literature and art in America
,—when we think of what all this means, the thought of human achievement stimulates us to try to keep up to the high standard set by our predecessors, especially those who rocked the ‘cradle of Liberty’ in the troublous times preceding the Revolution.
On the first complete map of Boston
, drafted by Captain John Bonner
in 1722, is a record of three trees only, standing at the time the first settlers came.
One of these, represented as the largest, was the ‘Old Elm’ on Boston Common, blown down in the great storm of 1876.
The two others were near the middle of what is now Park street, both long since victims of the march of time.
A chair made of the wood of the ‘Old Elm’ is now in the Boston Public Library
One of its descendants was planted on the hill where the Soldiers' Monument stands in 1889, but it is not marked.
Shawmut, as the new settlement was first named, thus presented a striking contrast to Charlestown
, which is said to have been covered with timber at that time.
Fuel was obtained from Deer Island
So the first duty of the new comers was to plant trees, and with an eye to domestic economy the first trees planted: were probably fruit trees.
There were large gardens on the summit of Beacon Hill
, and also some belonging to the residences along Summer street. A quaint story of one of these old gardens is given in an article entitled, ‘A Colonial Boyhood,’ in a recent number of the Atlantic Monthly, and it runs as follows:—
Come with me out of the Subway station at Scollay Square. You will have been expecting to plunge at once into the bustle and hurly-burly of one of the busiest corners of Boston, a passing glance at Governor Winthrop's statue your only tribute to old times.
But we have been traveling not only under the streets of the city, but through two centuries and a quarter of time, and emerge to find ourselves on the outskirts of Boston, on the hillside road which in the old days skirted the foot of Cotton Hill.
We are higher up in the world than we had expected to be, and the water of the town cove comes in nearly to the foot of the hill on which we stand.