National Geographic : 1953 Jun
here-which is called Bos ton," and then went on to things dear even to a Puritan heart: food, her neighbors, and her clothes. "At first," she wrote, "I could not eat the bread made from ye maise-but now I find it verry good. It makes a verry whole some porridge ... we have berries of divers kinds and beanes, and have planted some punkins . . . "Elder Brewster is in good health, but his hair is white like ye snow. Love and Wrestling Brew ster are both married, and are fine men." Brewster's sons were not alone among the May flower's passengers in be ing oddly named. With Love (of God, presum ably) and Wrestling, shortened to "Wrastle" (with the Devil) were Re member Allerton, Re solved White, Humility Cooper, and Desire Min ter. Left behind in Hol land were Fear and Pa tience Brewster. Mistress Fletcher con cluded her letter: "I think a woman should always Chain and look faire to her lord-so Shakespeare lies bh I pray that you will-if preserved. Near by the chance cometh-send first college honors t me my taffeta skirt"! That three-century-old bit of paper re minded me that the feminine founders of New England may not have been so distant from their modern sisters as we sometimes think. Boston's First Three Residents The namesake of that little Boston on England's North Sea coast to which Lydia Fletcher referred quickly became a focal point for New England life. How many among the world's great cities can name their first three inhabitants? Bos ton can! All were members of the Church of England, and so remained apart from both Pilgrim and Puritan settlements: William Blaxton (Blackstone), hermit of Beacon Hill; Samuel Maverick, described in 1638 as "the only hospitable man in all the Countrey, giving entertainment to all Comers gratis"; and Thomas Walford, blacksmith, who lived in a "palissaded house." When the Winthrop expedition arrived, Blaxton's little house was somewhere near the 833 Locked Case Protect Stratford's Bible uried in Holy Trinity Church, where this 1611 Bible is stands the home of Katherine Rogers. New England's he name of her son, John Harvard (page 815). corner of Beacon and Spruce Streets in pres ent-day Boston. There he lived as a recluse, happy with his precious library, his pigs and goats, his roses and vegetables. Around him on Beacon Hill he could gather wild straw berries, blueberries, and grapes. From his Indian friends he could obtain oysters, clams, and lobsters. Blaxton's attachment to the Church of Eng land-he had taken orders in it-made him unpopular with many of the Puritan new comers. Probably the fact that he wore his "old canonical gown" did not improve matters. Moreover, he seemed to prefer the company of the Indians to that of his fellow English men. After the Puritan swarm had planted its towns across the Bay Colony-changing the name of Blaxton's own Shawmut to Boston he must often have thought of the days when he had Beacon Hill to himself. Boston was "full of Girles and Boys sporting up and downe, with a continued concourse of people."