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it was an accident. On a .certain occasion, about thirty years ago, when I was a member of the Roxbury Artillery, it was proposed to go out for a target-shoot. We assembled at the old Armory near Dr. Putnam's church. An old friend of mine was present, and thought he would like to march by me. I said I should be happy to have his company, if he would assist me in putting on the corporation uniform, as I didn't know how to do it
well. He got the belt, and put it around me, but a certain part of it did not come in the right place. I couldn't find the place to put my bayonet, and some one laughed, and the gentleman referred to (who was Mr. Daniel Green) said, “Gentlemen, you needn't laugh; the doctor and I will make you laugh on the other side of your heads, for we are going to take the first medals, — the doctor will take the first, and I will take the second.” I remarked that, as he had been out before, I should like to take the first shot; and he said that he . was perfectly willing, and I should have it certainly. Away we marched out to South Boston, and beyond the Mt. Washington House, and there on the green we assembled to shoot at the target. There were two men on my left, I remember, and Mr. Green stood on my right. The two men on my left fired, and did not hit the target. I was rather slight of build, and not very strong. The old musket was very heavy, and the bore very smooth ; it did not resemble very nearly the guns used for target practice; bật I got it up high in this way [Pointing, as with a gun, toward the upper part of the hall], because I could hold it more easily ; and when it came down, I fired away, and, fortunately, my bullet entered the very centre of the bull's-eye. The gentleman attending to the target said that nobody there could beat that; but Mr. Green raised his gun, and said, “I will see what I can do." and, fortunately, he cut out half of my hole. I took the first, and he took the second prize. That is my story, and, I suppose, that is what the General wished to hear. [Applause.]
Now, all those who wish to learn the heroic practice of administering Black Powders and Blue Pills successfully, in healing national diseases, such as wars, bull-dozing, etc., I will recommend to join the Old Roxbury Artillery Association.
" THE OLD ROXBURY School-Bor.”
When in old-fashioned days of yore
The Schoolmaster was abroad,
INTRODUCTION BY THE CHAIRMAN.
I invite to respond to this toast a gentleman who is deeply interested in all that pertains to old Roxbury, and who has rendered most faithful service in her city government and on her school board, FRANKLIN WILLIAMS, Esq.
RESPONSE OF FRANKLIN WILLIAMS, ESQ.
MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN :- I feel highly complimented by the sentiment which has been given me to respond to, and I also feel complimented by the allusion of the orator, this afternoon, to the name of Williams. As an humble representative of that name I feel proud, because that name has borne an honorable part in the history of the town of Roxbury, from its earliest settlement to the present time; and yet I feel that I am not a good representative of the name I bear, for it has made itself felt all over the country. In the present Congress there are seven members bearing the name of Williams, and there have been men of that name in Congress from its first organization down to the present time. But, Mr. Chairman, I am glad to respond for the old School-Boys of Roxbury," for I love them; every son of Roxbury who attended our schools has a warm place in my
heart. I loved them in their youth and I respect them in their old age ; and I never see a company of boys and girls on their way to school, that my mind does not turn back to the time when Doctor Prentiss, Deacon Billy, Jack Frost, Masters Eastman, Tower and Parker presided over the schools of Roxbury. I certainly remember them all; and I well remember, as if it were but a few days ago, how the old school-master I last attended looked, as he sat in his seat, oftentimes asleep, and called up his scholars for a merited whipping. And now he quietly rests in the old burial-ground on Eustis street. He fought a good fight, and I may say of him, as I may of Capts. Gibbs, Doggett, Spooner and Meriam of the old “ Norfolk Guards,”.
“They sleep their last sleep, they have fought their last battle ;
No sound shall awake them to glory again.”
But I am speaking for the old school-boys of Roxbury. I say
I love them, and I love the streets of Roxbury ; but I love them better as they were fifty years ago, when they were unencumbered by buildings or improvements, than as they are to-day. With what affection I look back upon the “ Hay Bridge,” “Ned's Hill," "The Crossway, Mill-dam,” “The Point,” 6 Tory Hill,” “Smithi's Pond,” “ Hawes' Pond,” and many another charming spot, when in their primitive and natural beauty! I loved Tommy's Rock and Smelt Brook,-every myrtle vine, every blackberry bush and every barberry bush. I loved even the snakes as they crawled among the crevices, and the cows grazing upon the pastures. Each spot has a deep and abiding place in my heart.
And now, Mr. Chairman, — I say it reverently, — my days are few. The whitening hair, and the deafening ear give notice to me and many others that our days on this earth are few ; but I can say this, — if I should be called upon to go, I would prefer to go in the spring-time, when the flowers of old Roxbury are in bloom, when the turtles and frogs are piping again their earliest notes, when the willow has brought once more its vernal beauty ; and, instead of having upon my bier the choicest flowers of the greenhouse, I would prefer that they would go back to Tommy's Rock, and cull for me the May-flower, the honeysuckle, the blue violet, and the blueberry blossom, as the fittest decoration that friends could bring; and it would mingle delightfully with the murmurs of a coming joy to hear in my departing moments once more the rushing waters of 66
Stony Brook.” And, when all is over and I shall be quietly resting at Forest Hills, place over me no Italian or Egyptian marble ; search not in New Hampshire, Quincy, or elsewhere for the choicest granite ; but simply go to yonder rocky ledge, cut out a shaft of the old Roxbury pudding-stone, and erect it o'er my grave, showing to every beholder that beneath its enduring and rustic beauty sleeps a loyal son and school-bov of old Roxbury. [Applause.]
“ROXBURY AS A PART OF THE CAPITAL.”
Shall we unite or not unite,
Was a sea we once were tossed on;
Or shall she go to Boston?
It worried one and all,
We took the Capital.
INTRODUCTION BY THE CHAIRMAN.
I have the pleasure of introducing to you, gentlemen, to respond to this toast, a gentleman whom we all know and respect, and to whose zealous labors we are all largely indebted for the success of this celebration, L. FOSTER MORSE, Esq.
RESPONSE OF L. FOSTER MORSE, ESQ.
MR. CHAIRMAN AND GENTLEMEN : - I hardly know how to respond to the sentiment read by the toast-master, for I expected that he would place me on another line altogether. As he says, the ques
6 Shall we unite, or go it alone?” Well, I was in favor of uniting; not that I loved Roxbury less, for I love Roxbury as well as any man in this hall; I love her streets, her rocks, and her people. Why, we have the finest property, the finest building lots. The only healthy place within the city of Boston, to-day, is in old Roxbury ; and while we love it so well, should we deny its benefits to the citizens of Boston? Should we be selfish and keep it? Or should we allow them to settle within our borders, and we be one with them? These were my reasons for favoring annexation ; and the growth of Roxbury shows that we have done a good thing. We annexed with twenty-five thousand people, and now within the limits of old Roxbury we have sixty thousand, and land enough for a hundred and fifty ; yes, three hundred thousand, besides West Roxbury. The time is coming when business shall so increase that all the low lands will be needed for commercial purposes, and people will be obliged to live on the high lands; and then if we have the same feeling that we have now, we will change the name of Boston and call it all Roxbury. “ The voice of the people is the voice of God,” and if the voice of the people wish to call it Roxbury, it will be called Roxbury. Let us look back a little. We had “ Pigeon Lane," " Tommy's Rocks,” “Grab Village," "Clay Hill,” “Hogg's Bridge," " Tory Hill,” 6. Sodom Turnpike,”
,” - The Point,” and all those places ; and where are they? They have gone. You don't want to tell me that you
Pigeon Lane.” Perhaps that sounded well two hundred years ago. But I would rather live on a street.
Tommy's Rock” is almost gone. It is the high land. My friend Swift lives there, and that is what makes him so healthy. Before he lived out here he was sickly. Lots of physicians moved out here; but they did not have any practice, for they found that people who had lived here a long time were healthy, and only those were sickly who had lived here a short time and brought their diseases with them. [Laughter.] The doctors did not find any increase in business. My friend Tucker has seen lots of people live here for ninety years.
Gen. SWIFT. Some of them are a little gray. [Laughter.]
Six months ago my hair was darker than yours, and my head was not bald on top as is yours, either. [Loud laughter.] I got sick, my hair came out and I lost it all ; but I got a new crop just in time for the Centennial; but now it is changing, and in six months it will be dark again. If a man didn't live in old Roxbury he couldn't have raised such a clean crop of hair. I have been asked why I didn't buy a wig. I didn't buy a wig because I knew I wouldn't need it here.