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Orchards were there formerly large and productive ; but have become old and decayed, and the setting and rearing of young trees has been too much neglected. The inhabitants are now however beginning to turn their attention to the reproduction of apple orchards, as well as to more delicate fruits, such as pears, cherries and peaches, which have been also very much neglected. They find more care and cost necessary to produce a good orchard now, than formerly when the land was new.
The wood of the forest is also various; white oak, walnut, red oak, and black or yellow oak, being most common among the hard wood of the uplands; and maple, beach, black birch, hornbeam, ash and elm, among those of the swamps and low lands. There is abundance of white pine also both on the uplands and in the swamps; and hemlock and pitch pine are also to be found in various parts of the town. There are also cedar swamps, which furnish the inhabitants with fencing timber. Much of their cedar, however, is derived in the south and east part of the town from the “major's purchase,” or great cedar swamp in Pembroke. Great quantities of timber, planks, boards, shingles, wood and coals, are carried from this town annually to Taunton, and the several shore markets extending from Plymouth to Weymouth, and some even to Boston. The price of wood in the town is from two to four dollars a cord.
Manufactures and Mechanics. Notwithstanding Bridgewater has the reputation abroad of being a very good agricultural town, and might therefore be supposed to be almost wholly engaged in husbandry, yet it is among the first manufacturing towns in the state. Being large, some parts are more agricultural than others, and different pursuits occupy different portions of it. The west and north parishes are more employed on their farms, while in the other parishes there are more mechanics and manufacturers. This is probably owing to there being more mill seats in the easterly and southerly part of the town. In the easterly part of the town indeed there are but a few, who depend wholly on their farms for subsistence. Most of those, who are not mechanics
and manufacturers, are engaged occasionally in making wrought nails, or in procuring timber, planks and boards for the neighbouring markets, particularly at Kingston and the north river, between Pembroke and Hanover, or in carrying wood and coals to market. There are also a great number of mechanics in the town employed abroad as house-wrights and mill-wrights. Perhaps no other town furnishes so many of the latter class. It also abounds in iron workers of various descriptions. There were formerly more wrought nails made there, than in any other town in the commonwealth. The second slitting mill, erected since the revolution, and the oldest now standing in New-England, is in this town. Since the manufacturing of cut-nails commenced, the making of wrought nails has very much declined, but many tons are still manufactured there annually. The making of anchors, scythes, other edged tools, and small arms, is carried on there also to a considerable extent.
There are now in the town three forges, two slitting mills, two anchor shops, four trip-hammer shops, three nail factories, one air furnace, two cotton and woollen factories, two fulling mills, eleven grist mills, and eighteen
The late Hon. Hugh Orr introduced many branches of manufactures into the town, and was the friend and promoter of all. He was born in Scotland, January 13, 1717, and came over early in life and settled in the east parish, where he died December 1798, in the 82d year of his age. A particular account of his manufacturing improvements may be seen in the 9th vol. of the Hist. Coll. page 264.
Militia. Bridgewater with Abington constitutes a regiment. There are nine companies in the town, two of which are light infantry and grenadiers. There is besides a company of cavalry and part of a company of artillery, The men enrolled, rank and file, in the several parishes are as follows. West 116-South with Titicut 145—East 192 -North 126.
Bridgewater, Feb. 12, 1818.
BIOGRAPHICAL NOTICE OF Rev. PETER WHITNEY, A. M. AND
S. H. s.
THE Rev. Peter Whitney was born at Petersham, September 6, 1744. His father was the Rev. Aaron Whitney of that place.* He was educated at Harvard College, and took his first degree in 1762, and on the 4th of November, 1767, was ordained as the pastor of the Church in Northborough. He continued in the ministry to the period of his decease, February 29, 1816.
Few men gave in life a fairer exemplification of the virtues and graces of a Christian minister, as these are portrayed by the apostle, than the subject of this biographical sketch. His disposition was mild and benevolent; he possessed urbanity of manners, and was “given to hospitality.” He was the friend of the poor and distressed, and “ready to every good work.” As a Theologian he was catholic. Disapproving an exclusive spirit among the disciples of the same Master, in his ministerial and christian intercourse he readily extended his charity to all, who by their lives evinced that they loved “ the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity and truth.' His method of preaching was evangelical, and his sermons partook of the mild and charitable spirit of the gospel. He was attentive to the various duties of his office, and unwearied in their performance; and, wherever his agency was directed, he manifested a disposition to diffuse the kindly influences of our religion.
Industrious in his habits, Mr. Whitney found time to labour for the publick beyond the strict line of his profession. Having previously printed a number of occasional sermons,f in 1793 he published “ a History of the
Rev. Aaron Whitney was the first minister of Petersham, where he was ordained Dec. 1738, and continued in the ministry till Sept. 8, 1779, when he died in the 66th year of his age.
+ Two Sermons on the dark aspect of affairs, July 2, 1774.
County of Worcester.”—Correct in its dates, and authentic in its facts, its utility is acknowledged by all who become acquainted with its merits. It is a book to which recourse is frequently had ; and it should be found in the library of every gentleman who desires to make himself acquainted with the first settlement and subsequent growth of the county. This publication brought the author into the notice of our literary institutions, and in consequence he was elected a member of the Historical Society of Massachusetts. With much care Mr. Whitney bad collected materials to amend and enlarge his History, and had nearly put them into form for a second edition : we hope that it will be presented to the publick for the benefit of his family
Mr. Whitney had the happiness to be connected with a people truly christian and generous, who ever manifested towards him their attachment, sympathy and benefi
In the former part of his ministry his dwelling, with his library and a great part of his manuscripts and household furniture were consumed by fire. On this occasion, they very generously administered to his relief; and at no subsequent period did they cease from their friendly and benevolent attention to him and his family.
Mr. Whitney passed his long ministry in perfect peace and harmony both with the church and society. At his death he left but one male who was a member of the church at his ordination; and but one couple, who at that period were married.
Having filled up the measure of his life, having been active and useful unto the end, encircled with domestic endearments, possessed of the affection and esteem of the people of his charge, and respected by numerous and valuable friends and acquaintances, Mr. Whitney, without suffering the pain of disease or the decrepitude of age, was gathered to his fathers in peace.
A Funeral Discourse occasioned by the death of Mrs. Sumner, the wife of the Rev Joseph Sumner, D. D. Feb. 16, 1810.
Also Charges, and the Right Hand of Fellowship at several ordinations : and" Ap Account of a singular Apple-tree, &c." in the first volume of the Memoirs o the American Academy.
ACCOUNT OF THE BOOKS AND MANUSCRIPTS, LATELY DEPOSITED
BY THE OLD South CHURCH AND SOCIETY IN THE LIBRARY
FOR this rare collection the publick are indebted, originally, to the Rev. Thomas PRINCE, of Boston. That well known chronologist was indefatigably engaged, for more than fifty years, in collecting books, pamphlets, and manuscripts, relating to New England. By the labels in some of his books it appears, that he commenced this collection as early as the year 1703, when he was a student at Harvard College. While in Europe, from 1709 to 1717, he assiduously pursued this object. In England and on the continent he found books and tracts relative to America, which could be found no where else. From his collections he compiled “A chronological History of New England in the form of Annals.” It was his intention, that it should contain “a summary and exact account of the most material transactions and occurrences relating to this country, in the order of time wherein they happened, from the discovery by Capt. Gosnold in 1602, to the arrival of Governor Belcher in 1730.” He published a small volume of this work in 1736 ; but, enlarging his plan beyond what was stated in the proposals, and becoming tedious by the minuteness and extent of his introductory chronology of the world, he did not receive sufficient encouragement for a second volume. This, indeed, was attempted in successive numbers, three only of which were ever published. The volume brought the Annals to 1630; the three succeeding numbers brought them to 1633. These three numbers, containing an accurate account of three of the first years of New England, subsequent to the settlement of Massachusetts, having become very scarce, are reprinted in this volume of the Collections of the Historical Society.
From 1758, the year of Mr. Prince's death, to this time, a period of sixty years, no person has entered into