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Thomas Wentworth Higginson, Olde Cambridge, Chapter 1: old Cambridge (search)
heir works. We boys knew the early traditions of Cambridge: of the famous hunt which brought in seventy-six wolves' heads as late as 1696, and the hunts which yielded many bears annually down to the time of the Revolution. We knew the tradition of Andrew Belcher's stately funeral in 1717, when ninety-six pairs of mourning gloves were issued and fifty suits of mourning clothes were made for guests at the cost of the estate. We knew the place where two negroes were legally put to death in 1755 for the crime of petty treason in murdering their master, the one being hanged, the other burned to death. We knew that two of the regicides took refuge in Cambridge after the death of Charles I., and it was preserved in our memories through a curious oath By Goffe-Whalley then extant among Cambridge boys, but now vanished. We knew the spot where stood the oak tree, on the north side of the common, where the Rev. John Wilson, first minister of Boston and a portly man, climbed the tree on El