Encyclopædia Britannica, Ninth Edition/Massachusetts
Copyright, 1882, by Justin Winsor.
MASSACHUSETTS, an Indian name originally applied to a small hillock bordering on Boston Harbour, and thence to a neighbouring tribe of Indians. It is the chief political division of New England, and one of the original thirteen States of the American Union. It lies for the most part between 40° and 42° 45' N. lat., and 70° 30' and 73° 30' W. long.
Physical Description. — Its area, of about 7800 square miles, forms in the main a parallelogram, of 160 miles east and west, 50 miles north and south, — with a projection at the south-east and a lesser one at the north-east, which gives a breadth of 90 miles at this part, where it borders upon the ocean, while the general irregularity of this coast-line gives a sea frontage of about 250 miles. No large navigable river flows in any part, though the Connecticut river, bisecting the State during 50 miles of its course, and fed within it by several lateral streams, has been made navigable for small craft. The Housatonic, a lesser stream, flows parallel with the Connecticut, farther west. The two valleys are separated by the Hoosac range (1200 to 1600 feet high) of the Berkshire Hills, a part of the Appalachian system, and a continuation of the Green Mountains of Vermont. These, with the Taconic range on the western side of the Housatonic valley, of which the highest peak is Greylock, or Saddleback (almost 3500 feet), in the extreme north-west corner of the State, form the only considerable elevated land. Bordering on the Connecticut, Mount Tom (1200 feet) and a few other hills form conspicuous landmarks. Wachusett (2018 feet), farther east, rises from a level country. The Blue Hills in Milton are the nearest elevation to the coast, and are conspicuous to navigators approaching Boston.
The Merrimac runs for 35 miles through the north-east corner of the State, and affords valuable water-power at Lowell, Lawrence, and Haverhill. A few small streams, useful for mill purposes and irrigation, seek the ocean through Boston, Buzzard's, and Narragansett Bays, running for the most part through a rolling country. The south-east parts of the State are level, — with a slightly elevated ridge (Manomet) south of Plymouth, — sandy in soil, with tracts of forest, largely white pine, and well watered by ponds. Between Plymouth and Buzzard's Bay there is the most considerable region of untamed soil in the State, where deer are occasionally seen.
South of Cohasset the shore is sandy, with a few isolated rocky ledges and boulders. About Boston, and to the north of it, the shore is rocky and picturesque. Massachusetts Bay is a name now applied to the gulf of which the outer limits are Cape Cod and Cape Ann; but in early days it was applied to the enclosed lesser bay on its western side, now called Boston Harbour, the finest roadstead on the coast. The extreme hook of the Cape Cod peninsula forms Provincetown Harbour, which is an excellent and capacious port of refuge for vessels approaching Boston. Salem Harbour is the most considerable other haven on the bay; while on Buzzard's Bay New Bedford has a good harbour.
The principal islands lie off the southern coast. The largest is Martha's Vineyard, 21 miles long, with an average breadth of 5 or 6. It has in Holmes's Hole a spacious harbour, much frequented by wind-bound vessels seeking a passage round Cape Cod. The island is interesting as the scene of Mayhew's missionary efforts among the Indians, and it still harbours a remnant of a tribe. It has a population (4300 in 1880) formerly dependent wholly upon the sea; and of late years it has become a summer resort of much popularity. Farther east, Nantucket, an island of triangular shape, 15 miles long and 11 wide at its eastern end, is likewise the home of a seafaring folk (population in 1880, 3727), who still retain in some degree primitive habits, though summer visitors are more and more affecting its life. Nantucket Shoals, south-east of the island, is a large sandbank dangerous to navigation.
Flora and Fauna. — The original native trees and plants did not vary from what is common to New England and northern New York. The presence of a dense population has driven some out, and brought in others, including some noxious weeds. The larger wild animals have disappeared except an occasional deer; but small game still runs, and even within the municipal limits of Boston wild foxes are occasionally killed. No very large birds frequent the State, though a stray eagle is sometimes seen. Reptiles of a harmless kind are found, and three kinds of venomous snakes, — the latter even near Boston, particularly in the Blue Hills of Milton. Fish are abundant on the coast, and the cod is sometimes used as an emblem of the State, a figure of one hanging in the Representatives Chamber at the State House. The artificial propagation and preservation of salmon and other edible pond and river fish have been of late carried on successfully under the supervision of a State commission
Geology. — Professor N. S. Shaler of Harvard University says: “Geologically as well as topographically, the State is divided into four districts, which extend farther than the State limits. In the south-eastern part the whole of Cape Cod and Plymouth county is made up of rearranged glacial drift. Westward, from the shore region to the Connecticut, the rocks are of the Laurentian, Cambrian, and Carboniferous ages. The Connecticut river flows through a basin of Triassic rocks, abounding in reptilian footprints. West of this basin, to the New York line, the surface is occupied by an extensive series of highly metamorphosed rocks, the age of which is doubtful; but the series is certainly as old as the Silurian. The whole surface of the State was greatly affected by the last glacial period, as much so as Scotland or Sweden.
“The economic resources are limited. An area of about 250 square miles in the south-eastern part of the State shows Carboniferous rocks, containing several coals. The deep drift coating, the profoundly dislocated character of the beds, and the graphitic nature of the coals have made mining unsuccessful. Mines of silver-bearing lead have at times been worked in the north-eastern shore districts, and in the Connecticut valley, but without profit. Emery is now successfully worked in the western district. There are also deposits of hematite iron ores all along the border of New York, which are considerably worked. There are numerous quarries of sienite in the eastern parts of the State, some of red sandstone in the Connecticut valley,. and of white marble in the western regions.”
Climate. — The climate is a trying one, showing great extremes (20° Fahr. below and 100° above), with about 42 inches of rainfall. The mean average temperature of Boston is 48° Fahr. In the interior it is a trifle lower. Changes are often sudden, and the passage from winter to summer is by a rapid spring. The ocean tempers the climate considerably on the seaboard. Boston harbour has been frozen over in the past, but steam-tugs plying constantly prevent now the occurrence of such obstruction.
Agriculture. — The soil, except in some of the valleys, can hardly be called naturally fertile; and sandy barrens are common in the south-eastern parts. High cultivation, however, has produced valuable market-gardens about Boston and the larger towns; and industry has made the tilling of the earth sustaining in most other parts; while the average sterility of the soil has doubtless had a strong influence in developing a sturdy yeomanry in the rural regions.
In 1875 671,131 tons of hay were cut. On the seaboard some extensive salt marshes yield a hay which is much prized. The corn crop diminished one half from 1855 to 1875. The State produced in 1880 1,797,593 bushels of Indian corn, 15,768 of wheat, 645,159 of oats, 80,128 of barley, 213,716 of rye, 67,117 of buckwheat. In 1870 the average cash value per acre of principal farm-crops was $26.71, which amount is exceeded only in Rhode Island. In the Connecticut valley tobacco is grown, 3358 acres being given to it in 1880, producing 5,369,436 lb, which gives the State the thirteenth rank in the Union. In forty years the sheep have fallen from 384,614 to 65,123 in 1880; and in the same year there were 139,861 horses and 174,859 cows. In 1880 there were 38,406 farms, of which 35,266 were owned by occupants. Most of them were between 20 and 500 acres each, nearly 12,000 having over 100 acres.
The Population and its Condition. — The State is divided into twelve congressional districts, each entitled to one representative in the Federal Congress, and representing from 151,000 to 181,000 inhabitants. It is divided also into 346 towns, and these are grouped into 14 counties, with an aggregate in 1880 of 1,783,085 inhabitants, of whom the native-born are 1,339,594, and the foreign-born 443,491. This population was divided into 379,710 families, living in 281,188 dwellings, with nearly 222 persons to the square mile, and less than an average of 3 acres to each person. Nearly every fifth person is a voter. The total vote in the presidential campaign of 1880 was 282,512. The number of persons born within Massachusetts, and living in 1880 out of the State, but within the limits of the United States, was 1,356,295. The population at past censuses has been —
There were, in 1880, 31 cities and towns of over 10,000 inhabitants.
Births and Deaths. — It is calculated that to every 1000 inhabitants the births are more than 23, the marriages about 8, the deaths 18½, the excess of births over deaths being nearly 5. In 1880 44,217 were born, and 15,538 couples were married, while 35,292 persons died, at an average age of thirty-two years. Taking persons over twenty years of age, the deaths in 37 8/12 years were 187,264, with an average age of 51.42. During sixteen years the
average age at death of all conditions was 30.18 years. In twenty years the birth-rate to 1000 persons was 26.2, the death-rate 19.7.
Health. — A board of health, lunacy, and charity supervises the public hygiene, and the institutions for the insane and paupers. By their reports of 1880 it appears that the prominent causes of death are for the ages from birth to five — diarrhœa, diphtheria, pneumonia, scarlet fever, and obscure diseases of the brain and intestines; from five to ten — infectious diseases and obscure diseases of childhood; from ten to fifteen — diphtheria, consumption, and typhoid fever; from fifteen to twenty — consumption and typhoid fever; from thirty upward — pneumonia and heart disease, with cancer from forty to sixty. Paralysis and apoplexy gain after forty, and after seventy the greatest portion die of old age. The twelve principal causes of fatality in all ages are placed in this order: consumption, pneumonia, diphtheria, heart disease, old age, cholera infantum, paralysis, cancer, scarlet fever, cephalitis, bronchitis, and apoplexy; and by these disorders 60 per cent. of all deaths occur. Intermittent fever was known in the earlier history of the State, but in this century, before 1877, was practically unknown, except in the form of an occasional epidemic; but since that date it has made rapid progress in the western parts.
Paupers. — Other tables of the same board show that in July 1880 19,318 paupers were receiving, wholly or in part, local or State support; and the same was true of about 3000 insane persons. The average number of inmates of these charitable establishments (State, city, and town) in 1880 was 7467 persons. At public and private insane asylums there were 4398 cases within the year.
Immigration. — The immigrants from Europe during the year ending September 30, 1880, were 33,636 in number, of whom one-third were Irish, and the males in comparison with the females were as 18 to 15. A large part of this influx merely passed through the State to the west.
Business and Finance; Commerce and Manufactures. — Up to 1830 the commerce of the State found various outlets besides Boston; but since then this city has more and more absorbed the whole foreign trade. The whaling business still remained to other ports, and at one time gave occupation to a thousand ships. The introduction of petroleum gradually diminished this resource of the lesser ports.
The packing of pork and beef was formerly centred in Boston; but, while now a similar business tenfold as large is done, it has been greatly exceeded in the west. For many years Massachusetts controlled a vast lumber trade, drawing upon the forests of Maine, but the growth of the west has changed the old channels of trade, and Boston carpenters now make large use of western lumber. The American trade with China and India was begun in Salem, and was next controlled in Boston, till this also was lost some years ago to New York. In commercial relations the chief port of Massachusetts attained its highest influence about forty years ago, when it was selected as the American terminus of the first steamship line (Cunard) connecting England with the United States, but Boston lost the commercial prestige, then won, by the failure of the State to develop railway communication with the west, so as to equal the development effected by other cities. It was between 1840 and 1850 that the cotton manufactures of Massachusetts began to assume large proportions; and about the same time the manufacture of boots and shoes centred here, and has ever since maintained its prominence, much more than one-half of all boots and shoes manufactured in the country being the product of this State. Again, ice and granite became important articles of export; and Quincy granite, from 1849, was sent to various southern ports, having an importance as a building-stone which it has hardly lost now, with the later multiplication of varieties of such stones. Medford ships began to be famed shortly after the beginning of the century, and by 1845 that town employed one quarter of all the shipwrights in the State. From 1840 to 1860 Massachusetts-built ships competed successfully for the carrying trade of the world. Before 1840 500 tons made a large ship, but after the discovery of gold in California the size of ships increased rapidly, and the lines of their models were more and more adapted to speed. The limit of size was reached in an immense clipper of 4555 tons, and the greatest speed attained in a passage from San Francisco to Boston in seventy-five days, and from San Francisco to Cork in ninety-three days. The development of steam navigation for the carrying of large cargoes has driven this fleet from the sea. Hardly 18 per cent. of the exports and imports through Massachusetts is now carried in American bottoms. The grain elevators, which pour corn in bulk into ships at Boston to-day for European markets, are the result of the first attempt at such transportation, made in 1843, when citizens of Massachusetts sent corn to starving Ireland.
Coastwise steam lines, supported by Massachusetts capital, had run to Philadelphia and Baltimore for some years before the civil war broke up other less successful ones, which had connected ports further south. When the war and steam navigation put an end to the supremacy of Massachusetts wooden ships, much of the capital which had been employed in navigation was turned into developing
railroad facilities, and coastwise steam lines. An effort to establish a European steam line failed. In 1872 the great fire in Boston, destroying $72,000,000 worth of property, made large drains upon the capital of the State, and several years of depression in business followed, to be succeeded by an era of business prosperity still continuing. The imports of Boston practically of Massachusetts for 1880 were $68,649,664; the exports, $69,178,764. In 1880 322 steamships sailed from Boston for European ports. In 1880 180 steam craft were owned in Massachusetts, with a capacity of 48,917 tons. Massachusetts had in 1880 a fleet of 376 sail of cod-fishing vessels, manned by 4185 men, three quarters of all belonging to one port, Gloucester. In mackerel catching 239 vessels are employed. In 1882 20,117 persons were actively engaged in the fisheries, and it was estimated that 100,000 people depended on them for support. The capital invested is $14,334,450, and the product is worth $8,141,750. The total tonnage of the State in 1881 was 430,182, which gave the State rank after New York and Maine. In 1880, of 39,921 business houses, 329 failed, with liabilities at $3,336,954.
A general Act of 1870, with supplements of later years, allows of the incorporation of companies under it, and in 1880 such corporations, so organized, had $30,150,255 capital, — and this was in some part money disengaged of late years from navigation and its attendant branches of trade.
While the capital of the State may not have developed even yet, as it might, all that is possible for a system of railway communication with the west, it has fostered, and made possible, large facilities in the States of the Mississippi valley and beyond, which may in time so enlarge the terminal facilities of the State's chief port as to make it a more important outlet for export of the produce of the west, and give it a distinction justly its due from its geographical position.
In the working of ores the State is not prominent, Five furnaces in 1880 yielded 19,000 tons of pig iron. In wool, the Boston market is the largest in the country. The State has far more spindles (4,465,290) in cotton manufacture than any other State, and not much short of half the number in the whole United States (10,921,147). She employs in this business 62,794 hands, or about one third of the entire force so employed in the United States.
Massachusetts is the only State in the east, manufacturing textile fabrics, where ten hours is the operative's day; and it is reported by the State bureau of statistics that, equal grades being considered, as much is produced under her system, per man, loom, or spindle, as in States where eleven hours or more is the rule, and that the Massachusetts operative earns as much or more per day. Canadian French now constitute a considerable proportion of the factory hands. In certain departments of labour Chinese are beginning to find employment.
Formerly farmers daughters of native stock were much employed in factories. Operatives of foreign birth or parentage have taken in great part their places; and those of native stock have sought other occupations, — largely in the manufacturing of small wares in the cities, and particularly in departments of trade where skilled labour is essential. Household service is seldom now done, as it formerly was, by women of native stock, — persons of Irish, Swedish, and Scottish origin, with many from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, taking their places.
Railways. — The report of the Railroad Commissioners for 1880 shows twenty-nine street railways; capital, $6,144,000; assets, $10,173,079.84; total income, $3,711,378.18; expenses, $3,003,024.87; length of roads, 240 miles; miles run, 12,516,363; passengers carried, 68,631,842.
Of steam railways there were 3044 miles of single track, of which 1893 were main lines; and 27,057 Massachusetts stockholders held $78,806,559.95 capital stock of the total of $118,738,871.58; and 21,615 persons were employed. The total income of these roads was $35,140,374.77; and the dividends declared were $5,987,718.64. Total passengers carried, 45,151,152; freight carried, 17,221,567 tons. There were to passengers in 1880 nine fatal and fifteen other accidents; and one hundred and fifty-seven other persons were injured on the roads.
The Hoosac Tunnel — after that of Mont Cenis the longest in the world, 5¾ miles in length — pierces the Hoosac mountain in the north-west corner of the State, and opens a second direct railway communication with western lines, that of the Boston and Albany having been long without a rival. It cost $9,000,000, the State lending its credit, and was built between 1855 and 1874.
Savings Banks, &c. — In 1880 the number of open accounts was 706,395; amount of deposits, $218,047,922.37 (only exceeded in New York); amount of earnings, $11,894,710.60; ordinary dividends, $7,957,887.09; annual expenses, $581,274.35; number of outstanding loans (none exceeding $3000) 32,320, aggregating $34,203,951.81. The number of banks in 1880 was 164, against 22 in 1834. The number of co-operative saving fund and loan associations was 16, with $372,462.31 assets.
National Banks. — The report of the comptroller of the currency
for 1880 says: “The thirteen States having the largest capital [in national hanks] are Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, &c. . . . in the order named.” In 1879 the capital of national banks in Massachusetts was $94,748,172, that of New York being $85,706,942. In 1881 there were 242 such banks, with $95,605,000 capital, and $525,827 dividends, and in 1880 they issued $3,693,885 in circulating bills, — Pennsylvania with $2,036,890 coming next.
A report to the commissioner of internal revenue, for the six months ending May 31, 1880, shows Massachusetts to have 218 hanking and trust companies, private bankers, and savings hanks (not organized under the national law), with an aggregate capital of $5,638,099; average deposits to the amount of $208,822,039. These banks also held investments in United States bonds, amounting to $22,909,377.
Public Debt, &c. — The public debt of the State, January 1, 1881, was $32,799,464; the sinking funds, $13,050,192-20; the trust funds $2,890,650.92. The total taxable value was $l,927,855,430.09. The taxes produced $4,950,000. The rate of State taxation is much smaller than that of any other State. The State receipts were on account of revenue $7,881,198; on account of funds, $5,616,418, or $13,497,616 in all.
The Boston stock exchange stands next to New York in the extent of the securities in which it deals.
Citizens of Massachusetts (16,855 in number) hold 45,138,750 of the United States bonds, and the proportion of holders (23.04 per cent.) to the population of the State is in excess of that of all other States; New York, which is next, shows 20.24 per cent.
In 1881 the State contributed $2,699,681 as internal revenue to the Federal treasury, being a twelfth rank among the States and Territories.
Social Statistics. — Intellectual Life. — No statement of the influence which Massachusetts has exerted upon the American people, through intellectual activity and even through vagary, is complete without an enumeration of the names which, to Americans at least, are the signs of this influence and activity. In science, John Winthrop, the most eminent of colonial scientists; Benjamin Thompson (Count Rumford); Nathaniel Bowditch, the translator of Laplace; Benjamin Peirce; and Morse the electrician; not to include an adopted citizen in Louis Agassiz. In history, Winthrop and Bradford laid the foundations of her story in the very beginning; but the best example of the colonial period is Thomas Hutchinson, and in our day, Bancroft, Sparks, Palfrey, Prescott, Motley, and Parkman. In poetry, the pioneer of the modern spirit in American verse was Richard Henry Dana; and later came Bryant, Longfellow, Whittier, Lowell, and Holmes. In philosophy, and the science of living, Jonathan Edwards, Franklin, Channing, Emerson, and Theodore Parker. In oratory, James Otis, Fisher Ames, Josiah Quincy, jun., Webster, Choate, Everett, Sumner, Winthrop, and Wendell Phillips. In fiction, Hawthorne and Mrs Stowe, not to embrace the living and younger names of Howells and Aldrich. In law, Story, Parsons, and Shaw In polite scholarship, Ticknor and Hillard. In art, Copley, Gilbert Stuart, Washington Allston, William M. Hunt, Horatio Greenough, W. W. Story, and Thomas Ball. What in America was called the “transcendental movement” — which sprang out of German affiliations, and swept in its train many scholarly persons, and resulted in the well-known community of Brook Farm, under the leadership of the late Dr George Ripley — was a growth of Massachusetts, and in passing away it left, instead of traces of an organization, a sentiment and an aspiration for what was called a higher thinking, which gave Emerson his friendly sympathizers. It might go without saying that a community which fostered such persons and feelings was not at all times free from riotous and unbalanced ideas, which could inaugurate too many departures from the common course of wisdom.
Education. — Of the 307,321 children between five and fifteen in Massachusetts, 281,757 attend the public schools, in addition to 25,020 over fifteen, and 1833 under five; while 27,370 of all ages attend charitable, reformatory, and private schools. The public schools are 5570 in number; the academies and private schools, The cost of maintaining the public schools is $5,156,731 per annum. This expenditure is exceeded only in the States of New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Ohio. It is a little more in Iowa. A board of education (the governor, lieutenant-governor, and eight others) have the general charge, and their secretary acts as superintendent of the State system in conjunction with local superintendents and committees. Women are eligible to these positions, and among the teachers of the public schools they are largely in excess, — 7462 women and 1133 men; and of the combined number (8595) 2228 had attended normal schools. The male teachers on an average receive $67.54 per month; the women, $30.59. The system includes common, high, and normal schools, with one normal art school, and various evening, industrial, and truant schools. No discrimination is made as to race, colour, or religious views. The average attendance is 89 per cent, of the membership. Two-fifths of one per cent, of the native population are illiterate. The State normal schools, where the teachers are
trained, are five in number, besides the art school. The attendance upon them was 841 in 1880. Some of the cities and towns maintain their own training schools. Meetings of teachers are held once a month or oftencr in various parts of the State, for comparison of views and experience.
The high schools are 215 in number, with 18,758 pupils and 494 teachers; and other secondary instruction is given in the business colleges, private academic schools, and the more distinctive preparatory schools, which send their graduates to the colleges. Of these last the most important is Harvard College, the chief department of what is known as Harvard University, which includes in addition various professional schools, and other colleges of special studies. This university in 1882 had 1382 students, with a stalf of 200 officers and instructors; and of these students 823 belong to the academic department (Harvard College), where they are allowed wide latitude in the choice of the studies pursued. The classes of undergraduates are recruited largely from the State; but the establishment of examinations for admission in distant cities, like Philadelphia, Cincinnati, St Louis, and San Francisco, is increasing the proportion who come from other parts of the country. Harvard University is mainly at Cambridge, 3 miles from Boston, but some of the departments are in the latter city.
In the extreme west of the State is Williams College, which in 1880 had 227 students; and in the Connecticut valley is Amherst College, with 339 students. Boston University, in its several departments, had 510 students in 1880; and Tufts College, a few miles from Boston, an institution supported by the Universalist sect, had 63 students. Two Roman Catholic colleges are maintained, — Boston College with 80 students, and College of the Holy Cross, at Worcester, of about the same size. Of the various institutions for the instruction of women, two rank with the colleges for men, — Smith College at Northampton, and Wellesley College, not far from Boston. The income of college funds ($425,958) is only exceeded in New York ($710,164).
For agricultural students there are two schools, — one supported by the State at Amherst, and the Bussey Institution, a department of Harvard University. In technological science there is special instruction given in the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Boston), the Lawrence Scientific School (of Harvard University), the Free Institute of Industrial Science (Worcester), and the School of all Sciences (Boston University). In theology, nearly three hundred students in 1880 were divided among the schools at Andover (Congregational), at Boston (in connexion with the university, Methodist), at Cambridge (Harvard University, non-sectarian, and an independent Episcopal school), at Somerville (Tufts College, Uuiversalist), at Newton (Baptist), and at Waltham (New Church). In law there are schools in connexion with both Boston and Harvard universities; and the same is true of medicine, that of the former being of homœopathic tendency. The State is also supplied with special schools of various other sorts, particularly those for deaf mutes, the blind, and the feeble-minded, in which noteworthy methods have been employed with success.
In 1880 the United States patent office issued letters to an average of one inhabitant of the State in every 1333, a degree of inventive energy only exceeded in Connecticut, where the proportion is one in 1020.
The total receipts of the post-office in 1880 were $2,484,692, an amount only exceeded by New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, while the State stands seventh in population.
The Press. — The earliest printing in the British colonies was done at Cambridge in this State, where, in 1640, the first book was printed, which is known as the “Bay Psalm-Book,” being a version of the Psalms, for singing, made in the colony. Cambridge still retains its pre-eminence in the University and Riverside presses. A printing-house was not set up in Boston till 1674. In the early part of this century book printing was done at various country presses; but at present it is all done in Boston, which, with New York and Philadelphia, is now a principal centre of the American book trade,
A single number of two separate ventures to scatter public intelligence had appeared in Boston in 1689 and 1690; but the first regular newspaper was not established till 1704, when the Boston Newsletter became the pioneer of the American newspaper press. There is at present no newspaper of much influence printed outside of Boston, except the Springfield Republican; and even the Boston newspapers are generally held to be behind those of New York and Chicago in enterprise and power
In 1880 there were 35 daily newspapers, with 33 others (having an annual circulation for dailies of 86,304,851; for weeklies, &c., of 10,204,537), and 392 periodicals of all kinds issued.
Libraries. — The State is the most richly provided with public collections of books (apart from school libraries) of any in the Union. In the number of volumes the public library of Boston (404,201 in 1882) probably stands at the head of all in the country, though the library of Congress closely follows. Each of these libraries fills its enumeration, however, with large numbers of duplicates, — that at Washington from those received under the Copyright Act, and that
of Boston from the extensive provision of extra copies for its ten popular departments. largely counterparts of each other. It is accordingly probable that the library of Harvard University (nearly 300,000 volumes), which has but few duplicates, outranks all others in the country in the count of titles, as it is much the largest of all American academic collections. Of the eight largest libraries in the United States, three are in Massachusetts, the Boston Athenæum, one of the best of the class of proprietary libraries, being counted with the two already named. The State led in the founding of city and town libraries, supported by public taxes, thirty years ago, and has instituted more of them than exist in all the other States combined. After the one at Boston, that at Worcester is the best-known. Collections of fair proportions are attached to the lesser colleges, Amherst, Williams, and Wellesley. The special historical libraries of the American Antiquarian Society at Worcester, the Massachusetts Historical Society, the New England Historic Genealogical Society, and Congregational Library, at Boston, added to the departments of the Harvard and Boston libraries, make Massachusetts exceedingly rich in books upon American history. No one of her libraries has the resources of the rarest of early Americana which will be found in the private collection of the late John Carter-Brown at Providence, and in the Lenox library at New York; but, with access to such private collections as that of Charles Deane at Cambridge, the student of American history is probably at less disadvantage in Massachusetts than in any other library centre in the States, though the value of the Peter Force collection in the library of Congress is not to be forgotten. In science, sections of the Boston public library and the Harvard library are of the most importance, though in physics and natural history the collections of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences (Boston) and of the Boston Society of Natural History may well supplement them. In private libraries the State may claim numbers, rather than individual richness, and is probably surpassed by New York in signal collections. The State itself, in the State House, has a collection of considerable value, confined for the most part to law, public documents, and American history.
Crime. — A board of prison commissioners (three men and two women) report in 1880 3821 persons in confinement, 2070 in county prisons, and 1751 in other institutions. In 1879 there were 16,211 sentences for drunkenness; and during the last twenty years 60 per cent. of all sentences for crime were traceable to liquor, or 340,814, in that time, out of 578,458 sentences. Of this aggregate, 332,495 were against chastity, morality, and decency; 55,327 against property; and 1656 (felonious) and 81,440 (not felonious) against persons. Seventy-five per cent. of criminals are between the ages of eighteen and forty-five.
Fires and Insurance. — The fires in 1880 were 1722 in number (of which 596 were total), causing an aggregate loss of $4,454,221, of which 71 per cent. was paid by insurance companies. The causes were in 383 cases reported unknown, and in 294 incendiary.
In life insurance, six Massachusetts companies have gross assets of $32,939,505 and gross liabilities of $27,546,554; while companies organized without the State and doing business within it have $369,996,657 assets and $328,105,152 liabilities.
Government, Militia, &c. — The State, under the federal constitution, sends two senators to the Congress of the United States, and the most eminent men who have thus represented the commonwealth have been John Quincy Adams, Daniel Webster, Rufus Choate, Edward Everett, and Charles Sumner. The State is also entitled to twelve members of the National House of Representatives.
The executive department of the State Government is confided to a governor, who is aided by a lieutenant-governor, and eight others, representing so many divisions of the State, who, with the governor and lieutenant-governor, constitute the executive council. They are chosen yearly. There are also a secretary of the commonwealth, a treasurer, and auditor. An attorney-general is the State's law officer. The governor, as commander-in-chief of the State militia, has a military staff.
The judges are all appointed by the governor, with the advice and consent of his council, and hold office during good behaviour. The highest court is the supreme judicial court, which has a chief justice and six associate justices. Among the eminent jurists who have been at the head of this court are John Adams, Theophilus Parsons, aud Lemuel Shaw. A superior court, with a chief justice and ten associate justices, was established in 1859. Each county has its own courts of probate and insolvency. Various larger cities and towns have police and municipal courts; while groups of towns have district courts.
The legislative departments are the senate, of forty members, chosen by senatorial districts; and a house of representatives, of two hundred and forty members, chosen by districts within the counties. These two bodies form the general court so-called, which is chosen yearly, and it elects its own officers. It meets in the State House, at Boston, a structure prominently placed on the highest point of land in that city, its dome serving as an apex to the elevation of its sky-line. It was built in 1795-97, but has been enlarged since. Before it are statues of Daniel Webster, by Powers,
and Horace Mann, by Miss Stebbins, and within are Chantrey's toga-draped statue of Washington (placed there in 1828), and Thomas Ball's statue of John A. Andrew, — the latter the most eminent of the recent governors, whose term of service covered the period of the civil war (1861-65), and who acquired the sobriquet of the “great war governor.”
Of the incumbents of the twelve principal offices of the Federal Government, this State has furnished, since the organization under the constitution, 34, — a number exceeded by Virginia (40), Pennsylvania (36), and New York (35).
The enrolled militia (every able-bodied male between eighteen and forty-five years of age in 1880) were 238,762 in number, — the active volunteer militia numbering 334 officers and 4436 enlisted men, organized in two brigades, besides two unattached corps of cadets, one the governor's bodyguard.
History. — It is possible that the coasts of Massachusetts were visited by the Northmen, and by the earliest navigators who followed Cabot, but the evidence is that of conjecture only. Gosnold left the earliest trace of English acquaintance on its shores, when he discovered and named Cape Cod in 1602. Pring and Champlain later tracked them, but the map of Champlain is hardly recognizable. The first sufficient explorations for cartographical record were made by John Smith in 1614, and his map was long the basis — particularly in its nomenclature — of later maps. Permanency of occupation, however, dates from the voyage of the “Mayflower,” which brought about a hundred men, women, and children, who had mostly belonged to an English sect of Separatists, originating in Yorkshire, but who had passed a period of exile for religion's sake in Holland. In the early winter of 1620 they made the coast of Cape Cod; they had intended to make their landfall farther south, within the jurisdiction of the Virginia Company, which had granted them a patent; but stress of weather prevented their doing so. Finding themselves without warrant in a region beyond their patent, they drew up and signed, before landing, a compact of government, which is accounted the earliest written constitution in history. After some exploration of the coast they made a permanent landing, December 21, 1620 (new style), at Plymouth, a harbour which had already been so named on Smith's map in 1616. A subsequent patent from the council for New England, upon whose territory they were, confirmed to them a tract of land which at present corresponds to the south-east section of the State. They maintained their existence as a colony, though never having a charter direct from the crown, till 1691, when, under what is termed the Provincial Charter, Plymouth colony was annexed to Massachusetts.
The Massachusetts Company had been formed in England in 1628 for the purpose of promoting settlements in New England. There had been various minor expeditions, during the few years since Smith was on the coast, before this company, in the Puritan interests, had sent over, in 1628, John Endicott, with a party, to what is now Salem. In 1630 the government of the company, with questionable right, transferred itself to their territory, and under the lead of John Winthrop laid the foundations anew of the Massachusetts colony, when they first settled Boston in the autumn of that year. Winthrop remained the governor of the colony, with some interruptions, till his death in 1649, his first rejection coming from a party of theological revolt which chose Henry Vane (later Sir Henry Vane) to the office. The early history was rendered unquiet at times by wars with the Indians, the chief of which were the Pequot War in 1637, aud Philip's War in 1675-76; and for better combining against these enemies, Massachusetts, with Connecticut, New Haven, and New Plymouth, formed a confederacy in 1643, considered the prototype of the larger union of the colonies which conducted the War of the Revolution (1775-82). The struggle with the crown, which ended in independence, began at the foundation of the colony, with assumptions of power under the charter, — which the colonial government was always trying to maintain, and the crown was as assiduously endeavouring to counteract. Theological variances and differences of political views led to some emigration of the early colonists to Rhode Island. To secure “more room” led others to go to Connecticut, where they established a bulwark against the Dutch of New York. An inroad of the Quakers disturbed their peace for several years, and led to violent laws against all such aggressive dissentients. After more than a half century of struggle, the crown finally annulled the charter of the colony in 1685, and after a brief temporary sway of Joseph Dudley, a native of the colony, as president of a provisional council, Sir Edmund Andros was sent over with a commission to unite New York and New England under his rule. His government was espoused by a small church party, but was intensely unpopular with the bulk of the people; and, before news arrived of the landing of William of Orange in England, the citizens of Boston rose in revolution (1689), deposed Andros, imprisoned him, and re-established their old colonial form of government. Then came a struggle, carried on in England by Increase Mather as agent of the colony, to secure such a form of government, under a new charter, as would preserve as many as possible of their old liberties. Plymouth colony, acting
through its agent in London, endeavoured to secure a separate existence by royal charter, but accepted finally union with Massachusetts when association with New York became the alternative. The province of Maine was also united in the new provincial charter of 1691, and Sir William Phips came over with it, commissioned the first royal governor. He was a native of Maine, a rough sailor, who had got his knighthood because he had raised treasure from a Spanish wreck in the West Indies. He was a parishioner of Mather in Boston, and, it was thought, received the appointment through Mather's influence.
Throughout the continuance of the government under the provincial charter, there was a constant struggle between the prerogative party, headed by the royal governor, and the popular party, who cherished recollections of their practical independence under the colonial charter, and who were nursing the sentiments which finally took the form of resistance in 1775. The popular majority kept up the feeling of hostility to the royal authority in recurrent combats in the legislative assembly over the salary to be voted to the governor. These antagonisms were from time to time forgotten in the wars with the French and Indians, and early in Phips's administration by the unfortunate austerities of the Salem witchcraft delusion. During the earl of Bellomont's administration, New York was again united with Massachusetts, under the same executive. The scenes of the recurrent wars were mostly distant from Massachusetts proper, either in Maine or on Canadian or Acadian territory, although some savage inroads of the Indians were now and then made on the exposed frontier towns, as, for instance, upon Deerfield in 1704, and upon Haverhill in 1708. Phips, who had succeeded in an attack on Port Royal, had ignominiously failed when he led the Massachusetts fleet against Quebec in 1690. The later expedition of 1711 was no less a failure. The most note worthy administration was that of William Shirley (1741-49 and 1753-56), who at one time was the commanding officer of the British forces in North America. He made a brilliant success of the expedition against Louisburg in 1745, William Pepperell, a Maine officer, being in immediate command. Shirley with Massachusetts troops also took part in the Oswego expedition of 1755; and Massachusetts proposed, and lent the chief assistance in, the expedition to Nova Scotia in 1755, which ended in the removal of the Acadians. Her officers and troops played an important part in the Crown Point and second Louisburg expedition (1758).
The beginning of the active opposition to the crown may be placed in the resistance, led by James Otis, to the issuing of writs to compel citizens to assist the revenue officers, followed later by the outburst of feeling at the imposition of the Stamp Act, when Massachusetts took the lead in confronting the royal power. The governors put in office at this time by the crown were not of conciliatory temperaments, and the measures instituted in parliament served to increase bitterness of feeling. Royal troops sent to Boston irritated the populace, who were highly excited at the time, when an outbreak, known as the Boston massacre, occurred in 1770, and a file of the garrison troops, in self-defence, shot down a few citizens among the crowd which assailed them. The merchants combined to prevent the importation of goods which by law would yield the crown a revenue; and the patriots, as the anti-prerogative party called themselves, opened communication with those of the other colonies through “committees of correspondence,” a method of the utmost advantage thereafter in forcing on the revolution, by intensifying the resistance of the towns in the colony, and by inducing the leaguing of the other colonies. In 1773 a party of citizens, disguised as Indians, and instigated by popular meetings, boarded some tea-ships in the harbour of Boston, and, to prevent the landing of their taxable cargoes, threw them into the sea, an act known in history as the “Boston tea-party.” Parliament in retaliation closed the port of Boston, a proceeding which only aroused more bitter feeling in the country towns, and enlisted the sympathy of the other colonies. The governorship was now given to General Thomas Gage, who commanded the troops which had been sent to Boston. Everything foreboded an outbreak. Most of the families of the highest social position were averse to extreme measures, and a large number were not won over and became expatriated loyalists. The popular agitators, at whose head was Samuel Adams, — with whom John Hancock, an opulent merchant, and one of the few of the richer people who deserted the crown, leagued himself, — forced on the movement, which became war in April 1775, when Gage sent an expedition to Concord and Lexington to destroy military stores accumulated by the patriots. This detachment, commanded by Lord Percy, was assaulted, and returned with heavy loss. The country towns now poured in their militia to Cambridge, opposite Boston; troops came from neighbouring colonies, and a Massachusetts general was placed in command of the irregular force which, with superior numbers, at once shut the royal army up in Boston. An attempt of the provincials to seize a commanding hill in Charlestown brought on the battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775), in which the provincials were driven from the ground, although they lost much less heavily than the royal troops. Washington, chosen by the continental congress to command the army, arrived in Cambridge in
July 1775, and, stretching his lines around Boston, forced its evacuation in March 1776. The State was not again the scene of any conflict during the war. Generals Knox and Lincoln were the most distinguished officers contributed by the State to the revolutionary army. Out of an assessment at one time upon the States of $5,000,000 for the expenses of the war, Massachusetts was charged with $820,000, the next highest being $800,000 for Virginia. Of the 231,791 troops sent by all the colonies into the field, reckoning by annual terms, Massachusetts sent 67,907, the next highest being 31,939 from Connecticut, Virginia only furnishing 26,678.
After the outbreak of the war a provisional government was in power till a constitution was adopted in 1780, when John Hancock became the first governor. His most eminent successors have been Samuel Adams (1794-97), Elbridge Gerry (1810-12), Edward Everett (1836-40), and John A. Andrew (1861-66). Governor Bowdoin in 1786 put down an insurrection known as Shay's Rebellion. The Federal Constitution was accepted by Massachusetts by a small majority, and its rejection was at one time imminent. But Massachusetts became a strong Federal State, and suffered heavily under the Embargo Act of 1807, which was laid in the interests of the democratic party. The sentiment of the State was also against the war with England in 1812-14; but much of the naval success of the war was due to Massachusetts sailors. In an apportionment of troops at the time, out of 100,000 Massachusetts was to furnish 10,000, — Pennsylvania with 14,000, New York 13,500, and Virginia 12,000, now exceeding her quota.
During the interval till the outbreak of the civil war of 1861. Massachusetts was foremost in political change or progress. She opposed the policy which led to the Mexican War; but the State sent one regiment (1057 men) into the field, under the command of Caleb Cushing. The Liberty party, forerunner of the Freesoil and Republican parties, arose among her people, led on by such men as William Lloyd Garrison and Wendell Phillips. The Federal domination had been succeeded by the Whig rule in the State, and when its greatest exponent, Daniel Webster, died in 1852, the Freesoil party was gathering force, and after an interval became the Republican party, with new affiliations, which drew off a majority of the old Whig party. This last political organization expired under the operation, — as it lost also its minority by their joining the Democratic ranks. Charles Sumner became the most eminent exponent of the new party, and he became the State's senator in the Federal Congress. The feelings which grew up and the move ments that were fostered, till they rendered the civil war inevitable, received something of the same impulse from Massachusetts which she had given a century before to the feelings and movements forerunning the revolution. When the war broke, it was her troops who first received hostile fire in Baltimore, and, turning their mechanical training to account, opened the obstructed railroad to Washington. In the war which was thus begun, she built, equipped, and manned many vessels for the Federal navy, but during the early years of the conflict she was not allowed any credit for these sailors on her quota of men; and, when allowance was finally made in 1864, she showed a record of 22,360 men who had since 1861 enlisted in the navy. In 1862, out of 300,000 men called for, Massachusetts was required to furnish 15,000. During the war all but twelve small towns furnished troops in excess of what was called for, the excess throughout the State amounting in all to over 15,000 men, while the total recruits to the Federal army were 153,165 men, of which less than 1200 were raised by draft. The State, as such, and the towns spent $42,605,517 19 in the war; and private contributions of citizens are reckoned in addition at about $9,000,000. This does not include the aid to families of soldiers, paid then and later by the State.
Since the close of the war the State has remained generally steadfast in adherence to the principles of the Republican party, and has continued to develop its resources. Navigation, which was formerly the distinctive feature of its business prosperity, has, under the pressure of laws and circumstances, given place to manufactures, and the developing of carrying facilities on the land rather than on the sea.
|VOL. XV.||MASSACHUSETTS||PLATE IX.|
|ENCYCLOPÆDIA BRITANNICA, NINTH EDITION|