Gateway to the Classics: Ruth of Boston by James Otis
Ruth of Boston by  James Otis

Launching the Ship

It is not well that I let my mind go back into the past. I should think only of the future, and of what we are doing here in Boston, the most important of which just now is the launching of our ship.

She is what sailors call "bark rigged," which is the same as saying that she has three masts; but yet not as much of rigging as a ship.

Her name, painted on the stern, is Blessing of the Bay, and there is hardly any need for me to say that every man, woman, and child in the town stood near at hand to see her as she slipped down the well greased ways into the river, where she rode as gracefully as a swan.


I have already said that when the Lyon came in, at the time of the famine, she appeared the most beautiful vessel I had ever seen, and next to her comes the Blessing of the Bay. As Governor Winthrop said in the short lecture he gave us before launching, she was Boston made, of Boston timber, and would be sailed by Boston sailors, so that when she goes out across the ocean, people shall know that there are Englishmen far overseas who are striving, with God's help, to make a country which shall one day stand equal with the England we have left forever.

It is while speaking of the launching that I am reminded of a very comical mishap to Master Winthrop, and I may set it down without disrespect to him, for he is pleased to join in the mirth whenever it is spoken of as something to cause laughter.

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