BY WALTER L. BOUVÉ.
THE story of the settlement of Hingham and of the struggles, employments, and daily life of her first inhabitants, is one differing but little from that of many other of the older sea-coast towns of New England. Alike in their origin, their religion, and their opinions, similar in their pursuits and experiences, menaced by a common danger, and, with the exception of the Plymouth Colony communities, influenced by the same hopes and purposes and governed by the same laws, it was natural that in their growth and development the little hamlets forming a frequently broken thread from the Merrimac to Buzzard's Bay, should, for a considerable period, bear a strong resemblance to one another. Yet each, from the first, possessed those peculiar characteristics which differences of wealth, the impress of particular families, and the influence of vigorous leaders inevitably create. This individualism was enhanced by the effects of time, of situation, and of interest, and in each grew up the legends, traditions, and local history peculiar to itself.
If those of our own town are devoid of the dramatic and tragic incidents which light up the chronicles of Salem, of Deerfield, of Hadley, and of Merry Mount; if no Myles Standish with his martial figure, no Eliot with the gentle saintly spirit, and no Endicott with fiery speech and commanding will, grace our story, and if no battle-banner like that of a Lexington, a Concord, or a Bunker Hill, wreathes about us the halo of a patriotic struggle, there is nevertheless within the pages of our modest records not a little to awaken the absorbing interest which the tales of the grandfather always bear to those of the younger generations. And the local colorings, if not of unusual brilliancy, still glow for us with all the warmth of the home-hearth, and to the quaint pictures of the olden time the mellowing of change and of years only adds a hallowing light. The chapters, of which this is one, treating of the forefathers and their descendants, from the religious, industrial, social, educational, and public relations in which we find them, are mainly for ourselves and our children, for our and their use and pleasure, prepared with little ambition other than to preserve and transmit a fairly accurate account of the birth and growth of our native town,one which even to this day is typical
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