Chance Rain Showers
Boston City Guide
Boston, the capital of Massachusetts and the seat of Suffolk County, is one of the oldest cities in the U.S. Situated on the Shawmut peninsula between Massachusetts Bay and Back Bay, the city was originally restricted in size by the surrounding wetlands. However, aggressive land reclamation efforts throughout the 18th and 19th century more than tripled the peninsula's size. Many of Boston's hills (including the top of its celebrated Beacon Hill) were leveled and used to fill in the mud flats, marshes, and gaps along the waterfront, which allowed the Puritan settlement to expand into a global city that now serves as the cultural and economic hub of New England.
In 1625, the Reverend William Blaxton came to Shawmut (as it was called by the Algonquin natives) and built his solitary cabin on what would later become Boston Common and Beacon Hill. John Winthrop and his Puritan settlers of the Massachusetts Bay Colony arrived in Charleston in 1629. Unhappy with the settlement in Charleston, Winthrop began looking for another location. At Blaxton's invitation, Winthrop led 800 Puritans to Shawmut and established the permanent settlement of Boston (named for Winthrop's hometown in Lincolnshire). Winthrop believed that the Massachusetts Bay Colony had a special covenant with God, and that the eyes of the world would be on their "city upon a hill." It was important for the Puritans to live above reproach, so that their New World colony would serve as a shining example to the decadent folks in the Old World. This led to a particularly strict society, where even the smallest sins were severely punished. Church attendance and marriage were mandatory, and living alone was forbidden as it might lead to temptation. The Puritans espoused the virtues of hard work, morality, and education. However, there were some who found the Puritan society too harsh and intolerant. One such dissident was Reverend Blaxton, who eventually sold the rest of his land to Winthrop and left for Rhode Island.