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[357] by the river, this did not much lessen the expenses of transportation, but increased the risks of fracture. The high price of labor, of wood, and of cartage, rendered competition unwise; and the manufacture of bricks has ceased.


Governor Winthrop sailed from Cowes, in England, on Thursday, April 8, 1630. On Saturday, June 12, he reached Boston Bay; and, on the 17th of that month, he makes the following record: “Went up Mistick River about six miles.”

To this heroic and Christian adventurer belongs the honor of building the first vessel whose keel was laid in this part of the Western World; and that vessel was built on the bank of Mystic River, and probably not far from the governor's house at “Ten Hills.” There is a tradition that it was built on the north shore of the river, and therefore within the limits of Medford. The record concerning it is as follows: “July 4, 1631. The governor built a bark at Mistick, which was launched this day, and called ‘the blessing of the Bay.’ ”

“Aug. 9, the same year, the governor's bark, being of thirty tons, went to sea.”

It cost one hundred and forty-five pounds. The owner said of it, May 16, 1636, “I will sell her for one hundred and sixty pounds.”

There was something singularly prophetic in the fact that the first vessel built “at Mistick” should have so increased in price after five years of service. Our day has seen the prophecy fulfilled; as it is no marvel now for a Medford ship to command a higher price after having had a fair trial at sea.

The second year (1632) witnessed another vessel built by Mr. Cradock on the bank of the Mystic, whose register was a hundred tons. In 1633, a ship of two hundred tons was built; and another, named “Rebecca,” tonnage unknown: both built by Mr. Cradock. Mr. William Wood, in 1633, writes: “Mr. Cradock is here at charges of building ships. The last year, one was upon the stocks of a hundred tons: that being finished, they are to build twice her burden.” There is reason to believe that Mr. Cradock's ship-yard was that now occupied by Mr. J. T. Foster.

That large vessels could float in the river had been proved by the governor, who may be called the first navigator of our

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