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“  duties may be duly performed, and a watchful eye held over all in each family, by one or more in each family to be appointed thereto, that so disorders may be prevented, and ill weeds nipt before they take too great a head.” Their trust was the Bible, law-book, and gun. The early histories tell of many, in other places, who became dissatisfied with their first choice, and moved to more promising localities; but not a word of complaint reaches us from the first planters of Medford, and no one, to our knowledge, left the plantation. They brought with them the animus manendi. To show how fast the settlement went on, it is said, under date of Oct. 30, 1631, that “the Governor erected a building of stone at Mistick.” The houses of the first settlers were fortified by palisades, thought to be a very necessary defence of themselves and their cattle against the nocturnal attacks of wild beasts and savages. It was not uncommon for a plantation to unite in building a stone or brick house, into which they could retire for the night, or escape from the Indians. In Medford were built three of these strong brick citadels, two of which yet stand. Obliged to depend in great measure for subsistence, during the first winter, upon food brought from England, there must have been an impatient waiting for spring; and, when it arrived, the whole population must have gone to work in clearing whatever open land could be used for planting. A writer says (1630): “The scarcity of grain was great; every bushel of wheat-meal, 14s. sterling; every bushel of peas, 10s.; and not easy to be procured either.” “Aug. 16, 1631: Six hundred acres of land given to the Governor near his house in Mistick.” The crops of 1631 were most abundant. Having made their selection and commenced their settlement, our ancestors were not likely to be disturbed by interlopers; for the Court of Assistants, Sept. 7, 1630, passed the following: “It is ordered, that no person shall plant in any place within the limits of this patent, without leave from the Governor and Assistants, or the major part of them.” Governor Winthrop felt too deep an interest in his near neighbors to allow any infringement of this law. The first planting of Medford was thus singularly auspicious under the supervision of the illustrious chief magistrate, called the “American Nehemiah,”
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