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History of Massachusetts
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Local History Notes:
The 1854 Gazetteer of the United States by Thomas Baldwin shows:
MASSACHUSETTS, one of the original states of the American confederacy, and one of the New England or Eastern States, is bounded on the N. by Vermont and New Hampshire, E. by the Atlantic, S. by the Atlantic, Rhode Island, and Connecticut, and W. by New York. It lies between 41° 10' (including the islands) and 42° 53' N. lat., and between 69° 50' and 73° 30' W. lon. It is very irregular in shape, the S.E. portion projecting into the ocean so as almost to enclose Cape Cod bay. The greatest length of the state from E. to W. is about 145 miles, and it has in the longitude of Boston a breadth of about 90 miles, while the western portion is not more than 48 miles wide. It includes an area of about 7800 square miles, or 4,992,000 acres, of which 2,133,436 are improved.
Population: Massachusetts was originally settled, and for a long period almost exclusively occupied by people of nearly unmixed English descent. In point of morals, education, and intellectual culture, her citizens are unsurpassed in any portion of the Union, and she has given birth to a larger number of eminent authors, inventors, and statesmen, than any other state of the confederacy. Among the multitude of her distinguished authors may be named Prescott, Bancroft, Bryant, Hawthorn, and Bowditch; and it is no exaggeration to say that the renown of her statesmen is coextensive with the fame of their country. At the first national census in 1790, the inhabitants numbered 378,717; 423,245 in 1800; 472,040 in 1810; 523,287 in 1820; 610,408 in 1830 737,699 in 1840, and 994,499 in 1850; of whom 484,284 were white males, and 501,420 females; 4314 colored males, and 4481 females, being the most densely peopled of the United States, viz. 127 to the square mile. This population was divided into 192,679 families, occupying 152,835 dwellings, or 30,000 more families than dwellings. In the year preceding June 1st, 1850, there occurred 19,414 deaths, or rather more than 19 persons in every thousand-a greater ratio than in any state except Louisiana. In the same period, 15,777 paupers, of whom 9247 were foreigners, received aid, at an expense of about $24 to each pauper. Of the entire population in 1850, 695,236 were born in the state; 134,830 in other states; 16,685 in England; 115,917 in Ireland; 4683 in Scotland and Wales; 15,862 in British America; 4319 in Germany; 805 in France; 2638 in other countries, and 3539 whose places of birth were unknown-being about 16 per cent. of foreign birth. Deaf and dumb in the state at the same period, 364; of whom four were colored; 497 blind, of whom seven were colored; 1647 insane, of whom 18 were colored, and 791 idiotic, of whom 6 were colored.
Counties: Massachusetts is divided into 14 counties, viz. Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Dukes, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk, and Worcester. Capital, Boston.
Cities and Towns: In proportion to its extent and population, Massachusetts has more large towns than any other state in the Union. The most important of these are Boston, population in 1850, 136,881; Lowell, 33,383; Salem, 20,624; Roxbury, 18,364; Charlestown, 17,216; Worcester, 17,049; New Bedford, 16,443; Cambridge, 15,215; Lynn, 14,257; Springfield, 11,766; Fall River, 11,524; Taunton, 10,441; Newburyport, 9572; Nantucket, 8542.; Lawrence, 8288, (12,000 by a local census in 1853;) Chickopee 8291; Dorchester, 7969; Gloucester, 7786; Andover, 6945; Marblehead, 6167; Plymouth, 6024; Haverhill, 5877; Newtown, 5258; Fitchburg, 5120, and Quincy, 5017; besides a large number of villages, with populations varying from 2000 to 5000. It is to be observed, that in giving the populations above, the township is included with the village or town. To give a correct idea of the relative importance of Boston, we should give in its population a number of neighboring towns and villages, dependent on it, and doing business in it. Taking a radius of ten miles, with Tremont House for a centre, you will enclose an area containing 250,000 inhabitants; or limiting it to its immediate suburbs of Charlestown, Chelsea, Cambridge, Rexbury, Brookline, Dorchester, &c., you will have an aggregate of more than 200,000 inhabitants.
Face of the Country: The surface of Massachusetts is generally uneven, and in many parts rugged and mountainous. The middle, eastern, and north-eastern portions are hilly and broken, and the south-eastern level and sandy. The western portion, though mountainous, does not attain a very great elevation above the sea. Saddle mountain, in the N.W. extremity, 3505 feet in altitude, is the highest land in the state. This is a peak of the Green mountains, which enter the state from Vermont and pass into Connecticut. They run nearly parallel with the Connecticut river, at distances of about 20 to 30 miles. The other principal mountains are the isolated peaks of Mount Tom, and Mount Holyoke, near Northampton-the former on the W., and the latter on the E. side; and Wachusett mountain, N. of the middle of the state. Wachusett has an elevation of about 2018 feet, Mount Tom of 1200, and Holyoke of 910 feet. The Green mountain divides into two ranges in Massachusetts; the most western and most elevated is called the Taugkannic, or Taconic, and the eastern the Hoosic ridge, and is about half the height of the other. Saddle mountain, already named, and Bald mountain, or Mount Everett, or Mount Washington, by all which names it is designated, 2624 feet in height, in the S. W. angle of the state, are peaks of the Taugkannic range. Mount Holyoke, Mount Tom, and Wachusett mountain are considered as detached parts of the great White mountain range from New Hampshire.
Geology: The rocks of Massachusetts are mostly primary, in some places covered with the older secondary formation. A belt of this kind, 10 to 15 miles in width, extends from Boston S.W. to Rhode Island. The primary rocks extend in the N. to the ocean's verge, while the valley of the Connecticut rests on a bed of red sandstone. The primary rocks of this state form some excellent building stone, and the gray granite of the Quincy Hills has probably its representative in one or more of the public buildings of every great city or town from Massachusetts to Texas. The mountains of the western part of the state are composed of granite, gneiss, quartz and other siliceous rocks, of mica and clay slates, limestone, and hornblende. The white marble of Berkshire county is a fine building material, and forms parts of the walls and columns of the Girard College at Philadelphia. The other minerals are serpentine, asbestos, slate, some anthracite coal in the secondary formation, some copper near Greenfield, iron in Plymouth and Bristol counties, argillaceous earth in the islands, plumbago and ochre in Worcester county, sulphuret of iron, and some lead, constitute the present known mineral wealth of Massachusetts.
Charles river, from the, interior, separates Boston from Charlestown, and flows into Massachusetts bay.
Rivers, Bays, and Islands: The E. and S. E. border of Massachusetts is much indented with bays. A large gulf, between Cape Ann and Cape Cod, has protruded itself for about 25 miles in a S. W., and 65 in a S. E. direction, into the eastern part of the state; the northern portion having received the name of Massachusetts, and the southern of Cape Cod bay. Buzzard's bay from the S. extends in a N.E. direction towards Cape Cod bay, forming Barnstable county into a peninsula almost enclosing Cape Cod bay. Plymouth bay is a smaller inlet of Cape Cod on the W. The Connecticut river, which passes through the W. part of the state, is the only large river in Massachusetts; and even this, on account of its rapid descent, is not navigable in this state without the aid of canals and locks. The Merrimack, from New Hampshire, runs 35 miles within the N. E. portion of Massachusetts, and by means of its fills and rapids, furnishes valuable water-power to the great manufacturing towns of Lowell and Lawrence. It receives from this state the Nashua and Concord rivers. The latter is a feeder of the Middlesex canal. Blackstone river passes from the centre of the state S. E. into Narragansett bay. The Connecticut receives the Miller's and Chickopee rivers from the E., and Deerfield and Westfield from the W. The Housatonic rises in the N. W. of Massachusetts, and runs S. into the state of Connecticut. Taunton river celebrated for its water-power, and on whose banks stand the manufacturing towns of Taunton and Fall River, runs from the S. E. part of this state into Narragansett bay.* The rivers of this state furnish abundant water-power, and in many places exhibit wild and romantic scenery. There are several small islands belonging to this state, near the S.E. shore. The principal of these are Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, chiefly noted for their employment in the whale and other fisheries. Nantucket island has an area of about 50 square miles, and Martha's Vineyard, 85.
Objects of interest to Tourists. Massachusetts abounds in picturesque scenery. This observation is especially true of the western part of the state, and the view of the Connecticut river and valley from Mount Holyoke has long been celebrated. Though rather less than 1000 feet in height, the views it commands, and its easy ascent, being traversed to its summit by a good carriage road, have invited hither many tourists in the season for travelling. The spectator has below him the beautiful meandering Connecticut wending its way through the meadows and among the villages, while to the S. W., and at no great distance, is Mount Tom; and still farther in the same direction, Bald or Washington mount, and in the N. W. Saddle mountain, the highest ground in the state; and turning to the E. and N. E. he has the peaks of Wachusett, in Massachusetts, and Monadneck in New Hampshire; the intermediate parts of the scene being filled up with a great variety of landscape, villages, hills, rivulets, and low mountains or hills. There is a good hotel on the top of Mount Tom, and in the vicinity the beautiful village of Northampton, at which the tourist may take up his quarters and make his excursion from thence over the mountain. A yet more extensive view is obtained from Saddle mountain, but it has hitherto lain more out of the line of travel and been less visited, though of thrice the elevation of Mount Tom. It commands a view of the surrounding country for 40 or 50 miles, extending to the Catskills on the W., overlooking the Green mountains on the N., S., and E., and on the N. E. reaching to Monadnock mountain, in New Hampshire. This mountain is fertile to the summit, near which is a small lake or pond. Goodrich describes a phenomenon as having occurred here in 1784, called by the inhabitants the bursting of a cloud. About dawn of a certain morning, the tenants of a house on the banks of the Hoosic, on the western slope, were aroused by the roaring of the torrent, and had barely time to escape before their dwelling was swept away by the flood. The torrent wore a gully in the mountain 20 feet deep, and swept away the timber entirely from about 10 acres of land. Berkshire county abounds in sublime and picturesque scenery, and has become a favorite resort not only for tourists, but for citizens seeking pleasant summer residences. Hawthorne, Miss Sedgwick, Fanny Kemble, James, and others, have rendered their tribute to the charms of Berkshire scenery, by taking up their abode there for considerable periods. The Ice Hole, a narrow and deep ravine of great wildness, in Stockbridge, where the ice remains the year round; a fall of about 70 feet descent, amid wild scenery, in the Housatonic, in Dalton; the Natural bridge, on Hudson's brook, in Adams, where a fissure of from 30 to 60 feet deep, and about 500 long, has been worn through the limestone rock, forming a bridge 50 feet above the water; a rock of 30 or 40 tons, in New Marlborough, so nicely balanced that a finger can move it; and Hanging mountain, on the Farmington river, in Sandisfield, rising in a perpendicular wall above the river to the height of more than 300 feet; are, after the mountains already named, the most remarkable natural objects in Berkshire. Blue Hill, 11 miles S. W. from Boston, which commands a fine view of Boston harbor and the ocean, is 635 feet high, being the most elevated land in eastern Massachusetts. On the side of Mount Toby, a hill of sandstone, elevated about 1000 feet above the Connecticut, is a cavern about 150 feet in length and 60 in depth. Nahant, a rocky promontory on the N. shore of Boston bay, extending 4 miles into the sea, is the most noted watering place in Massachusetts. It is about 9 miles N. E. of Boston, and commands a fine view of the ocean, and of the shipping entering and departing from the harbor. In addition to its good beach, Nahant has the charm of wildness given to it by the rugged rocks which form the promontory, and into the caves and recesses of which the sea surges at times with great violence. The mineral springs of this state have not acquired any great celebrity beyond her own limits; the principal are, one in the town of Hopkinton, impregnated with carbonic acid, and carbonates of lime and iron; one in Shutesbury, containing muriate of lime; and a chalybeate sulphur spring in Winchenden. The Quincy granite quarries, 6 or 8 miles S. of Boston in a range of hills 200 feet high, are worthy of a visit.
Climate, Soil, and Productions: The climate of Massachusetts is severe in winter and on the sea coast, subject to chilling N. E. winds in the spring, that are very unfavorable to delicate lungs. According to observations made at Worcester in 1850-51, snow fell two days in October, and on 5 days in April, and one day in May. According to a register kept by Mr. Bond, at Cambridge, from May, 1851, to April, 1852, the mean temperature of 4 observations made between sunrise and 9 P.M., gave for May, 55.53; for June, 64.76; July, 71.40; August, 68.02; September, 61.09; October, 52.94; November, 34.80; December, 22.86; January, 20.80; February, 27.43; March, 32.94, and April, 41.02. The greatest cold was 8° below zero, January 16th, at sunrise; the greatest heat 98°, June 30th, at 3 P.M. North-west winds prevailed 149 days, S. W. 67, and N. E. 37 days, in 1850-51. It snowed 37 days in the same year, and rained 97; 219 days were fair, and 129 cloudy; 4577 inches of rain, and 61 of snow fell. The most unpleasant feature of the climate is the sudden changes, sometimes more than 40° in 24 hours. The settled weather of the winter is more regular, and perhaps on that account more healthful than farther south. The rivers are frozen for two or three months, and occasionally the harbors for as many weeks. Though vegetation is rather late in putting forth, it makes amends by its rapidity. The peach and apricot bloom about the middle of April, and cherry and apple about the same period in May. Though the soil and climate of Massachusetts are not the most favorable to agriculture, the skill and industry of her people have made even her rocky soil to yield rich rewards to the husbandman, and there is probably no more scientific farming than in the Bay state. The best soils are in the middle and western parts of the state, in the valleys of her streams and rivers, and particularly those of the Connecticut and Housatonic. The poorest soil is in the flat, sandy counties of the south-east. Salt marshes abound near the coast. Senator Preston, of South Carolina, has said of Massachusetts, that though the most prosperous state in the confederacy, yet she literally exported none of the products of her soil but her rocks and her ice. Though she does not produce grain enough to supply her own consumption, she is enabled by her skill, enterprise, and industry in the production of manufactures, and by her wide extended commerce, generally to keep the balance of trade in her favor, and to support the densest population in the United States, in the greatest average amount of comfort. Her most important agricultural products are Indian corn, oats, Irish potatoes, rye, barley, buckwheat, fruits, butter, cheese, hay, maple sugar, and live stock; with considerable tobacco, wool, peas, beans, wheat, grass seeds, hops, bees, wax, and honey; and some wine, flax, silk, and molasses. In 1850 this state had 34,235 farms occupying 2,133,436 acres of improved land, (or about 63 acres to each farm,) producing 31,211 bushels of wheat; 481,021 of rye; 2,345,490 of Indian corn; 1,165,106 of oats; 43,709 of peas and beans; 3,585,384 of Irish potatoes; 112,385 of barley; 106,095 of buckwheat; 138,246 pounds of tobacco; 585,136 of wool; 8,071,370 of butter; 7,088,142 of cheese; 651,807 tons of hay; 121,595 pounds of hops; 795,525 of maple sugar; 59,508 of beeswax and honey; live stock valued at $9,647,710; orchard products $463,995; market products $600,020; and slaughtered animals $2,500,924.
Manufactures: In manufactures, as indeed in most else requiring skill, industry, and enterprise, Massachusetts takes the lead. Though small in area, and with a churlish soil and climate, this state, through the aid of her manufactures, is more densely populated and more thickly dotted over with thriving towns and villages, than any member of the confederacy. By the census returns of 1850, she stands far before every other state in the amount of her woollen and cotton manufactures. According to the same census, there were in Massachusetts 9637 (the greatest relative amount in the Union) manufacturing establishments, each producing $500 and upwards annually, of which 213 were cotton manufactories, employing $28,455,630 capital, and 9293 male, and 19,437 female hands, consuming raw material worth $11,289,309, and producing 298,751,392 yards of stuffs, and 353,660 pounds of yarn, valued at $19,712,461; 119 woollen factories, employing $9,089,342 capital, and 6167 males, and 4963 female hands, consuming raw material worth $8,671,671, and producing 25,865,658 yards of stuffs, and 749,550 pounds of yarn, valued at $12,770,565; 80 forges, furnaces, &c., employing $2,578,350, and 2119 male hands, consuming raw material worth $1,464,833, and producing 52,081 tons of pig, wrought, and cast iron, valued at $2,959,078; invested in the manufacture of malt and spirituous liquors, $457,500, consuming 80,000 bushels of barley, 19,400 of Indian corn, 26,600 of rye, 35,180 hogsheads of molasses, and 29 tons of hops, producing 25,800 barrels of ale, &c., 120,000 gallons of wine, whiskey, &c., and 3,786,000 gallons of rum; and 246 tanneries, employing $1,377,725 capital, consuming raw material worth $2,311,178, and manufactured leather valued at $3,519,123.
Internal Improvements: We would not speak in superlatives, but justice to Massachusetts seems to require it. While nature has dealt out her favors to her with a sparing hand, she has surpassed all other states in industrial and mechanical improvement, and has laid down more miles of railroad than any other member of the confederacy, population and area considered. Though not the first to enter the field in this kind of improvement, she has amply atoned for any temporary delay at the commencement by her subsequent energy and enterprise; and at the beginning of 1853 had 39 lines of railroad, numbering 1203 miles, completed, and 36 in course of construction. By these roads Boston communicates directly with every important town in Massachusetts, and with most of those of the neighboring states There are three lines of continuous railroads uniting the capital of the state with New York and with the intermediate towns of Rhode Island, Connecticut, and central Massachusetts. Two other lines connect Boston with Portland and the towns between them. Two, one through Vermont, and the other through central New Hampshire, bring her in direct intercourse with Burlington, Vermont, with Montreal, and with Ogdensburg; and another to Albany, opens an uninterrupted line of railway communication between Boston, Cincinnati, Terre Haute, and Chicago, and by the close of the present year (1853) will probably be united to St. Louis. See Table of Railroads, APPENDIX. Railroad communication has generally diverted public attention from canals, and in Massachusetts the beds of two canals, the Blackstone, from Worcester to Providence, and the Hampden and Hampshire canal from Northampton to Southwick, have been converted into tracks for railroads; so that the Middlesex canal, uniting Boston with Lowell, is the only important canal left in the state, with the exception of some short ones round the falls in the Connecticut and Merrimack rivers.
Commerce: In commerce, this state occupies the same prominence as in most else, being second only to New York in absolute amount; but if we regard population, first in this respect in the Union. Though, as before stated, she exports nothing of her native products but her rocks and her ice, yet her hardy sons explore every sea where the whale ranges, bringing home, after years of toil and endurance, rich cargoes of oil and bone, which are distributed over the world. Her citizens at home are no less industrious; calling to their aid the most ingenious machinery, and the powers of water and steam, they manufacture millions of yards of stuffs to be distributed, not only over their own country, but send them to South America, the West Indies, and even to Europe and China. She has also nearly monopolized the trade with Hindostan and Russia. The foreign imports for the fiscal year 1851-2 amounted to $33,504,789, and the exports $16,546,499; tonnage entered 645,944; cleared, 657,513; tonnage owned 767,739.72, (relatively the greatest in the Union) number of vessels built; (second only to Maine) 161, of which only 4 were steamers, with an aggregate tonnage of 48,001.56. Of the tonnage owned in the state 53,258.97 were employed in the whale, 48,938.48 in the cod, and 54,695.86 in the mackerel fishery. In 1848 the tonnage of Massachusetts engaged in the cod fisheries, amounted to 44,754, and in the mackerel fisheries to 37,696 tons. The importation of whale oil in 1849 was 204,000 barrels, being three-fifths of the total amount imported into the United States. More than half of the cod and mackerel fisheries is carried on in Massachusetts bottoms. There is great irregularity in this branch of trade, the product in 1850 for example being twice that of 1849 in the cod fishery, and but little more in the latter year than in 1838. This department of industry, as a distinct employment, is almost peculiar to New England, and more especially to Massachusetts, which, perhaps, has a greater amount of capital and hands employed in the fisheries generally, (and in the whale fisheries certainly,) than any other country in America, if not in the world. The entire whaling tonnage of the United States for the year 1851, was 184,644; in the cod fisheries 87,475, and in the mackerel 59,539. Taking the known results of other years for data, if we give three-fifths of this to Massachusetts we shall not be very far from the truth. A recent return of the assessors of Massachusetts, gave the capital invested in the fisheries generally at $13,619,578, employing 20,313 persons, and yielding $9,622,611 in fish and oil. The future prospect of the cod and mackerel fisheries is, notwithstanding, not flattering, as we have been almost entirely superseded in foreign markets. We learn from De Bow's Resources of the South and West, that the two Canadas exported between 1840 and 50, fish of the value of $7,000,000, and Halifax, in one year, $275,000. The total amount of mackerel inspected in Massachusetts in 1852, was 196,768 1/2 barrels, and of all kinds, pickled and smoked, 333,332 1/2 barrels. The greatest amount (389,944 barrels,) was inspected in 1831, the smallest (58,309 barrels) in 1840. These items are given to show the irregularity of the trade.
Education: In Massachusetts was begun that system for the diffusion of knowledge among all classes, by means of common schools, which has since extended itself to the Middle and Western states, is slowly making its way in the Southern States, and even into Europe; and wherever it goes carrying with it the spirit of liberty, for which it seems, (humanly speaking) the only fit preparation. Though many of her sister states are now rivalling Massachusetts in the excellence of their common schools and other educational institutions, yet to her belongs the undoubted honor of having first extended her care to the intellectual culture of her humblest citizens; the rich reward of which is seen not only in the number of splendid names that adorn her literature but in the distinguished sons she has sent out to form the legislators, professors, authors, and teachers of other states. There are four colleges, three theological seminaries, and two medical schools in Massachusetts. (See APPENDIX.) Of these Harvard College, at Cambridge, stands first in reputation in the United States, unless Yale College be considered its rival in this respect. In 1851 there were 3987 public schools in the state of Massachusetts, attended in winter by 199,429 pupils, and in summer by 179,497. Entire number of children in the state 235,289; number of incorporated academies 69, unincorporated academies and private schools 785, with an aggregate attendance of 20,812; so that, independent of colleges, there are in the different schools about 220,000 pupils, or more than one-fifth of the population. The towns raised by taxation $915,840, the surplus revenue income $9,998, and the income of the school fund ($955,120,) about $40,000; making a total of nearly $1,000,000 of annual expenditures for public free schools, to which may be added more than $350,000 for tuition in private schools and academies. There were 91,530 volumes in the school libraries in 1851, and apparatus worth $23,826. There are three Normal schools, (for the education of teachers,) one at West field, another at West Newton, and a third at Bridgewater, supported at an annual expense of $8,174, and training 225 persons for the office of teachers.
Religious Denominations: Of the 1430 churches in Massachusetts, in 1850, the different sects of Baptists owned 252; the Christians, 29; the Congregationalists, 439; the Episcopalians, 53; the Friends, 37; the Methodists, 255; the Presbyterians, 15; the Roman Catholics, 36; the Unitarians, 162, and the Universalists, 117. The remaining churches were owned by the Free Church, French Protestants, German Protestants, Jews, Liberals, Lutherans, Restorationists, Second Advent Church, Shakers, Swedenborgians, and the Union Church-giving 1 church to every 695 persons. Value of church property, $10,205,284: See Table of Religions, APPENDIX.
Public Institutions: This state abounds in institutions of this class, conspicuous among which are the State Lunatic Asylum at Worcester, founded in 1832. This is considered a model of its kind, and has been very successful in the cure of patients. Of 2306 lunatics admitted in 13 years, over 1000 were discharged cured. The average number of patients is about 400. Of the 466 inmates in the asylum, November, 1851, 208 were paupers. The McLean Asylum for the Insane is also an institution where great pains are taken to interest the minds of patients, to surround them with agreeable objects, and to avoid severe remedies. It was established in 1818, and named from its founder. The state reform school at West-borough is an institution for the reformation of juvenile offenders; expenses for the year, $31,224.47. In November, 1850, there were 310 boys in the school. Four hours of each day are devoted to school, and six to labor. The other charitable institutions being mostly located in Boston, will be found described under that head. The state prison, located in Charlestown, was founded in 1800. The number of prisoners (September, 1851) was 472,399 of whom were confined for offences against property, and 73 against the person; 168 were natives of Massachusetts, 146 of other states, and 158 were foreigners. Among the convicts were 35 negroes, and 15 mulattoes. Expenses, $45,843.78; receipts, $45,344.93. The whole number of prisoners in the jails and houses of correction for 1851 was (including 1471 debtors) 11,628, of whom 5072 were foreigners, and 498 colored. Expenses, $91,548; value of labor, $28,730. In 1850, Massachusetts had 762 public libraries, with an aggregate of 415,658 volumes.
Government, Finances, &c: The governor and lieutenant-governor are elected annually by the people, the former receiving $2500 per annum, and the latter $4 per diem. The senate consists of 40, and the house of representatives of 356 members, both elected annually by popular vote. Massachusetts is entitled to 11 members in the national house of representatives, and to 13 electoral votes for president. The judiciary consists: 1. Of a supreme court, comprised of 6 judges, appointed by the governor and council, and holding office during good behaviour. This court has exclusive jurisdiction in all capital and chancery suits, and in all civil cases where the amount exceeds $600 in Suffolk, or $300 in the other counties; 2. Of a court of common pleas, composed of 1 chief and 6 associate judges, which has jurisdiction in all cases exceeding $20 and in criminal cases not capital, except in Suffolk, where the municipal court has cognizance in criminal actions; 3. Of a justices' court; 4. Of the police court of Boston; and 5. Of commissioners of insolvency. The judges of the supreme court have salaries, the chief of $3500, and the associates of $3000; of the court of common pleas, the chief has $2300, and the associates $2100; of the police court, $1500 per annum; and the commissioners of insolvency are remunerated by fees not to exceed $1500 each. (A convention is now __July, 1853__ sitting to amend the constitution.) The assessed value of property in Massachusetts, in 1850, was $546,003,057; the public debt in 1852 was $6,391,030, of which $5,049,555 was contingent; productive, $7,821,000; unproductive, $1,607,000; and average expenditure, $500,000, exclusive of debt and schools. There were in Massachusetts in January, 1853, 137 banks, with an aggregate capital of $43,270,500, circulation of $21,172,369, and in coin, $3,563,782. There are besides 54 saving banks, 45 of which reported in 1851 deposits made by 86,537 persons, amounting to $15,554,088.88 securely invested, and yielding an average dividend for 5 years of 6.21 per cent.
History: Massachusetts has been the theatre of some of the most stirring events in the history of our country. Here the mental conflict, as well as the struggle in arms, with Great Britain commenced. The first settlement was made at Plymouth, December 22, 1620, by the Pilgrim Fathers, the founders of our public school system, now scattering blessings wherever it goes, and of those principles of endurance and private virtue which have been the stay of the land in every hour of peril. What if they did transmit some bigotry and intolerance along with it: in human affairs we expect nothing perfect; and stern virtues in their excesses are often nearly allied to vices. If men believe ardently, they are apt to support strongly; and it requires a great enlargement of views or great forbearance, to tolerate that which is to us clearly wrong. Indifference may tolerate every thing; but it is next to impossible for zeal to do so.
In 1675, a native chief, named Philip of Pokaneket, having aroused the different tribes to make a united effort to expel the English, made an attack upon the inhabitants of Swansey, in which a number of the colonists perished; this kindled a war of savage incursions, lasting for three years, which was terminated by the capture and death of Philip, and the complete overthrow of the power of the Indian in Massachusetts. The Revolutionary contest began in this state, with the skirmish at Lexington, in April, 1775, which was followed by the battle of Bunker's Hill, June 17th of the same year, and the evacuation of Boston by the British troops in March, 1776, which for ever destroyed British rule in Massachusetts. This state has since been the scene of but one struggle in arms, when an attempt was made in 1786 to resist the authorities by a party of rebels led on by one Daniel Shays. This revolt led to no important engagement, and was finally put down in the commencement of the following year. Massachusetts has given two presidents to the United States, (the older and younger Adams,) and has sent some of the most distinguished statesmen and orators to the national councils.
John Henry Clifford Biographical Sketch
John Henry Clifford, governor of Massachusetts, was born in Providence, R. I., Jan. 16, 1809; son of Benjamin and Achsah (Wade) Clifford. He was graduated at Brown university in 1827, admitted to the bar in 1830 and practised law in New Bedford, Mass. He was elected a state representative in 1835, was an aide-de-camp to Governor Everett, 1836-40, and in 1845 was elected to the state senate. He was district attorney, 1839-49, attorney-general, 1849-53, and prosecuted Prof. John W. Webster of Harvard for the murder of Dr. Parkman in 1850. In 1853 he was elected governor of the state by the legislature, having failed to secure a plurality in the regular election although he had 25,000 more votes than either of his opponents. He was again attorney-general, 1854-58. In 1862 he was again elected to the state senate and served as president of that body. In 1867 he was elected president of the Boston and Providence railroad. He was married in 1832 to Sarah Parker, daughter of William Howland Allen, grand-daughter of the Hon. John Avery Parker of New Bedford, and a lineal descendant of Capt. Myles Standish, the Puritan. He was overseer of Harvard college, 1854-59 and 1865-68, and president of the board of overseers, 1868-74; trustee of the Peabody education fund from its foundation, and a member of the U.S. commission on the fisheries under the arbitration treaty with Great Britain. He was a member of the American academy of arts and sciences and of the Massachusetts historical society. He officiated at Harvard on the occasion of the induction of President Walker. May 24, 1853, and of President Eliot, Oct. 19, 1869, on each occasion delivering an impressive address. In 1877 he declined appointments as U.S. minister to Turkey and to Russia, severally tendered him by President Grant. His sons Charles Warren and Walter became prominent members of the legal profession. Brown university conferred upon him the degree of A.M. in 1830 and that of LL. D. in 1849, and Harvard and Amherst gave him the degree of LL. D. in 1853. He died in New Bedford, Mass., Jan. 2, 1876.
From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans,
Johnson, Rossiter, editor
A Short Biography of Thomas Dudley
Thomas Dudley, governor of Massachusetts, was born in Northampton, England, about 1576; son of Capt. Roger and ??(Nicolls) Dudley. He was carefully educated by a kinswoman and also attended a Latin school. About 1597 he led a company of volunteers into France to aid Henry of Navarre, but was not called upon to render active service. Returning to England he studied law under Judge Augustine Nicolls of Faxton, a kinsman on his mother's side. In 1630 he immigrated to New England, having been appointed deputy-governor of Massachusetts. He was appointed governor in 1634 and again in 1640, 1645 and 1650. When not serving as governor he was generally deputy-governor or assistant, holding the former office thirteen and the latter five years. In March, 1644, he was appointed sergeant major-general of the colony, and served as such for four years. In 1639 he purchased land in Roxbury and there resided until his death. His first wife, Dorothy, died in 1643 and in 1644 he was married to Mrs. Catherine (Dighton) Hackburne. He died in Roxbury, Mass., July 31, 1653.
From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans,
Johnson, Rossiter, editor
Biography of William Gaston
William Gaston, governor of Massachusetts, was born in Killingly, Conn., Oct. 3, 1820; son of Alexander and Kesia (Arnold) Gaston; and a descendant on his father's side from Jean Gaston, a French Huguenot; and on his mother's side from Thomas Arnold, who emigrated from England to New England in 1636. He attended the academies at Brooklyn and Plainfield, Conn., and was graduated from Brown in 1840. He was admitted to the bar in 1844 and began practice in Roxbury, Mass. He was a member of the state legislature in 1853-54 and 1856; was city solicitor of Roxbury for five years, and mayor in 1861 and 1862. He was state senator in 1868 and after the annexation of Roxbury to Boston he was mayor of the latter city, 1871-72. In 1874 he was elected governor of Massachusetts and served one term. He was married, May 27, 1852, to Louisa Augusta, daughter of Laban S. and Frances. A. (Lines) Beecher. He received the degree of LL.D. from Harvard and from Brown in 1875. He died in Boston, Mass., Jan. 19, 1894.
From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans,
Johnson, Rossiter, editor
A Biography of Frederic Thomas Greenhalge
Frederic Thomas Greenhalge, governor of Massachusetts, was born in Clitheroe, Lancashire, England, July 19, 1842; son of William and Jane (Slater) Greenhalge. His father, an engraver, came from Edenfield, Lancashire, England, in 1855, to take charge of the Merrimac print works, Lowell, Mass. He was educated in the Lowell public and high schools and at Harvard college, where he matriculated in 1859. On the death of his father in 1862 he left Harvard in his junior year and engaged in teaching; as an employee of the American bolt company, Lowell; and in the study of law. In 1864 he went south to join the Federal army at Newborn, S.C., where he served in the commissary department and as a commander of colored troops. Here he was attacked with malaria fever and he returned to Lowell and resumed the study of law. He was admitted to the Middlesex bar in 1865. He was a member of the Lowell common council, 1868-69; a member of the school committee, 1871-73; justice of the police court, 1874-84; mayor of the city, 1880-81; and was defeated in the election for state senator in 1881. He was a delegate to the Republican national convention of 1884; a representative in the state legislature, 1885; city solicitor, 1888; and a representative in the 51st congress, 1889-91, being defeated in 1890 for reelection. He was elected governor of Massachusetts in 1893 as successor to William E. Russell, Democrat, who had held the office for three years, and he was reelected in 1894 and 1895. He was president of the History club, of the Humane society and of the City institution for savings. He received the degree of A.B. from Harvard in 1870. See The Life and Work of Frederic Thomas Greenhalge, by James Ernest Nesmith (1897). He died in Lowell, Mass., March 5, 1896.
From: Twentieth Century Biographical Dictionary of Notable Americans,
Johnson, Rossiter, editor
ADDITIONAL BIOGRAPHIES AVAILABLE:
A Short Biography of John Chandler
William Claflin - A Biography
Biography of William Cogswell
Winthrop Murray Crane Biographical Sketch
Biography of Thomas Cushing
A Short Biography of Francis Dana
Biography of Thomas Danforth
A Short Biography of Isaac Davis
John Davis Biography
Benjamin Dean - A Biography
Biography of John Endicott
A Biography of Walbridge Abner Field
The Biography of Henry Joseph Gardner
Thomas Hutchinson Biographical Sketch
Levi Lincoln - A Biography
Local History and Genealogy Links:
Tree: American elm
Flower: mayflower (trailing arbutus)
Nickname: Bay State, Old Colony State
Motto: Ense Petit Placidam Sub Libertate Quietem (By the Sword We Seek Peace, But Peace Only Under Liberty)
Area (sq. mi.): 8,257
Admitted: 6 Feb 1788