Tuesday, September 29, 2009
Prior to that time, Lakeville, had been an integral part of Middleborough, being administered secularly from the meetinghouse at the Green and ministered to spiritually by the First (and then only) Congregational Church of Middleborough. Taxes paid by residents of Lakeville, or West Middleborough as it was then known, went to the support of the ministry at Middleborough.
Following 1700, when the area that would become Lakeville came to be settled more heavily, residents of the area expressed mounting dissatisfaction with the distance between themselves and the parish church and meetinghouse at the Green and, in 1719, they, in conjunction with residents of eastern Taunton, called for the creation of a new parish. Based upon the merits of their argument, their petition was granted by the Massachusetts General Court on June 16 of that year, which ordered that "the tract of land, being part of Middleborough and Taunton, and surveyed and platted by Capt. Tomson, be and hereby is erected into and granted to be a Precinct" to be known as the Middleborough and Taunton Precinct. The portion of Middleborough included within the new precinct correlated closely to the earlier Sixteen Shilling Purchase through which the English in 1675 had acquired the greater portion of present day Lakeville from its Native inhabitants.
Despite its legislative approval, the new precinct's existence remained tenuous during its first several years as a parish independent of Middleborough. A vote on August 26, 1719, by the precinct confirmed the Commonwealth's decision to establish a new parish within the prescribed bounds. The first need of the new precinct was for a meetinghouse and the same August meeting named Edward Richmond "agent to go to Boston to discourse with those gentlemen that have the trust of that money for which they have to dispose of towards the upholding of the worship of God among the Indians, and to see if they will give us any of it towards the building of a meeting-house for them and us, and also towards the maintaining of a minster among them and us."
The meeting at which this vote was taken was adjourned to October 6, and the reconvened meeting voted to construct a 28 foot wide by 30 foot long meetinghouse upon land of Thomas Joslen on Rhode Island Road near the intersection of present day Precinct Street. Though the site selected for the meetinghouse was situated at the center of the settled portion of the district, the area had no name and consequently became known as Precinct. A tax of ten pounds to be collected by March 31, 1720, was levied for the project, and each man within the precinct was required to contribute three days labor towards the building of the structure.
While the necessary funds may have been collected, there was some disagreement concerning the proposed location of the church, and the following spring, another meeting of the precinct held April 15, 1720, voted to erect the building "18 rods westerly from the corner of Thomas Joslen's fence that now stands by the [Rhode] Eiland road."
The initial wave of enthusiasm for the new precinct seems to have cooled rapidly, likely because of the financial demands it was beginning to make upon the residents who lived within its bounds. The much discussed meetinghouse was not built, no minister was named and there are no records of another meeting until March 28, 1723, when the precinct was compelled to meet by an order of the legislature. That meeting debated the wisdom of the earlier decisions of 1719 and 1720 to organize as a precinct, but ultimately in a 9 to 4 vote, the precinct moved to reaffirm its previous actions. Despite residents' renewed consensus upon organizing as a precint, progress towards creating a meetinghouse and naming a pastor continued to remain slow. Not until November 22, 1723, were Ebenezer Williams, Nathaniel Southworth and Henry Hoskins named a committee to "take care and raise the meeting-house forthwith upon the place fixed by the General Court's committee ...."
Southworth and Edward Richmond were also named a committee to engage a minister for three months, beginning March 1, 1724. The two men were empowered to offer twelve pounds and board to a ministerial candidate, "unless the committee can agree for less."
Clearly, the precinct was searching for a bargain minister who not surprisingly was not forthcoming. Though by September, 1724, the precinct had found its minister in the person of Benjamin Ruggles, it had had to offer Ruggles the large sum of seventy pounds yearly salary to engage him. On November 4, 1724, the precinct formally accepted Ruggles as their pastor and he was ordained as such the following year, serving the precinct until December, 1753.
During Ruggles' ministry, the boundaries of the precinct were reduced, and came to closely resemble the boundaries of modern Lakeville. Under the terms of the 1719 act which had created the Middleborough and Taunton Precinct, that portion of East Taunton which was incorporated into the precinct was to remain so for a period of only a few decades, prompting the Precinct to oppose the further loss of more of its members in 1747. "When our Precinct was granted, a small part of Taunton was annexed and set off for a term of years, and now that term is out and if that small part should go away from us," as well as additional others, "then our Precinct must fall and break up from being a Precinct .... "
Though the temporarily annexed portion of Taunton was set off from the precinct shortly thereafter, the precinct did survive. In April, 1853, when the Town of Lakeville was created by the Massachusetts legislature, its boundaries were established in remarkable conformity to that portion of the Middleborough and Taunton Precinct lying within the Town of Middleborough, an area which had taken its first independent steps from the mother town in 1719.
"Middleboro' and Taunton.", plan of land drawn by Captain Jacob Tomson, 1718, reprinted from Thomas Weston, History of the Town of Middleboro, Massachusetts (Boston: Houghton, Mifflin and Company, 1906), page xix.
This 1718 survey by Captain Jacob Tomson became the basis for the creation of the Middleborough and Taunton Precinct. Included in addition to the area of the Sixteen Shilling Purchase were the Native lands at Titicut and a portion of Taunton. The establishment of the precinct in 1719 marked the beginning of Lakeville's evolution as a town separate and distinct from Middleborough.
Originally published in "Recollecting Nemasket", Middleboro Gazette, 2002
Monday, September 28, 2009
Brockton Enterprise, "War Over Milk Cans", July 23, 1913, and "Middleboro", July 24, 1913
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Recreational automobiling in the 1890s quickly indicated the lack of laws regulating it. The "new-fangled" contraption was notorious for raising dust, "spooking" horses - and worse. In 1894, the Bridgewater Independent was reporting wild times (and aggrieved residents) at Titicut: "Automobile drivers have been making a nuisance of themselves by riding on the sidewalks at North Middleboro, and as the town could not prevent it under existing laws, a new ordinance was adopted last week with a penalty of $20 attached, for its infraction."
The numerous accidents and consequent restrictions placed upon automobiling did not deter its earliest enthusiasts who included among them Fletcher L. Barrows of Middleborough. Barrows, son of Middleborough shoe manufacturer Horatio Barrows, was an avid sportsman at the turn of the last century, well known for his love of hunting, fast horses, sleek boats and outdoors activity. Considering his interests and wealth, it is perhaps not surprising then that Barrows owned the first automobile in Middleborough, an expensive luxury at the time. Acquired in April, 1900, the vehicle was a steam-powered machine purchased at Boston. While the make of this first Middleborough automobile is not known, a number of automobile makers based in New England (then a center of the growing automotive industry) were producing steam-powered vehicles when Barrows made his purchase, including Stanley Motor Carriage Company (Newton, MA; "Stanley" Steamer), the Overland Wheel Company (Chicopee Falls, MA; "Victor" Steam Car), Waltham Automobile Company (Waltham, MA; "Waltham" Steam car); Grout Brothers (Orange, MA); and Edward S. Clark Steam Automobiles (Dorchester, MA).
Friday, September 25, 2009
Donald Keyhoe, The Flying Saucers Are Real, cover illustration, 1950.
Flying saucers (and more broadly unidentified flying objects) were very much the focus of media attention at the time of Mrs. Kelley's report on May 8, 1950. Books such as Keyhoe's work as well as purportedly scientific studies fueled public speculation regarding the existence of such phenomena which in turn prompted reports like that made in Middleborough at the time. There was no later indication as to what Mrs. Kelley may actually have seen flying over East Middleborough in the spring of 1950.
Brockton Enterprise, "Flying Saucer is Seen at Middleboro", May 9, 1950.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
"Cranberry Picking on Cape Cod", postcard, early 20th century
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
In 1904, the National Child Labor Committee was established to promote "the rights, awareness, dignity, well-being and education of children and youth as they relate to work and working". As part of the committee's work, child labor conditions in a wide range of industries, including agriculture, were investigated and documented through both reports and photographs in an effort to strengthen federal child labor laws. One particular field of study was the cranberry industry, and noted photographer Lewis Wickes Hine (1874-1940) documented child workers on the Eldridge Bog in nearby Rochester, Massachusetts, as well as in New Jersey and Wisconsin. In his work, Hine found children as young as three years old being employed to harvest berries during the September and October picking seasons.
"5-year-old Rosie Passeralla, 1116 Annan Street, Philadelphia. Been picking here two years. Whites Bog, Browns Mills, N. J. Sept. 28, 1910. Witness E. F. Brown. Location: Browns Mills, New Jersey." [National Child Labor Committee Collection, U. S. Library of Congress].
Monday, September 21, 2009
Sunday, September 20, 2009
A recent examination of the cupola of the Middleboro town house, discloses the fact that it has settled from two to three inches on one side. To prevent damage to the building, which not many years ago was erected at a cost of over $50,000, it will be necessary to get the cupola back to place. [Old Colony Memorial, January 24, 1885, p. 4]
Accordingly, in the winter of 1885, repairs were made within the building's superstructure in order to realign the cupola over the building:
Workmen have straightened up the cupola of the town house, in Middleboro, and secured it in position. It was concluded it was thrown out of plumb by the settling of the building and not from effects of heavy gales. [Old Colony Memorial, March 12, 1885, p. 4]
Despite the best efforts of workmen in 1885, and later, the cupola has been continued to shift torsionally, essentially twisting under its own weight. Though the shift has been relatively minimal, it nonetheless remains noticeable to this day, and the tower sits slightly askew relative to the main building below.
Middleborough Town Hall Cupola, photograph by Michael J. Maddigan, May 27, 2006
Old Colony Memorial, January 24, 1885, p. 4; March 12, 1885, p. 4.
Friday, September 18, 2009
Thursday, September 17, 2009
John Tomson was one of the earliest English owners of what is now East Middleborough and presumably the first settler of Halifax where his original house was located on present-day Thompson Street just north of the Winnetuxet River.
Tomson (his descendants would later adopt the "Thompson" spelling) would become an iconic figure as the original settler of Halifax, as progenitor of the large Thompson family of Halifax and Middleborough, and as commander of the Middleborough garrison during King Philip’s War. Particularly in the century between 1835 and 1935, Tomson’s legacy would be nurtured through the publication of two genealogies (1841, 1890), the establishment of a Thompson family association in 1893, the efforts to erect a monument at his gravesite in Nemasket Hill Cemetery in 1893-94 and 1911, the unveiling of a memorial tablet at the site of his second Halifax home (1934), and countless other efforts. Relics associated with Tomson, including the infamous long gun which Isaac Howland used to kill a Native at the start of King Phillip's War, were equally revered and once prominently displayed in local historical collections.
One of Tomson's descendants, identified only as M. F. T., recorded not only the perspective of the family but that of the communities of Middleborough and Halifax in the following words which were written in 1855 and reflected the generally high historical regard in which John Tomson was held:
He was, if tradition speaks truth, as good a specimen of the ancient puritan fathers as could well be furnished by the times in which he lived. Kind, generous, humane, forebearing, and to sum up every virtue in three words, a consistent christian. He well deserved the reputation and the name by which he was always called, viz: "Good John".
Helping foster this 19th century view of John Tomson were two genealogies published during the 1800s by Tomson descendants. Ignatius Thompson was a grandson of John Tomson who left many handwritten notes regarding the family and who is stated to have remembered the funeral of Tomson's widow, Mary (Cook) Tomson. While his Genealogy of the Descendants of John Thomson, Who Landed in the Month of May, 1622 (1841) provides an early foundation for recording the family's history and is remarkable for having been published at what is a relatively early date for local genealogical studies, it is flawed by a number of inaccuracies. Better and more comprehensive is Charles Hutchinson Thompson's A Genealogy of Descendants of John Thomson of Plymouth, Mass. (1890) which corrects and updates the family record. Links to both of these sources (which may be read and searched in their entirety) have been added in the sidebar.
Namasket Gazette, "A Legend of Winnatuxet" [sic], September 14, 1855, p. 1.
Thomson, Ignatius. A Genealogy of John Thomson, Who Landed in the Month of May, 1622. Taunton: E. Anthony [printer], 1841.
Thompson, Charles Hutchinson. A Genealogy of the Descendants of John Thomson of Plymouth, Mass. Lansing, MI: Darius D. Thorp [printer], 1890.
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
The School Street engine house was built to house Hook & Ladder Company No. 1 which had been only recently organized at the time. The Fire District appears initially to have leased the land upon which the building stood, for it was not purchased until May, 1859, when the owners, Perkins, Leonard & Barrows, which operated a shoe manufactory on the corner of School and Center Streets, sold the back 200 square feet of their lot.
Though the School Street station played an invaluable role in the provision of fire services throughout the Fire District, this role was sometimes overshadowed by the engine house's social aspect. Its second floor "Engine Hall" hosted numerous social functions throughout the years, including the firemen's ball. At one point, in 1873, drinking in the hall had to be banned by the Fire Engineers "on account of the barbarous actions of young men from out of town." This seems to have been an exception, for the entertainments provided were generally sedate and in keeping with the dignified nature of the department.
Over the years, the School Street station housed a number of hand-drawn companies. The last were the Enterprise Hook & Ladder Company No. 1, Chemical Engine No. 1, and Central Hose Company No. 1. Beginning in 1912, however, the Middleborough Fire Department initiated a conversion to motorized apparatus when it acquired its first motorized engine (and its first new addition since 1889) in the form of a Knox combination engine. The Knox Combination No. 1, became the showpiece of the department. Housed at the School Street house, the Knox made redundant and replaced both the chemical engine and hose company stationed there.
The recognized need for a second motorized engine coupled with eventual dissatisfaction with the district’s Knox model prompted Chief Engineer Carlton W. Maxim to develop his own combination fire truck. This model, which Maxim designated simply as Model F, became the first Maxim-built engine and was proudly delivered to the Middleborough Fire Department in 1914, to be housed at the Oak Street station.
In the autumn of 1914, proposals were made and ultimately adopted for the rationalization and centralization of Middleborough's fire services. The School Street engine house was enlarged by a one-bay addition on its south side in 1915 at which time the original portion of the structure was remodeled and updated. The Maxim Combination No. 2 was relocated into the newly renovated building from Oak Street, as was the fire alarm equipment, and the Oak Street house was abandoned, as were the other engine houses, thereby conferring upon the School Street building the status of "Central Fire Station." (The East Main Street fire house was sold in 1920 and its Oak Street counterpart in 1923).
Apparently, however, when the alterations were made to the School Street facility, neither the Maxim's length nor the street's width at that point (40 feet) had been duly considered, leading to an unanticipated problem: "There is not room enough for the truck to make the turn from the street." The matter was resolved in time, and the engine house, despite its age and wood frame structure became noted as "one of the best appointed fire stations of any place in this part of the state."
The School Street engine house witnessed the complete motorization of the department when in 1915 the aging hand-drawn Enterprise Hook & Ladder was replaced by a motorized Maxim "Cities Service" truck. At this time, the Middleborough Fire Department was one of the area's first completely motorized fire departments.
Sadly, however, the School Street engine house soon afterwards began showing signs of its advanced age, particularly its floor which sagged under the combined weight of three engines and was propped up by makeshift timbers. The condition of the firehouse touched off a discussion concerning its continued viability and prompted repair work in 1923 by local contractor George Starbuck. Eventually, a decision was taken to replace the School Street engine house with a new Central Fire Station, erected on North Main Street in 1926.
The souvenir program for the dedication of the 1926 station recalled its predecessor: "The real veteran of the department is the School Street station, ... now battle-scarred and supported by a veritable forest of timbers and posts in its basement, and now after three score and ten years gracefully laying down its responsibilities, and yielding up to its handsome and spacious successor the duty and privilege of housing the thoroughly up-to-date department of 1926."
Following its abandonment by the fire department in 1926, the School Street engine house serve a variety of purposes which were documented in Mertie Romaine's History of the Town of Middleboro:
The building was used in 1928 by Alvin C. Howes and Dr. Willard Howes of Detroit who operated the Howes Manufacturing Company which made microscopic slides. When they vacated, it became the home of E. W. Peirce Post 8, Grand Army of the Republic, the members having been forced to look for a new home after demolition of Peirce Academy in 1932. At the advent of World War II, the Post shared its quarters with Middleboro Chapter of American Red Cross. Both floors of the old building were filled with workers busy rolling bandages, making compresses, packing finished articles for shipment overseas, working day and night to provide the hospital supplies so vitally needed in those harrowing days of war. [Romaine:566].
Following a period of disuse, the School Street engine house was pulled down in 1958.
School Street Engine House, photograph, c. 1930
This snapshot of the facade of the School Street Engine House depicts the original gable-roofed two and one-half story 1855 building on the left and the flat-roofed 1915 addition to the right. Built in an age of hand-drawn "engines", the fire house was constructed close to the street, too close in fact to permit the motorized Maxim engine which was housed there after 1915 to be turned easily into School Street.
School Street Engine House, photograph, c. 1930
Romaine, Mertie E. History of the Town of Middleboro, Massachusetts. (Middleborough, MA: Town of Middleborough, 1969).
Monday, September 14, 2009
J. & G. E. Doane, hardware dealers, advertising trade card, Mayer, Merkel & Ottman, lithographers, New York, late 19th century
Cousins Jeremiah and George Emerson Doane succeeded to the Middleborough hardware and tin business of George's father, George Hobbs Doane, upon the elder Doane's death in 1880. Following Jeremiah's death in 1903, the business was conducted solely by G. E. Doane, occupying a prominent location on South Main Street. In 1938, following George's own death, the business was acquired by Geroge A. Shurtleff. Doane's Hardware, particularly under the guidance of George Doane, was noted for its remarkably creative advertising in contrast to the more mundane example depicted above from the firm's earlier years.
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Daughter of the chieftain,
Long descended, hail I
Thee the lineal ruler
Of these natal wildwoods.
The Satucket River
And her bordering valleys
And the hills above them
Crowned by Wonnocooto
Claim their pristine monarch.
Spindles of the cornfield
To the Indian heavens,
Silent and unanimous,
Raise in attestation.
Every year the flowers,
With traditional memory
Of they great grandsire
And new childlike wonder,
Open to behold thee.
And the great-eyed squirrel
In the sinewy oak top,
Mindful of thy fathers,
Holds the acorn breathless
Watchful of thy fingers.
I, too, lore instructed,
See the awful moccason
On thy foot imperial,
And dread Metacomet
Rises up in vengeance.
In the flying car train
Sitting at a window
Looking on the woodland,
Thoughts of Ousamequin
Smooth thy troubled forehead.
Merciful and pitying
Was the mighty peace king
Sent to make it easy
For the band of pilgrims
Driven to thy forests.
In thy crown of feathers,
Thou art going silent
On the Assowamsett;
To the Reservation
Held by old tradition;
And thy aged mother
Looking from the cabin.
Gone to the Ponemah
We shall miss you absent.
When the sparrow twitters
Then we will remember
Thee, O Chic-chic-chewee.
And when fairs are crowded
On the Nunckatesett,
Then thou, Indian maiden,
Shalt appear in vision
From the isles of chieftains.
Saturday, September 12, 2009
Daughter of Long Line of Royalty.
Last Scion of Heroic Family Lives in Lakeville.
Of Majestic Height and Carriage and Proud of Her Descent.
A lineal descendant of kings, a claimant of the title of princess, lives near the quiet little city of Lakeville, on Lake Assawampsett, which is one of the most charming of those many small bodies of water that form what is known as the lake region of Massachusetts, says the New York herald. She, for it is a woman of whom I speak, is no renegade or exiled pretender. Her own people acknowledge her claim to the royal name and station. She lives on the soil that she and they look upon as hers in immemorial rights. In the very rooms which her ancestors have made famous in history and in legend, and in the midst of an alien race who have dispossessed her and hers. They are the parvenus, the usurpers, the false claimants, not she.
To those barbarians she is content to be known as Melinda Mitchell, condescending to acknowledge the dull, unromantic, commonplace conditions which have resulted from their coming. But to her own people she is the Princess Teweelema. In the same way her great kinsman, King Pometacom, consented in times gone by to drop that significant and euphonious name for the meaningless Philip, making the new name glorious among his own, and terrible to his foes. It as as the nearest heir of that regal and regnant character and the direct descendant of his father, the almost equally famous King Massasoit, chief Sagamore of the Wampanoags, that she has a birthright to her title and a right acknowledged even by the strangers’ lawless law to the very land on which she and hers reside. This is known as Betty’s Neck, named after one of its former owners, Assowetough, whom the English ignobly called Betty. It is a long high strip of land, situated on the south shore of lake Assawampsett. Here, under the shade of the primeval trees which sheltered their ancestors, live the last pitiful remnants of the opnce powerful tribe of the Wampanoags, and here, in their midst, in a small house sequestered and well nigh hidden by dense woodland, dwell the princess, her mother, Mrs. Mitchell, and her sister, Charlotte, whose Indian name is Wootonekanuske.
Proud of their descent and tenacious of the right of exclusiveness claimed by royalty and its heirs the world over, the members of this small family are averse to notoriety and unwilling to receive visits of mere curiosity from members of the race they have reason to distrust and fear. But through the genial influence of the firend who accompanied me, I have had the honor and pleasure of being received by them.
Our three gracious hostesses were Indians to the core, with rich brown skin, high cheek bones, flashing eyes, and straight, lithe and graceful figures, and possessed, moreover, of much natural and acquired refinement, both of speech and manner.
Shorter in stature than her daughter, Mrs. Mitchell has settled into the fleshy solidity of age. In spite of her 89 years she is hardly feeble in body, although her mind is somewhat blighted. She has a motherly, winning face, with kind eyes and a friendly mouth; but when we listened to her pleasant tones we realized that her greatest charm was her voice, so soft, so sweet, so mellow, and then so strong, so incisive and so indignant.
Melinda, or the Princess Teweelema, is something past 50. Of most majestic height and carriage, her picturesque appearance is much enhanced by her complete Indian attire and the crown of beads and feathers which she always wears upon her stately head.
When questioned concerning this insignia of royalty, she says in explanation, “I am the daughter of a king.” And as the words leave her lips there comes over her fine face a look of mingled sorrow and scorn that she is denied her birthright and forbidden her heritage. Her voice is resonant and under good control, her gestures are at all times well chosen and dramatic. She was educated at Abington, Mass., as was also her sister Charlotte, or Wootonekanuske.
Charlotte’s Indian name was given her in honor of the wife of King Philip, and she does no discredit to the “beloved wife of Philip of Pokanoket,” who was a sister of Weetamoe, the unfortunate squaw sachem of Pocassett.
While of less distinguished appearance than her sister Melinda, Charlotte Mitchell possesses in large degree the air of proud and pathetic resolution which so characterizes her mother and Teweelema, and although she was most cordial in her welcome, her domestic duties soon called her and we could hear her busy in the little lean-to kitchen, or flitting with light step through the dining room. Once or twice she stood for a moment in the curtained doorway and chatted with us.
Mrs. Mitchell responded most willingly to all our inquiries. Teweelema stood beside her, correcting now and then a date, with beautiful and charming deference. It was more than touching to watch the look of expectant recollection in the old woman’s face as she endeavored to recall, sometimes fruitlessly, the incidents of her past life, and we could tell whether the memory for which she was groping was glad or sad by the deepening lines in her expressive face.
She told of the evolution of their home on the Neck, which, starting as a canvas tent, has reached the culmination in a comfortable but small house. It was with a proud sweep of her arm that she called our attention to their present cosey [sic] surroundings; then, with scarcely a breath between, she reverted to her school teaching in Boston when she was a young woman. Suddenly her face grew hard and stern, as she spoke of cords and cords of wood cut upon her woodland by the agents of the state, for which the commonwealth still refuses to reimburse her. As her voice rose in the passion of remembered and existing wrong, her aged figure seemed to assume majestic proportions and her dull eyes blazed. It was then that Teweelema stepped forward, and placing a quieting hand upon her mother’s shoulder, brought her to tranquility and forgetfulness.
In reply to a question concerning their famous lineage, Teweelema, her hand still resting upon her mother’s shoulder, replied, with uplifted head, and slow distinct enunciation:
“My mother is the grandchild of Massasoit, seven generations removed, and the niece of King Philip, six generations removed. Her descent is through Amie, the daughter of Massasoit, who married Tuspaquin, the Great Black Sachem. My mother is also, through Assowetough, or Betty, the sixth generation in lineal descent from Sassacus, the earliest chief of the Pequot tribe.”
Being somewhat surprised at the number of pretty baskets piled in one corner of the dining room, we were told that they were made to sell at the harvest moon festival at Onset. This is well known as the summer rallying place of the Spiritualists of the United States, and is but a few miles from the home of the Mitchells and within sight of Gray Gables. It is presumably under Indian control, and spirits of departed chiefs and braves are said to appear on the streets on the night of the harvest festival, or, to give it its full title, the harvest moon festival and pow-wow of Indian spirits, so that the general Indian atmosphere especially permeating the place at that time makes the sale of Indian trinkets easy and lucrative.
Teweelema is the traveling salesman for the little family. When she goes upon a commercial trip she arrays herself in her bravest Indian finery, and makes a circuit of the nearby towns, in each of which she is a well known figure.
We were especially fortunate, a few days later, in seeing her at Onset, on the afternoon of the harvest festival, gorgeous in scarlet and yellow, and beads and wampum, her fur trimmed leggings reaching to her embroidered skirts, her long, black hair floating free beneath her crown of beads and feathers, and her bodice nearly covered by the many strands of large beads which formed her necklace.
In these days of intense realism, when one’s sensibilities are coerced into a forgetful apathy, a bit of romance is as warming to one’s heart as a blazing fire on a brisk December day, and what could be more romantic when the thought of this Indian princess living unwedded, because, as she says, “would the daughter of a king wed one of the race which robber her fathers?” – and there seems to be no fit mate for her – none unless, indeed, it be the materialized spirit of an Onset chief.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
The picture with its comforting emphasis on family and home presents an idyllic view not wholly accurate at the time.
"School 'Daze' Again", Harold M. Lambert, photographer, mass-produced church service program cover, First Baptist Church of Middleborough, September 6, 1953