Excerpt from Professional and Industrial History of Suffolk County, Massachusetts, Vol. 2 of 3
Three or four years ago we chanced to see a learned and elaborate work, Bruxelles a Travers les Ages, in which the history of Brussells was traced and illustrated from the Silurian epoch, through all the geologic periods, to the time when mammals and then man appeared upon the scene, and so on to the present day. In writing of the trade and commerce of Boston, or of Suffolk county, we do not propose to go back to prehistoric times; although, for our narration to be exhaustive, it might well include some account of the fishes of the tertiary period. For the commerce of these shores' had the fisheries as its basis, long before the arrival of Winthrop's ﬂeet at Salem, or of the Mayﬂower at Plymouth. The settlement of Massachusetts, says Sabine, is to be traced directlv to the fisheries. A Boston newspaper writer in 1779 gave this judgment: The Newfoundland fishery is a source of wealth as valuable to us, as the hills of Potosi to the Spaniards; another writer in a Boston newspaper, soon after the peace of 1783, in a series of arti cles on American commerce, said that the mackerel fishery was of more value to Massachusetts than would be the pearl fisheries of Cey lon; and a writer in the Nort/z Amrrim/z Review in 1854 expressed a similar opinion: The Banks of Newfoundland are, have been, and ever will be, worth as much to the commercial world as the valley of the Sacramento, or the auriferous quartz ridges of the Sierra Nevada.
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