with which Appius Claudius built the aqueducts of Rome, Sesostris those of Egypt, Semiramis those of Babylon, and Hezekiah those of Jerusalem; but we think that no good art in ship-architecture has ever been lost; and we believe that the Medford model of this year has never been surpassed. The speed and safety of our ships are proofs of our remark. The “Arbella,” of four hundred tons, which brought Governor Winthrop, was sixty-five days on its passage,--a period in which a Medford sailing ship now can cross the Atlantic four times.
Oct. 7, 1641: General Court.--Whereas the country is now in hand with the building of ships, which is a business of great importance for the common good, and therefore suitable care is to be taken that it be well performed; it is therefore ordered, that, when any ship is to be built within this jurisdiction, it shall be lawful for the owners to appoint and put in some able man to survey the work and workmen from time to time, to see that it be performed and carried on according to the rules of their art.Who were delegated for this singular supervisory duty in Medford, or how much our ship-carpenters relished it, we are not told. May 29, 1644, the General Court proposed the formation of a company of ship-builders, “with power to regulate the building of ships, and to make such orders and laws amongst themselves as may conduce to the public good.” Mystic River, having no fatal shoals or rocks within it, permits the passage of an empty ship of twenty-five hundred tons at the highest tides. If we can suppose a sea-serpent to have started from Charlestown for a visit to the country, and a small stream of tide-water to have followed him in his explorations, we can imagine him thus marking out by his many and sudden windings the course of our river from Boston Bay to the Pond,--rendering it thus serpentine in order to present the best accommodations to the greatest number of ship-builders. Where can a little river be found that will afford convenient sites for ten large ship-yards within one mile's distance? When, in one of these yards, we have seen from one to three vessels on the stocks at the same time, and have listened to that well-known, busy hum that comes from the boring of augers, the cutting of saws, and the driving of bolts, we have felt that a more glorious exhibition of human industry could nowhere be witnessed. To the gentlemen who have been at the head of this great enterprise, Medford is deeply indebted. Since the first of them came, real estate