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The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Personal Sketches and tributes (search)
sight of Newbury steeples, Plum Island, and Crane Neck and Pipe Stave hills. Let me, in closing, pay something of the debt I have owed from boyhood, by expressing a sentiment in which I trust every son of the ancient town will unite: Joshua Coffin, historian of Newbury, teacher, scholar, and antiquarian, and one of the earliest advocates of slave emancipation: May his memory be kept green, to use the words of Judge Sewall, so long as Plum Island keeps its post and a sturgeon leaps in Merrimac River. Amesbury, 6th Month, 1885. Schoolday Rememberances. To Rev. Charles Wingate, Hon. James H. Carleton, Thomas B. Garland, Esq., Committee of Students of Haverhill Academy: dear friends,—I was most agreeably surprised last evening by receiving your carefully prepared and beautiful Haverhill Academy Album, containing the photographs of a large number of my old friends and schoolmates. I know of nothing which could have given me more pleasure. If the faces represented are n
The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 6. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Historical papers (search)
rity and goodness as to be able to sacrifice such a reputation as that of William Penn to the point of an antithesis or the effect of a paradox. The Border war of 1708 The picturesque site of the now large village of Haverhill, on the Merrimac River, was occupied a century and a half ago by some thirty dwellings, scattered at unequal distances along the two principal roads, one of which, running parallel with the river, intersected the other, which ascended the hill northwardly and lost of 1695. The township of Haverhill, even as late as the close of the seventeenth century, was a frontier settlement, occupying an advanced position in the great wilderness, which, unbroken by the clearing of a white man, extended from the Merrimac River to the French villages on the St. Francois. A tract of twelve miles on the river and three or four northwardly was occupied by scattered settlers, while in the centre of the town a compact village had grown up. In the immediate vicinity ther
The writings of John Greenleaf Whittier, Volume 7. (ed. John Greenleaf Whittier), Zzz Missing head (search)
icing Indians and negroes to leave their masters. He was charged before the court with saying that the English should be cut off and the negroes set free. James, a negro slave, and Joseph, an Indian, were arrested with him. Their design was reported to be, to seize a vessel in the port and escape to Canada and join the French, and return and lay waste and plunder their masters. They were to come back with five hundred Indians and three hundred Canadians; and the place of crossing the Merrimac River, and of the first encampment on the other side, were even said to be fixed upon. When we consider that there could not have been more than a score of slaves in the settlement, the excitement into which the inhabitants were thrown by this absurd rumor of conspiracy seems not very unlike that of a convocation of small planters in a backwoods settlement in South Carolina on finding an anti-slavery newspaper in their weekly mail bag. In 1709 Colonel Saltonstall, of Haverhill, had several
se articles. The Middlesex canal was the first step towards the solution of the problem of cheap transportation. The plan originated with the Hon. James Sullivan, who was for six years a judge of the Supreme Court of Massachusetts, attorney-general from 1790 to 1807, and governor in 1807 and 1808, dying while holding the latter office. A brief glance at a map of the New England States will bring out in bold relief the full significance of Sullivan's scheme. It will be seen that the Merrimac river, after pursuing a southerly course as far as Middlesex Village, turns abruptly to the northeast. A canal from Charlestown mill-pond to this bend of the river, a distance of 27 1/4 miles, would open a continuous water-route of 80 miles to Concord, N. H. From this point, taking advantage of Lake Sunapee, a canal could easily be run in a northwesterly direction to the Connecticut at Windsor, Vt.; and thence, making use of intermediate streams, communication could be opened with the St. Law
uds and regulating abuses in the Plantation Trade. I have examined this register, 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 river. 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 no
rical Society, Jan. 17, 1898.) THERE can be no doubt but that the early paths or roads of Old Medford were located substantially where our great highways now are, and it is probable that in many cases they followed the old Indian trails along the banks of the river and out into the country. The territory about Mistick river was the favorite dwelling-place of the Pawtucket tribe of Indians, whose hunting-grounds extended as far east as Piscataqua, and as far north as Concord, on the Merrimac river. The nearest, and in fact the principal, land route between Salem and the other settlements on the eastern coast of New England, and Charlestown, Boston, and the other settlements on the south shore of Massachusetts bay, was through Medford by the way of what are now known as Salem, South, and Main streets, crossing the river at the ford, or, after the building of Mistick bridge, over that bridge. It is hardly possible that the ford could have been much used after the building of t
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 2., A business man of long ago. (search)
Major Swan subsequently left Charlestown and made Medford his permanent home. He died there in 1825. Chelsea bridge was built in 1801. The Selectmen of Medford, Benjamin Hall, and John Brooks Governor of Massachusetts. were a committee who vainly opposed it. Mr. Hall was zealous in prosecuting the building of Middlesex Canal, but was not in favor of extending it to Boston. He wrote, In 1792 there was a petition preferred the General Court for liberty to make a Canal from Merrimack River into Medford River the Petitioners were Chiefly Inhabitants of Medford. When the Corporation Act Past there were twelve Person named in Said Act Eight of which was of Medford a Committee was appointed by the Corporation to Purchase Land in Chelmsford, Billerica & Wobourn and Stake Out the Same. One half of said Committee were allso of Medford and spent Many Days About itt att there Own Expense. . . . Itt is Very Evident that itt was not the Design of the Corporation to go Any further
., March 12, 1838. He was a direct descendant in the ninth generation from John Dame, one of the first and substantial settlers of Dover, N. H., the line being Samuel8, John7, Samuel6, Moses5, John4, John3, John2, John1. Through his mother, he was descended from Governors Thomas Dudley and Simon Bradstreet of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and also from Gov. Wiggin of New Hampshire. In 1846, when he was eight years old, his parents removed to Lowell, Mass., and here, on the banks of the Merrimack, for which he always had a great and sentimental affection he grew to manhood. He was familiar with the picturesque beauty of this magnificent river for miles, and was fond of returning there with his family and friends, that they, too, might enjoy with him these charming spots. It is a great pleasure to recall the pleasant rambles we had together along the banks of this beautiful river, below Hunt's Falls, visiting the old familiar scenes of his childhood. Those of us whose lot it was
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 7., An eighteenth century enterprise. (search)
nder a disadvantage, but his work led up to a complete survey by an expert survey, Samuel Weston. He found that the Merrimack River at Chelmsford was lower than the highest point the canal would traverse, instead of higher, as was at first supposedready for business, the first of its kind in America, the great enterprise of the time, but to Sullivan's scheme the Merrimack River was expected to contribute. It is well to remember just here, that Lowell, Lawrence, Nashua and Manchester were tthe present Wedgemere station. He then entered upon the manufacture of steam engines, to use upon the canal and the Merrimack river. The writer finds no evidence of the construction of but one steam-boat; but of that has seen the receipted bill ofighest degree credible. After various experimental voyages through the canal, Mr. Sullivan made the ascent of the Merrimack river in his steamboat, and reached Concord, N. H., on June 15, 1819. It must have been a gala day there, as also those f
Medford Historical Society Papers, Volume 12., A pioneer railroad and how it was built. (search)
ropelled through our ancient town of Medford. The following season, while the steamboat Eagle was making her daily trips from Boston to Hingham, the same steam canal-boat, Merrimack, made trips from Boston to Chelmsford, and thence up the Merrimack river to Concord, N. H. While this particular attempt was not continued as a permanent arrangement, as was then hoped it would be, it proved that the thing could be done. Under more favorable circumstances, steam does drag the slow barge, andthe Charles river at Waltham were seeking along the banks of the Shawsheen for additional power and new facilities, when one, Ezra Worthen, remarked, If they want water power, why don't they buy the Pawtucket Canal and get the whole force of Merrimack river? Strange it was that such a scheme had not dawned on people's thought sooner, and that the Merrimack had flowed on unharnessed, while the Pawtucket Canal had only served for a passage around the Falls for twenty-five years. A word to the
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