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Literary and humane Societies.] The literary, humane and charitable inftitutions in Maffachusetts, exhibit a fair trait in the character of the inhabitants. Among the first literary inftitutions in this ftate, is the AMERICAN ACADEMY OF ARTS AND SCIENCES, incorporated May 4th, 1780. It is declared in the act, that the end and defign of the inftitution, is to promote and encourage the knowledge of the antiquities of America, and of the natural hiftory of the country, and to determine the ufes to which the various natural productions of the country may be applied. Alfo to promote and encourage medical difcoveries, mathematical difquifitions, philofophical enquiries and experiments; aftronomical, meteorological and geographical obfervations; improvements in agriculture, arts, manufacture, commerce, and the cultivation of every science that may tend to advance a free, independent, and virtuous people. There are never to be more than two hundred members, nor lefs than forty. This fociety has four ftated annual meetings.
The MASSACHUSETTS CHARITABLE SOCIETY, incorporated December 16, 1779, is intended for the mutual aid of themselves and families, who may be diftreffed by any of the adverfe accidents of life, and for the comforting and relieving of widows and orphans of their deceased members. The members of this fociety meet annually, and are not to exceed an hundred in number.
The BOSTON EPISCOPAL CHARITABLE SOCIETY, first instituted in 1724, and incorporated February 12, 1784, has for its object, charity to fuch as are of the epifcopal church, and to fuch others as the fociety fhall think fit; but more efpecially the relief of those who are members of, and benefactors to the fociety, and afterwards become suitable objects of its charity. The members of this fociety meet annually, and are not to exceed one hundred in number.
The MASSACHUSETTS MEDICAL SOCIETY, was incorporated November 1, 1781. The defign of this inftitution is, to promote medical and furgical knowledge; enquiries into the animal economy, and the properties and effects of medicine, by encouraging a free intercourse with the gentlemen of the faculty throughout the United States of America, and a friendly correfpondence with the eminent in those profeffions throughout the world; as well as to make a juft difcrimination between fuch as are duly educated and properly qualified for the duties thereof, and thofe who may ignorantly and wickedly adminifter medicine, whereby the health and lives of many valuable individuals may be endangered, and perhaps loft to the community.
Further to evidence their humanity and benevolence, a number of the medical and other gentlemen, in the town of Bofton, in 1785, formed a fociety, by the naine of the HUMANE SOCIETY, for the purpose of recovering perfons apparently dead, from drowning, fuffocation, ftrangling, and other accidents. This Humane Society have erected three huts, furnished with wood, tinder-boxes, blankets, &c. one on Lovel's Island in Boston harbour, one on Nantasket beach, and another on Situate beach near Marshfield, for the comfort of fhip-wrecked feamen. Huts of the fame kind are erected on Plumb-Ifland, near Newbury, by the Marine Society of that place; and there are alfo fome contiguous to Hampton and Salisbury beach.
At their femiannual meetings, a public difcourfe is delivered by fome perfon appointed by the trustees for that purpofe, on fome medical fubject connected with the principal object of the fociety; and as a ftimulus to investigation, and a reward of merit, a medal is adjudged annually, by the prefident and trustees, to the person who exhibits the most approved differtation.
The SOCIETY FOR PROPAGATING THE GOSPEL among the Indians and others in North America, was incorporated November 19, 1787. They are enabled to receive fubfcriptions of charitably difpofed perfons, and may take any perfonal eftate in fucceffion. All donations to the fociety, either by fubfcriptions, legacy or otherwife, excepting fuch as may be differently appropriated by the donors, to make a part of, or be put into the capital ftock of the fociety, which is to be put out on intereft on good fecurity, or otherwife improved to the beft advantage, and the income and profits are to be applied to the purposes aforefaid, in fuch manner as the fociety fhall judge most conducive to answer the defign of
This Society is formed into a board of commiffioners from the Scot's Society for promoting Chriflian Knowledge among the Indians in Ame
Next to Pennsylvania, this ftate has the greatest number of focieties for the promotion of ufeful knowledge and human happinefs; and as they are founded on the broad basis of benevolence and charity, they cannot fail to profper. Thefe inftitutions, which are faft encreafing in almost every flate in the union, are fo many evidences of the advanced and advancing ftate of civilization and improvement in this country. They prove, likewife, that a free republican government, like ours, is of all others the moft happily calculated to promote a general diffufion of ufeful knowledge, and the most favourable to the benevolent and humane feelings of the human heart.
Literature, Colleges, Academies, &c.] According to the laws of this Commonwealth, every town having fifty houfholders or upwards, is to be conftantly provided with a school-master, to teach children and youth to read and write; and where any town has 100 families, there is alfo to be a grammar-school fet up therein, and fome difcreet perfon, well inftructed in the language, procured to keep the fame, and be fuitably paid by the inhabitants.
Thefe laws refpecting fchools, are not fo well regarded in many parts of the ftate, as the wife purpofes which they were intended to anfwer, and the happiness of the people require.
Next in importance to the Grammar Schools are the Academies, in which, as well as in the Grammar Schools, young gentlemen are fitted for admiffion to the University.
DUMMER ACADEMY, at Newbury, was founded many years fince, by means of a liberal donation from the Honourable William Dummer, formerly Lieutenant Governor, and a worthy man, whofe name it has ever fince retained. It was incorporated in 1782, and is under the fuperintendence of fourteen refpectable trustees.
PHILLIPS'S ACADEMY, at Andover, owes its existence to the benefactions of the Honourable Samuel Phillips, Efq; of Andover, in the
county of Effex, and State of Maffachusetts Bay, and the Honourable John Phillips, Efq; of Exeter, in the county of Rockingham, and State of New Hampshire. It was incorporated October 4, 1780, and has
LEICESTER ACADEMY, in the township of Leicester, was incorporated in 1784 For the encouragement of this inflitution, Ebenezer Crafts and Jacob Davis, Efqrs. generously gave a large and commodious manfionhoufe, lands and appurtenances in Leicester, for that use.
At Williams-Town, in Berkshire county, is another Academy, which is yet in its infancy. Celonel Ephraim Williams has made a handfome donation in lands, for its encouragement and fupport.
At Hingham is a well endowed school, or Academy, which, in honour of its principal donor and founder, is called DERBY SCHOOL.
Thefe Academies have very handfome funds, and are flourishing. The defigns of the trustees are, to diffeminate virtue and true piety, to promote the education of youth in the English, Latin, Greek, and French languages, to encourage their inftruction in writing, arithmetic, oratory, geography, practical geometry, logic, philofophy, and fuch other of the liberal arts and feiences, or languages, as may be thought expedient.
HARVARD COLLEGE (now UNIVERSITY) takes its date from the year 1638. Two years before, the general court gave four hundred pounds for the fupport of a public fchool at Newtown, which has fince been called Cambridge. This year (1638) the Rev. Mr. John Harvard, a werthy minifter refiding in Charleflon, died, and left a donation of £779 for the ufe of the forementioned public fchool. In honour to the memory. of fo liberal a benefactor, the general court the fame year, ordered that the fchool fhould take the name of HARVARD COLLEGE.
In 1642 the College was put upon a more refpectable footing, and the governor, deputy governor and magiftrates, and the minifters of the fix next adjacent towns, with the prefident, were erected into a corporation for the ordering and managing its concerns. This year nine young gentlemen received the degree of Batchelor of Arts. It received its first charter in 1650.
Cambridge, in which the univerfity is fituated, is a pleafant village, four miles westward from Boilon, containing a number of gentlemens feats, which are neat and well built. The univerfity confias of four elegant brick edifices, handfomely enclofed. They ftand on a beautiful green, which spreads to the north-weft, and exhibit a pleafing view.
The names of the feveral buildings are, Harvard-Hall, MaffachusettsHall, Hollis-Hall, and Holden-Chapel. Harvard-Hall is divided into fix apartments; one of which is appropriated for the library, one for the mufeum, two for the philofophical apparatus, one is used for a chapel, and the other for a dining hall. The library, in 1787, confifted of 12,000 volumes; and will be continually increafing from the intereft of permanent funds, as well as from cafual benefactions. The philofophical apparatus belonging to this univerfity, coft between 1400 and £1500 lawful money, and is the mott elegant and complete of any in America.
Agreeably to the prefent conftitution of Malachusetts, his excellency the governor, lieutenant governor, the council and fenate, the prefident of the university, and the minifters of the congregational churches in the
towns of Bofton, Charlefton, Cambridge, Waterton, Roxbury, and Dorchester, are, ex officiis, overfeers of the Univerfity.
The corporation is a diftinét body, confifting of feven members, in whom is vefted the property of the university.
The inftructors in the univerfity are, a prefident, Hollifian profeffor of divinity, Hollifian profeffor of the mathematics and natural philofophy, Hancock profeffor of oriental languages, profeffor of anatomy and furgery, profeffor of the theory and practice of phyfic, profeffor of chymiftry and materia medica, and four tutors.
This univerfity as to its library, philofophical apparatus, and profefforfhips, is at prefent the firft literary inftitution on this continent. Since its firft eftablishment, 3146 ftudents have received honorary degrees from its fucceffive officers; 1002 of whom have been ordained to the work of the gospel miniftry. It has generally from 120 to 150 ftudents.
Chief towns.] BOSTON is the capital, not only of Maffachusetts, but of New-England. It is built on a peninfula of an irregular form, at the bottom of Maffachusetts Bay. The neck or ifthmus which joins the peninfula to the continent, is at the fouth end of the town, and leads to Roxbury. The length of the town, including the neck, is about three miles; the town itfelf is not quite two miles. Its breadth is various. At the entrance from Roxbury it is narrow. The greateft breadth is one mile and 139 yards. The buildings in the town cover about 1000 acres. It contains near 1800 dwelling-houfes.
By a late computation, the number of inhabitants was found to be 14,640, of thefe 6,570 were males, and 8,070 females. This number is exclufive of ftrangers and tranfient perfons, who make nearly one-third of the whole number of fouls in Bofton. The ratable polls, at the time of the cenfus, were about 2,620. In this town there are feventy-nine ftreets, thirty-cight lanes, and twenty-one alleys, exclufive of fquares and courts; and about eighty wharfs and quays, very convenient for veffels. The principal wharf extends 600 yards into the fea, and is covered on the north fide with large and convenient ftores. It far exceeds any other wharf in the United States.
In Bofton are fixteen houfes for public worship; of which nine are for congregationalifts, three for epifcopalians, two for baptifts, one for the friends, and one for univerfalifts, or independents. There is one old meeting-houfe defolate and in ruins, in School-ftreet.
The other public buildings are the ftate-houfe, Faneuil-hall, an alms houfe, a workhouse, and a bridewell. That building which was formerly the governor's houfe, is now occupied in its feveral apartments, by the council, the treasurer, and the secretary; the two latter hold their offices in it. The public granary is converted into a store, and the linen manufactory houfe is now occupied by the bank. Moft of the public buildings are handfome, and fome of them are elegant. The town is irregu larly built, but, as it lies in a circular form around the harbour, it exhibits a very hand fome view as you approach it from the fea. On the weft fide of the town is the mall, a very beautiful public walk, adorned with rows of trees, and in view of the common, which is always open to refreshing breezes. Beacon hill, which overlooks the town from the weft, affords a fine variegated profpect.
The harbour of Bofton is fafe, and large enough to contain 500 fhips
at anchor, in a good depth of water; while the entrance is fo narrow as fcarcely to admit two fhips abreaft. It is diverfified with many iflands, which afford rich pafturing, hay and grain. About three miles from the town is the castle, which commands the entrance of the harbour. Here are mounted about forty pieces of heavy artillery, befides a large number of a smaller fize. The fort is garrifoned by a company of about fifty foldiers, who alfo guard the convicts that are fentenced, and fent here to labour. These are all employed in the nail manufactory.
In Boston there are two grammar fchools, and four for writing, &c. whose masters are fupported by the town: befides twelve or fourteen private schools.
It has been computed, that during the fiege in 1775, as many houfes were deftroyed in Bofton by the British troops, as were burnt in Charlefton. Since the peace, a fpirit of repairs and improvement has diffused itfelf among the inhabitants. A few years may render the metropolis of Maffachusetts as famed for arts, manufactures, and commerce, as any city in the United States.
The town next to Bofton, in point of numbers and commercial impor tance, is Salem. This town was fettled as early as 1628, by Mr. Endicot, afterwards governor, and a colony under his direction. It is the oldest town in the ftate, except Plymouth, which was fettled eight years before. In 1786, it contained 646 dwelling-houfes, and 6700 inhabitants, In this town are five churches for congregationalifts, one for epifcopalians, and a meeting-houfe for the friends. Its harbour is inferior to that of Bofton. The inhabitants, notwithstanding, carry on a large foreign trade. Salem is fifteen miles north-eastward of Boston, and is confidered as the metropolis of the county of Eflex.
Newbury Port, forty-five miles eastward from Bofton, is situated on the fouthweft fide of Merrimak river, about two miles from the sea. The town is about a mile in length, and a fourth of a mile in breadth, and contains 450 dwelling-houfes, and 4113 natural inhabitants. It has one epifcopal, one prefbyterian, and two congregational churches. The bufinefs of fhip-building is largely carried on here. These towns, with Marblehead, Gloucefter or Cape Ann, and Beverly, carry on the fishery, which furnishes the principal article of exportation from Maffachusetts.
Worcester is one of the largest inland towns in New-England. It is the fhire town of Worcester county, and is about forty-feven miles weftward of Boston.
On Connecticut river, in the county of Hampshire, are a number of very pleasant towns. Of thefe Springfield is the oldest and largeft. It ftands on the eaft fide of Connecticut river, about ninety-fix miles westward of Boston. The courts are held here and at Northampton alternately. Within its ancient limits are about 700 families, who are divided into eight worshipping affemblies. The original township has been divided into fix parishes, fome of which have been incorporated into distinct townships. The fettlement of Springfield was begun in 1636, by William Pynchon, Efq; whofe defcendants are still living in the place. He called the place Springfield, in remembrance of his native place in England, which bore that name.
Hadley is a neat little town on the oppofite fide of the river from