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at once stark naked, leaving their coats, small breeches or aprons, at the door, with one to keep all. Here do they sit round these hot stones an hour or more, taking tobacco, discoursing, and sweating together. Which sweating they use for two ends: First, to cleanse their skin: Secondly, to purge their bodies; which doubtless is a great means of preserving them, and recovering them from diseases, especially from the French disease, which by sweating and some potions, they perfectly and speedily cure. When they come forth, which is matter of admiration, I have seen them run, summer and winter, into the brooks to cool them, without the least hurt.
Their priests and conjurers do bewitch the people, and not only take their money, but do most certainly, by the help of the Devil, work great cures; though most certain it is, that the greatest part of their priests do merely abuse them, and get their money, in the time of their sickness, and to my knowledge long for sick times: and to that end the poor people store up money, and spend both money and goods on the Powwaws, or priests. In these times the poor people commonly die under their hands; for alas, they administer nothing but howl and roar, and hollow over them, and begin the song to the rest of the people 'about them, who all join like a quire, in prayer to their Gods for them.
Of Death and Burial.
SEQUUTTOL; he is in black; that is, he bath some dead in his
house, whether wife, or child, &c. for although at the first being sick, all the women and maids black their faces with soot, Sequut, and other blackings; yet upon the death of the sick, the father, or husband, and all his neighbours, the men also, as the English wear black mourning clothes, wear black faces, and lay on soot very thick, which I have often seen clotted with their tears. This blacking and lamenting they observe in a most doleful manner, divers weeks and months, yea a year, if the person be great and publick.
As they abound in lamentations for the dead, so they abound in consolation to the living, and visit them frequently, using this word Kutchimmoke, Kutchimmoke, Kutchimmoke; be of good cheer; which they express by stroking the cheek and head of the father or mother, husband or wife of the dead.
Chepasotam; the dead Sachim. Mauchauhom; the dead man. Mauchauhomwock, or Chepeck; the dead. Chepasquaw; the dead Yo apapan; he that was here. Sachimaupan; he that was prince here. These expressions they use, because they abhor to mention the dead by name: and therefore, if any man bear the name of the
dead, he changeth his name; and if any stranger accidentally name him, he is checked; and if any wilfully name him he is fined: and amongst states, the naming of their dead Sachims is one ground of their wars.*
Mockuttasuit; one of chief esteem, who winds up in mats and coats, and buries the dead. Commonly some wise, grave, and well descended man hath that office.
When they come to the grave, they lay the dead by the grave's mouth, and then all sit down and lament; that I have seen tears run down the cheeks of stoutest captains, as well as little children, in abundance. And after the dead is laid in the grave, and sometimes, in some parts, some goods cast in with them, they have then a second great lamentation. And upon the grave is spread the mat that the party died on, the dish he eat in; and sometimes a fair coat, of skin hung upon the next tree to the grave, which none will touch, but suffer it there to rot with the dead. Yea I saw with mine own eyes, that at my late coming forth of the country, the chief and most aged peaceable father of the country, Caunounicus, having buried his son, he burned his own palace, and all his goods in it, amongst them to a great value, in a solemn remembrance of his son, and in a kind of humble expiation to the Gods, who, as they believe, had taken his son from him.
[The following Description is taken from a Portland newspaper.] A TOPOGRAPHICAL DESCRIPTION OF THE PLANTATIONS W. N. AND N. E. OF SEBAGO POND, IN THE COUNTY OF CUMBERLAND; THE EASTERLY EXTREMITY OF SEBAGO BEING ABOUT EIGHTEEN MILES FROM PORTLAND.
HE principal stream which feeds this large pond, is Songo river, one branch of which takes its rise in the northerly part of the plantation called Greenland, within about three miles of Amoriscoggin river, where is a pond two miles in length, called Songo pond: from thence the stream takes its course southward, and passing through Greenland, the easterly part of Waterford, and the westerly part of Otisfield, falls into the north-easterly part of Sebago in Raymondton. This stream is so free from rapids, that timber may be brought down without any inconvenience, from within a few miles of the head, which is at least seventy miles in its course:-and the adjacent country abounds with excellent timber.
The other branch of this river takes its rise in the west part of Waterford and Suncook, and making its way S. and S. E. passes a number of small ponds, and falls into the Long Pond (so called) lying mostly in Bridgton. This pond is ten miles in length, and about three quarters of a mile wide: its direction is nearly N. W. and S. E. On each side of this pond are large swells of excellent land, with a gradual descent to the margin of the pond, and affords a most beautiful and romantick prospect. From thence the stream continues its course S. E. running through Brandy pond, in the south-westerly part of Otisfield, is nearly round, and about a mile and a half across it. It then unites with the other branch of Songo in Raymondton, about three miles from Sebago. This branch is passable with boats, to the head of which, from the lower end of Sebago, is twenty-five miles.
There are other streams of less note, which empty into this great pond, as Panther river in Raymondton, and North-West and Muddy rivers in Flintston, all which, by reason of rapids, are incapable of affording any advantage by water carriage.
The land in Raymondton is generally level, except one large hill known by the name of Rattle-snake hill, noted for the abundance of these reptiles. There are some swells of good land, but the greater part of the growth pine and white oak, and hard to subdue.
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 show 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 fertiie, 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. On 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.
A TOPOGRAPHICAL AND HISTORICAL DESCRIPTION OF BOSTON, 1794. BY THE AUTHOR OF THE HISTORICAL JOURNAL OF THE AMERICAN WAR.
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.
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.