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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

The Building of Boston Castle

By Roger Clap (1609–1691)

[From Memoir of Capt. Roger Clap, written about 1676.]

BEFORE I proceed any further, I will inform you that God stirred up his poor servants to use means in their beginning for their preservation; though a low and weak people, yet a willing people to lay out their estates for the defence of themselves and others. They having friends in divers places who thought it best for our safety to build a fort upon the island now called Castle Island, at first they built a castle with mud walls, which stood divers years. First, Capt. Simpkins was commander thereof; and after him Lieut. Monish for a little space. When the mud walls failed, it was built again with pine trees and earth; and Capt. Davenport was commander. When that decayed, which was within a little time, there was a small castle built with brick walls, and had three rooms in it—a dwelling-room below, a lodging-room over it, the gun-room over that, wherein stood six very good saker guns, and over it, upon the top, three lesser guns. All the time of our weakness, God was pleased to give us peace, until the wars with the Dutch, in Charles the Second’s time. At that time our works were very weak, and intelligence came to us that De Ruyter, a Dutch commander of a squadron of ships, was in the West Indies, and did intend to visit us; whereupon our battery also was repaired, wherein are seven good guns. But in the very time of this report, in July, 1665, God was pleased to send a grievous storm of thunder and lightning, which did some hurt at Boston, and struck dead here at the Castle Island that worthy, renowned Captain, Richard Davenport. Upon which the General Court, in August 10th following, appointed another Captain in the room of him that was slain. But, behold! God wrought for us; for although De Ruyter intended to come here, yet God by contrary winds kept him out; so he went to Newfoundland, and did great spoil there. And again, when danger grew on us by reason of the late wars with Holland, God permitted our castle at that very time to be burnt down, which was on the 21st day of March, 1672–3. But still God was pleased to keep this place in safety. The Lord enlarge our hearts unto thankfulness!