HISTORY OF IPSWICH
* See Preface
SITUATION AND EXTENT
Page 2of Salem, on the south; from Cochichawick, afterwards named Andover, on the west, and to the sea-side on the east. When it was settled by Mr. Winthrop and others, its boundaries on the north and west remained the same; but those on the east, were its own bay and that of Squam, and the town of Gloucester; and on the south were Manchester, Wenham, and Danvers, all four of which latter places were then villages belonging to Salem. Johnson remarks on this territory, "The Sagamoreship or Earldom of Agawam, now by our English nation called Essex."
Page 3for North Virginia. They touch at Agawam, where the natives treat them more kindly than others had done. 33These people must have been far more numerous at this visit, than they were subsequently, because a plague swept off most of the New England Indians about 1617.
Page 5allow your children to learn to read the word of God, so that they may know God aright and worship him in his own way? Ans. "We will allow this as opportunity will permit, and, as the English live among us, we desire so to do." 9th. Will you refrain from idleness? Ans. "We will." After Masconnomet and the other chiefs had thus answered, they present the Court with twenty-six fathoms of wampum. The Court, in return, order them five coats, two yards each, of red cloth, and a pot full of wine.
REMAINS OF THE AGAWAMES
Page 7shells were undoubtedly carried thither with their contents, as food, by the natives.
Page 8 28th of June, 1638 Page 9 Page 10
* The late excellent map of Ipswich mistakes in making its settlement in 1632. Page 11 Page 12 Page 13 Page 14 Page 15 Page 16 Page 17 Page 18 Page 19 Page 20 Page 21 Page 22 Page 23 Page 24 Page 25 Page 26 Page 27 Page 28 Page 29 Page 30
© 2005 by John Slaughter
28th of June, 1638
Page 10their freedom, a tyranny of being ruled by the votes of the unprincipled, who are ever ready to hinder the best good of society and to bring down upon it the curse of their iniquities.
* The late excellent map of Ipswich mistakes in making its settlement in 1632.
Page 15without leave from the Court, except mills and farm-houses of such as have their dwellings in town." It was intended to give here a particular account of each grant, but our want of room forbids. The highest number of acres, assigned, at one time, to any person, was somewhat above three hundred. The freemen voted very few lots of land to persons, who came to reside among them, after 1650. The soil, being variously apportioned out up to this period, has passed from one hand to another, so that a large division of it is held by those of a name, different from that of its original proprietors. Such a transfer has been especially promoted, since the right of entailment was negatived by the spirit and influence of our free institutions. The busy, stirring scene, to which our fathers were accustomed, when their first assignments of land were made, has long ago passed away in its living features. Our ancestors too have long since bodily mingled with the dust, though a few mementos are spared by the resistless march of time, to tell us, that they were, though now they are not. Truly wise were those among them, who, while careful to secure earthly possessions, were far more so to inherit heavenly portions.
Page 17Thomas Andrews, to be of 8." April 10th, of two hundred and three commoners, twenty-eight have a double share; seventy, one share and a half; one hundred and five, one share; each share being three acres. There were eight hundred acres of common lands on the three islands, previously mentioned, "besides beaches and galled hills."
Page 18all our towns. They appear to have had their origin in the freemen who, for years, had the sole disposal of lands, which had not been appropriated, and which belonged to them, as a company. They had annually chosen their officers, admitted members, and managed their concerns, as a business corporation. The commoners of Ipswich had been far from a selfish policy. They frequently gave portions of their income to ministers, schools, and poor of the town, and to those who suffered losses. When exclusive privileges, though continually viewed with an eye of jealousy, are used to promote the public good, the feeling of envy and the voice of reproach against them are greatly diminished. Such privileges, as were possessed by the commoners, had no doubt become uncongenial with the popular views of liberty, as fostered by independence of monarchical government. Having become extinct, such a class of society, as to their former existence and purpose, will remain only on the pages of the past, an evidence that associations and customs disappear, as the circumstances of the community alter.
Page 19Boston to elect magistrates is repealed. This repeal, however, was so unpopular, that the same practice was renewed next year; but it seems to have gone down soon after. At first, danger from Indians was pleaded, why border and distant towns should retain part of their freemen from General Election. At last, the greatness of the number, when assembled from the whole colony to choose the magistrates, and the concurrent inconveniences of this custom, appear to have been the cause of producing an alteration, which substantially accords with present usage.
Page 21or Assistants, or any of their successors. And I will give speedy notice to them or some of them of any seditions, violent treachery, or other hurt or evil, which I shall know, hear, or vehemently suspect to be plotted or intended against them or any of them, or against the said Commonwealth, or government established. So help me God."
Page 22present day. It was retained by the Friends. By act of Parliament, the year, which had begun on the 25th of March, was ordered to commence January 1st, 1752, and to have eleven days added to it, so as to make Sept. 3d the 14th. Such an addition was made, that the Equinoxes and Solstices might be calculated to fall on their proper dates. It seems that the first emigrants to Massachusetts altered the mode of naming the months for the following reasons. Through the partiality of Charles the First and Bishop Laud, some forms of the Catholic Church had been imposed on the English Church. Besides, Pope Gregory had long endeavoured to have his improvement of the Julian style of reckoning time adopted by Protestant nations. Such a style allowed the months to be called by their proper names, as invented by Romulus and amended by Numa. In order then not to denote the months, as the Catholics did, whose ecclesiastical corruptions had become more than commonly offensive to Puritans, because an increased occasion of their being oppressed by the crown, it is believed that our fathers marked the months by figures and not by Romish words. On this point Lechford observes, they did so "because they would avoid all memory of heathenish and idols names." When reference is now made to dates before 1752, they are said to be Old Style; when made to those after, they are called New Style. Alterations of this kind, though undoubtedly for the better, have been no small tax on the patience of correct annalists, and have led to many anachronisms.
Page 24dens." From the appearance of houses, erected here one hundred and fifty years since, the better sort of them were two stories high, with the upper story jutting out a foot or so over the lower. The roofs of them, being generally hipped or gambrel, were high and steep. Some of the grander ones among them had one or two peaks on each side of the roof, so as to form small chambers. The frames of these buildings were of white-oak and much larger than we use in our day, having the beams of each finished room considerably in sight. They show that so valuable wood was very plenty, and that there was little fear of its becoming scarece, as it now is.
Page 25an imitation of a custom in England, where it still exists in country villages; and made our thatch-banks in greater demand than they are now.
Page 26sixty years past and used on the forges of blacksmiths. Frequently individuals hire pieces of bog and pay two dollars a rod, for peat two feet and a half deep. Anthracite coal began to be used by some a year or two since.
Page 28Should a loss of this kind weaken appetite for stronger liquids, it will prove a gain indeed.
Page 29relish for such a plant; and that they were desirous to adopt it, as an item of domestic living, more for the sake of imitating the example of the rich, than for any good it did them. It has always been the case, that things "dear bought and far fetched" have an imaginary worth affixed to them, and thus have gained a great preference over others, equally good, but nigh at hand and of no computed value. Our difficulties with Parliament increasing, and the compacts entered into by numerous towns not to import tea, because of the tax on it, prevented this article from getting into general use, till some years after the close of the Revolutionary war. During this struggle, Liberty tea was adopted by some, as a substitute for that of India. It was made of four-leaved loosestrife. This plant was pulled up like flax; its stocks, stripped of their leaves, were boiled; and the leaves were put into an iron kettle and basted with the liquor of the stocks. After this process the leaves were removed into platters and placed in an oven to dry. A pound of this tea would go as far as one of Souchong. It sold quickly in barter for about 6d. a pound.
Page 30don; and, in 1637, the General Court laid a heavy duty on it, which was soon repealed. These instances are consistent with the position already expressed. The more wealthy had sugar in their families for special occasions, and in proportion as they used chocolate, tea, and coffee. But others, not having these last three articles, for a long period, did without sugar till they came to have them as a part of their domestic meals.
© 2005 by John Slaughter