Lowell, Massachusetts, MA, 1852

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Instructions for searching. Volume 1, Issue 3. Twenty-six miles northwest from Boston, on the banks of the Merrimack at its confluence with the Concord, is situated the city of Lowell,—the Spindle City, the Manchester of America. The Merrimack, which affords the chief water-power that gives life to the thousand Lowell of Lowell, takes its rise among the White Mountains, in New Hampshire, its source being in the Notch of the Franconia Range, at the base of Mount Lafayette.

For many miles it dashes down toward the sea, known at first as the Pemigewasset, until finally its waters are ed by the outflow from Lake Winnipiseogee, and a great river is formed, which, in its Lowell of several hundred feet, offers immense power to the mechanic. Past Penacook the river glides, its volume increased by the Contcocook; through fertile intervales, over rapids and falls, past Suncook and Hooksett, it comes to the Falls of Amoskeag, where Lowell's fair rival is built; thence onward past Nashua, to the Falls of Pawtucket, where its waters are thoroughly utilized to propel the machinery of a great city.

The men are still living who have witnessed the growth of Lowell from an inconsiderable village to a great manufacturing city, whose fabrics are as world-renowned as those of Marseilles and Lyons, or ancient Damascus. With the dawn of American history, the Penacooks, a tribe of Indians, were known to have occupied the site of Lowell as their favorite rendezvous.

Here the salmon and shad were caught in great abundance by the dusky warriors. Passaconaway was their first great chief known to the white man, and he was MA as leader by many neighboring tribes.

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He was a friend to the English. Before the coming of the Pilgrims a great plague had swept over New England, making desolate the Indian villages. Added to the terrors of the pestilence, which was resistless as fate to the children of the forest, was the fear and dread of their implacable enemies, the fierce Mohawks of the west. The spirit of the Indian was broken. InPassaconaway renounced his Lowell as an independent chief, and placed himself and his tribe of several thousand souls under the protection of the colonial magistrates.

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The following year the work of settlement swept onward, crowdingin upon the cornfields of the red men; and Eliot, caring for his charges, procured the passage of an act by the General Court reserving a good part of the land on which Lowell now stands to the exclusive use of the Indians. InMajor-General Daniel Gookin was appointed superintendent of all the Indians under the jurisdiction of the Colony. By his fair dealing he won their entire confidence.

They had good friends in Judge Gookin and the Apostle Eliot, who were ever ready to protect them from encroachments of their neighbors. InPassaconaway relinquished all authority over his tribe, retiring at a ripe old age, and turning over his Massachusetts of sachem to his son Wannalancet, whose headquarters were at Penacook. Numphow, who was married to one of Passaconaway's daughters, was the chief for some years Massachusetts the village of Pawtucket.

In downtown Lowell Massachusetts

InWannalancet, Lowell dread of the Mohawks, came down the river with his whole tribe, and located at Wamesit, and built a fortification on Fort Hill in Belvidere, which was surrounded with palisades. The white settlers of the vicinity, catching the alarm, took refuge in garrison-houses. Inthere were at Wamesit fifteen families, or seventy-five souls, enumerated as Christian Indians, aside from about two hundred who adhered to their primitive faith in the Great Spirit.

Numphow was their magistrate as well as chief, his cabin standing near the Boott Canal.

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The log chapel presided over by the Indian preacher, Samuel, stood at the west end of Appleton Street near the site of the Eliot Church. Wannalancet held his court, as sachem, in a log cabin near Pawtucket Falls. King Philip's War broke out in Wannalancet and the local Indians, Massachusetts to the counsels Lowell Passaconaway, took sides with the settlers, or remained neutral. Between the two parties they suffered severely. Some were put to death by Philip, for exposing his des; some were put to death by the colonists, as Philip's accomplices; some fell in battle, fighting for the whites; some were slain by the settlers, who mistrusted alike praying and hostile Indians.

During the following year,the able-bodied Indians of Wamesit and Pawtucket withdrew to Canada, leaving a few of their helpless and infirm old people at the mercy of their neighbors. Around their fate let history draw the veil of oblivion, lest the present generation blush for their ancestors. The Indians of those days, like their descendants, had no rights which the white men were bound to respect. During the war the white settlers were 1852 for protection MA garrison-houses. Billerica escaped harm, but Chelmsford was twice visited by hostile bands and several buildings were burned.

Two sons of Samuel Varnum were shot while crossing the Merrimack in a boat with their father. A month later it was reinforced and the command entrusted to Captain Thomas Henchman. This proved an effectual check to the incursions of marauding Indians. When the war was over, Wannalancet returned with the remnant of his tribe, to find the reservation in possession of the settlers. The tribe was placed on Wickasauke Island, in charge of Colonel Jonathan Tyng, where they remained until their last rod of land had been bartered away, when they retired to Canada and ed the St.

Francis tribe. Colonel Tyng and Major Henchman purchased of the Indians all their remaining interest in the land about Pawtucket Falls. During the nine years of King William's War, which followed the Lowell Revolution ofthe people of Chelmsford and neighboring towns again took refuge in forts and garrison-houses.

Major Henchman had command of the fortification at the Falls. August 1,a hostile raid was made into Billerica and eight of the inhabitants were killed. August 5,fourteen inhabitants of Tewksbury were massacred. Colonel Joseph Lynde, from whom Lynde Hill in Belvidere derives its name, was in command of a force of three hundred men who ranged through the neighboring country to protect the frontier. The town of Dracut was incorporated in It contained twenty-five families, and was set off from Chelmsford.

The Wamesit purchase was divided into small parcels of land and sold to settlers.

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Samuel Pierce, who had his domicile on the Indian reservation, was elected a member Massachusetts the General Court, inbut was refused his seat on the ground that he was not an inhabitant of Chelmsford. Accordingly the people of the reservation refused to pay taxes to the town of Chelmsford until an act was passed legally annexing them to the town.

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The place was afterward known as East Chelmsford. The year is memorable for MA great earthquake which occurred on October 29, and did considerable damage in the Merrimack valley. At the battle of Bunker Hill two companies of Chelmsford men were present, one under command of Captain John Ford, the other under Captain Benjamin Walker; and one Lowell composed largely of Dracut men was under Captain Peter Colburn. Captain Ford had served ly at the siege and capture of Louisburg, in When the first man in his company fell at Bunker Hill, an officer prevented a panic by singing Old Hundred.

When closely pressed by the British, and the ammunition had been exhausted, Captain Colburn, on the point of retreating, threw a stone at the advancing enemy and saw an officer fall from the Massachusetts. Colonel Simeon Spaulding, of Chelmsford, was an active patriot during the Revolution and did good service in the Provincial Congress.

During Shays' Rebellion, ina body MA Chelmsford militia under command of General Lincoln served in the western counties. The people of Chelmsford, from the earliest settlement, gave every encouragement to millers, lumbermen, mechanics, and traders, making grants of land, and temporary exemption from taxation, to such as would settle in their town. It became distinguished for its sawmills, gristmills, Lowell mechanics' shops of various kinds.

Billerica, Dracut, and Tewksbury gave like encouragement. Toward the close of the last century the lumbering industry on the Merrimack grew into prominence; and, inDudley A. The fall of thirty-two feet was passed by four sets of locks. The first bridge across the Merrimack was built, inby Parker Varnum and associates; the Concord had been bridged some twenty years earlier.

Inthe proprietors of the Middlesex Canal were incorporated. Loammi Baldwin, of Woburn, superintended the construction. The canal began at the Merrimack, about a mile above Pawtucket Falls, extended south by east thirty-one miles, and terminated at Charlestown. It was twenty-four feet wide and four feet deep MA was fed 1852 the Concord River.

For forty years it was the outlet of the whole Merrimack valley north of Pawtucket Falls. The competition of the Middlesex Canal ruined the Pawtucket Canal, as it in turn, in after years, was ruined by the Boston and Lowell Railroad. finally ceased on its waters insince which date its channel has been filling up and its banks have been falling away. InMoses Hale, whose father had long before started a fulling-mill in Dracut, established a carding-mill on River Meadow Brook,—the first enterprise of the kind in Middlesex County.

Inthe bridge across the Merrimack was demolished and a new bridge with stone piers and abutments was constructed. It was a toll-bridge as late as The second war with England stimulated manufacturing enterprises throughout the United States; and several were started, depending upon the water-power of the Concord River.

InCaptain Phineas Whiting and Major Josiah Fletcher erected a wooden cotton-mill on the site of the Middlesex Company's mills, and were successful in their enterprise. John Golding, in the same neighborhood, was not so fortunate. The year is memorable for the most disastrous gale that has devastated New England during two centuries; it was very severe in Chelmsford. The sawmill and gristmill of the Messrs. Bowers, at Pawtucket Falls, was started in InMoses Hale started the powder-mills on Concord River. The following year Oliver M. Whipple and William Tileston were associated with him in business.

Inthe firm opened Whipple's Canal. The business was enlarged from time to time and was at its zenith during the Mexican War, when, in one year, nearly five hundred tons of powder were made. The manufacture of powder in Lowell ceased in Inalso, came Thomas Hurd, who purchased the cotton-mill started by Whiting and Fletcher and converted it into a woolen-mill.

He soon enlarged his operations, building a large brick mill near the other. He was the pioneer manufacturer of satinets in this country. His mill was destroyed by fire and rebuilt in About this time he built the Middlesex Mills Canal, which conveyed water from the Pawtucket Canal to his satinet-mills, thus affording additional power. His business was ruined in by the reaction in trade; and two years later the property passed into the hands of the Middlesex Company.

The year also brought Winthrop Howe to town. He started a mill for the manufacture of flannels at Wamesit Falls, in Belvidere, and continued in the business untilwhen he sold out to Harrison G. Howe, Massachusetts introduced power-looms, and who, in turn, sold the property to John Nesmith and others in In the year a new bridge across the Concord River was built to replace the old one built in About this time the dam across the Concord at Massic Falls was constructed, and the forging-mill of Fisher and Ames was built.

The works were extended inand continued by them untilwhen the privilege was sold to Perez O. Born in Boston, October 20, Died in Lowell, April 21, Inthe capabilities of Pawtucket Falls for maintaining vast mechanical industries were brought to the attention of a few successful manufacturers, who readily perceived its advantages and hastened to purchased the almost worthless stock of the Pawtucket Canal Company. Boott, visited the canal, which Lowell now controlled, perambulated the ground, and planned for Massachusetts future.

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February Massachusetts,these gentlemen and others were incorporated as the Merrimack Manufacturing Company, with Warren Dutton as president. The first business of the new company was to erect a dam across the Merrimack at Pawtucket Falls, widen and repair Pawtucket Canal, renew the locks, and open a lateral canal from the main canal to the river, on the margin of which their mills were to stand.

Lowell, Massachusetts

Five hundred men were employed In digging and blasting, and six thousand pounds of powder were used. The canal, as reconstructed, is sixty fee wide and eight feet deep. The first mile of the company was completed and started September 1, The first treasurer and agent was Kirk Boott, a man of great influence, who left his mark on the growing village.

Paul Moody settled in the village in 1852, and took charge of the company's machine-shop, which was completed in Ezra Worthen was the first superintendent. The founders of the Merrimack Company contemplated from the first the introduction of calico-printing. In this Massachusetts were successful, inwhen John D. Prince, from Manchester, England, took charge of the Merrimack print-works. Prince was assisted Lowell the chemist, Dr. Samuel L. Dana; and together they made the products of the mills famous in all parts of the globe. Inthe old Locks and Canals Company of was re-established as a separate corporation, with the added right to purchase, hold, sell, or lease land and water-power, and the affairs of the company were placed in the hands of Kirk Boott.

Inthere were in the villages of East Chelmsford, Belvidere, and Centralville, about two hundred and fifty inhabitants. Whipple's powder-mills and Howe's flannel-mill were then in operation, and there were several sawmills and gristmills.

Lowell, Massachusetts, MA, 1852

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