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outside of the meeting-house and gave a tremendous war-whoop. The people at once poured forth and saw the Indians hurrying down Milk Street toward the harbor, brandishing hatchets and shouting as they ran along. The crowd followed.
It was a moonlit evening, and the Indians had no difficulty in seeing to get aboard the three vessels. They told the frightened captains and crews to go below and stay there, and the ships' people dared not disobey. So the marauders were left free to take off the hatches and get the tea-chests up out of the holds. Then they broke open the chests and threw them overboard, or emptied their contents into the harbor. The Indians and onlookers were orderly, and there was little noise except for the blows of the hatchets. By nine o'clock the work was done, and three hundred and forty-two chests of tea valued at one hundred thousand dollars had been destroyed. The Indians marched back to the town to the music of a fife.
There were only one or two incidents to mar the affair. A Charlestown man in the crowd on the wharf thought he would get some tea to carry home. So he went on board a ship and slyly stuffed as much as possible into his coat pockets and inside of the lining. An Indian named Hewes observed what he was doing, and as he was leaving the ship sprang forward and grabbed hold of his coat. The man made a jump and left his coat-tails behind him. Hewes called out to tell the people what the man had done, and every one
who could get near enough helped him along off the wharf with a kick. The next day his coat-tails were nailed to the whipping-post in Charlestown.
One of the old towns that has been annexed to Boston is Roxbury, so called because much of the land in it is rocky, and originally spelled Rocksbury. The rocks are a kind of conglomerate known as pudding-stone, for which Oliver Wendell Holmes accounts as follows:
“In Dorchester there lived a giant who had a wife and three children. On election day he locked them up and strode away, leaving them an election pudding to eat. They were very angry, and instead of eating their pudding, “They flung it over to Roxbury Hills,
They flung it over the plain;
Great lumps of pudding the giants threw. Ages have passed away since, the lumps of pudding with the plums in them have turned to stone, and there they lie.”
The town's first minister was John Eliot, “the Apostle of the Indians.” He learned their language with the help of a young Pequot who had been taken prisoner, and presently was able to preach to them without an interpreter. He visited all the Indians in Massachusetts and Plymouth colonies and lived to see twenty-four of them fellow-preachers of the gospel. In one of his letters he says, “I have not been dry, night or day, from the third day of the week to the sixth.” At night he would pull off his boots and wring out his stockings, and in the morning put them on and continue his travels.
No other missionary had such an influence as he over the savages, and he did what he could to have them treated justly by the whites. For a long time he was engaged in translating the Bible into the Indian tongue.
Eliot occasionally preached to the Indians from a rocky pulpit in the local woods. This pulpit was on what became later the famous Brook Farm, where some of the most notable men and women in America once lived and cultivated the land and their brains. Often a party of them would resort to the woodland on a pleasant Sabbath afternoon in summer and address each other from Eliot's pulpit. It was canopied by a birch tree through which the cheerful sunbeams sifted.
People used to laugh at the spectacle of rustic philosophers hoeing out wisdom and potatoes at the same time, and the neighbors said that the Brook Farmers once raised five hundred tufts of burdock, mistaking them for cabbages.
The story is told, too, that on washing days the men were likely to be called on to hang out the clothes; and in the evening, when the company gathered for recreation and began to dance, the clothespins fell plentifully from the masculine pockets.
ONG before the interior of New England had
been at all thoroughly explored there was a large fishing industry off its coast. Hundreds of vessels came across the Atlantic to these waters to fish every year even as early as 1600; and when settlers began to
establish themselves along the shore, they were fishermen as well as farmers. Indeed, many of the settlers measured their crops by pounds of fish and barrels of clams rather than by bushels of corn. chiefly the abundant supply of cod, mackerel, halibut, shad, salmon, and other fish in the ocean and the rivers that enabled the pioneers to escape starvation.
The numerous bays and inlets and streams furnished good spawning grounds, and the rocky coast and shallow adjacent waters were conducive to the growth of seaweed, among which the fishes found a plentiful supply of small animal food. The best-known portion of the coastal shallows is the Grand Banks of Newfoundland. On this ocean highland millions of dollars' worth of fish are caught every year. New England has over sixteen hundred fishing vessels, which employ twenty-two thousand men. Fish used to be abundant near the shore, and the fishermen could catch them by going out in small boats; but now it is necessary to seek them at a considerable distance, and the vessels used are large and staunch. Some of them voyage as far as Greenland and Iceland.
For three miles out from the shore fishing can be done only by boats of that nation to which the shore belongs. No Canadian nor European boats can fish within that limit off our coast, and none of our boats can fish inside of that limit on the coast of Nova Scotia or Newfoundland. Outside of this shore line the fishing is free to all nations alike.