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THE author has had a twofold object in presenting this work for the acceptance of the public. Besides the preservation of the old landmarks, now so rapidly disappearing before the era of improvement, there is a very general desire to know where the actors lived who have given Boston such prominence in the history of our country.
The plan has been adopted, in viewing old localities, to tell for what they have been famous, and to briefly characterize or give some conspicuous traits and public services of the personages mentioned. In view of the limits prescribed for this volume it has been found necessary to condense from the abundant material in the author's possession, but it is believed the more important features have been given.
While the numerous local publications have been carefully examined, the author has in all cases preferred original authorities in the work of compilation, and has endeavored to give credit where it is due. The beaten track has been avoided as far as possible, and preference given to such topics as have either escaped mention altogether, or received but little notice from former writers.
In a work so largely statistical it would be a surprise if errors did not exist, but unwearied pains have been taken to avoid them and to render the work as free from this objection as possible.
The author believes that antiquarian subjects need not of necessity be either dry or uninteresting, and has aimed to make these pages agreeable to the general reader,— a class he is happy to say in which a growing interest in the early history of the founders of New England is evident.
Many persons have laid the author under obligations by the loan of documents or by communicating valuable information. He would express his deep sense of the favors and assistance rendered him by that eminent and thoroughly unselfish antiquarian, John Ward Dean, and also by Miss E. S. Quincy and John H. Dexter. Among the many persons consulted, who have kindly contributed in various ways to the success of this work, are Captain George H. Preble, U. S. K, Isaac Story, Lemuel Shaw, George Mountfort, William H. Montague, J. WinGate Thornton, Eowland Ellis, and Timothy Dodd, Esqrs., the latter of whom, at the advanced age of ninetythree, still retains a clear recollection of Boston as it existed three quarters of a century ago.
Boston, Mass., October 22, 1872.
AFTEE these pages had passed through the press, the most vital part of Boston, commercially, was laid in ashes by the conflagration of November 9 and 10, 1872, which claims the sad eminence of being the greatest of the fires with which the town or city has from time to time been scourged. In a few short hours millions in reality took to themselves wings and were dissolved in the vapor that rose above the desert of blackened ruins, and was mournfully regarded at their homes in the vicinity by half a million spectators.
The district destroyed is mainly comprehended in Chapters IX. and XIII., and it becomes necessary to instruct the reader who peruses these chapters that he should substitute the phrase "here lies" for "here stands," where particular localities are designated.
Although the fire has swept away many of the edifices by which we indicated the habitations of the old residents, it is believed that these descriptions will not lessen the value of the work, now that they include not only the buildings lately standing, but constitute in effect a chart of the whole region destroyed as it existed previous to this disaster.
Amid the fearful devastation which has taken place, we cannot restrain a mental thanksgiving that those two monuments so dear to every Bostonian, the Old South and the Old State House, were spared, and we venture to express the hope that steeple and tower may long continue to stand in the midst of regenerated Boston.
Myles Standish.—William Blackstone. — Shawmut.— Settlement by Winthrop's Company. — Trimountain. — Boston. — Physical Features. —Area. — Settlement by Indians. — Character of first Buildings.— First Location of the Settlers. — Geographical Divisions. — Wood and Water. — Dress. — Manners and Customs. — Slavery. — Curious old Laws. — Government of the Town. — Allotment of Lands. — Intolerance of the Times. — The Pulpit a Means of Intelligence. — Accounts by various Writers. — Town Records. — General Growth and Progress.
— Population. — Wards. — Paving the Streets. — Lighting the Streets.
— Supply of Water. — Enlargement of Boston. — Communication with Mainland. — Ferries. — Bridges. — Coaches, Public and Private. — Railways
History of the Chapel. — Establishment of the Church of England. —
— City Hall. — Otis. — Warren. — Mascarene. — Cromwell's Head. — The Old Corner Bookstore.—Anne Hutchinson.—The French Church.
— Catholic Church. — Second Universalist. — Province Street. — Chapman Place.—James Lovell.—The Wendells 28