Copyright by the editor, Hal Morris, Secaucus, NJ 1997. Permission is granted to copy, but not for sale, nor in multiple copies, except by permission.
Jacksonian Miscellanies is a weekly email newsletter which presents short documents from the United States' Jackson Era, with a minimum of commentary. Anyone can receive it for free by sending to firstname.lastname@example.org a message with
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Please direct responses to firstname.lastname@example.org, even though you may receive Jacksonian Miscellanies by way of a mailing list. That way I am more certain to read them, and perhaps, with your permission, post useful excerpts in a later issue.
Regarding the author, Samuel Griswald Goodrich (1793 - 1860), Scribner's Concise Dictionary of American Biography says that he edited The Token, "best of the American annuals" for many years. From 1827 on, he wrote the "Tales of Peter Parley About America" for children, followed by more than a hundred others (some probably ghost-written), which "sold in the millions". In these books, "a kindly, omniscient old gentleman converses with a group of priggishly inquiring children, and instruction is given a thin sugar-coating of fiction".
The book from which these selections is taken is the first of a three-part series of schoolbooks. This volume covers the Western Hemisphere (mostly the U.S., of course), and mostly on a state-by-state basis. In the back are some well-executed maps, including county maps of some eastern states, and throughout are scattered 68 small engravings. The cover is a sort of greenish pasteboard with engravings and copious writing on it, including, as was typical, a list on the back, or "School Books Published by Jenks, Palmer, & Co., Boston".
On a personal note, I got this book for $1.00 at an antique store in Huntington, WV., and, like several other books I own, the spline is very loose, the cover is hanging on by a few threads, and the outer veneer is flaking off. If anyone can point me to information (online, in books, whatever) on simple, not too arduous methods for stabilizing the condition of such books, I'd greatly appreciate it. I also got a full set (from about 1900) of Richardson's Messages and Papers of the Presidents, and the leather veneer on the splines will soon crumble to dust if I handle them much.
STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS.
1. Massachusetts is not a large state, but there are a great many people in it. It has ninetyfour persons to each square mile of its territory, supposing they were distributed equally all over it. This is being more thickly settled than any other of the United States. England has two hundred and sixty people to each square mile. Those who live along the seaboard, at Boston, Salem, New Bedford, Nantucket, and other places, own a great many ships, brigs, sloops, and schooners. Some of these ships are sent to England, and other parts of Europe, and they bring back various kinds of goods.
Other ships are sent to China, and they bring back tea. The trade carried
on by these ships is called commerce. Some of the vessels go to a great
distance to catch whales, for their oil. Other vessels go out to catch
codfish and mackerel.
3. Great numbers of cod are taken in boats, along the shores, but most
on the banks of Newfoundland. These banks are Immense sandy places, out
at sea, east of Newfoundland; the largest its four hundred miles long,
and the water is from one hundred and twenty to three hundred feet deep
4. The codfish are in millions, feeding on the worms on the bottom.
The vessels come here in the summer, from Europe and America, and get loads
of fish, which they take with hooks and clams for bait. The cod are split
and salted down. The livers are kept in barrels, where oil drains from
them. When the vessels come home, the fish are spread to dry on flakes,
or platforms made of branches and twigs of trees, on a frame three feet
from the ground.
5. The mackerel are caught in early summer, all along the northern United
States, in immense shoals or swarms. They are opened, pickled, and then
assorted into barrels by an inspector appointed for the purpose, who marks
them No. 1, 2, &c., according to the quality. These cod and mackerel
are eaten at home, or sent to the Southern States the West Indies, South
America, and Southern Europe.
6. The whale fishery in America was first begun by the inhabitants of
Nantucket. They, and the people from New Bedford, Connecticut, New York
&c., to procure lampoil, spermaceti and whalebone, carry it on
at the north pole, at the south pole, and in the great oceans, where the
whales have. been taken eighty to a hundred feet long. I will tell you
about it when I come to speak of Greenland. A great many sloops, and schooners,
and brigs, go to New York, Philadelphia, Charleston. and other places.
7. They carry a good many articles away, which are not wanted in Massachusetts,
and get, in exchange for them, other articles that are wanted here. So,
you see, there are a great many people constantly occupied in managing
these ships. You may often see several hundred vessels, of various kinds,
8. At Boston, some years since, was commenced the ice trade, which now
amounts to an immense value every year. The ice is taken from the ponds
and collected in icehouses, in the winter. This is pretty cold work,
you may be sure. The men have thick mittens, and they thrash their arms
together, and blow their fingers with their hot breath; and when the cold
wind comes, they work away the harder, to keep themselves
9. You will be interested to go out to these ponds, to some of which
they have made railroads, on purpose to bring the ice to the wharves. You
would find some of the men sawing the thick ice into blocks; and others
pulling it from the water with iron hooks and long poles, and there it
is hauled by horses, and an ingenious contrivance of ropes and pulleys,
into the icehouses on the border of the pond. These houses are built
double, and the space between the outside and inside walls is filled in
with tanbark, that the ice may not melt.
10. At proper times the ice is carried on carts or railroads to the
vessels, in which it is carefully packed in sawdust, and so carried half
over the world In hot countries it is very grateful; and even in England,
during summer, American ice has become quite famous. Sometimes they put
fish, or meats fruits, in among the ice, and they keep nicely on the voyage,
and when taken out look; as fresh, and taste as well, as when first put
11. In those parts of the state remote from the sea, the people of Massachusetts
are chiefly occupied in agriculture. There are a great many very fine farms
and the people manage them extreme well. There are also very extensive
manufactories in Massachusetts. Lowell is a great manufacturing town.
12. You must not, fail, if you have opportunity, to stop at Lowell,
and mark the industry and the success this astonishing cited. In 1825 it
part of Chelmsford, and had only hundred inhabitants; in 1847, it about
thirty thousand. You must visit the factories there, and see how neat and
clean every thing is; the rooms and the people in them. A place for everything,
and everything in its place, is the rule there
13. You would find, if you were to count them, nine or ten thousand
persons at work; at once; seven thousand of them are women and girls, who
come from all parts of the country. They stay here about five years. then
return with the money they earned by industry and good behavior to be happy
at home. They have books to read; and they write and publish a book, or
magazine, themselves, month; it is called the Lowell Offering.
14. They make in Lowell aboutentyfive millions of yards of cloth
a year. Lowell was the first place in the world where they wove carpets,
and all their rich and curious patterns, with power looms, that is, which
go by water or steam. They used always to be woven by hand. This place
is an excellent specimen of our manufacturing villages and cities, so much
better than those we read of in England and the rest of Europe.
16. More of these busy places are constantly building. On the Merrimac
river, just below Lowell, they built, in 1847, a number of large factories,
and called the place Lawrence. And still others at Hadley Falls, on the
Connecticut river, at a place which they have named Ireland.
16. At Newburyport and Salem are very large factories, which go by steam.
There is one of this kind at Salem which is among the largest in the United
States, if not in the world. It has twentyseven thousand spindles,
which are spinning away all at once; and a busy sight and whiz they make
17. There are many other manufactories, at Waltham, Taunton, Canton,
Ware, Springfield, Framingham, and other places. The goods manufactured
in these towns are chiefly carried to Boston, and are thence taken to New
York, Philadelphia, Charleston, New Orleans, and various foreign markets.
18. On the southeastern shore of Massachusetts, you would see,
in passing close to the ocean, a great many low wooden vats, into which
the salt water of the sea is put. The sun dries up the water, and the salt
is left on the bottom and sides of the vats, and collected, in great quantities,
for use and sale. When a shower is coming up, you will see the men run
to slide the covers over these salt works, so that the water shall not
spoil the operations.
19. Boston is the largest city in New England. There are many interesting
things in Boston. The Common is a very beautiful place. It is delightful
to see it covered with people, men, women, and children, on a pleasant
summer evening. How pleased the boys are to get around the Frogpond,
and throw sticks into it, so that they may see the dogs jump in, swim about
and get them!
20. In 1847 the people of Boston finding that the city was getting to
have so many people and houses in it that there was not enough good fresh
water to use, purchased a whole pond, called Long Pond. This they recalled
by its old Indian name, Cochituate Lake. It is situated in Framingham,
Natick, &c., about twenty miles west of Boston, and higher than the
highest part of the city.
21. They built a large brick aqueduct, so large that you might walk
up right through it, in which the water runs from Cochituate Lake, over
rivers and valleys, and through hills, to a large reservoir, and thence
by iron pipes into the chambers of any of the houses m the city. These
pipes carry it through all the streets, and there are altogether, sixty
miles in length of them. They may also be used to feed public fountains,
which are very pretty, with the bright water sparkling like diamonds in
the sunshine. This structure is next in size to the Croton waterworks,
which supply New York city, and of which I shall tell you by and by. Many
of our large cities in the United States are thus supplied with pure water,
as Philadelphia, Baltimore, Cincinnati, &c.
22. The Statehouse is finely situated, and it has a good appearance.
When I was young, I used to like to go to the top of the Statehouse,
from which there is a splendid prospect. I could see the ocean, with a
great many islands in it, and I could see a great many fine towns all around
Boston, and I could look down upon the city itself, and see almost all
that was going on in the streets.
23. There are a great many handsome buildings in Boston. The Stone Market
is a very fine building, and I do not think there is a more beautiful market
in the world. Tremont House King's Chapel, St. Paul's Church, and Trinity
Church; the new Boston Athenaeum; the Howard Athenaeum; the Museum; several
freestone, Gothic and other churches; the Merchants' Exchange, and the
United States Custom house, are very elegant edifices.
24. The land in Boston was originally about six hundred acres, but they
have filled it up on the borders of the bays, until, in 1847, it had about
thirteen hundred acres, and one hundred and twenty thousand inhabitants.
But the surrounding lately incorporated cities of Roxbury, Cambridge, and
Charlestown, and the towns, join it so closely, that you would take them
all together to be one city of more than two hundred thousand inhabitants.
Boston is continually advancing with the rest of the state and country.
It is connected with all parts of the land by railroads, and with all parts
of the world by the sea.
25. I will tell you about those railroads, because they have changed
all the old modes of travelling and of doing business, all over the country.
They have, also, wherever they are, rendered states flourishing, and have
increased wealth more than all their enormous cost. One locomotive engine
on a railroad will do the work of six hundred and sixtyeight horses.
It needs only four men to take care of it; but the four horse teams, to
equal it, would require one hundred and sixtyseven men.
26. There are more than thirty railroads in New England, with
all their branches. They have cost forty or fifty millions of dollars.
Seven of these railroads, as you will see on the map, diverge directly
from Boston, the capital, into all parts of the state, and into other states.
27. These make in all more than eight hundred miles of railroad. In
1847, their cars travelled, over them, one million five hundred and thirty
thousand miles, and transported three million one hundred and thirtyfive
thousand passengers. And for that quick and easy travelling, in comfortable.
clean, and well ventilated cars, they charged a passenger only two and
two fifths cents a mile.
28.. Salem is quite a city, and many of the people are engaged in commerce.
The city of Worcester, and the towns of Springfield and Northampton, are
remarkably handsome. Massachusetts abounds in beautiful villages. It is
pleasant to observe, in travelling through it, the great number of very
29. The city of Worcester you will find the grand centre for railroads
from Boston, Albany, Providence, Norwich, Nashua, and Concord. It has been
proposed to build a mammoth depot, to accommodate all these together. What
curious articles you would see piled up there and lying about, brought
from so many different places, and going, perhaps, to every part of the
30. At Cambridge there is a college, called Harvard University. In 1818,
its libraries amounted to eightytwo thousand volumes and besides its
schools of Law, Medicine, and Divinity, there was established here, in
1847, the Lawrence Scientific School, for practical science. Another college
is located at Amherst, and one also at Williamstown. There are a great
many academies and schools in the state, and it has one of the best organized
and established systems of public free schools.
31. More than one hundred and fifty thousand children are at school
all the lime, who have the use of district school libraries, provided for
them by the forethought and liberality of the towns and of the state. They
have also Normal Schools, so called, where males and females, who wish
to become teachers, are admirably taught by able instructors; and afterwards
themselves do a great deal of good in teaching, all over the country.
32. Massachusetts has done more than any other state towards encouraging
farmers, who are so important a class, as they furnish us with food, and
the materials of which our clothes are made. They have societies of agriculture
and horticulture here, as in other states. The intelligence and experiments
of the members of such societies are constantly improving those branches
of industry. There is a Massachusetts State Manual Labor School at Westboro',
and a Farm School, established near Boston, on an island, by private munificence.
Here boys who are so unfortunate as to be exposed to vice. without other
opportunities, are trained to habits of industry and morality, and instructed
in what will be useful to them when they grow up. In 1845 and 1848, were
incorporated the Mass. Academy of Agriculture, and the Mass. Agricultural
33. Commerce, manufactures, fishing and farming, are the chief employments
of the state, which is continually enterprising and successful. Her capital
has now several routes connecting with New York city. Her Western Railroad,
breaking through seeming impossibilities, opens to her the same West that
makes New York great. Railroads confined to her own territory bring business
to Boston, which has, also, railroads to Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont,
and will soon be connected with Canada and be the winter communication
at least between England and her provinces. by means of the great enterprise
of the British government, through their agent. Mr. Cunard; who, in 1840,
established a line of steamers between Liverpool and Boston, which come
across in from eleven to fourteen days.
34. In 1825 was begun, and in 1842 was finished, at Bunker Hill, a granite
obelisk, two hundred and twenty feet high a monument of the battle fought
there, of which I will tell you in Chapter LIII. You can ascend to the
top which is three hundred and nine feet above high water, by circular
stone stairs around a well in the centre, and will have a fine view from
35. In 1825, died John Lowell, Jr., Esq., who founded free public lectures,
at Boston, which were first commenced in 1839; and in 1839, Nathaniel Bowditch
died , the great American astronomer. In 1842, died Rev. William E. Channing,
a distinguished writer, and Washington Allston, the great American painter.
In 1845, died Joseph Story Judge of the Supreme Court of the United States,
one of the ablest and most famous lawyers in the world, and in 1846, died
Dr. Benj. Waterhouse who introduced vaccination against the smallpox
into America, Feb. 23, 1848, died at Washington, where he represented his
state in Congress, John Quincy Adams, Expresident of the United States,
a man possessed of more political knowledge than any individual in the
United States of his time. He died in the Capitol, being stricken with
disease in his place in Representatives, Hall. His body was brought to
its tomb in Quincy by a delegation of members of Congress, one from each
state and territory. The cities through which it passed, and the Legislature
of Massachusetts, paid it the honor of funeral processions and eulogies.
The tombs of most of these great men are to be seen at Mt. Auburn, the
first, as it is also one of the best, of the ornamented cemeteries in the
U. S.; it is at Cambridge.
36. We might also visit, very profitably, the admirably conducted Perkins
Institution and Asylum for the Blind, at South Boston; the McLean Asylum
for the Insane, at Somerville, just out of the capital; the Massachusetts
Hospital, in the city; the State Asylum for the Insane, at Worcester; also
the United States Arsenal, at Springfield.
37. It is not so cold in Massachusetts, during the winter, as in Vermont
and Maine. The snow is not so deep, and there is not so much sleighing.
If you ever travel through the state, you will find it very hilly. Though
there are a great many railroads, yet, if you wish to see the country,
you had better travel in some other way. Near Northampton is a high mountain.
called Holyoke. From the top of it, you can look down upon Connecticut
river, winding through a valley so rich and beautiful, that it seems like
a carpet woven with various bright colors.
[Ed.: These questions appeared along the bottom of several pages. The -- sometimes incoherent -- wording was just as it appears here, but I've sorted them out, one question per line, whereas they were jumbled together with no breaks -- saving precious paper, I imagine.]
Questions on the Map of Massachusetts.- boundaries?
Describe the Merrimac River, Charles, Deerfield, Westfield.
What range of mountains in M.? Through what counties do these mountains run?
Describe Massachusetts Bay. Barnstable, Cape Cod Bay, Buzzards Bay.
Describe the following islands Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Elizabeth, Dukes.
5. How many counties in M.? Their names? Capital ? In what county is Boston?
Describe the following towns Salem, New Bedford, Newburyport Worcester, Amherst, Cambridge, Northampton Springfield, Greenfield, Deerfield, Concord Lexington, Pittsfield, Stockbridge, Westfield, Williamston.
Population of M.? square miles? Greatest length of M.? Greatest width? Average length? Average width?
[Ed.: The numbers below relate the questions to the numbered
paragraphs (above) in which the answers can be found]
1.What of Massachusetts? How many people to each square mile? How many in England? People along the seaboard?
2.What is commerce? What of vessels belonging to M.?
3. Describe the codfishery
5.The mackerel fishery
6.The whale fishery.
8, 9, 10, The ice trade? Describe the getting of the ice
11.What of the people remote from the sea? Manufactories in M.?
12,13,14. Lowell ? Describe any other manufacturing town or place that you have seen.
15.Lawrence ? Ireland?
17.Other towns mentioned? What of the goods manufactured in M.?
19.What of Boston? The Common ? Describe the picture. (ed.: 'Boys Playing on Boston Common')
22. State House
23. What fine buildings in Boston ? Extent and population?
25. Describe a railroad.
26, 27.Railroads in Massachusetts in 1847?
30. Cambridge? Amherst ? Williamstown? Public free schools
31. District school libraries? Normal Schools?
32. What is done for agriculture? Farming schools?
33.Chief employments of the people? Connection with other states? Steamers to England?
34. Bunker Hill Monument
35.Distinguished persons mentioned ? Mount Auburn ? Institution for the blind? Other institutions?
37.W inter ? Face of the country? Mt. Holyoke?
1. On the 17th day of September, 1830. there was a great parade in Boston.
There was the governor of the state, and the mayor of the city, and the
president of Harvard college, and a great many other men; and then there
were a great many children, little boys and girls, from all the schools
2. It was a very bright day, and they all assembled on the Common. There
were a great many thousand people beside, who came to look on. I was there
myself, and I was delighted at the long rows of good little boys and girls.
By and by, the men all went in a long procession to the Old South church,
and there Mr. Quincy delivered an oration.
3. Now you will be curious to know what all this parade was about. I
will tell you. It was to celebrate the settlement of Boston, which took
place just two hundred years before; that is, on the 17th of September,
4. Ten years before, in 1620, some persons had come from England, and
settled at Plymouth. At that period, many of the people in England were
persecuted, and could not be happy there. They chose therefore to come
to America, and live in the woods, with Indians and wild beasts around
them, rather than stay there.
5. Accordingly fifteen hundred persons came over in 1630, and settled
at Charlestown, Dorchester, and other places. A man by the name of Blackstone
came to the place where Boston now stands, and liking it pretty well, he
told some of the people about it, and they went and settled there.
6. The first settlers here suffered a great deal. They had poor, miserable
huts to live in and in winter the weather was excessively cold. They were
almost starved, too, for want of food. A great many of them died from hunger,
cold, and distress.
7. Such is a brief sketch of the first settlement of Boston. What a
wonderful change has taken place in two hundred years! The spot where Boston
stands was then a wilderness. The hills and the islands were covered with
trees, and the Indians were living all around Now the Indians are all gone,
and there are one hundred and twenty thousand people living in this place
; in the towns around it there are at least as many more.
8. The forests have all been cut down, the hills have
been levelled, the valleys have been filled up; houses churches, and other
public edifices, now stand on the very places which were then occupied
by Indian wigwams. The bay, where then you could see only a few Indian
canoes, is now covered with hundreds of vessels, and in the streets you
hear the noise of a thousand wheels, where then were heard only the cries
of wild beasts and savage men.
9. Such are the mighty changes that have taken place in this country
since it was settled by the white people. It is very interesting to look
around, and see the present condition of towns, cities and countries. But
I think it is still more interesting to go back and study the history of
places, and see what has happened there in times that have now gone by.
10. The first settlement in New England was made at Plymouth, in 1620
The settlers were English people, called Puritans. Within ten years after,
Salem, Dorchester, Charlestown, and Boston, were settled. A great many
people came over from England, and thus the colony grew very rapidly.
11. They had a great many difficulties to encounter. Before they could
raise grain to make bread of, they were obliged to cut down trees, and
till the land. They had also to build houses, to make roads, and defend
themselves against the Indians. Their condition was indeed a very hard
one, and some of the people who came over died from want and fatigue, as
I have said before.
12. Many of them were killed by the savages, but in spite of all these
evils the colony continued to increase. The white people penetrated further
into the interior, cut down the trees, built towns and villages, and soon
spread themselves over the whole country that is now called Massachusetts.
13. But after a while the Revolutionary War broke out, and then the
people had to defend themselves against British soldiers. I shall tell
you all about this war by and by. I shall tell you of the battles of Lexington,
and of Bunker Hill, and many other interesting things.
[Ed: Questions for Ch VII]
1. What took place in Boston in September, 1830?
Describe the picture.
3.What was this celebration for? When did the settlement of Boston take place?
4.Why did some English people come to live in America?
5.Settlers of 1630?
6.What of wolves? Sufferings of the first settlers?
7, 8.What changes have taken place in 218 years?
10.When was the first settlement in New England? What were the settlers called? What of Salem, and other towns?
11. What had the settlers to do? What was their situation?
12. Describe the progress of the settlements in Massachusetts.
13.Revolutionary War ?