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our country as early as the thirties of the last century. Arese's “ Notes," as he modestly called them, might be worth translating and publishing entire. I have translated the page or so that relates to Boston. The original, in French, was never polished or even written out by the Count, — indeed, it first appeared in print after his death, so that it has all the brevity and slurs of syntax that we expect to find in a traveller's memoranda hastily jotted down. I have not attempted to be smoother than the original.
I left Providence by railroad and after having traversed an insig. nificant country I arrived at Boston.
Boston is a beautiful and large City; many persons, above all the Bostonians, regard it as the handsomest city of the United States ; for myself, I prefer Philadelphia, and above all, New York. Boston greatly resembles an English town, and in its finest quarters you might easily believe yourself in London. The panorama one enjoys from the top of the City Hall [State House ?] is wholly beautiful.
Boston is built, so to speak, on an island, and is united to the neighboring mainland by only six or eight bridges. The town [is] called the Athens of America because its inhabitants are more intelligent than those of the other cities, who take their revenge by taxing the Bostonians with coldness and stiffness. I could not judge for myself, having stayed there too short a time. The Dry Dock, a basin perfectly constructed entirely of stone, serves for taking ships out of the water in order to copper-bottom them. When I was there the frigate Ohio was about to be coppered.
The Bostonians are proud of what they call their Père-la-Chaise, which they have the audacity to put on the same level with, or even above that of Paris; "blessed are the poor in spirit,” says the Gospel : there is their epitaph ready made; it is quite true that the situation of this cemetery is magnificent, and that the view one enjoys from the highest point is very extended, but so far as the monuments go the boundary posts of the postal routes in Italy would here be admired not only for the beauty of their granite but also for their good taste as architecture.
I went to several booksellers' shops, which I found well stocked with foreign works, there being magnificent editions of these made in Boston which could bear comparison with the best English and French editions, and which were certainly superior to what is engraved and printed in the rest of Europe ; but the somewhat high prices of these books prevented me from purchasing as many as I should have wished.
I visited the Athenæum and Museum, an establishment founded by
the subscriptions of the citizens. Among other things one finds there casts of our best statues and groups, a collection of coins, and a considerable library. The director, whose name I greatly regret to have forgotten, showed me some precious manuscripts, and, among the most beautiful works, he showed me that of my compatriot, Giulio Ferrari ; if I am not mistaken the title is I costumi di tutti i popoli della terra. My national pride was so much stirred by the pompous eulogies which he made on the work of Italy and on the Italians that I could not refrain from telling him that I belonged to that beautiful and unhappy country. Then he added things very agreeable to the ear of a true patriot, and informed me that the Americans owe to an Italian, to Carlo Botta, the best history of their country.
I visited the Market and other things of little importance. I attended the representation of a tragedy, very well played, in a fairly pretty theatre, and before a public composed of a better class than one generally meets in the New York theatres. I went to see the University at Cambridge. I made a trip to Bunker's Hill, where was won the first battle against the regular troops of Great Britain by simple American farmers, -a victory which inspired a confidence in the Americans and which served as an opening to the great drama of which we see now the gigantic results.
When the Americans read in the travels of Fanny Kemble that a gentleman (if indeed one can designate him by this name) seeing another in a steamboat brush his teeth, begged him to lend him the brush when he had finished, which the latter did very politely, but when the brush was returned, he threw it overboard; the other took umbrage and asked whether he thought his mouth was cleaner than his own (and that, possibly, from the proverb that there is nothing cleaner than the tongue of a dog); happily, the affair was settled amicably: the Americans, I say, on reading this little episode, utter shrill cries, " that’s infamy! that's calumny!” In fact, that appears to be a false accusation, a farce, a poor bit of pleasantry. As for myself, in all honor and conscience, I believe the thing, if not true, at least possible and even probable, for in Boston, preëminently the civilized city, and at the Tremont House, the best and most fashionable hotel, there is in every chamber a nail-brush and a tooth-brush for the use of all travellers; let bonor be rendered to the truth.
These are the sights to which an intelligent traveller who visited Boston in 1837 was conducted: the State House; the Faneuil Hall Market; the Athenæum, which then occupied the
? Probably Seth Bass, M.D., Librarian, 1825–1846.
? R. Bonfadini : Vita di Francesco Arese (Roux: Turin, 1894), 415–544. “Notes d'un voyage dans les prairies et dans l'intérieur de l'Amérique septentrionale” par le Comte François Arèse en 1837.
house in Pearl Street given to it by Mr. James Perkins; Bunker Hill, which had not yet its completed monument; Harvard College; the Dry Dock at Charlestown Navy Yard, and Mount Auburn Cemetery, consecrated in 1831. Being a studious man, Count Arese naturally wished to see the booksellers' shops: and being an Italian, he listened gratefully to the praise of his countrymen. The first volume of Bancroft's “ History” had appeared in 1834, but Carlo Botta – if that amiable librarian, whom I have not identified, spoke the truth — was still regarded as the historian of America. That Boston was already accepted as the Athens of America may seem strange to those of our time who imagine that her reputation was founded on the works, now classic, of Emerson and Longfellow, Lowell and Motley, Prescott and Parkman, not one of whom, in 1837, had achieved fame. It brings that day and ours together to remember that if our late associate Dr. Hale were here to-day, as only a few months ago it seemed probable that he would be, he might have told us that it was he who, as a Junior, showed Count Arese round Harvard College, or listened at the Athenæum while the genial librarian extolled Carlo Botta. Count Arese died in 1881. His “ Notes of Travel” were printed in 1894.
Dr. GREEN communicated a paper as follows: COLONEL WILLIAM PRESCOTT; AND Groton SOLDIERS AT THE
BarTLE OF BUNKER HILL. The French and Indian War was the school where the chief actors in the Revolution learned their first lessons. Artemas Ward, who was the commander-in-chief of the American army until the arrival of Washington at Cambridge, on July 3, 1775; Richard Gridley, the engineer who laid out the works on Bunker Hill and planned the fortifications around Boston; and William Prescott, the commander at the Battle, — these officers and many others received their early military education during this period. The French and Indian War was the last and severest of the intercolonial struggles, and the Indians fought on each side, though mostly with the French and against the English. The first conflict of arms took place in May, 1754, and the war continued until a treaty of peace was made in February, 1763.
Among the manuscripts belonging to the Historical Society
is a paper which gives the names of twenty-five men who were enlisted by William Prescott in a regiment to be emploved for the removal of the Acadians, though no place of enlistment is given. To any one familiar with the home of Prescott the omission to mention the place of enlistment is of little importance, as the family names of the men furnish the desired information. Without doubt they all belonged in Groton and its neighborhood, and there are many descendants still living there. Job Shattuck, whose name appears in the list, thirty years later became a conspicuous character in Shays's Rebellion. It has long been known that William Prescott was a lieutenant in the Provincial army sent in the spring of 1755 to remove the neutral French from Nova Scotia ; but this record shows that he had already been active in enlisting men for that purpose. At that period of time the township of Groton spread over a much larger territory than it now covers, but since then by legislative enactment it has been materially dismembered and has lost several towns from the original grant. One half of the men mentioned in this list served in the War for Independence; and, of course, during these intervening years others had died.
The aforesaid paper is found in a volume marked on the back “Winslow Papers 1737-1755” (p. 87); and the list of names is as follows:
A List of the Men Inlisted by William Prescott in a Regiment of foot to be Employed for the Removal of the French Incroachments in North America Whereof His Excellency William Sbirley Esq". is Colonel and John Winslow Esq' Lieutenant Colonel Isaac Green
Phinehas Barron William Spaulding Jun!
James Lessley Eleazer Spaulding
John Lessley John Kemp Jun!
George Lessley Jabez Kemp
Amos Whiting Jonathan Shedd
Eliphalet Dinsmore William Shedd
Asa Dinsmore Eleazer Whipple
Jonathan Melvin Isaac Williams Jun"
Job Shattock Samuel Fisk
Simeon Lakin Nathaniel Sartwell
Abraham Boyenten Simon Lakin
Oliver Eliot February 28th
It was in the spring of 1755 that the territory of Acadia, or Nova Scotia, fell under British authority; and the conquest was followed by a terrible act of cruelty and violence. The simple Acadians, unsuspicious of any untoward designs of the English leaders, were assembled in their churches in obedience to military proclamation; and thence, without being allowed to return to their homes, were driven at the point of the bayonet aboard ship to be scattered through the English colonies in America. This was done with so little regard to humanity that in many instances wives were separated from husbands and children from parents, never to see one another again. It was upon an incident connected with this act of tyranny that Longfellow's poem of “ Evangeline " is founded. Our pity for these unfortunate people will be stronger when we reflect that in their exile they were miserably poor, among a race who spoke a strange language, followed other customs and abominated their religion.
In the report of a Committee, dated April 18, 1761, which was appointed by the General Court to distribute French Neutrals among the towns of Middlesex County (Massachusetts Archives, XXIV. 468) it is stated that they have assigned to
Groton Rain Bobbin
(aged] 37 Marg' his wife
39 Johu his son
13 Matturen Do
11 Joseph Do
7 Peter Bobbin son to Rain Bobbin of Groton 5
The surname, perhaps, is spelled wrong, as people in those days were not used to writing foreign words; very likely it should have been Beaubien. Other families were sent at the same time to Dunstable, Westford, and Littleton.
In connection with the reference in this paper to William Prescott, it may be of interest to note a fact that bears closely on the question of the commandership at the Battle of Bunker Hill. The circumstances surrounding the army at the