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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 hundred 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 const: ucted 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
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 ren der 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.
Tea Act passed, 1773. Tea destroyed in Boston, December 16.
Port of Boston shut and guarded,
April 19, 1775.
March 17, 1776.
Dec. 26, 1776. Aug. 16, 1777.
while from this EMINENCE, Scenes of luxuriant fertility, of flourishing COMMERCE, and the abodes of social happiness meet your view, for get not those, who by their exertions have secured to you these
BRIDGES.] Charles river bridge, constructed near the declivity of Copp's hill. The first pier was laid the 14th June, 1785, and in one year, viz. 19th June, 1786, it was opened with great parade. The proprietors, with a large number invited by them, proceeded from the Town house in Boston, over the bridge to Breed's hill, where an elegant entertainment was provided on the spot, which the same month, eleven years before, was drenched in blood. The bridge is one thousand five hundred and three feet long, forty-two feet broad, and stands on seventy-five piers. Six feet in width is railed in on each side for foot passengers. Forty lamps are hung at suitable distances, and lighted when the evenings are dark. It has a gradual rise from each end, so as to be two feet higher in the middle than the extremities. The workmanship was executed under the directions of Messrs. Sewall and Cox, two ingenious American artists, and it is said cost the subscribers fifteen thousand pounds L. M. They were incorporated 9th March, 1785, to the number of eighty-four persons, and are compensated by a toll, granted them at first for forty years, and since extended to sixty years; at the expiration of which it is to revert to the commonwealth of Massachusetts, and be applied to their use. Twenty years were added to the original grant of forty, in consideration of another bridge the general court had granted liberty to be erected at West Boston, which lessens the toll of Charlestown bridge. The river over which this bridge is built is broader and deeper than the Thames at London or Westminster. A bridge was proposed to be built over it in 1720, at the expense of the publick. It was then, according to Governour Hutchinson, looked upon as a Quixote enterprise.
West Boston bridge is a conveyance from the late Pest house point, over a part of Charles river, to the opposite shore in Cambridge.
A number of gentlemen were incorporated for the purpose of erecting this bridge, September 27th, 1793.
One of the proprietors furnished the writer with the following account of it:
"The causeway to West Boston bridge was begun July 15th, 1792, and suspended after the 26th of December, till the 20th of March, 1793, when the work was resumed. The wood work of the bridge was begun the 8th of April, 1793, and the bridge and causeway, opened for passengers the 23d of November following, being seven months and an half from laying the first pier. The sides of the causeway are stoned, capstand, and railed; on each side of which is a canal about thirty feet wide.
Width of the bridge,
Railed on each side for foot passengers.
To the proprietors a toll is granted for seventy years.
The bridge and causeway are estimated to cost about twenty-three thousand pounds L. M. From July 15th, 1792, to December 26th, twenty to thirty-six men only were employed. From April 8th, 1793, to November 23d, following, from forty to two hundred and fifty men worked on it.
The distance from the State house, over this bridge, to Cambridge meeting house, is three miles, one quarter, and sixty-six rods."
They are of inconcreek covered with
The principal undertaker for building the bridge was Mr. Whiting, who has well executed it and with great despatch. On each side the bridge are hung lamps, to accommodate evening passengers. There are only two other bridges in the town. siderable note. Some timbers are laid over the plank and fastened in Ann street, and Middle street. That in Ann street retains the name of Draw-bridge, as it was first constructed to draw up, to admit vessels with masts passing it. The other in Middle street has the name of Mill-bridge, from its contiguity to a grist mill. It was taken up in 1793, and a stone arch turned over the creek, at the place where the bridge was laid. The pavement is continued over the arch, and connects the streets on each side the creek. The width from one side the creek to the other is about twenty feet.
A Swing bridge was a conveyance over the Town dock, which within a few years has been filled up, and the bridge removed. The distance from one side the dock to the other, where the bridge stood, was so narrow, that an inhabitant, when pursued by a press gang leaped across it. The place where the dock was, is contiguous to the Market, and now forms a part of Market square.
MILL CREEK] Runs S. by E. from the Mill pond, through the town to the harbour, and divides the north from the south part of the town. The communication between them is by the two bridges men