Posts Tagged ‘ boston ’

Historical Cities – Boston and Cambridge, Massachusetts, is now available on Google Maps

Although Norsemen, the French explorer Champlain, and the Dutch all are said to have visited Boston harbor, and Captain John Smith left us a map of it, no actual settlement was made until the 1620’s.  Boston’s first settler was William Blackstone, a recluse of scholarly and probably misanthropic mental cast, formerly a clergyman of the Church of England.  He had built himself a hut on the western slope of what is now Beacon Hill, planting his orchard on what later became Boston Common.  At that time, the wilderness occupied the peninsula, which was about one-third the size of today’s Boston peninsula.  Almost an island, it jutted out into the bay, joined to the mainland by a long, narrow neck like the handle of a ladle.  It was a mile wide at its widest, three miles long, and the neck was so narrow and so low that at times it was submerged by the ocean.  Blackstone’s realm was bounded on the west by a mud flat (the Back Bay); on the north by a deep cove (later dammed off to make a mill pond); on the east by a small river which cut off the North End and made an island of it, and by a deep cove (later known as the ‘Town Cove’); and on the south by another deep cove.  Here, the disillusioned clergyman read his books, farmed a little, traded a bit with the Indians, and breathed air uncontaminated by any other white man.

His idyllic solitude was rudely shattered after four or five years, however, by the arrival of John Winthrop with a company of some eight hundred persons who settled in what is now Charlestown.  Their miseries were many.  The water at Charlestown was brackish, and their settlement could not easily be defended against Indian raids.  Blackstone visited them and was melted by the spectacle of their plight.  He invited them to come across to his peninsula and the company eagerly accepted his hospitality.  This occurred in 1630, the year of the birth of Boston.

Winthrop’s settlers called it ‘Trimountain,’ possibly because of three hills later known as Beacon Hill, Copp’s Hill, and Fort Hill.  The first year familiarized the Englishmen and their families with the rigors of the New England climate.  It was too late to plant crops and more than two hundred died of starvation and exposure.  The following spring, a ship laden with provisions, long overdue, dropped anchor in the bay, and a famine was averted.  Fisheries were established, and fir and lumber created an export market.  Within four years, more than four thousand Englishmen had emigrated to Boston and its vicinity.  Twenty villages developed out of the peninsula town to form a Puritan Commonwealth.

The settlement soon became the capital of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, governed by a theocracy which rigidly dictated to citizens in matters of religious dogma and private conduct.  Dissenters were persecuted.  Roger Williams and his Quaker followers were driven out, as were Anabaptists and Antinomians (latter led by indomitable Anne Hutchinson”.  When Quakers returned, they were severely punished.  In 1659 and 1660, three men and one woman were executed on Boston Common for thus offending.  Nevertheless, culture and education were valued by Puritans.  In 1635, General Court established the first free school in Boston.  About the same time, Harvard University was created in nearby Cambridge.

Never much of a farming community, the city prospered greatly as a port and trading center.  In 1631, a Boston-built vessel, the tiny Blessing of the Bay, was launched, and from then on shipbuilding continued as an important industry until the American Civil War era.  After the Stuart restoration in England in 1660, Boston, which had actively sympathized with the regime of Oliver Cromwell, became the scene of monarchical reprisals.  In 1684, the Court of Chancery, sitting in the Town Hall, voided the original colonial charter.  Governor Andros, sent by King James II, established a virtual dictatorship.  He attempted to break down the religious and political monopoly of the Puritans by widening the franchise and establishing the right of free worship.

Boston put on a curtain-raiser to witchcraft hysteria in 1688, but suffered the ravages of the persecution less than neighboring towns.  That was largely because, when an epidemic broke out in full force in 1692, sinister accusations were leveled at the wife of Governor Phipps.  Phipps, naturally enough, thereupon bore down on witch baiters.  By this time, Boston’s population had grown to 7,000.  The city’s trade boomed mightily with the development of the Rum-Slave-Molasses traffic triangle.  By 1666, 300 ships, mostly Boston-owned, piled out of port.  In 1691, a royal governor was sent.  In 1733, the Molasses Act was passed, but the Colonial merchants had virtually free trade until 1764.  That year, Grenville began the vigorous enforcement of the mercantilist measures.  From then on, friction increased rapidly and the Colonies developed a burning sense of grievance.

The Boston Massacre (1770) on King Street (now State) occurred in the shadow of the old State House.  News of the British advance on Lexington and Concord was semaphored to Paul Revere by the glimmer of a lamp which swung from the belfry of the Old North Church.  The rafters of Faneuil Hall rang with the impassioned oratory of champions of liberty.  The Old South Meeting House was the point from which fifty men disguised as Indians rushed to Griffin’s Wharf where British merchantmen rocked idly in the harbor, their holds crammed with East Indian tea (1773).  It was the Boston Tea Party which confronted the British cabinet with the choice of capitulation or force, replied to by the Port Act, which marked the beginning of a policy of coercion and led swiftly to open warfare.  The battle of Bunker Hill in nearby Charlestown was one of the early engagements of the war.  Boston was regarded by the British as a most important objective, and the failure of the siege and the evacuation of the city by the Redcoats was the first serious blow to Tory confidence.

The American Revolution left Boston with its population reduced from 25,000 to 10,000 and its commerce ruined.  The discovery of new trading possibilities in the Orient offered an opportunity which enterprising Yankee merchants were quick to perceive.  The development of the China trade and the exploitation of the Oregon coast rich in sea otters restored Boston to its former eminence.  Wealth poured into the coffers of merchants, traders, and shipmasters.  In 1780, 455 ships from every quarter of the globe docked in Boston Harbor, while 1200 vessels engaged in coastwise traffic out of Boston.

Boston’s maritime prosperity was stimulated by the wars between England and France which followed the accession of Napoleon.  However, the Jefferson Embargo and the War of 1812 seriously crippled the city’s maritime development.  Although she recovered, and the era of the clipper made Massachusetts famous throughout the world, the War of 1812 really marked the beginning of the end of Boston’s maritime supremacy.  Thereafter, manufacturing and industry gradually supplanted commercial interests.

boston_1903            In 1822, Boston became a city.  Railroads were built from 1830 and played an important part in urban development.  The first horse car line, connecting Cambridge and Boston, was built in 1853.  Between 1824 and 1858, the Boston peninsula was enlarged from 783 acres to 1801 acres by cutting down the hills and filling in the Back Bay and the great coves with the excavated gravel as a basis for reclamation.  The Neck, which William Blackstone could not always cross on foot because of the tidewater, was raised and broadened, so that what was once the narrowest part of Boston proper is now the widest.

During the era between the American Revolution and the American Civil War, Boston ideas underwent a parallel transformation from the provincial to the urban.  Stimulated by European currents of thought and the philosophy of the frontier, Boston began to revolt against the theology of Calvin, a revolt typical of the democratic spirit of the nineteenth century.  Unitarianism threatened to dissolve the entire system of Puritan Congregationalism.

Nowhere was the reforming spirit more active than in the anti-slavery movement.  William Lloyd Garrison had no respect for the interests of cotton, whether expounded by planters or manufacturers.  He invaded Boston and founded the Liberator in 1831, and was rewarded in 1835 with physical violence at the hands of a mob partly composed of Boston gentility.  Boston played a less important role in the Civil War than in events preceding it.  Unable to meet the prescribed quota of soldiers by voluntary enlistment, the city fathers first employed the draft in 1863, precipitating the Boston Draft Riots.  The poorer classes, irritated when their rich neighbors purchased immunity from compulsory service for the sum of three hundred dollars, objected so strenuously that the militia was called out to quell the disorders.

Although some Bostonians had indicated a reluctance to support the Northern cause during the war, the celebration of peace left little to be desired.  A coliseum seating 30,000 people was erected near the site of the Copley Plaza Hotel housing an Angel of Peace, thirteen feet high, together with an extinguished torch of war, frescoes, doves, and angels, medallions, emblems and flags, as well as the largest bass drum in the world, constructed for the occasion.  By the end of the nineteenth century, Bostonians could boast of other things in addition to a thriving industry and commerce.  Boston had at least two much-touted claims to fame: John L. Sullivan, the greatest fighter of his time, and the first passenger-car subway in America, a two-mile stretch from Arlington and Boylston Streets to the North Station.  The last horse car was discarded in 1910.  An elevated railroad pushed into the suburb of Forest Hills in 1910.

Historical Cities-Boston and Cambridge, MA on Google Maps

More guides and eBooks are available at www.autotrails.net

 

Updated Catalogue of eBooks (.epub, .pdf, etc)

Historical Cities-Minneapolis & St. Paul, Minnesota
Ebook Price: $1.99 USD. 17100 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on January 12, 2011
This edition in the Historical Cities series explores the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, Minnesota. From the early days of the Native American, French, and Scandinavian settlers to the growth in the early part of the last century, this guide explores the historic sites and landmarks of both cities. Reference maps and GPS coordinates for all listed sites are included.

Slow Travels-Tennessee
Ebook Price: $1.99 USD. 101790 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on January 7, 2011
This is the Tennessee edition of the Slow Travels series. U.S. Highways 11, 25, 31, and 70 are followed through the State, examining a cross-section for Tennessee and providing a wealth of historical information along the way. Reference maps and GPS coordinates for all listed points of interest are included.

Slow Travels-Kentucky
Ebook Price: $2.99 USD. 82220 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on December 17, 2010
This edition in the Slow Travels series explores U.S. Highways 25 (Covington to Tenn Line), 31W (Louisville to Tenn Line), 41 (Ohio River near Owensboro to Tenn Line), and 68 (Maysville, KY to Paducah). Over 450 Historic sites and landmarks are described along these routes, and reference maps and GPS coordinates for all listed sites are included.

Historical Cities-Los Angeles
Ebook Price: $1.99 USD. 48320 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on December 13, 2010
This edition of our Historical Cities series explores the city and county of Los Angeles, including the surrounding environs of Beverly Hills, Hollywood, Santa Monica, Long Beach, San Pedro, and Pasadena. Over 230 historical sites and landmarks are provided with historical background and GPS coordinates. Reference maps provide simple navigation aids.

Historical Cities-Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Ebook Price: $2.99 USD. 54040 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on November 16, 2010
This edition of the Historical Cities series explores Philadelphia, the birthplace of the United States. Over 200 historical sites and landmarks are provided for walking tours of the city center and in the surrounding districts. Text is based on the work of the Federal Works Project of the 1930’s and 40’s. All sites have been verified and located with GPS coordinates.

Slow Travels-Mississippi
Ebook Price: $2.99 USD. 63960 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on November 8, 2010
Slow Travels-Mississippi explores the history of the state along U.S. Highways 45, 61, 80, 82, and 84. Based on the American Guides Series of the 1930’s and 40’s, this guide includes up to date directions, reference maps, and GPS coordinates for all listed sites. Explore Vicksburg, Natchez, Jackson, and all the history inbetween.

Slow Travels-Arkansas
Ebook Price: $2.99 USD. 47890 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on October 18, 2010
This edition explores the State of Arkansas, retracing U.S. Highways 61, 67, 70, 71, and 79 throughout the state. Each highway includes historic sites and landmarks, background information combed from the American Guide Series of the 1940’s updated for the present-day traveler, reference maps, and GPS coordinates for all listed sites.

Historical Cities-New York City
Ebook Price: $2.99 USD. 64750 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on October 8, 2010
This edition of the series explores the boroughs of New York City: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, the Bronx, and Staten Island. Over 600 historical sites are described within, based on the WPA 1939 Guide to New York City. Along with historical text of each site, borough histories, reference maps, and GPS Coordinates are included. Travelers and residents alike will find enjoyment and education.

Historical Cities-San Antonio, Texas
Ebook Price: $0.99 USD. 7870 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on August 28, 2010
The San Antonio edition of Historical Cities explores the multi-national past of this south Texas city. Fifty-one historic sites and landmarks in the city’s downtown and surrounding area are explored. A concise history is also provided. Reference maps for the downtown and San Antonio’s environs are included, along with GPS coordinates for all listed historic sites.

Slow Travels-Louisiana
Ebook Price: $1.99 USD. 66960 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on August 22, 2010
This version of Slow Travels-Louisiana takes the driver on an historical journey through Louisiana. U.S. 61 follows the Great River Road from Miss. to New Orleans, U.S. 80 retraces the Vicksburg, Shreveport, & Pacific Railroad from Vicksburg to the Texas Line, U.S. 84 explores the old Texas Road from Natchez to Logansport, and U.S. 90 retraces the Old Spanish Trail through Southern Louisiana.

Slow Travels-Nevada
Ebook Price: $1.49 USD. 69880 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on August 14, 2010
Slow Travels-Nevada explores the historic sites along the routes of U.S. Highways 6, 40, 50, 93, and 95 through the Silver State. Based on the American Guide Series of the 1930’s and 40’s, these sites include abandoned mining camps, scenic rivers and canyons, as well as the cities of Reno and Las Vegas. Reference maps and GPS coordinates are included.

Slow Travels-California
Ebook Price: $1.99 USD. 101950 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on July 25, 2010
The updated version of Slow Travels-California explores this State’s history along the present and previous routes of U.S. Highways 40, 50, 60, 99, and 395. Come explore the rich and varied history of the Golden State. This guide provides in-depth information about historic sites, landmarks, and legends along California’s highways. Maps and GPS Coordinates for listed sites are included.

Historical Cities-Savannah, Georgia
Ebook Price: $1.49 USD. 7460 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on July 2, 2010
Historical Cities-Savannah explores the rich history of Savannah, Georgia, and over 45 historic sites and landmarks within the city. A walkable map is included, as well as GPS coordinates for all listed historic sites. The history of Savannah and the background information for each site are based on the American Guides of the 1930’s and 40’s.

Historical Cities-Baltimore, Maryland
Ebook Price: $0.99 USD. 8680 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on July 2, 2010
Historical Cities-Baltimore explores the history of Baltimore and over 50 of its historic sites. The background text is based on the American Guides of the 1930’s and 40’s. Guide maps are provided for walking and driving tours, and GPS coordinates for listed historic sites are also included.

Slow Travels-Virginia
Ebook Price: $1.99 USD. 128720 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on June 19, 2010
This guide explores Virginia and its history on U.S. Highways 11, 15, 17, 50, and 60, as well as the Blue Ridge Parkway and Skyline Drive. Historical text for each site and landmark along the highways are derived from the American Guides of the 1930’s and 40’s. Reference maps and GPS Coordinates for all listed sites are included.

Slow Travels-Blue Ridge Parkway
Ebook Price: $1.99 USD. 19090 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on June 14, 2010
This edition of the Slow Travels Series commemorates the 75th Anniversary of the beginning of the Blue Ridge Parkway construction. The segments of the parkway are separated into the Virginia and North Carolina sections. This guide is not intended to be a history of the Blue Ridge Parkway, but a guide to the history which lies along it and in the surrounding region.

Slow Travels-Georgia
Ebook Price: $1.99 USD. 158630 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on June 4, 2010
U.S. Highways 17, 23, 41, and 27 travel the state from north to south, and U.S. 80 and 84 explore from the Atlantic to the Alabama State Line. Along these highways, historic sites and landmarks are laid out for the leisure driver to enjoy. Entertaining and educational, these guides are for both the individual traveler and the entire family. Maps and GPS Coordinates are provided.

Slow Travels-Florida
Ebook Price: $1.99 USD. 82120 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on May 30, 2010
This edition of Slow Travels follows U.S. Highways 1, 27, 90, and 301 through the State, examining a cross-section of Florida and providing a wealth of historical information along the way. Also included is U.S. Highway 41 along the Tamiami Trail. Maps provide a reference guide, and GPS Coordinates are listed at the end of each route. Look for others in the series at http://www.americanautotrails.com.

Slow Travels-South Carolina
Ebook Price: $1.99 USD. 43190 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on May 16, 2010
This installment of the Slow Travels series explores the Palmetto State of South Carolina. The routes followed in this exploration are U.S. Highways 17, 25, 52, and 178. From the Atlantic Coast, including Charleston, Myrtle Beach, Beaufort, and Hilton Head, to the Cherokee Piedmont on the North Carolina State Line, South Carolina’s history is unveiled along these routes.

American Auto Trails-South Carolina’s U.S. Highways 25 and 178
Ebook Price: $0.99 USD. 20260 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on May 8, 2010
This edition in the American Auto Trails series explores U.S. Highways 25 and 178 through the western side of South Carolina, from the Cherokee Foothills along the North Carolina Line to the Low Country along the Savannah River. Driving Maps as well as GPS Coordinates for all listed Historic Sites are included.

Slow Travels-North Carolina
Ebook Price: $1.99 USD. 60130 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on April 30, 2010
This edition of Slow Travels explores North Carolina. U.S. 1 hosts from Virginia, through Raleigh to Rockingham. U.S. 17 parallels the Atlantic through the state’s Albemarle to Cape Fear. U.S. 52 bisects the state from the upper Piedmont to the Pee Dee River. U.S. 70 travels from the Atlantic to the Blue Ridge. Finally, the Blue Ridge Parkway travels the crest of the Appalachians.

American Auto Trail-North Carolina’s U.S. Highway 1
Ebook Price: $0.99 USD. 8930 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on April 29, 2010
This edition of the American Auto Trails series explores U.S. Highway 1, America’s Main Street, as it crosses the state of North Carolina from north to south. Along its journey, it passes through the capital of Raleigh and past the industrial mines which produced coal and gold. A Driving Map and GPS Coordinates for all listed historic sites are included.

American Auto Trail-North Carolina’s U.S. Highway 17
Ebook Price: $0.99 USD. 15830 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on April 29, 2010
This edition of the American Auto Trails series travels the Ocean Highway, as U.S. 17 is also known as, through the Albemarle region of North Carolina, inland of the Outer Banks and Albemarle Sound. This territory is rich in American Colonial history, with many references to the sailing trade which once flourished here. A Driving Map and a list of GPS Coordinates for all listed historic sites.

American Auto Trail-North Carolina’s U.S. Highway 70
Ebook Price: $0.99 USD. 22190 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on April 29, 2010
This edition in the American Auto Trails series explores the route of U.S. 70 across North Carolina, from the coastal town of Atlantic to the Smoky Mountains on the Tennessee State Line. U.S. 70 travels through the heart of the state, connecting the cities of Raleigh, Durham, Greensboro, Winston-Salem, and Asheville. Driving maps and GPS Coordinates are provided for all listed historic sites.

Historical Cities-New Orleans, Louisiana
Ebook Price: $0.99 USD. 4890 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on April 25, 2010
This edition in the Historical Cities series explores the French Quarter and surrounding area of New Orleans. Simple to use maps provide make a walking tour of the city’s historic sites entertaining and educational. GPS coordinates are provided for the more tech savvy user. More than 50 sites are identified, with text backgrounds based on the 1930’s and 40’s American Guide Series.

Historical Cities-Boston, Massachusetts
Ebook Price: $0.99 USD. 10290 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on April 24, 2010
This guide contains historical sites and landmarks for the city of Boston, as well as the adjacent Cambridge and Charlestown areas. It is not intended to be all inclusive, although future editions will follow with additional listings. In all, close to 90 sites are listed within this guide, along with detailed maps to assist in locating them. At the back of the guide is a table of GPS coordinates.

Historical Cities-San Francisco, California
Ebook Price: $0.99 USD. 6950 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on April 23, 2010
This edition in the Historical Cities series explores landmarks and sites within the city of San Francisco. Over 50 sites are divided into the east and west side of the northern end of the Peninsula. Maps and GPS coordinates are included.

Historical Cities-Providence, Rhode Island
Ebook Price: $0.99 USD. 11840 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on April 23, 2010
This edition of the Historical Cities series explores the many historical sites and landmarks of Providence, Rhode Island.Over 85 historical buildings, sites, houses, and other landmarks are described with detailed backgrounds and easy-to-use walking and driving maps. GPS coordinates are also provided for the more tech savvy traveler. Historical information is based on the American Guide Series.

Historical Cities-Charleston, South Carolina
Ebook Price: $0.99 USD. 6060 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on April 23, 2010
The proverbial powder keg of the American Civil War, Charleston also claims a rich history reaching back to the early days of the American colonies and beyond. Descriptions are derived from the extensive information provided in the American Guide Series of the 1930’s and 1940’s, and GPS coordinates are located at the end of the guide for the more technically proficient.

Historical Cities-Chicago, Illinois
Ebook Price: $0.99 USD. 14570 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on April 23, 2010
This installment in the Historical Cities series explores the varied ethnic and industrial history of Chicago. Over 70 historical points of interest are described, in the Loop as well as the North, West, and South Sides. Historical backgrounds are based on the American Guides series of the 1930’s and 40’s. GPS coordinates are provided for those who would like to plan out their own tour.

Historical Cities-Newport, Rhode Island
Ebook Price: $0.99 USD. 17870 words. Non-Fiction by Lyn Wilkerson on April 20, 2010
This edition in the Historical Cities series explores the colonial seaport of Newport, Rhode Island. Over 75 historical sites and landmarks are identified with historic backgrounds and maps providing easy navigation to each site, by both on foot and by car.