It was the so-called Know-Nothing period, when the silly and credulous people of the community professed to believe that the Roman Catholics were going to make an armed attempt to overthrow the government, and formed a political organization, which for a time, shame be it said, obtained a strong hold here in Massachusetts.
The Angel Gabriel was an apostle of this movement, and wandered from town to town, blowing his horn and stirring up the people with his crazy utterances.
It was a July Saturday when he entered Medford.
It was just after supper when he first sounded his horn, and it did not take long for him to gather a crowd.
Later the doors of the Town Hall were opened, and the room was soon packed with people, out of curiosity.
I have never heard a more insane farrago from the lips of any living man. It was a call for the people to rise and drive the Roman Catholics from the country.
He declared that every servant girl was provided with a package of poison, ready to d
he men's seats, i.e., five men, three in the first or fore-gallery, and two in the gallery on the beams, or uper gallery.
In 1717 the rail in the body of seats was also moved eastward, to accommodate five more men, and, strange to say, there was no protest from the women.
So many pews had been built that the body of seats had been reduced to five rows, as seen in the moving of the rail.
And now a word about these pews.
They were not such as we now see in church edifices of modern build, but were rectangular enclosures, such as may be seen in King's Chapel in Boston.
They had a seat for one person in the front corner next the alley, and across the opposite end and back side, with a door next the alley, and when one was seated only his head was visible above the enclosure, unless perchance the open space between the banesturs allowed the children to have a game of peek-a-boo, which wasn't safe to indulge in, for the tytheingman was ever watchful.
[Continued in July Register]