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Mr. John Stevenson, who received an assignment of part of Mr. Blackstone's real estate, for his kind care of him in his declining years. The death of Mr. Blackstone happened at a critical period—the beginning of the Indian war of 16756. His estate was desolated, and his house and library burned by the natives. These disastrous events, however, he did not live to witness ; they occurred a short time after his decease. He lies buried on classick ground, on Study Hill, where, it is said, “a flat stone marks his grave."
His name, now extinct here, will be found on the first list of freemen of Massachusetts, 1630, and we hope and trust the musing stranger will hereafter find it on some marble tablet of historical inscriptions, by the side of his spring, and the banks of his stream.
Inventory of the Lands, Goods and Chattels of Mr. Wil
liam Blackstone : Taken, May 28, 1675, by Mr. Stephen Paine and others, of Rehoboth.
REAL ESTATE NOT PRIZED.
Sixty acres of land and two shares in meadows in Provi
dence. The west plain, the south neck, and land about the house and orchard, amounting to two hundred acres, and the meadow called Blackstone's meadow.
3 Bibles, 10s.—6 English books in folio, £ 2 £2 10 3 Latin books in folio, 158.—8 ditto large
2 15 15 small quarto, £ 1 17 6.—14 small do. 148. 2 11 6 30 large octavo, £ 4.—25 small do. £ 1 5 5 5 22 duodecimo
1 13 53 small do. of little value
13 10 paper books
ON THE ABORIGINAL PHRASE SHAWMUT.
This note is made in the margin : “This estate (the moveables) was destroyed and carried away by the natives.” Plymouth Colony Records, 1675. Sept. 1822.
ON THE QUESTION-WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THE ABORI.
GINAL PHRASE SHAWMUT?
It is recorded in our annals, “ that the first planters of Massachusetts found but one spring at Charlestown, the water of which was brackish, being overflowed by the tide; that Mr. Blackstone, the first Englishman who had ever slept on the peninsula of Shawmut, going over to Charlestown at this juncture, August, 1630, informed Gov. Winthrop of an excellent spring of water at Shawmut, and invited him over to his side of the river,” &c. &c. Thus far is authentick history. Let us now examine the Indian dialects, in connection with the wants and pursuits of the aborigines.
Water was to them, as it is to all, an article of the first necessity. As they did not dig wells, they travelled far to find springs; the places where they were found became desirable situations, and, according to their migratory habits, occasional places of residence. If the ground were fertile in the vicinity, and fishing stations were at hand, such places became the almost permanent abode of a great aboriginal population. An examination of some of the native dialects affords these results:
Ashim signifies " a spring,” in the dialect formerly spoken by the natives of Mashpee, in the county of Barnstable.
Ashimuit, called also Shumuit, was the name of an Indian village, which existed in former ages, on what is now the confines of Sandwich and Falmouth, where there is a large spring, still the resort of the natives in that vicinity.
Shaume-neck," and Shaume-river," is the record name of Sandwich itself. There is a spring near the
town neck, and there is another near the source of the river or brook which passes through that village.
Shimmuo is the aboriginal name of a place in Nantucket, where an Indian village formerly existed, and where there is a large spring.
Shamouahn is the Micmac name for a water," and for " drink."
These instances, which may be multiplied, are sufficient examples of this aboriginal phrase, in its uses and application. The result seems almost conclusive, that when the spring at Mishawumut, “ a great spring,” was overflowed by the tide, the aborigines were probably in the daily habit of crossing over in their canoes to the opposite peninsula to procure fresh water, where springs were excellent and abundant. Hence the name ShawMUT, fountains of living water.
If it be objected, that this name for a spring does not occur in Éliot's Indian Bible, I can only say, that anomalies are incident to all languages, aboriginal as well as cultivated ; that the words fountain, source, and spring, so different in orthography and in sound, are all used by us in one sense, and applied to one object; that the aborigines have qualifying names for cold, clear, red, white, great springs, as well as civilized man; that wutohkekum, the Massachusetts and Narraganset name for “a spring,” is derived from wuttatash, "drink," and kikegat, “ day,” or “ clearness”—that is, “a clear spring and that the word ashim has a similar origin from wuttatashmuit, in which the compound ideas of " drink" and “a spring” are understood: hence the evident derivations tashmuit,f ashimuit, ashim and shumuit, all meaning the same thing—"a spring.” Sept. 1822.
* Hence Keekamuit," a clear spring,” the aboriginal name of Bristol, R. I.
+ The name of a place in Truro, where the forefathers " first found and drank New England water.' Nov. 1620: The residence of the Rev. Mr. Avery, a former minister of Truro, was in the vicinity of a very copious spring, and which is the Tashmuit part of the township
NOTES ON THE SPRINGS OF BOSTON,
Communicated in connexion with the preceding article.
1639. UNDER this date Wood, an early writer, says" This place (Boston) hath very good land, affording rich corn fields and fruitful gardens; having likewise sweet and pleasant springs.” To which it may be subjoined, that “Spring Lane” derived its name from a copious spring in that vicinity formerly.
A respectable author (the late Rev. Dr. Lathrop) remarks on the springs of Boston, “that on the north, as well as on the south side of Beacon Hill, and on the range of high ground connected with it, many springs are found; and some of them seem to be inexhaustible.” He adds
“ It is to be hoped those hills will be regarded with a kind of religious respect.” * If it be admitted that hills are the reservoirs of springs, what may be the consequence of levelling the hills, as it respects springs? Will they not sink deeper, and occasionally disappear?
Mr. Feron, who analyzed the waters of Boston, says“ The water of Beacon Hill, Charter Street, and some in New Boston, appeared most free from impurities.”
A modern writer on Boston (Shaw) remarks that, in 1800, “ Blackstone's spring is yet to be seen on the westerly part of the town, near the bay which divides Boston from Cambridge.”
* Transactions of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences,
INSTANCES OF LONGEVITY IN NEW HAMPSHIRE,
A list of such Persons in New Hampshire as have at
tained to the one hundredth year of their age, or have exceeded that period; together with a considerable number, who have died between 90 and 100 years.
Time of Decease. 1686, 1689, 1732, 1736, 1739, 1754, 1754, 1765, 1772, 1775, 1775, 1775, 1775, 1776, 1783, 1787, 1788, 1788, 1789, 1790, 1791, 1791,
98 93 116 108 100 110 105 100 100 100 100 103 106 98 93 115 92 91 104 101 100 100 100 100 90 91 92 90