Land Allotments & Misc.
Watertown's Military History
Boston: D. Clapp & Sons, printers
[Transcribed by Sandra Boudrou]
(A, page 12.)
The following is a list of the names, with the quantity of land assigned to each, in a "grant of the Plowlands at Beverbroke Plaines, devided and lotted out by the Freemen to all the Townesmen then inhabiting, being 106 in number." - February 28, 1636.
Though the number is stated to be 106, it will be found, on counting, to be 108.
(B, page 13.)
The confusion on this question arises from the apparently contradictory testimonies of the old writers, and from the vague character of some of their expressions. Dr. Kendal, in the body of his Century Discourse, considers the church in Watertown as the sixth in age, among the Massachusetts churches; but in a note of some length, the fruit of subsequent researches, he assigns to it an earlier date, and is disposed even to regard it as second only to that at Salem. In this last estimate he is, however, undoubtedly in an error. The mistakes of Johnson, (Wonder-working Providence,) in his arrangement of the churches, are now generally acknowledged; and if his testimony be set aside, as it probably should be, the opinions which others have built on his authority as to this point, must fall with it. Mather (Magnal. B. III. ch. 4.) says that the Rev. Mr. Phillips and the other settlers of Watertown, on the 30th of July, 1630, "upon a day set apart for solemn fasting and prayer, the very next month after they came ashore, entered into this holy covenant." He then subjoins the covenant at length, and adds, that "about forty men then subscribed this instrument in order unto their coalescence into a church-estate." The day here designated was that, which Governor Winthrop had appropriated for fasting and prayer on account of the prevalent sickness, and on which Winthrop, Dudley, Johnson, and Wilson "first entered into church covenant, and laid the foundation of the churches both of Charlestown and afterwards of Boston." (Prince, p. 312, &c.) At the same time Sir Richard Saltonstall, and others of the settlement at Watertown, subscribed a covenant. Mather's statement, as to the origin of the Watertown church, would seem to be explicit and decisive of the question. But, in a note at the end of Dr. Kendal's Discourse, Dr. Holmes, to whose faithful and valuable labors on the early history of this country high praise is due, has endeavoured to show that the transaction to which Mather's account relates, was not the actual formation of a church, but merely an exercise preparatory to that act. His reasoning certainly deserves much consideration, and is stated with fairness and strength. Yet it does not seem to me entirely satisfactory and convincing. Although, as he remarks, the fast on the 30th of July related not primarily to ecclesiastical matters, but to the prevalent sickness, yet the strong expressions used by the writers, from whom we have the account, certainly seem to imply nothing less than the actual formation of churches. According to Prince, it was considered an important object in keeping the fast, "that such godly persons among them, as know each other, may publicly at the end of their exercise make known their desire, and practice the same by solemnly entering into covenant with God to walk in his ways," &c.; and though their society consisted of a very few, they promised, "after to receive in such by confession of faith, as shall appear to be fitly qualified." This last engagement implies, that they intended from that day to be regarded as an organized church, prepared to receive others into their number. Morton, in relating the same transaction, tells us, that their purpose was to seek "for direction and guidance in the solemn enterprise of entering into church fellowship." (New England's Memorial, Davis's ed. p. 159.) Language like this appears decisively to describe the formation of churches; and if it were not intended to do so, it is unguarded and ambiguous. Mather introduces his account by remarking that "they [Mr. Phillips and others of the Watertown settlers] resolved that they would combine into a church fellowship there as their first work," &c.; and when he remarks, that "in after time they, that joined unto the church, subscribed a form of the covenant somewhat altered, with a confession of faith annexed unto it," this refers, I conceive, not to a subsequent process of forming a church, but merely to some modifications in their covenant, introduced perhaps to make it more explicit and satisfactory. There is, however, another account given by Mather, which is inconsistent with his own statement, above quoted, as to the state of the Watertown church. He places (Book I. ch. 5) the churches at Charlestown, Dorchester, Boston, Roxbury, and Lynn, before that at Watertown, in the order of time. I know not how this inconsistency is to be explained, 'but by supposing that Mather, in the arrangement of the churches just referred to, followed, without examination, some erroneous authority. We seem warranted to infer that in the account, which assigns the Watertown church to July 30, 1630, he was more likely to be correct, because, in that account, a specific date is given for the transaction, connected with the well-attested fact of the fast which was observed on that day; whereas, in the other account, a merely general statement is made of one church following another, without any date assigned to either, except the Charlestown church. On the whole, I cannot but conclude, that the true date of the formation of the Watertown church is July 30, 1630, O. S. With regard to the relative positions of the first churches in Massachusetts, in the order of time, information may be found in Dr. Kendal's Century Discourse, p. 19; Mass. Hist. Collections, 2d Series, Vol. I. pp. 9, 25; and Savage's note on Winthrop, Vol. I. p. 94.
The covenant mentioned above as recorded by Mather, into which Mr. Phillips and others entered, and which was the foundation of this ancient church of our fathers, is so remarkable for its hearty piety, and its entire freedom from a sectarian spirit, that I have thought proper to insert it in this connexion. It is as follows:
"July 30, 1630
"We, whose names are hereto subscribed, having, through God's mercy, escaped out of the pollutions of the world, and been taken into the society of his people, with all thankfulness do hereby, both with heart and hand, acknowledge that his gracious goodness and fatherly care towards us; and, for further and more full declaration thereof to the present and future ages, have undertaken (for the promoting of his glory, and the church's good, and the honour of our blessed Jesus, in our more full and free subjecting of ourselves and ours under his gracious government, in the practice of and obedience unto all his holy ordinances and orders, which he hath pleased to prescribe and impose upon us) a long and hazardous voyage from east to west, from Old England in Europe, to New England in America; that we may walk before him, and serve him without fear, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our lives: and being safely arrived here, and thus far onwards peaceably preserved by his special providence, that we may bring forth our intentions into actions, and perfect our resolutions in the beginnings of some just and meet executions, we have separated the day above written from all other services, and dedicated it wholly to the Lord in divine employments, for a day of afflicting our souls, and humbling ourselves before the Lord, to seek him, and at his hands a way to walk in, by fasting and prayer, that we might know what was good in his sight; and the Lord was entreated of us. For in the end of that day, after the finishing of our publick duties, we do all, before we depart, solemnly, and with all our hearts, personally, man by man, for ourselves and ours, (charging them before Christ and his elect angels, even them that are not here with us this day, or are yet unborn, that they keep the promise unblameably and faithfully, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus,) promise, and enter into a sure covenant with the Lord our God, and, before him, with one another, by oath and serious protestation made, to renounce all idolatry and superstition, will-worship, all humane traditions and inventions whatsoever in the worship of God; and forsaking all evil ways, do give ourselves wholly unto the Lord Jesus, to do him faithful service, observing and keeping all his statutes, commands, and ordinances, in all matters concerning our reformation, his worship, administrations, ministry, and government, and in the carriage of ourselves among ourselves and one towards another, as he hath prescribed in his holy word. Further swearing to cleave unto that alone, and the true sense and meaning thereof to the utmost of our power, as unto the most clear light, and infallible rule, and by all-sufficient canon, in all things that concern us in this our way. In witness of all, we do exanimo and in the presence of God hereto set our names or marks, in the day and year above written."
(C, page 17.)
The following is the letter alluded to, taken from the Mass. Hist. Coll. 2d Series. vol. iv. p. 171.
"Reverend and deare friends, whom I unfaynedly love and respect. It doth not a little grieve my spirit to heare what sadd things are reported daily of your tyranny and persecutions in New England, as that you fine, whip, and imprison men for their consciences. First you compel such to come ino your assemblies, as you know will not joyne with you in your worship, and when they shew their dislike thereof or witness against it, then you styrre up your magistrates to punish them for such (as you conceive) their publick affronts. Truly, friends, this your practice of compelling any in matters of worship to do that whereof they are not fully persuaded is to make them sin, for soe the apostle (Rom. 14 and 23) tells us, and many are made hypocrites thereby, conforming in their outward man for feare of punishment. We pray for you and wish you prosperitie every way, hoped the Lord would have given you so much light and love there, that you might have been eyes to God's people here, and not to practice those courses in a wilderness, which you went so farre to prevent. These rigid wayes have layed you very lowe in the hearts of the saints. I doe assure you I have heard them pray in the publique assemblies, that the Lord would give you meeke and humble spirits, not to stryve so much for uniformity, as to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace.
"When I was in Holland about the beginning of the warres, I remember some Christians there, that then had serious thoughts of planting in New England, desired me to write to the governor thereof to know if those that differ from you in opinion, yet holding the same foundation in religion, as Anabaptists, Seekers, Antinomians, and the like, might be permitted to live among you; to which I received this short answer from your then governor, Mr. Dudley, God forbid (said he) our love for the truth should be grown so could, that we should tolerate errours; and when (for satisfaction of myself and others) I desired to know your grounds, he referred me to the books written here between the Presbyterians and Independents, which if that had been sufficient, I needed not have sent soe farre to understand the reasons of your practice. I hope you do not assume to yourselves infallibilitie of judgment, when the most learned of the apostles confesseth he knew but in parte and saw but darkely as through a glass. Oh that all those who are brethren, though yet they cannot thinke and speake the same things, might be of one accord in the Lord. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be thus minded towards one another, after the example of Jesus Christ our blessed Savyor, in whose everlasting armes of protection he leaves you who will never leave to be
Your truly and much affectionate friend in the nearest union
For my Reverend and worthily much esteemed friends, Mr. Cotton and Mr. Wilson, preachers to the church which is at Boston in New-England."
(D, p. 32)
It is proper here to advert to the use which has been made of the case of Briscoe, in a pamphlet entitled "Vindication of the Rights of the Churches of Christ," published at Boston, 1828. The writer considers the statement of Winthrop and Hubbard in this instance as furnishing decisive evidence, that the churches (taking the word in its limited sense, as signifying only the communicants,) were regarded as bodies politic, and exercised the power of levying a tax for the support of their pastors. It is not necessary here o go into an examination of this position. The arguments, by which the writer attempts to sustain it, have been most satisfactorily refuted in a very able Review of the pamphlet, published in the "Christian Examiner," for 1828, vol. v. p. 500, &c. I will only remark, that the writer of the "Vindication" seems to have mistaken the object of Briscoe's complaint, which was against the tax itself, not against the power by which it was imposed. The support of the ministers had before been drawn from voluntary contributions; and when a tax was introduced compelling every man to pay his proportion for this purpose, Briscoe found fault with the change, as an offensive and injurious innovation. This was the object of his opposition, which therefore furnishes no evidence in favor of the abovementioned position, since the power of the church to raise money was not the point in debate. It is true that Winthrop, and Hubbard who merely copies Winthrop, speak of Briscoe as being grieved because he and others were taxed, when they "were no members." Much stress is laid on this expression to show that the church, distinctively so called, possessed and exercised the power in question. But the expression, in all probability, was used concerning a relation to the religious society, as such, in Watertown, not to the body of the communicants exclusively. When the tax was introduced, and payment demanded by the proper authorities of the town, it is probable that Briscoe and others, in the warmth of their resentment, separated themselves from their former connexion, and declared that they would have nothing to do with the support of the ministry or of public worship. They therefore considered themselves as "no members," and were angry because the tax was still required of them. It is an extreme jealousy of taxation, and not resistance to a power exercised by the church, which appears in Briscoe's case. The town records show decisively, that the appropriations for the support of the ministry were made by the town, as such, not by the church, as a distinct body. The tax for this purpose in 1642 (the very year in question) was ordered at a town meeting, in which other town affairs were transacted, such as choosing Selectmen, appointing persons to pack and sell leather, &c.; and, in 1648, "at a general towne meeting, the towne granted to Paster Knowles and Paster Sherman 120 pounds for the yeare following, to be equally divided between them; the said sum to be raised by rate made by the seven men" (meaning the Selectmen). There is nowhere in the records an intimation of the church, peculiarly so called, pretending to hold or exercise the power of raising money by tax for the support of their pastors. On the contrary, this is uniformly mentioned as the town's affair, and disposed of among other town business.
(E, page 50)
The body of the Rev. Mr. Sherman was deposited in the old burying-ground in Watertown, and ka plain monument raised over it, which, having fallen into decay, was rebuilt in 1821. His epitaph is said by the Rev. John Bailey, in a book of records kept by him, to have been written by Mr. Willard, doubtless the Rev. Samuel Willard, pastor of the Old South Church in Boston, who was married to a daughter of Mr. Sherman. It is as follows: --
Johannis Shermanni maximae pietatis, gravitates, et candoris viri,
*Immediately after this word Mr. Bailey, who transcribed this epitaph into his manuscript book, has inserted in a parenthesis the following comment; "i. e. one of the underrowers that steer the ship towards the haven." In thus explaining this Greek word according to its derivation, rather than in its common and obvious sense, he has made it present to the mind a metaphor somewhat striking and pleasing.
in theologia plurimum versati:
in concionando vere chrysostomi:
in Artibus liberalibus praecipue Mathematicis incomparabilis:
Aquitamensis ecclesiae in Nov. Anglia fidelissimi pastoris:
Collegii Harvardini inspectoris et socii:
Qui postquam annis plus minus XLV Christo fuit "Yrngirs*
in ecclesia fidus
Morte matura transmigravit,
et a Christo palma decoratus est,
A. D. MDCLXXXV Augusti,
AEtatis suae LXXII:
Mather, at the close of his account of Sherman, has bestowed upon him the following epitaph borrowed, with the alteration of the name, from its application to another person:
Ut Pauli Pietas, sic Euclidea Mathesis,
It may not be improper to insert here an epitaph on the Rev. Jonathan Mitchell of Cambridge, written as I suppose, by the Rev. Mr. Sherman. I am induced to think it to be from his hand, because Hubbard (p. 606) ascribes it to "a neighbor minister," and because it is subscribed with the initials J. S. If it be Sherman's, it may lead us to fear that his philosophy and mathematics had not altogether fitted him for a poet; although, if compared with the sepulchral inscriptions in verse which were common at that period, it will certainly appear very respectable.
Uno Shermanni conditur in Tumulo.
Here lies the darling of his time,
(F, P. 58)
Mitchell, expired in his prime,
Who, four years short of forty-seven,
Was found full ripe, and pluck'd for heaven;
Was full of prudent zeal, and love,
Faith, patience, wisdom from above;
New England's stay, next age's story,
The churches' gem, the college glory.
Angels may speak him, ah! not I,
(Whose worth's above hyperbole,)
But for our loss, were't in my power,
I'd weep an everlasting shower.
When Mr. John Bailey came from Ireland to New England, he brought a manuscript book, to which I have already had occasion to refer. In this book he kept a record of all the communications of his church, first in Limerick, beginning June, 1679, and then in Watertown, in regular order till he left the town. In these records are occasionally found some interesting particulars. The following notice, while he was in Ireland, is worthy of being transcribed. "The 44th Sacrament was upon the 11th of Oct., 1683, in the evening, at Mr. Wilkins. It's now too long a storye to tell all the particular reasons why we had not one sooner; many have been the exercises, trials, vexations, we have met with since July the 1st. There hath a plot broken out since then that hath occasioned a world of trouble, and some have suffered, as Russell, Essex, Capt. Wolcott, &c., and others are like to suffer; it hath made the papists proud, &c., but God will, in his own time, discover the worke of darkness; I say no more of it. We were shutt out of the Abby by the locking of the gates, and it's sad to think we shall never come more into our old place of worship. Then I was advised by the Bishops not to preach; I promised to forbeare a while because of such a criticall juncture of time; after 3 Sabbaths I began again, &c. and so the Bishop with the broad seall of his court certified to the Mayor, who is very unwilling to do any thing against me, that I did preach such a day, and so required the Act of Uniformity to be putt in force against me in 3 monthes imprisonment. I was sent for before the Mayor, Recorder, and other justices, to whom I opened my mind fully: the Recorder was for imprisonment, but the Mayor was not only willing to forgive what was past, but not to putt me on promising to forbeare for the future (for he knew I would not promise it), but to warne me for the future, telling me what to look for if I do so any more. So that now in a sort the very neck of our liberty is broken, for there is little likelihood of doing any thing in private. This is the saddest day I have seen; all their former wayes have hitherto been abortive, nothing fledged till this. The Lord is performing the thing appointed for me, and yet what this may come to I know not; but there is just ground of fear, because all things every where goe down the wind." Again he writes:--"The 46th Sacrament was on Jan. 13, 1684, in the morning, at Mr. W's. I was at one of clock to preach in the Irish town; but I have now nothing to say to this day's worke, for I was imprisoned in the afternoon, and so I suppose it may be the last Sacrament I may give; many things were said at the Table, which I now being under confinement forbear to repeate," &c. The next record, Oct. 6th, 1686, speaks of his arrival in New England, and of his being "set apart for the church in Watertown." From this time notices follow, in a regular series, of all the communications of the church in Watertown while he was with them. He gives the heads of his sermons and remarks on these occasions, and is so particular as to notice the weather, and other minute circumstances. He speaks frequently of the communion being attended by great numbers of people from the neighbouring and even distant towns. At one time, he says, they were "so many, that they put us hard to it to get elements sufficient."
Mr. Bailey seems to have used this book as a depository for his notes about his private matters, as well as ecclesiastical affairs. It contains the epitaphs upon his wife, who died and was buried in Watertown, and upon his brother Thomas. They were written by Mr. Moody, probably the Rev. Joshua Moody, of the First Church in Boston, and are as follows:
Pious Lydia, made and given by God,
Among the curious medley contained in this book are some memoranda of Mr. Bailey's expenses; and at the end of one of these accounts he exclaims, "I'll proceed no further, it's enough to make a man mad to take notice of dayly expenses," &c.
as a most meet help to John Bailey,
Minister of the Gospel.
Good betimes, -- Best at last,
Lived by faith, -- Died in grace,
Went off singing, -- Left us weeping,
Walked with God till translated in the 39th yeare
of her age, April 16, 1691.
Read her epitaph in Prov. XXXI. 10, 11, 12, 28, 29, 30, 31.
Here lyes the precious dust of Thomas Bailey
A painful preacher
A most desirable neighbour
An exemplary liver
A pleasant companion
"A tender husband
A common good
A careful father
A cheerful doer
A brother for adversity
A patient sufferer
A faithful friend
Lived much in little time.
A good copy for all Survivors.
Aged 35 years.
He slept in Jesus the 21. of January 1688.
The following entry among his marriage records is worthy of notice. "There was by the General Assembly, sitting in October or November, 1692, an order made for Ministers marrying, as well as Justices of the peace, which hath encouraged me to do it at the importunity of friends, &c. Hutchinson says that, among our ancestors, "there was no instance of marriage by a clergyman, during their charter; but it was always done by a magistrate, or by persons specially appointed for that purpose, who were confined to particular towns or districts. If a minister happened to be present, he was desired to pray. Vol. 1. p. 392.
It may be well to take notice here, that in a blank leaf of Mr. Bailey's book, "Man's Chief End to Glorifie God," &c., presented to the Massachusetts Historical Society, there is the following memorandum respecting his descendants: "Now living of his offspring, in Boston, two great-grand-children, namely, Sarah Belknap and Abigail Willis, and three great-grand-children, namely, Charles Willis, Jr., Nathaniel Willis, and Abigail Willis. May 29, 1771."
(G, Page 60.)
This report as then presented, respecting both the ministry and the meeting-house, stands in the town records as follows:
"Whereas in a general Town Meeting of the inhabitants of Watertown, upon the 27th of December last past, it was voted that matters of difference relating to the settling of a minister and the placing of the Meeting-house, should be left to the determination of a committee, to be chosen by the Governor and Council: And whereas upon the application of Mr. William Bond and Lieut. Benjamin Garfield, the Governor and Council were pleased to nominate us the subscribers to be a committee for the ends aforesaid: We do advise and determine, that forasmuch as you have once and again called the Rev. Mr. Henry Gibbs to labour in the Lord's vineyard at Watertown, which he has so far accepted as to spend some years with you, in which time yourselves and others have had plentiful experience of his ability and real worth, that therefore you do your endeavour that he may speedily be fixed among you in the work and office of the ministry.
"And whereas there has been of a long time, even ever since the dayes of your blessed pastor Phillips, an earnest contending about the place of meeting for the publick worship of God, having heard and duly weighed the allegations of both parties in your publick meeting, and considering the remoteness of the most of your inhabitants from the place where the meeting-house now stands, our advice and determination in that matter is, that within the space of four years next coming there be a meeting-house erected in your town on a knowl of ground lying between the house of the widow Sterns and Whitney's hill,* to be the place of meeting to worship God for the whole town. And if in the mean time, the minister see cause to dwell in the house where the Rev. Mr. John Bayly dwell'd, the town pay rent to the proprietors, as hath been accustomed since its building. So praying God to unite your hearts in his fear, we take leave, who are your truly loving friends and brethren.
Boston, May 18, 1693
To our Brethren and Neighbours of Watertown.
* The spot thus described by the committee was in one of the angles now formed by the intersection of two roads near the houses of Mr. Charles Whitney and Mr. Joel Pierce, -- a place sometimes called the Four Corners. It is now remembered in the town, that a meeting-house was said to have once stood there.
(H, page 66.)
By the order of the Court in 1700, it would seem, all the inhabitants of the town (except the "the Farmers") were required to choose which of the two places of worship they would support, and then sin their names to an obligation for that purpose. The names of those, who subscribed for the support of the old meeting-house, were as follows:
The names of those, who subscribed for worship at the new meeting-house, were as follows:
(I, PAGE 77.)
I have been informed, that the monument* now standing over the ashes of Mr. Gibbs and his wife, was erected by the Rev. Dr. Appleton of Cambridge, who, as has been already said, was married to their daughter. If this be true, it is probable that the following epitaphs, inscribed on the monument, were written by him.
*This, and the monument erected to Thomas Baily, and to John Bailey's wife, were repaired and put in order in 1821.
(K, page 113)
Depositae sunt reliquiae viri
Henrici Gibbs, Ecclesiae Christi
apud Aquitonienses Pastoris
Pietate fulgente, eruditione non
mediocri, gravitate singulari
Peritia in divinis, prudential in humanis,
accuratione in concionibus, copia in precibus,
Qui per aerumnas vitae doloresque mortis
requiem tandem inventit.
die Octobris 21. Anno Domini MDCCXXIII.
AEtatis suae LVI.
Etiam deponitur corpus Mercy Gibbs
Conjugis suae dilectissimae,
Quae expiravit in Domino 24 Januariis
Anno Domini MDCCCVI.
It may be interesting to some to present, somewhat more in detail, the doings of the town on this subject. The report mentioned in the narrative, after a long preamble, recommended the following resolves:
"1st. That we highly approve of the late resolutions of the merchants of the town of Boston, and elsewhere in this State, and also of the doings of the said town of Boston, and their proposal for calling a Convention at Concord, in the County of Middlesex, on the 14th day of this inst. July, for the purpose of devising ways and means for lowering the prices of all the necessary articles of life, both foreign and domestick, and for the effectually appreciating our currency. 2dly. That the town will, b their committee, meet at Concord on the 14th of July inst. for the purpose aforesaid. 3dly. That, in order to co-operate forthwith with the merchants in their glorious attempt for the lowering the prices of every necessary of life, it is resolved, the the produce of our respective farms shall not advance in price in the least degree from what they now are, upon condition the late resolution of the merchants respecting foreign articles shall continue: but the same shall lower in the same proportion as foreign articles do, -- and that we will use our utmost exertions that the several merchanticks in this town lower in like proportion; and in order that this vote be carried into complete execution, voted 4thly, That a committee of seven be chosen, whose business it shall be to ascertain, as nearly as may be, the prices of foreign and domestick articles, and to determine what proportion they ought in equity to bear each to the other, and publish their doings monthly and cause the same to be posted up at the meeting-house and other places of publick resort in the town, which shall regulate the prices of all the articles mentioned in said notification for the time therein specified: And if any person or persons shall be so lost to all sense of honour, love of their country, or their own interest, as to violate in the least degree the true intent and meaning of this resolution, by selling their produce at a higher price than established by said committee from time to time, said person or persons so offending shall be deemed enemies to their country, and cryed as such by the town-clerk, for six months after, at every publick meeting of the town: -- this resolution to hold good and valid until the State at large shall have adopted some permanent mode of regulating the same. 5thly. That the Selectmen be directed, without loss of time, to transmit copies of the proceedings of this meeting to the towns of Newton and Waltham, praying them to adopt some such method, in order that we may be mutually assisting in the only feasible way possible, that we can think of, for the appreciating our currency, and thereby rendering our independency sure, and securing to us and our posterity peace, liberty, and safety."
On the 26th of July, 1779, the resolves passed in the Convention at Concord were accepted and approved by Watertown, and a committee was appointed "to regulate and settle the prices of such articles as may be thought proper." This committee soon after reported a list of prices for articles, in addition to those agreed upon at Concord. "Hay and milk in Boston market" were exempted from the regulation. The following is the list of prices, as given in the town records.
"For the Innholders: -- a dinner 18s. - horse-keeping per night 17s. - oats per pottle 5s. - punch per bowl 30s. - W. Ind. flip per mug 12s. - yoke of oxen per night at English hay 18s.
sole leather per lb. curried calf-skins, single, equal to 6 lbs. sole leather. 20s.
a man per day, find himself 60s
a man per day, and found 40s
per mile, not exceeding 90 miles out, per ton 18s
man and team per day, fining themselves 5 pounds 10s
man and team, found, per day 4 pounds
men's best shoes per pay 6 pounds
women's best do. per pay 4 pounds 10s
making a man's best worked coat 8 pounds
making a man's best worked waistcoat 4 pounds
making a man's best worked breeches 4 pounds
for weaving 7-8 cotton and linen cloth per yard 6s 3d.
for weaving 7-8 cotton and linen cloth per yard wide tow 6s. 3d.
5-4 all wool 9s
narrow axe 7 pounds 10s
shoeing a horse around with refined iron and steel 5 pounds
shoeing oxen in the same manner 10 pounds
per day, finding themselves 72s
per day, and found 52s
best saddle compleat 70 pounds
best curbed bridle 12 pounds
best single-reined bridle 6 pounds
best sheep's wool per ob. 22s 6d
Boating from Boston
best wash'd leather dressed sheep-skins, single 56s. 3d
per boat-load 18 pounds 15s
per hogshead 25s
per barrel 7s 6d
best beaver hat 40 pounds
best felt hat 4 pounds
common mahogany desk 20 pounds
common round top case drawers 130 pounds
common four foot table 27 pounds
currying calf-skins 24s
currying a hide 4 pounds
candles per lb. 18s
hard soap per lb. 10s
soap per barrel 15 pounds
quart mugs per doz. 50s
quart single 5s
raw hides per lb 3s
flax per lb. 12s
best tallow per lb 9s
milk per quart 2s
oats per bushel 48s
barley per bushel 4 pounds 10s
malt per bushel 4 pounds 10s Horse-hire per mile 5s. Chaise-hire per mile 5s. All articles of European manufactures at the same rates, that shall be affixed to them by the town of Boston."
A committee was likewise chosen to carry into effectual and rigid execution the proceedings of the Convention at Concord.
(L, page 125)
It may not be without use to subjoin to our annals a brief account of the town, as it is at the present time.
Watertown is 6 1/2 miles from Boston, and is bounded on the north by West Cambridge, on the east by Cambridge, on the south by Charles River and by Newton, and on the west by Waltham. It is pleasantly situated on Charles River, which in its beautiful windings decorates the scenery, at the same time that it confers more substantial advantages. In extent of territory, Watertown is one of the smallest towns in Massachusetts, containing only 3883 6/10 acres, including land and water, as will appear from the following result of a survey taken by Mr. John G. Hales of Boston:
Half of Charles River, length 375 chains, by 2 chains wide - - - - - - - - 75 acres
The soil of Watertown is in general remarkably good. A portion of the southeastern extremity of the town is sandy, poor, and barren; but, with this exception, the land is among the best and most productive in the Commonwealth. The soil consists, for the most part, of black loam, having a substratum of hard earth, so that it suffers but little comparatively from the drought in summer. There is a very little wood-land in the town, nearly all the soil being cleared and cultivated. A large proportion of the inhabitants, comprising nearly all those who occupy the north part of the town, are employed in agriculture, and their farms are under very good cultivation. The usual productions of the villages in the vicinity of Boston are found here in abundance, and a large supply is furnished for the market of the city. There are a few country seats, beautifully situated, and in a state of high and improved cultivation.
Part of Fresh Pond - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -58 5/10
Small stream and Mill-pond - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 3
Amount of land, including roads &c. 3697 5/10
Whole contents within the lines 3833 5/10
A branch of business, which has been of considerable importance in Watertown, is the fishery of Charles River. It is annually let out by the town for the highest sum that can be obtained. Several years ago, it produced a revenue of between 600 and 800 dollars a year; now it is much less profitable, being commonly let out for 250 or 300 dollars a year. The shad fishery is the only one of much value; and the number of that kind of fish taken in the river is considerably less, than it was 40 or 50 years since. If we go further back, the contrast is still greater. Wood, describing Watertown about 150 years ago, speaks of "the great store of shads and alewives," and then says, that "the inhabitants in two tides have gotten one hundred thousand of these fishes." New England Prospect, p. 46*
*After some litigation, the profits of the fishery are now divided between Watertown and Brighton, the proportion of seven tenths to the former and three tenths to the latter town.
There are two paper-mills in the town; at one of them, only brown paper is made; at the other, besides brown paper they make printing paper, candle paper, glass paper, &c. Each of these mills manufactures, on an average, 150 reams per week. There are also two manufactories of cloth. "The Watertown Woollen Factory Company" has an establishment near the bridge; this manufactures broadcloths and cassimeres, employs from 30 to 35 hands, and turns out about 250 yards per week. "The Bemis Manufacturing Company" (incorporated in 1827) has a much larger establishment about a mile above the bridge; this consists of two factories, a Woolen Factory, which manufactures about 2500 yards of satinet per week, and a Cotton Factory, which spins warps for satinets, and makes about 2000 bolts of cotton duck per annum.
The town has four public schools. Two of these are kept the whole year, one by a male teacher, the other by a female. The other two are taught by masters in the winter, and by female teachers in the summer. The number of children in all these schools is, on an average, about 240. There is one flourishing private school in the town; and there are two or three, at which reading and spelling are taught to little children. In December, 1829, a Lyceum was established, at a meeting of the inhabitants called for that purpose, and a course of lectures was given, which lasted till the end of April; by a regulation of the society, the lectures or other exercises are to continue for six months from the 1st of November, being suspended during the summer months. Connected with the Lyceum is a scientific and miscellaneous library; there are two libraries besides this, one a Religious Library, the other a Juvenile Library, to which all the children in the town have access.
There are three meeting-houses with the limits of the town; one for Congregationalists, one for Universalists, and one for Baptists.
The number of inhabitants has not increased so rapidly in Watertown, as in many other places. There has been, however a gradual increase. The following statements exhibit, I believe, the most complete account that can be had of the population of Watertown at different periods. All these, except the census taken the present year, were collected and furnished to me by the Rev. Dr. Freeman, Senior Pastor of King's Chapel, Boston, a name which cannot be mentioned without the remembrance of highly valued services in the cause of pure and rational religion, and of an old age ripe in wisdom and in Christian virtue.
Number of Negro Slaves in 1754 of sixteen years and upwards: Males 7, Females 5, Total 12
In addition to the above statements of population, it should be mentioned, that, in the book of church records kept by the Rev. Mr. Angier, and mentioned in the course of the preceding narrative, there is found the following notice, viz., "180 families in Watertown in April, 1733." This seems a much larger number of families, than might be expected at so early a period; but it should be remembered, that this was before Waltham was separated from Watertown, and that consequently the families in both towns were included in the estimate.
See Coll. of Mass. Hist. Soc. 2d Series, vol. III. p. 95
Census ordered in 1763 and taken in 1764.
No. of houses 103
No. of families 117
No. of males under 16 172
No. of females under 16 136
No. of males above 16 179
No. of females above 16 195
No. of negroes 11
Whole number of souls 693
Census taken March, 1776
No. of whites 1057
Census of 1777
No. of males of 16 and upwards 185
Valuation of 1778
No. of Polls 210
Valuation of 1781
No. of Polls 222
Census of 1783
No. of whites 771
Valuation of 1784
No. of blacks 9
Number of souls 780
No. of Polls 256
Census of 1790
Supported by the town 3
No. of families 164
Census of 1800
Free white males, of 16 and upwards 319
do. under 16 250
Free white females 511
All other free persons 11
Free white males under 10
Census of 1810
do. of 10 and under 16 96
do. of 16 and under 26 133
do. of 26 and under 45 113
do. of 45 and upwards 87
Free white females under 10 years 196
do. of 10 and under 16 83
do. of 16 and under 26 101
do. of 26 and under 45 116
do. of 45 and upwards 93
Other free persons, except Indians not taxed 5
Free white males under
10 years 199
Census of 1820
do. of 10 and under 16 96
do. of 16 and under 26 236
do. of 26 and under 45 166
do. of 45 and upwards 91
Free white females under 10 years 190
do. of 10 and under 16 129
do. of 16 and under 26 176
do. of 26 and under 45 145
do. of 45 and upwards 94
Other free persons, except Indians not taxed 9
Free white males under 10
years of age 213
Census of 1830
do. of 10 and under 16 102
do. of 16 and under 26 178
do. of 26 and under 45 192
do. of 45 and upwards 98
Free white females under 10 years 166
do. of 10 and under 16 116
do. of 16 and under 26 177
do. of 26 and under 45 165
do. of 45 and upwards 102
Foreigners not naturalized 57
Persons engaged in agriculture 145
Persons engaged in commerce 13
Persons engaged in manufactures 179
Free colored males under 14 0
do. of 14 and under 26 1
do. of 26 and under 45 2
do. of 45 and upwards 2
Free colored females under 14 years 0
do. of 14 and under 26 2
do. of 26 and under 45 1
do. of 45 and upwards 0
Number of males under 5 years 101
do. between 5 and 10 94
do. between 10 and 15 75
do. between 15 and 20 86
do. between 20 and 30 216
do. between 30 and 40 100
do. between 40 and 50 64
do. between 50 and 60 35
do. between 60 and 70 25
do. between 70 and 80 15
Number of females under 5 years 100
do. between 5 and 10 100
do. between 10 and 15 80
do. between 15 and 20 98
do. between 20 and 30 177
do. between 30 and 40 111
do. between 40 and 50 52
do. between 50 and 60 50
do. between 60 and 70 35
do. between 70 and 80 14
do. between 80 and 90 3
do. between 90 and 100 1
Number of colored males under 10 years 3
do. between 24 and 36 1
do. between 36 and 55 1
Number of colored females under 10 years 2
do. between 10 and 24 3
do. between 24 and 30 1
Within a few years two new roads from Watertown to Boston have been constructed and opened. One runs to Cambridge Port and West Boston Bridge, and was finished in 1824, but not opened until 1825. The other furnishes a passage to Boston over the Western Avenue, or the Mill Dam (as it is sometimes called), and was finished and opened in 1824. The latter road takes nearly the same direction with one, which many years ago was projected by the Rev. Mr. Eliot and others, but which at that time failed of being accomplished, from unfavorable circumstances, or because the plan was premature. Almost all the travel through and from Watertown to Boston is now performed on these new roads, the old road through Cambridge being much less used than formerly.
Until a recent period, it was the custom to support the town's poor by placing them at board, wherever the cheapest terms could be obtained; but within a few years, buildings have been purchased in the town for an almshouse, to which is annexed a farm of good land. All the poor supported by the town are now placed there. The establishment is under the care of overseers appointed by the town, and is well and carefully regulated.