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[70] would divert travel from Medford. March 4, 1802, the town chose a Committee to compel the proprietors of Malden Bridge to build the piers, next the draw, required by their act of incorporation.

To show how general and how sharp was the opposition to the erection of Malden Bridge, we will quote from a letter of the Pastor of Medford to his friend in Charlestown, dated Monday, June 26, 1786:--

Almost ever since I saw you, I have been so agitated about that execrable bridge at Penny Ferry, that law and divinity have both been obliged to stand by, whilst I have rallied all my powers to fight the bridge-builders. And still the combat is not over. The people are bridge-mad. Old Judge R. is in a perfect frenzy, and raves about Charlestown and bridges with as little reason as the wildest lunatic in the defence of his imagined crown and sceptre. I do think it unpardonable in him and in the other inhabitants of Charlestown, who are abettors in this business. After the danger and terror they were all in, from the apprehension of a bridge at Leechmere's Point, and the assistance which they received from this town in making their escape,--for them, so immediately to turn upon us and appear so zealous for the destruction of Medford, is a conduct so base and ungenerous as nothing can palliate. 1 shall be tempted, when I preach to them again, to take total depravity for my subject, though that be a doctrine of which I had begun to doubt till I had this recent proof of it.

Last Saturday week passes among them for the Great Day. I felt but little disposed to see the transactions of it, and believe I should not have gone had I been invited. But neither I, nor any of my people, except Father C., came to that honor. I may say, as Nathan the Prophet did to David, with reference to Adonijah's feast, “But me, even me, thy servant, &c., they have not called.” I am told that their preacher, the sabbath after, gave them an occasional sermon. My informer (one of my own people, you'll suppose) could not tell the text; but added, that, in his opinion, the most suitable one would have been these words: “And the devils entered the herd of swine, and the whole herd ran violently down a steep place,” &c.

The Charlestown Bridge is indeed a grand and noble affair, beyond any thing ever effected in this country before. The only thing that I much regret about it is, that it has deprived so many, both wise men and fools, of their reason, and set them raving. Judge R., and his connections, are the wise men; S., and the Malden gang, are the fools. As for the Malden miserables, they were never awake till the talk about this bridge put them in motion, like men who walk in their sleep. They now leave their corn unhoed, and their grass not cut, to carry petitions to Court for a bridge,

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March 4th, 1802 AD (1)
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