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AT the beginning of the last century and well towards its fifties lumbering, fishing, ship-building and whaling were the principal industries of New England. On most of the harbours, upon many of the navigable rivers and creeks, could be heard the sound of the caulker's maul at work on vessels large and small, schooners, sloops, barks, and clippers in all stages of construction. Few there are who thought these days would ever return, but time often plays strange tricks. Those who travel between New York and Boston, or between Boston and Portland or beyond, can see from the car windows ships on the ways at many a small town that has heretofore been asleep for years, but that now bustles with the activities of ship-building. Often five or six ships side by side may be seen, -- ships of a different build from those of the older days, but capable of again carrying the names of New England merchants, New England captains, and New England towns into the harbours of the world as did the clippers of almost a century ago. To-day from the Atlantic to the Pacific ships are being launched at a greater rate than ever before in the history of this country.
It is because of this renaissance in maritime affairs that the State Street Trust Company this year has prepared another pamphlet which smacks of the sea. This brochure contains a short account of the lives of some of Boston's merchants and captains who did so much to build up the commercial interests of Boston and New England, and who helped to make the Eastern States a synonym for daring business enterprise and skilful seamanship.
There are many other merchants and captains of Boston who ought to be included in this pamphlet, but it has been impossible to do so owing to the limited space, and also 'because of the fact that the compilers were unable to find sufficient information concerning many of them. In next year's brochure the State Street Trust Company hopes to include other Boston merchants and captains, with stories or anecdotes concerning their lives, and would therefore very much appreciate it if any one having any diaries, information, or stories in regard to members of their families, would be so kind as to confer with the officers of the Company.
It hopes that an insight into the old days may prove interesting, and will carry the reader back to the time when the shores of Boston were alive with ships just arrived or about to sail; when the "counting-houses" -- for they were never called offices -- covered the wharves; when shipping held the centre of interest on State Street and Commercial Street; and when at almost any hour of the day could be seen on Telegraph Hill, at Hull, from the cupola on Central Wharf, and from the cupola on the Old State House the signals announcing a new arrival in the harbour.
The Company also hopes that these stories and deeds of our ancestors will prove an inspiration to the youths of to-day to choose the sea as their calling, and to help man the large fleet of merchant vessels that the Government will own after the war, and which all loyal Americans, even those living in the inland States, vow know should be kept under our flag for the, future welfare and protection of our country. England's large merchant marine helped to prevent her from starving, and also made it possible for the United States to turn the tide of battle by assisting in carrying abroad two-thirds of the American Army up to August 15, 1918. Americans must therefore realize the value of the merchant marine to this country, in peace and in war, and should see that Congress passes laws that will enable our ships to live on the seas on a basis comparing favorably with those of other countries.
To the following persons who have rendered much valuable assistance in compiling this pamphlet the State Street Trust Company desires to extend its thanks: Captain Arthur H. Clark, Otto Fleischner and other officers of the Boston Public Library; Charles F. Read of the Bostonian Society; Robert B. Smith of the Marine Museum; Francis R. Allen, Edwin F. Atkins, Louis Bacon, W. P. Barker, Charles A. Barry, T. Dennie Boardman, Robert A. Boit, F. B. C. Bradlee, John IC. Burgess, George E. Cabot, Samuel Cabot, Samuel W. Comstock, Horace S. Crowell, Henry W. Cunningham, Frederic Cunningham, Mrs. E. A. Dolliver, Captain Oscar G. Eaton, William C. Endicott, Chester Guild, William F. Halsall, Alpheus H. Hardy, Arthur Sherburne Hardy, Charles A. Hardy, Miss Susan W. Hardy, Augustus Hemenway, Augustus Hemenway, Jr., Paul K. Hisada, Osborne Howes, Prof. T. Makino, Prof. Mizusaki, Lester H. Monks, H. S. O. Nichols, J. W. T. Nichols, Russell Sturgis Paine, Mrs. Charles E. Perkins, William P. Searle, J. H. Shapleigh, F. W. Sprague, Morgan H. Stafford, John H. Sturgis, C. H. Taylor, Jr., T. C. Thacher, Barclay Tilton, R. E. Townsend, Herman A. Train, Mrs. Franklin M. Train, Captain N. B. Washburn, Dr. F. S. Watson, Thomas Weston, William G. Wheildon, T. T. Whitney, T. T. Whitney, Jr.
President State Street Trust Company.
JANUARY 1, 1919.
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