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[136] erection of a turnpike-gate on the Middlesex Turnpike in Lexington limits.

In 1813 the second inauguration of President Madison was celebrated on the 4th of March by his political friends, with considerable éclat, considering the hard times. Salutes were fired, the church bell rung, and a procession, preceded by the West Cambridge Band, marched through the town, from Major Whittemore's tavern, under Capts. Charles Wellington and Stephen Wheeler, as Marshals, to Tufts's tavern, where they partook of a supper. Col. Russell presided, and the evening was spent very pleasantly with stories, songs and toasts. Of the latter, I remember but one, given by Ephraim Cutter, referring to the Federalists on President Madison:

Bark at the moon, ye deadly dogs of night,
She neither minds your howl, nor shines less bright.

J. B. Russell, Reminiscences.1


A committee was appointed to provide for the welfare and safety of the town and its inhabitants during the present war with Great Britain.

In this year a meeting of the town was held for the sole purpose of considering the expediency of procuring a bathing tub or tubs, to be kept by the treasurer. On motion it was voted that there be purchased one bathing tub for the use of the inhabitants, to be kept by the town treasurer.2


The matter of providing a suitable place for the town's poor is mentioned. Accomplished by the erection of a house on the estate of Josiah Whittemore, formerly the property of Joseph Carnes, then deceased, in 1817-18. An appropriation

1 Mr. Russell, in a later communication, enumerates the military of West Cambridge at this period thus: (1) The minute-men at the time of the Embargo Scare in 1808; (2) The old standing militia; (3) The cavalry; (4) The light infantry, inaugurated Sept. 1811; (5) The exempts, 1814, during the war scare and feared invasion of Boston.

2 “The town-meeting for a Bathing Tub looks like a joke, but I think I can explain it. For several years, say from 1807 to 1817, the spotted fever raged as a fatal epidemic in the country towns in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, exciting as much alarm and panic as the cholera in later years. Among other remedies tried, one was to set the patient over a tub of hot water, cover him with blankets, and sweat him half to death. I don't remember a case in West Cambridge, but it was in Bedford, and other towns near. While I was at Westford Academy, in 1815, a young daughter of the house where I boarded was taken at nine P. M., and died at two the next morning. Much alarm existed in West Cambridge, and as a prudential measure, I presume they ordered the steaming apparatus, and for want of a better name probably the town clerk recorded it as a Bathing Tub.” J. B. Russell

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