IN my student days colonial history never interested me. I did not then understand why but I am now perfectly certain that it was because persons and events were discussed, in most of the books set before me, only as their careers touched New England and hence in so fragmentary a way as to make them appear mere puppets with tiresome dates attached. The treatment usually accorded Sir Harry Vane offers an excellent example of what I mean. He flashed before us, in the history books, as a brilliant, handsome youth who espoused the cause of Mrs. Hutchinson, — and then disappeared for ever from view. Because his wonderful career in England was deemed to have nothing to do with the subsequent history of Massachusetts we were deprived of the great privilege it would have been to make his inspiring life-story a part of our mental equipment! If this volume errs in the other extreme by talking over-much of Vane and of La Tour after their connection with Boston has ceased the fault may be attributed to a reaction from my own defective education.
The truth is that it is biography rather than history which really allures me; history seems to me worse than useless unless it illustrates the times of which it writes as those times affected the lives of its men and women. A book like this has no justification, to my mind, save as it makes us understand just a little better the part New England, in the person of its chief town, has played in the mighty drama of nations made up of thinking, feeling men and women.
Up to the time of the Revolution, of course, Boston was the biggest place in all the colonies as well as the chief settlement of Massachusetts. This numerical preeminence needs to be borne in mind if we would understand many acts on both sides of the ocean. To understand the America of to-day, too, we must needs know the Boston of the fathers. So only can we be sure that the excrescences of modern government are no essential part of that Christian state of which Winthrop dreamed and for which Vane was glad to die.
The books consulted in the
preparation of this work have been many and, for the most part, are
the text. But sweeping credit is here due to the invaluable "Memorial
History of Boston" and to the "Boston Antiquities" of
Drake. I have to thank also Mr. Irwin C. Cromack of the engineering
City of Boston, for kindly aid given and the editor of the Canadian
for permission to incorporate in the chapter "How Winthrop Treated With
the La Tours" my article on the "Fight Between La Tour and
D'Aulnay" contributed to his magazine last year.
Town! Far over leagues of land
And leagues of sea looks forth its noble tower,
And far around the chiming bells are heard:
So may that sacred name forever stand
A landmark and a symbol of the power
That lies concentred in a single word."
characteristic of the
settlement of the English colonists in America is the
introduction of the
civilization of Europe into a wilderness
without bringing with it the
institutions of Europe. The arts, sciences, and literature of
over with the settlers.... But the monarchy did not come, nor the
nor the church as an estate of the realm. Political
institutions were to be
framed anew such as should be adapted to the state of things."
— DANIEL WEBSTER.
"THE spirit of that age was sure
to manifest itself in
narrow cramping measures and in ugly acts of persecution; but
it is, none the less, to the fortunate alliance of that fervid
enthusiasm with the love of self-government
that our modern freedom owes its existence."
— JOHN FISKE.
ship of State!
Sail on, O Union, strong and great!
Humanity with all its fears,
With all the hopes of future years
Is hanging breathless on thy fate!"
I. AS IT WAS IN THE BEGINNING
II. JOHN WINTHROP AND MARGARET, HIS WIFE
III. ST. BOTOLPH'S TOWN IN OLD ENGLAND AND NEW
IV. THE COMING OF A SHINING LIGHT
V. SIR HARRY VANE — PROPHET AND MARTYR
VI. HOW WINTHROP TREATED WITH THE LA TOURS
VII. FREEDOM TO WORSHIP GOD
VIII. BOSTON AS JOHN DUNTON SAW IT
IX. THE DYNASTY OF THE MATHERS
X. THE COLLEGE AT CAMBRIDGE
XI. THE BOSTON OF FRANKLIN'S BOYHOOD
XII. A PURITAN PEPYS
XIII. IN THE REIGN OF THE ROYAL GOVERNORS
XIV. A GENUINE COLONIAL ROMANCE
XV. THE DAWN OF ACTIVE RESISTANCE
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
DOROTHY QUINCY, FROM A PORTRAIT BY COPLEY
CAPTAIN JOHN SMITH
OLD HOUSE IN MEDFORD, BUILT BY GOVERNOR CRADOCK
GOVERNOR JOHN WINTHROP
ST. BOTOLPH'S CHURCH, BOSTON, ENGLAND
JOHN COTTON'S VICARAGE
REV. JOHN COTTON
COTTON CHAPEL, ST. BOTOLPH'S, BOSTON, ENGLAND
SIR HARRY VANE, FROM AN OLD MINIATURE
SIR HARRY VANE'S HOUSE, STILL STANDING IN HAMPSTEAD, LONDON
FORT LA TOUR (OR ST. JEAN), ST. JOHN, NEW BRUNSWICK,
FROM A DRAWING BY LOUIS A. HOLMAN
THE WELLS-ADAMS HOUSE, ON SALEM STREET, WHERE
THE BAPTISTS HELD SECRET MEETINGS
SIR RICHARD SALTONSTALL
GOVERNOR SIMON BRADSTREET
HOUSE OF COTTON MATHER, WHICH STOOD AT WHAT IS
NOW 298 HANOVER STREET
SIR EDMUND ANDROS
THE PRATT HOUSE, CHELSEA
SIR WILLIAM PHIPS
COVER AND TITLE-PAGE OF JOHN HARVARD'S BOOK
MASSACHUSETTS HALL, HARVARD UNIVERSITY, BUILT
DURING THE PRESIDENCY OF JOHN LEVERETT
GOVERNOR JOSEPH DUDLEY
MAP OF BOSTON IN 1722
THE OLD FEATHER STORE
THE DEANE WINTHROP HOUSE, WINTHROP
GOVERNOR BELLINGHAM'S HOUSE, CHELSEA
GREEN DRAGON TAVERN
THE PROVINCE HOUSE
THE ORIGINAL KING'S CHAPEL AND THE KING'S CHAPEL OF
GOVERNOR WILLIAM BURNET
THE MATHER TOMB IN THE COPP'S HILL BURYING GROUND
GOVERNOR WILLIAM SHIRLEY
SIR HARRY FRANKLAND
GOVERNOR SHIRLEY'S HOUSE, ROXBURY
THE CLARKE HOUSE, PURCHASED BY SIR HARRY FRANKLAND
SIR FRANCIS BERNARD
THE OLD STATE HOUSE
PETER FANEUIL'S HOUSE