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by Jacob Marmor (pseudonym)

Friday, July 25, 1941

in What's New In Town

W. J. Sidis


        How many people realize that the Pilgrims and Puritans were not the same? They were two separate colonies in the 17th century, one centering on Plymouth, the other on Salem and Boston. In spite of certain religious differences (the Puritans were dissenters within the Church of England, seeking to “purify” it, while the Pilgrims had separated), the two colonies were always very friendly to each other. The Pilgrim colony was never fully recognized by England, and on that account had been sometimes called “The Pilgrim Republic.” A county map of Massachusetts shows a straight line crossing the state from the northeast corner of Rhode Island northeast to Cohasset. That was the old boundary between the Pilgrims and the Puritans―it is now called the “Old Colony Line,” and some of the boundary posts along that line bear the initials “O.C.L.” The former Pilgrim territory is now called “the Old Colony,” and very obviously forms a part projecting southward from the body of the State. The Old Colony Line can be seen even on the map in the front part of the Boston telephone book, running along the bottom of the map, and, as it were, underscoring the limits of the Boston phone district.


        The “believe-it-or-not” type of columnist has been, for some years, giving circulation to the statement that this country has only 44 states, the bother four being “Commonwealths.” Since Massachusetts is one of the four alleged non-states, it is time we made some protest at the discrimination. The preamble of Massachusetts’ Constitution names the government the “Commonwealth of Massachusetts,” but Part I, Article IV, of that Constitution states that the people form a “free, sovereign, and independent state.” This is equally true of the other three Commonwealths. The constitutions of Pennsylvania and Kentucky, though using “Commonwealth” as the official title, use the word “State” freely; while Virginia’s constitution uses “State of Virginia” interchangeably with “Commonwealth.” Who is right―the State constitutions or the columnists?


        The Boylston Street subway, where it passes Park Square has plenty of blind branches, as though false starts had been made in laying the subway out. The upgrade in the middle of the subway is still known to most Bostonians as the old incline for Huntington Avenue Cars, used till February 16, 1941. The branch tunnel on the right of outbound cars was the original “Public Garden Entrance,” the entrance of the world’s first subway line, on the Boylston Street front of the Public Garden, used fro 1897 to 1912. The passage starting off to the right of inbound cars is where once it was planned to run the subway to Post Office Square. A referendum of car riders, taken in May 1913, voted against this, and this line was never completed.


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