The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 115 pages of information about The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1.

Strangely enough as our educational advantages have increased, as more avenues of self support have been opened to women, so has the ratio of divorce to marriage also grown larger, thus apparently furnishing conclusive proof that it is not legislative reform that is now needed.  It is not necessary to argue that no legislation can operate in any way to strengthen those family ties which have their foundation in the social and domestic affections.  On the other hand, any thing in the direction of education of the young tending to strengthen love of home and domestic life, and to do away with the prevalent tendency to what has been termed individualism, will be a step in the right path and will aid in lessening the evils which so many wrongly ascribe to faulty legislation.  If any further proof of this fact is needed it is found in the knowledge that by far the larger part of the seekers for relief come from our native population, while none but those who have some practical experience in the realities of the divorce court room can know how intolerable are the burdens from which this relief is sought.

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SHEM DROWNE AND HIS HANDIWORK.

By Elbridge H. Goss.

The weird imaginings and romantic theories of our great story-teller, Hawthorne, must not be taken as veritable and indisputable history.  Some of the Boston newspapers have recently run riot in this respect.  Hawthorne, in his “Drowne’s Wooden Image,” in “Mosses from an Old Manse,” says the figure of “Admiral Vernon,” which has stood on the corner of State and Broad streets, Boston, for over a century, was the handiwork of one Shem Browne, “a cunning carver of wood.”  Upon this statement of the romancer, for there is no authentic history to warrant it, one paper, in an article entitled “A Funny Old Man,” says:  “Deacon Shem Drowne, the Carver.  Concerning the origin of the carved figure of Admiral Vernon there can be no doubt.  History, ancient records, and fiction all record the presence in Boston of one Deacon Shem Drowne, whose business it was to supply the tradesmen and tavern-keepers of the day with similar carved images to indicate their calling, or by which to identify their places of business."[1]

Another, discoursing of this same image, as “Our Oldest Inhabitant,” after attributing it to the same man’s workmanship, states:  “Deacon Shem Drowne, whose name suggests pious and patriarchal, if not nautical associations, carved the grasshopper which still holds its place over Faneuil Hall, and also the gilded Indian,[2] who, with his bow bent and arrow on the string, so long kept watch and ward over the Province House, the stately residence of the royal Governors of Massachusetts."[3] This writer repeatedly spells the name wrong.  His name was Drowne, not Droune.[4] In “Drowne’s Wooden Image,” Hawthorne makes his Shem Drowne a wood-carver, plain and simple:  “He became noted for carving

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The Bay State Monthly, Volume 3, No. 1 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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