Roxbury - Encyclopedia

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ROXBURY, formerly a city of Norfolk (disambiguation)|Norfolk county, Massachusetts, U.S.A., situated between Boston and Dorchester, but since 1868 a part of Boston. It is primarily a residential district. Among its institutions are the Roxbury Latin School, established in 1645, 1 the Fellowes Athenaeum (a part of the Roxbury branch of the Boston Public Library), with about 26,000 volumes in 1909, and the New England Hospital for Women and Children (1863), the New England Baptist Hospital (1893), the Woman's Charity Club Hospital (1890),. the Roxbury Homoeopathic Dispensary (1886), the Roxbury Home for Children and Aged Women (1856), a Home for Aged Couples (1884) and the Massachusetts Home for Intemperate Women (1879). On Mount Bellevue, in West Roxbury (set apart from Roxbury in 1851 and annexed to Boston in 1873), there is an observatory (erected in 1869 by the city of Boston as a standpipe for the high service water supply). Among the manufactures of the district are cotton and woollen goods, cordage, carpets, shoes and foundry products. The town of Roxbury (at first usually spelled Rocksbury) was founded in 16 3 0 by some of the Puritan immigrants who came with Governor John Winthrop; the settlers were led by William Pynchon, who in 1636 led a party from here and founded Springfield, Mass. At the home of Rev Thomas Welde (d. 1662), the first minister, Anne Hutchinson was held in custody during the winter of 1637-38. Associated as teacher with Welde and his successors, Samuel Danforth and Nehemiah Walter, was John Eliot, the apostle to the Indians, who removed to Roxbury in 1632 and died here in 1690. Roxbury was the home also of Thomas Dudley, of his son Joseph and of his grandson Paul; of Robert Calef (d. 1719), the leader of the opposition to the witchcraft craze; of General Joseph Warren, and of William Eustis (1753-1825), who was U.S. secretary of war (180912), minister to the Netherlands (1814-18), and governor of Massachusetts (1823-25); and from 1837 to 1845 Theodore Parker was the pastor of the Unitarian Church of West Roxbury. Of special interest in the old Roxbury burial-ground is the "Ministers' Tomb," containing the remains of John Eliot, and the tomb of the Dudleys. West Roxbury was the scene of the Brook Farm experiment (see Brook Farm). Roxbury was chartered as a city in 1846.

See F. S. Drake, The Town of Roxbury, its Memorable Persons and Places (Boston, 1878 and 1905).

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