which covers about 300 pages of manuscript.
It records the name, tonnage, and ownership of each vessel, with the place where it was built.
More than 1,200 vessels are entered in the register, and out of them all there is but one Medford-built vessel, the brigantine ‘Joanna
,’ of 70 tons, built in 1699, and owned and commanded by one Bailey
, of Boston
In this same register we find 130 vessels built on the Merrimac river
, of which 100 were built at Newbury
, and perhaps as many more at Scituate
and other towns on the North
The register contains a record of vessels built from 1680 to 1714.
In the eighteenth century, which comes nearer to our times, we have no evidence that the business of shipbuilding was prosecuted, and it is improbable that any craft larger than a lighter was built here.
But the time came at last when ship-building was to be established as a great local industry, and the noble vessels launched from our yards were to carry the American
flag all over the world.
The pioneer in this movement, so eventful to the town, was Thatcher Magoun
This great ship-builder was born in Pembroke, Mass.
, June 17, 1775, the day on which the battle of Bunker Hill
He early took up the trade of a ship-carpenter, and served his time with Enos Briggs
, at Salem
, where he remained five years. From Salem
he went to Mr. Barker
's yard, in Charlestown
(now the Navy Yard
), where he worked and studied two years, assisting in moulding, for which art he showed a marked aptitude.
There, it is said, he made the model of the first vessel he ever built, the brig Mt. Aetna. Mr. Magoun
was not a man to remain content with a subordinate position in his trade, and he determined to begin business on his own account.
Living then alongside the Mystic river
, he did not fail to observe the advantages which its sloping