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Otisfield is very free from ragged hills and mountains: the greatest part of the town affords a growth of beech, maple, ash, bass, and birch, and is good land.

Bridgton consists of large hills and vallies: the high land affords the largest growth of red oak, which often grow to three, and sometimes to four feet diameter, and sixty or seventy feet without any branches: the vallies are covered with rock-maple, bass, ash, birch, pine, and hemlock.

Flintston has one large eminence in it, called Saddle-back mountain, but the town in general is level enough for cultivation. About one half of the town has a growth of pine and white oak: the land requires much cultivation before it will produce, but I think in many instances, time will shew to a future generation, good old farms in Flintston.

Waterford is more uneven than any plantation I have mentioned. Its growth is a mixture of all kinds; but what is called the good land, is covered with maple, beech, birch, and oak. The inhabitants of this plantation have exceeded all their neighbours in raising winter rye. Orangeton, or Greenland, lies north-west of Waterford, and is so mountainous, as to render it very difficult to effect passable roads through it. These mountains afford some mighty precipices-I believe some of them are two hundred feet perpendicular. The vallies, in many places on the steep sides of the mountains, are fertile, and in some instances afford wild onions, which resemble cultivated onions. The principal produce of the plantation is winter rye, which on an average has amounted to twenty bushels per acre. This country formerly abounded with various kinds of game, as moose, deer, bears, beaver, rackoon, sable, &c. but since the country has been inhabited, game has become scarce: Deer are extirpated from the vicinity. Some moose remain among the mountains, and a few beaver, that are too sagacious to be taken by the most crafty hunter. Since the deer are destroyed, the wolves have wholly left these plantations.

There is a curiosity to be seen in the Long Pond, in Bridgton. Or the easterly side of the pond, about midway, is a cove, which extends about one hundred rods farther east than the general course of the shore; the bottom is clay; and the water so shoal, that a man may wade fifty rods into the pond. On the bottom of this cove, are stones of various sizes, which it is evident, from visible circumstances, have an annual motion towards the shore: the proof of this is the mark or track left behind them, and the bodies of clay driven up before them-some of these are perhaps two or three tons weight, and have left a tract several rods behind them; having at least a common cart-load of clay before them. These stones are many of them covered with water at all seasons of the year. The shore of this cove is lined with these stones three feet deep, which it should seem have crawled out of the water. This may afford matter of speculation to the natural philosopher.

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The reader is informed, that in the year 1784, a Geographical Gazetteer of the towns in the commonwealth of Massachusetts was begun in the Boston Magazine; but it extended to a description of a few towns only.

In the monthly publications of the Historical Society, topographical accounts of other towns are carried on, and will be continued. Their Collections will be a repository of all communications relative to this subject. It is wished that accurate descriptive accounts, embracing all the towns in the commonwealth, might be forwarded, to be published in these Collections, that a complete Gazetteer of Massachusetts state may be formed from it.

Boston, the capital of Massachusetts, is the object of the following pages. The writer has taken the liberty, briefly to recite from the Gazetteer of 1784 some articles respecting the capital, and added the principal alterations that have taken place since.

A more comprehensive view is here given of the buildings, particularly the churches; also an account of the Islands in the harbour, &c. interspersed with observations and historical anecdotes of events connected with the articles described. October, 1794.


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T. P.

HE capital of the commonwealth of Massachusetts is Boston, in the county of Suffolk, in New England, the shire town of the county. It lies in latitude 42° 22′ 30′′ N. and longitude 71° 4' 30" W. of Greenwich observatory, which is 0° 5′ 37′′ E. of London. It is built upon a peninsula, of an irregular form, at the bottom of a large bay, called Massachusetts, and was founded in the year 1630. From the accounts handed down, is collected the following particulars of its

SETTLEMENT.] Governour John Winthrop and some persons, who arrived with him from England at Naumkeag (the Indian name of Salem) on the 12th of June, 1630, not liking that plantation for the capital of the country they came to settle, sought another, and travelled till they came to Mishawum, now Charlestown. The diseases that prevailed among them, at their first coming, carried off a considerable number of their company; which they imputed in part to the water they used in Charlestown, not having yet discovered any other than a brackish spring; (it has since been found to abound with good wholesome water.)

This caused these adventurers to seek still further for a permanent residence, and being informed by a Mr. Blaxton (said to be the first Englishman who had slept upon the peninsula, and who resided at that part of West Boston now called Barton's point) that there was excellent water in the peninsula, the south side of Charles river, opposite to

*The county of Suffolk (so named from the county in which Governour Winthrop lived in England) contained in the year 1791, twenty-three towns, six thousand three hundred and thirty-five houses, eight thousand and thirty-eight families, forty-four thousand eight hundred and seventy-five inhabitants, all freemen, as by the census. In the year 1793, the county was divided. Norfolk, the new county, took into it all the towns excepting Boston and Chelsea Since which Hingham and Hull are re-annexed to Suffolk county. In Norfolk county the first Supreme Judicial Court was opened at Dedham, the 19th of August, 1794.



them, it induced a very influential and leading man among them, Mr. Isaac Johnson, to cross the river with some others, and land on the peninsula; which from its appearance at Charlestown of a range of three hills, they had called Trimountain (the Indian name was Shawmut.)

Mr. Johnson and his associates, finding the description given them' to answer their expectations, began a settlement here in the month of November. Governour Winthrop and his company from Charlestown soon joined them.

Deputy Governour Dudley, Mr. Wilson their minister, and other very respectable persons were among the first settlers of Boston, the name they now gave the peninsula, from a town in Lincolnshire in England, whence some of the first settlers emigrated, and whence they expected the Rev. John Cotton, who was one of their first teachers of religion.

They established the civil government and a Congregational church here. The Rev. John Wilson was their first pastor.

EXTENT OF THE TOWN.] The length, running N. N. E. from the (late) Fortification at the south entrance of the town, the nearest way to Winnisimmet ferry, is one mile and three fourths, and one hundred and ninety-nine yards. The breadth is various. Near the (late) Fortification the town is very narrow; but as you proceed through it, it widens; for from Windmill point, through Essex street and Frog lane, to the water on the west, the distance is one thousand one hundred and twenty-seven yards. The greatest breadth is from Foster's (late Wheelwright's) wharf to Barton's point, which is one mile one hun. dred and thirty-nine yards. The breadth towards the northward diminishes. From the Mill pond, through Cross street to the water on the east of it, is two hundred and seventy-five yards only. It however makes one effort more to increase; for the breadth from Charles-river bridge, through Prince street, Bell alley, North square, and Sun court, to Doble's (now Noble's) wharf, is seven hundred and twenty-six yards. The neck which joins Boston to Roxbury, and which is included within the limits of the former, is in length one mile thirtynine yards. The whole length of the town, therefore, including the Neck, from the bounds of Roxbury to Winnisimmet ferry, is two miles and three-fourths, and two hundred and thirty-eight yards. The peninsula contains about seven hundred acres.

THE FORTIFICATION,] Mentioned under the last article, was con structed of brick with a deep ditch, on the side next the Neck, with embrasures in front and on the flanks for cannon. It had two gates,

through one of which, foot passengers, and through the other, carriages passed to the neck or isthmus which joins the peninsula and Roxbury. It was designed as a defence against the Indians in the early settlement of the town. The necessity for such a barrier having subsided, and the walls decayed, they were taken down, and the Neck is laid out as a street. It begins where Orange street ends, and extends to the end of the town where the bounds of Roxbury begin. In 1789, the se

lectmen gave it the name of Washington street, from the circumstance of the President of the United States entering the town through it, on his visit there that year. The lots of land on the new street were granted by the town to sundry persons, on certain conditions agreed on. The new proprietors have erected dwelling houses and stores on each side of the street. Some lots on it still remain the pro

perty of the town.

-THE COMMON] Is a spacious square level spot of ground, below Beacon hill, and to the east of it. It contains about forty-five acres, and is a fine grazing pasture for the town's cattle. On days of publick festivity, the militia and military corps repair to the Common for the purposes of parading and performing their military manœuvres. On such occasions it is thronged with all ranks of the citizens. The lower classes divert themselves with such pastimes as suit their particular inclinations. A number of tents or temporary booths are put up, and furnished with food and liquor for those who require refreshment and can pay for it.

THE MALL] Is on the eastern side of the Common, in length one thousand four hundred and ten feet, divided into two walks parallel to each other, separated by a row of trees. On the outside of each walk is also a row of trees which agreeably shade them. The inhabitants of the town resort thither in the morning and evening of the warm seasons of the year, for the benefit of fresh air and a pleasant walk. It is fanned with refreshing breezes from a part of Charles river, which extends round the bottom of the Common. From the Mall is a pleasing prospect over the river, of the adjacent country. These circumstances, together with the handsome buildings within view, one of which is a superb edifice of stone, (the seat of the late Governour Hancock) the hills that rise gradually on the western side, the cheerfulness of the well dressed persons of both sexes, and the decent deportment of its visitors, all unite to make a walk in the Mall truly agreeable.

HILLS.] The three hills which claim notice, are Copp's hill, which rises gently from Hudson's point (the north part of the town) on Charles river. It is situated directly opposite Charlestown, and commands a good view of that town, also of Chelsea, and part of the harbour. Near the summit is what is called the North Burying place. From this hill the British troops in the year 1775, at the memorable battle of Bunker hill, cannonaded the town of Charlestown and caused its destruction.

Fort-hill is situated at the eastern extremity of the town, directly opposite the harbour. It was first called Corn-hill, and received the name it now bears, probably, from a fortress constructed on the top of it, which was begun 24th May, 1632 (the people from Charlestown, Roxbury, and Dorchester, worked on it by rotation.) The hill is made famous by its having been a temporary asylum for Sir Edmund Andros, he having repaired to the fort in the Boston revolution of 1689, where he and his accomplices were made prisoners by the inhabitants for

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their tyranny and oppression. The vicinity of this hill to the harbour makes it a very suitable situation of defence against invasion by water. The old fort has been many years demolished, nor was any other erected on it till the American war.

It was on this hill, the inhabitants in 1765, first demonstrated their resentment against oppressive acts of Parliament, by consuming in a bonfire on it the effigies, &c, of the promoters of the stamp act.

Beacon-hill is the second of a range of three hills which runs from the head of Hanover street W. to the water. This hill is the highest within the peninsula, and is situated on the western side of the Common. It affords an extensive prospect of the harbour, a considerable distance into the bay, and of the surrounding adjacent country. On the top of this hill was fixed a beacon, whence the hill has its name; the design of it was to alarm the country in case of invasion, by setting fire to a barrel of tar fixed on the top of it. The beacon was blown down by the violence of the wind in November 1789. On the same spot was erected in the year following, "a plain column of the Dorick order, raised on its proper pedestal, substantially built of brick and stone. On each square of the column are inscriptions adapted to render it of use in commemorating the leading events of the American revolution, as well as an ornament to the hill, and a useful land mark, It is incrusted with a cement, and has a large eagle of wood gilt, at the top, supporting the American arms. The height, including the eagle, is sixty feet; the diameter of the column is four feet; the pedestal, eight feet." The base is encompassed with rails, on the front of which are benches for the accommodation of those who ascend the hill.

On the south side is the following inscription:

To commemorate the train of events which led to the AMERICAN REVOLUTION and finally secured LIBERTY and INDEPENDENCE to the United States, This Column is erected by the voluntary contributions of the citizens of Boston, MDCCXC.

On the west side is inscribed:

Stamp Act passed 1765. Repealed

Board of Customs established,

British troops fired on the inhabitants of Boston, March 5,




June 1, 1774.

Sept. 5.

Tea Act passed, 1773. Tea destroyed in Boston, December 16.

Port of Boston shut and guarded,

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April 19, 1775.
June 17.
July 2.

March 17,1776.

July 4.

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