibition 
hall. There are now nine hundred and seventy-seven chil- 
dren in this district, and eighteen teachers. Horace W. 
Warren is the head-master. 

The building erected for the Henry L. Pierce School is 
a fitting close to the history of education in Dorchester 
from the establishment of the first " free schoole " to the 
present day. It seems to be the croAvning stone to the 
monument on which the inhabitants of the town have 
labored, little by little, for more than two centuries and a 
half. The building itself is not more superior to the first 
primitive, thatched-roof schoolhouse than is the quality of 
the present instruction in advance of that offered by the 
early schools. The people of Dorchester may well feel 
proud, not only of having established the first free school, 
in the days of the infancy of the town, but also of being 
able to offer their children to-day the best educational 
opportunities which the world affords. 

rmi ' 





r r 





^OOD Old Dorchester, in spite of its rich 
traditions, has allowed the progress of the 
modern era to surmount the feelings of 
pride which those who loved the associa- 
tions of a bygone age have ever cherished 
towards the memorials wliich seemed to 
bind the present with the past. Until within a few years 
several buildings were standing which had sheltered suc- 
cessive generations from the period of the early fathers 
down to the modern age ; some still remain, furnishing 
the historian with interest and the lover of the ancient 
with delight ; — but unfortunately most of them have been 
destroyed or removed. 

It will be remembered that the first two years in the 
history of the Dorchester Plantation were occupied by the 
settlers in providing for the immediate necessities of life, 
and in erecting temporary shelter for themselves and their 
families. These rude houses were mostly built of logs, 
being covered with thatch, which grew in great quantities 
upon the salt marshes. As the condition of the people 
improved, they built better habitations ; in the construction 
of which they used oak beams, hewn out of trees which 
they found growing in the vicinity. It is due to the fact 
that the first settlers chose the sturdy oak, which is so 

356 GOOD OLD DORCilESTEK. [l630. 

characteristic of the people themselves, for the construction 
of their dwellings, that their work lasted for so many 
years, and enabled their descendants to gain from it an 
insight into the lives and characters of their ancestors. 


This old house, situated on Washington Street, nearly 
opposite Melville Avenue, was built by Barnard Capen,^ 
between 1630 and 1637. This places it among the first 
houses built in the town, and makes it the oldest of 
those now standing. It is the second oldest house in 
New England. With the exception of one year, the house 
has always been in the possession of some branch of the 
Capen family. 

Within the memory of the oldest inhabitants of Dorches- 
ter, Mrs. Ann Capen occupied the old house. She was 
born in 1770, and was married here in 1792. Eight years 
later she was a widow Avith one child, — the only survivor 
of the four which had been born to her. The memories of 
the house were naturally surrounded by sadness and gloom, 
and after the death of her husband the young widow left 
Dorchester for eight years. At the end of this period, time 
had lightened her sorrows, and she returned to the old 
place, where she kept house for her bachelor brother until 
1828. Mrs. Davenport, who still lives near the old home, is 
her grandchild. 

John Hewins, the present owner and occupant, is a 
distant relative of Mr. Capen, and he purchased the prop- 
erty in 1833. His memory of the house extends back to 
his boyhood, when he made a visit to an aunt who at the 
time owned the house, and lived in it. At the time Mr. 
Hewins purchased the property it included the land lying 

1 The name of Barnard Capen has been mentioned in many places as 
Bernard. The spelling adopted here, however, seems to be tiie correct one. 
Cf. N. E. Hist. Gen. Reg. 1847, vol. i. p. 137, and 1848, vol. ii. p. 80. 

See illustration on page 137. 


back of the house to the next street and to Wasliington 
Street on the front. He has altered it in some respects, by 
adding several rooms to the house, and by building a shed ; 
but it still retains much of its ancient aspect. Within 
the house, the ceiling is very low, and the beams project 
below the plaster. The farthest end of the house, consist- 
ing of four or five rooms, was built first ; and some hun- 
dred years later the end nearest the street was added. 
The house was built on one side with especial reference 
to protection from the Indians ; and the present owner 
has found several arrows, during his residence there, which 
had been sent with hostile intention by the wily savages 
against the home-fortress of his ancestors. 

Although this ancient house remains in so excellent a 
condition, even after more than two hundred and fifty 
years, there is but little record of the original owner whose 
name it bears. That he did his part in laying the early 
foundation of the town, there can be no doubt; but he 
did not live long enough to witness its progress and pros- 
perity. He died in 1638, and was the first person to be 
buried in the Old Burying-Ground. The old stone placed 
over his grave was found under ground, and within a few 
years another has been erected, on which the original in- 
scription has been chiselled, as follows : — 


lies the bodies of 

Mr. Barnard Capen 

& Mrs. Joan Capen, his 

wife ; He died Nov. 8 

1638, Aged 76 years 

and she died March 

26, 1653 

Aged 75 years. 

This is believed to be the oldest inscription in the 
United States, excepting perhaps one or two at James- 
town, Virginia. 



An earlier chapter ^ contains an account of Roger Clap, 
who was one of the most prominent of the early company 
which came over in the " Mary and John," in 1630. Little, 
however, seems to have been written in regard to his Dor- 
chester home, which was situated on the present Willow 
Court. Mr. William B. Trask, who occupied tlie house in 
its present condition for seventeen years, investigated the 
history of the ancient structure ; and from the results of 
his search it seems possible that a portion of this building 
is perhaps older than any other " early home " in the town. 
The following extracts are taken from an article on this 
subject recently published ^ by Mr. Trask : — 

"Roger Clap was born in England in 1609, came to Dor- 
chester in the ' Mary and John,' 1630, married Johanna Ford in 
1633, when he was about twenty-four years old, his wife being 
then but five months over sixteen years of age. Of the four- 
teen children born to them, ten bore the following names, viz., 
two by the name of Experience, Waitstill, Preserved, Hopestill, 
Wait, Thanks, Desire, Unite, and Supply. Seven lived to matu- 
rity. These were persons of more than ordinary abihty and 
influence, as may be seen by referring to the volume entitled 
the ' Clap Memorial.' 

" ' Such a Bright Family How rarely seen, 
No Ishmael, Esau, Dinah found therein.' 

"Of the father, it is said, 'His Greatness, Goodness was.* 
Roger is first mentioned in the Town Records, as we have them, 
in 1633, the year of his marriage, and not unlikely his house 
was built not far from that date. If so, the portion of the 
original building now standing may be older than any other 
house, or part of a house, in Dorchester. It is conjectured 
Captain Clap occupied it until 1665, when he removed with his 
family to the Castle, where he was commander about twenty- 
one years. A century or so later, or in 1767, the house was 

1 Ante, p. 92. 2 Dorchester Beacon. 


enlarged by Captain Lemuel Clapp, of the fifth generation from 
Nicholas, a cousin of Roger, with additions, as we have been 
informed, on the front, and at the ends and rear. On the third 
of November of the next year, 1768, Captain Lemuel married 
for his second wife Miss Rebecca Dexter, daughter of the Rev. 
Samuel Dexter, of Dedham. They naturally looked around for 
paper to adorn the walls of the east, or best room in the house. 
It is presumed they consulted the columns of the ' Boston Ga- 
zette' for April 20, or perhaps May 9, 1768, and saw there the 
advertisement of Ziphion Thayer, an elder brother of Marshal 
Arodi Thayer, a well-known character in Dorchester, who offi- 
cially arrested John Hancock, in connection with the sloop 
' Liberty ' affair. Ziphion Thayer advertised in said paper, ' A 
Large Assortment of Paper Hangings, Cheap for Cash,' ' just 
imported from London,' to be sold at his store, called the 
' Golden Lyon.' No other newspaper in Boston, that we can 
learn, advertised such a luxury. So thither, doubtless, the 
newly wedded or to be wedded couple wended their way, and 
made a selection of choice paper for then- special purpose. It 
proved a superior article, in gay colors, having columns wreathed 
with flowers of a bright hue, with much ornamental work on 
the surface of the paper, making the room, when finished, pre- 
sumably, one of the handsomest apartments at that time in 
the town of Dorchester. This paper remained on the walls, 
some of it in a fair condition, for one hundred and four years, 
having been taken off in 1872, on the death of Miss Catherine 
Clapp, in her ninetieth year, the last survivor of the family born 
in that house. Some of this centennial paper, in our possession, 
was taken off at the time we left the house, after a residence 
there of seventeen years. 

^' The last mentioned Captain Clapp was a commander in the 
war of the Revolution. Some of the officers and soldiers were 
quartered at his house. A short distance from thence were bar- 
racks for the men, who attempted, it is said, to tear off the 
paper from the walls to adorn then- hats, but without success, it 
being so adhesive. The bayonet marks made by the soldiers 
are, or were, to be seen in the ceiling of the chamber above. In 
front of the house, a few years ago, were five large willow trees, 


the aggregate girth being one hundred and five feet. They have 
since gone to decay, and Willow Court, once so beautiful and 
attractive, is robbed of its romance and loveliness." 


Among the earliest houses of the town should be 
included that occupied, by Jonathan Bridgham during his 
entire life of ninety-one years. It was situated on Cottage 
Street, at the junction of Humphreys and Franklin Streets, 
and was probably built some time before 1637. Robert 
Pond, who died that year, was its owner. In May, 1873, 
the building was removed in order to widen the street. 


The Pierce House, now standing on Oak Avenue, and 
which is among the best preserved of the ancient land- 
marks, was built by Robert Pierce about 1640. The story 
goes that Mr. Pierce was one of the company on board the 
good sliip " Mary and John," and that, when the party was 
landed at Nantasket Point, he made his way, with others, 
to the Neponset River, and settled on what was known for 
many years as "Pine Neck." As Mr. Pierce belonged 
to one of the most respected families among the early 
settlers, it seems probable that if he had come on the 
" Mary and John " his name would have been mentioned 
in connection with some of the earliest land grants. The 
Town Records, however, do not mention Mr. Pierce's 
name until 1639, when, "at a Generall meeteing in Janu- 
ary it is ordered that Robert Pierce shall be a Commoner," 
— the only case known in the history of the town. In 
the list of those to whom orants of land were made 
March 18, 1637, the name of Robert Pierce is included; 
but it is written last, and, with that of Tho. Tredwell, is 
in a different colored ink, — making it probable that it 
was a later entry. 

1 See illustration on page 165. 


The uncertainty in regard to Mr. Pierce, however, does 
not affect the date of the erection of the house, as it is not 
questioned that Robert came to Dorchester a few years, at 
least, before his name is mentioned on the records. He is 
supposed to have moved upon the hill, his boundary lines 
running about forty rods wide from north to south from the 
tidewater on the east, and a long distance west, the Minot 
property bounding his on the south. He was known as 
Robert Pierce of ''y^ greate lotts." 

It is interesting to glance briefly at the history of the 
family from which the Dorchester Pierces trace their 
descent. The name was originally " Percy " or " Percie," 
and Robert Pierce was related to the Perc3-s of Northum- 
berland. George Percie, who was a prominent member of 
John Smith's Virginia colony, was also an ancestor. Tra- 
dition goes back farther still, claiming that the line can be 
traced to Godfrey of Bouillon, and includes the name of 
Harry Hotspur. Marion Harland writes ^ of them : — 

" The American branch of the ancient race were people of 
marked individuality from the date of then landing. To fru- 
gality and industry, they added stern integrity, strong wills, 
bravery, and, like sparks struck from iron, fire of disposition 
and speech that kept alive in the memory of contemporaries 
the tale of the Hotspur blood. They had many children, as a 
rule, brought them up with equal vigor and rigor, and lived long 
in the land they believed the Lord had given them." 

The family have still in their possession several pieces 
of furniture which Robert is said to have brought with 
him. Among these are an oak bureau, a small, light 
stand, a mirror, and a Malacca cane, silver banded, with 
an ivory head. The most valued relic, perhaps, consists 
of two small cakes of bread, now hardened and discolored 
by age, but still intact. These heirlooms are among the 
few which now remain, — relics of the bygone age, — 
connecting the past with the present. 

1 The Homeraaker, February, 1889. 


Goodman Pierce married Amie, daughter of John Green- 
oway, one of the first settlers of Dorchester. Robert died 
January 11, 1664; but Anne outlived her husband by 
thirty-one years, reaching, according to her gravestone, 
the rare age of 104 years. 

The frame of the house is of Massachusetts black oak, 
not unlikely grown in '^y^ greate lotts." Great beams, 
twelve by fourteen inches thick, are pinned together like 
the ribs of a shij), giving a heavy appearance to the low, 
wainscoted rooms. The deep windows, with Avindow- 
seats, are closed with the same wooden shutters which 
were put up to defend the early occupants from the attacks 
of the Indians. Between the outer walls is the identical 
seaweed, gathered when the house was first built, to serve 
the double purpose of protecting the inmates from the 
severe cold of the wdnter, and also to serve as a safe- 
guard against the sharp arrows of the savages. As a 
further protection from Indian attacks, there was a trap- 
door in the garret which led to a secret chamber, so inge- 
niously constructed that- now that the flooring has been 
laid solidly above it, one examines the lower story in vain 
for a trace of the room, which is at least six feet square. 
Succeeding generations have made additions or slightly 
altered the house, but parts of it stand substantially to-day 
as they did when Robert Pierce bequeathed the dwelling to 
liis son Thomas in 1664. At that time this and the Minot 
House were the only dwellings in the immediate vicinity. 

The will which he left is a most interesting docu- 
ment, which closes with these words: "And now my 
Dear child a ffathers Blessing I Bequeath unto both you 
and yours, bee Loving and kind one unto another. Stand 
up in your places for God and for His Ordinances while 
you Live, then hee will bee for you and Bless you." 

Thomas Pierce continued to improve the estate ; and in 
1696 built the barn, the frame of which is now in a stable 
on the estate. He married Mary, daughter of William 


Fry, of Weymouth, and they were the parents of nine 
children. Thomas died October 26, 1706, at the age of 
seventy-one. His will, dated June 1, 1704, gives the fol- 
lowing property to his son John. It is of special interest, 

as it shows the extent of the estate : — 

£ s. d. 

The house and twenty-five foot of barn 70. 00 00 

20 acres upland adjoining to said house 100. 00 00 

6 acres upland and mead bought of Mr. Minot .... 42. 10 00 

10 acres meadow bought of Mr. Minot 80. 00 00 

4 " woodland " John Wales 6. 00 00 

9 " land in third district 13. 00 00 

10 1-2 acres upland at Popes Hill 42. 00 00 

9 " " Mrs. Marther's thirds 28. 00 00 

One cane 00. 8. 00 

Three old coats 00. 6. 00 

Two yards Scotch cloth, one silk handkerchief .... 00. 8. 00 

One shirt, one green rug, one sea bed, two hammers . . . 00. 11. 00 

Two turning tools, fishing lines, with fifteen pounds of lead 00. 07. 00 

Five pounds shot, one gun ( 2£), an old iron, 4s in cheese 2. 19. 00 

Two spoons, hemp, shingle nails in beans ...... 1. 4. 00 

In corn, stone and glass bottles, books, bags 3. 00 00 

Reserved in cash 00, 5. 00 

John Pierce, who thus became the owner of the house, 
was a famous sportsman, and is said to have killed more 
than thirty thousand brants. He was a member of the 
Church, and a pious man. An anecdote is related which 
illustrates the character of the man, as well as of the times. 
It was the custom of the men in this region to shave not 
oftener than once a week, and the time chosen for the per- 
formance of this duty was usually Saturday afternoon, in 
order to be in presentable condition on the Lord's day. On 
one Saturday afternoon John Pierce was later than usual 
in beginning his weekly task. Perhaps his duties about 
the farm had delayed him, or perhaps he had followed his 
gun too long, — at all events, the sun sank below the hori- 
zon just as he had removed the beard from one-half of his 
face. It will be remembered that the Sabbath began at 
sunset on Saturday night ; and as the last ray disappeared, 


the worthy man silently wiped his razor, and laid it aside. 
On the following day John led, as usual, his wife and chil- 
dren to church, sitting imperturbably beside them in the 
pew with one half of his face cleanly shaved, and the other 
half bristling Avith the week's stubble. 

When John Pierce died in 1744, he left the property to 
his son Samuel, who, in turn, bequeathed it to his son 
Samuel, who, during the War of the Revolution, held first 
a commission as captain under George III., signed by 
Thomas Hutchinson, and dated October 21, 1772, which 
he gave up ; and later took a commission as lieutenant- 
colonel, signed by the major part of the Council of Massa- 
chusetts Bay, dated February 14, 1776. Both of these 
commissions are in the possession of the family. 

Colonel Samuel Pierce is perhaps the most prominent of 
the early possessors of the family estate. ^ His habits were 
said to be simple and methodical, his rules of life and con- 
duct few and inflexible ; and in domestic life he is said to 
have been a martinet. At twelve o'clock each day he 
came home to dinner, and in passing the corner of the 
kitchen he would cough loudly and meaningly. From 
that moment until he departed for the labors of the after- 
noon, not one of the children who took dinner with their 
parents dared to utter a word. 

The right end of the Pierce House, as it now stands, 
was built by Colonel Samuel at the time of his marriage. 
A spacious parlor, constructed after his idea, had the large 
number of nine doors. During his occupancy, on February 
5, 1776, thirty-eight soldiers. came into the house. 

Lewis Pierce inherited the house on the death of his 
father, and lived in it up to the time of his death in 1871. 
He served his country in the War of 1812, as Colonel 
Samuel had done in the Revolution. During his residence 
in the house, the large fireplace in the family sitting-room 
was altered to adapt it to modern requirements, and the 

1 Ante, p. 158. 


beam running across the throat of the chimney was taken 
out. The removal of this beam disclosed a cavity in the 
masonry above, left by taking out one brick. Within this 
was found a pair of slippers, which had been placed there 
perhaps two hundred years before. Were they part of 
Anne GreenoAvay's wedding trousseau, or did they belong 
to some winsome dame of a later generation ? 

Lewis Francis Pierce, son of Lewis, was the next owner 
of the house. Upon his death in 1888, the house came into 
the hands of its present possessor, William A. Pierce. In 
all its history the house has never been out of the posses- 
sion of a male descendant of the family. Handed down, 
as it has been from father and son for more than two hun- 
dred and fifty years, we may consider it as a proof of the 
industry and sterling Avorth of the early fathers, who built 
not for the present only, but for " succeeding generations." 


The exact date of the erection of the Minot House is 
not known, but it is certain that it is among the oldest in 
the town. Josselyn, writing in 1663, on the occasion of 
his second voyage to Ncav England, mentions it among 
others, and the Minot family place the date about 1640. 
The house was situated on Chickatawbut Street, and was 
built by George Minot, an elder of the Church. 

The house was typical of the construction of those early 
days, — a wooden structure with its frame solidly filled 
Avith bricks, either for durability or to make it bullet-proof. 
So solidly was it built that it withstood the effects of time, 
yielding only to the flames, which destroyed it in Novem- 
ber, 1874. 

Here was brought the old cradle Avhich came over in the 
"Mary and John," in Avhich the Avor thy Puritan rocked 
his sturdy offspring, and Avliich is one of the fcAv relics of 
the bygone age Avhich have been left to us. Mrs. Bernard 

1 See illustration on page 75. 


Whitman, in an entertaining article on " Early Dorches- 
ter," ^ thus speaks of this interesting heirloom : — 

"It was only an oaken cradle that attracted my attention; 
but two hundred and fifty-nine years ago the old oaken cradle 
made a voyage in the good ship ' Mary and John ' from Dorches- 
ter in England to what is now Dorchester in New England ; and, 
from that day to this, the babies of the Minot family have been 
rocked to sleep in the old cradle. It is battered and worn ; 
solid, but rude in its best days ; the knobs at the corners whit- 
tled, perhaps gnawed by the wee toddlers who, steadying them- 
selves in their uncertain steps, followed the savage instinct of 
humanity, and strengthened theh little jaws on the oaken balls 
which must have seemed providentially placed within theii* 
reach. But the interest of the cradle is not the interest of the 
babyhood of humanity alone. Those worn knobs, the solid 
rockers, the panelled sides, and the ancient hood, rouse thrill- 
ing memories of the infancy of our country, of the men who 
came and settled in the wilds of New England, who fought and 
toiled and prayed for her welfare, and made sacrifices we little 
dream of, that we should reap the harvest where they sowed 
the seed." 

The cradle is now in the possession of Joseph Grafton 
Minot, Esq., of Boston. 

More famous than the house itself, perhaps, is the legend 
of the heroism of a maid-servant in the family of John 
Minot, during King Philip's War, in 1675, which has be- 
come associated with it. One Sunday morning, " in sermon 
time," a straggler from Philip's band came to the house, 
and tried to enter. It happened that a maid-servant and 
two young children were alone in the house at the time, 
but the girl proved equal to the emergency. She took in 
the situation at a glance, and quickly concealed the chil- 
dren beneath two brass kettles. Then, running up stairs, 
and taking down the family musket, she prepared her- 
self to defend her castle. The Indian discharged his gun, 

1 New England Magazine. 






but fortunately his aim was poor. The girl, however, was 
more successful ; for her shot hit the intruder in the 
shoulder just as he was getting in at the window. Fu- 
rious at the opposition, the Indian dropped liis gun, and 
again made a desperate attempt to gain an entrance, but 
the brave girl had not yet exhausted her resources. Seiz- 
ing a shovel, she tilled it with live coals from the fii-e- 
place near by, and thrust them in his face. This was 
too much, and with a savage yell the Indian fled to the 
woods, where he was found dead soon afterwards. It is 
said that "the Government of Massachusetts Bay pre- 
sented this brave young woman with a silver wristband, 
on which her name was engraved, with tliis motto : ' She 
slew the Narragansett hunter." 

Elder George Minot, the builder of the house, was one 
of the first settlers of the tov/n, and he owned the land 
which has been known as " Squantum." He was made a 
freeman in 1634, and was a representative to the General 
Court in 1635 and 1636. He was a ruling elder of the 
Church for thirty years, and died December 24, 1671, in the 
seventy-eighth year of his age. " His death," say the 
records, "was much lamented by the town, whose weal 
he sought, and liberties defended." He was a contem- 
porary with Elder Humphrey, and it is said that the 
following lines were once to be found in the Old Buiying 
Ground : — 

" Here lie the bodies of Unite Humphrey and Shining Minot, 
Such names as these, they never die not." 


The house which still bears the name of the " Blake 
House " was undoubtedly built previous to 1650 by Elder 
James Blake. In his will he bequeathed his property to 
his son in the following terms : — 

" I give and bequeath to my son John Blake & his heirs, my 
Dwelling house. Barns, Orchard, Yard, Garden, and ten acres 


of Land adjoyning more or less, it being partly Upland & 
partly Meadow." 

James Blake was a prominent man in the affairs of the 
town, holding some public office every year from 1658 to 
1685. He was selectman for thirteen years ; and also served 
as rater, constable, deputy to the General Court, clerk of the 
writs, recorder, and sergeant in the military company, a 
position which at that time was considered a post of honor. 
He was deacon of the Church for fourteen years, and was 
ruling elder for about the same length of time. His death 
occurred June 28, 1700. 

The Blake House remained in the family until 1825, 
when other owners took possession of it. From time to 
time alterations and additions have been made ; but por- 
tions of the house remain to-day substantially as they did 
when the worthy elder bequeathed it to his heir. It is now 
standing in the rear of 150 East Cottage Street. A pic- 
ture of the house as it now appears is to be found on 
page 63. ; 


The Gardner House, formerly on Pleasant Street, has 
been recently taken down, and a modern structure has been 
placed on its site. It cannot be ascertained by whom this 
building was erected, but it certainly antedates the Revo- 
lution by several years. In the early part of this century 
Ebenezer Niles was the owner of the house ; but it is not 
certain that the original owner was his ancestor. Mr. 
Niles was a merchant on Central Wharf, being a member 
of the firm of Newell & Niles. After Mr. Niles gave 
up his residence here, the house came into possession of the 
Gardner family, and, owing to the prominence attained by 
Governor Gardner, will go down to history as the " Gardner 

The building became well known for another reason 
than the fact that it was the residence of Governor 


Gardner. Nothing, in Dorchester at least, ever approached 
it for eccentricity of construction. Its appearance was 
that of the upper part of an excursion steamer, the build- 
ing being long and rounded at either end. These round 
ends were added to the house by Governor Gardner's father. 
The eaves were surmounted with a low balustrade, and a 
piazza encircled the entire building. That the eccentricity 
of the exterior was carried within is shown by the fact 
that one room is said to have been papered with the news 
journals of the day. 

The reminiscences of Captain John Codman, in connec- 
tion with this house, wliich appeared some years ago,^ give 
so excellent a picture of Dorchester life at that time that 
they are quoted here at length : — 

'' Dr. Gardner gave a party. There was nothing remarkable 
about that, but it was an innovation. It was non-sectarian, 
and such a thing had not been known since sectarianism in all 
its acrimony developed in the early days of this century. Be- 
fore that time parties were common enough, and no one asked 
if they were Orthodox or Unitarian, simply because those terms 
were not known. It is a mistake to suppose that the first set- 
tlers of Dorchester were bigoted Calvinists. The covenant of 
the First Church, adopted in 1636, and for aught I know sub- 
scribed to to-day, was liberal and all-embracing ; so that for 
more than a century and a half people lived peaceably under it, 
died happily, and all went to heaven together. But the time 
came for emphasizing the ' distinctive doctrines,' and the dis- 
covery was made by a party in the community that a belief in 
something our fathers never concerned themselves about was 
absolutely necessary for salvation; and that henceforth the 
Almighty would make the distinction. This is why these doc- 
trines were called ' distinctive.' 

*' People were not content to fight the battle out in church, 

but they carried the warfare into their homes, to the sorrow 

especially of the children. The decrees of God and the text of 

the Assembly's Catechism, which were quite as unintelligible, 

1 Dorchester Beacon. 



did not concern us a bit. But it was a great deal to us that 
we were separated from our playmates, and that the pall of the- 
ology was thrown over the innocent enjoyments of our lives. 
I do not think that the ' Unitarian controversy ' was for the 
advantage of anybody in this world or the next ; and I believe, 
now that we hear no more of it, we are all happier and quite as 

" It was not so when Dr. Gardner gave his party and aston- 
ished his friends and enemies in religion by sending out his 
invitations without regard to age or sex or ' previous condition 
of servitude ' in religion. He was a Unitarian, and he invited 
the Orthodox minister as well as his own. Orthodox and Uni- 
tarian deacons met face to face, and actually shook hands and 
drank punch to the health of each other, for rum was not then 
forbidden by the doctrines of either. 

" The party was for a long time the town talk. Many ap- 
proved of the bold stand taken by Dr. Gardner, but many 
ominously shook their heads. 

' ' It was in winter ; the sleighing was excellent. Old and 
young, as I have intimated, participated in the festivity. Our 
double sleigh was capable of holding only my father and mother, 
my two elder sisters, and myself. There was no room for the 
' hired man,' and so I was the driver. The bells jingled merrily 
in the clear, frosty air, and we speedily slid over the intervening 
two miles. I brought the sleigh up to the front doorstep as 
cleverly as I have since laid a steamer alongside the dock, and, 
discharging my passengers, drove on to the stable. There Dr. 
Gardner's ' hired man ' awaited me, and assisted me in blanket- 
ing my horses and making all snug. ' Now, then,' said he, 
' come into the kitchen, and I will introduce you to our help. 
What 's your name ? ' 

" Somehow the spirit moved me on the instant~tb" f all in with 
his mistake. 'Oh, they all call me John,' I said, 'and that's 
name enough.' 

" ' Well, come along.' 

' ' We entered the kitchen door together, and inhaled a pleas- 
ant aroma, combined of escalloped oysters, cake, coffee, punch, 
and various other eatables and drinkables. The cook was 


attending to her duties around a blazing wood fire, over which 
various utensils hung on the crane, while she occasionally 
opened the door of the brick oven, just to see how the cake was 
getting on. She was a comely woman, was Mrs. Withington, 
to whom I was first introduced, and her complexion was height- 
ened by her occupation. 

'' 'Sit right down,' she said cheerily, ' and take a cup of hot 
coffee, for you must be e'enamost froze.* 

" The offering was most welcome. 

" ' John,' said my escort, ' let me make you acquainted with 
Miss Wetherbee and Miss Tolman. I call 'em Phcebe and Susan 
for short, same as they call me Dan. You may call 'em so, too. 
Now we 're all right ; ' and Dan began to whistle a tune. 

"Of course I was polite to Pha3be and Susan. Why not? 
The whole kitchen cabinet were American and Dorchester born, 
as well as myself. We were equals. There are no Americans 
in our kitchens now ; but if I could find one, I would respect 
him more than any one of the Tammany men who sit in high 
places in New York. 

" The conversation first started, as it did in the parlor, on the 
weather, and then became general. 

" ' How do you like your place? ' asked Dan. 

" ' First rate,' I replied ; ' how do you like yours? ' 

" ' Oh, well enough,' he said, ' and I guess in some ways I Ve 
got the advantage of you. Don't you have to go in to prayers, 
and say catechism ? ' 

" I confessed that we did. 

" 'Well, we don't do nothing of the kind,' said Dan; ' our 
folks is Unitarians.' 

" ' Don't have prayers! ' I exclaimed, in astonishment; for I 
always thought well of prayers, and do now, although I detested 
the catechism and the Sabbath. 

" ' No; Dr. Harris prays long enough every Sunday to last 
the whole of us all the week.' 

" I thought of Dan's reasoning when I afterwards read the 
story of Franklin, who asked his father to say a blessing over 
the barrel of pork and the bag of beans in the cellar, as an 
economy of time. 


*' ' Do they dance up at your house? ' asked Phoebe. 

*' ' Dance ! ' I repeated ; ' not much ! ' 

*' ' Oh, pshaw,' said Susan, ' I was thinking that by and by 
we four would have a dance, after supper 's over, — but I sup- 
pose you don't know how.' 

"I was obliged to own that I did not; and both the girls 
regarded me with a mixture of sneers and compassion. 

" ' Say, what wages do you get? ' asked Dan. 

*''I don't get any regular wages,' I said; 'but I get my 
clothes, and sometimes they give me money; I'm satisfied.' 

" ' Now I get twelve dollars a month,' said Dan, ' and find 
my own clothes ; but I should n't wonder if you was the best 
off. They dress you pretty slick, any way.' 

''And then I was rather pleased to have Phoebe put her 
pretty hand against my shu-t-bosom for the purpose of examin- 
ing my breast-pin. 

" ' Solid gold, I declare,' she cried; 'and as I live, a dear 
little diamond in it ! ' 

" ' Yes,' I said, ' and as bright as somebody's eyes.' 

" ' Whose eyes? ' asked Susan. 

" 'Yours, and Phoebe's, too,' I answered with gallantry and 
impartiality. Fortunately dress coats were not then in vogue 
for youths of my years, or I might have been detected. Just 
then the parlor bell rang, and Phoebe, answering it, soon came 
back with her report. 

" 'Dan,' she said, 'do you know anything about Dr. Cod- 
man's son? His father says he went to the barn with the 
sleigh, and he has not come in yet. He 's afraid there 's some- 
thing the matter with the horses.' 

' ' The cat was now out of the bag ; but the cat had had a 
very good time while in it. I was obliged to own up. 

" ' Now please don't be put out, any of you,' I begged im- 
ploringly. ' It was Dan's fault. He brought me in here. I 
could n't help it, and I 'm sorry they missed me. I 'd rather stay 
here. I don't want to go into the parlor, but I suppose I must.' 

" There was silence for a moment, and then the rosy- faced 
Mrs. Withington remarked : ' John, you are a bad boy ; I have 
heard of you before.' 


" ' Well, I don't think he is a bad boy,' said Phoebe, hanging 
her head. 

" ' Nor I either,' said Susan. 

" I did not care to get Dan's opinion, for I think he had been 
a little jealous of me. So I shook hands with them all around, 
and went out by the door by which I had entered. It was 
arranged that I should go to the front door to ring the bell, and 
that Phoebe should answer the call and let me in. It was not 
very dark in the hall, but it was dark enough for Phoebe 
and me. 

'''Where have you been?' asked my father, with no little 

"'Well, sir,' I replied, 'We might have brought Ephraim 
along ; he might have squeezed in, and there would have been 
no trouble in quieting the horses. But Dr. Gardner's man and 
I brought them all right at last.' 

" He was just then engaged in an historical discussion with 
Dr. Harris, and he did not care to question me any further. 
The rest of the evening passed pleasantly enough. I made the 
acquaintance of some lovely Unitarian young ladies, and 
although I had serious doubts of their ever getting to heaven, I 
thought they were angelic enough for this earth. In fact, I was 
greatly surprised that they and the young gentlemen, none of 
whom I should have been likely to have known but for Dr. 
Gardner's non-sectarian party, could be such agreeable people. 
Certainly, as far as I was concerned, the party all over the 
house was a grand success." 


Until 1861 an old barn ^ stood at the corner of Adams 
and Ashmont Streets, which deserves to be included among 
the historic buildings of Dorchester. 

At the opening of the eighteenth century, what is noAv 
the town of Canton was a part of Dorchester, and Avas 
called the South Precinct, or Dorchester New Villao^e. The 


1 These facts were compiled some years ago by the late D. T. V. 


Precinct was allowed by the town to raise a tax to support 
a preacher, on condition that they "shall remove their 
meeting-house," or erect one nearer the centre of population. 
As this was in 1707, it appears that the people in the South 
Precinct had a meeting-house prior to this time. Where it 
Avas situated we are unable to say ; probably at the village 
of Ponkapoag ; but it was not situated where the subse- 
quent ones have been, at Canton Centre. In June, 1707, 
the committee appointed by the town of Dorchester met the 
inhabitants of the new village, and decided to place the 
meeting-house on '^Packeen" Plain, now Canton Centre. 
The building was completed in 1708, and it is probable that 
the frame of the first building was used in the construction 
of the second. This meeting-house was situated nearer 
the westerly side of the Plain than its successor, or, in 
other words, directly back of it. Some of the older resi- 
dents of Canton, when they were children, remember seeing 
traces of its site ; but its exact position was unknown to 
the present generation, until the autumn of 1873, when 
the old foundation stones were accidentally discovered. 
This meeting-house was thirty feet square, and supported 
by uprights twelve feet in height. It remained standing 
until the middle of the last century, when it was sold to 
Ebenezer Tolman for £62, 10s. Od., who conveyed it to 
Adams Street, in Dorchester, and converted it into a barn. 
The holy influence which had filled it as a church is said 
not to have deserted it, but still hovered around it, in 
the humbler sphere which it afterwards occupied. It had 
a subduing influence upon those whose habitation it be- 
came, if we may judge from the following lines, which 
were written by an unknown author shortly after its 
removal : — 

" Some years ago, a good old pious man, 
Named Tolman, thought it would be a good plan 
To buy an old church building, then for sale 
In Canton ; which he did, and by wholesale, 


For in those days it was a satisfaction 
To be engaged in such a large transaction ; 
As, buying a large building, people thought 
The buyer's pocket must with gold be wrought. 

"Now Ebenezer Tolman (that was his full name) 
Owned land in Dorchester, and wished the same 
To be improved in some good, pious way, 
And had the building moved without delay, 
And placed upon his lot of vacant land. 
Where as a barn it does to this day stand. 
He hoped the influence of the old church would 
Improve his cattle, if they only could 
Snuff up the good old doctrines which for years 
Had been so often thrust on human ears. 
It had the true effect on Sabbath days 
Upon its inmates, and in various ways. 
For six days they upon their merits stood, 
And acted just as other cattle would ; 
But on the seventh 't was another thing ; 
Then they did form a truly pious ring. 
I do not think upon that seventh day 
A horse within that barn dared even neigh. 
As for the cows, they knew it would not do 
To break the stillness by a single ' moo.' 
The hogs, though stupid, did more serious feel ; 
No grunting came from them, not e'en a squeal. 
The rooster bowed his head in humble show ; 
You could not get from him a single crow. 
Hens did not cackle, nor an egg would lay 
Till Sunday passed ; then two would come next day. 
The rats were quiet in a noonday nap ; 
Cheese would not tempt them to go in a trap. 
So passed the seventh day from year to year. 
And, to all thinking minds, 't was very clear 
That those dumb creatures more respect did pay 
Than half the men unto the Sabbath day. 
Well may friend Tolman feel a pride that he 
Possesses such a pious family. 
From bird and cattle may a lesson come 
That might with profit enter every home." 



John Dolbear was a merchant in Boston, but resided in 
Dorchester after he married Zebiah Royall, daughter of 
Colonel Lemuel Robinson, December 27, 1787. They 
lived in the house north of Tolman Lane and Washington 
Street, known as the Royall House, which was built by 
Isaac Royall, Sr., in the early part of the seventeenth cen- 
tury. This house is now standing, with slight modifica- 
tions, and in good state of preservation. 

Mr. Dolbear Avas a very peculiar and methodical man. 
It was his custom to walk into Boston every week-day, 
rain or shine, and out again in the afternoon. After din- 
ner, which was usually about three o'clock, he would 
frequently walk to the Lower Mills and back. On one 
occasion, when he reached his office in Boston, he found 
that he had left at home a key, of which he had immediate 
need. " Never mind," he said to his clerk, " I will just 
step over to Dorchester and get it." He was very fond of 
poultry, and the large barn on his premises was used 
almost entirely for their accommodation. Hundreds of 
pigeons lived and were bred there ; and from one hundred 
to two hundred hens of the various kinds, from the 
small bantam to the large natives, could be seen about 
the grounds. In the large sitting-room, there were fre- 
quently to be seen from four to six hens setting upon their 
eggs in various parts of the room, under the chairs or sofa. 
When feeding them, the air would be full of pigeons, and 
fowls would flock around him at the well-known rap on 
the pan, alighting on his shoulder without any signs of 

When the barn, referred to above, was about being 
erected, Mr. Dolbear made a contract with Edward With- 
ington, a carpenter of the town, to build it for him ; and 
he told liim that he wanted him to construct a good one, 
better than he built for others, and Avhere he put in one 


nail for other folks, he wanted two. When Mr. Withington 
came to put the finishing touches on the barn, the south 
door of entrance was about being hung, and he said to Mr. 
Dolbear, " How will you have this put on and fastened ; 
with a lock, or with a button? " 

Mr. Dolbear said, " Put on a button." 

When Mr. Dolbear came to see it, and try it, he ex- 
claimed, as he often did, " Oh, the d , d , d ; 

what did you put two nails in tliis button for? can't 
turn it." 

*'0h," says Mr. Withington, "that is all right; you 
told me to build better for you than for others. I never 
put but one nail in a button for anybody else ; guess it is 
all right." 

Mr. Dolbear's well-known figure, nearly six feet in 
height, wrapped in his Camloteen cloak as he walked about 
the streets, is no doubt well remembered by the young 
people of that generation who are now living. Mrs. 
Dolbear, his wife, lived to a good old age, having removed 
a few years before her death in 1850 to the house of her 
nephew, John Mears, who lived in the house formerly 
occupied by the before-mentioned Colonel Lemuel Robin- 
son, who was an active figure in Dorchester about the 
time of the Revolution. 


The Ball Hughes House, situated at the corner of School 
and Washington Streets, while somewhat more than one 
hundred years old, is chiefly famous for being the residence 
of the talented sculptor. Ball Hughes. Mr. Hughes came 
to this house in 1851, living here until his death, in 1868. 
His residence in Dorchester, however, dated still further 
back, as for twelve or fourteen years previous to the time 
he became the owner of the School Street property, he had 
lived on Adams Street, on the Lower Road, opposite what 
is now Cedar Grove Cemetery. At the time INIr. Hughes 


lived on Adams Street, the property opposite his house 
(now, as before mentioned, used for a cemetery) was a 
favorite resort for him and his family on pleasant days. 
One spot in particular Avas especially admired by Mr. 
Hughes, and here, underneath the shade of the cedar trees, 
he passed hours at a time. By a strange and beautiful coin- 
cidence, it is in this very spot that the accomplished sculp- 
tor and his beloved wife now rest. 

In view of the fact that the Ball Hughes House owes so 
much of its reputation to the personality of its owner, the 
life and deeds of Mr. Hughes will be of especial interest 
in connection with it. The following biographical sketch, 
published in 1843, some fourteen years after he took up his 
residence in this country, gives us an excellent idea of his 
early life : — 

'''' Ball Hughes the Sculptor. — This gentleman was born in 
London on the 19th of January, 1806. He earl}^ evinced a 
taste and talent for moulding, and a somewhat whimsical cir- 
cumstance at length decided him in the choice of his profession. 

" About the year 1818, his mother observed that the ends of 
wax candles constantly disappeared from the candlesticks ; 
and indeed that sometimes whole ones were also missing. At 
length, on making some inquiry, it was found that our young 
genius Ball was the one who had thus robbed the old gilded 
candelabra of their wax ornaments. 

"The next thing to be ascertained was why he did it; and, 
being pressed by his father to tell the truth and avoid a flogging, 
he confessed to taking them to enable him to copy in wax a 
picture which hung in the garret representing the Wisdom of 

" The work was brought down, and the spirited bas-relief he 
had made at once decided Mr. Hughes to 2:>lace him in the studio 
of Edward Hodges Bailey,^ with whom he remained seven years. 

1 Tliis bas-relief was afterwards cast in silver, and is still in the posses- 
sion of the family. 

2 Bailey was one of Flaxman's favorite pupils, and in 1843 was one of 
the greatest living sculptors. 


Here we find him successfully competing for all the prizes 
awarded by the Royal Academy, and obtaining — 

" 1st. — The large silver medal for the best copy in bas-relief 
of the Apollo Belvidere. 

"2d. — From the Society of Arts and Sciences a silver 
medal for the Barbarini Fawn. 

"3d. — A large silver medal for the best original model from 
the life. 

"4th. — A gold medal for an original composition of Pan- 
dora, brought by Mercury to Epimetheus. Also a series of lec- 
tures, by Baron Opie and Fuseli. 

"These were all obtained before he was of legal age. We 
find him next engaged on busts of the royal family, including 
the Duke of Sussex, the Duke of Cambridge, and a small 
statue of George the Fourth, which he ordered to be cast in 

" During a professional residence in the beautiful mansion of 
the late Earl of Leicester, he met several American gentlemen, 
who so interested him in their descriptions of our great republic 
as to decide him, shortly after his marriage (1829), to visit us. 

' ' Among a number of works which he has done among us 
may be mentioned his beautiful marble statue of General Alex- 
ander Hamilton, unfortunately destroyed with the Exchange at 
the great fire in New York ; a magnificent marble alto-relief to 
the memory of Bishop Hobart in Trinity Church ; a group of 
Uncle Toby and Widow Wadman, now in the Athenaeum ; the 
inimitable statue of little Oliver Twist, which makes us more 
than ever in love with sculpture ; an admirable equestrian statue 
of General Washington, originally intended for Philadelphia, 
but, owing to want of funds, never executed. 

"And now (1843) he comes before us in a new character. 
We have often admired his works ; we have enjoyed many a 
smile at the credulity of Uncle Toby ; we have deeply sympa- 
thized with poor Oliver ; but what shall we say of ' The Cmci- 
fixion,' the last chef d'oeuvre, which has been completed by Mr. 
Hughes, and is now on exhibition in Bromfield street? 

" Truly we may say, in the language of a well-known clergy- 
man, who was present at our first visit to this last production of 


Mr. Hughes, ' There is a godlike dignity and harmony in the 
whole figure, which speaks to the heart more than a hundred 
sermons could do, and we can hardly stand and contemplate 
without coming away better than we went.' 

" We know not how to criticise the figure. Every part is 
excellent, and, as a whole, it is perfect; we hope it will be 
visited by persons of piety, — a proper compliment to the 
artist for executing this beautiful work among us." 

The productions of Ball Hughes, the sculptor, were 
characteristic of the individuality of the artist himself, — 
strong, faithful, original. His work was distinctly his own, 
and at once impressed the spectator with the conviction 
that it was a true portrait of that which it was intended to 
express. A glance at the principal works of Mr. Hughes 
will be of interest. 

In 1840 Mr. Hughes competed, with several others, for 
an equestrian statue of Washington, to be erected in Phil- 
adelphia. A Philadelphia paper, under date of November 
24 of that year, thus refers to the model indicated : — 

*' Among all the models exhibited in Philadelphia for the 
decision of the committee on the Equestrian Statue of Wash- 
ington, that of Ball Hughes, Esq., the distinguished sculptor, 
seems to be the favorite. The sculptor has chosen the time 
when the hero is in the act of reining up his horse, and bowing 
with his hat in his hand to his assembled countrymen. The 
design is a happy one. The attitude of both horse and rider 
is perfect. The horse, like another Bucephalus, carrying an- 
other, a greater than Alexander, seems proud of the precious 
burthen which is entrusted to his charge. The likeness of 
Washington is the most perfect that we have ever beheld. All 
who have seen the statue agree that the mild and dignified 
countenance of him ' who was good without an effort, great 
without a foe,' is the most correct that any sculptor has yet 
chiselled. The graceful bend of the body is also in just keep- 
ing with the rest of the figure. In Mr. Hughes' design we see 
everything to admire, and nothing to condemn. It will at once 


be a proud and lasting memorial to the ' Father of his Country,' 
and a pride and ornament to our city. Although not so colossal 
as the equestrian statue of Peter the Great at St. Petersburg, 
yet there is a greater finish, a more perfect uniformity, and 
boldness of design in the statue in Independence Hall." 

Another paper says of the model : — 

"The model of an equestrian statue of Washington, which 
has just been prepared by Ball Hughes, Esq., is an exquisite 
specimen of the Fine Arts, and is creditable alike to the artist 
and the country. Grace, beauty, and dignity are combined, and 
the father of his country has an appearance at once benignant 
and patriotic. The horse, too, is also finely proportioned, and 
the effect of the enth-e model striking and imposing to an emi- 
nent degree." 

The opinion of the press was echoed by the public, and 
the committee did Mr. Hughes the honor of selecting his 
model from all those offered in competition. The financial 
crash which occurred in that year, however, destroyed all 
hope of getting up the statue at that time, and the project 
had to be given up, much to the sculptor's disappointment, 
and to the loss of the city. The model, as prepared for 
exhibition at Philadelphia, is now in the possession of Mr. 
B. F. Brown, of Boston, Mr. Hughes' son-in-law. 

The following description of Mr. Hughes' "Statue of 
Hamilton " is taken from a New York paper published at 
the time of the unveiling of the statue in that city : — 

" The artist, Ball Hughes, Esq., has produced a work which 
does him the greatest possible credit. Hundreds of our most 
respectable citizens, who were intimately acquainted with Gen- 
eral Hamilton, besides a great number of artists, pronounced it 
a most chaste and perfect piece of sculpture, and an exact 
likeness. Mr. Hughes, should he never execute another work of 
the kind, has, in the judgment of all who have seen it, acquu'ed 
a fame that will at least live as long as himself. 

" The statue is carved from a block of Italian marble, which, 
when lirst placed in the hands of the artist, weighed nine tons, 


but it has been reduced to one and a half tons. The attitude of 
the statue represents the general about to speak, in his usual 
position of dignity and repose. His right hand holds a scroll, 
understood to be his able report on funding the national debt, — 
appended to which is the seal of the Treasury Department, 
resting on a beautiful polished pedestal, giving thereby a soft- 
ness to the drapery approaching reality. His left leg hangs 
gracefully by his side, and is a wonderful piece of carving. 
The right leg is slightly in advance, and the foot projecting over 
the base, which gives great lightness and elegance to the 
figure. The other leg is wonderfully relieved from the dra- 
pery, and must have been a work of intense labor. The wrin- 
kles or creases of the silk stockings and the small-clothes have 
every appearance of reality. The fold of the robe excites a 
wonder how such drapery could be carved on such delicate 

" The head looks toward the left shoulder, and is pronounced 
by all who have seen it and knew the distinguished statesman, 
to be a perfect likeness ; the broad, high forehead, the slightly 
contracted brow, the deep-set eyes, and general firmness of 
expression, richly shadowed by the gracefully carved hair, — 
give to it a dignity of character truly great. The costume of 
the figure is chastely conceived, is modern, but is so arranged 
as to display the anatomy of the limbs. A graceful robe sur- 
rounds it, which, while it imparts richness to the general effect, 
tends to conceal those parts of dress which might take from the 
sublimity of the work, and conveys at the same time the idea of 
one who holds both a civil and military station. 

"This whole work is the production of a few of our most 
public-spirited merchants, who subscribed some six or eight 
thousand dollars to procure a likeness of this distinguished 
statesman for the benefit of the public." 

The beautiful statue was unfortunately destroyed by the 
flames during the Great Fire in New York, together with 
the Exchange Building, in which it stood. It is related 
that Mr. Hughes, who was at that time in New York, was 
awakened from his sleep by the fire-bells. He rose at 
once, and prepared to go out. When urged to remain at 


home, he replied, " I feel that I must go," and he arrived 
at the Exchange Building just in time to see his statue 
topple over with a crash. 

Speaking of the " Dead Christ," a critic says : — 

" We are desirous at present of expressing a feeling beyond 
the admiration of mere artistic genius or love of art — a feeling 
called into life by tiie surpassing excellence of that powerful 
production of human workmanship — the sublmie delineation of 
exalted imagination which is now exhibited on the latest 
achievement by Ball Hughes, — the colossal ' Statue of the 
Dead Christ.'" 

It is, perhaps, the bronze statue of Dr. Bowditch, which 
Mr. Hughes executed to be placed in Mount Auburn, that 
will stand as the most certain evidence of the artist's skill ; 
for its material makes it secure from the ravages of " Time, 
the great Destroyer." Praise was received from all sides. 
"As a work of art," said one paper, "it deserves the high- 
est praise." Another said : " The artist possesses the 
highest order of genius in his peculiar art." All united 
in pronouncing it well worthy of the noble subject repre- 

" The Neapolitan Fisher Boy " was another creation of 
Mr. Hughes. " In this work," wrote a critic, " Mr. Hughes 
has hewn out for himself and for liis country new honors." 

Mr. Hughes manifested his artistic nature in more ways 
than one. He excelled, among other things, in executing 
what are known as " poker sketches." These are pictures 
made on white wood, the only tools used being pieces of 
iron, which were heated to a white heat. Every touch of 
the hot iron leaves a mark which cannot be effaced, and 
the work is so trying to the nerves that only a short time 
each day can be devoted to it. 

The effects of color can only be appreciated when seen. 
It seems incredible that such artistic results could have 
been produced in this way. Among the works of this kind, 
many of which are now in the possession of Mr. Hughes' son- 


in-law, Mr. Benjamin F. Brown, may be mentioned " The 
Trumpeter," "The Monk," "Falstaif Examining his Re- 
cruits," — embracing a dozen or more figures, — '' Rem- 
brandt," " Don Quixote," " Shakespeare," " Rubens," and 
" The Scotch Terrier." 

A sketch of Ball Hughes would be incomplete without 
making mention of his beloved wife, to whose assistance 
and inspiration was due in no small degree the success of 
the artist's creations. Mrs. Hughes was born near London 
in the early part of the century, and was fortunate in 
receiving an excellent education, including music and art. 
At the time of the Battle of Waterloo her father, who 
held a position under the British Government, lived in 
Brussels, eight miles from the scene of battle. Mrs. 
Hughes was fond of relating that she remembered, during 
the excitement of those times, having kegs of bullion 
brought into her father's cellar for safe keeping, and of her 
mother's sense of responsibility in feeling that so great a 
treasure \v2bS intrusted to her care. 

Two days after the marriage of the young girl to Mr. 
Hughes they set sail for America on a packet, which 
required ten weeks' time to make the passage. Artists 
were not numerous in this country in 1830 ; and Mr. 
and Mrs. Hughes were the recipients of much attention. 
Wasliington Irving sat for his bust, which proved to be the 
most satisfactory likeness he had had taken ; but he wrote 
to Mr. Hughes that he did " not think there ought to be 
a marble bust for only a transient popularity." Success 
seemed destined to rcAvard Mr. Hughes' exertions; but 
his aspirations were made futile by the failure of the com- 
mittee on the Washington statue to carry out their con- 
tract. The disappointment was bitter, and both the artist 
and his wife felt it keenly. This ill-fortune in Philadelphia 
caused them to come to Boston. 

Mrs. Hughes now turned her artistic abilities to account 
by taking pupils. ''No weather in Avhich horses could 



travel from Adams Street, Dorchester, to Boston," says a 
friend, " however chilling those long omnibus rides might 
be, could deter her from meeting her scholars, many of 
whom became her lifelong friends. They learned from her 
more than the technique of the pencil and the brush ; they 
learned thorouglmess, exactitude, and unity." For several 
years after the death of her husband, Mrs. Hughes resided 
in the School Street house. For some ten years previous 
to her decease, in 1892, however, she lived with her daugh- 
ter and son-in-law, Mr. and Mrs. B. F. Brown. 

We have thus gained an insight into the personalities 
of the husband and wife who made the Ball Hughes 
House famous. Here the genial host and hostess enter- 
tained delightful circles of friends; here came Dickens 
and Jane Stuart the artist. The old house seemed imbued 
with the characteristics of its inmates, and everytliing was 
in perfect harmony. The break came when Mr. Hughes 
died in 1868. The house was earlier occupied by Captain 
Jeremiah Spalding, a well-known ship-master in the East 
India trade. For several years the building has remained 
unoccupied, but it is now being thorouglily repaired by 
its present owner. Miss Hughes, who has inherited, to no 
small degree, the artistic talent which made her father 
famous. Thus the associations still remain, and the old 
house, the walls of which have witnessed so much quiet 
happiness, will continue its career of usefulness. 


The Webster House has only been knoAvn as such since 
the famous statesman honored Dorchester with a brief 
residence within its limits. Previous to this the place was 
known as the Welles estate, being owned by the Hon. 
John Welles. General Henry Knox occupied the house 
in 1784, just at the close of the Revolution, in which he 
had taken so prominent a part. Wlicther he was the origi- 


nal builder or not is unknown. After the death of Mr. 
Welles the property remained in the possession of his heirs 
for many years. 

The Webster House is well remembered by the present 
generation of Dorchester's residents. Mr. William C. 
Codman recalls much of interest in regard to the house 
and its inmates, and gives us delightful recollections of it. 
He says : — 

" My earliest remembrance of the Webster House dates back 
to about 1825, when it was occupied by Madam Cobb, — a 
kiudly and aristocratic old lady. Very pleasantly I recall the 
tune when Mrs. Cobb's royal equipage rolled out of the avenue 
leading to her house, followed by two nicely trained spotted 
coach-dogs, who seemed to keep pace with the revolution of the 
wheels with as much precision as Henry Fletcher (my contem- 
poraries will remember him) marched at the head of the column 
of the Dorchester militia men. We boys, returning to our homes 
from the academy near by, whistled and called in vain to these 
canines, yclept Byron and Celeste, to follow us instead of the 
carriage ; but they would not heed us. Then as the carriage 
passed by, Madam Cobb would bow and smile sweetly on us, 
and we would most respectfully and politely raise our juvenile 
caps in token of the recognition." 

For a number of years after Mrs. Cobb's death the estate 
was leased by various persons for a summer residence. 
Among these were Mr. Arnold Welles, whose widow after- 
wards married Hon. Robert C. Winthrop, and Messrs. 
William B. Reynolds, Samuel C. Gray, William Sprague, 
and William C. Spaulding, — all of whom were prominent 
Boston merchants. 

By a strange series of circumstances the property " fell 
from its high estate " when it passed from the hands of the 
Welles heirs. For a period a lager-beer garden flourished 
on its grounds, an unsightly board fence concealing the 
former attractions of the property, and serving as a disa- 
greeable eye-sore to the people. Fortunately, however, a 


third turn of aifairs brought the estate into better use ; for 
the house was demolished, the fence torn down, and the 
splendid building erected which will go down in history 
bearing the name of one of Dorchester's most honored 
citizens, — the Henry L. Pierce School. 

The Hon. Daniel Webster occupied the Welles estate in 
1822. In spite of the shortness of his residence here, he 
became a familiar object to the people. Mr. Webster was 
a constant attendant at the Second Parish church during 
his sojourn in Dorchester, over which the Rev. Dr. Codman 
at that time officiated as pastor. It is said that in one of 
his parocliial visits Dr. Codman expressed to Mr. Webster 
his gratification at seeing him present at both services. 
''Dr. Codman," said Webster, rising from his chair, "if 
you see me at church in the morning^ you will be sure to 
see me there in the afternoon.'" Dr. Codman is said to 
have quoted this reply often to stimulate others of his 
parishioners to more constant attendance. 

It is related that on one occasion a young Andover stu- 
dent had been invited by Dr. Codman to supply his pulpit. 
On the appointed Sunday the young minister proceeded 
smoothly with the opening prayer and the Scripture 
lesson ; but he had hardly begun to read the hymn when 
he became confused, stammered, and finally sat down, 
asking Dr. Codman to finish the services. Dr. Codman, 
who had not expected to be called upon for such an emer- 
gency, was naturally surprised that the young minister 
had broken down so completely, but, supposing that a 
sudden illness had caused the trouble, finished the service 
with an extemporaneous discourse. On the way home, in 
the carriage, Dr. Codman inquired the cause of the unfortu- 
nate break-down. "Well, sir," replied the young man, 
" it was merely an unaccountable nervousness. Just as I 
was reading the second stanza of the hymn a gentleman 
came into the church, and sat down in a broad-aisle pew 
directly before me, fixing such great, staring black eyes 


iqDon me that I was fiiglitened out of my wits." This 
was the student's first intimation that Daniel Webster was 
a member of the congregation. 

Mr. Webster's absolute lack of knowledge of the value 
of money is Avell illustrated by his system of benevolence at 
Dorchester. He always contributed when the contribution- 
box was passed, sometimes a shilling, sometimes a ten- 
dollar bill, — whatever he happened to have in his pocket. 
Mr. William C. Codman has in his possession an autograph 
letter from Webster, then in Washington, to his father, in 
which he says, " If any cases of peculiar character arise in 
our neighborhood during the winter, calling for charitable 
aid, I wish you to contribute something on my account as 
often as you see the necessity." 

As Webster's financial weakness was well known to 
Dr. Codman, it is not to be supposed that the poor of the 
parish were noticeably benefited by this generous and 
modest proposal. " The letter," says Mr. Codman, " was 
folded in the old-fashioned way, with a liberal amount of 
sealing-wax on the back, and the impression of the seal 
was the motto, ' Sans chayige' This strikes us as doubly 
ludicrous, in connection with the request in the letter, if 
we translate the motto, ' Without change,' — a dilemma in 
which the great statesman often found himself ! " 


Nearly opposite the Webster House, or the Welles man- 
sion, was the house of Major Withington, whose father 
carried on the business of a tanner. The old pits of the 
tannery were located north of the house, near the West 
End stables, and were not destroyed until the stable build- 
ings were erected. Mrs. Major Withington is still remem- 
bered by the present generation. A writer says of her : 

' ' She seemed always to be sitting at the northerly window in 
the parlor of her house. We used to think she was glued down 


to that antiquated arm-chair. A fine-looking old lady was ' the 
Duchess ' too, as seen from the street, — the house being set back 
about fifteen feet, — so we could not see the old wrinkles, or 
note the expression ; but we could see and admire the snow- 
white turban which surmounted her ancient caput, and that tur- 
ban is more distinctly remembered by six of us academy boys 
now li%dng than any part of the costume of the late regretted, 
and now turbanless, ' Duchess.' Not a vestige of the gallant 
major's house remains; and that tm'ban, — you may seek in 
vain to find a shred of it on earth, but whether Mrs. Withington 
has carried it with her to heaven or not is beyond my ken." 

The house was torn down in 1870. 


The house, which was occupied by Judge Cummins, on 
Bowdoin Street is chiefly known as the residence of Maria 
Cummins, the author of the famous novel, " The Lamp- 
lighter." "Folklore," in the "Dorchester Beacon," gives 
an interesting sketch of the present condition of the 
estate : — 

' ' To show the sad havoc wrought by time one only needs to 
visit this once beautiful place, now a deserted and tangled ruin. 
Truly is it tempus edax rerum^ and particularly has it swept this 
place with no sparing hand. Its pretty colonial-styled house, 
its pretty walks, its surrounding shrubbery and beds of flowers, 
its pine-environed fish-pond, its beautiful and stately orchard, — 
where are they? — Gone! — A melancholy picture, in which 
pity commingles with sadness. Everything now is a ruin. The 
house not only is burnt down, but its very foundation obliter- 
ated, — the pond is filled up with debris ; the orchard lingers 
on dissolution ; the garden has disappeared with the exception 
of a few straggling hedges. Standing on the road, beside the 
estate, are four beautiful, gigantic poplar trees, which, like sen- 
tinels guarding this sombre place, seem alone of all to have 
defied the ravages of Time." 



On the 13th of March, 1772, there appeared in the old 
" Boston Gazette " (the present ••' Boston Courier ") the 
following proposal for printing, — 

"A dissuasive to Great Britain and her colonies from the 
slave trade to Africa, by James Swan, a friend to the welfare 
of the continent. To be published by subscription, one pista- 
reen each book." 

This is our first public knowledge of Mr. James Swan, 
the owner of the famous Swan House, whose career was a 
chequered one. He was born in Fifeshire, Scotland, and 
came to Boston at an early age. Here he found employ- 
ment as a clerk, and soon became well known to his asso- 
ciates as a strong advocate for human freedom. He was 
but eighteen years of age w^hen the above-mentioned pro- 
posal was published. 

Swan took an active part in the stirring affairs of the 
early part of the Revolution. He was one of the famous 
Tea Party, in December, 1773. He volunteered to accom- 
pany Warren to Bunker Hill as aid, and received a wound 
in the side. Early in 1776 he was captain of a company 
of artillery in the expedition which drove the British fleet 
out of Boston Harbor. In 1777 Swan was secretary to the 
board of war of Massachusetts, and later became adjutant- 
general of the State. 

Ten years later, oppressed with heavy debts. Swan went 
to Paris with letters of introduction to Lafayette and other 
prominent men. His energy and abilities soon made him 
popular, and he gained a great reputation as well as a 
substantial fortune. By 1794 he had paid off all his debts, 
including those even from which he had previously been 
discharged. Later he paid a visit to the United States, 
returning to Europe in 1798 to engage in vast commercial 

1 See illustration on page 25. 


In 1808 a German, with whom Swan had had large deal- 
ings, caused him to be imprisoned at St. Pelagie, because of 
his refusal to pay a claim against him. Here he remained 
for twenty-two years, while the case was being tried before 
the French courts. He might have been released at any 
time, as his fortune was ample enough to meet the Ger- 
man's demand many times ; but he considered the claim 
unjust, and preferred to suffer imprisonment rather than 
yield his principle. He died soon after being released. 

Swan's confinement at St. Pelagie has been thus 
described: — 

*' Vainly did Lafayette, who often visited him, or his rich 
friends, seek to prevail upon him to escape from this retreat. 
His lodging was a little cell, modestly furnished, upon the 
second floor. He was a fine-looking old gentleman, said to 
resemble in his countenance Benjamin Franklin. The prisoners 
treated him with great respect, yielding him as much space 
as possible for air and exercise, cleaning a path for him, 
and even putting aside their little furnaces upon which they 
cooked their meals, at his approach, for fear that the smell of 
charcoal should be unpleasant to him. He had won their love 
by his considerate and uniform benevolence. Not a day passed 
without some kind act on his part, often mysterious and un- 
known in its source to the recipient. Frequently a poor debtor 
knocked at his door for bread, and in addition obtained his 

"One creditor only retained the venerable captive, hoping 
each year to see his resolution give way, and each year calling 
upon him with a proposal for an accommodation. The director 
of the prison, the friends of the colonel, and even the jailers, 
urged him to accept the proposed terms, and be restored to his 
country and family. Politely saluting his creditor, he would 
turn toward the jailer and simply say, ' My friend, return me to 
my chamber.' Toward the end of the year 1829 his physician 
had obtained for him the privilege of a daily promenade in one 
of the galleries of the prison, where he could breathe a purer 
atmosphere than that to which he had long been subjected. At 


first he was grateful for the favor, but soon said to the doctor, 
* The inspiriting air of liberty will kill my body, so long accus- 
tomed to the heavy atmosphere of the prison.' The Revolution 
of July, 1830, threw open his prison doors in the very last hour 
of the twenty-second year of captivity. After the triumph of 
the people, he desu'ed to embrace once more his old friend 
Lafayette. He had that satisfaction upon the steps of the 
Hotel de Ville. The next morning he was dead." 

The SAvan Mansion in Dorchester was situated on Dudley 
Street, and was built about 1796. Its site was imposing, 
being upon a ledge of rocks. The estate formerly be- 
longed to the son of Colonel Hatch, whose son Nathaniel 
was a Tory, and had his estate confiscated by the State. 
In 1780 Colonel Swan bought the property for .£18,000. 
Later Colonel Swan offered the estate to Governor Hancock 
for ^45,000, an advance which was not altogether satisfac- 
tory to the governor. Swan wrote to Hancock, " I have 
built an elegant and very expensive house upon it, includ- 
ing in one a road-house, tAvo stables, and a hay-loft, with a 
servant's chamber and a pigeon-house. The mansion-house 
can be refitted in as elegant a manner as it once was for 
about £4000." 

Colonel Swan entertained lavishly during his brief resi- 
dence here. Among the many distinguished persons who 
accepted his hospitality were the Marquis de Viomenil, 
second in command of Rochambeau's army. Admiral 
d'Estaing, the Marquis de Lafayette, and General Henry 

It is said that one room in the house was known as the 
" Marie- Antoinette room." The story goes that Madam 
Swan, during her residence in Paris, purchased from the 
sacked palaces the draperies from the Tuileries and fur- 
niture which had belonged to the deposed nobility of 
the French capital. It is also rumored that the won- 
derful gobelin hangings that adorned this room, and the 
quaint old plate, had a very different history, to the effect 


that Colonel Swan had been concerned in a plot to rescue 
Marie- Antoinette, and to bring her to America, where she 
might be harbored until the troubled days had passed away 
from France. For this purpose a ship had been laden with 
silver, furniture, and clothing, — everything that, to their 
ideas, would be needed in America. How the plot failed is 
not explained; but it is said that the furniture and dra- 
peries, and the clothes which were to have been the queen's, 
have furnished this house. The theory generally accepted 
is that much of the elegant furniture, rich family plate, 
and magnificent paintings once adorned palatial French 
residences, having been stored in Colonel Swan's ships for 
safety during the Reign of Terror. It was a common hon- 
mot at the time that "between Madame Guillotine, who 
took off their heads, and Swan, who took off their trunks, 
little was left of those unfortunate Frenchmen." 

It was here, in 1825, while Colonel Swan was living in 
the debtors' prison in Paris, that Madam Swan entertained 
Lafayette. She received the famous Frenchman standing on 
the steps at the end of the piazza at the main entrance of 
the house, wliich she rarely allowed to be used. Lafayette, 
attended by his staff, was then on his way to Quincy to 
dine with Adams. Historical records of this event de- 
scribe her as being dressed in a black silk gown and wearing 
a turban of black lace, the dress, even to the huge ruff, 
being Elizabethan in style. Madam Swan is reputed, in 
spite of her strange eccentricities, to have been very beau- 
tiful. Stuart painted her ; and the portrait, still owned by 
one of her grandchildren, was exhibited in a loan collection 
at the Art Museum Avithin a few years. 

There is said to have been but one other house like this 
built in this country, and that was at Thomaston, Maine, 
by General Knox, who was Colonel Swan's intimate friend, 
and whose daughter Lucy married James Sw^an, the 
colonel's only son. Another close friend of the family 
was General Jackson, who was the trustee of the Swan 


estate. General Jackson was buried in the grounds of the 
Swan estate, and his grave was for many years pointed out 
to visitors in that vicinity. A lane of lilac bushes led 
from the house to the tomb, which Madam Swan visited 
regularly as long as she lived. This grave was removed 
when Woodward Park was laid out g^cross the estate. 
There are weird stories told of spirits which haunted the 
lilac path as long as the bushes remained. 

In 1857 the furniture of the salon of the Swan House 
is said to have been sold at auction ; and it was reported 
that the beds were loaded down with rich court gowns, 
said to have been the property of the ill-fated Marie-Antoi- 
nette. The building was taken down a few years ago. 

Mr. Nathaniel Augustus Barrett occupied the house 
from 1853 to 1855. Mrs. William H. Cilley, one of the 
latest occupants, gives the following excellent description. 
She says : — 

'' The especial feature of the house was the circular parlor, 
thirty-two feet in diameter, surmounted by a dome at the height 
of twenty-five feet, and having three mirror-windows. It was 
a glorious room to sing in, on account of its acoustics. The 
house was spoken of in the neighborhood as the Round House, 
and some one once suggested that Captain Swan must have had 
a steamboat in mind when it was fashioned. I have always 
heard, however, that it was copied from a French chateau. 
There were two large, old-fashioned chimneys in the house. 
The mantel in the round room was of statuary marble, beauti- 
fully carved with griffins, having been brought from France. 

''The miiTor-windows ! There were only two, the glass as 
thin as an egg-shell. The three outside windows opened almost 
to the floor, having the old-style inside blinds, or rather shutters, 
as indeed had all the rooms. Lafayette is said to have entered 
the house through one of these windows, and we often specu- 
lated as to which one. He is also said to have sat in the same 
chair in which he might have reclined, perchance, in Paris, and 
to have eaten perhaps from the same china that had served him 
at home ! 


''Another remarkable room was the one opposite to the 
round room, which must have been the dining-room, as the 
china-closet adjoined it. This was also of a great height, hav- 
ing no rooms over it, and I was obliged to get a very long 
caipenter's ladder to arrange the draperies at the windows, the 
sashes being in three tiers, and flooding the room with light and 

" The other rooms were ordinary ones in size and comfort; 
but the upper chambers and the hall had very low ceilings, — 
scarcely seven feet, — but were large in breadth, and the outlook 
was on such lovely old trees, and there were such glorious 
sunsets ! " 


The name of Hon. Perez Morton, besides being con- 
nected with the Taylor mansion, is also associated with 
another of Dorchester's well-known houses, — the Pavilion, 
on Pleasant Street. It was to this house that Mr. Morton 
removed his residence from Dudley Street. This occurred 
in 1808 ; but, five years before, on September 27, 1803, he 
had mortgaged to his brother, Joseph Morton, for the sum 
of 114,400, his whole Dudley Street estate, comprising, as 
the deed says, " all that my estate in Dorchester on which 
my dwelling-house now stands, together with all the land 
appurtenant and belonging thereto, which I purchased of 
Lemuel Bird and Ezekiel Bird, containing by estimation 
five acres more or less, with all the buildings thereon 
standing." This mortgage, apparently, was never can- 
celled. Here terminated Mr. Morton's connection with the 
Dudley Street estate ; for by deed bearing date of July 7, 
1808, Joseph Morton ''conve3^s to Cornelius Coolidge of 
Boston, in consideration of ^15,000 to be paid by said 
Coolidge, all that estate in Dorchester on which the dwell- 
ing house now stands late in the improvement of Perez 
Morton, Esq., with all the appurtenances thereto belonging, 
and buildings thereon standing, said premises, however, 
subject to the Equity of Redemption of said Perez Morton 


as by law is in such cases made and provided." It has been 
handed down as a tradition in the family that Mr. Morton 
built the Pavilion before announcing to his wife his inten- 
tion of relinquishing the Dudley Street estate. 

We may get an excellent idea of the appearance of the 
house from the words of two of Dorchester's citizens, 
whose memory recalls the Pavilion and its owner. In the 
New-England Historical and Genealogical Register for 
January, 1892, Mr. David Clapp writes on this subject as 
follows : — 

"The house, according to my imperfect recollection of the 
details of a familiar object seen daily from infancy, comprised 
an extensive square lower or ground story, with a broad piazza 
in front. A second story, still smaller in floor surface, rested 
symmetrically on the centre of the first, with both stories low- 
studded. It was a common report in my boyhood that another 
story still smaller in extent once crowned this second story, and 
that the peculiar shape of the structure was copied from build- 
ings in countries where hurricanes are frequent. The building, 
as now remembered, had the appearance of having been painted 
of a dark grayish color." 

Mr. William B. Trask, who for many years has been 
prominently identified with the history of Good Old Dor- 
chester, also recalls the appearance of the Pavilion. He 
says : — 

" The outward appearance of the Pavilion, as I remember it, 
was strangely unique, attracting attention to the passers-by in 
its novelty and quaintness. The interior I never saw, nor do I 
know of any person living who could give a description of it. 
The military companies used to parade on the grounds in the 
enclosure near where this building stood. I distinctly recollect, 
on one occasion at least, of seeing a company there, the Dor- 
chester Artillery it may have been. It was then called Allen's 
Plain, after William Allen, whose dwelling-house was burned 
on this spot in 1784." ^ 

1 Dorchester Beacon, March 25, 1893. 


The charming circle of acquaintances and friends which 
Mr. and Mrs. Morton had drawn around them at the old 
Taylor mansion followed them to their new home ; and 
within the parlors of this quaint but attractive Pavilion 
there was often gathered a brilliant assemblage of men and 
women famous from their positions in State and society. 

In this house Mr. and Mrs. Morton passed their declin- 
ing years. " I well remember it and its inmates," again 
writes Mr. Clapp, "from my earliest years, and can now 
distinctly recall the aged Morton couple, seated on their 
broad piazza, and enjoying the southwesterly summer 
breezes as they swept across the open plain." 

Mr. Morton died at the Pavilion, October 14, 1837 ; and 
a few years later Mrs. Morton removed to Quincy, still 
retaining the Pavilion in her possession. She died May 
14, 1846, and not many years later the house was taken 

The site of the Pavilion w^as very near that on which 
stood the primitive thatched-roof meeting-house of the first 
Dorchester settlers, and was on the first street laid out by 
them, known for so many years as Green Lane. 


The Walter Baker Mansion, located on Washington 
Street, at the corner of Park Street, was probably built 
about the middle of the last century ; but it is not known 
who was the original builder. Lieutenant-Governor Oliver 
was the first occupant of whom we have record, and he 
left the house soon after the close of the Revolution. 

Colonel Benjamin Hichborn bought the house about 
1781, and occupied it as a summer residence until his 
death in 1817. Colonel Hichborn bequeathed the estate 
to his brother, Samuel Hichborn ; and at this time it was 
known as " Hichborn Corner." Among his friends were 
General Lafayette and Presidents Jefferson and Monroe, 


who visited him when they came to Boston. He enter- 
tained General Lafayette when he was in Boston in 1783. 
President Monroe came to see him in his last sickness; 
and it is said that they embraced and kissed each other, as 
was the fashion at the time. 

Mr. James Penniman occupied the house in 1830. He 
was a well-known merchant, and was closely identified with 
the interests of the town. He was especially interested in 
the establishment of the Dorchester Academy, and did 
much to encourage it. For the first six or eight months 
he devoted a large room in his residence — the Penniman 
House, as it was then called — to be used as a school-room 
for the academy. In this room, located on the southern 
corner of the first floor, began this institution, which 
played so important a part in the educational life of 
Dorchester during the period of its existence. 

Mr. William C. Codman, a graduate of the old Dorches- 
ter Academy, has recalled, in an article published in the 
''Dorchester Beacon," delightful reminiscences of his 
school-days there. He was one of the first pupils, and 
witnessed the change from the Penniman House to the 
academy building. He says : — 

"The inauguration ceremonies were imposing, and the acad- 
emy was opened under the most favorable circumstances. Evi- 
dently, in the minds of the trustees, at least one out of every 
ten of the boys was at some time or other to become one of the 
presidents of the United States. I regret to say that after a 
careful examination from Andrew Jackson down to the present 
incumbent, I fail to find the name of a single graduate of 
Dorchester Academy. 

" The new principal instituted a novel mode of punishment. 
Any refractory boy, instead of being feruled, was thereafter 
to be sent up stairs and placed between two girls for an hour. 
It was supposed the mortification would be so great that ferule, 
cow-hide, and switch would be abandoned, and the naughty 
youngsters would repent of their evil ways and sin no more. 


The principal could not have shot wider from the mark. The 
cases of misdemeanor were more frequent than ever. A ter- 
ribly refractory spirit took possession of the boys, and the 
prospect of being sandwiched between two girls was something 
ecstatic ! Anticipating the punishment ( ?) the boys would carry 
to school with them candy, peppermints, acidulated drops, and 
cookies (I wonder if any reader remembers the cookies Kelt 
the baker used to bring out in his cart from the city, represent- 
ing in bas-relief a boy and a girl kissing each other? — I do) ; 
and when ordered upstairs, one of the little lassies would raise 
the lid of her desk, apparently to look for a book, and the 
culprit lad would noiselessly drop into the desk such a collection 
of bonbons and goodies as would delight any juvenile feminine 
heart. We had to run our luck for our seats, but as all the 
girls were jolly, agreeable, and in our eyes pretty, we w^ere sure 
of a satisfactory flirtation. 

" Such a delightful state of things could not naturally last 
long, and the preceptor, realizing his mistake, placed as many 
impediments in our way as possible. The half-hour recess, 
which was then the same for boys and girls, was changed, so 
that we should not meet. And then from the master's desk on 
the dais above the schoolroom floor, to our consternation was 
issued this edict, to be followed with the Chinese emperor's 
addendum, — ' Of this fail not ' : — 

" ' All boys attending the academy are hereafter forbidden to speak 
to any of the young ladies of the upper department, either in going to 
or from school.' 

"The lignum-vit^e ferule, the raw-hide, and the green switch 
were again brought into requisition ; but still our tender hearts 
yearned for the companionship of the young ladies on the floor 
above. Necessity — ' the mother of Invention ' — came to our 
aid. A few choice spirits of both sexes, after school hours, 
planned an alphabet composed of the most extraordinary hiero- 
glyphics, as I remember it, less easily understood than the runes 
of the Scandinavians. A glossary accompanied it, for other- 
wise it was inexplicable, and these were clandestinely circulated 
amongst all who were interested in the wicked plot. 

" Miss , who for the last thirty years has been living in 


Europe, was appointed postmistress for the upper floor, and 
Master , now a clergyman in western Massactiusetts, post- 
master for the lower department. The mail was enclosed in a 
delicately woven cigar-case, made from manilla-grass, and 
dui'ing recess was lowered by a cord to the postmaster, whose 
desk was next to the window below. 

" I wish I could now translate the love effusions of that daily 
mail. Let me give one or two of the closing sentences from the 
letters to my address : — 

" ' Thou, thou reignst in this bosom, 
There, there hast thou thy throne.' 

'*'As long as I live (and possibly hereafter), yours with sincerest 

*' Engrossed with such tender sentiments, how could we be 
expected to pursue our studies and qualify ourselves for the 
office of president of the United States ? Utterly impossible ! 

" All things in this world must come to an end, and the mail 
bag was no exception. The mischievous postmistress substi- 
tuted a red-hot poker for the cigar case. The studious post- 
master below, with his hand out of the window ready to receive 
the expected mail, and audibly assuring us that four and four 
made eight, and two from six left four, etc., suddenly pulled in 
his aching hand and uttered a screech, — a screech which 
echoed and re-echoed through the academy hall. 

" As the eagle pounces down upon his prey from a distance, 
so did the principal upon the poor, suffering, juvenile post- 
master. The mail-bag was secured by the teacher, but though 
a decidedly scholarly man, and familiar with Greek, he could 
only decipher one letter by its triangular form, representing the 
letter ' D.' The rest was as obscure as Hindoostanee or 

After this digression let us return to the brief history 
vi^hich remains of the Walter Baker Mansion. Mr. Penni- 
man, we have seen, owned the house at the time the Dor- 
chester Academy was formed in 1831. From his hands the 
property passed into the possession of the Baker family. 


Its later history has not been eventful, Mrs. Walter Baker 
living there quietly until her death, in 1891. The house 
is now occupied by the Bichloride of Gold Institute. 


The Everett House was built about 1770. The Rev. 
Oliver Everett, pastor of the New South Church in Boston 
in 1782, gave up his pastorate, and moved to Dorchester, 
taking up his residence in this house. Who liis predeces- 
sors were is uncertain. It is said that the house was 
originally built by Robert Oliver, a West India merchant. 

Mr. William B. Trask relates an anecdote in regard to 
Colonel Oliver which runs as follows : ^ — 

''Colouel Oliver owned a plantation, or was engaged in 
trade with some of the inhabitants of the West India Islands, 
and brought from thence a number of African slaves. It was 
thought that the health of these slaves would be in a better 
condition when offered for sale, if some employment were 
given them. As they had been accustomed to carrying burdens 
on their heads, wooden trays were procured for them. These 
were filled with earth from an eminence, and deposited in a 
hollow of the land near by. Afterwards, at the suggestion of 
some of his Boston friends who called to see him, the colonel 
substituted small wheelbarrows for trays. To the amusement 
of the passers-by, the laborers were seen at first with the 
barrows on their heads. Not understanding the rotary power 
to be applied to those vehicles, they ludicrously made them- 
selves the carriages." 

It was in this house that Edward Everett was born, in 
1794. The East Chester Park extension passes directly 
by the house, and cuts off one corner of the estate. The 
house is still standing, and is in the possession of Dr. 
William S. Stevens. 

1 See illustration on page 185. 

2 New Eng. Hist. Geng. Reg. 1852, pp. 237, 238. 



One of the most pathetic of the recent demolitions is 
that of the magnificent estate which for many years has 
been known as the '^ Taylor Place," which was located on 
Dudley Street, opposite Howard Avenue. The grand old 
house is still familiarly remembered by a large number of 
Dorchester's residents ; but although a portion of its history 
is generally known, few realize to what varied events, 
joyful and sorrowful, gay and pathetic, the sturdy old walls 
had so long stood silent witnesses. Here the gallants of 
the last century gayly led the fair maidens in courtly 
dance ; here the infidelity of one trusted and loved filled 
a devoted wife's heart with bitterness and desolation ; here 
the literary, social, and political leaders exchanged their 
politest courtesies, and discussed subjects of the deepest 
importance to the nation. 

The Taylor estate embraced a large tract of land, which 
was bounded by flowering shrubs. Tall, majestic elms 
surrounded the house, which was itself a type of the hos- 
pitality which reigned within. A flight of broad stone 
steps led to the entrance ; a heavy door swung on its 
great hinges as the visitor passed through into the great 
hall. One who was fortunate enough to visit the house 
before its destruction gives the following description of it : 

" Passing beneath an arch of artistic beauty, a broad passage 
leads to the long French windows which open upon the balcony, 
and one can in fancy see tne grand dames who swept along 
these corridors, breathing the perfumed air from the gardens, 
touched without doubt during the long summer days by a breath 
of east wind from Dorchester Bay. Returning to the interior, 
one ascends the staircase, to be charmed by the ease of the 
ascent ; for the stairs are ideal in construction, low and broad, 
and the balustrade is of rosewood, rich with the colors of a cen- 
tury, while along the centre line there is a delicate tracery of 
inlaid wood, exquisite in form and tone. Above us there is a 


ceiling design, unique, elaborate, and beautiful, which for sym- 
metry it would be ditlicult to find a counterpart. The work is 
stucco, and the odd fancies are finely wrought in odd corners 
which the rambling lines of the upper rooms compel. In the 
entrance hall again we have directly in front of us folding doors 
opening into the breakfast room, which is bright and sunny, 
being lighted by a large bay window. The walls are covered by 
an odd old paper of the peculiar landscape pattern. Along the 
cornice is thrown a fine canned tracery. The lower half of the 
wall-space is panelled, and the border corresponds to the cornice 
in design and workmanship. At the right of the entrance we 
enter the dining-hall, a long handsome room, lighted by five 
windows reaching to the floor. The cornice is very elaborate 
here, and the long windows are wide and high, fitted with fold- 
ing inside blinds, secured in a primitive but effective fashion, 
particularly in the front windows, which open upon tiny balco- 
nies of wrought ii'on, which show a graceful fancy. Opposite 
the dining-room is a library, with quaint metal cai'vings, fluted 
pilasters ornamented by figures of Bacchus and Ceres; while 
above the door-posts other mythological figures pose. In this 
room there is a deep vault, and the key to this treasure-house 
has the artistic touch which belongs to everything here, and 
gives an air of refinement and quiet elegance. 

"The drawing-room occupies the centre of the second floor, 
presenting one of the finest interiors to be found in this part of 
the country. The vaulted ceiling is elaborately decorated in 
stucco, while the cornice bears deep-cut designs in conventional 
form. Doors and casings bear the graceful drooping garlands 
which everywhere mark the decorative treatment of colonial 
days. This drawing-room seems fitted for hospitality, and 
there is a charming touch of patriotism displayed in the orna- 
mentation of the door-posts, whose caps are made in panel 
form, bearing upon the centre space an emblematic group con- 
sisting of the American eagle standing guard over the shield, 
above which are garlands of laurel. The front parlor is long, 
lighted by a large bay window, which overlooks the grounds and 
driveway ; while the back parlor opens by long French windows 
upon a bewitching nook in balcony form, from which one can 


look into birds' nests and the dense foliage of grand old trees. 
These parlors are flanked by square rooms on either side, and a 
very romantic thing it is to visit some of these cosy, odd-shaped 
rooms, which can be accomplished by mounting a back staircase 
from the small square hall between the breakfast and dining- 
rooms on the first floor. Following along a dark passage until 
a group of doors is reached, we come to a suite of pretty rooms 
on the second floor ; but mounting another flight of stairs, we 
follow along a passage which tells very plainly that we are 
under the eaves. There are deep closets here which would de- 
light any housekeeper, and we pass several deep recesses before 
we reach the door which opens into a veritable ' sky parlor.' 
This room is about ten by sixteen feet, built up square on the 
roof, lighted by four large windows ; there are floods of sun- 
shine pouring in here from morning till night ; and the view 
over the tree-tops is grand, as we can see beyond the tossing 
foliage the deep blue of the sea, dotted by white sails and 
occasional darker lines of smoke, which mark an out-going 
steamer. ^ 

It was in this room that Sarah Wentworth Apthorp, 
better known to the social world as Mrs. Perez Morton, 
composed the first American novel, " The Power of Sym- 
pathy," in which she recorded, skilfully disguised in an in- 
tricate plot, the seduction and death of her favorite sister. 

Here, too, it is easy to imagine that the youthful Perez 
Morton, then but twenty-four years of age, composed the 
funeral oration pronounced by him over the body of Gen- 
eral Joseph Warren, who passed the night in this house 
just before the Battle of Bunker Hill. As Mrs. John 
Adams wrote at the time, "A young fellow could not 
have wished a finer opportunity to display his talents." 
" Illustrious relics ! " said the young orator, apostrophizing 
the exhumed remains before him, — " illustrious relics ! 
What tidings from the grave ? Why hast thou left the 
peaceful mansions of the tomb to visit again this troubled 

1 New England Magazine, May, 1890. 


This " young Perez Morton " soon became a prominent 
figure, and took rank with the leading spirits of the Revo- 
lution. Long afterwards, one of his last public duties was 
the acting as State's attorney, assisted by Daniel Webster, 
in the celebrated trial of the Knapps at Salem in 1830, for 
the murder of Captain Joseph White. Born in Plymouth, 
Mass., November 13, 1751, he w^as graduated from Harvard 
College in 1771. From 1807 to 1811 he was speaker of 
the Massachusetts House of Representatives ; from 1811 
to 1832 he was attorney-general of Massachusetts, and in 
1820 he was a delegate to the State convention. He died 
November 14, 1837. 

An old resident of Dorchester, in recalling the house, 
says : " It was built in old colonial style, and was by far 
the finest residence in Dorchester. I remember visiting 
the house when a lad. The then owner had but recently 
retired from the wholesale shoe business, having acquired 
a large fortune. It is said that on the panels of the doors 
of liis carriage was conspicuously painted — 

" ' Who would have thought it 
Shoes could have bought it.' " 

Who the predecessors of Mr. Morton were in the owner- 
ship of the Taylor House is not known ; certain it is that 
the personality of Mr. Morton stamped it with more of its 
character than any of its earlier OAvners, and that liis name 
will ever be associated wdth the '^ Old Tajdor Place." For 
three-quarters of a century it was occupied in succession 
by Coolidge, Hedge, and others, and finally by the Taylors, 
by whose name it Avill be known in liistory. 

(This sketch is written by William B. Trask ) 

Soon after the advent of Joseph Newell and Ebenezer 
Niles to Commercial Point, soon after 1800, they set about 
erecting two large, square, palatial houses, — so considered, 


probably, in their day. They had connected themselves 
as partners in business, built vessels, and were actively 
engaged, somewhat extensively for the period, in commer- 
cial matters ; but the panic resulting from the War of 
1812 settled down upon them, and put a close to their 
business sj)eculations and prospects. The houses referred 
to, now standing, were built internally and externally of 
uniform size and appearance ; but to obtain a satisfactory 
site for the residence of Mr. Newell, it w^as found neces- 
sary to remove one of the most ancient buildings of the 


time in that vicinit}^ and by far the. oldest of my boy- 
hood recollections of ancient houses on Commercial Point, 
— namely, the old "Preston House," built, not unlikely, 
by Daniel Preston, the deacon, who was born in England 
in 1621, made freeman in 1665, and died in Dorchester 
November 10, 1707. This house was removed from what 
was then the corner of Commercial and Neponset Streets 
to the opposite or northerly corner of those streets, and 
a brick basement added. This house, seventy-five years 


ago, according to my distinct remembrance, had a ven- 
erated appearance. Many pleasant, happy hours were 
spent under its antiquated roof. Jonathan Capen and 
family were the occupants. The second story projected 
somewhat from the lower one on the Neponset Street side. 
It was currently reported and believed at the time, that 
the house was built thus protruding to enalDle the in- 
mates to look out from the chamber above and detect 
the slyly lurking savages who might perchance be stand- 
ing there ; but it is hardly necessary now to make the 
observation that the house was built, like other ancient 
houses in this country and in England at the period, in 
the style of the seventeenth century. This structure was 
some time since destroyed ; but its general form and ap- 
pearance has been distinctly photographed on my memory. 

Among the habitues of the Newell House, as we term 
it, of a comparatively later date, may be mentioned, Calvin 
Bailey, Mrs. Edward Blake, Mrs. John Pliillips, mother of 
the late Wendell Phillips, Charles O. Whitmore, — father 
of the present City Registrar of Boston, William H. 
Whitmore, — Thomas Kettell, postmaster there, Thomas 
C. Wales, and others. Captain William M. Rogers, an 
Englishman, a retired sea-captain, was the owner and 
occupant, until his death, of the companion house. 

In connection with this house it may be well to say that 
Commercial Point, formerly a promontory, on the highest 
part of which a fort was erected in 1812, has been known 
by its present name for more than three quarters of a 
century. It was formerly called " Preston's Point," or 
" Tinian," corrupted into " Tenean." ^ Newell and Niles, 
before mentioned, Avere actively engaged, as we have been 

1 In confirmation of the true spelling of tlie name, see " Chronological 
and Topographical Account of Dorchester," in "Collections of the Mas- 
sachusetts Historical Society," first series, vol. ix., page 163, written by the 
Rev. Thaddeus Mason Harris, D.D. " The land," he writes, "here forms a 
promontory called ' Preston's Point,' and sometimes ' Tinian.' " 


informed, in the East India trade, and probably adopted 
the name '' Tinian " from the island in that region where 
spices, gnms, and other Oriental products were obtained 
for transportation in their vessels to these shores. A 
copperplate view of tliis island may be found, with an 
interesting description, in " The World Displayed," 1779, 
printed in Dublin, Ireland, volume vii., pages 142-176. 
A process cut, taken from the old view, is given with 
this sketch. 


The old Codman mansion house ^ has not such a title to 
antiquity as may be claimed by many other buildings of the 
town, for it is only about one hundred years since it was 
constructed. The original owner, Mr. Seth Thayer, sold 
it to Rev. Dr. Codman when the latter was called to the 
pastorate of the Second Church in 1808. At that time it 
was simply a square building ; and it presented somewhat 
the appearance of a fortification, as it was mounted on the 
top of a series of terraces that made it difficult of approach. 
The young minister being then a bachelor, the house was 
large enough for him ; but as he was married soon after, 
and his family began to increase, corresponding additions 
were made, and ells were succeeded by ells, until, looking 
at it from the south, it has the unclerical appearance of a 
rope-walk or a ten-pin alle}^ 

It is due to the unbounded hospitality of Dr. Codman 
to say that these enlargements were made rather for the 
benefit of his brethren than for that of his childi'en. In 
those days that antedated railroads, it was the custom of 
country ministers from the interior, who came to Boston, 
especially on "anniversary week," to "put up" here. 
Not only did they put themselves up in the house, but 
they put their horses up in the barn ; so that the whole 

1 The author is indebted to Captain John Codman for this sketch. 

2 See illustration on page 175. 


establishment had the air of an eastern caravansary. 
They were always made welcome, although not unfre- 
quently they abused their privileges. Unfortunately the 
doctor had the reputation of being a rich man ; and he 
was so for the times, although his property never ex- 
ceeded a hundred thousand dollars. The brethren were 
accustomed to calculate the income on this enormous sum, 
adding to it liis salary of eight hundi^ed dollars, wliich, by 
the bye, he could never collect in full, because his parish- 
ioners supposed he did not need it ; and then they went in 
for a division, as far as they could get it, on the early 
Christian method. 

The children of the family have a realizing memory of 
being sent to the attic and closets to make room for their 
"brethren in the Lord," and, as the anniversaries came in 
cherry time, of the big blackbirds that roosted in their 
favorite trees. Before the total abstinence era the clergy 
made large demands for liquors and tobacco. They did 
not care much for wine and cigars ; but their tastes ran to 
rum and pipes, of wliich an abundant supply was always 
kept on hand. The result of this constant ministerial 
debauch was anything but agreeable to the pastor's wife. 
That excellent woman, who was indeed a "mother in 
Israel," was made to be the slave of Israel likewise. 
When the swarm had passed over, there was a grand 
cleaning up ; carpets were taken up and shaken ; the fire- 
place "jams" were scrubbed with brick-dust solution to 
efface the tobacco stains ; and the ecclesiastical hotel was 
put in order for transient visitors. 

Probably in no private dwelling of the land have there 
ever been so many doctrinal discussions as in this old 
mansion house. Commencing with the great split be- 
tween Orthodoxy and Unitarianism, down through the 
eras of " Hopkinsianism," " Taylorism," and numerous 
smaller schisms, the clericals had it hot and heavy over the 
breakfast and dinner tables ; and the disputes were not 


ended till evening prayers sent the belligerents to bed. 
If any minister's children in the country had opportunities 
for doctrinal study, those of Dr. Codman certainly had it 
above all of them. They ought to have been "well 
grounded in the faith." In fact most of them were 
stranded ; and when they got off the rocks, they em- 
barked on the smoother seas of EjDiscopalianism and 
Unitarianism, one only remaining to maintain allegiance 
to the old church. 

After the death of Dr. Codman, his eldest son occupied 
the house for some years. It then became a boarding 
school for young ladies, — first under Miss Dodge, and 
then under Mrs. Cochran. At last it was sold to Mr. 
John M. Forbes, the present owner, who has allowed it to 
fall into ruins. It is perhaj)s too old to be advantageously 
renovated, and it would gratify the descendants and friends 
of Dr. Codman if Mr. Forbes would level it with the dust ; 
for it is noAv only a sad reminder of departed days. 


The Tuttle estate, situated at the junction of Savin Hill 
Avenue and the Old Colony railroad, came into the pos- 
session of Joseph Tuttle in 1822. At this time there was 
an old house standing on the property, in front of which 
was the magnificent elm, still standing, and admired by all 
who see it. The story goes that more than a hundred and 
fifty 5^ears ago a little girl named Lois Wiswall was driving 
home the cows, which had been out to pasture on the hill, 
and on the way she pulled up a small switch by the roots 
to use in keeping the refractory animals in the narrow 
road. That evening she planted the switch in front of the 
house ; and from so small a beginning grew this great tree. 

Mr. Tuttle added two wings to the old house, and some 
years later tore down the ancient structure, constructing 

1 See illustration on page 53. 




that portion of the building so as to correspond with the 
other parts. This was the present " Tuttle House," which 
was the oldest of the country and seaside hotels built in 
the vicinity of Boston, and which was patronized for half 
a century by the wealthiest and most fashionable of Boston 

As will be seen in the perusal of the preceding pages, 
few towns can boast a larger number of houses to which 
history and romance have contributed so generously. 
Time, however, has had its effect upon them, and, with the 
ravages of fire and the elements, has blotted out nearly all 
of these venerable landmarks. Those who recognized in 
them the sturdy emblems of their forefathers' fidelity and 
worth can never be wholly reconciled to their loss, — 

" For time liath not rebuilt them, but uprear'd 
Barbaric dwellings on their shatter'd site, 
Which makes more mourned and more endear'd 
The few last rays of their far scatter'd light, 
And the crushed relics of their vanish'd might." 



MODERN TIMES. 1861-1893. 

IRST among the opening events of the 
period which may be called modern in 
the history of the town, was the War of 
the Rebellion. As in every event of na- 
tional importance, Dorchester appreciated 
the situation in which the country found 
itself, and put forth every exertion to take a notable part 
in the momentous struggle. When war was proclaimed 
against Great Britain, almost a century before, Dorchester 
sent to the front one-third of her men who were over six- 
teen years of age ; to the War of the Rebellion, with a 
population of ten thousand, she enrolled thirteen hundred 
and forty-two soldiers, which was one hundred and twenty- 
three in excess of all calls. 

Nearly every Massachusetts regiment contained men 
who claimed Dorchester as their home ; but one company 
was organized within the town limits in which the in- 
habitants took special interest. Dr. Benjamin Gushing 
has in his possession an autograph list of the members of 
this Gompany K, Eleventh Regiment Massachusetts Vol- 
unteers, giving the age of each man and his occupation at 
the time of his enlistment. The list is as follows : — 

Capt. Benjamin Stone, Jr., 43 yrs. . . . Music-engraver 

1st Lieut. Wm. V. Monroe, 31 ... . Miner (?) 

3d Lieut. George W. Lucas, 25 ... . Cabinet-maker 

4tli Lieut. Nath'l Clark, 22 Baker 

2(1 Lieut. John T. Swett, 27 Accountant 

Ordorl}' Sergeant John Munn, 26 . . . House-joiner 



Alex. Musgrave, 21 yrs Carnage-maker 

A, Wallace I.eman, 18 Wood-engraver 

Marshall Gordon, 28 House-painter 

Aaron Bradsliaw, 28 Carpenter 

John W. Sterling, 22 Burnisher 

James Barrett, 26 Boot-maker 

Thomas F. Bailey, 22 Carpenter 

Amos Morse, 33 Burnisher 

George H. Clark, 29 Tin-plate worker 

Charles Bunce, 21 Forger 

A. E. PhilUps, 27 Currier 

Alson A. Lathrop, 22 Nailer 

Charles H. Chase, 24 Railroad conductor 

Newell D. Stevens, 20 Burnisher 

Horace D. Burr, 23 Carriage- worker 

John Neus, 28 Brass-moulder 

Alonzo L. Burke, 25 Butcher 

J. Greenleaf, 33 Teamster 

A. F. Anderson, 21 Cabinet-maker 

Martin W. Stone, 22 Britannia-worker 

William T. Barnes, 22 Cabinet-maker 

Henry N. Blake, 22 Lawyer 

EdwardC. Wrin, 19 Carpenter 

George W. Billings, 30 Candle-maker 

S. H. Weld, Jr., 29 Farmer 

C.S.Dodge, 19 Cabinet-maker 

L. A. Hilton, 25 Teamster 

W. F. Coolidge, 27 Boot-trader 

B. F. Bowen, 21 Cabinet-maker 

Thomas S. Homer, 23 Engineer 

Horace M. Packard, 18 Provision-dealer 

Isaac Learned, 38 Oyster man 

Samuel Thompson (drummer), 71 . . . Cabinet-maker 

W. E. Blake, 18 Former 

Henry A. Seaverns, 19 Nail-maker 

Charles S. Haskell, 23 • • Carpenter 

B. H. Morse, 18 House-joiner 

P. L. Eastman, 28 Machinist 

J. B. Anderson, 21 Carnage-maker 

S. W. Savill, 32 Boot-maker 

M. S. Havnes, 45 Farmer 

T. J. Nightingale, 25 Carpenter 

S. R. Magoun, 21 Carpenter 

A. F. Sterling, 20 Farmer ^ 

H W. Bricrham, 21 • • Britannia-worker 

RobertE. Lapmann, 30 Cabinet-maker 

Fred Ludwig, 19 Brass-finisher 

Henry H. Hoslev, 21 MiHer 

Alfred Davies, 22 Grocer 

John C. Davies, 23 Machinist 

Andrew G. Hoffman, 20 Burnisher 

C H. IMarsh, 27 Carpenter 

Frank Neus, 18 Basket-mnker 


Chas. B. Chandler, 23 yrs Silver-chaser 

Edward F. Gleason, 24 Chaser 

Thomas H. Neul, 24 Boot-maker 

L. S. Bluckman, 21 Mason 

James L. Hooper, 45 Carpenter 

Samuel Clapp, 18 Nail-maker 

George S. Smith, 18 . Sailor 

James E. Harris, 30 Burnisher 

Edward Kelly, 21 • Machinist 

G. W. Rowlock, 22 Tinman 

William H. AVry, 24 Carpenter 

Christopher Kurcher, 27 Britannia-worker 

Henry Snow, 37 Carpenter 

Albert H. Glover, 26 Druggist 

William H. Tileston, 22 Pianoforte-maker 

Gilman F. Hill, 26 Teamster 

Geo. H. Laphan, 20 Blacksmith 

James B. Chandler, 32 Silversmith 

Company K was notable because of the character of 
those who enlisted in it. They were neither mercenaries 
nor holiday soldiers, but respectable young men who left 
their daily business from patriotic motives. Every man 
in the company had a calling in life, some twenty-six 
trades being represented on its list. The company was 
organized under the State law, the men choosing their 
own officers. They had a surgical inspection by Dr. Ben- 
jamin Gushing, and were drilled in Lyceum Hall, Meet- 
ing-House Hill, May 27, 1861. The Rev. Nathaniel Hall, 
Jr., made a prayer ; and the company, escorted by a large 
number of their townsmen, marched to Long Wharf to 
take the boat for Fort Warren. After spending a few 
weeks at the fort they went into camp at Cambridge ; 
thence they went to the seat of war, to take part in the 
battle of Bull Run. The company went through the 
Peninsular Campaign under McLellan, and consequently 
were at Yorktown, Williamsburg, Fairoaks, Malvern Hill, 
and the Seven Days' Fight and retreat. Thence they went 
to Alexandria, and were at the second Battle of Bull Run, 
where Captain Stone was killed. They were at Fred- 
ericksburg under Burnside ; they were under Hooker 
until he was relieved by Meade, and were at the Battle 

1861.] MODERN TIMES. 421 

of Gettysburg, where they suffered severely, going into 
the battle thirty strong, including officers, and losing nine- 
teen, killed and wounded. They went through the 
Wilderness under Grant, and were discharged on the 
expiration of their three years' service, June 13, 18G4 ; 
and they reached Dorchester a week later under the com- 
mand of Captain William V. Monroe. 

In anticipation of the return, a meeting was held in 
the vestry of the First Church, and preparations were 
made for a reception. A large number of the townsmen, 
with a band of music, went to meet them, and escorted 
them to Meeting-House Hill, where Mr. Hall offered a 
prayer of thanks for their safe return. The Rev. James 
H. Means made an address of welcome, after which they 
took refreshments in Lyceum Hall. The school children 
were out by the roadside as the company and escort came 
to the hill. 

During the three years' service the company had seen 
changes. Some had gone into other regiments, some were 
wounded, some discharged, some killed, and some were 
sick. Thus out of those who set out from Dorchester 
three years before, only twelve returned. A gentleman, 
who went to Gettysburg, in speaking of his visit said : 
" You see the line of march of the Eleventh by the line 
of grave-boards." 

The following data, in regard to those who represented 
the town and laid down their lives for the cause of liberty, 
is taken from the published proceedings at the dedication 
exercises of the Soldiers' Monument : — 


Killed in battle 26 

Died of disease 29 

Died of wounds 20 

Inhuman treatment in rebel prisons 11 

Accidental 2 

Unknown 9 




Born in Dorchester 39 

" elsewhere in Massachusetts 20 

" in Ireland 8 

" *' Provinces 7 

" " Maine 8 

" " Germany 4 

" " P:ngland 1 

" " Scotland 2 

" " Prussia 1 

" " Illinois 2 

" " New Hampshire 2 

Birthplace unknown 3 


The churches of Dorchester did noble service for the 
relief of the soldiers. In 1861 the Benevolent Society of 
the First Parish was organized especially for this object ; 
and it would be difficult to estimate the good work 
accomplished. During the war this society contributed 
provisions and supplies to the amount of no less than 
fifteen or twenty thousand dollars. Other churches, while 
not accomplishing so great a work, were equally zealous 
in their endeavors. 

The Sunday afternoon of August 31, 1862, was one long 
remembered by the good people of Dorchester. News had 
just been received of the result of the second battle of 
Bull Run ; and all the churches gave up their afternoon 
services to the work of making bandages and packing 
provisions for the sick and wounded. The First Parish 
alone sent off twenty-one cases as a result of that after- 
noon's work. It is estimated that the whole amount con- 
tributed by societies and private individuals, during the 
war, for the relief of the soldiers and sailors, was more 
than fifty thousand dollars. 

The Dorchester Soldiers' Monument owes its existence 
to the exertions of the Pickwick Club, — an organization 
which flourished before the war, and still exists. It was 
started for literary and debating purposes, its first meeting 
being held in Lyceum Hall, Meeting-House Hill, Decem- 

^ f^ .K I I I !• ! r 



1866.] MODERN TIMES. 425 

ber 6, 1855. Most of its members had previously belonged 
to the original '* Dorchester High School Lyceum," — a 
school society devoted to the same purposes. There were 
some dozen or more original members, and John A. Fox 
was the fii'st president. The number of members was 
limited to fifty, of whom twenty-one served in the War 
of the Rebellion. There died in service from wounds or 
disease, Thomas B. Fox, Jr., Henry W. Wall, William 
R. Porter, George F. Boynton, Walter Humphreys, and 
J. H. Stimpson. The number of members now living is 

Its last regular meeting as an active literary society 
(its tenth anniversary and one hundi^ed and ninety-sixth 
regular meeting) was on January 12, 1866, after which 
meetings were suspended on account of the war until its 
first anniversary dinner, January 4, 1867. Since then the 
club has existed only as an alumni association, having its 
annual dinner on the second Friday in January of each 
year, usually at the Parker House. During its active ex- 
istence the club held regular meetings, with occasional 
public exercises and debates, and, at longer intervals, pub- 
lic exhibitions of declamations, essays and poems, dramatic 
selections and music. 

Richard C. Humphreys, Esq., was an active member of 
the Pickwick Club; and a letter from him, in reference 
to the organization, shows its important influence on the 
community. Mr. Humplireys writes : — 

"I remember standing with William J. Rolfe, then priDci- 
pal of the Dorchester High School, now Professor Rolfe of 
Cambridge, and John A. Fox, in the vestry of First Parish 
Chm-ch at a meeting of the Fhst Parish Christian Union, one 
Sunday evening, when, I think, Mr. Fox suggested that we 
form a literary society, to meet week-day evenings, like the 
Dorchester High School Lyceum. A meeting was called of 
ahoiit a dozen young men, and we organized the Pickwick 
Club. The club was a great success, and it would be inipos- 




sible to estimate the good that it accomplished. Its influence 
was very helpful morally and intellectually, and its members 
have held high positions of trust and responsibility ; and some 
trace their success in life largely to the influence of that club." 

Soon after the war a committee of the Pickwick Club 
was appointed " to solicit subscriptions, to select a design 
for a soldiers' monument on Meeting-House Hill, and to 
take tlie general charge of its erection." This committee 
consisted of Francis P. Denny, chairman, J. H. Pierce, 
Charles B. Fox, Wm. F. Jones, Richard C. Humphreys, 
James E. Swan, and T. M. Johnston. 

The committee were successful in their efforts to raise 
funds for the erection of the monument, and by the fall 
of 1867 the shaft had reached completion. Its location 
was well chosen, being directly in front of the old meet- 
ing-house which had guarded the religious safety of the 
town so many years, in whose defence the men whose 
names the monument bears laid down their lives. The 
tablets on which the names are inscribed will ever bear 
silent tribute to their memory. These names are as 
follows : — 

H. W. Hall. 
T. B. Fox, Jr. 
AV. R. Porter. 

F. E. Barnard. 
Walter Humphreys. 

G. F. Boynton. 
J. H. Stimpson. 
A. W. Clapp. 


H. D. Burr. 
Otis Sumner. 
E. B. Tileston. 
George Holmes. 
R. T. Holmes. 
J. H. Bradshaw. 
G. H. Clark. 
W. E. Blake. 

B. F. Bartlett. 
Jas. Campbell. 
T. S. Boynton. 
R. Wesselhoeft. 
G. W. McElroy. 
W. F. Pope. 
E. F. Adams. 
H. A. Evans. 


Benjamin Stone, Jr. 
E. C. Foster. 
C. A. Browne. 
O. J. Dodge. 
H. C. Foster. 
Patrick Collins. 
J. IMcGoverin. 
A. C. Stone. 

J. E. Robie. 
Isaac Williams. 
David Brown. 
John Marter. 
G. E. Tolman. 
Charles Pool. 
G. R. Baxter. 
S. H. Cox. 

Cunnison Deans. 
C. W. Richardson. 

E. Q. Richards. 
R. T. McGukin. 

F. H. Sumner. 
M. W. Stone. 
J. E. Bird. 
Alexander Mus^rave. 





M. H. Wanen. 
J. T. Black, 
llufus Cboate. 
M. M. Shepard. 
S. S. Chadwick. 
John B. Phelps. 
J. W. Tem])leman. 
C. H. Marsh. 

I. A. Howe. 
Dallas Southworth. 
H. A. Fuller. 
W. W. Richards. 
G. C. Millet. 
Augustus Deutling. 
J. O. Hill. 
S. W. Young. 

James Driscoll. 
G. L. French. 
J. E. Harris. 
John Doody. 
G. E. Lambert. 
S. B. Harris. 
G. H. French. 
Henry Morrow. 

W. G. Hewins. 

B. R. Pierce. 
Frank Carr. 
Andrew Fais. 
A. J. McTntire. 
Andrew Wilson. 
W. B. Gaskins. 

C. F. Dale. 


Jas. Teelan. 
J. H. Blackman. 
Harrison Glover. 
Lemuel Tileston. 
Sylvester Wheeler. 
M. O. Connor. 
J. C. Clapp. 
T. S. Dennett. 
Jeremiah Hendley. 

C. E. Tolman. 
G. O. Baxter. 
William Quigley, 
C. E. Hart. 
Fritz Goeth. 
J. W. Sterhng. 
Geo. B. Young. 
Frederick Veit. 

The dedication of the monument occurred on September 
17, 1867. The Rev. C. A. Humphreys, of Springfield, 
Mass., delivered the oration, and William T. Adams 
wrote an original ode, which was sung by the children 
of the public schools. The address, transferring the 
monument to the town authorities, was delivered by the 
chairman of the committee, Francis P. Denny. From liis 
speech the following is taken : — 

" We have assembled on Meetiug-House Hill at another 
meeting for the soldiers. W^hat memories are awakened as we 
gather here to-day ! It was here you came to urge your youug 
men to enhst in the army of the Union, at those earnest meet- 
ings where the word of patriotism was answered by the pledge 
of life for the country, and whose enlistment papers contained 
many a name inscribed upon the roll of honor liere. At the 
time of defeat, in the hour of darkness, you stood here close 
together to strengthen your own faith, and to send the word 
of encouragement to your soldiers in the field. In the hour of 
dread suspense, on that never-to-be-forgotten Sunday, in yon- 
der church, there was a meeting for the wounded and the dying 
soldiers, where not a word was spoken, but the tender love of 


women taught the lesson of the day. Here, week after week, 
year in and year out, in sunshine and in storm, have the 
mothers and sisters, the wives and daughters of our soldiers, 
brought theu' offerings and prepared those comforts that can 
only come from home. How often have these rocks resounded 
with the measured tread of the procession bearing the precious 
dust of the hero from receiving its last sad honors to the final 
resting place ! And when victory came, as come it must, it 
was here you welcomed home your war-worn veterans. 

" There are other associations about this spot that are pleas- 
ant to reflect upon. The monument stands on the ground 
covered from 1743 to 1817, a period of seventy-four years, by 
the third meeting-house erected in the town, and the only one 
of its day and generation. So that this is already consecrated 
ground sacred as the place where our fathers assembled for 
the worship of God. 

" But if I understand aright its chief use, the meaning of 
the structure, it is the lesson of patriotism it teaches for all 
time : that when the hour of national trouble comes again, of 
danger to the union of these States ; when the constitution, of 
which this day is the anniversary of its receiving the signature 
of those honored men who framed it, is misinterpreted or 
trampled upon, that, in that day, which may God avert, as the 
people gather together for counsel of themselves and of the 
former time, and as they ask, 'How was it with our fathers?' 
turning to this memorial tablet that they may learn that in the 
great Civil War men gave their lives a willing sacrifice for the 
life of their beloved country. And who shall say that in our 
own time, that to-day we do not need its lessons? Are we so 
faithfully carrying out those grand principles of justice and 
humanity they died to maintain, that we need no reminding of 
our duty ; or shall we rather this day, assembled to offer a 
tribute to patriotism, feeling the presence of a threatening 
cloud in our political horizon, renew our pledges and strengthen 
our vows to stand till death for the Republic ? " 

James H. Upham, the chairman of the selectmen, ac- 
cepted the monument in behalf of the town. He said : — 




"The town of Dorchester accepts the tmst. Be assured, 
sir, she, the mother of free public schools, whose patriotism 
and liberality have been so tried in the early wars with the 
Indians, with the French in the colonial days, in the War of 
the Revolution, in the Shays's Rebellion, in the last war with 
England, and in the dreadful war so lately gloriously closed, 
and who has been found always true and trustworthy, will 
sacredly preserve the beautiful tribute of her citizens to the 
memory of sons who, in obedience to early instructions, and 
inherited purpose in morality, patriotism, and humanity, have 
laid down their lives on the altar of their country." 

At a meeting of the toAvn, held in April, 1865, a commit- 
tee was appointed, consist- 
ing of Edmund J. Baker, 
Edmund P. Tileston, and 
Nathaniel W. Tileston, to 
procure a seal, with a suit- 
able device, as a Corporate 
Seal of the town of Dor- 
chester. As a result of 
their endeavors, which 
were aided by the Anti- 
quarian and Historical 
Society, the committee offered the seal herewith given, 
with the following interesting explanation : — 

'* Your Committee have sought to emblazon upon the Town 
Seal such a device as would symbolize the acts which rendered 
the early settlers of this town a pecuhar people, and objects of 
gratitude and veneration b}^ their descendants for all time to 
come. The early settlers of Dorchester organized themselves 
as a church at the New Hospital in Plymouth, England, in 
March of 1630, prior to their embarkation for this country, 
which act was pre-eminently the corner-stone of the foundation 
of this town, although they did not arrive here until early in 
June of that year. This fact is expressed upon the shield by 
the rude thatch-roofed church which appears, without a chimney, 
in the dexter base of the escutcheon f 


"The free school, the sj^stem of which has been exerting a 
beneficial influence over the whole country, was established in 
this town in 1639, and is said to be the very first free school in 
the world. The foundation of this institution is recognized on 
the shield by the humble, thatched-roof building in the lower 
part of the shield, a little in the rear of the church. 

"With the liberty, and by grant of land and timber by the 
town in 1633, Israel Stoughton was induced to build a corn mill 
upon Neponset River, which was the first water-mill in the 
colony, if not in the country. This fact is symbolically noted 
by the rude mill, with its large wheel, which is seen upon the 
left bank of Neponset River, the course of which river, from 
its source to its mouth, lay through the ancient territory of 

" In the background will be recognized the Blue Hills which 
served as a landmark to pilot the early settlers to the mouth of 
Charles River, and from behind which the rising sun is shining 
upon a colony who left their homes in the mother country, not 
as adventurers in search of gold, as exiles, or for conquest, but 
the more precious boon of religious liberty. The triple-towered 
castle surmounting the shield, is adopted in respectful memory 
of Dorchester in Old England, of whose seal this is the prin= 
cipal charge (in commemoration of that borough having been 
formerly a Roman fortress), and from which place the infant 
colony derived much of its strength, both physically and 

"The motto upon the ribbon, ^ Pletate, Literis, Industria,* 
signifies that piety, learning, and industry were the prominent 
virtues which the early settlers coveted, and which their descen- 
dants unanimously accord to them." 

It has already been seen that Boston had become en- 
riched by appropriating, in 1804, that part of Dorchester's 
territory lying upon her northern border, vrhich consti- 
tuted her entire water frontage upon the inner harbor, 
including Dorchester Heights, — a portion of the town 
which was especially dear to the inhabitants on account of 
the historical associations which have ever been connected 

[1867. MODERN TOIES. 431 

with the spot. Agam, fifty years later, Washington Vil- 
lage was swallowed up by the city. Now, however, in 
1867, we find a movement on foot which finally resulted 
in the annexation of the whole town. A writer on the 
subject of annexation, at the time when it Avas agitated, 
gives us an excellent idea of the high position which 
Dorchester held when compared with her sister towns. 
He says : — 

' ' It does not seem strange that Dorchester should have 
enjoyed the precedence which the other towns of Massachusetts 
Bay so readily accorded her, in all civil assemblies, and at 
military musters, attributed by the early historians to her 
priority of organization ; nor is it difficult to conceive that if 
there had been a few feet more depth of water along the ten 
miles of shore which formed her sea boundary, we should 
not now be discussing the question of annexing Dorchester to 
Boston, but rather the propriety of admitting the peninsula of 
Boston to the metropolitan city of Dorchester. But if Dor- 
chester has not enjoyed the honor of inscribing ' Civitas ' upon 
her shield, she has been a liberal benefactress to the city of 
Boston, and may also rightfully claim to have been a mother 
of towns." 

In regard to the question of annexing Dorchester to 
Boston, or Boston to Dorchester, it has been suggested 
that, in spite of the generally accepted theory, many of 
the old inhabitants prefer to believe that it was Dorchester 
which received the additional territory of the town of 
Boston ! 

The possibility of being annexed to Boston did not 
dawn suddenly upon the good people of Dorchester. 
They had long seen that the city was outgrowing its 
limits, and must soon reach out in some direction or other 
to meet the ever-increasing demands. These had been 
partially met by the artificial construction on the Back 
Bay, and later by the annexation of Roxbury. With the 
latter event, Dorchester people saw that it was the ques- 


tion of only a few years, at most, when the subject must 
be proposed to them. As a matter of fact, it soon became 
apparent that the annexation of Roxbury made it almost 
imperative that a part of Dorchester be surrendered, in 
order to perfect a system of drainage for the newly ac- 
quired suburb. 

It was natural that, as soon as the question was agitated, 
the town should divide itself into two strong parties 
opposed to each other. The " friends of annexation," or 
"annexationists," as they were called by the opposition 
party, organized their forces and elected a " Committee on 
Annexation," consisting of Jolni G. Nazro, D. B. Sted- 
man, Wm. Pope, Charles Hunt, Sam'l Atherton, John J. 
May, W. P. Leavitt, A. T. Stearns, N. W. Coffin, H. L. 
Pierce, Asaph Churchill, Cyrus Brewer, John Preston, 
John B. Taft, A. C. Clark, and George Woodman. The 
annexationists also prepared the following petition: — 

To the Honorable the Senate and House of Representatives of the Com- 
monwealth of Massachusetts, in General Court assembled: 

The undersigned, citizens of the town of Dorchester, 
believing that the common interest will be promoted thereby, 
respectfully petition your honorable body to pass an act for 
annexing to the city of Boston all of said town of Dorchester, 
or such part thereof as may seem proper and expedient. 

Marshall P. Wilder. 
Samuel Downer. 


William Pope. 
Franklin King. 
Dorchester, Sept. 20, 1867. William E. Coffin. 

On December 10, 1868, the City Council of Boston 
passed the following resolution : — 

" Whereas^ in the opinion of the City Council, it has become 
necessary, in order to complete the systems of drainage and 
harbor improvements which have been devised for the benefit 
of Boston by the various commissioners who have had and now 

1868.] MODERN TIMES. 433 

have these subjects in charge, to assume a portion or a whole 
of the town of Dorchester to the city of Boston. 

" Ordered^ That his honor the Mayor be requested to appoint 
a commission of three discreet and intelligent persons, who 
shall carefully examine the subject, in all its financial, indus- 
trial, and sanitary relations, cause such sun^eys to be made 
by the city sui-veyor, or under his direction, as they may con- 
sider necessary, and report the result of their doings, with such 
suggestions as they may think proper, to the City Council, as 
soon as may be." 

The " annexationists " made further efforts to show the 
advantages of being joined to Boston by publishing a 
pampMet, written by N. W. Coffin, entitled "A Few 
Reasons in Favor of the Annexation of a Part of the 
Town of Dorchester to the City of Boston." This was 
freely circulated tlu'oughout the town ; and quotations 
from it are given below which show why the signers of 
the petition desired annexation : — 

" We have been asked, what advantages are to be gained by 
annexation to the city of Boston ? To this we answer, in the 
first place, that most of our citizens are now practically iden- 
tified with every interest of the city. The occupation b}" which 
they live and accumulate wealth are centred there, and they 
have as large a stake in whatever concerns her prosperity as 
any of those who happen to possess a fixed residence within 
her limits. We have not gone into the examination, but we 
believe it will be found to be true that the greater part of the 
tax raised in Dorchester is assessed upon property which has 
been accumulated in the city of Boston. It would be difficult 
to estimate the amount of property upon which residents of 
Dorchester are taxed in the city ; but it cannot fall much short, 
if it does not exceed, the amount in the town. Our relation to 
Boston, therefore, is one of vital importance, making it desir- 
able that we should have a voice and a vote upon every meas- 
ure that is likely to affect her welfare. There is an increasing 
tendency among the business population of the city to seek 
residences in the suburban towns, caused by the rapid conver- 


sion of dwelling-houses, in what were considered the most 
desirable parts of the city, into stores ; and this fleeing away of 
valuable citizens from duties which they once esteemed it a 
pleasure to discharge is a cause of serious concern, not only 
to those who are left behind, but to every intelligent citizen 
of the State, let him reside where he may, who appreciates the 
importance of good government in a city destined to wield so 
powerful an influence over its affairs as the city of Boston. 

"An infusion of fresh blood, by the introduction of a new, 
healthy, and vigorous population of the native race, such as 
our suburban towns are able to fui'nish, has been long felt to 
be necessary. The annexation of Roxbury is an important 
step in this du-ection, and is of so much value to the citizens of 
Dorchester, as well as those of Boston, as to lead us to wish 
that we may also be united to the great mass of intelligent 
men who will now have charge of the administration of her 
affau's. In this we may obtain the surest pledges for her 
safety, and for the security of all her public institutions, relig- 
ious, educational, and financial, so essential in their different 
spheres to our peace and happiness and the outward progress 
of civilization. And then, in respect to public improvements, 
if Dorchester is to remain a town for the next ten years, dis- 
connected from Boston, appropriations from the general gov- 
ernment will be necessary for the protection of our navigable 
waters. Will not these improvements be much more readily 
accessible, if embraced in the comprehensive plans of the city 
of Boston? •' 

" Looking to the full success of the systematized harbor im- 
provements which have been already commended, — the filling 
up of the South Boston flats ; the extensions of railroad tracks 
along the water front, and over this capacious area, furnishing 
the much-needed depository for heavy freights ; the consolida- 
tion of the Western and Worcester railroads ; the completion 
of the Hartford and Erie and the Hoosac Tunnel roads, by 
which the transportation of heavy freights in large aggregates 
can alone become possible; and, as a consequence, the great 
amount of shipping which will be required to carry those 
freights over sea, — we must believe that the territory which we 

1868.] MODERN TIMES. 435 

now propose to annex to Boston will not half suffice for the 
surplus population of the city. If this statement is not an over 
sanguine one, no delay should occur in the consummation of 
this measure. 

*'It is now practicable to widen streets; to open new ones; 
to lay out a grand avenue, and build a grand hotel; to set 
apart sufficient territory for a central park, while land is cheap, 
so that Boston may not be behind her sister cities upon the 
Atlantic coast in the means of relaxation and ventilation for 
her overflowing population. 

" We have spoken of our close identification with the city 
of Boston. It is so intimate and mutually beneficial, as 
scarcely to admit the idea of a line of separation. We spend 
our days toiling in her streets, and our nights within sound of 
her bells. The line that divides us is but little more than an 
imaginary one, and yet if we should need the aid of the police 
force of the city in any emergency, we could not obtain it, 
except by a good deal of vexatious circumlocution. If we 
wish to place our children in the higher grades of the public 
schools, we are as much barred as if we were citizens of a 
foreign country. If we would like to make use of the public 
library, the privilege is denied us ; and there are many other 
benefits which we have helped to make, and which we are con- 
stantly engaged in helping to preserve, from which we are 

" Annexation will give us a larger and more efficient police, 
which we very much need. It will give us a better arrange- 
ment of highways, projected on a scale comporting with the 
present and prospective wants of a great citj^ It will open to 
us all the valuable educational institutions of the city. It will 
benefit those who pay large taxes, in their more consistent 
assessment and equal equalization. It will bring our navigable 
waters to a more ready recognition by the general government. 
It will enhance the value of our land, and lead to its general 
improvement. It will furnish an active stinuilant to labor of 
all kinds, and lead to the establishment of mills, foundries, 
and industries of various sorts. We have an abundance of 
cheap land, which will be sought after by householders of 


moderate means. And by annexation we shall avoid a great 
evil, — the possibility of a city organization of our own, to be 
delivered from which every good citizen should constantly 

*'It is not difficult to find objections to every new under- 
taking, and there are, doubtless, some objections to this meas- 
ure. From the standpoint which we occupy to-day, and not 
looking before us, it may seem as though we were sufficiently 
well off as we are ; but this is looking at very short sight, and 
we are bound in conscience and in justice to those who shall 
come after us, not to be content with a narrow view. It is the 
future only that, as a collective body, we possess ; the past is 
lost to us. It is our duty so to shape our action to-day as to 
make that future an improvement upon the past. It may seem 
hard to the descendants of the first settlers, large numbers of 
whom still continue their residence amongst us, to ' be obliged ' 
to surrender the name of Dorchester, about which so many 
treasured recollections cluster; to merge the recorded history 
of the generations that have lived and died upon her soil, in 
that of a neighboring people, distinct and separate from her ; 
but the seeming hardship may be obviated by the retention of 
the name by the new town to be erected at Hyde Park ; and 
the people of that village certainly could not find a better or 
more honorable one, or one more worthy of transmission to 

"But this will not be necessary for the preservation of the 
history and traditions of the town ; or of the sacred places in 
which the fathers lie buried ; or of the relics and memorials, 
illustrating the rise and progress of the town, which their 
descendants, with so much patient industry, have gathered 
together. The territory would always be known as the precinct 
of Dorchester, and continue to be remembered as the seat of 
one of the earliest and most distinguished settlements of our 
Puritan ancestors. So with the ancient religious societies. 
Nothing would be lost of their existing records, or of the 
respect in which they are now held ; but, on the contrary, much 
gained by the wider spheres of usefulness which would be 
opened to them." 

1869.] MODERN TIMES. 437 

The opposition to the annexation was not organized ; but 
the Norfolk County Commissioners were much against the 
movement. A long argument was delivered by B. W. 
Harris, Esq., before the Committee on Towns of the 
Massachusetts Legislature, taking the points of advantage 
urged by the " annexationists," and denying their exist- 
ence. In May, 1869, the Legislature took up the question. 
As we have already seen, the City Council favored annex- 
ation, and the Mayor also approved. Eighteen gentlemen 
represented the town, and they presented a petition signed 
by eight hundred and sixty '' legal voters of the town of 
Dorchester." After listening to the arguments of both 
sides, a majority of the committee reported in favor of 
annexation ; the minority still urging that the movement 
would be " of no commercial advantage to Boston, and of 
no benefit to Dorchester. Her town affairs appear to be 
well managed; her roads are in good condition; her 
schools are among the best in the Commonwealth; and 
we fail to see that there is anything in her local affairs 
which cannot be as well provided for by the town as by 
Boston, and with as great economy." 

The Legislature voted to accept the report of the ma- 
jority, on the condition that a majority of the legal voters of 
Boston and Dorchester should express themselves in favor 
of it. A special vote was taken in both places on June 
22, 1869 ; and Dorchester cast 928 votes in favor of an- 
nexation, to 726 opposed, — a majority of 202. The 
annexation was therefore confirmed, taking place on the 
first Monday in January (the 4th), 1870. 

On December 28, 1869, occurred the last town meeting 
of Good Old Dorchester, when the last reports were re- 
ceived from the selectmen, and votes of thanks were 
extended to all the officers. Thus Dorchester, which was 
the first of the New England settlements to establish the 
ancient institution of the town meeting, transferred it to 


other towns as she took up her new existence as a part of 
the city of Boston. It is the proud boast of Dorchester, 
that, at the time of the annexation, it had not a single 
pauper witliin its almshouse, and there was no licensed 
liquor saloon within its limits. 

Had the fears of those who opposed annexation been 
realized, the history of Good Old Dorchester would prop- 
erly have ended here. Dorchester's individuality was not 
destroyed when she exchanged her independence to be- 
come the ''ward" of the city of Boston. The name 
" Dorchester " is to-day as familiar as if the town still 
existed under separate government; and the mention of 
the name recalls the ancient historical associations as 
vividly as ever. The anticipations of the most sanguine 
annexationists have been more than realized in the growth 
and development of Boston's oldest and most famous 

The values of real estate increased rapidly from 1870 
to 1875, which was due to the real estate " boom " which 
followed the annexation, inflating the prices of land 
to a fictitious value. This was followed by the inevi- 
table decrease in value, which came from 1876 to 1879, 
and left real estate in a disturbed condition, which re- 
quired several years to restore its equilibrium. Since this 
time the increase in valuations in Dorchester has been 
steady, and has been proportionate to the increase of the 
district in wealth and population. 

During the decade from 1870 to 1880, with the excep- 
tion of their unfortunate condition of real estate to 
which reference has been made, little of more than pass- 
ing interest occurred within Dorchester's limits. Streets 
were opened here and there ; estates w^ere divided to 
give increased opportunities for building; and houses 
sprang up, as if by magic, to meet the demands of the 
rapidly increasing number of inhabitants. Dorchester, 
which had been gradually filling up with strangers who 

1874.] MODERN TIMES. 439 

were attracted by the numerous advantages offered by the 
town, during these years added more names to its already 
long list of residents who could claim it only as the home 
of their adoption. The old inhabitants perceived more 
and more that the territory of their ancestors was being 
taken up by strangers ; and the spots, so long gazed upon 
with sacred associations, were passed by without arousing a 
single memory by these near neighbors. It is not strange 
that some of the descendants of the early fathers should 
have felt it in their hearts that, selfish and shor1>sighted 
though it might be, they would still have preferred to 
have the town remain as she was, rather than increase 
by adding strangers, as a result of coming under the pat- 
ronage of a great city. 

During the last twenty years, the town has suffered the 
loss, by death, of several prominent citizens wdiose lives 
contributed in no small degree to the welfare of the 
community in which they lived. The good work which 
they accomplished during their lifetime fortunately did 
not end with their lives ; for the example of their worth 
and integritj^ will ahvays keep alive their memory. 

Ebenezer Eaton died August 26, 1874. He was born 
June 8, 1787, at Meeting-House Hill, in Dorchester, on 
the site of what is now called Eaton Square, and his father 
kept a grocery and general store, and entertained parties 
in a hall in the house, which was a familiar landmark. He 
was at one time a captain in the militia, and retained the 
title of ^' Captain " until his death. After his marriage to 
Mrs. Mary Witliington, a daughter of Thomas Moseley, 
they lived in the house above mentioned. 

In politics Captain Eaton was a democrat, and held the 
position of inspector in the Custom House many years. 
After his removal by a change in administration, he became 
an auctioneer and appraiser, and held the office of select- 
man. He also represented the town in the Legislature. 


Although Dorchester was always a strong Republican 
town, he never was defeated at the polls. For many 
years, together with E. H. R. Ruggles and Lewis F. 
Pierce, Captain Eaton was a member of the '' old board " 
of selectmen, which managed their part of the town affairs 
with prudence and discretion. He was also one of the 
trustees of the Dorchester Savings Bank. 

Notwithstanding that Captain Eaton was a blunt, plain, 
outspoken man, he was one of remarkably good judgment 
and unquestioned integrity. He was a man of strong 
prejudices, but had a warm heart, and was always ready 
to help the poor and unfortunate. He had no children, 
but took a fatherly interest in his nephews. He is buried 
in the Old Burying-Ground at Upham's Corner, where rest 
the remains of so many of his early friends and associates. 

The following anecdote of Captain Eaton illustrates his 
peculiarities. After being elected to the Legislature on 
the citizens' ticket by a large vote, one of the deacons in a 
certain church in Dorchester came to him and said, '' Now, 
Captain Eaton, I voted for you, and respect you as a man 
and a neighbor, and as you are to represent the town in the 
Legislature, I want to ask you one favor ; that is, that you 

stop swearing." "D it," was the reply, "my swearing 

is like your praying, — neither of us means anything by it." 

Early in February, 1877, Flavel Moseley, an old Boston 
merchant, passed away. Although in business in the city, 
Mr. Moseley was closely identified with everything con- 
nected with Dorchester, and was a member of nearly every 
committee which had in charge the celebration of events 
of local importance. A friend says of him, " Declining all 
political honors, Mr. Moseley was a man firm in his faith 
in our form of government and its progress. Always fond 
of the society of the young, his sympathy and his aid were 
never sought in vain as long as his strength held out to 
make them of service." Mr. Moseley was seventy-nine 
years of age at the time of his death. 


1878.] MODERN TIMES. 443 

John Phillips Spooner, A. M., M. D., who died in Dor- 
chester May 4, 1878, was born February 28, 1797. He was 
a son of Dr. William Spooner, and, tlirough his mother, he 
was descended from Rev. George Phillips, the first minister 
at Watertown ; and, through his grandmother, from John 
Winthrop. He was graduated from Harvard College in 
1817, and received the degrees of A. M. and M. D. three 
years later. For about ten years Dr. Spooner practised in 
Boston ; but at the end of this period he removed to Dor- 
chester, where he resided until his death. He was for eigh- 
teen years a member of the school committee, and was a 
leading member of the Tliird Religious Society. A friend 
says of him : — 

'' Dr. Spooner was an enthusiast in his profession to the last 
of his life, — progressive in spirit, and always ready to welcome 
truth from whatever source. He was one of the best read 
physicians in Dorchester. He was a public-spirited man, giving 
his services freely and conscientiously in the interests of educa- 
tion. His memory is held in great respect both in and out of 
the profession." 

Samuel S. Pierce, the senior member of the well-known 
firm of S. S. Pierce & Co., died in 1880. He belonged to 
a family which has ever been included among the oldest 
Dorchester names. He was one of Boston's foremost mer- 
chants, holding an enviable position for his integrity and 
industry. It was due to his over-application to business 
that his health became broken, requiring him to give up 
active work several years before his death. 

A year later the town lost another valuable citizen in the 
death of Samuel Downer, the senior member of the firm of 
the Downer Oil Company, and the proprietor of Downer's 
Landing. Mr. Downer was a Free-Soiler ; and one of the 
most notable reunions which ever took place at Downer's 
Landing was that of the Free-Soilers of 1848, held August 
9, 1877. Here came Hon. Charles Francis Adams, Hon. 


E. Rockwood Hoar, Hon. George F. Hoar, Hon. Amos 
Tuck, and others ; and the Rev. James Freeman Clarke, 
and John G. Whittier wrote poems for the occasion. Mr. 
Downer continued the hibors in the interest of horti- 
culture which his father began, and the two accomplished 
much in beautifying the town, — the most notable work, 
perhaps, being the improvement of the Old Burying- 
Ground by Mr. Downer, Sr. Mr. Downer, Jr., was ''a 
man of practical piety, of sterling sense, of fine business 
ability, and a benefactor to the community." 

Let us turn for a moment to glance at the industries of 
the town, which have done much to make it possible for 
Dorchester to assume its present position. It will be re- 
membered that the early settlers intended to make the town 
a port for trade ; but the channel proved poor, and the land- 
ing was difficult, so that many of the trading men moved 
to Boston and Charlestown. Had it not been for this fact, 
the industries of Dorchester would require more space than 
this volume would allow; but, while limited in number, 
they include a few firms whose names have become famous. 

Until within the last century fishing was a prominent 
industry of the town. For some years before 1652 
John Holland lived at Captain's Point, the present Com- 
mercial Point. Here he engaged in cod-fishing, fitting out 
vessels which brought him a comfortable income. When 
he died, his widow sold the property, in 1660, to Daniel 
Preston. As early as 1634 Israel Stoughton petitioned the 
General Court for the right to build a wxir below his mill. 
This was granted on condition that he would sell the ale- 
wives at " five shillings per thousand, and as much less as 
he could afford." The exceedingly low price shows that 
alewives, at least, were plenty in these early days . 

During the latter part of the last century bass, shad, and 
alewives were taken in large quantities. At high water a 
net used to be stretched across Gulliver's and Sagamore 

1878.] MODERN TIMES. 445 

Creeks, and, as the tide went out, bass were taken in 
dip-nets in sufficient numbers often to fill a boat. The 
diary of Colonel Samuel Pierce contains many entries 
which show that fish were very plentiful. Under the date 
of 1772, May 2, he writes: "Caught 61 shad; May 4, 
caught 70 shad ; May 8, caught 560 shad ; May 11, caught 
a very large haul of shad, 15 barrels ; May 21, caught 21 
bass and 16 shad ; June 2, set our sein at Pope's Point, and 
caught 39 bass ; June 25, we made the largest haul of fish, 
catched 6000 shad, mainhaden, and bass." Early in this 
century alewives were smoked not only for private use, 
but also to be sent to market. Tom-cod were dipped up in 
nets at the head of tide-water, during December, in such 
numbers that they were used for manure, selling for five or 
six cents a bushel. Now, however, shad, bass, and alewives 
have entirely disappeared from our waters, and tom-cod is 
no longer sold for fertilizing purposes. An unsuccessful 
attempt was made by Governor Hutchinson, while he lived 
on Milton Hill, to propagate oysters in the river. A sloop- 
load was brought from Virginia, and planted in the river, 
but the experiment did not fulfil expectations. 

Controversy between Dorchester and the towns of 
Stoughton and Sharon on the question of fish, began as 
early as 1746. During this year the General Court was 
petitioned to order fish-gates to be made in the dams, so 
that the fish could pass up the river. The people of IMilton 
objected seriously to this, as it was a great inconvenience 
to be obliged to stop their mills. The granting of the 
petition would make it impossible for them to grind corn 
for about six weeks every year. The strong opposition 
was successful until 1791, when an act was passed by the 
General Court, as a result of another petition, compelling 
Samuel Leeds and Hugh McLean to construct fishways in 
their dams, eight feet wide and within eighteen inches of 
the mudsill. These were kept open from April 20 till 
June 1. This law was carried out ; but the towns above 


the dams failed to realize the advantages they anticipated. 
The waste of water, however, was such that the mills were 
seriously crippled in their work, so that the owners remon- 
strated against the enforcement of the act. 

In 1799 a new dam was built at the Lower Falls, and 
the fishways were closed. From this time until 1805 there 
were exciting times between the mill-owners and delega- 
tions from Canton, Sharon, and other towns above the 
dams. These deputations attempted to open places in the 
dams, while the mill-owners and their workmen turned out 
in full force to defend their property. In 1805 the ques- 
tion was brought before the Legislature, and Nicholas 
Tillinghast of Taunton, Eliphalet Lord of Weymouth, and 
Elijah Turner of Scituate were appointed a committee to 
investigate the matter, making such alterations in the dams 
as they thought advisable. The expenses of these altera- 
tions were to be assessed partly on the owners of the dams 
and partly on the towns. After the alterations thought 
necessary by the committee in the new dam were com- 
pleted, Edmund Baker, a half-owner, refused to pay the 
sum assessed, and the towns of Stoughton and Sharon 
brought a suit against him to compel payment. The court 
decided in Mr. Baker's favor, however, and the costs which 
the two towns had to pay were so far in excess of all pos- 
sible profit from the fishways, that discretion was consid- 
ered the better part of valor, and their jealous eyes were 
turned in other directions. 

In 1850 bluefish made their appearance near the mouth 
of the Neponset River, and were taken in large numbers ; 
and other fish were abundant in the river. It is with a 
sense of satisfaction that the author learns that the Nepon- 
set River was once plentifully stocked with fish ; for time 
has not yet completely obliterated the memory of one 
whole day when, as a boy, he tramped up and down the 
banks of the river, offering the most tempting inducements 
to the unaccommodating fish, who refused to reward his 
labors by even so much as a nibble. 

1878.] MODERN TIMES. 447 

The history of the house of Walter Baker & Co. is an 
interesting one. Chocolate was manufactured in the town 
as early as 1765, when John Hannan, an Irishman, was put 
in charge of a mill built on the site of the old powder-mill 
by Messrs. Boies, Wentworth, and Storer. This is said to 
have been the first mill of its kind in the British Provinces 
of North America. The chocolate industry passed through 
various hands until, in 1780, James Baker employed Edward 
Preston to manufacture the article for him, and by his 
business energy soon gained the advantage over his com- 
petitors. The business increased with astonishing rapidity, 
and it was soon apparent that Mr. Preston could not make 
the chocolate fast enough to meet Mr. Baker's demands. 
In 1789, therefore, arrangements were made with Sumner 
and Connor to erect a mill at their dam. Mr. Baker put 
Nathaniel Blake in charge of it ; and this proved satisfac- 
tory except that the mill was too far away from Mr. Baker's 
residence. In 1791 he fitted up part of David Vose's paper- 
mill with facilities for his business, and moved there with 
his son Edmund Baker as partner. This partnership lasted 
until 1804, when Mr. Baker retired, leaving the business 
entirely in his son's hands. 

Edmund Baker increased the business, hiring the mill in 
which Hannan first began the manufacture. Two years 
later, he built a new mill, and in 1813 erected a granite 
building. In 1818 Mr. Baker took liis son Walter into 
partnership, and six years later followed his father's exam- 
ple, retiring in his son's favor. Colonel Walter Baker was 
one of the most prominent men in the town, being closely 
associated with every event of local importance. Upon his 
death, in 1852, the property came into the control of Sidney 
B. Williams, a brother-in-law of Mr. Baker. Mr. Williams 
died two years later, and Henry L. Pierce, who had been a 
clerk both to Mr. Baker and JNIr. Williams, succeeded in 
the management of the business. Mr. Pierce has shown 
himself to be a public-spirited man, who lias done much to 


benefit the town. The " Henry L. Pierce School " owes its 
elegant building largely to his beneficence. Under his 
able management the house of Walter Baker & Co. has 
now gained a world-wide name, and "Dorchester" has 
become a household word in connection with the manu- 
facture of chocolate. The modest building which sufficed 
for the needs of the business in the last century, is now 
replaced by a plant covering more than forty acres of 
ground, on both sides of the Neponset River, on which 
some twenty buildings, including the great factories, with 
warehouses, shops, stables, etc., have been erected. 

Paper-making was added to the industries of the town 
about 1728. Mills for various purposes had been erected 
on the banks of the Neponset River ever since Israel 
Stoughton had built the first mill in America in 1633 ; but 
owing to losses by fire, and other reasons, few of them 
proved profitable. The Sumner family were early associ- 
ated with the mills ; but when William Sumner died, in 
1836, the firm composed of Edmund Tileston and Amor 
Hollingsworth came into possession of his property. The 
firm had already come into possession of both the McLean 
and Boies Mills. These had an interesting history. 

In 1828 Tileston & Hollingsworth pursued their policy 
further, and purchased the only remaining mills of the old 
Boies property, which belonged to Amasa Fuller and Jere- 
miah Smith Boies respectively. Thus the mill property 
which was formerly owned by Jonathan Jackson was again 
united, after having been separated for seventy-eight years. 

The mills thus early devoted to the manufacture of paper 
by Tileston & Hollingsworth have been used for the same 
purpose ever since ; and the firm now holds an enviable 
position among the paper-makers of the country. 

The Putnam Nail Company began the manufacture of 
horseshoe nails at Neponset some thirty years ago, and by 
degrees has gained a reputation for its products which is 
second to none. In 1860 thirty-tln^ee tons were manufac- 

1878.] MODERN TIMES. 449 

tured during the entire year ; to-day nearly ten tons is the 
daily production of the works. The company employs 
between four and five hundred hands. 

Good Old Dorchester has long been famous for the inter- 
est it has taken in horticulture. For the first twenty yeare 
of the existence of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society 
Dorchester and Roxbury furnished all its presidents and 
treasurers. The first settlers of the town brought with 
them a love of horticulture, and early laid out gardens and 
orchards. Several of the older present residents of Dor- 
chester have boasted the possession of pear-trees which 
have formed a direct link between the past and to-day. A 
glance at the estates of the present century which have 
become more or less famous brings to our attention those of 
the Hon. Marshall P. Wilder, ^ the Rev. Thaddeus Mason 
Harris, ^ William, Thaddeus, Frederick, and Lemuel Clapp, 
Ebenezer T. Andrews (the partner of Isaiah Thomas), 
Samuel Downer, Cheever Newhall, Zebedee Cook, Elijah 
Vose, William Oliver, John Richardson, and William R. 
Austin. Many of the choice fruits which are now in 
cultivation have gone forth from Dorchester, many of 
them bearing the names of Dorchester horticulturalists, — 
namely, the Downer cherry ; the Andrews, Frederick 
Clapp, Harris, Clapp's P^avorite, and other seedling pears ; 
the Dorchester blackberry, the President Wilder straw- 
berry, and the Diana grape, which was raised just over the 
Dorchester line, in Milton, by Mrs. Diana Crehore. This 
grape became prominent in 1843, being the first seedling 
American grape at the exhibitions of the Massachusetts 
Horticultural Society which was deemed worthy of notice. 
The Clapp's Favorite pear, mentioned above, was greatly 
desired by the Massachusetts Agricultural Club, who 
wished to name it after the Hon. Marshall P. Wilder, and 
to disseminate it for general cultivation. They offered 
Mr. Clapp one thousand dollars for the control of it, but 
the offer was declined. 

1 See page 462. 2 Ante, page 241. 


Dorchester's greatest debt of gratitude for its promi- 
nence in the horticultural world is due to the Hon. Mar- 
shall P. Wilder. His estate, on whicli his experimental 
grounds were laid out, was formerly owned by Governor 
Increase Sumner. At his death, in 1799, the estate passed 
into the hands of his son, General William H. Sumner, 
who was one of the founders of the Horticultural Society, 
and from whom it finally passed into Mr. Wilder's posses- 
sion. On these experimental grounds there were produced, 
during the last fifty years of Mr. Wilder's life, under his 
personal supervision, more than twelve hundred varieties 
of fruits ; and from thence there were exhibited, on one 
occasion, four hundred and four distinct varieties of the 
pear. Here the Camellias Wilderi, and the Mrs. Abby 
Wilder were originated by the art of hybridization, the 
latter of whicli received a special prize of fifty dollars. 
The Mrs. Julia Wilder, the Jennie Wilder, and other 
camellias were also raised in great perfection; while from 
Mr. Wilder's estate went to the Boston Public Garden, on 
its foundation in 1839, the entire collection of green-house 
and garden plants. 

The Rev. Dr. Harris was a great lover of fine fruit, and 
said on one occasion to Mr. Wilder : " Your exhibition of 
pears is grand ; but there is one variety that I miss, — the 
Bon Chretian (the Good Christian). I shall bring some 
forth from my garden to-morrow." 

Zebedee Cook, who served as the second president of the 
Massachusetts Horticultural Society, some sixty years ago, 
had a large garden opposite the Andrews estate, on the 
east side of the then turnpike road, where he grew, with 
great success, several kinds of foreign grapes, apricots, 
peaches, and pears. Among the grapes there was a white 
variety named Horatio, after Mr. Horatio Sprague, con- 
sul at Gibraltar, from Avhom Mr. Cook received it. This 
grape is now popularly known among famous varieties 
as the Nice grape. 

1878.] MODERN TIMES. 451 

Cheever Newhall was the first treasurer of the Massa- 
chusetts Horticultural Society, and a distinguished culti- 
vator. On his estates he had extensive orchards which 
embraced a large number of varieties, especially of the 
pear, which he cultivated with great success up to the time 
of his death, in 1880. Mr. Newhall's place was once the 
residence of Thomas Motley, father of the historian, John 
Lothrop Motley, and of his brother, Thomas Motley, the 
president of the Massachusetts Society for Promoting 
Agriculture, who were here born. A coincidence in regard 
to John Lothrop Motley is that he was born, as here stated, 
in Dorchester, Massachusetts, and died in Dorchester, 

Elijah Vose, the third president of the Massachusetts 
Horticultural Society, was the possessor of a fine orchard, 
in which he grew several fruits to great perfection. His 
greatest success was in producing the Duchesse d'Angou- 
leme pear. 

William Oliver, vice-president of the Massachusetts 
Horticultural Society, grew pears and other fruits which 
attracted attention for their excellence. His estate be- 
came afterwards the residence of Ex-Governor Henry 
J. Gardner. 

An old garden in Dorchester which deserves attention 
is that which is supposed to have been laid out first by 
Governor Oliver in colonial times. It is connected with 
the house in which Edward Everett was born, and is 
better known to the people of later Dorchester from the 
number of choice fruits and flowers which have been pro- 
duced there from seed by the diligence and skill of John 

William R. Austin, at one time treasurer of the Massa- 
chusetts Horticultural Society, had a pear orchard wliich 
became celebrated for the size and beauty of its fruits, 
produced by pruning the trees into the shape of a wine- 


The celebration of the two hundred and fiftieth anniver- 
sary of the settlement of the town, which was held in 
March, 1880, it will be remembered, commemorated the 
gathering of the Church in Plymouth, England, and the 
departure for America ; while the second celebration was 
in commemoration of the planting of the Church and 
Colony in Dorchester, coincident with the settlement of 
the town itself. Under the modern reckoning, the old 
date (June 6, O. S.) fell upon the 17th of June. The 
weather without, like the exercises within, furnished a fit- 
ting complement to the first celebration. The soft, balmy 
air and mellow sunshine of a perfect June day contrasted 
strongly with the wintry aspect and chill breezes of Easter 

'' June," writes the chronicler of the celebration, " lent 
her flowers in rich profusion for the decorations of the 
day. Great masses of mountain-laurel hid the pulpit 
behind its gloss}^ leaves and snowy blossoms. Connecticut, 
so early founded by energetic settlers from Dorchester, 
sent her fresh greeting of laurel to blend with that of 
Massachusetts. Heavy banks of roses filled the air with 
fragrance. Among them Avas one from a bush which, tradi- 
tion says, was brought over in the ' Mary and John.' From 
Providence came a bunch of damask roses, from stock 
brought from England in 1726, and a spray of white roses 
from a bush taken from Plymouth, Massachusetts, one 
hundred years ago." On the fronts of the galleries was 
the conspicuous motto, wrought in evergreen, " God be 
with us as with our fathers ; " and on either side of the 
pulpit the figures '' 1630-1880." A large basket of flowers 
was suspended from the centre-piece of the auditorium. 
The vestry was hung with pictures and sketches of Dor- 
chester, England, kindly loaned by the Rev. Edward G. 

One of the most interesting events of the celebration 
was the reception of a telegram from the mayor of Dor- 

1880.J MODERN TIMES. 453 

Chester, England, conveying the affectionate greeting of 
the mother town. The message arrived at ten o'clock in 
the morning, just before the services began, and was 
received with great applause. It read as follows : — 

" Old Dorchester sends cordial greetings to New Dorchester 
upon its two hundred and fiftieth anniversary, and warmly 
reciprocates its affectionate attachment." 

Among the relics displayed were, the study-chair of John 
Eliot, " apostle to the Indians," now in the custody of the 
First Parish ; a copy of the Rev. John White's '' Way to 
the Tree of Life," published in 1647, the property of 
William B. Trask ; and a model of the chair in the Town 
Hall of Dorchester, England, in which Judge Jeffreys sat 
while presiding at the Bloody Assize, A. D. 1658. 

The morning exercises included an invocation by the 
Rev. Frederick Frothingham ; prayer by the Rev. E. N. 
Packard; Scripture selection by the Rev. Charles A. 
Humphreys ; singing of Psalm 90 ; sermon by the pastor, 
the Rev. Samuel J. Barrows ; original ode, by Miss Eliza 
T. Clapp ; closing prayer, by the Rev. Warren C. Wilson ; 
singing Psalm One Hundred and Seven, from the old Bay 
Psalm Book, and benediction by the Rev. George A. 

After the morning service, the guests of the day were 
escorted to Lyceum Hall, where a bountiful collation was 
served. At half-past two the exercises were again trans- 
ferred to the First Parish Church, where Thomas J. Allen, 
the chairman of the committee, introduced the various 

Governor John D. Long said : — 

*'I cannot forget, standing here speaking for the Common- 
wealth, that with all the faults of our ancestors, — which mif!:ht 
have been drawn more distinctly, and, I think, should have 
been, — we owe to them the foundations of this material prog- 
ress and advancement. We owe to them this progress in higher 


and greater things, — religious liberty, freedom of speech and 
thought and action, which is limited only by our mutual rights. 
We owe it to them that Massachusetts to-day is a State with 
such a form of government that she really governs herself, — 
a commonwealth with a people so brave, so educated, so 
founded on principle and character, that they govern them- 
selves. And so, while we do not forget the great advantages 
we possess, and the great gain we have made, we shall also 
do well if we maintam oui* ancestors' standard of high 

Hon. Marshall P. Wilder was introduced, as aptly illus- 
trating a remark made by Swift, that "whoever could 
make two ears of corn or two blades of grass to grow upon 
a spot of ground where only one grew before, would de- 
serve better of mankind and do more essential service to 
his country, than the whole race of politicians put to- 
gether." Portions of Mr. Wilder's remarks are herewith 
given, as drawing a different side of Good Old Dorchester 
from that so ably discussed by the preceding speakers : — 

" Dorchester, with her widespread landscape, her noble hills, 
her towering heights, looking down on the same old ocean that 
two hundred and fifty years ago brought our fathers to these 
shores, has ever been memorable in the history and annals of 
our nation ! Her noble heights and her beautiful scenery are 
scarcely less memorable in historic interest than the Capitoline 
hills of old Rome, or those of Boston. On this spot were the 
homes of Warham, Maverick, Mather, Harris, Codman, and 
other godly ministers who have succeeded them, each of whom 
honored his profession, and was a blessing to the world. 
Here, too, and near by, was the home of Hancock, Warren, 
Otis, the Adamses, the Quincys, and other illustrious cham- 
pions of human freedom. Yonder is Bunker Hill and Charles- 
town, and near by our own Dorchester Heights, where the first 
great blow was sti'uck that closed the American Revolution, 
and where General Washington encamped with his army on 
that memorable night in March, 1776, as Mr. Everett said, on 
this very spot, ' with the holy stars for his camp-fires, and the 

1880.] MODEKN TIMES. 455 

deepening shadows of night looped up by the hands of God to 
the four corners of the sky, for the curtain to his tent.* 

"I thank you, Mr. Chairman, from the bottom of my heart, 
for alluding to me in connection with the cultivation of the 
soil. For threescore years and ten, aye, more, I have been 
importuning Nature to disclose the secrets of her wonder-work- 
ing power by which she strews the earth with living stars 
scarcely less brilliant and numerous than the glittering hosts 
above ; and she has revealed to me some of those secrets. 
She has given me, from the rough and rocky soil of Dor- 
chester, many a luscious fruit and many a fragrant flower, 
which have been distributed through this land, and which will 
live to bless the world long after he who produced them shall 
have been buried in the bosom of mother-earth. 

Dr. George E. Ellis was the next speaker, and the ven- 
erable president of the Massachusetts Historical Society 
paid the following tribute to the town : — 

" So, with the meeting-house, parish, church, represented 
here, the history of the town and early generations is iden- 
tified. It is a most rich and instructive history, — knit in with 
the sort of incidents and events which, seeming trivial, and of 
merely local concern as they transpu-e, are found afterward to 
have been impulses moving to conspicuous measures and high 
principles of truth and duty. That history is starred and beau- 
tified by the nobleness and virtues of men and women, trained 
here for all the services to country and home, sacrifices for 
posterity, care for children, and all the sacred toils inspired by 
a deep piety and a lofty integrity. Nor is there lacking in 
your history the element of rich romance, stern, pathetic, ex- 
citing, fond, and gentle, without help from the fictions of the 

When Joseph Leeds, Esq., of Philadelphia, was intro- 
duced, he preceded his remarks by a request that all those 
persons who were present at the anniversary fifty years ago 
should rise ; and in response about thirty-five membei-s of 
the audience stood up. The Rev. Gowen C. Wilson, of 


Windsor, Conn., representing the colony planted by the 
early settlers of Dorchester, spoke of the attachments of the 
child to its parent. 

Among the other speakers were Hon. William Everett, 
the Rev. Edward Everett Hale, John Langdon Sibley, 
librarian of Harvard College, and the Rev. E. G. Porter, 
of Lexington. The exercises of the day closed by singing 
the hymn ''America." As the chronicler of the event 
wrote : " Thus ended a day which will be long remembered 
in Dorchester from the grateful memories and the genial, 
patriotic, and Christian sentiments it awakened." 

Letters expressing regret at their inability to be present 
were received from General Ulysses S. Grant, Hon. Robert 
C. Winthrop, Dr. Oliver Wendell Holmes, Hon. Charles 
Francis Adams, General W. T. Sherman, President Charles 
W. Eliot, and others. 

On June 13, 1881, Deacon Ebenezer Clapp, who for 
forty years was clerk of the First Parish, and for twenty- 
seven years deacon of the church, passed away. He was 
one of the most familiar figures of the town. Universally 
beloved for his sterling character, universally admired for 
his laborious endeavors to preserve the early records of 
his native town, and universally respected for his fidelity 
in all he undertook, Deacon Clapp's death left a vacancy 
in the town which never has nor can be filled. A friend 
says of him : — 

" The memorial slab on the gate of the Old North Burying- 
ground of Dorchester, bears this inscription : — 

'Deacon Ebenezer Clapp, 1881.' 

*' He was a descendant of Nicholas Clapp, who came to Dor- 
chester ' about the year 1633.' He was a genuine fruit of the 
Puritan tree, with the virtues of the race, but without their 
faults : strong and decided in his opinions, yet tolerant of those 
of others ; of stern integrity, but of a gentle nature ; and, to 

1881.] MODERN TIMES. 457 

quote the quaint words of an old writer, ' of a guileless heart 
and a spiritual simplicity that would be ornamental in a child.' 

" His life was not an eventful one. He was best known as 
an antiquarian, and as the author of a portion of the ' History 
of Dorchester' (1859), and the genealogy of the Clapp family. 
He has also left in manuscript a history of the first Dorchester 
church. As an antiquary, he was distinguished for the extent 
and accuracy of his knowledge, and for his honesty in record- 
ing. His statements were accepted as authority. 

''He was no mere antiquary; he had the true spirit of the 
historian. His ancestors were to him, not stilted personages of 
the distant past, but human beings of flesh and blood. With 
him the past stood up before the present. With him it was a 
work of love to record the vii'tues of the old Puritans. He 
acknowledged their faults, but reverently covered them with the 
mantle of his charity. Of all the names on that memorial slab 
will be found that of no nobler man than Ebenezer Clapp." 

The Rev. S. J. Barrows, in his sermon at the funeral 
exercises of Dea. Clapp, paid the following tribute to his 
memory : — 

" Seventy-two years ago, April 24, 1809, Ebenezer Clapp 
was born in the town of Dorchester. His place of birth was 
but a short distance from the home where he died. Deacon 
Clapp's family history may be traced right back to the old 
Puritan stock. He was a direct descendant of Nicholas Clapp, 
who was born in England in 1612, and who probably came to 
Dorchester in 1633, as his name is found on the records of the 
town for that year. Nicholas Clapp was a cousin of Roger, 
who came over in the 'Mary and John' in 1630. Deacon 
Clapp was born in the lap of fortune, the very best fortune a 
man can have, — the fortune of a sturdy, moral, intellectual, 
and physical constitution. His early education was conducted 
in the little schoolhouse near the place of his birth. 

"No memorial of Deacon Clapp would be at all complete, 
or even natural, which did not inchule his delicate, rich, and 
delightful humor. He was as thorough a Puritan as Nicholas 
Clapp, his ancestor, or as Oliver Cromwell himself, but he was 


not one of the straight-laced variety. The genial, the incon- 
gruous, and the cheerful side of life was promptly perceived by 
him ; and the sunbeam that fell upon his own heart was sure 
to be reflected in some other heart. The genial, warm stream 
of humor in Deacon Clapp's nature never dried up. It was 
very refreshing in his later years, and always kept him young. 

"It was for his tastes and his work outside of his business 
relations that he was most widely known. He seemed to 
inherit Noah Clapp's profound interest in Dorchester. It was 
his meat and his drink to study its late and early fortunes, to 
trace the stream of individual life which were confluent in its 
history. He was the prime mover in organizing the Dorchester 
Historical and Antiquarian Society ; the first meeting was held 
at his house, and he was corresponding secretary for thirty- 
five years. He published the ' History of Dorchester,' pre- 
pared by a committee of that society, and had a large share 
in the compilation of the work. For a great many years he 
devoted himself to the collection of facts concerning the 
genealogy of the Clapp family in America. His remarkable 
energy, industry, and enthusiasm in these pursuits is seen in 
the ' Clapp Memorial,' which is a monument, not only to the 
great Clapp family, but to the fidelity, patience, and conscien- 
tiousness of the compiler. His ' Recollections as a Parish 
Clerk,' and other historical articles would make another, and, 
to the general public, perhaps the most interesting of the three. 
His memory was like a series of pigeon-holes, where facts were 
carefully labelled and stored away, ready for reference; his 
judgment was good ; his patience and industry in research 
were untiring ; he was conscientiously accurate, and his percep- 
tion of great principles was not inferior to his perception of facts. 

" His strong religious nature and his historic sense com- 
bined to create a great interest in the history of this church 
(First Parish, Unitarian) and parish. We all know how thor- 
oughly he was versed in all its traditions, and for how many 
years he assisted by his assiduous sei^vices in two most im- 
portant offices to maintain its dignity and unblemished repute." 

Dr. Erasmus D. Miller, a prominent physician and siir- 
g-eon of the town, died July 5, 1881. Dr. Miller began 



1881.] MODERN TIMES. 461 

his practice in Dorchester in 1843, where he continued in 
his profession until his death. A fellow-member of the 
Dorchester Medical Club writes of him : — 

'* Dr. Miller's personal appearance was striking. Of slender 
make and medium height, dressed with scrupulous nicety, his 
long, snow-white hah and beard, and full, keen blue eyes, made 
a figure not soon forgotten. A quick sense of the ludicrous, 
the shrewdest knowledge of human nature, a power of rapid 
observation, strong common-sense, an unusual ability to adapt 
himself to any society in which he might find himself, rather 
than wide reading or scientific research, made him rare good 
company." ^ 

St. Mary's Church suffered in 1885 a similar loss to 
that of the First Parish four years previously, by the 
death of another member of the Clapp family. John 
Pierce Clapp was born in Dorchester February 12, 1803, 
and died May 28, 1885. He was confirmed in 1842 by 
Bishop Griswold, and was one of the early promoters of 
St. Mary's parish. For almost forty years he was chosen 
to be a warden of the parish, and occupied the office of 
senior warden for thirty-five consecutive years. The fol- 
lowing extracts are taken from a commemorative sermon 
preached at St. Mary's Church May 31, 1885 : — 

*' Under whatever phase we consider his character, whether 
in respect to its inner and spiritual qualities, or to its external 
and social relations, we may trace in both the controlling in- 
fluence of the two ideas which early ruled him, — duty and 
responsibility. Whether as husband or father, as friend or 
citizen, as soldier or town officer, as vestryman or warden, his 
entire nature seemed to be keenly sensitive to the demands of 
duty and active in the discharge of his responsibilities. 

" Regular in his attendance upon divine senice, loyal to his 
town and country, tender and courteous in his manner, wise in 
council, honorable in his dealings, simple in his tastes, an 
ardent observer and lover of nature, a man of deep religious 

1 Boston Medical ami Surgical Journal, 1881, vol. ii. pp. 384-385. 


feeling, he has long filled a place in our society alike honorable 
and honored. By the members of the vestry he will long be 
remembered for the old-time dignity and uniform courtesy with 
which he presided over its deliberations. 

' ' The parish in general will miss the sight of his slender 
form and venerable face as he passed through the aisles, 
gathering the alms of the worshippers so regularly during the 
long term of his office. By his death the rector has lost one 
whom he venerated as a father and loved as a friend. 

"His kind words, good deeds, and wise counsels will come 
to mind at odd moments ; and all these will testify to his hav- 
ing been in all his relations faithful. I know of no tribute to 
his memory more deserved, no trait of his character more 
prominent, no award which he would have more highly prized 
than this. In whatever relation he sustained, he was faithful, 
— ' faithful unto death.' Satisfied with a long life, he has 
now entered into rest. Having in many ways showed him his 
salvation, God has at length permitted this faithful servant, — 
another aged Simeon, — to depart in peace." 

The death of Hon. Marshall P. Wilder, December 16, 
1886, removed one of Dorchester's best-known adopted 
sons. He was born in Rindge, N. H., September 22, 1798, 
where he early became interested in agricultural pursuits. 
In 1852 he established himself as a merchant in Boston ; 
but in his career as a successful business man he lost none 
of his love for agriculture and horticulture. He was one 
of the founders of the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, 
and served as president of the association from 1840 to 
1848. He also initiated the organization of the State 
Board of Agriculture, and assisted in the establishment of 
the State Agricultural College and of the United States 
Agricultural Society. That his conspicuous ability and 
integrity was fully recognized by his fellow-citizens is 
sufficiently proved by the numerous positions of public 
and private trust to which he was called, and which he 
always worthily filled. His long services in connection 
with the Massachusetts Horticultural Society were duly 

1886.] MODEEN TIMES. 463 

recognized by that body, which, upon his retirement, pre- 
sented him with an elegant silver pitcher, and caused his 
portrait to be placed in its hall. 

In 1839 he was induced to serve for a single term in the 
Massachusetts Legislature as a representative of the town 
of Dorchester. In 1849 he was elected a member of Gov- 
ernor Briggs' council, and the year following a member of 
the senate and its president ; and at the time of liis death 
he was the oldest ex-president. In 1860 he was the mem- 
ber for New England of the national committee of the 
'' Constitutional Union Party," and attended, as chairman 
of the Massachusetts delegation, the national convention 
in Baltimore, where John Bell and Edward Everett were 
nominated for president and vice-president of the United 

The death of Thomas J. Allen, August 31, 1887, re- 
moved another of the familiar figures of the later life of 
Good Old Dorchester. Mr. Allen was born in Boston 
January 31, 1819, and went directly from school into 
business. He was married in 1851, and made his home in 
Dorchester from that time. During his thirty-five years' 
residence in Dorchester Mr. Allen filled many positions of 
responsibility and honor. He was, as a friend said of him, 
" a true citizen, a man to be trusted, one who acted from 
conscientious motives and religious principle." Mr. Allen 
was always closely identified with the First Parish ; for 
more than twenty years serving on its standing committee, 
and for half that period holding the position of chairman. 

On June 23, 1889, the town celebrated the two hundi-ed 
and fiftieth anniversary of the establishment of the first 
public school in Dorchester. An account of the exercises 
is contained in a preceding chapter; but the following 
poem, written for that occasion by Mr. Hezekiah Butter- 
worth, and read by Prof. George W. Blish, belongs to the 
history of the town rather than to that of the school. It 
is, therefore, given here in full : — 



It was Thanksgiving Day, and the sea-meadows lay- 
In long russet curves 'round old Dorchester Bay ; 
The sturdy oak mansions had opened their halls, 
The chimneys had smoked on the Mystic and Charles, 
And Grandfather Minot looked out on the sea — 
The last of the Dorchester Pilgrims was he — 
And he leaned on his cane, and he said, " They are gone, 
The Pilgrims who sailed on the ' Mary and John,' 

That old Thanksgiving Day, 

Into Dorchester Bay." 

On the settle he sat, and gazed on the sea, 
And questioning Thankful stood there at his knee ; 
The blue-birds had gone from the gentians blue, 
And white clouds of gulls o'er the white waters flew. 
"Go, Thankful, and bring me the Bible," he said ; 
And then, where the Israelites murmured, he read. 
Then gazed on the sea. "They are gone, all are gone. 
The Pilgrims who came on the ' Mary and John,' 

That old Thanksgiving Day, 

Into Dorchester Bay," 

" The Israelites murmured for Egypt," he said. 

'Gainst his locks, silver white, pressed a golden-tressed head. 

And he read the blue eyes, and some strange stories told 

Of Massasoit's feast on the Thanksgiving old; 

Of the Psalm Day for Ltitzen •, then gazed on the sea — 

" They longed for the bondage of Egypt," said he, 

" And looked back to the past. They are gone, all are gone, 

The Pilgrims who came on the ' Mary and John,' 

That old Thanksgiving Day, 

Into Dorchester Bay." 

" Fifty times, Father Minot, you say you have seen 
The white islands change into islands of green ; 
Fifty times in the elms seen the orioles' wings. 
And heard the red woodpeckers number the springs. 
I love the strange tales of the Pilgrims of yore, 
And of those who first landed on Dorchester's shore. 
How they sang on the sea I They are gone, all are gone, 
The Pilgrims who sailed on the ' Mary and John,' 

On that old summer day, 

Into Dorchester Bay." 


" I, too, love the places where good has been done, 
For the field blossoms long that has victory won ; ' 
I love old Point Allerton's headlands of pine, 
And the oak-shaded beaches that Dorchester line. 
'T was there, off the Bay, on summer's first morn, 
That our anchor was dropped from the ' Marv and John,' 
Near yonder green isles. They are gone, all are gone, 
The Pilgrims who came on the 'Mary and John, ° 

On that fresh summer day. 

Into Dorchester Bay. 

" The western winds blew through horizons of calm, 
And sweet o'er the waves rose young Maverick's psllm; 
There dropped the white sails, and the anchor was cast, 
And we knelt down to God round the motionless mast. 
And our thanksgiving made, and psalms followed the prayer, 
And the birds sang with us on the spars in the air. 
'T was our Thanksgiving Day ! They are gone, all are gone, 
The Pilgrims who sang on the ' Mary and John,' 

With the land birds that day. 

In old Dorchester Bay." ; 

*'But, grandfather, listen : The islands turned gray, 

And the north winds came down, and the ice filled the bay ; 

Of food there was little ; the women lay low 

With fever and hunger ; men wandered through snow 

To buy from the Indian a bushel of corn ; 

And returned not the sails of the ' Mary and John.' 

And what did you then ? They are gone, all are gone. 

Who sailed 'neath the flag of the ' Mary and John.' 

What did you that day, 

By drear Dorchester Bay ? 

" You know that the sad heart turns homeward in pain. 
That murmured the Hebrews for Egypt again, 
And I have a question to ask of you here, 
On this to our homes and old memories dear: 
Did my mother, whose grave now the gentians enfold. 
E'er long for old England, and Dorchester old ? 
And did you ever murmur, as those who are gone, 
Who sailed on the deck of the 'JMary and John,' 

From the home lands away, 

Far from Dorchester Bay ? " 



" I am glad that you asked me that question to-day, 

And my lips shall speak truly by Dorchester Bay. 

A true life has no secrets, but open it lies. 

As the lips of the sea and the smiles of the skies. 

No ; the dark winter 's passed and the snow changed to dew, 

And the blue-birds sang sweet 'mid the violets blue, 

And they never looked back, those pioneers gone, 

They never looked back for the ' Mary and John,' 

In life's darkest day 

By lone Dorchester Bay. 

" All places are pleasant where good has been done, 
Where freedom and faith have their victories won. 
And your mother was thankful for that summer day 
That brought us, the Pilgrims, to Dorchester Bay. 
'T was she named you Thankful, one white winter morn; 
May you never look back for the ' Mary and John ! ' " 
His tears fell on her hair. " They are gone, all are gone. 
The Pilgrims who sailed on the ' Mary and John,' 

That first Thanksgiving Day, 

Into Dorchester Bay." 

They gazed on the sea, and the white gulls flew by, 
And the twilight of fire left to ashes the sky, 
The woods were all silent, the voiceless winds stayed. 
Till the bell of Neponset rang out o'er the shade. 
And solemn and slow was the bell's mellow tone ; 
On the still air resounded each stroke, deep and lone ; 
And its voice seemed to say, " Gone, gone, all are gone ; 
Gone the Pilgrims who sailed on the ' Mary and John,' " 

As its tones died away 

Over Dorchester Bay. 

Oh, let us be thankful for heroes like these. 
Who warred with the storms on the land and the seas ; 
Whose faith, overcoming the world and its guile, 
Ne'er turned from its course to life's palm-shaded Nile ; 
Who held that the hopes of the future outshone 
The treasures of fortune, the smiles of the throne. 
Give thanks for such men on the Thanksgiving morn, 
Such heroes as sailed on the " INIary and John." 

Let the bells ring to-day 

Around Dorchester Bay. 

1890.] MODERN TIMES. 467 

Dr. George M. Reed, one of the most prominent of the 
younger physicians of the town, died in February, 1890. 
He was a graduate of Brown University and of the 
Harvard Medical School. After spending a year in Eu- 
rope, he began to practise medicine in Dorchester in 1881, 
occupying Dr. Miller's office on the Upper Road until he 
built his house on the corner of Tremlett and Washington 
Streets in 1884. He was a member of the Dorchester 
Medical Club ; and was a man of unassuming manner, but 
of much sound sense, being unusually successful and 
beloved for one so young. 

Oliver Hall, a life-long resident of Dorchester, died this 
same year. He was one of the selectmen of the town from 
1840 to 1855 ; he was town treasurer for ten years ; and 
he represented the district in the State Legislature during 
the years 1846-47, being a member of the Whig party. 
He was prominent in all events which concerned the town, 
and served in all of his responsible positions with marked 
fidelity and zeal. 

The name of Mrs. Walter Baker will long be remem- 
bered in Dorchester, not only because of her delightful per- 
sonality, but also for the many acts of benevolence which 
she performed. She was married to Mr. Baker in 1840, and 
first lived in Boston ; subsequently, however, her husband 
purchased the fine estate on the corner of Washington and 
Park Streets, in which she resided until her death in 1891. 
Rev. Edward G. Porter, writing of her, says : — 

" Having lost her four chiklren in early hfe, she drew to her- 
self a large number of friends in such a hospitable manner 
that she was never at a loss for companions all the rest of her 
life. Her guests included both the rich and poor, the old 
and the young, the cultivated and the unfortunate. With a 
rare magnetism and the broadest sympathy she attracted per- 
sons of every name and station from near and from far. Greek, 
Italian, Bulgarian, Japanese, African, and Indian visitors have 
sat at her table. . . . When the War of the Rebellion broke 


out Mrs. Baker opened her house, and furnished quantities of 
material for the women of Dorchester to make into clothing 
for the volunteers. She visited the army hospitals, and gath- 
ered a large number of books for the Soldiers' Free Library at 
Washington. She had a strong character, an independent 
mind, a discriminating judgment, and a boundless charity." 

During this same year also occurred the death of Hiram 
W. Blanchard, one of Dorchester's oldest and best-known 
citizens. Mr. Blanchard was especially prominent as an 
anti-slavery advocate, and was an influential member of the 
Dorchester Anti-Slavery Society, which has already been 
referred to. He AA^as an active business man, and together 
with Asa Robinson, in 1832, landed and sold the first cargo 
of coal in Neponset. He was a frequent contributor to 
the newspapers, and the articles over his initials were 
always of interest and value. He was a man of wide 
information, and a most genial companion. 

Within the last few years the social advantages of Dor- 
chester have been improved by the formation of strong 
organizations for that purpose. The scope of these clubs, 
and the object of their existence, may be seen from the 
following brief sketches of their history. 

The Old Dorchester Club was incorporated in 1890 for 
"the promotion of acquaintance and social intercouse 
among the residents of Dorchester." The club, upon its 
organization, hired a building upon Robinson Street ; but 
it was found later that the building and location were not 
adequate to the wants of its members. In the autumn of 
1891, therefore, an effort was made to increase its member- 
ship with a view to buying land and building a larger 
house ; and this resulted in its present membership of 225 
active members (the limit), and twenty non-resident (un- 
limited) members. The commodious club-house, which is 
located at the corner of Pearl and Pleasant Streets, Avas 
erected in 1892. The present officers are as foUoAA^s : Pres- 

1892.] MODERN TIMES. 469 

ident, "William B. Bird; Vice-Presidents. Thomas F. 
Temple, William Garrison Reed, George R. Nazro ; Treas- 
urer, John P. May ; Secretary, Joseph G. Grush. 

The Central Atliletic Club was organized in 1892 for 
athletic and social purposes, Frederick K. Folsom being 
one of its most enthusiastic advocates. The formation of 
the club is that of a corporation, — its capital stock of 
$15,000 being divided into three hundred shares, which are 
subscribed for by the members. A well-appointed club- 
house has been erected ; and three tennis-courts have been 
built, which are second to none in the State. The present 
officers are as follows: President, Frank A. Foster; 
Vice-President, John M. E. Morrill; Secretary, T. F. 
Jenkins ; Treasurer, Frederick K. Folsom. 

The Dorchester Woman's Club was organized in 1892, 
and its success from its inception has shown that it has 
met a long-felt want in the town. The early meetings 
were called together by Mrs. Clara M. Ripley, and were 
addressed by Mrs. Judith Smith, of the Home Club, East 
Boston. Its purpose was to promote moral, social, and 
intellectual culture in the community. Starting with a 
nucleus of twenty-eight members, the club soon reached its 
limit of three hundred, and has had for some time a large 
waiting-list. During its first year of existence it succeeded 
in establishing itself upon a firm basis, and its meetings 
were of interest and instruction to its members. Among 
those Avho addressed the club were Mrs. Julia Ward Howe, 
Dr. Salome Merritt, Mrs. Kate Gannett Wells, Mr. Henry 
A. Clapp, Mrs Ednah D. Cheney, IMrs. Minerva B. Tobey, 
and Mrs. Clara Erskine Clement Waters. The club is 
non-sectarian, and includes women from all parts of Dor- 
chester. The present officers are as follows: President, 
Mrs. Ellen Dana Orcutt ; Vice-Presidents, Mrs. Emily A. 
Fifield, Mrs. Julia K. Dyer, Mrs. Clara M. Ripley ; Record- 
ing Secretary, Mrs. Mary C. Eddy ; Corresponding Secre- 
tary, Mrs. Alice Taylor Jacobs ; Treasurer, Miss Mary 


Brant Little ; Directors, Mrs. Harriet E. Bean, Miss Annie 
A. Emerson, Mrs. Minnie Fowle, Mrs. Emeline C. Ricker, 
Miss Charlotte A. Vinson, Miss Florence Everett, Mrs. 
Minnie Young, Mrs. Clara E. Badlam, Mrs. Royal Whiton, 
Mrs. Emily H. Bush, Mrs. Ellen E. C. Blair, Mrs. Eliza- 
beth P. Soule. 

The first legal meeting of the Codman Club was held 
July 19, 1892, and a constitution and by-laws were adopted, 
the name being chosen in honor of the Rev. John Codman. 
The erection of the club-house at once commenced upon 
the location on Adams Street, Dorchester, near the conver- 
gence of Minot, Marsh, Granite, and Codman Streets. The 
club first occupied its house Christmas, 1892, — its formal 
opening and dedication occurring on February 24, 1893. 
The club is not cosmopolitan, but a neighborhood affair, 
and was organized upon a somewhat original principle, as 
is evidenced by the fact that the wives and lady friends of 
members are at all times welcome, and have the full use and 
enjoyment of all parts of the house, in common with mem- 
bers. Experience has proved the wisdom of this course, as 
the club has been a large factor in the social life of the 
community. The club is this year a member of the Massa- 
chusetts Amateur Bowling League. It has at present one 
hundred members, and the present officers are as follows : 
President, J. G. Young, Jr. ; Vice-Presidents, James E. 
Hall and H. S. Carruth; Treasurer, R. A. Pepper; Secre- 
tary, B. T. Wheeler ; Directors, the above, and F. L. Pierce, 
Otis Eddy, F. M. Wood, W. A. Roundy, C. E. Tileston. 

On April 10, 1893, a meeting was held for the purpose 
of organizing the Dorchester Historical Society. Two 
years previous to this time an act had been approved for 
the incorporation of the society, but nothing further was 
done at that time. The organization was successfully 
effected, however, at the meeting referred to above, and 
William H. Whitmore was elected president, Thomas Mair 
treasurer, and Willis B. Mendum secretary. The board of 

J893.] MODERN TIMES. 471 

directors consists of John J. May, James H. Stark, 
Elbridge Smith, Thomas W. Bicknell, Herbert M. Manks, 
and D. Chauncy Brewer. The society is now firmly estab- 
lished with twenty-five active members, and meetings are 
held every month. One of the by-laws provides that 
women shall be admitted upon equal terms with the men. 

Mrs. Lucy Stone, the most prominent woman who has 
claimed Dorchester as her home, died October 18, 1893. 
She was the daughter of a farmer, and her early struggles 
and subsequent successes in advancing the position of 
woman won for her a name which will be long remem- 
bered. The best account of her life and work is given by 
her daughter, Miss Alice Stone Blackwell, Avho writes : — 

"Little Lucy grew up a healthy, vigorous chikl, noted for 
fearlessness and truthfulness, a good scholar, and a hard 
worker in the house and on the farm, sometimes driving the 
cows barefooted by starlight, before the sun was up, when the 
dew on the grass was so cold that she would stop on a flat 
stone and curl one small, bare foot up against the other leg 
to warm it. Every one on the farm worked. The mother 
milked eight cows the night before Lucy was born, and said, 
regretfully, when informed of the sex of the new baby, ' Oh, 
dear ! I am sorry it is a girl. A woman's life is so hard ! ' 

" The little girl early became indignant at the way she saw 
her mother and other women treated by their husbands and by 
the laws ; and she made up her childish mind that those laws 
must be changed. Her father helped his son through college ; 
but when his daughter wanted to go, he said to to his wife, ' Is 
the child crazy ? ' The young girl had to earn the money her- 
self. She picked berries and chestnuts, and sold them to buy 
books. For years she taught district schools, studying and 
teaching alternately. She soon became known as a successful 
teacher. Once she was engaged to teach a ' winter school ' 
which had been broken up by the big boys throwing the master, 
head foremost, out of the window into a deep snow-drift. As 
a rule, women were not thought competent to teach the winter 


term of school, because then the big boys were released from 
farm work and were able to attend. In a few days she had 
this difficult school in perfect order ; and the big boys who had 
made the trouble became her most devoted lieutenants ; yet she 
received only a fraction of the salary paid to her unsuccessful 
predecessor. At the low wages received by women teachers, it 
took her until she was twenty-five to earn the money to carry 
her to Oberlin, then the only college in the country that ad- 
mitted women. Crossing Lake Erie from Buffalo to Cleveland, 
she could not afford a stateroom, but slept on deck on a pile of 
grain sacks, among horses and freight, with a few other women 
who, like herself, could only pay for a ' deck passage.' 

"At Oberlin she earned her way by teaching in the prepar- 
atory department of the college, and by doing housework in 
the ladies' boarding hall at three cents an hour. Most of the 
students were poor ; and the college furnished them board at 
one dollar a week. But she could not afford even this small 
sum ; and during most of her course she cooked her food in her 
own room, boarding herself at a cost of less than fifty cents a 
week. She had only one new dress during her college course, 
— a cheap print, — and she did not go home once during the 
four years; but she thoroughly enjoyed her college life, and 
found time also for good works. 

*' Her first public speech was made during her college course. 
The colored people got up a celebration of the anniversary of 
West Indian emancipation, and invited her to be one of the 
speakers. The president of the college and some of the pro- 
fessors were invited to speak. She gave her address among 
the rest, and thought nothing of it. The next day she was 
summoned before the ladies' board. They represented to her 
that it was unwomanly and unscriptural for her to speak in 
public. The president's wife said : ' Did you not feel yourself 
very much out of place up there on the platform among all 
those men? Were you not embarrassed and frightened?' 
' Why, no, Mrs. Mahan,' she answered. ' Those men were 
President Mahan and my professors, whom I meet every day 
in the classroom. I was not afraid of them at all ! ' She was 
allowed to go with an admonition. 


1893.] MODERN TIMES. 475 

" She travelled over a large part of the United States. In 
most of the towns where she lectured no woman had ever 
spoken in public before, and curiosity attracted immense 
audiences. The speaker was a great surprise to them. The 
general idea of a woman's rights advocate, on the part of those 
who had never seen one, was a tall, gaunt, angular woman, 
with aggressive manners, a masculine air, and a strident voice, 
scolding at the men. Instead, they found a tiny woman with 
quiet unassuming manners, a winning presence, and the 
sweetest voice ever possessed by a public speaker. This voice 
became celebrated. It was so musical and delicious that per- 
sons, who had once heard her lecture, hearing her utter a few 
words, years afterward, on a railroad car or in a stage coach, 
where it was too dark to recognize faces, would at once ex- 
claim unhesitatingly : ' That is Lucy Stone ! ' " 

We have now come to the point where we may gain an 
excellent idea of the present prosperity of the town by a 
comparison of the condition of its various institutions to- 
day with their condition in years gone by. This compar- 
ison will show that the progress in every department has 
been steady and rapid. Let us glance first at the territory 

Area. — We have seen that until 1662, when Milton was 
set off as a separate township, Dorchester was bounded by 
Boston, Roxbury, Dedham, Wrentham, Taunton, Bridge- 
water, and Braintree (the present Quincy). The town 
extended from Dorchester Point, as South Boston was then 
called, out as far as the Castle (the present Fort Indepen- 
dence) and to within one hundred and sixty rods of the 
Rhode Island line. We have seen how Milton, Wrentham, 
Stoughton, Dedham, Sharon, Foxboro', Canton, Dorchester 
Heights, Washington Village, and Hyde Park were set 
aside from the mother town. We have seen how Dorches- 
ter set aside six thousand acres of land for the use of the 
Indians at Ponkapoag, and how she later lost six thousand 
acres more through blunders of the surveyors. In spite of 


this, the limits of the town have never yet been reached by 
its ever-increasing inhabitants ; but, on the contrary, they 
have proved elastic enough to include a large proportion 
of the overflow from the crowded city. 

Dorchester to-day contains one-hfth of the territory in- 
cluded by the city of Boston. Its extreme length from 
northeast to southwest is about two miles and a half, and 
from northwest to southeast about two miles. The total 
amount of territory covered by the city of Boston is 
23,707 acres, of which Dorchester contains 5,614 acres. 
The town is bounded by South Boston on the north ; by 
Dorchester Bay on the east ; on the south by the Neponset 
River, which separates it from Milton ; and by Hyde Park 
and West Roxbury on the west. 

Hon. Thomas W. Bicknell, in an interesting series of 
articles on the subject of "New Dorchester," recently 
published in the " Dorchester Beacon," gives the following 
description of the geographical character of the town. 
He says : — 

* ' The sm-f ace outUne of Dorchester is very irregular, diver- 
sified with hills and valleys, with a marked elevation, extend- 
ing from north to south, along or near the line of Washington 
Street on an average of over one hundred feet above the sea 
level, and at certam points, as at Codman Hill and Mt. Bow- 
doin, over one hundred and fifty feet in height. Mt. Ida, 
Meeting-House Hill, Wellington Hill, Jones's Hill, Ashmont, 
and Pope's Hill are spurs or independent elevations of the 
range of elevated land projecting southward from the High- 
lands and extending in a northwesterly direction into and 
across Brookline. On the south the valley of Neponset marks 
the bed of the old glacial plough that wrought on the hills and 
levelled them from the heights of Mt. Washington perhaps to 
the present elevation of the Blue Hills. Stony Brook Valley 
is the natural drainage of the section west of Washington 
Street, and north of Codman Hill, while the Neponset River 
and Dorchester Bay receive the waters to the south and east of 
the same elevations. Since that early day of ' Old Dorchester ' 

1893.] MODERN TIMES. 477 

the glaciers have levelled the hills and filled the valleys in great 
measure ; and a rich alluvial deposit and vegetable mould, suit- 
able for the growth of great forests or the productions of the 
farm, the orchard, and the garden, have covered the rocks and 
clay beds which underlie our deep black soil. 

' ' With such a contour, Dorchester could not be other than 
a fine residence section, contiguous as it is to a large and grow- 
ing city, having in its near neighborhood, and in delightful 
prospect on the southern horizon, the Blue Hills, the highest 
and most picturesque range of hills of Eastern Massachusetts. 
And it is only in Dorchester, on the north, that this range can 
be called distinctively blue ; for if one approaches them so near 
as the Milton line at Neponset, or recedes as far as the State 
House in Boston, they cease to be Blue Hills and become only 
green, gray, brown, or other colored elevations, and only com- 
mon hills. To see the Blue Hills in all their glory one must 
stand near the site of the old Gibson Mansion on Franklin 
Park at the summit of Blue Hill Avenue, or on the summit of 
Mt. Bowdoin, or at a distance of about four miles from the 
hills at any point on the heights of Dorchester." 

Another recent writer says of Dorcliester : — 

"Its close proximity to the ocean, with refreshing breezes 
throughout the summer months, superb views from its elevated 
points of Boston Bay, and harbor of unrivalled beauty, com- 
bining the freedom and delights of the country with the advan- 
tages and privileges of the city, pure nivigoratiug air, good 
drainage, — all these features are steadily drawing the most 
desirable class of home builders. Most of its territory is 
occupied by handsome and attractive private residences, with 
extensive grounds, beautiful lawns, and shade trees around 
them; while the stores are clustered around certain centres, 
such as Upham's Corner, Mt. Bowdoin, Field's Corner, Ash- 
mont, Lower Mills, Mattapan, Neponset, and on Washington 
Street at the terminus of the Grove Hall and Dorchester branch 
of the West End electrics. One main line and two branches 
of steam roads run throughout the entu'e length of Dorchester, 
— the New York and New England railroad on the west, the 


Milton branch of the Old Colony railroad on the east, and the 
Shawmut branch through the centre, giving in all about 
eighteen stations, with over thirty trains each way daily, on the 
New York and New England railroad, and nearly as many on 
the Old Colony branches, taking from eleven to eighteen or 
twenty minutes to the different stations. The Grove Hall and 
Dorchester electric cars run on Washington Street to the ter- 
minus one block beyond Norfolk and Centre Streets, and 
another line on Dorchester Avenue to Milton, while a third 
line turns off at Field's Corner and goes to Neponset. The 
time by electric cars from Franklin Street to terminus is about 
forty-eight minutes. A suburban railway is in contemplation 
that will cross the Dorchester district to Newton." 

Population. — The growth of the population of the town 
has been remarkable. In 1800 the number of inhabitants 
was 2,347 ; in 1850 it was a little less than 8,000 ; and in 
1892 it was not less than 40,000. This has been due in no 
small degree to the natural attractions of the town ; but 
the increase could never have been so rapid but for the 
excellent opportunities, as already mentioned, for transpor- 
tation by steam and electricity. The annexation of Dor- 
chester to Boston, in 1870, made it advantageous for the 
wealthy landliolders to make Brookline or Milton their 
home, owing to the larger rate of taxation imposed under 
the new regime. This has lessened the number of citizens 
possessed of great wealth; so the inhabitants may be 
classed, as a whole, as the well-to-do people of moderate 
means, who build unostentatious but substantial homes, 
leading useful, active lives, and belonging to that class of 
citizens who form the backbone of the State. 

Schools. — The growth of the educational advantages 
offered by the town is one of the most noticeable features 
in its history. The establishment, in 1639, of the first free 
public school supported by public taxation may be con- 
sidered a matter of history. This was followed by a grad- 
ual increase in scholars and schoolhouses until, in 1792, 

1893.] MODERN TIMES. 479 

there were 552 children who received the benefits of the 
schools. One hundred years later, in 1892, the number of 
pupils attending the public schools alone was 5,519 ; while 
many more attended the various private institutions of 
learning. Since the annexation of Dorchester to Boston, 
the city has improved the schools, and has built excellent 
schoolhouses ; but the town had no reason to feel ashamed 
of the condition of its school department when it was 
delivered over to the city proper. 

Cliurclies. — Reference has been made to the religious 
unity of Dorchester. We have seen that until 1806 there 
was but one church and one creed in the town ; and that 
in this First Parish, from 1636 to 1893, a period of two 
hundi-ed and fifty-seven years, there were but eleven 
ministers, — an average pastorate of twenty-four years. 
From this mother church sprang offsprings, from which 
other organizations have branched, until the town now 
contains some thirty church societies, representing nearly 
every denomination. 

We have now come to the close of the narrative history 
of Good Old Dorchester. We have followed the fust 
settlers of the town through their early colonial struggles ; 
we have seen their descendants assist to thi'ow off the yoke 
of oppression, and enjoy the sweets of liberty ; we have 
Avatched the creditable position taken by the town in the 
War of the Rebellion ; we have followed the early fathers 
to church and to school, and have seen the gradual changes 
which have given their children more enlightenment and 
greater opportunities ; we have learned the history and the 
romance which have become associated with the ancient 
structures which have served as landmarks year after 
year; and, finally, we have studied the more recent 
events, which show us the town as it exists to-day. 

From the narration of these facts the reader can but feel, 
as the Hon. John D. Long said at the two huncbed and 



fiftieth celebration of the settlement of the town, that 
Dorchester " sprang like Minerva from the brow of Jove, 
fully equipped and matured." The first settlers of the 
town came from an atmosphere of more extended learning 
and attainments than did most of the early colonizers. 
They were influenced by such men as the Rev. John 
White, and by the broad-minded governors, John Endi- 
cott and John Winthrop. It was natural, therefore, that 
they should not need the development which comes from 
contact with and conquest over people of superior accom- 
plishments ; but, escaping the lowest and most degrading 
phases to be found in many similar enterprises, should 
have started at the summit. 

The Dorchester citizen of to-day may feel that — with 
the advances which have been made in every branch of 
science, with the superior opportunities for learning, with 
the modern advancement — he is far ahead of his ancestor 
who trod the same ground more than two centuries and a 
half ago. Well may he feel so ; and yet let him remember 
that, long years after he has passed away and is forgotten, 
the history of the first town government and the first free 
public school will keep alive the memory of those who laid 
the foundations of Good Old Dorchester. 



A CKLEAG, John, 139. 
-^ Adams, Charles Francis, 208; E. 

F.. 426; Samuel, 129; William, 139; 

William T., 201, 353, 427. 
Ahauton, Job, 77. 

Ainsworth's Version of the Psalms, 220. 
Alcott, Dr. William A., 340. 
AUbright, Henry G., 280. 
Allen, Isaac, 139; Joane, 62; John, 44; 

Samuel, 139; Samuel, Jr., 139; Thomas 

J., 453,463; Wilkes, 329. 
Almshouse, 147. 
Amory, Thomas C, 208. 
Anderson, John, 91; J. B., 419. 
Andrews, Ebenezer T., 449; Samuel, 

141; Thomas, 44,91; William T., 51. 
Andros, Sir Edmond, 85 ; overthrow of, 88. 
" Annals of Dorchester," 195. 
Annexation, 430-439. 
Antiquarian and Historical Society, 194, 

195, 199, 213, 429. 
Anti-Slavery Society, 181, 182. 
Apthorp, Sarah Wentworth, see il/7'S. 

Perez Morton. 
" Arbella," arrives at Salem, 30. 
Arnold, Deacon Eliaphaz W., 278. 
Artillery, 171. 
Ashburnham, 92. 
Aspinwall, Thomas, 208. 
Atherington, John, 146. 
Atherton, Consider, 91; Ebenezer, 139; 

Hope, 311; Humphrey, 108; Increase. 

234; John, 139; Joseph, 91 ; Samuel, 

Atherton, Major-General "Humphrey, 60; 

letter from John Eliot, 65 ; sketch of, 69, 

70 ; member of first school committee, 

297, 300, 301. 
Attleboro'. 109, 123. 
"Aunt Sarah's Brook," 196. 
Austin, William R., 449, 451. 

BABCOCK, Samuel, 140. 
Badcock, Samuel, 146 ; William, 144. 
Badlam, Mrs. Clara E., 470. 
Badlam, General Stephen, 149; sketch of, 
158; signs letter to First Church, 251; 

deacon in Second Church, 264; member 
of committee on schoolhouses, 332. 

Bailey, Calvin, 413; Rev. Nathan, 277; 
Thomas F., 419. 

Baker, David, 141; Edmund, 146, 446, 
447; Edmund J., 194. 195,429: George, 
141; James, 146, 286, 321, 332: James, 
Jr., 139: Richard, 56; Thomas, 139; 
Timothy, 136; Walter, 157, 184, 187, 
192, 447'; Mrs. Walter, 405, 467 ; Walter, 
& Co., 447; AVilliam, 91. 

Ball Hughes House, 379-389; illustration, 

Bank, first, 174. 

Banvard. Rev. Joseph, D. D., 277. 

Baptist Society, First, 277. 

Barn, An Historic, 375-377. 

Barnard Capen House, 356, 357; illustra- 
tion, 137. 

Barnard, F. E., 426. 

Barr, Adam, 91. 

Barrett, Natlianiel Augustus, 398. 

Barrows, Rev. Brainard W., 277; Rev. 
Samuel J.. 247, 249, 267, 350, 453, 457. 

Barry, Redmon, 141. 

Bartlett, B. F., 426; David B., 194. 

Bascomb, Thomas, 44. 

Bass, Rt. Rev. Edward, 282. 320. 

Bates, Alpheus, 141; Elisha, 141; Elisha, 
Jr., 141. 

Baxter, Edward W., 149; G. D., 427; G. 
R., 426; Sylvester, 67. 

Bay Psalm-Book, 220. 

Beale, Joseph H., Jr., 282. 

Beals, Israel, 139; Seth, 141. 

Bean, Harriet E., 469. 

Beaumont, James, 196. 

Belcher, Gregory, 67 ; Moses, 146 ; Sam- 
uel, 139. 

Bell, ordered to be rung, 112; gift to 
church of, 124, 240. 

" Belle," the, 177. 

Belshar, William, 91. 

Benham, John, 39. 

Bent, Shepherd, 146. 

Berry, Edward, 141. 

Bicknell, Thomas W., 471, 476. 

Billings, George W., 419; Isaac, 318; 



John, 136, 139; Lemuel, 139; Lemuel, 

Jr., 141; Captain Oliver, 136; Richard, 

Billings' Plain, 66. 
Bird, Aaron, 141, 146; Comfort, 141; 

Daniel, 139 ; Eben, 139; Edward, 139; 

Henrv, 139; Henrv, Jr., 139; Elijah, 

139 ; " Edward, Jr., 141 ; Lsaac, 141 ; 

Jacob, 139 ; James, 305 ; J. E., 426 ; 

John, 101 ; John, 146 ; Jonathan, 139; 

Jonathan, Jr., 139, 324 ; Joseph, 139 ; 

Lemuel, 141; Samuel, 139 ; Thomas, 

91, 234; Thomas, 136 ; William, 223; 

William B., 468. 
Black, J. T., 427. 
Blackman, Eliakim, 146 ; John, 139, 142, 

143 ; J. H., 427 ; Lemuel, 146 ; Moses, 

141 ; Samuel, 139. 
Blair, Mrs. Ellen, E. C, 470. 
Blake, Mrs. Edward, 413; Henrv N., 

419 ; Deacon James, 84, 285, 370 ; 

James, 139 : Jonathan, 139 ; Lemuel, 

139 ; Nathaniel, 139 ; Samuel, 139 ; 

William, 44. 91 ; William, 139; W. E. 

419, 426. 
Blake House, 369, 370 ; illustration, 63. 
Blake, James, the Dorchester immigra- 
tion, 22; character of Captain CJap, 

92 ; Ponkapoag set off from Dorchester, 

111 ; sketch of Rev. Mr. Danforth, 112; 

growth of town, 113 ; expedition 

against the French, 116, 117; injustice 

shown, 121 ; drought of 1749, 121 ; 

death, 123; "Annals of Dorchester," 

Blanchard, Hiram W., 468 ; William A., 

Blanev, William, 141. 
Blish,'Prof. George W., 463. 
Bluckman, L. S., 420. 
Blue Hills, 67, 74, 77. 
Bodge, Edward, 146 ; Rev. George M.,276. 
Boies, James, 132 ; Jeremiah Smith, 448. 
Bolton, Nicholas, 240. 
Bond, George, 3i0. 
Boston, 29, 35, 49, 62, 66, 78, 148, 164, 

289, 290, 351. 
Boston Harbor, first accurate description 

of, 24 ; described by William Wood, 28. 
Boston Tea Party, 129. 
Bostwick, Zachariah, 141. 
Boundaries, established, 74; described, 

78 ; difficulties concerning, 109. 
Bowdoin, Governor James, 304. 
Bowen, B. F., 419. 
Bowman, Rev. Jonathan, 112, 143, 159, 

160 ; sketch of, 236, 237 ; William, 322. 
Boynton, George F., 425, 426; T. S., 426. 
Bradford, George G., 282 : Martin L., 282. 
liradlev, Jonathan, 139; Nathan, 108, 139 
Bradshaw, Aaron, 419; J. N., 426. 
Bradstreet, Simon, 88. 
Braintree, town of, 67, 78. 
Branker, John, 40. 

Breck, Edward, 44. 78. 

Brewer, Cvriis, 432; D. Chauncy, 471; 

Rev. Darius R.,278; John, 146; Thad- 

deus, 146. 
Briarit, John, 91. 
Bridges, 149, 157. 
Bridgewater, 78. 
Bridgham House, 360. 
Brighain, Jonathan, 360. 
Briggs, Clement, 62. 
Brimsmead, William. 101. 
British, in Boston, 132, 133. 
Brookline, town of, 129, 348. 
Brooks, Rt. Rev. Phillips, 282. 
Brown, Benjamin F., 383, 386, 389; 

David, 426; John, 81. 
Browne, C. A., 426. 
Bultinch, Rev. S. G., 203. 
Bumpus, Deacon Laurin A., 264. 
Bunker Hill, Battle of, 131, 164. 
Burr, H. D., 426 ; Rev. Jonathan, con- 

troversv with Rev. Richard Mather, 

57, 58 ;'sketch of, 232. 
Bursley, John, 44. 
Burying-Ground, fence built around, 83; 

description of, 283-285; epitapLs in, 

Bush, Mrs. Emilv H., 470. 
Butler, Henrv, 309. 
Butler School, 332. 
Butt, Richard, 91. 
Butterworth, Hezekiah, 463. 

GALLEY, Peter, 91. 
Cambridge, 129, 162. See Newton. 
Campaign of f840, 189-192. 
Campbell, James, 426. 
Canada, expedition against, 90, 91. 
Canton, town of, 47, 65, 78, 375; set off 

from Dorchester, 78. 
Capen, Barnard, 40, 356, 357; Bernard, 

139; Christopher, 141; Davis, 347; 

Ephraim, 139; Captain John, 40, 82, 

96; John, 141; John, Jr., 139; John, 

Jr., 332; Jonathan, 413; Nahum, 283; 

Preserved, 108; Samuel, 146, 264; 

Theophilus, 324. 
Caps, Isaac, 91. 
Carr, Frank, 427. 
Carriel, Thomas, 141. 
Carruth, Herbert S., 470; Nathan, 194. 
Carter, Joshua, 40. 
Castle, The, described by Captain Clap, 

59; Roger Clap appointed captain of, 

74; boundaries extend to, 78; training 

at, 159; burned, 164. 
Castle Island, 59. 
Catholic Church, see St. Peter. 
Cattle, provision for, 47. 
Central Athletic ('lub, 469. 
Chadwick, S. S., 427. 
Chambers, William, 146. 
Champney, Samuel, 139. 



Chandler, William, 329; Samuel, 91. 
Channing, Rev. William E., 252. 
Chaplin, Moses, 91. , . 

"Charles Carroll," the, 177: description 

of, 177, 178 ; arrival of, 178. 
Charles City, Va., 289, 290. 
Charles River, 23, 29. 
Charlestown, 29, 36, 129, 162, 289, 290. 
Cheney, Samuel, 324; William, 91. 
"Chesapeake," the, 151, 152, 153. 
Chickataubut, Josias, chief of the " Mas- 
sachusetts " Indians, 31 ; good-will 
towards early settlers, 31, 77; contro- 
versy with King Philip, 77 ; death of, 
77. ' 
Child, Griffin, 330. 
Chittenden, Albert, A., 282. 
Choate, Rufus, early sufferings of the 

Puritans, 32. 
Choate, Rufus, 427. 
Chocolate, 447-448. 
Chocolate mill, 157, 163, 174. 
"Chronological and Topographical Ac- 
count of Dorchester," 235, 242. 
Church, essay towards gathering, 42; 
exercises i'ts correcting power, 48 ; 
the corner-stone of the community, 
215; early prominence of the, 215; 
customs, 216; going to, 217; order of 
services, 217; length of prayers, 218, 
219; seating of the congregation, 219; 
music, 220-222; frigid atmosphere in, 
222, 223 ; first meeting-house, 223 ; dis- 
cussion as to precedence of church at 
Dorchester or Windsor, 227, 228; cove- 
nant, 228-230; new meeting-house, 
233; meeting-house of 1678, 235 ; meet- 
ing-house of 1743. 239,240; unity of, 
247 ; list of ministers of First Pansh, 
247, 248; lands belonging to the, 270, 
271; summary, 287-288, 471. 
Churchill, Asaph, 432. ^„ ,„- 

Church Records, extracts from, 9<, iU7. 
Cillev. Mrs. William H., 398. 
Civil" War, see Rebellion. 
Clap [Clapp], Abner, 139; A. W 426; 
David, 141; David, 400: David, Jr., 
139 ; Ebenezer, 91, 139 ; Ebenezer, Jr , 
139 146, 160, 161; Deacon Edward, 
91 '248; Edward. 141, 146: Dr. Ele- 
azer, 168; Elisha, 139; Eliza. T., 453; 
Ezekiel, 141; Ezra, 139; Henry A., 
184, 188, 282; Elder Hopestill, 109, 
306; John, 304; John, 141,146; J. C., 
407- .Tohn P., 282, 461; Jonathan, 108, 
141;' Jonathan, Jr., 139 ; Deacon Joseph, 
251 264, 268; Lemuel, Captain, 136, 
359; Lemuel, Jr., 141; Lemuel, 449; 
Nathaniel, 139; Nicholas, 67; Noah, 
121, 147, 318, 319; Richard, 51; Sam- 
uA 87. 306; Samuel, 141; Samuel, 
245, 420; Samuel, Jr. 146; Supply, 
141, 318; Ihaddeus, 449; Thomas, 
141 '; William, 449. 

Clapp, Deacon Ebenezer, Jr., 194, 195, 
208, 240, 245, 248, 267, 352; sketch 
of, 456 ; portrait of, 459. 
Clap House, 358-360. 
Clap, Roger, 24, 27; early privations 
and hardships, 33; freeman, 40; de- 
scription of the Castle, 59 : threatened 
invasion bv the Dutch, 73 ; appointed 
captain of 'the Castle, 74; autograph, 
92; sketch of, 92; death, 92 ; me- 
moirs of, 195; signs petition to Gene- 
ral Court, 303; lavs out school land, 
304; home of, 358; children of. 358. 
Clark, A.C, 432 ; George, 183; G. H.,426; 
Jeremiah Tucker, 184; Richard, 183. 
Clarke, Bray, 44; Joseph, 40; Solomon, 

91; William, 67. 
Clement, Augustine, 40, 91, 265; Mrs. 

Elizabeth, 265. 
Clubs, 468-471. 
Coaches, see Staqe-conches. 
Cobb, Moses S., 202, 208. 
Cobb, Madam, 390. 
Coddington, W., 66. 
Codman Club, 470. 

Codman House, 414-416 ; illustration, 1< 5. 
Codman, Rev. John, D.D., description 
of Midway, Ga., 100, 101: delivers 
address, 169; death of, 199; introduc- 
tory prMver bv, 246; sketch of, 253; 
controversy w^'ith members of Second 
Church, 254-263; portrait of, 261; 
connection with Dorchester Academy, 
340; meetings with Webster, 391, 392; 
purchase of Codman House, 414; Cod- 
man Club named for, 470. 
Codman, Captain John, 223, 341, 371, 414. 
Codman, William C, arrival of the 
"Charles Carroll," 178; presidential 
campaign of 1840, 189-192 ; the Web- 
ster House, 390 ; anecdote of ^^ ebster, 
392; recollections of Dorchester Acad- 
emy 402-404. 
Coffin,' Charles Carleton, 353 : N. W., 
4,32, 433: William E., 432; Deacon 
Z. E., 278. 
Cogan, John, 40. 

Cole, Nathaniel, 139. ^ „„ ,^ 

CoUacott [Collicot] Richard, 2<, 40. 
Collin, Lemuel, 139. 
Collins, Patrick 426. 
CoUver [Collier] Lemuel, 141, 14b. 
Coinmerce in Dorchester, 177-181. 


Committee of Correspondence, 1^9. 
Commoner, 360. 
Communiou Cups, 264, 26.5. 
Connor, M. D., 427; Patrick, 183. 
Constables, 113. 
"Constitution," the, 157. 
Continental Congress, 131, l.Jo, ib«}. 
Cook, Zebedee, 340, 449, 450, 



Cooke, Aaron, 40; William, 91. 

Coolidge, Samuel, 139, 322. 

Cooper, Peter, 208. 

Copper works, first, 196. 

Council for the Safety of the People and 

Conservation of the Peace, 88. 
" Courier," the, 177, 179. 
Covenant, Church, 228-230. 
Cox, John, 14G ; Samuel, 139; S. H., 426. 
Crabtree, Jehossephat, 91. 
Cracker Manufactory, 174. 
Crane, David. 139; Ebenezer, 91; Elisha, 

146; Lemuel, 149, 325; Luther, 146; 

Seth, 139; Vose, 146; Zebulon, 141; 

Zibe, 146. 
Crehore, Mrs. Diana, 449; Samuel, 139. 
Crewhore, John, 91. 
Crosby, Samuel, 139. 
Crouch, William, 141. 
" Cruise of the Juniata," 157. 
Cushing, Dr. Benjamin, 340, 353, 418, 

420 ; Joshua, 277. 
Cummins House, 393. 
Cummins, Maria, 393. 
Cunningham, Rev. Francis, 272. 
Curtice, Richard, 57. 
Curtis, Joseph, 91; Philip, 320. 
Cutler, Deacon Elijah, 264, 268. 
"Cyane," the, 154. 
Cyson, Edward, 146. 

DALE, C. F., 427. 
Dame schools, 308. 
Danforth, Dr. Elijah, 114, 317; Samuel, 

317; Dr. Thomas, 168. 
Danforth, Rev. John, salary guaranteed 

bv the town, 107; death, 112: sketch 

ot; 112, 235, 236. 
Daniels, Ebenezer, 146. 
Darby, Prince, 140. 
Davenport, Amasa, 348; Benajah, 139; 

Charles, 101; Daniel, 222; Ebenezer, 

108; George, 139; Isaac, 139; Isaac 

Shaw, 139; James, 146; Joseph, 139; 

Josiah, 139 ; Samuel, 139. 
Davenport, Ensign Richard, 42 ; captain 

of the Castle, 59; killed by lightning, 

Davis, Ebenezer, 139, 136; Nehemiah, 

141; Paul, 139; Samuel, commercial 

hopes of Dorchester, 181: Stephen, 146. 
Deacons, 215, 248, 264, 278. 
Deans, Cunnison, 426. 
Dedham, town of, 68. 78; set off from 

Dorchester, 78 ; meeting at, 130; rallv 

at, 188. 
Deeble, Robert, 40. 
De Luce, Francis, 139. 
Denison, William, 314. 
Dennett, T. S., 427. 
Dennv, Francis P., 426, 427; Henrv G., 

Denslow, Nicholas, 40. 

De Ruither, Admiral, 73. 

Deutling, Augustus, 427. 

Dewey, Charles A., 210; Thomas, 40. 

Dexter, Rev. Henrv INI., D. D., 351. 

Dickens, Charles, 389. 

Dickerman, Benjamin, 141. 

Dimmock, [Dimocke] Thomas, 40. 

'■ Directorv," the, adopted, 60. 

Dodge, Mis. Catherine, 279; 0. J., 426. 

Dolbear House, 378, 379. 

Doody, John, 427. 

Dorchester, first settlement in Suffolk 
County, 30; derivation of name, 30; 
severity of the first two years, 31; first 
special'town government in New Eng- 
land established, 35 ; arrival of second 
shipload, 35; early importance of the 
town, 35; emigration to Windsor, 
Conn., 36; arrival of Rev. Richard 
Mather and new colonists, 36; first 
freemen, 39; later freemen, 40; refer- 
ences by early writers, 40, 41 ; danger- 
ous surroundings of the early settlers, 
42; first warfare, 42; distribution of 
lands, 45; provision for cattle, 47, 48 
arrival of new settlers, 48; conflict 
with Boston about Thompson's Island 
49, 50 ; first free school established 
49, 289; law concerning superflu 
ities, 50, 51; early plan of the town 
51; cruelty of early settlers, 58; first 
school committee, 60 ; the " Directory '" 
adopted, 60 ; references in old colonial 
records to, 62; the Indians, 62, 67 
anxieties of tlie earl}^ settlers, 69 ; Mil- 
ton set oft from, 70 ; petition for privi- 
leges, 72, 73 ; threatened invasion by 
the Dutch, 73; boundaries established, 
74; early grants of land to, 74-78; 
towns set off from, 78; King Philip's 
War, 79, 80; sufferings of the peo- 
ple, 80 ; aid from London and Dub- 
lin, 80; close of colonial times, 85, 
86 ; transition from colonial to provin- 
cial period, 87-90 ; expedition against 
Canada, 90, 91; expedition to South 
Carolina, 96, 97; earthquake of 1727, 
111; gnmth, 113; arrival of White- 
field, 115: expedition against the 
French, 116, 117; drought of 1749, 121; 
stand taken in Revolution, 124-142; 
lists of soldiers in Revolution, 137-141; 
close of provincial pei-iod, 144 ; Shavs's 
Rebellion, 145-147; duel, 147, 148; 
annexation of Dorchester Neck to 
Boston, 148, 149; War of 1812, 150- 
157 ; gale of 1815, 157 ; two hundredth 
anniversar}", 168-170 ; stage-coaches, 
170, 171 ; training and muster days, 
171; advances of two centuries, 173; 
importance of commerce, 177-181; 
Washington Village annexed to Bos- 
ton, 183; opposition to railroad, 192- 
194; celebration of 225th anniver.sary, 



200-214; early prominence of the 
church, 215 ; first meeting-house in, 
223 ; religious unity, 247 ; celebration 
of 250th anuiversarv, 248; forming of 
the Second Church, 241); celebration of 
250th anniversary of tirst school, 349- 
353 ; early homes, 355 ; in Rebellion, 
418-422 ; seal adopted, 429 ; last town 
meeting, 437; celebrauonof 250th an- 
niversary, 452-456 ; area, 475 ; popula- 
tion, 478 ; schools, 478 ; churches, 479. 

Dorchester Academy, 340-342; 402-404. 

Dorchester, Canada, 92. 

Dorchester Company, preparations for 
emigration, 21 ; formation of, 27 ; the 
landing, 27; expedition to Watertown, 
29 ; settlement at Mattapan, 29. 

Dorchester, England, letter from, 213,214. 

Dorchester Heights, set oif from Dorches- 
ter, 78. 

Dorchester Historical Society, 470. 

Dorchester Neck [Great Neck], 47, 62, 
fortifications erected on, 131, 162, 164; 
annexation to Boston, 148, 149. 

Dorchester Point, see Dorchester Neck. 

Dorchester Proprietors, 47 ; gifts of land, 
69, 107; incorporated, 108 ; gift of bell 
to church, 124, 240. 

Dorchester Woman's Club, 469. 

Dove, John, 146. 

Downer, Samuel, 108, 449 ; Samuel, Jr., 
353. 432, 443. 

Draper, Moses, 184; Paul, 141 ; Philip, 324. 

Driscoll, James, 427. 

Drown, Rev. E. L.,281. 

Duncan, Nathaniel, 27 ; selectman, 34 ; 
freeman, 40 ; lieutenant of military 
company, 43 ; connection with Town 
Records, 44 ; signs Church Covenant, 

Dunmore brothers, 170. 

Dutch, threatened invasion bv the, 73, 

Dyer, George, 27, 39 ; Mrs. Julia K. 469. 

EALES [Eeles], John, 40, 52, 56. 
"Earl of Puiicapog," 47. 
Earthquakes, 111, 116. 
Ei^stburn, Rt. Rev. Manton, D.D., 278, 279. 
Easton, 123. 
Eaton, Captain Ebenezer, 171, 191, 439- 

440 : portrait of, 441. 
Eaton, Pearson, 139. 
Eddy, Mrs. Mary C, 469 ; Otis, 470. 
Edward Everett School. 347. 
Edwards, Henrv W., 282. 
Eggleston, Bigot [Bagot], 39. 
Eliot, Rev. Christopher R., 247. 
Eliot, Rev. John, the "Apostle to the 

Indians," 62; letter to Maj.-Gen. 

Atherton, 65 ; obtains grant of Ponka- 

poag Plantation to the Indians, 77 ; 

death, 92 ; portrait of, 93 ; sketch of, 

95 ; Bay Psalm Book, 220. 

Eliot's Chair, 95 ; illustration, 95. 

Ellis, Dr. George E., changes of provin- 
cial period, 90 ; remarks at 250th anni- 
versary, 455. 

Ellis, Joseph, 139. 

Elwell, Robert, 44. 

Emerson, Annie A., 470. 

Emery, Charles, 282. 

English, John, 141. 

Endicott, William E., 348. 

" Epervier," the, 153. 

Episcopal Church, see St. Mary's Church. 

Epitaphs, in Old Burving Ground, 285- 

Euins, Richard, 91. 

Evans, H. A., 426. 

Everett, Benjamin, 196; Ebenezer, 325, 
330 ; Florence, 470 ; Francis, 340 ; Rev. 
Moses, 144; sketch of, 241 ; Moses, Jr., 
252, 325, 332 ; Rev. Oliver, 323, 405 ; 
Captain Samuel H., 245; William, 

Everett, Edward, early sufferings of the 
colonists, 32 ; reference to Savin Hill. 
57 ; invited to give address at Lyceum 
Hall, 187 ; delivers address at celebra- 
tion of 225th anniversary, 200-208; 
portrait of, 205 ; poem recited by, 327 ; 
birthplace, 405. 

Everett House, 405 ; illustration, 185. 

FAIRBANKS, Master, 347. 
Fairn, Daniel, 139. 
Fais, Andrew, 427. 
Fales, Deacon Charles E., 278 ; Deacon 

David, 278. 
Farris, William, 139. 
Feakes [Fookes], Henr}-, 40. 
Feakes [Feke], Lieutenant Robert, 74. 
Felt, Edward, 141. 
Fenno, Isaac, 146, 286 ; Joseph, 146 ; 

Enoch, 139. 
Fessenden, Jonathan, 139. 
Field, Deacon John W., 264; Michael, 

Firield, Mrs. Emily A., 350, 353, 469. 
Filer, Walter, 40. 
Fire engine, 147. 
First Parish Church, illustration, 225. See 

Fisheries, whale and cod, 177. 
Fishing, 444-446. 
Fletcher, Henrv, 390. 
Fling, John, 139. 
Flint, Rev. Josiah, 79, 82; sketch of, 234, 

Flood, Joseph, 44. 
Flynn, Deacon Jacob, 277, 278. 
FoNom. Frederick K., 469. 
Ford, Thomas. 27, 39. 
Foster, Elisha,83; E. C, 426; Frank A., 

469; H. C, 426; Deacon Ira, 278; 

John, 139; John, 82, 312-314; John, 



Jr., 139; Standfast, 108; "Uncle Ned," 

223; William, 141. 
Foster. Captain Hopestill, letter from 

King Philip, 79 ; autograph, 81 ; deatli, 

81: signs petition to General Court, 

303; lays out school land, SOi; gift to 

school, 304. 
Fowle, Mrs. Minnie, 470. 
Fowler, George, 171; Stephen, 139; 

Stephen, tertius, 139. 
Fowst, William, 91. 

Foxboro', town of, 78; set off from Dor- 
chester, 78 ; dam built at, 195. 
Fox. Charles B., 426; John A., 425; Rev. 

Thomas B., 352 ; Thomas B., Jr., 425, 

Freemen, list of first, 39 ; list of later, 40. 
'* Free " school, significance of name, 

French, the predecessors of Capt. John 

Smith, 24; expedition against, 116; 

retaliation of, 119, 120, 168. 
French, G. H., 427 ; G. L., 427 ; Stephen, 

Frothinghara, Rev. Frederick, 453; Rev. 

N. L., 207. 
Frv, Richard, 44. 
Fuller, Amasa, 448; H. A., 427. 

GALLAGHER, Charles T., 350. 
Gallop, Humphrey, 44. 

Gamsby, John, 139. 

Gannett, Samuel, 174. 

Garch. John, 146. 

Gardner, Abner, 329; Dr. Henry, 245; 
Governor Henry J., 208, 340. 

Gardner House, 370-375. 

Gaskins, W. B., 427. 

Gavlord [Gallard], William, 27, 39; 
John, 215. 

George, Hiram M., 349; William, 91. 

Gibbens, Ensign, 74. 

Gibbes, Giles, selectman, 35; freeman, 

Gibson, Christopher, 39, 304, 305. 

Gibson Fund, 305. 

Gibson School. 348. 

Gilbert, John, 44. 

Giles, Samuel, 141. 

Gill, Jacob, 146, 161, 164. 

Gillet, Jonathan, 40. 

Girls, education of, 308, 309. 

Glpason, Edward F., 420; Roswell, 348; 
Mrs. Roswell, 151. 

Glennen, Rev. Charles F., 283. 

Glover, Albert H., 420; Alexander, 139, 
146; Ebenezer, 136; Edward, 136, 139; 
Edward, Jr., 146; Elisha, 139; Enoch, 
141; Enoch, Jr., 141; Ezra, 139; Har- 
rison, 427; John, 39, 44; Josiah, 139; 
Nathaniel, 141; Pelatiab, 321; Ralph, 
39; Samuel. 146. 

Goeth, Fritz, 427. 

Goff, John, 141. 

Goffe, John, Jr., 146. 

Goite [Govt], John, 44. 

Goodspeed, Captain, 171. 

Goolev, James, 140. 

Gornell [Gomel], John, 56, 304. 

Gorton, Samuel, 58. 

Gould, Samuel, 328. 

Granite Bridge, 180. 

Grant, Matthew, 40. 

Granville, Rev. William, 277. 

Gray, Sanuud C, 390 ; Rev. Thomas, 246. 

Great iSeck, see Durchtster Seek. 

Green, James, 140. 

Greene, Gardiner, 148. 

Greenleaf, Thomas, 192. 

Greenowav [Grenawav], John, 39, 57; 

Anne, 3^62, 365. 
Griggs, Samuel, 146. 
Grush, Joseph G., 469. 
Gulliver, John, 91; Rufus, 140. 
Gulliver's Creek, 179. 
Gunn, Thomas, 40. 

HALE, Rev. Edward Everett, 208, 456. 
Hall, George. 27; H. W. 426; 
James E,, 470; John, 147; Joseph, 108; 
Joseph E., 174; Llovd Bowers, 329; Dr. 
Lvman, 100; Nathaniel, 44; Oliver, 184, 
467: Paul, 139, 160,237; Peletiah, 140 ; 
Ensign Richard, 202, 314; Samuel, 36; 
Solomon, 146, 287. 

Hall, Rev. Nathaniel, Jr., 182, 194, 203, 
232, 241, 242; sketch of, 247; portrait, 
273 ; remarks at funeral of Rev. Richard 
Pike, 275; chairman school board, 352. 

Hammond, Deacon Daniel, 278. 

Hancock, .John, 125, 126. 

Hannan, John, 447. 

Hannum, William. 44. 

Harding, William, 147. 

Harris, J. E., 427; S. B., 427; School, 
348; William, 140; William, 340. 

Harris, Rev. Thaddeus Mason, D. D., 
147, 157, 169, 194, 204. 235; sketch of, 
241, 242 ; portrait of, 243 : sermon by, 
246; signs letter to Second Church, 252; 
connection with horticulture, 449. 450. 

Harrison Square, earlv names for, 56. 

Hart, C. E., 427; Edmund, 40; Thomas 
N., 352. 

Hartford, Conn., 69. 

Harvard College, 105. 

Hatch, Thonia^:, 40. 

Hathnrne, William, selectman, 35 ; free- 
man, 40. 

Hawes, John, 141. 

Hawkins, Captain Thomas, sketch of, 56 ; 
autograph, 56. 

Havden, John, 40; William, 140. 

Hayter, A. W., 279. 

Hay ward, Jacob, 141. 

Healev, Nathaniel, 141. 



Heaton, Benjamin, 328. 

Hendley, Jeremiah, 427. 

Hendry, William, 171. 

Henry'L. Pierce School, 354, 391; illus- 
tration, 355. 

Hensha, Daniel, 91. 

"Herald," the, 177, 179. 

Hereman, Tliomas, 146. 

Hersey, Abel, 147. 

Hewens, Benieman, 91. 

Hewins, Jacob, 82; John, 356; W. G., 

Hewitt, Thomas, 141. 

" Histor}' of Dorchester," 195. 

Hichborn, Colonel Benjamin, 401 ; Sam- 
uel, 402. 

Hiiih School, 339, 346; Lvceum, 425. 

Hill, John, 44, 52, 57; J. 0., 427; Thomas, 

Hiiigham, 151. 

Hitchings, Deacon William, 264. 

Hobart, William, 179. 

Holbrook, C. C, 202. 

Holcomb. Thomas, 40. 

Holden, Edward, 328; Edward, 194,195, 
279, 282; James, 147; Dr. Phineas, 
144 ; Samuel. Jr., 146 ; Dr. William, 144. 

Holidays, in school, 343-344. 

Holland, John, 44, 444. 

Holley, Joseph, 44. 

Hollingsworth, Amor, 448; A. L., 174. 

Hollis brothers, 171. 

Homans, Captain John, 132; Samuel, 

Homer, Thomas S., 419. 

Holman, John, 43, 44; Thomas, 140. 

Holmes, Rev. Abiel, 99; George, 91; 
George, 426; R. T., 426. 

Hooper, Joseph, 279, 282. 

Hoppin, John, 81. 

Horn-book, 336. 

Horticulture, 449-451. 

Horton, Asa, 139; Lemuel, 140. 

Hosford [Horsford] William, 40. 

Hoskins, John, 39. 

Hoten [Stoughton] Silas, 147. 

Houghton. Deacon Ellis, 264, 268. 

Houses, old, Barnard Capen, 356; Clap, 
358; Bridgham, 360; Pierce, 360; 
Minot, 365; Blake, 369; Gardner, 370; 
Historic Barn, .S75; Dolbear, 378; Ball 
Hughes, 379; Webster, 389 ; Withing- 
ton, 392; Cummins, 393; Swan, 394; 
Morton Pavilion, 399 ; Walter Baker, 
401 ; Everett, 405 ; Tavlor, 406 ; Newell, 
411; Codman, 414; Tuttle, 416. 

Howard, Robert, 44, 60, 297, 300, 301. 

Howe, Deacon Charles, 266; EdAvard, 
W., 282; Deacon Isaac, 264; I. A., 
427; James Blake, 326; John, 149, 
332 ; Deacon Rufus, 264. 

Howland, J. Frank, 174. 

Hoyt, Simon, 40. 

Hubbard, early reference to Dorchester, 

34; opposition to emigration to Wind- 
sor, Conn , 36. 

Hubbert [Hulbert] William, 39. 

Huchings, John Rouse, 147. 

Hudson, Captain, 77. 

Hughs, Andrew. 140. 

Hughes, Ball, 379-389; Mrs. Ball, 386, 

Hull, 168. 

Hull, George, 40: John, 40, 513. 

Humfrev, Elder James, sketch of, 84; 
James, 140, 321; Jonas. 141; Micah, 
180; Nathaniel, 140 ; William, 140. 

Humphreys, Rev. Charles A., 427, 453; 
Henrv, 136; Deacon Henrv. 248, 2fi7, 
340; Deacon James, 245, 248, 252, 307, 
335, 340 ; Richard C., 350, 353, 425, 
426; Walter, 425, 426. 

Hunt, Charles, 432 ; Jeremiah, 139 ; 
Joseph, 140. 

Husay, Robert, 91. 

Hutchinson, Governor Thomas, 161, 445. 

Hyde, George B., 353. 

Hvde Park, set off from Dorchester, 78. 

TDE, G. Herbert, 282. 

J- Independence, Fort, see Castle. 

Indians, 62-67; letter of John Eliot's 

concerning the, 65. 
Industries, 444-451. 
Inglee, Captain Moses, 245. 
Ireland, aid to Dorchester from, 80; aid 

from Dorchester to, 81. 

JACKSON, Gershom, 141; Henrv, 91; 
Jonathan, 448; Oliver, 140. 

Jacobs, Mrs. Alice Taylor, 469; Benja- 
min, 245. 

Jarvis, Dr. Edward, 353. 

Jay's Treaty, ratification of, 157. 

Jeffrev, Thomas, 40. 

Jenkins, James, 282; John, 140; T. F., 

Jennison, Ensign William, 42. 

Johnson, description of Dorchester, 41; 
Mr., 44; Daniel, 147; Ezekiel, 140; 
John, 140. 

Johnston, T. M., 426. 

Jones, James, 147; John, 91; William 
F., 426; Richard, 44: Thomas, 44. 230; 
Thomas, 140, 320; William F., 282. 

Jones's Hill, 207, 238, 281. 

Josselyn, description of Dorchester, 41. 

"Juniata," Cruise of, 157. 

K ELTON, Thomas, 91. 
Kettell, Thomas, 413. 
Keves, Nathaniel. 146. 
Kifton, Ebenezer, Jr., 140; James, 139; 

John, 140; Samuel, 140. 
Kimball. Charles P., 348. 



Klmbel, Ezra. 140. 

King, Charles, 14U; Edward, 194; Frank- 
lin, 194,432; Lemuel, 140. 

Kingesley, John, 230. 

King Philip's War, causes of, 79, 80; 
sufferings caused by, 80. 

Kinnersly [KimberlyJ, Thomas, 44. 

Kinslev, Adam, 196. 

Kirke,'Percy, 83. 

Kitchamakin, conveys land to the set- 
tlers, 77. 

Kneeland, John, 336, 352. 

Knight, John, 44. 

Knox, General Henry, 354, 389, 396, 

LAFAYETTE, Marquis de, 394, 396, 
397, 398. 
Lambert, G. E., 427. 
'• Lamplighter," the, 393. 
Lancaster, Edward M., 347. 
Land Bank bills, 115. 
Lands, distribution of, 45, 114; list of 

grantees of meadow. 45, 46 ; belonging 

to the Church, 270, 271. 
Lawrance, Rev. W. L, 276. 
Lawrence, Captain James, 151, 152, 153. 
Leach, James, 340. 
Leavitt, John, 40; Manoah, 194; W. P., 

Leeds, Daniel, 322; Daniel, Jr., 325; 

Edward Stow, 140, 146; Henry M., 

194; John, 91; Joseph, 340; Josepii, 

Jr., 455; Josiah, 140; Nathan, 140, 

146; Richard, 57; Samuel, 445; 

Thomas, 141. 
Leonard, Jonathan, 196 ; Lucius P., 282. 
"Lewis," the, 177, 179. 
Lewis, James, 140, 146. 
Lexington, Dorchester soldiers in battle 

of, 136, 137 ; battle of, 161. 
Liberty, Sons of, 125, 129. 
Lighthouse, tirst, 109. 
Lincoln, Charles J., 346 ; Hon. Major- 

General, 146. 
*' Lining-out," 221. 
Little, Key. Arthur, D. D., 350 ; Mary 

Brant, 469. 
Locofocos, 189, 191, 192. 
London, aid to Dorchester from, 80. 
Long, Governor John D., 453, 479; Jo- 
seph, 91. 
Lord, Eliphalet, 446; John, 91; Rev. 

Joseph, 96, 211, 306, 315. 
Loud, Samuel P., 184, 245, 279. 
Lovell, Joshua, 141; Captain William, 44. 
Lucas, George W., 418. 
Lvceum Hall, 184-189. 
Lyon, Benjamin, 140 ; David, 141; Eliab, 

91; Eliphalet, 141 ; Henrv, 91 ; Deacon 

Jesse, 278 ; Pearlev, 329' 
Ludlow, Roger, 27, 39, 44, 52 ; sketch of, 


Lurabert, Thomas, 39. 
Lunenburg, town of, 303. 

M 'CLARY, James, 140. 
McElroy, G. W., 426 ; Peter, 147. 

McGoldrick, Rev. Thomas C, 283. 

McGoverin, J., 426. 

MacGregor, Deacon J. W., 27S. 

McGukin, R. T., 426. 

Mclntire, A. J., 427. 

M'Intosh, Jeremiah, 140. 

McLean, Hugh, 445. 

M'Lellan, Joseph, 141. 

Mair, Thomas, 470. 

Makepeace, Thomas, 44, 48. 

Manhattan, town of, 289, 290. 

Manks, Herbert M., 471. 

Mann, Ephraim, 141; Horace, 187; Wil- 
liam, 141. 

Manning, George, 146. 

Mansfield, A. S., 194. 

Manufactory bills, 115. 

Maplev, Mathew, 91. 

Marie-Antoinette, 396, 397, 398. 

Marsh, C. H., 427. 

Marshall, Thomas, 40. 

Marshfield, Tiiomas, 44. 

Marter, John, 426. 

Martin, Ambrose, 48. 

*' Mary and John," the Dorchester com- 
pany set sail in the, 23 ; first of the 
fleet to arrive, 24 ; reaches Nantasket 
Point, 27. 

"Marv and John," the, poem, 464-466. 

Mason, Captain John, 27, 40 ; Jonathan, 

Massachusetts, derivation of name, 66, 

Massachusetts Bay Colony, settlement 
projected by Rev. John White, 24- 
terms of the' patent, 24. 

Massachusetts Fields, 66. 

" Massachusetts " Indians, 31. 

Massapoag Brook, 47. 

Mather, Cotton, 88, 105, 110, 216 ; In- 
crease, 89, 110. 

Mather, Rev. Richard, arrival of, 36 ; 
portrait of, 37 ; chosen teacher of the 
Church, 42 ; controversy with Rev. 
Jonathan Burr, 57, 58 ; salary provided 
for, 67 ; settles differences 'in church 
at Hartford, Conn., 69 ; petition drawn 
up by, 71-73 ; death of, 79 : journal 
of, 195 ; Bay Psalm-Book, 220; signs 
Church cove'nant, 230 ; sketch of, 230, 
231 ; presents Latin book to school, 

Mather School, 309, 335-339; illustration, 

Mattapan, settlement at, 29. 

Maurough, William. 146. 

Maverick, Rev. John, chosen minister of 
Dorchester Company, 23 ; among first 



freemen, 39 ; accident with powder, 
224 ; character of, 224 ; deatli of, 230 ; 
Moses, 40. 

Maxfield, Ebenezer, 139 ; John, 141. 

May, John J., 432, 471 ; John P., 469. 

Mayo, Thomas, 146. 

Means, Rev. James H., 199 ; sketch of, 
263 ; historical sermon of, 264 ; signs 
letter to First Church, 268 ; member of 
school board, 352. 

Mears, John, 37'J ; John, Jr. 146. 

Meeting-house, 216 ; first in Dorchester, 

Mendum, Willis B., 470. 

Merrifield, John, 81. 

Mellen, William, 146. 

Mellish, John, 140. 

Methodist-Episcopal Church, 276. 

Mevaw, John, 141; Samuel, 141 ; Wil- 
liam, 141. 

Midway, Ga., 98, 99 ; Dr. Codman's visit 
to, 100, 101 ; letter from, 210. 

Miller, Alexander, 44 ; Dr. Erasmus D., 
458; Hezekiah Read, 140; Hezekiah 
Read, Jr., 140. 

Millet, G. C, 427. 

Millett, Thomas, 57. 

Mills, Edward, 315; Rev. W. H., 280,281. 

Milton, set off from Dorchester, 70, 78; 
church formed in, 81 ; volunteers to 
Canada expedition, 90, 91; gift of 
land to, 108 ; soldiers in Shavs's Rebel- 
lion, 146, 147; bridge built by, 157. 

Milton Lower Falls, early name, 65. 

Milton Lower Mills, 149"; school at, 325. 

Miner, Rev. Bradley, 277; Henrj' B., 

Ministers, 216; list of, in First Parish, 
247, 248. 

Minot Cradle, 365, 366; illustration, 367. 

Minot, George, 27 ; autograph, 27; select- 
man, 35; freeman, 40; lieutenant, 91; 
signs Church covenant, 230; connec- 
tion with Minot House, 365 ; sketch of, 

Minot House, 362, 365, 369 ; illustration, 

Minot, James, 314; John, 304, 366; John, 
167 ; Nathaniel, 245. 

Minot School, 349. 

Modsley, Thomas, 83; Uright, 91. 

Monroe, William V., 418, 421. 

Montague. William, 329. 

Moonke, Elias, 91. 

Moor, Bartholomew, 140. 

Moore, John, 40, 215. 

Morev, James, 91. 

Morrill, John, 91; John M. E., 469. 

Morris, William, 147. 

Morrow, Henry, 427. 

Morse, Elizabeth, 82. 

Morton, Rev. James F.. 277 ; Perez, 340, 
399, 401, 410. 411; Mrs. Perez, 410. 

Morton Pavilion, 399-401. 

Moseley [Moslev], Ebenezer, 108, 141; 

Flavel, 440 ; 'Samuel, 141, 146, 318; 

Thomas, 141, 146, 149, 245. 
Motley, John Lothrop, 401. 
Mott,'Rev. Frederick B., 276. 
Mount Bowdoin, 201, 209; view from, 4. 
Mount Ida, 283. 

Mowrv, William A., 300, 350, 351. 
Mulliken, Dr. Samuel, 181, 195. 
Mumford, Rev. Thomas J., 275. 
Mannings, Edmund, 44. 
Murdock, Samuel, 146. 
Murphy, Deacon James T., 278. 
Musgrave, Alexander, 426. 
Music, in the churches, 220-222. 
Muster Day, 171. 

NAHANT, town of, 348. 
Nantasket Point, the Dorchester 

Company land at, 27 ; described, 28. 
Nash, Jonathan, 140. 
Nazro, John G., 432. 
Neponset Reservoir Company, 195. 
Neponset River, 29, 47, 65, 69, 157, 179, 

180, 181, 192, 196, 446; illustration, 197. 
Neponset Village, 174, 180. 
Newbery [Newbury], Thomas, 34, 49, 

Newbur} , town of, 289. 
Newell, James, 411. 
Newell House, 411-414. 
New England, named by Capt. John 

Smith, 23. 
"New Grant," 46; consummation of the, 

77 ; extent of, 78 ; named, 108. 
Newhall, Cheever, 449, 451. 
Newton [Newtown], 35, 36. 
Newton, John, 40. 
Nightingale, T. J., 419. 
Niles, Ebenezer, 370, 411; John, 44; 

Peter, 140; Silas, 141. 
Noddle's Island,162. 
Nook's Hill, 133, 164. 
Norfolk School, 334. 
Norton, town of, 109, 123. 
North Burying Ground, see Burying 

Noyes, George, 282. 

Burying Ground. 

Old Dorchester Club, 468. 

Oldham, Captain John, 36, 42. 

Old Hill, see Rock Hill. 

Oliver, Colonel Robert, 405; Lieutenant- 
Governor Thomas, 318, 401; William, 
449, 451. 

Orchestra, church, 222. 

Orcutt, Mrs. Ellen Dana, 469. 

Organs. 222. 

Otherman, Anthony, 276. 

Otis, H. G., 148. 



PACKARD, Rev. E. N., 453; Jona- 
than, 140; Liberty D., 350. 

Packepn I'lain, 370. 

Page, William W., 282. 

Paine, Moses, t)7. 

Paper-making, 448. 

Paper-mill, 174. 

Parker, James, 40. 

Parknian, Elias, 40. 

Patten, Nathaniel, 56. 

Pavson, Joseph, 141; Phillips, 318; 
Samuel, 141, 147. 

"Peacock," the, 154. 

Penniman House, see Walter Baler 

Penniman, James, 340, 402. 

Pepper, R. A., 470. 

Pequot Indians, 36 ; expedition against, 

Percival, Captain John, sketch of, 153- 
157 ; portrait of, 155. 

Perrv, Francis, 326. 

" Peter Parlev," 100. 

Phelps, John B., 427; William, 27; 
selectman, 35; among first freemen, 
39; question of boundaries referred 
to, 74. 

Philip, King, controversy with Chick- 
ataubut, 77; friendly relations of the 
settlers with, 79; letter to Captain 
Foster, 79. 

Phillips, George, 40; John, 39, 57; au- 
tograph, 57; Mrs. John, 413; Samuel 
R., 282 ; Thomas, 140. 

Phinnev, Rev. G. A., 277. 

Phips, John, 140; Sir William, 89; per- 
sonality of, 90. 

Phvsicians, no record of earlv, 114 ; 
Elijah Danforth, 114; William Holden, 
144; Phineas Holden, 144; Eleazer 
Clapp, 168; Thomas Danforth, 168; 
Samuel Mulliken, 181, 195; Robert 
Thaxter, 199 ; John Phillips Spooner, 
443 ; Erasmus D. Miller, 458 ; George 
M. Reed, 467. 

Pickwick Club, 422-426. 

Pierce, Abraham, 147; B. R., 427; 
Deacon Daniel, 278 ; Deacon Edward, 
239, 246, 248, 252 ; Ebenezer, 141 ; Ed- 
ward L., 208; F. L., 470; George F., 
202; Henry L., 354, 432, 447; John, 
40, 57; John, 363, 364; Rev. John, 
D.D., 169, 246; J. H., 426; Josiah, 
319; Lewis, 245, 364; Lemuel, 140; 
Napthali, 140; Robert, 360, 361, 362; 
Samuel, 364; Samuel S., 443; Thomas, 
362; Warren, 257. 

Pierce House, 360-365 : illustration, 165. 

Pierce, Lieutenant-Colonel, Samuel, 141; 
sketch of, 158, 159; extracts from 
diary of, 159-168, 445; schoolmaster, 
322; connection with Pierce House, 

Pierpont, Rev. John, 187; Jonathan, 315. 

Pike, Rev. Richard, 275. 

Pincheon, Mr., 44. 

Pinney, Humplirey, 44. 

Pirates, 160. 

Pitcher, Andrew, 44. 

Playing-card manufactory, 174. 

Plympton, Jeremiah, 348. 

Pole, William, 286, 311. 

Pomeroy, Eltweed, 40. 

Pond, Joshua, 141. 

" Ponkapoag " Indians, 66. 

Ponkapoag Plantation, 44; set aside for 
the Indians, 65, 77. 

Ponkapoag Pond, land laid out around, 
62; made a separate township, 111; 
surplus water of, 196. 

Pool. Charles, 426. 

Poope, Ebenezer, 91; John, 91. 

Pope, Elijah, 139 : Elijah, Jr., 139 ; John, 
40, 230 ; Ralph, 139 ; William, 245, 432, 
W. F., 426. 

Porter, Rev. Edward G., 456; Rev. Eli- 
phalet, D. D., 246; Rev. G. W. 279, 
280; Joseph, 179 ; William R. 425, 426. 

Powder-mill, 174, 196. 

" Power of Svmpathv," the, 408. 

Pratt, Benjamin, 140; David, 141, 146; 
Enoch, 330; Laban, 174, 194. 

Pravers, length of, 218, 219. 

"Preston," the, 177. 

Preston, Daniel, 444; Daniel, Jr., 101, 
302, 305; Edward, 163, 446; Elisha, 
177 ; James, 412 ; John, 432 ; Remem- 
ber, 108 ; Samuel, 140 ; William, 44. 

Preston's Point, 161. 

Price, David, 44 ; Francis, 108. 

Procter, George, 44. 

Proctor, Samuel, 234. 

Proprietors of the Undivided Lands, see 
Dorchester Proprietors. 

Provincial Congress, 130. 

Provincial period, bridge to, 87 ; excite- 
ment incident to, 89. 

Purchase, Widow, 44. 

Puritans of Massachusetts, 20. 

Puritan movement, 19. 

Putnam Nail Company, 448. 

Putnam, S. S., 194. 

QUIGLEY, William, 427. 
Quincy, town of, 79, 192. See 
Quincy Bay, 66, 74. 
Quincy, Edmund, 66. 

RAILROAD. 179 ; opposition to, 192- 
Randall, Jacob, 140 ; Philip, 40 ; Samuel, 

Rawlins, Thomas, 40. 
Ravnsford. Edward, 44. 
Read, William, 40. 



Readman, Charles, 91. 

Rebellion, War of, 263, 418-422. 

Record Book, 43, 44. 

Reed, Dr. George M., 467 ; William Gar- 
rison, 469. 

Revere, Paul, 196, 252. 

Revolution, War of, 124-142. 

Revnolds, William. B., 390. 

Richards, David, 141 ; E. Q.. 426 ; Rev. 
Humphrev, 277 ; James, 147; Samuel, 
147 ; Thomas, 44; W^ W. 427. 

Richardson, C. W. 426 ; John, 449, 451 ; 
Robert, 279, 282, 340; William H., 

Richmond, Rev. Edward, D. D., 169; 
sketch of, 271, 272. 

Richmond, John, 140. 

Ricker, Mrs. Emeline C. 470. 

Rifle Companv, 171. 

Ripley, Mrs. Clara M., 469. 

Roads, early, 67. 

Robbins, Edward Hutchinson, 323 ; 
James M., 195. 

Robie, J. E., 426. 

Robinson, Major Edward, 245; E. B., 
347, 348 ; James, 91 ; Captain James, 
146, 149 ; Colonel John, 124, 140 ; John, 
316; John H., 184 ; Rev. John P., 278; 
Captain Lemuel, 130, 159, 161, 378; 
Samuel, 305; Thomas, 147. 

Rocket, Richard, 44. 

Rock Hill [Rocky Hill J, fort built at, 29; 
guns mounted at, 50. 

Rockwell, William, 27, 39, 215. 

Rogers, Captain William M., 413. 

Rolfe, W^illiam J., 346, 425. 

Ronan, Rev. Peter, 282, 352. 

" Rose," frigate, 88. 

Rosseter, Edward, 27, 39; Hugh, 44. 

Rossiter, Brav, 40. 

Roundy, W. A., 470. 

Roxburv, town of, 35, 78, 129, 131 135, 
150, 162, 163, 164, 167, 224. 

Russell, Daniel, 146. 

SAGAMORE, of Agawam, 49. 
St. Anne's Mission, 280, 281. 

St Marv's Church, 188 ; forming of, 278. 

St. Peter, parish of, 282. 

Salem, the " Arbella " arrives at, 30; 
early taxation, 36 ; General Court held 
at,. 130 ; court dissolved, 161 ; school 
established at, 289. 290. 

Saltonstall, Rev, L. W., 281. 

Sandras, Hopstill, 91; Samuel, 91. 

Sanford, Rev. David, 181 ; Thomas, 44. 

Savin Hill, see Rock Hill; named by 
Joseph Tuttle, 52 ; significance of name, 
52 ; early settlers on, 52-57 ; reference 
made by Edward Everett to, 57. 

School, first public provision in America 
for free, 49, 289, 290: important posi- 
tion held by, 289 ; Thompson's Island 

granted for support of, 49, 290 ; early 
plans for, 292; rules and directions, 
292-300 ; petition to General Court in 
behalf of, 303 ; land laid out for, 304; 
bequests to, 304 ; Latin book presented 
to, 306 ; for girls, 308, 309 ; number of 
pupils in 1792, 308; in 1834, 342; in 
1846, 344 ; town divided into wards, 
309 ; school at Lower Hills, 325 ; rules 
and regulations, 1805, 333 ; text-books 
used in, 335, 336; high school, 339, 
346; school districts renumbered, 342; 
holidays, 343; celebration of 250th anni- 
versary, 349-353 ; summary, 354, 470. 

School Committee, first established, 60, 

Schoolhouse, first. 301 ; second, 307. 

Schoolmasters, 291, 309-330. 

Schools, private, 344, 345. 

School Wardens, see School Committee. 

Scott, Ebenezer, 146. 

Seal, of Colony, 313 ; evolution of State, 
313 ; adoption by town, 429 ; illustra- 
tion, 429. 

Sears, Barnas. 208; David, 209. 

Seaver, Edwin P., 352 ; Elisha, 141. 

Seaverns, Henry A., 419. 

Second Parish Church, forming of, 150, 
249 ; the Codman controversy, 254- 
263 ; list of deacons in, 264 ; "celebra- 
tion of 75th anniversary, 264-268; 
illustration, 423. 

Selectmen, early, 34,35. 

Sension, Matthias [Matthew], 40. 

Sever, Jonathan, 140. 

Sewall, Judge, 102, 218, 222. 

"Shannon," the. 151, 152, 153. 

Sharon, town of, 47, 78; set off from 
Dorchester, 78; trouble over fish laws, 
445, 446. 

Sharp, Daniel, 282 ; Deacon Edward, 
264, 340; George H. L., 282; Deacon 
James C, 264, 268, 269, William, 141. 

Shays's Rebellion, 145; Dorchester sol- 
diers in, 146. 

Sheafe, Mark W., 282. 

Shed, Thomas, 141. 

Shepard, M. M., 427; Royal, 146. 

Sherman, James, 140. 

Shoot, Joshua, 91. 

Shuttlesworth, Samuel, 324. 

Silvester, Rev. \Y . ^\ ., 280, 281. 

Simpkins, Captain, 59. 

Singing, 221. 

Slave-trade, position taken by early set- 
tlers toward, 61. 

Smallage, Andrew J., 282. 

Small-pox, 109, 144, 159, 167. 

Smith. Aaron, 323; Elbridge, 346, 471; 
Henrv, 40; Increase S., 352; Mrs. 
Jemima, 331; J. V. C, 210; Thomas, 
140; Rev. W. E. C, 281. 

Smith, Captain John, first record of Bos- 
ton Harbor, 23; autograph, 23; gives 



name to New England and the Charles 
Kiver, 23. 

Smith, Quartermaster John, 27; select- 
man, 35; freeman, 40. 

Soldier's Monument, 239, 421, 422, 42G- 

Sons of Liberty, 125, 159. 

Soule, Mrs. Elizabeth P., 470. 

South Boston, see Dorchester Neck. 

South Carolina, expedition to, 97-101. 

Southcote, Rifhard, 27, 39; Thomas, 39. 

Southworth, Dallas, 427; Edward, 339. 

Spalding, Captain Jeremiah, 389. 

Spaulding, Rev. Henry C, 275, 276; 
William C, 390. 

Spencer, A. W., 202. 

Spooner, Dr. John P., 352, 443. 

Sprague, William, 390. 

Spur, PZlisha, 140; James, 140, 147; Lem- 
uel, 140 ; Robert. 81, 114. 

Squantum, town of, 66, 74, 308. 

Squeb, Captain, commander of the " Mary 
and John," 23; perversity of, 28; justi- 
fication of, 28. 

Stage-coaches, 170, 171. 

Stamp Act, 124. 

Standish, Captain Miles, first accurate 
description of Boston Harbor, 24. 

Stark, James H., 471. 

Stearns, A. T., 194, 432 ; Rev. W. A., 

Stedman, Dr. Charles E., 282; Daniel 
B., Jr., 282, 432. 

Sterling, A. F., 419; J. W., 419, 427. 

Stevens, Newell D., 419. 

Stevenson, David, 91. 

Stickney, Josiah, 177. 

Stiles, Robert, 81. 

Stimpson, Charles, 282; J. N. 426. 

Stoddard, Daniel, 140, 146. 

Stone, A. C, 426; Benjamin, Jr., 418, 
420, 426; Mrs. Lucy, 471-475; portrait 
of, 473; M. W., 419, 426. 

Storer, Amos R., 306. 

Stoughton, town of, 47, 65, 78; set off 
from Dorchester, 78; volunteers to 
Canada expedition, 90, 91 ; opposition 
to loss of territory, 124 ; field officers 
chosen at, 161; trouble over fish laws, 
445, 446. 

Stoughton Fund, 305. 

Stoughton Hall, 340. 

Stoughton, Israel, 27; autograph, 27; 
selectman, 34; freeman, 40; captain of 
military company, 43; sketch of, 56, 
57; first mill in New England, 57; 
granted a fish-weir, 444. 

Stoughton's Mill, first in New England, 

Stoughton School, 346. 

Stoughton, Thomas, 39, 62. 

Stoughton, William, 82; chosen lieuten- 
ant-governor, 89; personal it V of, 90; 
death, 101; sketch of, 102-i06; por- 

trait of, 103; epitaph, 106; urged to 
become pastor, 232; bequest to school, 
305, 306. 

Stoves, late use of, in churches, 222, 
223; opposition to use of, 223. 

Strange, George, 40. 

Strangers, law concerning, 68. 

Stratton, Benjamin, 141. 

Streets, earlv, 51. 

Stuart, Jane, 389. 

Sumner, C, 179; Clement, 140; Ebene- 
zer, 91; F. H., 426; Increase, 305; 
Jesse, 147; Jezeniah, 91; Otis, 426; 
Rufus, 140 ; Samuel, 91 ; William, 44, 
91, 304, 314; William, 183. 448; Gen- 
eral William H., 450. 

Superfluities, law concerning, 50, 51. 

'■Superior," the, 177. 

Swan, Colonel James, 394-399; Madame 
James, 397, 398; James E., 426; Sam- 
uel, 187, 188; William D., 184, 194, 
195, 353. 

Swan House, 394-399 ; illustration of, 25. 

Swift, James, 91; John, 146 ; Thomas, 
40 ; William, 9L 

Symonds, Micha, 140. 

TAFT, John B., 432. 
Talcott, John, 74. 

Tate and Bra^lv's Psalms, 159. 

Taunton, 78, 101. 

Tavlor, George, 140. 

Tavlor House, 406-411; illustration, 407. 

Tea, opposition to tax on, 126-130, 160. 

Tea Party, Boston, 129. 

Teelan, James, 427. 

Temple, Thomas F., 469. 

Templeman, J. W.. 427. 

Terry, Stephen, 39.' 

Thacher, Cesar, 140; Mrs. Margaret, 
265; Rev. Peter, 107, 317. 

Thayer, Arodi, 125, 359 ; Eleazer, 147 ; 
Rev. George A., 453 ; Jazaniah, 140; 
Nathaniel, 177 ; Samuel, 140. 

Thaxter, Dr. Robert, 199, 200, 233. 

"Thesaurus Romance et Britannicse," 

Third Religious Society, 259; formation 
of, 268; ministers of, 271-276. 

Thompson, C. M., 202; David, 31, 49, 
302; Josiah, 147; William, 140. 

Thompson's Island, 49 ; deposition con- 
cerning, 49; granted to Dorchester, 49, 
292 ; granted to John Thompson, 50, 
302; rent imposed upon, 290. 

Thompson, John, Thompson's Islai>d 
granted to. 50, 302. 

Thornton. Isaac, 146 ; Thomas, 40. 

Tileston & HoUingsworth. 448. 

Tileston, Miss Anne S., 208; C. E., 470; 
E. B., 426; Edmund P., 194, 195, 384, 
429, 432, 448; Ezekiel, 140; Frank, 
202; James, 140; John B., 203; Lem- 



uel, 427; Nathaniel W., 429; Onesi- 

phorus, 322; Thomas, 44; Thomas, 

116; Timothy, 87; Timothy, 141; 

William H., 420. 
Tileston School, 849, 
Tilestone, Cornelius, 91. 
Tilley, John, 40. 
Tillinghast, Nicholas, 446. 
Tinian Point, 413, 414. 
Tobacco, law passed concerning, 48. 
Tolman, C. E., 427; Ebenezer, 149, 376; 

Elijah, 140 ; Ezekiel, 167 ; Ezekiel, 252 ; 

G. E., 426; John, 91, 305: Robert P., 

179 ; Thomas, 140; Thomas J., 193. 
TopIifE, Clement, 110; tombstone of, 288; 

Nathaniel, 140, 246 ; Elder Samuel, 

110, 248 ; Samuel, schoolmaster, 306, 

Torrey, Deacon Elbridge, 264, 268 ; Noah, 

Tory,'Reuben, 140. 
Town government, first special in New 

England, established, 34, 35. 
Train, Enoch, 208. 
Training Dav, 171. 
Trask, William B., 194, 195, 215, 265, 

307, 309, 352, 358, 400, 411, 453. 
Tredwell, Tho., 360. 
Trefethen, Benjamin. 152, 153. 
Tremlett, Thomas, 184, 340. 
Trescot, John, 302. 
Trescott, John, 140, 146; Joseph, 91; 

William, 140. 
Trevour, William, 31, 49. 
Triscott, Samuel, 91. 
Trott, Benjamin, 140. 
Trow, Richard, 146. 
Tucker, Edward, 141. 
Tudor, William, 148. 
Turner. Andrew, 140 ; Elijah, 446 ; Joseph, 

140, 147 ; Captain Nathaniel, 42. 
Turnpike, 149. 

Tuthill, Francis, 44; Joshua, 44. 
Tuttle House, 416-417 ; illustration, 53, 
Tuttle, Joseph, 52, 416; Thomas W. 202. 
" Twelve Divisions," the, 78, 114. 
Twitchell, Joseph, 40. 
Tyng, James A., 282. 

UNCAS, 58. 
" Uncataquissett," 65. 
Underbill, Captain John, 42. 
Upham, James H., 428. 
Upsall, Nicolas, 39. 
" Unquety," 65, 70, 77. 

VAIL, William K., 348. 
A^ane, Sir Henry, 71. 
Vaughn, John, 139. 
Veazie, Samuel, 328. 
Veit, Frederick, 427. 
Village Church, 181. 

Vinson, Charlotte A., 470. 

Viuton, Deacon Josiah C, 264. 

Vose, Alexander, 147 ; Elijah, 199 ; Eli- 
jah, 449, 451; George, 140; Joseph, 
161 ; Robert, 348 ; Robert, Jr., 348; 
William, 140. 

WAGES, established by law, 58. 
Waitt, Jr., David, 146. 

Wales, Ebenezer, 252 ; Ebenezer, 140, 
149 ; Ephraim, 239 ; .John, 140 ; Jona- 
than, 141 ; Nathaniel, 140 ; Thomas 
C, 413 ; Timothy, 140. 

Wales's Creek, 108. 

Walford, Thomas, 29. 

Walker, Rev. James, D. D., 208. 

Wall, Henry W., 425. 

Walles, Eleazer, 91. 

Walsh, Richard J,, 350. 

Walter Baker Mansion, 340, 401-405. 

Wampatuck, successor to Kitchamakin, 
77 ; death of, 77. 

Ward, .Josiah, 141; Joseph T., Jr., 349. 

Ware, Horace E., 174. 

Warham, Rev. John, chosen minister of 
Dorchester Company, 23 ; heads emi- 
gration to Windsor, Conn., 36; among 
first freemen. 39 ; sketch of, 224, 225. 

War of 1812, 150-151. 

Warren, Horace W., 354; M. H., 427. 

Washington, George, 132, 133 ; portrait 
of, 127. 

Washington School, 347. 

Washington Village, set off from Dor- 
chester, 78, 183. 

Waterhouse, Rev. Thomas, 291, 292. 

Waters, John, 140. 

Watertown, expedition to, 29 ; early 
taxation, 36. 

Way [Wey] Henry, 34, 44. 

Webb, Jos'eph, 141. 

Webster, Daniel, 354, 389-392. 

Webster House, 389-392. 

Weeks, Ammiel, 91 ; George, 57 ; Joseph, 
91 ; Thomas, 91. 

Weights and measures, 83. 

Welch, John H., 282. 

Welde, Thomas, 220. 

Welles. Arnold, 390; Hon. John, 389. 

Wesselhoeft, R., 426. 

Weston, Francis, 58. 

Wevmouth, 162. 

Wheeler, Captain Abraham, 286; B. T.. 
470 : Sylvester, 427. 

Wheelwright. Jotham, 147. 

Whigs, 188, 189, 190. 

Whiston, Joseph, 140, 142, 143. 

Whitcomb, Noah, 140; Noah, Jr., 140; 
Samuel, 340. 

White, Deacon Abijah, 248 ; James, 141 ; 
John, 147 : Hon. Joseph, 291 ; Moses, 
140 ; Robert, 147 ; Samuel, 140 •, 
Thomas, 140 ; William, 140. 




White, Rev. John, connection -with emi- 
gration movements, 22 ; the I'atriarch 
of Dorchester, 22; religious sentiments, 
22 ; projects new settlement in Massa- 
chusetts Bav, 24. 

Whitefield, Kev. George, 115, 237-239. 

Whiting, Kev. Lyman, 208. 

Whitman, Mrs. Bernard, 365. 

Whitmore, Charles D., 177, 413; Wil- 
liam II., 470. 

Whiton, Mrs. Koyal, 470. 

Whittemore, Joseph, 146 ; N. Hosea, 

Wiatte, Edward, 91. 

Wighen, John, 141. 

Wilcox, William, 287. 

AVilder, Marshall P., 201, 208, 432, 449, 
450, 454, 462. 

Wilkins, Bray, 40. 

Williams, Isaac, 426; John, 314; John, 
141; Joseph, 140; Joshua, 139; Samuel, 
147; Sidney B., 447; Thomas, 139, 

Williams, Roger, selectman, 35; among 
tirst freemen, 39. 

Willis, Michael, 57; S. J., 174. 

Wilson, Abraham, 140; Andrew, 427; 
Ephraim, 141 ; Rev. Gowen C, 455; 
Rev. John, Jr., 57, 61; sketch of, 232; 
Rev. John Brainerd, 277 ; Rev. War- 
ren C, 453. 

Wilton, David, 40. 

Windsor, Conn., proposed emigration 
to, 36; opposition to emigration, 36; 
emigration to, 36; discussion as to 
precedence of church over that in 
Dorchester, 227, 228. 

Winship, Nathaniel, 146 

Winthrop, Adam, 307 ; Governor John, 
42, 48. 307; Robert C, 209, 390. 

Wiswall [Wiswell], Daniel, 146 ; Enoch, 
305; Ichabod, 139, 141, 310; Deacon 
John, 44, 60, 297, 300, 301 ; John, 140; 
John, Jr., 140; Lois, 410; Oliver, 141; 
Samuel, 316. 

Witchcraft, 82. 

WitchHeld [Whitfield], John, 40. 

Witham, Daniel, 318. 

Withington, Daniel, 146, 245; Captain 
Ebenezer, 130, 141, 160. 264 ; Edward 
140, 378 ; Elijah, 139; Henry, 230, 248 
James, 141 ; Captain John, 90, 91 
Captain John, 140, 146 ; Joseph, 139 
Joseph, Jr., 139, 141 ; Lemuel, 140 
Mrs. Major, 392, 393 ; Richard, 302 
William, 146 ; William, 279. 

Withington House, 392, 393. 

Wolcott, Henry, 27 ; selectman, 34 ; a 
possible stockholder in Dorchester 
Companv, 39; among first freemen, 39. 

Wood, F." M., 470 ; James, 139 ; Mrs. 
Miriam, 331 ; William, description of 
Boston Harbor, 28 ; description of 
Dorchester, 41. 

Woodman, George, 432. 

Woolridge, John, 39, 74. 

Worthington, William, 56. 

Wrentham, town of, 78; setoff from Dor- 
chester, 78, 101; opposition to loss of 
territorv, 124. 

Wright, Henrv, 40. 

YOUNG, George B., 427; J. G., Jr., 
470; Mrs. Minnie, 470; S. W., 






APR n ^^-^