Myles Standish House – Boston, Massachusetts (1937)

Myles (or, Miles) Standish is best-remembered today by those who encountered the poem by Longfellow, “The Courtship of Miles Standish”.

The poem is a long tale of the Plymouth Colony circa 1621, and portrays the comic and romantic incidents against a background of deprivation and threats,

Standish, an older soldier who accompanied the Pilgrims to New England as a hired soldier, becomes enamored of the young Pilgrim maiden, Priscilla Mullins.

Fearing that his grizzled appearance would abash the girl, he deputizes his roommate, the handsome youth, John Alden, to plead his case to Priscilla.

Alden faithfully delivers the proposal of Standish, but the fair Priscilla recognizes the admiration of the youthful aide and eventually demands, “Speak for yourself, John.”

Longfellow, who was a descendant of he marriage of John Alden and Priscilla Mullins, claimed that the story was a family legend – but there is no historical evidence of the may details depicted in the romantic poem.

And, Longfellow does not emphasize aspects of the Pilgrim legend such as the presence of an armed mercenary in the colony.

The historical Standish disturbed many colonists by his cruelty toward indigenous people who attacked the Colony.

Nevertheless, the poem was memorized by tens of thousands of young scholars in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

The “Myles Standish House” is located in Duxbury, a seaside town on the south shore about 35 miles from Boston.

it is claimed that the house was constructed by Alexander Standish (son of Miles) in 1666, 46 years after the Pilgrim’s celebrated arrival at Plymouth Rock.

There is no firm evidence of this, however, and architectural analysis of the structure suggests a 18th century construction.

Nevertheless, the “Myles Standish House” became a part of historical pilgrimages to New England.

In October of 1937, Marge was in Masschusetts.

Marge mailed a postcard photograph of the Standish House to Mrs. Mary Ackert.

The photograph was printed in the new, “linen” style by the Metrocraft Company of Everett, Massachusetts.

Mrs. Ackert lived in Staatsburg, a hamlet on the Hudson River and adjacent to Hyde Park.

As the name suggests, Staatsburg was the home of Dutch settlers in the Hudson River valley.,_New_York

On the reverse, Marge reports having a “lovely ride today” and had reached Quincy, Massachusetts –“only eight miles from Boston”.

Quincy, now an immediate suburb of Boston, was the home of John Adams, John Quincy Adams, and John Hancock.,_Massachusetts

Marge expects to do some shopping in Boston, and she did mail the postcard from that city.

The remainder of Marge’s message relates to her appreciation of meals.

One hopes that Marge continued to enjoy her trip and that she had many more stories to tell Mary.


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