God Save the Commonwealth

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As Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Company under a Crown charter John Winthrop, arch-Puritan, sailed from Eng land in March 1630, aboard the tiny Arbella. On June 12 he landed at Salem. With him were 900 settlers in eleven ships. They moved to the mouth of the Charles River where they built a village and called it Boston.*

Last week the Commonwealth of Massachusetts with ceremonies at its capital commenced to celebrate its Tercentenary. Through Boston Common to the blare of bands marched the biggest military parade since the War. Flags napped everywhere under a sultry summer sun. In the harbor lay a replica of the Arbella and not far away the great modern British warship Durban, guest of State. Great crowds stared and sweated.

In the reviewing tribune Citizen Calvin Coolidge, Ambassadors to the U. S. Sir Ronald Lindsay of Britain and Ahmed Mouhtar of Turkey, many a foreign minister, Governor Frank G. Allen and Mayor James Michael Curley stood for an hour saluting regimental colors. When the last of the parade had passed, the Governor, the Mayor and Tercentenary Commis- sioner Herbert Parker made speeches on Boston's history, praised the Puritan fathers. Aged Robert Grant, Boston's famed author-judge (The Confessions of a Frivolous Girl, Yankee Doodle, The Knave of Hearts, The Bishop's Granddaughter; member of Governor Fuller's advisory committee on the Sacco-Vanzetti case in 1927) read a poem. Herewith the last stanza:

This resolute illustrious Bay State

Won from the Indian and the wilder-ness,

Rich in opinion strong, traditions great,

Beauties that charm, large industries that bless,

Holds upon hill and valley, rock and slate

Indelibly the Puritan's impress.

A precious heritage, our dearest wealth

Forever more. God save the Commonwealth!

Rt. Hon. Herbert Albert Laurens Fisher, Warden of New College, Oxford, England, made the speech of the day. He briefly, completely traced Massachusetts' growth and influence. Through the Bay Colony, he said, English blood spread over the U. S., made one-quarter of the present U. S. population. Then he said: "Let it not, however, be imagined that Massachusetts . . . was [then] governed by principles which we here today can recognize as reasonable or just. . . . [The Puritans] spurned democracy, they persecuted conscience . . . taxed without consent." He had intended to say, and in the pre-issued version of his speech did say much about the narrow religious horizons of Englishmen in the 17th Century and their desire to persecute Catholics. After dis- cussion with the Tercentenary Commission, however, he orally deleted about one-third of what he had written and in the following sentence interpolated as follows: "Little did the founders reckon that a time would come when the New Canaan would be largely occupied by men of the splendid Irish race, whom they held in deep contempt, or of the noble Roman faith, which they regarded with deep abhorrence."

Not among the speakers was Calvin Coolidge, nor did newsgatherers hear him say anything more quotable than: "I've lost my wife" (at preliminary ceremonies in the State House). He did, however, mention the celebration in his nationally syndicated Marco-Aurelian commentary for that day, as follows: "Never before were the rights of man advanced so far in three centuries."

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