"Thou hast been a generous giver," wrote Henry Wadsworth Longfellow in "To the River Charles," a poetic celebration of the eastern Massachusetts watercourse. Rich in intriguing and amusing anecdotes, this illustrated history traces the Charles's path to the sea through rocky gorges and vast meadows, along with the river's contributions to America's cultural development. Profiles of those who dwelt along the banks range from colonial settlers in the Boston, Charlestown, and Cambridge areas to more recent residents — Captain John Smith, Governor Winthrop, and John Harvard as well as Longfellow, Robert Lowell, and many others.
Arthur Bernon Tourtellot recounts the Charles's role in national affairs, including the protective advantages the river offered to colonists during the Revolutionary War. He chronicles the riverside industrial boom of the 1800s, the twentieth-century decline, and the valley's reversion to provincialism. His highly readable narrative also explores the river's influence on the painters, poets, and philosophers of New England's golden age.
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acres Algonquin Allston almanac American Andrew Craigie bank Blackstone Boston bridge British Bunker Hill Cambridge century Charles River church Claghorn Colonel colony Concord Cotton Mather court Craigie House Dedham downstream dreams Eliot England ﬁelds ﬁght ﬁnd ﬁnished ﬁre ﬁred ﬁrst ﬁsh ﬁve ﬂow Franklin frigate Gage Gilbert Stuart Goody Sherman governor Greene Guast Hancock Harvard College History Indians inﬂuence Irish James James Franklin John John Winthrop knew land lived Longfellow Lowell man’s Marmaduke Massachusetts mill minutemen morning Nathaniel Eaton never night o’clock ofﬁcers ofﬁcial oﬂice Old Put paper poet poetry political Prescott printer printing provincial Puritan river mouth river valley sachem Sam Greene sent ship Smith soldiers Stephen Daye Stuart sufﬁcient things thought tion told took town meeting upstream village Waban wanted Washington Allston wife wilderness William William Blackstone William Blaxton Winthrop wrote Yankee yard