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THE EDITORS' TABLE.
In planning for a series of illustrated articles carefully investigate the matter; and, happily, we upon the antiquities and historical associations of have been able to enlist the attention of many who Boston, we are quite sure of appealing to a vastly have hitherto considered it a matter of mere senwider audience than the Boston audience. How timent." deep the interest is which Boston herself is now coming to take in her history and antiquities is The city of Boston spends a great deal of money evidenced, in one way, by the rapid growth and in widening streets. It receives a little money from interesting activity of the Bostonian Society, whose rents of property which the corporation owns. rooms at the Old State House, with their rare col- Thus it receives some rents for the first floor of lections, have already become one of the most the Old State House, which stands at the head important and attractive points in the city for of what was once King Street and is now State the visiting student, and whose meetings are now Street. With admirable good sense the governlooked forward to with exceptional pleasure by so ment has lately restored the historical building, so many. Only ten years old, the Bostonian Society that it has much of its old aspect. By one more already numbers over 800 members, and has a restoration the city may give the additional width library of 2500 volumes, with treasures of all for carriage travel, which the upper part of State sorts, which far outrun the present accommoda- Street really demands. In old times this first tions. The $4000 bequeathed to the Society by floor, which is now rented for offices, was the the late Samuel E. Sawyer, swells the endow- open Exchange of Boston. Pillars supported the ment to $10,000, and the President tells us that roof, and the Faneuils and Bowdoins and Amorys $25,000 can be put to good use. The hope is of that day adjusted the price of potash and pelcherished that, through the favor of the city gov- tries and clapboards and fish, as they shook hands ernment, increased accommodations may be given with each other and discussed the Thursday lecthe Society in the Old State House, which might ture, for a condiment in their lighter business. Let well be devoted, like Independence Hall in Phila- the city give up its tenants on the first floor, let it delphia, entirely as a public building. Says Presi- take out the partitions, and let it make an open dent Guild, in his annual address, recently deliv- exchange again. Let it restore the broad, outered:
door staircase from this floor down to State Street, “That the Old State House is one of the most on the eastern side. Then the sidewalks on the attractive sights in Boston is evinced by the num- northern and southern sides can be taken away, ber of strangers who visit these historic halls. and just so much will be gained for carriages. The Although not one-third of the visitors record their city will lose a little rent, but it will have made names upon the visitors' book, yet that volume for the most important street-widening of the year, the past year shows a record of over 17,000 names, and the least expensive. which is about double the number recorded on the books of Faneuil Hall. Especial gratification is expressed by those coming from distant states The diligent and zealous “Taverner" of the in the Union at the opportunities afforded them Boston Post, who seems to know something into visit a free museum of American history, such teresting about everything, is prompted by Mr. as is here presented. Teachers of schools in Bos- Willard's article on the old New England meetington and vicinity have also made use of the oppor- houses, in our last number, to some pleasant gossip tunity here afforded, in giving their pupils object about Boston churches, which we are glad to lay lessons in history that give added interest to the on our table, as of value not only to the readers printed text-book.” “The Bostonian Society," he of the article last month, but equally to the readers says again, "after ten years of existence, seems to of the article on Boston churches in the present have so thoroughly demonstrated its usefulness to number. our fellow-citizens that it is now pretty generally “The interesting article in the January NEW recognized as a permanent institution of genuine ENGLAND MAGAZINE on “The New England value, from which certain results are to be ex- Meeting House and the Wren Church,' by A. R. pected and to which a certain deference should Willard, showing how the architecture of certain be paid. This city has reached an age now when churches in Boston and other places had been its history is becoming yearly more and more in- especially influenced by the styles of the steeples teresting, not only to its own citizens, but to intel- of the architect of St. Paul's in London, suggests ligent people all over the world. The principal other peculiarities of ecclesiastical structures in seat of the early English colonial government, the this city. Arthur Gilman, the noted architect and point where the first opposition to royal oppres- wit, used to say, in his inimitable way, that there sion was manifested, the scene of the most stirring were two kinds of churches in Boston, - one in events that led to the American Revolution, the which you could not see the minister, and another birthplace of American independence, the scene in which you could not hear him. The first kind of noted acts in revolutionary history, it is the was naturally intended to characterize churches first point in this country to which the student of with high pulpits, of which the old West Church American history turns, and which the intelligent is one of the few remaining examples, while the and well-read tourist is filled with a desire to visit. second included some more modern edifices. It It should need no argument to prove the value of is somewhat remarkable that some of the finest the work which this society is doing to those who specimens of church architecture here in Boston in recent years have proved deficient in acoustic astical architecture here in Boston; and while the . properties, so as to necessitate the introduction old tower of Brattle Square, which bore, as Dr. of artificial means of supplying them. This was Holmes says, “the iron breastpin which the rebels the case with the Brattle Square Church on Com- threw,' is no more, King's Chapel recalls the fact monwealth Avenue, which is so familiar from its that the tower was favored in the olden time, and noble tower, one of the masterpieces of Rich- I am glad that the structure was spared the addiardson, while the beautiful Unitarian Church on tion of the steeple designed by the architect, Peter Berkeley Street, corner of Marlboro, has had to Harrison, But the grand tower of Trinity Church contend with similar trials.
and the noble tower of the new • Brattle Square “ I sometimes think that the old-fashioned sound- Church' on Commonwealth Avenue not only ing-boards over the pulpit, such as are still seen afford a pleasing variation from the customary in the Old South and King's Chapel, would be de- steeple, but by their massive dignity aptly symsirable additions to some of our modern churches, bolize the solid basis of the religion that has been where the strain on the attention necessary to hear the means of creating the character of its votaries the preacher is apt to interfere with the serenity as well as the architecture of their temples of of spirit which is essential for the best effects of worship." his teachings. It has even occurred to me that the sounding-board might be so arranged, as it Two interesting new courses of historical lecwas said to have been in a certain old-fashioned tures for young people, in the line of the Old church, to time the sermons of the minister, so South lectures in Boston, owing their impulse to that in case he exceeded the maximum limit, the the Old South lectures and, like the many simistructure over his pulpit would descend and lit- lar efforts in the West, calling themselves “Old erally shut him up. Such a device would of course South” lectures, have just been inaugurated in be less needed now than in days when the division the New England field, one in Providence, R.I., of a sermon into heads reaching to fifthly and and one in Franklin, Mass. sixthly suggested that the preacher did not suf- The work in Providence is being carried on ficiently consider the brevity of human life in his under the auspices of the Women's Educational deliverances. The writer in the NEW ENGLAND, and Industrial Union. The lectures are given in in pointing out how many of our churches of early Music Hall before large audiences, composed of date
roduced in their ples the piled pupils of the igh school and members of the boxes of the Wren type, congratulates our people graduating class in the grammar schools, teachers, that another feature of some of his churches – and others interested in history and education.
the order of the inverted piano leg' — never The lectures are free to the young people, tickets came into vogue here. I recall one or two churches being distributed by the principals of the schools; in this city and vicinity which approach danger- and printed outlines of the lectures are prepared ously near this type, and there is one church which, in advance by one of the principals, from notes although widely different in its character from that supplied by the lecturers, and placed in the hands of the famous St. Bride's in London - one of the of the young people to enable them to follow the masterpieces of Wren -- resembles it in a form of lecture more intelligently, and take notes if they steeple construction which has gained for it the desire. The course was opened on Saturday name of the Church of the Holy Telescope.' morning, January 4, by President Andrews of This is the church on Berkeley Street, near Tre- Brown University, with a lecture on “The English mont Street, which is not mentioned by the maga- Commonwealth,” and is being continued on suczine writer, doubtless because it is not so good cessive Saturdays as follows: by Charles C. Coffin, a specimen of a telescope as the steeple of St. on “Pilgrims and Puritans "; Édwin D. Mead, on Bride's to which he refers.
“Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry”; Rev. Ed“Many of my readers will remember the tall ward Everett Hale, on “The Year 1789"; Mr. spire of the old Unitarian Church on Hanover George A. Littlefield, on “ Daniel Webster and Street, near Richmond, with the huge brass cock- the Union ”; and Colonel T. W. Higginson, on erel for its vane, which caused it to be generally “How to read History." There is much interest styled, and this, too, without irreverence, the in the work among the educational people of • Church of the Holy Rooster.' There was Providence, and Librarian Foster of the Public another wooden steeple on Beacon Hill which Library, with his customary enterprise and tact, is overtopped the State House, and was, on that making it the means of turning the attention of account as well as from its architectural slimness, the young people to historical reading. regarded as a disfigurement to the locality, that The course in Franklin is interesting as being was crowned by an object which looked more like the first “Old South " course inaugurated in one a piece of meat than anything of a sacred char- of our smaller towns. The course was arranged acter. I suppose it was for this reason that the by the Young People's Missionary Association of late Arthur Gilman designated the building as the Universalist Church, under the direction of the the 'Church of the Successful Toothpick. This pastor, Rev. W. C. Selleck, and is given the genechurch stood on Somerset Street, where Sleeper ral title of "The Birth of the Nation.” It was Hall of Boston University is located. There was opened Monday evening, January 13, with a lecsomething so artificial about its construction, from ture by Mr. Edwin D. Mead, on “ The Study of its lank wooden steeple to its mastic front, which History,” to be continued on successive Monday was perpetually peeling off, that it was a relief to evenings, as follows: by Charles H. Levermore, me when a structure of a less ambitious and more Ph.D., on “ The English Puritans”; John Fiske, sincere character took its place.
on “The Settlement of New England”; Edwin “I think the introduction of towers in some of D. Mead, on “Samuel Adams and Patrick Henry"; our new churches an attractive feature of ecclesi- George M. Towle, on “Washington and his Gene
rals”; Clarence A. Brodeur, on “The Adoption this means they lost only two weavers and three of the Constitution"; Rev. William M. Thayer, spinners in the strike. on "The Statesmanship of the Eighteenth Cen- “The women conducted themselves in the most tury”; and Rev. C. F. Dole, on “ The Perils and quiet and orderly manner. They marched through Needs of American Citizenship.”
the streets singing praise of liberty and scorn of “These lectures,” says the attractive circular slavery, halting now and then in front of our winissued by the committee, “ will be similar in char- dows to invite our girls with hand and handkeracter and aim to those which have been delivered chief to join them. They had no night parades during the last six or seven summers at the Old and no public speaking, but there was plenty of South Meeting House in Boston, at the expense earnest exhortation to each other to hold firm, and of Mrs. Mary Hemenway, and which have been of eloquent appeal to those who kept at work, at so highly spoken of by intelligent people through- every chance meeting. A few men sympathizers out the country. The idea of this Old South raised a platform in one of the public squares, and work, as it is called, has been taken up and car- harangued the crowds that flocked to hear the ried out very successfully in several places, notably new gospel, but the strikers kept away. in the West; and now it is proposed to try the “With one or two exceptions, these women experiment here. The lectures will be given were Yankee born and bred. Their homes were mainly for the benefit of the young people of our on the farms and in the small villages of New town, particularly the pupils of the high school, England. All were trained to economical habits, the grammar schools, and the academy; but they and many sent home their earnings to pay mortwill be open to the general public, and everybody gages on homesteads, to give comforts to invalids, is not only cordially invited, but earnestly urged to and to educate younger members of the family. attend them.” Tickets for the course are fur- But that they did not spend all their earnings for nished to the young people for fifty cents, and to their friends or for themselves was shown by the others for one dollar; and in connection with the surprisingly large sum the strikers had on deposit lectures two prizes are offered - ten dollars for the in the Lowell savings bank; I heard it estimated best essay written by a pupil of the public schools, at from seventy to seventy-seven thousand dollars. not over seventeen years of age, on “The History The bank officials took advantage of the situation of the Town of Franklin," and ten dollars for the to exact the fortnight's notice before paying the best essay giving a report of this course of lec- depositors. As the corporations would not give tures, with a brief synopsis of each lecture. This them shelter in their boarding-houses, the women last is an admirable feature, worthy of adoption hired a large house, where they lived independent for the young people wherever “Old South” lec- of corporations while waiting for their money. I tures are given.
was told that the single women and those who
were the most 'forehanded' paid the heavy bills ONE of the first strikes in our country was or- of this housekeeping, thus relieving those who had ganized and conducted by women operatives in large families, and the few really poor members of the cotton mills of Lowell, during the winter of
the company. 1833-4. The following account, sent us by Mrs. " It was during this period of waiting that the Sarah E. Burton of New York, is given, so far as strikers paraded the streets of Lowell, fifteen hunpossible, in the words of a gentleman employed at dred strong. No men or boys were in the ranks, the time in one of the mills, who is now living, though a great crowd of both attended on the retired from a ministry which he honored for fifty outskirts. In place of a band of music all joined years. It gains added interest from the fact that in singing. One song that was immensely popuit relates to the time and conditions described by lar with the crowd, and that was sung by the the article on The Lowell Offering in our Decem- women with great vim, was a parody on 'I will ber number, and by Miss Larcom in her book. not be a Nun. When we heard it floating into
"I began work in the Lowell Corporation mill our windows in advance of the procession, it was the first of December, 1833. It was a double fac- hard to keep our workers in order; even the overtory; half of it used for the manufacture of woollen seers frequently found a job conveniently near the carpets, and half for cotton sheeting. The cloth windows when the procession passed. You should was very coarse, and was sold only in Southern have heard them! markets, where it was turned into clothing for the slaves. I was an overseer in the cotton weaving
“Oh, I cannot be a slave! department. Our weavers were paid by the piece
Oh, I will not be a slave! or cut, their wages ranging from three to five dol
For so fond of liberty lars per week above their board. About the time
I cannot be a slave!' that I began work, the wages in all the mills were reduced a certain per cent agreed upon by their “When the fortnight's notice to the bank exrespective superintendents. The same inequality pired, the strikers retaliated for their long waiting of wage remained after the reduction, for the wage by refusing to receive anything in payment but depended solely on the ability of the weaver; but specie. The savings bank paid over all its own the women rebelled, and suddenly most of the gold and silver, then called on a neighboring looms were standing still, for from twelve to fif- bank, which in turn made a draft on the specie in teen hundred hands quit work without notice. a Boston bank, before the demand was fully met.
“The owners of the ‘Lowell Corporation’ mill, There was no incident of the strike that gave the however, quadrupled the number of overseers in onlookers, especially the men, so much amusement the weaving rooms, and thus keeping all the and right-down satisfaction as this flurry in the looms in constant running order, made it possible banks. for the operatives to earn as much as before. By “ As soon as this business was satisfactorily set