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King Philip's war, for that Sachen suspected them events in its neighborhood, and stands as a preof being in league with the English, and the cious relic of the heroic age of our republic; as latter sharply suspected them of leaning toward such, its likeness ought to be preserved. Philip. The incidents of that war and their con- For almost fifty years it was the witness, and sequences inflicted a disastrous blow on the pro- possibly often the theatre of the wonderful labors gress of Christianity among the Indians, from of Eliot the Apostle. In its presence the great which it never fairly recovered. In May, 1690, drama of a larger portion of New England's early the "Apostle" died, at the age of eighty-six history was enacted. By it filed some of the solyears. His life had been one of great activity and diers who went out from Boston from time to time, usefulness. Not to him could be applied the words under Church and others, to fight hostile savages. of S'adi, the Persian poet,
It was a witness to the political confederacy of the
New England settlements (excepting Rhode “Alas ! for him who has gone and has done no good work;
Island), for mutual defence, which lasted more The trumpet of march has sounded, and his load was not
than forty years. It was almost in sight of the bound on him."
Boston Churches wherein the great theological conWe have reason to suppose that some of the old troversies took place, that shook New England furniture in the Curtis House was looked upon society to its foundation. The trees on Boston and used by John Eliot, very often, during his Common could almost be seen from its doors, long ministry in Roxbury, for the family of his where fanatical Quakers of both sexes brother-in-law were dwellers therein, during all whipped and hanged. It was a centre of deep that time.
anxiety during King Philip's War, when John William Curtis was the ancestor of most of the Eliot and his friends labored to save the “praying persons of that name in the United States, and Indians" from the wrath of suspecting colonists; from him and Eliot have descended many persons whose kindred were plundered and slain by the of distinction in the various walks of life. They savages led by the Wampanoag Sachem and Chief. seem to have been a prolific and long-lived race. It was a witness to the commotions when William According to the genealogy, forty families of and Mary were proclaimed monarchs of England, that stock, from 1632 to 1850, had an average of and Andros was driven from Boston by the exasover five children each, and thirty-seven of the perated and long-suffering people, as the despised name lived to the average term of sixty-six years. representative of the hated Stuart dynasty. Its
Mary Curtis, a great-granddaughter of William, inmates saw, and perhaps participated in the prepawas the wife of Commodore Loring of the British rations for subjugating the French on the north navy. He owned an elegant house on Jamaica and east, who had coalesced with the savages in Plain and a considerable estate in Boston. Both desolating the New England frontiers in King were confiscated at the close of the Revolution, William's time; and into their ears were poured he and his family having departed with the British the horrid tales of the doings at Salem and elsetroops when they left Boston harbor for Halifax, where during the “ Witchcraft” delusion and in the spring of 1776. He went to England, excitement. It was a witness to other preparawhere he received a pension from the British tions, from time to time, of the New England
His sons entered the royal army and people to make war upon the French in the far navy, and did what harm they could to the Ameri- east; and its inmates were participants in the revocan “rebels.” One of his grandsons became an lutionary events that preceded and were coinciEnglish admiral, another an English baronet, and dent with the old War for Independence. a third a colonel in the British army.
These associations with remarkable events, its Unlike many other buildings in this country, great age, and its perfection as a specimen of the the Curtis House is not distinguished by any second period of New England architecture, give striking historic incidents that have occurred under to the Curtis House a rightful claim to a place
But it has been a witness of great among the Historic Buildings of America.
1776, MARCH-CENTENNIAL MEMORIES–MARCH, 1876.
VIII.—THE EVACUATION OF BOSTON.
Washington anxiously desired PRIMO
to make an attack upon Boston, and dislodge the troops before large British reinforcements should arrive, when the prospects could not but become more gloomy. Yet a council of officers decided, seemingly on good grounds, that such an attempt could have no chance of success; and he was obliged, very reluctantly, to await events.
In the meantime, Washing. COMITIA AMERICANA
ton labored under accumulated difficulties in prosecuting
the blockade of Boston. The THE MEDAL AWARDED BY THE CONGRESS TO GENERAL WASHINGTON.
scarcity of ammunition, not
withstanding every effort of We have, in its appropriate month, noticed the the Congress, continued almost unabated; while selection of George Washington as Commander- the want of money, as well as of necessary in-Chief of the Continental forces, June 15th, equipments, was deeply felt on the advance 1775, and his assumption of the command, July of the rigorous season. With all his energy 3rd. Though the greater part of the army and its and firmness, he seems to have been exceedofficers were from New England, Washington ingly sensitive to troubles and opposition.
received in the most cordial manner, He describes his situation as inexpressibly distressand without the smallest symptom of jealousy;ing-the winter approaching on an army at once the Provincial Congress of Massachusetts even naked and without a dollar; and declares that sending a committee to meet him at Spring- unless some remedy were devised, the force must field on the frontier, and escort him to Boston. be broken up. Amid all these distresses, it was He there found fourteen thousand five hundred necessary to keep up a good face towards the men, able-bodied, zealous in the cause, and per- enemy, while many on the patriot side, exaggerasonally courageous, but destitute of almost every ting both the numbers and efficiency of his troops, element of military organization. A great propor- wondered he should remain inactive. These tion wanted bayonets, and the alarming discovery criticisms touched him sensibly; yet as a true was soon made that they had not above nine patriot, he carefully concealed the explanation, rounds of gunpowder. There were no tents, and which, reaching the opposite party, would have clothes extremely deficient; there was neither produced fatal effects. commissary nor quartermaster-general. No com- An imminent danger now impended ; Decembination existed between the troops drawn from ber approached, when the troops, having been different colonies; and the officers mostiy chosen enlisted for only one year, were all entitled to reby the men, could exercise little authority. These turn home. To this subject the commander earnevils were the more difficult to remedy, as the estly solicited the attention of Congress, and on army, enlisted only for a short period, would dis- the 18th of October a committee of their number, band in a few months, and be replaced by one Franklin, Lynch, and Harrison, arrived at his composed of raw recruits. In these circumstances, headquarters. Being persons of judgment, they
arranged matters very satisfactorily. Authority was given
WaterLow = 33 65 to levy twenty-six regiments,
SA CoucoTo estimated at somewhat above Vie twenty thousand men, inde
Cambrid 1 391 pendently of militia. Congress Dedan would not consent, however,
Woburn: to the enlistment for more
35A than a year, nor would they, till the next January, agree
361 to grant a bounty. Washing. Dorchester
Brador ton made the strongest appeals to the men, entreating them
Alyn by every motive of honor and patriotismn to adhere to those standards under which they had gloriously fought. But
Ergom that ardent impulse which Plimouth
Kam had called them to arms was now sensibly cooled; and when the time arrived, not above five thousand had engaged. These were afterward reinforced ; but this dissolu
OLD “MAP OF THE MASSACHUSETTS BAY.” tion of one army and assemblage of another, in the face of an enemy whose was gradually improved; prize courts and regulaforce was constantly increasing, placed the com- tions were formed, and its privateering operations mander in a very critical situation.
proved ultimately very harassing to the British. He was also harassed from another quarter. Meantime, General Gage remained inactive at The English in Boston, being straitened for provi. Boston ; a course generally condemned by histosions, sought to procure them by descents on rians as at once unaccountable and shameful. different parts of the coast, treating the inhabi. Yet, besides being by no means fully aware of tants, who were uniformly hostile, with very little Washington's weakness, he assigned other reasons ceremony. Falmouth suffered such a severe can- which appear conclusive. Though he might have nonade and bombardment as to reduce it to ashes, dislodged the Americans from their position, little and it was reported or dreaded that a similar fate would have been gained by marching into the inimpended over the other seaports. Urgent appli- terior of New England, a territory full of people cations were made to the commander-in-chief for animated with zeal in the cause of the Colonies, aid; but he represented that his army was barely and which, though containing many small towns, adequate to blockade Boston, and could not be offered no central or leading point of attack. He broken down into detachments for local objects, must merely have moved from place to place, conwhich ought to be provided for by the militia of tinually harassed by that desultory warfare in the districts. His views were sanctioned by Con- which they had shown themselves to excel. In gress. He endeavored, however, to protect the the beginning of October he was recalled, without shore by forming a small marine, placing troops any expression of displeasure, yet probably under on board the vessels; and .in a few weeks six the impression of the disasters which the cause had schooners were fitted out. They were fortunate sustained in his hands, and the hope that it might enough soon to capture a ship laden with military be more fortunate in those of another. The comstores, most valuable for the supply of the army. mand then devolved upon Howe, who concurred In other respects this force was for some time in- with his predecessor as to the inexpediency of adefficient, and its discipline very imperfect; but it vancing into the interior of New England. He
submitted to the cabinet another plan, by which ation than in the words of Dr. Thacher, a surgeon Boston should be held only till the close of the of General Washington's army, as recorded in his winter, and the troops there, with all those ex. Military Journal of the Revolutionary War: pected from the mother country, be then concen
March 4th.—The object in view is now gentrated at New York, and operations be conducted erally understood to be the occupying and fortifyfrom that centre.
ing the advantageous heights of Dorchester. A Washington, meantime, was very slowly re- detachment of our troops is ordered to march for cruiting his army, which, at the beginning of this purpose this evening; and our regiment, with February, did not reach quite nine thousand several others, has received orders to march at men. Being at that period permitted to offer a four o'clock in the morning, to relieve them. We bounty, he had in a month collected above are favored with a full bright moon, and the night fourteen thousand, reinforced by six thousand is remarkably mild and pleasant; the preparations Massachusetts militia. He considered this force are immense; more than three hundred loaded
carts are in motion.
has been procured. The cover曲曲 由
BERABADBG ing party of eight hundred men
advance in front. Then follow the carts with the intrenching tools; after which, the working party of twelve hundred, commanded by General Thomas, of Kingston. Next in the martial procession are a train of carts, loaded with fascines and hay, screwed into large bundles of seven or eight hundred weight. The whole procession moves on
in solemn silence, and with perFAC SIMILE OF AN OLD PRINT OF “ BOSTON BESIEGED."
fect order and regularity; while
the continued roar of cannon sufficient to attack the city; but a council of serves to engage the attention and divert the enemy officers decided, probably with reason, that such from the main object. an attempt offered no chance of success. They 5th.–At about four o'clock our regiment fol. proposed rather to seize and fortify the peninsular lowed to the heights of Dorchester as a relief point named Dorchester Neck, whence the harbor party. On passing Dorchester Neck, I observed would be in a great degree commanded, and the a vast number of large bundles of screwed hay, place, it was hoped, rendered untenable. To arranged in a line next the enemy, to protect our this he consented, though with great chagrin; , troops from a raking fire, to which we should have and the execution of the movement was intrusted been greatly exposed, while passing and repassing. to General Ward. The British were amused two The carts were still in motion with materials; days by an incessant cannonade and bombard- some of them have made three or four trips. On ment,-till at nightfall of the 4th of March, the heights we found two forts in considerable General Thomas, with a working body of twelve forwardness, and sufficient for a defence against hundred, a covering force of eight hundred, and small arms and grape-shot. The amount of labor three hundred carts of materials, marched undis. performed during the night, considering the earth covered, and took possession of the most elevated is frozen eighteen inches deep, is almost increpart of the heights.
dible. The enemy having discovered our works But we cannot better tell the story of the evacu- in the morning, commenced a tremendous can
nonade from the forts in Boston, and from their twenty-four hours. Some of the British troops shipping in the harbor.
Cannon-shot are con- were seen to embark, and pass down toward the tinually rolling and rebounding over the hill; Castle last evening, to be in readiness, as was supand it is astonishing to observe how little our sol. posed, in conjunction with others to attack our diers are terrified by them. During the forenoon works this morning; but a most violent storm we were in momentary expectation of witnessing came on in the night, and still continuing, obliges an awful scene; nothing less than the carnage of General Howe to abandon his enterprise, and Breed's Hill battle was expected. The royal thus has a kind Providence seen fit to frustrate a troops are perceived to be in motion, as if embark design, which must have been attended with iming to pass the harbor, and land on Dorchester mense slaughter and bloodshed. General Howe shore, to attack our works. The hills and eleva. must now be sensible of his exposed situation, tions in this vicinity are covered with spectators and be convinced of the immediate necessity of to witness deeds of horror in the expected con- I evacuating the town of Boston, if he would preflict. His excellency George Washington is present, animating and encouraging the soldiers, and they in return manifest their joy, and express a warm desire for the approach of the enemy; each man knows his place, and is resolute to execute his duty. Our breastworks are strengthened, and among the means of defence are a great number of barrels, filled with stones and sand, arranged in front of our works; which are to be put in motion and made to roll down the hill, to break the ranks and legs of the assail
Fac-SiMILE OF AN OLD PRINT OF“ BOSTON SEEN FROM DORCHESTER HEIGHTS." ants as they advance. These are the preparations for blood and slaughter! | vent the sacrifice of his fleet and army. Gracious God! if it be determined in thy provi- 7th.—There are strong indications in Boston dence that thousands of our fellow-creatures shall that the king's troops are preparing to evacuate this day be slain, let thy wrath be appeased, and the town; and that no attempt will be made to in mercy grant, that victory be on the side of our dispossess our people of the works, which we have suffering, bleeding country. The anxious day has constructed on Dorchester Heights. closed ; and the enemy has failed to molest us. 8th.-A flag of truce has come out of Boston From appearances, however, there are strong rea- with a message from the selectmen, acquainting sons to suppose that they have only postponed General Washington that General Howe has come their meditated work till another day. It is pre- to the determination to evacuate the town, and sumed that the martial fire, which has been en- that he would leave it standing, provided his army kindled in the breasts of our soldiery, will not be should be permitted to retire without being moextinguished during the night, and that they will lested. At the same time intimating, as is renot rest quietly under their disappointment. ported, that in case he should be attacked by our Early in the morning of the 6th, our regiment army, the town should be set on fire in different was relieved from its tour of duty, and I bade places, in order to secure his retreat. adieu to Dorchester Heights, without being called We are unacquainted with the determination to dress a single wound. Not more than two or of his excellency respecting this proposition ; but three men were killed or wounded during the it is t-nown that he has been in favor of