Went with my young pilgrims today on a Founders Trail Tour in honor of Boston’s Charter Day, the day when 383 years ago, the General Court of the Massachusetts Bay Colony named the city of Boston, Dorchester and Watertown and proclaimed Boston as the capital of the Commonwealth.
Why have you never heard of such a holiday, while July 4th and our more local Patriot’s Day are well known and loved? The answer is that it was only recently declared by the Governor of the Commonwealth to be a holiday in 2001.
It was inspiring to listen again to the tale of Boston’s founding. How the original voyagers of the HMS Arbella arrived first to Salem, then to Charlestown in 1630, and then finally across the water to what was then called Trimountaine (Three Mountains) to the only white man living on the Shawmut Peninsula at the time, the Rev. William Blackstone. They had arrived in the New World in June, and decided finally on September 7 to settle this particular area because of the fresh water source nearby that supplied the growing city until the early nineteenth century when finally thy had to pump water from the outskirts. It was here on this day 383 years ago that Boston was first named.
We here at Boston Pilgrim Tours hope that this holiday will only grow in significance and in the memory of those who call this saintly city their home. That’s right. I said “saintly” because it is the only municipality in all of New England that bears the name of a saint, Botwulf of Thorney, and I think he was overjoyed to hear the bells ringing today in honor of the founding of his great American city: